Gaming Performance

NVIDIA is quick to tout the performance jump from the GeForce GTX 580M/675M to the 680M in marketing materials, and it looks like they may be quite right to do so. On paper the GTX 680M's GK104 GPU has actually gone relatively unscathed in the transition from the desktop to the notebook, though the sacrifice in memory clocks is a painful one and enterprising users may even consider trying to trade off on core clocks for memory and see where that gets them.

That said, it stands to reason the M17x R4 is going to be the most powerful gaming notebook we've yet tested (at least until the M18x R2 review with two GTX 680Ms in SLI goes live). We'll start things off light with our Mainstream testing suite.

Batman: Arkham City - Mainstream

Battlefield 3 - Mainstream

Civilization V - Mainstream

DiRT 3 - Mainstream

Elder Scrolls: Skyrim - Mainstream

Portal 2 - Mainstream

If you're not impressed and anxious to see how far the GTX 680M can go with higher settings, you should be. When the bottleneck is shifted to the GPU, performance over last generation's top end can be as much as 50% higher. That's a staggering leap. The 485M was a substantial leap over the horribly cut down and disappointing 480M, but this is an even larger one.

Batman: Arkham City - Enthusiast

Battlefield 3 - Enthusiast

Civilization V - Enthusiast

DiRT 3 - Enthusiast

Elder Scrolls: Skyrim - Enthusiast

Portal 2 - Enthusiast

It continues. At any point where the GPU is the bottleneck, the GTX 680M runs screaming away from the 580M/675M. You'll pay handsomely for the jump in performance, but the 680M is capable of running nearly three times faster than the GT 650M (knowing that the M17x R4's entry level GPU is just a slightly faster version of that chip); die hard desktop enthusiasts are used to paying $550 for top end graphics hardware, and in that light the GTX 680M doesn't look like such a raw deal. We'll have to wait and see how it compares to the HD 7970M before we can determine whether or not it's worth the extra $300 over that chip, though there's also the Optimus vs. Enduro debate along with driver considerations (which will hopefully all be ironed out in the next month or two).

Application and Futuremark Performance Display and Build Quality
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  • PubFiction - Friday, September 21, 2012 - link

    I used a new clevo keyboard and it was horrible compared to the alienware. I cannot imagine how bad it was before. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, September 21, 2012 - link

    It looks better in images... Dustin hasn't actually used it in person I don't think, and I can attest that the new keyboards actually feel worse than the old ones (and continue to have wonky layout issues). They fixed the number keypad but screwed up the Windows key, took out the context key, and put two backslash keys on the keyboard. I understand Clevo targets an international community, but they should just have a few separate hardware layouts for different regions rather than reusing the same layout and relabeling keys. Reply
  • jbordon - Friday, September 21, 2012 - link

    This might not be the place, but since it's a review of a gaming laptop, I'm wondering what's up with Razer Blade r2 review?

    Need more looks versus power debates!
    Reply
  • QChronoD - Friday, September 21, 2012 - link

    Either I'm confused or there is an error in those graphs. The Samsung Series 7 and the Clevo W110ER both have 62Wh (according to the charts) and the Samsung beats it in all the tests. Yet when you normalized min/Wh the Clevo appears to be more efficient. Reply
  • drfish - Friday, September 21, 2012 - link

    The numbers for the Clevo battery life are wrong anyway - no one is getting that much use out of their systems on battery. They should be looked at again or not included in future benchmarks. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, September 21, 2012 - link

    The Samsung has a 77Wh battery; I've updated the charts for Dustin. As for the W110ER, I'm still not sure how Vivek got those numbers, so you'll have to ask him. Unfortunately, he no longer has the Eurocom Monster 1.0 -- I wonder if Eurocom actually managed to fix the battery life somehow and other Clevo W110ER units are still getting crappy power optimizations? I tested a W110ER from another company and got half the battery life; they ended up asking for the unit back to "look into the problem" and never sent another, so I assume there's a core issue that Clevo isn't fixing. Reply
  • drfish - Friday, September 21, 2012 - link

    Thanks for always replying to my posts about the W110ER's battery life. :)

    I have no idea how many of them have been sold but I have to consider it "popular" for a niche device so if anyone at Anandtech wanted to look into it deeper I think there would be an audience eager to read their results. Maybe even see how a BIOS mod changes things (http://biosmods.wordpress.com/w110er/).
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, September 21, 2012 - link

    Sadly, as you can imagine no one is really interested in sending us an "older" laptop like the W110ER, especially if all we're going to do is double-check the battery life (and probably end up disappointed). For the record, my test results from a system we ended up sending back before completing the review show the following with a 3610QM CPU:

    Idle: 217 minutes
    Internet: 209 minutes
    H.264: 187 minutes

    That last item tells you just how bad the battery life is (was?) optimized on that particular unit, as H.264 battery life is typically 2/3 of the Internet battery life, which in turn is about 80% of the Idle battery life. Based off of the "estimates", assuming the H.264 result is a good starting point, the W110ER should be getting 280 minutes Internet and 350 minutes Idle, and of course the H.264 result is already low to begin with.

    Vivek's numbers on the Monster 1.0 actually seem perfectly legit (407, 338, 218 means Internet is 55% better than H.264 and Idle is 20% better than Internet). So the question is, how did Eurocom get such good results when no other W110ER seems to? Clevo is often pretty lousy at power management, and the P170EM and P150EM are right in that same categorization. They should be paying Eurocom for whatever fix is present in the Monster.
    Reply
  • drfish - Friday, September 21, 2012 - link

    I would gladly pay Eurocom for that "fix" *sigh*

    Thanks for the additional details!
    Reply
  • Drasca - Saturday, September 22, 2012 - link

    I've got a Eurocom Monster 1.0 My battery life is in between Jarred's and Vivek's.

    Last I checked, I can watch two 2 hr movies on VLC before it gets "low".

    I'll can run a few battery life tests, but I do not have the exact anandtech suite or standardization. I'd appreciate any suggestions on what should be setup.

    Specs:
    CPU: 3820QM
    Display: AUO Matte Screen
    GPU: Nvidia 650m 2 Gb
    RAM: 8 Gb
    Storage: Intel 520 256 Gb
    Wifi card: Intel 3000
    Reply

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