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» Review WidowPC Sting 517D

(October 2006)

Overview & Introduction

WidowPC Sting 517D notebook

The WidowPC Sting 517D is a high-end gaming notebook with more power than most desktops. It features a high-resolution 17” display, an Intel Core 2 Duo processor, and the holy grail of notebook GPUs, the Nvidia GeForce Go7900GTX with 512MB of dedicated memory.

Specifications:


Processor: Intel Core2Duo T7600 2.33GHz
Memory: 2GB WidowPC L33T RAM
Screen: 17" 1920x1200 WUXGA
Hard Drive One: 100GB 7200RPM SATA
Hot Swappable Hard Drive: 100GB 7200RPM SATA (only available on special
request)
Hot Swappable Optical Drive: External DVD-RAM Multidrive
Video Card: nVidia 7900 GTX 512MB Cache
Wireless: Intel Pro Wireless 54Mbps a/b/g with Bluetooth
Operating System: Microsoft XP Professional
Media Features: 1.3Mpixel Digital Video Camera, 4-in-1 card reader
Our 517D has the highest specifications available, and it is certainly not for the budget-conscious, its final price as configured is retail $4,799.75. According to WidowPC, the price is “always negotiable”, so I would assume it can be had for less. The 517D starts at $2,695.

With a Core 2 Duo processor and a 512MB Nvidia graphics card, the 517D's first and foremost audience is gamers. The 517D is also targeted toward those who use 3D modeling applications extensively, as it has an option for the most powerful mobile workstation card available, the Nvidia QuadroFX Go2500 512MB, which is based on the Go7900GTX.

When it comes to competition, there are very few notebooks that can stand up to the 517D in terms of overall performance. Its number one competitor is the Dell XPS M1710, which is also very expensive and does not have the feature set that the 517D does.

Alienware's Area-51 m5750 is another 17” gaming notebook, but its ATI Mobility Radeon X1800 256MB has considerably less performance than the 517D's Nvidia Go7900GTX 512MB.

the design and overall appearance are a far cry from the ordinary notebook. From top to bottom, the 517D is a work of art. All aspects of the design fit together seamlessly, and nothing looks out of place.

dimensions:


Thickness: Front, 1”, back, 1.8”
Weight: 9.4 pounds w/ battery
Across: 15.6”
Front to back: 11.5”


The 517D is a heavy notebook, without a doubt. It is difficult to use on a lap because the main fan is on the right side of the notebook, and a knee can easily block it. I recommend getting some sort of pad if this is to see lap use.

The most eye-catching aspect of this notebook is the lid. Made out of aluminum, it is all-black and has the WidowPC signature black widow spider logo right in the center.
 

The Core 2 Duo T7600's performance is nothing short of mind blowing. It is the fastest mobile processor on the market, and it looks as if it will stay in that position for some time.


The installed hard drive is a Hitachi 100GB 7,200RPM unit. It operates at a low temperature, although it is a bit noisy as Hitachi hard drives traditionally are. A soft clicking noise is audible when the drive is accessed. Loading times for games and other applications were very fast.

2GB of RAM is a must-have for gamers and power users. The latest games will require more than 1GB of RAM to run smoothly at the highest settings. I did not run out of RAM during any scenario.


The WidowPC Sting 517D has a multitude of ports as a desktop replacement should have, including an ever rare DVI-D port for connections to external monitors and HDTVs, four USB 2.0 ports, and a legacy Serial port. The port placement is detailed in the following photos. All descriptions are left to right.
The Pioneer DVD-RW DVR-K16 optical drive installed in our 517D reads and writes CDs and DVDs, along with dual-layer DVDs. The drive was reasonably quiet for all tasks, and I did not have any problems burning different types of media.


Product Page: Widow PC

by Charles Jefferies , Source: notebookreview


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