Asus UL80Vt: A CULV Laptop with Hybrid Graphics

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TEST RESULTS

All tests were conducted with WiFi enabled (unless otherwise noted) and screen brightness to a reasonable level (44%). Oddly, we could not find a way to prevent the UL80Vt's processor from overclocking to 1.73GHz. There were clock options in the BIOS of -5% to +5% but they did not actually affect clock speed. In addition, none of Asus' default power plans changed the effective CPU voltage, though a couple of them locked down the maximum clock speed to idle levels (1.06GHz). We used the Windows 7's "Balanced" power plan, but set it so the screen would not dim or turn off, and adjusted the plan when necessary to manually activate the discrete graphics.

AC Power Draw

Test Results: System Power
Test State
Gateway EC1803h
Asus UL80Vt
GMA 4500MHD
GeForce G210M
Idle
(screen off)
9W
6W
10W
Idle
(screen on)
11W
8W
12W
CPU Load
21W
34W
37W
CPU + GPU
Load
23W
37W
53W

Running on AC power using Intel graphics, the UL80Vt surprised us with its low power consumption, beating the SU3500-powered Gateway EC1803h by about 30% despite being overclocked. On load however the UL80Vt's dual core processor pushed its energy draw 13~14W higher.

Using G210M graphics was much more demanding, using 4W more than the onboard video when sitting idle. That will undoubtedly put a hurt on battery life, so HybridPower was obviously a good choice. With a GPU load added, discrete graphics comes at a heavy 16W cost. In theory, the 84Wh battery will last just over 90 minutes in this state. Despite the big battery, for games you'll still want to be plugged in.

Video Playback

Test Results: Video Playback
Test State
GMA 4500MHD
GeForce G210M
Avg.
CPU
System Power
Avg.
CPU
System Power
Rush Hour
(1080p H.264)
13%
14W
12%
19W
Coral Reef
(WMV-HD)
27%
17W
16%
22W
Undead Battle
(720p x264)
17%
17W
11%
25W
Spaceship
(1080p x264)
16%
18W
13%
26W
Iron Man
(Flash HD)
24%
15W
12%
19W

While both GPUs played high definition video fairly well, the G210M used less CPU resources, but demanded more energy. We already discovered a significant idle power difference but it seems that using the GPU's hardware acceleration capability makes it even less power efficient compared to GMA 4500MHD. On battery power, we highly recommend sticking with Intel's integrated graphics — it can do the job almost as well, and the battery will last a lot longer.



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