Mobility Radeon Vs. GeForce M: The CrossFire Advantage

A Leopard That Changes Its Spots

Using custom components to make alternative hardware work with existing platforms, mobility specialist Eurocom builds some of the most sophisticated notebook configurations in the high-end market.

The company’s latest engineering triumph adds the most powerful gaming and professional graphics configurations to a Clevo X8100 chassis that was originally designed to house a pair of Nvidia G92-based cards. Now, the GeForce GTX 480M and a pair of Mobility Radeon HD 5870 modules top the company's gaming options.

An 18.4” screen means the X8100 Leopard is far from compact. Most of its internal space is devoted to hardware like the dual MXM Type-III graphics bays and three dedicated hard drive bays that, when factored in alongside a specially-available optical drive bay adapter, enable four hard drives to support RAID 10.

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Eurocom X8100 Component List
PlatformIntel PGA988, PM55 Express, MXM-III Discrete Graphics
CPUIntel Core i7-940XM Quad-Core 2.13-3.33 GHz, 2.5 GT/s QPI, 8 MB Shared L3 Cache, 45 nm, 55 W
RAMKingston 4 GB (2 x 2 GB) DDR3-1333 SO-DIMM, CL7, 1.5 V, Non-ECC
GraphicsDual ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5870, 1 GB GDDR5, CrossFireSingle Nvidia GeForce GTX 480M, 2 GB GDDR5
Display18.4" "Full HD" Glossy TFT, 1920x1080
Webcam2.0 Megapixel
AudioIntegrated HD Audio
SecurityBuilt-in Fingerprint Reader
Hard DriveCrucial RealSSD C300 256 GB, MLC, 2.5-Inch, SATA 6Gb/s SSD Up to four 2.5" drives supported internally in RAID 0, 1, and 10
Optical DriveLG CT10N Blu-ray Reader / DVD Writer Combo Drive
Media Drive7-in-1 Flash Media Interface
Wireless LANIntel Ultimate-N 6300, IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n, 11/54/450 Mb/s
Wireless PANOptional Internal Bluetooth V2.0 +EDR Module (not included)
Gigabit NetworkBuilt-in 10/100/1000 Mb/s Ethernet
IEEE-1394Integrated IEEE-1394 FireWire 400 controller
Peripheral Interfaces
USB4 x USB 2.0, 2 x USB 3.0
Expansion CardInternal Only
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 & WeightRow 23 - Cell 1
AC Adapter220 W Power Brick, 100-240 V AC to 19 V DC
Battery14.8 V 4650 mAh (68.82 Wh) Single
WeightNotebook 11.8 lbs, AC Adapter 2.2 lbs, Total 14.0 pounds
Operating SystemMicrosoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Edition, OEM
WarrantyStandard 1-Year Warranty (Add $259 for 3-Year Extended)
Price$4196 with Mobility Radeon HD 5870 CrossFire $4385 with GeForce GTX 480M

The X8100 Leopard can change its spots from red to green by supporting the full range of Radeon, GeForce, and Quadro FX graphics cards. The only caveat is that two first-generation Fermi processors are too hot for this chassis, even when reduced to mobile graphics specifications. Two Radeon HD 5870 graphics modules reach the cooling limits of X8100 chassis, and adding Intel’s high-flying i7-940XM takes us to its power limits. Anyone who needs the cooling benefits of a thicker chassis to support more powerful hardware should consider desktop hardware-based notebooks like Eurocom’s new Panther 2.0.

Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.
  • lashton
    the fermio acrh. cant compete against ATI in the mobile market simply because of design implementations, its physically larger, its an OK review if the nVidia card was faster there would have been more review about it
  • lunyone
    Shocker here! NOT! This wasn't anything new, but it's nice to see it all spelled out and on paper (benchmarks). Just think you can have a single 5870 (mobile) chip that produces about 90-95% of the 480 GPU for about 70% of the price?? I know where I'd put my $ if I had it to spend.
  • tony singh
    The reason nvidia price is higher is because making geforces is more expensive than making radeons, nvidia needs more transistors to reach or beat amd level, hence we can say that hd 5xxx is considerably more efficient than gtx400.
  • Crashman
    tony singhThe reason nvidia price is higher is because making geforces is more expensive than making radeonsAnd we saw how that worked out in the auto industry for General Motors. A company must base its prices on worth, not cost.
  • dEAne
    Nvidia is always an expensive video technology.
  • "...but notebook manufactures can fit two of AMD’s top modules in in the same space."

    This affirms it, Fermi is a FAT joke...
  • ggman
    nice review, nothing shocking though we all know the GTX480M is a downclocked GTX465 and the HD5870M is an underclocked 5770. thumbs up for Ati but lets see how will the new Mobile GPUs from nvidia hold up :)
  • alidan
    CrashmanAnd we saw how that worked out in the auto industry for General Motors. A company must base its prices on worth, not cost.
    now correct me if im wrong, and i may as well be. but chips, as in the cpu, gpu, anything that takes massive r&d costs, cost almost noting to make, in the big picture.

    intel so long as they have the fastest processor with little to no competition, prices there products, that may cost in total materials and man hours, maybe 50$ at most, and sells them for 1000$ each to recup the plants cost to manufacture, and the r&d. and if any of the rummors during the femri are to be believed, they had ALLOT to recupe and they need to do it somewhere, with amd pricing lower than they do for close to if not better preforming cards (in the price range) desktop isn't making them there money back fast. so why not gaming laptop where you have less of a choice what goes in.

    thats just my opinion though
  • liquidsnake718
    Yes, some more face time for te 5850!

    It just shows the true manufactoring win that AMD/ATi has accomplished in the past year with such a cool and low power GPU in the cypress and the rest of the radeon 5xxx class. With low heat and TDP requirments, AMD can also take the crown for mobile gaming. Im sure this also helps a tad in the battery life, however we have yet to see crazy gaming laptops hit the 2plus hour mark for movies and games. This is a shame because the first one that can lastat least 3 hours on its highest settings will be a true winner for those looking to spend a wad of cash on a mobile system that can rival midstream desktops.

    I cant help but laugh as my system is now a "mid-level" system and is comparable lthough not better than a laptop!

    Keep these reviews going as they are interesting hen comparing two products in different categories. Maybe we can also see those 12inch ion netbooks vs low end gaming laptops.

    guess crossfire on mobile platforms
  • doron
    Always a pleasure to read your reviews Thomas :)