Note: Be sure to check out the four slideshows for this article. The first three are visual tours of the Killer Notebooks Executioner and WidowPC Sting 517D. The fourth slideshow is all about performance, showing how the two notebooks performed across a variety of tests including 3DMark05, PCMark05, MobileMark 2005 and these games: Black & White 2, F.E.A.R, Doom 3 and Oblivion. We also look at the brightness and contrast of each notebook's display. And, be sure to see the Features Table for both on the next page.
Sometimes two notebooks that are nearly identical perform in nearly identical ways. It would have been easy to assume that the extra RAM and extra hard drive power of the Executioner as tested would have given the Killer Notebooks entry a measurable edge across our tests. As our performance slideshow demonstrates, the actual performance gap between The Killer Notebooks Executioner and the WidowPC Sting 517D wasn't terribly dramatic.
The Executioner did come out a bit on top across the board in running Oblivion, which is a game that is extremely brutal on graphics cards. We did have to update the Executioner's Video BIOS to the level of the Sting's to get that slight improvement in performance.
There is one other area where Killer Notebooks may well also have an edge - and that's price. While neither of these notebooks are cheap, on a dollar-for-dollar basis as configured, the Killer Notebooks Executioner offers marginally better value than the WidowPC Sting 517D. At the time of this writing, the Executioner as tested and configured cost around $3,700; the Sting cost approximately $4300 as tested and configured.