We played TF2 at absolutely maximum resolution, but we toned down all of the settings to medium to make the game more playable. At high settings, the GPU was not able to cope sufficiently as there was an unplayable frame rate. We did, though, run it with 2x MSAA. We were able to comfortably play TF2 at maximum resolution at a minimum FPS of 26 an average of 32 and a maximum of 38. This reflected our experience with the game on the DM1 and confirmed our belief that it is indeed possible to game on the DM1 as well as do day to day things.
The only penalty that you will have to pay for gaming is battery life and noise because the fan is actually audibly loud when playing a game like TF2.
For battery life, we decided to go with the most reasonable benchmark we could think of; Web browsing. In our Web Browsing Benchmark we connected the DM1 to a strong Wifi signal after which we then connected it to
the internet. Upon doing so, we also made sure that we set the screen brightness to 50% and we also opened up Firefox. We then executed our benchmark which mimicked typical usage scenarios. For the heavy usage scenario, we set the browser to search for a new random page every 30 seconds. This resulted in exactly 5 ½ hours of battery life, under similar situations many laptops would likely last 2 hours or less. In our lighter test (5 minutes) it managed to get 7 1/4 hours of battery life. These results are still shy of the claims of 9.5 hours that we’ve seen all around in retail stores and product marketing.
Heat and Noise
With HP’s Cool Sense technology, the laptop mostly kept quiet to the point where the fan was not noticeable but there were some instances when it was unplugged when the fan would ramp up in order to keep the CPU temperature down. For the most part, though, this laptop was kept very cool and quiet with the HP technology and even when the fan was audibly spinning, it was in no way shape or form annoyingly loud. Furthermore, under normal usage the CPU ran around 55C while under full load it ran at 59C. The coolest we saw it was at 52C at absolute idle and being plugged in. This indicates that the CPU is inherently cool and that the cooling solution isn’t necessarily designed to keep it extremely cool, but is designed to be effective and quiet. Admittedly, 59C is not hot, but it’s certainly warm. The fact that the temperature delta between 52C and 59C is literally 7C going from 0% load to 100% load indicates that this is quite a cool chip.But, as with everything there are drawbacks. Since this is an APU, the GPU and CPU are on the same chip and because of that…if you load both the CPU and GPU simultaneously you will get a drastically different result. The perfect example of this is video games, we tested TF2 on the DM1 and were able to play the game, but the Fan was effectively spinning at 100% the entire time and became much more noticeable and the laptop became much warmer. The GPU under load essentially tacks on an additional 10C to the temperature of the entire chip when playing a game like TF2.
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