User Posts: JBerg
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MSI is now launching a laptop with a professional-grade Nvidia Quadro K2000M graphics card. The model in question is the GT60 and other than the GPU it appears ...
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If you are currently playing or plan on playing Β Black Ops 2,Β Hitman Absolution, Assassin's Creed III or Planetside 2, you should definitely consider the ...
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High-end laptops in general built around AMD processors are few and far between. Full-featured gaming laptops are an even rarer breed. Β Admittedly, there are a ...
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Updated November 2012: The latest July 2012 deal is worth 33% off a custom dv6t Quad Edition including free shipping! New offer. How to use: Visit HP and ...
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It comes as no surprise for our regular readers that Nvidia's GeForce GTX 670M and 675M were/are actually a 570M and a 580M with a new name. This situation ...
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iBuyPower has just unveiled a new 17.3-inch gaming machine dubbed the Valkyrie CZ-17. If you think that it looks eerily familiar you are not alone. It appears ...
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The 17.3-inch MSI GT70 looks like a nice machine, and now MSI is about to extend the options on the graphics side with the brand new GTX 680M.As we've pointed ...
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The new high-end Intel Ivy Bridge CPUs are just fresh off the wafer, but what seems to be updates to the current lineup have already surfaced. Right now the ...
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Asus, MSI, Alienware, Lenovo (?). The company that inherited the ThinkPad brand from IBM has produced countless reliable, if boring, business machines, but it ...
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The latest updates to HP's 15.6-inch and 17.3-inch high performance laptops, the dv6t and dv7t Quad Edition have not been particularly well covered by the ...
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Browsing All Comments By: JBerg
  1. Hi BMA!
    If battery life is important then both the MSI and Asus are pretty much out of the question since they don’t have Optimus/switchable graphics. The M14x fan noise is only an issue when playing games, otherwise it’s quite silent actually (although it might be worth waiting on the R2 with a 28nm GPU, should be both faster and put out less heat). And the Envy 15 should definitely be listed here, thanks!(that one should also have a more than decent battery life with the switchable 7690M).

  2. Sadly none of the above have a very good battery life because they lack graphics switching (for some odd reason). The next-gen models, due in a month or two, may be better in that regard.

  3. I hope you show up again Flaskekork, because I gave it a try πŸ™‚ Here it is:
    Medium is indeed the new maximum for BF3, but IMO the game looks great no matter the setting, as long as it runs at native resolution.

  4. True, 30 seconds of single-player is not the most thorough test in the world, but it would be impossible to get comparable results in multiplayer mode.
    Those specs look almost identical to the one on this page. There’s no question that the G53SX can play BF3, but perhaps the medium setting needs to be tweaked a bit with custom settings to get 30-ish FPS in the more intense multi-player fights.
    You guess correctly and good review BTW! (I’m not Danish and not Norwegian but from behind door number three) πŸ™‚

  5. @Verge: That’s definitely a powerful machine. You can check out some frame rates on the smaller MSI with the GTX 570M here: The 570M will probably only struggle with ‘Ultra’ presets, particularly in BF3.
    @Vic: The GTX 560M graphics card in the G74SX is at least 50% faster than the GT 540M in the Vaio, so the difference in gaming frame rates will likely be about the same.
    @Bigd: The X7200 was actually just replaced in 1st position here with the almost identical P270WM. The difference is Sandy Bridge-E processors.

    I would like to repeat to everyone though (don’t want to be the reason for anyone’s buyer’s remorse), that the next-generation mobile Nvidia cards are due in April, and they look quite promising as (no longer) Confused points out.

  6. How did you know? πŸ™‚ But thanks a lot, and same to you! This page is not particularly swedish at all (subject is probably far too narrow). Availability and just about everything else concerning gaming laptops is way better in the US, so that’s where I gear up whenever the opportunity arises. (amazingly, high-end laptops are apparently even cheaper in the US than in China!)

  7. Hey jlin06, thanks for stopping by! Neither WoW, Aion or Diablo 3 are overly demanding (relatively speaking), so most upper-midrange GPUs should be able to play them on high settings. For exemple, Diablo 3 beta put out 69 FPS on the high preset with the GTX 570M (, so basically half of that polygon crunching power would suffice for playable frame rates. Also have a look at this table:
    It doesn’t contain Aion or Diablo 3 unfortunately, but lots of other games that could give you a rough idea of the GPU’s relative performance.

  8. Sadly no, the 560M in the G53SX is not a standard MXM card. 😐 Even if it were, the power brick would probably not be able to handle the GTX 580M (the ones for laptops with the 580M are HUGE).

  9. You can always upgrade RAM (to 16GB) and the hard drives (there’s room for two). It’s hard to say what will be good in a year or two, but Intel seems to be moving forward at snail’s pace right now what with the lack of competition from AMD. The new 28nm GPUs may be a bigger threat to longevity.

  10. Good question! Almost certainly Kepler, but considering that Nvidia has decided to milk the 580M under a new name for a while longer it it will probably take a while…

  11. @wookieslayer: You can definitely find a great machine within that price range. Laptops with the 580M/HD 6990M will be best equipped for gaming. The Asus G series is great, but in that case I would personally wait for about a month for the next generation with the GTX 660M.

  12. @Charlie Sheen: Hi! If you are traveling a lot I would definitely choose the M14x to save your back. The M17x is more powerful but also much bigger and heavier. Viruses shouldn’t be a problem more than on any other computer if you are using a decent antivirus solution and stick with legit games.

  13. If you want a laptop with the fastest GPU, not really. Ivy Bridge has some technical improvements but is mostly just a die shrink of Sandy Bridge. Not sure if AMD has some high-end 28nm mobile GPU up their sleeves though.

  14. Hi Monyx, sure I can give it a try πŸ™‚ The dv6t Quad is good value IMO. It sells for $787 right now with the HD 7690M GPU ($25 upgrade). Check out the ‘HP coupons’ link at the top of the page. If you don’t mind waiting a while, I would keep an eye out for laptops with the new mid-range GeForce GT 640M. They should be reasonably priced and produce good frame rates. Another option might be to look at the used/refurbished market for an Asus G-series gaming laptop. I’ve seen the G53SW (Core i7-2630QM + GTX 460M: still good) go for less than $1k. Newegg and Amazon are probably the most well stocked, but I have personally made some good finds on eBay.

  15. @Riley,
    There will always be compromises (unfortunately). The M14x is just the right size to manage that single, upper mid-range card within the heat constraints of a 14″ casing (although the upcoming R2 might be equipped with something a bit faster). Same goes for the 15.6″ Eon 15-S/P150HM (, which just barely manages to cope with a single 580M. Full SLI/Crossfire setups (not counting hybrid) are more or less out of the question in laptops smaller than 17″.

    No flaws that I’m aware of (haven’t tested it personally). Going by the specs (GT 555M + Core i7) it should be on par with the M14x (, which should have no problem running those games.

    @Robbie Bek,
    Thanks! And no, there shouldn’t be a noticeable difference unless there are some design flaws in a specific model, like CPU/GPU throttling due to excessive heat buildup.

  16. ddd123: I believe they both build on the Clevo laptops listed above. That also includes Sager, AVADirect and several others.

  17. I’m not sure I understand what you mean, can you please clarify? Do you mean run the tests with integrated graphics only?

  18. The Razer (not “Razor”) Blade looks great, although it would have been even better with a quad-core CPU, a considerably faster GPU and a less ridiculous price tag.

  19. Hi Qindon! No sales pitch here, quite the opposite: I wouldn’t buy anything from someone who tried to sell me a GTX 560M claiming it’s faster than a GTX 660M. That’s bull droppings. The 660M is from Nvidia’s new Kepler (28nm) lineup with 384 CUDA cores, whereas the 560M is an old Fermi card with half that amount of cores and a higher power consumption. There’s a new Asus on the way called G55, which will probably ship with the faster and better 660M.

    The GTX 670M and 675M, on the other hand, are rebadged 570M and 580M GPUs, but the 580M/675M is still the fastest mobile GPU available.

    For that price and those specs, please tell me where to order the Gigabyte. Seriously. I want to know πŸ™‚ You can drop me an email at ‘admin [at]’. Gigabyte is a new name in laptops, but the company has manufactured computer parts (graphics cards, motherboards etc) for decades, so they are most likely good.

    The Clevo P150HM was just updated to the P150EM, with a backlit keyboard, a new chipset prepared for Intel’s upcoming Ivy Bridge CPUs and some other updates. And if you understand a bit of German you can actually get one from Schenker Notebooks ( – it’s their XMG P502 model, Swedish backlit keyboard available). Their base model is affordable, but it requires quite a few upgrades, including an operating system πŸ˜‰

  20. Thanks Poynsid! The screen on this one has a matte finish, while the one on the Eon I tested was glossy. Not much difference quality-wise, but glossy is a bit more “vibrant” (subjective). The downside is of course that it’s glossy… I think Origin lets you choose either when you customize the system though.

  21. Hey Louis, and thanks! The 660M is from the new batch of Nvidia cards (Kepler), and the 670M and 675M are just renamed 570M and 580M GPUs. The 675M/580M is still the fastest of the bunch though.

    @Andres: The biggest difference is that this one can be equipped with the significantly faster GTX 675M/580M (again, same GPU). If you are considering a G53SX, you may want to know that a new version of that laptop is just around the corner (G55) with new CPUs and GPUs.

  22. Hi B-RYE and thanks for your comment! Yes that phrasing was definitely a bit vague. ‘current EON-15’ was supposed to say ‘previous’. I’ll correct this. The new Nvidia cards are indeed capable of Optimus, so it would have the same effect on the battery life regardless of the dedicated GPU (since it will be inactive and the laptop will run on the Intel GPU). The 670M and 675M will still be a bit faster than the new Kepler 660M, but the latter should be more power efficient. Nvidia has a blog post with benchmarks here:
    (scroll down for the high-end GPUs)

  23. Hi Juz28us! I’m happy to be of help. The thing with the GTX 660M is that it’s from the Nvidia’s new and more power-efficient design, manufactured in 28nm instead of 40nm as the GTX 670M and 675M, so at least in theory it should be more cool and quiet. On the other hand the 675M is still considerably faster (according to the Nvidia post above it puts out 45 frames per second vs. 30 FPS for the 660M in Battlefield 3’s high preset, for example). The downside with putting the fastest mobile GPU on the market (and also less power efficient) in a 15-inch laptop is that it get very hot, which means a lot of fan noise when gaming. As for Origin, I’m writing this on an EON 15-s (old version) so I’m a bit biased (although it’s paid for in full, not a review sample), but so far so good with my unit.

  24. Hi again Qindon69, I did get your email but I forgot to send a reply! Thanks a lot for taking the time to write, and btw I think you’re doing the right thing waiting for the Gigabyte, but also keep an eye open for the G55. It should arrive quite soon. At least that’s what I’m doing πŸ™‚

  25. Hey Decidian, nice system! The P170EM is just out, so it will replace the P170PM on the list. Thanks for the reminder.

  26. Hi Kaje, that sounds a bit odd, but then again the sensitivity for overclocking can vary from game to game (as well as from chip to chip). It sounds like the new driver puts more pressure on the card for some reason, so the only option is probably to settle for lower clocks or roll back to the old driver.

  27. Hi CrackaNAction, thanks for stopping by! I haven’t tested a Qosmio personally, but there’s no question that you get a lot for the money hardware-wise. It’s the most affordable laptop with a GTX 560M right now (that I know of). There’s also no question that it will play Diablo 3 and WoW. Getting an i7 (quad core) instead of the i5 (dual core) for $100 sounds like a good deal. It will have very little effect on gaming frame rates, but it makes a big difference for general system performance.

  28. Really?! Wow, I’ve never seen BF3 running on Ultra with anything but the GTX 580M (or 675M as it’s now called…). Is this after the driver update?

  29. @CrackaNAction:
    Looks like you’ve found a great deal! I honestly can’t thing of a laptop right now where you get that kind of hardware for the money. The next-gen machines will be out soon, but will almost certainly cost a lot more than that.
    Thanks for the video link, very interesting. I totally agree about Ivy bridge. It’s an improvement, sure, but mostly in the graphics part (which i personally couldn’t care less about).

  30. That’s very impressive! and surprising. The only thing I can think of would be if the driers are tuned to ‘performance’ instead of ‘quality’, but you would obviously know about that. If it’s all in the new driver they’ve done one hell of a great job with it.

  31. Thanks a lot Decidian! Make sure to come back and post the results πŸ™‚

  32. Hi Juz28us! It’s just fancy wording for delays. TSMC, the factory that makes both AMD’s and Nvidia’s graphics cards is allegedly not doing a very efficient job with the new and smaller 28nm production process.

  33. Right, the shipping time will be longer. I would personally go with the 7970M. The GTX 675M is a rebranded 580M while the 7970 is built on the newer and more power efficient 28nm technology, plus it should be quite a bit faster if AMD’s own numbers are to be trusted. The downside I guess is that you don’t get Optimus or 3D Vision. AMD also has graphics switching and 3D support, but it’s not as good as Nvidia’s solutions IMO.

  34. Hey CrackaNAction! I’m guessing that’s the new dv7t quad edition and it looks like a great deal too! The GT 650M should be roughly on par with the GTX 560M + you get a new Ivy Brige CPU as well. I didn’t know it was shipping already, thanks for that piece of interesting information πŸ™‚

  35. It’s on the way πŸ™‚

  36. Hi Ken, if this was the previous version with the 7690M I would have said definitely stick with 1 GB, but the GT 650M might be just powerful enough to actually use of more than a gig. I did a VRAM/RAM comparison between a few different games and settings here:
    The 650M might be capable of running e.g. Skyrim at 1080p with hi-res textures. Hope that helps.

  37. Thanks Lenovo-guy! And thanks for bringing up the Y580, it’s about time that Lenovo made a gaming laptop. I couldn’t say which one is the best option, but Lenovo has a reputation for high quality while Gigabyte is totally new to laptops. So it’s probably less of a gamble to go with the Lenovo, but the Gigabyte may well be a nice machine as well. That’s not much of a reply, sorry… I’m very curious about those laptops myself. Particularly the Gigabyte, Lenovo tends to be predictable πŸ™‚

  38. @Anonemuss,
    If I remember correctly, Asus uses a proprietary 560M PCB design in the G53SX, so it seems unlikely that a standard 660M MXM card would fit. 😐

  39. Hi RamboY, with that budget I would look at and compare anything with one of the fastest graphics cards, i.e. the GTX 675M or the Radeon HD 7970M (preferably the 7970M because it’s a newer 28nm GPU). That includes the M17x, but also the Clevo P170EM, also known as Origin PC EON 17-s, Sager NP9170 and others. A quad-core Ivy Bridge CPU is also a must for that kind of money (i7-3xxx series).

  40. Hey Alienvengers! I think it’s safe to say that upgrading from the 3610QM to the 3720QM (300MHz faster) will not result in a noticeable difference in games (the GPU does most of the work there). It is of course a bit faster overall, but hard to justify if the price premium is steep.
    Switchable graphics definitely improves battery life. Depending on the battery capacity it could give you an extra hour or more.
    As for the cache vs. boot SSD I wish I could help, but I haven’t tested either, just SSD only setups. Assuming the boot SSD contains the OS and nothing else it would just speed up Windows, which is great, but a cache drive may be more versatile (whatever you use most should end up in the cache and run faster).

  41. @CrackNAction: That’s some seriously bad luck! πŸ™ On the plus side, there might be some more bargains to be found on similar Sandy Bridge-based laptops now that Ivy Bridge is out (and IB is not that big of a deal IMHO).

  42. Hi TC, and thanks! I’m actually in the process of testing the new 15-inch Asus (G55VW) and it feels like a really solid machine. My only problem with it so far is that it’s (still) very heavy for a 15.6-inch laptop, so if 15″ is your upper limit that might be an issue. Other laptops that I have no problem recommending would be HP’s dv6t Quad Edition (with the GT 650M graphics card) or the Alienware M14x R2 (also 650M). If you have more to spend, there’s basically no limit for how you can configure the new Clevo P150EM (all the way up to the fastest graphics cards, the Radeon HD 7970M or GTX 675M). Let me know if you have any other questions!

  43. Hi captaincaveman,
    There aren’t many high-end 14″ laptops on the market. The M14x is the only one I know of with such a fast GPU (so far). If you want a GTX-series GPU there are only the 15″+ laptops such as the P150EM, but for practical purposes, the lower resolution on the M14x may give it a slight edge over bigger laptops with the GTX 660M (when gaming on the laptop display).

  44. The review is just about ready to be published. I’ll post a link to it on this page. It’s been a busy few weeks, sorry about the long wait 😐

  45. Hi tibi111 & BRoss,
    I personally like the Asus RoG series, even though they’re unusually large and somewhat underpowered with “only” the GTX 660M. A big plus is the low noise level and a reasonable price tag. On the other hand, the new MSI models look very attractive as well, but unfortunately I haven’t tested one yet. Another alternative that I’d recommend comparing alongside the others would be the Clevo P170EM (17″) and P150EM (15″). Both can be customized with equivalent or better hardware than the competitors (but the 15″ version gets very noisy with the fastest graphics cards).

  46. @Arthavious,
    I personally like the Alienware lineup, but the Clevos are a bit more flexible perhaps. My own P150HM (old model) is sold by OriginPC as the EON15-S (now updated to P150EM). They are also put together by other brands, like Sager (NP9150). Or Schenker Notebook in Germany (XMG series). The same goes for the 17-inch P170EM (EON 17-S/NP9170/XMG 702).
    Thanks for the kind words! I haven’t tested the GT60, but based on the specs it looks like a competent alternative to the G55 (have you checked out this review? Looks like it’s still noisier than its Asus counterpart, but that’s not surprising, the G55 is exceptional that way. The GTX 670M is definitely a bit faster than the GTX 660M though (about 10-20%), even though it’s just a renamed 570M. On the whole it looks to be really hard to pick a winner.
    Yup, the 660M is the fastest Kepler chip right now, but I would hazard a guess that we’ll see a GTX 680M by the end of the year (most likely sooner). AMD’s GCN-based HD 7970M is also available now and that lineup should also be extended in a near future. I think the G55 is a great laptop, but like you said it may well be cheaper before the end of this year. And there will also be more alternatives to choose from.

  47. Hey guys, sorry about the late reply!
    Yup, it’s always pretty hard πŸ™‚ But seeing as new models were just released by most manufacturers, there probably won’t be many more updates this year, other than some revised specs (most importantly some new high-end Nvidia GPUs like GTX 680M). At least that’s my best guess. Prices may drop a bit, or stay the same with slightly faster hardware. 3 hours is unfortunately about it with the G55 and light use.
    The M14x is roughly equivalent to the G55 hardware wise. The GPU is slightly slower, but that should be more than compensated by the smaller and lower-resolution display. The mSATA boot drive should give it a good boost in general system performance though. I’d say it depends mostly on what size you are looking for.
    @LHR Dovah,
    There was some CPU throttling in the G75 in Notebookcheck’s review, but none in the G55. But I doubt that it matters in real life use. The big one is slightly less hot and noisy, but you probably need a good set of instruments to measure the actual difference πŸ™‚

  48. @jomidi: Thanks! Yes the difference in weight is surprisingly small, but the 17-inch model has a larger frame of course (unfortunately none of them are overly portable though)
    Yes I do! Not the same problem as you, but the whole audio system is acting very strange. It seems to be a driver issue. I found this thread on the Asus forum:
    I tried the beta driver linked to there and it resolved some issues but it’s still not perfect…

  49. @K.S: Good question! The main reason (I’m guessing) is the GT 650M instead of the GTX 660M (not that different, though). I haven’t seen it in person, but the GE models looks to be made from cheaper materials (e.g. no backlit keyboard)

  50. Hi AGC072,
    Sounds like an interesting setup! Is that a notebook or a desktop of some sort? I’m asking because the layout of the MXM boards is sometimes proprietary (e.g. Asus), so the MXM standard is unfortunately no guarantee that these cards will work in any machine 😐

  51. No problem Liam, have fun with your new laptop!

  52. Not bad at all! Thanks for the info

  53. Not bad at all, They are built specifically for the purpose after all πŸ™‚

  54. @ therandley: The G74SX is a well rounded machine, but you may also want to consider the MSI GT780DX(R) with the faster GTX 570M GPU (the GPU should always be priority #1 for gaming). The M18x starts with a GTX 560M, but with the SLI configurations it gets a lot more expensive. Another option might be the M17x, which is in the same size category as the G74SX but can be equipped with a single GTX 580M or HD 6990M. The 580M is vastly superior to the 560M. Another option still would be to wait 2-3 months until the new 28nm mobile GPUs are launched along with Intel’s Ivy Bridge update. If AMD’s desktop HD 7970 is anything to go by, we will see some significant improvements in the next-gen laptop GPUs.
    [edit: Oh, I should also have mentioned that WoW is not particularly demanding compared to BF3 for example, so an ultrafast graphics card might be overkill. No idea about Diablo 3 though (?) Sounds interesting with the Beta!]

  55. @ I’m currently reviewing the Envy 17 with the Radeon HD 7690M XT (same GPU with marginally lower clocks is available with the much cheaper dv6t/dv7t quad + others) and I’d say that this is the bare minimum for running BF3 at decent resolutions. It produces around 30 fps at 1600×900 medium preset and roughly 25 fps at 1920×1080 low preset. And if it plays BF3 it plays every other game that I know of.

  56. “act of desperation” might have been a slight overstatement πŸ˜‰ Nevertheless, MS and Sony sure were quick about launching motion-sensing gadgets.

  57. The m17x is definitely more funky looking πŸ™‚ But personally I don’t have a problem with the keyboard on the G73. It’s pretty much a standard ‘chiclet’-type keyboard.