I am not responsible if your devices send you back in time, explodes, implodes, bricks or flies into space from the use of any software I put up.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Acer Aspire 3810TZ Quick Review

I got my hands on one of the new Timeline Series Laptop 3810TZ costing only 899 SGD (around 618 USD)
Firstly you should run Empowering BackUp to backup the 13GB factory image and Software driver to 3 DVDs altogether.
As you know Acer loads their laptop with useless software so I before I used it, I reloaded Vista over the factory default partition.
You can decide to destroy the 13GB Recovery Partition if you are short on Disc Space.

The full specification are as follows.
  • Intel Pentium Processor SU2700 (1.3GHZ,800FSB)
  • **Note the newer 3810TZ comes with a Dual Core SU4100
  • Intel GMA 4500MHD(Up to 732MB shared)
  • 13.3" HD LED LCD
  • 2GB DDR3 Memory (Single Stick) Elpida
  • 160GB HDD Seagate ST9160310AS
  • Atheros AR5B93 b/g/n Wireless Network Adapter

More details:

It uses the new GS45 Intel Chipset together with a Ultra Low Voltage Processor U2700 the power savings are tremedous.

Thermal Temperatures are also very low as can be seen.

The red box is the max temperature after I stressed the CPU with Intel Burn In utility.
As you can see the temperature are extremely low thanks to the ULV Processor plus the Laminar Wall Jet Cooling.

As you can see CPUZ has yet to detect this new CPU Correctly.
The Screenshot also shows why this laptop is desirable than most Netbooks.
Firstly it has 64bit support unlike most Atoms.

VT is locked? Meaning there is a way around it? Further Investigation pending.
After investigation VT is not present on SU2700 however SU3500 supports VT as well as SU9400 .
To unlock VT a simple guide is available here

It is interesting to note the particular machine only has a single stick of RAM installed meaning upgrading is NOT problematic at all.

As you can see the low score is due to some incomplete tests like Anti-Aliasing not available on this machine.

Few things to note:
  • Acer isn't lying about the 8hr operating life by tapping the shortcut button on the top right corner battery life can reach approximately 8hrs.
  • No bluetooth is installed on this system but adding it is possible.
  • The Processor on Paper seems pretty weak low frequency,Single Core etc, but in actual fact it will suffice for most applications.
  • A clean vista install will make the entire system quicker and more responsive, there is no need to revert to Windows Xp.
  • The notebook never overheats.
  • It is not likely to encounter hardware issues, however problematic Acer software is a possibility although I didn't encounter both.
  • The acoustics is low fan, spin hardly audible but is efficient at thermal removal.
  • It is cheap and value for money.
  • If you don't need Processor Power this laptop is the way to go.
  • It is light and sleek. At 1.6Kg and 1" thin it is highly portable plus the design look pleasant and professional.
  • Not recommended if you require a more powerful processor or you want to play games on the laptop.
  • For Acer to achieve this thinness the lid was slightly compromised if you press on the lid you could see the temporary color change effect on the Monitor so just be gentle with the lid.
  • The Processor is non-upgradable it is soldered to the motherboard using BGA Soldering (Ball Grid Array)
I really recommend this laptop because of the unique features it possess not found in laptops from other vendors (How many laptops do you know of that cost less than 700USD yet has 8hr battery life?).
As of yet no overclocking tools is available to "value add" the processor however in the future when more GS 45 platform based laptop appear the support might be added.

Customize the Aspire Timeline buttons
It is possible to undervolt it using RMClock and overclock using SetFSB.
For the SU 3500 and SU9400 but not the SU2700.
Acer Timeline Fan Control
0x1F for fan off.
0x1A for fan low mode.
0x1C for fan mid mode.

So far I was not able to find the high mode setting. But therefor the auto mode (0x00) is a good alternative untill the correct value is found.

Now enjoy your silent notebook!

Here are the important code lines from my "options.ini":


Example_scheme="Stop, Slow, 40, Slow, 45, Medium, 50, Auto, 53"

Edit: Unfortunately these values are not correct for the battery mode! For Example 0x1F becomes medium mode.
Acer Aspire Timeline Tweaks
How to OverClock Acer Aspire Timeline X810
Realtek Driver Audio Mod for Better Sound

To fully utilise the touchpad please update the drivers at laptopvideo2go.
The Acer Shipped Drivers does not come with 3 finger gesture which the new Drivers at laptopvideo2go enables.

If you happen to encounter a bad BIOS/EFI flash do the following:
  1. Put Flashit.exe (DOS) on a Thumbdrive
  2. Rename the BIOS/EFI Image file to JM31X64.fd and put it in the thumbdrive as well
  3. Plug in the thumbdrive to the powered down machine
  4. Press and hold 3 buttons Fn + Esc + Power Button (With AC Adapter + Battery plugged in)
  5. Release when it reads the thumbdrive.
  6. After a while you should hear fan spinning furiously after it is done it should boot fine
  7. All the above will work provided you didn't screw up the bootblock.


Anonymous said...

Great review.
You say that it´s possible to overclock the su 3500 with set fsb?
What pll number is it?
Found any guide?
Have you tried it yourself?

Appreciate answers

Weinter said...

I have the SU2700 version not the SU3500. Current PLL doesn't work for the SU2700.

Anonymous said...

so the pll is out for the su3500?
yeh i know you have the su2700. But you said it´s possible to overclock the su3500 so i would like to know how you know that any thread or what?

Best reegards

Weinter said...

I have read that you probably need hard modding due to the TME chip locking the PLL hence SetFSB cannot work at the moment.

Niranjan Patil said...

Nice review, crisp n clear. Better than those in cnet, pcmag, etc.
Is your processor a core 2 solo or core 2 duo?
The acer sales rep told me 3810tz is duo and 3810T is solo?

Admin said...

3810TZ = Core 2 Solo SU 2700@1.3GHZ
3810T = Core 2 Solo SU 3500@1.4GHZ
SU2700 doesn't support Hardware Virtualisation while SU3500 does.
You must update to BIOS version 1.14 to enable virtualisation.
Note there is a Acer Timeline Recall going on.

xps_m1210 said...

finally, can I overclock my girlfriend's su2700 (timeline 3810tz-4880) or simply it's impossible?

any help is appreciated,

thanks in advance

Admin said...

Actually the link is in the blog.
However I have the exact same model and overclocking does little.
The best fix is to do a clean install of the operating system.
OC is applicable only when you watch youtube at 1080p definition.

kostadinnm said...

Will the overclocking mod from notebookreview.com work on Timeline 3819GZ(with SU4100), or I'll have to dig in the ixbit forum?!

Admin said...

Yes it should work for all Intel Low Voltage CPU.