AMD vs. Intel: 10 notebooks tested

AMD vs. Intel: 10 notebooks tested

Summary: We put two of the toughest chip makers up against each other to see which has the biggest heart for notebooks.

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Contents
Introduction
Acer TravelMate 4150LMi
Asus A6000
Asus W5000A
Dell Latitude D610
HP NC8230
LG LW60 Express
MSI Megabook S260
MSI Megabook S270
Samsung M40 plus
Toshiba Tecra M3
Specifications
How we tested
Editor's choice
About RMIT

Asus A6000
CPU -- AMD Turion 64

The A6000 is a goliath in comparison to the diminutive Asus W5000, carrying an extra kilogram of weight at 2.85kg. Many of the styling cues are carried over from the W5000, but some features are unique to both.

The A6000 has a 15.4in widescreen display that is stiffer than the W5000, taking quite a jolt before the image is unsettled. Opening the display is a two-handed affair with a lock on both sides of the display.

With a native resolution of 1280 x 800, the A6000 should be easy on the eyes after prolonged use. It has a glossy finish to the display resulting in a gorgeous crisp image but causes problems with reflections and fingerprints.

Graphics grunt was supplied by an nVidia GeForce Go 6200 processor with an impressive 256MB of memory.

Previously, the 6200 didn't perform well against several of the ATI-based notebooks in the older 3Dmark2001 test, however, in the new 3Dmark2005 the 6100 was the fastest.

Asus has fitted a slightly larger keyboard than the W5000 -- the alpha keys are no larger but many of the other keys such as Enter, Shift, Backspace and Tab are a more usable size. There was one annoying problem with the keyboard that should be easy for Asus to sort out and that is the keyboard legend for two of the keys is actually incorrect. Specifically, the shift legends on the [2] and the ["] keys, but the keyboard is electronically mapped correctly.

The touchpad features the same snazzy brushed aluminium buttons but this time the pad is wider and has a vertical scroll function on the far right side. The speakers are located under the front corners of the notebook and the audio is satisfying loud, but not as good as the HP or Samsung.

The LAN is only 10/100Mb, the WLAN on the other hand is 802.11g. The memory card slot caters for the same cards as the W5000 with SD, MMC and Memory Stick covered. There are four USB2 ports, the standard microphone and headphone audio out, and a SPDIF output for connecting to a surround-sound amplifier.

At the top of the bezel there is a voice recorder microphone and a small fixed camera, although our unit was not provided with drivers for the camera. The CD/DVD writer can be directly controlled for playback from a small control panel on the front of the notebook -- this means it can still be accessed when the display is closed.

It was equipped with a generous 1GB of DDR1 memory in the form of two 512MB modules, and can be upgraded to 2GB.

The A6000 was the only notebook we tested that featured the new AMD Turion 64 mobile processor. The Turion was clocked at a high 2.2GHz, making it the fastest clocked CPU of the group. Performance in both the Business application and Content Creation application benchmarks was significantly higher than the other notebooks, admittedly this was with 1GB of memory, but then again the Dell was also configured with 1GB of memory and it was soundly outperformed by the Asus.

In the "raw" CPU performance tests the Asus was again considerably faster than the Intel-based units were. Battery life was not as high as we had hoped at three hours and 14 minutes. The Asus ran quite hot, but with such a high clocked CPU you would probably expect it to.

Product Asus A6000
Price TBA
Vendor Asus
Phone 1300 ASUS88
Web www.asus.com.au
 
Interoperability
Four USB2 ports and good support of memory cards.
Futureproofing ½
Blistering performance, large widescreen display, good audio, low-res integrated camera but below average battery life.
ROI
N/A
Service ½
2-year limited global hardware warranty. 1-year battery pack warranty.
Rating N/A
Asus A6000

Topics: Processors, Hardware, Intel, Laptops, Mobility

Andrew Shepherd

About Andrew Shepherd

IPD:23666

Anthanasia Zafiris

About Anthanasia Zafiris

IPD:23666

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Talkback

8 comments
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  • hmm lets see he said.......If you simply need a powerful notebook without too many bells and whistles, such as widescreen display, and more importantly you want to minimise the damage to your credit card then definitely look at the Acer TravelMate 4150 priced at just AU$2299. I believe this is a ridiculous price and I think this article does not do justice considering what has been reviewed. This guy is an intel spokesman!
    anonymous
  • How about Clevo D900T ($2999)for a barebone system packs a punch with more features than most of what you have evaluated. Please expand beyound your current limited known Companies.
    anonymous
  • I know AMD v's Intel but Apple smoke them all

    You know a G4 15" is lighter, faster, and has long battery life. Ok it does not run x86 natively and is fractionly more expensive than the editors pick. At $3,649 for a fully loaded (much better graphics than those tested too) or $3199 for a base model. Seriously, for normal business use there is not much it cannot do against XP.
    anonymous
  • good review!

    Well I just bought an LW60Express, not the base model either, and I am very pleased, specially as I paid less than $2400. :)
    Jondalar-650a3
  • LG LW60

    I bought an LG LW60 with 1Gb RAM for just under $2300 (about 2 days before this review came out), and I pretty much agree with the review of it... The display and keyboard are excellent, and having the keypad is a HUGE improvement over other similar sized laptops.<br/><br/>

    The Instant-On works pretty well, though if you are watching DVD's on the train (on the way to/from work...) I have noticed that if there is too much bouncing around it just hangs and has to be switched off/on, whereas the Windows apps such as Power DVD just skip for a bit. Oh yeah, the remote control that stores in the pcmcia slot is brilliant, it even works with Power DVD, WMP, etc.
    <br/><br/>
    Overall, the review is spot-on with this laptop... I am certainly very happy with it.
    anonymous
  • Asus a6000

    You need to clarify which model of the a6000 you are using they all come with a letter designation after the a6000 (i.e a6000u/n/k/l etc)

    They are very different machines depending on this letter.

    The nvidia graphics on the a6000 is only available on the very highest spec and is not available everywhere.

    All the other models (infact any amd 64 notebook/setup) using the sis graphics have a MAJOR MAJOR problem.

    The SIS graphics 661/MX (aka mirage series) use the memory controler to allocate video bandwidth. on the SIS m760 setup the chipset memory controller is not present (because of the amd64 intergrated on chip).

    The problem here is that the combination results in a severe lack of bandwidth to the graphics chip (espeically when the cpu is throttled). Meaning simple XV overlay of video etc is corupted alot. It also means that Dual head must be droped in resolution.

    This is a serious bug, and is a testament to ASUStek's engineers (there are also other brands with similar issues) hastily putting together a platform...
    anonymous
  • LG LW60 Express

    I went out and bought the LG after reading your comparisons. There's very little information about the computer up here, and I don't think its even available in the U.S. Anyhow I took a chance and I'm very happy with my decision. I can't seem to get the type of battery performance out of it that your reviewer did but other than that I have to say for the price, the look and performance of the machine can't be beat. Cheers for the review, if I hadn't come across it I would have probably gone with a Toshiba.
    anonymous
  • Apple = Intel
    becherovka-089d0