Laptops forum


New laptop, dual vs quad

by Joe_Sch / February 16, 2014 11:48 PM PST

I'm having a hard time choosing between the Dell e6540 (quad core i7-4800mq, 15") and Dell e6440 (dual core i7-4600m, 14").

I'll be using it mainly for programming across multiple environments simultaneously, with a fair bit of traveling.

I know that the quad core will give me better performance, but I really like the smaller screen size (my current laptop is a Dell 15" 1558, and I find it a bit too bulky).

So my question is:
How much will a quad core help my performance against a dual core? (preferably the 4800mq vs the 4600m)
And is this difference worth sacrificing portability for, in your opinion?

Thanks, Joe

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All Answers

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For me, yes.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 17, 2014 12:50 AM PST

It's the tradeoff of speed versus weight, battery time and maybe cost. The problem is that your work may not be my work. For example all the apps our office works with compile in under 60 seconds on our oldest Core 2 Duo laptop without any upgrades.

Your new machine may have twice the ram and either SSD or a much faster HDD.

I'd go with what you like best as my bet is this is an upgrade to what you use now.

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by Joe_Sch / February 17, 2014 2:28 AM PST
In reply to: For me, yes.

I'll be using it for opencv image processing, and java development of camera based features.
I really dig the e6540 specs, but the screen is a big turnoff for me.. I'm at a loss..

Thanks for your opinion.

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To compare we'd have to see what we use now.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 17, 2014 2:44 AM PST
In reply to: Thanks

My oldest development laptop at the office is for a legacy client app. It's on some Compaq R3000, 512MB RAM, etc single core Athlon laptop. There's this old image processing app there too and keep in mind it's all in C code and small images. No speed issues there. But it's a boat anchor at maybe 10+ pounds with charger. Only pulled from storage when the legacy app and client calls for change.

Up a notch by almost a decade is another legacy app is come 2GHz C2D with 4GB RAM, hybrid HDD and really snappy image processing.

And currently the office set me up with a snazzy Lenovo y510p with 16GB RAM, hybrid drive (no ssd since it boots in seconds) so we have quite a few machines to look at and compare performance. For me the 15.6 inch is a nice balance of screen space but here's another work setup I used years ago which I have updated since.

For me it's rarely about battery time. I use the ABC method (always be charging.)

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Think of it as a highway.
by orlbuckeye / February 17, 2014 8:16 PM PST

Compare a 2 lane to a 4 lane. The 4 lane only helps if there are lots of cars on the road. So depending on what your doing will determine if you even see any difference.

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