Specifications, Configurations and Pricing
Our review system features an Intel Core i7-3610QM, an NVIDIA GTX 675M with 4GB of vRAM, 8GB of GSkill DDR3 RAM, a Blu-ray player and a 750GB 7,200RPM hard drive. It comes with Windows 7 Home Premium and Microsoft's Windows 8 Upgrade option. The unit we're reviewing today comes nearly stock with just a few upgrades.
Notably, the changes are a Blu-ray player, which is a $99 option, a GTX 675M with 4GB of RAM, a $50 option and a larger 750GB 7,200RPM hard drive, a $51 option. None of these are options we would spend our hard earned cash on as iBUYPOWER offers several other upgrades that will offer more bang for your buck. The price of our review system is $1459, up from $1259 for the stock configuration.
For instance, the saved $200 could have been put towards an Intel 240GB solid state drive, something that would have significantly helped some of the benchmark numbers. It also could have gotten you halfway to an NVIDIA GTX 680M, which is another option that would have boosted our gaming benchmarks.
As far as configuration options go, the sky is really the limit. iBUYPOWER allows nearly every aspect of the system to be custom configured. You have a choice of three different Ivy Bridge quad-cores, eight different selections for RAM, three graphics card choices and a plethora of storage options, including both traditional hard drives and solid state drives.
Really, the only upgrades I would spring for if I were buying this system would be a solid state drive and the NVIDIA GTX 680M. The graphics performance would be higher and the power draw would be lower as the GTX 675M is a rebranded GTX 580M meaning that it is still based on the old 40nm production process and the Fermi architecture.
The packaging of the Valkyrie isn't quite the same as Apple's packaging, but it's definitely above par. The laptop arrived in a big brown iBUYPOWER-branded box filled with packing peanuts. Inside, I found a large black box with the iBUYPOWER logo on it.
Inside that box, the laptop and a smaller black box with the same logo resided. The laptop was suspended with cardboard blocks on the sides and a cloth bag covered the screen. The smaller black box contained the power adapter, driver CDs and various manuals.
Between the packing peanuts in the large outer box and the cardboard supports in the inner box, the laptop is likely to survive the bumpiest ride imaginable, unlike the light bulbs I received today. You will also know what's inside when the package arrives as the entire thing is well-branded throughout.