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Old 06-18-2009, 04:48 PM   #1
Rob Williams
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Default Does MobileMark Need to Change Its Focus?

From our front-page news:
At Techgage, we take our benchmarking methodologies seriously, as evidenced by my post from earlier today. In order us to feel completely confident in our results, we need to make sure that we exhaust our methods from all angles, making sure that the room for error is as small as possible. Though earlier I was talking about CPU, GPUs and motherboard testing... there's another product that we often test that can be just as tedious: notebooks.

Where those are concerned, we again try to handle our testing a little differently than others, but one area where that's not the case is with the inclusion of MobileMark 2007 testing. The primary goal of this test is to exhaust the battery while running a realistic scenario, such as while getting work done or while reading an e-Book. The problem, is that it's not entirely realistic of a typical consumer.

The ever-outspoken Pat Moorhead, VP of Advanced Marketing at AMD, has made a new blog post talking about this exact issue, and I have to say, he raises some interesting points. I won't repeat all of what's said there, but the idea is simple... how useful is MM07 when it uses applications and scenarios completely atypical to the regular consumer?

The new question I raise is this... what's the alternative? It's difficult to compare one notebook to another where battery-life is concerned with real-world testing, because there IS going to be some variance. MobileMark tests things the exact same way with each run, so the results can at least be compared. It's a tough one. Either MobileMark is going to have to re-think how they do things, or sites like ours will be forced to write our own scripts (the former sounds great to me right about now!).


Inside MM07, The "measured application task times" for Adobe Flash Creation is 33.6%, Adobe Photoshop CS2 is 21.8%, Adobe Illustrator CS2 is 16.7%, Microsoft Excel is 16.6%, WinZip 10.0 is 7.1%, Microsoft Word is 1.1%, Microsoft PowerPoint is 1.0%, Microsoft Project is 1.2% and Microsoft Outlook is 1.0%. I ask, when you use your notebook, do you spend 72% of your time recoding Flash videos, manipulating and compressing pictures in Photoshop and Illustrator? Iím going to go out on a limb here and guess that that is not an accurate reflection of most of our usage profiles!


Source: AMD Blogs
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Old 06-18-2009, 10:43 PM   #2
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I think Anand made a pretty simple test. They too a bunch of songs, set them to play and the tracklist to repeat. Wrote a script to browse to a non-flash website every 20 seconds, then browse to page 2 and so on through all the pages in thea rticle, then it opens another article and repeats the process. Then just leave the whole thing running... very simple, you know exactly what's going on, and it's as realistic as one could get to a user scenario.
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Old 06-19-2009, 12:47 AM   #3
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Seems like a pretty reasonable way of doing things.

Though really, I think some actual use and interaction at the start would be warranted. Not sure what exactly... maybe loading up a 3d game, loading a level, then exiting?

I think simple base use that barely taxes the machine at all is a warranted test. But power consumption between reading a Techgage article and viewing google earth, or using iTunes for that matter makes a bit of a difference.

I haven't looked in a while, but song bird was a pretty fat and happy lil app for a music player last time i looked at it.
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Old 06-21-2009, 01:25 PM   #4
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We'll have to do something similar to AnandTech's script, but it might not happen right away. Any script is going to take some time to perfect, and we want to make sure it's going to last us for a while. I have to question their decision to not visit Flash-based websites, though. What website doesn't include Flash nowadays, in some form or another?

Gah, writing a script... something I so badly wanted to add to my To Do list! ;-)

It'd be wise to create more than one test, though. Here's what I'm thinking:

1) Typical User (Web-surfing, Music, IM, YouTube, picture-viewing, et cetera)
2) Business User (Reading through Word Docs, editing Excel sheets, using an e-mail client)
3) Reader (Reading an eBook)
4) Ultimate Load (Loop PCMark Vantage until it dies.. basically to see its 'minimum' battery-life)

Thoughts?

Stork, I really don't think many people load up a 3D game while on the go, especially on battery power.
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Old 06-21-2009, 03:20 PM   #5
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If i ever got a work laptop, 3d editing is practically all i would be doing.
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Old 06-21-2009, 07:56 PM   #6
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I'd suggest combining #1 and #2, or #2 and #3. One test to use the wifi (Which is why I like Anandtech's test), one test for video playback, and one test for gaming as a worst case scenario... since music + web surfing is something 90% of laptop users seem to do regularly with the machines, I'd go for that one. Throw in a Word doc or two to round it off, perhaps.
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Old 06-21-2009, 09:47 PM   #7
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Realistically, I would be playing music while working... So music is a def.
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Old 06-22-2009, 02:18 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madstork91
If i ever got a work laptop, 3d editing is practically all i would be doing.
You are of the extreme minority... I can't see many wanting such horrible battery-life on the go, or to handle 3D objects without a mouse. I could be wrong, but I sure can't picture it.

Kougar: I'll likely do something like that. What I'll likely do is make a script that lasts an hour and fits all that in, and then simply loops. Should be easy, really. Just need to find the time...
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