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Test System And Benchmark Suite

Eurocom Panther 5D Notebook Review: Faster Than Your Desktop
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Synthetic and game tests are performed on the MSI GT70 Dragon Edition 2, Eurocom Panther 5D, and Alienware M18x. The Dragon uses Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 780M mobile GPU, while the M18x employs the previous-generation GTX 680M. Eurocom's Panther 5D employs a desktop processor and a pair of GeForce GTX 680M modules running in SLI. All comparison machines utilize DDR3 or DDR3L-1600 RAM, and their CPUs and GPUs run at factory clock rates. The MSI GT70 Dragon Edition 2 uses a GPU clock rate 75 MHz higher than stock and 500 MT/s-higher memory.

Alienware M18x
ProcessorIntel Core i7-3940XM (Ivy Bridge) Quad-Core @ 3.0 GHz, 55 W TDP
PlatformIntel HM77 Express
Memory8 GB Dual Channel DDR3 @ 1600 MT/s
GraphicsNvidia GeForce GTX 680M 2 GB GDDR5
Storage180 GB Intel SSD 520 + 500 GB 7200 RPM Hard Drive

Eurocom Panther 5D
ProcessorIntel Core i7-3970X Extreme (Ivy Bridge) Six-Core, 3.5 GHz Base Frequency, 150 W TDP
PlatformIntel X79 Express Chipset
Memory32 GB Dual Channel DDR3 @ 1600 MT/s
Graphics2 x (SLI) Nvidia GeForce GTX 680M, 4 GB GDDR5
Storage3 x 256 GB Crucial m4, RAID 5

The productivity-oriented benchmarks are run on comparison machines with Intel's Core i7-3940XM (Ivy Bridge) and Core i7-4930MX (Haswell) quad-core processors. The -3940XM is in Dell's Precision M6700 Covet Edition. The -4930MX is in MSI's GT70 Dragon Edition 2, which is slightly overclocked to let the CPU run at 4.1 GHz in its most aggressive Turbo Boost mode. 

All of these tests are run on an optimized image of Windows 8 loaded on a 180 GB Intel SSD 520 drive that we install ourselves. Compression tests are run on a RAM drive to minimize the impact of storage hardware on each machine.

Dell Precision M6700 Covet Edition
ProcessorIntel Core i7-3940XM (Ivy Bridge) Quad-Core, 3 GHz Base Frequency, 55 W TDP
PlatformIntel QM77 Express
Memory8 GB DDR3 @ 1600 MT/s, Dual-Channel
GraphicsNvidia Quadro K5000M

MSI GT70 Dragon Edition 2
ProcessorIntel Core i7-4930MX (Haswell), Quad-Core, 3 GHz Base Frequency, 4.1 GHz overclock, 57 W TDP
PlatformIntel HM87 Express Chipset
Memory16 GB Dual Channel DDR3L @ 1600 MT/s
GraphicsNvidia GeForce GTX 780M, 4 GB GDDR5, Optimus Switchable Graphics Technology
Storage3 x 128 GB SanDisk SDSA5SF2-128G mSATA, RAID 0 (Primary System Drive)

Benchmark Suite

Synthetic
Futuremark 3DMark 11Version 1.0.3.0, Benchmark Only
Futuremark 3DMark VantageVersion 1.1.2, Benchmark Only
Productivity
File Compression7-Zip Version 9.28: THG-Workload (1.3 GB) to 7z, command line switches "a -t7z -r -m0=LZMA2 -mx=5"
WinRAR Version 4.2: THG-Workload (1.3 GB) to RAR, command line switches "winrar a -r -m3"
WinZip Version 17.0 Pro: THG-Workload (1.3 GB) to ZIP, command line switches "-a -ez -p -r"
Photoshop CS6Version 13 x64: Filter 15.7 MB TIF Image: Radial Blur, Shape Blur, Median, Polar Coordinates
Premiere Pro CS6Version 6.0.0.0, 6.61 GB MXF Project to H.264 to H.264 Blu-ray, Output 1920x1080, Maximum Quality
Maxon CinebenchVersion 11.5 Build CB25720DEMO
CPU Test, Single- and Multi-Threaded
HandBrake CLIVersion 0.98: Video From Canon EOS 7D (1920x1080, 25 FPS) 1 Minute 22 Seconds
Audio: PCM-S16, 48,000 Hz, Two-Channel, to Video: AVC1 Audio: AAC (High Profile)
iTunesVersion 11.0.2.23: Audio CD "Terminator II SE", 52 min, convert .wav to .m4a audio format
LAMEVersion 11.0.2.26: Audio CD "Terminator II SE", 53 min, convert .wav to .mp3 audio format, Command: -b 160 --nores (160 Kb/s)
Gaming
Battlefield 3Campaign Mode, "Going Hunting" Mission 90-Second Fraps
Test Set 1: Ultra Quality Settings
Test Set 2: High Quality Settings
Test Set 3: Medium Quality Settings
BioShock InfiniteBuilt-In Benchmark Utility @ 1920x1080
Test Set 1: Ultra, DirectX 11, DDOF
Test Set 2: Ultra, DirectX 11
Test Set 3: Very High
Test Set 4: High
Call Of Duty: Black Ops IICampaign Mode, "Celerium" Mission 2-Minute Fraps
Test Set 1: Extra Quality, High Filtering, 8x MSAA, Ambient Occlusion, High Depth of Field
Test Set 2: High Quality, Medium Filtering, 2x MSAA, Ambient Occlusion, Medium Depth of Field
Test Set 3: Normal Texture Quality, Low Texture Filtering, Low Depth of Field
Crysis 3Test Set 1: Very High Details, Very High Textures, Motion Blur Medium, Lens Flare Enabled, 2x SMAA, 16x AF
Test Set 2: High Detail, High Textures, Motion Blur Low, Lens Flare Enabled, 2x SMAA, 8x AF
Test Set 3: Low Detail, Medium Textures, Motion Blur And Lens Flare Disabled, No AA, 4x AF
DiRT: ShowdownBuilt-in Benchmark
Test Set 1: Ultra Quality Settings
Test Set 2: High Quality Settings
Test Set 3: Medium Quality Settings
Hitman: AbsolutionBuilt-in Benchmark
Test Set 1: Ultra Quality Settings
Test Set 2: High Quality Settings
Test Set 3: Medium Quality Settings
Sniper Elite V2Built-in Benchmark
Test Set 1: Ultra Quality Preset
Test Set 2: High Quality Preset
Test Set 3: Medium Quality Preset
Test Set 4: Low Quality Preset
Tomb RaiderBuilt-In Benchmark @ 1920x1080
Test Set 1: Ultimate
Test Set 2: Ultra
Test Set 3: High
Test Set 4: Normal
Total War: Shogun 2Built-in Benchmark
Test Set 1: High Graphics @ 1920x1080, FXAA
Test Set 2: Very High Preset @ 1920x1080
Test Set 3: Balanced Graphics @ 1280x720
World of Warcraft: Mists of PandariaHoneydew Village, Between Guards In The Rain, 60-Second Fraps
Test Set 1: Ultra Preset
Test Set 2: High Preset
Test Set 3: Medium Preset
Storage
CrystalDiskMarkVersion 3.0.2
Display
Datacolor Spyder4 EliteBrightness, Contrast, White Point, Luminance Uniformity, Color Uniformity, Color Gamut, Color Accuracy, Monitor Rating

A Note on FPS

We realize that playable frame rates can be debated on a per-game and per-vendor basis, which is why I'm simply listing averages. As long as we're getting smooth gameplay, I tend to choose higher-quality visuals over higher frame rates. After all, we want to see all of the work that game designers put into making a game visually appealing. Typically, we find that 20 FPS is the absolute minimum we’re willing to call acceptable, with 30 FPS a more ideal minimum. In multi-player games, we favor higher frame rates and low lag.

Display Testing Methodology

Display testing and calibration is carried out using Datacolor’s Spyder4Elite calibration system, which we walked through in Display Calibration 101: Step-By-Step With Datacolor's Spyder4Elite. The system consists of a full-spectrum, seven-color sensor. All of the measurements and charts are generated by the Spyder4Elite software. The only changes are a quick crop to make the images easier to read.

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Top Comments
  • 31 Hide
    vmem , December 4, 2013 9:13 PM
    I want the satisfaction of just dropping this monster on someone's desk, and say

    "personal server: DEPLOY!"
  • 20 Hide
    Razerium , December 4, 2013 10:17 PM
    Sure it's better than my desktop, but it's also three times more expensive!
  • 15 Hide
    coffeecoffee , December 4, 2013 10:14 PM
    Great for individuals that moves around often (i.e LAN parties, get togethers, etc) IF the hardware can be kept cool AND if the fan doesn't sound like a space rocket taking off. However, one will need a deep pocket to afford something like this.

    @vmem "Personal Server: Please insert Credit Card to continue! $_$"
Other Comments
  • 31 Hide
    vmem , December 4, 2013 9:13 PM
    I want the satisfaction of just dropping this monster on someone's desk, and say

    "personal server: DEPLOY!"
  • 15 Hide
    coffeecoffee , December 4, 2013 10:14 PM
    Great for individuals that moves around often (i.e LAN parties, get togethers, etc) IF the hardware can be kept cool AND if the fan doesn't sound like a space rocket taking off. However, one will need a deep pocket to afford something like this.

    @vmem "Personal Server: Please insert Credit Card to continue! $_$"
  • 20 Hide
    Razerium , December 4, 2013 10:17 PM
    Sure it's better than my desktop, but it's also three times more expensive!
  • 2 Hide
    f-14 , December 4, 2013 10:20 PM
    now this is how you're meant to play crisis 1-2-3 right by any one with an iMac.

    the main people i can see needing this bad boy is division commanders on a battlefield as well as NSA hackers and CIA spies and Drone operators
  • 1 Hide
    airplanegeek , December 4, 2013 10:28 PM
    you guys didn't review the sound volume :( 
    but what i really wanted to see was the effects of ocing the gtx 680Ms :p 
  • 5 Hide
    16bit , December 4, 2013 11:14 PM
    Great article. Puts my 17.3 inch laptop to shame.

    Finally I can have high end desktop performance on the go.
  • 1 Hide
    palladin9479 , December 5, 2013 12:51 AM
    I once had a Desktop Replacement laptop, huge monster that required a large AC adapter, was loud and heavy. These things are NOT portable, they are heavy to lug around and completely impractical for mobility. They are for people who, for whatever reason, do not want a desktop +monitor at their house. These are just desktops that are easier to transport around.
  • 0 Hide
    belardo , December 5, 2013 1:07 AM
    This seems more for bragging rights. Sure some people will NEED this... For a portable gaming system with 3 power-bricks, etc... why not get customized AIO? Or simply brink a small (SFF) case with keyboard and 20" display which would weight less? If you're gaming anyway - you'll need a mouse. The keyboard looks crappy, the numeric keypad is up against the main keys.

    Lets see, a SFF setup parts:
    PC: 5 = SFF-PC, keyboard, mouse, monitor, 2 power cords.
    5D: 7 = 5D Panther, Mouse, 2 power cords, 3 power bricks/converter.

    In return, you get a much better keyboard... then when broken, its a $10~150 replacement...
  • 2 Hide
    Avus , December 5, 2013 1:40 AM
    It may be fast, but it sure look ugly. If i compare this notebook to a car, it will be a Mitsuoka Orochi.
  • 3 Hide
    zodiacfml , December 5, 2013 4:32 AM
    awesome photography. i enjoyed looking at the parts.
  • 3 Hide
    toddybody , December 5, 2013 5:16 AM
    Incredible. Criticisms aside, awesome to see this dedication to performance..."skinny obsession" be damned.
  • 0 Hide
    corvetteguy1994 , December 5, 2013 5:38 AM
    Slam it on your friends desk and start poking it with a stick " optimus, TRANSFORM!"
  • -2 Hide
    ohim , December 5, 2013 6:19 AM
    This looks like a laptop from the 80`s :) ) and at that price point you have to be really retarded to pay such a price.
  • -2 Hide
    chesteracorgi , December 5, 2013 6:24 AM
    At over 4X the cost of my desktop, this portable monster performs only marginally better. Were I to spend as much on a desktop I'd build a Xfired (290s) or SLId (780s) machine with 4K triple monitor (at least 27" per monitor) surround graphics. The form factor of "laptops" is too confining to compete on a level playing field with desktops.

    Nice machine, but it is overbuilt for a laptop if you need external monitors to use its full graphics. Sure you can take it somewhere where you can hook it up to multiple monitors, but then it is no more portable than a desktop.
  • 3 Hide
    BigMack70 , December 5, 2013 6:38 AM
    Not faster than my desktop ;) 

    Anyways, nice review. It's fun to read about the stupidly high end laptops that most of us don't ever see or use in real life, just to know what's possible if you go for performance over form factor.
  • 0 Hide
    Elrabin , December 5, 2013 6:42 AM
    Insane.

    I understand that it's "PERFORMANCE AT THE COST OF EVERYTHING ELSE" but wow.

    To put this into perspective for that $6600, you could buy a fully loaded Precision M3800 quad core i7, 3200x1800 IGZO screen, 16gb ram, 512gb SSD + 1tb HDD and a Quadro k1100m that weighs 4lbs for $2600 and still have $4k left over to build a MONSTER workstation/gaming desktop

    Lets go nuts. A 4k UP2414Q Ultrasharp Monitor for $1400

    Core i7 4770k $300
    2 x Nvidia GTX 780ti $700 each
    512gb SSD
    4Tb HDD

    and a full build would still come out to less than 4 grand.
  • 5 Hide
    CaedenV , December 5, 2013 7:24 AM
    Ha! So that's what happens when you take a 1990's laptop case and fill it with modern hardware. Amazing!
  • -5 Hide
    Avro Arrow , December 5, 2013 7:30 AM
    I can only imagine possible military applications for this thing. If I had that kind of horsepower, I'd want a much larger screen than 17". The real problem I see with it is the same problem I see with pretty much all laptops. They're technological dead-ends because they cannot be upgraded. It's a cool thing to see what's possible but as Kurtwood Smith said in Star Trek VI: "Let us redefine progress to mean that just because we can do a thing, it does not necessarily mean that we must do that thing."

    I think that statement is perfectly applicable to the Panther 5D.
  • 1 Hide
    ram1009 , December 5, 2013 7:37 AM
    This is nothing but a status symbol for those with more money than sense and I'll never believe it stays cool under load until I see it in person.
  • 0 Hide
    Stevemeister , December 5, 2013 8:13 AM
    This just goes to prove that given enough money to spend you can get anything you want - the question is are you paying two to three times as much as you need to.
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