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Rock Xtreme SL Pro review

It's compromised and expensive, but nothing can touch this

The Xtreme SL Pro has a 20-inch display and weighs in at 7.3kg

Our Verdict

Far ahead of the competition in gaming and graphics, but you pay for it


  • Graphics are superb

    Excellent for latest games


  • Expensive

    Not very mobile

Rock has forged a name as one of the most prominent laptop manufacturers when it comes to gaming, thanks to a range of well specified machines.

The Xtreme SL Pro has a 20-inch display and weighs in at 7.3kg. As such, you won't want to carry it any further than your desk, but it is more mobile than a desktop system - so it can be taken to LAN parties where you can play against other gamers.

The screen's glossy Super-TFT coating results in stunning quality, with deep and vibrant colours, and images appear larger than life. A native resolution of 1680 x 1024 pixels (WSXGA ) means you won't be able to get full resolutions in all games.

Graphics technology is as cutting-edge as it gets, featuring two nVidia GeForce Go 7950GTX cards in an SLI (Scalable Link Interface) setup. With other SLI machines still using older 7900 cards, the Rock has a useful advantage when it comes to gaming. This was highlighted in our benchmarking tests where the Rock was way ahead of the opposition. In our 3DMark 2003 test, the SL Pro achieved a score of 30,474 - considerably more than anything we've seen before, but you do have to pay for the privilege.

Sturdy materials are used throughout the Rock's chassis, allowing for a relatively thin display. After the magnesium-built Dell, the Rock offers a strong chassis. However, the keyboard is cramped considering the size of the chassis.

After an hour or so of gaming, the system generated a lot of heat. This is a common problem due to the high-performance components used, but is nothing to worry about.

Processing is dealt with by an AMD Turion X2 TL-60 chip. With both cores running at 2GHz, there's plenty of performance on offer. Memory is relatively low at 1024MB, but we experienced minimal lag when running everyday applications. Unfortunately, we weren't able to record a MobileMark 2005 score, as the battery needed to be recharged before the benchmark completed. At 71 minutes, battery life is poor.

The two 100GB hard drives offer more than enough space for all your games, music and video files. Spinning at 7200rpm, performance is also given a boost.

When it comes to out-and-out gaming performance, the Rock Xtreme SL Pro is without peer. There are flaws - the lack of mobility is a major disadvantage. However, the huge screen makes gaming a pleasure, and the Rock deals with the current crop of games with ease.