GeForce GTX 460M SLI: Mobile Gaming Value From AVADirect?


AVADirect’s GeForce GTX 460M SLI-based machine presented us with a great opportunity to compare the latest mobile GPUs, as well as a bit of a testing dilemma. While its Core i7-950 processor was matched by the previously-tested Core i7-940XM in lightly-threaded applications like games, its multi-threaded application performance makes it a beast in encoding and productivity tests.

Yet, we were most interested in how well its new GPU configuration would perform, so we accepted the configuration, even in light of its mismatched host processor. Shortly afterward, someone (Ed.: I'm guilty) suggested comparing it based on price-per-performance in a chart that looks like this:

The problem with the above chart is that it doesn’t account for features, such as the X8100’s larger 18.4” display and HDMI pass-through device (with added screen-grabbing capability). It doesn’t even account for smaller improvements, such as Alienware’s enhanced-resolution 1920x1200 display. And it certainly doesn’t account for the thinner design, lower heat, and longer battery life of its mobile CPU-based competitors. In fact, notebook CPUs cost more than the desktop part used to improve the X7200’s performance at the expense of cooler thickness, heat, battery life, and power supply weight.

Thus, we have two conclusions, and the first one is in regards to GPU alacrity. At less than half the cost and armed with most of the performance of Nvidia's GeForce GTX 480M, the GTX 460M becomes our preferred notebook GPU at this time. A pair of these easily smashes the performance of AMD’s fastest CrossFire-based solution. So take two now, and then call the doctor in the morning if you find yourself suddenly addicted to gaming at full detail levels on a laptop.

Second, the X7200’s use of a desktop processor sets it up as a value leader, but only if you don’t value having a notebook that’s less than 2.8” thick or less than 17 pounds heavy, with adapter. Had we been building our own GeForce GTX 460M SLI-equipped notebook, we’d have likely picked the X8100 chassis for its lower weight, lower power use, and larger screen.

But we’re not notebook builders; that’s AVADirect’s job, and the company focused on providing the most performance for the money. This is the point where AVADirect gets our kudos for topping the above chart, and we’re sure its builders are willing to assist any buyer in reaching their ultimate portability and performance goals.

Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.
  • bak0n
    $3,142 is not a value.
  • jrocks84
    "three-gigapixel Webcam"

    Now that'd be an awesome webcam. If only it was true... :(
  • dEAne
    thanks tom for this article.
  • silversurfernhs
    last gaming laptop i'll ever own was the HDX20 8800m series... google it - thats why. It lasted me a few generations - and the wifey uses it now, still games well(for the games she plays anyway).

    All these "gaming" laptops are on 17" screens... i'd just as well plug it into an external monitor - which defeats the purpose a bit - might as well have a small fragbox for the price...

    I wish some company would rejuvinate the spirit of HP's HDX Dragon line...
  • blibba
    So, why can#t we have a fully enabled GF106 for desktops? Ffs Nvidia...
  • nebun
    it's so funny that the mid range sli setup destroys the top of the like ati crossfire setup, lol. nvidia for life..
  • Maziar
    Thanks for the article;however,I hoped you compare it with 2 GTX 480Ms as well
    BTW,you can find this laptop(with the same config as the review) much cheaper from other sites such as XoticPC.(Starts from $2100)
  • jomofro39
    True value will hit when the cpus with the integrated graphics come out, hopefully. That is their purpose, right? I hardly find 3,100 or 2,100 dollars a value. Gaming on the go is a privilege, not a need. Value on a privilege needs to be steeper than this.
  • Crashman
    MaziarThanks for the article;however,I hoped you compare it with 2 GTX 480Ms as wellYes, well, the X8100 didn't support two of them due to power issues (most HUGE notebooks won't) and the other X7200 (the one with the 980X installed) had already been sent back.
  • theholylancer
    soo umm i7 950 DESKTOP vs i7 920 XM MOBILE?

    did someone forgot to mention that the AMD cards were paired with mobile procs, while 460Ms got the destkop stuff?

    It did not made any sense when I saw that crysis high AMD gets slaughtered, and then V High is evenish. Then I looked back and saw that AMD gets a mobile CPU that could have been the bottleneck given the gfx power...