By Neil Bennett | on October 02, 2006
Pros: Powerful graphics chip. Great large screen.
Cons: Underperforming processor. Huge. Heavy.
The Xtreme SL Quadro 2500M is enormous. It’s a 19-inch laptop, though you’d need to be The Rock to have a lap large enough to balance it on. Even calling it a mobile workstation is pushing it, as at 6.5kg it’s arduous to move from desk to desk, let alone carry.
The size is somewhat necessary due to the 19-inch X-black-style screen, which provides an excellent picture. It has a resolution of 1,680-x-1,050, and it’s a shame that Rock doesn’t offer a 1,920-x-1,200 HD option, as 17-inch rivals from Dell and HP do.
What makes this a ‘mobile’ workstation is the inclusion of nVidia’s Quadro FX 2500M graphics processor. Previous tests have shown this to be more powerful than ATI’s nearest rival – the FireGL V5200.
The SL Quadro 2500M’s relatively poor Cinebench score is therefore a surprise. A result of 3,642 is better than most, but less impressive next to the 3,852 score of Dell’s Precision M90 – a similarly-priced model with the same graphics chip (reviewed in Digit 101) and a 17-inch screen.
One potential explanation for this is Rock’s choice of the 2.4GHz AMD Turion ML-44 processor. This is a single core chip and underperforms next to Core Duo-based mobile workstations such as the M90. This is borne out in our LightWave 8.5 tests – the 2500M took almost 53 minutes to render a scene, compared to less than 20 minutes taken by models with a 2.13GHz Core Duo T2600 processor.
The included 1GB of RAM is low for a mobile workstation. Despite this, the SL 2500M’s Photoshop performance is quick. It took around five and a half minutes to complete our 20 actions on a 200MB file, around a minute faster than most laptops with the same RAM in our last group test (Digit 101).
While the appeal of the Xtreme SL Quadro 2500M is limited by its size, its lack of power will put everyone off.