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A Tale of Two Sandy Bridge Laptops

I recently bought a new teaching and presentation laptop, which is a Toshiba Portege R835-P55X, which I found at the Microsoft Store in Park Meadows Mall in Lone Tree, CO. This machine has a dual-core 2.3GHz Core i5-2410M, that also has Hyper-threading and Turbo Boost 2.0. It uses the integrated Intel HD graphics, which work perfectly well for business use.

This is a replacement for the very successful Portege R705 line from 2010, which was my previous teaching machine. The new machine looks exactly like my older R705, and it still weighs only 3.2 pounds. The main difference is that it has about 50% more CPU horsepower and significantly better battery life, along with a USB 3.0 port and 6Gbps SATA III support. On the downside, the screen resolution is only 1366 x 768.

The new machine was only $799, but I have about $350 invested in improving it a bit. First, I replaced the two 2GB sticks of RAM with two 4GB sticks of RAM. Second, I put a 6Gbps 128GB Crucial RealSSD C300 solid state drive in it to replace the stock 5400rpm 640GB hard drive. Finally, I put a 32GB PNY Category 10 Micro SHDC card in to have a little more storage space.

After these improvements, here are some metrics and benchmarks on this machine:

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Windows Experience Index on Toshiba Portege R835-P55X

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CPU-Z on Toshiba Portege R835-P55X

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Geekbench on Toshiba Portege R835-P55X

The second machine is a loaner machine that I am using at my new job. It is a Dell Latitude E6420, with a quad-core 2.2GHz Core i7-2720QM, that also has Hyper-threading and Turbo Boost 2.0. This machine only has a single 4GB stick of RAM, and it has 7200rpm 500GB hard drive. It uses the integrated Intel HD graphics, which work perfectly well for business use.

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Windows Experience Index on Dell Latitude E6420

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CPU-Z on Dell Latitude E6420

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Geekbench on Dell Latitude E6420

Having only one stick of RAM really hurts the Latitude E6420 in its Memory scores in Geekbench. It day-to-day usage, having a conventional hard drive (even a 7200 rpm model) makes a huge difference (in a bad way) compared to the Crucial SSD in the little Toshiba Portege. Really, once you have an SSD in a laptop, a conventional hard drive feels painfully slow.


Comments

Posted by Steve Jones on 21 June 2011

Can you write a little more about what you use this for, maybe some specific things that are SQL related and how they perform? I'm curious how much of a difference various hardware scores make when you translate to some sort of demo.

Posted by links-680693 on 22 June 2011

Are you able to elaborate on 6Gbps 128GB Crucial RealSSD C300 solid state drive and any performance comparison?

I've recently been looking at the FusionIO SSD card for tempdb - which looks positive.

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