rock Xtreme 770 X9000-8800

Written by Joe Martin

April 17, 2008 | 09:29

Tags: #770 #8800 #g92 #laptop #notebook #review #xtreme

Companies: #rock

Gaming Performance

The rock Xtreme 770 is a gaming laptop and has been designed from the ground-up to perform intensive tasks on the go – that design focus is bound to have downsides in terms of battery life, we’re sure, but let’s look at the good before we look at the bad. It’s always easier that way.

To get a feel for how gaming is on the Xtreme 770, we tested the system with three of the most gorgeous games of the recent past. To start with we tested using Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. It’s not massively intensive compared to some other games, but it is one of the most popular games out at the moment, so it’s an important one to test with.

The next game we used in our testing was World in Conflict, which is currently one of the most played strategy games out there and also one of the most gorgeous RTS games we’ve ever seen. There are huge explosions, massive amounts of smoke and always a lots of on-screen action – so it should be a comprehensive test of the 770’s abilities.

For our final test we used Crysis, which is perhaps less popular than the other two games, but probably twice as powerful.

rock Xtreme 770 X9000-8800 Gaming Performance rock Xtreme 770 X9000-8800 Gaming Performance
The graphics module and heatsink exposed and removed

Our testing method here is a little different to the clear-cut benchmarks that you might seen in our GPU reviews though, as we’re using a subjective ‘best playable’ method which, though it takes a lot longer to do, offers a more useful result to consumers. What we’re basically trying to do with each game is find a balance between fidelity and performance – what’s the best we can get the game looking while keeping it in a playable state?

These results may seem a little arbitrary at first, but they do offer a way for consumers to gauge the power of the Xtreme 770 – it’s no good forking out £2,000 or so for a gaming laptop if it turns out it can’t do your favourite games justice.

rock Xtreme 770 X9000-8800
'best playable' settings at native resolution
GameResolutionAAAFDetails
Crysis1,920 x 1,2000x0xPost Processing: Low
Motion Blur: Disabled
All Other Settings: Medium
Call of Duty 41,920 x 1,2000x16xMaximum Detail
World in Conflict1,920 x 1,2002x2xHigh Detail

The results for the games testing then are surprisingly good – the Xtreme 770 was obviously never going to manage to run Crysis with everything on Very High, but the fact that it can handle everything on High is a very good sign - or so we thought. Unfortunately, in later more intense levels the performance dropped on the High settings and we were forced to drop all settings to Medium. We still had some problems even then with stuttering though, but disabling motion blur and dropping Post-Processing to Low solved the problem pretty quickly.

Now, those settings may sound pretty low and feeble - but remember how demanding Crysis can be before you judge it. Even on these settings the game looks far better than pretty much every other game ever released and, since the X770 is packing the latest versions of the latest hardware, it's very unlikely that you'll get better performance anywhere else unless you go for a SLI-enabled notebook.

rock Xtreme 770 X9000-8800 Gaming Performance rock Xtreme 770 X9000-8800 Gaming Performance
The GPU uses a G92 chip, which is a 65nm die and thus a lot cooler than other chips

With World in Conflict the game proved to be playable for the most part of the Very High settings, but as soon as larger battles started to erupt the performance started to fall too. With the settings all on High though, this slow-down was dramatically reduced.

Since World in Conflict also comes with an in-game benchmark, we ran that as a little extra. We ran the benchmark three times on Very High and High in order to get a rough feel for average framerates and the Xtreme 770 managed an average of 14 FPS on Very High, 28 on High – though we found the game was very much playable on High settings despite the benchmark giving a result below 30 FPS.

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare was perhaps the easiest game to test on the Xtreme 770. Infinity Ward built themselves a superb engine for their latest game and Call of Duty 4 ran perfectly straight away, with everything turned up to full. We ran through the first three levels of the game with no trouble whatsoever and didn’t have any stuttering at all. If Call of Duty 4 is your cup of tea then the Xtreme 770 is more than up to the task of handling it.
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