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i5 4200u vs i7 4500u for software development?

Winston Liek
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 19, 2014
Posts: 109
Hi all, I'm planning to buy a new laptop for software development / internet browsing and watching movies purposes.

For software development, I plan to create a web application as well as mobile application after my work hours.

Here are some of the applications that I might install and those will be installed inside VMWare:

Eclipse
MYSQL/Oracle SQL
Tomcat
Android Studio
jdk
netbeans
Photoshop
phpMyadamin
apache
turtoise svn

Most of the time I'll be using my laptop on my room so no problem regarding battery power thingy.


I'm undecided between i5's 4200U processor @ 1.6Ghz vs i7's 4500U @ 1.8GHz.
Both have 8 gb RAM.

I know i7's definitely is an advantage but can I really notice the difference if it will be used on software development?
Because if not then I will choose i5 due to its a lot cheaper than i7.

Thanks!

Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 61426
    
  67

Can you get more memory? More memory will have a bigger impact than faster processor.

Also Mac or PC? If a Mac, which generally lasts longer and has good resale, I'd think ahead and max out both memory and CPU.


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Jesper de Jong
Java Cowboy
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Aug 16, 2005
Posts: 14269
    
  21

If the only difference is between the processors (assuming you leave everything else the same - harddisk, graphics card, amount of RAM, screen etc) then you will not notice a major difference, so I'd go with the cheaper one.

In practice the performance of a computer depends on a lot more than just the CPU speed and type. If you can, get an SSD instead of a harddisk, that makes a much bigger difference (because SSDs are much faster than harddisks).


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Winston Liek
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 19, 2014
Posts: 109
The laptop has pre installed windows-8 in it. Both are HDD (not SSD). Definitely not apply because it is too expensive in our country.
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 61426
    
  67

Jesper de Jong wrote:If you can, get an SSD instead of a harddisk, that makes a much bigger difference (because SSDs are much faster than harddisks).

Quoted for truth. Much faster. Much.

Much.

I notice an enormous difference with my new MacBook Pro with SSD. Even Photoshop starts almost instantaneously. Photoshop!
Winston Liek
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 19, 2014
Posts: 109
Yeah I think SSD is the best upgrade to be done on the laptop... But as of now I think it's cost is not justifiable and IMO it will continue to have steep price drop.

Anayonkar Shivalkar
Bartender

Joined: Dec 08, 2010
Posts: 1509
    
    5

Jesper de Jong wrote:If the only difference is between the processors (assuming you leave everything else the same - harddisk, graphics card, amount of RAM, screen etc) then you will not notice a major difference, so I'd go with the cheaper one.

I haven't searched for those specific processor models yet, but I had to make almost similar choice 2 years ago. I chose i7 because i5 had 2 cores and 4 threads whereas i7 had 4 cores and 8 threads. I think it would make fast context switches (maybe useful for Java GC?)


Regards,
Anayonkar Shivalkar (SCJP, SCWCD, OCMJD, OCEEJBD)
chris webster
Bartender

Joined: Mar 01, 2009
Posts: 1772
    
  14

Definitely go for more RAM. If you're running VMs (or want to run heavy servers) you need all the RAM you can get, as 8GB really isn't enough these days if you want to do that kind of thing. So make sure your machine can take extra RAM later on (some boards are limited even though a 64-bit OS can take vast amounts of RAM), even if you don't install the extra memory straight away.

If you're getting a Windows machine, consider re-partitioning it and using a large chunk of your disk space for dual-booting with Linux, as it will give you access to a much wider range of tools for software development, and it's less resource-hungry than Windows. And it will mean you can code on Windows or Linux without the overhead of a VM.


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