Gaming Performance — Resolution Scaling

Considering the rather low-end CPU, you might expect that there are many situations where the GPU is held back. With the initial native resolution benchmarks out of the way, let's look at performance scaling at higher resolutions. Since we become more GPU limited, the Gateway P-6831 FX actually closes the gap with some of its more expensive competitors.





































There are obviously a few titles where we are still CPU limited even at 1920x1200. Battlefield 2 and Far Cry for example have virtually flat resolution scaling curves. Other titles — Bioshock, Crysis, Oblivion, and Unreal Tournament 3 — show a pretty sizable gap between the 8800M GTS in the Gateway and the 8800M GTX in the AVADirect notebook. However, it's not entirely clear whether that gap exists primarily because of the discrepancy in CPU performance or if the added Stream Processors are the culprit. While it certainly would have been interesting to test with an upgraded CPU, we didn't have any Core 2 Duo processors readily available (nor the time to rerun all the tests).

Regardless, the net result is that we can't help but be impressed by the Gateway system. In some of the titles, the difference between the 8800M GTS and the GTX is virtually nil, particularly at higher resolutions. Since the GTS and GTX both have the same amount of memory, the same memory bandwidth, and the same number of ROPs, it's not all that surprising that some games hardly show a difference between the two graphics chips. It's unfortunate that we haven't seen any manufacturers giving customers the choice between the GTS and the GTX; we wouldn't be surprised if more than a few people would be happy to sacrifice a bit of performance in order to save a couple hundred dollars. Since that isn't an option, we recommend the Gateway P-6831 FX as a very reasonable alternative.

1440x900 Gaming Performance More Information on NVIDIA Drivers
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  • teknomedic - Sunday, March 30, 2008 - link

    Hey, great review... I read it yesterday... I bought the P-6831 today... hope your happy, cause I am, lol.

    Anyway... In short order I'll probably be upgrading the proc to the T8300 and getting a matched set of 4GB RAM and then installing Vista 64bit.

    Just wondering (since I haven't opened the box yet and am still thinking about keeping it)... how are the Vista 64bit drivers for this lappy? Will I beable to find all the drivers I need or will I need to run 32 for a while until they sort those out?

    Thanks again!
    Reply
  • Che - Sunday, March 30, 2008 - link

    Well, I stated installing 64-bit Vista about 24 hours after buying the laptop. Used a 64-bit disc and the laptop's activation key with no issues. As for drivers, most of the drivers are 64-bit aware (even if they are only listed as 32-bit). Took me a few hours but got it up and running great. IMPORTANT: Use the Gateway Recovery Center program and make a backup Drivers and Applications CD. Was very useful in reinstalling the drivers (many on the gateway site don't want to work right)

    Only drivers hard to find were: modem and nvidia.
    For the modem I used the following: http://www.notebookforums.com/thread212673.html">http://www.notebookforums.com/thread212673.html
    Nvidia I used the following: http://forum.notebookreview.com/showthread.php?t=2...">http://forum.notebookreview.com/showthread.php?t=2...

    Hope that helps.
    Reply
  • teknomedic - Sunday, March 30, 2008 - link

    that's awesome info... thank you... I really want to move to 64bit since that's what I'm running at home. Thanks again!! Reply
  • teknomedic - Sunday, March 30, 2008 - link

    ^^^ oh, and also... futher down the road, will I be able to upgrade the video as well? It also looks like if I did that, I'd have to rip the lappy apart? Reply
  • win32asmguy - Sunday, March 30, 2008 - link

    Sorry but the 8800M GTS is soldered to the motherboard, roughly under the number pad area of the keyboard. That is one of the reasons why this machine is thinner than the Clevo M570RU-U clones that are out there. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Sunday, March 30, 2008 - link

    I didn't actually check to see if the GPU was soldered on or not, but it wouldn't surprise me to find that's the case. Even if it is an MSM module that can be upgraded, it's highly unlikely you'll be able to do so. Just ask Dell XPS owners and Alienware m9750 owners how many GPU upgrades they've received over the years. Anyway, the GPU would be under the left side of the keyboard - the CPU is under the number keypad. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Sunday, March 30, 2008 - link

    Regarding video drivers, you have to get the current drivers from Gateway or try hacked drivers from LaptopVideo2Go. In the case of the latter, you will almost certainly get lower performance. Right now, Gateway doesn't have 64-bit GPU drivers (or 64-bit drivers for anything else) on their website. You can get around everything but the GPU and potentially sound drivers.

    I would wait for the 64-bit upgrade until NVIDIA releases their next "rapid driver update" mobile drivers, and see if they support the Gateway FX laptops and if there's a 64-bit version. I'm betting yes on 64-bit, but in talking with NVIDIA they *just* received their Gateway systems for validation testing, so they may or may not make it into the next driver release. They will be in the release after that almost certainly, but that's ~4 months out.

    The other question of course is whether you even need to go 64-bit and 4GB right now. I don't think so, particularly if gaming is your major concern. 32-bit is still better overall, IMO... maybe in another year 64-bit will begin to make an impact.
    Reply
  • teknomedic - Sunday, March 30, 2008 - link

    Thanks for the replies... too bad on the video considering I have a 5 year old laptop that allowed me to upgrade the video... and I'll wait on the 64bit drivers then. I'm already running 64bit vista at home and gaming too!... I've not had any issues beyond new PC trying to run old games... but that's what my WinXP and Win98 machines are for. ;) Reply
  • Che - Saturday, March 29, 2008 - link

    Just FYI... I received this laptop today (and love it). I have the p-6831FX model and it came with (according to Vista) a T5550 CPU @ 1.83 GHz (not T5450 @ 1.67 GHx). I just checked it using CPU-Z and it says T5600 @ 1.83 GHz. Any ideas?? or did I just get lucky? Of course i'm not complaining, lol.

    The sticker on the palm rest states T5450. I did order mine off ebay, but it was still sealed and new in the box as was stated in the auction.
    Reply
  • Dgacioch - Sunday, March 30, 2008 - link

    mine has the 1.83ghz T5550 as well, just bought it yesterday. Updated the video drivers and ran 3dmark 06. pretty respectable 7450 score, so at least a little improvement over the t5450. Ill be running some more games on it tonight to get some better impressions, but so far performance seems quite good even with the gimped cpu. Reply

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