Kepler's Got Game

First things first—the GeForce GT 650M is pretty close to the GTX 560M from a performance standpoint. Basically, in most gaming situations, the Monster comes within 10% of the performance of an ASUS G73. It runs rings around all generations of the M11x, and outpaces basically everything with less than a GTX 560M. Needless to say, mobile Kepler is impressive.

The GT 650M replaces the GT 555M at the top of the GeForce GT line and bridges the gap between more mainstream graphics cards and the gaming centric GTX line. It’s based around the GK107 core, with 384 shader cores and 2GB of VRAM. The Monster has the DDR3 variant, which has 128-bit DDR3 memory and clocks of 850/850/900 for core, shader, and memory respectively. The other variant of the GT 650M has GDDR5 memory and a core clocked at 735MHz; despite the slower core, the additional memory bandwidth should make it a higher performer in most situations. Even so, the Monster is a pretty potent gaming portable.

Basically, it's fully playable in our Value and Mainstream gaming suites. Note that our mainstream game test runs our suite at 1600x900 with maximum settings (no anti-aliasing), so even though we call it mainstream, it's pretty strenuous. Even through most of our Enthusiast test suite (1080p, max settings + AA), it's close to playable (which I'm choosing to define as 30fps, give or take 10%). The gaming performance on tap here seems a little bit like overkill considering that the display resolution is actually only 1366x768. You can max the settings on everything and still have almost all new games be playable at native res. That's insane, and something that not a lot of laptops can claim. And you can plug it into a 1080p display, whether that's a TV or a monitor, and game reasonably well on that. It's pretty impressive overall.

Batman: Arkham City - Value

Batman: Arkham City - Mainstream

Batman: Arkham City - Enthusiast

Battlefield 3 - Value

Battlefield 3 - Mainstream

Battlefield 3 - Enthusiast

Civilization V - Value

Civilization V - Mainstream

Civilization V - Enthusiast

DiRT 3 - Value

DiRT 3 - Mainstream

DiRT 3 - Enthusiast

Elder Scrolls: Skyrim - Value

Elder Scrolls: Skyrim - Mainstream

Elder Scrolls: Skyrim - Enthusiast

Portal 2 - Value

Portal 2 - Mainstream

Portal 2 - Enthusiast

Total War: Shogun 2 - Value

Total War: Shogun 2 - Mainstream

Eurocom Monster - Performance Eurocom Monster - Battery Life and Thermals
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  • JarredWalton - Friday, May 18, 2012 - link

    Your 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 - link

    A 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 - link

    If 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 - link

    Is 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 - link

    Agreed, 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 - link

    Id 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 - link

    Well, 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 - link

    I'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?

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