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Each of the tested notebooks has two graphics cores (an integrated and a discrete one), so there are two cycles of tests: first, on the integrated Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950, and then I moved the Stamina slider into the Speed position to activate the discrete Nvidia GeForce Go 7400.

Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950

As usual, I will first run synthetic benchmarks.

SiSoftware Sandra 2004 measures the overall performance of the system as well as that of each of its subsystems, while PCMark 2004 benchmarks the computer performance in office and multimedia applications and also produces performance scores for the main subsystems (CPU, memory, graphical, and disk subsystem).

The high results of the CPU performance tests are very pleasing. They are lower when the notebooks switch to their batteries and begin to deliver almost the same performance because their CPU clock rates go down to 1GHz in the Max Battery mode to save power. Otherwise the results are roughly similar, except for the graphics subsystem test. The VAIO VGN-SZ1XRP/C is a little faster in 3D applications because its graphics core can get a bigger portion of the system RAM.

The Business Winstone 2004 test runs scripts of the following real-life office applications, several scripts at a time to simulate multi-tasking: Internet Explorer, Outlook, Word, Excel, Access, Project, PowerPoint, FrontPage, WinZip, and Norton AntiVirus Professional Edition.

The Multimedia Content Creation Winstone 2004 test determines the performance of a computer in the following multimedia applications: Windows Media Encoder, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Premiere, NewTek LightWave 3D, Steinberg WaveLab, Micromedia Dreamweaver MX, and Micromedia Director MX.

The results are tabled and diagrammed below:

It is the CPU that largely determines the outcome of the Winstone tests, so it is expectable that the VAIO VGN-SZ1HRP/B is a little slower than its elder brother. When the notebooks work on their batteries, their performance is similar again due to the CPU throttling and enabled power-saving services. The CPU clock rates of both notebooks are 1GHz in this mode.

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