AMD's Mobility Radeon HD 6970 In CrossFire On Eurocom's Panther

AMD’s Mobility Radeon HD 6970 in CrossFire mode forges ahead in mobile gaming with stunning “Full HD” 3D performance. But can it stand up to Nvidia’s high-end GeForce GTX 470M and 480M in SLI? Eurocom's 17.3” Panther 2.0 gives us its answer.

Nvidia stands nearly uncontested as the single-GPU performance leader in desktop gaming by virtue of its larger, more complex graphics processors. Currently, AMD's best effort is second-best. It takes a dual-GPU Radeon HD 5970 to outmaneuver the GeForce GTX 580. But excessive power consumption and heat force Nvidia's high-end notebook modules to resemble low-cost desktop derivatives. Corporations have no shame, so rather than elaborate on the fact that SLI-capable enclosures like Clevo's X8100 required the cooling hardware previously used to dissipate heat from two cards to support a single GeForce GTX 480M, the firm went on to release a greatly improved GTX 470M.

AMD, on the other hand, has continuously focused on the higher-volume mid-range market for desktop gaming, attempting to scale upwards by linking multiple GPUs together in parallel. While that strategy has prevented it from taking ownership of the elite quad-GPU desktop market, lower prices and fewer thermal challenges have made AMD's graphics processors a big splash in the portable performance pool. AMD aficionados made hay while the sun shined last spring as manufacturers tried unsuccessfully to stuff two extra-hot competing parts into less-than-adequate chassis.

A new chassis gave Nvidia-based builders a chance to finally test the limits of mobile SLI, forcing AMD to dig deeply into its bag of tricks recently filled by the Radeon HD 6850. Eurocom prepared a custom system with a pair of its new Radeon HD 6970M modules in CrossFire, going so far as to send along a pair of GeForce GTX 470M modules for an apropos SLI comparison. 

Eurocom Panther 2 Component List
PlatformIntel LGA 1366, X58 Express / ICH10R, MXM-III Discrete Graphics
CPUIntel Core i7-980X Hexa-Core 3.33-3.60 GHz, 6.4 GT/s QPI, 12 MB L3 Cache, 32 nm, 130 W
RAMMicron 12 GB (3 x 4 GB) DDR3-1333 SO-DIMM, CL9, 1.5 V, Non-ECC
GraphicsDual AMD Mobility Radeon HD 6970, 2 GB GDDR5, CrossFire
Display17.3" Glossy LED Backlit TFT, 1920x1080
Webcam3.0 Megapixel
AudioIntegrated HD Audio
SecurityBuilt-in Fingerprint Reader
Storage
Hard DriveSeagate Momentus XT ST95005620AS Hybrid, 500 GB + 4 GB Flash
Optical DriveH-L Data CT21N 6x Blu-ray Reader / 8x DVD Writer Combo Drive
Media Drive9-in-1 Flash Media Interface
Networking
Wireless LANIntel Ultimate-N 6300, IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n, 11/54/450 Mb/s
Wireless PANBluetooth Optional (not installed)
Gigabit NetworkJMicron PCIe 10/100/1000 Mb/s Ethernet
IEEE-1394Optional (not installed)
TelephonyNot Available
Peripheral Interfaces
USB3 x USB 2.0, 2 x USB 3.0
Expansion CardInternal Only (Mini PCIe x1)
HDD1 x eSATA 3Gb/s
AudioHeadphone, Microphone, Line-In, Digital Out Jacks
Video1 x Dual-Link DVI-I w/VGA Adapter, 1 x HDMI
Power & Weight
AC Adapter300 W Power Brick, 100-240 V AC to 15 V DC
Battery14.8 V 5300 mAh (78.44 Wh) Single
WeightNotebook 13.4 lbs, AC Adapter 3.6 lbs, Total 17.0 pounds
Software
Operating SystemMicrosoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit Edition, OEM
Service
WarrantyOne year parts and labor
Price$5292


Eurocom also offers a few extras to put this model over-the-top, such as a $78 Bluetooth internal module, a $113 world-wide TV tuner, and a $259 warranty upgrade to three years. Anyone who wants to throw even more money into creating the ultimate desktop replacement can even RAID a pair of SSD drives and swap out the Blu-ray combo drive for a Blu-ray writer.

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  • mi1ez
    Impressive AMD results!
    1
  • marney_5
    Looks awesome!
    1
  • wild9
    Impressive gaming performance, power draw and price.

    Just goes to show AMD is more than just a big hitter in the CPU ring. Well done.
    1
  • nitro912gr
    So here we go again... using CPU tests for GPU articles...

    You know programs like photoshop, 3dStudio Max etc can really benefit from a good GPU, but definitely not on that tests you are running here.
    At 3d studio final renders are a CPU job and the GPU doesn't get involved in that at all, but if we have a heavy populated scene and we try to move around the camera or an object with openGL/Direct3D preview on all 4 views, THEN a good GPU can make the difference and this is where we can see as well the benefits of pro cards vs the gaming ones.

    So please, use the software and the hardware in a better way so we can get a better picture of the performance, people doesn't just play games, we are interested to see the actual benefits from a GPU while we work as well.
    0