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Eurocom Racer: Radeon HD 6990M In A Truly Mobile Form Factor

Eurocom Racer: Radeon HD 6990M In A Truly Mobile Form Factor
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Sporting awesome gaming performance and low power draw, the only thing missing from our previous Radeon HD 6990M benchmarks was an efficient, portable package. Eurocom addresses that with its mid-sized Racer. But can the smaller notebook keep pace?

We grow weary of choosing between super-heavy performance notebooks and wimpy business-oriented laptops. AMD recently pushed out its Radeon HD 6990M, which drops the Mobility designator in an unfortunate move that makes it more likely to confuse customers who can't imagine there could be much difference between a desktop Radeon HD 6990 and a mobile Radeon HD 6990M.

Despite the horrible naming that both AMD and Nvidia continue employing, the 6990M really did impress us in GeForce GTX 580M SLI Vs. Radeon HD 6990M CrossFire by demonstrating remarkable performance and efficiency.

A flurry of testing on our end revealed that the second module wasn’t even really needed in most 1080p gaming scenarios. And the low power consumption of a single 6990M module lead us to guess that it'd be a truly potent solution in a more portable package. Eurocom listened and sent us an example of the form factor we really wanted to see.

The strikingly familiar Eurocom Racer was delivered to our lab in an effort to prove the worth of AMD's Radeon HD 6990M in the $2000 portable gaming market, complete with Intel’s super-fast Core i7-2620M processor. Truly, it'd see more action in that space compared to the workstation segment, where mobile modules in CrossFire and desktop-class CPUs push price tags in excess of five and six thousand dollars.

Instead of the configuration we requested, however, Eurocom decided to instead outfit our sample with a quad-core Core i7-2960XM, which pushed the price up by $731. We're sure a handful of games will benefit from the quicker CPU, but that steep upgrade price certainly narrows the potential audience. If you're in the market for a mobile system for around two grand, we still think that scaling back to the CPU we originally planned to test is a smart idea.

Eurocom Racer Component List
PlatformIntel FCPGA988, HM65 Express, MXM-3 Discrete Graphics
CPUIntel Core i7-2960XM (Sandy Bridge), Four-Core (Eight-Thread), 2.7-3.7 GHz, 5 GT/s DMI, 8 MB Shared L3 Cache, 32 nm, 55 W
RAMSamsung 8 GB (2x 4GB) DDR3-1600 SO-DIMM, CL11, 1.5 V, Non-ECC
GraphicsAMD Radeon HD 6990M (715 MHz), 2 GB GDDR5-3600
Display15.6" Non-Glare LED Backlit TFT, 1920x1080
Webcam2.0 Megapixel
AudioIntegrated HD Audio
SecurityBuilt-in Fingerprint Reader
Storage
Hard DriveIntel SSD 510 120 GB, SATA 6Gb/s
Optical DriveTSST TS-L633F 8x DVD Burner
Media Drive9-in-1 Flash Media Interface
Networking
Wireless LANBigfoot Killer Wireless-N 1103 Three-Channel MIMO 450 Mb/s
Wireless PANRemoved with Wi-Fi upgrade
Gigabit NetworkJMicron PCIe 10/100/1000 Mb/s Ethernet
IEEE-1394JMicron JMB380 PCIe
TelephonyNot Available
Peripheral Interfaces
USB2 x USB 2.0, 2 x USB 3.0
Expansion CardNot Available
HDD1 x eSATA 3Gb/s
AudioHeadphone, Microphone, Line-In, Digital Out Jacks
Video1 x Dual-Link DVI-I w/VGA Adapter, 1 x HDMI
Power & Weight
AC Adapter150 W Power Brick, 100-240 V AC to 20 V DC
Battery14.8 V, 5200 mAh (76.96 Wh) Single
WeightNotebook 6.8 pounds, AC Adapter 2.4 pounds, Total 9.2 pounds
Software
Operating SystemMicrosoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit Edition, OEM
Service
WarrantyOne-year parts and labor
Price$2698


While we're on the subject of portability, because a single Radeon HD 6990M has only modest cooling requirements, Eurocom is able to build the Racer into an easily-transportable 6.8-pound unit. Unfortunately, you'll still need to haul around a 2.4-pound power brick to keep the battery charged, especially if you plan to game on the go. While the complete 9.2-pound unit isn't excessively heavy, we'd certainly consider carrying it around part of an exercise routine.

Upgrading to a Killer Wireless-N 1103 Wi-Fi module ($27 more than the Intel 6230 Wi-Fi/Bluetooth combo card) and DDR3-1600 memory ($37 more than equal-capacity DDR3-1333) would have kept our configuration under that magic $2000 price point, if not for the budget-busting CPU. Two- and three-year warranty extensions could prove even more valuable at $150 and $268, respectively.

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