NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480M, Fastest Notebook GPU Yet

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Battery Performance and Power Consumption

When we considered that the new GeForce GTX 480M notebook graphics processor has a specified TDP (Thermal Design Power) of 100 Watts, we almost cringed at the thought of measuring battery life on this Clevo machine.  Call us masochists but we're suckers for good data. We even put the machine on the other end of a power meter, just to get a sense of power draw off the D900F's rather honkin' large power brick.

Battery Life and Power Consumptions
Testing with Battery Eater Pro

The Clevo D900F's battery is no joke.  It's a 12-cell 6600mAh smart lithium block that would otherwise power a standard notebook for a week (okay, maybe that's an exaggeration).  We've compared the machine to a few more notebooks we have in our battery life database and the D900F brought up the rear by 5 minutes less available time.  In fact, the 9-cell powered Asus G73 offered 10 minutes more battery life with a battery that is 33% smaller.  Finally, we should note that while this test is a "worst case scenario" that actually exercises the GPU continuously, the D900F also down-clocks the GPU a bit on its battery power setting (as do the other systems in the above performance graph). 

Of power consumption, heat and noise -
So how much does this machine draw under full load?  In short, a lot; as in almost crazy amounts of power for a notebook.  After all, the D900F is pretty much a full-fledged desktop PC stuff into a notebook form factor.  We measured the machine's power brick drawing 135 Watts at idle on the desktop and a little over 200 Watts under full gaming load.  Obviously, this isn't what you'd call a "laptop," that is unless you prefer your lap rather uncomfortably warm.  The D900F, with the GeForce GTX 480M within the confines of its notebook shell, needs to breath freely on a desk or table top.  In fact, the machine's intake vents on the underside of the chassis are easily blocked, cutting off air-flow, if you place this notebook on your lap even for a moment, causing its cooling fans to spool up to much higher speeds.

Speaking of those fans, the D900F, at idle on the desktop, is a reasonably quite machine for a DTR notebook, but under heavy load, its cooling system is noticeably louder than many notebooks of this class that we've tested.  We wouldn't say it's dramatically louder but enough that if you're looking for quieter machine of this class, you definitely will want to consider something with less juice coursing through its veins.

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