Current Gaming Laptops and Conclusions

Current Market Offerings

Let’s take a look at current retail offerings of high-end gaming notebooks with NVIDIA GPU configurations. Prices taken at time of publishing:

 Alienware M15x
Asus G51J-A1
Widow PC WGMI-1SG200
 Clevo W860CU

Sager NP8760 (similar to our test system)
Intel i7 Extreme 920XM with NVIDIA GTX 280M Performance Review - Breaking the Mobile Speed Barrier - Mobile 41
Alienware m15x. Photo courtesy of Dell.

As you can see, pricing systems similar to the one we tested here today will run you about $3000 at time of publishing. The majority of these systems are configurable so you can choose the components you want.

Impressions and Conclusions

This system we examined today is interesting as it helps us see where the bar is set for high-end mobile systems, even if it’s out of reach of most consumers. By knowing how the top model performs, you’d be able to make better judgments on your own purchases – perhaps what you’ve seen today solidifies your decision to upgrade, or maybe there isn’t enough performance difference to justify the outlay of cash.

The i7-920XM CPU is very impressive with results similar to an i5-750 desktop processor, but in some cases faster than the i5-750 thanks to the Hyper-Threading support.  The recently announced Intel i5-660 is probably a closer match in performance (oranges to apples price comparison of $200 to $700 for the CPU).

What is a bit more appetizing for most users is the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280M mobile graphics. It is capable of running our gaming suite with power to spare, which makes it an excellent choice for users who would want to use an external display of 1920×1200 or higher. At lower resolutions less than 1920×1200 the GTX 280M GPU is a bit overkill; a GTX 260M is probably a better choice from a value and performance perspective.

Intel i7 Extreme 920XM with NVIDIA GTX 280M Performance Review - Breaking the Mobile Speed Barrier - Mobile 42

By not spending the extra on the i7-920XM upgrade, you can get a sweet SSD upgrade which would probably give you a more noticeable improvement in performance and get a GPU upgrade for better gaming experience especially with a high resolution display attached. For those of you who really need the processing power CPU and price is not an issue, then the i7-920XM will fulfill your needs, but I don’t really see any significant gains from a price-performance standpoint to recommend this CPU in your next notebook.

Yes, it’s fast, but there’s a price.

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