Most Popular Laptop CPUs Late 2014 / Early 2015 – Comparison

The most popular processors used in Windows-based laptop computers are mostly Intel parts. Almost all notebooks you can find in stores today incorporate either the low-end Intel Celeron N2830 and Pentium N3530, mid-range Intel Core i3-4030U, i5-4210U, i7-4510U, AMD A6-6310, or AMD A8-6410, or the high-end Intel Core i7-4710HQ.

Most Popular Laptop CPUs 2014 2015 Comparison

As you can see in the chart with data extracted from PassMark CPU benchmark database, the i7-4710HQ leads well ahead the next one beneath it, the i7-4510U. That’s understandable since the 4710HQ has four cores instead of two. On the downside, it consumes much more power than the i7-4510U and also i5-4210U and i3-4030U: 45 Watts versus 15W. These chips have different usage orientation: the i7-4710HQ you can find mostly in gaming laptops and sometimes in mainstream multimedia-class machines. Because of a big power consumption which drastically reduces battery life, they aren’t greatly represented in the mainstream lineups. The dual-core “U” series i7, i5, and i3 chips are the most widely adopted among the CPUs in the chart. These power-efficient parts dominate the mid-range mainstream notebook category together with the less utilized but similarly powerful AMD A8-6410 and A6-6310. AMD’s contenders consume 15 Watts too and are quad-core parts, but they aren’t even close to the Intel quad-core. Primarily because they support only one computing thread per core instead of two.

Laptops with the Intel Celeron N-series chips are among the bestsellers in the computer departments this holiday season. The main reason for that is low pricing, with notebooks often starting at below $200. The Celerons are surprisingly usable considering the ultra-affordable price points. Their benchmark results reside at the bottom of the scale, but in the real world they can run the basic programs like Microsoft Office apps, web browsers, and multimedia apps quite decently. More about them you can read in the separate review of the Celeron N2830. The same can be said for the AMD E1-6010 reviewed here. Another positive side of these inexpensive chips is their low power consumption of only 4.5W and 10W, respectively.

Overall, all modern notebook-use processors have sufficient oomph for the daily chores. For more complex stuff like video and photo editing, recommended are Intel’s i5 and i7, preferably the quad-core i7. The latter is a great solution for gaming-related calculations, so it’s no wonder almost every gaming notebook on the market is based on it.

As for graphics processing, the mentioned Intel Core and AMD A-series chips perform similarly fast. They can run some of the modern first person shooter and racing games on low settings and resolutions and are excellent at rendering popular MMORPGs, like League of Legends or DOTA 2, as well as ubiquitous Minecraft. The integrated graphics in the Celeron and AMD E1 lag behind the Core and A-series parts. They can provide basic playability only in MMORPGs, Minecraft, and a few less demanding first person shooters and racing titles.

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Danijel is a tech blogger who founded Laptoping in 2006. His specialty are Windows-based mobile PCs, from tablets and ultraportables to full blown gaming laptops.

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