Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Acer Aspire 3830TG (i7/SSD) Subnotebook

Throttling reloaded. If the Core i5 already complained because of overheating problems, the Core i7 to do? Acer is not afraid to take risks and to establish a (potential) of the dream of mobility SSD, strong graphics and a fast processor and 8 GB of memory.

Some settings are timeless and will use again and again. Jumping for joy when clients fast SSD hard drive, a sound processor, a generous amount of RAM and good graphics come together in a handy little box. Especially when the price is low, as is the case in the Acer Aspire TimelineX 3830TG (version: 2628G12nbb).

For the first time we took a closer TimelineX 3830TG was in May 2011. Apparently the high quality of design, good input devices, a battery strong, and good performance impressed so far. We found a weak color display, a rather unstable, and the limitation Core i5 2410M (2.3 GHz) negatively. The latter fed by a series of discussions with readers, and probably also the reason many claims will be sent to the manufacturer.

Acer now opens a new chapter in its 3830TG and install a stronger processor. But how a Core i7 2620m (2.7 GHz) to prove whether the Core i5 overburdened cooling system? If Acer's engineers are active and installed another fan? Combined with an SSD will no doubt provide a performance boost, but it also reduces the residual heat in charge?

All answers can be found in this review, update Aspire TimelineX 3830TG. The details of a professional, user interfaces, connectivity and input devices can be found in the first 3830TG (i5 May 2011).

Specifications Acer Aspire 3830TG-2628G12nbb :
  • Processor : Intel Core i7 2620M 2.7 GHz
  • Mainboard : Intel HM65
  • Memory : 8192 MB, 2x4096MB, Samsung DDR3-10700, 667MHz, maximum 8 GB
  • Graphics adapter : NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M - 2048 MB, Core: 672 MHz, Memory: 900 MHz, DDR3, DirectX 11, Nvidia Optimus, ForceWare 267.21
  • Display : 13.3 inch 16:9, 1366x768 pixel, AUO B133XW03 V2, LED, diagonal: 33 centimeters, glossy: yes
  • Harddisk : INTEL SSDSA2M120G2GC, 120GB X25-M MLC
  • Soundcard : HD Audio
  • Connections : 2 USB 2.0, 1 USB 3.0, 1 VGA, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: headphone out (S/PDIF), microphone in, Card Reader: 5-in-1 (SD, MMC, MS, MS PRO, xD), RJ-45
  • Networking : Atheros AR8151 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller (10/100/1000MBit), Atheros AR5B97 Wireless Network Adapter (bgn), 3.0+HS Bluetooth
  • Optical drive : -
  • Size : height x width x depth (in mm): 28.9 x 322 x 228
  • Weight : 1.886 kg Power Supply: 0.356 kg
  • Battery : 66 Wh Lithium-Ion, 6 cell, 6000 mAh, 11.1 Volt, built-in, model: AS11A5E, manufacturer: Panasonic
  • Price : 1100 Euro
  • Operating System : Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
  • Additional features : Webcam: 1.3MP, 90 watt adapter with power cable, manual, Adobe Reader 9, Microsoft Office 2010 Starter, clear.fi, eSobi, McAfee Internet Security Suite trial version, Norton Online Backup, NTI Media Maker 9, Skype, Windows Live Essentials, Acer software, 24 Months Warranty, warranty includes Pick-Up & Return service and 12 monath International Travelers Warranty (ITW), color: Ice-Blue (blue with silver and black), 2 stereo speakers
Plate homogeneous case, the bottom plate is a real eye-catcher - Nothing has changed. Blue silk on the Acer logo shows a subtle understatement, with strong components. The weak point is a small torsional rigidity of the case. The base station apparently warps the time of treatment, or 13.3-inch device. In return, the lid and the surface is pleasantly drive its small thickness.

The 3830TG has a good selection of ports to offer. In addition to the usual suspects like USB 2.0, VGA, Ethernet, headphone and MIC, there is also an HDMI output (1.4a supports) and a fast USB 3.0 port that can charge devices even when the notebook is off.

The location of these doors is the largest 4830TG, but some of the ports have changed sides. No DVD player built in. Some of the ports are too forward, leaving little room to move an external mouse. In addition to the reader, there are no ports on the front edge or anyone on the trailing edge.

Internet and Bluetooth
Like the other models of the TimelineX, there is really nothing when it comes to Internet connectivity. In addition, the Gigabit Ethernet port, there is the current standard WiFi 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth 3.0 + HS. This is an empty space where the UMTS module otherwise agreed, but the model that we reviewed did not have a card slot UMTS, and brazing groove after the purchase is not even an option.

But 3830TG-2628G12Mnbb composition essentially the same laptop comes with both UMTS slot where the SIM card can be added. This configuration will cost around 400 euros more than we checked, but has a powerful processor and the SSD, in return.

Not many accessories included with the laptop. Apart from the power of 90 watts and the usual documentation (manuals, etc.), there is no recovery disk because the data is stored on the hard drive itself. The laptop runs by default in Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium (64 bit) operating system.

Acer does not skimp on software, pre-installation of a ton of software on the hard disk. Of these, however, only Adobe Reader Office 2010 Starter and Skype are really useful. The rest of the program should be uninstalled for the benefit of better performance.

Acer offers a standard 24 month warranty, including pickup and return service with the guarantee of international travelers to start (ITW, 12 months). The warranty can be extended to 36 or 48 months upon request. Depending on the specific extended warranty package you choose, it will run you somewhere between 79 and 179 euros.

Input Devices
A high quality design, unique key is used in the Acer Aspire 4830TG. Almost all the keys almost "independent" and are surprisingly comfortable to use. This provision is not new to Acer, and has been used in the range of high quality, Aspire Ethos. The keyboard has two minor flaws, however, of beauty, if desired.

Two keys are arranged as a duo. One is the "enter" and "#" and the other is the shift key and left " </> ". They do not have a hole. This can quickly lead to spelling errors, because the Enter key and the arrow keys are among the most used. The arrow keys also be quite low in this provision.

The touchpad is mounted slightly to the left front of the keyboard, and the color is combined with another. The touch pad reacts quickly enough, and supports multi-touch gestures and multi-finger. In addition, has a range of horizontal and vertical scrolling.

There are two separate buttons in front of the touchpad mouse. You can disable the touchpad unceremoniously through a combination of Fn + F7 keys. It 'very useful, especially gaming, or write an e-mail. Repeatedly pressing this combination makes the touchpad again.

An LED display brightness V2 AUO B133XW03 model reproduces the elements of the color image at a resolution of 1366x768 pixels. The screen is the same as in the test device-3830TG 2414G75nbb May 2011. As a result, the rate of the test are equally poor - the lowest contrast 163:1, brightness low (~ 186 cd/m2) and minute of colors of the spectrum. Acer expected to be built in the TimelineX screen in high-quality premium and break.

As is typical of the cheap TN panel, the viewing angles are just as bad as the suitability for use in daylight. Brightness is too low, so that it (should be 300 cd/m2), and the ruins of the reflected image of the type of annoying reflections. Side view of the color will remain constant up to about 45 degrees. Further twist to turn color and well-known ghost. They are particularly aggravating when many people look at the pictures, games or movies at the same time.

The Dual Core i7-2620m (2x2.70 GHz, 32 nm) is the strongest Aspire 3830TG configuration. It replaces the Core i5-2410M for the cheaper version, respectively, the test device in May 2011. Core i7 may seem large for a subnotebook, but Portégé R830 Toshiba 10V, Dell Vostro 3350 is, Sony Vaio, Fujitsu Lifebook S761 and display Z21Q9E 2620m 35 watt sub-notebook processor to the test.

The processor can overclock to 3.4 GHz with Turbo Boost 2.0. The so-called "limits of dynamic frequency ranges @ Turbo" can even increase the clock a few notches provides cooling is good. That's the theory. How Aspire 3830TG offers this practical use we will see in a moment.

Experimented with GeForce GT 540M, as Optimus (off of the GPU for a PGI, Intel HD Graphics 3000), using the graphics card. And 'the strongest, the GPU is able to play when you install a 13.3-inch. In addition, an 8 GB of RAM and SSD, which offers storage capacity of 120 GB.

Cooling system is strong enough to allow the i7-2620m to develop its performance standard (as in large laptops)? According to the parameters of the CPU, that is. The 2620m 3.11 points doing very well in the CPU Cinebench R11.5 (multi core). It's the same score as the 15.6-inch Latitude e6520 Dell Vostro 3550 or achievement. 13.3 inch CPU devices that are less than that. Examples include the Fujitsu Lifebook S761 or the Sony Vaio PCV-SA2Z9E (3.0 points). The MacBook Pro 13 2011-02 only managed 2.6 points, due to its huge limitation.

Positive: We repeated the Cinebench score several times and repeatedly obtained the same result. After Prime95 (CPU 100%) after Furmark (GPU), and after two stress tests were performed at the same time: it remained at 3.11 points. Meanwhile, the stable clock frequency to 3.2 GHz (Turbo). Verdict: The Core i7-2620m calculates the expected level of CPU performance only. Cooling is sufficient for this.

We check what happens when the 3D performance, so that the load of the GPU is added at the same time, Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (BFBC2). Cinebench R10 single / multi-R11.5, and many can now be computed at 1.2 GHz This significantly reduces the points. It takes about 60 seconds to restart the clock to reach 3.3 GHz, then the game is over.

What is the return of the look overall performance of the CPU, graphics, RAM and SSD? PCMark Vantage and PCMark 7 provide information. A total of 12 371 has 3928 points are very strong. Sony Vaio VPC-SA2Z9E / B (same CPU) is also "only" reached 10 833: 3448 points has the SSD. Asus U36SD (SSD, I5) is also slightly weaker with the 9431-2861 points, which is due to a slower CPU and less GPU.

Desktop or laptop computers strange game with four cores (or 2630QM 2920XM) are not compatible with a score significantly higher, and partly even show lower scores. Examples would be the Alienware M18x (PCMark 7, 4579), the Fujitsu Celsius H710 WXP11DE (3695) and XMG P501 PRO (4208). 2620m normal laptops without SSD only reach about 2000 points (Vostro 3350). The devices also have a name card. Therefore, it is remarkable that a small 13.3-inch device closes the performance of the machine with the DSS.

Excellent results in application performance is a practical reason: the Intel X25-M SSD. PCMark Vantage HDD drives the rating is 21 965 points. Although this is not the highest quality solid-state (30-40000, for example, Schenker XMG A501), players like the Alienware M11x R3 (17 701, the Samsung SSD PM800 2) Vaio subnotebook or SA2Z9E (15 599, MZRPA128HMCD the Samsung RAID0) behind.

Recently tested the Asus U36SD (21410, the Intel SSD 320 series) is not keeping pace because of the SSD. Laptops with a rotating disk (7200 rpm) to reach a maximum of 7000 points (for example, the Seagate Momentus XT Hybrid HDDs, Toshiba Qosmio X770-10J).

GeForce GT 540 offers 3D performance (1024 MB DDR3) is almost always just below normal levels. Clock 672/900 MHz (core / memory) corresponds to the standard specifications. 3DMark 2006 (1280x1024) ends with 7806 points - a score typical of the CPU-GPU configuration. The 3DMark Vantage score of P3829 is most testers GT 540m with the same CPU (~ P4150). Unigine Heaven (CPU independent) finished with 13 fps, which is again a very typical score for a GT 540 million.

The literacy rate in the hard drive is average compared to flash memory. 251/116 MB / s (read / write CrystalDiskMark) or 251/101 MB / s (read / write SSDs) are slightly below the Asus U36SD and well below the Vaio SA2Z9E RAID 0 (926 / 634 MB / s read / write CrystalDiskMark). Samsung Series 9 900X3A without RAID 0, remains the number one read / write 467/306 MB / s.

SSDs have also lead to other writing small files. The RealSSD C300 crucial XMG A501 (47 MB ​​/ s write), or the Samsung SSD Alienware M14x in PM810 (38 MB / s write) are the main 4K read / write. X25-M, the test device is dominated by 32 MB / sec here. Passes are good enough to 512K as follows: 188 MB / sec instead of 172 MB / s Asus U36SD. Vaio SA2Z9E jump from 432 MB / s via the RAID0, Samsung's Series 9 is not much better 900X3A 196 MB / sec, though.

Summary: Intel SSD X25-M MLC G2 (120 GB) is not the fastest on the market, as can be expected price range (published in late 2010). Overall system performance (see the results PCMark), however, the increase in prices that would be unthinkable with the HDD. If you want to be sure you get the best SSD, you can browse our complete self-test on the SSD, for example, Adata S510 120GB or Intel X25-M.

Gaming Performance
Games, and a good confirmation of the good performance of play GeForce GT 540 million. However, the results are not better than a Core i5. Therefore, the Core i7 is not essential in matters of games. 32 fps is possible in Battlefield: Bad Company 2 in high detail. But Asus X43SV-VX084V with an i5-2410M also do so.

In games like DiRT 3, where apparently the CPU under increased demand, the landslide frame rate, obviously due to the limitation of the CPU to 1.2 GHz Only 18 fps are possible on the details of high (multiple testing). From 30 to 40 fps is the norm for a GT 540M. Deus Ex Human Revolution works much smoother. However, a Packard Bell NX69 with a Core i5 also supports 37 fps with high details.

So generally, the GT 540 is suitable for a smooth game in detail gives high resolution does not exceed 1366x768 pixels. CPU thermal throttling can cause a loss in CPU intensive games. To the extent that nothing has improved since the test device 3830TG first with a hard drive and i5. The tester noted bottlenecks and lower frame rates in some games at the time. BIOS (version 1.02) offers no possibility of changing the limits of thermal choking.

We are pleased to Aspire 3830TG lower system noise. Varies between 29.6 (quiet, fan-shaped, SSD = silent) and 33 dB (A). This leads to a pleasant environment, which may go unnoticed for most users.

A single fan to twist the speed of the pollution load, which should never be louder than 40 dB (A). 37 dB (A) due to the continuous multi-core CPU load (Prime95). Loads of computer games, has caused here in 3DMark 2006 gives the fan a little 'harder to circumvent biased, 38 dB (A).

Most of the noise was only created in our stress test, which loads both CPU and GPU at the same time. Limiting factor here in the next section is known. It throttles the CPU performance of their cultural heritage, thereby significantly reducing the waste heat. A fan, the entire cooling system is overloaded.

We do not know why the producer has turned away two shots as in the previous 3820TG. The case was hot at about the same level of noise, but there was no problem with throttling. The dual fan with a valve on the right and left to meet the waste heat generated by the GPU and the CPU speed.

Limitation of performance has a positive effect during high load. The final temperature of the stress scenario (unrealistic) will remain an acceptable range. And '41 ° at the center of the keyboard is too high or not can certainly agree with that. However, the average is less than 36 degrees and the bottom and top, which is acceptable for a thin case.

Throttling the CPU load during the same time the GPU
The clock of 1.2 GHz processor throttling (default clock: 2.7 GHz) during the stress test (Prime95 and Furmark). System power is at a minimum of 52 watts while. When Furmark (GPU) is stopped, the clock is increased to 2.7 GHz after some time (constant) and energy consumption has remained stable at 44 watts.

Bottlenecks were not in the processor benchmarks. The results correspond to those of larger laptops. Therefore, it is clear that the graphs of simultaneous loading waste heat, which indirectly forces the gas processor. The adapter 90 watts is enough to buy food, which can also be seen in the low temperature of 38 degrees Celsius during the stress test.

Battery Life
Despite the strong components, energy consumption is low. Why is this also true for a constant load can be explained by throttling the processor. Core i7 load 100%, but 1.2 GHz (instead of 2.7 to 3.4 GHz), running on the back burner and only need a fraction of the TDP (35 watts).

Therefore, consumption low stress test of power is a negative drag 3830TG. It should be noted that 3820TG from 2010, with a 35 watt processor and a powerful graphics card (HD 5650), drained 76 watts from the wall outlet.

The power consumption is 66 watts over a computer game, which may vary slightly depending on the processor and graphics (test with 3DMark06). Why a game takes more power than the stress test? The processor is not running or just see the temperature.

Idle consumption 5.6 to 10.8 watts is remarkably low. The TimelineX predecessor, 3820TG-5650 high-definition graphics and i5 460M-consume 8.5 to 15 watts in the same evaluation.

The 3820TG (66 Wh) from 2010, with a HD 5650 graphics, manages a range of rigorous hours of 4:10 (WLAN) test. The following 3830TG (66 Wh) in May 2011, the increase in hours 7:28. Our upgrade 3830TG i7/SSD control the hours of 6:05 the same capacity of 66 watt-hours. Therefore, the runtime is shorter, but still within the envelope of what a high quality subnotebooks should be offered. The new revised Asus U36SD-RX114V (SSD, 520M GT) run 7:45 hours.

Acer does not throttle the processor under control. Therefore, as Core i5 version of the Aspire 3830TG TimelineX, the following problem remains: The Core i7-2620m (2x2.70 GHz) is responsible for its clock frequency of 1.2 GHz in the graphics and simultaneous CPU load (and only then). It becomes very evident in some games that fall to abnormally low frame rate.

Although much has been written about the "infamous" bottleneck in this review, it is not the worst, and at the end of this subnotebooks. If the results of thought before you considered secondary, not every image is fought in the settings with the casual gaming is an ongoing performance subnotebooks, stable and very high in 90% of applications (CPU benchmarks very good) . Core i7-2620m offers exceptional performance levels without GPU support. With rates SSD is a fast, we can determine the scores remarkable system.

The battery life has been reduced by an hour compared with HDD/i5 version, but is still acceptable, with six hours. The biggest drawback for fans of mobility is the continued use of the reflective screen and viewing angles low (screen similar to that used in the first model).

Acer TimelineX 3830TG is 2628G12nbb-stop shop of 1100 €. Unfortunately, there is hardly a 13.3-inch options, without the limitation of the CPU, but equally serious graphics performance. Sony Vaio SA2Z9E / B, the best gas (at least), but it costs more than € 2000.

These units are available without restriction at a similar price or less, but with low GT 520M: Asus U36SD (SSD; € 1150) Asus U30SD (hard disk, € 700).

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