Which processor is more powerful and can handle things like Blu Ray Writing and Playing HD video?
Intel i5 2430M processor or AMD A8-3500M quad-core processor?
Or is it 6 of 1, 1/2 a dozen of the other (meaning they are pretty equal and can both handle the above tasks).
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For your narrow requirements, not much difference, IMO. Writing BD discs doesn't take much of any CPU power. Encoding takes quite a bit, if you want to do it in a timely manner.
Playback is more dependent on your video card. The CPU helps, depending on your setup. If your card has DXVA, which I would recommend, then the card does the majority of the work and the CPU is less important.
If you are asking about encoding, depends on what you are encoding. MPEG-2 encoding will perform well with a fast CPU, AMD or Intel. H.264 works better with multiple cores, 3Ghz or faster. I use a six core AMD now and it does very well with H.264.
It depends on the application. Video playback is immaterial on both. Either of the CPUs or GPUs can handle anything you throw at them. With video encoding I think you'll find the Intel CPU faster. Gaming will go to the AMD's better GPU.
What is DXVA???? My laptop has Intel graphics 3000 card. I think it is just a generic video card. I know that all AMD CPU's come with a good graphics card, but the Intel cpu is faster.
DXVA is DirectX Video Acceleration -- Windows' hardware video decompression (amongst other things). Intel Graphics 3000* supports it. You just need to make sure the drivers and player also support it.
* Intel Graphics 2000 and 3000 are the first Intel GPUs with acceptable performance in my opinion. They've gone from being four generations behind AMD and Nvidia (in overall performance) to only two generations behind!