Alienware M18x Gaming Notebook: Tale of Two GPUs

Article Index

Game Tests: Metro 2033, Far Cry 2

Next we fired up some high-end game engines to allow the Alienware M18x to stretch its legs with leading-edge game titles and rendering effects at play.

Metro 2033
DirectX 10 Gaming Performance

Metro 2033

Metro 2033 is your basic post-apocalyptic first person shooter game with a few rather unconventional twists. Unlike most FPS titles, there is no health meter to measure your level of ailment, but rather you’re left to deal with life, or lack there-of more akin to the real world with blood spatter on your visor and your heart rate and respiration level as indicators. The game is loosely based on a novel by Russian Author Dmitry Glukhovsky. Metro 2003 boasts some of the best 3D visuals on the PC platform currently including a DX11 rendering mode that makes use of advanced depth of field effects and character model tessellation for increased realism. We tested the game engine using the Metro 2033 benchmark tool.

For Metro 2033 the advantage goes ever so slightly to the AMD Radeon HD 6990M, whether in single or dual-GPU mode.  Versus the other notebook configurations we tested, the Alienware M18x really steps out ahead.

Far Cry 2
DirectX 10 Gaming Performance

FarCry 2

Like the original, FarCry 2 is one of the more visually impressive games to be released on the PC to date. Courtesy of the Dunia game engine developed by Ubisoft, FarCry 2's game-play is enhanced by advanced environment physics, destructible terrain, high resolution textures, complex shaders, realistic dynamic lighting, and motion-captured animations. We benchmarked the test systems in this article with the FarCry 2 benchmark tool using one of the built-in demo runs recorded in the "Ranch" map.

Far Cry 2 is an older DX10-based title and is also significantly less demanding on the graphics subsystem versus Metro 2033.  Here the M18x continues its benchmark busting ways versus the other machines.  Between our two graphics configurations, the dual Radeon HD 6990M CrossFire setup shows better multi-GPU scaling in this test but lower single GPU performance versus its NVIDIA-based competition.

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