Tomb Raider, Total War: Shogun 2, And WoW: Mists Of Pandaria
The built-in benchmark for Tomb Raider shows that the Alienware system's GeForce GTX 680M falls shy of delivering the 30 FPS average we're looking for. Meanwhile, the MSI’s overclocked GeForce GTX 780M manages a more comfortable 42 FPS, and the Eurocom Panther 5D leverages SLI to remain far ahead at every resolution.
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, 780M, and two 680Ms in SLI scale up.
Disabling anti-aliasing yields a massive performance increase.
This is largely an academic test, since the higher-resolution benchmark was plenty playable. However, dropping to 720p relieves enough of the graphics workload that MSI's GT70 almost catches Eurocom's more potent platform.
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 were to, however, performance would shoot up palpably.
It takes a GeForce GTX 780M to cause Intel's fastest Haswell-based mobile processor to show up as a bottleneck in this game. The lower-end GeForce GTX 680M in Alienware's M18x still scales paired to its Ivy Bridge-based CPU.