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The M50Sv is based on a Core 2 Duo T8300 processor (2.4GHz clock rate, 45nm Penryn core, shared 3MB L2 cache). The FSB frequency is 800MHz due to the mainboard’s, not the CPU’s, limitations. Penryn series processors will be able to work with a 1066MHz FSB on the upcoming Montevina platform and will enjoy much higher system bus bandwidth then.

Intel Core 2 Duo T8300: cache memory

Like the Merom core, the Core 2 Duo T8300 supports Intel’s 64-bit extensions to the x86 architecture called EM64T. It means you can install a 64-bit operating system on this notebook.

Intel Core 2 Duo T8300 in two power modes

Besides Enhanced Intel SpeedStep technology that gives the notebook’s software and BIOS the control over the CPU frequency multiplier (to reduce it under low loads), this CPU supports Dynamic Power Coordination (the power consumption of the cores can be independently adjusted depending on the current load; one core may even slip into Deep Sleep mode with the lowest power consumption possible), FSB Frequency Switching (the FSB clock rate is automatically lowered at low loads), and Intel Dynamic Acceleration (this technology increases the frequency of the operating core in single-threaded environments; this is a kind of dynamic overclocking).

The notebook features the Intel Crestline GM965 chipset which offers a PCI Express x16 interface for an external graphics card. The South Bridge (ICH8-M) supports Serial ATA-300 and USB 2.0 interfaces, Intel High Definition Audio, and six PCI Express x1 lanes to connect external devices.

The Santa Rosa Refresh platform is made complete by the Intel Pro/Wireless 4965AGN adapter that supports 802.11a/b/g as well as the newest 802.11n. The latter standard is yet under development but already supported by a number of equipment such as Wi-Fi cards, access points, routers, etc. It provides a data-transfer rate up to 300Mbps. So if you are building a new Wi-Fi network and want to have maximum performance, you may want to consider 802.11n-compatible equipment.

The M50Sv notebook comes with a new discrete GPU officially positioned into the performance class. It is called GeForce 9500M GS.

This GPU is based on the G96 chip (although some programs report it to be a G84). This 65nm chip features lower power consumption in comparison with Nvidia’s earlier 80nm chips. The GeForce 9500M GS is clocked at 475MHz and contains 32 streamed processors clocked at 950MHz. This GPU is accompanied with 512 megabytes of dedicated GDDR3 (as in our notebook) or GDDR2 memory clocked at 700MHz and accessed across a 128-bit bus. It incorporates 16 texture-mapping units and 8 raster operators and supports DirectX 10.0 Shader Model 4.0 and OpenGL 2.1. It also has a PCI Express 2.0 interface with support for HybridPower technology. The manufacturer’s website doesn’t offer much info about this graphics adapter but the GeForce 9500M GS is placed somewhat below the GeForce 8600M GT by independent reviewers. We’ll check this out soon. Below is a screenshot of the RivaTuner tool:

The notebook comes with a Hitachi HTS542525K9SA00 hard disk drive (2.5” form-factor, 5400rpm spindle rotation speed, 250GB capacity, SATA interface) and with an LG GSA-T20N DVD-burner that has the following speed formula:


  • DVD-R – 8x
  • DVD-R DL – 6x
  • DVD-RW – 6x
  • DVD-RAM – 5x
  • DVD+R – 8x
  • DVD+R DL – 6x
  • DVD+RW – 8x
  • CD-R – 24x
  • CD-RW – 16x


  • DVD-R – 8x
  • DVD-RW – 8x
  • DVD-ROM – 8x
  • DVD-R DL – 6x
  • DVD-RAM – 5x
  • DVD-Video (CSS Compliant Disc) – 4x (Single/Dual layer)
  • DVD+R– 8x
  • DVD +RW – 8x
  • DVD+R DL – 6x
  • CD-R – 24x
  • CD-RW – 24x
  • CD-ROM – 24x
  • CD-DA (DAE) – 24x

The M50Sv may be optionally equipped with a LightScribe-supporting drive or with a Blu-ray or HD DVD drive (the latter standard is now defunct, though).

The notebook comes with two 2GB modules of DDR2-667 SDRAM which is the fastest memory type supported by the Santa Rosa Refresh platform. This is the maximum amount of system memory the notebook can support, so you can’t upgrade the memory subsystem further. On the other hand, 4 gigabytes of memory is quite enough for today’s applications.

Dual-channel memory mode

Although the latest version of the CPU-Z program reports all 4 gigabytes of memory even under the preinstalled 32-bit Windows Vista Home Premium, applications can only make use of 3 gigabytes. Why? Because 32-bit systems can address no more than 4 gigabytes of memory, including special addresses for accessing graphics memory and other devices (Memory Mapped I/O). As a result, the OS can only use the memory section up to the MIMO addresses, which is below 4 gigabytes. You can solve this problem by installing a 64-bit version of Windows Vista which can address much more memory and can see all of these 4 gigabytes.

The notebook manufacturer preinstalled a 32-bit Windows for some reason, perhaps to ensure more stability as it allows using stable and time-tested 32-bit drivers. On the other hand, the notebook’s components should all have acquired 64-bit drivers by now and this is in fact the single problem you may have with a 64-bit OS. 64-bit Windows can run any 32-bit applications, including games, smoothly.

We measured the temperature of the hottest spots on the notebook’s surfaces with an infrared thermometer after it had worked for half an hour in PCMark Vantage (the ambient temperature remained constant at 22°C during this test) and got the following numbers:

  • LCD panel – 36°C
  • Keyboard – 33°C
  • Bottom panel – 35°C
  • Vent hole – 45°C

So, the cooling system of this notebook seems to be thought-through and efficient.

The following table lists the specifications of the M50Sv in comparison with its opponent ASUS G1S.

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