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  • xTRICKYxx - Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - link

    I don't understand why they chose a rebranded 580M over the 7970M....
    And 4GB of VRAM is absolutely overkill for 1920x1080 even with maxed anti-aliasing.

    The pricing is actually quite good for what you get, but the 7970M is cheaper and beats the 675M....
  • Mugur - Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - link

    Optimus? Reply
  • Freakie - Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - link

    This. Once AMD can compete on the battery front, then they will find themselves very successful in this market because in this economy, people want to merge devices into one package and having a gaming rig with low battery life is hard to justify over a dedicated desktop for gaming and a laptop for when you're somewhere else. But if you throw in 4+hrs of 720p video watching, then suddenly you can combine your two devices and save some money in the mean-time.

    But of course, AMD has to completely change the way they do Drivers to pull that off. Nvidia has done damned good work on their drivers to get Optimus to work so smoothly, and it took a few hiccups along the way. And as we've seen with AMD, they really suck at implementing new software features over a whole family of products.

    But I of course await the day when AMD can become more competitive :)
  • jtd871 - Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - link

    I was actually shopping this unit w/ the 7970m within the past 24hrs as a replacement for my 5-yo lappie (ThinkPad T61p with Core 2 and Quadro NVS140M - don't laugh still runs great for older stuff).

    However, I then learned about the recent Enduro (AMDs Optimus) issues with laptops using the 7970m (and possibly all GCN dGPUs), and stopped shopping as seriously until such time as AMD works out their issues with Enduro.

    That having been said, I'm still glad to have Dustin's opinion on the rest of the build.
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - link

    I'm meeting with AMD tomorrow to discuss Enduro/Switchable Graphics, so hopefully they'll have something to tell/show me in regards to drivers. [Crosses fingers...] Reply
  • mpschan - Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - link

    I'm sure you're planning on it already, but please let us know if there are any developments on that front (assuming no NDA of course). AMD desperately needs this feature in the mobile space. Reply
  • TheHolyLancer - Wednesday, August 22, 2012 - link

    As an owner of a saiger NP9170 w7970m that is having massive driver issues (since the NP9170 is optimus enabled, and something about how the output from the GPU has to go thru the IGP....)

    I would love to know what will their response to this issue.

    ATM, I have to run the old custom version of the driver from saiger as the newest offcial driver will not install willingly, if I force it by pointing the driver update to an extracted driver folder's right location and update to the newest version, I get issues if I run two copies of eve online (or two copies any any two game that uses discreet). The performance boost is very nice tho, granted at the point it was more like 100 fps vs 60-70 fps so I reverted to the old driver that lets me run multiple games at the same time without crashing badly.
  • jtd871 - Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - link

    Whoops, must have confused this with the Origin/Sager/AVA machines. iBuyPower doesn't show AMD graphics as an option for the CZ-17... Reply
  • hardwareguy - Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - link

    My M17xR4 with the 7970 can hit about 4 hours on battery with pretty high web use and visual studio. Buddy with same laptop who does everything through RDP gets about an extra hour. Reply
  • xTRICKYxx - Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - link

    Nice! I didn't know the Walter White got an Alienware. Reply
  • xTRICKYxx - Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - link

    Absolutely, I did not even think of that. My last gaming laptop was from the 200M days and my i7 didn't even come with integrated graphics (i7-820QM).

    The battery life on it was atrocious but I got it for higher frame rates.
  • NA1NSXR - Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - link

    The M17X uses separate blowers and radiators on its 3pipe GPU sink and 2pipe CPU sink. I doubt this thing will out cool it. You also get 4 bins of OC available to you on 3720QM and up with the M17X. That gets you up to 3.8GHz on 4 cores and 4GHz on single core turbo for +$150 option. M17X is also capable of OC'ing Kepler cards now. I just shopped this segment and did a lot of research on the options out there and quite frankly Alienware is the best value if the customer has any sort of computer knowledge. Its biggest weakness is that it cannot be purchased for $1450 similarly equipped to this ibuypower. I think if you know well enough to get your own RAM kit at retail instead of as a configurator upgrade, how to repaste, how to OC, basically know what you're doing overall, the M17X R4 is worth the premium. If you just want to buy and use as is, then that is the case where this ibuypower looks like a good value.... Reply
  • Freakie - Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - link

    I've never seen a laptop with a high end GPU like this not have two separate fans and heatsinks, and laptops that do 2 GPU's use 3 heatsinks. It's just what is required for something so powerful, so your argument there is completely invalid.

    OC'ing on clevo barebones is also just as possible as it is on an Alienware. Do all Clevo barebones have the feature? No. But do all of the high end ones that compete with Alienware? Yes. So your point still remains invalid.

    Alienware really isn't worth the premium for most people. While it can offer a few cosmetic features of other brands, it's performance is no better, it's hardware is no better, and it looks childish to use anywhere in a professional environment. The problem that Alienware has more than anything isn't the price, it is the looks, as a "customer [that] has any sort of computer knowledge" tends to actually have a day-job in a professional environment and needs something that looks professional, which Alienware does not. I'm not saying I have a problem with Alienware (besides their price) I just think that trying to call it superior is silly. It's just another option for laptop enthusiasts and it is typically reserved for only young people who have not yet fully assimilated into the typical adult life. Many Alienware owners grow up and decide that an ASUS, MSI, or Clevo barebone is much better suited to real life while giving them the same features.
  • Dribble - Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - link

    Cooling is a major problem on these laptops, lots of them get so hot they clock down when you give them a demanding game (that hits gpu hard and has multicore support to hit all cores of cpu). In addition reviewing a brand new laptop with squeaky clean fans is pretty different to what you get after a few months of use. So for life expectancy of chips, quietness of laptop and ability to play games smoothly cooling is very important.

    imo the M17X is a great machine, and there's always special offers if you know where to look so it's not that expensive. The biggest problem is the warranty - that's so expensive from dell. Other manufacturers (acer, toshiba) offer a basic three year warranty at a fraction of the cost, or some like asus give a two year warranty as standard.
  • Meaker10 - Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - link

    Alienware, MSI and Clevo seem to be fine on the cooling front.

    My clevo lets me clock my cpu to 3.9ghz on all 4 cores just fine.

    My graphics is also overclocked 50% just fine too.
  • AssBall - Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - link

    My B.S. meter works just fine too. Reply
  • xTRICKYxx - Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - link

    My laptop has an Nvidia GeForce GT 650M and I overclocked the core clock by 75% and the Memory clock by 76% higher than stock. But, any higher it is unstable.

    Lots of laptop GPU's are crazy overclockable, but you just have to watch out for the high temperatures to avoid throttling.
  • danwat1234 - Wednesday, April 30, 2014 - link

    This MSI laptop uses a 12 Volt fan I believe, which moves about 25 CFM of air and uses about 7 watts at full RPM! In this case I believe a single fan can affectively cool the CPU and GPU even if they are both under a full load. Why use two less powerful fans when you can use 1 powerful fan? Reply
  • Darkstone - Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - link

    You can overclock the GPU on MSI, clevo and alienware barebones. However, you can only overclock the CPU (non-extreme CPU's) with the alienware.

    Yes, you can run the 3920XM at 4x3.9ghz if you like. And the M17x does just that, well, 3.8GHZ, with the 3720QM that is $/€500 cheaper.

    And the price argument: The base alienware with 1080p display and HD 7970m is actually cheaper than the cheapest clevo reseller in the netherlands. You're paying a premium to get clevo with their horrorid drivers. That just doesn't make any sense.
  • xTRICKYxx - Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - link

    I always ignore driver support of an OEM because it makes sense to always wipe and put a clean install of Windows these days. Every single component needing drivers in a laptop usually has a driver download from the manufacturer of the component, right? Reply
  • Darkstone - Wednesday, August 22, 2012 - link

    The driver support is a bit different this time. The endiro drivers are horrible, whatever brand you take, the drivers suck. Except for alienware. Hit fn+F7+reboot and the computer uses the AMD GPU as primary graphics card. No enduro, no issues, and performance improvements in the double digits.
    ctrl+F "worse performance"
  • danwat1234 - Wednesday, April 30, 2014 - link

    This MSI laptop uses a 12 Volt fan I believe, which moves about 25 CFM of air and uses about 7 watts at full RPM! In this case I believe a single fan can effectively cool the CPU and GPU even if they are both under a full load. Why use two less powerful fans when you can use 1 powerful fan? Reply
  • 9Breaker - Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - link

    ASUS G7x series if you're on a budget .... you must be rich Reply
  • Flunk - Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - link

    $1000 is about the cheapest gaming laptops come, get over it. Otherwise you need to learn to game on a discount model AMD's trinity processors are good on the low end. Reply
  • SilthDraeth - Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - link

    This MSI chassis reminds me of the Asus G7 chassis. Reply
  • cknobman - Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - link

    Old last gen GPU
    Slow HDD
    Ugly design
    Stupid keyboard layout
    Need I go on?

    Next please
  • extide - Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - link

    x2, a Clevo P150EM w/ 680m is a much better choice, IMHO Reply
  • Jackattak - Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - link

    It's a purchase from me. You've got my dollars, iBuyPower. I've gotta Samsung 256GB SSD to slap into that empty 2.5" bay, too. Reply
  • Hrel - Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - link

    Looking at the configurations offered by I can't help but remind you all that you can get a laptop just like this for less. You can choose between a Clevo base and an MSI base, whatever your preference. They also have Compal's under a new name available. Though in my experiences Compal is less reliable than Clevo or MSI. Reply
  • Draconian - Wednesday, August 22, 2012 - link

    "ASUS G7x series if you're on a budget, Alienware M17x if you're not."

    Neither. Asus doesn't use the x80M series cards (580M, 680M, etc.) and Alienware only uses glossy screens. MSI rectifies both those problems. Plus the MSI's Dynaudio is superior to anything Asus or Alienware has.
  • JBird7986 - Thursday, August 23, 2012 - link

    "keep in mind that way back when the Mobile Athlon 64 was launched, eMachines/Gateway was doing roughly the same thing by taking notebooks built by Arima and rebranding them."

    I still have my old eMachines M6811 and it runs like a champ since I upgraded the RAM to 1.25GB. I'm currently using it as a Windows 8 test machine since I have a newer laptop. It was a crazy awesome laptop for its day. Hard to believe it's 8 years old now.
  • Akaz1976 - Friday, August 24, 2012 - link

    Those benches are missing. Did it not run on that PC? Reply
  • seapeople - Saturday, August 25, 2012 - link

    I thought you guys were going to do throttling reviews on your laptops going forward considering that it's a huge metric of performance in today's world of under-cooled over-turbo'ed laptops.

    I was very interested to see how a thicker laptop like this does with full CPU/GPU + gaming loads. Now I realized you did noise/thermals, and the thermals looked good, but again it's impossible to know whether this is because the cooling is so good the laptop can run full blast without issues, or whether the laptop is actually throttling some to target lower thermals. Given this is a gaming machine I expect the former, but it would be cool to know for sure.

    In summary, please don't giveth (the awesome throttling reviews) and then taketh away!
  • BlueBomber - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    The price of the laptop is alright, but I honestly wouldn't want to purchase anything from Ibuypower. They've seriously got some pretty bad horror stories out there. When I was buying my first gaming pc a few months ago I was really looking at going with Ibuypower. The price was right and I like theit options, but after reading all stories about them i decided not . A few people who had horrible experiences with IBP also recommended going with another company, Ironside Computers instead, and I'm glad I did. The price was better then IBP considering they have free shipping, and the computer arrived in perfect condition. I couldn't be happier. Reply
  • Drittz121 - Friday, February 28, 2014 - link

    Just do yourself a favor. STAY AWAY from this company. Yes they look good. But when it breaks and it WILL. All they do is give you the run around. They have had my system for over 2 months trying to fix the garbage they sell. Worse company out there for support. DONT BUY Reply

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