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I’m going to compare two high-performance multimedia computers today. Their configurations are even closer than in our Sony VAIO VGN-AR11SR review: the notebooks have identical CPUs and their graphics cores differ only in the suffix. I’ll start with the synthetic benchmarks SiSoftware Sandra 2004 and PCMark 2004.

SiSoftware Sandra 2004 measures the overall performance of the system as well as that of each of its subsystems, while PCMark 2004 benchmarks the computer performance in office and multimedia applications and also produces performance scores for the main subsystems (CPU, memory, graphical, and disk subsystem).

As might have been expected, the CPU test produces similar results, with minor variations due to measurement errors. When the notebooks switch to their batteries and to the Max Battery power scheme, the frequency of the Intel Core Duo T2500 processors is reduced to the minimum of 1.00GHz, which leads to a proportional reduction in the test results. You can also note that the Nvidia GeForce Go 7600 GT looks preferable to the GT-less GPU. Well, the graphics solution installed in the Sony VAIO VGN-AR11SR has better specifications indeed.

The Business Winstone 2004 test runs scripts of the following real-life office applications, several scripts at a time to simulate multi-tasking: Internet Explorer, Outlook, Word, Excel, Access, Project, PowerPoint, FrontPage, WinZip, and Norton AntiVirus Professional Edition.

The Multimedia Content Creation Winstone 2004 test determines the performance of a computer in the following multimedia applications: Windows Media Encoder, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Premiere, NewTek LightWave 3D, Steinberg WaveLab, Micromedia Dreamweaver MX, and Micromedia Director MX.

The results are listed and diagrammed below:

Although it is the CPU that bears the biggest load in the benchmarks from PC Magazine, the Sony has to cede the victory to the Acer Aspire 5654WLMi that has much more of system memory.

Next I tested the notebooks’ graphics subsystems in 3DMark 2003 3.60.

The GT-suffixed graphics core proves its superiority over its junior mate. The high operating frequency of this chip contributes to this result, and the Sony VAIO VGN-AR11SR looks much better than the Acer here.

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