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Nvidia didn’t take long to respond to AMD’s Radeon HD 6970M CrossFire threat, firing back with its own high-end mobile part in SLI. AVADirect was standing at the ready, armed with Clevo’s X7200 and ready to take on ammo from its willing supplier Nvidia.
Using the same X7200 notebook and non-graphics hardware, AVADirect's GTX 485M SLI machine provides around 6% better average gaming performance at around 10% lower cost than its competitor's 6970M CrossFire solution. That sounds like improved value to us. Yet that value is vulnerable, attacked with a simple price cut on high-margin parts. Once this review was written and posted, AVADirect updated its pricing, listing its own Radeon HD 6970M CrossFire configuration for several hundred dollars less than the tested GeForce GTX 485M. Adding a reduced-cost 6970M option to its configuration sheets allows AVADirect to retain its price leadership, while potentially handing the graphics value crown back to AMD.
Our trepidation over weight is universal across today’s test candidates, with the dual-GPU X7200 package weighing 17 pounds, including its AC adapter. Adding a second power brick pushes this thing to 20.6 pounds, which is more than some gaming desktops weigh. And even though a 20.6-pound notebook still packs up much more conveniently than a desktop and peripherals, most of us will likely wait for a lighter Sandy Bridge-based model before making any financial commitments.