• Price: 1871.49

  • Company: Rock

Rock’s Xtreme 770 is the first laptop we’ve seen to feature Intel’s new 2.6GHz Core 2 Duo T7800 processor. It also marks the debut of nVidia’s GeForce FX 8800 graphics chip – which has 512MB RAM and is the flagship model in that company’s gamer line of processors.

Most of the rest of the Xtreme 770’s specs are the same as the model we looked at in our November issue: 2GB RAM, a glossy 17-inch screen, a large black-&-silver chassis – though the 7,200rpm hard drive has been upgraded from 160GB to 200GB.

The new 770 produced a score of 5,022 in Cinebench 10’s rendering test – 10 per cent faster than the older model, which had a 2.4GHz T7700 chip. However, it was only three per cent faster than the Best Buy-winning 17-inch MacBook Pro – though Apple hasn’t announced versions of its laptops with T7800 chips yet.

The GeForce FX 8800 graphics chip helped the 770 to the highest score from Cinebench 10’s real-time 3D test that we’ve ever seen from a laptop – measuring 4,357 and 23 per cent faster than nVidia’s previous top-of-the-line chip, the 7950GTX.

In our After Effects CS3 test, Rock’s laptop was an impressive performer, though again it was only a few percent faster than the older Xtreme 770 with the T7700 processor. The 770 took seven minutes and 20 seconds to complete our Photoshop CS3 test of 25 actions on a 200MB image. This is 34 seconds faster than its predecessor, but way behind models that we’ve looked at with 4GB of RAM.

The Xtreme 700 is a powerhouse but it’s not without flaws. It’s huge and heavy to the point where’s it not really portable outside the studio. It also has large X on its lid and trackpad that make it look like a piece of X-Factor merchandise. Its screen isn’t as clear or accurate as some too.

If power is more important than portability to you, the 770 is a great option – but we still prefer the balance of both offered by Apple’s 17-inch MacBook Pro.