GeForce GTX 480M: AVADirect’s W880CU Is Packing The Heat

GeForce GTX 480M Upstages The Rest

We tested several aspects of AVADirect’s latest Clevo-based W880CU notebook, but gaming is the raison d’être for so large a unit to contain so powerful a GPU. A quick recap of its performance advantages should show it justly stomping everything that came before it.

It might only have two-thirds the muscle of a moderately-priced desktop graphics card, but the GeForce GTX 480M still beats down its Mobility Radeon-based competitor by nearly 19%, once you divide out the presented results. The only problem, then, is price. The cheapest MXM module we could find costs three to four times more than the cheapest desktop card that uses similar hardware (the GeForce GTX 465).

Anyone who requires complete portability from their gaming PC really has only a handful of solutions, none of them supremely mobile, and all of them extremely expensive. The most potent of these desktop-replacement gaming machines is powered by Nvidia’s GTX 480M GPU. With so much expense providing so much gaming power, this might just be the ultimate portable gaming solution for buyers whose needs are great and whose budgets are even greater.

Now, if we could just get AMD and Nvidia to agree to name their flagship mobile GPUs after the mainstream desktop cards they most closely resemble...

And again, special thanks to AVADirect for enabling these GPU comparisons with its exceptionally-built notebooks.

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  • bin1127
    It plays Crysis!
  • Tamz_msc
    Quote:
    ....all of these notebooks must be plugged into a power outlet before gaming commences.

    I think that sums it up.
  • Lmeow
    Portable vasectomy!
  • Tamz_msc
    LmeowPortable vasectomy!

    LOL +1
  • xyzionz
    Quite a surprise on the power consumption...
  • sprunth
    That's a crazy heat pipe setup...

    Agree on the naming thing on the last page, that would be helpful.
  • Maziar
    Great review.
    Before its launch,it was rumored that it will have a much higher power consumption than 5870M, but now it seems they are close
  • "Notice that the component on the left uses both fans and has two-thirds the total number of heat pipes" Ummmmm if I'm looking at the picture correctly the GPU and the majority of the heat pipes are on the Right, you may want to retype that.
  • are there no temperatures for gpu in article or i missed it?
  • Plyro109
    The funny thing is, AMD actually DID use the naming scheme you like in their LAST generation of mobile GPU's. The Mobility 4850 matched the standard 4850's number of stream processors, albeit with lower clock speeds. Same with the Mobility 4870 and Mobility 4870x2.

    They changed it in response to Nvidia's naming scheme, which is a shame. I liked the matching of desktop/laptop performance to names, too. :/
  • Crashman
    MaziarGreat review.Before its launch,it was rumored that it will have a much higher power consumption than 5870M, but now it seems they are close
    The difference of around 50W under full load is a big deal! Fortunately, you only SEE that difference under full GPU load.
    shuffman37"Notice that the component on the left uses both fans and has two-thirds the total number of heat pipes" Ummmmm if I'm looking at the picture correctly the GPU and the majority of the heat pipes are on the Right, you may want to retype that.
    Excellent observation, thanks! I was flipping it back over in my mind, since it's upside down, but that doesn't work for describing photos!
    zbckhfkhkaare there no temperatures for gpu in article or i missed it?
    FurMark reports GPU temperatures in the mid 70's, but I'm not certain how accurate that reading is so the information wasn't included.
    Plyro109The funny thing is, AMD actually DID use the naming scheme you like in their LAST generation of mobile GPU's. The Mobility 4850 matched the standard 4850's number of stream processors, albeit with lower clock speeds. Same with the Mobility 4870 and Mobility 4870x2.They changed it in response to Nvidia's naming scheme, which is a shame. I liked the matching of desktop/laptop performance to names, too.
    Yes, I've never been one to make a big deal of underclocking, but when NVidia named its G92 as a GTX 280M, I reached my personal limit.
  • lapoki
    With that kind of money i can get both, a good gaming desktop and a decent gaming laptop (with 5870M). Oh well...
    But its nice to see nVidia catching up to ATI... Let the price wars begin so i canget my second 5850 ;-)
  • dragonsqrrl
    MaziarGreat review.Before its launch,it was rumored that it will have a much higher power consumption than 5870M, but now it seems they are close

    Many people were praising the Mobility Radeon HD5870 for its relatively low power consumption, especially in comparison to the spec sheet for the GTX480M, which described Nvidia's latest high end mobile part as having a TDP of 100W. In fact according to the spec sheets the Mobility HD5870 uses significantly less power then even the GTX285M at full load, 50W in comparison to 75W. However, it quickly became apparent that something wasn't adding up.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/avadirect-clevo-w860cu-mobility-radeon-hd-5870,2615-11.html

    What many of the people who were bashing the TDP's of the GTX285M and GTX480M didn't understand was that ATI and Nvidia calculate TDP differently. ATI only figures in the power draw of the GPU itself, while Nvidia measures the entire board including memory. So direct comparisons based solely on the numbers provided by the spec sheets won't accurately represent real-world differences in power consumption. In many cases the actual power draw of these mobile parts is much closer then the official spec sheets would have you believe.
  • Christopher1
    How hot does this thing run? Manufacturers need to stop focusing on 'faster, faster' and more on 'cooler, cooler' now
  • wintermint
    No.. the chip itself IS the heat :O!
  • shehab
    Price is being overlooked here.
    GTX 285M is 75$ more than Mobility 5870 so I believe I can buy 2 5870 for the price of one 480M.
  • jrharbort
    I've been waiting to use this for some time now...

    http://i49.tinypic.com/59x5xv.jpg

    Article pretty much proves my point.
  • vaskodogama
    great catching up nV! but I like desktop computers more for performance!
  • falchard
    lol at the price. I don't think anyone is going to pay twice as much for a laptop that has a 10% performance advantage. Also I don't think AVADirect is going to show us the laptop symbolic of the GTX480M. Their HD5870 Mobility model is not that good compared to ASUS, ACERs, and MSI's models. It will probably be from these three that will make a sellable laptop using the GTX480M.
  • nforce4max
    Grillforce GTX480m = Portable heat generator.
  • elbert
    The benchmarks are a bit misleading. The 1280X720 eschew the tests. On the tests dirt2 DX9 the mobile 5870 wins big in the 2 highest resolutions. DX11 as stated in other reviews only matters if you stop and notice the fields. In Stalker again at the 2 highest resolutions in DX11 the mobile 5870 wins. The ultra high in Stalker shouldn't count as the fps isnt playable at these settings.

    Noted that the 480M is given top in the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 while losing to the 285M in 1280X720. Why wasn't the 5870M's Dirt 2 and Stalker high resolution wins Moved up the graph? On Dirt 2 ultra the 480M loss in both high end DX9 but still tops the 5870M. At high quality 1920X1080 the 5870M beats the 285M. With Stalker hgih perset DX11 the 5870M beats the 480M is both high resolutions but again its not moved up the graph. The graphs have no standard and seems to favor the Nvidia at any advantage.

    I can only guess this is a pro Nvidia article. The below quote is incorrect as the 5870 wins in the 2 high resolutions DX11 tests. The quote is only correct if only the 1280X720 test is used.

    Quote:
    when using the above quality settings, and still manages to outpace the Mobility Radeon HD 5870 in DX11 mode.
  • jj463rd
    Too much heat and although the laptop may game great for a while it will soon end up being dead even with a laptop cooler.
    I'll stick with a cooler desktop because if the graphics card does eventually die a heat related death (rare) at least I could replace that part.
  • sublifer
    Quote:
    Now, if we could just get AMD and Nvidia to agree to name their flagship mobile GPUs after the mainstream desktop cards they most closely resemble...


    +1
    I'm surprised someone hasn't tried to sue them for that yet...
  • Crashman
    elbertThe benchmarks are a bit misleading...On the tests dirt2 DX9 the mobile 5870 wins big in the 2 highest resolutions. DX11 as stated in other reviews only matters if you stop and notice the fields.
    That's why the OTHER reviews are misleading. I don't know anyone who actually goes through the effort of MANUALLY CONFIGURING DX9 mode for DiRT2 in REAL LIFE. Thus, you must come here to get an honest evaluation.
    elbertIn Stalker again at the 2 highest resolutions in DX11 the mobile 5870 wins. The ultra high in Stalker shouldn't count as the fps isnt playable at these settings.
    The article mentions lots of places where the results don't really matter, so you're still getting the straight scoop.
    elbertNoted that the 480M is given top in the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 while losing to the 285M in 1280X720. Why wasn't the 5870M's Dirt 2 and Stalker high resolution wins Moved up the graph?
    All of the charts are arranged by AVERAGE performance. You only complain when that arrangement doesn't suit your personal goals?
    elbertThe graphs have no standard and seems to favor the Nvidia at any advantage. I can only guess this is a pro Nvidia article.
    You're only guessing that because you don't like the results.