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

Combining top-end desktop and notebook components, the MALIBAL Nine X7200 is the workstation you can take with you. Today we see how it compares to our fastest “desktop replacement” notebook, and how well it stands up to a similarly-configured desktop PC.

The fact that Intel's Core i7 adds an incredible level of performance to semi-portable notebooks won’t come as news to most people, with examples like the i7-720QM-powered G51J and i7-820QM-powered W860CU arriving a year ago. Yet, when Intel’s fastest mobile processor couldn’t match the performance level of its earliest desktop CPU, many enthusiasts were left to wonder, “is that it?”

Not quite.

Going back even farther, we saw Clevo making notebooks for the Core i7 architecture even before Intel was ready to announce its mobile version. These desktop-based machines certainly wouldn’t thrill the ultra-mobile crowd, yet “mobile workstation” performance makes no apologies for heft. That tradition follows through in Clevo’s latest power monster, its X7200, supporting Intel’s high-flying six-core Core i7-980X Extreme and up to two of the fastest-available mobile graphics modules.

If you want one, you’re going to have to buy it from somewhere, and white-box builder MALIBAL wants to be your source. It sent a fully-configured ultimate-performance configuration for Tom’s Hardware to look over, complete with SLI graphics and a RAID 0 configuration of two SSD drives.

MALIBAL Nine X7200 Component List
PlatformIntel LGA 1366, X58 Express / ICH10R, MXM-III Discrete Graphics
CPUIntel Core i7-980X Extreme Six-Core, 3.33-3.60 GHz, 6.4 GT/s QPI, 12 MB L3 Cache, 32 nm, 130 W
RAMSamsung 12 GB (3 x 4 GB) DDR3-1333 MT/s SODIMM, CL9, 1.5 V, Non-ECC
GraphicsDual Nvidia GeForce GTX 480M, 2 GB GDDR5, SLI
Display17.3" Glossy LED Backlit TFT, 1920x1080
Webcam3.0 Megapixel
AudioIntegrated HD Audio
SecurityBuilt-in Fingerprint Reader
Hard Drive2 x Intel X25-M 80 GB SSD, Striped: MLC, SATA 3Gb/s
Optical DriveMatshita BD-MLT UJ240AS 6x Blu-ray Reader / 8x DVD Writer Combo Drive
Media Drive9-in-1 Flash Media Interface
Wireless LANIntel Ultimate-N 6300, IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n, 11/54/450 Mb/s
Wireless PANOptional (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 CardNot Available
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
Operating SystemMicrosoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit Edition, OEM
Warranty3-year labor, 1-year parts

Not a configuration for lightweights, this 17-pound (with adapter) behemoth “weighs in” at over $5000, yet even the least-expensive $2600 version carries MALIBAL’s three-year extended-service warranty. Far more portable than any desktop PC competitor, enthusiasts with extra heft in both their arms and wallets will definitely want to take a closer look at its performance.

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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'.