Last week we posted an article comparing battery life using two different Gateway laptops - laptops that were essentially identical, with the exception of the motherboard, chipset, integrated graphics, and processor. This was a subject that we wanted to investigate closely for a long time, but acquiring laptops that are anywhere near "identical" when you are looking at two completely different platforms can be extremely difficult. Moreover, even companies that had very similar laptops didn't seem to have any desire to have us review their AMD models. Conspiracy theory, were they trying to avoid cannibalizing sales of more expensive laptops, or some other explanation… regardless of the cause, it took us many requests to finally have a mobile showdown between AMD and Intel.


After the initial article went up dissecting battery life under a variety of situations, we have received numerous emails questioning our test methodology, complaining of bias for or against AMD/Intel, and offering other suggestions for how to improve the tests. The battery life article was always intended to be a short preview, and we are well aware of many of the differences between AMD and Intel platforms. This, then, is the rest of the story where we look at general application performance, graphics performance, and provide a full review of both laptops. First, let's start with a recap of the test systems - this time with full specifications.

Gateway NV5214u Specifications
Processor AMD Athlon 64 X2 QL-64
(Dual-core, 2.1GHz, 2x512KB L2, 65nm, 35W, 667MHz FSB)
Chipset AMD RS780MN + SB700
Memory 2x2048MB DDR2-667
Graphics Integrated ATI Radeon HD 3200
Display 15.6" Glossy LED-Backlit 16:9 WXGA (1366x768)
Hard Drive 320GB 5400RPM
Optical Drive 8x DVDR SuperMulti
Networking Gigabit Ethernet
802.11n WiFi
56K Modem
Audio 2-Channel HD Audio (2.0 Speakers with headphone/microphone jacks)
Battery 6-Cell 10.8V, 4400mAhr, 47.5Whr
Front Side None
Left Side SD/MMC/MS/MS Pro/xD reader
Microphone/Headphone Jacks (2.0 audio with S/PDIF support)
2 x USB 2.0
HDMI
VGA
Gigabit Ethernet
AC Power Connection
Kensington Lock
Right Side DVDRW Optical Drive
2 x USB 2.0
56K Modem
Power Button
Back Side Heat Exhaust Port
Operating System Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit
Dimensions 14.6" x 9.8" x 1.0"-1.5" (WxDxH)
Weight 5.8 lbs (with 6-cell battery)
Extras Webcam
Alternate colors/models available
Blue: NV5213u
Black: NV5215u
Red: NV5216u
Warranty 1-year standard Gateway warranty
Extended warranties available
Price NV5214u available at Best Buy for $500

Gateway NV5807u Specifications
Processor Intel Core 2 Duo T6500
(Dual-core, 2.1GHz, 2MB shared L2, 45nm, 35W, 800MHz FSB)
Chipset Intel GM45 + ICH9M
Memory 2x2048MB DDR2-667
Graphics Integrated Intel GMA 4500MHD
Display 15.6" Glossy LED-Backlit 16:9 WXGA (1366x768)
Hard Drive 320GB 5400RPM
Optical Drive 8x DVDR SuperMulti
Networking Gigabit Ethernet
802.11n WiFi
56K Modem
Audio 2-Channel HD Audio (2.0 Speakers with headphone/microphone jacks)
Battery 6-Cell 10.8V, 4400mAhr, 47.5Whr
Front Side None
Left Side SD/MMC/MS/MS Pro/xD reader
Microphone/Headphone Jacks (2.0 audio with S/PDIF support)
2 x USB 2.0
HDMI
VGA
Gigabit Ethernet
AC Power Connection
Kensington Lock
Right Side DVDRW Optical Drive
2 x USB 2.0
56K Modem
Power Button
Back Side Heat Exhaust Port
Operating System Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit
Dimensions 14.6" x 9.8" x 1.0"-1.5" (WxDxH)
Weight 5.8 lbs (with 6-cell battery)
Extras Webcam
Alternate colors/models available
Black: NV5814u
Red: NV5815u
Warranty 1-year standard Gateway warranty
Extended warranties available
Price NV5814u available online starting at $580

In terms of core paper specifications, the systems really are as close to identical as we can get. There are no AMD chipsets for current Intel processors, and likewise Intel doesn't make chipsets for AMD processors. We could try to go the discrete graphics route, but virtually all current AMD-based laptops include integrated graphics and that's part of the features equation. We're looking not just at the difference in processors but what the mobile platform as a whole offers from each company. Those familiar with current trends should have an idea of what to expect: Intel has the better processor (faster and lower power), overall chipset features are similar, and AMD (courtesy of ATI) has the better integrated graphics. The question isn't so much who will be faster in various tests, but rather how much faster. That's what we're here to find out.

Gateway NV5214u - AMD
POST A COMMENT

67 Comments

View All Comments

  • KidneyBean - Wednesday, August 12, 2009 - link

    It's nice to see some humor in these articles. Nice to change it up. Reminds me of reading Mark Minasi tech books, and how much easier occasional humor makes it for me to read tech info. Reply
  • IntelUser2000 - Wednesday, August 12, 2009 - link

    Jarred, the 475MHz core clock on the GMA 4500 is wrong. That has been the clock speed for pre-launch platforms. The GM45's GMA 4500MHD runs at 533MHz. Minor mistake but still a mistake. Reply
  • HexiumVII - Wednesday, August 12, 2009 - link

    Can anyone comment on the performance of Aero with comparing the G45 with the X3200? I had a tablet with an X3500 that was a bit clunky with Win7 Aero Beta. It got a little better with RC drivers, but still not as snappy as 2D mode or dedicated graphics. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, August 12, 2009 - link

    I didn't notice any issues with normal applications in Windows Vista, but I don't know about Win7 yet. I will try to find time to do a follow-up looking at Win7 performance, and from what I've heard it's overall better than Vista (Gary for instance has it running on a netbook and he's very happy, whereas he hated Vista on the same netbook). Intel's Win7 drivers are likely still a work in progress as well, but at least you can get regular IGP driver updates from Intel. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, August 12, 2009 - link

    All I know is that GPU-Z reported the GMA 4500MHD as 475MHz. I would guess that either the utility is wrong (possible), or Intel gives vendors some leeway in the GPU/chipset clocks (also possible). If you have another utility that will be more reliable for determining the Intel IGP clock, let me know. Reply
  • IntelUser2000 - Wednesday, August 12, 2009 - link

    Just take a look at the datasheet, its that simple: http://www.intel.com/Assets/PDF/datasheet/320122.p...">http://www.intel.com/Assets/PDF/datasheet/320122.p...

    The GPU-Z utility is bad. It's nowhere near the CPU counterpart. That aside, Intel doesn't really give out reading the GPU clock easily, and the 475MHz was also what was used in the pre-launch(ie. beta) GM45 platforms.

    I heard Everest is more accurate, but in terms of actually measuring, there probably isn't one that measures the Intel IGPs properly.
    Reply
  • IntelUser2000 - Wednesday, August 12, 2009 - link

    http://www.beareyes.com.cn/2/lib/200810/13/335/gpu...">http://www.beareyes.com.cn/2/lib/200810/13/335/gpu...

    Please see how G45(desktop version) shows on the GPU-Z. It should show similar thing to above, unless the newer version updated to change that its 800MHz.

    In reality, it isn't really measuring the clock.
    Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now