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

Benchmark Results: Audio And Video Encoding

Before we move on to the all-important game tests, we wanted to see what effect Alienware’s surprise lead in Sandra might have in CPU-constrained applications. We begin with Apple iTunes, which has proven itself to be poorly threaded and frequency-bound in most of our previous reviews.

The 3.2 GHz M17x should fall slightly behind the 3.33 GHz Leopard, unless the Leopard isn’t using its maximum Turbo multiplier effectively. We checked it, and found that while the system did occasionally reach 3.3 GHz, it more often ran at 3.2 GHz under light single-threaded loads.

Whether a result of cooling or programming, better engineering puts the lower-clocked M17x ahead of the faster X8100 in HandBrake. Though the difference is small, the victory of a less-expensive part is significant in this well-threaded application.

DivX results are atypical for the M17x, and that’s a problem we’ve seen before in our System Builder Marathons. We don’t change anything during the benchmark’s installation, but will point out that this particular benchmark only shows inconsistent results rarely. Xvid shows realistic results while running under the same TMPGEnc installation.

The super-expensive notebooks almost catch the desktop in MainConcept, and the X8100 again appears to throttle its CPU slightly.

  • 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