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Configuration

The Napa platform is not anything new already. A number of Napa-based notebooks have come through our test labs since the platform’s announcement at the beginning of this year. However, we haven’t yet tested Intel Core Duo processors of the Low Voltage variety as yet. The ASUS S6F is based on such a CPU with a rating of L2300 and a clock rate of 1.5GHz (the default frequency was reduced in order to achieve low power consumption). The CPU is based on the 65nm Yonah core with a shared 2MB L2 cache.

Besides Intel’s traditional Enhanced SpeedStep technology that gives the notebook’s software and BIOS 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 enter Deep Sleep mode with the lowest power consumption possible) and Dynamic Cache Sizing (unused cache segments can be turned off to reduce power consumption). For more information refer to our Centrino Duo Mobile Platform Review.

The Napa platform also incorporates an Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG adapter and an Intel Calistoga 945GM chipset. This chipset supports DDR2 SO-DIMMs, thus offering more memory bandwidth at lower power consumption, and a PCI Express x16 interface for an external graphics card. The ICH7-M chip is used as the chipset’s South Bridge and is connected to the North Bridge via a special-purpose Direct Media Interface. The South Bridge supports one Parallel ATA port, two Serial ATA ports, eight USB 2.0 ports and Intel High Definition Audio. It also offers six PCI Express x1 lanes to connect external devices.

The i945GM chipset incorporates Intel’s Graphics Media Accelerator 950. As opposed to GMA 900, this integrated graphics core supports higher core frequencies (up to 400MHz) and a larger amount of dynamically allotted memory (up to 224MB, but limited to 128MB in the S6F). GMA 950 has four pixel pipelines and can map four textures per clock cycle. Like GMA 900, it supports DirectX 9 and Pixel Shader 2.0 on the GPU and Vertex Shader 3.0 and T&L on the CPU. GMA 950 is a fully DirectX 9-compliant, though. A detailed specification of the i945GM can be found at the manufacturer’s website .

The ASUS S6F comes with a Seagate Momentus ST9100824A hard disk drive (2.5” form-factor, 5400rpm, 100GB) and a Matsushita UJ-832S DVD-drive with the following speed formula:

Writing

  • CD-R/RW (24x/10x)
  • DVD-R/RW (4x/2x)
  • DVD+R/RW (4x/2.4x)
  • DVD+R DL (2,4x)
  • DVD-RAM (2x)

Reading

  • CD-R/RW (24x/10x)
  • DVD-ROM (8x)
  • DVD-R/RW (4x/4x)
  • DVD+R/RW (4x/4x)
  • DVD+R DL (4x)
  • DVD-RAM (2x)
 
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