Last week Engadget stumbled across images over on the Notebook Review forums revealing unreleased Alienware M17x notebooks running Intel's next-gen Sandy Bridge processors, appearing just one month ahead of Intel's official release.
According to the post, 3DMark06 showed that the 2 GHz Core i7-2630QM model using Intel's integrated HD graphics scored 15,940 whereas the model sporting a 2.2 GHz i7-2720QM with AMD Radeon HD 6900M graphics scored 20,155. Another model using a 2.3 GHz i7-2820QM chip and Nvidia's GeForce GTX 460M GPU received a score of 16,957.
Outside the benchmarks, the notebook looks mighty tasty and offers the usual batch of features including 4 USB 2.0 ports, HDMI-out, DisplyPort and VGA outputs, an 8-in-1 card reader, one eSATA/USB 2.0 combo (2-in-1) with PowerShare, an ExpressCard slot, an IEEE 1394a 4-pin port and more.
Current Alienware M17x models (opens in new tab) start at $1799 and feature hardware such as Intel's Core i7 940XM processor @ 2.13 GHz, up to 8 GB of DDR3 memory, ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5870 or Nvidia Geforce GTX 285M graphics, 17-inch WUXGA or WXGA+ displays, up to 512 GB of internal storage and more.
Based on the 3DMark06 scores, is Intel's integrated graphics finally catching up with AMD and Nvidia mobile GPUs?