Notebookcheck

EVGA SC15 (i7-7700HQ, GTX 1060) Laptop Review

The best GTX 1060 laptop.. almost. "Thin-and-light" without the "light". The SC15 is hefty but not bulky and fast but not noisy. It's close to being everything we're looking for in a premium gaming laptop under $2000 USD.

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The EVGA SC series is just over a year old and has now expanded to include the 15.6-inch SC15 to accompany the existing 17.3-inch SC17. It would be easy to excuse the SC15 as a scaled down version of its bigger brother, but the notebook utilizes yet another brand new chassis design that makes it more than just a "mini SC17".

The manufacturer currently offers the SC15 in only one configuration sporting an i7-7700HQ CPU, GTX 1060 GPU, 16 GB of RAM, and FHD 120 Hz G-Sync display in contrast to the HK-class processor, GTX 1070/1080 GPU, and 4K UHD display of the SC17. When also considering its slim size, the SC15 is in direct competition against some heavy hitters in the market including the Gigabyte Aero 15, Acer Aspire V15, MSI GS63VR, Asus FX502VM/GL502VM, Gigabyte P55W, and the Lenovo Legion Y720.

Price is certainly not a distinct advantage as the $1900 USD MSRP is slightly more than what many of the above alternatives are now selling for. For this review, we'll find out exactly what the SC15 brings to the table to justify the higher price point.

EVGA SC15 (SC Series)
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop) - 6144 MB, Core: 1455 MHz, Memory: 8008 MHz, GDDR5, 381.99
Memory
16384 MB 
, DDR4, 1300 MHz, Dual-Channel, 16-16-16-39
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1920x1080 pixel 141 PPI, ID: AUO42ED, Name: AU Optronics B156HAN04.2, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel HM175
Storage
Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPU7, 256 GB 
, Secondary: 1 TB Seagate ST1000LM048 HDD
Soundcard
Intel Skylake PCH-H High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
4 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 USB 3.1 Gen2, 1 Thunderbolt, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm earphones, 3.5 mm microphone, Brightness Sensor
Networking
Intel Ethernet Connection I219-V (10/100/1000MBit), Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265 (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.2
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 22.55 x 387 x 260 ( = 0.89 x 15.24 x 10.24 in)
Battery
62 Wh Lithium-Polymer
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: FHD
Additional features
Speakers: Stereo, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, Torq X10 mouse, leather pad, USB Type-C to USB Type-A adapter, User's manual, EVGA PrecisionX Mobile, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
2.93 kg ( = 103.35 oz / 6.46 pounds), Power Supply: 794 g ( = 28.01 oz / 1.75 pounds)
Price
1900 USD

 

Case

We've processed a plethora of gaming notebooks through our conveyor belt of tests, but the SC15 is something special. It's the first slim 15-inch gaming notebook to feel as rigid, thick, and inflexible as the large 17-inch Alienware 17, MSI GT73VR, or Asus G752VS while having thin dimensions similar to that of the MSI GS63VR, Gigabyte P55, or Asus FX502. The display of the SC15 is by far the most unyielding of any 15-inch gaming notebook and rivals that of the XPS 15 9560. Its base exhibits absolutely no flexing, warping, or creaking when attempting to twist its corners or depress the keyboard center. The dual hinges appear small, but are deceivingly firm with no teetering when typing. Workmanship is second to none where the word "premium" couldn't couldn't be a more appropriate description.

As for the understated non-unibody design, the aluminum chassis is completely smooth and uniform from top to bottom save for the rubber footing. Its matte surfaces are very slightly textured and sit perfectly flushed around the edges of corners. Until Razer unveils an actual 15-inch Blade, the EVGA SC15 is probably the closest we can get in terms of feel and quality.

We can't stress how incredibly dense the SC15 is for a notebook this size. At 2.9 kg, the EVGA weighs as much as the MSI GT62VR that comes in nearly twice as thick. The MSI GS63VR, which is only 4 to 5 mm thinner than the SC15, is a full kilogram lighter. The weighty chassis is no doubt a very tangible price to pay for the sound framework of the SC15. Users can expect the EVGA to be noticeably heavier than other thin-and-light gaming notebooks without the imposing girth of larger 15-inch notebooks like the Predator 15, Alienware 15, or Lenovo Legion series.

The thick hinges are prominent in the overall design of the system
The thick hinges are prominent in the overall design of the system
Display angle is limited up to about 140 degrees
Display angle is limited up to about 140 degrees
Top: MSI WS63, Bottom: SC15
Top: MSI WS63, Bottom: SC15
Top: MSI WS63, Bottom: SC15
Top: MSI WS63, Bottom: SC15
Right: MSI WS63, Left: SC15
Right: MSI WS63, Left: SC15
Top: MSI WS63, Bottom: SC15
Top: MSI WS63, Bottom: SC15

Connectivity

A healthy number of ports are available including 3x USB 3.0 Type-A and multiple video-out ports. While the MSI GS63VR includes one more USB Type-A port, it uses the older HDMI 1.4 and mDP 1.2 standards compared to HDMI 2.0b and mDP 1.4 on the SC15. This has little significance to most users, but SC15 owners will have the ability to output to compatible 4K monitors at up to 60 Hz and 120 Hz without needing to resort to Thunderbolt 3.

All ports are easy to reach on the left- and right-hand edges of the notebook. Most of the ports are along the right edge and so right-handed mouse users may have to deal with a cluttered desk of cables. Perhaps the most disappointing aspect, however, is the complete lack of an integrated SD card reader unlike on most other gaming notebooks.

Front: No connectivity
Front: No connectivity
Right: USB 3.0, Thunderbolt 3, HDMI 2.0b, mDP 1.4, Gigabit Ethernet, AC adapter, Kensington Lock
Right: USB 3.0, Thunderbolt 3, HDMI 2.0b, mDP 1.4, Gigabit Ethernet, AC adapter, Kensington Lock
Rear: No connectivity
Rear: No connectivity
Left: 3.5 mm audio, 3.5 mm microphone, 2x USB 3.0
Left: 3.5 mm audio, 3.5 mm microphone, 2x USB 3.0

Communication

The Intel 8265 module with integrated Bluetooth 4.2 comes standard with no options for the gaming-centric Killer 1535. Real-world transfer rates average 657 Mbps against the theoretical maximum of 867 Mbps when standing one meter away from our EA8500 test router, but transmit speed is strangely slower at an average of 361 Mbps even after multiple retests. Beyond this, we experienced no connectivity or latency issues during our time with the unit. There is no WWAN or SIM support unlike on the recent Eurocom Sky MX5 R3.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
662 MBit/s ∼100% +1%
EVGA SC15
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
657 MBit/s ∼99%
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
648 MBit/s ∼98% -1%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
594 MBit/s ∼100% +65%
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
529 MBit/s ∼89% +47%
EVGA SC15
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
361 MBit/s ∼61%

Accessories

Included extras are a wired Torq X10 gaming mouse (similar to the one included with each SC17), USB Type-C to USB 3.0 Type-A adapter, leather palm rest pad, and a user guide. A velvet cleaning cloth would have been a neat addition, though EVGA is already throwing in more than what other gaming manufacturers include for free. Generic Thunderbolt 3 docking stations should be compatible with the system as well.

Maintenance

The bottom panel is secured by 13 screws (plus 2 more underneath the rear rubber footing) and is relatively easy to remove so long as users are careful of the rear latches surrounding the ventilation grilles. An uncommon T6 hex wrench is required whereas most notebooks have standard Philips screws or T5 hex screws like the Razer Blade or Gigabyte series. Removing the bottom panel will not void the manufacturer warranty.

Unfortunately for tinkerers, the SC15 motherboard is upside-down and so most of its components are not easily serviceable without further disassembly. The MSI GS63VR/GS73VR series takes a similar approach for better or worse.

The processors, 2x SODIMM, and WLAN module are on the other side of the motherboard
The processors, 2x SODIMM, and WLAN module are on the other side of the motherboard

Warranty

Like Gigabyte and Aorus, EVGA offers a base two-year warranty as standard.

Input Devices

Keyboard

The chiclet (~34.25 x 10.5 cm) keyboard keys are shorter in travel than on the GS63VR but are louder and firmer with stronger tactile feedback when pressed. As a result, the keys feel rather light not unlike on an Ultrabook and may take some time to become accustomed to. The Arrow keys and first row of F keys are a bit too small and are unfortunately spongier than the larger QWERTY and NumPad keys as a result. The positioning of the Power button adjacent to the PgDn key may potentially lead to some accidental shutdowns during use.

The 4-zone RGB backlight includes five brightness settings and a few preset actions. Unfortunately, the options here pale in comparison to the per-key RGB options of most newer gaming notebooks and even the 7-zone keyboard backlight of the Lenovo Y900. The pre-installed software has no built-in macro customization or the ability to assign different commands, either. For a gaming notebook, the lighting features feel barebones and come out short of the competition.

Touchpad

The trackpad (10.5 x 6 cm) is smaller in surface area than the ones on the GS63VR (10.5 x 7 cm) and original SC17. Functionally, however, the smooth surface exhibits excellent gliding properties and responsiveness is very fast due to the 120 Hz panel. Applying a strong force on the very center of the trackpad surface will warp it only slightly.

The integrated mouse clicks are shallow in travel and somewhat on the soft side in terms of feedback. While this isn't uncommon, we're disappointed to see that feedback is uneven depending on where you click with a finger. Inputting a click on the very bottom left of the trackpad, for example, feels much softer and weaker than if inputting a click nearer the bottom right or even bottom edge. This is unexpected considering that the rest of the chassis is visually very well designed.

The F keys and Arrow keys are too small
The F keys and Arrow keys are too small
Firm feedback and shorter-than-expected travel
Firm feedback and shorter-than-expected travel
The 4-zone RGB backlight
The 4-zone RGB backlight
Barebones lighting UI
Barebones lighting UI

Display

The only display option available at the time of writing is an edge-to-edge matte 1080p G-Sync panel with a 120 Hz refresh rate. This AU Optronics B156HAN04.2 panel can also be found on the new Asus Zephyrus and both share similar color reproduction and black levels as a result. Backlight brightness distribution, however, is poorer on the EVGA as the left side of the screen is slightly dimmer than the right.

Two notable display drawbacks plague the SC15: The average response times and thick matte panel. Fast response times of less than 8.3 ms (1 second/120 FPS) are required to take full advantage of a native 120 Hz panel, but the disappointing black-white response times result in more ghosting than we would have liked. Secondly, the overlying edge-to-edge matte surface is thicker than on most other notebooks and display quality subsequently suffers. Colors do not "pop" as much as on an Apple MacBook and the screen is far grainier than any glossy panel and even most other matte displays. Our microscope image below shows just how rough the matte overlay can be when compared to our usual crisp subpixel shots.

Uneven backlight bleeding is very minimal around the top two corners and right edge on our unit and is essentially unnoticeable when gaming or during normal use.

Slight backlight bleeding around top corners
Slight backlight bleeding around top corners
Matte subpixel array (141 PPI)
Matte subpixel array (141 PPI)
249.9
cd/m²
272
cd/m²
270.7
cd/m²
233.1
cd/m²
281.5
cd/m²
272.9
cd/m²
205.5
cd/m²
260
cd/m²
235.7
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro Basic 2
Maximum: 281.5 cd/m² Average: 253.5 cd/m² Minimum: 1.93 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 73 %
Center on Battery: 281.5 cd/m²
Contrast: 1043:1 (Black: 0.27 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 3.9 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 3.8 | - Ø
89.3% sRGB (Argyll) 57.8% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll)
Gamma: 2.27
EVGA SC15
ID: AUO42ED, Name: AU Optronics B156HAN04.2, , 15.6, 1920x1080
Asus Zephyrus GX501
AUO B156HAN04.2 (AUO42ED), IPS, 15.6, 1920x1080
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2017 (2.8 GHz, 555)
APPA031, IPS, 15.4, 2880x1800
Gigabyte Aero 15
N156HCA-EA1 (CMN15D7), IPS, 15.6, 1920x1080
Aorus X5 v6
IPS, 15.6, 2880x1620
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
IPS, 15.6, 3840x2160
Response Times
13%
-13%
-4%
7%
28%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
41.6 (21.6, 20)
40.4 (23.2, 17.2)
3%
48 (23.6, 24.4)
-15%
42.8 (23.6, 19.2)
-3%
34 (19, 25)
18%
28 (15.6, 12.4)
33%
Response Time Black / White *
30.8 (17.6, 13.2)
24 (11.6, 12.4)
22%
33.8 (19.6, 14.2)
-10%
32 (18.8, 13.2)
-4%
32 (8, 24)
-4%
23.6 (15.2, 8.4)
23%
PWM Frequency
119000 (80, 210)
26000 (20)
198.4
1351 (39)
Screen
-6%
32%
-9%
-4%
-45%
Brightness
253
305
21%
523
107%
316
25%
271
7%
263
4%
Brightness Distribution
73
83
14%
86
18%
90
23%
83
14%
92
26%
Black Level *
0.27
0.25
7%
0.44
-63%
0.36
-33%
0.249
8%
0.44
-63%
Contrast
1043
1312
26%
1239
19%
889
-15%
1126
8%
623
-40%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
3.9
6.02
-54%
1.6
59%
4.62
-18%
4.94
-27%
8
-105%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
3.8
6.32
-66%
1.9
50%
6
-58%
5.13
-35%
9.1
-139%
Gamma
2.27 106%
2.28 105%
2.26 106%
2.46 98%
2.26 106%
2.24 107%
CCT
7322 89%
8194 79%
6834 95%
6761 96%
7433 87%
5020 129%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
57.8
60
4%
60
4%
55.9
-3%
45.7
-21%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
89.3
92
3%
92
3%
85.9
-4%
72.1
-19%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
4% / -2%
10% / 21%
-7% / -8%
2% / -2%
-9% / -30%

* ... smaller is better

Color space is approximately 58 percent and 89 percent of the AdobeRGB and sRGB standards, respectively. Less expensive panels may cover only 60 percent of sRGB while some gaming notebooks like the Razer Blade offer full sRGB coverage and more to better appeal to digital artists. For gaming purposes, however, color accuracy will usually take a backseat to response times and contrast.

vs. sRGB
vs. sRGB
vs. AdobeRGB
vs. AdobeRGB
vs. Gigabyte Aero 15
vs. Gigabyte Aero 15

Further display measurements with a X-Rite spectrophotometer reveal good colors and grayscale out of the box. A calibration is still recommended to achieve even greater color and grayscale accuracy as shown by our before and after measurements below.

Grayscale before calibration
Grayscale before calibration
Saturation Sweeps before calibration
Saturation Sweeps before calibration
ColorChecker before calibration
ColorChecker before calibration
Grayscale after calibration
Grayscale after calibration
Saturation Sweeps after calibration
Saturation Sweeps after calibration
ColorChecker after calibration
ColorChecker after calibration

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
30.8 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 17.6 ms rise
↘ 13.2 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 77 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (26.7 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
41.6 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 21.6 ms rise
↘ 20 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 51 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (42.8 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM not detected

In comparison: 57 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 6272 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Outdoor visibility is below average as sunlight and ambient lighting will easily overpower the display backlight. Texts and images appear washed out and muted even if glare can be avoided. The wide IPS viewing angles do little to improve the screen since the insufficient backlight is the main bottleneck. Users who want better outdoor visibility may want to consider the Aero 15 instead.

Outdoors under direct sunlight
Outdoors under direct sunlight
Outdoors under shade
Outdoors under shade
Outdoors under direct sunlight
Outdoors under direct sunlight
Wide IPS viewing angles
Wide IPS viewing angles

Performance

EVGA appears to be shipping the SC15 with only the i7-7700HQ CPU and GTX 1060 GPU for now. In contrast, the larger SC17 ships with unlocked HK-class processors for potentially faster CPU performance. The switch to the much more common and less expensive i7-7700HQ is likely for the best as the i7-6820HK and i7-7820HK at stock clock rates perform essentially the same as the i7-7700HQ as our next section will show.

Optimus is not included since G-Sync comes standard and both continue to be mutually exclusive. The integrated HD Graphics 630 is disabled as a result with no manual graphics switching options.

Processor

CPU performance is similar to other notebooks sporting the same i7-7700HQ CPU like the Samsung Odyssey according to CineBench benchmarks. Users upgrading from the Broadwell i7-5700HQ or Skylake i7-6700HQ will see very marginal improvements, but older gaming notebooks equipped with the Haswell i7-4700HQ will see much larger gains. The i7-7820HK at stock speeds performs about the same as the i7-7700HQ while the desktop i7-7700K in certain Clevo systems can be about 20 percent faster. Running CineBench R15 Multi-Thread in a loop results in very steady scores from start to finish whereas certain competing systems may slowly throttle the CPU over time.

See our dedicated CPU page on the Core i7-7700HQ for more technical information and benchmark comparisons.

CineBench R10 32-bit
CineBench R10 32-bit
CineBench R11.5 64-bit
CineBench R11.5 64-bit
CineBench R15
CineBench R15
0102030405060708090100110120130140150160170180190200210220230240250260270280290300310320330340350360370380390400410420430440450460470480490500510520530540550560570580590600610620630640650660670680690700710720730740Tooltip
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64 Bit
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Eurocom Tornado F5
Intel Core i7-7700K
190 Points ∼97% +19%
EVGA SC15
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
160 Points ∼82%
Eurocom Sky MX5 R3
Intel Core i7-7820HK
156 Points ∼80% -2%
Samsung Odyssey NP800G5M-X01US
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
155 Points ∼79% -3%
EVGA SC17 GTX 1070
Intel Core i7-6820HK
152 Points ∼78% -5%
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
Intel Core i7-5700HQ
143 Points ∼73% -11%
Acer Aspire Nitro BE VN7-793G-5811
Intel Core i5-7300HQ
141 Points ∼72% -12%
MSI GE72VR-6RF16H21
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
140 Points ∼72% -12%
Toshiba Satellite S70-B-106
Intel Core i7-4700HQ
131 Points ∼67% -18%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Eurocom Tornado F5
Intel Core i7-7700K
897 Points ∼42% +22%
Eurocom Sky MX5 R3
Intel Core i7-7820HK
772 Points ∼36% +5%
Samsung Odyssey NP800G5M-X01US
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
738 Points ∼34% 0%
EVGA SC15
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
736 Points ∼34%
EVGA SC17 GTX 1070
Intel Core i7-6820HK
706 Points ∼33% -4%
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
Intel Core i7-5700HQ
682 Points ∼32% -7%
MSI GE72VR-6RF16H21
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
676 Points ∼31% -8%
Toshiba Satellite S70-B-106
Intel Core i7-4700HQ
566 Points ∼26% -23%
Acer Aspire Nitro BE VN7-793G-5811
Intel Core i5-7300HQ
515 Points ∼24% -30%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit
Eurocom Tornado F5
Intel Core i7-7700K
2.19 Points ∼99% +27%
Eurocom Sky MX5 R3
Intel Core i7-7820HK
1.84 Points ∼83% +6%
Samsung Odyssey NP800G5M-X01US
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
1.83 Points ∼83% +6%
EVGA SC15
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
1.73 Points ∼78%
EVGA SC17 GTX 1070
Intel Core i7-6820HK
1.68 Points ∼76% -3%
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
Intel Core i7-5700HQ
1.66 Points ∼75% -4%
MSI GE72VR-6RF16H21
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
1.55 Points ∼70% -10%
Toshiba Satellite S70-B-106
Intel Core i7-4700HQ
1.49 Points ∼67% -14%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Eurocom Tornado F5
Intel Core i7-7700K
9.78 Points ∼41% +20%
Eurocom Sky MX5 R3
Intel Core i7-7820HK
8.44 Points ∼35% +3%
EVGA SC15
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
8.18 Points ∼34%
Samsung Odyssey NP800G5M-X01US
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
8.17 Points ∼34% 0%
EVGA SC17 GTX 1070
Intel Core i7-6820HK
7.75 Points ∼32% -5%
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
Intel Core i7-5700HQ
7.53 Points ∼32% -8%
MSI GE72VR-6RF16H21
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
7.39 Points ∼31% -10%
Toshiba Satellite S70-B-106
Intel Core i7-4700HQ
6.02 Points ∼25% -26%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Single 32Bit
Eurocom Tornado F5
Intel Core i7-7700K
7222 Points ∼81% +19%
Eurocom Sky MX5 R3
Intel Core i7-7820HK
6182 Points ∼70% +2%
EVGA SC15
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
6051 Points ∼68%
Samsung Odyssey NP800G5M-X01US
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
5954 Points ∼67% -2%
EVGA SC17 GTX 1070
Intel Core i7-6820HK
5632 Points ∼63% -7%
Acer Aspire Nitro BE VN7-793G-5811
Intel Core i5-7300HQ
5525 Points ∼62% -9%
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
Intel Core i7-5700HQ
5449 Points ∼61% -10%
MSI GE72VR-6RF16H21
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
4720 Points ∼53% -22%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
Eurocom Tornado F5
Intel Core i7-7700K
28189 Points ∼57% +28%
Eurocom Sky MX5 R3
Intel Core i7-7820HK
23041 Points ∼46% +5%
Samsung Odyssey NP800G5M-X01US
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
22512 Points ∼45% +2%
EVGA SC15
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
22041 Points ∼44%
EVGA SC17 GTX 1070
Intel Core i7-6820HK
21313 Points ∼43% -3%
MSI GE72VR-6RF16H21
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
19720 Points ∼40% -11%
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
Intel Core i7-5700HQ
18785 Points ∼38% -15%
Acer Aspire Nitro BE VN7-793G-5811
Intel Core i5-7300HQ
18296 Points ∼37% -17%
wPrime 2.0x - 1024m
EVGA SC17 GTX 1070
Intel Core i7-6820HK
224.726 s * ∼3% -6%
Eurocom Sky MX5 R3
Intel Core i7-7820HK
213.193 s * ∼3% -0%
EVGA SC15
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
212.46 s * ∼3%
Samsung Odyssey NP800G5M-X01US
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
211.321 s * ∼2% +1%
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
Intel Core i7-5700HQ
210.067 s * ∼2% +1%
Eurocom Tornado F5
Intel Core i7-7700K
176.329 s * ∼2% +17%
Super Pi Mod 1.5 XS 32M - ---
EVGA SC17 GTX 1070
Intel Core i7-6820HK
572.296 Seconds * ∼3% -6%
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
Intel Core i7-5700HQ
561.953 Seconds * ∼2% -4%
EVGA SC15
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
540.619 Seconds * ∼2%
Eurocom Sky MX5 R3
Intel Core i7-7820HK
535.159 Seconds * ∼2% +1%
Samsung Odyssey NP800G5M-X01US
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
519.371 Seconds * ∼2% +4%
Eurocom Tornado F5
Intel Core i7-7700K
440.036 Seconds * ∼2% +19%

* ... smaller is better

Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
11054
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
22041
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
6051
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
71.25 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
8.18 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.73 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.6 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
117.23 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
736 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
160 Points
Help

System Performance

PCMark 8 ranks the EVGA within single-digit percentages from the Aorus X5 v6 and significantly higher than the new MacBook Pro 15. Subjectively, the system runs smoothly with no notable software hitches.

PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Creative Accelerated
PCMark 8 Creative Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 10 Standard
PCMark 10 Standard
PCMark 10 Extended
PCMark 10 Extended
PCMark 10 Express
PCMark 10 Express
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
EVGA SC15
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPU7
5400 Points ∼83%
Aorus X5 v6
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
5053 Points ∼78% -6%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2017 (2.8 GHz, 555)
Radeon Pro 555, 7700HQ, Apple SSD SM0256L
4648 Points ∼71% -14%
Creative Score Accelerated v2
Aorus X5 v6
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
7973 Points ∼86% +6%
EVGA SC15
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPU7
7505 Points ∼81%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2017 (2.8 GHz, 555)
Radeon Pro 555, 7700HQ, Apple SSD SM0256L
4914 Points ∼53% -35%
Home Score Accelerated v2
EVGA SC15
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPU7
5085 Points ∼85%
Aorus X5 v6
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
4828 Points ∼81% -5%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2017 (2.8 GHz, 555)
Radeon Pro 555, 7700HQ, Apple SSD SM0256L
4054 Points ∼68% -20%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
5085 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
7505 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
5400 points
Help

Storage Devices

2.5-inch SATA bay under the right palm rest
2.5-inch SATA bay under the right palm rest

Our test system is equipped with a primary 256 GB Toshiba THNSN5256GPU7 NVMe SSD and a secondary 1 TB Seagate ST1000LM048 HDD. Only the secondary 2.5-inch SATA slot is immediately accessible while the primary M.2 SSD will require further disassembly. We recommend using 7 mm drives if replacing or upgrading as 9.5 mm drives may be too tight of a fit. Users who want more than two internal storage bays may want to consider the Eurocom Sky MX5 or Alienware 15 instead.

Read and write rates from the Toshiba SSD are significantly faster than any SATA III SSD or HDD as expected. Its average sequential write rate of 943 MB/s, however, is noticeably slower than the Samsung SM951 found on many other gaming notebooks and flagship Ultrabooks. Meanwhile, the Seagate HDD returns an average transfer rate of 106.5 MB/s according to HD Tune, which is above average for a 5400 RPM drive.

See our table of HDDs and SSDs for more benchmark comparisons.

AS SSD
AS SSD
CDM 5 (Primary SSD)
CDM 5 (Primary SSD)
CDM 5 (Secondary HDD)
CDM 5 (Secondary HDD)
HD Tune (Secondary HDD)
HD Tune (Secondary HDD)
PCMark 8 Storage
PCMark 8 Storage
 
EVGA SC15
Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPU7
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
Aorus X5 v6
Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
Lite-on CX2-8B512-Q11 NVMe SSD
Aorus X7 DT v6
Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
AS SSD
37%
-56%
9%
17%
Copy Game MB/s
977.48
1081.99
11%
1072.6
10%
539.5
-45%
1134
16%
Copy Program MB/s
442.3
401.94
-9%
351.48
-21%
411.54
-7%
502
13%
Copy ISO MB/s
1070.79
1666.02
56%
351.13
-67%
1272.4
19%
1482
38%
Score Total
2474
3756
52%
1630
-34%
2810
14%
2695
9%
Score Write
896
1468
64%
514
-43%
1022
14%
665
-26%
Score Read
1081
1549
43%
756
-30%
1206
12%
1353
25%
Access Time Write *
0.035
0.029
17%
0.025
29%
0.034
3%
0.025
29%
Access Time Read *
0.054
0.041
24%
0.367
-580%
0.034
37%
0.047
13%
4K-64 Write
705.92
1185.25
68%
272.53
-61%
788.85
12%
366.91
-48%
4K-64 Read
821.51
1228.73
50%
521.36
-37%
961.61
17%
1106.67
35%
4K Write
95.46
127.63
34%
131.32
38%
112.15
17%
149.13
56%
4K Read
39.13
48.01
23%
44.6
14%
41.34
6%
48.93
25%
Seq Write
942.8
1550.23
64%
1098.57
17%
1206.58
28%
1493.99
58%
Seq Read
2203.33
2719.21
23%
1904.01
-14%
2026.09
-8%
1971.14
-11%

* ... smaller is better

Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPU7
Sequential Read: 2203.33 MB/s
Sequential Write: 942.8 MB/s
4K Read: 39.13 MB/s
4K Write: 95.46 MB/s
4K-64 Read: 821.51 MB/s
4K-64 Write: 705.92 MB/s
Access Time Read: 0.054 ms
Access Time Write: 0.035 ms
Copy ISO: 1070.79 MB/s
Copy Program: 442.3 MB/s
Copy Game: 977.48 MB/s
Score Read: 1081 Points
Score Write: 896 Points
Score Total: 2474 Points

GPU Performance

The GTX 1060 in the SC15 performs about the same as the Lenovo Legion Y520 according to 3DMark benchmarks and is around 12 percent slower than our reference desktop GTX 1060. Jumping to the GTX 1080 Max-Q or GTX 1070 will bring a performance boost of about 60 percent each over the GTX 1060. Users upgrading from older mid-range notebooks equipped with Maxwell GPUs will experience even greater performance boosts with the SC15.

Activating the preset "Superclock" feature to automatically overclock the GPU by 89/545 MHz (core/memory) will boost the Fire Strike Graphics score from 11453 points to 12019 points. It's quite the modest uptick at just under 5 percent, but users can of course overclock further if desired.

See our dedicated review of the GTX 1060 for more information of the Pascal series.

3DMark 11
3DMark 11
Cloud Gate
Cloud Gate
Fire Strike
Fire Strike
Fire Strike (Overclock)
Fire Strike (Overclock)
Fire Strike Extreme
Fire Strike Extreme
Fire Strike Ultra
Fire Strike Ultra
3DMark
3840x2160 Fire Strike Ultra Graphics
Eurocom Sky X7E2
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 6700K
5120 Points ∼51% +99%
Eurocom Sky MX5 R3
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7820HK
4206 Points ∼42% +64%
Asus Zephyrus GX501
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Max-Q, 7700HQ
4048 Points ∼40% +57%
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Founders Edition 6 GB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Desktop), 6700K
2893 Points ∼29% +13%
EVGA SC15
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
2571 Points ∼25%
HP Pavilion 15 Power 1GK62AV
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ
739 Points ∼7% -71%
Fire Strike Extreme Graphics
Eurocom Sky X7E2
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 6700K
10382 Points ∼63% +91%
Eurocom Sky MX5 R3
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7820HK
8626 Points ∼53% +59%
EVGA SC15
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
5441 Points ∼33%
Asus Strix GL502VT-DS74
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
3517 Points ∼21% -35%
HP Pavilion 15 Power 1GK62AV
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ
2629 Points ∼16% -52%
Asus Zenbook UX510UW-CN044T
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, 6500U
1988 Points ∼12% -63%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Eurocom Sky X7E2
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 6700K
21781 Points ∼54% +90%
Eurocom Sky MX5 R3
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7820HK
18373 Points ∼45% +60%
Asus Zephyrus GX501
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Max-Q, 7700HQ
18219 Points ∼45% +59%
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Founders Edition 6 GB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Desktop), 6700K
12984 Points ∼32% +13%
EVGA SC15
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
11453 Points ∼28%
Lenovo Lenovo Legion Y720 80VR002XGE
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
11134 Points ∼27% -3%
Asus Strix GL502VT-DS74
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
7321 Points ∼18% -36%
HP Pavilion 15 Power 1GK62AV
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ
6002 Points ∼15% -48%
Asus Zenbook UX510UW-CN044T
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, 6500U
4133 Points ∼10% -64%
3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance Combined
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Founders Edition 6 GB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Desktop), 6700K
11160 Points ∼70% +26%
Eurocom Sky X7E2
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 6700K
10419 Points ∼65% +17%
Eurocom Sky MX5 R3
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7820HK
10081 Points ∼63% +14%
Asus Zephyrus GX501
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Max-Q, 7700HQ
8935 Points ∼56% +1%
EVGA SC15
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
8876 Points ∼56%
Asus Strix GL502VT-DS74
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
7952 Points ∼50% -10%
HP Pavilion 15 Power 1GK62AV
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ
7371 Points ∼46% -17%
Asus Zenbook UX510UW-CN044T
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, 6500U
4466 Points ∼28% -50%
1280x720 Performance GPU
Eurocom Sky X7E2
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 6700K
28321 Points ∼56% +83%
Asus Zephyrus GX501
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Max-Q, 7700HQ
23540 Points ∼46% +52%
Eurocom Sky MX5 R3
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7820HK
23170 Points ∼45% +50%
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Founders Edition 6 GB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Desktop), 6700K
17401 Points ∼34% +13%
EVGA SC15
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
15453 Points ∼30%
Lenovo Lenovo Legion Y720 80VR002XGE
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
14233 Points ∼28% -8%
Asus Strix GL502VT-DS74
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
9824 Points ∼19% -36%
HP Pavilion 15 Power 1GK62AV
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ
7537 Points ∼15% -51%
Asus Zenbook UX510UW-CN044T
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, 6500U
4826 Points ∼9% -69%
3DMark 11 Performance
13148 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
110194 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
24201 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
9750 points
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme Score
5165 points
Help

Gaming Performance

The mobile GTX 1060 in the SC15 performs on the same level as our desktop GTX 1060 and the Aorus X3 Plus v7 equipped with the same GPU in Rise of the Tomb Raider despite the >10 percent difference in 3DMark scores between the SC15 and desktop GTX 1060. Most titles will run at 1080p60 on maximum settings without any issues while a select few like The Witcher 3 or Mafia 3 will have to dial back certain settings to achieve a smooth 60 FPS. Even so, frame drops in the 40 to 50 FPS range will not result in heavy screen tears due to both G-Sync and the native 120 Hz panel.

See our GTX 1060 GPU page for more technical information and benchmark comparisons.

low med. high ultra
BioShock Infinite (2013) 110fps
Metro: Last Light (2013) 82.7fps
Thief (2014) 79fps
The Witcher 3 (2015) 6639.6fps
Batman: Arkham Knight (2015) 8962fps
Metal Gear Solid V (2015) 60fps
Dota 2 Reborn (2015) 117.9fps
Fallout 4 (2015) 70.8fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 66.8fps
Ashes of the Singularity (2016) 63.759.2fps
Doom (2016) 98.4fps
Overwatch (2016) 103.9fps
Mafia 3 (2016) 41fps
Prey (2017) 110.3fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider - 1920x1080 Very High Preset AA:FX AF:16x
EVGA SC17 GTX 1070
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
96.4 fps ∼100% +44%
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Founders Edition 6 GB
GeForce GTX 1060 (Desktop), 6700K
66.9 fps ∼69% 0%
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Founders Edition 6 GB
GeForce GTX 1060 (Desktop), 6700K
66.5 fps ∼69% 0%
EVGA SC15
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPU7
66.8 fps ∼69%
Aorus x3 Plus v7
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7820HK, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5512GPU7
65 fps ∼67% -3%
EVGA SC17
GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK, Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB m.2 NVMe
54.7 fps ∼57% -18%
Asus Strix GL502VT-DS74
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Lite-On CV1-8B128
42.8 fps ∼44% -36%
HP Omen 15-ax213ng
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
32.5 fps ∼34% -51%
HP Pavilion 17 FHD V3A33AV
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, SanDisk Z400s SD8SNAT-128G
24.2 fps ∼25% -64%

Stress Test

We stress the notebook to identify for any potential throttling or hardware issues. The CPU runs stably at its maximum multi-core Turbo Boost of 3.4 GHz when Prime95 is active and even when both Prime95 and FurMark are running simultaneously. Core temperature can be as warm as 92 C when under such unrealistic loads while the GPU remains under 80 C. Note that this is without "SuperClock" activated and so the GPU can potentially run warmer than 80 C should users choose to overclock it.

Witcher 3 is more representative of real-world gaming stress compared to FurMark or Unigine Valley. The CPU can be observed running at just 1.9 GHz and a cool stable core temperature of only 62 C compared to over 90 C on the Alienware 17 R4 under the same conditions. Unfortunately, our test shows periodic drops in frame rates to 32 or 33 FPS every few minutes or so as represented by the graph below. The regular consistency of this behavior suggests interference from pre-installed software activity that may be running in the background. Most other gaming notebooks we've tested under these same Witcher 3 conditions do not exhibit this phenomenon.

Running on batteries will heavily throttle both the CPU and GPU. A 3DMark Fire Strike run on battery power returns Physics and Graphics scores of 9450 and 3586 points, respectively, compared to 10811 and 11453 points when on mains.

Prime95 stress
Prime95 stress
FurMark stress
FurMark stress
Prime95+FurMark stress
Prime95+FurMark stress
Witcher 3 stress
Witcher 3 stress
PrecisionX Mobile (System idle)
PrecisionX Mobile (System idle)
PrecisionX Mobile (Prime95+FurMark)
PrecisionX Mobile (Prime95+FurMark)
0123456789101112131415161718192021222324252627282930313233343536373839Tooltip
The Witcher 3 ultra
CPU Clock (GHz) GPU Clock (MHz) Average CPU Temperature (°C) Average GPU Temperature (°C)
Prime95 Stress 3.4 -- 77 48
FurMark Stress -- 1278 77 71
Prime95 + FurMark Stress 3.4 1088 - 1240 92 78
Witcher 3 Stress 1.9+ 1607 - 1645 62 71

Emissions

System Noise

Both system fans are always active and audible at around 32 dB(A) during very low processing loads not unlike most high-end gaming notebooks. While complete silence is always more desirable, the fans here are thankfully lethargic and not very sensitive to low-medium processing loads. Thus, users can multi-task and stream video without constantly pulsing fan noises.

Medium load as represented by 3DMark06 will bump fan noise up to 36.5 dB(A) to be noticeably quieter than the Zephyrus, MacBook Pro 15, GS63VR, and Aorus X5 v6. In fact, the SC15 is one the quietest 15-inch gaming notebooks we've tested. Running Witcher 3 will bump fan noise up to 40.3 dB(A) and 41.6 dB(A) compared to the mid-to-high 40 dB(A) range on other thin and medium-sized gaming notebooks. To our surprise, the SC15 is quieter than the larger MSI GT73VR. Its fans are also not as high-pitched as the GS63VR or GS73VR as shown by the broad fan noise graph below.

Maximum load with both Prime95 and FurMark on the preset "SuperClock" overclock will automatically bump fan noise up to a steady 53.4 dB(A). This maximum is very loud and intolerable without a set of headphones, but users will never reach such high RPMs if simply gaming on the stock clock rate settings.

The fan control software is the simplest and best we've seen on a gaming notebook. Users can manually tune individual fans down to single-digit temperature and speed settings with hysteresis (trigger latency) options. The MSI Dragon software offers something similar, but with far fewer preset temperature and fan ranges.

Our unit exhibited no electronic noise or coil whine during testing.

Ventilation grilles on both the top and bottom sides of the notebook
Ventilation grilles on both the top and bottom sides of the notebook
The twin ~50 mm fans are quieter than most competitors
The twin ~50 mm fans are quieter than most competitors
EVGA SC15 (White: Background, Red: System idle, Blue: 3DMark06, Orange: Witcher 3, Green: Maximum load)
EVGA SC15 (White: Background, Red: System idle, Blue: 3DMark06, Orange: Witcher 3, Green: Maximum load)
Aorus X5 v6
Aorus X5 v6
MSI GS73VR 6RF. Sharper noise curve indicates higher-pitched fans
MSI GS73VR 6RF. Sharper noise curve indicates higher-pitched fans
Very simple yet versatile fan controls
Very simple yet versatile fan controls

Noise Level

Idle
31.9 / 32 / 32 dB(A)
Load
36.5 / 53.4 dB(A)
 
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   BK Precision 732A (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 28 dB(A)
EVGA SC15
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPU7
Asus Zephyrus GX501
GeForce GTX 1080 Max-Q, 7700HQ, Samsung SSD SM961 1TB M.2 MZVKW1T0HMLH
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2017 (2.8 GHz, 555)
Radeon Pro 555, 7700HQ, Apple SSD SM0256L
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
Gigabyte Aero 15
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Lite-on CX2-8B512-Q11 NVMe SSD
Aorus X5 v6
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
Noise
-2%
1%
-3%
-4%
-14%
off / environment *
28
31
-11%
30.9
-10%
28.8
-3%
31
-11%
29.3
-5%
Idle Minimum *
31.9
32
-0%
31.3
2%
33.1
-4%
32
-0%
33.4
-5%
Idle Average *
32
33
-3%
31.3
2%
33.1
-3%
33
-3%
35.2
-10%
Idle Maximum *
32
34
-6%
31.7
1%
34
-6%
34
-6%
35.2
-10%
Load Average *
36.5
39
-7%
39.7
-9%
37.2
-2%
39
-7%
53.3
-46%
Witcher 3 ultra *
40.3
42
-4%
35.5
12%
46.1
-14%
43
-7%
Load Maximum *
53.4
46
14%
48.6
9%
47.1
12%
50
6%
57.6
-8%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

Surface temperatures are flat and slightly warm on both sides of the notebook during very low loads. If on maximum (Prime95 + FurMark) processing load, the quadrant above the first row of keyboard keys can be as warm as 49 C as shown by our heat maps below.

Temperature development is quite symmetrical due to the positioning of the CPU and GPU and the dual system fans especially when compared to notebooks like the Pavilion 15 Power or Asus VivoBook S15. The warm surfaces of the SC15 never become bothersome since the hot spots are generally away from the keyboard keys and palm rests. Super-thin alternatives like the Aero 15, GS63VR, and Asus Zephyrus all run significantly warmer than the EVGA when gaming or under extreme loads.

Maximum load (top)
Maximum load (top)
Maximum load (bottom)
Maximum load (bottom)
Max. Load
 33.2 °C49.2 °C35 °C 
 34.2 °C39.8 °C32 °C 
 28.4 °C26.2 °C29.8 °C 
Maximum: 49.2 °C
Average: 34.2 °C
32.4 °C45.2 °C37 °C
35 °C39.4 °C35.8 °C
31.8 °C33 °C31.6 °C
Maximum: 45.2 °C
Average: 35.7 °C
Power Supply (max.)  44 °C | Room Temperature 20 °C | Fluke 62 Mini IR Thermometer

Speakers

The integrated stereo speakers are disappointing for a gaming notebook. Not only is maximum volume below average compared to competitors, but bass is exceptionally poor as shown by our pink noise microphone measurements below. Lower frequencies are not well reproduced and treble feels overemphasized. Additionally, the positioning of the speakers directly on the palm rests is suboptimal as it is far too easy to completely cover the speaker grilles with the palms of your hands during use. Fortunately, maximum volume will not reverberate the chassis or introduce any static.

Headphones are still recommended for a better experience. A handful of other gaming notebooks like the MSI GS series or the Eurocom MX5 have special Hi-Fi audio DACs not found on the SC15 to support studio-grade headphones and microphones.

EVGA SC15 (Red: System idle, Pink: Pink noise)
EVGA SC15 (Red: System idle, Pink: Pink noise)
MSI GS63VR
MSI GS63VR
Dell Alienware 17 R4
Dell Alienware 17 R4
dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2041.2442537.338.13134.836.14033.533.65034.533.2633433.98032.932.310031.731.512530.530.816030.935.820029.334.725028.535.931527.338.64002741.750026.845.563025.152.180026.660.1100025.961.2125024.459.5160024.256.8200023.753.7250023.552.5315023.551.5400023.548.5500023.250.3630023.253.3800023.256.11000023.154.1125002347.9160002341.6SPL36.667.5N2.821median 24.4EVGA SC15median 50.3Delta2.56.435.335.132.931.831.83236.535.132.428.93328.936.328.848.32761.52752.924.860.92462.822.763.32269.521.267.82174.82075.919.472.718.97117.770.117.86917.671.817.668.117.671.417.673.717.670.417.571.617.671.617.669.617.459.717.583.630.662.51.5median 69.6Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHzmedian 17.84.62.4hearing rangehide median Pink Noise
EVGA SC15 audio analysis

(-) | not very loud speakers (61.19 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 15.8% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (7.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 6.8% higher than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (14.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2.5% away from median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (8% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (29.9% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 94% of all tested devices in this class were better, 2% similar, 3% worse
» The best had a delta of 10%, average was 18%, worst was 34%
Compared to all devices tested
» 86% of all tested devices were better, 4% similar, 10% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 22%, worst was 53%

Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (83.6 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 11.3% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (14.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 2.4% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (4.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (9.3% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 2% of all tested devices in this class were better, 2% similar, 97% worse
» The best had a delta of 9%, average was 19%, worst was 41%
Compared to all devices tested
» 1% of all tested devices were better, 0% similar, 98% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 22%, worst was 53%

Frequency Comparison (Checkbox selectable!)
Graph 1: Pink Noise 100% Vol.; Graph 2: Audio off

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The SC15 is noticeably more demanding than other gaming systems when idling on desktop. When compared to the Aero 15, for example, the Gigabyte system can be over two times more efficient during very low loads. The relatively high power consumption of the EVGA also impacts battery life as shown by our next section.

The higher power consumption during low loads fortunately does not scale up to gaming loads. Running 3DMark06 and Witcher 3 will draw about 80 W and 121 W, respectively, not unlike the Aero 15. Maximum load with both Prime95 and FurMark will draw 159 W from a slim power adapter (~15 x 15 x 2 cm) rated for up to 240 W. The ample power overhead isn't necessarily bad, but a smaller 200 W power adapter would have been just as efficient.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.43 / 0.68 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 25.8 / 26.6 / 26.7 Watt
Load midlight 80.3 / 159.3 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
EVGA SC15
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPU7, , 1920x1080, 15.6
Asus Zephyrus GX501
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1080 Max-Q, Samsung SSD SM961 1TB M.2 MZVKW1T0HMLH, IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2017 (2.8 GHz, 555)
7700HQ, Radeon Pro 555, Apple SSD SM0256L, IPS, 2880x1800, 15.4
Gigabyte Aero 15
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Lite-on CX2-8B512-Q11 NVMe SSD, IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
Aorus X5 v6
6820HK, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2, IPS, 2880x1620, 15.6
Power Consumption
-3%
46%
21%
-33%
Idle Minimum *
25.8
18
30%
3.4
87%
12
53%
25
3%
Idle Average *
26.6
23
14%
13.9
48%
15
44%
28.9
-9%
Idle Maximum *
26.7
31
-16%
17.6
34%
20
25%
30.1
-13%
Load Average *
80.3
79
2%
71.1
11%
82
-2%
167.3
-108%
Load Maximum *
159.3
196
-23%
88.5
44%
161
-1%
222.6
-40%
Witcher 3 ultra *
121.2
148
-22%
57.9
52%
111
8%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

Runtimes from the internal 62 Wh battery are very short at just under 3 hours of WLAN use. This is quite low even for a gaming notebook as the GS63VR and Aero 15 can easily outlast the EVGA under all tested scenarios. The poor battery life can be partly attributed to the average battery capacity and lack of Optimus support.

Charging from near empty to full capacity will take just over 2 hours.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
3h 42min
WiFi Surfing v1.3
2h 47min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 21min
EVGA SC15
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 62 Wh
Asus Zephyrus GX501
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1080 Max-Q, 50 Wh
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2017 (2.8 GHz, 555)
7700HQ, Radeon Pro 555, 76 Wh
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 65 Wh
Gigabyte Aero 15
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 94.24 Wh
Aorus X5 v6
6820HK, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 94.24 Wh
Battery Runtime
-28%
130%
35%
126%
15%
Reader / Idle
222
188
-15%
386
74%
638
187%
249
12%
WiFi v1.3
167
130
-22%
644
286%
232
39%
422
153%
182
9%
Load
81
44
-46%
60
-26%
75
-7%
112
38%
100
23%
Witcher 3 ultra
87

Pros

+ very strong chassis, tough aluminum frame; excellent build quality
+ excellent contrast ratio, wide color coverage; >90 percent sRGB
+ easy-to-use and versatile PrecisionX Mobile software
+ respectable core temperatures when gaming
+ not as loud as other slim gaming notebooks
+ relatively accessible 2.5-inch SATA III bay
+ Thunderbolt 3, HDMI 2.0b, mDP 1.4
+ 120 Hz G-Sync display standard
+ 2-year warranty standard
+ no CPU or GPU throttling
+ strong lid and hinges

Cons

- limited display options; no 5 ms response times, 4K UHD, or touchscreen
- weak speakers; poor bass and suboptimal speaker positioning
- SODIMM, M.2, WLAN modules require additional disassembly
- average display response times; grainy matte panel
- no individually-lit RGB keys; limited customization
- standard audio output; no ESS Sabre DAC
- high power consumption when idling
- Small F keys and Arrow keys
- uneven clickpad feedback
- very shallow key travel
- heavy and pricey
- poor battery life

Verdict

In review: EVGA SC15 GTX 1060. Test model provided by EVGA
In review: EVGA SC15 GTX 1060. Test model provided by EVGA

The SC15 is almost everything we could want out of a balanced GTX 1060 gaming notebook. The chassis is of very high quality, fan noise is not screeching loud, CPU performance is consistent, and both G-Sync and 120 Hz refresh rate come standard. Anyone considering the GS63VR, Omen 15, Gigabyte P55, Asus GL552/FX502, Aorus X5, or any other slim 15-inch gaming notebook will find the EVGA to not only be physically sturdier and more robust, but also generally quieter with lower core temperatures as well. There is really no other slim alternative if longevity, temperature, and noise are of utmost concerns.

There are a few major disadvantages preventing the SC15 from being the 15-inch GTX 1060 gaming notebook to own. Perhaps its biggest drawback is the lack of any other display options. MSI and Aorus offer panels with 5 ms and 3 ms response times for dramatically reduced ghosting compared to 18 ms (black-white) on the EVGA. The high 120 Hz refresh rate is nice, but its advantages are muddled by slow response times and the fact that a more powerful GPU is required to reach such high frame rates for the fast input latency. A speculative 120 Hz/5 ms SKU would be the best thing to happen for the SC15 even if it means sacrificing IPS viewing angles for TN.

The display complaints don't end there either as the overlying edge-to-edge matte panel is quite thick. While this has the advantage of a stronger and more inflexible lid, onscreen content suffers from additional graininess as a result.

Some other drawbacks are small in comparison, though they do add up. The poor speakers, lack of an integrated SD reader, poor battery life, high idling power consumption, and heavy weight may irk a few gamers. Like most Apple notebooks, the price premium isn't necessarily for the fancy features, but for the exceptional quality of the overall build.

The SC15 is sturdier, quieter, and cooler than any other gaming notebook currently available in its size class and configuration. Its slow display response times and lack of SKUs bring down an otherwise very high quality offering.

EVGA SC15 - 07/05/2017 v6
Allen Ngo

Chassis
92 / 98 → 94%
Keyboard
84%
Pointing Device
81%
Connectivity
66 / 81 → 81%
Weight
57 / 66 → 84%
Battery
68%
Display
85%
Games Performance
92%
Application Performance
96%
Temperature
88 / 95 → 93%
Noise
80 / 90 → 89%
Audio
50%
Camera
47 / 85 → 56%
Average
76%
85%
Gaming - Weighted Average

Pricecompare

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > EVGA SC15 (i7-7700HQ, GTX 1060) Laptop Review
Allen Ngo, 2017-07- 5 (Update: 2017-07- 5)
Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - US Editor in Chief
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.