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HP’s portable entertainment machine – Pavilion dv7t


Here’s a quick run of SuperPI 4M:

For the graphics run, I decided to attempt the Devil May Cry 4 benchmark on the Pavilion dv7t. The Devil May Cry 4 benchmark is taxing, yet this laptop still manages to pump out almost-playable (30 frames per second) frame rates at high quality rendering with a resolution of 1680 x 1050. Moving to a lower resolution of 1280 x 800 did not help much, a gain of about 2 to 3 frames generally was observed while running the benchmark again.

That said, the GeForce 9600M GT discrete graphics chip looks good for handling most of today’s game at reasonable quality settings. The dv7t might have produced a better gaming experience if it came with a faster processor such as the T9400 (2.53GHz, 6MB L2 cache).

One point to note is that the dv7t takes an excruciatingly long time to be ready. The time taken to boot to the desktop is nothing to talk about, clocking in at over a minute. To make matters worse, the taskbar is unresponsive for another minute or more. The cause for this is not known. I tried running some maintenance tools that would analyse and identify problesm. However, these did nothing to address the slowness. Anyway, you might want to go even further and reformat the default system setup to help remove any bloatware.



Things got warm at times, especially at the location where the GPU sits on the motherboard. Internally, the processor, chipset and the GPU are all connected via the same heatpipe to an array of fins where the system fan is located.

On idle, the laptop fan naturally spins at a lower speed as the fan speed is most likely to be controlled by the laptop’s internal temperature sensor. I’m guessing there’s a little temperature rise at the area where the GPU resides under this condition. However, under gaming conditions where these three components are stressed, the area where the GPU sits does not get warmer (but the rest does get warmer obviously).

Below is a screenshot of the operating temperatures. The utility was left running while we put the laptop through the Devil May Cry 4 benchmark. If the processor is loaded alone to 100%, the utility would most probably report temperatures in the mid- to high-60s range.



Compared to older generation HP/Compaq models, the thermal performance of the Pavilion dv7t is very good.


Battery life

With the 8-cell battery, the Pavilion dv7t manages to a running time of 2 hours and 45 minutes with moderate usage split between surfing web pages and viewing YouTube videos. The screen brightness was at its maximum.

Watching a DVD movie with HP’s all-in-one media centre application stopped at 2 hours and 15 minutes. The volume was at 50% while the screen brightness was set to maximum.

Battery life is acceptable for a laptop of this category, and you can probably get more running time, close to 3hrs or more, if you were purely web surfing and document editing.

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