Monday, October 31, 2011

Samsung RC730-S05DE Notebook Review

A wolf in sheep's Samsung, have a powerful portable 17-inch mid-range of entertainment with a simple case. Samsung entertainment attracts customers with an Intel Quad Core GPU and NVIDIA Optimus switching. This promises a long battery life, along with high performance when needed. The concept of the height of its turnover?

The new Samsung RC730-S05DE managed to do in the ring in the race for the crown multimedia. When comparing prices, from its list of about € 650 (September 13, 2001). The device is so new at the time of our testing, not even on Samsung's website. Conveniently, the unit is not covered in stickers, unlike many other laptops. Therefore, the RC730 not leave immediately what components are inside, but what is offered does not have to hide. A test of the previous RC720 can be found by our Polish colleagues.

Powered by a Core i7 2630QM 2 GHz (up to 2.9 GHz with Turbo Boost) performance should be adequate for most purposes. Attractive graphics are supported by the coupling of an integrated Intel HD-3000 and most powerful GPU Nvidia GeForce GT 540, sporting 1GB of dedicated RAM, which differ from the amounts shown in the video preview. This should be enough for games with a maximum of the average demand for the power of the GPU.

The 17.3 "screen sports average brightness and resolution 1600x900 pixels decent to 16:9, which may a little higher for this size screen. Standard in this segment is a DVD burner, four gigabytes of DDR3 RAM and a 500 GB hard drive from Samsung. The processor is energy-saving function and Optimus GPU switching battery promises decent life, in spite of the performance. The weight of 6.6 pounds (3 kg) and 1.1 pounds (500 grams) for food is not portable, however.

In addition, there will be, RC730 is available in a variety of levels of other equipment. Are available, such as the Core i5, Blu-Ray writer, SSD, larger hard drives and more memory, as desired. Prices range from a high of almost $ 1,000.

Specifications Samsung RC730-S05DE :
  • Processor : Intel Core i7 2630QM 2 GHz
  • Mainboard : Intel HM65
  • Memory : 4096 MB, DDR3-1333 (1x4 GByte, max. 8GByte, 2 Banks)
  • Graphics adapter : NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M - 1024 MB, Core: 672 MHz, Memory: 900 MHz, Shader clock: 1344 MHz, NVIDIA Optimus, ForceWare 266.72
  • Display : 17.3 inch 16:9, 1600x900 pixel, Samsung SEC544B, LED-Backlight, glossy: yes
  • Harddisk : Samsung HN-M500MBB, 500GB 5400rpm 5400 rpm, 8 MByte Cache, Sata II 300
  • Soundcard : Realtek High Definition Audio
  • Connections : 4 USB 2.0, 1 VGA, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: Kopfhörer, Mikrofon, Card Reader: SD, SDHC, SDXC, MMC
  • Networking : Realtek PCIe GBE Family Controller (10/100/1000MBit), Intel Centrino Wireless-N 100 (bgn)
  • Optical drive : Optiarc DVD RW AD-7717H
  • Size : height x width x depth (in mm): 35 x 413 x 276
  • Weight : 2.97 kg Power Supply: 0.458 kg
  • Battery : 57 Wh Lithium-Ion, 5200mAh, 11.1V, 6 cells, Samsung Power Plus
  • Operating System : Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
  • Additional features : Webcam: SCB-1100N, 1.3 MP, 90W-power supply, short guide, security hints, warranty information, Cyberlink Media Suite, Cyberlink YouCam, Office 2010 Starter, Norton Internet Security, div. Samsung-Software, Games, 24 Months Warranty
Planning RC730 is very common. The format is almost identical to its predecessor, RC720, just a slightly different color and surfaces are less brilliant. The blue backlit power button and keyboard are formulated in a dark silver reflections. With its rounded edges, the access point is rather thin, although it is about 4 / 5 "(20mm) thick at the front.

Matt surface is the base station to make a good impression, glossy cover and the line dashed frame to display the other hand, are fingerprint magnets. Cleaning cloth must always be at hand if you want to keep looking clean. workmanship is very good quality of everything is perception.

Samsung announces even the stability of the box. Samsung In the jargon, is called "DuraCase" and there is a noticeable difference. No cracks, even if you lift the entire laptop in a corner. No area of ​​the surface can be pushed, the keyboard does not flex the wrist and the rest is solid too. The cover is very stable despite its size and will not bend at all.

Only at the lower end just above the hinge, we found a weak point. To open the notebook, however, both hands are needed, such as hinges are exceptionally close, keeping the lid closed, without the need for a down payment. This prevents any pumping of the screen, but it takes two hands to open the unit might start getting on your nerves.

In general, for 1 3 / 8 "(35mm) thick candidate receives a very positive note. A small inconvenience, as always, is the weight of 6.5 lbs (2.97 kg), where n 'is not portable. In terms of size, is actually lighter than many competitors' 17 "units, and probably bought mainly for stationary applications where weight is not a big problem.

Selection of the interface is good, but do not offer large fires. Firewire, ExpressCard slot, eSATA and USB 3.0 are found. It will be difficult to quickly connect external hard drives. Otherwise, you get standard selections above. Four USB 2.0 ports on three sides allow connection of a limited number of devices. Once again, it could have been.

External monitors can be connected to a VGA connector or elders of a modern HDMI port. The quality of the VGA output port is good and shows only a slightly washed at the maximum resolution of 1920x1200. The necessary ports, such as audio, RJ45 network connector and a Kensington lock included with the addition of an SD card reader on the front.

The distribution of power is not optimal for left-handed, as you might have to deal with a stiff wire eventually. Electric power supply and audio jacks are also used to destroy the pleasure of the Left. "

In the rear, there is no room for connectors, due to the design of the hinges of the screen, but that is not the fan and one USB port, which remains unused. It's a shame, as the laptop would work much better on your desktop with multiple connectors on the back.

The RC 730 slides in this area:

A Realtek Gigabit LAN adapter and Intel Centrino N100 WiFi adapter with an antenna 150MBit / s is common, and so far no complaints.

It lacks a Bluetooth radio is difficult to understand. Bluetooth devices will not be able to connect to the Samsung laptop, unless you sacrifice a USB port for a Bluetooth device.

Lamentable as is the custom, the RC 730 also comes with many pre-installed bloatware like Norton Internet Security or Office 2010 Starter version, games (as some demos), Cyberlink YouCam software and other Samsung. YouCam is a program that adds effects to your webcam output.

Even without the effects, the image of the camera of 1.3 MP is a bit noisy. Of all the software, Norton is boring, the rest is less discreet. However, a thorough cleaning, the removal of all that is probably desirable. The backup software and software to extend the battery life seems very useful, at least.

The box is large, but the amount of standard equipment rather small. In addition to the 6-cell and 57 Wh laptop battery is only a 90W power supply cable, Quick start guide, safety information, warranty information, and a box of recovery CD. In addition, we note congratulations to buy the notebook TCO certified - at least.

The laptop includes a two-year warranty in Germany and one year limited international warranty. An extended warranty is available. For repairs, send the unit, resulting in a loss of working time.

Input Devices
The keyboard is a clear highlight of CR 730. Some parts of the distribution may take time getting used to, but convinces us to use the full width of the laptop, in short, a specific action and keyboard included. You can easily write to it any longer and a digital input is easy and quiet comparable. No special function keys, only FN and F keys or combinations of buttons.

This, for example, how active the usual silence of Samsung, which makes the laptop very quiet. Beyond that, you can enable or disable the touch screen, WiFi, webcam and audio in this way. Many other functions are also immortalized as this. The chiclet keyboard is also good, but do not have backlit keys.

Unfortunately, the touchpad of the Elan is just as bad as the keyboard is good. Its size is about 9cm x 5.5cm 's, but it lacks precision and its surface is low. Fingers tend to "hold" often, and we always end up accidentally clicking on things. Theoretically sport multi-touch touchpad capacities up three fingers, but it rarely worked. Roll panels are listed in the software, but it lacks the border on the trackpad. Size and speed can be adjusted.

The buttons of the touchpad is distinguished from the ill-defined pressure point and click scary loud. Chrome surface feels unpleasant to the touch and looks fat faster.

Samsung offers a screen RC 730, very glossy 17.3-inch 16:9 screen resolution of 1600x900 condition, although some may prefer to Full HD resolution and a screen this size. However, built on the GPU would have been enough games at higher resolutions, so the selected resolution is understandable.

It 'hard to understand why a show poor was built in a multimedia notebook. Gloss finish is a matter of preference, subjectively, more vibrant colors of glossy screens, but you can forget to use them outdoors, because they become mirrors displaying only their face. The contrast is below average at 156:1, which is associated with low black value of 1.33 cd/m2.

At least the screen brightness is not reduced even when on battery power, so you can continue to use its splendor. Only good lighting is left on the screen of this score, which is fairly uniform at 90%. But the result of this positive aspect is finished with a gloss medium low. A weak 199.2 cd/m2 is not enough to overshadow any reflections.

Displayed color space is insufficient, because the image has a blue tint that appears in the color space for all measurements. Users looking for a good presentation of the colors should look elsewhere. This can be seen when viewing the display part of the sRGB color space.

About two-thirds of the coverage, in particular the cover of warm colors missing, as you can tell in the underlying color space images. Even compared to his predecessor, RC720, the loss of quality is evident. RC730 can not even begin to compare the glossy screen MacBook Pro 17

Summarizes the subject of outdoor use, only one thing to say: The glossy screen brightness with mediocre work outside in a challenge.

Viewing angle
Our impression is not changed when you look at the angles. Even the results of lower divergence angle view aberrations and color brightness. Still have to change the position of the screen, or sometimes I feel it is impossible to find a good angle, as part of the screen always displays distorted colors.

All in all, one can say that the display, the Samsung production (type SEC544B), does not satisfy.

Processor: Intel Core i7-2630QM
Intel Core i7 CPU with 995 million transistors handles most tasks with ease. With performance than the previous generation Clarksfield, which is well equipped for complex tasks. The integrated Intel GPU HD-3000 is not a miracle of performance, but enough for common tasks.

TurboBoost lets you overclock a CPU core clock frequency of the normal 2.0 GHz to 2.9 GHz, or two cores overclock to 2.8 GHz hyperthreading Windows Tricks to think that there are eight cores to work with each of four physical cores provides 2 logical cores. Applications written to support multiple cores to respond to improve performance.

At least in theory, should work well. The reality is different with CR 730, more on this in the section of the temperature.

CPU performance
In the CPU benchmarks, the CPU makes a positive image. The results suggest that even the most complex tasks is not a problem for the processor. This is illustrated with 10 and 11.5 Cinebench benchmark results, which profit TurboBoost processor overclocked to 2.9 GHz 3661 points are on a level with all phones using this processor.

Cinebench 10 test with multiple heart score of 5077 points, the results of the RC 730 slides into the base camp environment. The Toshiba Satellite P770-10P equipped identically manages more than 600 points. Samsung RAM running in single channel mode might have something to do with it. The shading of 15,908 test points again to the area of ​​comparable laptops like the MSI GE620-i748W7P.

Cinebench 11.5, two tests can not open surprises. CPU Benchmark 4.6 points and 25.0 points, the OpenGL benchmark, the RC730 is responsible for all of its competitors.

System performance
Benchmark system, RC730 results somewhat comparable units, such as the Toshiba Satellite P770-10P. 6335 points in 3DMark Vantage and PCMark 2096 points 7 values ​​are not bad, but in the way of competition, might be a bit 'more. Why are the results of the result is less appear deeper test - the notebook is throttling problems under heavy load on a CPU and GPU.

Toshiba Satellite P770-10P can score 2688 points, such as 7 or with PCMark 6963 PCMark Vantage. Samsung RF711 is the only comparable laptop for the assembly, which makes it even lower, with 5,830 points in 3DMark Vantage.

Equipped with the GPU is a typical representative of the middle class today, and is suitable for games with a low or medium demand for graphics. The comparison can be found here.

Judging by the results 3DMark performance is equal to that of other notebooks with the same GPU. A score of 8244 points in 3DMark 06 is the height of the Sony Vaio F22S1E / B or the Toshiba Satellite P770-10P. The same goes for the GPU 3DMark Vantage test, where 3612 points to put it on par with the competition again. Little wonder then that the 3DMark 11 GPU results correspond closely to other laptops with the same GPU with 918 points.

RAM and hard drive
It offers no surprises and is the average of the current class. Samsung hard drive provides a continuous sequential playback speed 98.37 MB / s write speed of 96.86 MB / s. For a hard drive, this is pretty good.

RAM is a standard DDR3-1333 module. A single module of 4 GB is used, the results can probably be improved by dual channel mode by adding a second, identical RAM modules. This equipment does not appear to cause problems in the benchmarks.

Gaming Performance
Wie wir test - Leistung
The components can imagine that the game down to the graphics application way would be the season of RC730, and benchmarks showed that this is true. Since many existing game benchmark, we only give a brief overview of the games tested on this notebook.

Total War: Shogun 2
For this game fairly new, there are no comparisons that many yet, so a test that seemed to be in order. Due to their demanding graphics engine, it really can be played with small details at a resolution of 1024x768 in DirectX 9. In this case, the frame rate of 141.9 is excellent, but does not provide eye candy. The Packard Bell EasyNote NX69-HR-127GE same but worse, with 2140m GPU Core i5 is only slightly behind with 135.8 fps.

Increases and graphical detail in the medium and raising the resolution 1280x720 at some point, the frame-rate drops dramatically, unplayable 11.1 frames per second. Great graphic detail, combined with 1920x1080 resolution to wither on the frequency is 6.9 FPS presentation.

Dirt 3
Once again, the RC730 works very well in the "ultra low" area with a resolution of 800x600 pixels. 134.6 FPS are three times more than necessary to play good. The performance of the Nexoc E643 with Core i5 2540M and 6730M Radeon HD remains.

Unlike Shogun, the graphics settings using 1024x768 pixels is perfectly usable. 62.5 frames per second in the same area as the Toshiba Satellite P770-10P with identical ingredients, with 61 FPS. Even with high graphical detail mode, 1360x768 resolution and 2x antialiasing, you get a playable speed of 38.9.

However, the low frame rate in the scenes of busy, visible stuttering. The Toshiba laptop is just mentioned it again at 38 FPS, as Nexoc E643 with 41.6 FPS. Only the details of ultra high resolution graphics FullHD 1920x1080 and antialiasing 4x is Samsung RC730 wave the white flag with 12.7 FPS.

Grand Theft Auto IV
Moreover, GTA IV is still very popular, and therefore a reference point should not be absent here. A benchmark with low graphics settings, all the sliders to a minimum and gives a resolution of 800x600 64.5 FPS. The Acer Aspire 5750G-2634G64 with a score of material identical match. Asus W90VP with an old Intel Core2Quad Q9000 and Radeon HD 4870 X2 is far behind here at 48.6 FPS. An example of continuous improvement in the CPU and GPU sector.

Medium with the parameters, the viewing distance 21/100, 10/100 and 50/100 for the cars in detail at a resolution of 1024x768 pixels, the RC730 is still very playable with an average rate of 47.6 FPS. A generation ago devil Tech Fire DTX with Intel Core i7 720QM and Radeon HD5650 is late by about 5 FPS.

Only the more graphic detail, and 1280x1024 resolution, frame rate will begin to bend a prominent place. An average of 28.8 FPS frame rate is not quite sufficient to ensure a constant game.

Verdict Games
As expected, the games with the graphics settings from low to medium term, without jerks. Everyone needs to know for themselves whether they want to play with most eye candy turned off. RC730 Portable Player is not true, but for casual games on occasion, be done. Especially with the native resolution 1600x900 screen, which mainly have to use low detail settings, like most of our benchmarks have been done with much lower resolutions.

Noise emission
In general, the RC730 is a silent partner. With low average load, the cooling system turns off the fan the opportunity, while the hard disk is audible with 31.2 dB (A) at a distance of 15 cm. Samsung's usual silence, the fan is switched off more frequently, or run at slower speeds, causing the laptop to get a little warmer.

However, it is a good choice for a quiet working environment is necessary. This requires patience on the part of the user, since the low noise level gets the heart pointing down to 800 MHz for simple office tasks, and is fine, but playing games like this would be impossible.

Loaded, the fan accelerates quickly, but without the intrusive. The maximum speed is not too hard, stirring signs positive score of 730 RC noise. The peak noise levels of 38.7 dB (A), which should not bother most people. In addition, a positive focus can be set by the fact that the fan has no bad habits, or howling like a button, and does not emit noise frequencies.

The only problem is the attention of the DVD with the picture above average noise levels. Once a movie is playing, it disappears, as well as reading and research of OCD is high.

Temperatures are as visible as the noise level in the first place. At low load, warms only slightly. No worry about a maximum of 29.6 ° C below the wrist support with 26.3 ° C and 21.5 ° C is almost cool. Under a medium load, and temperature of DVD playback rises no further.

Load situation changes, the upper surface of the left rear area above the fan is heated to 37.7 ° C, the wrist support is still relatively fresh. Thighs too hot is an area in the exhaust gas: up to 49 ° C to feet hurt even more battle hardened. The rest of the bottom surface remains at an acceptable temperature, so you can see the chart below.

In summary we can say that the RC730 is responsible for cooling and only for long gaming sessions, it is likely that if you find a table. The weakness mentioned above is the extremely hot exhaust is a bad reason:

Throttle Problem
After only a few minutes at full load on the CPU (using Prime95) and GPU (with Furmark), you will notice a significant loss of performance. At that time, the GPU temperature rises above 90 ° C and CPU well beyond 80 ° C. At that time, obtain kernel CPU clocked down from 2.0 GHz to 1.4 GHz only, causing a sharp drop in performance.

It could just be that our test model is a lemon, or, more likely that a sub-cooling system driven is unable to deal with waste heat from the relatively powerful hardware, the triggering mechanisms of protection in the CPU Intel to prevent overheating.

Only the depth at full load created by the synthetic benchmarks, which you rarely reach 100% load for the GPU and CPU in a different way. In actual use, this weakness is not as strong an influence, but you must take care that the fins are free of dust and dirt.

In Battlefield Bad Company 2 long session, only the turbo can not go on, so it has to do with all four cores running at 2.0 GHz only. The only solution is cool, or use something like the very experimental cooling solution is shown in the pictures below. The large fan has allowed me to avoid overheating and the resulting bottlenecks, but for everyday use, it seems very heavy.

For everyday use, Laptop cooling pads built-in fans are widely available today, as the NPC-D211 Notebook Check Xigmatek Shield tested.

After delivery, the sound of two speakers mounted on the keyboard is flat and metallic. There is no joy in listening, but in the control panel of the listener properties, there is an option called "Sound Alive." It is simply an equalizer with the addition of low-frequency gain for education.

With the proposed adjustments, it is possible to persuade the speaker to emit sound quality acceptable. There are still, of course, the lack of serious, leaving the overall impression a bit hollow. The maximum volume is not very high, and tends to deform. Stakeholders are more useful for quiet environments. The integrated audio connector on the other side offers a good quality with very low whistles.

Battery Life
Power Consumption
The power draw is relatively modest for a laptop of this type. Depending on the parameters, pulling between 9.9 W and 14.6 W at rest. At full load, it pulls up to 86.2 watts from the network. Given a supply of 90 W of power, it is close to maximum draw. It's cutting it a little close, which means that food is probably not running in the most efficient of its curve. The draw maximum power varies due to the bottleneck problem mentioned earlier. In standby mode, it RC730 significant saving to 0.4 W.

Battery Life
At idle, using the screen reader test BatteryEater minimum brightness, all the radios and the profile of energy saving windows, the battery 57 White is always open for a maximum of 451 minutes. This value is not really useful, because with wifi off, screen brightness and the minimum energy saving profile, very few people will be able to do their job.

In a world of Internet surfing true test of a mixture of different websites, like YouTube, online games and animated sites, the RC730 always gets a solid 4 hours and 18 minutes. For a unit of 17 inches is a good time, enough to navigate in bed for a while without food as long as you adjust the brightness and a half. WIFI has been active in this test.

Another test of the real world is the DVD playback test, which lasted a maximum of 197 minutes - enough length film or a couple of suites of your favorite soap. This test was performed with the maximum brightness, wifi and the profile of energy saving active.

Under a load test in the Classic BatteryEater, with maximum brightness, wifi and the high performance profile activated, the battery keeps the notebook alive for up to 74 minutes.

Samsung did many things right with the RC730, but also did many things wrong. The robust and comfortable to use the keyboard is an absolute success. Battery life is very good, especially with a 17 "screen. The service is high and shall be read, especially compared to the relatively low prices. But at this point, the laptop also fails with the cooling system of discrete to avoid the use of the full potential of the material.

Working with this laptop screen is not much fun, because they are constantly adjusting the viewing angle and color reproduction is poor.

Also, the unbelievably bad touch screen to bother the people who make use of touch panels. For testing, we switched to using a USB mouse on the exam.

In general, we say that the price of this laptop is justified, you are given a bit, but also denied a number, such as a selection of interfaces. He makes a grade of 80% but no more.

Thanks to Comtech, which have shown patience with the sample and Maximilian Moll for his help in taking photos.

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