Will Core Duo Notebooks Trade Battery Life For Quicker Response?

MobileMark 2005, Continued

MobileMark 2005 Battery Lifetime And Performance Measurements: Analysis And Conclusions

Most readers will look at these results and wonder if the new platform really gobbles that much juice, or if the THG crew simply goofed. However, neither is really the case; we didn't mess up, and the abysmal battery life times reported are certainly not the fault of an enormously power-hungry CPU. It's far more likely that they come from the high-performance graphics chip along with its 512 MB of dedicated video RAM. Both of these suck a lot of juice from the battery. We'll explain how we arrived at this conclusion in the final part of this section of our review. Perhaps it's the combination of the chipset and the graphics card? Maybe, but that's pure speculation. What we can prove is that the test system put at our disposal has a huge appetite for power.

The following charts clarify further how truly high the average power draw was in our test system, including its power consumption, when compared to the other two test systems in all three different MobileMark 2005 scenarios. Then too, our Centrino Duo test system consumed an average of 31 to 34 watts. This value is far too high to attribute only to the CPU, simply because it isn't even that heavily loaded when running either office productivity or DVD playback tests.

On to some good news. In terms of performance, the Core Duo system shows itself as somewhat faster than an older Centrino single core system that runs at the same core clock rate. What we can't answer is why that speed difference isn't as dramatic as in the Office Productivity tests for SYSmark 2004 SE. This question should more properly be directed at BAPco, the guardian and protector of the mix of applications and the scripts used to put them to work in these tests.

That's it for the good news. We couldn't prove that the new WLAN module is more energy efficient than the old one, but we believe that's not the case.