At first glance the Samsung R is just what any student would want - a good sized 14" display, a good collection of hardware for work and a bit of play, and all the connectivity features a modern notebook needs. Like most notebooks nowadays, the Samsung R features a It weighs 5 lbs 2. Built around Intel's Core i5 M mobile processor, Samsung up the ante by including discrete graphics care of nVidia, an integrated 1.
Installed with Windows 7 Home Premium bit, at the heart of Samsung's R notebook is Intel's Core i5 M, a dual-core mobile processor with native 2. The Core i5 M is based on the same Nehalem architecture used in Intel's high-end desktop processors, it can use TurboCore ability which lets single-threaded applications boost a single core up to 2.
The CPU supports HyperThreading so its two physical cores can simultaneously process four application threads between them. Intel's investments in power-efficient processors have paid off particularly well for its mobile platforms, and the latest generation of Core i5 processors are capable of much greater performance-to-power draw ratios than AMD's Turion II mobile processors or last generation's Intel's Core 2 Duo mobile processors. Samsung's choice of a dedicated GPU will definitely improve the Ri's ability to render 3D graphics, but it will also increase the laptop's overall power consumption and decrease battery life against pure IGP offerings.
Non-volatile storage on the Ri is handled by a 2. While it would have been nice to see an option to spec the Ri out with an SSD for faster drive performance, such an addition would likely have involved cutting down hard drive capacity and a vastly increased price. Network connectivity is handled by a The Ri also has built in bluetooth 2.
Wired connectivity options include four USB 2. Samsung's Ri is well suited to its role as a general-purpose notebook. The Ri's screen measures 14 inches or mm, measured diagonally with a The display has a native resolution of x, which makes the overall dot pitch high enough to look sharp, but it's not so fine that you'll be squinting to see text. An Express Card slot for add-in peripheral cards is provided and you can easily load photos or other media data directly into the Samsung Ri care of an integrated SDHC card slot located right under the front lip of the laptop.
It's a little bit heavy to be carrying around with you at all times, but if you have it in a briefcase or backpack as you travel to work or to class you should be fine. Physically the Ri measures mm Powering the Ri is a six-cell rechargable lithium ion battery, rated at Let's take a closer look at the display and several other features of the Samsung R notebook next.
Achieving fluency with these tools takes little time, and playing with them is surprisingly fun. Along the way you'll pick up some technical knowledge, and you'll get to know your system's in and outs like a pro. Benchmarking can be an entertaining way to keep abreast of what's going on in the world of computer hardware , too. Some people enjoy exploring the cutting-edge 3D engines that some gaming benchmarks employ, while others take their custom-painted, liquid-cooled, neon-lit rigs into speed competitions with all the intensity of an actual auto race.
The suites in this roundup are among the most popular you'll see today--you've probably heard of a few. It's a big list, with a little something for everyone. For links to all of these downloads in one convenient list, see our "Free and Cheap Software for Benchmarking Like a Pro" collection. You can find a separate version for each flavor of DirectX from version 9 onward 3DMark 06 , 3DMark Vantage , and 3DMark 11 , and each version has its own section in vendor Futuremark's online database.
The older suite feels better crafted than its successors, although its days as a mainstream tool are drawing to close. The three separate sizable installs add up, however. Futuremark buries you in over 1. For a more reasonably sized, if less complete, set of gaming and DirectX numbers, try Unigine Heaven. Heaven's sandbox nature is a revelation in synthetic benchmarks. On top of that, Heaven may be the best-looking DX11 benchmark around--some of the views are stunning.
The basic version is free. Our picks for best PC laptops ] The Company Suits On the opposite end of the spectrum is the dowdy, bespectacled Prime95 available in bit and bit versions , which is disguised as an innocent mathematical research program. Don't be fooled: It's nothing less than a cattle prod for your CPU. The free utility is well known in the performance-computing community, as system builders typically test their CPU, memory, and overclock settings with Prime95 by running the built-in stress test for a few cycles.
If you have issues with your hardware, or if your cooling isn't up to snuff, you'll find out in short order. In addition to catering to gamers, Futuremark is appealing to mainstream users with PCMark. Though the previous version had some issues with Windows Vista, PCMark 7 manages to be a credible, modern re-creation of the desktop-performance benchmarks so popular in the '90s.
It skirts some of the criticisms leveled at synthetic benchmarks by using code snippets from popular commercial applications, and by timing the execution of prescripted procedures to run through them. As the name implies, though, it's for Windows 7 only. The basic edition is free. Among system-wide benchmarks, Passmark's Performance Test 7 for bit and bit systems is the respectable child of the family--it went to school and got good grades, and it wears a neatly tailored suit.
The 3D tests in this tool show you sober models of jets and evergreens, which is something of a relief after all the roaring dragons, battling spaceships, and whatnot featured elsewhere. Conceptwise, it mixes and matches some of the best ideas from all the packages here. On the other hand, SiSoftware's Sandra does have a free version, and it includes all benchmarking features. Although the tool is occasionally obscure, Sandra's long and winding history has led to a pretty useful comprehensive benchmarking and system-information package.
If you like your benchmarks with an extra helping of utility, this is the one to pick. The free download is only a limited trial, though. All Things Small and Great After dealing with the bloat of some of the larger packages, you have to love a benchmark as quick, simple, and tiny as the free CrystalDiskMark.
It's the smallest program here. You'll know how to use it the second you set eyes on the interface. No need to wade through menus or minute processing queues, either--a few clicks, a few seconds, and you're done. That's truly refreshing among disk benchmarks. The tool doesn't do anything else, but it doesn't have to. Fraps was created with the same philosophy. It sits atop any game and displays the frame rate in the upper-right corner of your screen.
It may sound simple, but Fraps doesn't get half the kudos it deserves. While flashy synthetic benchmarks attract all the attention, Fraps shoulders the workaday burden of providing trusted, real-world results from the actual games that people play, and it has been doing so for years. Even if you use another benchmark, this one is essential if you're a gamer. Hit the Hardware and Start Benching If you decide to give some of these suites a try, remember a couple of basics: Don't run any background applications while you're using a benchmark, and try to keep the computing environment consistent between runs.
For example, if you're using Fraps to determine your frame rate in a game, stick with the same saved game files for testing, and don't move the mouse after loading. Still curious about what a benchmark will tell you about your system?
Time to take a crack at it. Pick a few apps, and get the ball rolling. You'll be surprised at what you learn. When you purchase something after clicking links in our articles, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate link policy for more details.