Alienware M18x Gaming Notebook: Tale of Two GPUs
PCMark 7 and PCMark Vantage
** Please note NVIDIA Verde graphics driver version 280.26 (WHQL) and AMD Catalyst 11.8 (WHQL) drivers were used for testing. These were the latest graphics drivers publicly available for this notebook at the time of testing.
Futuremark's PCMark 7 is the latest version of the PCMark suite, recently released this spring. It has updated application performance measurements targeted for a Windows 7 environment. Here's what Futuremark says is incorporated in the base PCMark suite and the Entertainment suite, the two modules we have benchmark scores for you here.
The PCMark test is a collection of workloads that measure system performance during typical desktop usage. This is the most important test since it returns the official PCMark score for the system
- Windows Defender
- Importing pictures
Video Playback and transcoding
- DirectX 9
Web browsing and decrypting
The Entertainment test is a collection of workloads that measure system performance in entertainment scenarios using mostly application workloads. Individual tests include recording, viewing, streaming and transcoding TV shows and movies, importing, organizing and browsing new music and several gaming related workloads. If the target system is not capable of running DirectX 10 workloads then those tests are skipped. At the end of the benchmark run the system is given an Entertainment test score.
M18x with Dual Radeon HD 6990M CrossFire
M18x with Dual NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580M SLI
Both of these test were performed with the notebooks set to either CrossFire or SLI mode in their respective graphics control panels. The base PCMark 7 scores are a bit on the underwhelming side, likely due to the standard notebook hard drive employed in our builds. The Entertainment scores are solid however and as you can see, the two solutions are neck-and-neck with AMD's CrossFire setup taking the lead by a small margin.