Thursday, October 2, 2008

MSI Wind vs. HP Mini Part 3

Let's conclude this wrestling between MSI Wind and HP Mini in this post.

After loading standard software like antivirus, MS Office, Acrobat etc same like what I have loaded onto Wind, I ran a full system defragmentation on Mini to make it operates in optimum condition, then I shut down both in preparation for a pickup race. Vroom...


I didn't cheat! Okay, you may say my left index finger cheated the right thumb to power on Wind before Mini and hence Wind wins the race. Let's try again, this time Wind is so gentleman to let Mini goes first...


Clearly, 1 Ferrari 1 Potong. Hehe... In fact it's not that bad, just more than half a minute different. But, let's try hibernate them and re-power on with IE window opened on both chicks prior hibernation. Again, Mini goes first and Wind tailgates her.


Once more, Mini losses big time to Wind, this time really Ferrari versus Viva Kancil. If you think hibernation is not important, you might be wrong. When the netbook is used till the battery drains out to the very last drop, Windows will force a hibernation to save your current operating state so you can resume the work after you charge the battery. Of course it can be configured to force shut down and all your unsaved works will be just gone like that. I also mentioned earlier that I feel Wind is running faster than previously when I first installed Vista. With this video, seems like Wind was about 10 seconds faster than previous.

Boot time may not illustrate the whole performance. As I did not want to load any benchmark software like other technical review 'cause the produced numbers may not bring any meaning to non-techie, so I ran a full virus scan (practically everyone would do this right?) using Eset NOD32 AV on both machines. Out of topic a bit, Eset might not be as well known as other big names such as Kaspersky, Symantec or Norton, McAfee and Trend Micro's PC-Cillin, but it's proven to me as an effective and efficient AV product to provide not only virus and email (malware etc) protection, also internet browsing protection, it's an all-in-one protection. The major factor is, it consumes very little CPU processing power and memory compare to other brands, this is crucial for a netbook to run faster. I couldn't imagine how's the performance if Norton All-in-One or Norton 360 is loaded onto Mini or Wind.

Back to the scan test, the result is below. Mini's...


Wind's...


Mini's CPU was almost over the top throughout the scan whereas Wind was just relaxing with average 30-40% of CPU utilization with both running similar amount of processes (total of 64). You can also see there are 2 CPU graphs on Wind but only one on Mini. Atom has Hyper Threading (HT) that makes Vista to treat it as 2 CPUs in Wind than a single CPU in Mini's VIA C7-M CPU (without HT). Hence, faster response and better performance by Wind. Another note, both are equipped with 2GB RAM but Mini only detects 1789MB physical memory wherease Wind has 2036MB. Theoretically it shouldn't be any difference even with different edition of Vista, the core foundation of Vista should be identical across the editions, so I guess it's due to the hardware architecture difference that makes Mini detected lesser RAM but I am yet to find more supporting facts (this isn't a technical review).

Here is the Windows Experience Index (WEI) base score for both. Mini...


Wind...


To access WEI, go to Control Panel follow by Performance Information and Tools. Click on "What do these numbers mean" to learn more about WEI. Basically it ranges from 1 to 5.9, higher the score the better performance.

Mini only outperforms Wind by its harddisk transfer rate. Wind is equipped with Western Digitial's Scorpio WD800BEVS 80GB 5400rpm 12ms SATA1 harddisk, Mini is equipped with Toshiba's MK1252GSX 120GB 5400rpm 12ms SATA1 harddisk, seems that Toshiba harddisk is better even with similar spec. This isn't a big issue anyway, because HDD is upgradeable, but not CPU or graphic processor that is not upgradeable and Mini scored very low on both. Also, look at below...


A capture from Wind Forum. An upgrade to a leaked BIOS v1.07, Wind can even touch 3.6 which is more than half of the total score 5.99! My Wind is currently running on v1.06, I have no gut and time at the moment to upgrade since it's not yet an official release from MSI.

Since the performance on Mini is so disappointing and I mentioned wanted to test on it, let's put some hope on its battery.

The power setting for Mini...


The power setting for Wind...


Although different power plan names, I've reconfigured Mini's HP Optimized advanced power settings to be exactly like Wind's Balanced plan. It was fully charged until the indicator light went off. With wireless turned on connected to the same router, brightness at 40%, volume level at 35, no other peripherals attached and only one program running that was IE. Here's the estimation of Mini...


And estimation for Wind...


Both are 3-cell battery. For Wind, you can refer here for its battery performance. For Mini, that's about the duration you gain from a full charge. I was using it to browse internet and roughly about 1 hour and 3 quarters (or less but definitely NOT more) before the battery drained out. With so much heat generated from it, this is what should be expected. Also. unlike Wind, you can't deactivate bluetooth while the wireless is enabled on Mini. It's the same button to on and off both wireless and bluetooth. The webcam also can't be disabled on Mini. The battery might go further and beat Wind if such features could be deactivated when unused.

I also have a funny assumption on Mini's battery efficiency, perhaps the LEDs on Mini are too many and too bright which suck up the power from the battery. Look at this photo...


There are basically 3 bright LEDs at the front. From left, the Power button, the harddisk indicator and the wireless button. Photo above does not really show what I meant, imagine if you use it in a dark room...


Gosh~ It's so irritating and annoying, especially the harddisk indicator keeps on blinking. Well, on the good side, it looks stylish and futuristic, obviously nothing more than that.

Look at Wind's LEDs, just nice enough to do their work, so practical...


Even in the dark, it's not so "blink blink" to irritate your sight, and you basically don't really see them 'cause your palm cover them up when typing...


In short, if you are looking for a sexy hot chick or metrosexual guy to be your lover, you just want people to admire and envy about your appearance with the hot chick or macho guy surround you and you don't really bother about her/his "internal beauty", go for Mini. If you are otherwise like me, outlook isn't that important but internal beauty is the vital consideration to be the life partner, Wind is the one. :)