How to choose a laptop: 2 tips to NOT fall for the marketers’ bait. How to choose the right laptop: for games and for work
When choosing a good laptop, it matters what games you play.
- The Witcher-3 or Prey require significant power if you turn the graphics to the maximum.
- For fans of MMOs like World of Warcraft “serious” power is NOT required.
Let’s figure out how NOT to prog with performance and choose a laptop according to the parameters “for yourself”.
What are the criteria for choosing a laptop
Laptop weight and dimensions
According to the degree of portability, the device is divided into three categories.
- Maximum portability for models with a monitor size of 13-14 “. They are light in weight. up to two kg, and the battery holds a charge of up to seven hours in autonomous mode. However, often such models are not equipped with powerful processors and cards.
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 910: Small, Big Screen
- Average portability in laptops with a 15-16 “display. They last 5-6 hours on a single charge. Good option if you need a serious, but not too heavy system.
- NOT compact laptops with a screen from 17 “. The devices are heavy, Gluttonous and will NOT last long without recharging. But all these drawbacks are covered by one bold” plus “- they are the most powerful. Taking these on a trip is not the best option. They are more designed for work houses.
In addition to the screen diagonal, take into account three fundamental parameters.
- Monitor resolution: The minimum (which is also the most common) that a gaming laptop should support. 1920×1080. With less, streams are NOT as colorful. Take a closer look at models that support QHD (2560×1440) and 4K (3840×2160) resolutions. it hasn’t “caught on” among gamers yet.
- Touchscreens are an interesting but controversial innovation. Suitable for multimedia laptops, they are not used in game models. They are more expensive than conventional screens and consume a lot of electricity. For most gaming computers, this feature is not so important: not all games can be controlled from the screen. So weigh all the pros and cons before buying a laptop with a touchscreen.
- G-Sync and FreeSync technologies synchronize the refresh rate of the monitor and the rendering speed of the image, which is given by the GPU. The frame rate in games is NOT constant, but in the monitor frequency is a fixed value. Therefore, the laptop sometimes “slows down”. G-Sync and FreeSync technologies minimize this problem.
Card for gaming laptop
Most laptops are equipped with cards with chips from Nvidia. Games are quite “nimble” on a GTX 1060 chip with 3Gb memory. Such cards provide a resolution of 1920×1080 and all kinds of effects. for example, reflections in water. For the GTX 1060, it is not a problem to “work” with a virtual reality headset like the Oculus Rift. For demanding gamers, GTX 1070 and 1080 cards are suitable.
What processor temperature is considered normal for a laptop?
I analyzed a lot of information and came to the conclusion that the allowable temperature range is 40-70 degrees Celsius for AMD and Intel action handlers. But this does NOT mean that the following will happen with an increase of at least 1 degree:
The developers of modern microchips indicate the value of the limiting temperature, but it is assumed that there is a margin of 20-30 degrees. For example, for an i7 CPU, the maximum value is 110 ° C. Even if you follow the situation using Special Applications, in which I described in detail in this article, you need to discard 10-15 ° C from the shown values.
Gamers should pay special attention to efficient laptop cooling. If in the process of active use the computer turns off, then self-defense is activated. In my practice, there was a case when, after disassembling and cleaning the laptop, they forgot to connect the cooler. Attempts to start the system ended in failure. So know, if something like this happens, you need to listen to if the internal fan is working.
What is the normal temperature of a laptop processor
In this publication I will try to answer the sore question of most users: “What is the normal temperature of a laptop processor?” Also, methods of lowering the degree will be considered.
The tricky part is that there is no value that is optimal for all processors. The numbers are different for each laptop manufacturer and CPU. It is best to consult the documentation that comes with your model.
Consequences of overheating
- The computer starts to work slowly;
- The system reboots itself (long live thermal protection!);
- The PC may turn off. In the worst case, it will NOT start anymore.
We make the temperature regime optimal
Now I will tell you about SIMple ways that will help to cool your laptop. Perhaps I will not discover America, but these tips will definitely come in handy for someone.
- First of all, it is necessary to properly organize the workplace. For example, I had an HP Pavilion g6 laptop with the ventilation holes on the left. When I put the device on a table, the PC was close to the wall, which obstructed air circulation and negatively affected cooling. Other models may have these holes in the rear. It is worth considering this point. Also, it is advisable NOT to put fluffy fabrics under the device.
- We check the performance of the fans, the number of revolutions under load using special software (you can download it here). If necessary, we perform cleaning or replacement of the cooler for a more efficient.
If the active cooling system makes strange noises (knocking, clicking, etc.), the problem is most likely in the bearings. They can be replaced or lubricated.
But Lenovo often puts not very high-quality fans on its budget models. If you notice that the degrees rise sharply when the load is applied (starting the game, viewing high-resolution) and the problem is not dust, then you should purchase a more efficient cooler.
- We carry out cleaning. From time to time I had to be horrified by what I saw during the disassembly of laptops. The following snapshot shows a non-Run situation:
So, cleaning should be carried out annually. You can even twice a year. It all depends on the operating conditions. If the PC is used on a dusty one, then it should be “vacuum cleaned” more often to avoid overheating.
- Changing the thermal paste. In one of the previous articles, I talked in detail about this procedure and its importance. Here, read.
- We use a special stand. Sometimes lifting the back of the unit helps improve air circulation. Remember I said in the vents. In no case should they be closed. A good solution would be to install a stand with active cooling.
I use this for my compact netbook Acer, which, alas, heats up quite a bit when watching movies.
Now you know what the normal temperature of the laptop processor is. The methods of lowering, which actually work. Would you like to share your experience? I look forward to your comments.
Number of Cores
Already almost comments on laptops that run on single-core processors. Perhaps some weak netbooks are still designed with single-core Intel Atom processors, but they hardly handle even SIMple tasks. Most low and mid-range laptops are designed with 2-core processors. powerful laptops are equipped with 4-core chips, top-end expensive models can have 8-core chips.
It is logical to assume that the more cores a processor has, the more powerful it is. This is partly true, but there are other parameters that affect performance. Even dual-core processors can be faster than 4-cores, but this is an exceptional rarity.
Today, dual-core Intel Core i5 chips are the market leaders because of the They have an ideal price / performance ratio. They can be seen in most laptop configurations.
Amd vs. Intel
Immediately conclusion: there is no definite leader between these two manufacturers. In general, comparing manufacturers is not entirely correct. You can compare the top-end processors of both brands, but not the entire line of laptop processors. Both companies have good and bad models.
In general, the situation is as follows: if we compare the top-end processor from Intel with the top-end model from AMD, then Intel wins, and significantly. its performance is about 2 times higher.
According to the results of the evaluation of the 3D-Mark program:
- Top processor AMD A10 6800K. 4885;
- Top Intel Core i7 4800 MQ. 7324.
As you can see, Intel’s processor score is significantly higher, but at the same time it costs significantly more. The table below provides a more complete ranking of laptop processors:
Nevertheless, if we compare the cheap segment, then AMD is the leader here, offering the buyer quite good and much cheaper processors. Representatives of the line of budget processors and their estimates in 3D-Mark:
- Intel Pentium B970. 2,321 ( 125)
- AMD A6 3420M. 2304 ( 110).
This is roughly what the “battle” of manufacturers looks like. On the one hand, Intel offers more expensive and stronger solutions, on the other hand, AMD lags behind in performance, but their processors are much cheaper. At the same time, AMD also has more successful processor models that we did not show. For example, the AMD FX 9590 model costs 60 less than the Intel Core i7 4740K processor, but at the same time it is slightly inferior in performance.
RAM and cache memory
The amount of on-chip cache memory is the next important parameter affecting performance. The larger its volume, the faster the exchange of information between the processor cores and the faster the processor itself. In practice, the amount of cache memory is even more important than the high frequency of the processor or even the number of cores. But models with a large cache memory are much more expensive. Yes, and they heat up more, and also consume more energy.
If you choose between two processors with SIMilar performance parameters, it is better to give preference to a processor with a large cache memory, even if its clock frequency, for example, is less.
As for the RAM, it does not particularly affect the performance of the processor, but it plays an important role in the operation of the entire system. We recommend the following:
Which processor to choose for a laptop?
It is the processor that determines the speed and efficiency of a laptop. This central information-processing device is the heart of any laptop or computer. When choosing a laptop, it is very important to understand what kind of central bank it uses, and now we will try to tell you a lot of interesting things that you should know.
What is Clock Speed?
One of the main criteria for choosing a processor is its clock frequency. It is she who is always indicated on advertising stands. It determines how many operations the processor can perform in 1 second, and it is determined in MHz or GHz.
It is the clock frequency that is the criterion for evaluating the speed and performance, but not the only one. Of course, the higher the clock speed, the faster the processor itself, however, the number of cores and the amount of cache memory is also of great importance.
Earlier, in the days of single-core processors, it was SIMple: the newer the chip, the higher its clock speed, and the more powerful it was. However, today it is not entirely correct to choose a processor, focusing solely on the frequency.It is not entirely correct: not always a high clock frequency indicates a higher performance.
Now, at least, you should consider the following 4 criteria when choosing a processor for a laptop:
- Built-in graphics;
- Energy saving;
- Cache Size and Clock Speed.
There are 3 types of processors:
- With integrated graphics (integrated)
- With discrete card (dedicated)
- Combo solution. discrete and integrated cards.
Each solution has its own pros and cons. We should clear them up.
Advantages of processors with integrated cards:
- Quiet operation due to the absence of additional fans;
- Low price;
- Low power consumption. Consequently, laptops with integrated cards last much longer without recharging.
Advantages of a central bank with discrete cards:
- Higher card performance and better graphics quality;
- You can replace the card separately in case of breakage or obsolescence.
Which solution to choose? Everything is SIMple here: if a laptop is focused on office work or you just need it to “surf” the Internet, then integrated graphics would be the ideal solution. Such a laptop will cost less, and it will last longer. But you will NOT be able to play games on such a laptop, especially in modern ones. For this, a stationary computer or, at least, a laptop with a discrete card, moreover, rather powerful, is better. We have already written in more detail about the difference between built-in and discrete cards. we recommend reading.
Modern chips are built with low power consumption in mind. Intel and AMD processors even have performance reduction functions, which entails lower power consumption. When the laptop is not busy with complex tasks, these features reduce the clock speed and this will allow you to achieve lower power consumption. As a result, the battery will hold a charge a little longer than usual.
So that the fast chip can be “crammed” into the thin body of the ultrabook, manufacturers release their energy-saving models. This allows you to build a quiet and “cold” system that works without connecting to the mains for a long time.
Of course, the less heat is generated, the better, but power consumption is mainly reduced due to reduced performance. And if the manufacturer manages to reduce the amount of heat release, but not reduce performance at the same time, then this is already a significant breakthrough, and the price of such processors is growing.
The energy-efficient processor is ideal for office notebooks, such as reporting and other office tasks. However, for a laptop, which is needed to process complex graphics data, such a processor is not suitable.
Processor lines and suffix designations
Today, the most popular processors are Haswell series chips, which are divided into 3 lines:
- Core i3;
- Core i5;
- Core i7.
The Core i7 line includes the most powerful 4 and 8-core chips with a high clock speed and large cache memory. If you need a laptop with increased performance, then first of all you should pay attention to models with Intel Core i7 chips.
Also, when choosing a processor, you should understand what its letter indices mean. For example, an Intel Core i7 4600 M processor in this case means the following:
- Intel Core is a trademark;
- I7. processor type;
- 4. generation, 600. configuration designation;
- M. mobile (ruler suffix).
There are also the following suffixes:
- Y. chip with extremely low power consumption;
- U. ultra-mobile, with low energy consumption;
- M. mobile;
- Q. quad core;
- X. extreme;
- H. chip for high performance graphics.
If the processor is designated with the X (extreme) suffix, then this indicates its extremely high performance. If you are looking for a high-performance laptop, then choose a SIMilar model. However, if you are interested in a model with increased autonomy during operation, then you should give preference to a processor with the suffix Y or U.