Application and Futuremark Performance

It goes without saying that without an SSD in our review unit, the iBuyPower Valkyrie CZ-17 just isn't going to put in a strong performance against the other notebooks in PCMark. PCMark continues to bias extremely heavily towards SSDs, and while it's true an SSD can appreciably improve the computing experience, PCMark's reflection of this is a matter of some debate around here. That said, upgrades to SSDs from iBuyPower are far, far less expensive than from a major vendor like Alienware, so if you're custom building it may not hurt to stretch your budget a bit.

PCMark 7 - PCMarks

PCMark 7 - Lightweight

PCMark 7 - Productivity

PCMark 7 - Creativity

PCMark 7 - Entertainment

PCMark 7 - Computation

PCMark 7 - Storage

Futuremark PCMark Vantage

As expected, the PCMark scores range from being alright to a bloodbath. Virtually every other system tested enjoyed a faster storage subsystem than the CZ-17 did. So let's see what happens when we shift the load back to the CPU.

Cinebench R11.5 - Single-Threaded Benchmark

Cinebench R11.5 - Multi-Threaded Benchmark

x264 HD Benchmark - First Pass

x264 HD Benchmark - Second Pass

The improvements in Ivy Bridge's efficiency coupled with the higher clocks allow even the entry level i7-3610QM to put in a strong showing.

Futuremark 3DMark 11

Futuremark 3DMark Vantage

Futuremark 3DMark Vantage

Futuremark 3DMark06

The 3DMark scores, on the other hand, paint a rosier picture. The GTX 675M trades blows with the 580M, essentially boiling down to slight differences in CPU performance and driver optimizations. There's a reason this chip was the top of the heap for a while, but also keep in mind that the CZ-17 is among the least expensive, if not the least expensive, notebooks on this chart. There's an awful lot of value here.

In and Around the iBuyPower Valkyrie CZ-17 Gaming Performance


View All Comments

  • Darkstone - Wednesday, August 22, 2012 - link

    The driver support is a bit different this time. The endiro drivers are horrible, whatever brand you take, the drivers suck. Except for alienware. Hit fn+F7+reboot and the computer uses the AMD GPU as primary graphics card. No enduro, no issues, and performance improvements in the double digits.
    ctrl+F "worse performance"
  • danwat1234 - Wednesday, April 30, 2014 - link

    This MSI laptop uses a 12 Volt fan I believe, which moves about 25 CFM of air and uses about 7 watts at full RPM! In this case I believe a single fan can effectively cool the CPU and GPU even if they are both under a full load. Why use two less powerful fans when you can use 1 powerful fan? Reply
  • 9Breaker - Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - link

    ASUS G7x series if you're on a budget .... you must be rich Reply
  • Flunk - Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - link

    $1000 is about the cheapest gaming laptops come, get over it. Otherwise you need to learn to game on a discount model AMD's trinity processors are good on the low end. Reply
  • SilthDraeth - Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - link

    This MSI chassis reminds me of the Asus G7 chassis. Reply
  • cknobman - Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - link

    Old last gen GPU
    Slow HDD
    Ugly design
    Stupid keyboard layout
    Need I go on?

    Next please
  • extide - Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - link

    x2, a Clevo P150EM w/ 680m is a much better choice, IMHO Reply
  • Jackattak - Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - link

    It's a purchase from me. You've got my dollars, iBuyPower. I've gotta Samsung 256GB SSD to slap into that empty 2.5" bay, too. Reply
  • Hrel - Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - link

    Looking at the configurations offered by I can't help but remind you all that you can get a laptop just like this for less. You can choose between a Clevo base and an MSI base, whatever your preference. They also have Compal's under a new name available. Though in my experiences Compal is less reliable than Clevo or MSI. Reply
  • Draconian - Wednesday, August 22, 2012 - link

    "ASUS G7x series if you're on a budget, Alienware M17x if you're not."

    Neither. Asus doesn't use the x80M series cards (580M, 680M, etc.) and Alienware only uses glossy screens. MSI rectifies both those problems. Plus the MSI's Dynaudio is superior to anything Asus or Alienware has.

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