The Hardware and Performance

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The Compaq Evo N1015v notebook computer uses the ATI Radeon IGP 320M chipset for an integrated graphics solution. By default, the graphics buffer that is shared with the main memory, is set to 16 MB of the total DDR memory available to the system. This can be adjusted up to 128 MB but anything over 32 MB is going to be overkill for this particular chipset. Using this board chipset, the Compaq notebook is able to offer a medium-level graphics setup to the business user and offer a lot of features including TV out and video out among them.

I will show you a couple of benchmarks below, but I think it is important to see that this notebook is not what I would classify as a “gaming laptop.” Using an integrated graphics core is the main deficiency here as no integrated chipset is up to the levels that the best discrete graphics cores performs at. You can easily compare this argument to the current status of the desktop market: you have the discrete video (such as the Radeon 9700) and you have the integrated video (such as the nForce series). Obviously, the discrete is much more powerful and feature packed and the same goes for the mobile market. The Radeon IGP 320M uses integrated video that is just not ready to be called a gaming laptop. Gaming laptops are starting to emerge with the recent release of the M9 and upcoming release of M10 from ATI and the most recent Ti 4200 Mobile release from NVIDIA.

Gaming aside, the Compaq notebook performs well on the levels that it was designed to: office computing. Running Windows XP with Office XP and even some Photoshop work going on proved to be no big deal for the 256 MB DDR SDRAM machine. For comparisons in the few benchmarks I did run, you will see reference to the Compaq Presario 722US we reviewed back in July of 2002.

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These scores turned out to be fairly decent, but they are from a game engine that is years old and shouldn’t be taken to represent the gaming performance of the system.

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