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dman777
February 21st, 2009, 04:20 PM
I am thinking about getting a laptop(customizing). For the CPU I can't decide between a "Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T6400 (2.00GHz/800Mhz FSB/2MB cache)" or a "Intel® Core™ 2 Duo P8600 (2.40GHz/1066Mhz FSB/3MB cache)". The best video card I can get for this laptop would be a 256MB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3450. Would I see a difference between the T6400 and P8600 even with that video card? Should I go for the lesser T6400 and save the money if the ATI video card would be the bottleneck?

Skripka
February 21st, 2009, 04:23 PM
I am thinking about getting a laptop(customizing). For the CPU I can't decide between a "Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T6400 (2.00GHz/800Mhz FSB/2MB cache)" or a "Intel® Core™ 2 Duo P8600 (2.40GHz/1066Mhz FSB/3MB cache)". The best video card I can get for this laptop would be a 256MB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3450. Would I see a difference between the T6400 and P8600 even with that video card? Should I go for the lesser T6400 and save the money if the ATI video card would be the bottleneck?

It depends on what you're doing. The 2.4Ghz machine will have much faster memory (noticeably), in addition to a faster processor. But perhaps not as good a battery life--as 1066 DDR2 is the same as 800DDR2, just with the voltage turned up and timings adjusted a bit.

handy
February 21st, 2009, 10:51 PM
& if your a game player then the GPU will usually be the most important aspect.

binbash
February 21st, 2009, 11:14 PM
Intel® Core™ 2 Duo P8600 (2.40GHz/1066Mhz FSB/3MB cache) and the other one has big speed difference.

However, everyone knows that ati driver sucks at linux.I have a notebook with radeon 2400HD , my other CRAPPY notebook has better fps at games :D , it sucks at compiz, you have to stick with X11 output at playing videos etc.


Go for nvidia, save the money with cpu and buy a notebook with nvidia gpu

handy
February 21st, 2009, 11:48 PM
Intel® Core™ 2 Duo P8600 (2.40GHz/1066Mhz FSB/3MB cache) and the other one has big speed difference.

However, everyone knows that ati driver sucks at linux.I have a notebook with radeon 2400HD , my other CRAPPY notebook has better fps at games :D , it sucks at compiz, you have to stick with X11 output at playing videos etc.


Go for nvidia, save the money with cpu and buy a notebook with nvidia gpu

I agree regarding ATi Linux drivers, but I will say that over the 6 months or so the ATi drivers really have been improving dramatically.

They are not there yet, but it is obvious that AMD/ATi intend to get it right as far as their Linux drivers are concerned.

Which is nice.

Sephoroth
February 21st, 2009, 11:48 PM
The P series will use a lower wattage in addition to what Skripka said though the P series will also always cost you more than the equivilent T series. The P8600 is obviously a better CPU but it will cost you a bit.

dman777
February 22nd, 2009, 01:02 AM
It depends on what you're doing. The 2.4Ghz machine will have much faster memory (noticeably), in addition to a faster processor. But perhaps not as good a battery life--as 1066 DDR2 is the same as 800DDR2, just with the voltage turned up and timings adjusted a bit.

Since I am custom building this the memory will just be 4 gig of normal memory, not any special memory for gaming. I'm not a gamer, so I will be using this for Virtualization, Compiz-Fusion, surfing the internet, and writing programs.

1) Will I still notice the diff. between the 2 cpus?
2) Are there problems with Linux drivers and that particular ATI card?

Skripka
February 22nd, 2009, 01:20 AM
Since I am custom building this the memory will just be 4 gig of normal memory, not any special memory for gaming. I'm not a gamer, so I will be using this for Virtualization, Compiz-Fusion, surfing the internet, and writing programs.

1) Will I still notice the diff. between the 2 cpus?
2) Are there problems with Linux drivers and that particular ATI card?

Since you're writing programs, may I ask-why a laptop?
<Rant>
They run hot, they are expensive, they cannot be upgraded, they seldom last more than 3 years (IME), and more importantly-if you're multitasking you need more monitor space than a laptop can do and still be mobile.

If you truely need portability, it is your call. But I find them (laptops) to be wasteful. Remember in terms of bang for your buck--you could probably get a desktop guad-core for the same price as a laptop dual core....and the laptop will be obsolete faster, and cannot be upgraded.

I used to be a laptop junky...until I found internet terminals everywhere I went, and I discovered the beauty of a 22" LCD flat-panel-and how much crap you can have open at once with, and view all at the same time.
</Rant>

1) Do you expect to be pinging your processor in what you do? And, can you stand around waiting for things to compile? If you're pinging the machine's power-you'll notice the faster memory and CPU, if you're pinging it. For general dicking around on the net, the lower CPU is more than enough....but will be obsolete sooner.

2) In general-the Ati proprietary drivers stink on Linux. Ati has a long colorful history of joke drivers on Windows and linux. Their drivers on Windows use to be even more funny, before AMD cleaned up their act. Now the market is shifting, and once AMD/ATi have good open source drivers-ATi cards will be where it is at....they aren't yet there though, and it will be a while before they are.

dman777
February 23rd, 2009, 03:55 AM
i already have super mega pc. i like going to coffee shops to write my programs because i can't get any work done at my house(to many distractions). so portabilty is what i am aiming at. i just don't know if it is worth it for me to get a more powerfull cpu(P8600) if the ati is going to bottleneck my system(in case i get the wild urge to play a shooter which is rare). unless Virtualbox and compiz fusion will utlitize the P8600 over the t6400?

jespdj
February 23rd, 2009, 10:25 AM
If you're talking about power consumption and battery life, according to Intel:

T6400 (http://processorfinder.intel.com/details.aspx?sSpec=SLGJ4) Thermal Design Power: 35W
P8600 (http://processorfinder.intel.com/details.aspx?sSpec=SLB4N) Thermal Design Power: 25W

So the P8600 uses less power even though it's faster than the T6400.

Skripka
February 23rd, 2009, 05:10 PM
If you're talking about power consumption and battery life, according to Intel:

T6400 (http://processorfinder.intel.com/details.aspx?sSpec=SLGJ4) Thermal Design Power: 35W
P8600 (http://processorfinder.intel.com/details.aspx?sSpec=SLB4N) Thermal Design Power: 25W

So the P8600 uses less power even though it's faster than the T6400.

Ummm. No.

TDP, Thermal Design Power, is the maximum amount of heat a given system can be required to dissipate. What the data you posted tells the reader is that the P8600 runs at a colder temperature. It does NOT necessarily use less electricity-it can end up meaning that, but TDP is not intended to state that explicitly.

ssam
February 23rd, 2009, 07:02 PM
assuming good power management (intel are big into linux power management), then a fast cpu means it can finish a task and go idle quicker, thus saving more power.

from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Intel_Core_2_microprocessors it looks like the T6400 is lacking intel VT extensions, which will help a lot if you want to do virtualisation (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_VT ). You may want to double check on intel datasheets. also i think i have heard that some laptops has virtualsation support disabled in the BIOS, even if the CPU supports it.

on the ATI issue. I think the 3450 is an r600 series. ATI have done a huge job of releasing specs for their graphics card over the last year. this means that good opensource drivers can be written. there are many reasons that opensource drivers are better than closed source ones. for a practical example, they tent to get the new Xorg features first, eg xrandr, kernel mode setting. the 3D specs for r600/700 are fairly fresh of the press, but it should be in the stable open source drivers soon.

--
regarding TDP. its measured in Watts, and is the maximum safe thermal output of the chip. the electrical energy that goes into the chip 99.9% (probably higher) gets turned into heat energy. so if a chip running flat out is outputing 35W, it is using 35W of electrical power. though there is room for interpretation of the max power usage eg max under typical heavy usage. maybe you could get the 35W TDP to use 40W with really intensive work, but after a minute, it would heat up and throttle itself.

mips
February 23rd, 2009, 07:17 PM
from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Intel_Core_2_microprocessors it looks like the T6400 is lacking intel VT extensions, which will help a lot if you want to do virtualisation (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_VT ). You may want to double check on intel datasheets. also i think i have heard that some laptops has virtualsation support disabled in the BIOS, even if the CPU supports it.

I would not have even checked for that. I would have just assumed it has VT support seeing it has been implemented for so long in other processors already. Personally I would not buy a cpu without VT support.

linfidel
February 25th, 2009, 02:19 AM
I would not have even checked for that. I would have just assumed it has VT support seeing it has been implemented for so long in other processors already. Personally I would not buy a cpu without VT support.
Why is that? What VM program do you use? Virtual box recommends (or used to, I haven't checked lately) against enabling it, saying they run faster without it.

I'm wondering if anyone has experience with this, using Virtual Box. I'm trying to decide between an E8400 core2 duo with VT support, and a Q8200 core2 Quad without VT support. They both cost exactly the same at Fry's. If I were a gamer, I guess the duo would be best, but I'm not, so I don't know which to get. I do want to be able to use Virtual Box, but I'm not sure how much, so it shouldn't be a big issue. I know it will work without VT support.

Any ideas?

Miguel
February 25th, 2009, 03:07 AM
I am thinking about getting a laptop(customizing). For the CPU I can't decide between a "Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T6400 (2.00GHz/800Mhz FSB/2MB cache)" or a "Intel® Core™ 2 Duo P8600 (2.40GHz/1066Mhz FSB/3MB cache)". The best video card I can get for this laptop would be a 256MB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3450. Would I see a difference between the T6400 and P8600 even with that video card? Should I go for the lesser T6400 and save the money if the ATI video card would be the bottleneck?

Don't doubt it. Get the P8600. Centrino2 processors are awesome. You will be getting 25% more CPU cicles, 50% more cache, 33% less TDP, faster switching into and out of deep sleep states (great battery life), VT-x and VT-d technologies (required if you want VirtualBox for 64bit guest OS). Furthermore, you can go for DDR3 memory in the P8600 and may also be needed for Intel 5100/5300 WiFi link cards.

I'll be sincere. Look at my sig. Yeah, that T400 has a P8600. With the Intel GPU, I get easily over 5h in XP. I haven't tried it though with the ATi card (yes, I can switch them). I get a few minutes over 4h in Ubuntu. With some aggressive HDD power management, I suppose I can get it to almost 5h, although I haven't really tried. BTW, this laptop is really cool (in both senses)

Finally, I'll say that a laptop is not a gaming machine. A dedicated GPU is interesting for some stuff, but I'd say it's not worth it (unless you can deactivate it). A laptop is a machine that allows me to work when I'm on a plane, or 6000km from home (which I am now), and that won't die after writing "Dear Mr/Mrs,..."