Let the Games Begin

Our gaming suite is the most comprehensive set of gaming benchmarks you’re likely to find if you’re wondering how your shiny new laptop stacks up to the competition. As both of the notebooks we’re reviewing today are reasonably high-end, we’ll run through our Medium, High, and Ultra quality presets on each title. I’ve also added a couple new games to the list, Civilization V and Total War: Shogun 2, but I won’t include the graphs yet since we only have a few results. We’re also not fully decided on if we’ll keep these two benchmarks, so let us know what you think; in the meantime, you can find the scores in Mobile Bench. (We might also need to revamp the TWS2 test once the DX11 patch hits, which might be just in time to start testing Crysis 2 with DX11.)

We’ll focus our commentary on the High and Ultra results, but the Medium charts do a good job at showing the gulf between the midrange and high-end mobile GPUs. Something else to look at in the gaming benchmarks are the results for the original MSI GT680R; we’re including them mostly to see if anything has changed with the latest NVIDIA driver updates (and potentially firmware/BIOS tweaks from MSI), as the hardware remains the same; results for the earlier GT680R are in dark green.

Medium Quality Gaming Results

Battlefield: Bad Company 2

DiRT 2

Left 4 Dead 2

Mafia II

Mass Effect 2

Metro 2033

Stalker: Call of Pripyat

StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty

Medium Detail Average Performance

High Quality Gaming Results

Battlefield: Bad Company 2

DiRT 2

Left 4 Dead 2

Mafia II

Mass Effect 2

Metro 2033

Stalker: Call of Pripyat

StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty

High Detail Average Performance

Ultra Quality Gaming Results

Battlefield: Bad Company 2

DiRT 2

Left 4 Dead 2

Mafia II

Mass Effect 2

Metro 2033

STALKER: Call of Pripyat

StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty

Ultra Detail Average Performance

Say what you will about the GT680R’s GPU overclock, if nothing else it’s at least consistently a few percent faster than the competition. We wouldn’t pay extra for the feature, and we aren’t recommending other manufacturers follow a similar path, but it’s there if you want it. Outside of that little performance bonus, the other GTX 460M notebooks (including the older ASUS G73JW with a Clarksfield CPU) are all clumped together. It appears NVIDIA’s 270 series driver also provides a consistent if small increase in performance.

As for other options, we currently have three faster mobile GPUs that we've benchmarked (though there are others). 480M SLI (and 485M SLI) come at the top of the pecking order, but you can only get those GPUs right now with a desktop CPU in the form of the Clevo X7200. A single GTX 485M is also a sizeable jump in performance relative to 460M, but don't forget the HD 6970M, which is nipping at the heels of 485M for quite a bit less money. GTX 470M and HD 6950M will also outperform the 460M, as would any CrossFire 5800M or 6900M setup.

Of course, if you want a reasonably priced notebook that can run current games at high detail settings (but generally not with antialiasing), the GTX 460M is a great place to start. Faster mobile GPUs certainly exist, but the price premium to get those is quite high.

General Performance and 3DMarks Battery Life and Power
POST A COMMENT

44 Comments

View All Comments

  • hsew - Friday, May 13, 2011 - link

    Wow, I must have been asleep longer than I thought! Does it support DirectX 47 and come with 24 EB of GDDR29 like they said it would? All while consuming 14nW at full load? Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, May 13, 2011 - link

    I could tell you, but then the time travel police would be all over me. Sorry for the spoiler; please check back in 60 years for the full review! Reply
  • hsew - Friday, May 13, 2011 - link

    I second the hopes that you get your hands on a G53SW. Specifically the XN1 model. I am curious as to whether or not it supports dual hard disks. Reply
  • z3r0slugfm - Saturday, May 14, 2011 - link

    The G53SW does support dual hard drives and specifically the XN1 models come with the 2nd hdd caddy already installed. Reply
  • Iketh - Saturday, May 14, 2011 - link

    I've been eyeballing the dell XPS 17" with a GT555M for a few weeks now... you can upgrade to the 2720qm and XFi sound as well as a few other upgrades and it comes out around $1550 (back-lit keyboard is stock)... please, please, PLEASE include results with a GT555M, I'm just not ready to pull the trigger yet (since I'd love to get this laptop with a 6970M instead). Screw optimus... Reply
  • Iketh - Saturday, May 14, 2011 - link

    I'd like to add also that the G73 has superior cooling and may contribute to the higher scores from higher turbo clocks... it vents the entire chassis... Reply
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, May 14, 2011 - link

    True, but in looking at the individual subtest scores, it's the storage benchmarks that are all about twice as fast on the ASUS G73SW and K53E. It makes me wonder if somehow the other laptops are only running the SATA drives in a reduced performance mode. Anyway, nothing I tried improved scores on any of the laptops, but ASUS consistently came out on top. I don't think the U41JF had the same performance benefit, though... I'd have to rerun the tests to verify. Reply
  • DanNeely - Saturday, May 14, 2011 - link

    With the weaker clocks and lower core count the 555 is only going to have above 55-60% of the 560's performance in shader intensive games, and you take a similar sized hit from DDR3. Going the other direction its shading power is only about 20% higher than the 550. On paper it looks rather disappointing. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, May 14, 2011 - link

    I think you got your numbers a bit mixed up, and you're probably talking about the GTX 460M and not a non-existent (an laptops) 560M. Anyway, the GTX 460M has 52.5% more *theoretical* shader performance than the GT 555M, and if you're looking at the GDDR5 model of the 555M, it has 20% more memory bandwidth. Or the reverse is that the 555M has 65% (worst case) of the 460's core performance. In actual games, you can see that the GT 540M (which is another 20% slower than the 555M) does reasonably well at moderate settings. Reply
  • DanNeely - Saturday, May 14, 2011 - link

    I went off of the table in wikipedia, with a bit of extra googling the 560m appears to've paper launched last month with the first laptops using it expected at the end of this month. The main difference appears to be that the 560m will have shaders 100mhz faster. Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now