Notebookcheck

Guru Mars K (Clevo P775DM3-G) Laptop Review

Florian Glaser (translated by Andreas Osthoff), 10/15/2017

Peak power. While there is a trend towards lighter and slimmer (but often also very loud and warm) gaming laptops, Gaming Guru now presents a serious desktop replacement with the Mars K, which offers all the virtues of a desktop PC. Does the 17-inch laptop stand a chance against the established rivals from Acer, MSI, and Asus?

For the original German review, see here.

The barebone-vendor notebookguru.de got a redesign and is now called gamingguru.de. The number of high-end laptops is still similar. You will currently find almost 30 devices on the website, starting from 14 all the way up to 17-inches, including a wide variety of processors and graphics cards, so there should be a product for every budget.

We recently had a look at the compact Fire KS with Core i7-7700HQ & GeForce GTX 1060 (overall score 83%), but the Mars K is a much bulkier laptop. Besides a desktop CPU from Intel's Core i5 or i7 series, the 17-inch system is also equipped with a high-end GPU from Nvidia, which can also be replaced thanks to the MXM technology (the processor is socketed). If you do not want to make any compromises in terms of visual quality, you can upgrade the default GTX 1060 with the GTX 1070 or GTX 1080.

There are also several options for the memory, storage devices (up to four hard drives!), and the wireless module. Even the language of the keyboard and the operating system can be changed. You cannot change the display right now, which has a native resolution of 1920x1080 pixels. We would like to see a 120 Hz and/or 4K version.

The entry-level model of the Mars K starts at 1649 Euros (~$1947), but our test model shows you can double the price: Core i7-7700, GeForce GTX 1080, 16 GB DDR4-RAM, and a combination of 500 GB SSD and 2 TB GDD retails for almost 3000 Euros (~$3542). We check whether the price is justified and how the 17-inch system fares against other luxury gaming systems. Rivals for the Guru Mars K include the Asus G701VIKSchenker XMG U727MSI GT75VR 7RF, and Acer Predator 17 X, for example. All these models are similarly sized and equipped with a GTX 1080.

Guru Mars K
Processor
Intel Core i7-7700, Sockel 1151
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop) - 8192 MB, Core: 1582 MHz, Memory: 2500 MHz, GDDR5X, MXM, ForceWare 382.64
Memory
16384 MB 
, 2x 8 GB SO-DIMM DDR4-2400, Dual-Channel, 2/4 Slots in use, up to 64 GB
Display
17.3 inch 16:9, 1920x1080 pixel 127 PPI, LGD046E, IPS, FullHD, G-Sync, 75 Hz, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel Z170 (Skylake PCH-H)
Storage
Samsung SSD 960 Evo 500GB m.2 NVMe, 500 GB 
, + Seagate Barracuda ST2000LM015, 2 TB HDD @5400 rpm. Slots: 2x M.2 Type 2280 (SATA-III or PCIe/NVMe) & 2x 2.5"
Soundcard
Realtek ALC899 @ Intel Sunrise Point PCH - High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
4 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 2 USB 3.1 Gen2, 1 Thunderbolt, 1 HDMI, 3 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: Headphones, Microphone, Line-out, Line-in, Card Reader: MMC,RSMMC,SD,SDHC,SDXC,Mini-SD, 1 Fingerprint Reader
Networking
Killer e2400 Gigabit Ethernet Controller (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): 41 x 418 x 295 ( = 1.61 x 16.46 x 11.61 in)
Battery
82 Wh, 5400 mAh Lithium-Ion, removeable, 14.8V, 0.43 kg
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: 2.0 MP (FHD)
Additional features
Speakers: 2.1 (Sound Blaster X-Fi MB5), Keyboard: RGB, Keyboard Light: yes, 330-W-PSU, Manual, Driver DVD, Windows 10 key, 2.5" accessories, SSD box, Control Center, Killer Performance Suite, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
4.22 kg ( = 148.86 oz / 9.3 pounds), Power Supply: 1.268 kg ( = 44.73 oz / 2.8 pounds)
Price
2954 EUR

 

Case

The manufacturer uses a barebone chassis from Clevo. The P775DM3-G reminds us of the chassis P775DM1 we reviewed in 2015 in the Schenker XMG U716, but there are some changes. Clevo repositioned the fingerprint-scanner and the number as well as layout of the ports changed, for example. There are also some structural changes inside the case, especially for the cooling system (less heat pipes, different layout). All in all, we would still call it a small update, so the same advantages/disadvantages of the XMG U716 apply here as well.

The P775DM3-G is rather functional in terms of quality. Clevo hardly uses any aluminum at all, but both the lid and the base unit are made of plastic. You can criticize this decision, but you don't have to. The chassis is very stable and pressure-resistant, even without any metal, and the plastic surfaces have advantages in terms of subjective temperature perception. Some elements could have cleaner finishes, but the build quality is still decent. The only thing we did not like was the unpleasant creaking when we tried to twist the lid.

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The 17-inch system was designed as a desktop replacement, so the portability is very poor compared to some other gaming laptops. We do not want to carry around 4.2 kg all the time, although both the MSI GT75VR 7RF (4.6 kg) and the Schenker XMG U727 (5.0 kg) are even heavier. The notebook's height is a bit above average at 4.1 cm, so the handling (bending of the wrists) can suffer a bit depending on the seating position. In short: The favored place for the system should be your desk at home. It is – as always – a matter of taste whether you like the subtle design or not. Clevo added some silver stripes and distinctive speaker and fan grilles, respectively.

Size Comparison

Connectivity

Ports

The port selection has probably seen the biggest change since the previous barebone generation. The old P775DM1 was already equipped with a Thunderbolt 3 port, but instead of four, you now get a total of five USB ports (4x 3.0 Type-A, 1x 3.1 Type-C Gen. 2), and the video outputs were improved as well. You now get two Mini-DisplayPorts instead of two regular DisplayPorts, but the HDMI port is still available. Otherwise, there are only some layout adjustments. There are still four stereo jacks, a 6-in-1 card reader, RJ45, a slot for a Kensington lock as well as the power input. The port layout is generally good, only the ports at the left could have been further towards the back, especially when you use a mouse.

Left side: RJ45-LAN, Thunderbolt 3, USB-C 3.1 Gen. 2, 2x USB-A 3.0, card reader
Left side: RJ45-LAN, Thunderbolt 3, USB-C 3.1 Gen. 2, 2x USB-A 3.0, card reader
Rear: 1x HDMI, 2x Mini-DisplayPort, power
Rear: 1x HDMI, 2x Mini-DisplayPort, power
Right side: line-in, microphone, line-out, headphones, 2x USB-A 3.0, Kensington lock
Right side: line-in, microphone, line-out, headphones, 2x USB-A 3.0, Kensington lock

SD-Card Reader

The new P775DM3-G is once again equipped with a very fast card reader, which even manages higher transfer rates than before and beats the rivals when we copy pictures. Only the Schenker XMG U727 and the Asus G701VIK can keep up, but the MSI GT75VR-7RF and the Acer Predator 17 X only reach USB 3.0 speeds.

SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Guru Mars K
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
194 MB/s ∼100%
Asus G701VIK-BA049T
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
168 MB/s ∼87% -13%
Schenker XMG U727 2017
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
166 MB/s ∼86% -14%
MSI GT75VR 7RF-012 Titan Pro
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
83 MB/s ∼43% -57%
Acer Predator 17 X GX-792-76DL
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
79 MB/s ∼41% -59%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Asus G701VIK-BA049T
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
246 MB/s ∼100% +20%
Schenker XMG U727 2017
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
207 MB/s ∼84% +1%
Guru Mars K
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
205 MB/s ∼83%
Acer Predator 17 X GX-792-76DL
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
89 MB/s ∼36% -57%
MSI GT75VR 7RF-012 Titan Pro
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
88 MB/s ∼36% -57%

Communication

Wired network connections (Gigabit LAN) are handled by the popular notebook-chip Killer E2400, while you can choose between an Intel adapter (Wireless-AC 8265 or 3165) or the Killer module Wireless-AC 1535 for wireless connectivity. The latter also supports all common WLAN standards including ac and Bluetooth. Our test model is equipped with the Wireless-AC 8265, which is a 15-Euro (~$17) upgrade. However, the range test only shows average results. Around 406 Mbps (send) and 389 Mbps (receive) are comparatively bad. The first three spots are occupied by laptops equipped with the Killer Wireless-AC 1535.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
MSI GT75VR 7RF-012 Titan Pro
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
700 MBit/s ∼100% +80%
Schenker XMG U727 2017
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
683 MBit/s ∼98% +76%
Acer Predator 17 X GX-792-76DL
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
681 MBit/s ∼97% +75%
Asus G701VIK-BA049T
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260
675 MBit/s ∼96% +74%
Guru Mars K
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
389 MBit/s ∼56%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Acer Predator 17 X GX-792-76DL
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
628 MBit/s ∼100% +55%
Schenker XMG U727 2017
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
584 MBit/s ∼93% +44%
MSI GT75VR 7RF-012 Titan Pro
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
558 MBit/s ∼89% +37%
Guru Mars K
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
406 MBit/s ∼65%
Asus G701VIK-BA049T
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260
354 MBit/s ∼56% -13%

Accessories

Guru ships the laptop with a manual, driver's DVD, and screws or covers for the 2.5-inch slots, respectively. You also get a Windows 10 key when you order an operating system or a Windows DVD (for the SBL version). Our test model also included the retail box of the ordered SSD. The power adapter is a very bulky 330-W model, which tips the scale at more than 1.2 kg.

Maintenance

As per usual for Clevo barebones, the maintainability is excellent. There are two dedicated hatches at the bottom, which are easy to remove with a screwdriver. These hatches cover most of the hardware. While most gaming laptops are equipped with soldered CPUs & GPUs nowadays, you can replace all the important parts on the Mars K. Accessing the graphics card and the processor, however, requires disassembly of the cooling solution. It consists of five heat pipes and two large fans.

The maintenance hatches also reveal two M.2 slots (for SATA-III or PCIe/NVMe-SSDs) and two 2.5-inch slots. Only two out of four RAM slots are accessible; Clevo hid the other two and the wireless module underneath the keyboard (also removable). Clevo deserves praise for the battery, which can be removed from the outside – very handy and not a matter of course anymore. There is a support foot on the battery though, so the 17-inch system will wobble without the battery.

Software

Most buyers should be happy with the software equipment. The central contact point is Clevo's own Control Center, which includes (manual) fan controls as well as overclocking for CPU, GPU, and RAM. Finally, the Control Center also includes a tool called Flexikey. It allows the tuning of the keyboard illumination (three zones) and the setup of macros.

Warranty

The warranty period is 24 or 36 months. Both options include a premium support with return service according to the Guru homepage.

Input Devices

Keyboard

It looks like the keyboard is identical to the predecessor and contrary to its other cases, Clevo does not use a chiclet model here but uses a classic keyboard layout. Due to the lack of spacing between the individual keys, their size is very generous. All standard keys measure 17 x 17 mm except for the narrower F keys (12 x 12 mm). We once again like the conveniently soft yet precise typing experience, especially since the visibility is very good even without illumination. The WASD keys are highlighted to emphasize the gaming ambitions.

You can easily adjust or turn off the illumination (three levels) via key combination. Nightly gaming sessions are no problem when the illumination is turned on. There is not much to criticize about the layout, either, but some users might not like the arrow keys. They are conveniently sized, but they protrude into the main area as well as the numeric keypad. We would call the typing noise average.

Touchpad

The mouse replacement works well. Neither the gliding capabilities nor the precision are great, but you can still control the Mars K without an external mouse. The pad measures 10.8 x 6.3 cm and is slightly lowered in the palm rests, and there is a fingerprint-scanner in the upper left corner, but we never hit it by chance in practice.

The Mars K also supports gestures, and a quick test with the preloaded Windows browser did not reveal any problems with zooming or scrolling via two fingers. Clevo should improve the dedicated mouse buttons; we think they could be quieter.

One color...
One color...
...or three zones.
...or three zones.

Display

Considering the GPU performance of the GeForce GTX 1070 and GTX 1080, it is a bit annoying that Gaming Guru only offers the Mars K with a 75 Hz 1080p display. According to the Clevo homepage, the P775DM3-G barebone is also available with a 120 Hz QHD panel and a 60 Hz UHD panel.

316
cd/m²
313
cd/m²
330
cd/m²
331
cd/m²
343
cd/m²
342
cd/m²
333
cd/m²
326
cd/m²
333
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 343 cd/m² Average: 329.7 cd/m² Minimum: 16 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 91 %
Center on Battery: 343 cd/m²
Contrast: 1072:1 (Black: 0.32 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 3.61 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 3.03 | - Ø
85% sRGB (Argyll) 56% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll)
Gamma: 2.41
Guru Mars K
LGD046E, 1920x1080, 17.3
Schenker XMG U727 2017
AU Optronics B173ZAN01.0 (AUO109B), 3840x2160, 17.3
Asus G701VIK-BA049T
B173HAN01.1 (AUO119D), 1920x1080, 17.3
MSI GT75VR 7RF-012 Titan Pro
CMN N173HHE-G32 (CMN1747), 1920x1080, 17.3
Acer Predator 17 X GX-792-76DL
LP173WF4-SPF5 (LGD056D), 1920x1080, 17.3
Response Times
-12%
12%
21%
-13%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
37.6 (18.8, 18.8)
44 (14, 30)
-17%
38 (13, 25)
-1%
11.6 (6.4, 5.2)
69%
45 (18, 27)
-20%
Response Time Black / White *
26.4 (14, 12.4)
28 (6, 22)
-6%
20 (4, 16)
24%
6.8 (4.8, 2)
74%
28 (6, 22)
-6%
PWM Frequency
133300 (95)
25000 (15)
-81%
Screen
12%
-3%
24%
-7%
Brightness
330
344
4%
299
-9%
262
-21%
362
10%
Brightness Distribution
91
85
-7%
91
0%
87
-4%
91
0%
Black Level *
0.32
0.35
-9%
0.27
16%
0.26
19%
0.37
-16%
Contrast
1072
1034
-4%
1133
6%
1054
-2%
1027
-4%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
3.61
2.46
32%
3.98
-10%
1.36
62%
4.12
-14%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
3.03
2.9
4%
4.15
-37%
0.64
79%
3.95
-30%
Gamma
2.41 100%
2.31 104%
2.45 98%
2.19 110%
2.47 97%
CCT
6568 99%
6120 106%
7386 88%
6551 99%
6539 99%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
56
88
57%
58
4%
77
38%
55
-2%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
85
100
18%
89
5%
100
18%
84
-1%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
0% / 7%
5% / -0%
23% / 23%
-10% / -8%

* ... smaller is better

Once you have accepted the comparatively low resolution and the mediocre frequency, the IPS screen (LGD046E) actually leaves a pretty good impression. This starts with the luminance, where we measure 330 nits on average. You could, in theory, also use the 17-inch system outdoors with this result. Only the Schenker XMG U727 and the Acer Predator 17 X have even brighter panels. The contrast ratio of the test model is also on par with the other rivals; all five systems manage more than 1,000:1 thanks to decent black values.

CalMAN: Grayscale
CalMAN: Grayscale
CalMAN: Grayscale (calibrated)
CalMAN: Grayscale (calibrated)
CalMAN: Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN: Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN: Saturation Sweeps (calibrated)
CalMAN: Saturation Sweeps (calibrated)
CalMAN: ColorChecker
CalMAN: ColorChecker
CalMAN: ColorChecker (calibrated)
CalMAN: ColorChecker (calibrated)
Guru Mars K vs. sRGB (85%)
Guru Mars K vs. sRGB (85%)
Guru Mars K vs. AdobeRGB (56%)
Guru Mars K vs. AdobeRGB (56%)

Our color measurements on the Mars K do not reveal any issues, either. You already get a pretty natural picture ex-works. DeltaE-2000 deviations of 3.03 (grayscale) and 3.61 (ColorChecker), respectively, are already okay, and there is no blue cast or screen-bleeding. The color gamut is inconspicuous: 85% sRGB and 56% AdobeRGB are completely sufficient for regular gaming and multimedia applications.

Outdoor use
Outdoor use
Subpixel array
Subpixel array
Viewing angles
Viewing angles

There is no criticism for the viewing-angle stability of the Mars K. Thanks to the IPS technology the picture is hardly affected from other angles. The response times are typical for an IPS panel. 26.4 ms black-to-white and 37.6 ms gray-to-gray are average for a gaming notebook. That the display flickers below the maximum luminance should not be an issue for sensitive users thanks to the high frequency.

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
26.4 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 14 ms rise
↘ 12.4 ms fall
The screen shows relatively slow response rates in our tests and may be too slow for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 49 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (26.6 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
37.6 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 18.8 ms rise
↘ 18.8 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. » 32 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (42.5 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 detected 133300 Hz95 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 133300 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 95 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 133300 Hz is quite high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering.

In comparison: 54 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 8568 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Performance

Socketed CPU? Check. Replaceable GPU? Check. Up to 64 GB DDR4-RAM and up to four storage drives? Check. The Mars K could be a full-fledged desktop PC according to the specs. Thanks to the high-end hardware, the 17-inch system is amongst the most powerful and feature-heavy desktop replacements on the market, and it should provide plenty of performance for the upcoming generation of games.

Processor

Almost every gaming laptop is equipped with a 45 W CPU, but the Mars K uses a desktop processor with a TDP range from 65 up to 91 W. The Core i5 models do not support Hyper-Threading and can only execute up to four threads simultaneously, so we would recommend an upgrade to one of the Core i7 chips.

Single-core rendering
Single-core rendering
Multi-core rendering
Multi-core rendering
GPU load
GPU load

Our test model is powered by the Core i7-7700 (without K for free multiplier). The quad-core from Intel's Kaby Lake series runs at 3.6-4.2 GHz under load, which easily surpasses the popular notebook sibling Core i7-7700HQ (2.8-3.8 GHz).

Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Schenker XMG U727 2017
Intel Core i7-7700K
193 Points ∼100% +8%
Acer Predator 17 X GX-792-76DL
Intel Core i7-7820HK
184 Points ∼95% +3%
Asus G701VIK-BA049T
Intel Core i7-7820HK
184 Points ∼95% +3%
Guru Mars K
Intel Core i7-7700
178 Points ∼92%
MSI GT75VR 7RF-012 Titan Pro
Intel Core i7-7820HK
160 Points ∼83% -10%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Schenker XMG U727 2017
Intel Core i7-7700K
958 Points ∼100% +12%
Asus G701VIK-BA049T
Intel Core i7-7820HK
899 Points ∼94% +5%
Acer Predator 17 X GX-792-76DL
Intel Core i7-7820HK
874 Points ∼91% +2%
Guru Mars K
Intel Core i7-7700
857 Points ∼89%
MSI GT75VR 7RF-012 Titan Pro
Intel Core i7-7820HK
758 Points ∼79% -12%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit
Schenker XMG U727 2017
Intel Core i7-7700K
2.18 Points ∼100% +8%
Acer Predator 17 X GX-792-76DL
Intel Core i7-7820HK
2.08 Points ∼95% +3%
Asus G701VIK-BA049T
Intel Core i7-7820HK
2.08 Points ∼95% +3%
Guru Mars K
Intel Core i7-7700
2.02 Points ∼93%
MSI GT75VR 7RF-012 Titan Pro
Intel Core i7-7820HK
1.81 Points ∼83% -10%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Schenker XMG U727 2017
Intel Core i7-7700K
10.59 Points ∼100% +11%
Asus G701VIK-BA049T
Intel Core i7-7820HK
9.91 Points ∼94% +4%
Acer Predator 17 X GX-792-76DL
Intel Core i7-7820HK
9.55 Points ∼90% 0%
Guru Mars K
Intel Core i7-7700
9.52 Points ∼90%
MSI GT75VR 7RF-012 Titan Pro
Intel Core i7-7820HK
8.34 Points ∼79% -12%

Thanks to the high clocks, the Mars K can usually beat the gaming rivals in the CPU tests. Even one of the fastest mobile chips, Intel's Core i7-7820HK, is beaten by more than 10% in Cinebench R15 and R11.5. Both the Asus G701VIK and the Acer Predator 17 X are already overclocked to 4.3 GHz by default, which explains their small advantage. A standard Core i7-7700K (without OC) is about 8-12% faster than the Core i7-7700.

Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
2.02 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
9.52 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
178 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
857 Points
Help

You can use the full potential of the CPU as long as the GPU is not stressed simultaneously. Our Cinebench loop (Multi-Core test for at least 30 minutes) does not show any performance hits and is executed with a steady clock of 4.0 GHz.

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Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64 Bit

System Performance

The overall system performance is just as good as the CPU power. Thanks to the powerful components, the test model can secure the second spot in the PCMarks, and it is even at the top in PCMark 10. Subjectively, Windows 10 (it does not matter if boot speed, response time, or loading times in games) runs extremely smooth. The main reason for the good impression is the PCIe-SSD.

PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Acer Predator 17 X GX-792-76DL
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5512GPU7
6123 Points ∼100% +2%
Guru Mars K
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7700, Samsung SSD 960 Evo 500GB m.2 NVMe
6015 Points ∼98%
Asus G701VIK-BA049T
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK, 2x Samsung SM961 MZVPW256HEGL NVMe (RAID 0)
5846 Points ∼95% -3%
MSI GT75VR 7RF-012 Titan Pro
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK, 2x Samsung SM961 MZVPW256HEGL NVMe (RAID 0)
5444 Points ∼89% -9%
Schenker XMG U727 2017
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7700K, Samsung SM961 MZVPW256 m.2 PCI-e
4972 Points ∼81% -17%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Acer Predator 17 X GX-792-76DL
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5512GPU7
5975 Points ∼100% +2%
Guru Mars K
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7700, Samsung SSD 960 Evo 500GB m.2 NVMe
5847 Points ∼98%
Asus G701VIK-BA049T
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK, 2x Samsung SM961 MZVPW256HEGL NVMe (RAID 0)
5662 Points ∼95% -3%
MSI GT75VR 7RF-012 Titan Pro
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK, 2x Samsung SM961 MZVPW256HEGL NVMe (RAID 0)
5237 Points ∼88% -10%
Schenker XMG U727 2017
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7700K, Samsung SM961 MZVPW256 m.2 PCI-e
4902 Points ∼82% -16%
PCMark 10 - Score
Guru Mars K
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7700, Samsung SSD 960 Evo 500GB m.2 NVMe
5856 Points ∼100%
MSI GT75VR 7RF-012 Titan Pro
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK, 2x Samsung SM961 MZVPW256HEGL NVMe (RAID 0)
5211 Points ∼89% -11%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
5847 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
6015 points
Help

Storage Devices

Gaming Guru equipped our test model with a 500 GB NVMe-SSD from Samsung (960 EVO) to support the high-end claim. This drive is only beaten by notebooks with RAID configurations like the MSI GT75VR 7RF in CrystalDiskMark 5.2. More than 3,300 MB/s sequential read and more than 1,700 MB/s sequential write (both Q32T1) are excellent results and surpass almost every other laptop. For comparison: SATA-III SSDs are limited at ~500 MB/s.

SSD
SSD
HDD
HDD
HDD
HDD

The secondary storage drive is a 2.5-inch hard drive with a capacity of 2 TB. Despite the low speed of 5,400 rpm, the Seagate drive (ST2000LM015) manages sequential transfer rates of more than 130 MB/s, which is not bad for an HDD.

Guru Mars K
Samsung SSD 960 Evo 500GB m.2 NVMe
Schenker XMG U727 2017
Samsung SM961 MZVPW256 m.2 PCI-e
Asus G701VIK-BA049T
2x Samsung SM961 MZVPW256HEGL NVMe (RAID 0)
MSI GT75VR 7RF-012 Titan Pro
2x Samsung SM961 MZVPW256HEGL NVMe (RAID 0)
Acer Predator 17 X GX-792-76DL
Toshiba NVMe THNSN5512GPU7
CrystalDiskMark 5.2
40%
Write 4K
174.6
165
-5%
Read 4K
46.76
55.87
19%
Write Seq
1448
2612
80%
Read Seq
1330
3377
154%
Write 4K Q32T1
508.5
548.3
8%
Read 4K Q32T1
635.1
624.7
-2%
Write Seq Q32T1
1756
2944
68%
Read Seq Q32T1
3375
3407
1%
Samsung SSD 960 Evo 500GB m.2 NVMe
CDM 5 Read Seq Q32T1: 3375 MB/s
CDM 5 Write Seq Q32T1: 1756 MB/s
CDM 5 Read 4K Q32T1: 635.1 MB/s
CDM 5 Write 4K Q32T1: 508.5 MB/s
CDM 5 Read Seq: 1330 MB/s
CDM 5 Write Seq: 1448 MB/s
CDM 5 Read 4K: 46.76 MB/s
CDM 5 Write 4K: 174.6 MB/s

GPU Performance

MXM technology or not: The GPUs have similar specs compared to their soldered siblings. While the GeForce GTX 1060 will reach its limits at the native 1080p resolution, you have much more headroom for maximum details and quality improvements (anti-aliasing etc.) with the GeForce GTX 1070 or GTX 1080, respectively.

3DMark - 1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Asus G701VIK-BA049T
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
23091 Points ∼100% +6%
Acer Predator 17 X GX-792-76DL
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
22566 Points ∼98% +4%
Guru Mars K
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
21778 Points ∼94%
Schenker XMG U727 2017
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
21534 Points ∼93% -1%
MSI GT75VR 7RF-012 Titan Pro
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
21366 Points ∼93% -2%
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
Asus G701VIK-BA049T
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
31412 Points ∼100% +6%
Guru Mars K
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
29615 Points ∼94%
Schenker XMG U727 2017
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
29426 Points ∼94% -1%
MSI GT75VR 7RF-012 Titan Pro
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
29109 Points ∼93% -2%
Acer Predator 17 X GX-792-76DL
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
28595 Points ∼91% -3%

You should get Nvidia's high-end model if you want to play all upcoming games at the highest settings possible. The GTX 1080 has 2560 shaders as well as 8 GB GDDR5X memory attached via 256-bit interface. The core can reach 1582-1771 MHz under load, but Nvidia's Pascal chips can automatically increase the frequency further if the cooling is sufficient. The render test of the tool GPU-Z determined up to 1900 MHz, and the GTX 1080 leveled off at a respectable 1785 MHz in Unigine Heaven 4.0.

The Mars K has no problems keeping up with the rivals in the GPU benchmarks. All the GTX 1080 laptops are within a range of 10% in 3DMark 11 and the 3DMark 13 Fire Strike test.

3DMark 11 Performance
20487 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
180239 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
32819 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
16980 points
Help

The next test is our The Witcher 3 graph, which simulates sustained workloads by challenging 3D applications (in this case with Ultra preset @1080p). The frame rate drops from 76 to ~66 FPS in the beginning of our one-hour test, but there is no throttling. The performance drop is a result of the decreased Turbo range (CPU: ~3.6 GHz; GPU: ~1770 MHz).

01234567891011121314151617181920212223242526272829303132333435363738394041424344454647484950515253545556575859606162636465666768697071727374757677Tooltip
The Witcher 3 ultra

Gaming Performance

Modern games will run smoothly at the highest settings as long as you stick to the native 1080p resolution. The high 2- or 3-digit results in our benchmark table show that a 120 Hz panel would have paid off – at least in combination with the GTX 1080.

Even an external 4K monitor is usually no obstacle for the Mars K. Only very challenging and/or poorly optimized titles like PUBG and Ark Survival Evolved require reduced details at 3840x2160 pixels. A QHD panel (2560x1440 pixels) would be the perfect fit for the GTX 1070.

low med. high ultra4K
The Witcher 3 (2015) 14575.952.6fps
Ghost Recon Wildlands (2017) 10561.640.9fps
Prey (2017) 14114068.2fps
Rocket League (2017) 239110fps
Dirt 4 (2017) 16797.2fps
Playerunknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) (2017) 11693.434.8fps
F1 2017 (2017) 14111258fps
Ark Survival Evolved (2017) 6644.717.2fps
FIFA 18 (2017) 309301198fps

Emissions

System Noise

The fan control is traditionally a weakness of Clevo barebones, and the P775DM3-G is no exception. The main issue – as per usual – is the fan behavior while idling. You can clearly hear the 17-inch system at 36-37 dB(A) even without any load. The fans also tend towards 40 dB(A) with simple workloads like office, video, or web applications. Some rpm changes happen without any apparent reason.

System noise idle
System noise idle
System noise load
System noise load
Speaker measurements
Speaker measurements

The Mars K also gets louder than some of the gaming rivals at 45-55 dB(A) – despite its thick construction. However, none of the GTX 1080 notebooks can be called quiet.

Noise Level

Idle
36 / 37 / 40 dB(A)
Load
45 / 55 dB(A)
 
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Audix TM1, Arta (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 29 dB(A)
Guru Mars K
7700, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
Schenker XMG U727 2017
7700K, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
Asus G701VIK-BA049T
7820HK, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
MSI GT75VR 7RF-012 Titan Pro
7820HK, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
Acer Predator 17 X GX-792-76DL
7820HK, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
Noise
4%
6%
-1%
6%
off / environment *
29
30
-3%
30
-3%
30
-3%
30
-3%
Idle Minimum *
36
31
14%
30
17%
33
8%
33
8%
Idle Average *
37
34
8%
31
16%
34
8%
35
5%
Idle Maximum *
40
37
7%
36
10%
38
5%
37
7%
Load Average *
45
44
2%
47
-4%
44
2%
40
11%
Witcher 3 ultra *
50
51
-2%
56
-12%
Load Maximum *
55
52
5%
56
-2%
62
-13%
50
9%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

There is a big difference between temperatures inside and outside the chassis when we analyze the results. While the chassis does not get overly warm even after our one-hour stress test with the tools FurMark and Prime95 (up to 46 °C), the components can run very hot. We saw up to 89 °C under maximum load for the GTX 1080 and up to 100 °C for the Core i7-7700 (according to HWMonitor). Both components still have to throttle a bit in these extreme conditions.

Stress test
Stress test
Maximum load top (Optris PI 640)
Maximum load top (Optris PI 640)
Maximum load bottom (Optris PI 640)
Maximum load bottom (Optris PI 640)

Here we can see the effect of the high TDPs from processor and graphics chip. The cooling system – even such a big one – reaches its limits.

Max. Load
 46 °C44 °C37 °C 
 42 °C45 °C38 °C 
 32 °C35 °C26 °C 
Maximum: 46 °C
Average: 38.3 °C
45 °C46 °C42 °C
43 °C44 °C35 °C
24 °C28 °C29 °C
Maximum: 46 °C
Average: 37.3 °C
Power Supply (max.)  48 °C | Room Temperature 20 °C | Voltcraft IR-900
Guru Mars K
7700, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
Schenker XMG U727 2017
7700K, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
Asus G701VIK-BA049T
7820HK, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
MSI GT75VR 7RF-012 Titan Pro
7820HK, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
Acer Predator 17 X GX-792-76DL
7820HK, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
Heat
-10%
2%
-11%
1%
Maximum Upper Side *
46
47.5
-3%
50.9
-11%
46
-0%
44.2
4%
Maximum Bottom *
46
56
-22%
44.6
3%
57
-24%
43
7%
Idle Upper Side *
32
34.5
-8%
29.9
7%
34
-6%
32.4
-1%
Idle Bottom *
31
33.6
-8%
28.8
7%
35
-13%
32.8
-6%

* ... smaller is better

Speakers

The Mars K deserves praise for its convenient sound system. Okay, you can notice drawbacks compared to good headsets or an external solution (the sound is pretty tinny, high tones tend to distort, etc.), but the result is rich and powerful for a notebook – independent of the maximum volume.

The 2.1 system consists of two speakers and one subwoofer and benefits a lot from the audio software Sound Blaster X-Fi MB5, which optimizes the sound noticeably. Thanks to multiple profiles, you can adjust the sound based on the content. There are settings for music, movie, voice and several gaming genres. All in all, the sound quality is on par with the Dynaudio system in the MSI GT75VR 7RF.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2031.535.82529.829.23127294028.731.25024.926.26325.327802538.110023.452.11252350.616022.860.920021.164.225020.665.331519.265.44001964.85001862.463017.162.980016.869.710001765.812501763.5160016.561.1200016.963.1250017.163.4315017.466400017.566.9500017.263.2630017.364.9800017.365.6100001864.81250017.965.7160001758.2SPL29.577.1N1.244median 17.4Guru Mars Kmedian 64.2Delta12.140.253.133.156.829.258.330.657.727.557.925.559.626.56125.762.323.764.123.167.52273.822.276.720.379.318.681.218.277.517.476.217.279.217.180.417.283.217.486.517.388.817.39017.388.217.288.417.386.817.581.517.277.717.77717.873.417.270.429.797.91.3130.6median 17.4MSI GT75VR 7RF-012 Titan Promedian 79.21.85.2hearing rangehide median Pink Noise
Guru Mars K audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (77 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 5.2% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (10.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 2% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 1.3% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (3.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (5.9% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 0% of all tested devices in this class were better, 1% similar, 99% worse
» The best had a delta of 6%, average was 18%, worst was 37%
Compared to all devices tested
» 0% of all tested devices were better, 0% similar, 99% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

MSI GT75VR 7RF-012 Titan Pro audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (98 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 8.7% lower than median
(+) | bass is linear (4.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 3.6% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (4% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 6.1% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (3.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (9.7% 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 6%, average was 18%, worst was 37%
Compared to all devices tested
» 2% of all tested devices were better, 0% similar, 98% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Frequency comparison (checkboxes select/deselectable!)

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The Mars K supports Nvidia's G-Sync technology (creates a smoother picture), so it has to waive switchable graphics. This has a big effect on the power consumption and the battery runtime. The desktop hardware itself does not affect the measurements too much though. MSI's GT75VR 7RF consumes more power than the Guru Mars K in some scenarios, despite the mobile CPU. 31-44 W while idling and 116-312 W under load is still a lot for a notebook.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.4 / 1.1 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 31 / 37 / 44 Watt
Load midlight 116 / 312 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Guru Mars K
7700, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
Schenker XMG U727 2017
7700K, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
Asus G701VIK-BA049T
7820HK, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
MSI GT75VR 7RF-012 Titan Pro
7820HK, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
Acer Predator 17 X GX-792-76DL
7820HK, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
Power Consumption
-12%
13%
-5%
13%
Idle Minimum *
31
32
-3%
24
23%
34
-10%
27
13%
Idle Average *
37
43
-16%
31
16%
41
-11%
32
14%
Idle Maximum *
44
51
-16%
38
14%
50
-14%
41
7%
Load Average *
116
138
-19%
98
16%
106
9%
102
12%
Load Maximum *
312
350
-12%
320
-3%
320
-3%
248
21%
Witcher 3 ultra *
259
279
-8%
257
1%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Runtime

Longer road trips are not only prevented by the heavy chassis but also by the meager runtimes. The battery capacity of 82 Wh is not bad (the rivals offer between 75 and 93 Wh), but the 17-inch test model only lasts 3:20 hours while idling at the minimum luminance. Movie playback is possible for 2:33 hours at an adjusted luminance of 150 nits.

The gaming laptop has to be recharged after less than 2 hours if you use the full luminance and stress the system. However, we should note that most rivals are not better in this respect. All the results combined sit between the Asus G701VIK/Acer Predator 17 X (longer runtime) and the MSI GT75VR 7RF. The latter is the device with the least stamina here.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
3h 20min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
2h 33min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 47min
Guru Mars K
7700, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 82 Wh
Schenker XMG U727 2017
7700K, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 89 Wh
Asus G701VIK-BA049T
7820HK, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 93 Wh
MSI GT75VR 7RF-012 Titan Pro
7820HK, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 75 Wh
Acer Predator 17 X GX-792-76DL
7820HK, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 88.8 Wh
Battery Runtime
1%
25%
-17%
25%
Reader / Idle
200
222
11%
342
71%
182
-9%
313
57%
H.264
153
148
-3%
204
33%
Load
107
97
-9%
83
-22%
65
-39%
90
-16%
WiFi v1.3
168
241
144
251

Verdict

Pros

+ optional overclocking via Control Center
+ many ports (incl. Thunderbolt 3)
+ replaceable CPU & GPU
+ three-zone keyboard with RGB illumination
+ moderate chassis temperatures
+ outstanding performance
+ individual configuration
+ simple maintenance
+ good IPS panel
+ rich sound
+ NVMe-SSD
+ G-Sync

Cons

- CPU & GPU can get very hot
- mediocre fan control while idling
- no QHD/UHD options yet
- high power consumption
- pretty loud under stress
- meager battery runtime
- huge power adapter
- high weight
- thick chassis
In review: Guru Mars K. Test model courtesy of Gaming Guru.
In review: Guru Mars K. Test model courtesy of Gaming Guru.

The Guru Mars K is the right choice if you are looking for a powerful desktop replacement with great maintainability/upgradeability and if the bulky as well as heavy chassis is no problem.

The 17-inch gaming laptop is full of high-end hardware. A combination of Core i7-7700GeForce GTX 1080, and PCIe-SSD handles every regular application with ease. You also get good input devices (three-zone keyboard with RGB illumination!), powerful sound system, and plenty of ports.

The IPS display is convincing as well, at least if you can live with the resolution and the frequency (only 1080p @75 Hz). We did not find any issues with the viewing angles, color accuracy, luminance, or contrast.

Drawbacks include the enormous power consumption and the limited battery runtime, but these should not be deal-breakers for a desktop replacement. The mediocre fan control and the high system noise under 3D workloads are much more annoying.

The Mars K will still secure a good spot in our next update of the Top 10 ranking.

Guru Mars K - 10/09/2017 v6
Florian Glaser

Chassis
76 / 98 → 78%
Keyboard
85%
Pointing Device
78%
Connectivity
73 / 81 → 90%
Weight
47 / 66 → 67%
Battery
65%
Display
88%
Games Performance
99%
Application Performance
100%
Temperature
81 / 95 → 85%
Noise
54 / 90 → 60%
Audio
85%
Average
78%
87%
Gaming - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Guru Mars K (Clevo P775DM3-G) Laptop Review
Florian Glaser, 2017-10-15 (Update: 2017-10-16)
Andreas Osthoff
Andreas Osthoff - Senior Editor Business
I grew up with computers and modern consumer electronics. I am interested in the technology since I had my first computer, a Commodore C64, and started building my own PCs after that. My focus here at Notebookcheck is the business segment including mobile workstations, but I also like to test new mobile devices. It is always a great experience to review and compare new products. My free time is filled with a lot of sports, in the summer mainly on my bike.