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This FAQ text is copyright dslreports.com
Reproduction of all or part only with our permission..
This FAQ is edited by: BA See Profile
It was last modified on 2010-07-05 03:58:24

10.0 General questions

What notebook should I get?

What notebook you should get depends on the type of use that you anticipate.
Will the notebook be used only on a desk, and rarely be moved? If so, then a heavier "Desktop replacement" notebook might be ok for you. These models tend to be larger, heavier, consume more power and run for a shorter time on batteries. Battery life may be insufficient to watch a complete DVD. These might range from 6-10lbs. These notebooks often have desktop processors in them, either because they are less expensive, or because the fastest, most powerful processor is a desktop one. (ex. fastest P4 processor, vs. low end desktop P4) This type of notebook tends to run hotter than a portable notebook. This may result in more cooling fan noise.

Will the notebook be carried as luggage regularly? If so, a more portable notebook may be in order.
I can attest to a 5lb notebook starting to feel heavy after a couple of hours at an airport, or on the subway home after work. A Pentium M processor or other "mobile processor" would fit in to this class. "Centrino" notebooks also fall in to this class. (see Centrino FAQ)
Portable notebook processors are designed to run on lower voltages, run cooler, and have longer battery life. Watching two DVDs may be possible, depending on model/manufacturer and battery capacity.

User GDATL has a very infomative post here:
»[Notebooks] AMD 'Anything' vs Intel's M-Series

What are common notebook brand names?

All of the major "computer" brands offer notebooks. Apple, IBM, Dell, HP, Compaq, Gateway, Sony, eMachines, etc. A few, like Toshiba and Fujitsu, are known more for their notebooks than desktops. There are also "boutique" manufacturers such as Voodoo PC and Alienware who offer some very powerful machines. But you usually pay for the power.

One up and coming name is Sager, which seems to have a very loyal following. There are also lesser known brands that offer good machines at a decent price.

Some of the premium brands may appear to cost more, but include much better warranties and service (not to mention reputation) than the discount brands. That doesn't mean one is better than the other. Quite the contrary: many discount brands offer a tremendous features to price ratio and have excellent reputations in service and support.

However, it does pay to research exactly what is offered in terms of features, price, warranty and after-sales service when considering a particular machine. Brand is not nearly as important as finding the best mix of features you want at a price you're willing to pay, knowing that the company will help you for a reasonable amount of time if there is a problem.

What are common notebook LCD resolutions? Native resolution?

Conventional 4:3 resolutions typically include: -

XGA (1024x768)
SXGA+ (1400x1050)
UXGA (1600x1200)

Some of the latest notebooks feature a 16:10 ratio wide-aspect display. The associated resolutions include: -

WXGA (1280x800)
WXGA+ (1440x900)
WSXGA+ (1680x1050)
WUXGA (1920x1200)

XGA = Extended Graphics Array
SXGA = Super XGA
UXGA = Ultra XGA
"W" Prefix = Wide
WVA = Wide Viewing Angle

Native Resolutions and Image Scaling
Keep in mind that when purchasing a notebook, selecting the unit with the highest resolution may not always be the best choice. Flat panel monitors, commonly referred to as fixed matrix displays, operate best at their native resolution. An XGA LCD panel for instance, has 1,024 pixels in each horizontal line and 768 pixels in each vertical line. CRTs on the other hand, have a very large number of scalable pixels that allow it to display many different resolutions.

If a user purchases an extremely high resolution panel and decides to lower the resolution, the image quality is negatively impacted. For example, in order for an XGA panel to operate at 800x600 resolution, the image must be scaled up by 1.28x horizontally and vertically to fit the panel. Since 1.28 is not a whole-number increment, interpolated algorithms or "scaling" must be performed on the image. The image is stretched and distortion occurs. This scaling method results in somewhat blurry and fuzzy text.

The best way to select notebook LCD is to view it in person. Choose the highest resolution that you're comfortable with.

For Windows operating systems, a "large fonts" option is available in the Advanced Display Properties. This will enlarge icons and fonts, making it more readable at high resolutions. To scale the entire user interface, a third-party software solution may be better. For instance, Portrait Displays offers a product called Liquid View which scales the user interface including toolbars.

Can I build my own laptop?

In short, no. Notebooks unfortunately can not be built in the same fashion as a desktop PC by purchasing all of the components and putting it together. At most, you can purchase a "whitebox" variety that is sold without cpu, memory, hard drive or operating system. However, you still can't build your own notebook from the ground up like you can with a pc.

Do manufacturers build their own notebooks?

If you have just purchased a notebook from Dell, Compaq, Apple, or even eMachines, you might be surprised to know that they didn't actually build your notebook. Most manufacturers, both large and small most often do not build their own notebooks. What they do is purchase them from ODM's (Original Design Manufacturers) and customize the notebooks as their own. There are in fact only a handful of ODM's who supply most of the major manufacturers with their barebone notebooks. Compal Electronics, Arima, Quanta Computer, and Inventec are a few of these ODM's. Don't be surprised to find that your Dell notebook looks very similar to another brand notebook. It is common to find very similar, if not identical, notebooks but with different manufacturer nameplates.

Here is a thread that has some good information:
»[Notebooks] Is it true that Sony?

What about gaming on a laptop?

Gaming usually is more GPU bound than CPU bound, meaning, the GPU will make a bigger difference in gaming performance than the CPU.

Most lower end (or even the super-mobile) notebooks don't have a dedicated GPU. Instead, they have intel integrated "extreme" graphics, which is DX7 level hardware. No pixel shading. This usually results in substandard gaming.

However, more and more midrange and Desktop-replacement notebooks are beginning to feature gaming GPU's that have been modified (usually with clock gating) to lessen power consumption when the GPU isn't being used for gaming.

Game-worthy mobile GPU's:

Geforce 2 go (aging, but okay) DX7
Geforce 4 go DX8 (the 4x0 series is DX7)
Geforce fx 56xx go DX9
Geforce fx 5200 go DX9 (marginal performance)
Geforce fx 6800 go DX9 »nvidia.com/page/go_6800.html
Mobility Radeon 7500 DX7 (also aging, but okay)
Mobility Radeon 9000 DX8.1
Mobility Radeon 9600 DX9
Mobility Radeon 9700 DX9
Mobility Radeon 9800 DX9
Mobility Radeon X800: ati.com/products/mobilityradeonx800/in..

While this list isn't complete, it does give a general idea.

ATI Mobile cards: »ati.com/products/mobile.html
Nvidia Mobile cards: »nvidia.com/page/mobile.html

typo corrected 11/20/04
updated 01/01/05 thanks DSLarggggg
updated 02/12/05 thanks Nerdtalker

What is Centrino Technology?

Centrino Mobile Technology is a combination of 3 Intel components found in the same notebook. These components are:

1. Intel Pentium M based Processor
2. Intel 855 Chipset Family or the Mobile Intel 915 Express chipset.
3. Intel Pro/Wireless Connection

In order for a notebook to be labelled as having "Centrino Mobile Technology", all three components must be available in the notebook. It is a common misconception that "Centrino" is a processor, but it is the combination of the three components listed above.

Centrino Duo Mobile Technology
This is simply an extension of the existing Centrino platform. A Centrino Duo system includes the Intel Core Duo or Core 2 Duo Mobile Processor, the newer 945 Express chipset, and the tri-mode Intel Pro/Wireless 3945ABG adapter.

For more processor information please see:
»Notebook and Laptop FAQ »What processors are commonly used in notebooks?

What does DTR mean in reference to notebooks?

DTR is an abbreviation for Desktop Replacement. Generally this abbreviation is reserved for the larger, heavier and more powerful notebooks that can be used as a replacement for one's desktop PC. These notebooks typically have large (15.4") screens, a non-mobile processor (such as a pentium 4 processor), weigh above 6 pounds and have a low battery life (usually 2 hours or less). Not everyone purchases notebooks for portability. Some people prefer having less clutter and a DTR notebook will offer them exactly that.

Can I upgrade my notebook?

Yes. Almost all notebooks that are sold can be upgraded in one way or another. The most common upgrade would be to add more RAM or a larger/faster hardrive. Optical drives can also be upgraded in many notebooks. Some of the more expensive, enthusiast notebooks also have upgradeable video cards.

Many notebooks ship with 4200 rpm hard drives, these can be a bottleneck, slowing down any processes that rely on disc access.

Although it is possible to upgrade your notebooks CPU, it is not recommended. It will almost always void your notebooks warranty.

As with any upgrade, always check with the manufacturer before attempting to upgrade any components.

Are notebooks only for people who travel a lot?

No.

It was the intent when the first notebooks ("laptops") came out, for them to be mobile computers. Today people find many other reasons for owning a notebook. A large reason is still of course mobility. Business men/women, travellers and students find that being able to easily transport their computers has great benefits.

Coupled with a wireless internet connection, many people love the freedom of surfing the net wirelessly and being able to do so in a variety of areas away from their work desks.

Students will find that a powerful notebook can replace their desktop for almost all of their needs, while taking up a fraction of the space.

What does the screen lingo mean in terms of screen resolution?

Also refer to »Notebook and Laptop FAQ »What are common notebook LCD resolutions? Native resolution?

There are many terms out there when choosing a notebook screen with each one of these terms corresponding to a different screen resolution. Below is a list of commonly used terms and their resolutions.
XGA    - 1024x768
SXGA - 1280x1024
SXGA+ - 1400x1050
UXGA - 1600x1200
WXGA - 1280x720
WSXGA+ - 1680x1050
WUXGA - 1920x1200
The higher the screen resolution the one more can see on their screen. However, the higher you go in screen resolution, the smaller the text will become. This can be rough on those without perfect eye sight. You should keep this in mind when making a purchase for a laptop screen.

Dell has a more in-depth analysis and pictures on the benefits of a screen with a higher resolution.
»www1.us.dell.com/content/topics/···n&s=corp

What is the Turion Technology?

Turion technology is AMD new platform to compete against Intel's Centrino technology. However, AMD is not requiring specific CPU - Chipset - Wireless combo to be claimed as Turion technology, unlike it's counterpart at Intel. Due to this reason, Turion technology battery life varies widely depends on the selected combo by the manufacters.

Usually Turion technology requires the following:

(1) AMD 64 Turion Processor
(a) ML family: 1.6Ghz - 2.4 Ghz TDP: 35W
(b) MT family: 1.6Ghz - 2.2 Ghz TDP: 25W

(2) AMD Supported Chipsets (integrated graphics)
(a) ATI
(b) Via
(c) Sis

(3) Wireless and Bluetooth (optional) connectivity
(a) Broadcom
(b) Atheros
(d) Others

For Option (1) and (2) Low power consumption should be your main priority.
(1)
It's very hard to find a MT-based laptop for some unknown reason. But if you were to look into low budget laptop, and does not see a need for 64-bit computing in the near future, it might be a better idea to look for Sempron Mobile CPU for faster speed. Ie. It's much more cost effective to chose a Sempron 3300+ (2.0Ghz w/ 128kb cache) over ML-28 (1.6Ghz w/ 512 cache.) Not only that, you would also see a lower power consumption 25W vs 32-35W.

(2)
Currently, ATI is claiming a larger portion for AMD-based laptop due to its higher performance integrated graphic Radeon Xpress 200M.

Sis chipset consists of an integrated Mirage 2 Integrated Graphic.

Via chips consists of an integrated Unichrome Pro Integrated Graphic.

Out of these 3 integrated options, only ATI is able to offer more graphic performance than Intel Centrino Solution. Also, all 3 options will consume more battery power with ATI leading the pack.

There are also real GPU for the laptop segment (full-size), the only two competitors are ATI and Nvidia in this segment.

(3)
As for wireless connectivity there are chipset makers for wireless. Battery life performance is important, but in a wireless laptop the user will probably want a better reception range from their wireless hotspot rather than saving 5 minutes of battery life (worst case.) Broadcom and Atheros power consumption is lower and has a wider reception range than the Intel's solution, suprisingly.

Personal Recommendation for long battery life: (1) Sempron (3000+/3300+)- MT-32+ Turion, (2) ATI Xpress 200M, (3) Broadcom chipset.

There are other factors such as LCD size/power consumption, HD configuration, and memory configuration that makes a big difference in battery performance. But that is another topic.

I have an Acer notebook and have heard about security issues

There is a dangerous ActiveX control on Acer laptops. This apparently affects laptops as far back as 1998.

DSLR thread: »Acer puts Active X hole on laptops

Link to patch: »Re: Acer puts Active X hole on laptops

20.0 Repair and Service

How should I clean my LCD screen on my notebook?

Over time, you might notice dust or fingerprints on your LCD screen. As they become more and more noticeable, you will surely want to clean them off. As long as you follow a few guidelines, you can easily clean your screen without any harm to it.

Canned air is a great cleaning device. Make sure you always hold the can upright and gently blow the air onto the screen to remove any dust particles. Most often, this will get rid of most of the dust. For smudge marks or fingerprints, you will need to wipe the screen. First and foremost, do not use a paper towel. As soft as they might seem to you, they are abrasive and over time will scratch your screen. Find a soft cotton cloth, or an electrostatic cloth used to clean eyeglasses. Always wipe in one direction (usually top to bottom). Do not use Windex or any other solvents that contain ammonia or ethyl alcohol, as these will cause your screen to turn yellow. There are several commercial products available*, or if you want, you can use just plain water or water mixed with a tiny bit of vinegar or isopropyl alcohol.

Following these suggestions will ensure you have a clean, and scratch free screen for years to come.

* »www.photodon.com/csc.htm

What does it mean to condition one's battery?

Over time, you may notice that your battery doesn't hold a charge as long as it used to. This may be caused by frequent charges/drains or infrequent battery use. It is recommended that you "condition" your battery a few times a year to get the most out of it. To do this, simply charge your battery to the fullest and then disconnect the AC plug. Make sure any power saving alarms or options are disabled and simply let your notebook run until it completely drains the battery and turns itself off. Plug your notebook back in and completely recharge the battery before using it. This conditioning or "cycling" of the battery will help it retain a fuller charge for a longer period of time.

Dell spare parts number

Oh yeah; the number for Dell Spare Parts is a {tough thing} to find. Here it is for those who need it:

1-800-624-9896

dial #1 I think for the extension option
the extension number is 69937.

From this thread:
»Dell Inspiron 8100 Laptop LCD problem

Thanks to Netbars!

Dell Inspiron 8100 Bulb replacement

If you have an Inspiron 8100, with the 15" display thats exibiting the "Flashes red on boot, then goes out" behavior, or otherwise know you need to replace the bulb, check out the thread below. Altho its specific to the Inspiron 8100 display, some of the suppliers, and tips contained in the thread can be useful to almost any LCD backlamp replacement.

»Dell Inspiron 8100 Laptop LCD problem

Have fun!

Tech Support Phone numbers

Acer tech support (US) is 1-800-866-2237 1-800-816-2237
Thanks pro7070

If anyone else has a number to add please IM 3sgte: »/profile/u/247350

30.0 Software

Where can I find drivers for my notebook?

The first place you should check is with your notebooks manufacturer. Most often, they will have a webpage dedicated to software for your notebook, and this includes drivers. Depending on your manufacturer, you should see a list of updated drivers if there are any. For example, a person with a Dell notebook can access this page: »support.dell.com/support/downloa···en&s=gen to find any updated drivers that may be needed.

If you do not find any updated drivers, you can always check the manufacturers page for the specific device you need the driver for. For example, if you need to install new drivers for your Mobile Ati Radeon 9700 video card, you may check out Ati's webpage for drivers. A word of caution though. Some video card drivers are specially made for notebooks. Be sure you are downloading and installing drivers intended for mobile products and not for a desktop.

Where can I find videocard drivers for laptops?

Manufacturers generally aren't interested in updating the drivers for GPUs in their laptops after a certain point.

For gamers, this means that they'll be stuck with old drivers offering marginal performance.

Luckily, severial 3rd party groups have started "modding" the infs of various GPU manufacturer's drivers.

While most of these work, generally it is good to check with the creators themselves to determine which inf is good for which GPU.

Most of these should be treated as Beta, however, after some testing, usually you can get better performance and compatibility than what you would've gotten with whatever driver your manufacturer provided.

ATI: "Omega Drivers" »www.driverheaven.net/downloads/index4.htm
ATI: "Mobility Modder" »www.driverheaven.net/patje/
Nvidia: (infs for drivers) »www.laptopvideo2go.com
Nvidia: Please read through the omega drivers website, see below. Laptops are apparently supported per the following quote from the driver readme:

QUOTE:
"OMEGADRIVE here!
These are my "optimized" drivers for the NVIDIA family of video cards/laptops.

What's New? (2k/XP 1.6177)"
/end quote.

Omega drivers site: »www.omegadrivers.net/ (thanks Deus)

Is there any software to manually set my CPU speed?

Yes. There's a great free open source software, and it's called SpeedswitchXP
»www.diefer.de/speedswitchxp/

This software enables you to force the CPU to run at the lowest speed when doing light processing (for longer battery life.) Or force maximum speed for doing heavy gaming (for better performance). And almost everything in between is possible.

Another popular option is RMClock Utility
»cpu.rightmark.org/products/rmclock.shtml

This utility allows the user to fine-tune various P-States (performance states) and the associated voltage levels. The maximum and minimum FID and VID can also be set so that the processor bound to a range of frequencies and/or voltages.

Looking for Webcam Software?

Don't like the built-in software that came with your new notebook, netbook or laptop?
There's alternative choices, some of which are free.

Listed below, in no particular order - are a few of them:

YawCam
Debut Video
MSN Webcam Recorder

40.0 Travelling

Notebooks and airport security?

»[Notebooks] precautions with notebook at security?
This is a question which has not been asked frequently, but I think a lot of us have thought about it.

There already is a thread (above):) it's a bit old, but the idea is there.

Thanks to Shaggy 2005, Telly Boot and others that posted in the thread!

50.0 Vendor-specific

DELL -Transferring ownership of a used system... defined here

You purchased a laptop, a used Dell system, and don't know who the original owner is, or you bought it from ebay or www.usedlaptops.com. Dell will only help the original owner, however you can transfer ownership via this link. Now you can use the laptop without transferring ownership, however getting support or ordering CD's for the unit would be difficult at best.

»support.dell.com/support/topics/···transfer

If you know who the original owner is or their address fill it out appropriately. If you do not, you can still register it with the service tag, and express service code. For the previous unknown owner put "No information" for the first name and last name blanks of the previous owner.

2.5 hours later and 3 support numbers just to learn that... ridiculous I say myself. However as least this is here so you won't have to go through the problems I went through just to obtain that piece of information for transferring a Dell laptop.

60.0 Processors

What processors are commonly used in notebooks?

There are several Intel and AMD processors that can be used in current notebooks.

Current Processors

    Intel Core 2 Duo Mobile (Merom) - August 2006
    Next-generation dual-core 64-bit mobile processor based on the "Core" microarchitecture, 667MHz bus, 2MB (T5000 series) or 4MB (T7000 series) shared L2, max. TDP 34W. Part of the Centrino Duo package which includes the processor, the Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG adapter, and a chipset from the 945 Express family.

    Intel Core Duo/Solo (Yonah) - January 2006
    Dual-core/single-core 32-bit mobile processor based on the Pentium M microarchitecture, 667MHz bus, 2MB shared L2, max. TDP 27-31W. Part of the Centrino Duo package which includes the processor, the Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG adapter, and a chipset from the 945 Express family.

    Intel Pentium M (Dothan) - March 2003
    400MHz or 533MHz bus, 2MB, max. TDP 21-27W. Part of the Centrino package which includes the processor, the Intel PRO/Wireless 2200BG or 2915ABG adapter, and a chipset from the 855 or 915 family.

    Intel Celeron M (Yonah) - September 2006
    Same as Core Solo except with 1MB and 533MHz bus, max. TDP 27W. Lacks Enhanced SpeedStep Technology among other power-saving features. Not part of the Centrino package.

    AMD Turion 64 X2 - TL-series (Taylor) - May 2006
    Dual-core mobile 64-bit processor based on the successful K8 microarchitecture, Socket S1 (638), 256 or 512KB L2 cache, 1600 MHz HTT speed. TDP is 31W to 35W. Employs PowerNow! power management technology. Core can slow to 800MHz.

    AMD Turion 64 - ML and MT-series (Lancaster) - March 2005
    Socket 754, 512KB or 1MB cache, 1600 MHz HTT speed. Features x86-64 technology. TDP is 25W and 35W for MT and ML, respectively. Employs PowerNow! power management technology. Core can slow to 800MHz.

    Mobile AMD Sempron - Thin and Light, Full-Size - August 2004
    Socket 754, 128KB or 256KB, 1600 MHz HTT speed. TDP is 25W and 62W for Thin and Light and Full-Size, respectively. Employs PowerNow! power management technology. Core can slow to 800MHz.





Legacy Processors

    Intel Mobile Pentium 4-M
    400MHz bus, 512KB, max. TDP ~30-35W, no HTT. SpeedStep down to 1.2 GHz. Considered EOL at 2.6GHz as it is being transitioned to Pentium M.

    Intel Mobile Pentium 4
    533MHz bus, 512KB, max. TDP ~60-76W, HTT and non-HTT variants. A desktop-replacement (DTR) class processor. SpeedStep down to 1.6GHz.

    Prescott (90nm) variant of Mobile P4 increases L2 cache to 1MB. TDP has also increased to 88W. SpeedStep down to 1.86GHz.

    Intel Mobile Celeron
    400MHz bus, 256KB, max. TDP 30-35W. Similar to Mobile P4-M, but lacks features such as Enhanced SpeedStep Technology and Deeper Sleep.

    Intel Pentium M (Banias)
    400MHz bus, 1MB, max. TDP ~22-24.5 W. Part of the Centrino package which includes the processor, the Intel PRO/Wireless 2100- or 2200-series adapter, and a chipset from the 855 family. SpeedStep down to 600MHz.

    Intel Celeron M (Banias) - June 2004
    Same as Pentium M Banias except with 512KB, max. TDP 24.5W, and lacks Enhanced SpeedStep Technology among other power-saving features. Not part of the Centrino package.

    Intel Celeron M (Dothan) - August 2004
    Same as Pentium M Dothan except with 1MB and 400MHz bus, max. TDP 21-27W. Lacks Enhanced SpeedStep Technology among other power-saving features. Not part of the Centrino package.

    Mobile AMD Athlon 64 - Low-Power, Full-Size, DTR
    Socket 754, 512KB or 1MB, 1600 MHz HTT speed. TDP is 35W, 62W, 81.5W for Low-Power, Full-Size, and DTR respectively. Employs PowerNow! power management technology. Core can slow to 800MHz.



Manufacturers can also use desktop processors and they include:

Pentium 4, Athlon 64, Athlon 64 X2
Pentium 4 Extreme Edition, Athlon 64 FX
Celeron and Celeron D

*TDP = Thermal Design Power, or the nearly the maximum amount of heat a processor can dissipate.

**EOL = End-Of-Life (aka discontinued)

Are there alternatives to the Intel CPU?

Yes, there are 2 other that are good conteders:

#1) AMD XP-M / AMD64-M / Turion 64: »Notebook and Laptop FAQ »What are the AMD mobile processors?
#2) Efficion : »www.transmeta.com/efficeon/effic···620.html

What are the Low Voltage AMD XP Mobile?

The Low Voltage AMD XP Mobile are designed for longer battery life by cutting down the voltage & thermal dissaption. At 1.25V and giving off 25W, making it a very attractive competitor to the Intel Penitum-M mid-clock (1.2-1.6Ghz.)

There are 2 different cores for the current low voltage (TD 25W)

Throughbred Core (256K level 2 cache):

AMD 1400+ (1.2Ghz @ 200 & 266FSB)
AMD 1500+ (1.3Ghz @ 200FSB /1.33Ghz @ 266FSB)
AMD 1600+ (1.4Ghz @ 200 & 266FSB)
AMD 1700+ (1.47Ghz @ 266FSB)
AMD 1800+ (1.53Ghz @ 266FSB)

Barton Core (512 level 2 cache):

AMD 1800+ (1.4Ghz @ 200FSB & 266FSB)
AMD 1900+ (1.47Ghz @ 266FSB)
AMD 2000+ (1.53 @ 266FSB)
AMD 2100+ (1.6 @ 266FSB)
AMD 2200+ (1.67 @ 266FSB)

What are the AMD mobile processors?

There are currently 4 different Mobile processors that AMD manufactures*.

1. Turion 64 X2 Dual-Core Mobile Technology (90nm)
2. Turion 64 Mobile Technology (90nm)
3. Mobile AMD Athlon 64 (130nm)
4. Low Power (wattage) Mobile Athlon 64 (90nm)
5. Mobile AMD Sempron
6. Athlon XP-M (end of life)

(*source: »www.amd.com/us-en/Processors/Pro···,00.html )

Why are Pentium M and Core processors clocked so low?

Clock speed doesn't really matter as much as it used to. And, since every clock cycle uses up precious power, Intel spent a lot of time finding a way to boost the IPC (instructions per clock) performance per clock of the Pentium III core. While the Pentium-M is loosely based around the P3 core, it is in no way ancient or outdated. It does incorporate many P4 features.

The added L2 cache also improves IPC performance, and the Pentium-M seems to be able to really shine in floating point applications.

Although clocked slower, the performance of a 1.6 Ghz P-M outpaces the performance of a 2.2 Ghz P4-M. The Pentium M is very roughly 1.5-1.6x as fast as a P4 for gaming. For 3D rendering, 2D apps (Photoshop, Flash MX), and media encoding, even a 2.0 GHz P-M cannot match the performance of a 3.2 GHz P4.

Detailed benchmarks can be found here:
»www.gamepc.com/labs/view_content···m&page=1
»www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/sh···x?i=2129

What is the Celeron M?

The Celeron M is not your everyday Celeron processor, given that it derives from the great Pentium M. The 65nm Celeron M is based on the Core Duo. The datasheets provided by Intel indicate that the Celeron M silicon has exactly the same dimensions as the Pentium M/Core Duo.

The distinction between the Celeron M vs Pentium M/Core Duo is that the cache and core is reduced by one-half. But users shouldn't worry too much about the smaller cache. This is due to Pentium M architecture has between 10-12 stages (unconfirmed), making it less dependent on the large cache size (as did the earlier P2 and P3, Celeron kicked ass.)

Now, there are 3 types of Celeron M:

Banias 130nm Core (900 MHz - 1.5 GHz with 512 KB L2 Cache)
Dothan 90nm Core (900 MHz - 1.7 GHz with 1 MB L2 Cache)
Yonah 65nm Core (1.06 GHz - 2.0 GHz with 1 MB L2 Cache, SSE3)

About performance, the Celeron M will outperform the P4-M brother by a good 35-40%. So the fastest 1.5 GHz equates to P4-M 2 GHz. The Banias core is about 5% slower than the Dothan. So multiply your chip by 1.4 for the Dothan, and 1.33 for the Banias.

By no means, the Celeron M is a speedster in this category, but it's a very cool chip and derived from the Pentium M/Core Duo, making it inherently low-power consumption. Although there are 2 draw backs.

#1) No SpeedStep (processor will always run at max. clock speed).
#2) No advanced power management.

These two combines weakens the Pentium M/Core Duo basic platform, long battery life. But user must beware that even with these two drawbacks, the inherent architecture still give its better battery life than the P4-M.