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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  • ijozic - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    Yes, I remember it (and the purple-ish tiger stripes on the lid?) as I was seriously considering it at the time (and the M1330). I bought neither because of the manufacturing flaw those GPUs had. Then I decided to go for a small portable + workstation combo to have both the battery life and the business performance (Acer 1810TZ and Dell M6400). The M6400, the charger and the backpack are so heavy that carrying the Acer as well doesn't make a big difference (extra 1.5 kg).
  • ijozic - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    Actually, I did find the P300 in some shop like a year later (might have bought it to compensate for the time spent wanting it), but it was still at full price and was rather outdated by that time.

    I also remember wanting to buy that Fujitsu Siemens with an ATI external card (Sa 3650), but when I saw it in shop, the case was made from some tacky glossy white plastic and the whole thing was rather thick).
  • yhselp - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    Not only carrying a DTR but another laptop as well - more power to you, mate! That's truly amusing for some reason. There was this guy from the institute that used to lug around (probably still does) 15 pounds of tech, he said it didn't really bother him.

    I remember there was a website that offered the LG P300 initially, seemed a bit murky but people were happy so nothing wrong with that.

    That Fujitsu with the external GPU was very quirky, wasn't it? If I'm not mistaken, initially you could only use the dGPU with a monitor; when they enabled using the built-in display it didn't seem to work very well - there were all sorts of artifacts and anomalies on-screen. Poor overall quality couldn't have helped either.
  • SodaAnt - Saturday, May 19, 2012 - link

    I'm just curious what the battery life would look life it you tried to go for full power saving instead. I'd think that the HD4000 would be enough for many 720P gaming tasks, and I'd think you might get reasonable battery life out of it if you tried.
  • yhselp - Sunday, May 20, 2012 - link

    I absolutely agree - there hasn't been much choice when it comes to a gaming-able portable system; and, yes, the M11x is the only one that capitalizes on that. I actually know a marketing exec (not consumer electronics) who is a fan of Dell and uses an M11x as his business portable, despite not doing any gaming - he just thinks it's cool. The price - again, I agree - it's what salvages the whole thing, $799 for the Core 2/335M was a good deal. The Core i ramped up prices, but it never got too high. Price always plays a major role - just take a look at the M14x and the Razer Blade.

    Thinking along those lines, I can't help but agree with your statement. Perhaps, I was too quick to dismiss the first paragraph and didn't give it a second thought - I apologize. It's just that I'd really like companies to spend more on R&D and optimize their thermals, and thus give us better products with better components. If consumers don't create a demand (and remain happy with what is available) that change is unlikely to happen. I used to give the 330M VAIO Z as an example when people asked me what was wrong with the M11x - sure, it had a slightly lower gaming performance but it was essentially what we now refer to as an 'ultrabook', yet with a regular voltage CPU and a decent dGPU. Insane price, but an engineering accomplishment nonetheless.

    I never said 'excellent review' which is definitely the case, and thanks for responding - I appreciate it.
  • JoeDirte' - Sunday, May 20, 2012 - link

    This is a brilliant laptop except for the lack of a backlit keyboard and it has a VGA port. I bought a M11X R2 and when I got it I was on the fence about how I felt having something so small for screen and I really wondered about the performance of the laptop as a workstation. To my surprise the M11XR2 has been a great laptop for portability, performance, gaming, and I love being able to hook up two digital displays without a docking station. That makes this an excellent workstation for on the go and working between several offices. The Clevo isn't as professional in my opinion with it still having a VGA port and not offering a backlit keyboard.
  • junky77 - Thursday, May 24, 2012 - link


    You didn't write the drivers version you used

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