With the latest round of HP Pavilion laptops, you now have even more choices to make when buying your PC. So, when you’re looking at buying a new dv4, dv6 or dv7 – you’re getting 3rd generation Intel Core CPUs and the option to amp up your graphics with either a GeForce GT 630M or GeForce GT 650M. (The later falls just below the GTX-enthusiast class line in terms of performance.) What does this mean to you? You’re getting some pretty solid gaming performance-to-go with the 650M without breaking the bank.
In the past, we’ve already broken down in decent detail what the new 3rd generation Intel Core processors can do, but let’s take a look at the next link in the performance chain – discrete graphics. In this case, let’s take a quick look at what’s offered up on the Nvidia chips themselves…
That, however, is just the graphics. We should probably check out the rest of the machine – in this case, the new Pavilion dv7. This beastly machine that I swiped from the labs has some slick, tapered lines and plenty under the hood. It accommodates the Beats audio speaker bar sitting below the crisp 17-inch screen. And under the hood of the unit I grabbed: 8GB RAM, a 3rd Gen Intel Core i7 CPU and….a 2GB GeForce 650M GPU. Yep. Before I give this thing a giant thumbs up for gaming, though, I am planning to throw a giant round of benchmark tests at this thing to see how well it performs.
Since you asked, here’s the deal:
I don’t know whether to fully attribute this to the new 3rd Gen Core processors, the on-board GPU or, more likely, a combo of the two – but I was getting some respectable numbers in my benchmark tests at Max settings. I should note that because of the card and native resolutions of the display, I performed the “Max” tests at 1920 by 1080 resolution with everything cranked up to 11; The “Medium” tests ran at 1280 by 1024 with all medium settings – and special features such as PhysX turned off. As for which games I’m using for testing – and why I’m using them – I have a story here that goes into all the benchmarking hijinks.
In graphical form:
What all this means is that you could play games fully maxed out with performance in the 30 frames-per-second range on average. If you tinker with adjusting the settings (anti-aliasing and the like) a little lower, you’ll obviously get a speed bump. So if you do get this machine, I’d recommend playing around with the settings to find your visual nirvana. As I get more time to tinker with the latest dv7, I’ll pepper in some more suggestions on the blog to help you get the most out of it.
So there’s a quick head’s up for you guys as you start looking for a new laptop to buy, you now have a couple more interesting options – and choices to make. The Pavilion dv4, dv6 and dv7 will start at $549.99, $579.99 and $799.99 respectively and will be available in the US on June 20th.
You got questions? I got answers! Hit me in the comments.