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Our Dell Precision M90 is equipped with DDR2-667 SDRAM. The memory slots are both easily accessible, so you can increase the amount of system memory from 1024MB to the maximum supported amount of 4096MB. The memory works in dual-channel mode as the following screenshot shows:

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 the Classic test mode of Battery Eater Pro 2.60 (the ambient temperature remained constant at 22°C during this test) and got the following numbers:

  • LCD panel – 42°C
  • Keyboard – 36°C
  • Bottom panel – 40°C

The table below lists the technical specs of the Dell Precision M90 and compares them with those of the ASUS Lamborghini VX1:

Testbed and Methods

The notebook’s hard drive was formatted in NTFS before the tests. Then we installed Microsoft Windows XP Professional SP2 with DirectX 9.0c, system drivers (from the included disc), and Windows Media Encoder 9.0 with Windows Media Player 9.0. We also installed Windows Media Player 10.0 for such tests as PCMark 2005 and SYSMark 2004 SE.

The following settings were used for the tests:

  • Power-saving services – Off
  • Audio subsystem – Off
  • Network services – Off
  • Maximum screen brightness
  • Maximum display resolution (1440x900)
  • Windows Taskbar is Unlocked
  • Windows Taskbar hides automatically
  • Classic Desktop theme
  • No background image on the Desktop
  • No screensaver
  • Low security level
  • Pop-ups blocking disabled

There were two exceptions: we returned to the Windows XP desktop theme for PCMark 2005 since the program required that. And for SYSMark 2004 SE to work normally, we had to roll each parameter back to its default (as they are set right after you install Windows).

Two power modes were used. First, we selected the Always On power mode for maximum performance and the shortest battery life. Then we switched to the Max Battery mode for the maximum battery run-down time.

Our tests:

  1. Performance benchmarks: synthetic (SiSoftware Sandra 2005, SiSoftware Sandra 2007, PCMark 2004 1.3.0, PCMark 2005 1.2.0), office and multimedia (SYSMark 2004 SE, Business Winstone 2004, Multimedia Content Creation Winstone 2004), and games (3DMark 2003 3.6.0, 3DMark 2005 1.2.0, 3DMark 2006 1.0.2, Quake 3, Quake 4, Unreal Tournament 2003)
  2. Battery life tests (Battery Eater Pro 2.60)

There are three test modes in Battery Eater:

  • Classic (the system is under a high and evenly distributed load)
  • Reader’s test (the pages are browsed through each 15 seconds)
  • Idle mode

We used the first two modes as they are in Battery Eater, but in the Idle mode (when the test utility doesn’t put any load of its own on the notebook) we played a DVD movie.

 
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