I'm looking at a Dell XPS 15 laptop with 1920X1080 graphics (additionally I'd be using external monitor for Lightroom's ability to have editing panels on one screen and the full photo on the other.
I probably use Lightroom more than Photoshop, but do have the Nik collection of plugins that seem to be more flexible as smart object layers in Photoshop.
I also will be using the computer for general web browsing/office suite tasks.
My question is: All other things being equal, would I be better off with the (cheaper) i5-560m dual core (2.66 Ghz) with higher turbo-boost speed (3.2GHz), 3MB cache, or the i7-740QM quad core (1.73Ghz) with turbo-boost to 2.93GHz, 6MB cache for additional $85?
One more wrinkle...it appears that the i5 can only be purchased with the NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 420M 1GB video
while the i7 can only be purchased with the NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 435M 2GB graphics for additional $100.
So, total extra cost is $185 for quad core, with better video card.
My understanding so far is that regardless of which would perform better in Photoshop, the i7 would suck more battery.
It's also not clear to me whether the i5-560m can switch to the integrated graphics when the application doesn't need to use the NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 435M 2GB graphics. (giving even longer battery life).