Alienware's M18x, Part 2: AMD's Radeon HD 6990M in CrossFireby Dustin Sklavos on October 14, 2011 12:00 AM EST
Application and Futuremark Performance
In the first part of our Alienware M18x review, I pointed out that the overclock on the Intel Core i7-2920XM processor is actually higher than the stock clocks of the desktop i7-2600K. More than that, our dual-GPU configurations should be in the neighborhood of a pair of desktop GTX 560s and certainly within striking distance of most single-GPU desktop gaming systems. So to up the ante and spice things up a bit, where possible I've included the results from CyberPower's Gamer Xtreme 4000, a desktop system I reviewed at the beginning of the year that features an overclocked i7-2600K (at 4.4GHz) and a GeForce GTX 570.
Additionally, for the application and Futuremark testing, I've also included results from the M18x with the i7-2920XM at stock clocks and a single HD 6990M. Keep in mind that in some cases, the RAID 0 in the Radeon-equipped M18x might give it a slight edge.
In most cases, the AMD and NVIDIA-based M18x notebooks mirror each other and trade blows. As far as PCMark 7 is concerned, the difference between the two is negligible, and not only that, it doesn't seem heavily impacted by the RAID 0. Meanwhile, the ASUS G74, Clevo, and HP notebooks benefit from SSDs to boost their scores.
As far as Cinebench is concerned, the two graphics solutions have roughly the same CPU overhead, and multi-GPU configurations don't seem to affect it. The numbers are close enough to call it a wash. The x264 benchmark yields the same results. Meanwhile, our overclock on the i7-2920XM has a tangible performance improvement but ends up being surprisingly minor compared to the massive lead the overclocked desktop i7-2600K stakes.
In the 3DMarks, the Radeon and GeForce solutions basically trade blows with no serious leads going to either contender. At least as far as Futuremark is concerned, AMD and NVIDIA's top-end parts are basically comparable.
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The Crying Man - Friday, October 14, 2011 - linkWould it be possible to make the Radeon bars red and the Nvidia bars green in your charts? It's pretty minor, but it messes up my ease of reading knowing these companies have their colors.
JarredWalton - Friday, October 14, 2011 - linkDone -- I'll send you your bill later.
The Crying Man - Friday, October 14, 2011 - linkThank you kindly.
So uh... do you accept monopoly c notes?
therealnickdanger - Friday, October 14, 2011 - linkReal Benjamins are probably worth less... ;-)
yelped - Monday, October 17, 2011 - linkOK, I just have to arrange a government loan before I go bankrupt.... :)
GTRagnarok - Friday, October 14, 2011 - linkNvidia's pricing of the GTX 580M is ridiculous.
mclazer - Friday, October 14, 2011 - linkYeah, it was what kept me from pulling the trigger for a while on the m17x... i wanted the 120hz screen and they wont sell it with the 6990 (I dont care about 3d).
Dell is selling the model with 120hz screen for 300 bucks less now though.. so I went ahead and ordered one finally after considering the m18x and m17x.
It kinda sucks that the system that would be able to take advantage of a 120hz screen the most (m18x w/ SLI) doesnt have it as an option.
prophet001 - Friday, October 14, 2011 - linkThis is exactly what I had been wanting to see. As far as comparing the m17 to the m18, another difference is the reduction in the pixel density. I don't understand why Alienware would put this monitor in this laptop.
Anyway, thank you again.
AlexRain1973 - Friday, October 14, 2011 - linkThe one thing that 580M stands out from the 6990 is their Overclocking capabilities, I've seen what the guys are doing in NBR M18x Forums and it's simply destroying AMD due to the fact that the Nvidia's BIOS is flashable and currently we've seen up to 35% Overclock! that's pretty crazy! It can achieve that due to the Video BIOS and the ability to be able to leverage higher voltage.
That's where the extra 300 goes ;) (Remember this isn't a consumer type system, it's 100% enthusiasts)
Righ now, the M18x with 2920/2960 and 580M SLI Setup with Mod BIOS makes for the fastest laptop in the planet, ahead of Clevos with Desktop CPU!
Meaker10 - Friday, October 14, 2011 - linkGood overclocks, just a shame the card is throttling itself.