Clevo P750ZM: Potent DTR

Similar to the MSI GT72, the Clevo P750ZM / Eurocom P5 Pro is a top performance notebook with a price to match. For the vast majority of users, I think it makes more sense to pick up the MSI GT72 or some other notebook, but if you can use the extra CPU performance and you’re not willing to go with the LGA2011 DTRs (e.g. Clevo P570WM3) – or if you want as much CPU performance as possible in a 15.6” chassis – then the P750ZM can make sense. Being a desktop replacement, the usual caveats apply: battery life takes a big hit, and the system is definitely not a thin and light laptop. But it packs performance and tops nearly all of our benchmark charts.

For gamers looking just at frame rates, something like the P750ZM doesn’t really make that much sense – even though there are times where it outperforms the GT72 in our tests, it’s often less than a 5% difference. Running at lower quality settings can result in a larger margin of victory, but then we’re looking at frame rates well above the 60Hz most laptops run at. The real reason to go for the P750ZM over the GT72 is pretty simple: there aren’t any HiDPI displays available for the GT72, and in fact just finding a decent IPS display will require you to shell out $3000+.

Testing the 4K Sharp IGZO display shows that there are good reasons to shell out an extra $300-$400 for the display upgrade, but at the same time 4K is often too much for a single 980M in games and scaling issues continue to be a concern. A middle ground 3K or even 2560x1440 IPS display would probably be a more sensible option, but then finding a 3K or 2.5K display that can match the 4K IGZO might not be possible. While the 4K displays may not be perfect, though, they’re probably the next best thing. You can still get HiDPI and the best quality display the P750ZM supports and deal with DPI scaling and reduced performance at native resolution, or you can run at 2560x1440 with non-native resolution for gaming (it’s actually not that bad, since the pixels are hard to see with the naked eye).

For Eurocom, it’s also important to point out that they’re now offering GPU MXM upgrades for a variety of notebooks – you don’t even need to own a Eurocom system. Right now the GTX 980M is the fastest mobile GPU around, and if you happen to own an older notebooks like an Alienware M17x R4 they’ll sell you a 980M upgrade for…$891. Okay, that’s a lot of money, but the M17x R4 is still a capable system so you could upgrade from a GTX 680M to the fastest mobile GPU, skipping two generations of mobile GPUs in the process. Provided Eurocom keeps offering this service, in a couple more years you should be able to go from the GTX 980M and jump the Pascal architecture to whatever NVIDIA does next.

Ultimately, the P750ZM like all DTR notebooks is going to involve compromise. You have to decide that battery life (two hours or less) and weight (over 10 pounds with the AC adapter) is less important than performance, but if you’re willing to make that trade I don’t have any other complaints. The industrial design might not wow as much as a MacBook Retina or Razer Blade 14, but when it comes time to fire up a game or run some heavy number crunching, the P750ZM excels. I’m happy that the keyboard layout and feel as well as the touchpad all work well, and the cooling system is able to keep up with the power hungry components. With a starting price of $2000 the Eurocom P5 Pro is a serious investment, but it’s a solid notebook that should keep chugging for years to come.

Clevo P750ZM Thermals and Noise
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  • rowny - Tuesday, March 10, 2015 - link

    So you got a sample from Clevo resellers after all ? :)
    Now that's a laptop.
    Are you considering to review Clevo P651SG ? Less bulky and scary :)
  • Flunk - Tuesday, March 10, 2015 - link

    No, that's a desktop replacement. You don't want to put that thing on your lap. Still, it works for the segment it's in, top performance with near-desktop bulk.
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, March 10, 2015 - link

    We can certainly try to get the P651SG for review to see how it compares with the others. I suspect it will be quite similar in performance to the Gigabyte P35W v3 review I'm working on, so it's more a question of whether you like the Clevo design more.
  • rowny - Wednesday, March 11, 2015 - link

    It would be nice to see whether the desktop CPU really gives an edge in games over the mobile 4720HQ in the P651SG. The latter has soldered GPU and CPU though.
  • Stuka87 - Tuesday, March 10, 2015 - link

    They crammed a 4790K into a laptop?! Thats gutsy. Although I suppose not technically a laptop, more like a portable workstation. I think if it was mine I would choose a 4690K over the 4790K, they run noticeable cooler, even when overclocked to the same speeds.
  • Kjella - Tuesday, March 10, 2015 - link

    I used to be a consultant visiting 2-3 clients a week working on their systems but my laptop was my testbed. The software was like a 747, doesn't matter if it's one or a hundred clients but it was a heavy beast to get off the ground. That's exactly the niche this machine is built for, high specs/performance running on-site, on power but portable between installations. I even used one with a defective battery for a year or so, didn't matter.
  • will54 - Wednesday, March 11, 2015 - link

    with the Clevo P577wm having had extreme desktop CPU and 2 GPU's so this has been done for years, though this might be the first 15" notebook to go with a desktop cpu.
  • Notmyusualid - Sunday, March 15, 2015 - link

    Not quite my friend. May I introduce you to my Eurocom, from 2000, 1st 1GHz Desktop CPU in a laptop, with 133MHz FSB.

    It was fully loaded, and around ~$5k at the time, coming with a MASSIVE 512MB of RAM.

    The fact that it had built in Firewire, V.90 modem, dual PCMCIA, dedicated video card with a whole 16MB of vram, dual HDDs. What I really liked was the screen, resoultion of 1400x1050 at 15", which still betters some craptops sold today.


    Also, a bit of a timeline on Eurocom (and thus Clevo, in effect):

    The keyboard and build quality / aesthetics were pretty poor though. I gave it away to a buddy in 2008, and he seemed quite pleased with it. But man did it get hot, as did the 1.7GHz one I had about 5yrs later (also a desktop cpu). My M570RU (with mobile cpu) was much, much better though, in every way.

    I'm pretty much an Alienware convert now though, but I could be tempted if price, spec, and screen were right...
  • flyingpants1 - Tuesday, March 10, 2015 - link

    88W ? There's no way it's an 88W chip. Even the desktop version is 4790S which is 65 watts. And Haswell mobile is 47 Watts with most of the performance. The MSI has double the battery life.
  • flyingpants1 - Tuesday, March 10, 2015 - link

    Wow. Just.. wow. I understand desktop replacement, but 4790k overclocked is overkill.

    Is there a version with GTX 980m, but without a desktop CPU?

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