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As usual, we will first run synthetic benchmarks.

The SiSoftware 2007 suite features an updated enhanced-functionality interface, runs on three platforms (Win32 x86, Win64 x64, WinCE ARM), contains 13 tests and 34 informational modules, and supports a large range of devices thanks to the developer’s collaboration with Intel, AMD, ATI, SiS and VIA. The program is supported in six languages and has a free Lite version for personal and educational purposes. SiSoftware Sandra measures overall performance of the system as well as that of each of its subsystems.

PCMark benchmarks computer performance in office and office-related applications and also produces performance scores for the main subsystems (CPU, memory, graphical, and disk subsystem). PCMark 2005 carries on the tradition of complex benchmarks of the series and uses fragments of real-life applications as tests. This makes it somewhat more relevant for end-users as opposed to fully synthetic benchmarks. After running a series of 11 tests on the different components of the system, the program calculates an overall performance score in units called PCMarks. PCMark 2005 can check a computer out at processing HD video and encoding audio, and offers enhanced tests of the CPU and hard disk under multi-threaded load. The overall score is calculated by the formula: PCMark Score = 87 x (the geometric mean of the basic tests), where the geometric mean is calculated as (Result 1 x Result 2 x…)/the number of results.

A 0.33GHz advantage in the clock rate is not the only factor why the Intel Core 2 Duo is superior to the dual-core processor from AMD. The Turion 64 X2’s separate L2 caches perform slower than the shared cache of the Intel CPU and its total amount of cache memory is only one fourth of the Intel processor’s cache. The Turion 64 X2 fails the multimedia tests from SiSoftware Sandra completely. When the notebook switches to its battery, PowerNow! technology lowers the CPU clock rate to 800MHz as opposed to the Core 2 Duo’s 1GHz. The Turion would be slower anyway even if their clock rates were the same. Intel’s CPU delivers a higher performance-per-megahertz ratio.

The memory and hard disk tests produce expectable results. The integrated graphics core from the Mobility Radeon Xpress 1150 chipset is comparable to Intel’s Graphics Media Accelerator 950 when powered from the mains. When the notebook switches to the battery, the graphics subsystem suffers a threefold performance hit. This will be even more conspicuous in the gaming tests below.

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 evaluates 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 following table and diagrams show the outcome of these tests:

It’s no secret that PC Magazine ’s benchmarks put most of their load on the CPU, so the results are expectable. When working on the batteries, the notebooks suffer a twofold performance hit roughly proportional to the CPU frequency drop.

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