Apparently a new race is on–one for which manufacturer that can deliver gaming laptops with the highest (over-)clocked mobile processors.
The latest Alienware M18x has an option for an factory overclocked Intel Core i7 Extreme Edition that goes to 4GHz with the Turbo Boost feature active. Almost simultaneously, Origin PC released an update to their EON 17-S with the same option but a 4.5GHz clock frequency. Now Maingear lets us know that they have a new 3D version of the eX-L 17 with an option for the very same processor as the two aforementioned laptops but a 4.8GHz clock.
You have to be aware that this is more of a battle for prestige than for gaming performance. If these manufacturers had wanted to deliver the best possible gaming frame rates they would have focused on the GPU instead of the CPU, but that one you can easily overclock on your own. The CPU has very little effect on the frame rates in your games, although it does have a noticeable impact on overall system performance.
What all of these three laptops have in common is an exorbitantly high cost for the upgrade to an overclocked Extreme Edition Core i7 processor. In other words, for most users these upgrades are either completely unnecessary or out of reach for budget reasons, but it is obviously important which manufacturer can claim to offer the fastest laptop.
As far as gaming performance goes, the Alienware M18x with dual Mobility Radeon HD 6970M’s still has an edge on its overclocked competitors, which can both be equipped with a single GeForce GTX 485M. On the other hand, the latter is the fastest single-GPU solution on the market, and the eX-L 17 and EON 17-s are both smaller and lighter (relatively speaking).
All of them are clearly very powerful gaming laptops, but the gigahertz game is mostly for show.