There are desktop replacements, like Asus' G73Jh series, and then there are desktop replacements, like the new Clevo X7200 gaming notebook introduced by AVADirect.
The X7200 is the successor to the Clevo D900F, and like its predecessor, the X7200 isn't aimed at the average notebook user. For starters, the X7200 supports both of Intel's hexacore desktop processors (Core i7 970 and 980X). It comes standard with a single GeForce GTX 480M graphics chip, but you can add a second for SLI.
"The X7200 custom gaming notebook is an immensely powerful portable gaming station, and finally allows our customers an uncompromising alternative to the conventional desktop gaming PC," says Misha Troshin, CMO and Co-Owner of AVADirect.
For $2,700, a base configuration keeps things on the pedestrian side with an Intel Core i7 930 processor, GeForce GTX 480M, 3GB of DDR3-1066 memory, a 500GB hard drive (5400RPM), and Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit. But for the money-is-no-object folk, you can go hog-wild with the above mentioned upgrades, plus up to 12GB of DDR3-1333 memory, up to three SSDs in a RAID 0 config, and various other enhancements bringing the total cost to over $10,000.
Fleshing out its gaming laptop line, system vendor AVADirect this week added a pair of new mobile 3D setups, the Clevo W860CU 3D and Asus G51JX-3D.
The Clevo W860CU 3D sports a 15.6-inch HD display powered by Nvidia's GeForce GTX 286M graphics. Processor options include chips from Intel's mobile Core i5 and i7 lines, with a bunch of other configuration options, including a whole bunch of SSD and HDD choices, up to 8GB of DDR3-1333 RAM, custom paint, and other odds and ends.
Like Clevo's 3D laptop, the Asus G51JX-3D comes with a 15.6-inch HD display, but pairs the panel with Nvidia's GeForce GTS 360M graphics chip. Otherwise, it boasts similar configuration options across the board.
Both laptops come with a pair of Nvidia 3D Vision stereoscopic glasses with pricing starting at around $1,620 (Asus) and $1,850 (Clevo).
Boutique system vendor AVADirect has teamed with Nvidia to push the graphic chip maker's 3D Vision Surround Technology, which is now available on the former's i7 Gaming PC.
"Nvidia continues to the rais the standard within the industry for visual performance to create an unparalleled experience to gamers of all levels, this time with their 3D Technology. As a custom computer manufacturer, we are ecstatic to introduce this revolutionary visual technology into our Core i7 Gaming PC to provide to the consumer the ultimate visual experience," says Misha Troshin, CMO and Co-Owner of AVADirect.
Pricing starts at a little under $2,500 and includes an Intel Core i7 930 processor, Asus P6X58D-E motherboard, 3GB of DDR3-1333, EVGA GeForce GTX 470, 500GB hard drive, 24X DVD burner, 65-in-1 memory card reader, 850W power supply, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, AcerGD235HZ 23.76-inch LCD monitor, and a pair of 3D Vision stereoscopic glasses.
You can read our recent hands-on take with Nvidia's 3D Vision Surround here.
In September 2009, we saw AVADirect push the boundaries of portable computing with its honkin’ Core i7-975 Extreme Edition–equipped D900F desktop replacement. That behemoth was both a back breaker (at 15 pounds) and a benchmark buster (at least in our applications tests).
This month, we’re presented with AVA-Direct’s X8100—a rig that’s similarly monstrous but boasts a completely different character. The X8100 features a Core i7-820QM, a true mobile quad-core part. Intel’s Clarksfield chips have obvious advantages in a mobile platform, including a lower price and a much lower TDP (thermal design point)—45W max vs. 130W—than the desktop Nehalems. There’s also more emphasis on Turbo Boost. So, although the i7-820QM has a base clock of 1.73GHz, it can theoretically reach 3.06GHz in single-threaded apps. Photoshop is our only mostly single-threaded application benchmark, and you can see from the numbers that the X8100 performed 20 percent better in that test than our 3.06GHz Core 2 Duo zero-point rig did. But in the multithreaded tests, where the X8100 didn’t have the full advantage of Turbo Boost, the applications scores were even more punishing—with the X8100 achieving leads in excess of 50 percent—such is the power of those two extra cores, plus HyperThreading, plus a superior microarchitecture.
When we think of high end gaming machines, Intel's Xeon processors aren't the first chips that come to mind, but that doesn't mean we'd turn our noses up at a monster setup with not one, but two six-core Xeon 5600 chips. That's exactly what AVADirect delivers in its new custom hybrid gaming system / workstation setup built for both work and play.
If you don't need quite that level of performance, you can drop down to a mere quad-core Xeon chip, but where's the fun in that? As with most boutique system builders, you can choose from a wide variety of components, including up to 48GB of DDR3 memory, up to FOUR freaking graphics, oodles of SSD and HDD options configurable in a RAID array, and just about everything else you can imagine. For a fee, AVADirect will go the extra mile however little or much you wish, including GPU overclocking, sound dampening your setup, slapping on a custom paint job, and spiral wrapping or looming custom colored cables.
All of these hardware options come jammed into an EVGA SR2 motherboard with support for SATA 6Gbps and USB 3.0, and the whole thing is shoved into a Lian Li Armorsuit PC-P80 tower chassis, which are about the only two components that can't be swapped.
AVADirect this week announced the availability of the Clevo X8100 SLI laptop, calling it the "world's most powerful i7 SLI gaming notebook" on the planet. Judging by the spec sheet, AVADirect might be spot on.
The Clevo X1800 boasts a generous 18.4-inch full HD (1920x1080) display, but it's the hardware underneath the hood that's most impressive. Buyers can configure up to a Core i7 920XM processor, one or two Nvidia GTX 285M graphic chips, up to 8GB of DDR3-1333 memory, and up to 3 hard drives or SSDs in a RAID 0 or 1 array. Other specs include 3 USB 2.0 ports, Firewire, an eSATA port, HDMI output, a 7-in-1 memory card reader, 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, 2.0MP webcam and of course Windows 7.
"If you recall, June of 2009 we began to sell the Clevo M980NU. It was a Core 2 Duo based notebook with GTX 280's in SLI. It was a very exciting time for us as a boutique builder, because nobody out there had that type of product on the market. Now, we have the same chassis used by Clevo and a mobile Core i7 processor. Not only will this reduce bottleneck within the notebook, but increase performance up to 50%. Given the nature of it's size and power I can easily suggest the Clevo X8100 notebook for a desktop replacement. There is nothing like raw, mobile gaming power at the tip of your fingers." says Misha Troshin, CMO and co-owner of AVADirect.
Pricing starts at $2,500, which buys a Core i7 720QM processor, Nvidia GTX 285M graphics, 2GB of DDR3-1066 memory, 320GB hard drive, and Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit.
What sets a boutique builder apart from a huge OEM? Taking risks with hardware, that’s what.
Unfortunately, taking risks doesn’t always pan out. Take AVADirect’s Custom PC. Hot on the heels of numerous Core i7 rigs tipping the 4GHz and 4.2GHz range, AVADirect went a step further by clocking its Custom PC gaming rig at 4.4GHz. The company even goes so far as to include a custom profile for 4.7GHz—a speed the company had originally promised it would hit out of box, until cooler heads prevailed.
The bad news is that even at 4.4GHz, we were able to break the AVADirect machine with our stress test. The good news is that the machine remained stable in our benchmarking runs. Still, if we could stress it enough to reboot in two hours, someone else could, too. Working with AVADirect, we were able to get the machine to rock-solid levels at 4.4GHz, but it took several days of testing and more than 25 different BIOS combinations—which somewhat tarnishes the feat.
And so it begins. AVADirect announced the upcoming availability of its Clevo D900F laptop, and what makes this special is it's the first one to incorporate Intel's Core i7 processor, company claims.
"By using a desktop Core i7 processor, the notebook is able to enjoy all the benefits that accompany this hardware platform," AVADirect said in a statement. "Some of the benefits include triple-channel memory, a first ever in a notebook design."
Everything about the Clevo D900F screams desktop replacement, and does so in a big way. The tri-channel memory (up to 12GB of it) comes clocked at 1333MHz "with 1600MHz on the horizon." And if a Core i7 wasn't enough, AVADirect also crams Nvidia's GTX 280M graphics into the mix.
So what does Intel think about a Core i7-based notebook?
"While Intel does not encourage manufacturers to use desktop processors for notebook designs, manufacturers are going to use our processor in many different and innovative ways," an Intel spokesperson said.
You an pre-order the Clevo D900F now starting at $2,500. Shipping will begin next month.
Its official name is Core 2 CrossFire DDR3 Gaming System, but you can just call it the Quad Meister or Quaderino, if you’re into the brevity thing. What else could you possibly call a PC equipped with two ATI Radeon 4870 X2 cards (quad GPU cores), four Velociraptors (quad hard drives) and an overclocked Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9770 (uhh, quad cores)? Maybe we’re stretching here, but our nickname is certainly sexier than the PC’s official moniker.
Our first thought upon opening AVADirect’s new Core 2 Duo SLI Gaming
System was, “Wow, this is heavy.” Our second, “Oooh, but it’s pretty!”
was followed shortly by a third, “It’s bleeding!” A cursory
inspection revealed that the system was shipped without one of its two
CPU-cooler hose clamps, and was indeed leaking AVA’s “bloody red”
coolant into the machine. Disconcerting, to say the least. We notified
AVADirect of the problem, and they dispatched a tech to fix it.
Thereafter, despite some red residue on one of the 8800’s DVI ports,
the rig worked perfectly.