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Configuration

The Sony VAIO VGN-SZ1HRP/B and the Sony VAIO VGN-SZ1XRP/C are based on Intel Core Duo processors with ratings of T2300 and T2400 and clock rates of 1.66GHz and 1.83GHz (65nm Yonah core, 2MB shared L2 cache). Besides the time-tested Enhanced Intel SpeedStep technology (it allows lowering the CPU clock rate at low loads by reducing the CPU frequency multiplier), the Core Duo processor supports Dynamic Power Coordination (the power consumption of the execution cores can be varied separately depending on the current load; one core can even enter the Deep Sleep state and consume the lowest possible amount of power) and Dynamic Cache Sizing (unused cache segments are turned off to save power). For more information about the new processor refer to our Centrino Duo Mobile Platform Review or to our article called ASUS V6J Notebook on Intel Dual-Core Processor.

Being an implementation of the Napa platform, the notebooks are equipped with an Intel Calistoga 945PM chipset and an Intel Pro/Wireless 3945ABG wireless adapter. This chipset supports DDR2 SO-DIMMs, thus offering more memory bandwidth at lower power consumption. 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 features the integrated graphics core Intel Media Accelerator 950 that supports a higher operating frequency (400MHz) and more of dynamically allotted memory (up to 224MB) than GMA 900. GMA 950 has 4 pixel pipelines and can map 4 textures per cycle. Like GMA 900, this core supports Pixel Shader 2.0 on the hardware level and Vertex Shader 3.0 and T&L on the software level (i.e. on the CPU). However, GMA 950 and GMA 900 are both fully DirectX 9 compatible. The specification of the Intel Calistoga 945GM chipset can be found at the manufacturer’s website. For detailed information about GMA 950 follow this link.

But as I wrote at the beginning of the review, Sony’s engineers added a discrete graphics core to the integrated one. The Nvidia GeForce Go 7400 GPU supports TurboCache technology and 128MB of dedicated memory. TurboCache technology enables the graphics processor to use the dedicated graphics memory along with a portion of dynamically allotted system RAM for higher overall performance. There is 512MB of system memory in the VAIO VGN-SZ1HRP/B, and the GeForce Go 7400 can be allotted up to 256 megabytes of it. The VAIO VGN-SZ1XRP/C comes with 1 gigabyte of memory and can give out up to 512MB to the discrete graphics core. Nvidia’s GPU also features PureVideo technology for high-quality HD video playback and PowerMizer 6.0 for efficient power management. Detailed specifications of the Nvidia GeForce Go 7400 are listed in the following table; you can also refer to the manufacturer’s website.

The notebooks each has a 2.5” hard disk drive with a spindle rotation speed of 5400rpm and SATA interface: a 80GB Seagate Momentus ST98823AS in the VAIO VGN-SZ1HRP/B and a 100GB Fujitsu MHV2100BH in the VAIO VGN-SZ1XRP/C. The same optical drive is installed in each of the notebooks. It is Matshita UJ-842D with the following speed formula:

Writing:

  • CD-R x24
  • CD-RW x10
  • DVD-R x4
  • DVD-RW x2
  • DVD+R DL x2.4
  • DVD+R x4
  • DVD+RW x2.4

Reading

  • CD x24
  • CD-R x24
  • CD-RW x12
  • DVD x8
  • DVD-R DL x4
  • DVD-R x4
  • DVD-RW x4
  • DVD+R DL x4
  • DVD+R x4
  • DVD+RW x4
  • DVD-RAM x2

The maximum amount of memory the notebooks support is 2048 megabytes. Both come with one memory module installed: a 512MB one in the VAIO VGN-SZ1HRP/B and a 1GB one in the Sony VAIO VGN-SZ1XRP/C. If necessary, you can add more memory by opening the compartment and installing one more memory module.

The computers are both rather quiet at work. The optical drive was the only component that produced some noise when being accessed. I measured the temperature of the hottest spots on the notebooks’ surfaces with an infrared thermometer after they had worked for half an hour in the Classic test mode of Battery Eater Pro 2.60 (the ambient temperature remained constant at 24°C during this test) and got the following numbers:

Sony VAIO VGN-SZ1HRP/B

  • LCD panel – 34°C
  • Keyboard – 32°C
  • Bottom panel – 35°C

Sony VAIO VGN-SZ1XRP/C

  • LCD panel – 39°C
  • Keyboard – 34°C
  • Bottom panel – 37°C

The following table compares the specifications of the Sony VAIO VGN-SZ1HRP/B and the Sony VAIO VGN-SZ1XRP/C notebooks:

 
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