CPU vs GPU (mid tier laptop)

Hello guys, I need to buy myself a notebook for school and we will use it for simple blender tasks and i will use it for simple premiere pro and Lightroom tasks. My absolute maximum is 800€ and now i was wondering if i should get a better cpu (ryzen 7 5800U for example) with a weaker gpu (rx vega 8) or get one with a better gpu (like a mx450) with a lil worse cpu (i5 11300H) both of them would have 16gb of ram. What do you think?

You may find some decent configuration among Dell Inspiron, Dell XPS, HP Envy, HP Pavillion, Lenovo Ideapad systems that are almost a gaming laptop. Yet I would try save and get a Lenovo Legion 5 or a similar config MSI. Those Intel xxxxU’s and Nvidia MX aren’t that good, their just carry companies names. If it’s not the case I would choose i5 11300H with no doubt, mid tier laptop GPU’s may be used for low spec gaming, but are very bad for 3D work. Mine is an old HP Envy i7-4700MQ GeForce 740m 16Gb RAM and I’m currently working with it, simple stuff like product rendering, graphic design and simple compositing.

Disclaimer: I don’t use either of those paid applications. I do use blender just about every day though :smiley:

For on-the-go poking and prodding you’ll want to max out RAM of course. I’m not super familiar with the AMD landscape as of late but I hear it’s all the rage for multithreading. I took a look at that i5 model and it looks (from a glance) like a very capable little chip, not even considering a dGPU. It has onboard Iris xe graphics: not gonna support high-fps AAA games, but it will give your Blender renders a boost. The chip supports SSE and AVX extensions too. Currently cycles can take advantage of those extensions and use some CPU power for rendering. Augment that with a nice dedicated GPU and you’ve got a nice little setup for quick render previews.

In my opinion, Cycles doesn’t clearly and reliably benefit from CPU multithreading without consciously considering your performance settings and driver capabilities. There are however benefits to hanging out in the AMD ecosystem. AMD seems to be pretty cooperative with the open-source community with regards to graphics support going forward, especially with Linux gaming platforms gaining traction. You definitely want to keep driver support in mind: for heterogenous computing, keeping it in the AMD family might keep your drivers happier. Intel’s OpenCL is losing the love from blender in Cycles-X and we’re kind of in the dark about plans to support Intel hardware in its absence AFAIK.

Personally, I would go for the i5 with a nice, well-supported graphics card. I do lookdev and modelling on my i7-1065G7, but I skimped and didn’t get a dedicated GPU. It’s perfectly capable for almost everything in the 3D workflow except for rendering, which I source to a render farm for big projects. If I could go back I’d choose a station with a better (real) GPU.

That’s my non-exhaustive, anecdotal two cents. Good luck on your purchase :+1: