California based GPU and chipset manufacturer nVidia has been accused of altering benchmarks to show that their dual GTX 280M SLi powered laptop; the Alienware M17x has the world’s most powerful mobile GPU setup. The system nVidia pitted it against was the Asus W90, powered by AMDs 4870 mobile Crossfire setup.
To prove their point nVidia tested both systems and when setting up the Asus they stated that they used the latest drivers. However it appears that this is far from the truth and the drivers are more than one year old, hardly utilizing the second 4870 at all. It is unclear if nVidia did this to provide a larger, more impressive lead than they already had in the benchmark or if they had to do this to come out on top.
It also appears that they did similarly under handed with the CPU, with the Asus sporting an Intel Q9000 and the Alienware M17x using the slightly faster Intel Q9300 CPU. Maybe they didn’t expect these omissions to be noticed or they had problems fitting a Q9000 to the Alienware we are not sure, but it is playing a bit fast and loose with the truth.
nVidia’s PR spinner Brian Bruke stated As you can see in the benchmark results below, the dual GeForce GTX 280M GPUs in the Alienware M17x absolutely annihilates the ATI Crossfire configuration, and continuing on to say somewhat dishonestly no tricks, no overclocking, just the fastest notebook GPUs on the planet.
It’s fairly clear that the Alienware M17x is the better gaming laptop, even without these dirty handed testing tactics of nVidia very few people would disagree. The Asus W90 does however have a good overclocking record but even with this in mind it seems strange that nVidia would go to these lengths to over prove something that most of us already know.
In our mind this is very poor move by the green team, one that’s only going to backfire. But as they say, any PR is good PR.