Depending on whom you ask, desktop replacement notebooks are either a growing or a shrinking market. Most large OEMs have completely abandoned the DTR market, with high-end DTR-like notebooks generally going the “mobile workstation” route instead. There are also large notebooks that some might call DTR (e.g. Alienware’s M17x and M18x, and most of the other 17.3” gaming notebooks), but if you want true desktop power you’ll want a desktop CPU. That’s precisely what AVADirect/Clevo are offering with the P570WM, supporting Intel’s socket 2011 processors in a large chassis with an equally large power brick.

It’s interesting to note that this isn’t the first time we’ve heard about X79 gaming notebooks. AVADirect even points out in their forum post, “Almost one year ago, AVADirect began to accept pre-orders on what was to be the world's first X79 desktop replacement, the Clevo P270WM. After many complications, production was halted and release delayed.” It appears the P270WM has been completely scrapped, though I suspect much of the earlier design remains, and what we have is the new P570WM. This is the first truly new DTR since Clevo’s X7200/X7201 two years back that supported socket 1366 CPUs up to the hex-core Gulftown offerings.

Specifications are largely a continuation of what we saw with the X7200 series, only with a new chipset comes new processors and a different memory topology (quad-channel instead of tri-channel). CPU choices consist of the entire line of LGA-2011 processors: i7-3820 quad-core, i7-3930K hex-core, and the i7-3960X hex-core. The primary difference between the 3930K and 3960X is the addition of 3MB of L3 cache on the 3960X, as both hex-core CPUs are fully unlocked so making up the 100Mhz difference in clock speed is as easy as tweaking the BIOS. It’s not clear how much support the P570WM has for overclocking the CPU, but considering the amount of power an overclocked Sandy Bridge-E processor can consume, we’d recommend exercising some discretion before shooting for massive overclocks.

Other specifications for the P570WM include SLI GTX 670MX or SLI GTX 680M dual-GPU graphics configurations, along with single-GPU configurations for the GTX 680M and Quadro K5000M. Interestingly, a single GTX 680M actually costs slightly more than dual GTX 670MX, and we expect the SLI 670MX will be a higher performing option (assuming the games you’re using properly utilize SLI, of course). The chassis has three 2.5” HDD/SSD bays, and with an optional 2.5” caddy for the optical drive bay you can utilize up to four hard drives. RAID 0/1/5 are also available should you so desire. The remaining options run the usual gamut of WiFi and connectivity ports, with two USB 3.0, one eSATA/USB 3.0 combo, and two USB 2.0 ports. A 1080p glossy LCD comes standard, with DisplayPort, HDMI, and single-link DVI video ports available. The keyboard also sees an “upgrade” to the 3-zone colored backlighting and altered layout found in the other recent Clevo offerings.

Clevo has been one of the few (if not the only) ways to get desktop CPUs in a notebook for a while now, but there have been more than a few broken eggs along the way. Besides the aborted P270WM, the earlier X7200 series wasn’t without concerns. With the latest update, we were hoping for an even larger power brick to accommodate all of the high-end components, and sadly that doesn’t appear to have happened. It doesn’t take a math whiz to figure out that two 100W TDP GPUs with a 130W TDP CPU are already enough to overload a 300W power brick; add in storage, the LCD, RAM, and various motherboard components and we suspect Clevo will have to do some thermal throttling/management to keep things in check. Hopefully this time that means minor throttling rather than tripping the circuit breaker in the power brick and running off battery power; even if things work properly, though, we don’t expect you to be able to get 100% performance out of two GPUs and the CPU simultaneously. For gaming on the other hand, most loads should stay below the 300W rated output of the power brick [fingers crossed].

Pre-ordering from AVADirect is now online, though ordering and actually having a product ship aren’t necessarily the same thing as we saw with the P270WM. The base configuration comes with an i7-3820, GTX 680M, 2x8GB DDR3-1600 Crucial RAM, a 750GB Seagate HDD, and a 1-year warranty and a starting price of $2758. If you want a true “maximum gaming performance” configuration with an i7-3930K, dual GTX 680M, PK-3 thermal compound, 4x8GB DDR3-1600 RAM (with Windows 7 Pro, naturally), 512GB Crucial M4 SSD with 1TB Hitachi 5400 RPM HDD for storage, and Killer 1103 3x3:3 WiFi, you’re looking at $4374. Or why not go for broke and nearly max out every component, with the i7-3960X, 4x512GB Samsung 840 Pro in RAID 5, and a Quadro K5000M GPU (and the other options as with the gaming configuration); that will get you a final price of $7384, not counting the $350 you can put into a custom paint job.

I’m not sure how many people are actually in the market for gaming notebooks or mobile workstations like this, but if you’ve got a need for every last ounce of performance you can squeeze out of a twelve pound behemoth (add another pound or two for the power brick!), the Clevo P570WM should have you covered. Let’s just hope this time the notebooks ship without any further delays or complications.

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  • JarredWalton - Friday, January 25, 2013 - link

    Yeah, no doubt all the usual suspects will have the same sort of notebooks available. The real question is who will ship them to customers first, but unless someone wants to place a couple orders with the various vendors I'm not able to reasonable answer that question. :-)
  • Death666Angel - Friday, January 25, 2013 - link

    Gotta admire the spirit of the product. :D It's a shame 2011 is behind the curve (and that the enthusiast class CPUs from Intel will remain so). I don't think starting with a quad core here is a good idea, as an IVB i7 K processor should do that job better. But getting a full hexa core in a laptop is a cool thing. Pity about that sub par power brick. Are there >300W options after market? Looking forward to a review. :D
  • lmcd - Saturday, January 26, 2013 - link

    Again, X79 for SLI.
  • noeldillabough - Saturday, January 26, 2013 - link

    Over the years I've had a bunch of dtr machines and I loved them, except for the whirring are starting to annoy me now that a real laptop CPU is "good enough".

    My current Clevo is a 2920xm and while starting to be long in the tooth, it still kicks! It too can get noisy though, my daily is a Lenovo x230 (Clevos have such crap keyboards too!)

    Haswell's graphics performance might be good enough to make discrete gpus a thing of the past on all but true workstations.
  • BrightCandle - Saturday, January 26, 2013 - link

    One thing that always bugs me is the additional space for lots of drives. Its a laptop, why I can't have a 6 core CPU with 4 slots for memory and a 680M and one SSD. Reducing the weight is important even for a powerful laptop. Gamers don't need raid at all. The drives are for workstations not gamers and then only certain types of workstation users.
  • peternelson - Sunday, January 27, 2013 - link

    The desktop replacement form factor is ideal for me. It can support the processors and graphics I need, and I can survive with limited battery lifetime because most places have power (offices, the train, starbucks coffee shop, or an inverter in my car).

    It's great to see they have a numeric keypad too, a must for financial applications and coding.

    The deal breaker for me is that the numeric pad is only 3 columns wide rather than 4 (missing the large enter and plus buttons on the right which allow number data entry without moving your hand from the home location). There is for sure enough width in this laptop to fit an extra column of keys. The price of a few extra keys would be at most a couple of extra dollars, instead they crippled the machine. Can anyone else understand this? Did they use the same focus group that shaped Windows 8 UI functionality? I feel similarly for laptops where they have the very narrow numerics which are uncomfortable hand positioning and can lead to data entry mistakes. I use my keyboard a lot because I do not just passively watch DVDs on my computer. Until it has a proper numerics pad it CANNOT replace my desktop.
  • Khenglish - Sunday, January 27, 2013 - link

    I find it interesting that this does not have the 680mx as an option. You'd think if any laptop had it as an option, this would. I would much rather have a laptop CPU with a 680mx, than a desktop CPU with a 680m. Why is the strongest laptop graphics card only in imac's?
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, January 29, 2013 - link

    The 680MX isn't that much faster than the 680M, as it's really just 14% more CUDA cores. Yes, the RAM is clocked much higher, but that's primarily because the only place using 680MX is the 27" iMac with a 2560x1440 resolution -- higher resolutions will benefit far more from the increased bandwidth than a 1080p laptop. Moreover, I suspect the TDP of the 680MX is a higher TDP. TechPowerUp lists the reference board as 122W, which sounds about right. ( 100W with two GPUs is already pushing the capabilities of a 300W power brick, so bumping that to 244W combined would be a terrible idea.
  • Khenglish - Thursday, January 31, 2013 - link

    The rumor is that the 680m really doesn't pull 100W, since the 580m was also listed as 100W, but people who upgraded from the 580m to the 680m saw significant temperature reductions. People have no idea where that 122W number came from and doubt that it's true. It first popped up on notebookcheck, and people have been copy-pasting that number ever since.

    Even if the power draw did increase tremendously, there are people who would prefer the faster 680mx over 2 680ms to avoid the complications that SLI brings.

    Powering that notebook with only a 300W PSU is ridiculous BTW. Same PSU spec used for the notebook CPU SLI laptops, which are rated 75W lower.

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