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Xotic PC NP9150: Striking Back At Kepler With Radeon HD 7970M

Did AMD's Mobile Graphics Lead Xotic PC To Victory?

Xotic PC is determined to undercut its largest competitors, and it did this time around by pairing a higher-cost GPU with a lower final price. The company did this without dropping customer support, by including limited lifetime labor and a free telephone hotline with the same one-year basic component coverage as its competition, and still offering two- and three-year service upgrades similar to those available from other vendors in the industry.

But we picked this setup for a gaming value shootout against another boutique builder, and we wanted to know how each configuration stacked up at the panel’s native 1920x1080 resolution.

When you buy it with AMD's Radeon HD 7970M, the Xotic PC NP9150 provides around 56% more gaming value than its GeForce GTX 675M competitor. Much (if not most) of this credit goes to AMD. We recalculated the NP9150's value using the GeForce GTX 675’s $100-lower price and 28%-lower performance, and showed that its lead would have dropped to only 14%.

Indeed, AMD helped lead Xotic PC to gaming performance and much larger value victories. Though the company's processors continue to struggle balancing performance and power, AMD’s graphics guys have recently found relatively smooth sailing from the isles of Tahiti to Pitcairn.

By now you’re probably wondering, “but what about Nvidia's GeForce GTX 680M?” We asked the same question, but came up empty-handed in our search for hardware. Price was probably part of the problem, since the GeForce GTX 680M costs about $245 more than the Radeon HD 7970M. We think Xotic PC was looking for the big value score, and our research shows the company probably made the best choice.

Portability remains a notebook’s killer feature, so we’re moving forward to test an even more compact gaming notebook, in spite of our curiosity about the GeForce GTX 680M. Perhaps the next model after that will have Nvidia’s flagship mobile GPU?

Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.