3DMark is our go-to benchmark for accessing CPU and graphical performance, with a workload that mimics a 3D videogame. We look at the laptop’s performance running in SLI mode only, due to time constraints.
|3DMark (latest)||Ice Storm||Cloud Gate||Fire Strike|
|X7 (discrete, SLI)||116534||17586||4171|
As you’d expect we see impressive gains versus the single graphics card of the P27K and P35K that we reviewed earlier. Most notably, the gains increase with the workload, so you’ll likely notice more of a difference in performance between a single and dual GPU laptop when you’re running graphically demanding games. Generally, that means if you’re running older games at lower settings then getting an SLI laptop won’t be worthwhile, whereas recent games set at high detail settings will be drastically improved with the addition of a second GPU in SLI.
Cinebench is a nice cross-platform benchmark that stresses the CPU and GPU. Again, discrete graphics results to follow.
|X7 (discrete, SLI)||88.42||641 cb*|
|P27K (discrete)||82.24||560 cb*|
|P27K (integrated)||22.32||567 cb*|
|P35K (discrete)||82.34||636 cb*|
|P35K (integrated)||90.72||638 cb*|
This test doesn’t appear to benefit from SLI, so we see near-identical scores to the Gigabyte P35K, a laptop with the same processor and a single GTX 765M . This is a nice illustration of why it can be good to save £600 if you don’t run SLI-capable apps.
CrystalDiskMark is a benchmark that examines disk read and write performance. Here, we’re testing only the SSD – the mechanical hard disk would report significantly worse scores.
|CDM 3 Read||Seq||512K||4K||4K QD32|
|CDM 3 Write||Seq||512K||4K||4K QD32|
Again, no real surprises here – the dual RAID0 SSDs of the X7 provide a clear advantage over the single SSD solution of the P27K.
GeekBench is another cross-platform benchmark that examines memory and processor performance. As previously, I’m using version 3 of the benchmark.
As expected, processor performance is similar to the P35K and faster than the P27K, due to a slightly worse processor and slower RAM found on the P27K.
Metro: Last Light
Metro is a challenging game, both on you and your PC. Its benchmark tool is quite formidable, so let’s take a look at how the X7 performs in an actual game. The settings are Direct X 11 renderer, 1920x1080p, High quality, AF 4X filtering, normal motion blur, no SSAA, DirectX 11 tessellation or PhysX.
Here we have considerably better performance than the P27K – 45 FPS, on average compared to 27 FPS on the single GPU laptop. That’s highly playable, and could reach 60 FPS with medium detail settings instead of high.
Company of Heroes 2
Our final benchmark is Company of Heroes 2, a strategy game set in World War II. It’s worth noting that the benchmark is much more stressful than a typical campaign mission or multiplayer match. The test settings are 1080p resolution with no v-sync or anti-aliasing, then medium for the other options.
Here we see slightly worse performance compared to the single GPU of the P35K, with an average FPS of 20.43. For comparison, my gaming PC (Core i7 2600k, 2x Radeon 6950 in SLI) gets only 40 FPS on the same settings, so it’s not bad for a laptop and certainly playable in-game. The reason that we don’t see impressive gains here is that the game is (deliberately) not set up to use SLI, so we are just using a single GPU here. I’m not sure why the score is 3 FPS lower on the ostensibly better X7, but the difference isn’t massive regardless.