Will Core Duo Notebooks Trade Battery Life For Quicker Response?

Extended Benchmark Suite

Along with the typical THG notebook tests we normally run, such as MobileMark 2005 and SYSmark 2004 SE, we added a few additional applications that feature code optimized specifically for dual core CPUs. We also used some relatively simple techniques to create three distinct multi-tasking scenarios that involve running various applications.

The first and third scenarios (Multitasking I/III) both run two applications in parallel, while the second (Multitasking II) runs four applications in parallel. Courtesy of a home-grown tool, we can measure how long it takes for a test system to complete all tasks. The results from this homebrew test serve as a convincing demonstration of dual core system advantages.

In the following pages, we'll describe briefly which applications we used in our testing, and how we combined various applications in our three multitasking scenarios.

Pegasys TMPGenc 3.0 Xpress, Div X6.1

TMPGenc 3.0 can transcode various DVD video object files into MPEG-4 format. We also used a multicore-optimized version of DivX 6.1 to help complete this task.

Adobe Photoshop CS 2

By basing itself on Virtual Run Time, our script simulates real-time user activities in Photoshop CS 2. A total of seven images (66 MB) are opened, and seven different filters applied. Three of the filters are thread optimized, and the application itself is also optimized for dual core processors.

Grisoft AVG Virus Scan 7.1

We used this antivirus program to scan the installation directory for SYSmark 2004 SE for viruses. To obtain stable and reproducible results, it's essential to perform a preliminary scan before taking any measurements. That's because Windows caching features come into play only in the second run-through - they're read from disk into cache during the first run, and remain available from cache during the second run - which of course affects related test measurements. This trick prevents hard disk access times from imposing a measurable effect on the results measured. AVG Virus Scan isn't optimized for dual core processors, but when used simultaneously with another program such as FineReader 8, such usage illustrates an advantage for dual core systems nonetheless.