ABS Mayhem G3 review:

ABS Mayhem G3

Doom 3 performance
The ABS Mayhem G3 houses the ATI Mobility Radeon 9700 128MB video adapter, a relatively common AGP-based card. The HP Pavilion zd8000 has the new Mobility Radeon x600 256MB, ATI's first PCI Express card for notebooks; PCI Express is Intel's new, high-bandwidth interface between the video adapter and the rest of the system. Equipped with the ATI Mobility Radeon 9800 256MB--the most powerful graphics processor of the three--the Dell Inspiron XPS was significantly faster than the Pavilion zd8000 and the Mayhem G3 in this test. However, all three systems delivered very good gaming performance.

Doom 3 High Quality, 10x7, 4xAA
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Id software/Activision's Doom 3  
HP Pavilion zd8000

In order to isolate the video adapters of these three systems, we used Doom 3's Timedemo in combination with CNET's own custom demo. We tested Doom 3 at a resolution of 1,024x768 and with 4X antialiasing enabled in high-quality mode intended for systems with at least 128MB of video memory. Find out more about how we test notebooks.

Performance analysis written by CNET Labs assistant lab manager Eric Franklin.

System configurations:

ABS Mayhem G3
Windows XP Professional; 2.2GHz Athlon 64 3400+ DTR; 1024MB 400MHz DDR RAM; ATI Mobility Radeon 9700 128MB; Hitachi Travelstar 7K60 60GB 7,200rpm

Dell Inspiron XPS
Windows XP Professional; 3.4GHz Intel Pentium 4 Extreme Edition; 1GB DDR SDRAM 400MHz; ATI Mobility Radeon 9800 256MB; Hitachi Travelstar 7K60 60GB 7,200rpm

HP Pavilion zd8000
Windows XP Media Center; Pentium 4 3.6GHz; 1GB 400MHz DDR RAM; ATI Mobility Radeon x600 256MB; Toshiba MK8026GAX 80GB 5,400rpm

ABS gets mixed marks on support. The Mayhem G3 warranty includes one year of 24/7, toll-free tech support. You can bump up the warranty to two years for a very reasonable $87.50, three years for $144.50, or four years for $174.50.

ABS includes no printed documentation with the Mayhem G3, however, and the on-disc documentation is a disappointing collection of short, superficial PDFs that you can't search in one request. A "technical knowledge base" on the company's Web site was empty when we checked, but a discussion forum with participation by ABS technicians was organized well and appeared to be fairly active. An ABS tech-support agent provided the right answer on both of our test calls.

What you'll pay

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