Some of performance tests are non real world testing and often are the only real way to do a comparison that would be noticeable. In general, as you get faster components for your notebook, you will have to sacrifice something like battery life, added heat, or weight to your notebook. As a rule of thumb, the slower your components are, the more battery life you will get. It’s up to you to make the necessary choices and sacrifices to pick the configuration for your notebook to maximize performance and battery life, while reducing weight and heat. This section will focus on the experience as a user, as well as provide some insight into theoretical (synthetic) performance levels.
Battery Performance – Different Screen Brightness
Battery performance in my opinion is one of the most important thing about a notebook. It gives you the freedom of not being tethered to an outlet. The tests conducted give you a good idea of real world examples of what you can expect to get out of your notebook.
As you can see from the above, reducing the screen brightness greatly increases the battery life. Reducing your screen brightness in half gives you an additional 1 hour and 30 minutes of battery life. This is one of the easiest ways to increase your battery life without making any drastic changes to how you use your notebook.
Battery Performance – Worst Case Scenario
This test determines what is the lowest battery life one can get. Under normal use it is highly unlikely you will ever be able to even get this close. So this test will give you a sense of the lowest battery life you can be in with a fully charged 9-cell battery. To stress the CPU at 100%, I used Intel Thermal Analysis Tool. To simulate web surfing, I was downloading a large file (the battery drained before the download finished). I also played a DVD to use the DVD Drive. To stress the Integrated Graphics, I used ATI Tool. Finally, I put the screen at 100% brightness to drain the battery the fastest.
The Inspiron 1525 was able to achieve a battery life of 1 Hour and 28 Minutes. This is quite amazing considering how stressful all of these tests are. This means that if you use your notebook under normal conditions and with your screen dimmed lightly, you will be able to easily get through 2 Hour Presentation or a college lecture without having to even think about charging your notebook.
Processor and Memory Performance – SuperPi
SuperPi is a popular synthethic benchmark commonly used over the internet to test a how fast a CPU. In general, SuperPi will do better on a computer with fast memory speeds and tight timings.
With CPU at 2Ghz with memory speed at 667Mhz for a Core 2 Duo, it does fairly decent. When tested against the Dell Vosotro 1500 that runs at 2.2Ghz with memory speed at 667Mhz, we find the Vostro 1500 beating out Inspiron 1525 in calculating pi to 1 million digit precision by 3 seconds.
Hard Drive Performance – HD Tune
The hard drive is one of the slowest computer parts and usually bottlenecks every computer so it doesn’t seem as fast as it could be. However, rarely can people tell the difference between different hard drive speeds, without running a test like HD Tune.
The 7200 RPM SATA Drive is one of the fastest 2.5" hard drives you can get on the market. Even so, when compared to other 7200 RPM hard drives on the market, it is about 8MBps slower on average as compared to our Dell Vostro 1500 with a similar 7200 RPM Hard Drive. I recommend that most users choose a 5400 RPM hard drive because you will likely benefit more from reduced heat, increased battery life, and more storage rather than the small gains in everyday performance of a 7200 RPM hard drive.
Graphics Performance – 3D Mark 06′
The integrated graphics is one of the weakest points of this notebook. The integrated X3100 graphics is an absolute failure when compared to other notebook graphics solutions, even entry level desktop graphic chips. In 3D Mark 06, a popular benchmark used to determine system performance, with an emphasis on graphics performance, the Inspiron 1525 resulted in a measly 560 Points. To put this into perspective, an entry level 7200GS desktop graphics has no problem scoring above 1,000 points.
Graphics Performance – World of Warcraft
One of the most popular game on the internet is Word of Warcraft (WOW). However, if you decide to play WOW on this notebook, you will likely end up disappointed. This notebook can barely deliver decent gaming performance at 800×600 resolution and with all settings set to low. So unless you are not planning on playing 3D Games, look for a notebook with a faster, dedicated graphics processor, such as Dell XPS line of notebooks.
System Performance – PC Mark 05′
PC Mark 05′ is a nice all around benchmark that tests overall system performance from graphics to hard drive to processor. Our Inspiron 1525 scored 4131, which is decent, but of course could be better. The most crippling part of this notebook is the graphics performance. If Dell would have given this notebook a non-integrated graphics performance, we would see this number go up tremendously.Previous Next