Application Performance and Battery Life

Just to be completely safe, we did run an additional three tests to see how the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480M might affect system performance outside of gaming. The usual suspects were run: Futuremark's Peacekeeper, Cinebench R10, and our x264 video encoding test.

Internet Performance

3D Rendering—CINEBENCH R10

3D Rendering—CINEBENCH R10

Video Encoding—x264

Video Encoding—x264

In each situation, the W880CU with its Intel Core i7-820QM falls in line with the previously tested W860CU systems.

We recently had a discussion in our forums that ultimately degenerated a bit into the old NVIDIA vs. ATI war: is NVIDIA hardware a superior option if you'll be using Adobe software? Adobe and NVIDIA both proudly tout increased GPU reliance in Creative Suite 5, culminating in what Adobe calls its "Mercury Playback Engine" in Premiere Pro CS5, a playback system supposedly accelerated by CUDA.

I personally use Premiere Pro and After Effects CS5 for video work on my own desktop, equipped with an ATI Radeon HD 5870, and in none of the CS5 applications have I ever felt like I was missing any secret sauce. It's important to note that features aren't going to be disabled if you aren't running NVIDIA kit, but we figured we'd give the GTX 480M a chance to prove itself in Premiere Pro CS5.

That didn't happen. Presently the 480M isn't supported in CS5; in fact the only NVIDIA hardware supported by the Mercury Playback Engine are the GeForce GTX 285 and several of NVIDIA's expensive workstation-class cards. NVIDIA informs us that other GPUs like the 480M are not supported at launch but Adobe is planning on increasing the number of supported GPUs in the near future. How long that will take is difficult to say (Flash 10.1 took over six months to go from Beta to final release), but at some point in the future Adobe should patch in support for additional NVIDIA hardware. For now, that means we can't make a convincing case for the GTX 480M against the competition if you're going to be using Adobe CS5 software.

If you were looking for a healthy benefit to the 480M, though, you can check out how well it sips power at idle.

Battery Life—Idle

Battery Life—Internet

Battery Life—x264 720p

Relative Battery Life

It's true the 3-cell battery in most of these Clevo notebooks is essentially a UPS system, but the ability of NVIDIA's chips to power down so much at idle (ignoring the clear benefits of Optimus in other notebooks) is nonetheless appreciated. The more power a chip draws, the more heat it's liable to produce, and thus the harder the cooling system of the notebook is going to have to work. While you would almost never take this monster off its leash, at least the GTX 480M is pulling its weight by not chugging power from the anemic battery. It essentially matches the ASUS G73Jh in power requirements when unplugged, albeit with a battery that's half the capacity.

Do note that as with other Clevo notebooks, the W880CU will kick the GPU into "limp mode" on battery power, regardless of settings, so you're not going to be playing 3D games at high detail on battery power (for 20 minutes) even if you want to.

Mobile Gaming Showdown GTX 480M: Fast but Mixed Feelings
Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • Dustin Sklavos - Friday, July 9, 2010 - link

    Every time someone charges me with an Nvidia bias, an angel gets its wings.

    When I write I have to try and remove my own personal biases from the material, so the fact that my printed bias swings in the exact opposite direction as my personal one (all of my machines with dedicated GPUs are running Radeons), I feel like I've achieved something.
  • GamerDave20 - Thursday, July 8, 2010 - link

    Yes, I own one. It plays Fallout 3 at four to five FPS at 1280 x 800 and has developed 28 vertical lines on the screen. But, my XPS Gen 2 is still my front line pc for a few reasons:
    1) it's paid off,
    2) it runs XP satisfactorily for general computing,
    3) although it was "flashy" back in it's day, it is not nearly as terrible looking as most "gaming" laptops these days,
    4) and, it HAS ports on the back!
    With that said, this base chassis has to be one of the best looking laptops on the market.
    It is just difficult to justify if you are also considering a desktop PC.

    How about a give-away with one of these as the prize!

    Ha ha, and thanks for the article Anandtech and Dustin.

    Dave (GamerDave20)
  • iwod - Sunday, July 11, 2010 - link

    The Rumors suggest GF104 would actually have the same Core as the current 465 without the wasted transistor. I am wondering if those wasted transistors will leak power as well?

    If so, then with the better yield and leakage improvement from GF104, we could expect an even more powerful GTX480M, or a lower power version of GTX480M with smaller die, less heat, less power, same performance.

    Until then, i am waiting for a better power management, tweaked version of Fermi with 28nm LP die shrink on laptop/ Notebook.
  • VIDYA - Monday, July 12, 2010 - link

    bull shit man they are selling dinosaurs at the age of aliens......kind of funny, that a few stupids will still buy them for the ad and all....... for a laptop that performs lower than a desktop and cant play when its unplugged :)
  • VIDYA - Monday, July 12, 2010 - link

    GF104 is the new born baby BTW....this one is lean mean overclocker too!
  • maarek999 - Thursday, July 15, 2010 - link

    You can definitely use different Nvidia cards accelerated on Premiere cs5. There is a very simple hack for it:

    Works on the GTX470 and GTX480 so should also work with the mobile versions. Makes A WORLD of difference and a huge boost to users of Premiere. Especially when dealing with RED material or Canons DSLR-line.

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now