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Testbed and Methods

The netbook’s hard disk was formatted in NTFS before the tests. Then we installed Microsoft Windows 7 operating system and drivers downloaded from the manufacturer website. The following settings were used for the tests:

  • Screensaver – Off
  • Windows Defender – Off
  • System Protection – Off
  • Windows Update – Off
  • Scheduled defragmentation – Off
  • Removing of files from Recycle Bin immediately when deleted – enabled;
  • Screen brightness set at the maximum level
  • Maximum LCD display resolution (1366x768 pixels)
  • Aero interface enabled
  • Windows 7 desktop
  • 10% volume level

The test session was split into two parts:

  1. Performance benchmarks (for the system as a whole as well as individual system components):
    • Synthetic tests: PCMark Vantage 1.0.2 and SYSmark 2007;
    • 3D games: 3DMark 2006 1.2.0, 3DMark Vantage 1.0.2, Resident Evil 5, Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X., Half Life 2: Episode Two, F.E.A.R.
  2. Battery life tests (MobileMark 2007)

There are three test modes in Mobile Mark 2007:

  • Productivity (the system is under a high load)
  • Reader’s test (the emulation of the user’s reading a PDF file; the pages are browsed through each 2 minutes)
  • DVD playback mode

We also used Battery Eater 2.70 test. It was used in idle mode with maximum screen brightness setting with a movie in AVI format playing from the netbook’s HDD. We used standard Windows Media Player. Since the movie was shorter than the netbook’s battery life, we selected “Repeat” option in the player.

Besides, we also ran 3DMark 2006 1.2.0 scenes on our netbook multiple times and then used infra-red thermometer to measure the temperatures of the LCD display, keyboard, bottom of the case, exhaust (we searched for the hottest spot on each surface in question) and CPU (using CPUID Hardware Monitor utility). We ran this test twice: when the netbook was sitting on a wooden desk top and on a soft cloth-covered surface.

Performance Tests

PCMark benchmarks computer’s performance in productivity applications and produces performance scores 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…) divided by the number of results. The Vantage version focuses on typical work scenarios rather than on computer components as in the earlier versions.

  • The Memories scenario benchmarks the system’s performance when working with a digital media archive containing photographs and videos.
  • Playing and encoding high-definition video is the load of the TV and Movies scenario.
  • The Gaming scenario is about the computer’s performance in 3D games.
  • The Music scenario is about encoding audio files of various formats.
  • The Communications scenario emulates Web surfing, reading emails and using IP telephony.
  • The Productivity test is a simple scenario which emulates the use of typical office applications.
  • The last scenario is called HDD; it is about hard disk performance.

The next benchmark, SYSmark 2007, is intended to reveal a computer’s performance by simulating a user who is solving practical tasks in a few popular applications. The benchmark issues a few ratings that are indicative of the system performance under different loads.

3DMark uses its own rendering engine to create a set of 3D scenes that load the graphics subsystem in various ways. We selected a resolution of 1366x768 pixels and had two test runs: with and without 16x anisotropic filtering and 4x full-screen antialiasing. We also benchmarked the netbook in 3DMark Vantage using the Entry settings at 1024x768.

The integrated Radeon HD 3200 core only allows running some simple games. When benchmarked in a few 3D games, the netbooks had the following results:

 
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