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Alienware's M17x: Mobility Radeon HD 5870 CrossFire Is A Go

Benchmark Results: Synthetics

Because all three of today’s notebook systems use different processors to reflect their disparate prices, we wanted to put the synthetic benchmarks up front. This gets the benchmarks that don’t relate to real-world program performance out of the way first, while also giving us a look at raw CPU performance.

3DMark shows the X8100 Leopard in a slim lead over the M17x, even though both share the same graphics hardware. A quick behind-the-scenes look reveals that the M17x’s GPU scores are around 300 3DMarks lower, and that points to Alienware’s older drivers (rather than its lower-model CPU) as the culprit.

PCMark Vantage takes advantage of Eurocom’s super-fast Crucial SSD drive, followed by AVADirect’s somewhat-fast Corsair SSD. Alienware’s pair of 7200 RPM HDD drives fall behind, even in RAID 0.

This is where things get really interesting: both of Sandra’s CPU tests show the M17x’s Core i7-920XM in a performance lead over the Leopard’s i7-940XM. We checked both systems to assure that everything was running correctly, and verified that the base clock, stock base multiplier, and Turbo Boost mode were all correctly set. That means that either the 920XM system is using Turbo mode more effectively, or the 940XM-based system is clock-throttling. Either of these would result in a legitimate win for the “lower-rated” system.

Eurocom uses CAS 7 DDR3-1333, while Alienware and AVADirect use CAS 9. All of the systems in today’s test were set to DDR3-1333.

  • Hmmm. Overpriced.
    Reply
  • wintermint
    wasabiman123I smell a comeback hehe
    Fixed... wtf is wrong with you..
    Reply
  • unclewebb
    When you review a product like this, why not go over to the Notebook Review forums and ask the experts there about the M17x R2? The Core i7 Extreme mobile processors are absolute beasts when they have been unlocked and fully overclocked. The turbo throttling that is common to the Core i7 mobile CPUs when loaded can easily be corrected by raising the turbo TDP/TDC values for a simple yet significant increase in performance. Do your readers a favor and show everyone what the M17x is really capable of. With the help of a program called ThrottleStop, you can completely transform the performance of these CPUs.
    Reply
  • gorillateets
    It'd be nice if Tom's would review some of the more midrange gaming laptops from around $750-$1000. I got a great deal on an Asus G60 with respectable specs and can run any modern game at decent settings. Who here can really throw down that much cash on a laptop? Either way, nice review.
    Reply
  • Crashman
    gorillateetsIt'd be nice if Tom's would review some of the more midrange gaming laptops from around $750-$1000. I got a great deal on an Asus G60 with respectable specs and can run any modern game at decent settings. Who here can really throw down that much cash on a laptop? Either way, nice review.It's a tough problem because I wouldn't game on a weak GPU. Since I can't afford any notebook over $2000, I wouldn't game on a notebook. Since I wouldn't game on a notebook, I went in the opposite direction with a notebook that has integrated graphics and around eight hours of battery life. Of course, I also have desktops...
    Reply
  • duk3
    Bang for buck at $4000? Not so much.
    The problem with big heavy expensive laptops is that a desktop does everything they do and better at a third of the price.
    How much are you really going to be taking a $4000 laptop out of your house?
    Reply
  • braneman
    I like my m11x (i7 r2) sturdy plays most games except for the absolute bleeding edge of cpu throttled applications.
    Reply
  • tacoslave
    build kickass desktop for 3k and spend 1 k on this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834152207

    and laugh at people who bought this.
    Reply
  • TheStealthyOne
    Alienware? No thanks.

    Although you definitely are paying a superflous price premium, you're at least getting power (the same can't be said for MACs.)
    Reply
  • cinergy
    GTX 480M looks like a big whimper compared to those Radeon dualies.
    Reply