AVADirect’s Clevo P570WM might look like a laptop, but make no mistake about it, you won’t be using this on your lap. With a gargantuan carry weight of almost 20 pounds and a humongous chassis measuring 16.5x11.2x2.4-inches, this is the definition of desktop replacement. The reason it’s so heavy and massive, besides requiring a pair of three-pound power bricks to take full advantage of its power, is that it houses an X79 chipset with a hexa-core Core i7-3970X and two GeForce GTX 680Ms graphics cards. When you add in its 32GB of RAM and two storage drives—including a 250GB SSD—it’s easily the most well-spec’d notebook we’ve ever tested.
Besides being heavy, the laptop is also shockingly tall at 2.4 inches.
The Clevo’s black chassis features a brushed-aluminum finish and a blue LED–backlit keyboard. Though these aesthetic touches are appreciated, it’s hard for the Clevo to look sexy when it’s so damned fat.
While we would have preferred an IPS panel for the 17.3-inch 1080p monitor, it does offer excellent viewing angles for a TN screen. We’re not just being screen snobs here—we honestly think such a powerful laptop is likely to be used for workstation tasks, which almost mandates a color-accurate screen. Audio side, the Clevo’s speakers are disappointing. They sound thin, lack bass, and aren’t as loud as we would have liked.
We do, however, like the Clevo’s keyboard, which is quiet and responsive. The trackpad is competent and supports multitouch gestures, but we found these controls too jumpy and unpredictable.
As expected, the Clevo was able to obliterate our comparatively humble MSI GT60 zero-point in our performance tests. It held a 45 percent lead in our Stitch.Efx 2.0 benchmark, and even wider gains in the multithread-loving x264 HD test. Its least-impressive lead came in ProShow, which tops off at four cores. AVADirect’s offering really came into its own in our GPU tests, blasting away our zero-point’s single 670M by 240-plus percent in STALKER: CoP and 3DMark 11. The only area where the Clevo lost was in battery life, lasting 65 minutes while playing a movie, which isn’t terrible, considering its power-hungry components.
In our experiential gameplay tests, we ran Borderlands 2 maxed out, with a frame rate in the mid-80s at 1080p. While the Clevo wasn’t able to smoothly run Far Cry 3 on its highest Ultra settings, we did muster average frame rates in the 30s by turning down the settings to Very High and disabling AA.
The big downside to all these beefy components is that they generate a lot of heat. Even though the Clevo never got unbearably hot, its fans did get annoyingly loud. It sounds like you have a small server in your room, even when you’re just surfing the web. It’s loud enough that it can actually tarnish your movie-watching experience.
While the Clevo P570WM is by far the most powerful laptop we’ve reviewed so far, at nearly $5,000, it’s also one of the most expensive. But its MSRP isn’t the only high price you’ll pay; with its low portability as a laptop and high fan noise, AVADirect’s unique form factor makes some unfortunate compromises for the sake of absolute power.
Our zero-point notebook is an MSI GT60 with a 2.3GHz Intel Core i7-3610QM, 12GB DDR3/1600, two 500GB Seagate 7,200rpm hard drives, a GeForce GTX 670M, and Windows 7 64-bit. STALKER: CoP tested at 1920x1080 with Ultra settings, Tessellation, and contact hardening.
3.5GHz Intel Core i7-3970X
Two Nvidia GTX 680Ms in SLI
17.3-inch, 1920x1080 TN display (glossy)
750GB HDD (7,200rpm), 250GB SSD
Blu-ray combo drive
Ethernet, DVI, HDMI, 3x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0, audio in, headphone, mic, 2MP webcam, built-in Bluetooth, 802.11n, eSATA, DisplayPort, Mini USB, 9-in-1 card reader