opinions on U300-NS1?

Discussion in 'Toshiba' started by mystery905, Sep 4, 2007.

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  1. data1701

    data1701 Newbie

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    Hi,

    Regarding the Hp DV2422; how is the battery life? Do you find the performance of the machine acceptable? I'm considering buying one as the price is so darned good ($799 CAD).

    Thanks,

    Brent
     
  2. j0rdy

    j0rdy Notebook Consultant

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    Actually, you can control the frequency of how often/when the fan turns on/off by either using the Toshiba Power Saver (Windows XP) OR as I found out last night, if you go into the power options of Windows Bloatista, then go in advanced - there's an option in there for CPU Cooling or something like that, the 2 options are Maximum or Battery Optimized; the latter option works by throttling down your CPU (to a lower speed) to cool it vs. Using the fan *all* the time.

    In Windows XP, the Toshiba Power Saver utility is Much more articulate in when and how the CPU should be cooled - which I like a lot more; plus you only have to click on the program to get all the options popping up - vs. having a 3 or more step click to get into things in Windows Bloatista..

    - Jordan
     
  3. theshowman

    theshowman Notebook Enthusiast

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    Today, I finally cracked open the new U300 that I exchanged a couple of weeks back and it also suffers the same FAN on/off issue that I discussed previously.
    I, too, started looking into the power management utilities under Vista and I did find the settings you are mentioning, but interestingly enough, that made no difference.
    I used Speedfan as well as CPU-Z to monitor the system.

    In the battery-optimized setting, it throttled the CPU to 800Mhz from 1.73 GHz (on the T2060) while in the performance optimized one, it kept it at the high CPU.
    However, in both cases, the core 1&2 temp. was between 51-54 C during idle.
    It would go to nearly 60C in higher CPU loads.

    For the life of me, I couldn't figure out what the temp. thresholds were. No matter what the load on the CPU, it came on/off quite frequently with no recognizable pattern. However, it was frequent enough that it DOES still bother me.

    You've raised a couple of points:
    - I've read some of your postings that you've managed to run XP on this unit. Maybe I'll try to do the same as I can't stand Vista's "so-called" simplified interface. I've really tried to cope with VISTA, but maybe, I'll revert to XP on the U300. I still have 1 more day before I can return the unit.
    My HTCP is still running Vista until I give up on that one too.

    - are you saying that with the Toshiba utilities, I can control the FAN speed?
    If so, that would be awesome then.


    BTW, the palm rest gets quite warm too, which is somewhat uncomfortable (but not quite as hot as the HP DV2404). I wonder whether this heat, along with heat from my palms will actually discolor the unit!!!


     
  4. mystery905

    mystery905 Notebook Deity

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    If you can find one at the price, just grab it. Performance is great. Battery life is 4.5 - 6 hours. Bear in mind the battery sticks out on the rear bottom about 2 cm, making a 'stand' so the notebook slopes downward. As a result, there is better air-flow around the bottom vents.
    For when I want more portability, I ordered off e-bay a 47Whr 6 cell battery which doesn't stick out the bottom.

    Overall, I'm happy with my decision.
     
  5. j0rdy

    j0rdy Notebook Consultant

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    I take it that you live in the USA? If so, you'll want to do yourself a favour and purchase all your future laptops from Costco.com or the actual Costco warehouses - return policy is 3 months for a full refund there and 6 months for Costco Canada -> A Hellava lot better than the regular retail/manufacturer direct, don't you think? ;)

    -> they also sell the u300..amongst many other brands/models..

    In regards to the changes to the Vista Power management not doing anything - With so many things going wonky with vista, I wouldn't be surprised that those settings might 'not' actually be working or something to that effect.

    In regards to Windows XP now, The Toshiba Power Saver Utility does allow one to set the processing speed per power management profile (i.e. you can make any amount you want or just change the pre-made ones to fit your needs) - this should allow to CPU to keep cooler going at a lower speed.

    In addition to that, it does allow you to set the 'Cooling Method' to either: 1. Maximum, Performance, or Battery Optimized. As before, Maximum will *always use the fan to cool down the cpu; Performance will do a balance of both (fan & throttling the cpu); while Battery Optimized in this utility *will throttle first and *only if* necessary - use the fan - i.e. if you're cpu is perfusely hot, etc.

    Note that - living in a hot climate will force the CPU to cool itself more, plus it depends on what applications/utilities you're currently running while using it.
    For things like just using notepad, word, surfing or just simply listening to music - these are low resource applications, and will allow the above mentioned Cooling Methods to actually be the most effective.

    That said, now if you were running something CPU intensive like antivirus scans, Video/Photo Editing, or even watching a DVD (some DVD programs use the CPU to smoothen the viewing experience) - The CPU will *almost always 'try' to keep itself cool 'anyway it can' - i.e. it'll probably be using the fan.

    All in all - the more Resource/CPU intensive the application/utility, the more Cooling will be needed.


    Edit: Now that I re-read your post again, I forgot to mention that Vista by Nature is Resource *Intensive - i.e. with all the DRM/Copy Protection built into it to ensure consumer 'safety' - i.e. to prevent people running pirated movies, etc. - it's kinda hard for a machine to keep cool when it's actively doing something while the user 'is not' - Don't you think? ;)

    Btw, 50 celcius to 60 sounds HOT - especially if your particular model has a 'Core 2 Duo'.


    - Jordan
     
  6. j0rdy

    j0rdy Notebook Consultant

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    Just noticed that you said that you got the U300-NS1 - undoubtedly, it's a Canadian Model and you live in Canada.

    Anywho, that model has the low end of the mobile processor family and although not drop bottom as a Celery (aka Celeron) - from what I gather - it's right next to it (literally).

    As I've said in other posts - when intel designs a chip, they have 1 main design; then when they want to cheaper, they start by lowering speed, throwing out extra cpu cache, power saving and other related features.

    Basically, what I'm telling you by mentioning this information on the chips - is that the lower you get with the model of cpu chip, the less abilities it will contain (which includes power saving features [some have more than others]).


    - Jordan
     
  7. theshowman

    theshowman Notebook Enthusiast

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    The more time I spend with the U300, the more I realize that this laptop is NOT for me.
    I go through about 20 laptops per year, mainly because of my freak nature when it comes to finding good deals (it also doesn't help it when one is a frequenter at forums such as fatwallet and redflagdeals) and I definitely do have my share of favourite brands and models. I don't often keep a laptop long enough to see it fall into pieces, but I do tend to be quite picky and sometimes find it hard to let go of some of my laptops.

    The U300 runs hotter than it should and is definitely noisier than it should be.

    I'm currently typing on my beloved Lenovo v100 (T2300) and it is fairly quiet and cool, specially on the bottom and the palm rest. If the fan goes off, it is at least at a low speed and fairly quiet and certainly not distracting.

    This damn U300-NS1 (and the other unit that I returned) which has a similar processor as the Lenovo (T2060, plain Core Duo, scaled down cache and scaled down FSB) runs much hotter and the fan is quite distracting (on/off/on/off). Under Vista, I actually found similar controls as you're mentioning with Toshiba's utility on XP for setting cooling profiles. I've had it on battery optimized setting for battery for cooling both when plugged in and when on battery. BTW, these settings appear to be Toshiba specific as the HP DV2404 doesn't have these controls for cooling options. It is labeled as "Toshiba Power Saver v8.02"
    It doesn't make any noticeable difference to the operational annoyances that exist on this unit.

    I really love the form factor, weight, build and the screen on this unit. But I think I won't be able to compromise for the noisy and hot aspect of this unit.

    The bilingual keyboard is also not very ideal, but great when it comes time to sell it.

    I considered installing XP and when I checked around for having dual XP and VISTA, it seems like after going through lots of hoops, XP will be installed as drive other than C: and if this is going to be my main OS, I don't want to see XP on any other drive than C:. So I guess I would have to create the restore CDs and wipe Vista off of the HD. I'll think about that a bit more to see if that's what I really want to do, or just return the unit to Staples (tomorrow is my last day).

    I just saw a fairly good deal on a Dell XPS M1330. I was one of the first to jump on the new Vostro 1400 and even though it is a very nice performing laptop, it is heavier and thicker than I like, so I need to part with it with disappointment. I really like the 1440x900 display though. I'm contemplating to buy the M1330, but it is nearly twice the price of the U300 ($700 vs $1400 CDN$) and I just can't justify the extra cost (yet). It would be a bummer to pay so much for a unit and then once again, get disappointed.




     
  8. j0rdy

    j0rdy Notebook Consultant

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    hhhmmm...typically I turn my nose up at low end processors because I know they're designed to mean no-one any good - i.e. skimping the most on *everything is never good with product design.

    That said - I think you may find it that a Core 2 Duo Processor would actually be easier to cool than a 'Intel Pentium Dual Core Mobile' processor (it's official name).

    Yea, the Toshiba Power Saver utility is Toshiba specific - but at least when it's coupled with a good/decent processor it allows one to have some control over the unit :)

    Btw, Toshiba.ca has a 30 day return policy and they have a Satellite Pro U300 there with a Core 2 Duo processor for $1150 - $50 for a limited time. It comes with Vista Business, but you can request the Windows XP Pro restore cds for that unit (as I was told by the Toshiba.ca sales rep today).

    - Jordan
     
  9. sinful

    sinful Newbie

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    i purchased the ns1 because it was $629. Vista made the notbook feel like an oven, i installed XP and the unit runs alot cooler....I like the size and features but hate the keyboard and the 2 hour battery
     
  10. pilotbiffster

    pilotbiffster Newbie

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    I have the U305-ST3094; T5450 Core 2 Duo processor, 2 GB ram. It came with Vista, but I did a clean install of XP once I received it. The fan ran a little more than I liked at first, until I figured out how to turn on the Speed Step features under XP. The think about XP is that the power management schemes, in particular those relating to Enhanced Intel Speed Step, are not well published. The standard installation will leave you with the mobile processor running FULL OUT even with the cpu load at idle. NO WONDER the fan was coming on so frequently. I found a very good article on it here:

    http://www.orthogonalthought.com/bl...step-windows-xp-and-confusing-power-profiles/

    Once I got that figured out, laptop ran/runs great and stays cool.

    To further extend battery life, I'm undervolting slightly using rmclock. Fan only comes on during heavy use, and I'm getting a full 4 hours on the 6 cell battery.

    So, my experience with the U305, once I figured out how to manage the speed step mechanisms, is very good. Great size, excellent screen, good battery life, decent build quality.
     
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