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A New Graphics Module And Base Platform

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

GeForce GTX 660M: A Chip Off Of The Old GK104

When Nvidia first announced that it planned to adapt its Kepler architecture for the mobile space, many enthusiasts wondered how. More specifically, just how far would the mobile version be removed from the GPU we came to praise in the GeForce GTX 680 and 670?

Desktop vs Mobile GeForce Graphics
 Desktop GeForce
GTX 680
GTX 675M
Desktop GeForce
GT 640
GTX 660M
ArchitectureKepler (GK104)Fermi (GF114)Kepler (GK107)Kepler (GK107)
Transistors3.54 Billion1.95 Billion1.3 Billion1.3 Billion
Engine Clock1006 MHz620 MHz900 MHz835 MHz
CUDA Cores1536384384384
Texture Units128643232
ROP Units32321616
Compute Performance3.09 TFLOPS952 GFLOPS691 GFLOPS791 GFLOPS
DRAM TypeGDDR5-6008GDDR5-3000GDDR3-1782GDDR5-4000
DRAM Interface256-bits256-bits128-bits128-bits
Memory Bandwidth192 GB/s96 GB/s64 GB/s64 GB/s
TDP195 W100 W65 W50 W

Possessing roughly one-third of the transistors found in GK104, the GTX 660M’s GK107 matches most closely the specifications of Nvidia’s familiar and fabulously-cheap GeForce GT 640.

But why do we have a Fermi-based product in that chart?

Based on the GeForce GTX 560 Ti, Nvidia's GeForce GTX 675M is nothing other than a renamed GTX 580M. Adding benchmark results from that older solution in this review lets you jump back to some of our previous coverage in order to draw broader comparisons of platform performance.

As you can see in the shot above, GK107 (on the right) is downright diminutive compared to GF114 (on the left).

HM77 Express: Panther On A Diet

The HM77 Express looks a lot like any other of Intel's Panther Point chipsets (even the high-flying Z77 Express, which received mild enthusiasm based on its handful of advancements compared to Z68 Express).

And yet, a quick look at Intel’s site shows that the HM77 Express is 104 mm2 smaller than either the desktop-specific Z77 or H77 Express Platform Controller Hubs. Rated at 4.1 W, it's also up to 37% more efficient. I can see how careful binning might help Intel define two different chipset classes able to run at lower voltages. But it's more difficult to figure out where Intel was able to shave off 104 mm2 of silicon.

The HM77 Express-based features to look out for in Eurocom’s notebook include its integrated USB 3.0 ports and support for three display outputs. Integrated USB 3.0 allows Eurocom to eliminate the two-port add-in controller found in its first-gen Racer notebook, while simultaneously increasing the number of ports. A trio of display outputs allows you to put monitors on each side of the notebook’s panel for better productivity, even if the high resolutions inherent to Nvidia's Surround technology are too demanding for gaming with a notebook-specific GPU.

No discussion of platform evolution would be complete without mentioning Intel’s latest Ivy Bridge architecture, though we have covered its benefits extensively. With a more efficiency-driven spin given to our mobile Ivy-Bridge review, we’re focusing today’s Core i7-3820QM on real-world capabilities.

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  • 4 Hide
    amuffin , August 1, 2012 4:51 AM


    You could get a laptop with a 680M for that price! :ouch: 
  • 5 Hide
    azathoth , August 1, 2012 4:56 AM
    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.
  • 4 Hide
    xanagu , August 1, 2012 5:04 AM


    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 Hide
    Crashman , August 1, 2012 5:26 AM
    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?
  • 2 Hide
    xanagu , August 1, 2012 6:34 AM
    cuz its a free upgrade?
  • 3 Hide
    esrever , August 1, 2012 6:34 AM
    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?
  • 1 Hide
    rorouni , August 1, 2012 8:07 AM
    do they have one that supports stereoschopic 3d?
  • 1 Hide
    uglynerdman , August 1, 2012 10:31 AM
    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
  • 4 Hide
    uglynerdman , August 1, 2012 10:52 AM
    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.
  • 3 Hide
    uglynerdman , August 1, 2012 10:56 AM
    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.
  • 0 Hide
    Wisecracker , August 1, 2012 11:53 AM

    "...such hardware combinations are not totally practical..."


    Nice to dream, though ....

  • 0 Hide
    ojas , August 1, 2012 12:58 PM
    what about the experience factor? heat while working (not playing)? typing? bloatware? responsiveness?
  • 0 Hide
    halls , August 1, 2012 1:34 PM
    On the "Test Settings and Benchmarks" page, I think you have the Eurocom's RAM switched with one of the other machines.
  • 4 Hide
    cknobman , August 1, 2012 1:36 PM
    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.
  • 0 Hide
    xanagu , August 1, 2012 1:44 PM
    600$ less than eurocom
  • 6 Hide
    universal remonster , August 1, 2012 3:46 PM
    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.
  • 0 Hide
    A Bad Day , August 1, 2012 4:39 PM
    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.

  • 0 Hide
    B3RL1N , August 1, 2012 7:47 PM

    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.
  • 1 Hide
    RedJaron , August 1, 2012 7:48 PM
    "Desktop replacement" and "mobile workstation" laptops are like a Porsche Cayenne and Lexus LX. They'll never actually go off-roading.
  • 0 Hide
    Crashman , August 1, 2012 10:41 PM
    B3RL1NCorrection?The 660M in this review model is...only 1GB.
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