Benchmark Results: DiRT3, StarCraft II, And Skyrim
AMD's architectures have a history of affecting CPU scaling in certain games. We've seen this in a few of our older system builds, but occasionally in other graphics comparisons. We certainly didn’t expect this issue to affect a notebook employing Intel’s Ivy Bridge architecture, even though the mobile models are slower than the desktop versions.
Paired with AMD's Radeon HD 7970M, the Core i7-3820QM limits DiRT 3 to around 73 FPS. Higher detail levels shift enough of the workload to the GPU that it becomes our bottleneck, and that’s where Xotic PC’s custom-configured NP9150 excels.
Xotic PC’s Radeon HD 7970M continues its overall dominance through our Skyrim tests.
StarCraft II is Xotic PC’s gaming coup de grace, having overtaken its competitor in a broad majority of 3D benchmarks.
If I recall it is a Enduro related bug causing 7970M to be under utilized in games like BF3, it was quite a big deal in June/July on NotebookReview's Forum, not sure if it is fixed by new drivers.
Check this thread (and the "Sager and Clevo forums") for more details:
, and AVOID 7970M for now. Its been months and no fix from either AMD or Clevo. You do not get what you pay for when bying this configuration.
Makes good sense to me.
You didn't test BF3 multiplayer wwith 64 players? The single player works fine, but the multiplayer suffers from enduro issues. Here are some screenshots taken by me:
18 fps is not fine in my opinion. Also got 8 fps at times in Civ 5. I have a P170EM Clevo with 3610Qm and 7970M. Anandtech also posted an article concerning Enduro, and they weren't aware of Enduro issues either, but when the people from Notebook review informed them about it, they were able to reproduce the issues. They also edited their article to include a mention about the issue.
The issue is real, and affect all AMD 7000M seriers card that are in laptops which have no MUX-cable. This cable allows a user to use only the dedicated GPU instead of the iGPU. When there is no MUX, the image is always forced through the iGPU, and the Enduro technology that is supposed to make this happen is broken. With Alienware's laptops that have MUX, you can force Enduro off and the issue goes away. If you enable Enduro in AW, the issue comes back.
What you get is sudden FPS drops, stuttering, low GPU utilization. It does not affect every game, but I'd still say its present in most games, e.g. witcher 1 & 2, crysis 2, BF3 multiplayer (more evident on certain maps), GTA 4, etc. etc. (the list goes on).
When you try to reduce the graphics level to get better fps, you only get lower GPU utilization and the same fps. Now this is a serious issue to people playing online shooting games and other competitive games.
Notebook review forums have numerous threads about the issue, and we have been following how the situation develops for months now. So far, AMD has been very silent regarding fixes to these Enduro related issues.
Check the comments and the last 'update' part of the article. This card has been out for almost half a year now with broken switching software.