After all this is a gaming notebook that can look nice in the hands of students at the university and school kids will definitely like to show off the Crysis 2 FPS on their latest rig. Nvidia has made a piece of software called Optimus that can switch off Intel Sandy Bridge integrated graphics and use Nvidia Geforce 540M when you play games, and this software works just fine amakes a big difference. When you don’t play games, Intel HD graphics is usually enough and it also needs less power than Nvidia’s gaming GPU.
Over the past few weeks we have tested a few notebooks with discrete graphics card and for now all tested had Nvidia GPUs inside, with the hope that we will get some AMD models soon.
Alienware MX11X R3 and Asus N53S do use the same graphics, but for some reason Alienware doesn’t let you use the latest graphics drivers available from Nvidia.com, and we believe that slight performance win for Asus N53S was because of that. You can see that Alienware scores close to 1000 marks in performance part of the test and that in extreme conditions it also scores very close to a 15.6-inch Asus N53S packed with the same graphics but featuring a quad-core CPU. Alienware MX14 is hardly a fair adversary, since it has much better GT 555M graphics and a quad-core Core i7.
We are still sticking with Dirt 2 for game testing and MX11 has 57 FPS at mid testing and over 30FPS at high while at low settings it can punch a 69.5 FPS. It is usually the second fastest notebook at this test, and bear in mind that the other models are 14-inch and larger.
Aliens vs Predator
This classic game is basically unplayable at the display’s native resolution in DirectX 11 with everything at max settings. With 16X Anisotropic filtering and 1X Anti aliasing it scores 19.4 FPS, basically an unplayable score but once you turn the quality settings down you can get to around 30 FPS with this small notebook. You can see that even the much better equipped MX 14X you barely get a playable score, considering that 24 FPS is the stuttering threshold.
Despite being a DirectX 9 game and that the promised DirectX 11 patch is still not out, we have tested three out of our four notebooks with Crysis 2. We could not test the MX14 as EA lets you install a game that you have purchased on a maximum of three notebooks.
With 36.6 in our fraps test we can tell that the game was quite playable, all at high quality, and if you prefer frames over high quality graphics you can easily score even more. The surprise is that U30S with Geforce GT 520M can get decent Crysis 2 score and with lower settings can play it just fine.
Another DirectX 11 title, as this is the API of the future, Metro 2033 at default 1366x768 resolution and tessellation and Dept of field off can score a rather decent 40 FPS. We played the game and we can tell you that on MX11 R3 you get decent playback and no stuttering. Asus N53S a 15.6 notebook with quad core scores better and MX14 leaves everyone in the dust.
Lost Planet 2
Lost Planet 2 game can put a lot of stress on 96 shaders, in this test even with mid quality, no AA and blur on we get a miserable 11 FPS. You won’t be playing this game on any notebook with 15.6 and below size at any acceptable framer test anytime soon. At least not with this hardware and settings.