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T480s(i7 8550u processor) and T470p (i7 7700hq) processor

2018-02-22, 5:14 AM

I am a developer who needs to travel a lot. I use a broadwell i7 laptop with 10GB RAM. I generally run JBOSS/Websphere Application Server with MYSQL and R mathematical programming language. All are computationally heavy softwares. I dont do anything else, no gaming, no video rendering.

Few hours back I ordered a T480s laptop with i8550u processor being lured by the promise of high productivity in a  lighter weight system. But then I looked into T470p with i7700hq, a cheaper option, and got quite confused. Some of the websites are praising i7 8550u processor, though being underclocked, as equal to i7700hq in computational power. Some are pegging i7700hq as far superior and at cheaper cost too.

Definitely lighter is better for my backpack. But I wish I could carry a workstation with me. I guess I can forego the performance enhancement of i7700hq if it less than 10%.  I need an advice. I think I can still cancel the order and buy T470s. 

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Re: T480s(i7 8550u processor) and T470p (i7 7700hq) processor

2018-02-22, 5:45 AM

the main difference is the TDP. this affects how much cooling the processor requires, and how much sustained work it can do.
Edit: TDP is Thermal Design Power (put simply, how much power it consumes and heat it puts out)

The i7-7700HQ (I assume this is what you mean since the 7700k is a socketed desktop part) has a 35 watt TDP, and correspondingly powerful cooling system. It can work at full power for extended periods on time without downlocking.

The i7-8550U has only a 15 watt TDP. It also has a cooling system meant to handle just 15 watts. (these cooling systems are also a lot lighter weight and more compact as you've seen). Initially, it probably has about the same processing power as the 7700HQ (both are 14 nm quad cores with hyperthreading, at pretty close frequencies), but the 8550U will quickly downclock once it gets hot.
The result is a processor that feels blazing fast for short term tasks, but has a low average power consumption and can be cooled by a small ultrabook's cooling system.

For you, it depends on what your workload is. If you're entering some math equation, and then let it solve for a minute, then give it a minute or 2 of rest while you enter the next one in, the 8550U will work perfectly.
If it's continuously working on long spreadsheets etc that take 5+ minutes to solve then you're going to want the 7700HQ and its host's better cooling system.

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