Synthetic has longer life and can handle more extreme conditions such as very cold very hot. It doesn't break down as easily as conventional oil. The only big drawback with synthetic is the cost. If you plan to use the manufactureres service intervals you will never get the money back you spent on the synthetic oil. If you want to service your own car and plan to do oil changes on condition base rather than time based the synthetic will last you far longer. As far as doing the job either is just as good in day to day normal driving. I work on a ship that uses both diesel engines and gas turbine(jet) to produce power. We never have to change the gas turbine oil as it is filtered and retains the properties it had when new, the diesel oil gets changed every 500 hours of operation just due to the fact it breaks down and loses a lot of the desirable properties. However the cost of adding synthetic oil to the gas turbine (about 5 liters/ month at 24 hour operation) is still higher than completely changing the oil on the diesel every 500 hours (about 400 liters).
I had this discussion with my dealership and they told me that the recommended oil in thier book is a semi-synthetic oil. I'm not sure if the oil will last longer before it reaches it's breakdown point. I had put synthetic in my engine for my very first change and noticed seals leaking. After switching back to the recommended oil the leaks went away. This is all I have noticed, I don't advocate any particular type of oil.
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