Difference between a P4 and Centrino?

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Tim Abbott, May 8, 2004.

  1. Tim Abbott

    Tim Abbott Second Unit

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    Hi,

    I am in search of a new laptop and would definitely appreciate some help. I have a pretty good idea about what I am looking for and could use some advice.


    I have read some of the info comparing the processor speed, power usage, etc. but I am looking for some real world experiences and advice. Is there much of a difference between a P4 2.8Ghz and a Centrino 1.6? I am looking for a light-weight portable laptop with good battery life, and am inclined to go with the Centrino. I use fairly simple applications, MS office, other database/spreadsheet applications, so my guess is I won't notice the speed difference.

    Also, is it a good idea to buy an off brand computer or am I better off sticking with Gateway, Dell etc.? The prices are often appealing, but I am concerned with the ability to find replacement parts down the road.

    Any help would be appreciated. I know what to do with a computer once I have it, but I'm not real sure how to go about getting my next one [​IMG]

    Thanks!!
     
  2. Christian Behrens

    Christian Behrens Supporting Actor

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    Definitely go with the Pentium-M, not a P4 mobile. Centrino is just Intel's marketing term for the combination of a Pentium-M, Intel's chipset, and 802.11b wireless technology.

    Performance wise, the Pentium-M outperforms the P4 mobile, even though the P4 mobile has a higher clockspeed, and you get better battery life out of the Pentium-M as well.

    -Christian
     
  3. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    I would not buy an off brand laptop. There are several online companies that make great computers (which I would not consider off-brand), but few, if any, have perfected the laptop. I'd look at IBM, Dell, and Compaq if it were me (IBM's pretty expensive, but are extremely solid machines!)
     
  4. Mary M S

    Mary M S Screenwriter

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    Am not familar with the P4 to compare but I have a newish
    Pentium-M 1300MHZ (isnt' that something like a 1.3 processer) can't remember how it converts. With 1GB ram.

    I love it (for the conveniance of a laptop). To me however it the tortoise and the hare compared to my aging DT. Happens it is still slower than my faithful (old) 1G CPU, Athalon Desktop,which only has about half the dimm and is runnng at only 100mhz (because we can't get the system to boot when we jumper for the 133. ( I believe it was nicknamed the Thunderbird chip when we purchased, and I have loved the synergy of my old DT since it was last upgraded with the Athalon chip).

    When I get round to it I will be researching the speeds of laptops and the ins and outs thereof.
     
  5. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    Did you benchmark it or does it just feel slower? Also, was your laptop plugged in or running on battery? My P3 1GHz laptop cuts down to 667MHz if it is running on battery. Not sure how the P-M series handles this. I imagine a P4 would be faster than the Pentium-M series (especially since you can get a laptop with a P4 3.0GHz!), but you will sacrifice A LOT of battery and the laptop will also gain a few pounds (gotta have room for the massive heat dispersion equipment).

    Also, a HUGE difference comes with the speed of the harddrive. I'd be willing to bet your laptop only has a 4200rpm drive in it. Your desktop likely has a 7200rpm drive in it. This is the major bottleneck slowing down laptops. Go for at least a 5400 drive if possible. 7200's are starting to become available for laptops.

    If you're planning to run around much with your laptop do yourself a favor and get a Pentium-M. My 8.5 pound laptop gets a little old to carry around when you add a battery, an extra battery, and any other accessories. I'd love to have a little 3 pound pentium-m laptop!

    Oh, if you've got the cash take a look at the tablet pc's from Toshiba. They are awesome, but a little pricey right now.
     
  6. Tekara

    Tekara Supporting Actor

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    First off it would be nice to know what you plan to do with the laptop. Are size and weight a concern? Are you looking for something with lots of raw power or something that you can tote around with you all day? Is battery life a concern to you; Will you always be around an outlet?

    If your not concerned about weight/size/battery life and you want something that's just as potent as a desktop (gaming etc.), you should look at Sager laptops (pctorque.com is a good reseller). For long battery life centrino laptops are definately king. If you are hoping for something in-between e-machine's new m68xx laptops (relabeled Arima's) are very nice.
     
  7. Wayne Bundrick

    Wayne Bundrick Cinematographer

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    Intel has officially cancelled its plans for next year's new P4 and Xeon processors (code name Tejas) and will instead further develop Pentium M for desktops. Tejas required too much power and generated too much heat compared to Pentium M.

    Intel is also going to stop marketing processors by clock speed and will instead use model numbers. This is in part because Pentium M clock speed doesn't correspond to Pentium 4, a Pentium M at 1.7 GHz is faster than a P4 at 2.6 GHz.
     
  8. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    Yeah, I love how they chided AMD for doing this, even though AMD kept throwing up benchmarks to prove their point.. and now they are trapped into having to do it as well.

    As processors become more efficient, it's bound to happen. Intel ran into this before, when it's Pentium-66Mhz was marketted as faster then a 486/100, it's shipping part at the time. (AMD had a 486/120 and /133 as did Cyrix for a while, before they had Pentium competitors)

    Anyway, it's just the way of the world.

    If I were to get a Centrino laptop, definitely get a name unless you've got a darn good reason not to.
     
  9. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    Disclaimer: I'm not an Apple guy.

    That being said, it's also funny how us PC people have been throwing this in Apple's face for the past 5 or 6 years. And we continue to even though the G5 is stomping all over all of Intel's chips.

    Oh yeah, and even though I'm not an Apple guy I'm proud to say as a Virginia Tech student that "My other computer is an 1100 node G5 cluster."
    *See http://computing.vt.edu/research_com...ssrelease.html
     
  10. Tim Abbott

    Tim Abbott Second Unit

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    I will be toting to and from work everyday as well as the occasional appointment. I should be near power most of the time, but it would be nice to have something that could last 3-4 hours if I am not near a power source and don't want to lug another battery around. Also, I don't really need a desktop replacement. The toughest application that will be run will probably be the DVD player on a long plane flight. [​IMG]

    I think I am leaning towards a Gateway 200 series laptop. Small, light, and the speed should be more than enough for what I am going to do. Thanks for the advice, and I would love to hear if anyone else has any ideas.

    Thanks!
     
  11. Bob Graz

    Bob Graz Supporting Actor

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    Tim,

    My personal opinion is also to stick with IBM, HP/Compaq or Dell. Gateway's are less reliable than those. I asked my son (who has an IBM Thinkpad) how everyone's laptops were doing at college. People with Gateway laptops are having reliability issues. I'd also be concerned about support from Gateway. Good luck.
     
  12. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    I would completely agree with this. Gateway's aren't nearly the same computers they were 4 or 5 years ago. Back then they were at least neck-and-neck with Dell, but Gateway just sort of fell off the face of the earth. Even Dell's quality's dropped a little, but they still turn out generally good computers. But, if it were me, I spring for the IBM if possible. I really think they make the best laptop around right now.
     
  13. Tekara

    Tekara Supporting Actor

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    Laptops are a whole different ball game then desktops. Gateway, Dell, and even Emachines don't make their laptops and they rarely even open the laptop up. Almost all of the laptops in the world are made by a handful of tawainese manufacturers. The OEMs tend to just buy a preconfigured system in bulk and relabel them before selling off again.

    So what you want to look for then when buying is the customer support and the warranty (especially the dead-pixel policy).

    Some reccomendations:
    Hypersonics high powered centrino, somewhat light and very very fast (6.5lbs centrino 1.7 / with mobility 9700):
    Avaitor CX6

    IBM t-series; small size light weight, enough power for the business apps (4.5-4.9lbs, centrino 1.4-1.6)
    IBM Thinkpad
     
  14. Tim Abbott

    Tim Abbott Second Unit

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    Very interesting to hear. Part of the reason that I was leaning towards Gateway is because that is my current laptop! As it so happens, it is a PIII that is from late 2000/early 2001 and I have had very few issues with it (once I upgraded the stupid Windows ME that came with it).

    It sounds like I got a decent one and have bypassed most of the current problems. I will probably need to re-open my search, starting with the IBM's.

    Thanks for all of the advice!!
     
  15. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    Check out Ebay. IBM sells directly under the userID "ibm" do a search for user and you'll find lots of their auctions. Thay are mostly new with a few refurbs. I bought my sister a laptop through ibm on Ebay and she has been thrilled with it.
     
  16. Mary M S

    Mary M S Screenwriter

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    Did you benchmark it or does it just feel slower? Also, was your laptop plugged in or running on battery?

    Now Seth, you know girls just have that touchy feelly emotional response to electronics they use. [​IMG]

    Seriously I have not benchmarked it. Nor would know how. But I can 'hear' things others can't. My husband who was professional carpenter when very young (doing custom work for million dollar penthouse redo's etc) Gets very huffy because I will glance at something and say. "Its not level" Or the "right side's high". (Get the tape measure out and I am ALWAYS right, by 1/16th).
    I'm sensitive to increments. I'm very sure the LT is slower. In theory it should be faster.

    I work off both battery and plug, either way the DT beats it. Originally when I first used the LT I thought the difference in speed might be the size of the OS loaded. (XP on the laptop, and the smaller 98 on the desktop).

    Since my virus bout, and giving up on ever getting rid of last strange anomaly (new files forming everyday under "Diablo Hack Data") When I put a new HD in the DT and changed it over to XPpro I thought the Laptop might finally catch the DT's speed. I knew it would strain the old chip to load XP. My poor old DT has slowed considerably after XP. But its STILL faster than the LT!

    Thanks for the tip on the HD. I forgot about rpm on the drives. I will look up what the rpm is on both units to see if that might be the bottleneck.

    interesting trying to figure out the stats to watch out for!

    Soon, when I find time, I want to build a last FAST DT, on current architicture. To hang onto (hopefully as long as we have my current DT), if it turns out as well. Then sit on it for the next 4 years till 64bit (or whatever) is supported at least 2nd generation across the board in hardware and software.
     

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