Our test notebook has the following specifications:
- 17-inch WSXGA+ (1680×1050) glossy display
- Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9300 (2.53GHz/ 12MB L2/ 1066MHz) quad-core processor
- 4GB DDR3-1066 RAM
- Dual Nvidia GeForce 9800M-GTS with 512MB GDDR3 memory in SLI
- Nvidia GeForce 9400M chipset
- 128GB SSD primary disk, 320GB 7200RPM secondary
- DVD Super Multi drive
- Atheros WLAN and built-in Bluetooth v2.1 + EDR
- 1-year warranty
- 230W AC adapter
- 47Wh 8-cell battery
- Weight: 9.04 lbs
- Dimensions: 16.2” (W) x 12.0” (D) x 1.7 – 2.5” (H)
For complete details on this notebook, be sure to read the full review here.
Prior to testing, I tuned up the notebook using the Vista tune-up guide in the forums.
System Performance Benchmarks
Windows Experience Index
These are no doubt fantastic scores for a notebook, however this benchmark is often criticized for not being reliable.
PCMark Vantage measures overall system performance. The quad-core processor greatly helped the X305-Q708 achieve its high score.
These are the results of the 128GB Solid State Disk in the X305. This is the first notebook I have tested with an SSD, and I am quite disappointed in the performance of this one. Its average transfer rate is less than that of a 320GB 7200RPM hard drive. I did not notice any real difference in program loading times and boot up versus a traditional 7200 RPM hard drive.
Processor Performance Benchmarks
A typical Core 2 Duo processor gets somewhere around 30 seconds in this benchmark (32M), but thanks to the Intel Extreme quad-core processor, this notebook can do it in an awesome 15.58 seconds.
Cinebench Release 10 is the latest version of Maxon’s rendering benchmark, based on the Maxon CINEMA 4D animation software. It is designed to measure the performance of the processor and graphics card under real-world circumstances. More information can be found at http://www.maxon.net/pages/download/cinebench_e.html
Synthetic Gaming Performance
The 3DMark06 score is impressive, but it is important to note the quad-core processor greatly helped these scores. The dual 9800M-GTS graphics cards lack the power of competing notebooks in this price range, which have dual 9800M-GT or 9800M-GTX graphics cards. Dual 9800M-GT cards are nearly 20% faster in this benchmark.
Real World Gaming Benchmarks
This benchmark reflects the performance of the game run at all High settings at two different resolutions. I installed the v1.2.1 patch prior to testing, and benchmarked Crysis using the Crysis Benchmark Tool 1.05 Final from Guru3D.com.
The X305-Q708 is a strong performer, producing over 30 frames per second on average at high settings.
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
I also benchmarked Call of Duty 4 Multiplayer with FRAPS. I updated the game to v1.7 prior to benchmarking.
We used the following settings:
Impressive performance, however this notebook is held back by the 1680×1050 resolution of the screen. A 17-inch gaming notebook should have a 1920×1200 full HD resolution display for the best gaming experience. A higher resolution means increased clarity and detail.
Unreal Tournament 3
I benchmarked UT3 with FRAPS on two different levels. I installed the v1.1 patch prior to benchmarking. All graphical settings were set at the maximum.
This game has a framerate cap of 63 FPS, and this machine maxes it out. Unfortunately, again we are held back by the 1680×1050 screen resolution. A 1920×1200 resolution would have been easy for this machine to drive and led to increased visual quality.
The Toshiba X305-Q708 produced impressive numbers by itself, but again the 9800M-GTS graphics cards are not as strong as the 9800M-GT or 9800M-GTX cards in competing notebooks, and the 128GB SSD is unimpressive. Also, the Intel Extreme processor is not overclockable. Typically, the only reason to get an Extreme Edition processor is to overclock it, and some competing notebooks have the ability to overclock their processors via the BIOS. Toshiba provides no such controls. While the performance of the QX9300 at its stock 2.53GHz is impressive, it could be even more impressive if it was overclockable.