The best mobile processor is...

Best mobile processor

Today's notebooks come with a vast range of processors, but will they give you the best performance? Our comprehensive review benchmarks 19 of the latest mobile processors, giving you an insight into the best chips on the market.

Intel and AMD are constantly developing processors, both for notebooks and desktops. To test their mettle of competing mobile processors, they were required to perform typical data processing tasks from word processing to encoding music to creating movies.

This review round-up compares the processing power of 19 mobile CPUs including Intel's previous generation Celeron and Pentium 4 based processors, the new Core 2 processors and AMD's Turion range of processors.

Test procedure
Five test rigs were used with all the notebooks running Windows Vista and 1GB RAM, at a screen resolution of 1024x768. All tests were run three times with the median value taken as the result. If scores varied by more than 3 per cent, the system configuration was checked and the test rerun to achieve consistent results.

To test the CPU performance we used the following programs: PCMark05 (build 1.2.0), 3DMark06 (build 1.1.0), Pinnacle Studio Plus Version 11 for video file conversion, Windows Vista Ultimate Movie Maker, Apple iTunes Version 7.1.1, Adobe Photoshop Elements Version 5.0, Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint in various stand-alone and multitasking processes.

Test platforms

Test computer Test processors
Acer Ferrari 4000 AMD Turion 64 ML-34/37
Acer TravelMate 3280 Celeron 530
Pentium T2060/T2080/T2130
Core 2 Duo T5600
IBM ThinkPad T60 Core 2 Duo T5300/T5500/T5600
HP Compaq 6710b Celeron 540/550
Pentium T2310/T2330
Core 2 Duo T5250/T5450/T7250
HP Compaq 6715b AMD Turion 64 X2 TL-56/58/60

Please note that the test rigs in this round-up are not identical. The graphics power amongst the notebooks is wide ranging from the low-end Acer TM3280 up to the IBM ThinkPad T60. However, in most tests — excluding the dedicated 3D graphics tests — the graphics processors did not play a significant role in the performance outcomes.

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startic posted a comment   

To say that core 2 "soundly outperforms" turion x2's without mentioning their respective prices is to compare apples to rockets. For a given performance, the (approx) price for core2 and turion x2s is actually the same! What is indeed true is that turon can only go as for as 2.4GHz which roughly corresponds to a 2GHz core 2, i.e. the top performance limit for the two processors is different, but for anyone with their brains still functioning paying the kind pf premium price that a 2GHz+ core2 (or 2.4GHz turion x2) commands is insane.


brennanc posted a comment   

I have the T7250 and yes it is at 2.00ghz just to clarify. Upgrading from a Pentium 4 to this is amazing


blaah posted a comment   
New Zealand

results aren't at all surprising. I would like to see how the higher c2ds compare with everything else. also, for the T7250, i'm sure it has a clock speed of 2.00ghz

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