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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.

The two identical platforms with identical Intel Core 2 Duo CPUs have nearly the same results in all the CPU tests. When the notebooks switch to their batteries, enabling power-saving mode and dropping the CPU frequency to 1GHz, their results get lower proportionally to the CPU frequency reduction.

Our review of the Sony VAIO VGN-FE31HR showed that the Intel Core 2 Duo with a 2MB cache performs much better than the Yonah-core Core Duo in the multimedia benchmarks of the SiSoftware Sandra suite because the Merom has 128-bit SSE subunits. The difference between the notebooks in the memory tests is due to the TravelMate 6463WLMi having a single-channel memory subsystem by default. The difference between the graphics subsystems is conspicuous even in ordinary, not gaming, applications – we’ll see it in the purely graphical tests, too.

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, yet the Acer TravelMate 6463WLMi performs slower than the Sony VAIO VGN-FE31HR as it has a weaker configuration overall. When working on the batteries, the notebooks suffer a performance hit proportional to the CPU frequency drop.

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