Smoothwall Firewall project

Wednesday 10 November 2010

Is upgrading to the Intel i5 laptop processor worth the effort

In a word, yes . As you may have read on this blog a few weeks ago , I tried an experiment with using an SSD harddisk for the operating system in conjunction with an external 500GB hybrid disk for all the more volatile parts of the OS, like /var and /tmp.

This was a resounding successful with a marked ramp in performance across the whole operating system and applications, to the point now , that all other machines seem like sloth's in comparison.

I had a need to upgrade my work laptop recently, specifically for more CPU cores and access to that lastest hardware virtualization extensions. I use the laptop extensively for virtualization, so I picked the Dell Latitude E6410. This is a really good work horse, but more importantly it comes with the Intel i5 processor.

This has had a very positive affect on the whole systems performance when running virtual guests with VirtualBox - my current virtualization platform of choice - to the extent that I can now over commit on memory and cpu's , plus the density I can achieve on this box has literally doubled.

I always keep a system monitor going to see how hard the system us working, and while on the old E6400, with two virtual machines running , the system would be noticeable slower, now with four virtual guests running, there is still plenty of head room for the other applications I need to run.

If are about to upgrade, and you need the ability to run multiple virtual guests, then I would definitely recommend the extra spend on this processor. The more memory the better, but I'm happily working with 4GB currently, but I can take this up to 8GB if the need should arise.

Well done Dell this is a grand machine for running Linux.

1 comment:

Aaron aka Frank said...


I have a Latitude E6410 for work as well and I have to say it is fantastic - aside from games that use CG, it's taken everything I've thrown at it thus far. My team leader has the same but with an i7 instead of the i5 and a SSD for a hard drive, and it's blisteringly fast.

Dell have always made awesome machines in the few years that I've known them, but they've really outdone themselves on their latest offerings.