Over the last week or so, TechBargains has been listing a decent deal on a moderately high-powered Inspiron 15R Special Edition laptop from Dell. Important main specs are an Intel Core i7 3632QM cpu (Ivy Bridge quad core), 8GB RAM, 1TB hard drive, 15.6" full 1080p display, and a discrete AMD Radeon HD 7730M gpu. The price was reasonable--$799 after discount. I had not pulled the trigger, and was considering other options like an HP Envy 15t-j000 or a Lenovo Y410p/510p as they have newer, Haswell-based cpus. But I found that another $50 off coupon for the Dell was stackable so that finally pushed me over the edge. I swear I have been trying to stack on the initial discount all week, but it has been impossible. So when it allowed me to do it just now, that pushed me over the edge.
Note that this is not the standard Inspiron 15R, which has the extended keyboard with a number pad (I don't like that personally). This is the Special Edition variant without the dedicated number pad. Also, if you are interested in boosting the memory, while Dell says it can only take 8GB, there are plenty of detailed reports that show it can take 16GB.
Here's a complete listing of specs.
Inspiron 15R Inspiron 15R Notebook (Inspiron 7520) Operating System Windows 8, 64-bit, English Processor 3rd Generation Intel® Core™ i7-3632QM processor (6MB cache, up to 3.2 GHz) Memory 8GB Dual Channel DDR3 1600MHz Keyboard English Backlit Keyboard with Multi-touch Touchpad LCD 15.6" Full High Definition (1080p) LED Display Video Card AMD Radeon™ HD 7730M 2GB Wireless Driver SRV Software for 2230 WIFI Wireless Card Hard Drive 1TB 5400 RPM SATA Hard Drive System Color Stealth Black Anodized Aluminum Network Card Integrated 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet card Adobe Reader Document Reader Included CD/DVD Drive 8X Tray Load CD/DVD Burner (Dual Layer DVD+/-R Drive) Sound Waves MaxxAudio 4 + Skullcandy Speakers Wireless Intel® Centrino® Wireless 2230, 2x2 bgn + Bluetooth Battery 48 WHr 6-cell Lithium Ion Battery
The real problem for ivy bridge is power consumption, which is more important inside a laptop. I will choose Haswell anyway.
posted: Aug. 21, 2013 @ 6:44p
gazelle1840 said: The real problem for ivy bridge is power consumption, which is more important inside a laptop. I will choose Haswell anyway. The 3632QM actually consumes a bit less power than the 4700MQ. According to that CPU Boss link I posted, the former is more efficient at 25.21 performance per watt, whereas the latter is at 21.79 pts/watt.
Senior Member - 10K
posted: Aug. 21, 2013 @ 7:18p
There's a minimal % (4th gen) gain in speed between the 2 chips, so it's all about the power consumption.
posted: Aug. 21, 2013 @ 9:06p
The Ivy Bridge model (the 3632QM) has a TDP of 35W, and the Haswell model (4700MQ) has a TDP of 47W. So in this case, the Ivy Bridge version is actually more efficient powerwise. It is also maybe 10% slower, too.
The Ivy Bridge model (the 3632QM) is extra efficient over other models, but still high performance. I am speculating now, but during a production run some chips just end up more efficient than others even though they were produced on the same assembly line. This 3632QM model happens to be one of these extra efficient types.
I bought a similar laptop at a similar price a couple months ago. One of my posts describes my thoughts about it. The biggest difference between the two is the one I bought has a Nvidia 650M. Overall I'm pretty satisfied with it, but I needed to add SSD caching to make the HDD bearable.
As for the power discussions above, the battery life on mine is terrible!!! I got less than 2 hours watching a movie, and about 25 minutes in DOTA 2. But I didn't but it to be portable. I bought it to sit on a desk plugged in, and go to another desk from time to time.
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