Re-introducing AVADirect's Clevo X7200

A little over seven months ago, we took at look at a Clevo X7200 courtesy of AVADirect that featured a desktop hex-core processor and a pair of NVIDIA's then-fastest mobile graphics cards, the GeForce GTX 480M. Since then NVIDIA has refreshed their mobile top end, and while we hope to review the GTX 485M in SLI soon, in the meantime we have another pair of mobile parts that have been making waves: the AMD Radeon HD 6970M.

Since our previous review, nothing has changed about the Clevo X7200 whitebook that AVADirect sent us. At its core, it's still an X58-based monster of a notebook, and the review unit we received is essentially comparable to the last one with only minor differences between the two.

AVADirect Clevo X7200 Gaming Notebook
Processor Intel Core i7-990X
(6x3.46GHz + HTT, 3.73GHz Turbo, 32nm, 12MB L3, 130W)
Chipset Intel X58 + ICH10R
Memory 3x4GB Crucial DDR3-1333 (Max 3x4GB for now)
Graphics 2x AMD Radeon HD 6970M 2GB GDDR5 in CrossFire
(960 stream processors, 680MHz/3.6GHz core/memory clocks, 256-bit memory bus)
Display 17.3" CCFL Glossy 16:9 1080p (1920x1080)
LG Philips LP173WF1-TLC1
Hard Drive(s) OS: Crucial RealSSD C300 256GB
Data: 500GB Seagate Momentus XT 7200RPM Hybrid
Optical Drive 6x Blu-ray/8x DVDR Combo (HL-DT-ST CT21N)
Networking JMicron JMC250 Gigabit Ethernet
Killer Wireless-N 1102 802.11a/b/g/n
Bluetooth 2.1
Audio Realtek ALC888 HD Audio
5.1 speakers
Four audio jacks
Battery 9-Cell, 14.8V, 5300mAh, 78.44Wh
Front Side N/A (Speaker grilles)
Right Side 4 x audio jacks
3 x USB 2.0
Kensington lock
Left Side 9-in-1 Flash reader
(Optional HDMI In)
Optical drive
Mini 1394
eSATA/USB combo port
2 x USB 3.0
Ethernet jack
Dual-link DVI
Back Side AC jack
4 x Exhaust Ports
Operating System Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Dimensions 16.5" x 11.3" x 2.22-2.4" (WxDxH)
Weight ~13.0 lbs
Extras 3MP Webcam
98-key keyboard with 10-key
Flash reader (MMC, SD/Mini SD, MS/Duo/Pro/Pro Duo, xD)
Warranty 1-year standard warranty
2-year and 3-year extended warranties available
Pricing Starting at $2118
Price as configured: $4463

Since our previous review, Intel updated their top end processor to the Core i7-990X; it's a minor 133MHz speedbump, but the 990X is still one of the fastest, if not the fastest, processors available today. This is a desktop processor in a "mobile enclosure," running at a nominal 3.46GHz on all six cores and able to turbo up to 3.73GHz. Our review unit this time around is also down a Crucial RealSSD C300, so we'll have to settle for "just one" instead of two in RAID 0.

It's worth noting our display panel in this review unit is actually different than the previous one; the last one had a HannStar panel but this one includes an LG and as you'll see in our screen tests, it's both better and worse.

And of course, there's the reason we're all here: two AMD Radeon HD 6970M GPUs in CrossFire. The 6970M is basically the mobile equivalent of AMD's desktop Radeon HD 6850, with 960 shaders in the old VLIW5 configuration and a 256-bit memory bus. Clocks are much lower, though: the 6970M runs at only 680MHz on the core and 900MHz on the GDDR5 (for an effective 3.6GHz). To compensate for the mobile market, AMD stacks it with 2GB of video memory instead of the 1GB found on desktop cards.

For this review we're going to eschew the usual look at the notebook and its build quality; this is the same shell we reviewed last year, so there's nothing new to say. You can read the previous overview if you have any additional questions.

Application and Futuremark Performance
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  • Creig - Thursday, June 2, 2011 - link

    No, it's not a "sign of fanboyism" on behalf of the author. It's more of a lack of reading on your part. From the very first paragraph in the article:

    "and while we hope to review the GTX 485M in SLI soon"

    Since they haven't had a chance to review Nvidia's new 485M SLI yet, they can't say for sure that 6970M CF is currently the fastest laptop video solution available. I'm sure they'll declare a winner once they benchmark the 485M SLI.
  • Meaker10 - Thursday, June 2, 2011 - link

    Because there are already reviews out there.

    The 485M is a little ahead of the 6970M in single card configs, but since Xfire is scaling better than SLI the 6970M is pretty much level pegging when you have two of each.
  • erple2 - Tuesday, June 7, 2011 - link

    Yes, but posting definitive information about a product that has not yet been reviewed is disingenuous at best, and fraud at worst.

    Anandtech can't make definitive info about the performance of products until at the very least after they have reviewed said item.

    While it may turn out to be true that 2x 485's are faster than 2x6970m's, there's no internally consistent data at Anandtech to back it up (yet). Given that the performance of the 6970m and the 485's are so similar (10% isn't that much of a difference - only barely statistically significant), there's no telling where the SLI vs. CF battle will fall.

    So I'd support the conclusion that the CF solution is currently the fastest solution. I am, however, glad that they included a nod that they'll be reviewing the SLI configuration in the near future.
  • scook9 - Thursday, June 2, 2011 - link

    You all need to get a loaded M18x to review. It has dual 6970m's as well and an Intel Core i7 Extreme 2920xm (even with an optional factory OC) - beast processor.

    It has switchable graphics and can get near 5 hours battery life on the Intel HD 3000

    It is an all around awesome laptop (PROPER KEYBOARD) and very high build quality.

    I had to weigh between the two and had NO reservations about getting an M18x myself, it is replacing my Core i7 965 and CF 5870 desktop
  • jecs - Thursday, June 2, 2011 - link

    You would really need with you the extra performance the CPU on this machine could deliver over a SB 2xxx CPU, maybe around $3000, and go out very often.

    I know these machines are not for everyone but I mean, the CPU choice is my biggest concern in this particular system as I think it adds very little and even downgrades the gaming performance. It would be interesting to see what can be done to reduce weight and cost keeping all the other components and upgrade capacity.

    Besides, with a machine like this I would also consider to have with me an ultra light laptop or a tablet for lighter work or personal use.
  • khimera2000 - Thursday, June 2, 2011 - link

    I had one of there older models when the core 2 duo came out, it broke :( not the computers fault trust me. Its vary hard to reduce the weight on these things, the amount of copper they use for cooling is crazy, but looks like its needed. The machine got warm even with that much cooling.

    If they did get the weight down im sure there would be some really happy sailers out there though.

    I do agree with you, when a rig gets this big it feels more like a shrunken down desktop, then it does a mobile notebook, and as fast as it was, the weight of power supply+ laptop was a pain to carry around.

    After I got out though I didnt bother replacing it with another clevo, instead i took the budget and built a desktop, and got a descently fast portable that wouldent take my shoulder out.
  • tipoo - Thursday, June 2, 2011 - link

    Just wondering if it was in the pipeline?
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, June 2, 2011 - link

    Waiting for it to arrive, along with M14x and M17x.
  • scook9 - Thursday, June 2, 2011 - link

    Got to request an M18x!

    The M17x R3 is an awesome single GPU laptop, but it does not support the extreme CPU. Also loses things like ExpressCard slot - but gains Optimus OR 3D

    Can't have both as the HD 3000 can't work with a 120 Hz screen apparently :(
  • tipoo - Thursday, June 2, 2011 - link

    Thanks for letting me know!

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