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Digital Storm x17 Notebook Review: Radeon HD 7970M And Enduro, Again

Inside Digital Storm's x17

On the previous page, we suggested that heat might limit the amount of time you'd want to spend gaming with the x17 on your lap, and fan location is the primary reason for that. With intake vents almost perfectly aligned to your legs, starving the cooling subsystem of airflow seems like it'd be easy to do on accident.

Once we pull off the bottom covers, we see the hard drive and half of the notebook's memory. Those parts can be removed without unscrewing anything else.

A second 2.5” drive bay is exposed by sliding out the optical drive (right). CPU and GPU fans are mounted directly to the chassis, and can be left in place if you need to pull off their corresponding heat sinks.

Four #1 Phillips screws secure the CPU heat pipe, and are easily removed. The GPU and graphics memory sinks are held in place by smaller #0 screws. The CPU socket latch and GPU module stand-offs are slotted for a thin flat-head screwdriver.

The x17's baseline 750 GB hard drive saves $80 compared to the 120 GB Intel SSD 520 found on Xotic PC's NP9150. The hard drive also adds a bunch of storage capacity, though it's naturally quite a bit slower.

Also shown in the above photo are the secondary drive tray and the optical drive that covers it. If you want both capacity and speed, add an SSD to one of the system's two bays.

  • joytech22
    FAR OUT. I JUST.. JUST got my M17X and I see this review posted on a laptop with almost the same specs and half the price.

    The only differences were that mine has a Blu-Ray drive, 1TB Hard drive, HDMI In, all USB ports were USB 3.0 and the CPU was a 3630QM..
    My M17X set me back $2500 ON SALE from $3000 AUSD. I don't even know why since the Australian dollar is a lot bloody stronger than the U.S dollar.
    Reply
  • dudewitbow
    joytech22FAR OUT. I JUST.. JUST got my M17X and I see this review posted on a laptop with almost the same specs.The only differences were that mine has a Blu-Ray drive, 1TB Hard drive, HDMI In, all USB ports were USB 3.0 and the CPU was a 3630QM..My M17X set me back $2500 ON SALE from $3000 AUSD. I don't even know why since the Australian dollar is a lot bloody stronger than the U.S dollar.probably the difference between laws, importing cost. market size and such. as a smaller non relevant analogy, its similar to the situation between the U.S and Canada when it comes to oil. Canada has more oil(and i believe has a stronger form of currency) but oil none the less is cheaper in the U.S due to it having the processing and purification plants that Canada does not have as much of, so canada's oil goes across the border, and back again causing a higher price.
    Reply
  • shikamaru31789
    Nice to see some laptop benchmarks here on Tom's. I've been considering getting a gaming laptop and I must say I'm pretty impressed with the 7970m's performance. I wonder how it compares to the newer 675mx?
    Reply
  • amuffin
    shikamaru31789Nice to see some laptop benchmarks here on Tom's. I've been considering getting a gaming laptop and I must say I'm pretty impressed with the 7970m's performance. I wonder how it compares to the newer 675mx?Here ya go.
    http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GTX-675MX.82580.0.html
    Reply
  • army_ant7
    I'm wondering if that port to the left of the ethernet port is a small 1394 port. I don't think it was noted in the article, but the specs listed said there wasn't a 1394. Just wondering though... :)

    This might sound funny, but is there still thermal paste between the CPU and GPU and their heatsinks? I'm just wondering if they're lapped to a point that they don't need it (and maybe because they're copper heatsinks). I know that the Atom CPU of this netbook I use didn't have any, though that might just be because it's such a low power CPU.

    Pretty neat that 2 drives are allowed. For a moment, I thought that you'd have to get rid of the ODD to add an additional HDD or SSD, but it was just "under" it. Is the mo-bo RAID capable with these two ports? :)
    Reply
  • army_ant7
    Also, Thomas, I hope you reply personally to this one.

    Do you use geometric means (instead of plain arithmetic averages) with your performance and efficiency charts, just like how Adam Overa does the Web Browser Grand Prix? I have approached Chris about this and also posted it in the feedback forums. In the feedback forums, the moderator told me that he/she would relay it to you editors.

    Also, what are the base (100%) numbers for your charts on the last page? That 100% performance number that comes up for the Xotic laptop? :)
    Reply
  • Marcus52
    Very nice...

    but why do I have to buy an Apple to get a decent display? Enough with TN panels! If Apple can put an IPS Retina Display in a 15" and sell it for $2200, surely someone like Digital Storm could at least offer the option.
    Reply
  • alterecho
    joytech22FAR OUT. I JUST.. JUST got my M17X and I see this review posted on a laptop with almost the same specs and half the price.The only differences were that mine has a Blu-Ray drive, 1TB Hard drive, HDMI In, all USB ports were USB 3.0 and the CPU was a 3630QM..My M17X set me back $2500 ON SALE from $3000 AUSD. I don't even know why since the Australian dollar is a lot bloody stronger than the U.S dollar.
    Well, you can comfort yourself with the fact that the m17x looks meaner and premium.
    Reply
  • cats_Paw
    Things that should be in this review: There are no temperature readings, no information on if done in clean install of OS, version of OS, no ambient temps, no mention about if the CPU/GPU can handle a 100% load without throttle.
    Also, contrast, black levels, garmut color cover, viewing angle... Just check a review at notebookcheck.net and try to do them like that :D.
    Reply
  • Crashman
    army_ant7This might sound funny, but is there still thermal paste between the CPU and GPU and their heatsinks?Yes. As for additional options, Digital Storm has quite a few that you can check through. Or, for that matter, any other vender of the P170EM
    Reply