Introducing the Fermi-in-Your-Backpack

The shell of the Clevo W880CU we're reviewing today probably looks very familiar from Jarred's review of its predecessor, the W870CU, back in September 2009. Sure the red trim has been replaced by a tasteful chrome, and one of the ports is USB 3.0 now, but it's the same Clevo you've all known and... sort of loved.

The basic format hasn't changed at all, although this time the test system came with a 1080p display instead of the HD+ model. (More images of the W880CU are avaialble in our preview.) The LCD is the same high contrast HannStar HSD173PUW1 as the panel in the ASUS G73Jh, so you can read our comments on the panel in that review. The complaints with the W870CU still exist as well—i.e. the crappy keyboard layout on the number pad, and the unwieldy door on the rear of the unit hiding the ports.

What's going to be staggeringly unfamiliar is the new meat sitting inside the W880CU: NVIDIA's new top-end mobile GPU, the GeForce GTX 480M. While we can knock the chassis around again, Clevo is far more interested in being first to market with GTX 480M, and the W880CU does just that. Here are the details of the review system we received from AVADirect, which will make for an interesting comparison against the GTX 285M/HD 5870 notebooks from AVADirect that we reviewed last month.

AVADirect Clevo W880CU Specifications
Processor Intel Core i7-820QM
(4x1.73GHz, 45nm, 8MB L3, Turbo to 3GHz, 45W)
Chipset Intel PM55
Memory 2x2GB DDR3-1333 (Max 2x4GB)
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480M 2GB GDDR5
(352 CUDA Cores, 425MHz/800MHz/2.4GHz Core/Shader/RAM clocks)
Display 17.3" LED Glossy 16:9 1080p (1920x1080)
Hard Drive(s) Seagate Momentus XT 500GB 7200 RPM Hybrid Drive
(additional empty bay with RAID 0/1 capability)
Optical Drive Blu-ray Writer
Networking Gigabit Ethernet
Intel Centrino Ultimate-N 6300 (a/b/g/n)
Clevo Bluetooth
V.92 56K Modem
Audio Realtek ALC888/1200 HD Audio
4.1 speakers with line-in, mic, optical, and headphone jacks
Capable of 5.1
Battery 3-Cell, 12V, 48Wh battery
Front Side N/A
Left Side Modem
Antenna In
MMC/SD/MS Reader
4-pin FireWire
1x USB 2.0
Optical Drive
Right Side Headphones, Mic, Line-In, Optical
1 x USB 3.0
ExpressCard/54 Slot
eSATA
DVI
Kensington Lock
Back Side HDMI
AC Jack
2 x USB 2.0
Ethernet
Operating System Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Dimensions 16.25" x 11" x 1.69"~2.25” (WxDxH)
Weight 8.35 lbs (with 3-cell battery)
Extras Webcam
103-Key keyboard with 10-key
Flash reader (MMC/MS/MS Pro/SD)
USB 3.0
Bluetooth
Dual drive bays with RAID 0/1
Warranty 1-year basic warranty
Pricing $2936.80 as configured from AVADirect

The Clevo W880CU demands only the briefest of rundowns; the shell is identical (coloring notwithstanding) to the W870CU, and the guts are mostly the same as the W860CU we reviewed recently, though the chassis is slightly larger. Our review unit comes equipped with an Intel Core i7-820QM quad core processor, 4GB of DDR3 (two DIMMs in two slots), and one of those new-fangled Seagate Momentus XT hybrid hard disks.

Oh, and the GeForce GTX 480M. That's what you came here for, right?

The Fastest Mobile GPU in the World: NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 480M
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  • my_body_is_ready - Thursday, July 08, 2010 - link

    Any news on what ASUS will be doing with this chip? I hear they are refreshing their G series and adding 3D Vision Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, July 08, 2010 - link

    If ASUS doesn't someone else will. I suspect we'll see that sort of notebook come fall. Reply
  • drfelip - Thursday, July 08, 2010 - link

    IIRC the Asus G73JW is going to sport a GTX 480M, but probably a downclocked one... Reply
  • LtGoonRush - Thursday, July 08, 2010 - link

    Given the very tiny lead of the GTX 480M, I'm very much looking forward to the next enthusiast mobile graphics products from AMD. Given that the Mobility 5870 has a 50TDP and is essentially a desktop R5770, they may be able to cram an underclocked desktop R5870 into a 100W TDP like the GTX 480M, maybe call it the Mobility 5970? Ah well, it will be exciting to see what the Mobility 6870 brings to the table, I'm assuming we'll see a Southern Islands-derived mobile GPU lineup. Reply
  • blyndy - Thursday, July 08, 2010 - link

    Isn't ATI supposed to release some new mobile parts about now? Reply
  • james.jwb - Thursday, July 08, 2010 - link

    Sorry to bring this up here, but the front page carousel is killing the front page performance. I've heard lot's mention this over time, and it's now started happening to me. I think some random update, possibly to Flash or Firefox has caused this for me.

    Is this problem being acknowledge or ignored? I kinda expect more form a site like this, with this much traffic.

    Using Firefox.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, July 08, 2010 - link

    If you're not at native size (i.e. no magnification), performance is okay. I'm on a quad-core 3.2GHz Kentsfield system, and the main page is fine normally but if I magnify suddenly it's super slow. Like, peg a core of my CPU at 100% for a couple seconds slow. If you were on a slower system, I imagine it would be terrible.

    FWIW, I believe we're talking about killing the carousel. I thought it sounded like a good idea in the design phase, but in practice I don't like it that much.
    Reply
  • tommy2q - Thursday, July 08, 2010 - link

    the carousel is a cpu hog and makes the front page harder/slower to browse for information because it takes up way too much space... Reply
  • B3an - Thursday, July 08, 2010 - link

    It would be better to keep it, but make it Flash. For any sort of animations Flash runs much better with less CPU usage - if done right.

    I make stuff like this all the time, you're looking at around 2 - 4% CPU usage with Flash on a average quadcore. Even an Atom CPU would easily cope.

    But Anand seems to be a big crApple supporter, so i cant see that happening.
    Reply
  • strikeback03 - Thursday, July 08, 2010 - link

    I just tried on my work computer (3GHz Q6600) and I get processor usage spiking to about 28% spread across 2-3 cores when the carousel shifts. Using the keyboard buttons to magnify doesn't change the processor usage any.

    I never look at it though, without any defined beginning and end I find myself having to watch the whole thing to see what might be new, it is far easier to just look at the static listing.
    Reply

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