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  • The Crying Man - Friday, October 14, 2011 - link

    Would it be possible to make the Radeon bars red and the Nvidia bars green in your charts? It's pretty minor, but it messes up my ease of reading knowing these companies have their colors. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, October 14, 2011 - link

    Done -- I'll send you your bill later. Reply
  • The Crying Man - Friday, October 14, 2011 - link

    Thank you kindly.

    So uh... do you accept monopoly c notes?
    Reply
  • therealnickdanger - Friday, October 14, 2011 - link

    Real Benjamins are probably worth less... ;-) Reply
  • yelped - Monday, October 17, 2011 - link

    OK, I just have to arrange a government loan before I go bankrupt.... :) Reply
  • GTRagnarok - Friday, October 14, 2011 - link

    Nvidia's pricing of the GTX 580M is ridiculous. Reply
  • mclazer - Friday, October 14, 2011 - link

    Yeah, it was what kept me from pulling the trigger for a while on the m17x... i wanted the 120hz screen and they wont sell it with the 6990 (I dont care about 3d).

    Dell is selling the model with 120hz screen for 300 bucks less now though.. so I went ahead and ordered one finally after considering the m18x and m17x.

    It kinda sucks that the system that would be able to take advantage of a 120hz screen the most (m18x w/ SLI) doesnt have it as an option.
    Reply
  • prophet001 - Friday, October 14, 2011 - link

    This is exactly what I had been wanting to see. As far as comparing the m17 to the m18, another difference is the reduction in the pixel density. I don't understand why Alienware would put this monitor in this laptop.

    Anyway, thank you again.
    Reply
  • AlexRain1973 - Friday, October 14, 2011 - link

    The one thing that 580M stands out from the 6990 is their Overclocking capabilities, I've seen what the guys are doing in NBR M18x Forums and it's simply destroying AMD due to the fact that the Nvidia's BIOS is flashable and currently we've seen up to 35% Overclock! that's pretty crazy! It can achieve that due to the Video BIOS and the ability to be able to leverage higher voltage.

    That's where the extra 300 goes ;) (Remember this isn't a consumer type system, it's 100% enthusiasts)

    Righ now, the M18x with 2920/2960 and 580M SLI Setup with Mod BIOS makes for the fastest laptop in the planet, ahead of Clevos with Desktop CPU!
    Reply
  • Meaker10 - Friday, October 14, 2011 - link

    Good overclocks, just a shame the card is throttling itself. Reply
  • Alexvrb - Sunday, October 16, 2011 - link

    Meaker is right. You can overclock it 100% and it doesn't mean beans if its throttling the heck out of it. Reply
  • Meaker10 - Friday, October 14, 2011 - link

    You have the 6990M coming out behind the 6970M results.... Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, October 14, 2011 - link

    There are several factors at play. First, different drivers -- newer may not always be better, but without having both laptops and retesting, we can't say for sure. Second and more important by far is that the X7200 has a hex-core i7-990X. Even overclocked, the i7-2920XM can't always match it. Third, there's a difference in chipsets; the X7200 uses the X58 while the M18x uses the HM67. The X58 has tri-channel memory with two full x16 PCIe slots, where the mobile platforms go with dual-channel and two x8 PCIe slots.

    While individually, each of these seems minor, taken together it's not too surprising to see the X7200 win some of the gaming benchmarks. Also notice that in more GPU-limited tests (Metro 2033, Mafia II, and STALKER at our Ultra settings), the 6990M CF setup outpaces the 6970M CF by a fairly large margin. Most of our other titles, even at max settings, may not completely saturate the GPUs.
    Reply
  • Meaker10 - Friday, October 14, 2011 - link

    While I agree for the most part, if we were CPU limited we would see a hard wall, the CPU utilisation is close between AMD/Nvidia so that while there can sometimes be gaps they are not large.

    Well looking at the highest setting Dirt 2 benchmarks we see:

    580M in the lead on the back of the 2920XM over the x7200 setup by 15%, a lead that suggests no GPU bottleneck.

    Now looking at the M18X the 6990M crossfire is getting 77% of the FPS of the 6970 setup. Usually crossfire is less limited by PCI-E lanes than SLI.

    Usually drivers can alter results, but if we project where the 6990M crossfire results should be then they are underperforming by around 30%, not something you would expect in newer drivers.

    Have you checked the card's were not throttling during this run? Looks a bit suspect to me.
    Reply
  • Meaker10 - Friday, October 14, 2011 - link

    Sorry I meant to say it indicates no CPU bottleneck. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, October 14, 2011 - link

    I'll ask Dustin to check on the clocks and thermals of the AMD 6990M, as well as the i7-2920XM -- both could potentially throttle. I'll ask him about AMD driver version as well. Also, while on the desktop the SLI and CF results are often similar in terms of CPU utilization, on notebooks all bets are off. Every time I've played with an SLI or CF laptop, I've always felt like performance was never quite where I'd expect for the given hardware.

    For instance, SLI and CF scaling on desktops compared with scaling on notebooks seems like it usually doesn't do nearly as well on notebooks. I'd have to go analyze some hard numbers, but it's just been my impression. Another example is when you launch a game on an SLI or CF notebook, the display usually seems to flicker on and off for 10 seconds. Maybe that's been fixed now, but the last time I tested it I seriously thought, "WTF is going on!?"

    In theory, everything should be the same, but when you go mobile it rarely feels that way. Yet one more reason to recommend the M17x or ASUS G74SX over the M18x.
    Reply
  • Meaker10 - Saturday, October 15, 2011 - link

    I have a 16F2 barebone myself (GT683R based).

    It would be interesting to face the x7200 and M18x against each other. Recording a baseline one card performance and looking at the mobile vs desktop chipset scaling with the same drivers and cards.
    Reply
  • ik9000 - Saturday, October 15, 2011 - link

    re your comment that the premium for a single 580 isn't worth it over the 6990. While dual GPU set-ups don't offer optimus, with a single card isn't this an option? Would Optimus give a single GTX580 machine a better battery life than a single 6990? Reply
  • iamlilysdad - Saturday, October 15, 2011 - link

    It appears that Dell now lists a 256gb + 750gb option for custom configuration for the M17X R3. Guess that's another plus in the column for the "little" brother. Reply
  • Akv - Sunday, October 16, 2011 - link

    Another "gaming laptop". Yawn...

    Sorry to repeat that every six months, but I am part of the population who have all the necessary large gaming equipment at home (screens, cases, fans, mice, keyboards...) and who use their laptop when traveling.

    In that sense the prospect of gaming with a laptop seems to me appalling compared to what my desktops can offer, and the prospect of using a low-power, low-noise, light-weigth laptop with excellent screen and excellent speakers seems highly appropriate.
    Reply
  • mclazer - Sunday, October 16, 2011 - link

    Based on your statements, it seems weird that you even clicked on the link for the review. We already know this laptop isn't for everyone.

    I for one am very grateful for the review, a "gaming laptop" was exactly what I was looking for.

    See you in 6 months
    Reply
  • bennyg - Monday, October 17, 2011 - link

    Big accomplishment, you read something about a product you don't like and won't buy, and against all odds, emphatically reinforce your own opinion.

    I, however, can take my gaming laptop into the next room in all of 5 seconds, or outside (thanks to my matte 1080p screen) if I wish. Or hook it up to my large TV should I choose. That's the flexibility it offers, and yes price/perf is the tradeoff, and you obviously desperately need 3dmarks and fps at ultra settings in a way I just ... don't.

    The thought of sitting at the one desk my whole life is what appals me.
    Reply
  • ebatts - Thursday, October 20, 2011 - link

    Does anyone know how long this laptop battery is expected to last with normal use? It also seems like a huge battery, but carrying spares might be a good idea, especially if you're gaming away from a charging socket. Check out http://www.ebatts.com/alienware_laptop_models.aspx for some spares. Reply
  • Mystermask - Saturday, October 22, 2011 - link

    no need to say more Reply

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