Review Deviltech HellMachine DTX (Clevo X7200) Notebook

Florian Glaser, 10/05/2010

High-Flyer. DevilTech's HellMachine DTX is undoubtedly aiming at the Throne of Performance. A Core i7 desktop processor and two GeForce GTX 480M graphics cards in SLI configuration are clear indications for an outstanding performance.

Deviltech HellMachine DTX

Clevo's barebone, X7200, is the basis of the HellMachine DTX. It is still being distributed by many other manufactures, like mySN and CyberSytem, beside DevilTech.

The 17 inch desktop replacement can be modified to suit your individual preferences on DevilTech's website. It starts with the operating system, where you can choose among several alternatives amid Windows 7 Home Premium, Professional and Ultimate (32 & 64 bit). Strangely enough, not a mobile CPU, but a desktop model from Intel's current i7 range is used as the processor. They range from Core i7-950 with 3.06 GHz up to Core i7-980X with 3.33 GHz.

Nvidia's GeForce GTX 460M takes care of graphic calculations in the basic version. It has already proven its capabilities in the review of the Asus G73JW. However, it is also possible to configure it with a GeForce GTX 480M or a SLI configuration of two GeForce GTX 460Ms for a surcharge. Beyond that, DevilTech offers downright aficionados the possibility of two GeForce GTX 480Ms. However, that costs a pretty penny of over 1000 euro.

Another highlight of the HellMachine DTX is the option to install up to three hard disks. Aside standard HDDs with a capacity of 250-650 GB (5400 & 7200 rpm), DevilTech also has SSDs with a capacity of 80-250 GB in its range. Furthermore, the customer has the option of extending the DDR3 RAM from the standard two GBs up to 12 GBs, so the memory won't get tight. DevilTech also has the suitable hardware in store for movie fans. If a common DVD burner isn't enough, you can simply reach for a Blu-Ray drive or a Blu-Ray burner.

DevilTech has set a price of 1699 euro for its HellMachine DTX. But the price can quickly multiply itself with the according configuration. Our test device with a Core i7-960, GeForce GTX 480M SLI, four GB of DDR3 RAM, 320 GB HDD (7200 rpm), DVD burner and Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit, for example, added up to 3454 euro at the time of the test.

Case

In our opinion, the X7200 barebone has soonest earned the name "behemoth". The 17 incher isn't only extremely heavy and thus unhandy to carry around with a weight of almost six kilograms. It is also utmost bulky with a height of about seven centimeters. When the notebook is placed on a normal desk or table, the hands are placed in an uncomfortable angle for use. Optimal ergonomics is hardly possible.

Apart from the one or other lighting element, the manufacturer has rather shown restraint in terms of looks. Construction and design are both just as classic as the colors dark. Clevo has used a blend of several materials for the components. Whilst the display lid and wrist-rest are made of high-end, brushed aluminum, the other surfaces are (partly high-gloss) plastic. The workmanship is nevertheless on a high level. We didn't notice any flaws on our test device, apart from small details.

The case doesn't have to accept reproach in view of stability, either. Notebook upper side and bottom prove to be very rigid. Merely the display lid could have shown a bit more stiffness. The basically reliable hinges appear to be pulled a bit tight. Despite its enormous weight, the base unit lifts slightly when the notebook is opened.

Configuration and Supplies

Connectivity

The very extensive connectivity is absolutely astonishing. With exception of an ExpressCard slot and a VGA-out, Clevo has incorporated every imaginable interface that you can expect of a full-fledged desktop replacement. Whilst the front is completely free of any connections and the rear only accommodated the power jack, the sides are equipped lavishly. Thus, the right can't only serve with a Kensington Lock and three USB 2.0 ports. It also has four audio connections that are able to transmit a 7.1 surround signal.

On the left, there are two digital video outs in form of DVI and HDMI. The use of an external monitor is thus no problem. An RJ-45 Gigabit LAN port, an antenna-in and port for eSATA and Firewire are other connectivity features. To be adequately prepared for the future, the X7200 barebone additionally has two advanced USB 3.0 ports. They can score with a higher transfer rate. Otherwise, data from memory cards can be fed with assistance of a 9-in-1 cardreader. The configuration bundle is finished off by a fingerprint reader, a 3.0 megapixel webcam and even two integrated microphones.

On the whole, we quite liked the port distribution. The most important connections are located on the rear side areas. Thus, there's enough elbowroom for peripherals, such as mice, on the notebook's sides.

Left: DVI, antenna, RJ-45 Gigabit LAN, HDMI, 2 USB 3.0s, eSATA, Firewire, 9-in-1 cardreader
Left: DVI, antenna, RJ-45 Gigabit LAN, HDMI, 2 USB 3.0s, eSATA, Firewire, 9-in-1 cardreader
Rear: DC-in
Rear: DC-in
Right: 4 audio jacks, 3 USB 2.0s, Kensington Lock
Right: 4 audio jacks, 3 USB 2.0s, Kensington Lock

Software and Supplies

In terms of software installation, DevilTech shows itself pleasantly restrained in comparison to "big" manufacturers like Toshiba, Sony, Acer or Asus. Thus, the system isn't seized by superfluous software (so-called Bloatware) that narrows the system speed, as so often common in this industry. Due to the clean installation, the HellMachine DTX can develop its full performance potential from the first second.

The scope of supplies isn't necessarily lavish, but at least decent. Apart from the very voluminous 300 watt adapter, DevilTech has added a driver DVD, a user's manual and a cleaning cloth in the box. Those who additionally install a TV tuner (cable & DVBT) for a surcharge, also get a remote control.

Input Devices

Keyboard

Apart from the quite loud and clattery typing noise, the keyboard makes a very good impression. The detached keys are perfectly sized (15x15mm) and can also convince with their well-defined pressure point, as well as stroke. The typing feel can be described as crisp. The fairly long stroke length will rather be a matter of taste. In any case, the tester quite liked it. The user naturally doesn't have to live without a separate number pad due to the 17 inch size. There's nothing to complain about in terms of layout. You manage wonderfully in no time. Good for our foreign readers: DevilTech also offers the keyboard in different language layouts (e.g. English, French & Italian). The keyboard regrettably isn't lighted.

Touchpad

The 90 x 50 mm sized, silver bordered and slightly submerged touchpad is easy to locate. The somewhat corrugated surface enhances the feedback, but skin feel and gliding traits are affected. The touchpad didn't show any irregularities in terms of precision. Gamers will also be delighted about the fact that the touchpad isn't flush below the space bar, but is shifted slightly to the right. This way, input errors are reduced in gaming. If you don't want to risk anything, you'll disable the touchpad via the FN+F1 key combination. We found the trigger noise of both touchpad keys to be very loud.

Keyboard
Keyboard
Touchpad
Touchpad

Display

The X7200 barebone is equipped with a 17.3 inch and 43.90 cm sized FullHD display. The resolution of 1920x1080 provides sufficient display surface for working comfortably with several windows. Additionally, the typical movies bars are reduced due to the aspect ratio of 16:9.

154.7
cd/m²
154.6
cd/m²
157.6
cd/m²
143.6
cd/m²
138.9
cd/m²
146.1
cd/m²
164.7
cd/m²
162.9
cd/m²
159.1
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
Gossen Mavo-Monitor
Maximum: 164.7 cd/m²
Average: 153.6 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 84 %
Center on Battery: 138.9 cd/m²
Black: 0.12 cd/m²
Contrast: 1158:1

The installed Hannstar HSD173PUW1 isn't a stranger. It has already convinced with a high image quality in other high-end notebooks (e.g. Asus G73JH). Dark image areas don't drift into gray due to the agreeably low black value of 0.12 cd/m2. This would be annoying especially in movies and games and is unfortunately the case in the majority of competitor products. Black really stays black. The contrast of 1158:1 is also on an excellent level. Colors appear very vivid and natural. Gradations and transitions prove to be very differentiated. Merely the average brightness of 153.6 cd/m2 is disappointing. The image lacks luminosity. Note: The Hannstar HSD173PUW1 partly proved to have a noticeably higher luminosity of about 183 cd/m2. This circumstance can be attributed to production quality fluctuations.

Reflections
Reflections

Regardless of size and weight, the desktop replacement is hardly suitable for outdoor use. The reason is the glossy display surface, which has a tendency to intense reflections in according light incidence. Because annoying reflections can also turn up indoors, you should either carefully consider the position or darken the room to start with.

Then again, the fairly high viewing angle stability is a strength of the display. There are hardly any changes even in larger angles on the horizontal plane. Color and brightness falsifications may turn up earlier on the vertical plane, but the viewing angle stability is basically still above average.

DevilTech HellMachine DTX's viewing angles
DevilTech HellMachine DTX's viewing angles

Performance

Desktop CPU
Desktop CPU

Processor: Core i7-960

As mentioned in the beginning, a real desktop CPU is used as the processor instead of a mobile one. We opted for the Core i7-960 in our test device. It clocks exactly twice as high as the popular (mobile) quad-core, Core i7-720QM with 3.2 GHz. The clock rate is even increased to 3.46 GHz when required with the automatic overclocking function, Turbo Boost. On the other hand, hyper-threading provides for the simulation of four additional CPU cores. However, the possibility of processing eight threads simultaneously only supplies extreme benefits in modified applications. Games hardly have a benefit of this technology at the moment.

The L3 cache is more crucial for gaming performance. It is more than abundant with eight MB and correlates to the fastest mobile quad-core, Core i7-940XM. A big drawback of the desktop CPU is the exorbitant power consumption of 130 watts, in comparison to notebooks. The mobile Core i7 processors are significantly weaker because of their considerably lower clock rate. However, the power requirement plays in another league with 45-55 watts.

5.9
Windows 7 Experience Index
Processor
Calculations per second
7.5
Memory (RAM)
Memory operations per second
7.5
Graphics
Desktop performance for Windows Aero
7.8
Gaming graphics
3D business and gaming graphics
7.8
Primary hard disk
Disk data transfer rate
5.9
HWiNFO
HWiNFO

Graphics card(s): GeForce GTX 480M SLI

Without a doubt, the absolute highlight of the HellMachine DTX is found under the hood. It's the currently fastest graphics card configuration with a SLI configuration of two GeForce GTX 480Ms. The specifications of both GPUs look impressive. With 352 unified shaders, three billion transistors and a 2048 MB sized GDDR5 video memory tethered to 256 bit each, they partly exceed the competition evidently (e.g. Radeon HD 5870).

The clock rates are rather inconspicuous, located at 425 MHz for the core, 1200 MHz for the memory and 850 MHz for the shaders. The GeForce GTX 480 pulls out all the stops in terms of features. Thus, the Nvidia card supports CUDA (conceived for general calculations), PhysX (GPU based physics acceleration) and PureVideo HD (decoded HD material), aside from DirectX 11. However, the GeForce GTX 48ßM SLI combo, like the processor, has to struggle with an extremely high power consumption (200 watts maximum).

Another central problem of SLI is the so-called "micro-jitters". The single pictures are calculated alternately by the graphics cards with the currently used technology. Because the intervals between the pictures vary quite a bit, noticeable jitters can especially turn up in ranges below 30 fps. But, micro-jitters are usually not an issue due to the high raw performance of both GeForce GTX 480M cards.

System info CPUZ CPU
System info HDTune
System info GPUZ
System info CPUZ Graphics
System info CPUZ RAM SPD
System info CPUZ RAM SPD
System info CPUZ RAM
System info CPUZ Mainboard
System info CPUZ Cache
System info HDTune
System information: Deviltech HellMachine DTX

CPU Performance

The Core i7-960's outstanding application performance becomes evident in Cinebench R10 (64 bit), amongst others. The Core i7-960 can set itself off by a whole 30% from the popular Core i7-720QM in single-core rendering with 4825 to 3698 points. Even greater differences come to light in multi-core rendering. The Core i7-960 exceeds the Core i7-720QM by a remarkable 84% with 18331 to 9971 points. This is due to the twice as high clock rate (Turbo Mode remains inactive when all cores are loaded).

Cinebench R10 Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
4825 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
18334 Points
Cinebench R10 Shading 64Bit
4992 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
3863
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
15223
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
5178
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
5.47 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
37.74 fps
Help
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64 Bit in comparison
Dell Latitude ST-LST01 (min)
 Z670, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 600
0.22
   ...
Toshiba Qosmio X770-11C
 2670QM, GeForce GTX 560M
5.34
Lenovo IdeaPad Z500-MBYG2GE
 3632QM, GeForce GT 645M
5.35
Fujitsu LifeBook E744
 4702MQ, HD Graphics 4600
5.43
Deviltech HellMachine DTX
 960, GeForce GTX 480M SLI
5.47
Alienware M17x R3 GTX 580M i7-2820QM
 2820QM, GeForce GTX 580M
5.48
Dell Precision M6800
 4800MQ, Quadro K3100M
5.49
Apple MacBook Pro 15 inch 2011-10 MD322
 2760QM, Radeon HD 6770M
5.49
   ...
Eurocom Panther 5D (max)
 E5-2697 v2, Quadro K5100M
17.6
PC Mark
PCMark Vantage6974 points
Help
PCMark Vantage in comparison
Sony SV-S1311G4E (min)
 2350M, HD Graphics 3000
811
   ...
Toshiba Satellite P770-10P
 2630QM, GeForce GT 540M
6963
Sony Vaio SV-F1521V6EB
 3537U, GeForce GT 740M
6970
Asus B53V-S4042X
 3210M, NVS 5200M
6970
Deviltech HellMachine DTX
 960, GeForce GTX 480M SLI
6974
Sony Vaio SVE1711X1EB
 3612QM, Radeon HD 7650M
6978
HP Elitebook 8540w
 520M, FirePro M5800
6986
Samsung 550P5C-T02DE
 3210M, GeForce GT 630M
6991
   ...
One K56-3F (max)
 4700MQ, GeForce GT 750M
23558

GPU Performance

As we released both GeForce GTX 480M onto our benchmark course, one thing quickly became evident: The HellMachine DTX is the strongest notebook that we ever have had in review. As you will see in further course of this editorial, the 17 inch desktop replacement has surpassed almost all our previous reference rates.

The best example: The two GeForce GTX 480M can claim an outstanding GPU score of 14890 points in 3DMark Vantage. Thus, the SLI configuration calculates a whole 86% faster than a single GeForce GTX 480M, which still achieves 7986 points (Clevo D901F). Even a GeForce GTX 285M SLI configuration can't keep up with that. It has to admit defeat by about 42% with 10511 points (mySN XMG8.c). The HellMachine DTX performs just as well in the Unigine Heaven 2.1 benchmark, which makes massive use of tessellation (a core feature of DirectX 11). A single GeForce GTX 480M in high details and a resolution of 1280x1024 is surpassed by a remarkable 74% with 58.8 to 33.7 fps.

Note: We regrettably can't present the 3DMark 01, 05 and 06 results because the notebook produced graphics errors while starting and crashed in each one. We presume it's a software incompatibility.

3D Mark
3DMark 06
 1280x1024
20144 points
3DMark Vantage15839 points
Help

HDD Performance

As mentioned, up to three hard disks can be accommodated inside of the HellMachine DTX's. Our test device was equipped with a 320 GB HDD named ST9320423AS from Seagate and rotates with a fast 7200 rpm. We could measure an access rate of 15.5 ms and average transfer rate of 86.5 MB/s with the tool, HD Tune. Both are relatively good rates. DevilTech has waived on an extensive partitioning. It relies on a single partition.

Seagate Momentus 7200.4 ST9320423AS
Transfer Rate Minimum: 47.5 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 96.7 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 76.5 MB/s
Access Time: 15.5 ms
Burst Rate: 86.7 MB/s
DPC Latency Checker
DPC Latency Checker: Deviltech HellMachine DTX

Application Performance Verdict

The HellMachine is one of the few notebooks found on the market that can throughout compete with full-fledged desktop systems. Core i7-960 and GeForce 480M SLI bid such a high performance that even the most demanding applications don't present a problem. The buyer is definitely well served for in the coming years with such a strong bundle. And in case the memory capacity eventually starts to run out: There's nothing standing in the way of a future upgrade thanks to three hard disk slots.

Gaming Performance

Wie wir testen - Leistung

The GeForce GTX 480M SLI combo had to compete against both a single GeForce GTX 480M (Clevo D901F & DevilTech Fragbook DTX) as well as a SLI configuration of two GeForce GTX 285Ms (mySN XMG8.c) in the gaming benchmarks. We will only deal with the results in the FullHD resolution of 1029x1080 in the text, because the CPU's impact is the lowest here.

Mafia 2

The GeForce GTX 480M easily copes with the heavily laden gangster epic even in high details and 16x AF (anisotropic filtering) in its integrated benchmark. Moreover, it's able to provide a smooth frame rate of 40.9 fps. Nevertheless, a SLI combination can compute almost twice as fast with 75.8 fps.

Mafia 2
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1920x1080high, 0xAA, 16xAF75.8 fps
 1360x768high, 0xAA, 16xAF105.8 fps
 1024x768medium, 0xAA, 8xAF113.2 fps
 800x600low, 0xAA, 0xAF124.7 fps

Starcraft 2

The new reference for strategy from the developer forge, Blizzard, doesn't provoke anything but a tired smile from the high-end graphics cards. Whilst a single GeForce GTX 480M can claim 36.8 fps in very high details, the performance only climbs slightly in SLI mode to 42.5 fps.

StarCraft 2
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1920x1080ultra42.5 fps
 1360x768high64.6 fps
 1360x768medium74.9 fps
 1024x768low279.6 fps

Metro 2033

The well made first-person shooter, Metro 2033, is the only title in our overview that can bring the HellMachine DTX to its limits. Thus, its only enough for 23.1 fps in very high details, AAA (analytical antialiasing), 4x AF and DirectX 11 mode. Metro 2033 nevertheless still runs significantly smoother than it is the case with one single GeForce GTX 480M (11.8 fps).

Metro 2033
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1920x1080Very High DX11, AAA, 4xAF23.1 fps
 1600x900High DX10, AAA, 4xAF61.1 fps
 1360x768Normal DX10, AAA, 4xAF106.8 fps
 800x600Low DX9, AAA, 4xAF134.4 fps

Shift

Need for Speed: Shift can be adequately enjoyed even in high details and 4x AA due to its moderate hardware requirements.  The HellMachine's SLI combo achieves an average frame rate of 93.0 fps. Thus, it places itself before the GeForce GTX 285M SLI by 17% (79.8 fps) and the GeForce GTX 480M by 80% (51.8 fps).

Need for Speed Shift
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1920x1080all on/high, 4xAA, triliniarAF93 fps
 1366x768all on/high, 4xAA, triliniarAF115.9 fps
 1024x768all on/med, 2xAA, triliniarAF113.8 fps

Bad Company 2

Those who don't want to waive on high graphics quality in the tactically demanding multi-player battles of the latest Battlefield sprout, will find the HellMachine DTX just right. We could determine a respectable 64.7 fps in the single-player intro mission with high details, 4x AA and 8x AF. Bad Company 2 runs noticeably slower on a single GeForce GTX 480M, but still moves within a playable range with 37.5 fps. Two GeForce GTX 285Ms place themselves exactly in between with 50.6 fps.

Battlefield: Bad Company 2
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1920x1080high, HBAO on, 4xAA, 8xAF64.7 fps
 1366x768high, HBAO on, 1xAA, 4xAF110.6 fps
 1366x768medium, HBAO off, 1xAA, 1xAF134.4 fps
 1024x768low, HBAO off, 1xAA, 1xAF151.6 fps

Risen

The unofficial gothic successor doesn't present the HellMachine DTX with any problems whatsoever. You can ramble through the open gaming world smoothly in high details and 4x AF with 70.9 fps.  Whilst the two GeForce GTX 285M can still keep up fairly well (58.0 fps), the single GeForce GTX 480M has to be content with 35.9 fps.

Risen
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1920x1080high/all on, 0xAA, 4xAF70.9 fps
 1366x768all on/high, 4xAF104.6 fps
 1024x768all on/med, 2xAF125.7 fps
 800x600all off/low, 0xAF148.9 fps

Modern Warfare 2

In opposition to other current first-person shooters, Modern Warfare 2 is relatively modest in terms of resource requirements. So, it's not really a wonder that two GeForce GTX 480Ms can present an extremely smooth frame rate of 90.3 fps in very high details and 4x AA. Even computationally intensive scenes, such as heavy smoke development, don't make the HellMachine DTX jitter. Two GeForce GTX 285Ms lag only slight behind with 84.3 fps. A single GeForce GTX 480M also grants a smooth game play with 49.9 fps.

CoD Modern Warfare 2
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1920x1080all on/max vsync off, textures extra, 4xAA90.3 fps
 1366x768all on/high vsync off, high textures, 4xAA129.1 fps
 1024x768all on/med vsync off, normal textures, 2xAA148 fps
 800x600all off/low vsync off, low textures, 0xAA277.5 fps

Colin McRae Dirt 2

The graphically impressive Dirt 2 is one of the few available tracks that already have DirectX 11 support. The racing game especially gets along with graphics cards of the GeForce 400 range, as demonstrated in previous tests. Both a single GTS 480M (46.9 fps) as well as a SLI configuration (81.3 fps) surprise with an outstanding performance in very high details and 4x AA. Since the rusty GeForce 200 series is only capable of DirectX 10, the GTX 285M SLI combo's result is only comparable to an extent (69.9 fps).

Colin McRae: DIRT 2
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1920x1080Ultra Preset, 4xAA81.3 fps
 1360x768High Preset, 2xAA130.7 fps
 1024x768Medium Preset, 0xAA157.5 fps
 800x600Low Preset, 0xAA188.2 fps

Crysis

Despite its age of about three years, Crysis is still the reference in matters of gaming graphics. Due to the high hardware requirements, the HellMachine DTX has a hard time to ensure a fairly smooth image build up in very high details. Two GeForce GTX 480M graphics card only slightly surpass two GTX 285M GPUs with 30.9 to 26.9 fps. You don't even have to try very high details on a single GeForce GTX 480M. 16.1 fps are even too little for hardcore gamers.

Crysis - GPU Benchmark
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1920x1080Very High, 0xAA, 0xAF30.9 fps
 1024x768High68.8 fps
 1024x768Medium, 0xAA, 0xAF83.4 fps
 1024x768Low, 0xAA, 0xAF132.1 fps

Gaming Performance Verdict

DevilTech's HellMachine DTX doesn't show weaknesses, except for in technically extremely demanding games, such as Crysis or Metro 2033. Thus, the GeForce GTX 480M's SLI combination has enough performance reserves. It can conjure up modern titles in (very) high details and various quality enhancements smoothly onto the screen in FullHD resolutions. Since the frame rate is usually located in a high two-digit area, feared micro-jitters commonplace in SLI systems aren't much of an issue.

Not least because of the fairly updated graphics driver, 257.30, the SLI mode also works surprisingly accurate. All tested games were supported and most could benefit majorly from the second graphics card. In comparison to a single GeForce GTX 480, the SLI configuration can pan out an average advantage of 75% (1920x1080). The gap between the two GeForce GTX 285M GPUs is considerably less, but it still adds up to about 17%.

low med.high ultra
Half Life 2 - Lost Coast Benchmark (2005) 244.9fps
Call of Juarez Benchmark (2006) 152.2fps
Crysis - GPU Benchmark (2007) 132.183.468.830.9fps
Crysis - CPU Benchmark (2007) 170.389.572.830.1fps
Call of Duty 4 - Modern Warfare (2007) 357.4244172.1fps
Far Cry 2 (2008) 199.713488.1fps
Left 4 Dead (2008) 244.2191.1fps
F.E.A.R. 2 (2009) 238.3160.2154.7108.7fps
Anno 1404 (2009) 173103.9fps
Colin McRae: DIRT 2 (2009) 188.2157.5130.781.3fps
Need for Speed Shift (2009) 113.8115.993fps
Resident Evil 5 (2009) 157.898.797.5fps
Risen (2009) 148.9125.7104.670.9fps
CoD Modern Warfare 2 (2009) 277.5148129.190.3fps
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (2010) 151.6134.4110.664.7fps
Metro 2033 (2010) 134.4106.861.123.1fps
StarCraft 2 (2010) 279.674.964.642.5fps
Mafia 2 (2010) 124.7113.2105.875.8fps

Emissions

System Noise

Just like the performance, the cooling requirement of the high-end components is on a very high level. Thus, the barebone manufacturer, Clevo, relies on four case fans to take care of the waste heat development. But, Clevo's fan settings have regrettably (once again) thoroughly failed. Thus, the fans already turn up massively in the boot process and almost remind of a running airplane engine. As soon as the operating system is loaded, the noise level falls noticeably. However, the desktop replacement isn't quiet with that by any means.

When a 3D application is started, the fan turns up immediately by a few levels and drowns out, for example, a game's soundscape. As if that's not enough, the fans often change their frequency range. Moreover, we noticed that the optical drive roars along extremely disturbing during data access. Lifting it up slightly with the fingers helps here, though.

Overall, the 17 incher is extremely loud especially under load. For this reason, noise sensitive users should keep a wide berth to the HellMachine DTX. Other notebook manufacturers have proved in the past that it is possible to combine good performance with an acceptable noise level. The G73 from Asus would especially be named as a pioneer.

Noise Level

Idle 35.4 / 39.2 / 49.3 dB(A)
HDD 39.2 dB(A)
DVD 40.8 / dB(A)
Load 47.3 / 57.1 dB(A)
 
    30 dB
silent
40 dB
audible
50 dB
loud
 
min: , med: , max:     (15 cm distance)
Idle temperatures
Idle temperatures

Temperature

Unsurprisingly, the temperature development isn't exactly low, either. Whilst the notebook's bottom and upper side still have an acceptable temperature in idle mode, the surfaces heat up extremely under load. A use on the lap quickly gets uncomfortable with a maximum of 44.3°C on the bottom. We could even determine up to 46.2°C selectively on the upper side. At least the wrist-rest always stays within acceptable ranges with a maximum 35.5°C.

We can unfortunately only present the component temperatures in idle mode (see screenshot). As soon as we started our full capacity test (consisting of Furmark-MultiGPU and Prime), either the adapter turned itself off or the notebook shut down completely. The HellMachine DTX completed our benchmark test of several hours without flaw. The following temperatures were observed in the stress test with load of only one graphics card.

Max. Load
 46.2 °C45.6 °C45.2 °C 
 41.0 °C40.7 °C39.1 °C 
 35.5 °C34.6 °C29.1 °C 
Maximum: 46.2 °C
Average: 39.7 °C
44.3 °C43.6 °C38.9 °C
43.4 °C44.1 °C39.0 °C
26.5 °C40.5 °C41.2 °C
Maximum: 44.3 °C
Average: 40.2 °C
Power Supply (max.)  55.2 °C | Room Temperature 22.0 °C
Dolby Home Theater
Dolby Home Theater

Loudspeakers

In opposition to most notebooks, the HellMachine DTX can not only serve with a simple stereo system, but instead boasts with a 5.1 sound system. As it turned out, only two of five loudspeakers were available in our test device's state of delivery, though. We assume that DevilTech had forgotten to install the according driver. All loudspeakers were identified correctly after using the included driver DVD.

In our opinion, the sound can only convince to an extent in default settings. The loudspeakers lack precision, amongst other things. The bass isn't audible, despite the subwoofer. If you open the loudspeaker options, you'll find the so-called "Natural Bass" function under Dolby. It allows the bass to develop rudimentally. The fairly high maximum volume would be mentioned on the pro side.

All in all, the loudspeakers position themselves in the upper midfield. The HellMachine doesn't even come close to the sound qualities of Toshiba's Qosmio X500, Asus' G73 or Alienware's M17x.

Battery Life

Readers Test
Maximum battery life (Reader's test)
Classic Test
Minimum battery life (Classic test)

Mobility is rather secondary for a downright desktop replacement. For this reason, it won't really interest most users that the battery runtimes turn out more than modest. When both graphics cards are enabled, the HellMachine DTX is drained after only 36 minutes (maximum brightness & energy saving options). If one GeForce GTX 480M is disabled, the runtime increases insignificantly to a mere 50 minutes in low load (minimum brightness & maximum energy saving options).

Malicious tongues could now argue that the battery's only purpose is getting the notebook to the next power socket in a running state as fast as possible. By the way, a thick lithium ion model with 78.44 wh is used as the battery. It can only be removed or inserted awkwardly because its fastened to the case bottom with screws.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
0h 50min
Load (maximum brightness)
0h 36min

The HellMachine DTX lives up to its name in terms of power consumption. The desktop replacement treats itself to 84.1-97.4 watts just in idle mode. Many multimedia notebooks consume that much power in maximum. The energy requirement increases by about the three-fold under load. 216.0-271.9 watts correlate to many a gaming PC. The consumption is standby mode is also above average. Whilst most notebooks stay under a mark of one watt, the HellMachine DTX drains a whole 3.5 watts from the mains.

Power Consumption

Off / Standby 0.4 / 3.5 Watt
Idle 84.1 / 86.8 / 97.4 Watt
Load 216.0 / 271.9 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         

Verdict

Deviltech HellMachine DTX Notebook
Deviltech HellMachine DTX Notebook

DevilTech has a remarkable desktop replacement in its program with the HellMachine DTX. The 17 incher has an almost unrivaled performance due to the desktop CPU and (optional) SLI system of GeForce GTX 460M or GeForce GTX 480M. The notebook could set new records in almost all benchmarks. That and the three hard disk slots result in an extremely high future-proofness. Further strengths are the high-quality display that allows games and movies to gleam in unimagined vitality with its excellent contrast. The many interfaces and the good inputs devices will also remain in good memory.

The uncompromising high-end claim has a negative impact on mobility though. Thus, the bulky and heavy case is hardly suitable for carrying around. The low battery life almost forces a stationary location. The desktop replacement also has to accept reproach for its high emissions. Especially the excessive noise development under load isn't anything for the faint of heart.

Basically, DevilTech's HellMachine DTX is only suitable for downright performance fans who want to always enjoy even the latest games with maximum graphics settings.

In Review: Deviltech HellMachine DTX Notebook
In Review:  Deviltech HellMachine DTX

Specifications

Deviltech HellMachine DTX

:: Processor
Intel Core i7-960 3.2 GHz
:: Mainboard
Intel X58 + ICH10R
:: Memory
4096 MB, 2x 2048 MByte DDR3 (1333 MHz @ 1066 MHz)
:: Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480M SLI - 2x 2048 MB, Core: 425 MHz, Memory: 1200 MHz, Shader rate: 850 MHz, GDDR5, 257.30
:: Display
17.3 inch 16:9, 1920x1080 pixel, Hannstar HSD173PUW1, glossy: yes
:: Harddisk
Seagate Momentus 7200.4 ST9320423AS, 320 GB 7200 rpm
:: Soundcard
Realtek ALC888/1200 @ Intel 82801JB ICH 10 - High Definition Audio Controller
:: Connections
3 USB 2.0, 2 USB 3.0, 1 Firewire, 1 DVI, 1 HDMI, 1 Infrared, 1 Kensington Lock, 1 eSata, Audio Connections: headphone, microphone, S/PDIF-out, line-in (7.1 audio-out), Card Reader: MMC,RSMMC,SD,mini SD,SDHC,SDXC,MS,MS Pro,MS Duo, 1 Fingerprint Reader, Antenna (CATV)
:: Networking
JMicron PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet Adapter (10/1000MBit), 2.1 Bluetooth
:: Optical drive
Optiarc DVD RW AD-7580S
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 72 x 419 x 286
:: Weight
5.87 kg Power Supply: 1.79 kg
:: Battery
78.44 Wh Lithium-Ion, 5300 mAh
:: Price
3454 Euro
:: Operating System
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
:: Additional features
Webcam: 3.0 Megapixel, AC adapter: 300 watts, driver DVD, cleaning cloth, manual, 24-36 Months Warranty

 

A manual and driver DVD belongs to the scope of delivery.
A manual and driver DVD belongs to the scope of delivery.
A Kensington Lock belongs to the standard configuration.
A Kensington Lock belongs to the standard configuration.
Different than the keyboard, the touchpad is illuminated.
Different than the keyboard, the touchpad is illuminated.
The touchpad's surface is slightly roughened.
The touchpad's surface is slightly roughened.
The mobility is very limited, despite the strong battery.
The mobility is very limited, despite the strong battery.
A fingerprint reader is placed between the touchpad keys.
A fingerprint reader is placed between the touchpad keys.
There is a subwoofer on the case's bottom.
There is a subwoofer on the case's bottom.
A 300 watt adapter takes care of the power supply.
A 300 watt adapter takes care of the power supply.
Intel's Core i7 provides an excellent application performance.
Intel's Core i7 provides an excellent application performance.
The right accommodates three USB 2.0 ports.
The right accommodates three USB 2.0 ports.
The audio sockets can transmit a 7.1 signal when required.
The audio sockets can transmit a 7.1 signal when required.
The DC-in is located on the rear's center.
The DC-in is located on the rear's center.
An average adapter (below) looks tiny in comparison.
An average adapter (below) looks tiny in comparison.
The adapter (above) has turned out extremely voluminous.
The adapter (above) has turned out extremely voluminous.
The case wobbles when the battery is removed.
The case wobbles when the battery is removed.
The cardreader is capable of a total of nine formats.
The cardreader is capable of a total of nine formats.
The X7200 barebone has two advanced USB 3.0 ports.
The X7200 barebone has two advanced USB 3.0 ports.
DVI, antenna and RJ-45 gigabit LAN have been place cleverly.
DVI, antenna and RJ-45 gigabit LAN have been place cleverly.
Naturally, a few status LEDs shouldn't be left out.
Naturally, a few status LEDs shouldn't be left out.
An infrared sensor is hidden on the front.
An infrared sensor is hidden on the front.
The round power button has a stylish design.
The round power button has a stylish design.
The HDMI-out transmits video and sound in high quality.
The HDMI-out transmits video and sound in high quality.
A total of three hard disks can be accommodated.
A total of three hard disks can be accommodated.
A hard disk slot is found underneath the battery.
A hard disk slot is found underneath the battery.
A total of four fans are responsible for cooling of the high-end components.
A total of four fans are responsible for cooling of the high-end components.
Apart from the battery, two covers can be removed from the case's bottom.
Apart from the battery, two covers can be removed from the case's bottom.
The display lid is made of brushed aluminum.
The display lid is made of brushed aluminum.
The maximum opening angle is a good 135°.
The maximum opening angle is a good 135°.
The case is extremely high with about seven centimeters.
The case is extremely high with about seven centimeters.
The wrist-rest surface is generously sized.
The wrist-rest surface is generously sized.
Two GeForce GTX 480M graphics cards work in SLI mode.
Two GeForce GTX 480M graphics cards work in SLI mode.
The soundscape is extremely high under load.
The soundscape is extremely high under load.
The installed webcam has a resolution of 3.0 megapixels.
The installed webcam has a resolution of 3.0 megapixels.
Five loudspeaker are rather unusual in notebooks.
Five loudspeaker are rather unusual in notebooks.
We especially like the crisp type feel.
We especially like the crisp type feel.
The keyboard layout is very good.
The keyboard layout is very good.
Unfortunately, Clevo hasn't used matt surfaces everywhere.
Unfortunately, Clevo hasn't used matt surfaces everywhere.
Bluetooth, WLAN and webcam are easily controlled.
Bluetooth, WLAN and webcam are easily controlled.
A touch-sensitive bar is above the keyboard.
A touch-sensitive bar is above the keyboard.
This stylish motive is illuminated in blue during activity.
This stylish motive is illuminated in blue during activity.
A DevilTech logo adorns the display bezel.
A DevilTech logo adorns the display bezel.
The 17 inch desktop replacement almost weighs six kilograms.
The 17 inch desktop replacement almost weighs six kilograms.

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Links

Compare Prices

Amazon.com

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Pricerunner n.a.

Pro

+Brute performance
+Room for three hard disks
+Contrast rich display with a great black value
+Very good keyboard
+Many interfaces
 

Cons

-Heavy & bulky case
-High temperatures
-Insufficient battery life
-Very high system noise
-Crashes under full load
-Adapter turns itself off under full load

Shortcut

What we like

DevilTech's HellMachine DTX is the fastest notebook we have ever tested.

What we miss

A lower system noise and more precise fan levels.

What surprises us

The use of a desktop CPU is quite unusual.

The competitors

Expensive desktop replacements, like Alienware's M17x, mySN's XMG7.c, mySN's XMG8.c, DevilTech's Fragbook DTX, Asus' G73JH, Asus' G73JW or MSI's GX740.

Rating

Deviltech HellMachine DTX
12/05/2010 v2
Florian Glaser

Chassis
86%
Keyboard
86%
Pointing Device
78%
Connectivity
90%
Weight
38%
Battery
30%
Display
80%
Games Performance
98%
Application Performance
90%
Temperature
70%
Noise
46%
Add Points
82%
Average
73%
82%
Gaming *
Weighted Average

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Review Deviltech HellMachine DTX (Clevo X7200) Notebook
Author: Florian Glaser, 2010-10- 5 (Update: 2013-06- 6)