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Please let me start by saying I have already written something once but this is starting over from scratch. I received my m14x literally 7 days after I ordered it. It pays to be EPP and have a DPA. I received it on Thursday April 28th.

REVIEW:

Intro: The M14x details were leaked about 3 weeks prior to release from a Chinese website. Judging by the configuration I dont believe this to be the successor to the M15x, but rather another product to fill a niche market of smaller more portable notebooks.

Order: I ordered the M14x, Soft Touch Black, I7-2630qm, Nvidia 555m GT 1.5, 4 GB Ram, 720p screen and the standard 500gb 7200 rpm hd.

Arrival: Order arrived by Fedex overnight. The packaging is top class and the notebook arrived in perfect condition.

Validation: Powered the M14x and bios and Windows 7 booted quickly. At this point I powered the notebook off with the firm intention to take it apart a bit and swap out the standard 7200 rpm hard drive for a much faster 60gb Corsair Nova SSD. The process took about 10 minutes as you have to remove the battery and optical drive which takes a few extra minutes. The inside is nicely designed and lets face it...Everything is a tight fit due to the size limitations! My one complaint at this point is the spring loaded screws that hold the bottom or base of the m14x to the chassis. One of my screws doesn't fit well and I have never really been a fan of spring loaded screws.

Reload: I performed my usual format and reload of the SSD and applied all the drivers from dell as well as the latest graphics drivers from Intel for the HD 3000 series integrated card and the 170.61 driver for the Nvidia 555 mGT.

Testing/Benchmarking: Stock the system feels pretty strong. I scored a 1336 in 3dmark11 and was immediately impressed by the different games I have installed. I don't believe in the value of 3dmark06 anymore and therefore didn't install it. (I would be that the m14x scores higher in 3dmark06 but my m15x w/i7-720 and 5850 score higher fps). Note: My best 3dmark11 score is 1732 and I will back this up with pics shortly. 3DmarkVantage score is 8350 at 800/1050. 3Dmark06 score 15751 @ 800/1050.

Game Benchmarks:

Crysis 2 - Vanilla Extreme 22 fps average at 1366x768 native. Oc the gpu to 750/1000 and add a custom config to remove FSAA, MSAA and AF and the average fps goes up to 31-34 depending on map and enemies.

2011-04-28 22:13:17 - Crysis2

Frames: 1678 - Time: 41559ms - Avg: 40.376 - Min: 29 - Max: 52 (Vanilla High stock Clocks)

2011-04-28 22:14:28 - Crysis2

Frames: 5548 - Time: 155969ms - Avg: 35.571 - Min: 28 - Max: 45 (Vanilla Very high stock clocks)

2011-04-28 22:17:28 - Crysis2

Frames: 1395 - Time: 63071ms - Avg: 22.118 - Min: 0 - Max: 30 (Vanilla Extreme stock clocks)

2011-04-28 22:18:32 - Crysis2

Frames: 740 - Time: 35256ms - Avg: 20.989 - Min: 13 - Max: 30 (Vanilla Extreme stock clocks)

2011-04-28 22:28:33 - Crysis2

Frames: 775 - Time: 33650ms - Avg: 23.031 - Min: 18 - Max: 28 (Extreme with config minus FSAA)

2011-04-28 22:32:10 - Crysis2

Frames: 8320 - Time: 245499ms - Avg: 33.890 - Min: 25 - Max: 42 (Extreme with config minus FSAA and MSAA) OC 750/1000

2011-04-28 22:42:16 - Crysis2

Frames: 1332 - Time: 46457ms - Avg: 28.672 - Min: 21 - Max: 36 (Vanilla Extreme with OC 750/1000)

2011-04-28 22:43:09 - Crysis2

Frames: 1934 - Time: 66238ms - Avg: 29.198 - Min: 22 - Max: 40 (Vanilla Extreme with OC 750/1000)

Battlefield Bad Company 2 - MP Map, 32 man Rush

2011-04-29 00:57:05 - BFBC2Game

Frames: 13911 - Time: 140042ms - Avg: 99.334 - Min: 69 - Max: 164 (Vanilla Medium OC 770/1000)

2011-04-29 01:00:44 - BFBC2Game

Frames: 8434 - Time: 148356ms - Avg: 56.850 - Min: 22 - Max: 84 (vanilla high OC 770/1000)

2011-04-29 01:08:44 - BFBC2Game

Frames: 5977 - Time: 132226ms - Avg: 45.203 - Min: 32 - Max: 72 (vanilla high stock)

2011-04-29 01:13:40 - BFBC2Game

Frames: 7562 - Time: 139091ms - Avg: 54.367 - Min: 39 - Max: 86 (vanilla high oc 750/1000)

Call Of Duty Black Ops: Very playable at all levels. Here are some numbers again recorded with FRAPS logging while playing full MP TDM Sessions.

2011-04-29 17:29:35 - BlackOpsMP

Frames: 39923 - Time: 469813ms - Avg: 84.976 - Min: 59 - Max: 94 (1366x768, Texture High, No AA/AF, Trilinear, Stock GPU)

2011-04-29 17:46:38 - BlackOpsMP

Frames: 29408 - Time: 438051ms - Avg: 67.134 - Min: 46 - Max: 95 (1366x768, Texture Extra, 16AA/AF--max, Trilinear, Stock GPU)

HOMEFRONT: Outstanding Performance!

Homefront Benchmark - System Settings: 2630qm @ 103.1 bclk, 555 1.5 @ 750/900, driver 170.61 whql. PHSYX set to auto detect and went active in game (notification window)

Game settings, DX9, all high, all visual options enabled (only vsync disabled), no AA or AF, 1366x768 (native)

Full 32 man session, Battle Commander, ping @100ms or less

2011-05-05 22:54:04 - HOMEFRONT

Frames: 26113 - Time: 430579ms - Avg: 60.646 - Min: 43 - Max: 81

Temps: During Gameplay at OC levels the GPU reaches 72-74c and the CPU 82c.

Palmrests - The softouch gets a bit hot during gaming and can over 100f.

Screen: Screen is quality for a 720p display. It does exhibit the "glare" that also plagues the m11x. DVD's look nice on it as well as HD720p video.

Noise: The m14x is very loud at performance levels. I mean loud. To compare it, have your wife turn on her blow dryer at low and it's that loud. Seriously. I do not recommend any game or performance activities while in class or at library!

Overall - Having the machine now for over 72 hours I give it a 8 out of 10. The 2 marks off are for FAN NOISE.

3dmark11oc7701050.jpg

3dmark11oc7701050part2.jpg

3dmark11oc7701050part3.jpg

3dmark11oc7701050part4.jpg

wprime1024and32.jpg

Edited by Stevenxowens792
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Nice, thanks Steven, one question, did you try it on battery? how long does it last with normal usage (like browsing the internet and stuff) and how long when gaming?

About the noise, do you believe that reapplying some thermal paste on the GPU could keep the temps low enough for the fans not to kick in all the way?

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Ashtefere mod coming in 3, 2, 1,... :D

Nice review, I'm sure the noise can be reduced at least a little with some modding. I'd try the simplest thing first - thermal paste as StamatisX said and see where you can go from there.

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Hi Steven,

These benchmarks is just what we were hoping to see. Do you have any pictures or vids you could also share? Thanks.

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Very nice!! Seems to be a pretty capable system.

In case you're going to repaste please take some pics of the system opened.

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I dont think a repaste with make more than 6-8c difference and the issue is when the system goes into it's high demand mode the fans kick up fast. It's more like the system senses the gpu or cpu demand is high and kicks the fans up (but dont quote that as fast as I haven't tested against this yet). All I know is that I am kicking a little 14 inch boot~ee. Blue ray is pissing me off to a state of angry that I normally reserve for NBR. Optimus apparently doesn't play well with either powerdvd or total media theater. And for those that know me, know I HATE OPTIMUS!

UGH

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Optimus is one key reason I will avoid nVidia in future notebooks that use it. I also read that the M14x refresh rate drops to 40 hz when it switches to the Intel IGP and you have to manually switch it back to 60 hz each time--how annoying.

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For some reason the 460M does poorly in 3dmark11. The 6970M gets about 3700 default and 4200+ OC'd.

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@Unreal - the R2 has 2 5870's in it. So that's the equiv of the 6970 which also scores 4k.

The link I included below my bench shows the 3dmark11 score for a single 460m and sli. The 1787 is for a single.

StevenX

Edited by Stevenxowens792

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I can only see the first image but 8350 is a very nice score. That little 14" is packing plenty of power, just needed a better display (45% gamut is just not acceptable IMO).

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Sorry Brian.. still getting used to the image hosting system here

.. I can repost pics if needed. It's not going to win my any awards anyway. It's just the 2630qm doing it's little magic and my 555 1.5 doing it's thang. 800/1050.. that's over a 30 percent overclock!

:)

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Yeah it does pack a lot of power - those are really good scores for 14". I don't like the sound of its fan tho (pun intended :D ). According to Steven its as loud as M17x-R2 when its fans are on max.

I completely agree on the display. M14x is supposed to be top of the line laptop in 14" range - subpar display on $1.4K laptop just doesn't seem right. I just don't get what the heck Dell is doing with their laptop lines. Their eXtreme Performance Shit laptops are back - uglier than ever - with really good display options. But from what I read - again with overheating problems. Why not just toss away 50 crap laptops from their lineup (and thats an understatement) and make 3-4 good ones, with nice options that could be customized. Not saying it has to be super-great-IPS but e.g. HP ENVY has some nice Radiance displays.

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How's your GPU temps with that overclock?

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Yeah it does pack a lot of power - those are really good scores for 14". I don't like the sound of its fan tho (pun intended :D ). According to Steven its as loud as M17x-R2 when its fans are on max.

I completely agree on the display. M14x is supposed to be top of the line laptop in 14" range - subpar display on $1.4K laptop just doesn't seem right. I just don't get what the heck Dell is doing with their laptop lines. Their eXtreme Performance Shit laptops are back - uglier than ever - with really good display options. But from what I read - again with overheating problems. Why not just toss away 50 crap laptops from their lineup (and thats an understatement) and make 3-4 good ones, with nice options that could be customized. Not saying it has to be super-great-IPS but e.g. HP ENVY has some nice Radiance displays.

Couldn't agree more. Dell shouldn't be cheaping out at all with their Alienware line. It's supposed to be their premium segment and therefore should offer premium options. The fact that XPS notebooks offer a B+RG but not the AW systems is fucking retarded and a typical Dell move.

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Here are some cpu logs from Throttlestop while playing homefront. Cpu has bclk set at 103.01 which translates to 102.9 in windows.

DATE TIME MULTI C0% CKMOD CHIPM PWR_mW TEMP

05/01/11 22:22:29 26.06 28.7 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:22:30 26.06 29.9 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:22:31 26.05 29.4 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:22:32 26.04 28.8 100.0 100.0 0 81

05/01/11 22:22:33 26.03 27.1 100.0 100.0 0 81

05/01/11 22:22:34 26.02 26.9 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:22:35 26.08 25.1 100.0 100.0 0 81

05/01/11 22:22:36 26.12 25.1 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:22:37 26.04 27.6 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:22:38 26.03 27.2 100.0 100.0 0 81

05/01/11 22:22:39 26.02 26.9 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:22:40 26.01 28.0 100.0 100.0 0 81

05/01/11 22:22:41 26.02 27.6 100.0 100.0 0 81

05/01/11 22:22:42 26.02 28.4 100.0 100.0 0 81

05/01/11 22:22:43 26.04 27.8 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:22:44 26.01 29.2 100.0 100.0 0 81

05/01/11 22:22:45 26.01 29.0 100.0 100.0 0 81

05/01/11 22:22:46 26.02 28.7 100.0 100.0 0 81

05/01/11 22:22:47 26.04 27.9 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:22:48 26.13 26.5 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:22:49 26.08 26.7 100.0 100.0 0 81

05/01/11 22:22:50 26.10 27.2 100.0 100.0 0 81

05/01/11 22:22:51 26.14 26.0 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:22:52 26.13 24.6 100.0 100.0 0 79

05/01/11 22:22:53 26.13 25.6 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:22:55 26.18 24.0 100.0 100.0 0 81

05/01/11 22:22:56 26.20 24.9 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:22:57 26.17 23.9 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:22:58 26.16 24.0 100.0 100.0 0 79

05/01/11 22:22:59 26.17 23.8 100.0 100.0 0 78

05/01/11 22:23:00 26.18 23.5 100.0 100.0 0 79

05/01/11 22:23:01 26.18 24.4 100.0 100.0 0 78

05/01/11 22:23:02 26.08 25.3 100.0 100.0 0 78

05/01/11 22:23:03 26.10 25.4 100.0 100.0 0 79

05/01/11 22:23:04 26.11 26.1 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:23:05 26.10 26.2 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:23:06 26.06 27.1 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:23:07 26.08 26.9 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:23:08 26.09 26.8 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:23:09 26.18 26.3 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:23:10 26.04 26.8 100.0 100.0 0 82

05/01/11 22:23:11 26.03 28.1 100.0 100.0 0 79

05/01/11 22:23:12 26.06 28.1 100.0 100.0 0 78

05/01/11 22:23:13 26.11 27.1 100.0 100.0 0 79

05/01/11 22:23:14 26.04 28.7 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:23:15 26.04 27.4 100.0 100.0 0 79

05/01/11 22:23:16 26.02 29.4 100.0 100.0 0 81

05/01/11 22:23:17 26.02 27.7 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:23:18 26.04 27.1 100.0 100.0 0 81

05/01/11 22:23:19 26.03 26.8 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:23:20 26.02 26.7 100.0 100.0 0 81

05/01/11 22:23:21 26.03 27.4 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:23:22 26.07 27.0 100.0 100.0 0 81

05/01/11 22:23:23 26.07 27.4 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:23:24 26.03 27.9 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:23:25 26.04 27.3 100.0 100.0 0 81

05/01/11 22:23:26 26.02 27.3 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:23:27 26.02 27.8 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:23:28 26.02 27.2 100.0 100.0 0 81

05/01/11 22:23:29 26.09 26.4 100.0 100.0 0 79

05/01/11 22:23:30 26.09 27.0 100.0 100.0 0 81

05/01/11 22:23:31 26.07 26.6 100.0 100.0 0 81

05/01/11 22:23:32 26.12 27.3 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:23:33 26.11 26.5 100.0 100.0 0 81

05/01/11 22:23:34 26.19 25.0 100.0 100.0 0 79

05/01/11 22:23:35 26.18 24.9 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:23:36 26.14 24.6 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:23:37 26.14 24.9 100.0 100.0 0 81

05/01/11 22:23:38 26.08 25.5 100.0 100.0 0 81

05/01/11 22:23:39 26.10 28.7 100.0 100.0 0 81

05/01/11 22:23:40 26.12 25.1 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:23:41 26.17 24.3 100.0 100.0 0 79

05/01/11 22:23:42 26.06 26.9 100.0 100.0 0 79

05/01/11 22:23:43 26.12 25.7 100.0 100.0 0 79

05/01/11 22:23:44 26.09 27.1 100.0 100.0 0 81

05/01/11 22:23:45 26.07 26.7 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:23:46 26.06 27.1 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:23:47 26.10 26.2 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:23:48 26.13 25.1 100.0 100.0 0 79

05/01/11 22:23:49 26.13 24.7 100.0 100.0 0 79

05/01/11 22:23:50 26.18 24.1 100.0 100.0 0 79

05/01/11 22:23:51 26.18 24.1 100.0 100.0 0 79

05/01/11 22:23:52 26.12 23.9 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:23:53 26.16 23.8 100.0 100.0 0 79

05/01/11 22:23:54 26.21 23.6 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:23:55 26.12 23.2 100.0 100.0 0 80

05/01/11 22:23:56 25.20 14.6 100.0 100.0 0 78

05/01/11 22:23:57 24.86 14.0 100.0 100.0 0 79

05/01/11 22:23:58 24.34 12.3 100.0 100.0 0 76

05/01/11 22:23:59 24.51 12.6 100.0 100.0 0 78

05/01/11 22:24:00 25.19 11.9 100.0 100.0 0 77

05/01/11 22:24:01 25.36 12.7 100.0 100.0 0 77

05/01/11 22:24:02 25.36 11.7 100.0 100.0 0 74

05/01/11 22:24:03 24.53 25.6 100.0 100.0 0 81

05/01/11 22:24:05 26.00 72.0 100.0 100.0 0 84

05/01/11 22:24:06 26.00 81.4 100.0 100.0 0 84

05/01/11 22:24:07 26.00 79.1 100.0 100.0 0 84

05/01/11 22:24:08 26.00 76.7 100.0 100.0 0 85

05/01/11 22:24:09 26.00 70.2 100.0 100.0 0 85

05/01/11 22:24:10 26.00 69.1 100.0 100.0 0 86

05/01/11 22:24:11 26.00 59.0 100.0 100.0 0 83

05/01/11 22:24:12 25.94 25.2 100.0 100.0 0 81

05/01/11 22:24:13 26.01 22.2 100.0 100.0 0 81

05/01/11 22:24:14 26.01 23.0 100.0 100.0 0 81

05/01/11 22:24:15 26.03 19.2 100.0 100.0 0 81

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CPU temps are kinda high for stock but that's expected from a system cooled by a single fan. AW should have made it a dual fan system IMO, especially since it's an M15x replacement but I guess they had to take space + size into consideration.

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That alone makes repasting the CPU and a retention mod a necessity, lower temps for both CPU and GPU with less noise

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StevenX did mention it does look pretty cramped on the inside. 100 F is relatively warm for a palmrest. What's underneath it? I thought both CPU and GPU are positioned further back.

Another thing I note by rereading his posts - he is running at M11x-resolution: 1366x768. There's a choice either going with lower-res screen but getting higher performance, or a little higher res, but little lower performance.

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Is there a way to change stock Dell fans for better quality (silent) ones ? I recall ash was talking about it a while ago, but i don't remember what was the conclusion

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I would say in most cases they should find a way to make sure any laptop in the least has dual fans... I have never in my experience had systems handle well with one fan that's supposed to keep a cpu and a gpu cool.

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      From there you're on your own. No tutorial, no hints, just you and your fabricator bench that tells you little about the items you can craft, only what you need to make them. Stepping outside of your pod is breath taking. You may think a water world isn't much to look at, why should it be? There are no radiated zones to conquer, no naked men running around trying to beat you to death with a rock, no green men without any arms exploding next to you. It isn't the waters surface that will get you going but rather what is underneath it.
       
      Once you dive below you will see a thriving ecosystem with mostly non-lethal life. Corals, alien fish, seaweed and just about anything else you can think of. That doesn't mean you should let your guard down. There are hostile sea creatures lurking in the shadows, some of them are easily dealt with. Others you want to do everything you can to avoid.
       

       
      As you find blueprints and resources and begin to get on your feet you will be forced to go into more dangerous areas with these creatures to find better resources but the resources within these areas are well worth it. Eventually you will build your own underwater base that can extend up well beyond the surface of the water if you feel a need for such things. You can make a greenhouse in one area, storage another, aquarium in another to house fish to eat for later.
       
      As I played the game my goal was to build the largest sub you can get in the game called the cyclops. You can potentially use this as your base if you'd like. You can even make a small fish tank for food inside of it. I don't want to spoil too much. Just get to work gathering and crafting items and a base to call home. Be careful with storage as items do not stack and will take up all of your storage before you know it. Also jump on getting your communications relay operational as soon as possible. Some interesting things start happening as a result. All in all I have to say that Subnautica is the most interesting survival I've played to date and for only being in early access I would still pay as if it was a fully released game. Head to steam and check it out.

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    • By velios
      Hi everyone, I was thinking of upgrading my ram from 8GB to 16GB 1600MHZ either Kingston/Crucial as my current ram usage is at always at 4GB now. Will upgrading make a lot of difference in the performance of the PC and will it improve the game play for GTA V as I am currently having massive lag with this game? 
       
      Thank you in advance.
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