AVADirect’s X7200: The GeForce GTX 485M SLI Mobile Graphics Giant

Better? Faster? Cheaper?

Always ready to scrap, Nvidia was quick to respond to AMD's Mobility Radeon HD 6970 In CrossFire On Eurocom's Panther by pointing to lower-cost vendors selling dual-module versions of its solution at a lower price. It was finally time for us to put the whole “AMD vs. Nvidia” mobile performance supremacy debate to rest, at least when it comes to this generation of cards.

With the sole goal of testing both performance and value claims, AVADirect supplied a configuration identical to its competitor’s except for three items: the HDMI input device included by Eurcom was removed, the Bluetooth feature removed by Eurocom was replaced, and the pair of GeForce GTX 485 graphics modules in SLI would take the place of the previously-tested Radeon HD 6970 CrossFire solution.

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AVADirect X7200 Configuration
PlatformClevo X7200 Chassis: Intel LGA 1366, X58 Express/ICH10R, MXM-III Discrete Graphics
CPUIntel Core i7-980X Extreme Edition Six-Core 3.33-3.60 GHz, 6.4 GT/s QPI, 12 MB L3 Cache, 32 nm, 130 W
RAMCrucial 12 GB (3 x 4 GB) DDR3-1333 SO-DIMM, CL9, 1.5 V, Non-ECC
GraphicsDual Nvidia GeFore GTX 485M, 2 GB GDDR5, SLI
Display17.3" Glossy LED-Backlit TFT, 1920x1080
Webcam3.0 Megapixel
AudioIntegrated HD Audio
SecurityBuilt-in Fingerprint Reader
Hard DriveSeagate Momentus XT ST95005620AS Hybrid, 500 GB + 4 GB Flash
Optical DriveH-L Data CT21N 6x Blu-ray Reader / 8x DVD Writer Combo Drive
Media Drive9-in-1 Flash Media Interface
Wireless LANIntel Ultimate-N 6300, IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n, 11/54/450 Mb/s
Wireless PANIntegrated Bluetooth Device
Gigabit NetworkJMicron PCIe 10/100/1000 Mb/s Ethernet
IEEE-1394Optional (not installed)
TelephonyNot Available
Peripheral Interfaces
USB3 x USB 2.0, 2 x USB 3.0
Expansion CardNot Available
HDD1 x eSATA 3Gb/s
AudioHeadphone, Microphone, Line-In, Digital Out Jacks
Video1 x Dual-Link DVI-I w/VGA Adapter, 1 x HDMI
Power & Weight
AC Adapter300 W Power Brick, 100-240 V AC to 15 V DC
Battery14.8 V 5300 mAh (78.44 Wh) Single
WeightNotebook 13.4 lbs, AC Adapter 3.6 lbs (x 2), Total 20.6 pounds
Operating SystemMicrosoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit Edition, OEM
WarrantyOne-year parts and labor

AVADirect’s GeForce GTX 485M-based solution is several hundred dollars cheaper than its competitor’s offering based on Radeon HD 6970M, in spite of its identical processor, memory, operating system, and storage. Even the Bluetooth module AVADirect supplied is priced similarly to the HDMI input modules supplied by its competitor (according to that competitor’s price sheet), making today’s system appear a better value than the one previously reviewed. Our benchmarks will reveal whether that apparent increase in value rings true.

Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.
  • tacoslave
    these thing are ridiculously expensive. Besides it seems dual gpu's(at least in the mobile sector) scale HORRIBLY in most scenerios.
  • alikum
    wonder who buy these things
  • LuckyDucky7
    Those who really, really need the power, or just have lots of money to blow on stuff like this.

    Those who need to process large data sets on the go would likely see lots of use from a machine like this.
    Also, those who develop software and need a mobile machine to showcase their new products (especially if that software happens to be a game).

    Diminishing returns? Maybe with personal laptops < 1000 dollars. Not with this class of machine.
  • Crashman
    tacoslavethese thing are ridiculously expensive. Besides it seems dual gpu's(at least in the mobile sector) scale HORRIBLY in most scenerios.If you look at the 1920x1080 highest detail results, it's somewhere around 60-80%. I wouldn't call that horrible. You do want to game at the panel's native resolution, no?
  • Maziar
    Great review as always Crashman :)
    Judging from the specs,1 GTX 485M performance falls between a desktop GTX 460 and GTX 560Ti right ?
  • Crashman
    MaziarGreat review as always Crashman Judging from the specs,1 GTX 485M performance falls between a desktop GTX 460 and GTX 560Ti right ?It looks that way on paper...I'm sure there's an X7200 review with a desktop card that you could use to make the conversions.
  • Maziar
    But I liked to see a desktop system in the comparison charts.
  • silverblue
    Crysis 1280x720 is a bit of an abberation for the 6970 in Crossfire. Had it not misbehaved there, the result would have been closer, however now AMD have to drop their prices as NVIDIA have brought out a very good solution.
  • americanbrian
    I kind of object to using all of the low resolution results on a configuration like this. It seems like all that it does is skew the results in favour of Nvidia, where in actual fact at the highest details and resolutions (i.e. the targeted area for a gaming laptop) the radeons conclusively win in performance.

    I understand that the value proposition is not very good still, but your conclusion is misleading in my opinion. People splashing out to be able to play the most modern games at highest res simply do not care how many excessive frames are pushed at the low end.
  • Pointdexter
    Ok there's something I don't understand : on Eurocom's website an HD6970M costs 475$ LESS than an GTX 485M ... in fact the 6970M costs the same as an GTX 470M

    so how can an SLI'd GTX 485 could be cheaper than an Xfire'd GTX 485M ?