Pegasus Ti - Laptop Magazine (Aug '04)
Recommended Award

The Ti is one of the newest breeds of Centrino system, boasting a faster and more efficient Dothan core Pentium M - a 2GHz ship. While the original Banias processor had 1MB of L2 cache and topped out at 1.7GHz, Dothan doubles this and increases the clockspeed to 1.8GHz and beyond. Because the new strained silicon used in this machine has been made using a 90 nanometre someone process, using Intel has been able to reduce transistor size, thereby increasing the number of transistors (from 77 million to 140 million) for greater performance. Yes, the 1.7GHz Banias core chips were good, but Dothan is potentially even better.

Teamed with 1GB of RAM and a 60GB 7200rpm hard disk, the TI notches up a sky-high score of 212 in its MobileMark test, while its six-cell lithium-ion battery lasts for a solid 172 minutes. Admittedly, the battery life is less than the 3 to 4 hours we’re used to from the older Banias core Centrino systems, but turning the battery-saving features on will doubtless extend the longevity.

The new processor isn’t the be-all and end-all of the system, and although it’s not the biggest chassis, a DVD/RW drive, three USB 2.0 ports, one FireWire jack and a lone PCMCIA interface are incorporated. The 15.4-inch screen is a good compromise between a bog-standard 15-inch and a bulky, power sucking 17-inch panel. Other notable features include a dual-mode 802.11b/g module to take advantage of faster wireless speeds, and a 3-in-1 card reader hosted on the front panel.

In terms of graphical whiz, the ATi Mobility Radeon 9700 records a score of 10,470 in the 3Dmark 2001SE test. We also test visual performance with 3Dmark 2003, and here the Pegasus Ti scored an equally lofty 2,930, meaning it will make light work of everything from Excel to Everquest.

To Dothan or not to Dothan? That is the question. For now, the first Dothan chips are nothing to get too excited about. They’re ‘evolutionary’ rather than’revolutionary’ and we won’t see a big impact on laptop design until Dothan is incorporated alongside Intel’s Alviso chipset in the ‘Centrino 2’ Sonoma platform. Nevertheless, this 2GHz machine forms an impressive overall package - good looking, uber-powerful, quiet.

The best all round chip just got better. The older Banias chip just got cheaper.
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