Our last battery
of tests, for the GeForce4 440 Go infused Dell Inspiron, was
3DMark2001SE. This benchmark is driven by the Max Payne game
engine, designed by Remedy Entertainment. In addition
to testing CPU and Main Memory subsystem performance,
3DMark2001SE also makes use of DirectX 8 in various tests.
However, the GeForce4 440 Go won't support Pixel and Vertex
Shaders in hardware, so as a result, the scores scale
MadOnion's 3DMark 2001SE - On the road
Remedy's Max Payne
Engine, paints the scenery
Click for viewing
We also have
provided you the test run details in the above spreadsheet
snapshot. As you can see the GeForce4 440 Go does
score admirably, pulling in almost 5K 3D Marks at 1024X768.
Remedy recommends a baseline of 2000 3D Marks, in order to
have playable frame rates for Max Payne. The GeForce4
440 Go and Pentium 4M combination in the Inspiron 8200, has
plenty of power, even at the high resolutions we tested.
Also, interestingly enough 3DMark2001SE reports the CPU as
1419MHz. We're not sure why this is, other than
perhaps it is not reading the processor correctly.
Again these, tests were run with the unit plugged into the
wall for maximum performance and no concern for power
GeForce4 400 Go
Plenty of headroom
It just wouldn't
feel right, if we didn't overclock things a little bit.
The Inspiron 8200 doesn't have the ability to overclock the
processor. However, that didn't stop us from
overclocking the GeForce4 440 Go graphics card in our unit!
With the "Coolbits" registry tweak added to the system
registry, we were free to slide core and memory clock speeds
up a couple of notches.
We were actually
able to overclock the card quite a bit and achieved speeds
of 250MHz Core and 525MHz Memory Clocks, without a graphical
glitch or lock-up. We didn't stress test the system
for hours. It did however make it easily through a
3DMark 2001SE batch run across 2 resolutions, without a
hiccup. It was nice to see the machine break the 5K
barrier and we chalked up an additional 368 3D Marks, in the
process. The moral of the story here? The
GeForce4 440 Go used in our machine is clocked way down
below its top end clock speed. As you will note from
our pictures on page one of this piece, there is no heat
sink or fan on the GPU or memory chips. As a result,
heat is definitely something that needs to be controlled.
Obviously, one way to keep things in check is to keep clock
speeds down. We realized a 12% clock speed gain at the
core speed of 250MHz and a 24% gain in frame buffer memory
speed, at 525MHz DDR. (insert overclocking disclaimer here)
One word can
best describe our experience with 3D Gaming on this leading
edge mobile platform, impressive. These days, the
average end user has fantastic "work station" class power at
their disposal, with this new breed of notebooks.
Sure, you can crunch spreadsheets and Power Point
presentations all day long but when it's time to unwind, the
real fun begins when you pop in Jedi Knight II, Return To
Castle Wolfenstein, Flight Simulator or any other current
game genre for the PC. The kicker is that now, you
don't have to scale back image quality or resolution, in
order to get acceptable frame rates. In addition, if
you are playing something a little less demanding, battery
life can be extended exponentially, with features like
Speedstep for the Pentium 4M or PowerMizer for the GeForce4
440 Go GPU.
Let's also not
forget the LAN Gamers in our midst, since we haven't really
even covered that aspect of the feature set for the Dell
unit we tested. However, this Pentium 4M based
machine with integrated 10/100 Ethernet and GeForce4 quality
graphics, is an absolute natural of those who wish to travel
light but not sacrifice frame rates, as the action gets
tense and frag counts climb. On the other hand, as the
saying goes, this type of setup certainly isn't "ghetto" by
any stretch of the imagination. The design engineering
costs and expense of the micro-components inside these
power-house notebooks, drives cost up to about 2X a
similarly configured desktop system. However in the
long run, if you want your cake and the ability to eat it
to, or at least take it with you, there is no denying that a
powerful "desktop replacement" laptop, like the Dell
Inspiron 8200 with a Pentium 4M processor and GeForce4 440
Go, has more than enough horse power to host big 3D Gaming
fun on the run.
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