Laptop for Photography Advice... Budget $2500-$3000

Started Feb 2, 2013 | Discussions thread
Jim Cockfield Forum Pro • Posts: 16,333
Very slow compared to Macbook Pro

AwkwardSwine wrote:

Here is a sample system that is very powerful, certainly a match for any Macbook. 15 inch IPS 1080P screen with a high end core i7 and under 5 pounds. 500GB storage with Hybrid SSD for the OS. I think Apple markets this as Fusion Drive. $1350

That's a very slow machine compared to the 15.4 inch Macbook Pro Models (that it sounds like the OP is looking at).

The *slowest* CPU available in the latest 15.4" Macbook Pro models is still roughly *twice as fast" as the Core i7 3517U in that HP model.

For example, the Core i7 3517U CPU in that HP model tests at 3757 on the latest Passmark series benchmarks:

In contrast, the cheaper CPU option in a 15" Macbook Pro is the Core i7 3615QM, scoring at 7413 on the same benchmarks:

Apple also offers a core i7 3720QM, scoring an even higher 8451:

Apple also offered an even faster Core i7 3820QM CPU with some models.

IOW, the entry level (dual core, not quad core) Core i7 3517U CPU in that HP model is not even in the same class as the Quad Core CPUs available in the Macbook Pro.

Ditto for the video chipset. For example, even an Nvidia GT 640M LE chipset (as found in many laptops with discrete graphics) tests approx. 4 times as fast as the HD 4000 graphics in that HP model. The GT 650M chipset in the latest Apple Macbook Pro models is even faster.

...500GB storage with Hybrid SSD for the OS. I think Apple markets this as Fusion Drive.

Actually, Apple's Fusion technology is much faster. Some reviews of Intel SRT show it to slow down performance for write activity, even though you get a benefit from reads of frequently accessed data, depending on the model of mSATA drive the manufacturer is using, since the slowest drive in the system is the best speed you can expect to get for write activity with SRT.

Apple uses a fast Samsung 830 series chipset for their fusion drives, with both write and read performance enhanced significantly (as you write to the SSD first, and tests show up to 100GB of write activity at very fast speeds before a slow down using Apple's optional Fusion drives).

But, Apple doesn't offer that option with the Macbook Pro anyway; and the OP sounds like he's considering a 512GB SSD with one instead.

Of course, you could swap out the slow 5400rpm 500GB hard drive in that HP with a fast 500GB SSD to get equivalent drive performance. But, you'd still be limited by the HP's much slower CPU and video chipset.

Again, that HP model is not even in the same class of machine it's so much slower compared to the latest Macbook Pro models that it sounds like the OP is looking at.

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