Power Requirements

System Power Requirements - Idle

System Power Requirements - 100% CPU

System Power Requirements - Maximum Load

The power requirements at various loads help explain the battery life situation better. At idle, the Gateway Intel and AMD laptops are relatively close. AMD still uses about 2W more, but it's possible chips like the Turion X2 Ultra could close gap. We're hoping to get an appropriate ZM series processor to run the tests, but the real problem is when we look at load power requirements. Putting a 100% CPU load on the system using Folding@Home SMP, the 2W difference suddenly balloons to 15W. The IGP doesn't appear to be a major contributor to the power increase, as maximum load is only slightly higher at 17W. It's clear that the Intel processor never comes near the rated 35W TDP, since the whole system only uses slightly more than that when the CPU is at 100%. The AMD CPU on the other hand very likely does come close to the 35W TDP. That explains why the AMD system does so poorly in battery life tests that tax the CPU more.

Noise Levels

System Noise Levels - Idle

System Noise Levels - 100% CPU

System Noise Levels - Maximum Load

The noise levels correspond to power requirements, as expected. The Intel system is almost completely silent when idle, but the AMD system fluctuates - sometimes it's almost silent, but most of the time the fans spin up and raise the noise level above ambient. The AMD system gets noticeably louder under load conditions, although relatively speaking neither laptop is particularly loud.

Battery Life Compared LCD Quality


View All Comments

  • 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

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