AVADirect M570RU: SLI, Drivers, and 8800M GTX Performanceby Jarred Walton on March 14, 2008 6:00 AM EST
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AVADirect first contacted us in early 2008 to see if we would be interested in doing a notebook review. While normally we wouldn't want to turn down any manufacturer, the fact is they were offering to send us another Clevo M570RU notebook -- the same basic notebook as the WidowPC Sting 517D2 that we had just finished reviewing. Retreading old ground didn't seem to be very useful, so we had to figure out if there was anything new we could bring to the table.
After further consideration, we came up with several areas that we would like to investigate further. First, the WidowPC notebook shipped with Windows Vista 64-bit installed; that's definitely not a problem, but we didn't have the time to install the 32-bit version to see if there was any difference in overall performance. So our first request was that AVADirect configure a system with a 32-bit OS. Let's make things clear: considering they are shipping a system with 4 GB of memory, we definitely think a 64-bit OS is the way to go, and AVADirect does support (and recommend) such a configuration.
Then Dell sent us their XPS M1730 equipped with SLI video cards. We ran a ton of benchmarks on that system, but trying to report on everything in a single article became increasingly difficult. We felt a look at SLI scaling performance would make an interesting addition to this review. We will thus be including results from the AVADirect M570RU (a single GeForce 8800M GTX notebook) and comparing it to the Dell XPS M1730, the latter running with SLI enabled as well as disabled.
Finally, one topic that invariably seems to come up with discussions of gaming notebooks is video drivers -- and particularly long-term support from companies in the way of providing new driver updates. We spoke with NVIDIA quite a bit on the subject, and we definitely feel it's a topic that should interest anyone who owns or plans to own a gaming notebook (at least if it has an NVIDIA graphics chip). We also have a few other interesting pieces of information regarding video drivers that we hope will find useful.
While the AVADirect M570RU is literally identical to the WidowPC Sting 517D2 in terms of appearance -- with the exception of the logo on the front of the laptop -- there are some differences we want to discuss. These differences fall into two general categories: differences in configuration options, and differences between the companies. So let's return to the Clevo M570RU once more, only this time we'll see how AVADirect approaches this notebook chassis.