AMD Cries Foul, But Tests Show Battery Life Inferior to Intel’s

amd-vs-intelAMD is crying foul over battery tests run by computer makers and consumer electronics publications, according to a report in the New York Times. The chip maker claims that the standard benchmark used, MobileMark 2007, unfairly gives an advantage to Intel CPUs. From the article: “Intel is advantaged in this environment because they have optimized their architecture to have better battery life when the computer isn’t doing anything,” AMD’s Patrick Moorhead said. Well, isn’t that a good thing in general? Shouldn’t AMD be trying to make its chips use less power when they’re not doing anything? But here’s the thing: We don’t use MobileMark to test battery life, and systems with AMD chips still see worse endurance than those with Intel chips. Read on for our results. We took a look at seven different AMD machines we reviewed over the past several months, and how they fared on the LAPTOP Battery Test, which continuously surfs the Web over Wi-Fi until the battery is dead. In the ultraportable category, the HP dv2’s endurance was almost half the category average. ultraportable We tested three thin-and-light systems: the HP dv3, the HP tx2z, and the eMachines eMD620. With the exception of the tx2z, all were below the category average. tandl We’ve also seen similar results with AMD mainstream notebooks, one of which (the Gateway MD2601u) we gave an Editors’ Choice despite its short battery life. mainstream Finally, in the desktop replacement category, which is not known for stellar battery life to begin with, the Toshiba P305D–also an Editors’ Choice recipient because of its overall value–fared poorly on battery life. desktopreplacement This is not to say that systems with AMD CPUs are inherently bad–in fact, AMD chips beat out Intel chips in some respects, as we proved in our face-off last year. But to claim bias where none exists, well… Tip of the hat to Giz for the link.

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  1. Testing Geek Says:

    Your tests could also be viewed as questionable as BAPCO’s:

    1/ Brightness is 40%. Very few people use their laptop at this level.

    2/ You test no audio or video or games with battery life.

    3/ You do not disclose the websites you test. Are you doing Youtube, Hulu, ESPN.com, Disney.com?

  2. admin Says:

    We plan to make our test public soon. We’re just working out some kinks in the GUI. I’d be happy to post a list of the sites we test with. 40% is the default brightness setting Windows Vista and Windows 7 use in their power-saving power profile so I don’t think we’re wrong to go with Microsoft’s default.

  3. Testing Geek Says:

    Admin, thank you very much for the quick response.

    Most consumers don’t operate their laptops in “Power Savings Mode”. They leave it in the default mode the OEMs ship with. If you are going to use the “best case” mode, you should cite your battery life as “best case”. You portray it as “average” which it isn’t.

    Looking forward to seeing the web sites you test.

    Finally, why don’y you test battery life playing videos, music or games?

  4. Paul Haas Says:

    Wow, the title is exaggerated a lot. It should say based on Laptop Mag’s tests. As I read over your test methodology, it is very close to Mobilemark’s test. I would also like to see the websites you go to. When I run youtube, my battery life tanks and everything heats up. Do you test that? I also noticed that you regularly bash AMD notebooks. I only say that cuz you never test what they do well which is graphics and video. Oh well, food for thought. Don’t expect you to do anything.

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