Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Whilst the performance of mainstream desktops and laptops is comparable, and the cost of laptops has fallen more rapidly than desktops, laptops remain more expensive than desktop PCs at the same or even lower performance level.[37] The upper limits of performance of laptops are remain much lower than the highest-end desktops (especially "workstation class" machines with two processor sockets), and "bleeding-edge" features usually appear first in desktops and only then, as the underlying technology matures, are adapted to laptops.

However, for Internet browsing and typical office applications, where the computer spends the majority of its time waiting for the next user input, even relatively low-end laptops (such as Netbooks) can be fast enough for some users.[38] As of mid-2010, at the lowest end, the cheapest netbooks - between US$200–300 - remain more expensive than the lowest-end desktop computers (around US$200) only when those are priced without a screen/monitor. Once an inexpensive monitor is added, the prices are comparable.

Most higher-end laptops are sufficiently powerful for high-resolution movie playback, some 3D gaming and video editing and encoding. However, laptops processors can be disadvantaged when dealing with higher-end database, maths, engineering, financial software, virtualization, etc. Also, the top-of-the-line mobile graphics processors (GPUs) are significantly behind the top-of-the-line desktop GPUs to a greater degree than the processors, which limits the utility of laptops for high-end 3D gaming and scientific visualization applications.

Some manufacturers work around this performance problem by using desktop CPUs for laptops.[39]

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