: For me choosing a laptop was so much easier when you simply looked at the
: CPU frequency and bought the one with the highest number. Not so now. And
: so to my question:
: Will a Dell Insprion P-IV clocked at 3.4GHz beat a Dell Pentium-M based M60
: clocked at 2GHz? I am looking for a machine that will serve as a desktop
: replacement handling software development, 3D rendering, games, oh and
: Microsoft Office 2003.
I recently compared two Toshiba laptops from Costco. One was a 3.2GHZ
Pentium 4 with HyperThreading (HT), maybe even the newest Prescott P4
(because of the 1GB cache). The other was a 1.5GHZ Pentium M
(Centrino). Both had 4200RPM hard drives and DDR RAM (not sure of the
speed, but I could look it up from the Toshiba specs; I think both had
either a 533MHZ or a 400MHZ Front-side Bus).
I tried an image processing application (converting RAW image files
from Canon cameras) which was miserably slow on the first Centrino
machine I evaluated last April. I was surprised and pleased that the
Pentium M machine was only about 20% slower with this CPU-intensive
application than the Pentium 4 machine. I consider this acceptable;
we got the Centrino machine for my brother instead of the Pentium 4
machine, because the fastest possible CPU speed was not required, and
I did worry about the heat of this 3.2GHZ chip.
There is no inherent problem with Pentium 4 chips in laptops though
the latest Prescott chips *do* run rather hot (I have one in my
desktop), so I would probably avoid them specifically in a laptop.
But my 2GHZ Celeron (P4-derivative) laptop has been fine - no cooling
problems at all. I think a laptop's cooling solution is as important
as the heat of the CPU.
Costco will let you install and try stuff if you ask them and do it
nicely (they will need to login as administrator). That's how I
did my tests. Actually, I was told that Costco's 6-month return
policy applies to Dell machines that you buy through Costco.com - I
asked (it's in the fine print on Costco.com also). It's pretty nice
that you can return a Dell machine for a full refund at at a Costco
store if you try it and don't like it.