Results: Tomb Raider, Total War: Shogun 2, And WoW: Mists Of Pandaria
The built-in benchmark for Tomb Raider shows that the Eurocom Panther 5D leverages SLI to remain far ahead at every resolution. Alienware's single GeForce GTX 680M falls shy of an average 30 FPS at the Ultimate preset; you'd probably want to drop back to High for an optimal experience. Meanwhile, the MSI’s overclocked GeForce GTX 780M manages a more comfortable 42 FPS at 1920x1080. That's probably good enough to enjoy the TressFX option at Ultimate, though you could certainly drop to Ultra and still get great visuals.
Total War: Shogun 2
None of these machines have any problems playing Shogun 2 at its highest settings. What's more, we get a good sense of how the GeForce GTX 680M, factory-overclocked 780M, and two 680Ms in SLI scale.
Disabling anti-aliasing yields a massive performance increase for the single-GPU configurations. Two 680Ms in SLI don't get as much of a boost. Then again, it wasn't really needed; the first graph showed Eurocom's Panther 5D to be plenty playable.
Dropping to 720p relieves enough of the graphics workload that the factory-overclocked 780M in MSI's GT70 almost catches Eurocom's more potent SLI-enabled platform. That's a platform bottleneck for you.
World Of Warcraft: Mist Of Pandaria
World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria offers a lush expansion with detailed new worlds. One of the most demanding sections of the game is in Honeydew Village. Placing a character directly in-between the guards of the entrance to the city when it’s raining in-game, then panning the camera just above the grassy hill beside them brings a very high number of moving objects into view. It is one of the worst-case scenarios that we’ve found in the game.
There are a ton of moving components in our test sequence. Each machine delivers excellent frame rates, with only the Eurocom platform showing signs of an outright processor bottleneck.
The best-looking settings are plenty playable, so there's no real reason to drop to Blizzard's High preset. If you do, however, performance shoots up palpably. The Panther 5D is again processor-bound, of course.
Once again, the Panther 5D's SLI setup is bottlenecked. It takes a GeForce GTX 780M to cause Intel's fastest Haswell-based mobile processor to show up as limiter in this game. The lower-end GeForce GTX 680M in Alienware's M18x still scales when it's paired to an Ivy Bridge-based CPU.
In all of our gaming tests, the Panther 5D solidly outperforms the other two notebooks with one GPU and mobile processors. The fact that several of the games we tested were CPU-bound, even backed by a six-core desktop CPU, demonstrates the Panther 5D's advantage over other mobile platforms. Really, you'd need to hook this thing up to a QHD or larger display to tax its graphics subsystem.