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Power, Efficiency, And Battery Life

AVADirect's W860CU: Mobility Radeon HD 5870 Vs. GeForce GTX 285M
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Given its Radeon HD 5770-based architecture, we are surprised to find the Mobility Radeon HD 5870 with higher idle power than the GeForce GTX 285M. Because it’s part of global wattage measurements, higher GPU idle power also affects the CPU Full Load test reading. The GeForce GTX 285M has higher GPU load wattage, while far higher power draw for the desktop platform shows why these types of parts are not used in notebooks.

Battery Eater Pro runs a small 3D demo continuously. Given the Mobility Radeon HD 5870’s lower load power, we are surprised to see that the unit provides less battery run time. A relatively short battery life from a desktop replacement makes it worth considering the spare battery option if you spend a lot of time away from wall sockets.

The average performance chart above gives us the “work” side of the efficiency equation.

AVADirect’s GeForce GTX 285M build edges out its Mobility Radeon HD 5870 version. The desktop PC’s superior graphics performance softens the fact that it isn't as efficient as the AVADirect notebooks.

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  • 2 Hide
    ksampanna , 15 May 2010 17:13
    I must say I was under the impression that mobility graphic cards are similarly specced versions of their desktop counterparts & perform the same. Thanks to AVADirect & Toms for making me aware of my ignorance.
  • 0 Hide
    tranzz , 15 May 2010 23:09
    Dirt 2 the full game has the benchmark feature at the bottom of the graphics options. You say it dosn't but I have double checked. Only diff is I run under XP.
  • 1 Hide
    Silmarunya , 15 May 2010 23:54
    ksampannaI must say I was under the impression that mobility graphic cards are similarly specced versions of their desktop counterparts & perform the same. Thanks to AVADirect & Toms for making me aware of my ignorance.


    Simple logic was enough to figure out it isn't the case. A Radeon 5870 is 11 inches long, way larger than you can fit in a laptop. It generates significantly more heat than a laptop can possibly dissipate. And the big one: a laptop has to be able to run on a battery at least for a while. It can't power a desktop graphics card for any length of time...
  • 0 Hide
    eriko , 20 May 2010 08:47
    I'd love to see the industry forced not to be able to name COMPLETELY DIFFERENT HARDWARE - ie.e graphic cards for laptops and desktops, via the same name.

    'tis common sense.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , 20 May 2010 22:26
    why? It's built on the same architecture. Thought it would be pretty obvious it's going to be a mild alternative considering the space it has to fit in. Portable gaming should be left to ignorant people anyway. Buy a DS
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , 30 May 2010 01:52
    I didn't see a mention of the max resolution of the two cards, the 5870 is the only of the two cards that can drive a 30" screen at 2560x1600 which is why i'm considering an upgrade.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , 30 May 2010 01:53
    I didn't see a mention of the max resolution of the two cards, the 5870 is the only of the two cards that can drive a 30" screen at 2560x1600 which is why i'm considering an upgrade.