by Kevin O’Brien
The AVADirect Clevo D900F is the answer to those who were asking for desktop performance from notebook. It offers up to an Intel Core i7 975 processor, 6GB of DDR3 RAM, an NVIDIA 280M GTX graphics card, three hard drives, and a WUXGA 17″ glossy display. While some might contest that this notebook deserves to be called an all-in-one desktop, this beast is definitely the fastest machine we have ever seen at Notebook Review. Checkout our first look to see how this thing performs … if you think you can handle it.
AVADirect Clevo D900F Specifications:
- Windows Vista Home Premium (SP1, 64-bit)
- Intel Core i7 975 Extreme Edition Processor (3.33GHz, 8MB L3, 1066MHz FSB)
- Intel X58 + ICH10R chipset
- 17.1″ WUXGA Ultra Bright Glossy LCD display at 1920×1200
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280M 1GB GDDR3 memory
- Intel 5300AGN Wireless
- 6GB DDR3-1333 SDRAM (2GB x 3)
- 30GB x 2 OCZ Vertex in RAID 0, 500GB Seagate 7400.4
- DVD SuperMulti /BD-ROM
- webcam, stereo speakers
- 220W (20V x 11A) 100-240V AC Adapter
- 12-cell 95Wh 14.4v 6600mAh Lithium Ion battery
- Dimensions (WxDxH): 15.62″ x 11.42″ x 2″ – 2.36″
- Weight: 12lbs 0.1oz, 14lbs 15.6oz with AC adapter
- 1-Year Standard Limited Warranty
- Price as configured: $3,900
Build and Design
The AVADirect Clevo D900F appears at first glance to be a bit lacking compared to most notebooks on the market, with function being more important than form in the design phase. The look and feel seems dated compared to other notebooks on the market and the quality of the plastics seem underwelming for a notebook with such a high starting price. If this were any other notebook we might say there is no excuse for it, but then you realize it was designed to handle a desktop-class processor, high-end graphics card, and all of the cooling for that equipment.
The build quality of notebook is in the same category as the design, more emphasis was placed on performance than build quality and the end result is flexible plastic and a not-so-durable feeling chassis. The screen lid has some give to it, and the palmrest and keyboard could probably use some additional support. While the outside could use a face-lift the inside looks amazing. After you remove two access panels and the battery you have direct access to multiple heatsinks and cooling fans, the graphics card, processor, RAM slots, dual hard drive bay, and single additional drive bay. You can tell that most of the design went into cooling the notebook, most likely to prevent it from bursting into flames when the Intel Core i7 processor is under significant load.
Screen and Speakers
For high-detail gaming the AVADirect Clevo D900F offers a 17.1″ WUXGA LCD, which in our testing is turned out to be quite nice. At full brightness it is easy to view even in a brightly lit office, although with the glossy surface it might not hold up well to outdoor viewing. Vertical viewing angles are average compared to other WUXGA panels we have seen, with about 25 degrees of play forward or back before colors start to distort. Horizontal viewing angles are much better, with colors staying true to roughly 75 degrees to each side. Beyond that angle, reflections overpower the picture displayed on the screen. While gaming we didn’t notice any sort of lag or streaking.
Ports and Features
Considering the overall size of the D900F, we expected it to have a greater port selection. That being said, it rates about average compared to other gaming notebooks on the market. In total this notebook has four USB ports, one eSATA, HDMI, DVI, FireWire, TV, modem, LAN, and audio jacks. For expansion it offers an ExpressCard/54 slot and SDHC multi-card slot.
Front: Line-in, digital audio out, microphone, headphones
Rear: AC power, DVI
Left: HDMI, eSATA, CATV, modem, LAN, FireWire 400, ExpressCard/54, SDHC multi-card, optical drive
Right: 4 USB, Kensington lock slot.
Performance and Benchmarks
It is almost difficult to describe how fast this notebook is in normal operation. With the Intel Core i7 975 processor, 6GB of RAM, and OCZ Vertex drives in RAID 0, the Clevo D900F blasts through any task you can think of. Installing software happens abnormally fast, boot and shutdown times are very quick, and game load times are phenomenal. Going back to my ThinkPad T60 to type this review felt like I was transitioning to my parents’ 10 year old desktop. To give you an idea of how fast this processor is, the previous “fastest” notebook in our office was an ASUS W90, scoring 23.5 seconds in wPrime when overclocked to 3.3GHz. This system finishes wPrime in an amazing 7.2 seconds! PCMark05 also increased significantly, jumping nearly 6,000 points over the ASUS W90.
Stay tuned for our full review which will be up very soon!