Packing an Intel Core i7 , 4GB RAM and ATI Mobility Radeon HD graphics, the dv3 is a unit that’s pretty strong in the CPU department, but suffers from having a low-mid range discrete graphics. We’ll find out how much of an impact on the gaming experience further down. For now, let’s take a look at what we’ll be comparing this notebook to.
|Specifications / Notebook||HP Pavilion dv3||MSI GX400||Sager NP8690||Apple MacBook Pro
|Processor||Intel Core i7-820QM
(1.73GHz, quad-core with 8MB L2 cache)
|Intel Core 2 Duo processor P8600 (2.40GHz) with 3MB L2 cache||Intel Core i7-720QM
(1.60GHz, quad-core with 6MB L2 cache)
|Intel Core i7-620M
(2.66GHz, dual-core, 4MB L2 cache)
|Chipset||Intel HM55||Intel PM45||Intel PM55||Intel HM55|
|Memory||4GB DDR3||2 x 2GB DDR2||4GB DDR3||4GB DDR3|
|HDD||1 x 640GB SATA 5400RPM||1 x 320GB SATA 5400RPM||1 x 320GB SATA 7200 RPM||1 x 500GB SATA 5400 RPM|
|Video||ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5450||NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT||ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5870||NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M + Intel HD Graphics|
The HP Pavilion dv3 is pretty well matched here in the CPU department but bear in mind that the discrete graphics of the dv3 isn’t quite as good as the other notebooks on this list, so expect to see slightly lower performance results. We’ve thrown in a last generation 14-inch MSI GX400 which is using a mid-range NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT that should give a good indication of just where the dv3’s discrete stands in the overall scheme of things.
Futuremark PCMark Vantage
Going by the results of the PCMark Vantage results, you’ll note a pretty decent performance from the Pavilion dv3, though not as good compared to the units with better discrete graphics. But that’s how the benchmark program works, so the lower score is kind of expected. We’ll see exactly how much of a difference the discrete graphic plays in the following test.
Since the Sager notebook used in our comparison is a gaming powerhouse, we’re leaving it out for this benchmark comparison. That just leaves us with the Apple MacBook Pro and the MSI GX400 and their more powerful discrete graphics, and the results do indicate that the HP Pavilion’s dv3’s discrete graphics is really more towards the low end range. That said, if you do want to play games, you should be able to do so with lowered settings.