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Intel Core 2 Duo in mobile systems: unhurried renovation 
Published 2007/4/10
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The consumer hasn't already been in time to get accustomed to the last generation of Intel Core Duo processors, but there are notebooks on the markets with even newer CPU - Core 2 Duo family. Naturally, the aspiration of Intel to unify all sorts of processors is wholly understandable, even the user will only win totally - an unification, as a rule, implies the reduction of the cost. But it is necessary to acknowledge that we are a bit tired of these frequent changes. However, Core 2 Duo has all chances "to slow down" this racing, after all, unlike the predecessors they came earnestly and for a long time.

Presented this summer, the processor for desk PC Intel Core 2 Duo (the Conroe core) has demonstrated highly impressive power in comparison with both rivals and predecessors. However the most interesting is that for the first time in the last years all three sorts of Intel processors (desk, server and mobile) are founded on unified micro architecture.

ASUS A8Jp

Processor
Intel Core 2 Duo T7200 (2,0 GHz)

Operative memory 1024 MB

Chipset Intel 945PM Express

Display 14" WSXGA (1440×900)

Screen brightness, max/min
115/0 cd/m²

Hard drive 120 GB

Optical drive DVD±RW DL

Graphic adapter
ATI X1700 512 MB

Device of management touchpad

External connectors USB 2.0 (5), DVI-D, D-sub, S-Video-out, RJ-45, RJ-11, FireWire, S/PDIF-out

Network possibilities 100 Mb LAN, Wi-Fi, IrDA, modem 56K

Cardreader MS/MS Pro/SD/MMC

Battery
Lithium-ion, 4800 mA•h (11,1 V)

Time of working with batteries, full load/mode of the reading ~ 1,08/2,55 h

Mass 2,4 يك (with battery)

Size (W×D×H)
355×245×37 mm

Pre-installed OS
Windows XP Home

Retail price $1850

Warranty 24 months

Provided by
Datalux, www.datalux.ua

Good equipment, ergonomics, capacity and complectation ; the small size

Low maximum brightness of display

Successful replenishment in top-class universal compact notebooks

Mobile core Merom, that came on change to Yonah, in practice differs from Conroe only by corpse, developed facilities of energy consuming reduction and peculiar for notebooks frequency of the system bus 667 Mhz so even the official name of processor is similarly to Conroe: Core 2 Duo. But in contrast to previous generation of binucleus mobile processors the difference is highly essential: 64-bit instruction EM64T support was added, the volume of L2-cache was duplicated changes were introduced in micro architecture . The amount of transistor on crystal herewith increased from 151 to 291 million.

To distinguish the mobile version from the desk one is possible only by index: all processors with cache-memory volume of second level 4 Mb pertain to series 7xxx (Merom) and 6xxx (Conroe), but younger models with double smaller L2-cache - to 5xxx (Merom) and 4xxx (Conroe). This number has a literal prefix in accordance to the level of energy consumption. For the desk Conroe it is E (over 50 Vt), for present Merom - T (25-49 Vt). In future is also expected the appearance of more economical series L (15-24 Vt) and U (less 14 Vt).

The quiet conversion of the companies-producers to the new processor core, being accompanied with highly modest press-releases about configuration renovation of notebooks, extremely forms a contrast to the general euphoria on cause of the output of Core 2 Duo in desktop segment. On the one hand, such a modesty surprises if to take into account the significant architectural improvements in contrast with Yonah and appreciable increase of capacity in real applications, that's proved by results of our testing. On the other hand, Intel has put the maximum efforts for non-problem migration on Merom, and the new processor completely combines with the notebooks on the base of Core Duo. Additionally, the excessive marketing agiotage around it can only harm the sale of laptops on Yonah - his life-time on the market turned out to be too short.

So it's wholly possible to understand, for instance, the logic of ASUS, that even didn't change the names of the models. The first notebook on Merom that got in our hands is enough well-known to our readers - this is a A8Jp laptop, which analogue we recently wrote about. If not to take into consideration the new processor, graphic adapter and display then there are no any changes - a classical business-device with obscure design and an average mass-size factor.

One of the main innovations aside from CPU is a display. Wide-screen 14-inch WSXGA-matrix (1440*900) looks quite good - color transmitting and speed, sufficient for comfort work the level of brightness,to its minus is possible to refer only small corners of the review on vertical. So if you have chosen for yourself A8J series then it's right to buy this laptop on Merom only because of quite good display.

The minimal number of innovations does not surprise - nobody expected such a radical change of the model row in connection with Core 2 Duo output. The processors are completely compatible with existing chipsets on Core Duo and sooner they just deliberately will dislodge them in the future. And now let's consider in details what gives the user new CPU today.

The set of tests remained former - CPU Score from 3DMark06 package for estimation of the new processor possibilities in modern games, archiving and script perfomance in Adobe Photoshop CS and 3ds Max (render Brazil) packages. The only change - playing tests in 3DMark03 and UT2004 are counted out as now we are interested exactly in CPU rather than its ligament with determined videoaccelerator. Naturally, Battery Eater'05 is not forgotten: how the new CPUs will influence on notebooks' duration of working from batteries - today is one of the most important questions.

The results of research on productivity practically don't need comments; Merom does not leave to its predecessor any of the slightest chances. The advantage although is not so suppressing as has in due course demonstrated Core Duo in contrast with Pentium M but nevertheless impresses.But there is one nuance - the users again will have to pay the reduction of autonomous functioning time for increased speed. Certainly, one who wants to get the maximum autonomy will prefer less powerful uninuclear decisions with low energy consumption but nevertheless the result with one hour and a half with full load for nowadays is difficult to call even average. But considering the fact that our A8J model did not allow to install brightness of display more than 100 cd/m (while working from batteries) then commentaries, as it is spoken, are unnecessary.

In mode of reading the results are straight opposite that is confirming about a balanced adjusting of the energy consumption system. In general, one who wants to buy a notebook on Core 2 Duo but does not agree to donate the time of the work from batteries, will have to wait - first laptops with Core Duo did not please the person by high autonomy, but as a half of a year haven't passed, practically all producers have solved this problem, having obtained factors as minimum not yielding the best decisions on the Pentium M base.

Thereby, from the point of view of the Core 2 Duo speed , certainly, is a good step for mobile device onwards. What concerns the factors of the autonomous work, then it's rather not CPU developers fault, but an imperfection of storage batteries producers - unlike the first, their progress practically absents that is an observable brake for development of mobile PC market as a whole. But Core 2 Duo has bright perspectives - in a short time most certainly all leading notebook developers will transmit their own sorts of their devices exactly on these processors.

The question about the prices remains opened - if between Pentium M and Core Duo that are equal on frequency parity is saved, then how will be a situation with Core 2 Duo until is quite unclear, but after all the cost of the new laptops depends exactly on this in the first turn.

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