Sophisticated looks; truly portable form-factor; improved G92 performance.
Inferior to quad-cores in apps; 17-inch price; poor battery life.
From the looks of it, you probably wouldn’t figure iBuypower’s M865TU for a gaming notebook. Its aesthetic is much more subdued than typical representatives of that class. The chassis is covered in a subtly textured black plastic, with tasteful silver trim around the edges and the touch pad. Unlike other gaming notebooks, backlighting is limited to the power button and an unobtrusive iBuypower logo on the notebook’s lid. Furthermore, the 15-inch M865TU is smaller than many gaming rigs and has a more streamlined formfactor.
But despite its smaller stature and no-nonsense appearance, the M865TU’s got game. That’s courtesy of the Nvidia GTX 260M GPU under its hood. Based on a reworked G92 chip, which uses a smaller, faster process (55nm vs. 65nm) and features slightly higher clocks, the GTX 260M proves more capable than previous-generation G92 mobile parts. For example, the M865TU performed almost 30 percent better in Far Cry 2 and Call of Duty 4 than the 9800M GTX-equipped Qosmio X305 we reviewed in June, with scores of 31.3fps and 58.3fps, respectively, at the notebook’s 1680x1050 native res and the highest quality settings. (This month, we jettisoned the games we have previously used for notebooks reviews in favor of FC2 and CoD4, which are far more indicative of a GPU’s prowess—expect to see these titles integrated into our benchmark chart going forward.)
|iBuypower M865TU |
|CPU||3.06GHz Core 2 Duo Mobile T9900|
|RAM||4GB DDR3/1,066MHz |
|Chipset ||Intel PM45 |
|Hard Drive ||500GB Seagate ST9500420AS (7,200rpm) |
|Optical||Toshiba TS-L633A CD/DVDW |
|GPU||Nvidia GeForce GTX 260M |
|Ports||DVI, HDMI, Ethernet, modem, three USB, eSATA/USB, FireWire, three analog in/out, 7-in-1 media reader, Express Card |
|Lap/Carry||12 lbs, 0.4 oz / 14lbs, 15.6 oz|
|Zero Point ||iBuypower M865TU|
|Premiere Pro CS3||1,860 sec ||1.320 (40.9%) |
|Photoshop CS3 ||237 sec ||147 (61.2%) |
|ProShow ||2,416 sec||1,504 (60.6%) |
|MainConcept||3,498 sec ||2,702 (29.5%)|
Our zero point notebook uses a 2.6GHz Core 2 Duo E6700, 2GB of DDR2/667 RAM, an 80GB hard drive, a GeForce Go 8600M, and Windows Vista Home Premium.