Ok, now for the bad news (probably). As a gaming laptop, the Xtreme 770 is filled with power-hungry hardware that’s constantly vying to get a share of the power available – in other words, this laptop is probably going to eat through battery power faster than a bad curry through a thin man.
Now, there is an argument to be made that anywhere you’re likely to sit down and play a spot of Doom 3
then there’s likely to be power socket available – this isn’t an Eee PC after all and this isn’t the type of notebook you get out on the London Underground to do some quick Excel work on. However, sooner or later there comes a time in every laptops’ life where it will need to rely on battery power, so we feel it’s something that needs to be tested anyway.
Testing the battery life of the Xtreme 770 is something we did using a looping DVD and a looping section of a game. For the film test we ran a copy of Rush Hour
on DVD, while for the games test we loaded up World in Conflict
on the settings indicated on the previous page.
Click to enlarge
Before testing commenced, we set the backlight to medium brightness and then we adjusted the power saving options of the Xtreme 770 to stop the laptop from pulling any sly tricks, like shutting down or hibernating when the power fell to a critical level. We plugged in some headphones to keep the noise down in the new office
and set the tests running.
The immediate results weren’t promising and the DVD didn’t even manage to get through a single run before the battery ran out. Rush Hour
is a 98 minute long film, but the battery failed after an hour and 25 minutes. Windows Calculator tells my lazy brain that that is only 85 minutes, meaning if you do want to open the X770 and start an ad-hoc cinema then you’d better be near an electrical outlet.
With that result in mind, we were actually quite surprised with the gaming focused battery test, where the battery lasted for an hour and ten minutes. In gaming terms that figure isn’t huge, but when you remember how much work the X770 is having to do then it’s not so bad. An hour and ten minutes is enough for you to get a level or two under your belt in most games and World in Conflict
is a fair example of this.
Click to enlarge
It's also worth pointing out and praising the decision to use both a 45nm Core 2, as this helps to reduce the power consumption and heat. What’s more, Nvidia didn’t release a high-end DirectX 10 mobile GPU based on the older (and much hotter) G80 die because there would be no way of getting it cool inside even a chassis as big as this one—never mind anything smaller.
Whether or not this battery power is going to be enough for you is going to depend mostly on the situations you’ll be using the X770 in – if you’re planning on using this at LAN parties or when you’re away on holiday then this is likely going to be a non-issue. If you’re after something as a stylish desktop replacement then you won’t be fazed at all by a paltry battery life.
On the other hand, if you need something a bit more versatile just in case you want watch a movie on the train then the X770 may be a bit of a problem in that you won’t be able to watch anything longer than an episode of Ren and Stimpy
before the battery needs a lie down.