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The TravelMate 6463WLMi and Sony VAIO VGN-FE31HR are both equipped with discrete graphics cores, ATI Mobility Radeon X1300 и NVIDIA GeForce Go 7400, respectively. We tested them in three versions of 3DMark: 3DMark 2003 3.6.0, 3DMark 2005 1.2.0 and 3DMark 2006 1.0.2.

3DMark uses a set of 3D scenes running on its own engine to load the graphics subsystem in various ways. Compared with the previous version, 3DMark 2005 uses Shader Model 2.0x/3.0 instead of Shader Model 1.x, provides full compatibility with Shader Model 2.0, includes more complex tests (over a million polygons per each frame), and employs normal maps. 3DMark 2006 brings support for HDR, Uniform Shadow Maps, and multi-core CPUs. It is overall oriented at Shader Model 3.0, but two out of its four graphics tests work within the Shader Model 2.0 framework.

The GeForce Go 7400, the most popular mobile graphics solution today, is clearly superior to the ATI Mobility Radeon X1300. When the notebook is disconnected from the electric mains, the X1300 slows down to the level of integrated graphics due to its aggressively set-up PowerPlay technology.

You can also note that the Acer TravelMate 6463WLMi didn’t pass the Shader Particles Test. It is because the ATI Radeon X1000 architecture doesn’t support the vertex texture fetch feature, which is only available on the GeForce 6 and 7 architectures.

Another interesting thing, the CPU tests from 3DMark 2003 and 2005 are not as CPU-dependent as the one in 3DMark06 – this is indicated by the performance hit in the battery mode. The latest version of the benchmark has a “purer” CPU test.

Next, we tested the notebooks in two modes in Quake 3:

  • 640x480; 16 bit; Vertex Lighting; Low Detail; 16-bit Texture Quality; Bilinear Texture Filter
  • 1024x768; 32 bit; Lightmap Lighting; High Detail; 32-bit Texture Quality; Trilinear Texture Filter

And in one mode in Quake 4:

  • Overall Quality – High; Resolution – 1024x768; Format – 4:3; Multi-core Optimization – Yes. Other settings were left default

There was no standard demo record in Quake 4, so we had to create one by ourselves. We will use it in every following review of notebooks on our site so that different notebooks could be compared under identical conditions.

The ATI Mobility Radeon X1300 is again slower than its opponent, just as it has been in the 3DMark tests. PowerPlay technology lowers the notebook’s performance fourfold in Quake 4 in the battery mode to ensure a longer battery life.

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