GeForce GTX 580M SLI Vs. Radeon HD 6990M CrossFire

A flagship graphics launch is bound to fail unless it's the fastest game in town. Well, both AMD and Nvidia say their respective juggernauts have that title. Clearly, only one company can be right. Is the Radeon HD 6990M or GeForce GTX 580M quicker?

A thick arm, a fat wallet, and a little technical knowledge are all that stands between you and portable gaming paradise. System builder and hardware co-developer Eurocom makes it that easy to get a top-end gaming configuration, with a bit of help from its chassis and GPU partners.

Central to its efforts, the aged Panther 2 chassis now houses Intel’s desktop-class (130 W) Core i7-990X hexa-core processor, in addition to a pair of MXM-based graphics cards.

At this point, we could frankly start recycling photos and go into a full description of the Panther 2, a machine that has garnered more than its share of attention in various Tom’s Hardware notebook reviews if we include its X7200 siblings.

But rather than rewrite previously-published information, today’s article focuses on the things that make this Panther 2 special: namely, its ability to accommodate incredibly powerful dual-card mobile graphics configurations. Below is the configuration that first arrived in our lab.

Eurocom Panther 2 Component List
PlatformIntel LGA 1366, X58 Express / ICH10R, MXM-Based Discrete Graphics
CPUIntel Core i7-990X (Gulftown) Six-Core 3.46-3.73 GHz, 6.4 GT/s QPI, 12 MB L3 Cache, 32 nm, 130 W
RAMSamsung 12 GB (3 x 4 GB) DDR3-1333 SO-DIMM, CL9, 1.5 V, Non-ECC
GraphicsDual AMD Radeon HD 6990M, 2 GB GDDR5, CrossFire
Display17.3" Glossy LED Backlit TFT, 1920x1080
Webcam3.0 Megapixel
AudioIntegrated HD Audio
SecurityBuilt-in Fingerprint Reader
Storage
Hard Drive3 x Intel 510 250 GB SSD, 750 GB (Striped), SATA 6Gb/s
Optical DriveMatsushita UJ240AS 6x Blu-ray Burner
Media Drive9-in-1 Flash Media Interface
Networking
Wireless LANBigfoot Killer Wireless-N 1102 (Atheros AR5BHB116)
Wireless PANInternal Bluetooth V2.1/3.0 +EDR Module
Gigabit NetworkJMicron PCIe 10/100/1000 Mb/s Ethernet
IEEE-1394Optional (not installed)
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, 1 x 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 pounds, AC Adapter 3.6 pounds, Total 17.0 pounds
Software
Operating SystemMicrosoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit Edition, OEM
Service
WarrantyThree-years parts, labor and tech support
Price$7038


Since today’s article compares the latest mobile GPUs from both Nvidia and AMD, Eurocom also included a pair of GeForce GTX 580M graphics cards. That’s a $581 upgrade for most buyers, yet it barely compares to the sexy $1755 hard drive upgrade already installed in the configuration that showed up at our door. If you were really worried about pinching pennies on this thing, you could cut the price by $268 and choose a one-year warranty instead. 

Moreover, if you really want to switch graphics modules around, you'll need the different GPU heat sinks. All of these parts arrived separately so that we could experience the upgrade process available to any owner of an X7200-based chassis. Eurocom even sells alternative upgrade components if you own a Dell or HP notebook, for example, and would like to upgrade.

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71 comments
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    Top Comments
  • burnley14
    I'm amazed that this product even exists. The market for people willing to pay $7k for a behemoth gaming laptop has to be pretty miniscule.
    28
  • theuniquegamer
    i think i can buy a premium hatchback car at that price lol
    17
  • Crashman
    iam2thecrowe377W lol, that needs a big ass AC Adaptor!
    Remember that's input wattage FOR the adapter. The output was STILL less than 300W. These high-capacity power bricks are far from being 80-Plus Gold rated!
    11
  • Other Comments
  • mightymaxio
    Good to see that the performance of the SLI 580m lives up to the name.
    2
  • burnley14
    I'm amazed that this product even exists. The market for people willing to pay $7k for a behemoth gaming laptop has to be pretty miniscule.
    28
  • decembermouse
    Come on, AMD, I've seen too many articles like this declaring Nvidia's new solution to be the superior one. We know that AMD's cards tend to be more power-efficient, but that only goes so far for some people. Keep that advantage certainly, but become more competitive with overall performance as well.
    1
  • aznshinobi
    Do you really need this much performance in a laptop, I curious. A GTX 560M could run most games on medium-high anyways (on a laptop) those laptops run about $1100, the saved money could get you a beast SB-E or BD comp and then some left for the college fund.
    1
  • Crashman
    aznshinobiDo you really need this much performance in a laptop, I curious. A GTX 560M could run most games on medium-high anyways (on a laptop) those laptops run about $1100, the saved money could get you a beast SB-E or BD comp and then some left for the college fund.
    Do you really think so? Because 1920x1080 seems to be a fairly popular resolution for 17" notebooks, and a single GTX 580M appears barely-adequate for medium-settings at that resolution. Well, maybe a single HD 6990M would do. That's why the article suggested the HD 6990M might be a top solution for slightly smaller notebooks, aka "normal sized" 17" notebooks.
    3
  • _Pez_
    how long until battery run out of energy ? 25 minutes of gaming ? LOL
    0
  • Phyrexiancure
    Wow, this is light years better than my desktop.
    2
  • iam2thecrowe
    377W lol, that needs a big ass AC Adaptor!
    9
  • Crashman
    iam2thecrowe377W lol, that needs a big ass AC Adaptor!
    Remember that's input wattage FOR the adapter. The output was STILL less than 300W. These high-capacity power bricks are far from being 80-Plus Gold rated!
    11
  • Todd Sauve
    CrashmanDo you really think so? Because 1920x1080 seems to be a fairly popular resolution for 17" notebooks, and a single GTX 580M appears barely-adequate for medium-settings at that resolution. Well, maybe a single HD 6990M would do. That's why the article suggested the HD 6990M might be a top solution for slightly smaller notebooks, aka "normal sized" 17" notebooks.


    This entire article is eminently STUPID! Who is going to spend that kind of money on a notebook simply so they can play games on it?

    And is there a human being on this planet that can make use of a resolution like 1920x1080 on a 17" notebook screen in order to play games?

    It is little wonder that the rest of the world finds us degenerate when we will indulge ourselves with toys like this, and at such a scandalous price, while millions of our fellow human beings are simply starving to death as we speak ... ;(
    -8
  • jaksikaks
    Isn't most of the tested games TWIMTBP (NVidia sponsored titles)?
    2
  • kikireeki
    The battery in this beast is no more than an aesthetic accessory.
    10
  • theuniquegamer
    i think i can buy a premium hatchback car at that price lol
    17
  • Fokissed
    todd sauveThis entire article is eminently STUPID! Who is going to spend that kind of money on a notebook simply so they can play games on it?And is there a human being on this planet that can make use of a resolution like 1920x1080 on a 17" notebook screen in order to play games?It is little wonder that the rest of the world finds us degenerate when we will indulge ourselves with toys like this, and at such a scandalous price, while millions of our fellow human beings are simply starving to death as we speak ... ;(

    Not sure if troll or just stupid...
    7
  • Crashman
    jaksikaksIsn't most of the tested games TWIMTBP (NVidia sponsored titles)?
    Don't know, don't care, doesn't matter as long as these titles haven't had an issue of fairness in the past. We've see many games sponsored by one side or the other favor the side that didn't provide that sponsorship. Ask Angelini, he's the man!
    2
  • stingstang
    At least AMD is giving Nvidia competition again. There were a few dark ages when Nvidia was just jacking up their prices as much as they wanted.
    1
  • trandoanhung1991
    burnley14I'm amazed that this product even exists. The market for people willing to pay $7k for a behemoth gaming laptop has to be pretty miniscule.


    Well, there certainly is a market for those. I wonder how many professionals actually run on gaming workstations because the same kind of power using professional cards are so much more expensive.

    Other than that, buying such a machine purely for gaming is not for everyone. But if you are not able to stay home often, and are an avid gamer, then spending 7k every year or so just to be able to game while on business trips doesn't seem too expensive, actually. Better than not being able to play at all, really.
    1
  • ghnader hsmithot
    It has a market, and the market is full of dumb people.
    Get a mid range laptop which plays games and not only that with the money you left over you could save it to buy a new laptop in the future.

    Peace.
    -2
  • lp231
    I see Zonda style charging port
    1
  • Au_equus
    todd sauveThis entire article is eminently STUPID! Who is going to spend that kind of money on a notebook simply so they can play games on it?And is there a human being on this planet that can make use of a resolution like 1920x1080 on a 17" notebook screen in order to play games?It is little wonder that the rest of the world finds us degenerate when we will indulge ourselves with toys like this, and at such a scandalous price, while millions of our fellow human beings are simply starving to death as we speak ... ;(

    Yeah, actually most of our stuff is based off of wants. So how about we sell all our stuff that we don't need and donate the money to our fellow human beings. Seriously, dude? > 99% of us just oooohhh and aaaaahhh and flip to another webpage, while you get on your soapbox. get a life
    3