Originally Posted by reflex99
It is pretty much a better card in every way.
The 580M as I see it is a desperate grab at ignorant people who simply select the most expensive option, and go (which there are many of in the high performance laptop section).
Well, the 580 runs considerably cooler. On the Clevo platform, the 580M has been recorded of only hitting 75*C @ 100% load. The 6990M gets to around 85*C, but that's due to the much much higher stock voltage. (The 580M runs at 0.85v under load and the 6990M runs at 1.1v under load.) Also, the 580M can be bios flashed to up the voltage to the original 0.92v level and this generally allows for an equal overclock with only modest temp increases. I think the average overclock before the flash was like 750/1500 core/shader. After the flash I've heard it can hit up to 900/1800 core/shader, and match the original desktop equivalent, if not surpass it.
The 580M is more powerful, considerably so, at the same clocks as the 6990M due to the higher TMU count, 580M has 56 and the 6990M has 48. The higher TMU count allows for a faster and higher texture fillrate. Now I know I'm just speaking on terms of what I've heard and seen, but the vantage GPU score for a 6990M @ 850/1125 was around 16.5k, which is amazing for a notebook GPU (That puts it faster than a GTX 470 at stock.), yet the 580M @ the same clocks was just under 19K for the GPU score. But again, for this analysis's sake, you would be voiding the warranty if something bad happened and you couldn't flash it back. However, there's no need for alarm for most of these machines when it comes to bricking, since you can always just do a complete factory reset and it erases everything but the basic BIOS for the machine you're using. I believe almost all of the Clevo machines, all Alienwares, and all the MSI models have this feature built into the bios.
Overall, stock settings, each is within 2% of one another. However the 6990M has more headroom for overclocking as soon as you get it, yet the 580M is more powerful if you flash it and runs cooler at stock. Also, overclocking a GPU like this isn't that big of a deal since MSI, Alienware (I think), and all Clevo resellers don't consider this as a void to your warranty.
I know for a fact that Malibal (Clevo seller, USA based) can confirm this, as can MSI.
Whoo...... that was a decent post...
For my own recommendations, if these machines are a little too difficult to choose between, I say go for the next step down, the 6970M you can get from Malibal even today, and the GTX 570M that MSI offers on it's machines. The 570Ms are VERY nasty when overclocked. Most I've seen hit upwards of 850mhz.
The 6970Ms are about the same and are a liiiiittle faster at the same level, by about 10% but again, it's your choice.
For pricing, here's what you can generally expect
, this isn't derived from any one source as I'm shopping around too, for pricing for each GPU:(Note:The lower price is the lowest you can commonly find the machine at. The higher price listed for each is what I wouldn't bother going beyond if I were to build a machine, but instead just go for the next level GPU.)
GTX 570M/Core i7 ~ $1,350 to $1,700 (Preferred MSI)
GTX 580M/Core i7 ~ $1,600 to $2,200 (Preferred MSI)
Dual GTX 580M/Core i7 ~ $3,000 to $4,500 (Clevo - Preferred Sager)
Radeon 6970M/Core i7 ~ $1,250 to $1,700 (Clevo - Preferred Malibal)
Radeon 6990M/Core i7 ~ $1,450 to $2,000 (Clevo - Preferred Malibal)
Dual Radeon 6970Ms/Core i7 ~ $1,700 to $2,300 (Clevo - Preferred Malibal)
Dual Radeon 6990Ms/Core i7 ~ $1,850 to $2,500 (Clevo - Preferred Malibal)
Here's the site that I would prefer someone order an MSI
machine from and Mailbal's
primary website. Also note that the base specs are essentially me upgrading the GPU only with an i7 as stock. Also, I have found that you can use the GTX 570M with the higher clocked second gen i5s on certain MSI models so that can shave off another $80 if it needs to fit in your budget.
Last thing... PowerNotebooks.com has a 10/10 rating on Resellerratings.com from 1500 people. Malibal has, I want to say, around a 9.8/10 from around a thousand total reviews.
So hope this helps answer the questions you had.
I'm always here to help. ^_^