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Question about two different processors

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by margie2, Dec 9, 2011.

  1. margie2

    margie2 New commenter

    I need to replace my current PC and I'm hesitating between two good ones. The first one is £320 (HP) and the other one (Packard) costs £430. They have roughly the same specs except for the processor.
    The HP has a dual core Intel Pentium E5800 (3.20 GHz) and the Packard has an Intel i3, same sort of speed, 3 GHz.
    The IT specialist at school (who's is into games, etc.) has told me to buy a PC with a powerful processor, such as the Intel i3.
    However, I wonder whether a "bog standard" processor like the one in the HP wouldn't be OK for me.
    On my current PC, I just listen to the radio, watch the odd thing on iPlayer, surf the internet and use 3 or 4 programmes at the same time (say, Word, radio, email, etc.). My partner watches football from time to time (streaming). We don't do games, don't download films, etc.
    Bearing in mind what we use a PC for, is it worth forking out an extra £100 to absolutely get a PC with an Intel i3 processor? What do you think?
     
  2. margie2

    margie2 New commenter

    I need to replace my current PC and I'm hesitating between two good ones. The first one is £320 (HP) and the other one (Packard) costs £430. They have roughly the same specs except for the processor.
    The HP has a dual core Intel Pentium E5800 (3.20 GHz) and the Packard has an Intel i3, same sort of speed, 3 GHz.
    The IT specialist at school (who's is into games, etc.) has told me to buy a PC with a powerful processor, such as the Intel i3.
    However, I wonder whether a "bog standard" processor like the one in the HP wouldn't be OK for me.
    On my current PC, I just listen to the radio, watch the odd thing on iPlayer, surf the internet and use 3 or 4 programmes at the same time (say, Word, radio, email, etc.). My partner watches football from time to time (streaming). We don't do games, don't download films, etc.
    Bearing in mind what we use a PC for, is it worth forking out an extra £100 to absolutely get a PC with an Intel i3 processor? What do you think?
     
  3. Have a look at benchmarks: http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu_lookup.php?cpu=Pentium+Dual-Core+E5800+%40+3.20GHz

    They don't mean everything - people will (absolutely rightly) tell you of the benefits in efficiency, power usage etc but you can decide how much that matters to you.
     
  4. margie2

    margie2 New commenter

    Thanks jweb, brilliant site!
    The Intel i3-2120 has a benchmark score of 4152 and is in the High End category, and the Intel Pentium 2169 (high to middle, I think).
    I see that the AMD 64 processor on my current PC (7 years old) scores 500!
    Not quite sure how to interpret all that though...
     
  5. colpee

    colpee Star commenter

    The test for you is to determine what your current computer specs don't do for you. The usage you quote is bog standard and virtually any newish pc will deliver it (average processing, but you do need good RAM and a graphics card). To future proof it is sometimes getting more than you need for now, but if money is an issue, you don't need to. Without doubt the i3 is the much better processor, but (as I think you already know) you might be paying for processing power you are likely not to use.

    Benchmark scores rarely deliver any news for the bog standard user, simply because low level usage is pretty the same experience across all platforms. But, you can have your cake and eat it:
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B005ZPDZ66/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_1?pf_rd_p=103612307&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B002YFE9ZQ&pf_rd_m=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&pf_rd_r=1FD227PJVF6V5E1KHXCH
     
  6. margie2

    margie2 New commenter

    Thanks Colpee. I listened to you and a few others and bought the PC this morning with an i3 processor (just the box, HP Pavilion 2022 - £420) very happy with it so far...

    Your advice and recommendations have been priceless, thanks again.

    PC came with Office Starter but with no Powerpoint, so I'll have to fork out £70 for Office now... (I was not able to download it, I needed an Office licence #, never mind I'll pay for it).
     
  7. catch222

    catch222 New commenter

    Margie2 - as i assume you're a teacher, you should be able to buy your software through
    http://www.software4students.co.uk/

    at a much reduced rate.
    I hope you've not bought Office yet?
     
  8. colpee

    colpee Star commenter

    software4students is a good site, currently Microsoft Office Pro Plus is £38.
     
  9. margie2

    margie2 New commenter

    Thanks a lot Catch 222 and Colpee, you've just saved me £32 + petrol + Sunday shopping hassle!

    (thank God I did not buy it at lunchtime with my HP Pavilion!)

    it's this one, isn't it?

    http://www.software4students.co.uk/Microsoft_Office_2010_Professional_Plus-details.aspx

    My HP Pavilion comes with Office Starter (Word + Excel), so I guess with this Office pro plus, it's just a matter of entering a licence number or something? (do you just plonk the CD and bob's your uncle?)
     
  10. colpee

    colpee Star commenter

    Yep, that's the one. Just make sure you get the one that matches your pc operating system (32 or 64 bit). You can buy the disc or download the programme direct from the site.. I usually download as its easier to copy and save rather than hoping that a disc will still work after time or not get lost.
     
  11. margie2

    margie2 New commenter

    Thanks Colpee. Do you receive a CD or just a licence # to enter into your PC. Mine is new (bought yesterday) and I think Office is sort of preloaded, waiting for me to enter this magic code1 (God knows where it is on the PC!)

    At the minute, I'm using the pre-loaded Office Starter software (just Word and Excel) but I need the real McCoy.
     
  12. colpee

    colpee Star commenter

    You will get a licence number and be able to download the programme straight from the web. But you will have to install the new version, it won't let you just put a licence number in. 1) Download the programme to a folder on your pc and click it to run and install. You can also copy the file to a dvd later for backup if you like.
    You will need to remove the office starter pack before you install the new version which is easy -http://support.microsoft.com/kb/980557
     
  13. margie2

    margie2 New commenter

    Crikey, it sounds complicated, not sure I'll manage! I'll phone them (Software4estudents) tomorrow and ask.

    When you write: "But you will have to install the new version, it won't let you just put a licence number in". Do you mean that I will have to:

    a) put CD into drive and follow instructions to install Office 2010

    b) then enter the licence number which presumably is on the CD

    Sorry but what do you mean by "Download the programme to a folder on your pc and click it to run and install"

    Can't I just insert disk and let it install itself on desktop as an icon?

    Thanks for the tip on uninstalling Office Starter (and also the one on copying file to a DVD). And thanks for the support site, I think I'll need it... (I'm deffo going to put in in Favourites!)
     
  14. colpee

    colpee Star commenter

    I meant that you don't need to actually order a cd, instead the contents can be downloaded straight to your pc and then you clicking on the file acts the same as putting a cd in. It's the quickest way but if you feel you'd prefer a CD, you order that instead, put it in your pc and follow the instructions.
     
  15. margie2

    margie2 New commenter

    OK, thanks Colpee, I understand, I think I'll order a CD instead of downloading Office though. Thanks again for your help, you've been most helpful.
     
  16. JaquesJaquesLiverot

    JaquesJaquesLiverot Established commenter

    Going back to the original point... I realised the other day that my own desktop is over seven years old, but it's perfectly usable. In fact, it's barely any different, in speed terms, from my work laptop, which is about two years old.
    According to the processor league table (there's a link in one of the responses above), the processor in the laptop is more than four times faster than the one in the desktop, and the laptop also has twice as much main RAM, and more for graphics. There are obviously many other factors - my desktop runs 64-bit Windows 7 and the laptop runs 32-bit Vista, for example.
    As someone who doesn't do anything more demanding than editing sound and video, it seems to me that the rate of progress in hardware has declined rapidly, which is good news for schools, etc., as hardware can be replaced less often. Or maybe it's just the case that computers reached a point where they were good enough for most uses about seven years ago.
    The other thing I've noticed is that Tesco used to have all their laptops showing a screen that displayed the performance index, and for all the laptops in the range up to about £600, it was virtually identical. What varied was how nasty the keyboard was.
    My advice, therefore, if you're not a gamer, would be to go for the cheapest laptop you can find that has a tolerable keyboard.
     
  17. colpee

    colpee Star commenter

    Pretty much so. That means that performance isn't as much of a seller as it use to be, hence a focus on size, touchscreen, mobility etc is more common. The customer is king here because price wars, technological advances and the robustness of most pc systems means that we rarely 'must' change our computers but can do so when we fancy something shinier - and only if the price is right!
     
  18. I can remember developing for Windows 3.11 (20+ years ago). 386DX/20, 4Mb RAM, 20Mb Hard Drive + 20Mb of Network space.
    Wasn't that slow. Word was perfectly useable for doing documentation. Apps ran reasonably quickly.
    Where has all that power been wasted ?
     
  19. JaquesJaquesLiverot

    JaquesJaquesLiverot Established commenter

    I remember there being a quote from a famous computer scientist-type - Dijkstra, I think - that said something like "the advent of cheap and powerful devices would set programming back 20 years."
    Back in the 80s, we used bitwise logic to store multiple flags in a single byte, etc., to save memory, tried to make our algorithms as efficient as possible. I doubt that commercial programmers do that now - they rarely did it in the early 90s. I suspect that most of the power has been wasted on inefficient use of resources and graphical "fluff"!
     

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