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Old 10-24-2011, 10:44 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default CPU usage question?

For a gaming PC i'm going to build, i am going for a i3 2120 @ 3.3GHz, and in my laptop at the moment i have a i3 M330 @ 2.13GHz. (Both dual cores). When i play small-medium strain games on my laptop the CPU usage (on task manager) reads around 60-70%. The question is, does the frequency of the CPU affect the usage or will the i3 2120 also be at 60-70% usage playing the same games as the i3 M330?

Oh also the laptop has integrated graphics whereas the PC will have discrete graphics, so will that affect the usage also?

Thanks, any help is appreciated.
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Old 10-24-2011, 12:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: CPU usage question?

The frequency does not matter. Laptop and Desktop CPU's are made differently.

I have an i3 330UM on my laptop, and i3 2100 in my desktop. They both run Minecraft well. The usage really does not matter. As long as your CPU and GPU can handle it.
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Old 10-24-2011, 12:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: CPU usage question?

To actully answer your question fully.... Most games will use a certain amount of cores... Usually 2, and newer ones use 4.

So, not sure what game youre playing, but most likely, you small-mediumsh game seems to be using 1 core to run the game, aka 50% cpu, asnd the other tasks the systems doing uses the other % of the cpu.

I'd assume the on-die gpu too uses cycles, as 10-20% back ground cpu use is almost 1/2 the 2nd core, and is a fair bit. So getting a dedicated card, should probably drop the cpu usage maybe 10% tops.

but as said, no, a faster cpu won't make it use more or less cpu, but it will use it slightly less in seconds.
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Old 10-25-2011, 10:41 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: CPU usage question?

In spite of what notebook marketers will have us believe, notebooks do not really make good gaming machines (or "desktop replacements") - generally speaking (there are notable exceptions). This is because notebooks by their very nature, are powerful computers jammed into a tiny, compact space. Gaming is about the most demanding task we can ask of our computers, and their cooling systems. Full size PC cases often struggle to maintain cool operation. It is just not possible with notebooks to provide the same cooling capacities. So "mobile" CPUs toggle down in speed (and thus performance) to stay cool. So MoM is right in that you cannot really compare the mobile and desktop CPU in that manner.

Quote:
Oh also the laptop has integrated graphics whereas the PC will have discrete graphics, so will that affect the usage also?
Maybe. Depends on how sophisticated the integrated graphics is and how sophisticated the card is. Generally, the more capable the card, the more tasks the CPU can hand off to the card/GPU - and it takes very little CPU horsepower to hand off tasks.

Note today's latest integrated graphics are very sophisticated and often come with lots of dedicated RAM - at least when you move out of the entry-level motherboards. But still, in general (again with notable exceptions), a card offers better performance.
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Old 10-25-2011, 11:03 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: CPU usage question?

Youre correct to a point. Even desktops throttle down to stay cool.

Your integrated graphics parts wrong here, as the icore chips have the gpu built on the cpu. Not on the motherboard like they use to.
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Old 10-25-2011, 11:42 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Your integrated graphics parts wrong here, as the icore chips have the gpu built on the cpu. Not on the motherboard like they use to.
Not exactly. You still have to have a motherboard that supports CPU graphics. Not all i3/i5/i7 motherboards support i3/i5/i7 graphics - there are many i3/i5/i7 boards with no integrated graphics support, and no monitor connectors, thus a card must still be used.

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Even desktops throttle down to stay cool.
That's true, depending on the CPU and chipset. However, if the CPU is getting that hot that it needs to throttle down, then the case is doing an inadequate job of cooling (assuming the CPU fan is spinning properly and there's a proper layer of TIM applied and no extreme overclocking). And in that situation, there is a good chance the user will be able to add another case fan, or swap in larger case fans, or both. That is not possible with notebooks.

Also, if a desktop is running hot when it used to run at normal temps, the user can pop open the side panel and clean out all the heat trapping dust. Notebook cases do not cater to "normal" users exposing the innards for proper cleaning.
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Old 10-25-2011, 11:50 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: CPU usage question?

On a notebook, though, cleaning the side vents, even, can make a difference in heat.
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Old 10-25-2011, 11:56 AM   #8 (permalink)
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On a notebook, though, cleaning the side vents, even, can make a difference in heat.
No doubt. Users should regularly clean the vents. They should also open all access panels, remove batteries, drives, and cards and clean out the cavities as much as possible and that will certainly help too. But the just like in a desktop, heat trapping dust will still get sucked into the deep interior and jammed into every crack and crevice. But unlike a desktop, there is no big side panel you can remove to expose them all.
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