AVADirect’s Clevo P570WM X79 Gaming Notebook Available for Pre-Order in the USby Jarred Walton on January 25, 2013 1:23 PM EST
Depending on whom you ask, desktop replacement notebooks are either a growing or a shrinking market. Most large OEMs have completely abandoned the DTR market, with high-end DTR-like notebooks generally going the “mobile workstation” route instead. There are also large notebooks that some might call DTR (e.g. Alienware’s M17x and M18x, and most of the other 17.3” gaming notebooks), but if you want true desktop power you’ll want a desktop CPU. That’s precisely what AVADirect/Clevo are offering with the P570WM, supporting Intel’s socket 2011 processors in a large chassis with an equally large power brick.
It’s interesting to note that this isn’t the first time we’ve heard about X79 gaming notebooks. AVADirect even points out in their forum post, “Almost one year ago, AVADirect began to accept pre-orders on what was to be the world's first X79 desktop replacement, the Clevo P270WM. After many complications, production was halted and release delayed.” It appears the P270WM has been completely scrapped, though I suspect much of the earlier design remains, and what we have is the new P570WM. This is the first truly new DTR since Clevo’s X7200/X7201 two years back that supported socket 1366 CPUs up to the hex-core Gulftown offerings.
Specifications are largely a continuation of what we saw with the X7200 series, only with a new chipset comes new processors and a different memory topology (quad-channel instead of tri-channel). CPU choices consist of the entire line of LGA-2011 processors: i7-3820 quad-core, i7-3930K hex-core, and the i7-3960X hex-core. The primary difference between the 3930K and 3960X is the addition of 3MB of L3 cache on the 3960X, as both hex-core CPUs are fully unlocked so making up the 100Mhz difference in clock speed is as easy as tweaking the BIOS. It’s not clear how much support the P570WM has for overclocking the CPU, but considering the amount of power an overclocked Sandy Bridge-E processor can consume, we’d recommend exercising some discretion before shooting for massive overclocks.
Other specifications for the P570WM include SLI GTX 670MX or SLI GTX 680M dual-GPU graphics configurations, along with single-GPU configurations for the GTX 680M and Quadro K5000M. Interestingly, a single GTX 680M actually costs slightly more than dual GTX 670MX, and we expect the SLI 670MX will be a higher performing option (assuming the games you’re using properly utilize SLI, of course). The chassis has three 2.5” HDD/SSD bays, and with an optional 2.5” caddy for the optical drive bay you can utilize up to four hard drives. RAID 0/1/5 are also available should you so desire. The remaining options run the usual gamut of WiFi and connectivity ports, with two USB 3.0, one eSATA/USB 3.0 combo, and two USB 2.0 ports. A 1080p glossy LCD comes standard, with DisplayPort, HDMI, and single-link DVI video ports available. The keyboard also sees an “upgrade” to the 3-zone colored backlighting and altered layout found in the other recent Clevo offerings.
Clevo has been one of the few (if not the only) ways to get desktop CPUs in a notebook for a while now, but there have been more than a few broken eggs along the way. Besides the aborted P270WM, the earlier X7200 series wasn’t without concerns. With the latest update, we were hoping for an even larger power brick to accommodate all of the high-end components, and sadly that doesn’t appear to have happened. It doesn’t take a math whiz to figure out that two 100W TDP GPUs with a 130W TDP CPU are already enough to overload a 300W power brick; add in storage, the LCD, RAM, and various motherboard components and we suspect Clevo will have to do some thermal throttling/management to keep things in check. Hopefully this time that means minor throttling rather than tripping the circuit breaker in the power brick and running off battery power; even if things work properly, though, we don’t expect you to be able to get 100% performance out of two GPUs and the CPU simultaneously. For gaming on the other hand, most loads should stay below the 300W rated output of the power brick [fingers crossed].
Pre-ordering from AVADirect is now online, though ordering and actually having a product ship aren’t necessarily the same thing as we saw with the P270WM. The base configuration comes with an i7-3820, GTX 680M, 2x8GB DDR3-1600 Crucial RAM, a 750GB Seagate HDD, and a 1-year warranty and a starting price of $2758. If you want a true “maximum gaming performance” configuration with an i7-3930K, dual GTX 680M, PK-3 thermal compound, 4x8GB DDR3-1600 RAM (with Windows 7 Pro, naturally), 512GB Crucial M4 SSD with 1TB Hitachi 5400 RPM HDD for storage, and Killer 1103 3x3:3 WiFi, you’re looking at $4374. Or why not go for broke and nearly max out every component, with the i7-3960X, 4x512GB Samsung 840 Pro in RAID 5, and a Quadro K5000M GPU (and the other options as with the gaming configuration); that will get you a final price of $7384, not counting the $350 you can put into a custom paint job.
I’m not sure how many people are actually in the market for gaming notebooks or mobile workstations like this, but if you’ve got a need for every last ounce of performance you can squeeze out of a twelve pound behemoth (add another pound or two for the power brick!), the Clevo P570WM should have you covered. Let’s just hope this time the notebooks ship without any further delays or complications.