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Application and Futuremark Performance

If the NBLB2 isn't that exciting to look at, the performance should definitely be there. The Intel Core i7-640M is a known quantity that remains an extremely respectable alternative to even Intel's mobile quad-core processors, and again the AMD Mobility Radeon HD 5650 will finally be able to stretch its legs. One of the perks of buying a notebook from a boutique builder like Cyberpower or AVADirect is that it's not liable to ship bogged down with extraneous software or pack-ins, either, so performance out of the box is stellar.

The Intel Core i7-640M in our review unit puts in a dynamite showing that proves it could very well be worth every penny of the $134 upgrade. It screams past every other processor on the charts and generally meets or beats the i7-720QM in performance, only losing to it in the most heavily multithreaded tasks. AMD's dual-core P520 with the same GPU also looks pathetically slow, but keep in mind that general application performance is "fast enough" for most people even on such a CPU, and the price is also a feather in the Acer 5551G's cap.

When we get into the 3DMarks they tell a similar story, although NVIDIA's chips seem to fare well here. The 5650 in the NBLB2 is no longer heavily limited by being strapped to an AMD chip and as a result performance improves, sometimes dramatically. The 5650 is also finally starting to break away from the last generation 4650.

It Isn't a Shark, Compal Gaming Performance
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  • rangerdavid - Tuesday, December 21, 2010 - link

    Love your articles and site in general, but please: When using your DSLR to take a gallery of photos, tighten that aperture down four or five stops from wide-open, as you currently take your photos (probably necessitating a slow shutter speed and a tripod). Yes, some shots lend themselves to nice blurry depth-of-field effect, but not everything.

    Keep up the great work and Happy Holidays to you all.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, December 21, 2010 - link

    I think you've got it backwards... I prefer to shoot at a 14 f-stop and ISO 400, since the low f-stops give you the depth-of-field effect. They let in a lot more light, but I prefer a good flash over the blur. But otherwise I agree; Dustin needs to figure out the pictures better. (Sorry, Dustin, but it's true! At least he's no longer using a point and shoot.) Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Tuesday, December 21, 2010 - link

    Oh believe me, I know. I'm getting there. Give me a video camera and I'll make it sing, but still photography utterly escapes me for some odd reason. Reply
  • rangerdavid - Tuesday, December 21, 2010 - link

    Note: NOT Trying to start a flame war.

    ...but I believe I had it right - yet it's confusing and I may not have been clear. A "wide" or "open" aperture is definitely a SMALLER number. This is a bit counter-intuitive. I should have said "tighten that aperture UP a few stops," even though I usually uses the phrase "tighten down" in common speech. I suppose both are common. The point:

    Higher f-stop = narrower aperture opening = greater depth-of-field = more of the laptop in focus.

    So I agree: Shooting at f/14 is a better choice than the wide-open f/3.5 or whatever he's using now. For more info:

    http://www.dpreview.com/learn/?/key=depth_of_field
    Reply
  • Deinonych67 - Tuesday, December 21, 2010 - link

    You were correct using the term "stopping down" in reference to reducing the aperture size.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stopping_down
    Reply
  • Stuka87 - Tuesday, December 21, 2010 - link

    I actually got a kick out of the isometric shot that is on the main page. It basically has a tilt shift effect on it, making it look like something you would buy for your daughters barbie dolls. Reply
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, December 21, 2010 - link

    Since it appears that high quality screens are available almost exclusively in glare finishes these days, could you do a review comparing the out of the box quality of the screen with the results after applying a filter to it? Mwave.com and Viewguard.com both sell filters in many sizes, so finding on to fit shouldn't be that difficult. Reply
  • hybrid2d4x4 - Wednesday, December 22, 2010 - link

    I second this request. I don't like the dull low-contrast screens any more than any of the others who regularly complain about these things, but I hate glossy screens even more. When I saw the picture of this laptop on the AT front page and saw the reflection of the keyboard, and that glossy plastic on the bezel, my gut reaction was: "Aw, FFS...". Reply
  • Meaker10 - Tuesday, December 21, 2010 - link

    Notebook manufacturers typically use different internal coolers for the quad core models, thicker heatpipes and better fans are usually used.

    Dont assume just because your dual core version was comfortable that it impacts how the quad core model may fare.
    Reply
  • CreateAccount - Tuesday, December 21, 2010 - link

    looks like a samsung or toshiba.
    reflective surface, who started this trend? It's never been cool.
    what happen to the brushed metal or the touchy plastic surface like the bottom case of the notebook? Bring those things back. That will cut the cost of the notebook. We don't need a notebook to looks pretty, we buy it to WORK! "WORK" that's the main purpose of it. Let those pretty stuff for A*ple, we don't need it.
    Reply

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