Notebooks these days are built with a huge variety of differences in components. To illustrate just where the HP Pavilion dv6 stands when compared to these other machines, we’ve extracted results from notebooks of different tiers. We’ve got the last generation dv6, the HP Envy 4, an Ultrabook with a low voltage processor with discrete graphics, as well as a pure Ultrabook - an Ivy Bridge reference platform from Intel. Before we start going into details, it will be good to note that the performance of the Intel Ivy Bridge Ultrabook is greatly enhanced due to the use of a high performance solid-state-drive (SSD).
|Specifications/Notebook||HP Pavilion dv6 2012||HP Pavilion dv6 2011||HP Envy 4||Intel Ultrabook
|Processor||Intel Core i7-3610QM
|Intel Core i7-2630QM
|Intel Core i5-3317U
|Intel Core i5-3427U
|Chipset||Intel HM77||Intel HM65||Intel UM77||Intel UM77|
|Memory||4GB DDR3||4GB DDR3||8GB DDR3||4GB DDR3|
|Storage||750GB HDD||750GB||500GB HDD / 32GB SSD Cache||256GB SSD|
|Video||Intel HD Graphics 4000 / NVIDIA Geforce GT 650M||Intel HD Graphics 4000 / AMD Radeon HD 6770M||Intel HD Graphics 4000 / AMD Radeon HD 7670M||Intel HD Graphics 4000|
|Battery||6 Cell Li-ion||6 Cell Li-ion||4 Cell Li-ion||6 Cell Li-ion|
|Dimensions||378 x 247 x 29.4 - 32.5mm||378 x 246.8 x 31.1 - 35.2mm||340 x 235.8 x 19.8mm||329 x 223 x 16mm)|
The PC Mark 7 is a benchmark that puts the notebook through a number of typical tasks that a notebook is expected to perform these days. Such tasks include the rendering of websites, editing of documents, encoding of music and movies as well as files transfer. Here, the new Ivy Bridge based dv6 performs better than the Sandy Bridge toting dv6 of last year, but barely. That’s because the components present on both machines are extremely similar and differ only on the platform generation used. As you can see, the real winner here is the SSD packing Ivy Bridge reference Ultrabook. Even the HP Envy 4, which sports an SSD cache and 8GB of RAM manages to keep up when it comes to general performance.
The 3D Mark 11 benchmark tests the machine’s graphics rendering capabilities. It then attaches a final score based on how well the machine is able to render images and gaming physics using its integrated (Intel HD Graphics 4000) or discrete graphics, while ignoring the enhancements that an SSD introduces. Using 3D Mark 11's Entry preset, the new dv6 excelled beyond all the other machines, thanks to its vastly improved discrete Kepler GPU, the NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M. When you compare the results against those from last year’s dv6, it puts into perspective just how much difference (almost 50%) it makes to have the latest and greatest GPUs.
But of course, the best way to illustrate how well a machine performs in handling games, is to put it through an actual game. For the purposes of uniformity, we’ve opted to put the 2012 dv6 through Far Cry 2 to gauge its gaming performance. As you can see from the charts, the 40% performance increment that the new Keplar GPU isn’t particularly surprising, and is in line with what NVIDIA has promised when they introduced their new line-up of GPUs. What you can safely take away from this chart is, that if you want to play games, the Intel HD Graphics 4000 is good enough for those whose expectations are extremely low and want to conserve some energy while on the go. However when it comes down to real-world gaming, the dv6 is also ready for action.