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GeForce GTX 460M SLI: Mobile Gaming Value From AVADirect?

GeForce GTX 460M SLI: Mobile Gaming Value From AVADirect?
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Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 480M may hold the mobile performance crown, but GF100 is certainly not the most practical solution when it comes to power and heat. Today we see how its newer, smaller sibling stands up to the same tasks, aided by SLI support.

Power and heat have long been the biggest obstacles to achieving smoking-fast performance on a portable device, as the larger enclosures needed to support high-performance hardware often leaves them less than mobile. It’s no small wonder that we had big concerns when Nvidia re-purposed its power-hungry GF100 GPU as a notebook component.

The fastest “portable” GPU ever produced, the GeForce GTX 480M was already beaten by a CrossFire'd pair of Mobility Radeon HD 5870 modules when it was launched. Most extra-large notebooks couldn’t support an SLI'd pair of GeForce GTX 480M modules, and the one notebook that does support these still has some power problems in such a demanding configuration. Price was another barrier for many customers, since big pieces of silicon cost big money.

A bit of additional refinement on its desktop 400-series allowed Nvidia to re-evaluate its portfolio in an effort to find a new, more energy-efficient Radeon HD 5870-killer.

That new product, the GeForce GTX 460M, should fit into the majority of chassis that formerly hosted such big-ticket parts as its competitor’s flagship, as well as its previous mobile performance star, the GTX 285M, in dual-GPU configurations.

Before we go into the new GPU’s specifics, let’s take a quick look at the system we received to host Nvidia’s latest SLI-capable modules.

AVADirect X7200 Component List
PlatformIntel LGA 1366, X58 Express/ICH10R, MXM-III Discrete Graphics
CPUIntel Core i7-950 (Bloomfield), Four Cores, 3.06-3.33 GHz, 4.8 GT/s QPI, 8 MB Shared L3 Cache, 45 nm, 130 W
RAMKingston 6 GB (3x 2GB) DDR3-1066 SODIMM, CL7, 1.5 V, Non-ECC
GraphicsDual Nvidia GeForce GTX 460M, 675 MHz, 1.5 GB GDDR5-2500, in SLI
Display17.3" Glossy LED Back-lit TFT, 1920x1080
Webcam3.0 Megapixel
AudioIntegrated HD Audio
SecurityBuilt-in Fingerprint Reader
Storage
Hard Drive 1Crucial C300 CTFDDAC256MAG 256 GB SSD, MLC, SATA 3Gb/s
Hard Drive 2Seagate Momentus XT ST95005620AS 500 GB, 32 MB Cache, SATA 3Gb/s, 7200 RPM
Optical DriveLite-On DS-4E1S 4x Blu-ray Reader/8x DVD Writer Combo Drive
Media Drive9-in-1 Flash Media Interface
Networking
Wireless LANIntel Ultimate-N 6300, IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n, 11/54/450 Mb/s
Wireless PANOptional (not installed)
Gigabit NetworkJMicron PCIe 10/100/1000 Mb/s Ethernet
IEEE-1394Texas Instruments PCIe IEEE-1394 (400 Mb/s)
TelephonyNot Available
Peripheral Interfaces
USB3 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, 1x HDMI
Power & Weight
AC Adapter300 W Power Brick, 100-240 V AC to 15 V DC
Battery14.8 V, 5300 mAh (78.44 Wh) Single
WeightNotebook 13.4 lbs, AC Adapter 3.6 lbs, Total 17.0 pounds
Software
Operating SystemMicrosoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit Edition, OEM
Service
Warranty1-Year Full (Add $140 for 2-years, $274.40 for 3-years)
Price$3,142


While the desktop-based CPU in AVADirect’s X7200 build left us with a few questions about which of our previously-tested notebooks might make this a fair comparison, its $3142 price will at least allow a performance-per-dollar analysis.

Display 41 Comments.
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Top Comments
  • 20 Hide
    bak0n , December 1, 2010 6:06 AM
    $3,142 is not a value.
Other Comments
  • 20 Hide
    bak0n , December 1, 2010 6:06 AM
    $3,142 is not a value.
  • 9 Hide
    jrocks84 , December 1, 2010 6:07 AM
    "three-gigapixel Webcam"

    Now that'd be an awesome webcam. If only it was true... :( 
  • 0 Hide
    dEAne , December 1, 2010 8:00 AM
    thanks tom for this article.
  • 4 Hide
    silversurfernhs , December 1, 2010 8:24 AM
    last gaming laptop i'll ever own was the HDX20 8800m series... google it - thats why. It lasted me a few generations - and the wifey uses it now, still games well(for the games she plays anyway).

    All these "gaming" laptops are on 17" screens... i'd just as well plug it into an external monitor - which defeats the purpose a bit - might as well have a small fragbox for the price...

    I wish some company would rejuvinate the spirit of HP's HDX Dragon line...
  • 1 Hide
    blibba , December 1, 2010 8:38 AM
    So, why can#t we have a fully enabled GF106 for desktops? Ffs Nvidia...
  • 0 Hide
    Maziar , December 1, 2010 11:38 AM
    Thanks for the article;however,I hoped you compare it with 2 GTX 480Ms as well
    BTW,you can find this laptop(with the same config as the review) much cheaper from other sites such as XoticPC.(Starts from $2100)
    http://www.xoticpc.com/sager-np7280-custom-laptop-built-the-clevo-x7200-p-2881.html
  • 4 Hide
    jomofro39 , December 1, 2010 11:50 AM
    True value will hit when the cpus with the integrated graphics come out, hopefully. That is their purpose, right? I hardly find 3,100 or 2,100 dollars a value. Gaming on the go is a privilege, not a need. Value on a privilege needs to be steeper than this.
  • 0 Hide
    Crashman , December 1, 2010 12:31 PM
    MaziarThanks for the article;however,I hoped you compare it with 2 GTX 480Ms as well
    Yes, well, the X8100 didn't support two of them due to power issues (most HUGE notebooks won't) and the other X7200 (the one with the 980X installed) had already been sent back.
  • 9 Hide
    theholylancer , December 1, 2010 12:34 PM
    soo umm i7 950 DESKTOP vs i7 920 XM MOBILE?

    did someone forgot to mention that the AMD cards were paired with mobile procs, while 460Ms got the destkop stuff?

    It did not made any sense when I saw that crysis high AMD gets slaughtered, and then V High is evenish. Then I looked back and saw that AMD gets a mobile CPU that could have been the bottleneck given the gfx power...



  • 0 Hide
    scook9 , December 1, 2010 1:00 PM
    Would have been nice to see the GTX 480m SLI results from when you had that notebook but otherwise good review, been able to find nothing on GTX 460m SLI until this!
  • 0 Hide
    shaun_shaun , December 1, 2010 1:26 PM
    40mins battery time to do what ?????
  • 0 Hide
    hixbot , December 1, 2010 1:32 PM
    Nice article. Will Toms ever do an new article devoted to microstuttering? It's been years since the subject has been approached, yet the phenomenon is still prevalent.
  • -1 Hide
    whysobluepandabear , December 1, 2010 1:36 PM
    I STILL don't understand the fetish that anyone would possibly have with gaming on a laptop.

    It's not like you can just take this baby to the park and play some Black Ops while Fido is chasing a tennis ball.


    It draws some serious power, and costs double what a desktop version would. Did I forget to mention on a desktop you could be playing on a 24" screen?


    Get a good desktop case, manage your cords properly and understand that desktops aren't that big of a deal to move if mobility is your thing.


    IMHO, big waste of money. Laptops aren't suitable yet for gaming. For me personally, I don't like the screen and keyboard being on the same level....I need the keyboard lower, and carrying around a different keyboard sort of kills the idea of practicality and mobility.
  • 2 Hide
    tomskent , December 1, 2010 1:47 PM
    It always amazes me when people talk about how gaming laptops are useless machines that cost so much more then their desktop counterparts.
    It only goes to show you have never been to a LAN party.
    No one intends on using these machines away from a power socket.
    Weigh your computer case, monitor, keyboard, mouse, speaker system, all the cables....tell me if they weigh more then 17lbs and if it can fit in a small backpack. Not to mention the time it takes to break down the whole system, pack it, reassemble it, then break it down again, then reassemble it.
  • 0 Hide
    bildo123 , December 1, 2010 1:59 PM
    silversurfernhslast gaming laptop i'll ever own was the HDX20 8800m series... google it - thats why. It lasted me a few generations - and the wifey uses it now, still games well(for the games she plays anyway).All these "gaming" laptops are on 17" screens... i'd just as well plug it into an external monitor - which defeats the purpose a bit - might as well have a small fragbox for the price...I wish some company would rejuvinate the spirit of HP's HDX Dragon line...


    There's a little hypocrisy in your post. You mention "gaming laptops" "only" having 17" screens and then talk about just getting a fragbox. But is a 20" monster "laptop" really a laptop? Technically its portable but its over 15lbs..."might as well just get a fragbox" IMO.
  • -1 Hide
    luke904 , December 1, 2010 3:00 PM
    tomskentIt always amazes me when people talk about how gaming laptops are useless machines that cost so much more then their desktop counterparts.It only goes to show you have never been to a LAN party.No one intends on using these machines away from a power socket. Weigh your computer case, monitor, keyboard, mouse, speaker system, all the cables....tell me if they weigh more then 17lbs and if it can fit in a small backpack. Not to mention the time it takes to break down the whole system, pack it, reassemble it, then break it down again, then reassemble it.



    and you would pay 3000 dollars to not have to do that? wow
  • 2 Hide
    tomskent , December 1, 2010 3:26 PM
    Quote:
    and you would pay 3000 dollars to not have to do that? wow


    Where did I say I would personally pay 3000 for a gaming laptop? oh yeah, I didnt.

    There are plenty of good gaming laptops out there for around $1000
    wow
  • 2 Hide
    rohitbaran , December 1, 2010 3:39 PM
    $3142 is value! You are kidding right! :D 
  • 0 Hide
    Lutfij , December 1, 2010 4:01 PM
    price wise, i wouldn't look any further. Specs wise - I'm dreaming already
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