Notebookcheck

PC Specialist Defiance IV (i7-7700HQ, GTX 1060, Full HD) Laptop Review

Florian Glaser (translated by Katherine Bodner), 12/22/2017

Off beat. The Defiance IV is a stylish 17-inch gaming notebook that is equipped with a Core i7-7700HQ, a GeForce 1060 and a 120-Hz display. Find out whether the CPU's clock rate problems under higher loads impact the gaming experience in our detailed review.

If you are looking for a high-end notebook that can be configured individually, the online store pcspecialist.co.uk is the right place for you. The manufacturer offers compact 14 and 15-inch devices as well as several 17-inch models.

The Defiance IV is available from £1150 (~$1537, at the time of writing - Dec 21, 2017) and its basic configuration offers a quad-core processor from Intel's Kaby Lake series and a 120-Hz TN panel. It can also be equipped with 4 - 32 GB of DDR4 RAM and either a GeForce GTX 1060 or GTX 1070. There are a lot of optional storage devices, as the Defiance IV not only has a 2.5-inch drive bay but also has two modern M.2 slots, one of which supports PCIe.

The power supply, thermal paste, wireless module, operating system and keyboard language can also be chosen by the user. We will not go into details about the many peripheral devices and accessories that can be purchased with the notebook. Our test unit, which is powered by a GeForce GTX 1060, 16 GB of RAM and a 256-GB SSD with NVMe technology, costs about £1500 (~$2005) at the time of writing. 

There is a lot of competition for 17-inch notebooks in the gaming segment. We will use suitable devices from the (mobile) Top 10 list as comparison devices for this review. These include the MSI GS73VR 7RG (GTX 1070 Max-Q), the Acer V17 Nitro (GTX 1060) and the Razer Blade Pro (GTX 1060). The list is completed by the significantly more powerful Medion Erazer X7857 (i7-7820HK/GTX 1070), which is based on an almost identical case.

Please note: This device is not available in the US at the time of writing.

PC Zentrum Defiance IV
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop) - 6144 MB, Core: 1455 MHz, Memory: 8000 MHz, GDDR5, ForceWare 388.59, Optimus
Memory
16384 MB 
, SO-DIMM DDR4-2133, Single-Channel, 1 of 2 slots occupied, max. 32 GB
Display
17.3 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 127 PPI, CMN N173HHE-G32 (CMN1747), TN, 120 Hz, Full-HD, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel HM175
Storage
Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP, 256 GB 
, NVMe SSD. Slots: 2x M.2 (one of which is PCIe) & 1x 2.5-inch
Soundcard
Realtek ALC892 @ Intel Sunrise Point PCH - High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
5 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 0 USB 3.1 Gen2, 1 HDMI, 2 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: 1x audio jack, 1x microphone, 1x S/PDIF, Card Reader: SD,SDHC,SDXC,Mini-SD,MMC,RSMMC, 1 Fingerprint Reader
Networking
Realtek PCIe GBE Family 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): 25 x 419 x 287 ( = 0.98 x 16.5 x 11.3 in)
Battery
66 Wh, 4320 mAh Lithium-Ion, 4 cells
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: 2.0 MP FHD
Additional features
Speakers: 2.1, Keyboard: chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, 200-watt power supply, user's manuals, driver DVD, Windows DVD, BullGuard Internet Security Trial, MS Office 365 Trial, 36 Months Warranty
Weight
3.008 kg ( = 106.1 oz / 6.63 pounds), Power Supply: 843 g ( = 29.74 oz / 1.86 pounds)
Price
1480 EUR
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

Unlike the recently tested Proteus V, the case of the Defiance IV comes from the well-known barebone manufacturer Clevo. The 17-inch case is made almost entirely of aluminum, which promises high quality and good stability. Unfortunately, the latter is only true for the base unit: The display cover could be a lot more stable and warp-resistant despite its metal surface.

Apart from that, the case gave a great impression. We have nothing to criticize about the workmanship, for example. The design, as always, is a matter of taste. The shape and form is quite modern considering it is a Clevo case, but it still remains simple and straightforward. The same case (PA71HP6) is used in a slightly altered form for the Medion Erazer X7857, which means that the two devices can be compared with each other easily.

Talking of comparison: While many 17-inch gaming devices are rather bulky, the Defiance IV is quite slim with a height of 2.5 cm (~0.98 in) - only the MSI GS73VR 7RG (19.6 mm / 0.77 in) and the Razer Blade Pro (22.5 mm / 0.88 in) are slimmer. The weight is average at 3.0 kg (~ 6.6 lbs). This is a little too heavy to carry about regularly, so users who travel a lot might want to choose a lighter 15-inch device.

Size Comparison

Connectivity

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Ports

Apart from the missing Thunderbolt 3 port, the Defiance IV has a very good port selection. It offers a total of five USB 3.0 / 3.1 gen 1 ports (4x Type-A, 1x Type-C), which is just as generous for a gaming notebook as the three digital image output connectors (2x Mini-DisplayPort, 1x HDMI) and three audio jacks (headphones, microphone, S/PDIF). Last but not least, the device has an RJ45 port, a card reader and a Kensington lock connector.

The distribution of the ports is not quite as pleasing. Many ports are placed towards the front of the two sides, which can make it difficult to use a mouse without colliding with connected cables. We would have preferred a stronger focus on the back for port positioning.

Left: power supply, HDMI, 2x Mini-DisplayPort, USB-C 3.0, 2x USB-A 3.0
Left: power supply, HDMI, 2x Mini-DisplayPort, USB-C 3.0, 2x USB-A 3.0
Right: 3x audio, card reader, 2x USB-A 3.0, RJ45-LAN, Kensington lock
Right: 3x audio, card reader, 2x USB-A 3.0, RJ45-LAN, Kensington lock

SD card reader

The card reader not only supports the usual formats (SD, Mini-SD, SDHC and SDXC) but also supports the more unusual MMC and RSMMC versions. We would also like to compliment the Defiance IV on its first-class performance in this area. Only the MSI GS73VR 7RG can keep up with a sequential read rate of 207 MB/s, and 179 MB/s when transferring photos (which was measured with our reference card from Toshiba). Most gaming notebooks only manage USB 3.0 speeds (about 100 MB/s) or USB 2.0 speeds (about 30 MB/s).

SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
MSI GS73VR 7RG
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
182.9 MB/s ∼100% +2%
PC Zentrum Defiance IV
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
179 MB/s ∼98%
Razer Blade Pro RZ09-0220
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
69.2 MB/s ∼38% -61%
Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793-738J
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
23 MB/s ∼13% -87%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
MSI GS73VR 7RG
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
212.24 MB/s ∼100% +3%
PC Zentrum Defiance IV
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
207 MB/s ∼98%
Razer Blade Pro RZ09-0220
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
83.2 MB/s ∼39% -60%
Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793-738J
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
23.3 MB/s ∼11% -89%

Communication

Our device is equipped with the Wi-Fi module Intel Wireless AC 8265 for wireless communication. It supports 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac as well as Bluetooth 4.2. The device received varying results in our range test, which is done at one meter distance to the reference router Linksys EA8500. While it only managed an average 436 Mbit/s when sending, it reached a great speed of 680 Mbit/s when receiving.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
PC Zentrum Defiance IV
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
680 MBit/s ∼100%
Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793-738J
Qualcomm/Atheros QCA6174
638 MBit/s ∼94% -6%
MSI GS73VR 7RG
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
605 MBit/s ∼89% -11%
Razer Blade Pro RZ09-0220
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
424 MBit/s ∼62% -38%
Medion Erazer X7857
Intel 8265 Tri-Band WiFi (Oak Peak) Network Adapter
371 MBit/s ∼55% -45%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Medion Erazer X7857
Intel 8265 Tri-Band WiFi (Oak Peak) Network Adapter
664 MBit/s ∼100% +52%
Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793-738J
Qualcomm/Atheros QCA6174
626 MBit/s ∼94% +44%
Razer Blade Pro RZ09-0220
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
589 MBit/s ∼89% +35%
MSI GS73VR 7RG
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
486 MBit/s ∼73% +11%
PC Zentrum Defiance IV
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
436 MBit/s ∼66%

Software & Accessories

The operating system is free from annoying bloatware, which is great. However, PC Specialist almost exaggerated its slim setup. We could not find a program to adapt keyboard backlighting nor software for the Creative sound system. These tools are probably available on the driver DVD.

Great news: PC Specialist sends a Windows DVD with its device, which is becoming more and more uncommon and makes reinstalling the operating system a lot easier. A 200-watt power supply takes care of the Defiance IV's energy needs. The power supply weighs 843 grams (~1.8 lbs).

Maintenance

Like most gaming notebooks, maintenance work is done by coming in from the bottom of the base unit. After removing various screws from the device, the entire cover can be lifted up. Below, you have access to the slots for storage devices, two DDR4 RAM slots, the wireless module, battery and cooling system, which is made up of three fans (two for the GPU, one for the CPU) and several heat pipes. Please be aware that as the processor and graphics chips are soldered onto the motherboard, it is not possible to upgrade these later on. The keyboard, on the other hand, can be exchanged.

Warranty

PC Specialist offers a generous warranty. Three years is very unusual in the notebook segment, although the 36 months is only valid for labor. Parts have a warranty of two years. You can extend the collect-and-return warranty from one month to 12 or 24 months for an additional fee. You can also additionally choose a dead-pixel warranty.

Input Devices

Keyboard

The keyboard is Clevo's chiclet model, which is particularly attractive due to its three-zone and multi-level keyboard-backlighting. Unlike the Proteus V, the keyboard of the Defiance IV has a mostly conventional layout. Only the position of the arrow keys could be bothersome for some users: While they are nicely sized, they are fitted in-between the main area and the number pad.

The keyboard offers an average typing experience. Pressure points and stop are fine, but they are not great. The sound the keys make is also OK. As usual, additional functions such as changing the brightness and volume can be activated via the Fn key and F row.

Touchpad

The mouse replacement is a conventional touchpad with dedicated keys. It is about 11 x 6 cm (~4.3 x 2.3 in) large and a fingerprint-reader is incorporated into the top left corner.

Although the surface of the touchpad is a little rough, gliding is still alright, but we would have occasionally wished for a little more precision. Multitouch support, on the other hand, is very good in the Defiance IV. Zooming and scrolling down documents and websites is easy with a two-finger gesture. The mouse keys could be improved a little, as they rattle and could have a clearer pressure point.

Display

The 17-inch device is equipped with a matte 120-Hz panel (CMN N173HHE-G32), which is also used in the MSI GS72VR-7RG. The main advantages of a TN panel are the low response times. 9 ms black-to-white and 28.8 ms gray-to-gray are not available to notebooks with IPS technology.

279
cd/m²
306
cd/m²
267
cd/m²
295
cd/m²
312
cd/m²
281
cd/m²
292
cd/m²
285
cd/m²
288
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 312 cd/m² Average: 289.4 cd/m² Minimum: 14 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 86 %
Center on Battery: 312 cd/m²
Contrast: 1076:1 (Black: 0.29 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 10.64 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.2
ΔE Greyscale 11.66 | 0.64-98 Ø6.4
100% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 77% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.08
PC Zentrum Defiance IV
CMN N173HHE-G32 (CMN1747), 1920x1080, 17.3
Medion Erazer X7857
LG Philips LP 173WF4-SPF5, 1920x1080, 17.3
MSI GS73VR 7RG
ID: CMN1747, Name: Chi Mei N173HHE-G32, 1920x1080, 17.3
Razer Blade Pro RZ09-0220
ID: AUO169D, Name: AU Optronics B173HAN01.6, 1920x1080, 17.3
Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793-738J
AU Optronics B173ZAN01.0, 3840x2160, 17.3
Response Times
59%
9%
-171%
-101%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
28.8 (16.4, 12.4)
34 (18, 16)
-18%
23.6 (13.6, 10)
18%
36.8 (19.6, 17.2)
-28%
29 (14, 15)
-1%
Response Time Black / White *
9 (6.8, 2.2)
24 (14, 10)
-167%
8.4 (6, 2.4)
7%
37.2 (21.6, 15.6)
-313%
27 (16, 11)
-200%
PWM Frequency
25770 (20)
119000 (90)
362%
26040 (10)
1%
Screen
3%
5%
18%
21%
Brightness middle
312
413
32%
350.9
12%
367.4
18%
380
22%
Brightness
289
376
30%
311
8%
363
26%
336
16%
Brightness Distribution
86
82
-5%
79
-8%
86
0%
81
-6%
Black Level *
0.29
0.6
-107%
0.33
-14%
0.32
-10%
0.32
-10%
Contrast
1076
688
-36%
1063
-1%
1148
7%
1188
10%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
10.64
5.06
52%
7.7
28%
3.8
64%
5.32
50%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
18.65
9.33
50%
14.4
23%
10.4
44%
7.63
59%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
11.66
5.29
55%
11.1
5%
3.5
70%
4.9
58%
Gamma
2.08 106%
2.64 83%
2.11 104%
2.18 101%
2.61 84%
CCT
14907 44%
6766 96%
11813 55%
6467 101%
6558 99%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
77
55
-29%
77.74
1%
58.1
-25%
87.2
13%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
100
83
-17%
100
0%
89.3
-11%
100
0%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
31% / 16%
7% / 6%
-77% / -13%
-40% / 1%

* ... smaller is better

A further strong point of our test unit's screen is the large color space. It covers 100% of the sRGB color space and 77% of the AdobeRGB color space, which most gaming notebooks can only dream of. Luminosity (289 cd/m²), black value (0.29 cd/m²) and contrast (1076:1) also gave good results. Clevo could improve its color accuracy, however. The display had a strong blue cast ex-works - but luckily, we could remove this by calibrating the screen. You can download our ICC file above.

CalMAN: grayscales
CalMAN: grayscales
CalMAN: grayscales (calibrated)
CalMAN: grayscales (calibrated)
CalMAN: color saturation
CalMAN: color saturation
CalMAN: color saturation (calibrated)
CalMAN: color saturation (calibrated)
CalMAN: ColorChecker
CalMAN: ColorChecker
CalMAN: ColorChecker (calibrated)
CalMAN: ColorChecker (calibrated)
Defiance IV vs. sRGB (100%)
Defiance IV vs. sRGB (100%)
Defiance IV vs. AdobeRGB (77%)
Defiance IV vs. AdobeRGB (77%)

The notebook's viewing angles are another weakness. Even good TN panels, such as the one used in the Defiance IV, cannot keep up with an IPS screen's vertical viewing angles. However, the 17-inch device does a good job outdoors. Thanks to the very good brightness levels and the matte surface, the screen can usually be read without any difficulties. We would also like to mention the decent brightness distribution without any brighter or darker spots. The fact that the screen flickers at a brightness level of 20% and below should not be a problem even for sensitive users due to the high frequency of 15,770 Hz.

subpixel array
subpixel array
outdoor use
outdoor use
viewing angles
viewing angles

The Defiance IV does not offer Nvidia's image optimization technology G-Sync. Instead, PC Specialist has given the 17-inch device Nvidia's Optimus technology. This technology switches from the GeForce GPU to the integrated Intel HD Graphics 630 when possible, which saves energy and is also good news for emissions.

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
9 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 6.8 ms rise
↘ 2.2 ms fall
The screen shows fast response rates in our tests and should be suited for gaming.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 6 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (25.6 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
28.8 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 16.4 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 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 14 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (41 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 25770 Hz ≤ 20 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 25770 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 20 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 25770 Hz is quite high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering.

In comparison: 52 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9063 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Performance

With its NVMe SSD and 16 GB of DDR4 RAM, the Defiance IV can be considered a high-end device. The quad-core processor should have enough reserves for the next few years, but things might get a little tighter for the graphics card - at least if you want to continue playing in high to maximum details and would like to connect a QHD or 4K display in the future.

Processor

We are not surprised by the choice of processor: an Intel Core i7-7700HQ. The Kaby Lake chip is currently operating in a lot of gaming notebooks and offers a good compromise between performance and power consumption, although Intel has been resting on its laurels a little too much in the past few years and will soon have to face the competition of AMD's Ryzen CPUs. We received a first taste of this with the Asus GL702ZC, although this is equipped with the Ryzen 7 1700, which is a desktop model.

single-core rendering
single-core rendering
multi-core rendering
multi-core rendering
GPU load
GPU load

But back to the Core i7-7700HQ. The quad-core processor, manufactured in the 14 nm process, is equipped with 6 MB of L3 cache and it reaches a clock rate of 2.8 - 3.8 GHz under load. There were no anomalies during the CPU benchmarks. The performance of the Defiance IV is similar to that of other 7700HQ notebooks.

Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Medion Erazer X7857
Intel Core i7-7820HK
162 Points ∼100% +1%
Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793-738J
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
161 Points ∼99% +1%
Razer Blade Pro RZ09-0220
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
160 Points ∼99% 0%
PC Zentrum Defiance IV
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
160 Points ∼99%
MSI GS73VR 7RG
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
154 Points ∼95% -4%
CPU Multi 64Bit
MSI GS73VR 7RG
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
739 Points ∼100% +1%
Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793-738J
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
734 Points ∼99% 0%
Razer Blade Pro RZ09-0220
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
733 Points ∼99% 0%
PC Zentrum Defiance IV
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
731 Points ∼99%
Medion Erazer X7857
Intel Core i7-7820HK
689 Points ∼93% -6%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit
MSI GS73VR 7RG
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
1.84 Points ∼100% +1%
PC Zentrum Defiance IV
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
1.83 Points ∼99%
Razer Blade Pro RZ09-0220
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
1.66 Points ∼90% -9%
CPU Multi 64Bit
MSI GS73VR 7RG
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
8.18 Points ∼100% 0%
PC Zentrum Defiance IV
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
8.14 Points ∼100%
Razer Blade Pro RZ09-0220
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
7.14 Points ∼87% -12%

We tested how the clock rate changes over a longer period of time by running the Multi Core test from Cinebench R15. As long as only the processor is under load, the Core i7-7700HQ's Turbo Boost can reach its full potential. You can see very well from the graphs below that the results are all constant.

0102030405060708090100110120130140150160170180190200210220230240250260270280290300310320330340350360370380390400410420430440450460470480490500510520530540550560570580590600610620630640650660670680690700710720730Tooltip
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64 Bit
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.83 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
8.14 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
160 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
731 Points
Help

System Performance

The system performance of the Defiance IV is also similar to that of its competition. In the Work test of PCMark 8, our test unit even almost made first place among its comparison devices. Only the MSI GS73VR 7RG performed a little better.

PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
MSI GS73VR 7RG
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 7700HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN512HMJP
5215 Points ∼100% +1%
PC Zentrum Defiance IV
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
5180 Points ∼99%
Razer Blade Pro RZ09-0220
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SSD PM951 MZVLV256HCHP
5159 Points ∼99% 0%
Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793-738J
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW512G7
4207 Points ∼81% -19%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Medion Erazer X7857
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7820HK, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
5486 Points ∼100% +35%
MSI GS73VR 7RG
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 7700HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN512HMJP
4394 Points ∼80% +8%
Razer Blade Pro RZ09-0220
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SSD PM951 MZVLV256HCHP
4207 Points ∼77% +4%
PC Zentrum Defiance IV
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
4053 Points ∼74%
Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793-738J
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW512G7
3444 Points ∼63% -15%
PCMark 10 - Score
MSI GS73VR 7RG
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 7700HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN512HMJP
4891 Points ∼100% +8%
Razer Blade Pro RZ09-0220
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SSD PM951 MZVLV256HCHP
4752 Points ∼97% +5%
PC Zentrum Defiance IV
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
4543 Points ∼93%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
4053 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
5180 points
Help

Storage Devices

The 17-inch device does not lack slots for storage devices. The gaming notebook can be equipped with a 2.5-inch hard drive and up to two M.2 SSDs. In our case, the test unit came with a Samsung PM961 - an NVMe SSD with 256 GB of storage. This performs a lot better than some of the comparison devices' SSDs. The biggest difference in performance is to the MSI GS73VR 7RG. The test configuration from Xotic PC was equipped with a SATA III SSD. The Samsung PM951 (Razer Blade Pro) and Intel SSD 600p (Acer V17 Nitro) are also left behind by our fast SSD - although you are not likely to notice the difference in everyday use.

PC Zentrum Defiance IV
Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
Medion Erazer X7857
Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
MSI GS73VR 7RG
Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN512HMJP
Razer Blade Pro RZ09-0220
Samsung SSD PM951 MZVLV256HCHP
Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793-738J
Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW512G7
AS SSD
-37%
-51%
-31%
-29%
Score Total
2929
1990
-32%
1064
-64%
1951
-33%
1678
-43%
Score Write
778
106
-86%
417
-46%
406
-48%
677
-13%
Score Read
1429
1302
-9%
421
-71%
1056
-26%
692
-52%
4K Write
118.56
1.02
-99%
96.85
-18%
109.9
-7%
104.77
-12%
4K Read
51.74
45.19
-13%
33.69
-35%
38.31
-26%
29.75
-43%
Seq Write
1122.01
347.13
-69%
465.12
-59%
291.75
-74%
565.92
-50%
Seq Read
1484.64
2188.36
47%
497.89
-66%
1463.62
-1%
1590
7%
Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
CDM 5/6 Read Seq Q32T1: 1767 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write Seq Q32T1: 1194 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K Q32T1: 574.3 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K Q32T1: 469.5 MB/s
CDM 5 Read Seq: 1199 MB/s
CDM 5 Write Seq: 1100 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K: 46.31 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K: 142.3 MB/s

Graphics

The graphics card that PC Specialist has chosen is based on Nvidia's Pascal generation. While the GeForce GTX 1070 with 8 GB of GDDR5 VRAM is also suitable for 2560x1440 pixels, the GeForce GTX 1060 with 6 GB GDDR5 VRAM is make with Full HD in mind. Our test unit is equipped with the cheaper DirectX 12 chip. At first glance, the 3D performance was as expected. Both in 3DMark 11 and in the Fire Strike test from 3DMark 13, the Defiance IV was a few percent faster than the Acer V17 Nitro and Razer Blade Pro. Notebooks based on the GTX 1070 are 24% (Max-Q) and 50% (Non-Max-Q) faster.

3DMark - 1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
MSI GS73VR 7RG
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
14663 Points ∼100% +22%
PC Zentrum Defiance IV
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
11984 Points ∼82%
Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793-738J
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
11546 Points ∼79% -4%
Razer Blade Pro RZ09-0220
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
11049 Points ∼75% -8%
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
Medion Erazer X7857
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
22661 Points ∼100% +50%
MSI GS73VR 7RG
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
18642 Points ∼82% +24%
PC Zentrum Defiance IV
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
15092 Points ∼67%
Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793-738J
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
14556 Points ∼64% -4%
Razer Blade Pro RZ09-0220
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
13668 Points ∼60% -9%

Unfortunately, the Defiance IV slipped up during our long The Witcher 3 benchmark, which runs for 60 minutes at 1920x1080 pixels and maximum details. Like the 15-inch barebone equivalent P950HP6 (Guru Fire KS), the PA71HP6 case cannot keep its clock rate steady during maximum GPU load. However, in this case it is not the GPU, but the CPU that throttles, which is rather peculiar. Instead of reaching a clock rate of 2.8 to 3.8 GHz, the Core i7-7700HQ only manages 16 - 2.8 GHz during some 3D applications, which has a varying impact on performance.   

Of 10 tested games, five showed a lower frame rate by about 10% than on other GTX 1060 laptops (Star Wars Battlefront 2, Need for Speed Payback, Assassin's Creed Origins, Destiny 2, The Evil Within 2). In FIFA 18, the drop in performance even reaches 25%. Games that use hardly any processing power and/or are limited to the GPU (Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, Call of Duty WWII, Elex & The Witcher 3, for example) all run at normal frame rates.

01234567891011121314151617181920212223242526272829303132333435363738394041Tooltip
The Witcher 3 ultra

The GeForce GTX 1060 has no throttling problems. Thanks to automatic GPU overclocking, which is similar to Intel's Turbo Boost, the actual clock rate is often a lot higher than the base clock rate of 1455 MHz. The Unigine Heaven 4.0 benchmark, for example, measured an average clock rate of 1680 MHz, which is very decent. The GPU-Z render test of the GTX 1060 showed up to 1900 MHz. Due to the problems with the CPU, we cannot understand how Clevo can offer this barebone with a Core i7-7820HK and GeForce GTX 1070, as this combination tends to throttle even without 3D load.

3DMark 11 Performance
11900 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
115509 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
25108 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
10023 points
Help

Gaming Performance

With or without instable clock rates: This CPU/GPU combination is a good starting point for the Full HD display. Although it only rarely reaches 120 Hz at high settings, most games are still displayed smoothly. The Defiance IV only reaches its limits during very demanding games at maximum settings.

The Witcher 3
1920x1080 Ultra Graphics & Postprocessing (HBAO+)
Medion Erazer X7857
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7820HK
57.6 fps ∼100% +43%
MSI GS73VR 7RG
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 7700HQ
51.3 fps ∼89% +28%
PC Zentrum Defiance IV
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
40.2 fps ∼70%
Razer Blade Pro RZ09-0220
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
38.3 fps ∼66% -5%
1920x1080 High Graphics & Postprocessing (Nvidia HairWorks Off)
Medion Erazer X7857
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7820HK
102.79 fps ∼100% +42%
MSI GS73VR 7RG
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 7700HQ
98.2 fps ∼96% +36%
PC Zentrum Defiance IV
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
72.3 fps ∼70%
Razer Blade Pro RZ09-0220
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
66.4 fps ∼65% -8%

If you do not want to make any compromises concerning image quality, you should take a look at notebooks with the GeForce GTX 1070 (Max-Q) or the GTX 1080 (Max-Q). Particularly the GTX 1080 might be worth a 120 Hz screen, as long as it is not in QHD or UHD.

low med. high ultra
The Witcher 3 (2015) 72.340.2fps
FIFA 18 (2017) 163fps
Middle-earth: Shadow of War (2017) 7053fps
The Evil Within 2 (2017) 39.138.1fps
ELEX (2017) 6852fps
Destiny 2 (2017) 8571.4fps
Assassin´s Creed Origins (2017) 4942fps
Call of Duty WWII (2017) 92.371.6fps
Need for Speed Payback (2017) 69.166.2fps
Star Wars Battlefront 2 (2017) 61.155fps

Emissions

System Noise

We cannot give a general comment on system noise. As the GPU is deactivated during simple tasks, the Defiance IV is nice and quiet while idling. We would say that 31-33 dB is comfortable, although the 17-inch device is also completely silent at times, and the fans do not suddenly turn for no reason (something Clevo devices often do, see the Guru Fire KS).

system noise idle
system noise idle
system noise load
system noise load
system noise speakers
system noise speakers

The notebook becomes very loud under load, however. 46 dB (The Witcher 3) and a maximum of 50 dB (stress test) are above average and force sensitive users to resort to headphones. But all things considered, system noise really is OK.

Noise Level

Idle
31 / 32 / 33 dB(A)
Load
48 / 50 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
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: 30 dB(A)
PC Zentrum Defiance IV
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
Medion Erazer X7857
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7820HK
MSI GS73VR 7RG
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 7700HQ
Razer Blade Pro RZ09-0220
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793-738J
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
Noise
-1%
5%
8%
6%
off / environment *
30
30.3
-1%
28
7%
28.1
6%
30.8
-3%
Idle Minimum *
31
31.3
-1%
29.4
5%
29.5
5%
31.4
-1%
Idle Average *
32
31.7
1%
30.7
4%
29.6
7%
31.4
2%
Idle Maximum *
33
31.7
4%
34
-3%
29.6
10%
31.4
5%
Load Average *
48
48.3
-1%
42
12%
31.6
34%
38.6
20%
Witcher 3 ultra *
46
50.6
-10%
45.8
-0%
46
-0%
Load Maximum *
50
49.6
1%
45.8
8%
51.8
-4%
44.3
11%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

Temperature development is similar to system noise. Although the case remains very cool at about 24 °C (~75.2 °F) while idling, the 17-inch device heats up considerably during 3D use. It reaches up to 52 °C (~ 125.6 °F) on the bottom of the base unit, which means that you will probably not be gaming on your lap. Up to 50 °C (~122 °F) in the WASD area is not perfect either, but at least temperatures around the wrist rest only reach 36 °C (~96.8 °F).

stress test
stress test
full load top (Optris PI 640)
full load top (Optris PI 640)
full load bottom (Optris PI 640)
full load bottom (Optris PI 640)

The temperature situation inside the case is interesting. According to the HWMonitor tool, the GeForce GTX 1060 only reaches 78 °C (~172 °F) under full load, while the Core i7-7700HQ reaches between 90 and 98 °C (~194-208 °F). The fact that the CPU does not throttle in this case (despite seemingly higher load) must be due to a bug. As soon as Prime 95 is activated, Furmark cannot reach the full GPU potential in some notebooks.

Max. Load
 49 °C
120 F
49 °C
120 F
52 °C
126 F
 
 50 °C
122 F
46 °C
115 F
33 °C
91 F
 
 36 °C
97 F
35 °C
95 F
25 °C
77 F
 
Maximum: 52 °C = 126 F
Average: 41.7 °C = 107 F
43 °C
109 F
52 °C
126 F
50 °C
122 F
33 °C
91 F
50 °C
122 F
48 °C
118 F
28 °C
82 F
38 °C
100 F
40 °C
104 F
Maximum: 52 °C = 126 F
Average: 42.4 °C = 108 F
Power Supply (max.)  46 °C = 115 F | Room Temperature 20 °C = 68 F | Voltcraft IR-900
(-) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 41.7 °C / 107 F, compared to the average of 32.9 °C / 91 F for the devices in the class Gaming.
(-) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 52 °C / 126 F, compared to the average of 39.2 °C / 103 F, ranging from 21.6 to 68.8 °C for the class Gaming.
(-) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 52 °C / 126 F, compared to the average of 41.6 °C / 107 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 24.3 °C / 76 F, compared to the device average of 32.9 °C / 91 F.
(-) Playing The Witcher 3, the average temperature for the upper side is 39 °C / 102 F, compared to the device average of 32.9 °C / 91 F.
(±) The palmrests and touchpad can get very hot to the touch with a maximum of 36 °C / 96.8 F.
(-) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 28.7 °C / 83.7 F (-7.3 °C / -13.1 F).
PC Zentrum Defiance IV
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
Medion Erazer X7857
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7820HK
MSI GS73VR 7RG
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 7700HQ
Razer Blade Pro RZ09-0220
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793-738J
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
Heat
-6%
-9%
6%
-11%
Maximum Upper Side *
52
46.2
11%
52.2
-0%
48.2
7%
56
-8%
Maximum Bottom *
52
42.2
19%
46.6
10%
43.2
17%
48.7
6%
Idle Upper Side *
26
32.4
-25%
30.8
-18%
25.4
2%
30.9
-19%
Idle Bottom *
25
32.2
-29%
32
-28%
25.8
-3%
30.6
-22%

* ... smaller is better

Speakers

The sound quality is mediocre. According to our audio analysis, the 2.1 system, which is made up of two speakers and one subwoofer, can play highs quite nicely while there is still room for improvement for middle and bass frequencies. Subjectively, we were not particularly convinced by the device's sound as movies, games and music sound rather tinny and unbalanced. But this can be said for almost every gaming notebook. From our comparison field, only the Acer V17 Nitro offers noticeably better sound. The MSI GS73VR 7RG has the worst speakers, which are below what you would expect for that price.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2040.6422533.934.23130.8284034.235.6503433.26327.328.48031.731.110035.240.312525.138.416025.247.720026.754.525027.55831521.960.540022.167.150022.972.763020.172.58001866.9100019.170.3125017.770.2160017.568200017.665.8250017.462.8315017.461.7400017.361.1500017.357.9630017.460.5800017.459.31000017.456.41250017.357.21600017.249SPL30.978.6N1.643.3median 17.7median 60.5Delta3.65.842.636.242.640.432.240.443.931.743.945.22945.246.428.846.45030.85051.428.351.453.428.953.454.824.554.857.62457.658.724.658.761.222.161.265.32265.363.720.863.765.820.365.870.819.370.870.118.670.168.517.968.570.317.770.371.81771.86417.16466.116.966.163.31763.360.616.960.657.616.957.663.11763.168.617.268.66717.16754.717.254.751.317.451.379.53079.5481.448median 63.7median 17.7median 63.75.425.4hearing rangehide median Pink NoisePC Zentrum Defiance IVAcer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793-738J
PC Zentrum Defiance IV audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (79 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 10.6% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (12.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 8.7% higher than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (7.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 1.7% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (4.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (16.2% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 43% of all tested devices in this class were better, 8% similar, 49% worse
» The best had a delta of 6%, average was 17%, worst was 37%
Compared to all devices tested
» 21% of all tested devices were better, 5% similar, 75% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793-738J audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (72 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 5.7% lower than median
(+) | bass is linear (5% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 4.4% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (6% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 3% away from median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (7.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (10.6% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 7% of all tested devices in this class were better, 6% similar, 87% worse
» The best had a delta of 6%, average was 17%, worst was 37%
Compared to all devices tested
» 3% of all tested devices were better, 2% similar, 95% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Frequency diagram in comparison (checkboxes can be turned on/off!)

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The graphics-switching technology means that the device requires a lot less power while idling. 9-21 watts is significantly less than the average consumption of a gaming notebook with G-Sync. Under load, the Defiance IV has very similar rates (88-160 watts) to the GTX 1060 competitors MSI GS73VR 7RG (88-161 watts) and Acer V17 Nitro (91-155 watts). The 200-watt power supply offers sufficient power.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.3 / 0.8 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 9 / 16 / 21 Watt
Load midlight 88 / 160 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
PC Zentrum Defiance IV
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
Medion Erazer X7857
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7820HK
MSI GS73VR 7RG
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 7700HQ
Razer Blade Pro RZ09-0220
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793-738J
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
Power Consumption
-49%
-5%
4%
-10%
Idle Minimum *
9
20.6
-129%
10.1
-12%
10.6
-18%
10.5
-17%
Idle Average *
16
26
-63%
18.3
-14%
16
-0%
20.5
-28%
Idle Maximum *
21
28
-33%
19.6
7%
16.4
22%
22
-5%
Load Average *
88
95
-8%
87.6
-0%
75.9
14%
91
-3%
Load Maximum *
160
197
-23%
160.7
-0%
163.8
-2%
155
3%
Witcher 3 ultra *
124
170
-37%
136.3
-10%
111.2
10%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Runtime

The device has good battery runtimes thanks to Optimus technology. It lasted 4:56 hours while playing HD videos, which, for a powerful high-end notebook, is just as great as its 4:57 hours of surfing on Wi-Fi (average brightness). When the notebook is under very low load and set to the lowest brightness level, the 4-cell battery (66 Wh) can even last up to 7:37 hours - which is a decent result. When running 3D applications at full brightness, the 17-inch device needs to reconnect to the power supply after 1:54 hours, so gaming on battery is only limited. Performance dropped from an average 39 fps to 16-32 fps during the The Witcher 3 test and the frame rate fluctuated a lot.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
7h 37min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
4h 57min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
4h 56min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 54min
PC Zentrum Defiance IV
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, 66 Wh
Medion Erazer X7857
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7820HK, 66 Wh
MSI GS73VR 7RG
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 7700HQ, 51 Wh
Razer Blade Pro RZ09-0220
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, 70 Wh
Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793-738J
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, 69 Wh
Battery Runtime
-29%
-37%
21%
-7%
Reader / Idle
457
349
-24%
721
58%
H.264
296
WiFi v1.3
297
210
-29%
191
-36%
419
41%
277
-7%
Load
114
57
-50%
72
-37%

Verdict

Pros

+ 120-Hz display with large color space and short response time
+ low emissions while idling
+ up to three storage devices
+ individual configuration
+ surfaces made of aluminum
+ keyboard backlighting
+ great battery runtime
+ graphics-switching

Cons

- TN panel has meager viewing angles and color accuracy
- high temperatures and system noise under load
- CPU throttling during some 3D applications
- sound could be better
- no Thunderbolt 3
Defiance IV, test unit provided by PC Specialist
Defiance IV, test unit provided by PC Specialist

The Defiance IV looks great. Its case is well manufactured and unobtrusive and has good-looking metal surfaces that, despite catching dirt quickly, give a solid, high-quality impression.

As it should be for a modern gaming notebook, the device also has a backlit keyboard. If you forget the missing Thunderbolt 3 port, its connectivity is very impressive as well.

There are two sides to the 120-Hz display. While the wide color space and low response times are great, they cannot fully balance out the mediocre viewing angles and the strong color deviation (ex-works). Black value, brightness and brightness distribution, on the other hand, leave nothing to criticize.

The clock rate of the CPU is a bit more problematic. The fact that the processor throttles to below its base rate during some demanding 3D applications is not great for a gaming notebook, even if the drop in clock rate is not always noticeable in the device's performance. Maybe the manufacturer will give us a BIOS update that solves the problem. If the Core i7-7700HQ were to reach its full potential, the competing 17-inch notebooks (Acer V17 Nitro, MSI GS73VR 7RG, etc.) had better brace themselves.

Apart from the good battery runtime, which is enabled by Nvidia's graphics-switching feature Optimus, we also want to mention the first-class emissions while idling, the maintenance-friendly case and the individual configuration options. However, we would prefer less system noise and lower temperatures under load.

PC Zentrum Defiance IV - 12/20/2017 v6
Florian Glaser

Chassis
80 / 98 → 82%
Keyboard
81%
Pointing Device
83%
Connectivity
64 / 81 → 79%
Weight
56 / 10-66 → 83%
Battery
80%
Display
81%
Games Performance
82%
Application Performance
93%
Temperature
83 / 95 → 88%
Noise
74 / 90 → 83%
Audio
66%
Average
77%
82%
Gaming - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > PC Specialist Defiance IV (i7-7700HQ, GTX 1060, Full HD) Laptop Review
Florian Glaser, 2017-12-22 (Update: 2017-12-25)