Monday, October 23, 2006

PC Mark 2005 results...

After a long time...

Dell E1705

Dell 9300

This is the continuation of the previous post. Just a couple more images to show the difference between Pentium M and core 2 duo and computing power. And again Core 2 Duo is almost 2 times faster than the equally clocked Pentium M. Awesome, just awesome. I am able to play Need For Speed: Most Wanted and Age of Empires III, with full visual effects and they still keep up a very good FPS. Finally I am able to play with bloom effects in AoE III. That said, I guess I spent way too much time with my new laptop, so this will be the last post about it ;-).

Monday, October 09, 2006

Dell E1705 vs Dell 9300, 3DMark 2005 results...

Dell E1705 configuration
* Core 2 Duo 2.0 GHz
* 1 GB @ 667 MHz
* NVIDIA 7900 GS

Dell 9300 configuration
* Pentium 2.0 GHz
* 1 GB @ 533 MHz
* NVIDIA 6800

3DMark results

This is Dell 9300 stock GPU (290 MHz / 590 MHz)

Dell E1705 stock GPU (375 MHz / 507 MHz)

Dell 9300 overclocked GPU (375 MHz / 761 MHz)

I did not try overclocking E1705 for 2 reasons. First the clock is locked, and the only way to override it is to flash a new BIOS into the GPU. The second reason is that the GPU is already running hot and I did not have faith in Dell's cooling. In any case all the games that I have run very well even with high settings. From the snapshots above we can see that the overclocked NVIDIA 6800 is still slower than NVIDIA 7900 stock.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Gentoo, Xgl, Xen and Windows

So I got my new Dell E1705 (again). And this time everything was perfect. As usual instinctively I decided to install Gentoo after wiping all the partitions. However I did not purchase the windows backup cd from dell, which hindered my intense desire to wipe out everything. I carefully repartitioned around winXP partition and was able to cut out 25 GB for my Gentoo. After going through the normal process of compiling everything with CFLAGS="-march=nocona -O2 -pipe", I decided to install Xgl. A very good tutorial to follow is available at I already used it on my old laptop, so getting Xgl to work is not all that exciting. Xgl brings all the super cool effects to Linux. My Gentoo looks better than Mac OS X! With the Beryl window manager, I can get the cool looking transparent window frames or a frame that looks like Windows Vista theme. Here are some screen shots

Next I installed Xen following the HowTo from It works really well! I was able to run windows from with in Gentoo. No problems at all. I could not get internet and audio to work in the windows environment when using Xen, but that is for another day. I used the following configuration file to run win XP as a guest OS.

kernel = "/usr/lib/xen/boot/hvmloader"
builder = 'hvm'
memory = 128
name = "winxp"
sdl = 1

vcpus = 1
vif = [ 'type=ioemu, bridge=xenbr0' ]
disk = [ 'file:/root/winxp.img,ioemu:hda,w' ]
#, 'phy:/dev/sdb,ioemu:hdb,w' ]
device_model = '/usr/lib/xen/bin/qemu-dm'

I was even able to run Xgl in my Domain 0 OS after modifying the Xen kernel sources and applying a patch to NVidia drivers (see

Anyway I did a quick benchmark on the laptop and the results are very interesting. More to come soon...