It has been a long time since I’ve written about notebooks since I’ve been busy looking at desktop hardware, but I finally had the time to dedicate to one very nice notebook. What I have here today is the Dell XPS M1730 gaming notebook, which is hands down the fastest notebook I have ever laid my hands on. The Dell XPS M1730 has been around since October 2007, so I won’t bore you with a review on a notebook that is now over half a year old. What we are looking at today is the new 2.8GHz Intel Core 2 Extreme X9000 processor that you have the option to purchase when you pick up one of beasts. When the Dell M1730 first came out it was offered with an Intel Core 2 Extreme X7900 at 2.8GHz. What is the difference then you ask? The Intel Core 2 Extreme X7900 is built with a 65nm process and has an L2 cache size of 4MB, while the recently released Intel Core 2 Extreme X9000 uses a newer 45nm process technology and has an L2 cache size of 6MB. What stands out the most about the transition though is the power savings. The X7900 has a TDP of 44W, while the new X9000 has a TDP of just 35W. Intel has managed to add cache and manage an impressive power reduction thanks to the die shrink. This processor is hands down Intel’s fastest notebook CPU for the performance enthusiast, gaming, and multimedia markets. If you crave speed and don’t mind Desktop Replacement (DTR) sized notebooks then you are in luck.
The Dell XPS M1730 is the perfect system to test the out the Intel Core 2 Extreme X9000 processor as it has all the latest technology stuffed under the hood. The Dell XPS M1730 offers support of the highest-end components available today, Intel Core 2 Extreme processors, Nvidia GeForce 8800M GTX SLI graphics, the first mobile PhysX processor, and two SATA hard drives. Our test system (pictured above) came with a pair of NVIDIA GeForce 8800M GTX graphics cards in SLI, a pair of 250GB Seagate Momentus 7200.3 ST9250421ASG hard drives in RAID, 4GB (only 3GB available) of DDR2 667MHz memory and of course the Intel Core 2 Extreme Mobile X9000 Processor.
Before we jump into the testing, I wanted to show how cool the keyboard illumination looks when computing in the dark. This is ideal for gamers that like to play with the lights off. The Dell XPS M1730 laptop also incorporates a built-in Logitech GamePanel LCD display above the keyboard; four buttons beneath the LCD let you navigate menus to toggle between system status, in-game statistics, and other vital information on the 0.8-inch-high screen. My Dell XPS 1710 is starting to look a little dated!