Is That A Notebook? MALIBAL's Six-Core, Dual-GPU, Speed Demon

Test Settings

We included the fastest of our previously-tested notebooks in today’s comparison, though it’s really not a fair fight when the X7200 uses a desktop CPU.

Test System Configuration
MALIBAL Nine X7200 CPUIntel Core i7-980X Extreme LGA 1366, 3.33-3.60 GHz, 12 MB L3 Cache
MALIBAL Nine X7200 RAM3 x Samsung M471B5273CH0-CH9 (3 x 4 GB)
DDR3-1333 CAS 9-9-9-24, 12 GB Total
MALIBAL Nine X7200
Nvidia GeForce GTX 480M 2 GB
425 MHz GPU Core, GDDR5-2400, Mobile Driver Version 259.51
MALIBAL Nine X7200
Hard Drive
2 x Intel X25-M 80GB SSD, 160 GB (Striped), SATA 3Gb/s
Alienware M17x CPUIntel Core i7-920XM PGA988, 2.00-3.20 GHz, 8 MB L3 Cache
Alienware M17x RAM2 x Kingston KHX1333C7S3K2/4G (2 x 2 GB)
DDR3-1333 CAS 9-9-9-24, 4 GB Total
Alienware M17x
2 x AMD Mobility Radeon HD 5870 1 GB, CrossFire
700 MHz GPU, GDDR5-4000, Mobile Driver Version 8..692.2-100203a1-095371C-Dell
Alienware M17x
Hard Drive
Corsair CSSD-V128GB2-BRKT SSD, 128 GB, SATA 3Gb/s
AVADirect W880CU CPUIntel Core i7-820QM PGA998, 1.73-3.06 GHz, 8 MB L3 Cache
AVADirect W880CU RAM2 x Kingston KVR1333D3S9/2G (2 x 2 GB)
DDR3-1333 CAS 9-9-9-24. 4.0 GB Total
AVADirect W880CU
Nvidia GeForce GTX 480M 2 GB
425 MHz GPU Core, GDDR5-2400, Mobile Driver Version 258.68
AVADirect W880CU
Hard Drive
Corsair CSSD-V128GB2-BRKT SSD, 128 GB, SATA 3Gb/s
SoundIntegrated HD Audio
NetworkIntegrated Gigabit Networking
OSMicrosoft Windows 7 64-bit

In order to make this a fair fight, a desktop platform had to be added to the mix. Gigabyte’s X58A-UD3R was chosen for its comparable quality and features, and we even used MALIBAL’s hard drives and CPU to test it. Manually selecting a 133.0 MHz base clock disabled Gigabyte’s auto-overclock method while simultaneously underclocking that frequency by 1/3 of 1 MHz compared to reference specification.

Here’s where things get a little strange: we didn’t have three matching 4 GB modules on hand, so we used three unmatched DDR3-1600 modules from a previous roundup to match MALIBAL’s DDR3-1333 CAS 9-9-9-24 configuration. Identical internal organization between all three modules made triple-channel mode possible in spite of the differing brands.

Yet, that’s not where the oddness ends. Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 480M graphics processor is nothing other than a 2 GB version of its GeForce GTX 465, underclocked so excessively that no high-end desktop part is slow enough to compete. Since the responsibility for this performance-to-naming disparity rests purely on Nvidia, we didn’t want to punish MALIBAL or its supplier Clevo by comparing it to a vastly-superior GeForce GTX 480 desktop card. Instead, we chose the GeForce GTS 450 for the desktop’s SLI configuration. MSI and ECS’ GTS 450 cards were paired because of their identical clock speeds.

We’re sure that some readers will view this mishmash of components as an intentional crippling of the desktop platform, but we’re equally sure that our benchmark set will prove the validity of these choices.

Benchmark Configuration
3D Games
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2Campaign, Act III, Second Sun (45 sec. FRAPS)
Test Set 1: Highest Settings, No AA
Test Set 2: Highest Settings, 4x AA
CrysisPatch 1.2.1, DirectX 10, 64-bit executable, benchmark tool
Test Set 1: High Quality, No AA
Test Set 2: Very High Quality, 4x AA
DiRT 2Run with -benchmark example_benchmark.xml
Test Set 1: High Quality Preset, No AA
Test Set 2: Ultra Quality Preset, 4x AA
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call Of PripyatCall Of Pripyat Benchmark version
Test Set 1: High Preset, DX11 EFDL, No AA
Test Set 2: Ultra Preset, DX11 EFDL, 4x MSAA
Audio/Video Encoding
iTunesVersion: x64
Audio CD (Terminator II SE), 53 min
Default format AAC
Handbrake 0.9.4Version 0.9.4, convert first .vob file from The Last Samurai (1 GB) to .mp4, High Profile
TMPGEnc 4.0 XPressVersion:
Import File: Terminator 2 SE DVD (5 Minutes)
Resolution: 720x576 (PAL) 16:9
DivX Codec 6.9.1Encoding mode: Insane Quality
Enhanced multithreading enabled using SSE4
Quarter-pixel search
Xvid 1.2.2Display encoding status = off
MainConcept Reference 1.6.1MPEG2 to MPEG2 (H.264), MainConcept H.264/AVC Codec, 28 sec HDTV 1920x1080 (MPEG2), Audio: MPEG2 (44.1 KHz, 2 Channel, 16-Bit, 224 Kb/s), Mode: PAL (25 FPS)
Adobe Photoshop CS4Version: 11.0 x64, Filter 15.7 MB TIF Image
Radial Blur, Shape Blur, Median, Polar Coordinates
Autodesk 3ds Max 2010Version: 11.0 x64, Rendering Dragon Image at 1920x1080 (HDTV)
Grisoft AVG Anti-Virus 9.0Version: 9.0.663, Virus base: 270.14.1/2407, Benchmark: Scan 334 MB Folder of ZIP/RAR compressed files
WinRAR 3.90Version x64 3.90, Dictionary = 4096 KB, Benchmark: THG-Workload (334 MB)
7-ZipVersion 4.65: Format=Zip, Compression=Ultra, Method=Deflate, Dictionary Size=32 KB, Word Size=128, Threads=8
Benchmark: THG-Workload (334 MB)
Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
3DMark VantageVersion: 1.0.1, GPU and CPU scores
PCMark VantageVersion: x64, System, Productivity, Hard Disk Drive benchmarks
SiSoftware Sandra 2010Version 2010.1.16.11, CPU Test = CPU Arithmetic / MultiMedia, Memory Test = Bandwidth Benchmark
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  • mi1ez
    Why are you still using AVG?

    Fast processors, high memory bandwidth, and quick hard drives have little effect on AVG.
  • daglesj
    They shouldnt really be classed as 'Notebooks/laptops' in this class.

    Anything above a standard 17" chassis and I refer to them simply as 'portable PCs'.