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I7 processors... What's the deal?!


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#1 EPerd

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Posted 08 November 2017 - 09:16 AM

I'll be as concise as possible here...

I7-7700 VS. I7-6700 VS. I7-7500

From what I've read the differences are marginal on paper, with the (kind of) outlier being the 7500,as it does not have hyperthreading.
.
I am looking to get a laptop with an i7 processor and will be using it for light video and photo editing, school, work(entails heavy Ms office use, video streaming/webinars/live video chats), downloading a bunch of programs and files(videos/music), and music software(probably Sibelius and FL studio). I'd like it to be relatively futureproofed(intend to keep it for 5-6 years at least. Lastly, I'll be running at least 1 security app and 1 VPN in the background

So my questions are ,

1.since I'm not 3d designing or doing heavy gaming, would it be worth springing more money on one kind of these processors over another?

2. If so, how much of a price difference do you think is reasonable?

3. In practice, for the uses I mentioned, would I notice a significant difference between the 3 processors?

Bonus info:
My current price point is about $600-$1100usd
I am currently looking into a Lenovo ideapad Y700 (i7 6700) and Asus Vivobook m580vd (i7-7700).

I found the Y700 with 256gb ssd/1tb hdd/16gb ram for $850 on Amazon, and for $1,049 on their website with 512gb ssd(same ram and hdd).

I found the Vivopad on Amazon with 256sdd for $1,049 on Amazon and can't seem to get it on their website, at least not with the specs I want as different versions of their products are only available in certain world regions (thanks a lot, Asus. Lol)

Thank you for your time and insights.

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#2 rever4217

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Posted 08 November 2017 - 10:10 AM

From what I remember the first digit in the 4 digits after i7 represent the generation or how recent it is. For example i7-7XXX means it's part of the 7000 series which came out sometime last year? (this year? 2017). I remember getting my acer laptop that has i7-5500u and that was in december 2015. Naturally the 6000 series would come after that and then the 7000 series, most recently they're bringing out the new 8000 series now, so things quickly get outdated.

You'd have to look at the individual cpus to see what the difference between them is but I'm sure intel just updates the new processors with whatever technologies they've newly developed. I may be spouting nonsense at this point as I don't actually know what they do but basically the higher the number, the more recent (and possibly better) the technology is. This also goes for the second digit in the 4 digit number, the higher the number the 'better' it should be.

If I remember correctly, the letter(s) after the cpu's name (e.g. 5500u) denote if the processor has been modified for use in laptops and possibly other things.

 

However, with program's visuals and application graphics as you've described, that's more to do with the graphics processing unit or graphics card (gpu) than the central processing unit (cpu) but you probably already know this. Just don't use any graphics intensive software and a low end gpu will do just fine, the cpu deals with the number of applications and the variety in them so a more powerful cpu will allow you to do more tasks quickly as opposed to the gpu which is just focused on graphics.

But if I had to give my advice based on those three processors, I would go with the 7700 or the 6700 as the 7500 doesn't have hyperthreading. Hyperthreading basically doubles the number of cores you have so if the cpu has 4 then it basically has 8. Those 8 virtual cores aren't as powerful as having 8 physical cores but are still better than having just the 4 physical cores. And while you're at it going for the later technology cpu (7700, higher first digit) is probably worthwhile, I see that the Asus also has more SSD space. Also, out of the two brands I'd say that Asus is the more reliable brand, meaning that it's more likely to last longer than the lenovo given the brands' builds. So all fingers point to the Asus laptop I'd say.



#3 rever4217

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Posted 08 November 2017 - 10:23 AM

I just realised that I haven't even answered your three questions lol.

1. The cpu isn't as important as the gpu when it comes to graphics intensive applications especially related to gaming and 3D software. Having a core i9 whatever but still using the intel integrated hd graphics card means you'll have a hard time getting games to run at even basic visual levels. So no, spending more money on the cpu does not help your laptop's visual performance at all as the bottleneck is in the gpu.

 

2. To further elaborate on question, as long as you have an ok or decent cpu then your laptop's fine.

 

3. Unless you do a specific stress test using a program then I highly doubt it. Despite what I've said before, even if you do opt for the 7500 as opposed to the 7700 unless you're really looking out for it then you probably won't even notice it. It's like if you compare a 60Hz monitor to a 144Hz monitor, you'll get used to it either way and comparing side by side, the difference can seem miniscule. But if you say use a 144Hz monitor for say a year then suddenly switch to a 60Hz monitor, the difference can be more recognisable.



#4 EPerd

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Posted 08 November 2017 - 11:53 AM

Thank you very much for the prompt and detailed reply!you have given me much to ponder.

2 things I would like to clarify though

1.i will NOT be doing any gaming or 3d modeling on whichever laptop I get. I think the most intensive things I'll be doing is running 4-5 programs simultaneously, doing some light video editing, and making music(not recording though).

2.the $1,049 Lenovo has a 512gb ssd and the $1,049 Asus has 256ssd (but also has more up to date connectivity options and a 7700 as opposed to a 6700 on the Lenovo)

Is it safe to say there is less of a difference with a 7700 and a 6700 as opposed to a 7700 and a 7500?

#5 jonuk76

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Posted 08 November 2017 - 12:47 PM

Yes the difference between 7xxx (Kaby Lake) and 6xxx (Skylake) generations is minimal, in most cases Kaby Lake got a clock speed boost from further refinement of the manufacturing process, but that is pretty much it.

 

The 7500 is not an i7 model.  It's an i5.  As you say, it doesn't have hyper threading.



#6 rever4217

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Posted 08 November 2017 - 07:52 PM

Yes the difference between 7xxx (Kaby Lake) and 6xxx (Skylake) generations is minimal, in most cases Kaby Lake got a clock speed boost from further refinement of the manufacturing process, but that is pretty much it.

 

The 7500 is not an i7 model.  It's an i5.  As you say, it doesn't have hyper threading.

 

^ What this guy said above.

Also, I should have realised that the 7500 wasn't an i7 the moment you said it didn't have hyperthreading. Only i7's have hyperthreading and turbo boost technology, i5's only have turbo boost, and i3's don't have either.



#7 EPerd

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Posted 08 November 2017 - 10:14 PM

https://ark.intel.com/products/95451/Intel-Core-i7-7500U-Processor-4M-Cache-up-to-3_50-GHz-

According to Intel it is an i7

#8 rever4217

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Posted 08 November 2017 - 10:49 PM

 

Yes that is an i7 but read carefully, it says it has hyperthreading. It actually only has 2 cores but hyperthreading makes it virtually have 4. That's where it says cores: 2, threads: 4 and farther down it says hyperthreading technology: yes.



#9 jonuk76

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Posted 09 November 2017 - 07:30 AM

 

Aha, you didn't say it was the "U" model (ultra low power variant).  I must have skimmed over and assumed you meant this - https://ark.intel.com/products/97123/Intel-Core-i5-7500-Processor-6M-Cache-up-to-3_80-GHz

 

Anyhow it's important to know the exact chip as they can be quite different depending on the market segment they're aimed at. Presumably the other two are the i7-7700HQ and i7-6700HQ which are the mobile variants. The i7-7500U is a dual core processor with hyperthreading with a TDP of 15w.  The other two are quad core with HT and a TDP of 45w - much higher performance but also with higher power use.  You'd normally expect laptops with the latter two to be larger/heavier to cope with the higher power demands, compared to the ultra low power chips.  Again the 7700HQ benefits from a clock speed boost over the earlier 6700HQ.

 

Side by side on Intel Ark - https://ark.intel.com/compare/97185,95451,88967

Performance comparison (approx) on CPUBenchmark - https://www.cpubenchmark.net/compare.php?cmp[]=2586&cmp[]=2863&cmp[]=2906

 

FWIW with the video work you mention I'd think the higher performance quad cores would be better choices.



#10 EPerd

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Posted 09 November 2017 - 10:07 AM

Ah, gotchya! My apologies, and thank you. I'm still very new to this stuff and must have gotten my info mixed up.

I am not too concerned with power consumption or bulk if there is a notable performance boost. Though it is starting to seem like the best balance of the 3 may be the 6700? Or maybe I'm interpreting the info incorrectly. To be on the safe side, I think I'll try to stick with the 7700.
It's really a shame that all the specs I want seem to always have to come with a crazy graphics card that I'll have to pay for but probably never use. 😕

Thanks again, guys. The path to the perfect laptop for me has gotten notably clearer.

#11 britechguy

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Posted 09 November 2017 - 10:26 AM

Another site that's good for doing side-by-side stat comparison for various processors (at least the tech specs, plus a bit more) is cpu-world.com.

 

I'd also say (and I'm not trying to start a war, either) that you're doing yourself a disservice if you don't consider machines with the AMD A10 or A12 APUs.  They'd be ideal for the sort of work you described and could bring your price point down by quite a bit.


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#12 MadmanRB

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Posted 09 November 2017 - 10:40 AM

Indeed and you really dont need a i7

 

You could go with AMD and be just fine


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#13 britechguy

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Posted 09 November 2017 - 11:04 AM

Indeed and you really dont need a i7

 

You could go with AMD and be just fine

 

My experience, in general, is that folks who declare that they are not going to be doing high-end online realtime multi-player gaming. playing games that are incredibly graphics intensive, or using modeling software where they intend to manipulate 3D renderings almost always "overbuy" in terms of processor power.

 

I have been using my relatively low end HP 15-g035wm with its AMD A8 APU very much in line with, "light video and photo editing, school, work(entails heavy Ms office use, video streaming/webinars/live video chats), downloading a bunch of programs and files(videos/music), and music software(probably Sibelius and FL studio)," for several years now with nary a major burp.   I never try to do all of those things at one time, and I doubt that many users would.

 

My partner's machine has an AMD A6, and it can handle this sort of thing, too.  He, however, now wants a new computer and I just found a consumer grade HP 15-ba00 series, refurbished [and this series *all* seem to be refurbished, which makes me think that HP had a botched intro with some component being bad, and having called 'em all back they now have to be marketed as refurbished], that sports a 7th generation AMD A12-9700P APU, 12GB RAM, and a 2TB HDD for just under $450.   He'll never "max out" that machine's capabilities in his lifetime (having been together for 20 years now I know his use patterns well).   It also still sports a DVD-RW drive, which remains important to him on occasion, and those are getting harder and harder to find in a new laptop.   [Full HP Spec Sheet, for anyone interested.]


Edited by britechguy, 09 November 2017 - 11:07 AM.

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#14 jonuk76

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Posted 09 November 2017 - 11:22 AM

Back to the 6700HQ vs 7700HQ - it's really just a question of generation, the 7700 is the direct replacement for the 6700.  If you found a particularly good deal on a 6700 equipped laptop then I certainly wouldn't rule it out...

 

I also wouldn't rule out the i5's although my personal preference would be for the "HQ" variants (e.g. i5-7300HQ) rather than the "U" ones, for more of a desktop replacement type machine.  Laptop pricing seems to me to be fairly inconsistent in that you can see wildly different pricing for similar spec machines, so shop around...

.

FL Studio and such can use very little processing power, or a lot if you say, use large numbers of VST's



#15 EPerd

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Posted 09 November 2017 - 05:46 PM

Based on what you just told me, I think I severely misunderstood what Amd was lol.
Thanks for all the info. I decided to stay away from hp(and most likely Dell as well), but I'll look into the Amd processors. I'm also not very well-versed with the whole hq VS u ordeal. I believe it was this forum where it was mentioned that only hq had hyperthreading(?).
It may be something I don't wind up taking advantage of too much, but most of the laptops I want in my price range seem to be of the i7 varieties mentioned in the OP, and I don't mind springing an extra $50-$150 to get the 7700hq.




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