Notebookcheck

Review Clevo P177SM-A (Schenker XMG P704) Barebones Notebook

Florian Glaser (translated by Liala Stieglitz), 03/31/2014

Race for the summit. Although Nvidia's new premium model is still based on the Kepler architecture, no other laptop GPU currently comes close to the GeForce GTX 880M. The "green giant" demands a corresponding price for the high-end chip. After Alienware, MSI, and Asus, Schenker Technologies is one of the first companies to offer the luxury model. Clear the stage for the XMG P704...

For the original German review, see here.

Laptop experts already know that Schenker Technologies does not provide its customers with ready-made hardware configurations, but allows "building" a very individual machine. Like the recently tested XMG P304 and XMG A504 Maxwell models, the XMG P704 can be customized in many areas.

While the matte screen always comes with a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels, the GeForce GTX 870M and GeForce GTX 880M graphics cards (both Kepler technology) are available. There are many more options for the processors, which come from Intel's Haswell generation. In view of the graphics card power, we would recommend at least the Core i7-4702MQ or Core i7-4700MQ. A dual-core is still enough for most games though. The Core i5-4200M is installed by default, which is located only in the midfield.

When possible, the working memory should be upgraded. Four GB will be enough for a while, but doubling it is not excessively expensive. Experienced users can exchange the hardware owing to the excellent maintainability (but that might have an effect on the warranty that ranges from 24 to 48 months).

The XMG P704 really lays it on thick in terms of storage devices. Two mSATA slots and two 2.5-inch banks enable setting up a true hard drive squadron. 1000 GB SSDs or SSHs are just as possible as up to 1500 GB HDDs. Customizing options do not stop here. Wi-Fi fans can select among different wireless modules; friends of relaxing evening entertainment should opt for a BluRay burner.

The standard version does not feature an operating system to keep the base price of 1369 Euros (~$1888) within an attractive range. However, Windows 8.1 in various languages is available for a surcharge. Our generously configured review sample would currently cost just less than 2800 Euros (~$3862).

Since the XMG P704's underlying Clevo P177SM-A barebones has only been marginally reworked since the last generation, we will barely, if at all, go in-depth about the casing, keyboard, and touchpad. The review of the XMG P703 precursor laptop should provide all the important answers.

Display

The catchphrase "same procedure as last year" from Dinner for One applies to the screen. Clevo again uses the 17.3-inch Chi Mei N173HGE screen. The Chi Mei is quite popular despite its rather "coarse" surface. Its popularity likely has three reasons. First: Its A-1 brightness averaging 308 cd/m² boosts the N173HGE ahead of most contenders. Inferior screens only reach between 200 and 300 cd/m².

Another asset is its relatively low black level. 0.32 cd/m² that we ascertained in our test setup deserves kudos. Many competing products struggle with a grayer rate (over 0.4 cd/m²). The third highlight is the contrast. Around 1000:1 is not a matter of course on the laptop market.

301
cd/m²
297
cd/m²
295
cd/m²
292
cd/m²
322
cd/m²
281
cd/m²
331
cd/m²
338
cd/m²
311
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 338 cd/m²
Average: 307.6 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 83 %
Center on Battery: 322 cd/m²
Black: 0.32 cd/m²
Contrast: 1006:1

The image also looks rich, although trained eyes will recognize a tendency to a bluish cast. The assessment performed using the professional CalMAN software confirmed this first impression. In addition to the RGB balance, the grayscales and color accuracy exhibit deficits. However, these drawbacks should not be a problem when the XMG P704 is mainly used for gaming and/or watching videos.

The laptop scores quite well from the color space point of view only. Not every device achieves 83% of sRGB and 57% of AdobeRGB. Nevertheless, we would wish for an IPS screen in the next generation, mainly because of the TN technology's limited viewing angles. TN screens quickly find their limits, particularly on the vertical plane.

Schenker XMG P704 vs. sRGB (grid)
Schenker XMG P704 vs. sRGB (grid)
Schenker XMG P704 vs. AdobeRGB (grid)
Schenker XMG P704 vs. AdobeRGB (grid)
Schenker XMG P704 vs. One K56-4N (grid)
Schenker XMG P704 vs. One K56-4N (grid)
CalMAN: Grayscale
CalMAN: Grayscale
CalMAN: Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN: Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN: ColorChecker
CalMAN: ColorChecker

Unlimited is a matching keyword for outdoor use. As usual, the matte finish prevents excessively distracting reflections. The visibility only suffers strongly in very adverse scenarios (the pictures below were taken opposite of a white exterior wall). However, not everyone who buys the laptop will want to carry it around due to its extremely high weight of approximately four kilograms (~8.8 pounds).

Schenker XMG P704 outdoors
Schenker XMG P704 outdoors
Schenker XMG P704 outdoors

Performance

Haswell
Haswell

Processor

To meet the luxury claim, Schenker installs the second fastest quad-core CPU in our review sample - according to the Configurator. The Core i7-4910MQ might be brand new on paper, but does not differ much from the 4000 models without the 10-suffix in practical use. Its clock of 2.9 - 3.9 GHz is only 100 MHz over the old Core i7-4900MQ that also uses small 22 nm structures (Haswell architecture).

Intel not only tries to justify the high extra charge with the clock rate, but also from the L3 cache. The less expensive models do not receive eight MB. However, a TDP of 47 Watts is quad-core standard. Only the Core i7-4702MQ and Core i7-4940MX step out of line with 37 and 57 Watts. All models have the so-called Hyperthreading technology in common, which simulated virtual cores. Up to eight simultaneous threads are possible depending on the CPU.

The XMG P704 can dynamically switch between the GeForce GPU and the processor-integrated graphics chip (HD Graphics 4600) owing to Nvidia's Optimus technology. That has a positive impact on both the power consumption and battery runtimes.

System info CPUZ CPU
System info CPUZ Cache
System info CPUZ Mainboard
System info CPUZ Memory
System info CPUZ SPD
System info HWiNFO
System info GPUZ (HD 4600)
System info GPUZ (GTX 880M)
System info CrystalDiskMark (SSD)
System info CrystalDiskMark (HDD)
System info HDTune (HDD)
System info latencies
System information: Schenker XMG P704

Turbo Boost

As Clevo's barebones have proved time and again, expensive CPUs have a hard time keeping their Turbo at the upper limit under load. Intel's specified maximum rates (3.9 GHz @ single-core load & 3.7 GHz @ quad-core load) were never quite reached in our tests. The i7-4910MQ calculated with an average of 3.4 - 3.8 GHz in the Cinebench R10 single-core benchmark, and only 3.0 - 3.4 GHz in the multi-core test. The clock sometimes even dropped to its base rate for a moment.

This circumstance leads to below-standard benchmark results on the one hand. On the other hand, it does not at all make much sense to configure the laptop with the top models. Since most games are limited by the GPU, the user will be well served with the "entry-level quad-cores".

Single-core rendering
Single-core rendering
Multi-core rendering
Multi-core rendering
CPU & GPU load
CPU & GPU load

CPU Performance

Turbo Boost or not - the Core i7-4910MQ can boast to be one of the best, currently available laptop CPUs. 697 points in the Cinebench R15 single-CPU benchmark remain a dream for most family members. In the area is the Core i7-4810MQ (647 points @ Schenker XMG P304) and the Core i7-4700MQ (638 points @ Notebookguru Earth V) trails a good distance behind that.

The 22 nm chip only ran marginally faster than the Core i7-4810MQ (153 vs. 151 points) in the single-CPU test, which is almost 15% in front of the Core i7-4700MQ (131 points). The scores can vary strongly depending on the Turbo mode.

Cinebench R11.5
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Core i7-4910MQ
Schenker XMG P704
7.52 Points ∼43%
Core i7-4810MQ
Schenker XMG P304
7.02 Points ∼40% -7%
Core i7-4700MQ
Notebookguru Earth V
6.94 Points ∼39% -8%
Core i7-4702MQ
MSI GE40
5.91 Points ∼34% -21%
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Core i7-4910MQ
Schenker XMG P704
1.75 Points ∼88%
Core i7-4810MQ
Schenker XMG P304
1.68 Points ∼84% -4%
Core i7-4700MQ
Notebookguru Earth V
1.49 Points ∼75% -15%
Core i7-4702MQ
MSI GE40
1.4 Points ∼70% -20%
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.75 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
7.52 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
68.55 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
153 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
697 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
115.07 fps
Help

Graphics Card

GPU info
GPU info

Instead of switching the entire high-end range to Maxwell technology, Nvidia only offers some models with the fresh architecture (GTX 860MGTX 850M). The GeForce GTX 880M is therefore not really new, but basically a higher clocked version of the GeForce GTX 780M (954 vs. 823 GHz @ core) with double the video memory. We deem eight GB of GDDR5 VRAM as completely over the top, and expect it is primarily for marketing purposes.

The memory interface is more important, which has been sufficiently sized with 256-bits. The 300 Euros (~$414) less expensive GeForce GTX 870M "only" has 192 bits. The shader unit count also deviates; the GTX 880M can boast with 14% more CUDA cores (1536 vs. 1344). In return, the clock rates are very similar. Speaking of clock rates: The GTX 800M's core can be accelerated up to 993 MHz via GPU boost. All models are built in the 28 nm process.

We did not perform a manual update because the GPU driver of our review configuration was quite up-to-date. The benchmarks below are based on the ForceWare 332.35.

GPU Performance

As expected, the GeForce GTX 880M outperforms the high-end competition. Although it can usually only surpass the GTX 780M marginally, its performance is more than impressive.

We start with the Unigine Heaven 3.0 benchmark that the XMG P704 has to perform using 1920x1080 pixels and default tessellation. An average of 81.2 fps is not even achieved by some dual-GPU laptops, such as the Aorus X7 (GTX 765M SLI). We managed to retrieve 76.0 fps from Schenker's XMG P703, which equals a minus of 6%. AMD's direct counterpart, the Radeon R9 M290X, does not stand a chance with 62 fps (One K56-4N) either, and lags behind by approximately 24%.

The GTX 880M also settles at the top of single-core solutions in the Fire Strike test of 3DMark 13. With a GPU score of 6095 points, it looms 12% over the GTX 780M (5465 points @ Alienware 17), and 15% over the R9 M290X (5294 points @ One K56-4N).

3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU (sort by value)
GeForce GTX 880M (332.35)
Schenker XMG P704
8690 Points ∼38%
GeForce GTX 780M (311.27)
Schenker XMG P703
7900 Points ∼35% -9%
Radeon R9 M290X (13.151.0.0)
One K56-4N
6817 Points ∼30% -22%
GeForce GTX 860M (332.60)
Schenker XMG A504
4946 Points ∼22% -43%
3DMark Vantage - 1280x1024 P GPU no PhysX (sort by value)
GeForce GTX 880M (332.35)
Schenker XMG P704
29698 Points ∼58%
GeForce GTX 780M (311.27)
Schenker XMG P703
27823 Points ∼54% -6%
Radeon R9 M290X (13.151.0.0)
One K56-4N
24205 Points ∼47% -18%
GeForce GTX 860M (332.60)
Schenker XMG A504
18373 Points ∼36% -38%
3D Mark
3DMark Vantage28528 points
3DMark 118514 points
3DMark Ice Storm124109 points
3DMark Cloud Gate19395 points
3DMark Fire Strike5493 points
Help

Storage Devices

AS SSD Benchmark
AS SSD Benchmark

3500 GB of storage in a laptop? What seemed impossible a few years ago is now a reality. The main attraction in our review sample is a large 480 GB mSATA SSD from Micron. Although the Crucial CT480M500SSD3 does not break any records, the solid-state drive offers a good price-performance ration.

With a sequential write rate of 385 MB/s, it places itself right between the 500 GB version of the Samsung 840 EVO (490 MB/s @ Notebookguru Earth V) and the 240 GB version of the Crucial M500 (260 MB/s @ Schenker XMG A504), which both have a 2.5-inch size. A sequential read rate of 482 MB/s, and an access time of 0.05 - 0.11 ms is good, although some contenders accomplish even better rates.

The storage capacity mentioned in the intro results from two 1500 GB HDDs from HGST. The Travelstar 5K1500's fairly low speed (5400 rpm) is not necessarily noticed. Up to 110 MB/s in the read test, and up to 108 MB/s in the write test stand for decent performance (CrystalDiskMark). Buyers who want to can equip the XMG P704 with a maximum of five terabytes.

Crucial M500 480 GB CT480M500SSD3 mSATA
Sequential Read: 476.5 MB/s
Sequential Write: 400.1 MB/s
512K Read: 418.9 MB/s
512K Write: 399.1 MB/s
4K Read: 29.13 MB/s
4K Write: 136 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 339.4 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 331 MB/s

System Performance

The system performance corresponds to other premium laptops. For example, 6220 points in PCMark 7 are very similar to that of the Alienware 17 that featured a Core i7-4800MQ, GeForce GTX 780M, and a 256 GB solid-state drive in the test (6110 points). The XMG P703 precursor even achieved a marginally higher score despite a weaker SSD (6321 points).

PC Mark
PCMark 76220 points
PCMark 8 Home v23688 points
PCMark 8 Creative v25342 points
PCMark 8 Work v24508 points
Help

Gaming Performance

GTX 880M? Laptop reference!
GTX 880M? Laptop reference!

Like the GeForce GTX 780M, the GTX 880M can render almost all games using maximum details. Only a few exceptions that are either poorly programmed/optimized or have extremely demanding graphics let the DirectX 11 model stutter. Our ultra settings (1920x1080 pixels, maximum details, enabled anti-aliasing) ran with over 40 fps in 11 of 16 games. Only Hitman AbsolutionFar Cry 3Crysis 3Thief, and X-Plane 10 stuttered in these settings. However, the user will have to tinker with the graphics considerably more often when a weaker GPU is installed.

Overall, the 17-inch laptop exhibits performance that is a threat to a good desktop PC. Nvidia's announced performance gain of 15% compared to the GTX 780 is not a delusion, but roughly corresponds with our measurements that suggest an increase of almost 10%.

However, this result has to be taken with a pinch of salt because different drivers were sometimes used, and the hardware's hunger changed due to updates in some games (e.g. Bioshock InfiniteDota 2). Nvidia's premium model defeats the "more reasonably" priced Radeon R9 M290X by approximately 25%. The GTX 880M climbs past the Maxwell version of the GTX 860M by over 40%.

It is, however, too bad that the improvements are not as prevailing as in the former generation. The GTX 780M was approximately 30% faster than the GTX 680M's chip a year ago (the GTX 680MX was not found in any standard laptops).

Titanfall - 1920x1080 (Very) High AA:4xMS AF:16x (sort by value)
GeForce GTX 880M (332.35)
Schenker XMG P704
59.8 fps ∼100%
GeForce GTX 780M (mixed driver)
Schenker W503
59.1 fps ∼99% -1%
Radeon R9 M290X (13.151.0.0)
One K56-4N
58.9 fps ∼98% -2%
GeForce GTX 860M (332.35)
Schenker XMG P304
42.4 fps ∼71% -29%
Thief - 1920x1080 Very High Preset AA:FXAA & High SS AF:8x (sort by value)
GeForce GTX 880M (332.35)
Schenker XMG P704
40 fps ∼46%
GeForce GTX 780M (mixed driver)
Schenker W503
40.2 fps ∼46% +1%
Radeon R9 M290X (13.151.0.0)
One K56-4N
34 fps ∼39% -15%
GeForce GTX 860M (332.35)
Schenker XMG P304
24.9 fps ∼29% -38%
X-Plane 10.25 - 1920x1080 ultra (fps_test=4) test_flight_c4 (sort by value)
GeForce GTX 880M (332.35)
Schenker XMG P704
22.4 fps ∼100%
GeForce GTX 780M (mixed driver)
Schenker W503
22.1 fps ∼99% -1%
Radeon R9 M290X (13.151.0.0)
One K56-4N
16.4 fps ∼73% -27%
GeForce GTX 860M (332.35)
Schenker XMG P304
17.2 fps ∼77% -23%
Call of Duty: Ghosts - 1920x1080 Extra / High / HBAO+ / No dynamic fur AA:4x MS (sort by value)
GeForce GTX 880M (332.35)
Schenker XMG P704
45.9 fps ∼51%
GeForce GTX 780M (mixed driver)
Schenker W503
40.5 fps ∼45% -12%
Radeon R9 M290X (13.151.0.0)
One K56-4N
33.2 fps ∼37% -28%
GeForce GTX 860M (332.35)
Schenker XMG P304
31.1 fps ∼34% -32%
Battlefield 4 - 1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:4x MS (sort by value)
GeForce GTX 880M (332.35)
Schenker XMG P704
45.4 fps ∼44%
GeForce GTX 780M (mixed driver)
Schenker W503
40 fps ∼38% -12%
Radeon R9 M290X (13.151.0.0)
One K56-4N
38.7 fps ∼37% -15%
GeForce GTX 860M (332.35)
Schenker XMG P304
28.9 fps ∼28% -36%
F1 2013 - 1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:4x MS (sort by value)
GeForce GTX 880M (332.35)
Schenker XMG P704
94 fps ∼83%
GeForce GTX 780M (mixed driver)
Schenker W503
95 fps ∼84% +1%
GeForce GTX 860M (332.35)
Schenker XMG P304
84 fps ∼74% -11%
Saints Row IV - 1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:8x MS AF:16x (sort by value)
GeForce GTX 880M (332.35)
Schenker XMG P704
52.4 fps ∼57%
GeForce GTX 780M (mixed driver)
Schenker W503
51.9 fps ∼56% -1%
Radeon R9 M290X (13.151.0.0)
One K56-4N
35.2 fps ∼38% -33%
GeForce GTX 860M (332.35)
Schenker XMG P304
34.6 fps ∼37% -34%
Dota 2 - 1920x1080 High / On, Render Quality: 100 % (sort by value)
GeForce GTX 880M (332.35)
Schenker XMG P704
105.7 fps ∼89%
GeForce GTX 780M (mixed driver)
Schenker W503
75.7 fps ∼63% -28%
Radeon R9 M290X (13.151.0.0)
One K56-4N
102.6 fps ∼86% -3%
GeForce GTX 860M (332.35)
Schenker XMG P304
83.1 fps ∼70% -21%
GRID 2 - 1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:4xMS (sort by value)
GeForce GTX 880M (332.35)
Schenker XMG P704
76.2 fps ∼59%
Radeon R9 M290X (13.151.0.0)
One K56-4N
60.3 fps ∼46% -21%
GeForce GTX 860M (332.35)
Schenker XMG P304
46.2 fps ∼36% -39%
Metro: Last Light - 1920x1080 Very High (DX11) AF:16x (sort by value)
GeForce GTX 880M (332.35)
Schenker XMG P704
42.6 fps ∼53%
Radeon R9 M290X (13.151.0.0)
One K56-4N
33.1 fps ∼41% -22%
GeForce GTX 860M (332.35)
Schenker XMG P304
28.6 fps ∼35% -33%
BioShock Infinite - 1920x1080 Ultra Preset, DX11 (DDOF) (sort by value)
GeForce GTX 880M (332.35)
Schenker XMG P704
65.6 fps ∼50%
GeForce GTX 780M (311.27)
Schenker XMG P703
46.8 fps ∼36% -29%
Radeon R9 M290X (13.151.0.0)
One K56-4N
46.8 fps ∼36% -29%
GeForce GTX 860M (332.35)
Schenker XMG P304
42.7 fps ∼33% -35%
Tomb Raider - 1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:FX AF:16x (sort by value)
GeForce GTX 880M (332.35)
Schenker XMG P704
74.2 fps ∼47%
GeForce GTX 780M (311.27)
Schenker XMG P703
65.5 fps ∼42% -12%
Radeon R9 M290X (13.151.0.0)
One K56-4N
62.7 fps ∼40% -15%
GeForce GTX 860M (332.35)
Schenker XMG P304
44.8 fps ∼29% -40%
Crysis 3 - 1920x1080 Very High Preset AA:2xSM AF:16x (sort by value)
GeForce GTX 880M (332.35)
Schenker XMG P704
33.2 fps ∼55%
GeForce GTX 780M (311.27)
Schenker XMG P703
29.2 fps ∼48% -12%
Radeon R9 M290X (13.151.0.0)
One K56-4N
22.8 fps ∼38% -31%
GeForce GTX 860M (332.35)
Schenker XMG P304
19 fps ∼32% -43%
Far Cry 3 - 1920x1080 DX11 Ultra Preset (HDAO, Enhanced Alpha To Coverage) AA:4x MS (sort by value)
GeForce GTX 880M (332.35)
Schenker XMG P704
35.7 fps ∼48%
GeForce GTX 780M (311.27)
Schenker XMG P703
30.4 fps ∼41% -15%
Radeon R9 M290X (13.151.0.0)
One K56-4N
29 fps ∼39% -19%
GeForce GTX 860M (332.35)
Schenker XMG P304
23 fps ∼31% -36%
Hitman: Absolution - 1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:4xMS AF:16x (sort by value)
GeForce GTX 880M (332.35)
Schenker XMG P704
38 fps ∼50%
GeForce GTX 780M (311.27)
Schenker XMG P703
33.8 fps ∼44% -11%
Radeon R9 M290X (13.151.0.0)
One K56-4N
37.3 fps ∼49% -2%
GeForce GTX 860M (332.35)
Schenker XMG P304
24 fps ∼31% -37%
Guild Wars 2 - 1920x1080 All Maximum / On AA:FX (sort by value)
GeForce GTX 880M (332.35)
Schenker XMG P704
43.8 fps ∼56%
GeForce GTX 780M (311.27)
Schenker XMG P703
41 fps ∼52% -6%
GeForce GTX 860M (332.35)
Schenker XMG P304
29.7 fps ∼38% -32%
low med.high ultra
Guild Wars 2 (2012) 113.961.143.8fps
Hitman: Absolution (2012) 64.859.152.938fps
Far Cry 3 (2012) 116.695.981.835.7fps
Crysis 3 (2013) 135.611381.533.2fps
Tomb Raider (2013) 342.6248.216474.2fps
BioShock Infinite (2013) 217.1178.8156.465.6fps
Metro: Last Light (2013) 98.197.775.242.6fps
GRID 2 (2013) 126.810196.776.2fps
Dota 2 (2013) 119.7118.2105.7fps
Saints Row IV (2013) 73.665.25752.4fps
F1 2013 (2013) 11811510794fps
Battlefield 4 (2013) 152.8125.7105.845.4fps
Call of Duty: Ghosts (2013) 91.679.86645.9fps
X-Plane 10.25 (2013) 108.95228.522.4fps
Thief (2014) 62.662.359.640fps
Titanfall (2014) 60606059.8fps

Emissions

System Noise

The noise production is known to be one of the biggest drawbacks of Clevo barebones. This has not changed much in the P177SM-A, although the fan management has been slightly tuned in idle mode. Unlike the 35.8 - 37.3 dB(A), we "only" measured 34.1 - 36.6 dB(A) from the XMG P703 successor, which is however still not perfect. It would have to be around 30 dB(A) for a restrained level (the fan is only disabled after a longer idle period).

While the CPU's fan is primarily heard during basic tasks, (such as MS Office, video, Web, etc.), the GPU's fan is very audible in 3D operation. Approximately 48 dB(A) is clearly audible and, for some users, an extremely distracting level that can only be atoned by a headset, high speaker volumes or other background noises (e.g. music). In particular, the Asus' G750JH proves that this can be done considerably better; it produced an average of 37 dB(A) in 3DMark 06 (XMG P703: ~46 dB).

In sum, users should have a certain degree of noise resistance. The barebones manufacturer will likely still have to accept criticism in the future.

Noise Level

Idle 34.1 / 35.0 / 36.6 dB(A)
DVD 36.8 / dB(A)
Load 48.2 / 52.4 dB(A)
 
    30 dB
silent
40 dB
audible
50 dB
loud
 
min: , med: , max:    Voltcraft sl-320 (15 cm distance)

Temperature

Stress test
Stress test

There is much less complaint about the temperatures. Clevo has adjusted the fan so that the graphics card and processor do not exceed 90 °C (194 °F). It is just too bad that the GTX 880M tends to throttle to 810 MHz in extreme situations. The Core i7-4910MQ did not struggle with throttling in the stress test. 

The temperatures on the casing's surfaces seem acceptable to us. An average of 30 °C (86 °F) in idle mode, and 37 °C (98.6 °F) after one hour of full load via the FurMark and Prime95 tools could also be from the XMG A504, although its wrist rest remains cooler (in return, the rates in the vent's are higher). Other Clevo barebones, such as the W230SS, get considerably hotter.

Max. Load
 42.6 °C42.7 °C42.2 °C 
 38.6 °C38.5 °C33.6 °C 
 35.8 °C36.5 °C31.1 °C 
Maximum: 42.7 °C
Average: 38 °C
41.9 °C42.2 °C44.6 °C
35.7 °C36.6 °C33.0 °C
28.9 °C32.8 °C29.8 °C
Maximum: 44.6 °C
Average: 36.2 °C
Power Supply (max.)  55.7 °C | Room Temperature 24 °C | Voltcraft IR-550

Speakers

As far as we can judge from our findings (at the time), the sound is similar as in the XMG P703. More information about this topic can be found in the corresponding article.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

Unsurprisingly, the power consumption is slightly higher than from the old model. The components drain around 20 - 33 Watts from the outlet when idling, which is still acceptable considering the performance (XMG P703: 20 - 31 Watts).

Bigger gaps are revealed in graphic-intensive programs, such as 3DMark 06. In contrast to 128 Watts (i7-4900MQ & GTX 780M), the XMG P704's hardware configuration consumes almost 140 Watts. The maximum rate also only differs by a few percent with 209 to 216 Watts.

Power Consumption

Off / Standby 0.1 / 0.5 Watt
Idle 20.4 / 28.6 / 33.3 Watt
Load 140.1 / 215.5 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         Voltcraft VC 940

Battery Runtime

Reader's Test
Maximum battery runtime (Reader's Test)
Classic Test
Minimum battery runtime (Classic Test)

Except for the load test, the battery measurements were performed with the Intel GPU. A maximum of four hours can be achieved using a low screen brightness level owing to the strong 77 Wh 8-cell model.

Almost three hours of Internet browsing via Wi-Fi (50% brightness) are also acceptable for a high-end laptop, though not outstanding. The device should run for roughly 1 - 1.5 hours without the power supply in gaming use.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
3h 48min
WiFi Surfing
3h 06min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 25min

Verdict

High-end behemoth with a soft-touch finish
High-end behemoth with a soft-touch finish

Buyers who can live with a somewhat unfortunate design and an audible fan can take the XMG P704. The 17 incher passes as a real desktop replacement owing to the many maintenance options, the generous connectivity, and the good sound and image quality.

Except for the slightly unstable touchpad, the input options are also good. Particularly the three-zone adjustable and extremely classy keyboard backlight are a purchase argument. Four hard drive slots, a quad-core processor, and a high-end GPU not only ensure A-1 benchmark rates, but also a good future security.

We see drawbacks primarily in the weight and noise production. It is also upsetting that the GTX 880M lowers its clock during full load (should not happen in gaming routine). Apart from that, the XMG P704 is a very good and individually configurable gaming laptop.

Note: We will shortly review the more restrained P170SM-A barebones sister in the form of the One K73-4N (with GTX 870M).

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In Review: Schenker XMG P704. Review sample courtesy of Schenker Technologies.
In Review: Schenker XMG P704. Review sample courtesy of Schenker Technologies.

Specifications

Schenker XMG P704
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M - 8192 MB, Core: 954-993 MHz, Memory: 2500 MHz, GDDR5, ForceWare 332.35, Optimus
Memory
16384 MB 
, 2x 8 GB SO-DIMM DDR3-RAM PC3-12800 (1600 MHz), 2 of 4 slots occupied, max. 32 GB
Display
17.3 inch 16:9, 1920x1080 pixel, Chi Mei N173HGE (CMO1720), TN LED, Full HD, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel HM87 (Lynx Point)
Harddisk
Crucial M500 480 GB CT480M500SSD3 mSATA, 480 GB 
SSD + 2x HGST Travelstar 5K1500 (HTS541515A9E630), 5400 rpm, 1.500 GB each; banks: 2x mSATA & 2x 2.5 inch
Soundcard
Realtek ALC892 @ Intel Lynx Point PCH - High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
1 USB 2.0, 3 USB 3.0, 1 Firewire, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, 1 eSata, Audio Connections: headphone, microphone, line in, S/PDIF (7.1 out), Card Reader: MMC, RSMMC, SD, Mini SD, SDHC, SDXC, MS, MS Pro, MS Duo, 1 Fingerprint Reader, 1 mini DisplayPort
Networking
Realtek PCIe GBE Family Controller (10/100/1000MBit), Intel Wireless-AC 7260 (a b g n ac), 4.0 Bluetooth
Optical drive
TSSTcorp BDDVDW SN-506BB
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 46 x 414 x 286 ( = 1.81 x 16.3 x 11.26 in)
Weight
3.98 kg ( = 140.39 oz) Power Supply: 888 g ( = 31.32 oz)
Battery
76.96 Wh Lithium-Ion, 5200 mAh, 14.8V, P157SMBAT-8; 8 cells, 422 grams
Price
2800 Euro
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 8.1 64 Bit
Additional features
Webcam: 2.0 Megapixel, Speakers: 2.1 (Onkyo, Sound Blaster X-Fi MB3), Keyboard Light: yes, power supply: 230 Watt, polishing cloth, manual, driver DVD, Nero 12 Essentials trial, Office 365 trial, 24-48 Months Warranty

 

[+] compare
Since the casing has not been modified much,...
Since the casing has not been modified much,...
...we could use most pictures from the XMG P703.
...we could use most pictures from the XMG P703.
While the base is identical with the former pre-sample,...
While the base is identical with the former pre-sample,...
...the lid now bares an XMG logo (not depicted here).
...the lid now bares an XMG logo (not depicted here).
Besides the cover, the wrist rest is also rubberized.
Besides the cover, the wrist rest is also rubberized.
The design varies between conservative and artistic.
The design varies between conservative and artistic.
Unlike other Clevo barebones, the display's bezel is matte.
Unlike other Clevo barebones, the display's bezel is matte.
A trademark is high maintenance-friendliness.
A trademark is high maintenance-friendliness.
The display wobbles extremely in shaky situations.
The display wobbles extremely in shaky situations.
Top: No interfaces are located on the laptop's front half.
Top: No interfaces are located on the laptop's front half.
The XMG P704 can optionally be connected to a surround system.
The XMG P704 can optionally be connected to a surround system.
The covers can be removed from the casing's underside.
The covers can be removed from the casing's underside.
All components are accessible when required.
All components are accessible when required.
The bulkier cooling construction is intended for the GeForce.
The bulkier cooling construction is intended for the GeForce.
The processor has to be satisfied with two heat pipes.
The processor has to be satisfied with two heat pipes.
A 2.5-inch slot is found under the optical drive.
A 2.5-inch slot is found under the optical drive.
The second slot can be accessed directly.
The second slot can be accessed directly.
An mSATA slot is revealed when the corresponding hard drive is removed.
An mSATA slot is revealed when the corresponding hard drive is removed.
A total of four storage devices are possible.
A total of four storage devices are possible.
We would also call four DDR3 RAM banks lush.
We would also call four DDR3 RAM banks lush.
The 8-cell battery provides 77 Wh.
The 8-cell battery provides 77 Wh.
A subwoofer enhances the sound experience.
A subwoofer enhances the sound experience.
The round, 2.0 megapixel webcam.
The round, 2.0 megapixel webcam.
The manufacturer should have left out the glossy sound bar.
The manufacturer should have left out the glossy sound bar.
The laptop's sound is not 100% convincing despite its good presentation.
The laptop's sound is not 100% convincing despite its good presentation.
Sound Blaster X-Fi MB3 clearly enhances the sound quality.
Sound Blaster X-Fi MB3 clearly enhances the sound quality.
Greasy fingers quickly smudge the surfaces.
Greasy fingers quickly smudge the surfaces.
A part of the hardware is under the keyboard.
A part of the hardware is under the keyboard.
The wireless module on the left, two working memory banks on the right.
The wireless module on the left, two working memory banks on the right.
Although we could complain about the layout,...
Although we could complain about the layout,...
...the keyboard makes a good impression.
...the keyboard makes a good impression.
The showy tribal logo of our last review sample has given way to an XMG logo.
The showy tribal logo of our last review sample has given way to an XMG logo.
DVD or BluRay burner: It is up to the customer.
DVD or BluRay burner: It is up to the customer.
The laptop does a decent job in terms of build.
The laptop does a decent job in terms of build.
The warm air is discharged over the rear.
The warm air is discharged over the rear.
DisplayPort, HDMI & mini DisplayPort? Interesting decision.
DisplayPort, HDMI & mini DisplayPort? Interesting decision.
The eSATA/USB 3.0 combo is now gray instead of blue.
The eSATA/USB 3.0 combo is now gray instead of blue.
Such a potent, high-end laptop calls for a heavy power supply.
Such a potent, high-end laptop calls for a heavy power supply.

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Links

  • Manufacturer's information

Compare Prices

Pro

+Matte and high-contrast screen
+Keyboard with 3-zone illumination
+Variety of components available
+User-friendly maintenance
+Excellent performance
+Many interfaces
+Feasible sound
+No bloatware
+2x mSATA
 

Cons

-Lid's middling stiffness
-Sensitive sound bar
-Very loud in 3D operation
-Debatable design
-High weight

Shortcut

What we like

The many upgrade and expansion options.

What we'd like to see

A GTX 880M(X) based on Maxwell.

What surprises us

Clevo is apparently not launching a new gaming casing this year.

The competition

17-inch, high-end laptops such as: Aorus X7Alienware 17Asus G750MSI GT70, Eurocom X7Medion Erazer X7825Notebookguru Earth V or Toshiba Qosmio X70.

Rating

Schenker XMG P704
03/25/2014 v4
Florian Glaser

Chassis
71 / 98 → 72%
Keyboard
81%
Pointing Device
72%
Connectivity
78 / 91 → 86%
Weight
50 / 66 → 71%
Battery
76%
Display
80%
Games Performance
97%
Application Performance
96%
Temperature
82 / 95 → 86%
Noise
58 / 90 → 64%
Audio
75%
Average
76%
83%
Gaming *
Weighted Average

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Review Clevo P177SM-A (Schenker XMG P704) Barebones Notebook
Author: Florian Glaser, 2014-03-31 (Update: 2014-04- 1)