In the form of a Clevo M571TU. This thing is awesome! Greg bought it me as a Christmas present after I rebuilt a Toshiba Satellite A200 for him to replace his old Pentium 3 Inspiron. It’s a Core 2 Quad Q9000 mobile chip running at 2GHz, giving a total clock of 8GHz, 4GB of DDR3 RAM, a 4B Intel Turbo Memory card, 500GB Seagate (GRRRR!) hard drive that has power save clicking and lag issues. The PCI-E graphics card is a nVidia GTX280M 1GB, to finish off there’s a Blu-Ray ROM & DVD-RW drive.
All that for the knockdown pure burglary price of £390 excluding shipping, used on eBay! This monster will run rings round High Street laptops in the £0 to £900 bracket for the next 6 years. PC World can keep their £300 dual core i3 and i5 laptops.
I just hope the graphics card holds out. It is a 55nm chip and also a standard MXM 2.1 PCI-E card, so is easier to replace than the old Uniwill I used to have. It runs really cool at idle, here’s a HWMonitor screenshot of all the voltages and temps with the system warmed up to idle temperatures:
The graphics card only seems to get as hot as 64 degrees so it’s quite cool. The cooling system is massive, the CPU and GPU have their own fans and heatsinks, unlike the Uniwill P55IM that had a shared heatsink and single fan. The M571 GPU block is huge, it covers the whole of the top of the card and has twin heatpipes so I’m hoping it’ll be fine. nVidia eventually owned up, and this G92b chip is one of the late 2009 revised ones, so I’m not too worried.
Heat stress happens with BGA technology anyway, the heating and cooling is just the way science works, doesn’t matter whether it’s AMD/ATi or nVidia, it will eventually fail due to BGA technology’s flaws, the solder balls will break. If the industry actually socketed their GPU’s we wouldn’t see issues. I have never in my 17 years of computers seen a pass-through soldered CPU socket actually fail and come off a board, even though the board warps.
I don’t like the Seagate drive on this. It’s a ST9500420AS and is a piece of crap. It’s a 7200RPM one but it constantly tries to park its heads every few seconds even under load, causing clicking and lag as it unparks and starts waiting for requested sectors to come round. Forums are full of complaints about it, and now I hate Seagate even more. The drive refuses any permanent power management turn off commands using HDDScan, and if you temporarily disable it it comes back on when the drive is powered off and on again!
Other than that this system is solid. 17″ screen that does native 1920×1200, solid built body, solid keyboard (same as the one in my old Clevo M670SU that I loved) and equally solid performance. Clevo know how to build a high end notebook, and I still can’t believe I got a 2 year old gaming laptop for £390 which was £1,400 brand new!