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Clockspeed versus processor

Posted on 2014-10-17
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2016-11-23
We currently have an old HP Compaq Presario CQ60 laptop running a AMD Turion Dual-core RM-72 2.1 GHz processor. We use the Presentation Software package SongPro for display of various Textual; Powerpoint and Video on both Projector and Large Flat Screen TVs.

We need it to be a laptop so it is portable between church locations AND to be able to be taken home to load service plans.
We are looking to upgrade on a budget of £700 and our PC Supplier has suggested the following:-
DELL Latitude 3540 : Windows 7 Professional (64Bit Windows 8
License) 4GB (1x4GB) AMD Venus Pro 2GB GDDR5
500GB Solid State Hybrid Drive 6-cell 65W/HR Battery 4th
Gen Intel® Core™ i5-4210U Processor (1.7 GHz 15.6" FHD
(1920x1080) Wide View Anti-Glare LED-backlit

This has a lower Clockspeed than our current one! But I see reading up on the processor that it has a Turbo Boost up to 2.6 GHz. The SongPro Presentation software package (and for that matter all other similar Presentation Packages - that are too expensive for us!) indicates that we should have 2.0 GHz minimum processor and 2.8 GHz for running HD Video.

I've gone back to the Software supplier and all I get is the Salesman saying as it is 1.7GHz it doesn't meet the Minimum criteria so they wouldn't be able to recommend its use. Yet checking Benchmark and general comments on the i5-4210U processor it is far more powerful than our current machine.

I'd like your expert opinions on this matter so I can make a fully informed decision.

Question by:mountiers
LVL 88

Assisted Solution

rindi earned 405 total points
ID: 40386172
First of all, the clock speed is usually irrelevant. Many of today's CPU's have lower clock speeds than older CPU's, and are still better in the way they perform, as they are more efficient and and have added features which the old CPU's didn't have.

For example the Dell seems to use an i5 4200U CPU, and one of the added features compared to your old CPU is that along with the 2 cores, it also uses hyperthreading, adding another 2 virtual CPU's. So it'll look as if it has 4 CPU's.  But that is just one of the improvements.
LVL 84

Assisted Solution

by:Dave Baldwin
Dave Baldwin earned 120 total points
ID: 40386191
While there is no reason to think the salesman knows what he is talking about, it still may affect their willingness to support you.  Support can be a more important thing at times.
LVL 32

Assisted Solution

Predrag earned 525 total points
ID: 40386415

That processor can do turbo speed and then clock becomes 2.7GHz. And it is way much better that AMD Turion Dual-core RM-72.
Comparation of CPU's

But if you need powerful CPU I would suggest to stay away from intel processors with U at the end 4210U
I've gone back to the Software supplier and all I get is the Salesman saying as it is 1.7GHz it doesn't meet the Minimum criteria so they wouldn't be able to recommend its use.

About this I agree with Dave Baldwin - and think that salesman have no idea what he is talking about, but... as he already said... He can use that fact as an excuse ...

Currently for playing HD video you need decent GPU (and you have that with AMD GPU), and almost any processor (and i5-4210U is decent CPU).
DELL Latitude 3540 will be more than sufficient for that task.

I can play HD Video on my home desktop it is dual core Pentium G2030 @3.00 GHz without additional GPU but integrated in CPU, and you can see from benchmark above that i5-4210U is much faster that my processor. Difference in speed is almost as speed of RM-72 processor. :)
And you there's still detail that your GPU is much better than this one on Pentium processor.
LVL 35

Accepted Solution

it_saige earned 450 total points
ID: 40386752
I have to mostly agree with what the others here have stated.

Clock speed, also referred to as clock rate, is the speed at which a microprocessor executes instructions.  Every computer contains an internal clock that regulates the rate at which instructions are executed and synchronizes all the various computer components.  The CPU (Central Processing Unit) requires a fixed number of clock cycles (or ticks) to execute each instruction.  The faster the clock, the more instructions the CPU can execute per second.

Clock speeds are generally expressed in gigahertz (GHz) but megahertz (MHz) expressed speeds are still found.

The internal architecture of a CPU has as much to do with a CPU's performance as the clock speed, so two CPU's with the same clock speed will not necessarily perform equally.

For example, an Intel 80286 processor required 20 cycles (clock ticks) to multiply two numbers.  By comparison, an Intel 80486, or later, could perform the same calculation with a single clock tick.  So if an Intel 80486, or later, processor was running at the same clock speed as the Intel 80286, the newer processor would be at least 20 times faster than its older sibling.

In addition, many newer processors are superscalar or SMP (also known as Symmetric Multiprocessing) capable, meaning that they can execute more than one instruction per clock cycle.  Then there are the number of clock cycles saved by the addiontion of more or faster L1, L2 or L3.

To conclude, many times the minimum criteria created by software manufacturers is not always based on what their software best performs on out in the wild, instead, it is based on what their software best performs on in the lab.

Verify with the salesman what the exact model of the processor their minimum criteria is for.  A Pentium 4 Celeron 1.7Ghz is not the same as a Core i3 1.7Ghz.


Author Comment

ID: 40390300
Thanks Guys for you input... These comments have given me more confidence that this model and spec will be a good one for the money we are spending (£700). I did attempt to get the Processor the software supplier used for their benchmarking but was unsuccessful getting a response. But they did say whilst they cannot categorically go away from their specifcation on website the chosen laptop '...may well be adequate for the requirement however I'm not prepared to state categorically that it will be...'. I've established however that this clockspeed has been on their website for a number of years so I'm taking it that we should be safe!!

I am apportioning the points amongst you all and really appreciate your help.  

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