Originally Posted by ironxcross
I'm not sure what to say about this laptop...or rather, whether it's going to satisfy my needs or not. I ordered the M70 with Quadro 1400 graphics before knowing anything about how much the 6800 Ultra card blows the Quadro away. However, the XPS2 is probably just too big and heavy for as much as I'm going to carry the laptop around.
So the M70... it's a very nicely built machine. Being a previous M60 owner, I can say that the M70 is MUCH more solid, mainly due to the improved base. I guess someone said it is metal like the lid. It's hard for me to tell, but I guess it feels kind of metalish heh. The machine is definitely fast. I put EverQuest II on and the machine is able to handle it at 1920x1200 resolution with full settings without jerking at all. I would guess that it is running at around 25-30 fps with full settings. I haven't tried HL2 yet, maybe this weekend.
Battery life--I'm not so sure about this yet. I've only had it off battery once, and from a full charge the machine estimated about 2.5 hours, even with "Max Power" settings. I think I got about 3 from it. That was with the nVidia PowerMizer set to Max Performance on battery.. I have since set that to Balanced so I'll see if it makes a difference with 2D graphics at all somehow. I'll be doing more testing with battery life in the coming days. I would like to note that I used to get close to 4 hours out of the M60 with the "Max Battery" Dell Quickset option...so this battery life decrease seems to be across the board with the Sonoma chipset.
The screen is the same as the M60. Don't get me wrong, it's a beautiful screen, but after looking at some of the Sonys in person I wish it was a little brighter. I turned on the Digital Vibrance in the graphics settings and that has helped some.
I'm going to be using the machine for Photoshop work and other graphics design and this is the main reason I wanted a machine with WUXGA resolution as I loved it on the M60. Other than that, it's main use is for simple web browsing and occasional 3D work when I have time to learn the applications.
I'm also a gamer...but with the workload I have in college, I don't even think gaming is an issue with what laptop I get right now. So I'm thinking of getting a thin-and-light (Sony FS series maybe?) and a really powerful desktop.
I'll let you guys know more later, but these were my first impressions.
it only "blows it away" if you're comparing games.
and if u do mostly photoshop/2d work and gaming, the 6800 ultra would be a better choice... i would not recommend the quadro strictly for 2D work.
the 1400 on the m70 is actually clocked relatively low compared to the 6800 ultra (prob for battery/stability), but i've been able to clock it up to 350/740 (!!!) with no lockups.... over 3000 in 3dmark2005 (much faster than the 9800 in XPS gen1).
if u use MAYA or other DCC apps, the quadro rocks. i've been using MAYA for over 4 years now (since version 3), and the quadro versions have always been better --- speed AND stability. the 3D viewports in MAYA for opengl apps are SIGNIFICANTLY more stable with no visual anamolies under QUADRO compared to their gaming cousin chips.
and yes, because of the NV41 chip, the battery life is a lot less than the m60.
i have a quadro 980XGL (cousin to Ti4600) on my desktop with a dual 2.6ghz xeon, and the M70 is roughly 3-5 times faster using the exact same 3D MODEL file in MAYA... it's great.
i know there's a lot of buzz about the XPS G2... but the more i use the m70, the more i love it. it just boils down to what you plan to use the lappy for.