Benchmark Results: Battery Life
Running a desktop replacement or gaming notebook on battery power is almost an exercise in futility. Simply powering some of these systems on eats up six or seven percent of the battery. We set all four systems to their Balanced power plans and specified that the display/hard drive were to never switch off.
We ran all four machines through two rounds of BatteryEater Pro, an excellent alternative to MobileMark 2007’s battery test (one product in a family of horribly buggy benchmarks). There are a handful of different workloads you can apply through BatteryEater, but we used the classic test running an OpenGL-rendered window until depletion. In other words, these aren’t the run times you’d expect when gaming on these machines. Rather, it’s a medium workload that should reflect constant use (another workload included with BatteryEater measures battery life at continuous idle).
Not surprisingly, the notebook you’d be least likely to use away from an outlet is Killer Notebooks’ Odachi. Maybe even more shocking though, is that Alienware’s m17x only lasts about three minutes more, despite its Core 2 Extreme processor and mobility-optimized chipset.
The two Centrino 2 notebooks steal the show when it comes to longevity. Eurocom’s Montebello is able to almost double the run time of the Odachi—never mind that it’s sporting a Core 2 Extreme X9100 running at more than 3 GHz. ASUS adds an extra 15 minutes on top of that, even though the G71 wields two hard drives.
We made it a point to emphasize performance over all else in requesting these machines. But it’s certainly good to know that even as Eurocom and ASUS trail in the benchmarks, they are able to redeem themselves in measures of efficiency. With that said, anyone who wants to play the latest gaming titles without a power outlet handy is still looking at a short-lived experience, regardless of the platform one uses.