Quaddra DTS Pro
3D World (February '04)
Don’t be tied to your desktop, take
it wherever you go
There’s portability and then there’s portability.
Machines such as the IBM T40p (reviewed on page 84)
offer an ultra-low weight, considerable battery life
and compact size. You get a machine that you could
comfortably carry around in a backpack all day, albeit
at the expensive of ergonomics and performance. Then
there’s the other type of laptop; the so-called ‘desktop
replacement’ As the name indicates, these systems
are not designed as a mobile alternative to your desktop
PC, but as a replacement for it.
The Quaddra DTS Pro is probably one of the best examples
of the breed. It has a massive 17-inch wide screen
display, and runs at a resolution of 1440 x 900. It
uses a 3.2GHz Pentium 4 processor, complete with Intel’s
Hyper-Threading Technology. That means the processor
is exceptionally good when it comes to multi-tasking,
so while your rendering, you can still continue to
use the computer. It also means that in applications
that support it, the processor will act like two separate
ones, producing up to 20 percent better performance.
Of course, for serious work, you’ll also need
lots of memory; the DTS comes with 1GB, which is adequate
for most tasks.
IT ROCKS, DUDE.
For 3D users, the thing that sets this laptop apart
from most of the competition is its Radeon Mobility
9600 Pro graphics accelerator. This accelerator offers
excellent performance across both DirectX - and
Open GL - accelerated applications and it’s
the fastest laptop accelerator we’ve ever seen,
leaving behind the FireGL 9000 and the entire NVIDEA
Go family. In our benchmarks, the 9600 beat’s
the FireGL 9000 in four out of six SPECviewperf 6.1.2
benchmarks (see the benchmarks table below for the
figures). If you plan to work with a lot of lights,
the Fire GL 9000 is a better choice; otherwise this
is vastly superior. It comes with 128MB of dedicated
RAM, so you don’t have to share system memory
to unlock the machine’s maximum performance.
One of the disadvantages of a large screen is the
amount of power that it consumes. Of course, there
are power-saving measures that you can adopt, but in
continuous use, the Quaddra’s batteries last
barely one and a half hours. That’s long enough
to make a presentation or watch a short movie, but
for anything more protracted, you’re going to
need to hook up to the mains, or carry spares. Weighing
in at 3.6 kilos, the last thing you want to do is carry
around extra batteries with you. Having said that,
if you’re travelling by car and making presentations
in an office, neither the short battery life nor the
Quaddras’ weight will matter to you.
The unit includes a versatile DVD/CD writer so you
can create DVDs away from your office. It also enables
you to make backups of your work. And with thress USB
2.0 ports and a FireWire port, this is a machine tailor-made
for expansion. You can add external hard drives, video
and still capture devices, camcorders and broadband
modems, scanners and printers and more to your hearts’ content.
To cap it all, it’s ideal for video conferencing
on the move.
The Quaddra DTS Pro is a laptop for the connoisseur.
It’s as fast as PC laptops get, with enough storage,
memory and connectivity to ensure that it won’t
limit your options. It’s both stylish and highly
||Rock Quaddra DTS Pro
|VALUE FOR MONEY
|RANGE OF FEATURES
||Powerful; and versatile. Excellent 3D performance.
||A heavy hombre. Short battery life.
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