The next notebook to be tested in our series of AMD-based models is of the MaxSelect trade mark. Like Mission 528, Mission 530GL belongs to the "universal" series, but of the next generation - its deliveries has started recently.
Specification of MaxSelect Mission 530GL
Speed: 1400+/1500+/1600+/1700+/2000+ Package: OPGA;
AMD mobile Duron (w/128K L1, 64KL2, Power Now) (Morgan, 0.18) Speed: 1.2/ 1.3Ghz (Athlon XP-M 1700+ on the tested sample)
SOUTH-BRIDGE - ALI M1535+;
CPU BUS SPEED - Duron: 200MHz, Athlon XP: 200/266MHz
Unfortunately, I failed no find official information on ATI's site about the chipset used in this model. Tom`s Hardware Guide requested the company before me, and here is how the ATI IGP320M looks like.
So, the chipset is different. If you remember, S3's graphics adapter used in Mission 528 performed well only in office applications. Let's have a look at ATI's graphics.
The box contents:
Since this is a preproduction sample, the logo plate is lacking.
The dual-band acoustic system, audio connectors, and a volume control are located in front.
The cooling solution is quite interesting - it consists of two fans which blow hot air out of the case through the rear panel. Here you can find also
The ports are abundant, but USB ports are located behind to some reason, like in many other notebooks, though it's very inconvenient to use them there.
An optical drive with a queer cover and a floppy disc drive are on the left.
On the right:
I'd like to have more USB ports there, especially because the ALI's south bridge supports up to 6 of them.
Ergonomics and Ease of Use
The notebook in its working position looks not bad. Matching colors, austere round buttons.. well, it looks attractive.
The main indicators (On, Charge, Mail) double on the lid outside. It's a very advantageous solution. The CD player buttons are on the left, the On button and two applications shortcut ones are on the right (browser and post client by default). The rest of the LEDs and the player's LCD are between them. I don't understand what for the player is here. It's great to have buttons to handle optical discs when the notebook is folded up. But why the player? I'd better arrange more shortcut buttons here. However, these buttons look not bad :)
What is really pleasant is integrity of the design which uses rectangles with rounded corners. The touchpad is convenient. The keyboard has no visible weak points (it's become a good tradition).
Judging by where the speakers and audio connectors are positioned, as well as by drop-out legs, this model suits better for desktop usage. However, you won't find it difficult to manage it on the lap (except maybe some problems with sound). The underneath surface is rubber, but the legs are plastic, that is why you should fish them out only on a horizontal surface. The general impression is very good.
Service and User Support
Since the last time nothing has noticeably changed here. The warranty period is 2 years. The addresses of the service centers can be found on the MaxSelect's site. It also provides online support on weak days. By the way, the site is constantly improving.
Repair and Modernization
You can upgrade the notebook yourselves even during the warranty period (!!!). A user can extend memory, replace the processor or the hard drive. It's easy to do it, as you can see from the photo of the bottom. The warranty for components replaced does not work.
Another MaxSelect's model based on the AMD's processor will be used for
The notebooks are actually equal. Although the Mission 530GL has its
video system integrated and the Mission 528 external, it doesn't bring
benefit to the latter. The tests show
that the S3 Savage has quite modest results.
The new generation is ahead. It performs better and works longer.
In Sysmark 2002 the victory is after the Mission 528. But AMD says that SysMark 2002 is specially optimized for the Intel's processors as compared to SysMark 2001. But the CPUs are the same. On the other hand, in Ziff-Davis Winstone the Mission 530GL grasps the lead.
For the CPU tests and 3D graphics tests the Mission 530GL is compared
TravelBook X5 with Intel® Mobile Pentium 4 1.7 GHz on SiS M651+962.
The results are expected - the AMD's based model wins in the CPUMark
and loses in the FPU WinMark.
In the lower resolution the TravelBook X5 performs better, and in the resolution standard for Mission 530GL the scores are almost equal.
The MaxSelect notebook based on the AMD processor and the unusual ATI's
chipset showed good performance and run-down time. The integrated graphics
from ATI is almost as efficient as SiS's one. At the price of $1300 the
all-in-one model can be considered a good purchase.
Nikolai Dorofeev (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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