Samsung Series 7 Gamer 700G7C-S01 Review With Benchmarks

Samsung 700G7C-S01 laptop notebookLet me just come right out and say that this is the fastest gaming laptop I’ve ever tested and played on. The system is a monster and I like to think of it more like a portable desktop than a laptop. The system has a full sized keyboard, including the number pad, which makes it ideal for gaming as well as work (unless you are used to a funky sized keyboard).

This review took place in August 2012 with version S01 with a review sample that was manufactured in May 2012.

Let’s look at the specifications of the Samsung Series 7 Gamer 700G7C-S01:

Operating System: Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)

CPU
CPU/Processor: Intel Core i7-3610QM Processor
CPU Clock Speed: (Max.) 2.30 GHz
CPU Cache: 6MB L3

Screen
Display Screen Size 17.3″
Resolution 1920 x 1080
Brightness 400 nit

Memory
Standard System Memory 16GB
Memory Type DDR3

Storage
Hard Drive Capacity: 1.5TB with ExpressCache™ Technology, 8GB

Graphics
Graphics Chip: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675M Graphics

ODD: Blu-Ray

Speakers: 4 W Stereo Speaker (2 W x 2) sub-Woofer

Web Camera: 2.0 MP

Connectivity
Wireless LAN: 802.11 abg/n
Bluetooth: Bluetooth v4.0
WiDi: Yes
Wired Ethernet LAN: Gigabit LAN

I/O Ports
VGA: Yes
HDMI: Yes
USB Ports: 2 USB 3.0, 2 USB 2.0 (1 Sleep-n-Charge)
Headphone Out: Yes
Microphone In: Yes
Multi Card Slot: 7-in-1 (MS, MS Pro, SD, SDHC, MMC, MMC plus, xD)
RJ45 (LAN): Yes

Input Devices
Keyboard:101 Key Backlit
Touch Pad: Yes

Security
Kensington Lock Slot: Yes

Power
AC Adapter: 200 Watt
Number of Cells / Cell Type: 8 cell / Li-Ion

Design
Color: Black

Compliancy
ENERGY STAR Rated: Yes

Dimensions (W x D x H): 16.1″ x 11.2″ x 1.29″ ~ 1.96″
Weight 8.39 lbs.
Warranty 1 Year Standard Parts and Labor

Since most of our readers are gamers, let’s look at gaming performance!

Samsung Series 7 Gamer

Benchmark tests (performance review for gaming):

I only use benchmarks that are actual games (no Futuremark or games running with FRAPS). First off, I only use free benchmarks that everybody has access to. Also, I don’t believe in testing with games that don’t have a built in benchmark feature because that tests hard drive limits and you are rarely going to be playing your games recording it every single time you play them.

If you would like to know further why I picked these benchmarks read my old benchmark guide here.

Battleforge test settings:

Shadow Quality: Very High
Resolution: 1280×1024
Texture Quality: High
Fullscreen: On
Shader Quality: High
Anti-Aliasing: 8x
SSAO: Off
MultiThread Rendering: Auto-Detect
FX Quality: Very High
VSynch: Off
Cloud Shadows: Off
Glow: Off

The tests gave us an 69.7 average fps result, a minimum 5.9 fps result, and a 232.8 maximum fps result.

DiRT 3 test settings:

Resolution: 1280×1028
Refresh Rate: 60
Multisampling: 8 x MSAA
VSync: Off
Aspect Ratio: Auto
Gamma: 1.0
Night Lightning: High
Shadows: Ultra
Particles: High
Mirrors: Ultra
Characters: Ultra
Ground Cover: High
Distant Vehicles: High
Objects: Ultra
Trees: Ultra
Vehicle Reflections: Ultra
Water: High
Post Process: Medium (again this loves to set itself to this over and over so just leave it like that)
Skidmarks: On
Ambient Occlusion: Ultra
Cloth: High

Test results were that the laptop got 48.66 fps average and 40.14 fps minimum running the Dirt 3 with the previously listed settings.

Tom Clancy’s HAWX test settings:

Game version: DirectX 9 for legacy compatibility purposes
Screen Resolution: 1280×1024
Refresh Rate: 60 Hz
Antialiasing: 8x
VSync: Off
Full Screen: On
View Distance: High
Forest: High
Environment: High
Texture Quality: High
HDR: On
Engine Heat: On
DOF: On

On this test we got an average of 181 fps and a maximum 353 fps.

Trackmania Nations test Settings:

Resolution: 1280×1024
Antialiasing: 16 samples
Shadows: Complex
Shader Quality: PC3 High
Texture Quality: High
Max Filtering: Anisotropic 16x
Geometry Details: Normal
PostProcess FXs: On
Force Dynamic Colors: On
Force Motion Blur: On
Force Bloom: On
Water Geometry: On
Stadium Water Geometry: On
Trees Always High Quality: On

The benchmark yielded a result of 79.6 fps.

X3 Terran Conflict benchmark test settings:

Resolution: 1280×1024 Fullscreen
Antialiasing: 8x
Ansitropic Texture Filtering: On
Anisotropic Texture Filtering: 16x
Glow enabled: On
Texture Quality: High
Shader Quality: High
More Dynamic Light Sources: On
Ship Colour Variations: On

The Samsung laptop got a score of 105.439 fps on the X3 Terran Conflict benchmark.

Samsung Series 7 Gamer

Hands-on Review:

The machine is very comfortable to work with. It does tend to get a bit hot and I recommend using it on a desk or tabletop.

The onboard sound of the laptop is amazing and comes with probably the best equalizer software I’ve ever used. It is made by Dolby Laboratories and includes many sound altering effects. The speaker setup is impressive and loud for a laptop. Using the software you can change the ambiance of what the speakers put out. Certain parts of the keyboard light up and will glow based on music being played on the computer based on your settings (it is on by default).

Since the system has a blue ray player, should you want to watch a high definition movie from a disc, you would be able to as well as enjoy it in HD with the high quality display that is extremely sharp in image quality.

The laptop has a physical knob that can be turned to adjust the different aspects of the performance regarding speed, fan noise, power saving modes, etc. When you switch into gaming mode the laptop does an animation showing a target lock-on cybernetic image that is an attention getter (this is on by default). I think having a laptop such as this one would want somebody to enforce their bragging rights and that cool animation is certainly a way to get people’s attention!

Running full power mode (no power-saving modes enabled) the laptop has a battery life of 2.5 hours for doing work (MS Office) level of applications. Longer battery life times are possible depending on using more power efficient power profiles. Since this is a gaming laptop, the battery life cannot be expected to be too long especially the more complicated a game is. With a system like this, I recommend using it plugged in via the AC adapter rather than running it off battery power.

The wireless card built into this laptop is so strong that it gets about 50% more wireless networks than my current laptop as well as stronger signals all throughout.

As far as the way the laptop looks on the outside, it looks like it’s a serious laptop that means business and I like that a lot. The machine looks sharp, sort of like what I would equate to the Aston Martin of modern gaming laptops.

Samsung Series 7 Gamer

Conclusion:

This laptop is ideal for a power gamer and user that needs to be able to take their desktop with them but cannot carry a tower, monitor, and speakers with them. The hard drive is massive (1.5 TB) allowing storage of many file libraries, which is rare on a notebook. The rest of the parts on the system make it a strong performer for nearly any computing need a power user will have, whether gaming, 3D rendering (strong video card), music editing/engineering, etc. The current price $1600-1900 as off 8/8/2012 is what I would expect a laptop like this to cost and is reasonable.

Run-down summary:

Pros:
-Can run every game that’s out there.
-Speakers sound amazing for a laptop.
-Enough hard drive space to install almost any game collection plus a huge file collection for almost everybody.
-Enough power to seriously game as well as run other operations such as 3D rendering and audio engineering programs.
-16 GB of RAM is more than enough memory for almost 99.99% of users out there to multitask like crazy.
-Super strong wireless card with support for all current wireless protocols.
-Has what I consider to be a real keyboard for a laptop rather than a tiny one that’s the usual punishment in most laptops, making it much better for a power user and gamer.
-Has external lights and knobs that let you manually change the features of what the laptop is doing as well as see hard drive operation activity, etc. This useful for when doing heavy applications.
-Easy to take apart (two simple covers with standard screws make life easier).

Cons:
-Can get hot temperature-wise. I didn’t have any stability problems even when gaming in a hot room.
-Too expensive for budget gamers, but then again they would probably most likely not be buying a gaming laptop.
-Can be bulky to move around (space and weight-wise), but then again I like to think as a really compact portable desktop.

Origin PC: The EON 11-S

When mini’s came out people kept asking for a powerful laptop that could be used for gaming in a smaller size and since then we have seen a few on the market. For the most part people want the latest processor, powerful graphics and good battery life and the EON 11-S looks to have those in spades.

Origin-EON-11-S Black

The EON 11-S is an 11-inch notebook that sports third generation Ivy bridge processors from Intel, that alone screams power for the pc gamer. In addition, the EON 11-S features the NVIDA GeForce 650M video card with Optimus 1.2 technology. The Optimus technology is important because it extends your battery life meaning, you get the graphics you need for games, but without the need to remain plugged into an outlet 24/7.

The breakdown of the system includes an Intel Core 2.5GHz i5-2520M with 3MB cache or 2.1GHz i7-3612QM with 6MB cache. Next, up you have the Nvidia GeForce GT 650M graphics with 2GB GDDR5 VRAM. The EON 11-S uses the Intel HM76 Express chipset, features an 11.6-inch HD display screen with 1366 x 768 pixels resolution and comes with Windows 7 64-bit.

Origin-EON-11-S Red

You can configure the system with up to 16GB DDR3 RAM, up to 1TB 5400rpm hard drive or up to 512GB solid state drive or up to 500GB 7200rpm hybrid drive. Finally, the EON 11-S has Bluetooth 2.1, Wi-Fi and a 1.3-mega pixels web cam.

Talking design, the EON 11-S comes in three colors Matte Black, Mate Red and Glossy Silver you can choose from their new laptop case design or the original design. For those looking for a more personal touch Origin PC offers top cover painting for an additional fee.

Now the question is what kind of size, battery life and price are we talking about. Well first off, gamers rejoice because the EON 11-S offers up to 7 hours of battery life with its 6-cell battery, which is perfect for those long gaming sessions far from an outlet. Size and weight will not be an issue either with it weighing in at only 3.9 pounds. Here are the dimensions, 11.2 x 8.1 x 0.5-1.4.

Origin-EON-11-S Silver

So what is the most important question, what is the price. The base unit costs only $999.00 and that is not a stripped down unit. The only thing that makes me a bit sad about this laptop is the lack of a backlit keyboard, but everything else looks pretty sweet. Overall, the EON 11-S is a great notebook for gamers or anyone who wants a powerful laptop that’s portable with great battery life.

You can check out the EON 11-S here.

The Alienware M11x r2 Review

Alienware M11x r2

Let me start by saying this review is more for the casual gamer meaning it will not be filled with charts and graphs and a ton of numbers that most would not understand. There are a ton of super technical reviews on the Alienware M11x r2 that provide every benchmark number and rating score you will ever need, this, is for the rest of us.

Why purchase a gaming laptop?

For the causal gamer one might wonder why you need a gaming laptop. My answer would be that you don’t, but the great thing about gaming laptops is they have the power for everything else you would need to do so why not have the ability to play games as well?

Far too often, we as computer shoppers select a low cost laptop to save money knowing we want one that we will not have to replace within a year and one we secretly wish we could play games on. Perhaps paying $1500 plus for a gaming laptop would not be for us, but at $1000 you are not too far away from laptops you find even on sites like Tech Bargains.

If you know you like to game and especially if you like MMO’s then having the ability to pull out a gaming laptop and play those games anywhere is well worth the price.

Alienware M11x r2

Price

Most reviews do not start with the price, but this is not like most reviews. The M11x can be purchased starting at $1000 on the Alienware website. At the price you can get more than enough to run most of the games a causal gamer would playing including FPS, RTS and MMO games.

The Outside

Do looks matter? Sure, they do just ask Apple, the Alienware M11x does look sleek, like a stealth bomber. The all black styling of the laptop goes well with almost any décor and let’s face it, it looks good either at home or out in public. I have had a number of people comment on the system specifically the neon-like light coming from all over it.

Speaking of lighting there are several zones of the computer that light up from the keyboard to the grills on the front and the little Alienware heads. The great this is using a program built in called Alienware FX, you can change all the colors to what suits you and you can even mix and match them for a funky clown look if you wish.

Outside Details

Let us go into some specifics about the outside. First off, the laptop weights about 4.4 pounds and while that may seem heavy to some in the day of the iPad it is still pretty light. There are three USB 2.0 ports, to connect things like mice, a HDMI and Display Port to connect a monitor, FireWire and a headphone jack for audio privacy. There is also a place for a special Kensington lock, which you buy separately so you can lock your laptop to a desk or somewhere else it cannot be stolen from.

Alienware M11x r2

The Inside

As said, there can be debates on which processor works best with this program or that game, but for the purpose of this review we will keep it simple. For the$1000 version of the M11x you get the Intel Core i5 1.4GHz processor. From what I have found using it, it does the job for the games I play and the programs I use, but I will go into that shortly.

Next you have the memory which at that price you receive 4GB’s. If you really get into gaming big time and you want the newest game on the highest setting then people will tell you to go with an 8GB or higher system. I personally do not have that on my desktop and do fine and with 4GB you have more than enough RAM for most any task you will be doing gaming or otherwise.

As for hard drive space, that decision is made based on how much you store and install. At the $1000 price, you get 320GB’s, which is a lot of space. Considering you have a desktop at home, you most likely do not need all this space.  Even if you do not and the laptop is your sole computer, unless you install every game and have a music and video collection out of this world then you should be fine. However, Alienware offers more hard drive options that offer more space.

Video is of course very important not only because of games, but everything visual on your system. Here it can get tricky because there are desktops and even some laptops that offer dual video cards in SLI and all kinds of options. The video card on the $1000 system is the NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M and I have found it works great for the games I play and for watching video in high def.

The rest

There are other things of note that come with the M11x like its wireless network card, which is necessary for gaming on the go. The system also has a standard network port to plug it in at home, the office, and school or where have you. The operating system is Windows 7 home premium 64-bit, which I have used on my desktop for quite some time. I personally think this is the third best O/S behind Win 95 SE and Win XP, so you should not have any trouble here.

Alienware M11x r2

Usage

This is what matters, but it is also, where it depends on what you do. First off, let us talk battery life, with the 8-cell battery under normal usage I have found you get a little over 5 hours of battery life, but if you are playing games, it will be less than that.

As for gaming itself, I tried the Alienware M11x in the game World of Warcraft in its native resolution of 1366×768 and was able to run the game with full graphical features with no issues even in heavy populated zones. Perhaps the key is the smaller screen, which is 11.6 inches, which can seem small when you have a user interface with a ton of icons, but I found I was able to get used to it.

In a game like Everquest 2 that uses more CPU power, I also received good frame rates even in open zones. Now I was not able to max everything out in EQ2 specially the shadows, but I was able to crank up the texture models and general graphics to make the game look great and playable even in a raid.

Other games I have played include Fallout 3, which ran fine, a number of Steam games and emulators since I am a classic gamer. I also played StarCraft 2, which ran fine. I also run various programs like Ventrilo for communication and Digsby, which is an all in one instant messaging client. I also run Firefox with four or more windows open at the same time to check websites and information, all while playing a game usually in windowed mode.

As for sound, it sounds much better than your normal laptop, but we have to be honest that even though it has internal Hi-Def 5.1 audio it does not match what you get out of a good pair of PC speakers. What I found that worked for me was the volume does get high which was an issue on other laptops. Music and games as well as movies will sound good coming out of the M11x and even in a loud room, the speakers are loud enough so you can hear it from the highs to the lows, bass and treble.

The keyboard feels good and types well even when you are slamming the keys crying for a heal. I never liked the touchpad, but this one is built well and does not easily activate when the heel of my hand brushes against it, still, I perfect a USB or wireless mouse.

As for warranty, you receive a 1-year plan, which provides hardware support, and of course phone tech support. I cannot say much here because I have not had a need to use it yet.

Overall

I personally like this system, I am sure there are things that could be better, but for most of us this system will perfectly fit your need for work, school and gaming. The laptop itself feels sturdy and well build and the cool look is a nice touch, but most important is the price and how it performance and it does both well.

I you have questions on the m11x r2 from Alienware leave a comment and I will answer them.