Testbed and Methods
The notebook’s hard drive was formatted in NTFS before the tests. Then we installed Microsoft Windows XP Professional SP2 with DirectX 9.0c, system drivers (downloaded from the manufacturer’s website), and Windows Media Encoder 9.0 with Windows Media Player 9.0. We also installed Windows Media Player 10.0 for such tests as PCMark 2005 and SYSMark 2004 SE.
The following settings were used for the tests:
- Power-saving services – Off
- Audio subsystem – Off
- Network services – Off
- Maximum screen brightness
- Maximum display resolution (1440x900)
- Windows Taskbar is Unlocked
- Windows Taskbar hides automatically
- Classic Desktop theme
- No background image on the Desktop
- No screensaver
- Low security level
- Pop-ups blocking disabled
There were two exceptions: we returned to the Windows XP desktop theme for PCMark 2005 since the program required that. And for SYSMark 2004 SE to work normally, we had to roll each parameter back to its default (as they are set right after you install Windows).
Two power modes were used. First, we selected the Always On power mode for maximum performance and the shortest battery life. Then we switched to the Max Battery mode for the maximum battery run-down time.
- Performance benchmarks: synthetic (SiSoftware Sandra 2005, SiSoftware Sandra 2007, PCMark 2004 1.3.0, PCMark 2005 1.2.0), office and multimedia (SYSMark 2004 SE, Business Winstone 2004, Multimedia Content Creation Winstone 2004), and games (3DMark 2003 3.6.0, 3DMark 2005 1.2.0, 3DMark 2006 1.0.2, Quake 3, Quake 4, Unreal Tournament 2003)
- Battery life tests (Battery Eater Pro 2.60)
There are three test modes in Battery Eater:
- Classic (the system is under a high and evenly distributed load)
- Reader’s test (the pages are browsed through each 15 seconds)
- Idle mode
We used the first two modes as they are in Battery Eater, but in the Idle mode (when the test utility doesn’t put any load of its own on the notebook) we played a DVD movie.