I am very excited and proud to present a brand new report from PC Pitstop. Given the outrageous traffic on our web site, we are able to see the absolute fastest PC’s in the world, what technologies they use, and why they fall into an elite performance standing. It took a lot of culling of the data, but I am pleased to announced the PC Pitstop Notebook 500. This month we will look at the fastest portables that money can buy. So let’s get to the results.
The CPU Olympics
Straight off the bat, we have a major upset. Sweeping the gold, silver and bronze medals, is a brand that most of us (including myself) have not heard of. PC Pitstop pulls the make and model from the BIOS, and three different computers all with the same brand (Clevo D900C) swept the CPU portion of this competition.
I actually thought it was a fluke, but on further research, the prize is well deserved. We called Clevo, and they are a Taiwanese brand that sells exclusively in the United States through resellers. Furthermore, despite the fact that the computer BIOS says Clevo, the product is marketed in the United States under the Sager brand. The Clevo D900C is the same as the Sager NP9262.
One reseller of the Sager NP9262 is PowerNotebooks.com. In looking at the specs on this portable, my eyes popped. It is one powerful portable supporting up to 3 hard drives in a variety of RAID configurations. But most importantly, the Sager NP9262 is the only computer that supports Intel’s Core 2 Quad Processor running up to 2.66 Ghz. That explains that. After the Quad 2, the next processor in the running was Intel Core 2 Extreme.
One last critical observation. AMD was nowhere to be found. The fastest notebook with an AMD processor came in 163rd place. Ouch. If you are a high end guy looking for a laptop, looks like you should steer away from AMD.
Fast memory access is critical to good system performance. All our precious data is stored in memory and crunched before arriving on our LCD screens. And here’s another shocker. Another clean sweep. But this time, the king of the hill is Dell. One model, the Dell MXG071, won the triple crown of the Memory Derby.
But then, I went to Dell’s web site to find out more about the MXG071, and it is not for sale. I called their sales desk, and they have never heard of the MXG071. I was starting to think I might be going senile at a young age. But after doing a few Googles, I figured out that there is a mismatch between their marketing model name and their BIOS model name. The MXG071 is the XPS M1730.
We contacted Dell to find out what they attribute their exemplary memory performance. We’re still waiting and we’ll keep you posted.
Graphics Speed Invitational
The next competition is based on the PC Pitstop 2D test. Many of today’s expensive graphics chips have smoking fast 3D performance, but we are only testing 2D at the moment. But then again, 2D performance is more reflective of the activities of your average user like you and me.
Again the results have an interesting twist. Dell takes the first two spots and HP/Compaq takes third in this close competition. But the biggest winner in this event is Intel. All three of the notebooks had an Intel chipset. And that is the twist. While ATI and NVidia chase high end gamers, the rest of us are getting the most performance from Intel chipsets.
In the near future, PC Pitstop will be adding a 3D test to our test suite, and then we will have all of the ammunition to sort out the king of the graphics hill.
The Hard Disk Derby
There is no secret that the slowest part of your PC is your hard drive. So if your hard drive is slow, then your entire system can come to a crawl. Dell makes another strong showing with the XPS M1730, and then the Latitude D610 taking the silver. Interesting enough, the bronze goes to the newcomer Sager NP9262. As mentioned earlier, the Sager support Raid 0, which is a unique feature that gives a nice boost to disk performance.
And the Winner is……
In order to calculate the winner, we had to figure out a way to average all of the scores for all the tests. It was no easy mathematical task. After looking at enough standard deviations and z-scores to make your eyes blur, we are proud to announce the winners of the PC Pitstop Notebook 500. Just like in Olympics gymnastics, the winners of the individual events are the same ones that win the overall prize. First and third place go to Dell, and coming in second, just by a hair, is the newcomer, Sager.
The winner’s ranking also shows the ranking of all the major brands in the market place. Outside the top 10, the ranking reflects the highest ranking achieved by that vendor. There are certainly some interesting observations.
I was really surprised to see Apple in the competition. In fact, we saw quite a few Apples in the rankings. But the highest ranking of an Apple was 85th place. Apple might have nice commercials but in performance…. not so good.
Many of the traditional big name vendors were also-rans including Lenovo, Toshiba, Sony, and Acer. All of these off-shore brands ranked worse than 50. They might have some nice mid range/volume notebooks, but their models are lagging for high end performance.
We’ll keep you posted at PC Pitstop, as we set our sites on finding and benchmarking the fastest desktops in the world.
|PC Pitstop Notebook 500 Standings|
|18||Hewlett-Packard||HP Pavilion dv2700 Notebook PC|
- * The Dell MXG071 is marketed as the Dell XPS M1730
- * The Clevo D900C is marketed in the United States as the Sager NP9262
- * Some test results are no longer available because they were run anonymously.
- * Only name brand portables were analyzed.