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AMD Turion X2 dual-core P520 2.3 GHz or Intel Pentium Dual-Core P6100 2.0 GHz?

By GinaPA ยท 15 replies
Jan 22, 2011
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  1. I am torn between buying one of two Acer laptops. Both have almost identical features--RAM, HD, webcam, 6-cell battery, memory card reader, and are the same price--$499.00 (on sale); but the processors seem to be the big difference, and I would like to know which one you folks feel I should go with.

    I should also mention that the AMD laptop also has a Blue-Ray Disc drive (and read/writes normal CDs and DVDs).

    The only other major difference when comparing specs is that the AMD laptop has an HD CineCrystal LED-backlit TFT widescreen display, ATI Radeon HD 4250 graphics with 256MB of dedicated system memory, supporting Unified Video Decoder 2 (UVD2), OpenEXR High Dynamic-Range (HDR) technology, Shader Model 4.0, Microsoft DirectX 10.1
    .........While the Pentium laptop has CineCrystal LED-backlit display, Intel HD graphics with 128 MB of dedicated system memory, supporting Microsoft DirectX 10.

    I've been driving myself crazy for the past 3 days trying to decide which one to go with and I need to decide quickly as I'm not sure how long they will be at this sale price--and I do have to stay at the $500.00 range. From the many laptops I checked out, these 2 seem to offer the most for the money. I would truly appreciate your advice!

  2. GinaPA

    GinaPA TS Rookie Topic Starter


    I'm sorry to bother you folks again, but I noticed that my question had 55 views but no replies. Did I perhaps give incorrect or confusing information, or maybe posted my question in the wrong forum? I tried looking at some of the other similar questions asked, but none seemed to help with my question.

    I guess I'm basically wondering that since the 2 Acer laptops are the same price, would you go with the Intel Pentium Dual-Core P6100, 2.0GHz, 3MB L3 cache, or the AMD Turion X2 dual-core P520, 2.3 GHz, 1066MHz Front Side Bus, 2MB L2 cache. This laptop also has a Blu-Ray Disc Drive, but I've read conflicting opinions on whether having this is necessary or not.

    Although I consider myself to be an intermediate computer user, I am lost when it comes to processors, and also when it comes to 'dedicated amount of system memory.' I know that 'dedicated' memory is better, but does it make a difference how much there is in different brands? In other words, could the lesser amount of 128MB 'dedicated' in the Pentium still be better than the 256MB in the AMD? I'm leaning toward the AMD Turion laptop because of the higher numbers, but I've read enough to know that you can't always rely on that alone.

    I'm sorry to ask my question again, but I've been given a lot of help here at CNET in the past, so I was surprised when I logged on today to see that no one expressed an opinion on which one of the two they would buy.

    Any assistance would really be helpful and appreciated.....Gina

  3. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,974   +74

    Tell us what you want this laptop to do for you. This will help us help you.
  4. GinaPA

    GinaPA TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Re: AMD Turion X2 dual-core P520 2.3 GHz or Intel Pentium Dual-Core P6100

    Thank you so much for responding! Although I am not much of a game-player, I have tried playing a few on FaceBook, but had too many problems running them on my current laptop. I also like to have several programs open at the same time, and I also have many tabs and/or windows open in Firefox--but doing either of these usually causes lagging and even stops Firefox from responding for awhile quite often. It will usually come 'back to life' on its own after a while, but the delays are annoying. I've tried using Google's Chrome, but it didn't make much of a difference. My current laptop is only about 2 years old, but it's been behaving this way almost from the start. I don't know if it's a 'Vista' issue, but with the prices having come down like they have, I'd rather get a new laptop with Windows 7 and just use this one as an emergency back up.

    Thanks so much for your help....Gina
  5. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,974   +74

    I meant to also ask you what is your maximum budget. I did a lot of research looking for a laptop for my wife and here is something to seriously consider concerning builds: Windows 7 64, 4 gigs of RAM, and a 7200 rpm harddrive.

    Give us your budget and we'll proceed. By the way, both those cpus are entry level.
  6. GinaPA

    GinaPA TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Re: AMD Turion X2 dual-core P520 2.3 GHz or Intel Pentium Dual-Core P6100

    I was hoping to stay in the $500.00 range. Do you feel that neither of the 2 would perform the functions I mentioned?
  7. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,974   +74

    Either one should do what you want though I do lean towards the AMD with the Blu-Ray though the AMD doesn't have the L3 Cache but I don't see this being an issue per say. Again, make sure you have four gigs of RAM and the faster 7200 rpm harddrive.

    Can you give us your current make and hardware of your laptop?
  8. GinaPA

    GinaPA TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Both do have 4GB DDR3 (expandable to 8),
    320GB - Serial ATA - 150 - 5400 rpm. Do you feel that 5400 rpm is a deal killer, or would I be asking the impossible to find 7200 rpm in a $500.00 laptop?

    You have no idea how much I appreciate your help with this. It is this processor business that confuses me so much with all the different numbers--cache, rpm, dedicated memory, etc.

    Just for curiosity sake, is there much difference in a 2.3GHz processor versus a 2.0GHz??? It doesn't sound like much, but I've read that in certain things, even a small amount of something can make a bigger difference than it appears on the surface.

    My current laptop is a Medion Akoya MD 97090 (but it also says Notebook PC P6611)? The processor is an Intel Centrino, core Z duo T5800. 2.0GHz, 2MB L2 cache, 800MHz fsb (?). Graphics by NVIDIA GeForce 9300m GS 256MB (says on the sticker). OS is Vista.

    I perform the normal maintenance on a regular basis, but, like I said, I've had these problems almost from the start. I tried using Google Chrome, but it didn't make much of a difference. I cleared out all the crap that came pre-installed when I first got it and make sure that only necessary programs are running in the background and that only the programs I want automatically open at start-up.

    Sorry it took me awhile to get back to you. I was writing this last night, but ran into the lagging and then everything I typed was gone. I was so frustrated that I shut down for the night!

    Thank you....Gina
  9. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,974   +74

    Hmm, how much RAM do you have installed in your old laptop? What security software are you running/ Have you scanned for infections? My daughter's 4 year old laptop has a slower processor (dual core AMD Turion), 2 gigs of RAM, Vista 32, and a regular DVD drive and experiences no lag at all.

    The 5400 is not a deal breaker.
  10. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,666   +416

    I also believe from reading reviews of laptop equipment that the AMD 4250 graphics performs better than the intel graphics that will be in that P6100 machine. I too would go with the AMD machine, even though I had an HP AMD Turion x2 based laptop for work and it died recently :rolleyes:


    That site is very useful when trying to compare performance of mobile processors and mobile graphics solutions. Some nice charts that make it easy to see the performance differences and a page of information with the details of specific components.

    AMD Turion II P520 - http://www.notebookcheck.net/AMD-Turion-II-P520-Notebook-Processor.33692.0.html
    Intel Pentium P6100 - http://www.notebookcheck.net/Intel-Pentium-P6100-Notebook-Processor.37083.0.html

    Doesn't seem to be much in performance between these two. The pentium might be a little better overall, but the Blu-ray drive and better graphics with the AMD system would have me picking it.

    HD4250 - http://www.notebookcheck.net/ATI-Radeon-HD-4250.29664.0.html
    Intel GMA HD - http://www.notebookcheck.net/Intel-Graphics-Media-Accelerator-HD.23065.0.html

    Looks like in general the HD4250 of the AMD machine is 15% faster.
  11. GinaPA

    GinaPA TS Rookie Topic Starter

    My current laptop has 3GB RAM (DDR2 SDRAM), a Core 2 processor T5800, 2.0GHz, 2MB L2 cache, 800 MHz, has a CD and DVD reader/writer. I use Avast and SpywareDoctor and run bi-weekly virus scans and SpyBot and Spyware Terminator weekly. Every now and then it detects minor (low threat) tracking stuff that it gets rid of. I'm very careful online and use WOT (Web Of Trust), NoScript, so I have to approve every site to run scripts, which I only will at reliable sites. One thought I had awhile back was that I might have too many Firefox add-ons, but I still had problems using Google Chrome with just 2-3 add-ons. The problems also don't just appear when I'm surfing--sometimes just having several offline programs open causes lags and freezes. I've talked to some people in the past who told me it may just be Vista's instability, as many people have reported having problems with it. So I've been putting up with it, but now that laptops came down in price so much, I thought I'd just buy a new one with Windows 7, since I've read good things about it, and use this one as a back-up. Since I don't play games much or download movies, etc., I think I can do OK with a $500.00-range laptop. With how fast the technology changes, it almost sounds like you have to buy a new one every 2-3 years in order to keep up with all the new features and functions anyway. But from what I told you about this laptop, if you have any other suggestions, I'm listening!

  12. GinaPA

    GinaPA TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thank you for your input. And also for the links. Do you use Windows 7, and have you ever used Vista? Do you think it is possible that Vista could be the main reason for the problems I've mentioned?

    Thank you,
  13. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,974   +74

    Vista is now a very stable system. I am thinking that you may have too many security softwares installed. Avast is excellent; keep it.

    If you want an excellent Spyware use Superantispyware. The free version needs to be manually updated. It works great with Avast. All you really need is an antivirus, anitspyware/malware, and a firewall along with a router.

    By the way, Windows 7 is a great OS; better than Vista. If you get a new laptop you'll want the 64bit version and not the 32-bit. keep in mind, 64 works best with 4 gigs of RAM.
  14. GinaPA

    GinaPA TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I want to thank you and Arris for your help. I think I am going to go ahead and get the AMD laptop you both leaned towards. It is 64-bit (both are, actually).

    Regarding security programs, I only have Avast and SpywareDoctor running at the same time. The others I run manually, as I understand that most will miss something. And I have experienced this--after running one of them, when I run another, it will often catch something the first one missed. Superantispyware sounds familiar to me--I may already have that one. But if not, I will certainly download and install it. I have always tried to be good about keeping my computers clean and am very careful about the websites I visit. There's nothing worse than having to spend (sometimes) hours working to locate and then fix problems! I subscribe to several online security newsletters to try and keep up on new threats and fixes. I have 2 friends who used to call me almost on a weekly basis to clean out their computers. I got tired of it because it would always be due to malware of some sort that they got after ignoring my advice time and time again. I had to put a stop to it. They learned--once they had to put out a lot of money to fix it and going days (over 2 weeks one time for one friend) without a computer! I got my first computer in 1997 and have had only one virus to date (a few spyware programs, but most were low-threat).

    Thank you again for your help. I knew both laptops were very similar, but my lack of knowledge about CPUs was where I was very hesitant to buy without some help.

    Thanks again,
  15. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,974   +74

    please let us know in the near future how your new laptop works. Good luck.
  16. GinaPA

    GinaPA TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I will. Hopefully it will help others know whether a cheap laptop is worth buying.

    BTW....You may have noticed by my user name that I live in PA. My husband also enjoys the trout fishing here! ;-)

    Thanks again....Gina

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