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Performance Analysis

I performed the tests in the notebook’s preinstalled Microsoft Windows XP SP2 operating system. DirectX 9.0c was also installed. All resident programs, including the anti-virus and firewall, were stopped. Network services and screensavers were disabled. I also prohibited error messages to appear, the screen to turn off and the hard drive to stop for the time of the tests. The screen brightness was set at 130cd/sq.m.

The following benchmarks were used:

  • SiSoftware Sandra 2005
  • PCMark 2004
  • 3DMark 2001 SE
  • HD Tach 2.61
  • Battery Eater Pro 2.60
  • Quake 3 Arena

Each test was performed five times and the results of the five runs were averaged.

I didn’t use such popular benchmarks as 3DMark 2003/2005, Unreal Tournament 2004 and Far Cry because the integrated core Extreme Graphics 2 doesn’t have enough performance and doesn’t support technologies necessary for those programs to run normally.

The notebook was tested in two power modes: 1) with its battery as the power source and 2) connected to the power grid. The screen brightness was set identically for both modes.

And here are first results:

No surprises. The numbers aren’t anything exceptional, but don’t forget the size of the thing!

You can note that the results of the notebook in both test modes are almost the same. It means that irrespective of the power source the processor reaches its maximum frequency at high loads, while other notebook models will clock their CPU at a frequency lower than the maximum even at full load if they work on the battery.

The access time and the average sequential read speed of the hard drive are typical for the device employed.

PCMark 2004 exposes the low performance of the notebook’s graphics subsystem thus confirming that the Libretto can’t be used for processing 3D graphics. Yet let’s try to check it with last-generation games that don’t require support of modern 3D technologies:

As you see, the performance goes up in lower resolutions. It means that the bottleneck is really the notebook’s integrated graphics core. The frame rate is, however, high enough in games comparable to Quake 3 Arena in their system requirements.

Battery life time is one of the most important parameters of a notebook, especially for such an ultra-compact model as the Libretto U100-S213. I checked this parameter in two modes of the Battery Eater Pro 2.60 utility: classic and reader’s test. In the first mode the utility actively loads the central processor, memory, graphics subsystem and hard drive with work. The second mode emulates the user’s reading an electronic text. The docking station was disconnected and the screen brightness set to 130cd/sq.m.

Such tests are often performed at the maximum screen brightness, but may differ in different notebook models (so you can’t compare the results correctly) and may also be too high (the user is likely to use lower settings at work), yet negative for the total time of autonomous work. Another typical task – DVD playback – is also represented in the next table:

The results are expectable: the battery lasts 87% longer in the reader’s test than in the classic mode. This is a sign of high efficiency of the power management system. The notebook yields its maximum performance at high load, but dynamically reduces the CPU frequency and saves power when idle (reading electronic books is a very small load). And this economy is achieved only with hardware means without such tricks as to reduce the brightness reduction or to stop the hard drive.

Playing DVDs doesn’t create a high load on the CPU and doesn’t heat it up much (as in the classic mode) – the result is somewhere in-between.

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