Eurocom Monster 1.0: Clevo's Little Monsterby Vivek Gowri on May 18, 2012 4:55 AM EST
- Posted in
- Ivy Bridge
A Powerful 11.6" Laptop
Well, this is the part everyone has been waiting for. I’ll just let the numbers speak for themselves here. The Monster is fast by notebook standards, phenomenally so when compared to other machines in this size class. It’s just an order of magnitude faster than just about anything else in the 11-13” range. The M14x R2 is probably the closest you’re going to get, and that’s a solid two pounds heavier than the Monster.
Jarred did a deep dive into the performance of the mobile IVB quad-core chips in the Mobile Ivy Bridge Performance Preview, so you can take a look at more benchmarks and the improvements in Quick Sync and the integrated GPU there. The ASUS N56VM we looked at in that piece had the same i7-3720QM processor as our Monster evaluation unit, so results are very comparable.
IVB is considered a tick+, bringing new lithography along with an architectural overhaul on the GPU side, but the CPU microarchitecture in IVB is pretty similar to SNB. As we noted in the performance preview, raw CPU performance hasn’t really improved that much over SNB, with differences in the 10-20% range. It’s decent, but not life-changing in the same way as the jump from Clarksfield to SNB.
A note on hybrid hard drives—if you’re looking for consistent SSD-like performance, you’re going to be disappointed. Which might sound obvious, but I’m not talking about it in the numbers sense; other than boot times, the Momentus XT just doesn’t feel as consistently responsive as an SSD tends to be. In fact, it doesn’t feel particularly more responsive than a typical 2.5” 7200RPM hard drive. The problem is down to the fact that the NAND cache isn’t predictive, so the first few times you do anything, it feels like a standard 7200RPM drive. Over time, it’ll eventually store the most frequently read data into cache and deliver near-SSD performance for that data, but until that happens, along with any workflows outside of the cached data, the drive will feel agonizingly slow. On a system that has this level of raw compute horsepower, the hybrid drive is a serious bottleneck. You’re better off with any newer SSD, and relying on a USB 3.0 external hard drive if you need extra storage space. With 120GB SF-based drives starting to go lower than the $1/GB mark, there’s no reason not to do it anymore.
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JarredWalton - Friday, May 18, 2012 - linkYour circle of friends and acquaintances must be a heck of a lot more tech savvy than mine, because I can count the number of people I've helped with computer issues that have wired home networks on one hand. I've even encouraged many to consider running wires, and they almost always decline. Granted, I don't live in an area where there are tons of apartment buildings, and neither do most of my family/friends (Washington, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Arizona is where we're all located).
Daniel Egger - Sunday, May 20, 2012 - link> ... computer issues that have wired home networks on one hand
Over here every non-mobile internet user gets a router free or heavily subsidised when closing a contract or changing the provider. 4 ethernet ports are the undisputed standard (though some vendors try to cut costs by only providing 2) on those things and the latest when WLAN problems pop up people will try to use them; usually earlier.
In fact I used to design software for routers and although (thanks to mobile phones) WLAN became more and more important over the years I do not know of a single end-customer or acquaintance who doesn't have at least one Ethernet connection in use.
JarredWalton - Monday, May 21, 2012 - linkA single Ethernet connection doesn't constitute a "wired network" -- it's just a link to the cable modem/router. I know plenty of people with a single computer doing something like this. I'm talking about people that actually have multiple PCs in different rooms where there are Ethernet jacks available. Most everyone I know uses wireless for their console, sometimes wired if the cable/DSL modem is inside in the office -- I know plenty who have their modem installed in the garage, which leads to horrible wireless coverage but apparently avoids unsightly wires. :-\
Visual - Friday, May 18, 2012 - linkIf they added a multitouch enabled wacom digitizer and a hinge that can convert it to a tablet without bumping the weight too much, I could see myself paying up to $500 more for this.
Even better, also drop the keyboard and hinge and make it a pure tablet to shave some weight, include a bluetooth keyboard/touchpad and again they would have my money.
Blindsay04 - Friday, May 18, 2012 - linkIs it too much to ask for for a fairly potent gaming machine (maybe a hair better video card performance then this machine, in around a 13.3" form factor with a GOOD screen? Sick of these terrible screens.
kyuu - Friday, May 18, 2012 - linkAgreed, that's exactly what I'd like. A dual-core would be fine though, for better thermals and battery. Or a Trinity with a discrete AMD GPU that can be asymmetrically crossfired.
And the screen... why oh why can't they stop sourcing these PoS screens.
Blindsay04 - Friday, May 18, 2012 - linkId give up the quad and take a better gpu :D
Ive seen so many machines that come close but it seems no one can just quite get it right
bhima - Saturday, May 19, 2012 - linkWell, you can opt for the better screen at least, so there is an option. The problem is that only the BEST mobile gaming GPUs should be running native 1920x1080 screens. Pretty much anything between 13-16" should have mostly 1600x900 options because these GPUs just aren't powerful enough unless you roll the highest, most expensive ones like the 7970m.
This is what PC manufacturers should be doing... building properly balanced systems that take into account screen resolution with the performance of the GPU they cram into the machine.
Eidorian - Friday, May 18, 2012 - linkI'm going to wait for Ivy Bridge ULV options first.
versesuvius - Friday, May 18, 2012 - link"Spiritual Successor"? Aren't you taking this a little too far?