Gaming Performance

While the Radeon HD 6970M is essentially a known quantity, up until this point the Clevo P150HM has seemed unusually fast in our synthetic benchmarks. This could be due to any number of factors; the cooling system in the P150HM may be allowing the i7-2720QM to keep higher clocks for longer, or the hybrid graphics solution in the Alienware M17x R3 may be taking a toll on performance.

In most cases in our "High" testing suite, the M17x R3 hangs with the Clevo P150HM while trading blows with the GTX 485M in the Clevo P170HM. Individuals interested in what kind of performance to expect from the entry-level Radeon HD 6870M configuration option for the M17x R3 would do well to check out the ASUS G73Jh results, highlighted in red, as the 6870M is basically a rebadged Mobility Radeon HD 5870. The biggest takeaway is that, at least at our "High" preset, every game is playable at 1080p on the M17x R3.

Adding anti-aliasing to the mix and jacking settings up further causes certain games to fall off, but there aren't any single-GPU options that are going to make STALKER or Metro 2033 playable at these settings. The 6970Ms and GTX 485M mostly cluster together. Net result: the M17x R3 competes among the fastest single-GPU gaming notebooks on the market. Not only that, but upgrading it to the 6970M yields a marked improvement over the alternative GTX 460M and HD 6870M.

That said, while the GTX 485M isn't available in the M17x R3 and doesn't make a compelling case on its own for gameplay performance, users who enjoy PhysX or need CUDA support (as in the case of Adobe Premiere Pro CS5) are going to feel a little bit shut out that their best option is the GeForce GTX 460M, which is clearly in a different class from the Radeon HD 6970M. It's oftentimes only a bit over half as fast as the 6970M, and the fact that it costs extra over the HD 6870M makes it a dubious proposition. Bottom line: if you want gaming performance at no expense, go for the HD 6970M. If you're on a budget, the HD 6870M will serve you well. The only reason you should configure the M17x R3 with the GTX 460M is if you explicitly need the features NVIDIA offers.

Application and Futuremark Performance Heat, Noise, and Battery Life
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  • RoninX - Wednesday, June 22, 2011 - link

    Yes, I would find it very useful to see both performance and run time stats for gaming on the battery.

    Right now, I'm pretty satisfied with the balance of power vs battery life on my XPS 15, but I am curious what sort of price you pay in terms of run time if you move up to a gaming laptop like the M14x (or the equivalent rigs from Clevo or ASUS).

    Likewise, I'm curious whether you actually get better performance on the gaming laptops while on battery (as compared to a general-purpose high-end laptop like the XPS 15), or whether the actual performance ends up being equivalent (or worse) due to throttling.
    Reply
  • Hrel - Monday, June 20, 2011 - link

    http://www.xoticpc.com/sager-np5165-clevo-w150hr-p... Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, June 20, 2011 - link

    I'll have a review of one of those in the near future (not from XoticPC, but it's the same Clevo W150HR chassis); I would say "better" is all relative. If you mean it will have better battery life, then yes, it's better. If you mean it offers okay performance in games, but it's not as fast as GTX 460M, then yes, it's "better". The GT 555M is half-way between GT 540M and GTX 460M, though, which means the 6970M is over twice as fast... and 1080p gaming on the 555M is definitely a stretch. Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - link

    Immediate disqualification on the grounds that you still have to put up with that Clevo keyboard. ;) Reply
  • b0tch02 - Wednesday, June 22, 2011 - link

    Does this Clevo have the capability for 6970m CF? No.
    Maybe you prefer the Optimus technology of the Clevo?

    "Better" how? What is your definition of better? Because everyones opinion differs - people buy different laptops for different reasons/applications/funtions...

    You're comparing apples to oranges.
    Reply
  • prophet001 - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - link

    Nice article. Thank you for typing it up. I have been looking for a replacement for my aging XPS and this might be it.

    I was wondering though if you have any idea what the SSD option is. Is it worth it to maybe get the laptop with the SSD option and then purchase a 2nd HDD after you receive it for storage purposes?

    The drive situation and the keyboard issue are the only two things that would keep me from purchasing it (well that and the fact that the XPS I have now is 1920 x 1200).

    Thank you again
    Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - link

    It's my understanding the SSDs that Dell ships the notebooks with aren't the best. Under the circumstances you may be best off ordering it with a single HDD and then upgrading to an SSD of your choosing. Reply
  • JasonInofuentes - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - link

    Seriously, putting some really great hardware through its paces. Makes me wonder, if this is the first laptop that's made you regret having to send it back, what's your daily driver?

    Either way, great job, can't wait to see the M11x R3view.

    Jason
    Reply
  • Uritziel - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - link

    LOL, nice. Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - link

    It's not the first one, but it's definitely the one I've wanted the most out of all the machines I've tested, desktop and notebook. My personal desktop is powerful enough that the demons I test aren't that interesting (they're noisy and generate a ton of heat), but I've been looking for a new 17" notebook and the M17x R3 is sooooo perfect. :(

    Honestly I'm just thankful I get the chance to test these things at all so I can see and know there's something out there to shoot for.
    Reply

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