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Configuration

 

The Satellite U300-111 is based on an Intel Core 2 Duo T7100 processor with a clock rate of 1.80GHz (65nm Merom core with 2 megabytes of shared L2 cache). The FSB frequency is 800MHz.


Intel Core 2 Duo T7100: cache-memory

The Core 2 Duo T7100 supports Intel’s 64-bit extensions to the x86 architecture and also features Intel Wide Dynamic Execution technology which means more decoders and execution units in the CPU core and faster processing of SSE and floating-point instructions.

 
Intel Core 2 Duo T7100 in two power modes

Besides Intel’s traditional Enhanced SpeedStep technology that gives the notebook’s software and BIOS the control over the CPU frequency multiplier (to reduce it under low loads), this CPU supports Dynamic Power Coordination (the power consumption of the cores can be independently adjusted depending on the current load; one core may even slip into Deep Sleep mode with the lowest power consumption possible) and Dynamic Cache Sizing (unused segments of the CPU cache can be turned off to save power). For more information about Intel’s Core 2 Duo processors refer to our article called Santa Rosa + Vista: Three Notebooks Reviewedor to the manufacturer’s website.

This implementation of the Santa Rosa platform also incorporates an Intel PRO/Wireless 4965AGN adapter and an Intel Crestline GM965 chipset. The 965 series chipsets support a FSB frequency of 800MHz. The GM965 offers a PCI Express x16 interface for an external graphics card and also features an integrated graphics core called Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X3100. Connected to the North Bridge via a special-purpose Direct Media Interface, the South Bridge (ICH8-M) supports three Serial ATA-300 ports, ten USB 2.0 ports and Intel High Definition Audio. It also offers six PCI Express x1 lanes to connect external devices. For more information about the platform, visit the manufacturer’s website.


Intel Crestline GM965 chipset

GMA X3100 is the first graphics core from Intel to support shaders on the GPU. As a result, the new integrated chipset features improved performance and compatibility with 3D applications, particularly with Windows Vista’s Aero interface. The X3100 can also support DirectX 10. The new core is clocked at a frequency of 500MHz and incorporates 8 unified shader processors for 3D rendering as well as for video playback acceleration. Thanks to them, the X3100 provides hardware acceleration and post-processing for video content in MPEG-2 and WMV9 formats. The core doesn’t support the new compression standards H.264 and VC-1 (Blu-ray and HD-DVD), though. Besides higher performance, the new graphics core has acquired more advanced power-saving features, mostly meant to reduce the consumption of the LCD panel which is the main power consumer in a notebook together with the CPU. The X3100 supports Display Power Saving Technology 3.0 that is automatically adjusts the brightness and contrast of the screen to reduce power consumption yet keep the image quality high. The Display Refresh Rate Switching technology can be used to reduce the refresh rate of the screen when the notebook works on its battery.

The notebook comes with a Toshiba MK1637GSX hard disk drive (2.5” form-factor, 5400rpm spindle rotation speed, 160GB capacity, SATA interface) and a Matsushita UJ-852S DVD-burner.

The Satellite U300-111 works with DDR2-667 SDRAM, the fastest memory available on the Santa Rosa platform. Both slots are occupied by 1GB modules, so the memory subsystem works in dual-channel mode.


Dual-channel memory mode

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 Battery Eater Pro 2.60 (the ambient temperature remained constant at 23°C during this test) and got the following numbers:

  • LCD panel – 39°C
  • Keyboard – 32°C
  • Bottom panel – 36°C
  • Vent hole – 49°C

The following table lists the specifications of the Satellite U300-111 in comparison with its opponent Dell Vostro 1400.

 
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