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Measurement and Analysis Tools
to monitor CPU frequency and voltage.
processor stress software.
stability test to stress the integrated GPU.
PowerDVD to play H.264/VC-1/Blu-ray video.
to monitor temperature and fan speeds.
as a 3D benchmark.
as a 3D benchmark.
Power Angel AC power meter, used to measure the power consumption
of the system.
- Custom-built, four-channel variable DC power supply, used to regulate
the CPU fan speed.
Our main test procedure is designed to determine the overall system power
consumption at various states. To stress
Intel Core 2 CPUs we use Prime95 (large FFTs setting) to maximize heat and power
consumption. For AMD X2 and Phenom CPUs we use CPUBurn K7 as it seems to tax
AMD processors more. To stress the IGP, we use FurMark, an OpenGL benchmarking
and stability testing utility.
We also test the platform's proficiency at playing back high definition videos.
Standard Blu-ray movies can be encoded in three different codecs by design:
MPEG-2, H.264/AVC and VC-1. MPEG-2 has been around for a number of years and
is not demanding on modern system resources. H.264 and VC-1 encoded videos on
the other hand, due to the amount of complexity in their compression schemes,
are extremely stressful and will not play smoothly (or at all) on slower PCs,
especially with antiquated video subsystems.
Our main video test suite features a variety of 1080p H.264/VC-1 encoded clips.
The clips are played with PowerDVD and a CPU usage graph is created by the Windows
Task Manger for analysis to determine the approximate mean CPU usage. High CPU
usage is indicative of poor video decoding ability on the part of the integrated
graphics subsystem. If the video (and/or audio) skips or freezes, we conclude
the board's IGP (in conjunction with the processor) is adequate to decompress
the clip properly.
Intel Enhanced Speed Step was enabled (unless otherwise noted). The following features/services
were disabled during testing to prevent spikes in CPU/HDD usage that are typical
of fresh Vista installations:
- Windows Sidebar
Video Test Suite
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