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Eurocom’s Core i7 Notebook: Walking The Panther

Panther Guts

Flipping the D900F reveals its 14.4V, 6,600 mAh (95 watt hour) battery and a label that points to the fact that Eurocom refers to this specific model as both the D9F and D900F. Clevo, the Taiwanese ODM responsible for the Panther's mechanical design and manufacture, uses the D900F designation in its own product description.

Opening the forward bottom panels reveals two-drive and single-drive 2.5” HDD bays. A fourth internal drive can be installed in place of the optical drive. This is a Eurocom-exclusive modification to the Clevo design intended to add value for the folks who either want increased redundancy or more capacity. Our configuration uses two 500 GB Seagate 7200.4 drives in a Level 0 array (striping).

Two identical-looking fans on the left might lead one to believe that this is an SLI-based notebook, but removing them proves otherwise.

The first sink covers a single graphics module, while the second fan resides over Intel’s X58 Express desktop northbridge. The big fan isn’t needed for the chipset, but is instead part of an enormous three-fan-wide CPU cooler that also serves the chipset.

Anyone coming into the notebook market from desktop gaming might be shocked to see the so-called GTX 280M is actually nothing more than a G92 part with added memory. We discussed this fact in today’s GTX 280M/GTX 280 editorial, and our benchmarks will reveal it’s a solid performer by notebook standards even though, behind the scenes, nobody (including several VARs to which we've spoken) is pleased with Nvidia’s mobile nomenclature.

To the right of the graphics are two of three DDR3-1066 modules. Accessible from beneath the D900F keyboard, the third memory module can be spotted above through two holes in the motherboard. Eurocom’s configuration page shows that retail units will instead include DDR3-1333 modules, which help to boost specifications even though our tests have shown limited benefit for faster RAM.

There is no mobile socket for Core i7 (Calpella, the mobile version of Intel's Nehalem micro-architecture, isn't expected until late 2009), and the familiar desktop socket holds a 3.20 GHz Core i7-965 Extreme. The i7-975 Extreme became available after our unit was built, but is still supported, and other high-end options include Xeon processors of the same design.

  • lemonade4
    I really don't understand the point of this review. The two products in here are so different from each other.
    Reply
  • Crashman
    lemonade4I really don't understand the point of this review. The two products in here are so different from each other.
    Second fastest mobile processor vs second-fastest desktop processor, it shows the weakness of mobile CPUs AND the weakness of the latest notebook GPU's.

    It had to be compared to something...and it's the only notebook platform available with Core i7 so you can forget about that type of comparison.

    The real point of picking the MSI notebook was to compare the HD 4850 to the GTX 280m. None of Tom's Hardware's suppliers were able to deliver an HD 4870 notebook.
    Reply
  • the brick: 20 volt x 11 ampere is merely 220 watt?

    I'm not that familiar with those kinds of power supply, but isn't that way to low for these kinds of hardware setups?
    Reply
  • Crashman
    bodyglovethe brick: 20 volt x 11 ampere is merely 220 watt?I'm not that familiar with those kinds of power supply, but isn't that way to low for these kinds of hardware setups?
    Did you look at the power draw numbers on Page 12?
    Reply
  • falchard
    I think the point of the review is to show how much the Eurocon $5000 model is a waste of money. The MSI model should have been so outclassed in every aspect, yet it managed to be competitive at lower power envelops.
    Just look at the game selection, 2 games based on the same engine that heavily favor nVidia Architecture and 1 that is more processor bound.
    Reply
  • mike989
    I think the main problem with this review is, that people forget that Laptop's are designed to be portable, you obviously loose some performance. It’s a compromise between battery life and performance.
    Reply
  • scook9
    These 2 laptop articles today have only made me more and more happy with my Flextronics/Arima W840DI (thats an Alienware M17 for the less informed - I got it barebones though). Coming in at around $2500 now, I have 3870x2, a QX9300 (ES but still latest revision - TY ebay), 4GB DDR3 and 2 320GB 7200RPM hdd's. My system is slightly more capable than the eurocom above for gaming but of course is crushed in the CPU oriented benchmarks (not that mine does badly). Given that I am paying half as much for a smaller and lighter notebook, OK by me.
    Reply
  • sublifer
    Some of the productivity benchmarks are also likely helped by the DF900's RAIDed hdd set up vs the single hdd. Not sure if you forgot about that but I thought it would help to remind people.
    Reply
  • scook9
    well the m17 (w840di) can do raid as well, albeit, only across 2 drives.
    Reply
  • xi1inx
    Eurocom is reputed to lunch big desktop replacement at high cost. The only thing I suppose to be the point on this review, is the hype of the first Core i7 desktop replacement. The worst is the cost of this computer with another g92 derivate whith slighty poor performance. However, you can have 5k$ stover under your hands!
    Reply