Alienware Aurora m9700

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Gaming Performance 1

Performance Comparisons with 3DMark05 v1.2.0

3DMark05 is the part of a long line of synthetic 3D graphics benchmarks, dating back to late 1998. 3DMark05 is a synthetic benchmark that requires a DirectX 9.0 compliant video card, with support for Pixel Shaders 2.0 or higher, to render all of the various modules that comprise the suite. To generate its final "score", 3DMark05 runs three different simulated game tests and uses each test's framerate in the final tabulation. Fillrate, Memory bandwidth, and compute performance especially all have a measurable impact on performance in this benchmark. We ran 3DMark05's default test (1,024 x 768) on all of the cards and configurations we tested, and have the overall results posted for you below.

After one glimpse of the scores for the Aurora m9700, it is difficult to imagine settling for anything else in terms of overall performance. The system is more than impressive when using a single GeForce Go 7900 GS as evidence by a score well beyond 6,000. However, enabling SLI mode with two GPU's brings performance painfully close to the 10,000 point barrier. Allowing the driver to detect "optimal" frequencies brought the GPU up to 440MHz and the memory frequency to 640MHz. At these speeds, the Alienware system was 4 points away from breaking the 10,000 point barrier and would likely have easily broken it with a bit more tweaking and optimizing.


Performance Comparisons with 3DMark06 v1.0.2

Futuremark recently launched a brand-new version of their popular benchmark, 3DMark06. The new version of the benchmark is updated in a number of ways, and now includes not only Shader Model 2.0 tests, but Shader Model 3.0 and HDR tests as well. Some of the assets from 3DMark05 have been re-used, but the scenes are now rendered with much more geometric detail and the shader complexity is vastly increased as well. Max shader length in 3DMark05 was 96 instructions, while 3DMark06 ups the number of instructions to 512. 3DMark06 also employs much more lighting, and there is extensive use of soft shadows. With 3DMark06, Futuremark has also updated how the final score is tabulated. In this latest version of the benchmark, SM 2.0 and HDR / SM3.0 tests are weighted and the CPU score is factored into the final tally as well.

Being infamous for brining even the most advanced systems to their knees at times, 3DMark06 is typically a nightmare for most notebooks. With the GeForce Go 7900 GS fully supporting Shader Model 3.0, the benchmark was able to run in its entirety and the Aurora m9700 returned a very respectable score of 3178 using a single GPU. Enabling SLI brings a healthy increase to the overall score of the system and the 4863 result makes it on par with some fast desktop systems. Running the same overclocked frequencies as before, the score jumped to nearly 5300 and easily makes this one of the fastest notebooks on the planet.

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