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  • nofumble62 - Friday, August 21, 2009 - link

    so he can play more games. LOL

    That student probably won't stay in school very long.
  • Smell This - Monday, August 17, 2009 - link

    The author makes the point of the importance of battery life and claims "Intel has the better mobile solution at pretty much all price points - i.e. better battery life ..."

    With the difference in price between the two "units" in your "comparison" you could purchase a second battery for the AMD laptop.
  • JarredWalton - Monday, August 17, 2009 - link

    Which doesn't change the fact that Intel will still offer better battery life to the tune of 28% more unplugged time. From the conclusion: "Using a higher capacity battery on an AMD platform could give you equivalent battery life, but then you're lugging around a heavier laptop and many high capacity batteries cost far more than $80." Carrying two batteries is fundamentally the same thing, except that you have to hibernate and swap batteries at some point.

    The point of this review: look at AMD and Intel platforms, apples to apples. Intel wins on CPU and battery performance. 16% more cost yields 25% better performance and power. They also win on heat and noise, though it's not a huge margin there.

    On the other hand, AMD/ATI wins the graphics competition and they cost less. They're somewhere in the realm of twice as fast at GPU intensive tasks, they can handle 1080p H.264 playback (where Intel would need something like PowerDVD Ultra to get the proper acceleration), and they cost 16% less.

    If price is the determinant of what you buy, go for the AMD unit. If gaming is your number one concern, get a discrete GPU in a ~$700+ laptop. If you want a cheap lappy that can play *most* games at low detail, then AMD's current lineup also works okay. For all other options, right now it looks like Intel wins.

    I've heard from many readers that feel battery life is very important; they're sick of the sub-three-hour options out there, and they're more than willing to give up gaming. If we look at the entire laptop market, I'd say such people are in a comfortable majority. If you're a college student on a shoestring budget, you'll probably be a lot happier with a somewhat slower office computer that can play more games.

    BOTH opinions and options are right. There is no dictating that you MUST have better battery life, or that you MUST have better integrated graphics. Buy what you really need, after you look at the market and truly understand what the options are. That's my conclusion. For me, my needs and wants make the NV58 the winner, but I know plenty of users that would prefer the NV52 (like yourself), and I know still others that prefer even more graphics power.
  • ALCX - Saturday, August 15, 2009 - link

    I don't post much, 'cause usually someone has said what I thought already. But after reading all the 'jibber-jabber' going back and forth, I thought I would just say thank you for the article, I'm looking at buying a laptop for my daughter for school and this hit the spot.

  • yehuda - Saturday, August 15, 2009 - link

    I agree, it's clear a lot of effort went into the making of this article. Reply
  • evilspoons - Wednesday, August 12, 2009 - link

    Nice article. It confirmed my suspicions about AMD laptops. They're fine for the money but the Intel does pretty much everything better - if you can get an Intel with nVidia or ATi graphics, you're set.

    It's really just a stupid nitpick, but I'd like to point out you forgot to mention a car model for your little Kia vs Hyundai analogy. The Kia Spectra is a piece of crap, but a Hyundai Genesis Coupe with the V6 and Track Package will give Nissan 370Zs a run for their money (at $20,000 less!) so the analogy doesn't really work well given this fact.

    I'd compare the Kia Spectra to a Chevy Aveo, myself. Ugh.
  • strikeback03 - Thursday, August 13, 2009 - link

    In the US at least, the MSRP for the Genesis Coupe with Track Package is higher than the base 370Z, and even the Nismo Z is only ~$9k higher. So unless Hyundai is already kicking in rebates or Nissan dealers are charging significantly more than MSRP, you have to drop all the way back to the base 2.0T coupe to get close to a $20k difference to a 370Z coupe. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, August 12, 2009 - link

    I added the "Accent" part after Hyundai. My mom had an original Hyundai Excel hatchback... thing was horrible, but for some reason she loved it. I was so happy when it got totaled! :-) Reply
  • RandomUsername3245 - Wednesday, August 12, 2009 - link

    Not to pick nits, but you say "Hopefully we will see some improvement with Windows 7, but so far Windows is still an order of magnitude behind OS X."

    An order of magnitude is defined as a factor of 10x. According to the three bar charts, the Macbook really doesn't beat the Windows laptops by 10x. (Sure it does beat the Clivo D901C by an order of magnitude on the last test, but that's hardly a basis for this type of general statement.) Realistically, the Macbook is beating the competition by no more than 2-3x.

    I'd say your statement is inaccurate by nearly an order of magnitude :)
  • blackshard - Wednesday, August 12, 2009 - link

    Take the "order of magnitude" as a "step further". MacOS X is a step further in power handling, expecially when the system is idling. Reply
  • RandomUsername3245 - Wednesday, August 12, 2009 - link

    Now that would be an interesting technical analysis article -- compare the different idle power states of something like the Studio 16 and the Macbook Pro & see exactly where the differences are. Reply
  • balancedthinking - Wednesday, August 12, 2009 - link

    I do not agree with the conclusion.

    Everything you can do with the Intel system, you can do with the AMD system too and i highly doubt anybody would notice a difference with normal applications.

    That subjective "snappier" of yours sounds like marketing bullshit. Browsing and loading apps is limited by the harddrive, not the cpu.

    On the other hand, Intel can not do blueray via HDMI and accelerate HD content and encoding. You totally missed that one in the whole article.

    WORLD OF WARCFRAFT is playable with the AMD system but it is not with the Intel system.

    Why do you recommend spending an extra 80$ to artifically limit the capability to do different tasks?

    You are constantly downplaying the advantage of a good igp and overestimate the importance of the cpu.

    You will not notice the difference in cpu performance but you will notice the missing capability to play accelerated HD content via HDMI and to play games on the intel system.
  • Wellsoul2 - Wednesday, August 12, 2009 - link

    I feel the same way...the intel graphics aren't good enough.

    Another test I'd like to see...can it play a 1280x720 video in Itunes? If you like to play music vids this is a big deal.

    For what I do better video at a cheaper price beats Intel.

    Your conclusion isn't right. If I want super cheap best hardware
    I'd go for the AMD with better video.
    I'd rather be able to play a Youtube HD video and MMO game.

    To me..future internet leans toward better video not cpu.
    Seriously..can I play back an episode of NCIS in HD on the Intel?
    (I'm pretty sure I can on the AMD..just by the numbers)

  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, August 12, 2009 - link

    See, you people are making assumptions here - assumptions that aren't entirely correct. Besides the fact that Blu-ray support isn't a real concern on a $500 notebook (are you really going to spend $150 more to get that feature on a budget offering?), video playback is a big can of worms.

    Notice the x264 720p battery life test... I couldn't tell a difference between the two in terms of image quality. x264 1080p on the other hand showed some real problems on the the Intel setup (periodic dropped frames and loss of A/V sync). So AMD wins, right? Well, that's using a 1080p movie on a 768p panel, so I'm not sure it's really that important. However, Hulu (in 480p) was better on the Intel setup than the AMD, typically running 24FPS compared to 18FPS. So chalk up a win for Intel as well.

    The real problem is that you people are reading my opinion on the platforms as a 100% statement, and then you're giving your opinion and saying I'm wrong. Read what I wrote and you'll see I'm more than willing to admit there are benefits to the AMD platform.

    After personally using both of these laptops for the better part of a month (three weeks of intense testing), given the choice I wouldn't hesitate to take the Intel NV58 over the AMD NV52 (and spend the extra $80). That's because I don't care about WoW or a few specific tests where I can make sure AMD comes out on top. Again, what percentage of laptop users actually play 3D games on a regular basis - or at all?

    If you really care about such things, then of course there are far better options than an Intel IGP laptop. There are also FAR BETTER choices than an ATI HD 3200 IGP laptop. I mentioned one in the gaming section, the">Acer Aspire AS6920-6898. At $650 it will beat the pants off of either laptop in gaming, probably offer slightly worse battery life than the NV52, and have overall performance that's equal to or slightly better than the NV58 elsewhere - and it will handle all the video stuff at least as well as the NV52.

    I figure most people will go into a budget laptop purchase with a set of requirements. Unless gaming and 1080p video playback are in the list of requirements, the Intel platform will offer a better overall experience. If gaming and 1080p video are desired, you can choose between barely adequate gaming performance at $500, or you can more than triple your gaming performance for $650. And frankly, the gaming experience on a GeForce 9500M GS still leaves a lot to be desired.
  • balancedthinking - Wednesday, August 12, 2009 - link

    Did I miss something? Is not the conclusion of a review meant to be neutral and objektive? Instead you are advertising your completely biased opinion which reads like an Intel commercial!

    These low cost notebooks are often bought by families (mums) or students. Both groups like to play casual games and use their notebooks for entertainment.

    On the other hand you have professionals like writers or business guys, (YOU!!!). These guys do not need capable graphics and often do not care about cost so you will find 1000$ subnotebooks in this range. Battery life and mobility are the key factors for this group.

    You are really telling us NOBODY plays 3D games at all on their laptop? What a shame you are writing for anand!

    So if you do not care about graphics, HDMI and HD content, it is up to you but articles are meant to be neutral and not biased towards a company. This one reads like an Intel commercial. "We have better battery life and the faster cpu, nobody needs graphics"

    Also very funny telling your readers: "Intel IGP sucks but HD 3200 still sucks to so it makes no difference" that is a real bad excuse and is in fact untrue. But that is the typical marketing reaction, just downplay where the competition is good.

    The HD 3200 is perfect for casual gaming like spore, world of warcraft, the sims 2/3 and a lot of older games that are real fun to play at lan party like warcraft 3, counterstrike, call of duty, battlefield or flatout.

    All these games are playable quite well on the AMD system but NOT on the Intel system. "barely adequate" is just marketing bullshit by Intel and a really sad excuse to downplay the huge advantage of ATI and Nvidia IGPs vs. Intel IGPs

    Of course 1080p matters. Never thought of pluging your notebook in your big flatscreen via HDMI and playing the latest blockbuster?
  • tempestor - Thursday, August 13, 2009 - link

    Great article Jarred!

    As opposed to "balancedthinking" i think your conclusion was even too neutral!

    It is great for me because i know a lot about computers and know what i want from my notebook but an average Joe would have a problem choosing a notebook.

    Average Joe would prefer a straight recommendation at the end and not something like: model A is good, but model B is good too. As if you don`t want to say anything bad about either of them?
    But then again: average Joe doesn`t read your website i guess.

    Sorry for my bad english, i am a bit rusty, but i wanted to reply because of this "balancedthinking" guy who is completely unbalanced.

    Guess you`ll never satisfy everyone :)

    Best regards, M.
  • balancedthinking - Thursday, August 13, 2009 - link

    Interesting you said exactly nothing about the stuff i critizised. I also do not get what you want to tell us.

    Instead you told us "I know a lot about computers". Well, good for you :-)

    It is like comparing a SUV with a Prius -> if there is no clear answer the reviewer should not force a clear answer on personal habits and bias.

  • tempestor - Thursday, August 13, 2009 - link

    I disagree with your implication that Jarred is biased.

    Jarred could as well give us raw numbers only and everyone can make it`s own conclusion. Why bother with whole article then?!

    Since i wrote that i think Jarred`s article is great, you can assume my conclusions based on his raw numbers are very similar to his. That is why i didn`t write them down.

    Quote: "Intel has much better battery life, but that's only one aspect of the overall equation and there are definitely areas where AMD has the advantage over Intel." - biased? I don`t think so. Clear answer? I don`t think so.

    Quote: "When it comes to 3D graphics, however, the AMD solution is clearly superior to Intel's anemic IGP." - biased? Sure! but only because it is cut from the context of the paragraph. Clear answer? Yep! and the one favouring AMD-based solution.

    Quote: "... so ultimately YOU need to decide whether YOU want to have better battery life or if YOU would prefer improved graphics." - biased? No. Clear answer? No.

    I could quote most of his "the final word" here to show you.

    What Jarred did in his conclusion is: he wrote it grey! Not black and white. And now you complain it is black... or white (i.e. favoring one side)??

  • balancedthinking - Thursday, August 13, 2009 - link

    typical case of quoting out of context....

    If those qoutes would have been everything Jarred wrote, I would not be complaining.

    but he also wrote:

    "Intel also wins in application performance, with noticeably snappier CPU performance."

    snappier? Loading Apps and browsing is limited by the harddrive, not the cpu -> marketing nonsense

    "ATI's HD 3200 may be over twice as fast on average compared to Intel's GMA 4500MHD, but that's a lot like beating a Kia Spectra with a Hyundai on the racetrack."

    Clearly downplayig the huge advantages of a ATI or Nvidia IGP over an inferior Intel IGP. He is basically saying that the AMD IGP is a lot faster than the Intel IGP but still useless and that is just untrue, period.

    "As far as we're concerned, laptops - especially entry-level laptops - need to function as a mobile computer first and foremost. By that criterion, Intel has the clearly better mobile platform. Faster CPUs that draw less power and provide better battery life rate a lot higher in our book than barely adequate gaming performance"

    That is his biased opinion as a professional writer that does not play games. 500$ full featured 15.4 notebooks are no mobility tipewriters with a focuss on battery live for professional journalists. They are bought by families and students and often replace desktops.

    "That's because I don't care about WoW or a few specific tests where I can make sure AMD comes out on top. Again, what percentage of laptop users actually play 3D games on a regular basis - or at all?"

    He does not care about casual gaming, he does not care about 3D games on laptops and he even dares to state that everyone is like him. I call that arrogant.

    "If you really care about such things, then of course there are far better options than an Intel IGP laptop. There are also FAR BETTER choices than an ATI HD 3200 IGP laptop."

    Again completely downplaying the advantages of ATI and Nvidia IGPs to convince the reader, even though they are a lot better than Intel IGP do not cut it, which is untrue and biased.

    He also completely ignores the HD content features AMD can provide and Intel can not. Why is ION such a big thing for Nvidia? HD is important for the average joe and Jarred completely ignores the fact and does not even mention it.
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, August 13, 2009 - link

    Application load times and browsing are NOT limited by the hard drive unless you have extremely fast systems or are loading multiple items at once. I have tested this, and the NV58 boots Vista 25% faster than the NV52, and various other applications also load faster (though 25% when you're talking 10 seconds isn't as noticeable as 55 vs. 69 seconds). SSDs would help here, sure, but you don't put a $200+ SSD in a $500 laptop. You pretend to be unbiased, but you don't know what you're talking about. Have YOU used and tested two essentially identical laptops from AMD and Intel, side by side? NO! But we're supposed to take your word over a published writer that has. Makes me wonder if you're working at an AMD facility... or perhaps working for a competitor. After all, AMD has some facilities in Germany.

    I am not downplaying ATI's superior IGP, but rather putting it into context. It's much better than something that doesn't even try to play games. However, it's only a "huge advantage" IF YOU PLAY GAMES. If you never load up a 3D game (like my wife, brothers, sisters, parents, friends, etc.) then having the "huge advantage" really means that you're using more power, getting less battery life, and gaining NO BENEFIT WHATSOEVER!

    "That is his biased opinion as a professional writer that does not play games."

    Way to be a tool. I've played and beaten Fallout 3, Oblivion, Assassin's Creed, all the Half-Life games, Bioshock, The Witcher, Mass Effect, the two Penny Arcade Adventures, and others just in the past year or two. There are tons of other games I have not yet completed but I have spent numerous hours playing them (GRID, FEAR/FEAR2, Riddick: Dark Athena, Far Cry 2, STALKER: Clear Sky, Empire: Total War, Gears of War, Company of Heroes, all of the Call of Duty titles, World of Goo....) I started playing games on a Magnavox when I was six (back in 1980) and moved to a C-64 when I was 10. I've been playing PC games since the 286 era and the original Wing Commander, X-Wing, and Sierra adventures. I've played every Warcraft game, Starcraft, Command and Conquer, Age of Empires, and too many other titles to list. BUT I'm a "writer that does not play games." Way to make an assumption that is not only blatantly false, but it's not even backed up by the article. Do you think someone that doesn't play games would test EIGHTEEN recent titles on two laptops that are clearly not targeted at the gamer?

    The fact is that I play enough games that I'm willing to tell the truth and let people know that playing games on a slow, underpowered IGP is a lousy experience. If all you have for gaming is a $500 laptop, I doubt that: A) You're a gamer, and B) You'll like playing games on that laptop. Go buy a Nintendo DS and you'll have more fun, or else read a book and don't worry about gaming - just like millions of people.

    The only thing that might be "non-gamer" about me is that I don't play World of Warcraft (or any other MMO). Considering there are hundreds of millions of "gamers" in the world and yet only 15 million (give or take) that play WoW and other MMOs, again I think it's safe to say plenty of people don't play such games. I'm not interested in getting started in the MMO scene either, as I have a life I'm quite happy with. If I could test an MMO performance without an account, I would do so, but I'm not going to spend $15 per month per MMO when I don't enjoy that style of game.

    Who are you to say what a $500 laptop is supposed to be? I've given a list of what it CAN be. It can be everything a student or businessman needs, and in that case it would be substantially better without an AMD CPU (right now). It can do everything a family needs as well. Can it do everything a family *wants* though? That depends on the family, and clearly it can't be a one-size-fits-all gaming solution. 25% of games that I tested can't run acceptably on the AMD setup. But that doesn't matter; what matters is that it can run games better than Intel's IGP. You know who really cares about that? AMD marketing, because they can tell people their platform is actually "better" in certain areas.">Here's a $600 alternative (using ATI graphics)">Here's a $500 alternative (using an NVIDIA IGP)

    Both should more or less equal the AMD NV52 in gaming while still offering better CPU performance -- and probably battery life. Case closed.
  • balancedthinking - Thursday, August 13, 2009 - link

    What has this discussion to do with me beeing located in germany? Nice work looking up my IP btw. Am I not allowed to critisize you because I am not american? What kind of excuse ist that?

    Am I not allowed to critisize you because the EU fined Intel for ripping of european customers? Am I not allowed to critisize you because AMDs foundry spin of is located in germany at the moment, while building a new fab in new york? Is that your excuse?

    After all, AMD is an american company and the funny thing is, I am neither on the payroll of AMD and also do not write for a competitor.

    Still I like underdogs and I do not like underdogs beeing treated unfairly. I also own an AMD Laptop with HD 3200 and I have too much fun playing with it to let you deceive other customers into spending MORE money to get a crippled IGP, a few percent battery life and cpu performance.

    How many students do you know? I know plenty and the MAJORITY only has a laptop and no desktop. There are also A LOT of students who can not afford a 1000$ gaming laptop but they definitely have fun to play counter strike with their mates.

    You know who cares about a few percent battery life and cpu performance? Intel marketing, because they can tell people their plattform is actually "better" in certain areas.

    Sound familiar huh?

    regarding your "alternatives".

    The 500$ one only has a T4200, your review is about a T6500. You can not tell if the T4200 has an advantage over the AMD system regarding battery life and performance! It definitely will be slower than the T6500 and the Nvidia IGP will not help the battery life, neither will the T4200.

    It also has no HDMI, only VGA. So no fun with family and friends showing them your latest vacation pictures on the big flatscreen.

    The 8200M G is also a very old IGP that is a lot slower than the HD 3200 (3dmark 06 1000 vs. 1600 points) and has no HD content features.

    The 600$ alternative also has the slower and more power hungry T4200. The HD 4330 is faster than the HD 3200 but not that much (2600 vs. 1600 points 3dmark 06). On the other hand, it is a dedicated graphics solution so I highly doubt that the battery life with the T4200 will be any better than the gateway AMD system. HDMI is also missing!

    So you pay an extra 100$ to loose the HDMI port and get the same battery life and cpu performance the AMD system has for 500$. The gpu is better but it will cost you 20% extra.
  • strikeback03 - Friday, August 14, 2009 - link

    I just had to point this one out:

    You state that the 8200M is a "lot slower than the HD 3200". 1000/1600=0.625, or in words the 8200M gives 62.5% the score of the HD 3200.

    You then state that "the HD 4330 is faster than the HD 3200 but not that much". 1600/2600=0.615, or in words the HD 3200 gives 61.5% the score of the HD 4330, or in other words a larger gap than between the HD 3200 and the "lot slower" 8200M.
  • scientia - Thursday, August 13, 2009 - link

    I have to agree. The "review" bears no connection to reality. I use an HP Pavillion with a 2.0 Ghz AMD mobile Athlon 64 and Radeon 200 M grapics everyday. The notion that a notebook with a bit more than twice as much CPU doesn't have enough is ludicrous.

    I also have an HP Pavillion Centrino system with a 2.0 Ghz Pentium M. The two systems have very similar CPU power but the Centrino definitely has worse graphics. For example, I have to reduce the resolution on my AMD system with playing against it on Warcraft 3 with LAN and the Centrino is unable to run Civ 4 which runs fine even on my older AMD notebook.

    The CPU in my notebook spends the great majority of its time running at 800 - 1000 Mhz so the extra CPU power on the Intel system will not be noticeable except in benchmarks. Whose leg are you trying to pull, Mr. Walton, when you claim that Intel system feels snappier?
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, August 13, 2009 - link

    A 2.0GHz Pentium M with GMA 900 graphics is a different era, I'm sorry to inform you, just as a Radeon 200M is a different beast than the HD 3200. Do not make the mistake of thinking nothing has changed during the past four years, because it has.

    As I pointed out, the last time I tested an Intel IGP in a large selection of games (GMA 950), it failed to load 2/3 of the titles. The GMA 4500 now loads over 3/4 of titles. Even two years ago, Intel's IGP was about 1/4 the performance of the ATI and NVIDIA IGPs. Now (in games where drivers are working), the advantage is less than 100%.

    Discussing notebooks from the past is a true disconnect from "reality". Please look at current offerings - as I have done in this review - if you want to talk about the advantages and disadvantages of the various platforms.
  • tempestor - Thursday, August 13, 2009 - link

    This is fun! :)

    I have no idea from what hat you pulled Germany. OK, you are from Germany, cool, i am from Europe too - Slovenia, but i don`t think Jarred with his remark (fabs in Germany) meant anything "racist".

    Anyway - my quotes were carefully picked - so you can see i wrote some favoring AMD too! Not what you did. You only listed quotes favoring Intel. Bad boy! And i did write that one of my quotes was out of context... you really don`t have to repeat that.

    Some time ago a friend of mine had to choose between two notebooks very similar to the ones compared in this article. Yes, i did recommend him Intel version, but he wanted to save 30 EUR (cca 50 USD) and picked AMD version. Is he happy with his choice? Yes. But he NEVER uses his computer on battery and he doesn`t care about how fast some page in web browser loads. Oh... and he doesn`t play games either or watch HD movies. So i guess AMD option is ok for him. And Intel would be ok too!

    About "snappier" - you will know the meaning of this word when it hits you. And i can tell you - i have a WD 3200BJKT drive now in my notebook and the performance is up by 20% at least (according to original WD 1600BEVS or something HDD (a shitty 160 gb 5400 rpm drive)). So yes, HDD has impact on how fast things load (OS, webpages, games,...) - note that Jarred.

    About games - if you KNOW you can`t play some game on a notebook is sometimes better than to KNOW you can`t play it good. Meaning: playing some game on a slow computer gives you wrong impression of the game thus not liking it. So it is better to not play it at all.
    I don`t think graphics is HUGE advantage for AMD. It is like bread - it feeds you, but the taste is plain!!!

    HD playback: average Blue-Ray movie in Slovenia costs around 40-50 EUR. Do you really think a person that spends 500 USD (cca 320 EUR) would regularly watch HD movies on that notebook? I don`t think so.

    Don`t get me wrong about underdogs. I really like AMD`s graphics division. I think they are way better than nVidia. But glory days of their CPU division are loooooooong gone. And computers are still mostly about CPU, not GPU.


  • JarredWalton - Thursday, August 13, 2009 - link

    Your being in Germany (where AMD has facilities) is suspect. I make a point of checking IP addresses for people that apparently have blinders on, considering guerrilla marketing tactics have been employed by many. "Am I not allowed to critisize you because the EU fined Intel for ripping of european customers?" What does the EU and Intel have to do with criticizing me? Whether or not you work for AMD is still unknown, as obviously you wouldn't admit it.

    You blame me for bias but say you like to root for the underdog. "Rooting" for someone is the definition of bias. I went into this expecting nothing but curious as to the results. I did not expect 25% better battery life, though the general performance and GPU results were pretty much a given. Concrete numbers are always good, even if they hurt your feelings since you own an HD 3200 laptop.

    I love how 28% more battery life has become "a few percent". Nice blinders. I like how 25% faster performance on average (outside of games) is also meaningless. The Pentium T4200 shouldn't be much slower than the T6500,">as these desktop results show. The loss of 5% clock speed and 1MB L2 results in a drop of 5-10%. Power requirements should not change appreciably, as it's still a 45nm chip and Intel doesn't have the advanced C-states on the T6500 or T4200.

    I have already stated (repeatedly) that the NV52 at $500 is the better solution for entry-level mobile gaming. It is not without compromises, but if basic gaming is that important and you can't spend a dollar more it's the way to go. I feel strongly that people who are so concerned with gaming performance will be better served by reassessing their needs and wants; do they really need the extra features or are they buying in because of marketing? Do they really need a laptop at all, considering a gaming desktop for $500 (including OS and LCD) can easily outperform laptops costing twice as much?

    I'm done with this conversation. You repeatedly exaggerate areas that benefit your pro-AMD stance and downplay everything else. Enjoy your AMD HD 3200 laptop, but just because you think it's great doesn't mean it is the best solution for everyone. It's one possible option out of dozens of competing notebooks and platforms.
  • tempestor - Thursday, August 13, 2009 - link

    btw: article not working from page 8 on.

  • JarredWalton - Thursday, August 13, 2009 - link

    Not sure what happened, but somehow when I tried to add some charts last night the "gaming" page got blown away. I have corrected the error now. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, August 12, 2009 - link

    News flash: any article written is going to be opinion. Intel's opinion and AMD's opinion doesn't count for squat with me; I gave you a rundown of the market as I see it, after using a variety of laptops. Objective and neutral doesn't mean I have to be nice to a company offering an overall inferior solution. Unbiased certainly does not mean I have to root for the underdog.

    You think gaming is far more important in a budget laptop than I do, and then you keep trying to put in me a corner that I'm not in. I don't think "NOBODY plays 3D games on laptops"; I think there are plenty of people that do so, but that there are even more people that don't. Is it "marketing BS" (to use your phrase) to promote gaming as something everyone should look for in a laptop, especially when it reduces battery life by 25%? Your "balancedthinking" reads more like anti-Intel marketing, while my article has no problems pointing out the shortcomings of both AMD and Intel. Which is actually the "balanced" opinion?

    Is Spore playable on the HD 3200? Yes. Is it a great experience? Not at the level of other laptops that have better GPUs and only cost slightly more. Does it also run on the Intel IGP? Yes, at roughly half the performance of the HD 3200, but still providing playability at 800x600. You're saying twice the performance at 800x600 is a great thing (ATI HD 3200), but six times the level of performance is meaningless?

    "Barely adequate" is not an Intel marketing statement, that's my opinion backed by cold, hard numbers. There are plenty of games that do not run acceptably on any current IGP (Mass Effect, Riddick: Dark Athena, and Call of Duty World at War all fall into that category, and Assassin's Creed might as well be there considering it looks like crap at minimum detail settings). Many others hover around 20 FPS on the HD 3200. Mouse cursor movement at 20FPS is sluggish and choppy, making for a less than enjoyable experience. I played and tested quite a few games on these laptops, and at best performance (and quality) was acceptable (Company of Heroes, UT3, and similar games that aren't too taxing).

    Considering I can find laptops that handle gaming at native LCD resolution with roughly twice the performance of the HD 3200 (or only slightly higher performance but with increased detail) and it only increases price by 30% (that's 30% more cost for 300% more gaming performance), it's very limiting to suggest that people should only consider entry-level IGP solutions.

    Here's an unbiased conclusion for you:

    Intel has the better mobile solution at pretty much all price points - i.e. better battery life with acceptable performance (Atom) or better battery life and performance (Core 2).

    AMD has the better mobile gaming solution for less than ~$600, but it will still struggle with many 3D games and there are titles that it simply can't run. Casual gamers should be fine.

    Intel + NVIDIA or ATI GPU is the better mobile gaming solution for anyone spending more than $650, and in fact will win in every category except battery life tests (where it's bested by Intel-based laptops with IGPs).

    Amazingly enough, that's the condensed version of what I said in the conclusion.

    FWIW, QuickTime 1080p movie trailers run better on the Intel NV58, and so do YouTube and Google videos. ATI's drivers are better with resolution support, but ATI also doesn't provide generic reference drivers for laptops so the NV58 currently runs with drivers that are six months old. GMA 4500 should handle Blu-ray playback, but you'd need an appropriate application (i.e. PowerDVD Ultra) and a Blu-ray drive, which is not something most people add to a $500 laptop.
  • balancedthinking - Thursday, August 13, 2009 - link


    "You think gaming is far more important in a budget laptop than I do, and then you keep trying to put in me a corner that I'm not in. I don't think "NOBODY plays 3D games on laptops"; I think there are plenty of people that do so, but that there are even more people that don't."

    look at your previous post

    "Again, what percentage of laptop users actually play 3D games on a regular basis - or at all?"

    You do not even remeber what you wrote only hours ago...

    I am not talking about playing the latest blockbusters like "cod world at war" on a laptop with IGP. I am talking about those 2-5 year old classics that still shine and are very playable on the amd system and just not on the Intel system like Age of Empires 3, Anno, Warcraft 3, Flatout, Tomb Raider, Dungeon Siege, gothic, counter strike, half life 2, flatout and many more.

    Also very funny you bring up Spore as a game where the Intel IGP is supposed to do quiet well.

    "Does it also run on the Intel IGP? Yes, at roughly half the performance of the HD 3200, but still providing playability at 800x600."

    Intel is only able to reach half the performance because they leave out a lot of effects and it just looks horrible on an Intel IGP.">
  • strikeback03 - Thursday, August 13, 2009 - link

    "Again, what percentage of laptop users actually play 3D games on a regular basis - or at all?"

    Doesn't mean that no users play 3D games, it means that the majority never do, some small percentage play infrequently, and some smaller percentage would regularly.

    Also, an AMD blog is probably not the best place to look for a balanced view of an AMD/Intel comparison.
  • flipmode - Wednesday, August 12, 2009 - link

    AMD's mobile products have always been rebranded desktop products - which have always been rebranded server products. In the best cases, the CPUs run at lower voltages and lower speeds.

    Intel has, interesting, done the opposite, as far as I can tell. They designed the Pentium M from the ground up for mobile, and turned that into Core 2 for the desktop, and turned that into Nahalem for the server.

    This is all in spite of the fact that several years ago, AMD stated that it was placing mobile above desktop in terms of importance. But technology has a natural flow between the two poles of server and mobile, with desktop stuck in the middle. AMD chose to flow from high to low, Intel chose to flow from low to high. It seems that Intel's choice was the better one.
  • blackshard - Wednesday, August 12, 2009 - link

    Approximately it is true, but consider that these 65nm mobile AMD parts have absolutely no correspondence in desktop market. These are Family 11h processors and are a mixture of old K8 (execution units) and newer K10 processors (memory controller, power management).
    Actually Athlon QLs is the least attractive from a performance and power management point of view. I hope Walton will get some ZM/RM processors from AMD to make a clear comparison.
  • mircix - Wednesday, August 12, 2009 - link

    Ok. Great article and I have a simple question. I am interested mostly in Avid, witch is a professional video editing software, and 3ds max. 3ds for movie CGI. I'm not looking for a desktop's working station performace, but something decent. I've runned 3ds 2009 on a 1.6 gh and intel gms 950, hp pavilion dv100 and works. but slow. So, for closure: 3ds max and Avid : AMD or Intel? Thank you Reply
  • jamawass - Wednesday, August 12, 2009 - link

    Although the conclusions of the article are correct, the graphical charts for gaming comparisons are sneakily designed to minimize the tremendous advantage AMD has in gaming performance over Intel. If this performance is as unimportant as the author states ( Kia vs Hyundai) why not represent it in bar chart form like all the other results? As another poster said, testing games like the Sims or WoW would be much more meaningful on these platforms than FPS.
    I don't think anyone buys a laptop of this price for gaming but I've owned an AMD one like it and on overseas trips I would take FarCry along and fire it up for some casual gaming something I wouldn't be able to do on a similarly spec'd Intel laptop.
    We know Intel has the superior mobile design but objectivity would be nice so independent decisions can be made as to how important gaming is to a potential buyer.
  • IHateMyJob2004 - Wednesday, August 12, 2009 - link

    I really want a laptop for wordprocessing. All I want is a cheaper (processing power not needed) laptop with a high resolution. 1920x1200 is what I want but this also seem to be a segment that Every manufacturer is ignoring. This is how a utilitarian wants to use alaptop and I'm sure I am not the only one out there.

    And I agree with what you said. Unelss the primary use for a laptop is games and movie watching, the 16:9 and 16:10 ratio screen is stupid. Widescrees are in, but I view them as short screens. And short screen suck for word processing and software develeopment. Give me a 5:3 ratio screen! Bring them back!

    The only thing I am really curious about in terms of performance is how much better a low cost laptop is if it has a dedicated viddeo card with its own memory versus a laptop where the video card uses system memory. I'm mostly concerned with any lag that is associated with the video card due to how it uses memory.

  • strikeback03 - Thursday, August 13, 2009 - link

    See, plenty of people like the widescreens for writing tasks, as you can have 2 800px columns of text on a 1920px screen side by side. I don't like the current move to 16:9 from 16:10 though, that is obviously a step back. Reply
  • mczak - Wednesday, August 12, 2009 - link

    This article clearly shows that AMD desperately needs updated mobile platform (Tigris). In terms of chipset won't be much of an update (rs880m/sb710) but finally 45nm cpu (Caspian - probably same as regor for mobile market). Won't be enough to close the gap (those 65nm Athlons didn't do too well against 65nm C2D neither) but at least something more competitive (so together with the price advantage and better graphics maybe a competitive package). Reply
  • mczak - Wednesday, August 12, 2009 - link

    forgot to mention, that platform better show up soon. Against Intel's Calpella platform (with Arrendale cpu) it will look quite bad I assume, and even the graphics advantage could disappear. Fortunately for AMD, Arrendale shouldn't show up before 2010, though that's not that much time left... Reply
  • weeaboo - Wednesday, August 12, 2009 - link

    I don't play it personally, but I imagine that one of the most common game people play on their non-gaming laptop is World of Warcraft. On this kind of platform I think performance figures on the MMOs of yesteryear would be more interesting than a plethora of FPS games. Reply
  • 7Enigma - Wednesday, August 12, 2009 - link

    Agreed. People are not going to be gaming on the latest (or even last-gen FPS') but most certainly would probably be doing MMO games. And of all the games The Sims (2 or 3) should be included. That is probably the largest non-MMO game out there for the casual gamer, of which these laptops are perfectly suited. Reply
  • KidneyBean - Wednesday, August 12, 2009 - link

    Or how about Source games like Half-Life 2, Team Fortress 2, and Counter-Strike 2?

    Those should run faster than the latest FPS.
  • hyc - Wednesday, August 12, 2009 - link

    Very few vendors actually sell comparable models of AMD and Intel notebooks. I don't think HP's dv5z (which I own, and is already discontinued) is really comparable to their dv5t.

    And I've yet to find anyone selling an AMD laptop with 15.4" WUXGA screen. So far the only possibilities have been Dell or Lenovo, and they're all Intel. It's pathetic that AMD has the best graphics cards now but you can't get an AMD combo paired with the best screens.

    Show me an AMD notebook with 15.4" WUXGA LED-backlit screen. (Oh, and backlit keyboard too, please.) I'll buy it. I'm sick of seeing AMD designs getting the poor cousin treatment, I want all the same top notch feature choices the Intel models get...
  • strikeback03 - Thursday, August 13, 2009 - link

    You realize you can get an AMD discrete GPU with an Intel CPU/chipset, right? Which this article has shown that the GPU is really the only part of the AMD system worth owning. Reply
  • cactusdog - Wednesday, August 12, 2009 - link

    Nice review, it answered some questions i had. Reply
  • cfaalm - Wednesday, August 12, 2009 - link


    If you really want improved battery life, you'd be looking at an Intel platform with a high-capacity battery - or a MacBook.

    Talking about a price premium over a $ 500 - 580 notebook:
  • damianrobertjones - Wednesday, August 12, 2009 - link

    Or if Dailytech really isn't one sided towards Apple, then maybe the reviewer could also add a Linux build to the scene.. Standard laptop, linux.. what would the battery life be?????

  • hyc - Wednesday, August 12, 2009 - link

    Likely worse on the AMD system. At least, the open source ATI drivers' support for power management still doesn't handle all of the power save features that the chipset offers.
  • medi01 - Wednesday, August 12, 2009 - link

    Why not compare to intel notebook with nvidia graphic card? Reply
  • samspqr - Wednesday, August 12, 2009 - link

    the labels on the x axis of the power consumption graph are completely deceiving Reply
  • samspqr - Wednesday, August 12, 2009 - link

    (I mean the one on page 5) Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, August 12, 2009 - link

    As mentioned in the text, the graphs on pages 5 though 8 use a different format. I chose the format because I feel it provides a quick way of looking at relative performance. The percent labels aren't particularly meaningful, since the bars are not in actual percentages (though the bar sizes are). Reply
  • Spacecomber - Wednesday, August 12, 2009 - link

    Although I found the article interesting, comparing the advantages of intel based laptops to amd based laptops, I have to agree that the choice of how to represent the data in the charts doesn't really work for me. I understand what the notion was, representing the data as a kind of tug of war between the two platforms, but the utility used to create these charts didn't provide the means to make this clear. I'm a strong believer that charts should be intuitively obvious and that you should be able to interpret them without looking at anything other than what is contained in the chart.

    These charts have an additional problem when it comes to the representation of the gaming data (or any data where the same measurement unit is being used). You can no longer easily compare performance for the same platform across different games (or whatever the instances being measure are). For example, it is not easy to see in these graphs that some games don't have playable framerates, regardless of the platform.

    Anyway, while I'm sympathetic with the effort to try something different, I didn't find that it helped me to comprehend the data any better, and it seemed to be more of a hinderance, instead.
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, August 12, 2009 - link

    The problem is two-fold: I had a bunch of data to represent, and I didn't want a ton of small charts. I debated just putting in a table, but that seemed a poor way of doing things - especially since I can show the number labels and you get the chart plus table effect. The issue is compounded by units that are not easy to chart with each other - i.e. PCMark05 has some scores in single digits, some in the tens, and some in the hundreds. Do I break PCMark05 scores into 16 different charts, or does the "100% Stacked Bar" chart option provide all the necessary detail?

    I'm inclined to go with the latter as a reasonable compromise between the various options, and let people spend a few more minutes looking at the data to draw conclusions. It's great when a chart can be "intuitively obvious", but there are times when complex data requires a more complex chart. The net result is that I had a choice between more aesthetically pleasing pages and a single summary chart, or I could make dozens of smaller charts and get a cluttered page.

    I understand some people won't like the representation, but I've been playing with the data for the past hour and there's really no option that's as succinct. Some graphs (gaming) lend themselves to other options, but the PCMark05 chart and Application Performance charts have to be split up, put in a table, or something else.

    FWIW, I'll post alternative charts in a bit for those that really hate the current charts. However, I'm still a firm believer in requiring people to READ the text. I get the impression that many of the comments have only looked at a small portion of the text and are making a lot of assumptions - assumption which are, not surprisingly, incorrect.
  • Wellsoul2 - Wednesday, August 12, 2009 - link

    The Chart is still backwards compared to the first article on
    battery life. Idle is 111 minutes and DVD 242 minutes.

    It's reversed from last article.
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, August 12, 2009 - link

    Sorry... not sure how that happened, other than sorting charts in Excel. For some reason, the top spreadsheet cell showed up on the bottom of the chart, and so I resorted. Apparently I missed the numbers at some point. I'll correct the chart shortly.... Reply
  • mczak - Wednesday, August 12, 2009 - link

    Hmm, what about the raw numbers which should show minutes runtime? Idle has lowest runtime, DVD playback largest. That definitely looks wrong... Reply
  • Wellsoul2 - Wednesday, August 12, 2009 - link

    Yes...looks like you reversed the numbers. Reply
  • whatthehey - Wednesday, August 12, 2009 - link

    Reading comprehension is a great thing!

    "We are using a different format for the graphing than we used previously.... For this chart, equal performance is denoted by the 50% mark in the middle of the chart. A larger bar means better performance, and the numerical results (in minutes) are available for those that prefer raw numbers."

    Ah, yes, the percentage marks are entirely misleading! Shame on you AnandTech for making people read! (FWIW, I had no issues reading and interpreting the graphs, but then I'm a computer programmer.)
  • Ben90 - Wednesday, August 12, 2009 - link

    " quit looking ahead and pay attention to this paragraph! " You should have added that to the page before, my screen was already down in the chart when i read this :) Reply
  • KidneyBean - Wednesday, August 12, 2009 - link

    It's nice to see some humor in these articles. Nice to change it up. Reminds me of reading Mark Minasi tech books, and how much easier occasional humor makes it for me to read tech info. Reply
  • IntelUser2000 - Wednesday, August 12, 2009 - link

    Jarred, the 475MHz core clock on the GMA 4500 is wrong. That has been the clock speed for pre-launch platforms. The GM45's GMA 4500MHD runs at 533MHz. Minor mistake but still a mistake. Reply
  • HexiumVII - Wednesday, August 12, 2009 - link

    Can anyone comment on the performance of Aero with comparing the G45 with the X3200? I had a tablet with an X3500 that was a bit clunky with Win7 Aero Beta. It got a little better with RC drivers, but still not as snappy as 2D mode or dedicated graphics. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, August 12, 2009 - link

    I didn't notice any issues with normal applications in Windows Vista, but I don't know about Win7 yet. I will try to find time to do a follow-up looking at Win7 performance, and from what I've heard it's overall better than Vista (Gary for instance has it running on a netbook and he's very happy, whereas he hated Vista on the same netbook). Intel's Win7 drivers are likely still a work in progress as well, but at least you can get regular IGP driver updates from Intel. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, August 12, 2009 - link

    All I know is that GPU-Z reported the GMA 4500MHD as 475MHz. I would guess that either the utility is wrong (possible), or Intel gives vendors some leeway in the GPU/chipset clocks (also possible). If you have another utility that will be more reliable for determining the Intel IGP clock, let me know. Reply
  • IntelUser2000 - Wednesday, August 12, 2009 - link

    Just take a look at the datasheet, its that simple:">

    The GPU-Z utility is bad. It's nowhere near the CPU counterpart. That aside, Intel doesn't really give out reading the GPU clock easily, and the 475MHz was also what was used in the pre-launch(ie. beta) GM45 platforms.

    I heard Everest is more accurate, but in terms of actually measuring, there probably isn't one that measures the Intel IGPs properly.
  • IntelUser2000 - Wednesday, August 12, 2009 - link">

    Please see how G45(desktop version) shows on the GPU-Z. It should show similar thing to above, unless the newer version updated to change that its 800MHz.

    In reality, it isn't really measuring the clock.

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