Quake 4 gave us exceptionally high frame rates in both single card and SLI modes, but didn’t scale as high as we’d have expected. What was most alarming, was how much better the Mesh machine was – absolutely wiping the floor with the SLI notebook, without any optimizations for dual-core at all.
Battlefield 2 gave the strangest results, with SLI actually scoring less than a single card. This is a sure sign that there may well be thermal throttling taking place. With 3DMark06 only showing a 50 per cent improvement too (it should be much higher), this adds more evidence towards this too. nVidia assure me that Clevo (who make this chassis for AJP) have fixed any throttling issues in a newer revision of the chassis. I think the issue is a little more serious than needing minor tweaks to the chassis.
The AJP is £2,466 including VAT with a three year collect and return warranty. To be frank though, this is a supremely heavy, overpriced, and unbalanced product demo. SLI is available in notebooks – great! But I wouldn’t lug this around if I was paid to.
It was shocking to see that the Mesh machine was considerably faster than the AJP, yet based around supposedly slower graphics technology and over £500 cheaper. Considering that your not really getting real portability it’s not really worth the extra.
If you are really interested in SLI in a notebook, keep hold of your money until 7900 GT hits the mobile area. It’s more efficient design should make for much smaller, cooler laptops and hopefully a more reasonable price.
Technically this may be a notebook, but it may as well be an expensive desktop. Maybe Land Rover will learn from this by changing the angle of the boot on a Discovery and start calling it a hatch-back.