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fabriceg

Processor choice

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I am in the process of buying a new laptop and I would also like it to be able to play flight simulator 2004 with high settings. Since I heard FS9 is only single-threaded, will there be a significant difference in fps between an i5 580m (clocked at 2.66ghz with turbo boost up to 3.33ghz) and an i7 720qm (clocked at 1.6ghz with turbo boost up to 2.8 ghz). Will FS9 even take advantage of turbo-boost?

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FS9 will take advantage of turbo-boost since turbo-boost is essentially just an overclock to a setting that is guaranteed to work. You're right that FS9 is not multicore capable the only advantages of having more cores is that it allows you to run programs like Active Sky and REX on other cores and leave FS9 on a core that is almost entirely free. Personally I'd choose the i5 580m because it has a higher clock speed, it's got 32nm lithography, and it has integrated graphics (the i7 does not). The only advantage of the i7 that I can see is it has a higher memory bandwith but it's also $100 more. Maybe somebody else who has more experience with laptop processors could weigh in on this but from what I can see, the i5 is the way to go.

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Since this would be my main computer, I read that the i7 would be a better choice (I also use Photoshop and Dreamweaver) as it would benefit me better. Concerning the GPU, both processors come with an ATI 5650 w/ 1GB dedicated ram so the GPU isn't a main concern. Since FS9 does take advantage of turbo-boost, will I be able use FS9 w/ high quality add-ons (REX, PMDG 747 etc) at full settings w/o any problems or stutters on the i7?

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If it's your main computer the i7 should serve you better since other programs may use all four cores. The GPU paired with the i7 should be a good choice also but I'm not sure if you'll be able to run it totally maxed out, the clock speed is lower than 3.0ghz but it should be close to sliders all right if not there. It seems like a good choice for FS9 on a laptop

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