Origin’s EON17-SLX laptop packs desktop-class parts that can kick your PC’s butt – PCWorld
Itâs easy to see Origin PCâs new EON17-SLX laptop as a desktop replacement, because it will literally offer desktop-class parts and performance.
The burly new Origin EON17-SLX packs in Nvidiaâs new GeForce GTX 980 mobile GPU that offers 1:1 performance with the desktop graphics card. And beyond the graphics,Â Origin PC once again pulls the same trick it did with EON15-X by skipping Intelâs mobile quad-core CPU for a full-blown desktop chip.
Inside the EON17-SLX youâll find none other than Intelâs high-end Core i7-6700K Skylake chip. Origin PC didnât say why it chose a desktop chip, but there can be a big advantage to a desktop chip over a mobile CPU: sheer performance.
The clock speeds on the desktop Skylake start at 4GHz and run up to 4.2GHz. The comparable Core i7-6820HK thatâs being used in other gaming laptops starts at 2.7GHz and tops out at 3.6GHz. If you want to dive into the gory details on Intelâs ARK comparison tool, Iâve lined up the chips here.
No more sockets
The other advantage of the desktop part is the use of a socket. Intel offered its high-wattage quad-cores Haswell chips for laptops in a socket, but did away with the practice with Broadwell CPUs. Skylake continues the practiceâwhich means no more socketed parts in laptops that use mobile chips. But with the EON17-SLX and its socketed desktop processor, you could swap out the chip if you wanted to.
I spoke with vendors about concern over the shift in Intelâs offerings some months ago and most thought it just wasnât a big deal. Maybe 0.001 percent of buyers are interested in laptop CPU upgrades,Â so the general consensus was it didnât matter if the CPUs were socketed or soldered to the motherboard.
The disadvantage in using a desktop chip in a laptopâbesides price; the EON17-SLX starts at $2000âis power consumption. The Core i7-6700K is a 91-watt part vs. the mobile chipâs 45-watt TDP. That means you could have to run from power outlet to power outlet just to get from the living room the office.
But who are we kidding? You donât buy this class of gaming laptop to tote it down to the cafe where you can work on the Great American Science Fiction novel while sipping on a latte. Itâs mean to be run on AC and stay that way for 95 percent of its service life.
Other amenities in the EON17-SLX include USB-C with support for USB 3.1 data rates, Killer NICâs E2400 part, up to four storage devices, a backlit keyboard, and 64GB of RAM.Â That last thing wonât happen until 32GB DDR4 SO-DIMM modules are available though.Â
Origin said it will also offer the choice of a single GeForce GTX 980 with 8GB frame buffers or twoârepeat twoâGeForce GTX 980m cards in SLI each with 8GB as well. Before you pass out from swooning, note the âmâ at the end of the latter option. Those arenât the full monte GTX 980 cards but the slightly slower older versions.
How fast will that be? Since the GeForce GTX 980m offers about 75 percent the performance of the GeForce GTX 980 laptop version, you expect the SLI to win. The same graphics set up was used in the MSI GT80 Titan SLI and it spanks a single GeForce GTX 980 setup. Donât believe? Hereâs how the MSI handled the desktop parts.
For a display, Origin PC uses a G-Sync 17.3-inch panel at 1920×1080. While G-sync is great, one issue with the current panels is that the graphics powering them are pure overkill for most games. G-sync works best at lower frame rates in the range of 30 to 50 frames per second and youâll be hard pressed to see that low a frame rate with a GeForce GTX 980 pushing the pixels out.
The advantage of G-sync would play out in a year or three when games are actually dragging the once-mighty GeForce GTX 980 into those kinds of low frame rates. But maybe itâs happening sooner. Weâre already starting to see where a variable refresh panel can pay dividends in games like Assassinâs Creek Syndicate, which was plodding along at 45 fps on an even beefier GeForce GTX 980 Ti with all the eye candy crankedd. So yeah, maybe thatâs a good choiceÂ after allÂ Origin PC.
And to head off the inevitable observations: Yes, a gaming desktop is cheaper, more upgradeable and pure joy to buildâbut you arenât going to toss it into a backpack and take it to a buddyâs house, are you?