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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  • TEAMSWITCHER - Monday, June 20, 2011 - link

    Why can't alienware make a laptop that doesn't look like it was beaten all weekend with an ugly stick. I don't care how powerful it is - i'll never buy one - and no-one else over the age of 14 should either. FAIL!
  • therealnickdanger - Monday, June 20, 2011 - link

    BUT it has 2 l00k leik a 5T34L7H FIGHT3R!!!!1!

    The only thing that holds me back from buying the M11x is that it is hideous. I've been wanting an relatively inexpensive SFF gaming notebook (with balls) forever! But when I finally get it, it's the size of a humidor and looks like a snaggle-toothed pug. Oh well, I'm glad it's a free county and I can choose not to buy it!
  • synaesthetic - Monday, June 20, 2011 - link

    The LG P330 looks like the best bet for small form factor gaming laptop. It's really not much larger than the M11x and it looks far less ugly. It also doesn't use a ULV CPU either, but a standard mobile i5 SNB processor. Video is the 555M, which should be better than the 335M in the M11x.
  • The0ne - Monday, June 20, 2011 - link

    You're complaining about a company with the name of Alienware making its systems look like an Alien or Alien form? Are you serious or just fooling around? There are other more normal gaming laptops if that's your taste, Asus, Clevo and so on.
  • headbox - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - link

    They don't look alien, they look childish. Or will we be invaded by Hasbro aliens? My kid's Leap Frog toy computer looks more sophisticated.
  • khimera2000 - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    Alienware is to taste, some people like it others dont. I have one it works pritty well. It dosent look that bad. Alienware has always had a distinct look, you can love it or hate it, but it hasent changed that much since i dont know... since alienware wasent dell?

    Complaining about something based on looks is just like complaining a car is slower because its not hotrod red. Its not going to make a differance. People will still get it because it looks neat to them.

    O ya the backlit keyboard is a god send >.<
  • Sabresiberian - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - link

    You're the one that EPIC FAILs here, for telling everyone else what they should or shouldn't like in the appearance of their gaming laptop. You don't like it, fine, but get off the high opinion you have of yourself and quit telling other people how to think and what to do.

    Personally, I think the M17x looks great. I also happen to be 55 years old. Would I carry it into an executive board room meeting? Probably not, but it's a gaming machine, and not intended to look like Mr. Businessman.
  • Astoria85 - Wednesday, June 22, 2011 - link

    Alienware doesn't need you buy one of their laptops ;) I'm 21 years old and I work every day with new guys who ask me where i have found a laptop like my M15x, and if it's as powerful as it looks cool! Obviously your point of view is not the point of view of the major part of the people... FAIL!
  • yyrkoon - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    I agree.

    I was just last night looking for a replacement laptop, and just because of the looks I wont even consider any of these. Useless " features" that add only cost; serving no other purpose.

    Too bad you can not get an XPS with similar hardware, but as it stands looks like I will be shopping with someone else.
  • 5150Joker - Monday, June 27, 2011 - link

    You were beaten with an ugly stick, not the AW.

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