AVADirect Clevo P180HM Gaming Notebook Review

Article Index

PCMark Vantage & PCMark 7

To start things off, we fired up Futuremark's system performance benchmark, PCMark Vantage. This synthetic benchmark suite simulates a range of real-world scenarios and workloads, stressing various system subsets in the process. Everything you'd want to do with your PC -- watching HD movies, music compression, image editing, gaming, and so forth -- is represented here, and most of the tests are multi-threaded, making this a good indicator of all-around performance.

Futuremark PCMark Vantage
Simulated Application Performance

That thunk you just heard is your jaw hitting the floor, just like ours did after we ran this benchmark. At one point while PCMark Vantage was running, we thought we heard the P180HM let out a yawn, as if to tell us, "Is that all you got? I'm bored." And just to be sure everything was kosher, we ran the benchmark numerous times with similar results. A large chunk of the credit goes to OCZ's 120GB Vertex 3 Max IOPS SSD, but there's more to it than just that. Asus' Zenbook is also rocking a solid state drive, and even though it's a much slower one, it's still spunky enough to outpace high-end notebooks built around a mechanical hard drive. The P180HM scored almost twice as high as the Zenbook, which in addition to superior hardware (CPU, RAM etc), it also means AVADirect did a number of things right when putting together this machine.

In PCMark 7, the P180HM showed that it's performance wasn't a fluke. While we don't have a large database of PCMark 7 scores to compare with, this is one of the highest we've ever recorded, and not just for notebooks. The P180HM scored even higher than past desktop systems we've reviewed.

Futuremark 3DMark Vantage
Simulated Gaming Performance

Next we switched gears to Futuremark's 3DMark Vantage benchmark, which focuses squarely on gaming performance. Some of the technologies in 3DMark Vantage are only available with DirectX 10, making this a better barometer of modern gaming prowess than the the older 3Mark06 benchmark. And unlike previous versions, 3DMark Vantage puts a bit more emphasis on the CPU rather than focusing almost entirely on the GPU(s).

Having a second GeForce GTX 560M GPU in SLI gives the P180HM a shot of gaming adrenaline, and sometimes the difference is significant. It scored almost twice as high as the MSI GT683R and Asus G74SX systems, both equipped with a single GTX 560M and comparable CPU. The difference isn't quite as dramatic when compared with systems wielding a higher end GPU, like the Maingear eX-L 15's GTX 485. The reason for this is because the GTX 485 is a much stronger GPU. Let's take a look:

   GeForce GTX 485M
 GeForce GTX 560M
 GeForce GTX 570M
 GeForce GTX 580M
 CUDA Cores
 384 192
 Processor Clock
 1150MHz  1550  1150  1240
 Texture Fill Rate (billions/sec)
 36.8  24.8  32.2  39.7
 Memory Clock
 1250MHz  1500MHz  1500
 Standard Memory Config GDDR5 GDDR5 GDDR5 GDDR5
 Memory Interface 256-bit Up to 192-bit 192-bit 256-bit
 Memory Bandwidth 96.0 Up to 60 72 96.0

As you can see, the GTX 560M has some ground to make up against the GTX 485M, which can be confusing if you assume a higher model number automatically means better performance. That isn't the case, and it explains why a pair of GTX 560M GPUs doesn't run circles around a single GTX 485M, though they're certainly faster.

Futuremark 3DMark11
Synthetic DirectX Gaming

Futuremark 3DMark11

The latest version of Futuremark's synthetic 3D gaming benchmark, 3DMark11, is specifically bound to Windows Vista and 7-based systems because it uses the advanced visual technologies that are only available with DirectX 11, which isn't available on previous versions of Windows.  3DMark11 isn't simply a port of 3DMark Vantage to DirectX 11, though.  With this latest version of the benchmark, Futuremark has incorporated four new graphics tests, a physics tests, and a new combined test.  We tested the graphics cards here with 3DMark11's Extreme preset option, which uses a resolution of 1920x1080 with 4x anti-aliasing and 16x anisotropic filtering.

Almost as if taking our above explanation as a challenge, the P180HM turned on the jets in 3DMark 11 and jumped way ahead of Maingear's single GTX 485M equipped system. It was roughly 100 percent faster than systems running a single GTX 560M. It couldn't quite keep pace with the Alienware rig, nor did we expect it to, given the GPU advantages.

Same story with our library of 3DMark 11 Extreme scores, which are in short supply. In case you're wondering, the above score is very good for the Extreme preset setting we ran.

Related content