Testing Out the Latest in Laptops

 
 
By Anne Chen  |  Posted 2006-03-27
 
 
 

Intels Centrino Duo—the chip makers latest mobile platform—is the next big thing when it comes to enterprise laptops. During the last few weeks, Ive been testing a trio of systems based on the platform, formerly code-named Napa.

While Centrino Duos most-hyped feature is the Core Duo processor, formerly code-named Yonah, the dual-core chip isnt the platforms only compelling feature: With its faster system bus, wireless Wake on LAN and a single "smart cache" instead of separate caches, were really starting to see the convergence of mobility with desktop power and capability.

Click here to to see how Intels new power-saving chip—the dual-core Xeon Low Voltage 2GHz—performed in Rackable Systems C1000-L01 server.

To benchmark the laptops, Im using BAPCOs (Business Applications Performance Corp.s) MobileMark 2005. MobileMark 2005 tests notebook battery life and performance with a core office productivity test that models a mobile professionals workload.

eWEEK Labs has used MobileMark in the past, but these will be the first laptops weve tested using MobileMarks new wireless browsing module. Using the test, Im measuring Web browsing battery life in a wireless environment.

Another benefit of this benchmark: It gave me the rare opportunity to put a (pre-Dell) Alienware MJ-12 m7700a mobile workstation to use in a business context, as a MobileMark wireless server.

We also recently tested a Rackable Systems server using the Core Duo processor. The server ran much cooler than other Intel-based systems weve tested, which bodes well for the laptops we have in the lab now.

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