iBuyPower Battalion 101 X8100

Spec review :
  • Processor : Intel Core i7-720QM 1.6GHz (up to 2.8GHz with Turbo Boost) 6MB cache
  • Memory : 2 x 2048MB DDR3 SDRAM 1333MHz
  • Hard drive : 320GB SATA II 7,200rpm Super Slim
  • Graphics card : 2 x 1GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 285M PCl-Express with GDDR3 (SLI mode)
  • Screen : 18.4-inch FHD 1920 x 1080 TFT
  • Operating system : Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
  • DirectX 10 supported
  • Dimension (HWD) : 1.7x17.3x11.8 inches
  • Optical drive : Dual Format 8x DVD-RW + 16x CD-RW Combo
  • Primary Smart Li-polymer battery
  • Fingerprint security system
  • Universal AC adapter
  • Standard 1 year warranty + lifetime technical support
  • Plus internal system.
Price : $2,339.00
Starting price : $2,339.00
Starting weight : 12.5 pounds
Customizable : yes.
For more information about component, customization and price, visit iBuyPower's official website here.
The specification above are the default specification of Battalion 101 X8100, so it comes with default (not minimum) price and weight. Customizing will change price and weight.
External accesories (external mouse, speaker, keyboard, headphones, etc) are not included, except for Deluxe carrying case, is included.

Here it comes, the biggest, most powerful and most advanced high-end gaming laptop from iBuyPower!  Oh, and the most expensive, too, unfortunately. Battalion 101 X8100 is the latest high-end gaming laptop  form iBuyPower so far. This laptop is a bit more expensive than Battalion 101 D900F, with little but significant differences. What differs them? Let's compare!
First, processor : Battalion 101 D900F uses Core i7-930, which has higher frequency and overclock rate than Core i7-720QM inside Battalion 101 X8100. Simply say, D900F has faster processor over X8100. One-zero for D900F. Second, memory : D900F has 2GB more memory than X8100, with same frequency and DDR3 type, and brand. Two-zero for D900F. Third, hard drive : D900F has 320GB and X8100 has 320GB... same, huh? No difference in hard drive. Okay, still two-zero for D900F. Fourth, and the most important and sexiest part, graphics card : both D900F and X8100 have same graphics card, 1GB GTX 285M, but different in quantity. D900F has single GTX 285M, while X8100 has dual GTX 285M in SLI mode! Triple blows to D900F! Two-three for X8100. So the winner is... me!
- Axa's personal review, and opinion.
So, the conclusion is, D900F is faster and has higher overclock rate,  while X8100 has standard Core i7-720QM processor and powerful dual GTX 285M in SLI mode. So which one is more worth, high overclock rate processor or two graphics cards equipped with SLI technology? Well, don't jump yet to that question. But first (for noobs), what is SLI technology? Read the 'graphics card' section below.
Battalion 101 X8100 uses the very standard Core i7-720QM quad processor. Most mid-end to high-end gaming laptops use this as default processor, though it's customizable. It has a normal clock speed of 1.6GHz,  quite slow for recent processors, and is overclockable up to 2.8GHz with Turbo Boost. Quite good for current games, but don't expect that much in speed as it's a standard, and the slowest Core i7 processor. Works very well for older games, thank to the Turbo Boost technology.  It's also featured with Hyper-Threading Technology to improve performance on the multi-threaded software. Hyper-Threading technology also uses the 4 cores to work in parallel for every running thread. Simply say, it helps multi-tasking activities. Core i7-720QM consumes 45 watts of power, so it's only suitable for big laptops with good cooling system.
Back to the question above, what is SLI technology? SLI (Scalable Link Interface) is a technology that enables user to combine two or more SLI-certified NVIDIA graphics cards to produce a better single output. It's a graphics parallel processing application, in order to get increased performance as result. By this technique, SLI technology can deliver, according to NVIDIA website, up to twice performance with two cards (100% performance increase, yet very rare in most cases), and up to 2.8 times performance with 3 cards!  For those who don't believe, read here to see gaming performance with and without SLI mode. How to make it? Read here. Oh, don't forget that SLI also has multi-monitor support, which allows user to connect graphics cards to up to 4 dekstop monitors (depending on how many graphics cards used), and even up to 6 monitors with SLI-supported GeForce motherboard GPU (for more information read here). This means user can have up to 6 monitors working at the same time. Very similar to ATI Radeon's Eyefinity technology. GTX 285M SLI is a top-end DX10 graphics card. They (dual GTX 285M) are also equipped with PureVideo to bring ultra-smooth HD video, CUDA to improve graphics computing performance, and PhysX which adds very impressive visual effects (shattered glasses, flowing water, plastic, etc) to bring more realistic gaming experience. With SLI mode, PhysX can work much better by dividing their 'jobs', one/more (the most powerful) GPU(s) to render graphics, and the other one to fully concentrate on PhysX. By this method, user will experience smoother and more realistic gaming performance. So sweet...
So, which one? High overclock rate processor or dual high-end graphics cards in SLI mode? Well, that is your  choice...
For the memory, 4GB DDR3 is fairly big to play latest games. No need to upgrade if this laptop were only for gaming. Having an 8GB memory to run current games won't affect performance significantly, just wasting money. Not worth for $455. Upgrade is necessary for multi-tasking, CADing, designing, and such activities which need lots of applications to run at the same time.Well, it's up to you, after all.
For the hard drive, 320GB is below average for current laptops. I suggest to (no persuasion) upgrade to 500GB with 7,200rpm for $56 to have more space, enough to store many HD games and applications without worrying of running out of space. I do not recommend using 5,400rpm hard drive, as it is too slow for playing current games. Solid state drive is a good option, it's very fast for gaming, yet very expensive, too. Two-edged sword, yikes...
Even Battalion 101 X8100 which has almost everything needed for ultimate gaming, is not without flaws. What flaws dare enough to challenge Battalion 101 X8100?
Flaw one : weight and size. Battalion 101 X8100 has weight over 12 pounds, heavier than two Battalion Touch CZ-10s. Also, 18.4-inch is very huge to bear. What a monster! Perhaps it's not possible to hold it by one hand. Very big and heavy, you'll need long hard times to adapt. Very unfriendly, it also greatly reduces your mobility.
Flaw two : power consumption. Core i7-720QM uses power averagely 45 watts. But it's not the matter! The real evil troublemaker is that dual GTX 285M consume power also two times than a single GTX 285M, which means the dual GTX 285M use up to 150 watts. So, Battalion 101 X8100 totally consumes more than 200 watts of power. You will need a powerful AC adapter, massive electrical power, and a lot of time for Battalion 101 X8100 to get fully charged.
Flaw three : battery life. Consuming such huge power will greatly drop battery life. Battalion 101 X8100 can last maximally only for 1 hour and 16 minutes, with no running application (idle) and minimum brightness setting. Running any application (playing DVD, surfing, gaming, etc) reduces battery life to less than an hour.  I recommend to have at least one additional battery. Turning on Battalion 101 X8100 while on the go is not a wise decision. 
Big, heavy and short battery life are main problems of this laptop, I suppose...
Flaw four : noise. As a result of high power consumption, Battalion 101 X8100 also produces much heat. And as the reaction of heat effect, Battalion 101 X8100 also must be equipped with good cooling system, and in this case, fast turning fans. These fans cause noise, especially while the laptop is running many  'heavy' applications, as it gets hotter, and the fans turn faster. You'll need to wear headphones to get comfort.
Flaw five : some display and minor problems.
Okay, those are flaws which cause Battalion 101 X8100 be imperfect. If you own this laptop and have any additional pros and/or cons, please write in comment. And do comment this review, please...

References : 


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