Results: Arma 3 And Battlefield 4
The desktop system starts off with a lead in Arma 3, but that’s probably because it sports a faster CPU. Increased graphics resolution allows the X7 Pro’s GeForce GTX 970M SLI configuration to take precedence, at least while plugged-in.
We see a nice flat line at the target 30FPS rate when only a single GeForce GTX 970M is enabled. Current hardware and drivers even keep that line flatter than the previous standard set by Nvidia's 870M.
SLI is useless when the battery-powered X7 Pro is subjected to Arma 3’s Ultra preset. The same system magically becomes playable simply by disabling SLI, which simultaneously enables BatteryBoost on one GeForce GTX 970M GPU.
All of our Battlefield 4 results are important, but often for different reasons. At medium quality defaults, the X7 Pro’s pair of GTX 970Ms in SLI match the single Radeon R9 290X in my $1600 PC. The single GeForce GTX 970M outpaces the GTX 870M by about 40%. And the default 30FPS setting for single-GPU “BatteryBoost” is slightly higher on the newer machine.
SLI performs horribly at high resolutions in battery-operated mode, since BatteryBoost doesn’t work with SLI enabled.
The case against mobile SLI gets stronger at Battlefield 4’s Ultra preset, since we suddenly find sub-20FPS performance at the panel’s native 1920x1080 resolution. SLI can be disabled in software, allowing BatteryBoost to take over as a performance booster rather than a power-saver.
I mean, I can somehow even understand the zombie drain by the other gpu, but even so: how is it possible that if you just write a word document and read news from the internet, you get something like 2h of battery life.
Obviously, the person who purchases this might not need even 1h battery life ever, but that does not change the fact that something seems to be wrong here, or even broken, when the previous gen laptop achieves 5-6h of battery life in such scenarios.
I am like 95% sure that either the power saving options were not enabled, or they were not functioning properly or some component was flawed or some driver was misbehaving. Or then something else weird was going on.
In any case, I am 100% certain that I can get 3-4h of battery life in a light use, non-gaming scenario with a properly built laptop even if it was sporting this kind of hardware (ie. i7-4870HQ, 970M SLI, 17,3" FHD...)