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4 Hot Multimedia Notebooks Reviewed

3DMark06 Results

We run our tests at various resolutions (1024x768, 1280x768 and 1440x900) and with anti-aliasing (AA) and anisotropic filtering (AF) turned off, then at 4x AA and 8x AF. This provides a sense of how the units do with standard two-dimensional graphics (No AA, No AF) and when rendering the kinds of shaded three dimensional graphics used in modern computer games (4x AA and 8x AF are pretty standard levels of handling for many high-end graphics controllers).

The results that appear in the two following charts simply prove what the differences in the graphics circuitry used in these various notebooks indicate: that the ATI Mobility Radeon x2600 seriously outperforms the Nvidia GeForce 8400GT, which in turn tromps all over the Intel GMA X3100 chipsets. We also suspect that the x2600, which has 256 MB of dedicated DDR3 RAM at its disposal and can use up to 256 MB of additional system RAM as well, uses its superior working space and higher power to overpower the graphics components in use in the other machines (which also have only up to 256 MB of system RAM at their disposal).

Sysmark 2007 Preview Results

As we were working on this story, BAPco made its Sysmark 2007 Preview available to us. Because this is essentially a beta software tool, we can’t really put too much weight on its results. But the program does run machines through a range of real-world applications and real-world working scenarios to produce its results, and thus gives some insight into how these machines stack up against each other at more conventional office productivity, Web content development, and video editing tasks (see the full list of applications to get a sense of the components that the various tests in this suite put to work). Curiously, the results follow the cost curve precisely, so that the HP comes out on top, the Sony is next, followed by the Qosmio, with the MSI taking up the rear.