System Performance

Unfortunately due to our refresh, this section is a little truncated, but I'm hoping it will at least be somewhat enlightening. My primary interest here is in the comparison between the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675M and the GTX 675MX, and secondary is the mild evolution from the Intel Core i7-3610QM to the i7-3630QM. Until we get some more gaming notebooks in (and we do have more on the way), you're going to see this gaming behemoth tussling with notebooks well below its weight class.

PCMark 7 (2013)

Cinebench R11.5 - Single-Threaded Benchmark

Cinebench R11.5 - Multi-Threaded Benchmark

x264 HD 5.x

x264 HD 5.x

WebXPRT IE10

Our CPU-based benchmarks are unsurprising since the i7-3630QM in the FangBook is fighting it out with dual core processors running at a third of the voltage. The 3630QM's improvement on the 3610QM is as incremental as you'd expect; note that in PCMark 7, the Valkyrie falls well behind. That's due to the Valkyrie not shipping with an SSD standard at the time, which hamstrings performance in PCMark.

3DMark (2013)

3DMark (2013)

3DMark (2013)

Remember that Intel optimizes for 3DMark, so their best case scenario is being a third as fast as a 100W dedicated GPU. In practice it's obviously a much bigger difference.

Futuremark 3DMark 11

Until we have more results from gaming notebooks in our new testbed, we're kind of stuck with 3DMark 11 to tell us the story, and it's an interesting but unsurprising one. First, the GTX 675MX is about 115% as fast as the GTX 675M, which is a decent jump and roughly around what we should expect. What's more interesting is the absolutely staggering gulf between the 675MX and the 680M and AMD Radeon HD 7970M. This isn't surprising; the 680M is a GK104 with just one shader cluster disabled, so it should be running roughshod on the 675MX. This speaks to a need for NVIDIA to have something to bridge that gap, though. The 675MX isn't even hanging out in the 680M's neighborhood, but unfortunately it's the fastest chip CyberPowerPC will sell you in the FangBook. Interestingly, iBuyPower can't beat it, but AVADirect will sell you an identically configured notebook with the same chassis and a 680M for another $400. That kind of pricing won't set the world on fire, but if you want the best mobile gaming experience you can get before going multi-GPU, the 680M is probably worth the money.

We know how the 675M and 675MX compare to each other in synthetics, but how do they stand in practice? As it turns out, the gulf between them isn't particularly wide. Note that the stand-in for the 675M is my own Alienware M17x R3 with an i7-2720QM and GTX 580M. Since the 580M and 675M are nigh identical, this is a valid comparison, though my CPU is a generation behind and slightly slower than the FangBook's. All of these results use NVIDIA's beta 320.00 drivers.

1366x768
Medium Settings
675M 675MX % Gain
Bioshock Infinite 96.5 107.3 11.2%
Skyrim 87.1 99.5 14.2%
Sleeping Dogs 93.3 106.4 14%
StarCraft II: HotS 59.5 66.3 11.4%
Tomb Raider 136.2 137.6 1%

At these settings all of the games are very playable, so there's no real news to report here. It's interesting to note that Tomb Raider appears to be CPU limited here, though.

1600x900
High Settings
675M 675MX % Gain
Bioshock Infinite 57 62.4 9.5%
Skyrim 69.3 75.5 8.9%
Sleeping Dogs 64.5 76.7 18.9%
StarCraft II: HotS 54.2 59.8 10.3%
Tomb Raider 72.6 77 6.1%

Put a little more stress on the GPUs, and they...reduce the gap? At 1600x900, performance gains drop for three of the games. Only Sleeping Dogs and Tomb Raider see improvements.

1920x1080
Ultra Settings
675M 675MX % Gain
Bioshock Infinite 28 35.6 27.1%
Skyrim 53.9 58.2 8%
Sleeping Dogs 33 36.8 11.5%
StarCraft II: HotS 44 51.1 16.1%
Tomb Raider 21.3 22.1 3.7%

Improvements really depend on the game you're playing, but the GTX 675MX isn't the vastly superior chip we were expecting. While it's consistently faster than the GTX 675M (as it should be), it's not fast enough to merit seeking out if you already have a 580M/675M. I was honestly expecting and hoping for a more robust improvement, but the difference is fairly incremental.

Given that these are extremely high end GPUs, aftermarket ones aren't as difficult to find. I had a 680M running in my M17x R3 for a little while, and it definitely can be done and done stably (though you do sacrifice Optimus). If you're operating on last generation's top end, like the 580M or the HD 6990M, a jump to an HD 7970M or 680M will absolutely produce a substantial gaming improvement. It's the more incremental upgrades like the 675MX that are less attractive.

Introducing the CyberPowerPC FangBook Battery Life and Display Quality
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  • blackmagnum - Wednesday, May 01, 2013 - link

    Fall CPU and GPU updates are so near. A gaming laptop >$1,500 is a tough decision. Maybe if they run a trade-in program... Reply
  • Meaker10 - Wednesday, May 01, 2013 - link

    Powernotebooks sell a tweaked 680m version of a better version of this case that scores around 8000 in 3dmark 11 ;) so you can get 780m performance today. Reply
  • darkhawk1980 - Friday, May 03, 2013 - link

    Or just get an MSI GT70, which is what this, and the iBuyPower's chassis are based off of, as well as it's internals. I got one last October with a GTX680M in it, and it's great. Reply
  • MoneyLoo - Saturday, May 04, 2013 - link

    @darkhawk I think it's important to note that the keyboard on the msi gt70 is utter crap and after two months of my palm moving the trackpad mouse inadvertently and registering clicks elsewhere on the screen that would cause my typing to become garbled and fragmented I was so frustrated with this pc that I sent it back and absorbed the restocking fee! Reply
  • StormyParis - Wednesday, May 01, 2013 - link

    FangBook. That sounds like an awkward name for something targeted at teens. Reply
  • Friendly0Fire - Wednesday, May 01, 2013 - link

    It also looks like it's straight out of what teens were thought to like in the 80s... Reply
  • a1strank - Wednesday, May 01, 2013 - link

    Man this thing looks like my 1998 Compaq Pentium 3... Reply
  • dakishimesan - Wednesday, May 01, 2013 - link

    this looks like my 1998 toyota camry. Reply
  • l_d_allan - Wednesday, May 01, 2013 - link

    or an angry kitchen appliance? Reply
  • Darkstone - Wednesday, May 01, 2013 - link

    Is that thing really 3.1 Kg???

    Have you tested the cooling? Notebookcheck measures quite server throtteling issues onder prime95 and furmark, with the CPU throtteling to 1.2Ghz and shutdown due to undersized power supply. Whereas the M17x keeps the temperature under 85° without throttling.
    Reply

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