Performance and Benchmarks
System performance was phenomenal in every way. The Clevo X8100 finally managed to bump the ASUS W90 from our “fastest gaming notebook” spot which has been held for almost one year. This configuration of the X8100 includes the Intel Core i7-920XM Extreme Edition processor clocked at 2GHz, 8GB of DDR3 memory, two NVIDIA GeForce GTX 285M graphic cards in SLI, and two Intel X25-M G2 SSDs in RAID 0. Our configuration even supports one additional hard drive if you want to expand storage with a standard high-capacity hard disk.
Synthetic benchmarks put this notebook well into the desktop-performance category. We had no problem maxing out every setting in games at the native 1080P resolution of the screen and maintaining very playable framerates. We used Left 4 Dead 2, Call of Duty: World at War, and BioShock to get an idea of real world gaming performance on this notebook. Each game had vertical sync disabled, anti-aliasing disabled, all detail settings turned to the maximum, and the resolution set to 1920×1080. We saw an average of 88FPS playing through Left 4 Dead 2, 130FPS playing BioShock, and 81FPS going through the starting level of Call of Duty: World at War. It is pretty safe to say that you should have no problem whatsoever playing a modern game on this notebook.
wPrime processor comparison results (lower scores mean better performance):
PCMark05 measures overall system performance (higher scores mean better performance):
3DMark06 measures overall graphics performance for gaming (higher scores mean better performance):
The system also scored P12877 in 3DMark Vantage and 12686 in PCMark Vantage. Here are a few in-game screenshots in case you’re curious about the gaming performance of this notebook:
Heat and Noise
During heavy gameplay the internal cooling system kept surface temperatures at reasonable levels. We didn’t put much stress on the lower side of the notebook given its weight, as it would probably crush your levels if you used it as a laptop. If your legs felt up to the task we found the bottom of the notebook to warm up considerably during game play. We feel most of this was cause by the restriction of airflow since your legs end up covering one or more of the air intakes. The palmrest while gaming stayed right around 80 degrees Fahrenheit, with the ASDWX section of the keyboard getting close to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
Noise was above average, as it had to handle cooling for the processor and two graphics cards. Under normal activity the fans come on occasionally, which is noticeable even if you are not sitting in front of the computer. While gaming the fans kick on full time, ramping up in speed when the cooling demands are higher, then backing off if the load is reduced. I probably wouldn’t recommend gaming at the front of the classroom or in a quiet library.
Battery life was pretty weak when compared to other large notebooks, but not all that surprising given the quad-core processor, dual graphics cards, two SSDs, and an 18.4″ display. In our battery test with the screen set to 70% brightness, wireless active, and Windows 7 on the Balanced profile, we managed to get 1 hour and 27 minutes out of the X8100 before it shutoff. Power consumption during the test hovered between 37 and 42 watts.
The MALIBAL Veda Series or Clevo X8100 is the fastest gaming notebook we have reviewed to date. Although there are multiple companies that offer custom gaming notebooks based on Clevo designs, MALIBAL deserves credit for building one with this much power. With its Core i7-920XM processor, two NVIDIA GeForce GTX 285M graphics cards, and two Intel X25-M SSDs there is nothing this notebook can’t handle.
Compared to most boutique notebooks the X8100 offers a beautiful design and great build quality with tons of expansion possibilities. If your wallet is deep enough this gaming monster starting at $2,400 will easily knock the socks off anything you have used previously. While our configuration topping $4,000 is more than just a bit extreme for most buyers … the price becomes much easier to swallow by choosing a slightly slower Core i7 processor, normal hard disk, and less RAM.
- Fastest notebook we have ever tested
- Good design
- Very good build quality