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The notebooks both feature discrete graphics cores so 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 rendered by its own graphics 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.

It wouldn’t be improper to applaud here because we’ve never seen a mobile graphics solution to have so high 3DMark scores. The Nvidia Quadro FX 2500M beats its opponent easily, although the latter can get the same amount of memory (up to 512MB) from system RAM by utilizing its TurboCache technology. The Quadro FX 2500M slows down when the notebook works on the battery – if the graphics core didn’t lower its power consumption (which is about 63W normally), the notebook’s battery would last mere seconds.

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 it by ourselves and will use it in every following review of notebooks on our site so that different notebooks could be compared under identical conditions.

As you might have expected, the Nvidia Quadro FX 2500M is better at high resolutions. At low resolutions the overall system performance, not only that of the graphics subsystem, is important, and the ASUS Lamborghini VX1 gains the upper hand. Like in 3DMark, the Nvidia Quadro FX slows down when the notebook switches to the battery. It’s the first time, however, that we see such a big slowdown in Quake 4 – graphics adapters we’ve tested earlier would suffer a much smaller performance hit.

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