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Pentium Mobile vs desktop processor speeds and mobile as desktop replacement


Active Member
My aging laptop (650Mhz/500Mhz P3) is on the blink and I am thinking that it may be time to be replaced.

Looking at processor speeds, there appears to be a big disparity between mobile procesors and 'real ones'. For instance, the Dell Precision M20 has Pentium M Processor 770 (2.13GHz, 2MB L2 Cache, 533MHz FSB) and Intel 915PM chipset but a year ago I bough an HP 'laptop' for my father in law which had a >3GHz P4 with HT. I have also seen some el cheapo notebooks with processors of 1.5GHz.

What is the real difference between say a Pentium M 770 at 2.13GHz and a true P4 at > 3GHz. What about against dual core or 64 bit and is this technology on its way to laptops too?

If there is not much difference, I may seriously consider also replacing my aging Quad P3/550 Xeon 1.75GB RAM workstation with KickA$$ OpenGL that I use for 3D OpenGL modeling and rendering with just the one solution. Surely a modern laptop can beat this 6 year old PC even if a laptop would only have one processor and a limited size display? The alternative is an el cheapo laptop then a decent 64 bit dual core desktop at a later date when my 3D application can take advantage of 64bit processing.




the Pentium M chips have a larger (2MB) cache compared to the desktop versions, and this is where a good deal of there performance increase comes from.

Personally, after trying all solutions available I'm a big fan of the dual core AMD chips, these run very cool and are very powerful, and using AMD cool'NQuiet technology if you get a decent heatsink can run fanless unless under large loads, and even then this can be done quietly. That and the fact there's a greater choice of S939 boards available would be my recommendation out of the 2 if building a PC. For laptops though, Pentium M is the king for now


Active Member
I looked into this for my work about a year ago and at the time (IIRC) Intel where quoting that a P-M 1.7GHz performed similarly to a P4-M 2.6GHz. Unfortunately Intel have removed this performance comparison from their website.

Monty Burns

Well-known Member
A friend of mine was JUST talking about Acer Ferrari laptops. I don't know much about them apart from he is extremley pleased with his and chose it over Alienware (money is not a consideration for him).

An important point to note is that these are Desktop replacements, they are laptops but, usualy a bit bigger and heavier than what you might expect.

Happy hunting!


Distinguished Member
A Pentium M 1.6ghz is actually equal or better a P4 2.4ghz in performance. I have one in my Acer laptop and it is considerably faster than my Athlon XP 2000 which is also 1.6ghz.


It is even faster when I use power management software to reduce the processor speed from 1.6ghz to just 600mhz. I can get another hours worth of battery and it is perfectly fast enough for word processing and Internet. I can also get another 50 minutes of battery when playing a DVD compared to running the processor at full speed.


Active Member
I'm running a Pentium M 1.7Ghz overclocked to 2.16Ghz and it beats my 2.4 overclocked to 3Ghz machine on most benchmarks (superpi etc) is miles quieter and runs a whole lot cooler. Not sure how accurate the Winbond software is but the Pentium M runs at 19 dec C on idle and never goes above 35 deg C under full load.
I would like to try an AMD socket 939 as they seem to be a good choice for running cool, and a lot cheaper than going for the Pentium M system.


Active Member
Thanks everyone. Very useful. Thanks to nwgarratt for the link - explains alot especially M technology being based on P3 design - I remember when they introduced the 1.4 P4's at work that they were computationally similar to our 600Mhz P3's.

Skunkpipe, I like the idea of AMD64 3800 Dual Core alot. Having used genuine 64 bit processing on a 64 bit OS for the last 12 years and quad processors on Wintel for the last 6, going back to single processor 32bit architecture for 3D design work always seemed a backward step to me even if processor speeds were significantly faster.

Looks like finding an M powered laptop that runs 3D at decent speeds for client presentation may be affordable enough to allow me to also buy a workstation replacement when true 64 bit apps on the Wintel platform finally catch up with the hardware.

Thanks all.


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