GTX 480M SLI Takes on Desktop SLI and CrossFire

This is a desktop replacement, so what better way to show performance than to compare it with actual desktops? We don't really have any other notebook results at High 1080p settings, let alone our Ultra 1080p metric, so we'll compare the Clevo X7200 with our most recent desktop reviews. We've got the iBUYPOWER XLC (an i7-930 running at 3.5GHz and SLI GTX 470), a CyberPower Gamer Xtreme 8500 (i7-875K at 3.85GHz with EVGA Superclocked GTS 450 SLI), and an AVADirect Nano Cube (i5-750s at 3.0GHz with a single HD 5870 stuffed into a mini-ITX chassis). I've also added results for my own gaming system: an i7-920 (stock; still working on a CPU upgrade so I can actually overclock) with CrossFire HD 5850. Pricing for the systems is heavily against the X7200, obviously: the Nano Cube checks in at around $1600, the CyberPower costs close to $1700, and the iBUYPOWER (as well as my custom system, thanks to the two 120GB SSDs) will set you back roughly $2300.

Battlefield: Bad Company 2

DiRT 2

Left 4 Dead 2

Mass Effect 2

STALKER: Call of Pripyat

StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty

At our "High" settings, the Clevo X7200 falls just shy of the GTS 450 SLI results but manages to beat the single HD 5870. Considering the latter is easily able to churn out playable frame rates in nearly every game at maximum detail and a 1080p resolution, the X7200 is no slouch. However, look at higher end dual-GPU options and it's clear the GTX 480M is nowhere near the performance of the desktop GF100 cards.

Battlefield: Bad Company 2

DiRT 2

Mass Effect 2

STALKER: Call of Pripyat

StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty

Moving up to "Ultra" detail, the X7200 manages to post a lead over SLI GTS 450 in several titles, while DiRT 2 and ME2 still give the lead to the desktop system. We don’t normally test beyond 4xAA, but with Left 4 Dead 2 already at 4xAA and running smooth, we decided to max it out with 16xQAA and still pulled 105FPS! Anyway, back to the desktop comparison. Without identical CPUs, we can't say with certainty how much of the difference lies with the GPU and how much comes from the CPU. More likely than not we're GPU limited in the CyberPower, iBUYPOWER, and Clevo X7200; however, the stock i7-920 and 5850 CrossFire as well as the Nano Cube HD 5870 with an overclocked i5-750S appear to be hitting some CPU bottlenecks.

What that really means is that the best we can do in mobile graphics is still about one-half to two-thirds of the top-performing desktop solutions. You can get a rough idea of how the Clevo X7200 stacks up against desktops in our GPU Bench; we run the same test in BFBC2, DiRT 2, and almost the same in Mass Effect 2and STALKER: Call of Pripyat, though the desktops were tested at 1920x1200 instead of 1080p.

Clevo X7200: This is your games on 480M SLI Clevo X7200: Breaking Application Performance Records
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  • Wolfpup - Wednesday, October 13, 2010 - link

    This article seems to imply that the G73jh/jw uses florescent backlighting, but it's LED, right? Reply
  • Wolfpup - Thursday, October 14, 2010 - link

    Okay, I've been told the G73jh/w are LED backlit, so that's good. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, October 16, 2010 - link

    The displays in all of these are the HannStar HSD173PUW1. To my eyes, it *looks* more like CCFL than LED, and the brightness levels are pretty weak (maximum of 180nits or so). I can't find any concrete details, but everyone else appears to thing it's LED backlighting so I might be wrong. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, October 16, 2010 - link

    Update: notice the ASUS page:
    http://rog.asus.com/Product.aspx?PId=32#product_ta...

    They simply list it as "17.3" Full HD (1920x1080)/HD+ (1600x900) Color-Shine (Glare-type)", which would be odd for an LED backlit display. Especially when the G60Vx explicitly states LED backlighting:
    http://rog.asus.com/Product.aspx?PId=30#product_ta...
    Reply
  • mikeev - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - link

    Why do you guys never mention the fingerprint sensors on these laptops? I know they're not the most exciting things in the world, but they're pretty nice feature additions. Beats typing in your password every time. Reply
  • Gonemad - Thursday, November 04, 2010 - link

    Now, about the power brick... did Furmark just cause a 'thermal runaway' back there? 410W, are you kidding? That's nearly 40% overload on the nominal brick power, no wonder it cried for mommy and called it a day after some time of testing.

    It raises a couple of questions:

    1) In the review itself, it is mentioned about other notebook that would actually drain the batteries when the PSU is topped-out. Clevo should go visit the same idea, now knowing that some extreme usage can compromise the PSU. Call it a 'feature'. Call it 'Overdrive' or whatever; it lets you have all the juice you need even overloading the PSU, but it detects the condition, light up a yellow warning light, and lets you do it for, say, 30 mins before cutting BACK, not OUT, the power drain. It doesn´t shut down, not completely. Again, the battery being used as a VOLTAGE STABILIZER looks good.
    Well, then again, the benchmark was a deliberate attempt to overload the thing.

    2) Aftermarket an even LARGER power brick, this time full-fledged 500W PSU at 4 pounds or higher. Considering everything else, it is not so preposterous.

    3) If Anand dumped the original PSU, but kept it going on a LARGER DC source (a good and nice desktop PSU ought do it), how far would it go? Would something else drop out?
    Reply
  • Classic Rock - Sunday, November 07, 2010 - link

    I have read in the X7200 User forums that Clevo has offered a "Solution" of combining two PSU's together with some sort of adapter. There wasn't a lot of detail where I read it though. Does anyone know anything else about this? Does anyone know if it is possible to get an aftermarket PSU for this rig? Reply
  • Classic Rock - Sunday, November 07, 2010 - link

    Adding to my previous post:

    http://www.nextcomputing.com/products/mobile-works...
    Reply

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