Sizing GPU's vs CPU's (and SSD's) in laptops
by BlueTemplar - 1/30/12 3:30 PM
I'm searching for a 15" laptop in the 700€ range, and I would like it to be powerful enough for gaming.
I have done some research in what's available, and I'm a bit baffled by the results.
Why? Well, first start with the gaming Desktop I built a few years ago - I knew that for most video games having a powerful graphic card is way more important than the choice of your processor, so I chose the components in consequence.
(In all this topic I will be using the ratings given by passmark.com:)
So, on my desktop I have:
- an AMD Athlon II X3 435 with a rating of 2596
- a Radeon HD 5770 with a rating of 1683
My choices seem to have been well made, because I've had slowdowns only in very rare cases:
- In a huge game of Supreme Commander : Forged Alliance with over 2000 units in game. (Probably CPU overload)
- In Crysis 2 (patch 1.9+) with the highest graphic settings. (it seems that the GPU has finally found its limits)
(- Also in Spring, even in an average game - I suspect that ATI GPU's are just bad at OpenGL...)
Now, the typical laptop of the size and price that I need has:
- an Intel Core i5-2410M @ 2.30GHz with a rating of 3334 (wow, that's impressive for a laptop!)
- but a GeForce GT 540M with a rating of only ... 724 !
So, why the laptop makers would choose to use such a powerful processor (and why would most people need anything more powerful than an Core i3 (rating of 2753) ??? It's not like there's ANY use for such a powerful CPU outside of rare and very specific professional needs!?), but skimp on the graphic card?
My ideal system would consist in a Intel Core i3-2330M @ 2.20GHz - rating of 2753 or a Intel Core i5-2557M @ 1.70GHz - rating 2624 (though if I understood it correctly this one is a model for low-power netbooks) coupled with a GeForce GT 555M (rating of 1012) or one of the GeForce GTX ???M (even better ratings).
But this particular combination doesn't seem to exist in the laptop world! Is it because those graphic cards are so expensive that manufacturers think that people won't mind the extra price of an i5 (or even i7) over an i3?
Now another thing I don't understand: We've all heard about the floods of hard drive factories and the resulting price jump of regular hard drives. So why they don't use this opportunity to push SSD's? I would love to have a (100+ Gb) SSD in my laptop, I've heard how faster than HDD's they can be (and also more robust and less power hungry). But again, almost all the available laptops that have SSD's are the super expensive ones... despite the fact that a ~100 Gb SSD and an average ~500Gb HDD cost about the same (about 150 €).