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Energy, Efficiency, And Battery Life

Is That A Notebook? MALIBAL's Six-Core, Dual-GPU, Speed Demon
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Our power consumption numbers shed light on the energy-saving attributes of Intel’s mobile processors, with the CrossFire-equipped M17x drawing less power than the single-card equipped X7200. The tradeoff is, of course, lower performance for the mobile parts.

There is no perfect way to compare desktop and notebook platform energy, since the power supplies can never be the same. This is particularly true with the 80 PLUS Gold-rated OCZ Z1000M power supply our desktop used, which exhibits increased efficiency as load is increased. The MALIBAL Nine X7200 uses a fanless power supply that gets somewhat warm at high loads, which should result in increased efficiency as load is decreased. It appears the desktop platform’s two low-cost GeForce GTS 450 graphics cards use about the same amount of power as the notebook’s dual high-end GTX 480M modules.

And therein is the snag for both Nvidia and power users. Nvidia’s failure is that its $800 GeForce GTX 480M is neither more efficient nor more powerful than the $130 desktop GeForce GTS 450 at the resolutions supported by most notebook panels. Power users, on the other hand, must face the fact that Intel’s Core i7-980X draws big power no matter where it’s installed, resulting in a notebook that’s 2.8” thick and reaches 43 db at full load (one meter), realistically sounds closer to 50db when you’re sitting in front of it, uses a power brick that’s larger than a red facing brick, and has a combined weight greater than that of most bowling balls.

But the woes of power users don’t end at portability and noise. Those hoping to combine the X7200’s CPU and twin graphics processors in some super-duty GPU-assisted encoding tasks should consider themselves lucky if their programs can’t take full-advantage of the GeForce GTX 480M’s capabilities. A few seconds into our attempt to run eleven threads of Prime95 and one thread of FurMark across both graphics processors simultaneously pushed at-the-wall power consumption beyond 400 W, activating the power adapter’s overload protection circuit. Performance slowed to a crawl as the system went into battery-powered mode.

The good news that followed this test was that no combination of real-world programs and games was able to create the same phenomena, with Crysis and Prime95 pulling a maximum of 372 W from the wall (below the 400+ W required to trip the automatically-resetting circuit breaker).

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Top Comments
  • 20 Hide
    Darkerson , November 3, 2010 6:13 AM
    Dear god, that thing is a beast...
  • 12 Hide
    barmaley , November 3, 2010 7:28 AM
    Maybe it’s because of my lack of imagination, but somehow I fail to find an appropriate application for it. Portable gaming of roughly 30 minutes on battery is next to useless. Which means you must have power outlet if you want to play most the time. In that case you might as well build a mini desktop for a quarter of the price and haul it everywhere with you along with a monitor, lol :) 

    On a more serious note, I can see it being a good option if you are at one of those insane doctor appointments where they make you wait for like 3 hours for no reason before you get seen; or on a road trip; or at an airport and then on a plane if power is made available to you (business class).

    If I had a $6000 budget to blow on a computer, this thing would not be on the list. Desktop beats this thing for LAN parties hands down. With all of its performance you still have to live with this pricey, bulky, hot, heavy and butt-ugly unit.
  • 12 Hide
    compton , November 3, 2010 6:19 AM
    I'm not sure how awesome this is in practice. I'm sure someone out othere needs this, but that person would have to be blind to appreciate the asthetics.
Other Comments
  • 20 Hide
    Darkerson , November 3, 2010 6:13 AM
    Dear god, that thing is a beast...
  • 12 Hide
    compton , November 3, 2010 6:19 AM
    I'm not sure how awesome this is in practice. I'm sure someone out othere needs this, but that person would have to be blind to appreciate the asthetics.
  • 10 Hide
    iam2thecrowe , November 3, 2010 6:20 AM
    its more of a portable pc than a notebook. look at the power consumption. Even its own power adaptor cant keep up at max load.
  • 9 Hide
    Darkerson , November 3, 2010 6:21 AM
    In this case, its not really about looks, as much as its about "portable" brute strength. And it seems to have plenty of that...
  • 1 Hide
    bombat1994 , November 3, 2010 6:24 AM
    this is why we cant have nice things,

    but seriously, the 480m is just a small 450
  • -3 Hide
    Anonymous , November 3, 2010 6:25 AM
    thats actually really good performance from a top end system
    at most rates it is still fairly close to a desktop in price also
  • -6 Hide
    maxiim , November 3, 2010 6:41 AM
    This quite useless if you want all that power for gaming, you surely cant have it on the go with a battery provided....might as well build a with almost the same specs for less money.
  • 4 Hide
    compton , November 3, 2010 6:44 AM
    Its the same price as a base model Kia Rio just about. Kudos to them for the engineering needed to make this gear work in a mobile chassis. I may not be sold on the concept, or see the need of, but I hope they sell a ton of them. It is kinda cool just because its so powerful -- but for the price you could build or buy two highly specialized systems. It could be a mobile workstation or for AV production work on site instead of just for gaming. Clearly these ultra powerful 'notebooks' are a niche segment, but there are quite a few now. Someone must be buying them.
  • 0 Hide
    sudeshc , November 3, 2010 6:49 AM
    Not that impressive to me main reason for Lappy is portability and thats where this lacks i wounder even if under no load how much heat it would generate and also the battery wont last long..
  • 5 Hide
    Crashman , November 3, 2010 6:52 AM
    comptonIt could be a mobile workstation or for AV production work on site instead of just for gaming. Clearly these ultra powerful 'notebooks' are a niche segment, but there are quite a few now. Someone must be buying them.
    Actually, that's what the X7200 is! Tom's Hardware got the "gaming" version simply to show off its capabilities to enthusiasts, but the Quadro versions are equally viable (and likely more valuable) in their own respective markets.
  • 5 Hide
    Khimera2000 , November 3, 2010 6:58 AM
    I remember having some of clevo's other offerings. This thing although hard to lug is a god send for any one in the military... It was the only way i was able to game on deployement at the time. but on a negative note these things way a ton >.< don't do the messanger bag if you like where that sholders at :D 
  • 0 Hide
    ridewya , November 3, 2010 7:00 AM
    DaMn This laptop is soo freakin ugly
  • 6 Hide
    IzzyCraft , November 3, 2010 7:10 AM
    That's one hell of a power brick.
  • -2 Hide
    amdgamer666 , November 3, 2010 7:24 AM
    ridewyaDaMn This laptop is soo freakin ugly


    It's thick for sure but not ugly. There is a difference

    The day I can justify a purchase like this is the day I die a happy man.
  • 12 Hide
    barmaley , November 3, 2010 7:28 AM
    Maybe it’s because of my lack of imagination, but somehow I fail to find an appropriate application for it. Portable gaming of roughly 30 minutes on battery is next to useless. Which means you must have power outlet if you want to play most the time. In that case you might as well build a mini desktop for a quarter of the price and haul it everywhere with you along with a monitor, lol :) 

    On a more serious note, I can see it being a good option if you are at one of those insane doctor appointments where they make you wait for like 3 hours for no reason before you get seen; or on a road trip; or at an airport and then on a plane if power is made available to you (business class).

    If I had a $6000 budget to blow on a computer, this thing would not be on the list. Desktop beats this thing for LAN parties hands down. With all of its performance you still have to live with this pricey, bulky, hot, heavy and butt-ugly unit.
  • 2 Hide
    joytech22 , November 3, 2010 7:33 AM
    I think the idea of this laptop is more of a desktop replacement, it's got the awesome power of a decent desktop in a small package with everything in one, so you don't need to lug around a mouse, keyboard and screen.

    But then again you'll still need those things for LAN's but at least it weighs less than most Enthusiast systems.
  • 0 Hide
    arkadi , November 3, 2010 7:33 AM
    Imagine....Your new "speed daemon" cup of coffee and sudden move...With one year warranty i will never spend 5k on computer...i wonder who will.....
  • 7 Hide
    kingnoobe , November 3, 2010 8:34 AM
    Theres very good reason to buy a laptop like this. One of those is being in the military. It would've sucked to pack up my desktop and bring here. Not to mention it wouldn't have made it anyways (all our shit got stolen). With a laptop like this (I personally don't have it but I do have the asus-g series) I don't have to worry about all the bullshit of a desktop (space). We're living in tents so that is a serious issue.

  • -5 Hide
    Anonymous , November 3, 2010 9:03 AM
    the battery at 7844 mWh capacity is about one third of ipad battery which is 25Wh or 2500mWh
  • 8 Hide
    alexcheng , November 3, 2010 9:20 AM
    Anyone still need a definition for "hardcore"??
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