Eurocom Racer 2.0 Review: Intel's Ivy Bridge Meets Nvidia's Kepler

Do Core i7 And GeForce GTX 660M Make Sense?

We're gamers, but when we end up liking a notebook, it's usually because it's actually portable. Yes, it's fun to benchmark the highest-end graphics modules and desktop-class processors in systems that get dubbed "mobile workstations." But at the end of the day, such hardware combinations are not totally practical.

Our opinion is often at odds with high-end builders like Eurocom, who really prefer to show of the capabilities of their desktop-replacement notebooks. Fortunately, we were able to convince the company to send over a mid-sized, mid-priced configuration for today’s analysis.

Comparing the Racer 2.0’s baseline GeForce GTX 660M graphics module to the GTX 675M, the less expensive GPU demonstrates better overall value. That’s in spite of the fact that, at only $165, the GeForce GTX 675M upgrade adds less than 8% to the system’s total price. Heck, upgrading from a one-year warranty to three-year coverage costs more than that ($271)!

But those numbers come from a benchmark set where only one-third of the overall performance summary comes from games. There were a couple of instances where the GeForce GTX 660M required a drop to 1600x900, while the GTX 675M played smoothly to 1920x1080. A value chart based on 1920x1080 performance adds a little perspective:

Even with its Ivy Bridge-based CPU, the GeForce GTX 660M’s high-end gaming value falls slightly behind the older Radeon HD 6990M-equipped configuration. Of course, Ivy Bridge helps catapult GeForce GTX 675M ahead of AMD's older flagship.

Given that this is a portable gaming machine, you might think that we'd be driven toward the more expensive configuration. But the number we have stuck in our heads is 44. As in, 44 minutes of Battlefield 3 that we were able to play using Nvidia's more efficient Kepler architecture without having to plug into a wall. Some enthusiasts might be unwilling to drop their gaming resolution to 1600x900, but we’d gladly make that sacrifice in exchange for 48% more play time on the road.

Create a new thread in the US Reviews comments forum about this subject
This thread is closed for comments
39 comments
Comment from the forums
    Your comment
  • amuffin
    Quote:
    $2146


    WHAT!

    You could get a laptop with a 680M for that price! :ouch:
    4
  • azathoth
    I would have loved to see some Temperature readings on the GPU/CPU during usage. A lot of gaming laptops even whilst brand new can generate enough heat to be uncomfortably hot in some areas.
    5
  • xanagu
    Anonymous said:
    Quote:
    $2146


    WHAT!

    You could get a laptop with a 680M for that price! :ouch:

    Seriously Tom? you can get a much better deal with 3610QM, 16GB RAM, 750GB HDD and 7990M for $1470
    4
  • Crashman
    xanaguSeriously Tom? you can get a much better deal with 3610QM, 16GB RAM, 750GB HDD and 7990M for $1470
    Remember Eurocom loves high-end CPUs and SSDs. Besides, why would I want 16GB in a notebook?
    4
  • xanagu
    cuz its a free upgrade?
    2
  • esrever
    Seems a bit too pricy. Battery life isn't good either, only slightly better than the other models. Also not really portable so why would people care that much about battery life?
    3
  • rorouni
    do they have one that supports stereoschopic 3d?
    1
  • uglynerdman
    u could get a clevo with a 680m for 1800. this whole article only recinforces my belief in buying a p150em even with a normal 670 installed itll still be better for the price. i find eurocom a lil over priced. xoticpc ftw
    1
  • uglynerdman
    i really dont get why xangu's comment was downrated and crashman's was uprated. its true you could get a better deal 1500 does get you a i7 3rdgen with 8 gbs ram and a 7970m. and saying that eurocom likes highend ssds and cpus? ummm.. im sorry are there different cpus available everyone sells all the intel i7 mobile quads. all the boutiques. Same with SSDs and hard drives. What has to stand out from a place is the build quality cooling slight performance difference > competitors and other bits to justify an inflated price. The battery life is always hovering around 4 hours max. not matter which model you have you still gotta plug in a power brick eventually. theres car adapters, plugs on greyhound and amtrak. heck airport seats have plugs nearby. the 670s can game unplugged for a few hours. a few more minutes on the 660? i feel the 660 should be in a ultrabook not a rugged sized notebook. Look at the size. it looks as big and heavy as its competitiors. Dont get me wrong i like eurocom they have some great stuff just, i dont see a noticeable difference to justify the price/performance of that setup vs other boutiques. Id really like to see a toms review of more clevos and msi customs/ does anyone offer superior cooling builds etc.
    4
  • uglynerdman
    xanagucuz its a free upgrade?

    while above 8gbs is nonsense for gamers if you like playing in a window and running other programs and doing other things such as uploading a vid coding a vid, doing other activities a lil bit of ram goes along way. i myself go out of the way to tweak my games to use 4gbs if they dont support it and multitask. Besides 16 gbs is usually about 40-80 bucks more > standard 8gbs. it has its uses unless ur solely gaming. 16 gbs is my standard. i have enough ram to abuse skyrim on ultra full of mods windowed while talking online watching a news feed and streaming video in another window and extra monitor.
    3
  • Wisecracker
    "...such hardware combinations are not totally practical..."

    Yup.

    Nice to dream, though ....
    0
  • ojas
    what about the experience factor? heat while working (not playing)? typing? bloatware? responsiveness?
    0
  • halls
    On the "Test Settings and Benchmarks" page, I think you have the Eurocom's RAM switched with one of the other machines.
    0
  • cknobman
    I honestly dont really see any value or reason to get this machine. Waaaaay to pricey considering the hardware you get. Now if this thing had a 7970m or 680m then we could start talking.
    4
  • universal remonster
    In May I bought an Asus G75 with identical hardware specs with the exception that mine is a 17", and it had a 1TB hdd, for $1249.00. I added a Intel 520 128GB SSD as well for $180.00 and am using the 1TB drive as storage. Point being, I paid $1420 for the same laptop with a bigger screen and tons more storage. I dont understand where Eurocom is justifying this $2100.00 price tag.
    6
  • A Bad Day
    Quote:
    There's good news, though. Powerful hardware continues getting more efficient.


    A few more years, once developers start porting games from the PS4 or 720, there will be a demand for more hardware.

    Hopefully.
    0
  • B3RL1N
    Correction?

    The 660M in this review model is MXM, right? (As noted on page 4 where a 660M MXM card was provided for testing purposes)

    Last I checked, the nVidia GeForce 660M MXM variant doesn't come with 2GB of VRAM, only 1GB.
    Even Eurocom's site lists 1GB of VRAM, as does any Sager/Clevo MXM 600M models. Correct me if I'm wrong, because if Eurocom has a 2GB MXM GPU, color me interested.
    0
  • RedJaron
    "Desktop replacement" and "mobile workstation" laptops are like a Porsche Cayenne and Lexus LX. They'll never actually go off-roading.
    1
  • Crashman
    B3RL1NCorrection?The 660M in this review model is...only 1GB.
    Thanks.
    0