OCZ DIY Gaming Notebook 15"

Test Setup & Battery Life Results

Test Setup

Unlike other notebooks we've tested here on OC3D in the past, the OCZ DIY is unique in that it has no fixed specifications. This makes benchmarking the DIY quite subjective, as any results obtained from gaming, battery life or general desktop tests would be entirely dependent on the CPU, memory and hard disk chosen by the user. Higher-end components will increase benchmark results, but reduce battery life, whereas lower-end components will have the opposite effect. However, we've never had an OC3D review without any kind of testing yet, so let's see what sort of components we managed to rustle up for use in the DIY:

CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo T9300 2.5GHz 6MB Cache 800MHz FSB
Memory: Generic PC2-6400 SODIMM 5-5-5-15 4GB
Hard Disk: OCZ Core SSD v2 60GB

Both the Intel T9300 2.5GHz CPU and 4GB DDR2-800MHz memory kit were snapped up on eBay for just £165, which was an absolute bargain in comparison to the ~£340 we would have had to pay if purchasing from a retailer. Additionally, OCZ was kind enough to send us one of their 60GB Core SSD v2 drives to complete the system, making this one extremely well spec'd notebook!

For the benefit of comparison, we will be including results from the following additional notebooks reviewed on Overclock3D in the past:

 System Name
 OCZ DIY 15"
 MSI TurboBook GX600
 Acer Aspire 7720G
 Processor Intel Core 2 Duo T9300 2.5GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T8300 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7300 2.0GHz
 Disk Drive(s)
 OCZ Core SSD v2 60GB Western Digital Scorpio 320GB Hitachi Travelstar 5K250 160GB
 Graphics Card
 ATI Radeon HD3650 512MB NVIDIA Geforce 8600M GT 512MB NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS 256MB
 Display 15.4" WXGA (1280x800) 15.42 WXGA (1280x800) 17" WXGA+ (1440x900)
 Operating System
 Not Installed Vista Home Premium Vista Home Premium
 Lithium Ion 11.1v / 4400mAh Lithium Ion 10.8v / 4800mAh
 Lithium Ion 11.1v / 4000mAh

As we can see, the MSI TurboBook is probably the closest match for the OCZ DIY's specifications, but even then it falls short in several areas. Nevertheless, let's press on (no pun) with the battery testing and find out if the 4400mAh battery installed in the DIY can keep up with the hardware installed.

Battery Life

To measure battery performance, each of the notebooks had all power saving options disabled, screen brightness fixed at 100% and all power draining features such as WiFi and Bluetooth turned on. Battery Eater Pro - a battery draining application that uses a combination of GPU and CPU stressing - was then installed on each notebook and run until the notebook switched off due to lack of power. Please bear in mind that the results below should not be taken as the life expectancy of the notebook under normal use, but more a worst case scenario of extremely heavy use.

Battery Life

Managing to power the OCZ DIY for just over 50 minutes, the 4400mAh battery does seem to be the main weakness of the notebook. Granted that installing a lower-end CPU could help to increase battery life, but it would have been nice to see OCZ cover every system specification with a higher performance battery like the 4800mAh used in the MSI TurboBook.

To replicate the use of the notebook under normal usage conditions, the OCZ DIY was also used for several weeks on trips to and from the office with WiFi disabled and Vista's power management set to Balanced. In this scenario, the DIY stayed alive for around 1hr 20mins. This is still quite a lot less than the Sony Vaio NR11Z used previously, which could run for at least 2 hours before needing a charge.
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Most Recent Comments

11-02-2009, 14:18:43

Great video Jim. Nice to see you wore some bling for it

The DIY 15" is a very smart looking unit, it's just a shame they didn't add some form of branding to brighten it's appearence up a bit like you said. A backlit logo would look rather snazzy in my opinion.

The one thing that stood out the most for me is the appalling battery life. Although when gaming at LANs you will have access to mains power when you need it, I would still expect 2 hours minimum for reasonably heavy usage this day in age.

It's good to see the addition of an HDMI out, fingerprint reader, bluetooth included in the price and not optional extras.

Whilst OCZ have made a good effort at bringing an affordable DIY notebook to the market, I personally feel it falls short, even if just a little. I hope they listen to criticism and take it on board as they may be on to a winner if they make a few changes here and there.

Good job on the review as a whole. Quote

11-02-2009, 14:54:43

The idea is nice.

The implementation is fair.

The price is... ok I guess.

I just feel a little short-changed in the amount of things u really can diy with such barebones-notebooks. I know it's not exactly a mobo and a case - and away u go.

Performs pretty well mind, components taken into account, and I'm glad to see some stats there I can compare against the cheap HP I pimped out.

The looks I think are down to the user to mold into their personal tastes. I see people putting stickers/labels over them - to that end a shiny surface is a good 'attacher' but when it comes to taking off the ATI logo, cos u felt embarassed or something, I wouldn't fancy watching jonny scraping at it with an implement.

Don't like the screen size. Very cheap 15" laptops will do x1024 - ok it's squarer, but the key is u've gone over 1080.

Didn't see any emphasis on dvi, although hdmi available, and would be interested in them showing docking options for these so u can be prouder @home with ur build.

Great stuff.Quote

11-02-2009, 17:03:58

Originally Posted by name='Rastalovich'
Don't like the screen size. Very cheap 15" laptops will do x1024 - ok it's squarer, but the key is u've gone over 1080.
If by this you mean support of 1080p video resolution, that's pointless- a 1280x1024 screen is not going to be displaying 1920x1080 anytime soon.

Far better in my opinion to stick with 1280*800 as they have done so that 720p is within easy reach without the screen having to interpolate the resolution horizontally- resulting in horrible scaling in some cases. It also means the 3650 isn't pushing as many pixels during gaming, which should improve performance.

I have to say that was one of the best reviews I've read in ages, as others have said the addition of the video was great, and I think OCZ are really moving into exciting tech, so respect to them for taking the initial plunge into the market.Quote

11-02-2009, 17:06:56

I meant 1050 tbh. Apart from HD considerations, I was thinking more of basic web viewing. For just the likes of games I'm not sure whether I'd prefer to go over 800 dots or not.

800 in height for fps might be ok.Quote

11-02-2009, 17:17:29

I still think we need to hire a woman with bright-red nails to do the video

Great review of a, ahem, different product. It's certainly a strange one. The idea is sound, but the battery life is a killer.Quote

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