New laptop for uni - CPU comparison?

Hey all, I'm going to be getting a new laptop when I go to university next year and have been tasked with finding a good deal. I'm currently using a 2009 Macbook Pro (running debian) with a core 2 duo P8700 and Geforce 9400M. I'm just wondering if, since these parts are so old, will basically any CPU (eg. i3-4005U, I've been seeing them a lot) be better than what I'm using?
I had a look at a CPUBoss comparison but I'm not quite sure if it's entirely accurate...
(budget around $500 AUD, ~$360 US)

It really depends on what you're going to be doing. Yeah the i3 might be better, but if they're both 2 core laptops and average out at similar clocking in testing it might be better to go higher than the i3. I don't know what you have available to you but I would try to save up and look at a laptop from system76. Alternatively, look at older macbooks.

The biggest benefit from the i3 is the integrated gpu with it's stock ability to handle DX12, the ddr3 memory support, and DMI 2.0. So when you combine all that you have no bottleneck on the mobo when dealing with anything current in regards to handling large amounts of graphical data. I am willing to bet you have issues dealing with 4K or 1080p or 60fps streams right?

To be honest, I've never tried streaming anything higher than 480p on my amazing 6mbps Australian internet, but I think it would be fine handling 1080p video, it does have a 256MB video card (Geforce 9400M). Only problem is is gets REALLY hot doing basically anything, I'd say at least 60+ degrees C and the fans are LOUD.

Well, for better or for worse, I'm not spending my own money, meaning a pretty hard-set budget and the cheapest laptop on system76 is $599 US which is about $830 Australian :(

Well if temperatures are your problem this cpu will use less power and should run cooler.

:c well.... Good luck I guess. I always aim for a machine that is 400 USD and up x.x

But would it be as/more powerful than the 2009 core 2 duo that I'm using? I don't want to downgrade.

Unless you know the entire specifications of both the laptops you are comparing that question is a bit off-base. Memory for instance will play an important role. The same can be said for all the extra options that will be available to you on the i3 as well.

The cpus, as you know, are nearly identical as opposed to what I already mentioned, so keep that in mind:

Yes. Haswell based laptops are going to show a significant increase in performance in anything you do over Penryn. The other option is Broadwell which has better IGP and lower heat, however the clocks are lower overall. Interesting to note is that Intel has not said they support DX12 on any current mobile products, and instead are playing it safe by only officially supporting DX11.2 which shares a bit of the same features. This should not affect you much if at all.

9400M is a 9 year old design, and 256MB is hardly enough to run HD video. The first GPUs built specifically for HD required 512MB or more.

Your temperature issue is down to dust accumulation. You could attempt a teardown to clean it, but first-gen unibodys aren't the easiest to take apart.

It is possible to get a laptop that works good with Linux for your pricepoint.

Used business laptops (thinkpads and similar) are sold for around that money. Mostly sporting i5s from the second generation. Thinkpads play nice with Linux as far as I've heard and experienced. With that money you have room for a SSD as a second drive (or third, thinkpads support mSATA). USB 3.0 can be retrofitted via expresscard. They are probably a lot more solid than anything sold at that pricepoint. And if something breaks: Thinkpads are very fixable (screen replacement and stuff like that, you'd have to break the motherboard to damage it beyond repair).

Be careful about that kind of advice. Although a lot of ThinkPads of the same series may have the same motherboard layout, Lenovo is very frugal about removing things like extra mSATA ports from what they consider lower cost machines (R series or some T series).

Aside from that you are correct, a used ThinkPad would be great. The T420 is still an amazing machine to use, and came with pretty much all the bells and whistles, some including dedicated graphics. It does not support mSATA HDDs however, unless you lose the WLAN card.

Okay. You learn something every day. Hybrid drive was the name for it.

If you read the specs on the processor you will see that that i3 supports DirectX 12.

Must have just recently been added. Last report I saw on the i3-6100U claimed DX11.2 for HD 520. Glad they added DX12.

The gpu in that i3 is quite good (well to a certain degree anyway..don't want to give it too much praise).

Well it sure isn't bad. Would effectively handle Minecraft I'm sure.

It should be able to handle most decent games at 60 fps with vsync at a low resolution (1366x768) even though it can be maxed to a ridiculous amount (3200x2000)

Nope, one of the first things I did when I got it second-hand (earlier this year) was open it up and clean it out.