Gaming Performance

Given the generally known performance of the GeForce GTX 675M powering the iBuyPower Valkyrie CZ-17, it should come as no surprise that it continues to be a stellar option for gamers who want to turn all the settings up. It's only in our "Enthusiast" benchmark suite where we'll see the 675M even start to choke.

Batman: Arkham City - Mainstream

Battlefield 3 - Mainstream

Civilization V - Mainstream

DiRT 3 - Mainstream

Elder Scrolls: Skyrim - Mainstream

Portal 2 - Mainstream

Total War: Shogun 2 - Mainstream

While the Alienware M17x R3 seems to consistently perform ever so slightly better, the CZ-17 still puts in a killer showing above and beyond the competition. Every game is exceptionally playable at 900p and typically with room to turn settings up a bit more.

Batman: Arkham City - Enthusiast

Battlefield 3 - Enthusiast

Civilization V - Enthusiast

DiRT 3 - Enthusiast

Elder Scrolls: Skyrim - Enthusiast

Portal 2 - Enthusiast

Total War: Shogun 2 - Enthusiast

Interestingly, the slight dip in performance from the M17x R3's GTX 580M continues with the CZ-17's GTX 675M virtually across the board. Arkham City in particular is still playable, but it takes a massive hit. We retested over and over again to make sure, but those results continued to be a bit on the low side. It's tough to gauge exactly why, but my guess is that Arkham City is having driver issues. Everything else is fine, but it looks like to really go hog wild we'll still need to go for something beefier like the GTX 680M.

Application and Futuremark Performance Battery, Heat, and Screen Performance
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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....
    Reply
  • 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 :)
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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

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