ASUS Z63A Whitebook Laptop Review


The Test Notebooks

The primary purpose of Q?s PPK notebook is stealth, but with a Pentium ?M? 2 GHz processor and 1 gig of DDR2 memory, the PPK should be able to batter just about any application into submission. The only potential lack of firepower would be in the case of extreme graphics, as the Z63a is limited to the integrated Intel 915 graphics of the Sonoma chipset. I was interested to see how limiting the 915 graphics would prove to be, in case I did want to fire up a game while traveling (or when the boss wasn?t looking).

The first step in benchmarking any notebook is to enter the BIOS/CMOS setup during startup, and make sure the CPU is set for Maximum clock speed (rather than ?automatic? or ?Power Saver? etc.). After booting into XP, go to ?Power Options? under Control Panel and disable the SpeedStep or other cpu-throttling routine by selecting the ?Always On? power scheme (it?s not enough to just be on AC power).

Benchmarks of notebooks are hard to find on the web, because each manufacturer chooses a different mix of components to fit their proprietary needs. For purposes of comparison, I?ve chosen to benchmark the ASUS Z63A (Q?s PPK) versus my current workhorse, a 13-month-old Compaq R3000 notebook.


  • CPU Pentium ?M’ 760 (2 GHz)
  • 2 x 512MB Kingston DDR2 533MHz (PC2-4200)
  • Intel 915 Sonoma Chipset
  • Intel GMA 900 Graphics
  • 5400RPM Hard Drive

Compaq R3000

  • Athlon XP-M 2800+ (2.13GHz)
  • 2 x 128MB DDR 333MHz (PC-2700)
  • Nvidia Nforce 3 Chipset
  • Nvidia AGP GeForce4 420 Graphics
  • 4200RPM Hard Drive

I admit that it’s not an even comparison, but it’s not meant to be. It addresses the comparison I had to make in investing in a new notebook: how much better is the newer technology? Is it worth it to replace a year-old notebook (hernia factor aside)? I also used free, widely available benchmarking software because I’m cheap so you can compare your results with mine.

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