For the more adventurous, there are 3rd party mods out there that unlocks additional BIOS options like the ability to use XMP memory profiles and undervolt the Nvidia GPU for more battery life. To the average VR-Zone reader, this is a godsend.
Furthermore, you can save some money as Aftershock offers the option of de-bundling a M$ operating system. This is useful if you have an existing academic or corporate volume license, or simply want to commit a heinous copyright crime. Standard, non-proprietary components mean that drivers can be easily downloaded over the internet and installed without the need to have a Computer Science degree.
Looking at some performance figures, we begin with Cinebench R11.5, which tells us that the i7-3610QM performs in the ballpark of its desktop equivalents, impressive for a mere 45W part.
In the ubiquitous 3DMark 11 synthetic graphics benchmark, the Nvidia GT650M scored 2473 points in the DX11 Performance preset. From reports around the internet the GPU clocks can be easily raised up to 1.1GHz from 950MHz, giving it a free 15% boost in FPS without the need to raise voltages (same power consumption).
In my beloved Betafield 3 (sic), the GT650M worked well with the Medium preset (averaged above the crucial 60FPS mark), and can do the High and even Ultra preset if you are just playing casually or have no self-respect.
Sleeping Dogs is a recent sleeper hit that is extremely graphically demanding on top of its superb GTA-styled sandbox gameplay. Anything lower than the High preset should keep the foul mouthed action smooth and fluid. After all. a man who never eats pork bun is never a whole man.
The HM76 PCH enabled full SATA 6gbps transfers, allowing our own Samsung 830 SSD to stretch its legs out. The official Crucial M4/Corsair Force GT upgrade options that are available will perform close to this.
On maximum brightness, our X11 configuration attained roughly three hours of battery life on a typical productivity simulation. We estimate slightly over an hour of gaming and maybe more if you lower the brightness and turn wireless radios off.
Finally, we ran the Linpack benchmark to test the efficacy of the thermal solution. CPU temperatures did not hit throttle points at full load (most laptops will literally fall apart on this test) and we are pleased to report that the keyboard and palm rest did not get even a bit warm, which is testament to the heat dissipation abilities of the setup. The single blower fan did not wake up the neighbourhood too.