Need help buying a new desktop

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HucktheForde
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I bought a hp pavilion laptop around Jan 2015 hoping that it will help me with my work, but i was rather disappointed with its performance as it lags occasionally and is not really as powerful and smooth as i expected it to be. I bought the laptop based on the spec of the desktop my company provided me in the office but the performance was far and different. their specs are as below

hp pavilion laptop

intel core i5 2.2 Ghz
4GB ram
500 GB HDD
64bit
windows 8.1

company's hp prodesk desktop

intel core i5 3.2 Ghz
4GB ram
500 GB HDD
32 bit
windows 7


The questions i have

1) Are laptops not meant to perform as well as desktop if both are of the same spec?
2) Does 16/32/64 bit makes any difference in their performance?
3) What determines if the pc will perform well, smooth, will not lag when multitask, apart than the known ones, RAM, Gigahertz, and number of cores, did i miss something out?
4)any tips how to pick a high performing pc out of all the varieties of pcs out three?



Please use layman terms as i am not an expert
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(Original post by HucktheForde)
hp pavilion laptopintel core i5 2.2 Ghz4GB ram500 GB HDD64bitwindows 8.1company's hp prodesk desktopintel core i5 3.2 Ghz4GB ram500 GB HDD32 bitwindows 7The questions i have1) Are laptops not meant to perform as well as desktop if both are of the same spec?2) Does 16/32/64 bit makes any difference in their performance?3) What determines if the pc will perform well, smooth, will not lag when multitask, apart than the known ones, RAM, Gigahertz, and number of cores, did i miss something out?4)any tips how to pick a high performing pc out of all the varieties of pcs out three?Please use layman terms as i am not an expert
1) Laptops will not perform as well as the desktop if they are of the same spec (note that an i5 in each do not make them equal). Laptops are designed with portability, battery life, and heat management in mind.

This is why, for example, a laptop i5 will perform slower than a desktop i5, especially if the processor ends with a 'U' (e.g. i5-xxxxU), indicating that they are low voltage processors to minimise heat generation, and also extend battery life. Desktops, however, do not have this issue. Due to the larger form factor they can get sufficient cooling and can optimise full usage of the processor, and they do not have to worry about battery life.

This is the same for a hard drive. Laptop hard drives (2.5 inches) can run at 5400RPM, whereas desktop hard drives (3.5 inches) can run at 7200RPM so, in other words, they can access data at a much faster rate (this is again linked to the idea of a 5400RPM laptop hard drive using less power and generating less heat).

All-in-one PCs, due to the smaller form factor and increased likeliness of heat generation, can include laptop components (such as 5400RPM hard drives and a low voltage Intel U processor).

2. 32-bit Windows can only support up to a maximum of 4GB of RAM. 32-bit programs can run on 64-bit computers. 64-bit versions of programs will run faster than the 32-bit version of the same program, on a 64-bit computer.

Nowadays new computers will be 64-bit by default.

3. It is important to say that GHz and number of cores aren't everything when considering processor performance. Dual-core processors are perfectly exceptional at performance, but it is the specific processor which is important (and especially the Intel processor generation, e.g. i3-5XXX = 5th gen i3 -- i5-2XXX = 2nd gen i5)

When your computer runs, signals are constantly sent to and from your CPU, RAM and HDD. It seems like your laptop's processor and RAM are great, but I would suspect that you have a mechanical hard drive: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...ive-en.svg.png

When accessing data the hard drive spins, and the head has to move and locate the data on the platter, so a certain program can read and use it, and this can take time, especially on a laptop HDD running at a slow 5400RPM.

Solid State Drivers (aka SSDs or flash storage) do not use the arm to find the data. All of the data is read at once, which is a lot faster: http://www.legitreviews.com/images/r...ssd_inside.jpg

Depending on the SSD model, you can get up to around 13 times the data access speeds, compared to a hard drive. This means programs will open a lot quicker (and I mean A LOT) and Windows will fully boot in ~20 seconds.

4. When looking for a desktop PC, I would recommend the following, but this depends on your price range:

Processor: Intel Core i3 (5th or 6th generation)
RAM: at least 8GB
Storage: 256 GB SSD for Windows and programs, + 1TB hard drive for mass storage

This can be found for around ~£350-400.

BUT, I would recommend that you first investigate why your laptop is running slow. Your laptop might still have the preinstalled 'bloatware' (programs that are installed on the laptop already by the manufacturer under sponsorship of another company, but can seriously cause performance issues if these programs constantly run in the background).

The work computer has probably had a clean copy of Windows installed to it so that it can access the company's network and other features, and this would have removed all of the bloatware.

At a glance, the hard drive is the limiting factor. If you replace the hard drive in your laptop with an SSD, I can guarantee performance would increase (as well as a slight increase in battery life and less noise). That is a fact.
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(Original post by SkyJP)
1) Laptops will not perform as well as the desktop if they are of the same spec (note that an i5 in each do not make them equal). .
If I remember correctly, laptop i5s have two physical cores whereas desktop i5s have 4 physical cores?
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Architecture-er
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(Original post by offhegoes)
If I remember correctly, laptop i5s have two physical cores whereas desktop i5s have 4 physical cores?
OP can check by opening task manager and looking at his cpu performance tab
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