• TOSHIBA Equium U400-124 battery

     

    5.8Windows 8 Experience IndexProcessorCalculations per second7.2Memory (RAM)Memory operations per second7.2GraphicsDesktop performance for Windows Aero5.8Gaming graphics3D business and gaming graphics6.6Primary hard diskDisk data transfer rate5.9 Toshiba PABAS178 charger 

    The Tecra R940 is configurable with a full range of storage devices, including everything from 320 GB to 750 GB sized 5400 RPM hard drives and either a 128 GB or 256 GB Solid State Drive. In our unit, we found a Toshiba MK3261GSYN 320 GB 7200 RPM hard drive. Thanks to its high spindle speeds, this drive posted admirable performance scores, even though it still feel marginally below that of some competitors. Its rather fast Transfer Rate Average of 86.7 MB/s (within HDTune), for instance, is a little over 10 MB/s slower than the Dell Latitude E5430's Seagate Momentus Thin drive and over 13 MB/s slower than the Lenovo ThinkPad T430's Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 drive. But it's slightly faster than the HP EliteBook 8570p's Hitachi Travelstar 7K750. Toshiba PABAS117 charger

    All Toshiba Tecra notebooks also come with a built-in Hard Drive Impact Sensor, which parks the head of the hard disk (to much fanfare from the software, until the pop-up message is disabled) automatically in the event of a sudden jarring movement or drop. This helps prevent the drive from crashing and protects the data. Since it's built into the system, it functions independently of any particular installed drive. Toshiba PABAS230 charger

    While it doesn't often matter much to business professionals, the subject of gaming performance is of particular interest here because it should hopefully justify the inclusion of a power-hungry dedicated graphics adapter (the AMD Radeon 7570M in this case). Toshiba PABAS229 charger

    Across the board (as illustrated below), our 3DMark results depict graphical performance that is somewhere along the lines of 25% better than that of comparable Intel HD Graphics 4000 systems. But 25% truly isn't much, especially when it comes at the expense of a considerable amount of battery runtime (which we'll cover in much more detail later). Toshiba PABAS228 battery

    Our gaming benchmarks, while certainly much better than the results from the HD Graphics 4000, still may not justify the sacrifice in battery life. Since a resolution of 1366x768 wasn't an option, we were only able to perform our gaming benchmarks on Low and Ultra settings (the latter of which were benchmarked with the help of an external monitor). Toshiba PABAS227 battery

    The first game we tested was EA's Fifa 13, which the notebook handled at 224 fps on low settings and 49 fps on ultra. This is certainly palatable, though even the Intel HD Graphics 4000 integrated can satisfactorily handle the game on ultra settings (at just under 30 fps average). Next, we benchmarked Blizzard's Diablo III, which the R940 ran at 63 fps on low and 23 fps on ultra. Comparatively, the Intel HD Graphics 4000 has also posted many scores in the 50s and 60s on low, and (partially for lack of data) averages just 13 fps on ultra. Toshiba PABAS118 battery

    Finally, although it isn't part of our traditional benchmark routine for the game, we also tested Diablo III while running on High settings at the notebook panel's native resolution of 1600x900. Here, the AMD graphics managed an average of 30 fps.Toshiba PABAS117 battery

    Under most circumstances, the Tecra R940 is nearly silent, with a median noise level of just 33 dB while Idle. It takes quite a lot to truly stress the system, but if you do manage to tax it to nearly 100% CPU and GPU, it does become rather loud under stress, turning in values cycling between 47.7 dB and 44.7 dB. Fortunately, this is a rare occurrence. DVD playback, as usual, also results in considerable drive access noise, with an average noise level of 43.7 dB. Toshiba PA3819U-1BRS battery

    In spite of its inclusion of a much more powerful CPU (as compared to the Tecra R840 we reviewed a year ago) and discrete graphics, the Tecra R850 still manages to keep temperatures reasonable, at levels only slightly higher under load than the R840 with integrated graphics. TOSHIBA Portege M800-10A battery

    While idle, the machine is actually cooler than its predecessor, its underside averaging just 30 degrees Celsius. On the other hand, when under full load (our "worst case" stress test of both 100% CPU and GPU usage), the average increases to 36.5 degrees on the underside of the machine and 34.2 degrees on top. The most significant hot spots are in the upper left (near the vent) on the top, and in the center of the PC (just underneath the CPU and heatsink) on the bottom. At their very hottest, these regions reached a fairly uncomfortable 44.2 degrees Celsius under full stress—but it's unlikely these conditions will ever be of true concern in everyday use, as rarely is the system ever under comparable levels of stress, and if it did happen to be, it isn't likely it would be sitting on the user's lap. TOSHIBA Portege M800-107 battery

    No review is ever complete here at Notebookcheck without a full system stress test. Though our simulated conditions likely far exceed any typical use of the machine, this is nevertheless useful to see if the PC can handle 100% GPU and CPU stress (whether simultaneous or separate). We conduct our testing using a combination of Prime95 and Furmark and monitor system sensors and clock rates using HWiNFO64, GPU-Z, and the Windows Task Manager. TOSHIBA Portege M800-106 battery

    The first test consists of full CPU stress, which the R940 handled with no trouble. We detected no throttling and full Turbo Boost functionality for the duration of the test. During our next test, which consists of only full GPU stress, we once again witnessed no throttling or hiccups of any kind. TOSHIBA Portege M800-105 battery

    Many systems can pass independent stress tests of either CPU or GPU without exhibiting any problems, but often those same systems struggle when both tests are combined. However, during our full system stress test of 100% CPU and GPU for over an hour, the Tecra R940 once again passed with flying colors, showing no throttling and full Turbo Boost frequencies, which is uncommonly good. To provide additional validation of our observations, we performed a second run of 3DMark 11 directly after stopping the stress test. The post-stress result of 900 actually slightly beat our previous value—and it confirms that the Tecra R940 should have no trouble with throttling under any traditional circumstances. TOSHIBA Portege M800-101 battery

    As illustrated by our photos of the system, the Tecra R940's speakers are tiny indeed. The sound completely lacks bass and is overall quite flat. However, it goes without saying that, for all its strengths, the R940 doesn't seek to compete in the realm of entertainment. As a business notebook, very little can be expected of the audio system, which essentially exists merely to provide the very basics. If more is desired, there is always the option of an external speaker system. TOSHIBA Portege M800 battery

    While some, more entertainment-oriented, aspects of business PCs (such as the subpar speakers we referenced above) can safely be neglected in exchange for a more central and value-oriented focus on business productivity, battery life is not among them. Most business users place power efficiency high on the list of critical features when selecting a notebook. TOSHIBA Equium U400-146 battery

    Two different lithium-ion battery options are available for the Tecra R940: a standard 6-cell (66 Wh) battery, and an "enhanced" 9-cell (93 Wh) battery. Our review unit came equipped with the smaller 6-cell battery, which, unlike the 9-cell, fits flush with the system's casing. TOSHIBA Equium U400-145 battery

    Through our extensive testing, we found that the Tecra R940 configuration we received unfortunately leaves a lot to be desired in the way of battery life. It's certainly adequate, but ultimately, it's a step in the wrong direction. Surely as a result of its inclusion of a dedicated graphics adapter (the AMD Radeon 7570M which we covered extensively earlier) and a lack of AMD Enduro switchable graphics functionality, it manages to last for but a mere fraction of the time of its predecessor, the R840 (which we reviewed with integrated Intel HD Graphics 3000). TOSHIBA Equium U400-124 battery

    For each of our battery tests, we fully charge the unit and disable sleep, hibernation, screen and hard drive timeouts. First, to test the system under bare minimum usage conditions, we disable all wireless radios, fully dim the screen, and set the system to the "Power Saver" power profile. Using Battery Eater's built-in Reader's Test and the above settings, the Tecra R940 managed just 5 hours and 58 minutes, nearly 2.5 hours less runtime than the R840 with integrated graphics lasted. On the other extreme end of the spectrum, under High Performance with all wireless radios enabled, brightness set to high, and using Battery Eater's Classic Test, the R940 stayed alive for 1 hour and 20 minutes, nearly as long as the R840 (which managed a negligible 9 minutes longer). TOSHIBA Equium U400 battery


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