Eurocom M98NU XCaliber Gaming Notebook Review

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LAME MT and X264 Encoding

In our custom LAME MT MP3 encoding test, we converted a large WAV file to the MP3 format, which is a popular scenario that many end users work with on a day-to-day basis to provide portability and storage of their digital audio content.  LAME is an open-source mid to high bit-rate and VBR (variable bit rate) MP3 audio encoder that is used widely around the world in a multitude of third party applications.

Audio Encoding

In this test, we created our own 223MB WAV file (a hallucinogenically-induced Grateful Dead jam) and converted it to the MP3 format using the multi-thread capable LAME MT application in single and multi-thread modes. Processing times are recorded below, listed in seconds. Shorter times equate to better performance.

The M98NU XCaliber couldn't quite keep up with the 2.8GHz Core 2 Duo X9000-based Dell XPS M1730. This test takes advantage of only up to two processor cores and is very sensitive to raw processor speed; so it's not a surprise that the M1730's faster CPU clock give it the edge over the M98NU XCaliber.

x264 Video Encoding Benchmark
H.264 HD Video Encoding

The x264 benchmark measures how fast a system can encode a short, DVD quality MPEG-2 video clip into a high-quality H.264 HD video clip. The application reports the compression results in frames per second for each pass of the video encoding process, and it is threaded so it can take advantage of the additional resources afforded by multi-core processors.

Unlike the LAME MT test, the X264 HD Video Encoding test can utilize more than two cores and it is also more sensitive to the amount of available processor cache. On the first pass of this test, the M98NU XCaliber not only puts in the best performance, but it manages to even beat a 2.0GHz Core i7-920XM-based notebook. The first pass is not as processor-intensive as the second pass, however; so when the processor is truly pushed to its limits, the M98NU XCaliber comes up a bit behind the Core i7-920XM system. Still, this indicates that the M98NU XCaliber has strong potential as a mobile HD video-producing workstation.

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