Question on Laptop CPU

Posted on 2012-09-03
Last Modified: 2012-09-11
I am buying a laptop that has the following specs:

Intel® Core™ i7-3610QM (2.3~3.3GHz) w/6M L3 Cache - 4 Cores - 8 Threads
16GB of RAM (can upgrade to 32GB of RAM)
nVIDIA GeForce GTX 670M 192bit  w/1.5GB GDDR5

here is my question: what does it mean when the cpu spees is shown as a range (2.3-3.3)..

Also, this laptop is going to be used for design work... heavy autocad, interior design rendering apps, etc.  The upgrade to 32GB of RAM is about $150... any reason not to do that?  For $150 I am thinking 'cheap, just do it.."

The reason I am asking on the CPU speed is that one of the system requirements for a rendering application we use 'recommends' acpu speed og 2.6ghz for 'large' projets...just want to be sure this laptop shold be up to it...

Question by:snyperj
    LVL 8

    Accepted Solution

    This article describes Intel Turbo Boost which is dynamic overclocking of the CPU based on demand.

    This article gives the specs regarding Turbo Boost in your particular chip.

    The short of it is that I'd expect something like Autocad rendering to certainly push the chip to its upper design limits and meet the specs you mentioned.

    Regarding the memory, I've never seen too much memory and $150 to get to 32GB would certainly be the right thing to do.

    LVL 7

    Expert Comment

    The Intel Core i7-3610QM is a fast quad-core processor for laptops based on the Ivy Bridge architecture. Due to Hyperthreading, the four cores can handle up to eight threads in parallel leading to better utilization of the CPU. Each core offers a base speed of 2.3 GHz but can dynamically increase clock rates with Turbo Boost up to 3.1 GHz (for 4 active cores), 3.2 GHz (for 2 active cores) and 3.3 GHz (for 1 active core).
    LVL 41

    Expert Comment

    Desktop is better for application like Auto cad and for designing nothing beats Apple Mac Pro. Check this also before you take decision.
    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    I'm just going to post an observation from my own experience. I have an i7 in my laptop, I do quite a bit of HD video rendering. Some renderings take 3-4 hours to complete. However, when I take those exact same projects and render with an i7 in a tower (laptop i7 is new series & tower i7 is old series), they take about 2-3 hours to render.

    The i7 runs very, very hot. A laptop fan is insufficient to cool it as well as a tower fan could. So the processor must be throttled back to safeguard it from going up in flames.

    An i7 in a laptop is only useful for a quick start up and doing short heavy CPU tasks. Like working in Photoshop where most effects/filters tax the CPU for a half a minute to a minute, but if you are like me and render for an extended period of time, you really should consider a tower.
    LVL 1

    Expert Comment

    Then why don't you opt a dekstop with a good disply card for your rendering purpose.
    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    Then why don't you opt a dekstop with a good disply card for your rendering purpose.
    I believe that comment was directed at me. Because I got caught up in the idea that I could have all the power of a tower but in a portable laptop, but by the time I figured out the disadvantages, it was to late.
    LVL 30

    Expert Comment

    Just a thought ,but SSD drives are very cheap these days ,and if you can afford it,you wouldn't be disappointed.

    240 GB are like a $162 bucks new.

    512GB is like $400

    I would never go back to regular disk on a laptop.
    LVL 69

    Expert Comment

    CAD applications are not as cpu-intensive as video compression.  The bulk of the performance, given a decent cpu, will be in the graphics card and drivers.  The GeForce GTX 670M is great for gaming, but is not an OpenGL card, so you have the wrong hardware for the main application.  nVidia Quadro and AMD FireGL cards are better suited for this, but they are not cheap.  There are some laptops with Quadro cards, such as the Dell Precision series:

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