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  • SlyNine - Thursday, June 03, 2010 - link

    I've been waiting for this, Could you throw in a 5730 for another video card.

    Also I think the I7 620 would out perform both the 720 and 820 in games.
    Reply
  • crackedwiseman - Friday, June 04, 2010 - link

    "Thanks, we'll take the 820QM for $570 less. The i7-820QM comes with all the trimmings: 8MB of L3 cache, Hyper-Threading, and a 2.5 GT/s QuickPath"
    i think you mean DMI
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, June 04, 2010 - link

    Fixed, thanks. Reply
  • cacca - Friday, June 04, 2010 - link

    Frankly is disheartening to see a good opportunity to compare 2 notebooks identical except for the GPU being wasted like in this review. I am not looking at the results but on the complete mess of the tables and the methodology.

    If you want compare them first you do a round at directx 11, after you do a directx 10 and if you really want you do the directx 9. Is complete nonsense to use all the 3 different Directx in the same table.

    It really seem cherry picking of results, for me is exactly t he same who is the best, what i want to know is the difference in power. Comparing the notebook to other in the same table adds even more confusion.

    I hope that the next time there is a similar opportunity you will think the methodology before.
    Reply
  • Ninjahedge - Friday, June 04, 2010 - link

    At present it's the second fastest in Intel's mobile lineup, behind only the obscenely expensive Core i7-920XM that adds a staggering $800 to the base cost of the W860CU. Thanks, we'll take the 820QM for $570 less.


    Um.... If the 920 adds $800 to the base, how is NOT using it only saving $570?

    Also, the $2500 you listed in the beginning, is that the LIST price? The price you say you got it for (1500-something?) is quite a bit less and hard to believe even with the known disparity between MSRP and Online Discount Prices......
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, June 04, 2010 - link

    The base price of ~$1500 at AVADirect includes 2x1GB DDR3, HD 5870, a Seagate 500GB 5400RPM drive (I think that's right), and an i7-720QM. So the $800 extra for the 920XM is only $570 more than the 820QM. The upgrades to the memory and SSD add a lot to the price as well, giving the test configurations a cost of $2500. Reply
  • Ninjahedge - Friday, June 04, 2010 - link

    Sorry, just read the section again.

    It is hard to use a price for "reference" when you have nothing to go on. Could you list the added components to be able to index the test model to the "base" system?
    Reply
  • Kaboose - Friday, June 04, 2010 - link

    With the Asus G73jh-X1 at about $1600 on newegg almost $1000 less then your two champs I feel it does extremely well in most categories and anyone thinking of buying a notebook with a budget but still looking for high end performance i would think that it would be a no brainer. No offense to your clevo w860cu but really for price vs. performance i think the Asus wins. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, June 04, 2010 - link

    Which is why the ASUS got a Gold award and these just got a "nice laptop" declaration at the end. If you were to put an i7-820QM and SSD in the G73Jh, it would affect the price (about $450 more give or take). But the ASUS certainly has the better overall design, provided you don't mind the 17.3" chassis. Reply
  • mod_to_odd - Tuesday, June 22, 2010 - link

    When it comes to quality gaming laptops, I dont think any body comes even close to Alienware and Sager. They have amazing customization options which no other brand offers.

    I had almost bought the Asus G73jh but after reading thousands of horrifying issues on the net regarding the customer support and faulty components even after RMA, i dint want to take any chances. In fact, one of my own friend who recently bought the G73jh is in a state of depression as he is dealing with new issues since the very day his notebook arrived.
    The most ridiculous of all is that when you are all excited to unbox the G73, u realize there is no windows7 dvd, you actually got to make backup discs of the Operating System. Asus does not provide you with a windows7 dvd along with such an expensive notebook, instead they fill up your laptop with loads of bloatware. Way to go ASUS...
    Asus needs to really improve big time on quality and customer satisfaction.

    It rather makes sense to buy a gaming notebook from a reputed company even if the price is a bit on the higher side. But then again, to each his own.
    Reply
  • rscoot - Friday, June 04, 2010 - link

    I cannot help but to think that the reviewer in this article is either new to enthusiast computing in general, or just plain ignorant of certain facts.

    First of all, I can think of no point in time where the desktop part and laptop part had the same number of pipelines/shaders and were called by the same model number. The mobility 9700pro, for example was a 4 pipeline part, the desktop part was 8 pipelines. The 6800 and 7800 mobile parts that you extol the virtues of are the same way. It is simply unrealistic to expect ATi and nVidia to cram full sized desktop parts into a laptop chassis.

    Secondly, to act as if a 25% increase in performance over the previously fastest part is something that is trivial and not good enough makes the reviewer look like a nVidia apologist or again, just plain ignorant. Power use in GPU's in general (until the radeon 5800 series) has increased at an insane rate, and manufacturers have about hit the wall in regards to how much power they can push through a piece of silicon and not have it burst into flames. In the constrained environment that the notebook form factor presents, these power requirements become even more important. The 480M part just exacerbates the situation with its 100W TDP. There is no way you can fit almost 200 watts of power use system wide into a chassis that is even somewhat portable. This part is going to be relegated to the huge 17/18" mobile workstation chassis. Considering how much they cut down Fermi to fit even in that bloated TDP envelope, I do not believe that it will be a great deal faster than the 5870, certainly not 25% faster, which was blasted as trivial by this very reviewer. So will your opinion be the same about the 480M, especially considering its using at least 33% more power than the 5870?

    The methodology and presentation of the data in this review could also use some work. Why lump the 1600x900 and 1080p results on the same graph when you have data for almost all the laptops involved at both resolutions? It just makes the graph look cluttered and confusing and makes it difficult to figure out how fast each laptop is at a given resolution/detail setting.

    So please, clean up your reviews, do a little bit of research on the subject that you're reviewing and next time you won't come off as so amateurish.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, June 04, 2010 - link

    Dustin and Vivek are also doing laptop reviews, along with me. We had to settle on a base resolution, and going forward we'll pull 1080p and other scores out of the charts and stick with 1600x900 on high-end notebooks (along with the native LCD resolution for the reviewed laptop). The reason is that it's a resolution virtually everything supports, so like other reviews we'll show an apples-to-apples at 1600x900 along with performance at native. The W870CU we tested only has 1600x900, and I have another laptop that's a 1680x1050 display (gasp! 16:10 is still around!?), so hopefully it will make more sense as we get more notebooks into our revised list.

    As far as the "only 25%" you need to correct that to read: at absolute best it might be 25% faster. Actually, in the benchmarks we ran the largest margin of victory for the HD 5870 is 18% (Left 4 Dead 2 with 4xAA). Battlefield: Bad Company 2 also has a lead of 16% (with DX11 2xAA at 1080p vs. DX10 2xAA at 1080p) and Far Cry 2 is a ~15% lead. Beyond those two games, most of the other titles are a wash. Batman and Crysis are a 3-9% lead for 5870; DiRT 2 actually favors the 285M by up to 22% (in DX9 mode -- turn on DX11 and performance on the 5870 drops even more). Empire: Total War favors NVIDIA by 9%. Mass Effect 2 has 5870 ahead by 10% at HD+ and behind by 9% at 1080p--go figure. Finally, Stalker: Call of Pripyat is a tie (within 2%), though the DX11 modes improve quality without a noticeable impact on performance.

    So yes, the performance lead of ATI's part over the aging GTX 285M is underwhelming. It's still the better part, but it's not significantly faster and only (potentially) uses a bit less power. If you're after performance in a notebook, I'd have to say the more interesting match will be the new GTX 480M, simply because it's not two year old technology from NVIDIA. It will be power hungry and hot for sure, but anything capable of running games generally falls into that category. And unlike you, I expect the 480M will be more like an AVERAGE of 35% faster than the 5870, so it will have a linear increase in performance and power draw. (ATI could likely match it if that's the case... just raise clocks on the 5870 part and increase power to 100W.)

    We'll find out some time this month exactly how the two really compare. Given we already have 285M leading 5870 in a few titles, and on the desktop the 480 has outpaced the 5870 by 15-25%, I expect 480M will take an easy lead in every title. As for the size and power, we're already very much aware of that, and we say as much in the conclusion.
    Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Friday, June 04, 2010 - link

    "First of all, I can think of no point in time where the desktop part and laptop part had the same number of pipelines/shaders and were called by the same model number. The mobility 9700pro, for example was a 4 pipeline part, the desktop part was 8 pipelines. The 6800 and 7800 mobile parts that you extol the virtues of are the same way. It is simply unrealistic to expect ATi and nVidia to cram full sized desktop parts into a laptop chassis."

    Seriously? I'll limit myself to the top end:
    Mobility Radeon X800 XT, Mobility Radeon X1800 XT, Mobility Radeon HD 3850/3870, Mobility Radeon HD 4850/4870, GeForce Go 7800 GTX, GeForce Go 7900 GTX, GeForce Go 7950 GTX

    Actually up until this generation ATI in particular has had a surprisingly good run of matching mobile model numbers with the chip powering them, with very few exceptions. Nvidia was also doing extremely well up through the 8600M GT.

    If ATI was able to reduce the TDP of the RV770 to cram it into a couple laptops, and Cypress has very similar thermal characteristics, is it not reasonable to suggest they might have been able to do it? Given the rarity of the Mobility 4850/4870 one can speculate that binning the parts that could run at such low voltage was difficult, so for this generation they just opted for Juniper instead of Cypress.

    ALSO consider that Nvidia skipped trying to cram the GT200 into notebooks, but FERMI can be cut down and fit in?
    Reply
  • sheltem - Friday, June 04, 2010 - link

    This laptop is wayyyy tooo freakin' heavy for a 15.6". The Envy 17 weighs 7.51 pounds and is way cheaper. The only downside is the slightly weaker graphics card: Mobility 5850. Reply
  • Nurn - Friday, June 04, 2010 - link

    I would have thought that your conclusion would end with "In summary, the ATI video card is both faster and less expensive than the NVidia part, making it the overall winner and a no-brainer when selecting options for the AVADirect Clevo W860CU". Reply
  • Setsunayaki - Friday, June 04, 2010 - link

    I love to be critical so here it goes.

    This laptop fails to define itself by being too close to a desktop. So close that it loses abilities laptops are known for, while simultaneously being an "overpriced" mobile desktop.

    Gaming Benchmarks at 1600x900 when it has a 1920x1080 screen is a real no-no, along with a battery life of 55 - 75 minutes idle is awful. This means a game will cause this laptop to lose all power in 30 - 50 minutes...

    Due to the security nature of dealing with a lot of open Wi-Fi out there, I prefer running Linux with Nvidia, because Nvidia drivers on Linux are better than the ATI counterparts. Virtualization also becomes far more important on laptops, specially if you are in a team who has one laptop assigned to them off-site.

    A rule of thumb...If you are going to spend $2000 - $3000 on a laptop, the battery better be good enough to run for at least 4 - 5 hours under your normal work load. This is the longest time the average worker tends to spend off site on a laptop. Three hours tends to be average time a worker spends off site with a laptop [college courses, meetings and exchanges/presentations come to mind.]
    Reply
  • Death666Angel - Saturday, June 05, 2010 - link

    Sorry, have to disagree with your points against this. As stated multiple times, this is a desktop replacement gamer rig. Not a workstation where you need x-hours of battery life, which the like of Dell and HP offer through strap-on batteries and DVD-drive batteries. He explained this in the review.
    He also tested the laptops with 1080 native resolution, so no complaint there. (Maybe you just missed it since it is in the same graph and kinda confusing.) Going for "the lowest common denominator" is a smart thing imo, because it allows for laptop v laptop comparisons much better.
    As this is a gaming rig, Linux support is really not needed, so I fail to see the need to criticise that as well.

    The last thing you mentioned is valid, only a very specialized or rich crowed will go for a high end laptop for gaming, since it still compares miserably against a real desktop gaming rig. But he has stated so in the review as well.
    -DA
    Reply
  • ezinner - Saturday, June 05, 2010 - link

    I want quad core performance and a decent gpu with 1080p for under $1,500. At the $2,000 or higher mark, you in boutique territory like the Alienware.
    If I could afford this beast, I would be using it for audio and video production.
    Reply
  • bennyg - Saturday, June 05, 2010 - link

    Too many gaming lappys are sold, proving it's a valid market segment.

    I don't need 4-5hr battery life. I have two regular workplaces + regular expo work where AC isn't an issue. I also like to not waste lunchtime at the pub next door where I get an hour of work done over some proper food. Then there's home (and sometimes work when really bored ;p) where I want a decent GPU but it doesn't need to be a 300W monster to provide decent graphics quality. I don't want the hassle of having to sync data across multiple PCs. My G51J suits me perfectly - jack of all trades.

    They do 1600x900 benchmarks because you can run a 1080p screen at 16x9 but not the other way round. If they had only benchies @ native res there'd be a hundred comments about the different res being a variable! However I still think it is a useful metric because most will be gaming @ native res where possible.

    One criticism I have is that this comparison is being done on hardware that's been around for months. Same with other notebook reviews (e.g. G51J). Plenty of other sites manage to get reviews like this done very early on - is the problem that Anandtech is too honest for the likes of most marketing departments ??

    (PS Anandtech - the "reply" button on the comments section isn't doing anything for me - it looks like it's just a hyperlink to the page title ending with a #)
    Reply
  • JohnNyceis - Sunday, June 06, 2010 - link

    Hi, please let me know if the inline commenting is working better for you now. Reply
  • DannyH246 - Sunday, June 06, 2010 - link

    The review concludes with - "Unfortunately, AMD squanders a grand opportunity here"

    So AMD have a faster, cheaper, and less power hungry card - but they've squandered a good opportunity and we should wait for an architecture that is both known to be hugely power hungry and dissapointing performance wise.

    An NVIDIA marketing employee couldnt have said it better. Nice unbiased review, well done!
    Reply
  • whatthehey - Sunday, June 06, 2010 - link

    Some people... Let's look at the facts: AMD saves you $78: stated. AMD is overall faster: stated. NVIDIA's old part is very competitive: yup. NVIDIA has a new part coming this month: yes. AMD's latest and greatest uses less power: yes, but there are bugs that cause the "higher power" 285M to get better battery life. AMD doesn't support CUDA or PhysX, while DirectCompute and OpenCL aren't used enough to matter yet. So a part that has been out less than four months can't clearly dominate a part that has been around (more or less) for well over a year. AMD should have increased the power envelope of the 5870 and given it more shader cores and bandwidth; then NVIDIA would have something to fear. As it stands, I agree that this is a "missed opportunity". But then, AMD/ATI GPUs have been tough to recommend in laptops for a long time, and only in the past four months (with the new drivers) has that changed. Reply
  • Hrel - Monday, June 07, 2010 - link

    If someone could do a review on the laptop that I currently suspect is the best "bang for your buck" out there. It's made by compal, and available on Cyberpower.com who's machines you've reviewed before. If you'd like it configured like I did, which I think is the best bang for buck, do this: Go to the website. mouse over 15.6" Laptops and click on the $999 Xplorer X6-8500. It has a 1080p screen. (I'm not sure why the people who run this site do this, but even though the other configurations use the same chassis when personalized they come out to cost more than this one; annoying since it makes me configure all 3 or 4 machines built on the same base chassis to figure out which one is cheapest/best for me.) Then I configured it with the Core i7-620M CPU. (to get it over 1K so I can take advantage of the 5% off.) 4GB 0DDR3-1333, hopefully 7-7-7-21, probably not, but hopefully. ATI MR HD5650 1GB GDDR3 320GB 7200rpm HDD (I did this cause I'm gonna take that HDD out and use the Seagate Momentus XT 500GB, thanks for that review!!) Everything else on that page I left untouched. The only thing I did on page 2 was switch to Intel wifi with bluetooth; Though I'm curious if the MSI option is equal/better; 17 bucks isn't nothing. It has HDMI out and a fingerprint reader. This page says 3 USB ports, the specs sheet says 4USB ports; not sure which is true. (I do wish they were USB 3.0 ports, but I was hoping you guys would test some stuff and tell me if that even matters for use with an external hard drive, mechanical disk 7200rpm. Transferring large files like movies and games mostly.) On page 3 I select "none, format only" for the OS. And select "LCD perfect assurance" cause even 1 dead pixel is unacceptable to me. This brings the total to $1008.90 after 5% off, or $992.75 if you get the MSI network card. So yeah, I really hope you guys can get a hold of one of these for review; as a loner or given as a review unit or maybe someone will just buy one and review it cause it's really tempting me right now... like a lot! If you're review is good I'm gonna start saving up and hopefully be able to buy it around Christmas. Thanks guys! A loyal reader. - Brian Reply
  • lappyhappy - Monday, June 07, 2010 - link

    Nice review Dustin. I've seen and love your articles that you have written on www.notebookreview.com. I know some have been critical of your article but if they look at some of your work at notebookreview they will see that you are not bias at all, and are quite good at stating the facts. Everyone, check out Dustin's articles and he does a great job of explaining laptops and how they work. This guy really does know his stuff. Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Tuesday, June 08, 2010 - link

    Hey, thank you for the kind words! It's really cool to see someone follow me between sites and actually recognize my work, very gratifying.

    What's funny is that I know that I do have a personal bias, but the fact that my bias is being read as favoring Nvidia reassures me that I'm doing a good job as a writer. :)
    Reply
  • lappyhappy - Tuesday, June 08, 2010 - link

    I almost put that from what I've seen you actually have an AMD bias so yes you did a great job of putting it the other way. In all honesty though I think your reviews from what I've seen have been quite neutral and you always go with what is best but do know that you really want for AMD to be competitive. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, June 08, 2010 - link

    NVIDIA has released their reviewer's guide for GTX 480M. Obviously, there's the potential they cherry picked some of the tests, but in general I'm guessing most of the scores are realistic. After all, if you use the DiRT 2 built-in benchmark, you can't really change the settings. Here's the guide for the interested:
    http://images.anandtech.com/reviews/mobile/2010/gt...
    Reply
  • coldwave007 - Tuesday, June 08, 2010 - link

    Hi There,

    After reading the article, I read through the comments and was very surprised by the negativity. I just wanted to say that I thought it was a very fair and balanced review, andthat you did an excellent job.
    Reply
  • mod_to_odd - Tuesday, June 22, 2010 - link

    When it comes to quality gaming laptops, I dont think any body comes even close to Alienware and Sager. They have amazing customization options which no other brand offers.

    I had almost bought the Asus G73jh but after reading thousands of horrifying issues on the net regarding the customer support and faulty components even after RMA, i dint want to take any chances. In fact, one of my own friend who recently bought the G73jh is in a state of depression as he is dealing with new issues since the very day his notebook arrived.
    The most ridiculous of all is that when you are all excited to unbox the G73, u realize there is no windows7 dvd, you actually got to make backup discs of the Operating System. Asus does not provide you with a windows7 dvd along with such an expensive notebook, instead they fill up your laptop with loads of bloatware. Way to go ASUS...
    Asus needs to really improve big time on quality and customer satisfaction.

    It rather makes sense to buy a gaming notebook from a reputed company even if the price is a bit on the higher side. But then again, to each his own.
    Reply
  • whenamanlies - Saturday, July 24, 2010 - link

    Very nice review since I'm right in the middle of configuring a laptop for myself.
    Want to switch from G51J (i7-720QM + GTX 260M) to something more powerful (and lower resolution).

    Now it all clear regarding which GPU to get, but what about CPU? I'm little bit disappointed with 720QM so I'm wondering if i5-540M or i7-620M would be a better option? My feeling that higher frequencies would be a better option for games. Heck, even TF2 suggesting me to disable multicore rendering :)

    You thoughts?
    Reply
  • Marlboro Man - Friday, September 03, 2010 - link

    Hi all, i'm new here, if you be so kind please advise quesion below, because I'm planning to buy one of this since this two are almost the same result. which one are THE MOST best buy for gaming laptop, I'm talking about 4 years investment for laptop.

    consider:
    1. desktop replacement
    2. price.
    3. performance of all
    4. looks
    5. screen size
    6. heat issue
    7. bug
    8. durability (min 3 to max 9 hours constant playing)

    Don't consider:
    1. weight
    2. keyboard layout.
    3. bonus (when you buy one)
    4. brand
    5. battery life span and durability

    Thank You
    Reply

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