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  • bobbyh - Thursday, June 02, 2011 - link

    cool laptop.first! Reply
  • Sufo - Thursday, June 02, 2011 - link

    Yay, first to reply to first! Reply
  • tipoo - Thursday, June 02, 2011 - link

    I vote that all "first" or similar comments constitute a temporary ban Reply
  • Shadowmaster625 - Thursday, June 02, 2011 - link

    As long as the first comment doesnt include hawking nik e, jord an, and pr ada it is ok by me. Reply
  • m.amitava - Saturday, June 04, 2011 - link

    Yeah..let the kids play! :P Reply
  • Jamahl - Thursday, June 02, 2011 - link

    To waste your first comment with such a crap one. Reply
  • mustafaka - Thursday, June 02, 2011 - link

    But it is really cool, so not a complete waste :) Reply
  • wordsworm - Thursday, June 02, 2011 - link

    the author wrote that AMD took the crown. But then he says for $600 more you might be able to do better? He doesn't know? Well, what is it? Is it the holder of the crown or not? When I see something like that, it looks like the article is not really objective and that it's really just a, as some say, sign of fanboyism. Reply
  • Will Robinson - Thursday, June 02, 2011 - link

    Umm...eew k...in other words,you wanted to see NVDA win ...somehow...never mind. Reply
  • wordsworm - Thursday, June 02, 2011 - link

    I don't care. Shy of becoming very wealthy, I won't ever buy a computer that's more than 2k, or a laptop that's more than 1k. So, it's all out of my ball park. I was just saying that it's misleading and false as well. I am, therefore, more interested in what's going on with Llano than this kind of stuff. I was drawn into reading it because of the misleading title.

    If he doesn't know which setup is better, then he should have said so. It's a cheap page-hit trick that I expect from Daily Tech, but not from Anandtech. For some reason, I have very high expectations here. Most of the time, the articles are not like this.

    @Creig The author was saying that this setup holds the crown. If he hasn't tested the 485M in SLI, then he shouldn't have said it. More honest would have been, AMD's high end SLI significantly improves on AMD's previous effort.
    Reply
  • Creig - Thursday, June 02, 2011 - link

    No, it's not a "sign of fanboyism" on behalf of the author. It's more of a lack of reading on your part. From the very first paragraph in the article:

    "and while we hope to review the GTX 485M in SLI soon"

    Since they haven't had a chance to review Nvidia's new 485M SLI yet, they can't say for sure that 6970M CF is currently the fastest laptop video solution available. I'm sure they'll declare a winner once they benchmark the 485M SLI.
    Reply
  • Meaker10 - Thursday, June 02, 2011 - link

    Because there are already reviews out there.

    The 485M is a little ahead of the 6970M in single card configs, but since Xfire is scaling better than SLI the 6970M is pretty much level pegging when you have two of each.
    Reply
  • erple2 - Tuesday, June 07, 2011 - link

    Yes, but posting definitive information about a product that has not yet been reviewed is disingenuous at best, and fraud at worst.

    Anandtech can't make definitive info about the performance of products until at the very least after they have reviewed said item.

    While it may turn out to be true that 2x 485's are faster than 2x6970m's, there's no internally consistent data at Anandtech to back it up (yet). Given that the performance of the 6970m and the 485's are so similar (10% isn't that much of a difference - only barely statistically significant), there's no telling where the SLI vs. CF battle will fall.

    So I'd support the conclusion that the CF solution is currently the fastest solution. I am, however, glad that they included a nod that they'll be reviewing the SLI configuration in the near future.
    Reply
  • scook9 - Thursday, June 02, 2011 - link

    You all need to get a loaded M18x to review. It has dual 6970m's as well and an Intel Core i7 Extreme 2920xm (even with an optional factory OC) - beast processor.

    It has switchable graphics and can get near 5 hours battery life on the Intel HD 3000

    It is an all around awesome laptop (PROPER KEYBOARD) and very high build quality.

    I had to weigh between the two and had NO reservations about getting an M18x myself, it is replacing my Core i7 965 and CF 5870 desktop
    Reply
  • jecs - Thursday, June 02, 2011 - link

    You would really need with you the extra performance the CPU on this machine could deliver over a SB 2xxx CPU, maybe around $3000, and go out very often.

    I know these machines are not for everyone but I mean, the CPU choice is my biggest concern in this particular system as I think it adds very little and even downgrades the gaming performance. It would be interesting to see what can be done to reduce weight and cost keeping all the other components and upgrade capacity.

    Besides, with a machine like this I would also consider to have with me an ultra light laptop or a tablet for lighter work or personal use.
    Reply
  • khimera2000 - Thursday, June 02, 2011 - link

    I had one of there older models when the core 2 duo came out, it broke :( not the computers fault trust me. Its vary hard to reduce the weight on these things, the amount of copper they use for cooling is crazy, but looks like its needed. The machine got warm even with that much cooling.

    If they did get the weight down im sure there would be some really happy sailers out there though.

    I do agree with you, when a rig gets this big it feels more like a shrunken down desktop, then it does a mobile notebook, and as fast as it was, the weight of power supply+ laptop was a pain to carry around.

    After I got out though I didnt bother replacing it with another clevo, instead i took the budget and built a desktop, and got a descently fast portable that wouldent take my shoulder out.
    Reply
  • tipoo - Thursday, June 02, 2011 - link

    Just wondering if it was in the pipeline? Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, June 02, 2011 - link

    Waiting for it to arrive, along with M14x and M17x. Reply
  • scook9 - Thursday, June 02, 2011 - link

    Got to request an M18x!

    The M17x R3 is an awesome single GPU laptop, but it does not support the extreme CPU. Also loses things like ExpressCard slot - but gains Optimus OR 3D

    Can't have both as the HD 3000 can't work with a 120 Hz screen apparently :(
    Reply
  • tipoo - Thursday, June 02, 2011 - link

    Thanks for letting me know! Reply
  • patfactorx - Thursday, June 02, 2011 - link

    GIVE Me thIS CASE! Reply
  • matty67 - Thursday, June 02, 2011 - link

    There is nearly a 20% price premium on an already $4500 laptop here. I mean honestly for that additional cost it had bloody well better be faster, I'd expect it to do all kinds of other things too. A fanboy would declare the winner as the fastest card without any other consideration. A rational person would take the overall speed with a grain of salt and put it into perspective.

    The SLI will likely be faster but $650 faster? Odds ain't good on that one.
    Reply
  • TrackSmart - Thursday, June 02, 2011 - link

    I'm always astonished by the performance of these laptops until I look at the dimensions, weight, and price. I'm guessing the market for these things must be small (but lucrative?). I'm guessing this is for folks who regularly attend LAN parties? Even if you traveled between two homes, it would be cheaper to build two desktop computers to satisfy your gaming needs. I'm clearly not in the demographic, whatever that demographic may be... Reply
  • Rasterman - Friday, June 03, 2011 - link

    Yeah before ordering one I didn't think it would be that big, lol it was huge, mock up a box of its size and see how big it is, its nuts, then add on to that the size of the power brick which is about half the size of a phone book, and heavier! Reply
  • TrackSmart - Saturday, June 04, 2011 - link

    HA ha. Yeah, I think all reviews of these sorts of laptops should put them next objects of various sizes (or show the side view with a ruler next to it) to put the system size in perspective. For instance, the laptop looks about half of it's actual thickness in the main photo presented in the article... Reply
  • FXi - Thursday, June 02, 2011 - link

    Just curious. I don't think a 485M sli would win in every situation, but you are comparing 18 month old 480 sli combo to a brand new 6970 CF and saying the 6970 takes the crown. Ok. But was it too difficult to get two of the same machine with each configuration and just test them? I mean that is what you do right, test comparable stuff to just see what happens?
    Guess not. Hope the AMD paycheck goes far :)
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, June 02, 2011 - link

    AMD paid as much for our article as NVIDIA paid for your comment... actually, we might have been paid less! Anyway, it's nice to be accused of being in AMD's pocket for a change; usually it's accusations of Intel and NVIDIA paying us off, so we're apparently doing something right. :-)

    The truth is, getting $5000 notebooks for testing isn't that easy; AVADirect would like to have as much coverage from the various enthusiast web sites as they can get, so sending two high-end setups to one place means they get one review for the "price" of two.

    We should hopefully get something with 485M SLI, but I don't expect a major difference (depending on the game). As noted in my earlier review of a single 6970M vs. a single 485M, there are cases where each side is quite a bit faster, but on average they're very close. Depending on dual-GPU scaling, either could come out ahead.

    As for the title, it's more in reference to this being the fastest setup *we* have ever tested, at this point in time. If/when we test something with 485M SLI, and if it comes out on top, we'll be sure to make a note of it. Someone else already pointed out the cost vs. performance question as well: 13% higher cost for what will very likely be less than a 10% gain in performance.
    Reply
  • FXi - Friday, June 03, 2011 - link

    Well if this is was meant to say this is the fastest setup we have ever tested then why not say that? I know, you're working on that part.
    And I didn't say, in fact quite literally said they are pretty much neck and neck. I don't brook NV fans saying the 485's are all that nor the 6970's. AMD drivers are still out to lunch where they have to issue 5 "fix" files for every driver release they make and worse, practically no notebook maker can install drivers from the AMD website without a huge process.
    But at least you said pointedly "yep we said it like we said it" and almost let it be at that. Or we could just blame AVAdirect for manipulating the market as they would sure rather sell you the stock of 6970's they have before the 580M's get to market.
    Oh well, the ability to quote you as an unbiased source took a bit of a hit. You could have avoided it.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, June 04, 2011 - link

    Coming up with a title that says enough but isn't too long is actually quite difficult -- it's why we have the two paragraph abstract on the front page, because the title can't convey everything. If you can give me a better title that's still meaningful without getting into every detail, I'd love to hear it. I've tossed around a few ideas and I'm still not sure what would be "better". I'm not sure how it makes us any more biased than before, especially given how much I've beaten on AMD's mobile CPUs during the past several years. What we're biased towards is good hardware, and if it performs well and costs less than the competing solutions so much the better!

    These days, talk of drivers on either AMD or NVIDIA's side being "worse" is mostly hyperbole. AMD issues "hot fixes" for new games, especially games where CrossFire doesn't work without the hot fix. NVIDIA has beta drivers that frequently fill a similar role. My biggest complaints with AMD mobile drivers is that: 1) not all manufacturers participate in the "reference driver program" (Toshiba and Sony immediately come to mind); 2) you have to download a small utility that checks your card and then decides if you can download the driver. Ironically, if you can download the driver on a different notebook, I know that you can at least install it on Toshiba, and probably you can install it on Sony as well. So the whole process is silly and the only reason it's there is because of the OEMs -- if AMD had their druthers, they would include support for all chips (just like they used to way back in the ATI Rage 2 days).

    580M (or whatever the inevitable refresh is called) will most certainly beat the 6970M, but it's not out yet. (Actually, 485M really ought to have been named 580M given the other naming changes.) More importantly, I'm still hoping someone will get back to the days of 75W mobile GPUs being the maximum, as 100W is pretty crazy for a notebook.
    Reply
  • FXi - Saturday, June 04, 2011 - link

    I honestly don't care for the 5% (which often equates to 2-5 meaningless fps) over or under. Don't care if the 580 beats or doesn't.
    Drivers are still bad on the AMD side. You see a lot of reviews saying it's all changed, but a year into ownership it's the same old song and dance. It's kind of says something about qualtiy control when the hotfix department issues 5 fixes in 2 weeks. And it's not like this has happened once.
    On average most of the "leavers" of AMD have given some of their best products a try for a year or more and simply have found the drivers to be too painful to deal with. Is Nvidia perfect? Heck no! And they should be at the prices they charge. So don't take this as one side is pristine and one is not. But simply it's the difference between a Toyota and a Nissan. Both are good. One is simply very good.
    Yep AMD is cheaper on the perf/$ equation. And that MATTERS in this economy, believe that. But after years of trying to get better, you are still getting what you pay for, and cheap is still cheap for a reason.
    And yes, I've owned, tinkered, and had to deal with the worst both parties can build and they can both mess it up a lot. One could probably make an easy argument that neither one is worth the money paid for them. Would that make Intel the better choice? Maybe in a few years who knows.
    Reply
  • FXi - Saturday, June 04, 2011 - link

    http://forum.notebookreview.com/alienware-m17x/583...

    The driver problems that "don't exist anymore". Uninstall a driver and brightness doesn't work? Brand new notebooks that don't work off of stock drivers (which you already mentioned). Just crazy. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.
    But people keep sayin' AMD drivers are "fine". In my book, this kind of thing isn't "fine", not even close.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, June 06, 2011 - link

    You're looking at a specific implementation that's having problems. I've had plenty of issues with Alienware's custom drivers in the past, and I'll definitely agree issues crop up with some laptops and some drivers. The brightness issue (and ref drivers not installing) is something that I've seen with NVIDIA laptops as well.

    There's a reason the notebook drivers are about 50% larger than desktop drivers -- they have to have custom hooks into all the Fn keys, OSDs, and any other special utilities. So if you buy a brand new notebook with high-end hardware, yes, there's a reasonable chance you will experience driver teething issues. Again, I've had it happen with NVIDIA and AMD (as recently as the ASUS G73Jw, where right after I received a review sample NVIDIA came out with a new driver set, but it wouldn't install on the G73Jw; the next set a month or so later worked). In this particular instance, it's up to Alienware as much as AMD to fix the problem.

    Anyway, I've been running AMD GPUs for the past four years on my primary desktops. Not entirely happy with every aspect, but drivers haven't been bad. Also, I stopped using CrossFire after running 5850 CF for a while; I don't miss it, because there were too many "oddities". Maybe it's my LCD, or maybe it's the hardware, or maybe it's the drivers, but I get a periodic flicker just using the PC on occasion. Maybe it's just that all high-end hardware is annoying on some level?
    Reply
  • AmdInside - Thursday, June 02, 2011 - link

    The battery life is hilarious. Wonder what the battery life would be life after a year of use. 5 minutes? Reply
  • shin0bi272 - Friday, June 03, 2011 - link

    I know everyone loves to watch the bars go higher and higher for game tests but how about when you are testing a game with nvidia physx we get one round of tests with the physx TURNED ON? Its cool that amd cards do really well in metro2033 with physx off but how about we turn it on and see the scores then hmm? Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, June 03, 2011 - link

    The only time I'd ever consider PhysX is if you are already running at more than acceptable frame rates. The 480M SLI can generally manage that, so I did test it in the previous X7200 review: http://www.anandtech.com/show/3970/3

    The scores aren't in the charts, but you can read the text at the bottom of the page. Anyway, I don't feel there's much point to enabling PhysX at low or medium detail, and probable not until you're running native resolution and high to very high detail. Metro 2033 is such a beast that you can't even enable all options (and stay above 30FPS) unless you're running something like desktop 560 SLI or better.
    Reply
  • Rasterman - Friday, June 03, 2011 - link

    I bought one of these as a desktop replacement, the idea was to use it as my desktop when working (I work at home), and then be able to take it on trips and not have to copy all of my work over and maintain two systems. Price is no object, but I am stickler for noise, and even at idle this thing was louder than any system I've ever had, add to that the size, weight, and dismal battery life and its ludicrous, I am surprised there is a market for this.

    I soon replaced it with a 2500K and am glad I did, I now have a 5GHz, 6950, 16GB, 256GB SSD system that is inaudible, and since it cost about $3000 less than this, I can buy a damn good notebook if I wanted to game on the go, I don't really need it though and will probably just get a really good all around machine, I only needed the desktop CPU this provides for my daily work as when I bought it sandy mobiles weren't out yet, now that they are out I don't understand the market for this at all.

    There is not much of a CPU case to be made with the new sandy mobiles being so fast, and with graphics since battery life is so short you have to plug it in. The only real use of such a machine I can think of is someone who travels all the time and does a lot of gaming, maybe a high end game development machine? Even then with the noise it puts out its hard to concentrate while working on it.
    Reply
  • whatthehey - Friday, June 03, 2011 - link

    Perhaps your story is true, but if price is "no object", then why do you have a 2500K system overclocked to 5GHz? Why overclock (and to that extreme), and why not a 2600K? Buying a 6950 instead of a 6970 also seems like a price cutting measure. This sounds more like the post of an enthusiast trying to talk up the desktop world than an actual former owner of an X7200.

    But you're right about one thing: I am also surpirsed there is a market for this sort of notebook. I can understand mobile workstations that are certified for professional apps and come with Quadro GPUs. Such workstations are also built a lot better than any Clevo I've ever laid hands on. Paying $5000 (or even $3500) for what can only be considered a gigantic hunk of plastic with aluminum veneers, whose primary role would be mobile gaming? There's a reason very few LAN party regulars have this sort of system, and most of the other attendees tend to make fun of them. "You paid HOW much for a loud notebook that isn't as fast as my $2000 desktop!?"
    Reply
  • dmichelstexas - Saturday, June 04, 2011 - link

    Please consider providing specific information about the "mobile workstations that are certified for professional apps and come with Quadro GPU's". Where are they sold, who makes them, what specifically about their build quality is better than any Clevo you've ever laid hands on? Asking because there definitely is a user population of graphics professionals who are determined to resist the Mac and genuinely need this level of mobile performance. Battery life is of course a non-issue, as is size, weight, fan noise, gaming, cost, and so on. The only relevant considerations are performance and reliability. My laptop is the only "tool" I use to make a living, and if there is a better more powerful mobile computing solution I would sincerely appreciate any specific fact-based information you could provide. Thanks Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, June 06, 2011 - link

    Dell Precision, HP EliteBook, and Lenovo ThinkPad W-series all come to mind. You won't get dual Quadro GPUs, but I can attest to the fact that the Precision M6500 and M6400 before it (http://www.anandtech.com/show/2957/) are built a LOT better than the Clevo units we've had. Dustin also reviewed an HP 8740w (http://www.anandtech.com/show/4049/) and found it to be an impressive if expensive piece of hardware. And really, if you're a professional running the type of software than needs a Quadro GPU, would you rather trust support to Dell/HP, or a much smaller company like Eurocom? I know which camp I'd be in, and while neither solution is a guarantee that everything will work, enterprise solutions usually give good support. Reply
  • Shinobi_III - Saturday, June 04, 2011 - link

    Get a desktop pc maybe? Buy a UPS for it, and you'll have the same five minute backup power too...

    Or why not FOUR desktop PCs with similar equipment?

    This isn't a portable computer, but it suffers all the problems of one, or will suffer
    (durability etc) And it has crap battery life obviously.

    I really don't get it.
    Reply
  • jackpro - Sunday, June 05, 2011 - link

    It would be nice to know if the screen is a

    AS-IPS, cPVA, H-IPS, IPS, MVA, P-IPS, P-MVA, PVA, S-IPS, S-PVA, TN

    as it would really help with understanding the colour accuracy possible.
    like this excellent site does
    http://pricespy.co.nz/category.php?k=393
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, June 06, 2011 - link

    If you know anything about laptops, you should also be aware that 99% of them are TN panels. HP's DreamColor upgrade is IPS (S-IPS I think, but maybe some other variant). Lenovo has IPS on a couple options. I don't believe anything else is currently using IPS on a laptop/notebook, though several tablets are going that route (iPad 1/2 and ASUS tablets). Reply
  • dmichelstexas - Monday, June 06, 2011 - link

    Showing my ignorance of some hardware situations here so please allow me to apologize in advance if this is as dumb a question as I'm afraid it might be, but is it feasible to replace the reportedly poor keyboard on this machine with something better? Is that even an option, and if so what are the options? Thanks Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, June 06, 2011 - link

    Not that I'm aware of; Clevo makes alternative keyboards that you could use, but the layouts are for different languages (i.e. German or Asian keyboards are options I think). To get a proper layout with a regular numkey area, you'd need to custom build your own, and I'm not quite sure how one would go about doing that. Reply

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