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Intel Core i3 vs core i5 - which one suits for software development?

Johan Busted
Greenhorn

Joined: Feb 01, 2013
Posts: 2
I'm a java programmer focused on J2EE. I'm planning to buy a new laptop for software development. I had found a laptop what I want. It come with two versions of CPU: one with Intel Core i3-3110M and another one with Intel Core i5-3210M. The rests of specs are muchly same. The core i5 one is $160 more expensive than core i3 one.

I would like to know from your guys experiences, between core i3 and core i5, which one is more suited for software development?

Usually I'm running these applications together in windows 7: Eclipse, a database server (oracle, sql server, postgresql, etc), a web server (apache tomcat, jboss, etc), firefox browser with many tabs opened, notepad++, one or two remote desktop connection sessions.

So anyone can share experiences here?
Campbell Ritchie
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 13, 2005
Posts: 37940
    
  22
Welcome to the Ranch

I suspect it will make no difference. You will only notice the faster chip for games graphics, films, etc.
Anybody else?
Peter Johnson
author
Bartender

Joined: May 14, 2008
Posts: 5812
    
    7

All of the replacement laptops we are getting at work are i5s. While writing Java applications is not a very CPU intensive task, compiling definitely is. In addition, various "helper" features of Eclipse, such as command completion, can be a nuisance if you have to wait a second or 2 each time for them to run, so even there having a faster processor (or more cores) is helpful. You'll also find the additional performance handy if you need to run virtual machines, such as setting up a clean environment for testing. (Of course, I'm holding out for an i7...)


JBoss In Action
Pat Farrell
Rancher

Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4646
    
    5

It really depends on the size of the software you are building. The web-apps that I work on take 5 seconds to compile on my Macbook Pro quad core I7 machine with 8GB of ram. I compile a lot, I do the edit/compile/debug cycle all the time, all day, every day. I have to have a fast build time. For me, time is money. I spent a lot of money on this laptop to make it be fast.

This same code base on a dual-core machine with 4GB of ram takes about 45 seconds to build. That is simply too slow, it drives me crazy.

A fast edit/compile/debug cycle is critical for my productivity.

But I can't say if its critical for what you do.
Johan Busted
Greenhorn

Joined: Feb 01, 2013
Posts: 2
Thanks guys for the responses. The compile time and server restart time is indeed a slowing factor for software development. I had experienced them too.

@Pat Farrell:
How about core i3 and core i5? How much seconds it needs to compile same code with them? Have you ever tried it?

Core i7 laptop is too expensive for me, I probably will take core i3 or core i5 laptop. If the compile time differences between core i3 and core i5 is negligible, I can save more money by taking core i3 laptop.
Pat Farrell
Rancher

Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4646
    
    5

Johan Busted wrote:How about core i3 and core i5? How much seconds it needs to compile same code with them? Have you ever tried it?


No, i've never tried it. Its not an academic exercise for me, its how I earn my living.

I believe that Intel deliberately makes the comparisons complicated. I am sure that some high end I3 are faster than low end I5
 
 
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