Testbed and Methods
The notebooks’ hard drives were formatted in NTFS before the tests. Then I installed Microsoft Windows XP Professional SP2 with DirectX 9.0c (the power management system in Windows XP Service Pack 1 doesn’t work normally with dual-core processors: the CPU frequency is not reduced when the notebook works on its battery), system drivers (from the manufacturer’s website), and Windows Media Encoder 9.0 with Windows Media Player 9.0.
The following settings were used for the tests:
- Power-saving services – Off
- Audio subsystem – Off
- Network services – Off
- Maximum screen brightness
- Maximum resolution of the display selected (1280x800)
- 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
Two power modes were used. First, I selected the Always On power mode for the maximum performance and the shortest battery life. Then I switched to the Max Battery mode for the maximum battery run-down time.
- Performance benchmarks: synthetic (SiSoftware Sandra 2005, PCMark 2004), office and multimedia (Business Winstone 2004, Multimedia Content Creation Winstone 2004), and games (3DMark 2001SE Pro to benchmark GMA 950, 3DMark 2003 3.60, Quake 3, Unreal Tournament 2003)
- Battery life tests (Battery Eater Pro 2.60)
There are three test modes in Battery Eater 2.60:
- Classic (the system bears the highest and evenly distributed load)
- Reader’s test (the pages are browsed through each 15 seconds)
- Idle mode
I 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) I played a DVD movie.