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So, the X770 is essentially a budget gaming laptop with a simple design and average connectivity and features. What will make or break it is whether that M8700 GT can really keep up with modern day games. So, we put it to task...
To test we started with a couple of older games, the tried and tested Prey and Counter-Strike: Source, and with these the X770 coped pretty well, giving playable framerates right up to 1,920 x 1,200 with 4xAA. Next we fired up Company Of Heroes in DX9 mode and this time found the 8700M GT did struggle a bit but lowering the in-game details just a fraction should sort things out. Trying Company Of Heroes in DX10 proved less successful with wholly unplayable framerates at 1,920 x 1,200, but as I pointed out in my DirectX 10 gaming feature, DX10 performance in CoH is very poor regardless of graphics card. I also tried to manually test with Bioshock but found the game consistently crashed straight after the plane crash. This would seem to be down to the drivers not yet being up to date, as you need to download the drivers direct from Clevo rather than nVidia so there's obviously some delay in releasing the latest version.
It comes as no surprise, then, that the X770 won't be competing with a desktop computer equipped with a quad-core CPU and 8800 GTX SLI but for those of us less willing to spend hundreds of pounds on graphics cards alone, it represents a good alternative. Also, as you can see from our 2D benchmarks and PCMark05 results and as I can attest from my own objective experience, overall performance is also very good, with the fast hard drive and 2GB RAM really giving a snap to the machine's reactions.
The Alienware M9750 does offer better performance in the older DX9 games and also comes with two hard drives. However, it doesn't have support for future DX10 games and nor does it include an HD DVD drive, yet still costs £600 more. Taking all that into account, I know which I'd rather have.
Battery life is short, at just 83 minutes, but considering the amount of high performance hardware that needs to be powered, I wouldn't expect much more. And, this isn't the kind of laptop you'll never likely being taking anywhere on foot, so you'll generally always be close to a power source.
The standard software package consists of Roxio Easy Media Creator 7, Microsoft Works 8, and Bullguard anti-virus, which comes with 90-days free virus definition updates. All of which is about the minimum you would expect. The warranty, on the other hand, is a decent three years collect & return, which means you shouldn't have any hassle keeping your machine in tip-top shape for a good while.
The Rock X770-T7700 is certainly not for everyone, but if you're looking for a desktop replacement that does everything then you need look no further. HD DVD playback with a screen that supports full 1080p, unparalleled performance, and a very competitive price combine to make this the most compelling gaming laptop we've ever seen.