Battery Life

We used MobileMark 2005 to test battery life. We limited testing to the productivity and DVD playback tests, as the Reader 2002SE and Wireless results are generally very close to the productivity results. Screen brightness was set to 3/8 on all three laptops, which represents a value relatively close to 70 nits.

MobileMark - Productivity

MobileMark - Productivity

MobileMark - DVD Playback

While it's true that power draw can be reduced relative to our AC power tests, the end result is that the X1400 configuration continues to lead by a large margin. The GeForce Go 7800 and 7900 GTX both apparently power down to a similar level when running off the battery, as battery life is nearly identical. Meanwhile, the E1705 with Radeon Mobility X1400 offers 57- 88% more battery life.

The productivity result in particular, lasting over 4.5 hours, is extremely impressive. Three hours of DVD playback is also nothing to scoff at, especially on those longer flights. Sure, productivity performance is slightly lower than the other systems, but it is doubtful most people will notice the difference. An extra hour or two of battery life on the other hand....

Power Consumption Closing Thoughts
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  • NullSubroutine - Tuesday, May 30, 2006 - link

    In the article the author mentioned the painfulness of disassembling the laptop system, however I disagree. While not being two thumb screws like on some desktops, after taking apart the laptop (which doesnt void your warrenty, as tell had me disassemble so to take the CD/DVD drive in and out to fix a glitch) after a few times, it becomes a breeze. I can take it apart in less than a minute.

    I would have liked to have seen the comparison of the 7900 GS vs the 7800. As a early i9400 buyer, I was plagued with the 7800 (didnt realize it wasnt the 7800 Go GTX until after it was purchased), there is some good info on i think its called notebookforums or something on how to overclock your gpu with some volt mods. I could get 485/965 on 1.3 volt mod, but it gets hot, and accept a 450/960 on 1.2v (default is 1.1) the 130watt psu helps (I highly recommend) and you should prop up your laptop. I use two 'crystal light cup packs' under each backside pad; I actually perfer it propped as it is easier to type with the backside elevated a bit.

    Unfortunetely, dell isnt shipping the 7900 Go GTX, otherwise you could drop that video card right into an older shipping model of the i9400. You can always slightly mod your case and put the 7800 Go GTX in there...but I'm personally gonna wait (and save money) to get the 7900 Go GTX later, or get the 8800 Go GTX sometime later this year if it is released (dell will offer it for the m1710 and it will fit right into the i9400). But this is only if I really decide to droop myself low enough to switch to Vista....shutters....I really hate MS for making DX10 Vista only.

    Also, Dell said the Memron will work perfectly (needing at most a bios update) with either laptop.
  • ElFenix - Tuesday, May 30, 2006 - link

    and what pipe configuration does it have?

  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, May 31, 2006 - link

    20 pixel, 7 vertex (I think), 375/1000 clocks are typical. I'm not positive what the Dell model has on clocks, as there is some variation, but it should still be quite a bit faster than the GF Go 7800. I figure the GF Go 7900 GTX adds another 20-30% in performance, however, as it has even higher clocks (500/1200 with 24/8 pipelines).
  • anandlurker - Tuesday, May 30, 2006 - link

    I'm glad that Anandtech include Source DoD for benchmarking, i love this game but when i bought my $300 7800gt just to play this game, the results were mediocre and rather disappointing for this kinda of price. I hope future benchmark from Anandtech include this game, it's a nice simple multiplayer game that seems to render 7800 series useless(pricewise).

  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, May 31, 2006 - link

    The fastest scores I've seen on DODS top out at around 67 FPS with audio enabled. (Overclocked FX-62 running 3.08 GHz.) The game is very CPU limited, at least with any reasonable GPU. That said, I find 40 FPS to be very playable on this particular title, though lots of people want higher frame rates.
  • turkster - Tuesday, May 30, 2006 - link

    you dont even need the modified INF drivers, the installed Nvidia drivers that came with my M1710 will allow me fix aspect ratio and set scaling options without any problem.

    For those interested my M1710 (T2500 2Ghz, 2GB RAM) with 7900GS graphics card scored 3805 in 3dmark06 straight out of the box with no tweaks or new drivers etc. This seems a quite respectable score and puts it considerably ahead of the 7800go. I havent done any further benchmarks yet but my experience so far shows that it is quite capable of playing FEAR at 1920x1200 4xAA perfectly smoothly, similarly FarCry and HL2. As such it would seems like quite a good option for those who cant quite stomach the rather steep price of 7900GTX.
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, May 30, 2006 - link

    So there is an option to do 1:1 scaling - I've removed the paragraph on this. I would have never thought to look in the drivers for this, and it certainly could be placed in a more prominent position. I guess I'm just used to older laptops that did this via BIOS/keyboard shortcuts. (I'm getting old.... LOL)
  • mrSHEiK124 - Tuesday, May 30, 2006 - link

    You actually can have the laptop scale resolution while preserving aspect ratio, you just need to install nVIDIA's desktop drivers w/the modified INF that allows them to run on mobile parts and then you can use the scaling settings built into the drivers.
  • ahmshaegar - Tuesday, May 30, 2006 - link

    Now I don't know about the Nvidia-based laptops, but I have the Dell Inspiron E1505 (with ATI x1400 Mobility) and to have the aspect resolution preserved when changing resolutions, there's an option in the control panels (both CCC and the old ATI control panels have the option to preserve aspect ratio when changing resolutions.) I'm guessing that it would be the same for Nvidia.
  • Thor86 - Tuesday, May 30, 2006 - link

    So, instead of reviewing DTRs, which it seems no-one really cares about, how about a review of ultra-portables?

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