System Performance

We’ve tested quite a few Clevo DTR notebooks over the years, and they are one of the rare class of mobile computer where they still offer a full socketed desktop class processor in a notebook form factor. The performance of a modern 45-Watt notebook CPU is somewhat amazing considering the thermal limits imposed by the design, and an eight-core, sixteen-thread Core i9-9880H is no slouch. But, stepping up to a desktop class CPU unlocks a significant amount of performance at the cost of a much higher TDP, and if you’ve followed our coverage of Intel’s TDP of late, the power delta is even higher than the numbers would suggest when discussing Intel’s socketed desktop processors compared to soldered in H-Series, since laptop processors do tend to stick to the rated TDP much more closely.

The elephant in the room is how well does a notebook computer deal with this increased power consumption, and more importantly how does it get rid of the heat, but this is where the Eurocom Sky X7C has the advantage of being a large form factor laptop, with plenty of room inside for heat pipes, heat sinks, and fans. We’ve tested thin and light gaming laptops that can struggle to cope, but that’s not the case for a notebook that weighs almost twice as much, and comes in almost twice as thick as one of the new breed of ultraportable gaming laptops.

The other major advantage of the socketed design for the end user is upgradability. It’s pretty rare in the notebook market to allow the end-user to upgrade the CPU thanks to it being soldered directly onto the motherboard, but this notebook, with its ample Z-Height, has no issues fitting in the socket and required components which provides an upgrade path for end users. Or at least until LGA1151 ceases to be available.

Our review unit is outfitted with the Core i9-9900K, which offers eight cores, sixteen threads, and a maximum boost frequency of 5.0 GHz with a base frequency of 3.6 GHz. Spec for spec, it may not seem much different than fastest mobile processor Intel sells, which is the Core i9-9880HK, offering the same maximum boost, the same core count, and SMT as well, but the 45-Watt mobile variant has a base frequency of just 2.4 Ghz, and with a TDP that is less than half, going to be able to maintain the highest frequencies for much less time.

To see how the Eurocom Sky X7C performs, we’ve put it through our laptop workloads. The comparison graphs include other gaming systems, some recent, and some a previous generation to compare performance against something you may be considering upgrading from.

PCMark

PCMark 10 - Essentials

PCMark 10 - Productivity

PCMark 10 - Digital Content Creation

PCMark 10 - Overall

First off is UL’s PCMark suite, which tests a range of different workloads and includes not only CPU and GPU intensive tasks, but also things like application loading times. In terms of productivity, the Eurocom Sky X7C is about the same as the best we’ve seen in the gaming laptop space, but in every other category, the performance delta is large. Overall the Sky X7C is 16.5% higher than the Core -9-9880H / RTX 2080 combination in the MSI GE75 Raider, and a whopping 31.8% faster in the Digital Content Creation sub-test.

Cinebench

Cinebench R15 - Single-Threaded Benchmark

Cinebench R15 - Multi-Threaded Benchmark

Maxon’s Cinebench test has been updated to version R20, which we are gathering data for and will start to use as our baseline once we have more devices tested, so for now we’ll stick with the R15 version which we have a much larger database of results from. One of the nicest parts of Cinebench is that it offers a single-threaded and multi-threaded workload, so you can take a look at how a single core performs, as well as how much performance you can get with more cores and threads on tap. In terms of single-threaded results, the Core i9-9900K unsurprisingly tops the cart, with a score that’s 8.5% higher than the Core i9-9880H in the MSI GE75 Raider, but with the extra TDP available, the gap is much wider when all of the cores are involved, coming in at 18.1% higher. Compared to the last true DTR we tested, which is the Clevo P870DM2 with a Core i7-6700K, the extra cores and threads along with the higher frequencies of the latest Core i9-9900K makes this processor score 120.3% higher.

x264

x264 HD 5.x

x264 HD 5.x

This test transcodes a video using the CPU, and loves extra cores and higher frequencies. The Core i9-9900K demolishes the competition in this result, offering 22% more performance in the first pass and 34% higher frames per second in the second pass than the next fastest laptop we’ve tested, and compared to the Core i7-6700K, which sat at the top of our charts for a long time when it was first tested, the performance increase is 81% and 117% respectively.

Web Tests

Web browsing is highly dependent on the underlying scripting engine, and as such we’ve standardized on Microsoft Edge for our web tests since Windows 10 launched in 2015. The problem with browsers is that they change, and Edge has been getting updates which impact its performance with every major Windows feature update, and Edge performance has regressed slightly in some respects. Coupled to this is that Microsoft is in the processes of converting from their own scripting and rendering engines to using the open-source Chromium project, and when that is released we’ll update our test suite with updated tests at the same time.

Mozilla Kraken 1.1

Google Octane 2.0

WebXPRT 3

WebXPRT 2015

That performance regression can be clearly seen in the web results. The Core i9-9900K is up to 120% faster in some of our other CPU tests than the Core i7-6700K, but in our web results, only the WebXPRT results correctly demonstrate the much higher performance.

Storage Performance

One of the nicest things about purchasing a custom ordered notebook from a company like Eurocom is that you can choose your storage from a wide range of options, unlike most laptops where you are at the mercy of whatever drive happened to be available at the manufacturer that day. Eurocom offers Intel’s Optane memory, or Samsung based NVMe drives with the 860 EVO, 970 EVO, and 970 Pro up to 2 TB in the case of the 970 EVO. You can add in a second NVMe drive, choose if you want it in RAID, and also add an additional two 2.5-inch SATA drives as well.

Our system has 2 x 500 GB NVMe in RAID 0 using Intel’s software RAID. Performance, as expected, is brisk. In terms of configurations, you can choose whether you want these drives in RAID when ordering, or just order a single, larger drive. Choice is a wonderful thing.

Design GPU Performance
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  • p1esk - Monday, August 5, 2019 - link

    I love the option of 1440p at 120Hz! Hope to see it in normal laptops (perhaps new MBPs can lead the way to improved refresh rates?) Reply
  • HollyDOL - Monday, August 5, 2019 - link

    Since the article title talks about 'true desktop replacement', could we get price and performance comparison to desktop with "same" parts? ie. DDR4-3000 + 9900K + RTX 2080... Reply
  • Brett Howse - Monday, August 5, 2019 - link

    Our GPU bench is currently an i9-9900K as well. As a comparison I got 116 FPS on Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and Ryan got 114.6 with the desktop version, so the performance seems similar. Unfortunately we don't have a lot of overlap on our tests though because Ryan is able to keep GPUs and benchmark them on new suites whereas laptops have to go back to the manufacturers so I don't rotate the tests as heavily since every time I add a new test it starts out with zero results to compare against.

    Is there a particular title you'd like to see compared against other than Shadow of the Tomb Raider?
    Reply
  • HollyDOL - Tuesday, August 6, 2019 - link

    nice, thanks...
    Compile Chromium (time) test would be nice...
    or in general anything that puts the machine under high sustained stress for longer period (45mins+)...
    Reply
  • craz8 - Monday, August 5, 2019 - link

    I have one of these laptops - a Sager branded one.

    It really is quite heavy, and the 330W power brick is equally beefy - I selected the RTX 2070 to avoid needing double power bricks. I do use this on my lap, but the power plug at the back falls out a lot in this configuration. It's not a very secure connection. Since it's at the back, the only way to notice is that suddenly the CPU is running at 1.3Ghz instead of 4+

    I almost always run this in Quiet mode, as the fans are almost silent in this mode. When I'm stressing the machine, the CPU clocks down to about 3.4-3.6 Ghz, which is still good enough for the work I do on it. If I run in performance mode, the things I run go a little faster, but the fan noise is not worth the extra speed.

    There really isn't enough cooling for Nvme drives. Even small amounts of writing to them immediately pushes the temps to 90+, and there's no room for extra heatsinks to help with this.

    I have the 4K screen, which seems pretty good, but if you dual boot into a Linux OS, the bootloader screen is hilariously small, and some versions of Linux have poor scaling options

    I mostly use this on my desk, and it (or Windows 10) really doesn't like my CalDigital TB3 dock. Luckily, everything plugs into the chassis (unlike recent Apple hardware)

    I don't play games on this, so barely use the GPU (RTX 2070). I'd love to have options to push more power and cooling to the CPU whilst scaling them back to the GPU without having to poke at the values manually.

    Overall, I like mine, but it does have quirks.
    Reply
  • Alistair - Monday, August 5, 2019 - link

    I think you'd be much better off with a (I hate to say it) nVidia creator laptop, or a 9880H/9980HK laptop with a 120/144hz Gsync IPS screen. We need a comparison with Clevo of the MSI Stealth and Raider and Titan.

    https://www.newegg.com/matte-black-with-gold-diamo...
    Reply
  • Brahman05 - Monday, August 5, 2019 - link

    I have sager's version of the x9e2 with a 7700k and 1080sli and the same 1440p panel, and the panel is both one of the best and worst parts in the thing. One thing not mentioned in this article is the gtg does not really support the refresh rate, but by reporting a 120hz refresh it at least still cuts down on input lag. I really have no complaints though. When I got it I had a mobile lifestyle and had the money for it, my only two real gripes are ZEN and RTx. Not 3 months after I got the thing AMD goes and makes 8c16t a thing and even if the architecture is pretry much the same from the 6700k to the 9900k the productivity of the same class chip is now double. And with RTX going to NVLink for an sli bridge Nvidia has axed mobile sli due to the complexity involved in producing that type of connector. So this X7c is really the way to go anymore. Damn you progress! Reply
  • LsRamAir - Monday, August 5, 2019 - link

    No Overclocking detail... bahhhh! Pushing these DTRs to the max that their cooling allows for is what at least half of their buyers do... Next time, yes please! (Especially in the wake of similarly spec'd DTR machines burning out under mild OC's, which SHOULD NOT HAPPEN, it would be nice to know if this SKY is also part of the bad choices group.) Reply
  • peteraustin - Tuesday, August 6, 2019 - link

    Amazing article https://www.anandtech.com/ you should definitely read it in your spare time Reply
  • hennes - Tuesday, August 6, 2019 - link

    I recently got this laptop as a replacement for a 10 1/2-year-old laptop. I wanted a full-sized keyboard, which means 17” or larger. Potable means 17” really it the limit. And 17” is perfect for 2k screens.
    The Sky X7 was one of the few which offered that and it had all my desired other connectivity (multiple NVME, multiple DP out, a few fast USB ports, thunderbolt, …

    What really was surprising is how few other there are. Many with low res displays (1920x1080) which makes sense for gaming. Some with 4K displays future proof but quite small on a 17” display.

    That made the X7C almost the only sensible choice.

    And from an engineering view the thicker than average body was also very attractive. As were the looks. Form over function simply looks good, while designed stuff tend to look odd and twisted to me.
    The only thing it lacks for me is more battery capacity. Lugging the large charger around is not fun and two battery slots (or 2x 80) for airplane use would have been my choice if it was offered.
    Reply

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