Notebookcheck

PC Specialist Proteus V (i7-7700HQ, GTX 1060, Full HD) Laptop Review

Florian Glaser, 👁 Florian Glaser, Stefanie Voigt (translated by Martin Jungowski), 12/20/2017

New entry. PC Specialist, a hardware reseller based in the UK, has recently started selling its gaming notebooks in Germany via pczentrum.de. We have got our hands on the Proteus V, a 15-inch gaming notebook for roughly 1400 Euros (~$1660), and are putting it through its paces.

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For the original German review, see here.

OEMs such as Acer, Asus, or MSI usually offer preconfigured notebooks with little to no room for customization. PC Zentrum, on the other hand, allows you to configure your notebook freely to your liking. Admittedly, not all of the Proteus V’s components are swappable and configurable, but the configurator allows for quite a few upgrades and modifications, such as for example, the RAM that can be configured from anywhere between 4 GB to 32 GB (two slots).

Storage devices are also configurable, and given that the 15-inch notebook has two storage slots/bays (1x M.2, 1x 2.5-inch) there are plenty of options. The GPU menu includes a GeForce GTX 1060 with 6 GB of VRAM or a much more powerful GeForce GTX 1070 with 8 GB of VRAM. The processor and the display are not configurable, and therefore the notebook is always equipped with a Core i7-7700HQ and a matte FHD display. Unfortunately, the notebook does not support G-Sync or Optimus.

In return, the price is fairly low for a gaming notebook. Starting at 1.167 Euros (~$1382; at the time of writing in mid-December 2017) the final price obviously depends on your individual configuration. At the time of writing, our review unit equipped with a GeForce GTX 1060, a 256 GB NVMe SSD, and 16 GB of RAM would clock in at 1405 Euros (~$1663), which is reasonable compared to other GTX 1060 laptops, such as the Gigabyte P55W v7, the MSI GS63VR 7RF, the Schenker XMG Core 15, or the Acer V15 Nitro Black Edition.

PC Zentrum Proteus V
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop) - 6144 MB, Core: 1405 MHz, Memory: 8000 MHz, GDDR5, ForceWare 388.59
Memory
16384 MB 
, DDR4-2133 SO-DIMM, single-channel, 1 of 2 slots used, max. 32 GB
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 141 PPI, BOEhydis NV156FHM-N42 (BOE06C6), IPS, 60 Hz, FHD, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel HM175 (Skylake PCH-H)
Storage
Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP, 256 GB 
, NVMe SSD, slots: 1x M.2 2280 (PCIe or SATA III) & 1x 2.5-inch
Soundcard
Realtek ALC255 @ Intel Sunrise Point PCH - High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
3 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 USB 3.1 Gen2, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: combo (headphones + microphone), Card Reader: SD,SDHC,SDXC
Networking
Realtek PCIe GBE Family Controller (10/100/1000MBit), Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260 (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.2
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 29 x 385 x 267 ( = 1.14 x 15.16 x 10.51 in)
Battery
7180 mAh Lithium-Ion, 6-cell
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: HD 720p
Additional features
Speakers: 2.1, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, 200 W power supply, manual, Driver DVD, Windows DVD, BullGuard Internet Security Trial, MS Office 365 Trial, 36 Months Warranty
Weight
2.576 kg ( = 90.87 oz / 5.68 pounds), Power Supply: 845 g ( = 29.81 oz / 1.86 pounds)
Price
1405 EUR
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

Despite various differences, the Proteus V’s case is based on a very similar bare bone shell as the XMG Core 15. A big difference is the case’s coating: while Schenker Technologies coats almost the entire case with a soft touch finish, PC Specialist has only gone for the bottom of the case. The top and display cover are made of silver-gray brushed aluminum instead. In addition to its good looks it also ensures a very high level of robustness and stability.

The various lighting options and possibilities are specifically geared towards gamers. For example, in addition to the keyboard the touchpad can also be illuminated. There are also light blue LED strips at the front and on the display lid. We have no complaints in terms of overall build quality. While gap consistency could be a teeny-tiny bit better here and there, the metal finish more than makes up for it. Whether you like the design or not, there is no denying the high-quality look and feel of the case.

Size-wise the Proteus V is fairly low-key and neither very large nor particularly small. With its thickness of 2.9 cm (~1.1 in), it sits somewhere between the 3.4 cm (~1.3 in) thick Gigabyte P55W v7 and the 1.8 to 2.3 cm (~0.7 to ~0.9 in) slim MSI GS63VR 7RF and Acer V15 Nitro. Even the Schenker XMG Core 15 is a bit slimmer (2.5 cm/~1 in). All competitors except for the 1.9 kg (~4.2 lb) light MSI GS63VR 7RF weigh somewhere between 2.5 and 2.6 kg (~5.5 and ~5.7 lb), and are therefore reasonably portable overall.

Size Comparison

Connectivity


Ports

In terms of connectivity and port distribution the Proteus V is identical to the Schenker XMG Core 15. Two digital display outputs (HDMI & Mini DisplayPort), three USB 3.0 Type-A, and one USB 3.1 Gen.2 Type-C port should be more than enough for most gamers. Additional ports include an RJ45 Ethernet port, an SD card reader, a 3.5-mm audio jack, and a Kensington Lock. Unfortunately, the Proteus V lacks support for Thunderbolt 3, which means that it does not support external GPUs. The ports are mostly located on both sides towards the rear end of the device, but some might get in the way of an external mouse.

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left side: power, 2x USB 3.0 Type-A, 3.5 mm audio combo jack
left side: power, 2x USB 3.0 Type-A, 3.5 mm audio combo jack
right side: SD card reader, USB-C 3.1 Gen.2, miniDisplayPort, USB 3.0 Type-A, HDMI, RJ-45, Kensington Lock
right side: SD card reader, USB-C 3.1 Gen.2, miniDisplayPort, USB 3.0 Type-A, HDMI, RJ-45, Kensington Lock

SD Card Reader

The included SD card reader supports SD, SDHC and SDXC and is mediocre at best. Transfer speeds of between 85 and 89 MB/s are similar to the Schenker Core 15 and the Gigabyte P55W v7. Still, it beats the likes of the MSI GS63VR 7RF or Acer V15 Nitro hands down: both are only equipped with USB 2.0 SD card readers and therefore limited to 21 to 27 MB/s.

SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
PC Zentrum Proteus V
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
85 MB/s ∼100%
Schenker XMG Core 15
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
80 MB/s ∼94% -6%
Gigabyte P55W v7
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
76 MB/s ∼89% -11%
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
23.59 MB/s ∼28% -72%
Acer Aspire VN7-593G-73HP V15 Nitro BE
 
22.7 MB/s ∼27% -73%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
PC Zentrum Proteus V
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
89 MB/s ∼100%
Gigabyte P55W v7
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
88 MB/s ∼99% -1%
Schenker XMG Core 15
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
87 MB/s ∼98% -2%
Acer Aspire VN7-593G-73HP V15 Nitro BE
 
27.2 MB/s ∼31% -69%
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
20.96 MB/s ∼24% -76%

Communication

In addition to Bluetooth 4.2, the Proteus V’s Wi-Fi modem made by Intel (according to AIDA64) also supports Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac. Connected to our reference router (Linksys EA8500) the Wireless-AC 8260 averaged 520 Mbps transmitting and 686 Mbps receiving data, which is somewhere between good and very good.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
PC Zentrum Proteus V
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260
686 MBit/s ∼100%
Schenker XMG Core 15
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
664 MBit/s ∼97% -3%
Gigabyte P55W v7
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260
663 MBit/s ∼97% -3%
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
662 MBit/s ∼97% -3%
Acer Aspire VN7-593G-73HP V15 Nitro BE
Atheros/Qualcomm QCA6174
541 MBit/s ∼79% -21%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Acer Aspire VN7-593G-73HP V15 Nitro BE
Atheros/Qualcomm QCA6174
618 MBit/s ∼100% +19%
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
594 MBit/s ∼96% +14%
PC Zentrum Proteus V
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260
520 MBit/s ∼84%
Gigabyte P55W v7
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260
470 MBit/s ∼76% -10%
Schenker XMG Core 15
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
373 MBit/s ∼60% -28%

Software

Unlike many other manufacturers, PC Specialist refrains from installing tons of unwanted bloatware on its devices, but focuses on a few important key aspects instead. Accordingly, the only two third party applications that we found preloaded on the notebook in addition to hardware drivers were trial versions of Microsoft Office and Internet Security BullGuard.

Accessories

The accessories included with the device deserve extra praise. Most notebooks these days lack a proper manual and recovery DVD for reinstalling the operating system from scratch. An extra DVD with various drivers and tools is also included. The included 200-W power supply (17 x 8 x 3.5 cm/~6.7 x 3.1 x 1.4 in) weighs a hefty 845 g (~1.9 lb).

Maintenance

In theory, maintenance should be a no-brainer. There are 7 visible Philips screws at the bottom and an extra hidden Philips screw underneath a plastic cover that need to be removed first. Unfortunately, even after undoing all these screws, we were unable to remove the bottom cover completely, and suspect that there may be more screws hidden underneath the rubber strip at the rear. Either that or the latches keeping the bottom cover in place are so tight that forcing them open might result in irreversible damage.

We suspect the insides to be very similar to the XMG Core 15 (see review thereof). By peeking through the fan vents we were able to make out a dual-fan system with several heat pipes. Both CPU and GPU are soldered onto the motherboard and not user-upgradeable but the RAM, the storage devices, and the Wi-Fi module should be.

Warranty

Instead of 24 months like most notebooks sold in Europe the Proteus V comes with a 36 month limited warranty (2 years on parts, 3 years on labor). In addition, pickup and return can be extended from one month to one or two years, and PC Specialist also offers a 0 stuck pixels warranty.

Input Devices

Keyboard

All things considered the input devices were decent. Feedback could be a tad firmer but overall, the keyboard scored very well, thanks to its full-sized numpad and its beefy two-stage unicolor backlight.

The keyboard layout itself is very different from the XMG Core 15 and more similar to the likes of MSI, and therefore it is highly questionable. Major differences to the German default layout are the single-row return key and the relocated <>| key. Admittedly, this only affects the German keyboard layout, which is by default very different from the US or UK layouts. The discrepancies will be less bothersome for gamers and more for prolific typists. The arrow keys are also not exactly ideal – we do like the fact that they are just as large as any other key, but dislike the fact that the left and right arrow key extend into the main keyboard area and the numpad, respectively.

Touchpad

The touchpad has also been designed and optimized for gamers. Instead of placing it centered underneath the spacebar, the touchpad has been moved to the right in order to avoid accidental triggering while gaming.

Its shape is also peculiar, to say the least, as can be seen on the photos below: its width is between 11 cm (~4.3 in) at the bottom and 13 cm (~5.1 in) at the top. Vertical size is also not uniform, but given its overall height this turned out to be not that big of a deal. The touchpad is decently accurate and smooth, and supports gestures such as rotation, zoom, and two- or three-finger scrolling. Needless to say that in our tests, gesture detection was reliable and quick.

Display

The 60 Hz IPS display turned out to be only mediocre at best. On the plus side the panel’s contrast ratio of 1152:1 and black level of 0.21 nits are comparatively high and low, respectively.

252
cd/m²
239
cd/m²
243
cd/m²
242
cd/m²
242
cd/m²
236
cd/m²
214
cd/m²
228
cd/m²
218
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 252 cd/m² Average: 234.9 cd/m² Minimum: 36 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 85 %
Center on Battery: 242 cd/m²
Contrast: 1152:1 (Black: 0.21 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 4.27 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.2
ΔE Greyscale 2.17 | 0.64-98 Ø6.4
58% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 37% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.38
PC Zentrum Proteus V
BOEhydis NV156FHM-N42 (BOE06C6), 1920x1080, 15.6
Schenker XMG Core 15
LG Philips LP156WF6 (LGD046F), 1920x1080, 15.6
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
3840x2160, 15.6
Acer Aspire VN7-593G-73HP V15 Nitro BE
LG Display LP156WF6-SPP1, 1920x1080, 15.6
Gigabyte P55W v7
LG Philips LP156WF6 (LGD046F), 1920x1080, 15.6
Response Times
13%
-2%
18%
34%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
52.8 (25.2, 27.6)
40.8 (20.4, 20.4)
23%
28 (15.6, 12.4)
47%
41 (21, 20)
22%
37 (15, 22)
30%
Response Time Black / White *
39.6 (22.4, 17.2)
30.4 (16.4, 14)
23%
23.6 (15.2, 8.4)
40%
34 (21, 13)
14%
25 (5, 20)
37%
PWM Frequency
21930 (95)
20490 (95)
-7%
1351 (39)
-94%
Screen
-11%
-59%
-2%
-6%
Brightness middle
242
297
23%
274.2
13%
322
33%
287
19%
Brightness
235
276
17%
263
12%
297
26%
289
23%
Brightness Distribution
85
87
2%
92
8%
86
1%
87
2%
Black Level *
0.21
0.3
-43%
0.44
-110%
0.31
-48%
0.29
-38%
Contrast
1152
990
-14%
623
-46%
1039
-10%
990
-14%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
4.27
5.25
-23%
8
-87%
4.73
-11%
4.92
-15%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
7.09
10.3
-45%
14.6
-106%
12.37
-74%
11
-55%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
2.17
4.64
-114%
9.1
-319%
2.99
-38%
3.66
-69%
Gamma
2.38 92%
2.39 92%
2.24 98%
2.32 95%
2.32 95%
CCT
6912 94%
6600 98%
5020 129%
6905 94%
6482 100%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
37
54
46%
45.7
24%
56
51%
54
46%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
58
83
43%
72.1
24%
85
47%
82
41%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
1% / -5%
-31% / -46%
8% / 1%
14% / 1%

* ... smaller is better

The downsides are its very low maximum brightness of no more than 235 nits and its poor color space coverage of 58% (sRGB) and 37% (AdobeRGB). Most gaming laptops offer significantly more. For example, the Schenker XMG Core 15’s panel covers 83% of the sRGB and 54% of the AdobeRGB color space. Subjectively, the display’s poor color space coverage results in a rather pale overall image that can best be noticed in a side-by-side comparison.

CalMAN: gray scale
CalMAN: gray scale
CalMAN: gray scale (calibrated)
CalMAN: gray scale (calibrated)
CalMAN: saturation
CalMAN: saturation
CalMAN: saturation (calibrated)
CalMAN: saturation (calibrated)
CalMAN: ColorChecker
CalMAN: ColorChecker
CalMAN: ColorChecker (calibrated)
CalMAN: ColorChecker (calibrated)
Proteus V vs. sRGB (58%)
Proteus V vs. sRGB (58%)
Proteus V vs. AdobeRGB (37%)
Proteus V vs. AdobeRGB (37%)

Gamers will be left particularly unimpressed by the panel’s slow response times. 40 ms black-to-white and 53 ms gray-to-gray are poor even by IPS standards. Despite the display’s matte finish outdoor usability was significantly limited by its low maximum brightness.

subpixel geometry
subpixel geometry
outdoors
outdoors
viewing angles
viewing angles

At least the panel’s viewing angles were decent and much better than on comparable TN panels. Brightness distribution was also almost perfect and backlight bleeding was limited to the bottom right corner.

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
39.6 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 22.4 ms rise
↘ 17.2 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. » 96 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (25.6 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
52.8 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 25.2 ms rise
↘ 27.6 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. » 87 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (40.9 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 21930 Hz ≤ 95 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 21930 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 21930 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 9254 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Performance

The Proteus V is a high-end gaming notebook despite the fact that the GeForce GTX 1060 is “only” Nvidia’s third-fastest notebook GPU (not taking Max-Q into account). In order to fully make use of this powerful GPU the rest of the components should be matched accordingly; we suggest at least 16 GB of DDR4-RAM and an SSD for the operating system.

Processor

The processor installed in the Proteus V is one of Intel’s most popular notebook CPUs from their current Kaby Lake line-up. The 14 nm Core i7-7700HQ has access to 6 MB of L3 cache and runs at 2.8 GHz or more, depending on the load. Maximum multi-core turbo boost was 3.4 GHz.

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

In single-core benchmarks, the Proteus V failed to reach its theoretical maximum of 3.8 GHz and consequently fell behind its competitors (see table). 

Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
162 Points ∼100% +11%
Schenker XMG Core 15
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
160 Points ∼99% +10%
Gigabyte P55W v7
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
156 Points ∼96% +7%
Acer Aspire VN7-593G-73HP V15 Nitro BE
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
152 Points ∼94% +4%
PC Zentrum Proteus V
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
146 Points ∼90%
CPU Multi 64Bit
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
742 Points ∼100% +1%
PC Zentrum Proteus V
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
734 Points ∼99%
Gigabyte P55W v7
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
733 Points ∼99% 0%
Schenker XMG Core 15
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
722 Points ∼97% -2%
Acer Aspire VN7-593G-73HP V15 Nitro BE
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
673 (min: 660, max: 673) Points ∼91% -8%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit
Schenker XMG Core 15
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
1.81 Points ∼100% +9%
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
1.77 Points ∼98% +7%
PC Zentrum Proteus V
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
1.66 Points ∼92%
CPU Multi 64Bit
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
8.18 Points ∼100% 0%
PC Zentrum Proteus V
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
8.16 Points ∼100%
Schenker XMG Core 15
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
8.11 Points ∼99% -1%

Sustained clock speeds are determined by running Cinebench R15’s multi-core test in a loop, and the Proteus V’s Core i7-7700HQ’s scores remained consistently high, even after the n-th iteration. Due to the fact that it does not support Optimus the CPU’s integrated GPU (Intel HD Graphics 630remains unused. Accordingly, the system uses the Nvidia GPU at all times.

0102030405060708090100110120130140150160170180190200210220230240250260270280290300310320330340350360370380390400410420430440450460470480490500510520530540550560570580590600610620630640650660670680690700710720730740Tooltip
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64 Bit
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.66 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
8.16 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
146 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
734 Points
Help

System Performance

System performance was a mixed bag. While the Proteus V outperformed the entire competition in PCMark 8’s Home Suite it fell behind the Schenker XMG 15 in PCMark 10 by up to 30 %, in part due to the latter’s much faster SSD. That said, these results have to be taken with a pinch of salt: PCMark tends to produce incomprehensible results every now and then.

PCMark 8 - Home Score Accelerated v2
PC Zentrum Proteus V
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
4916 Points ∼100%
Schenker XMG Core 15
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SSD 960 Evo 250GB m.2 NVMe
4626 Points ∼94% -6%
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
4141 Points ∼84% -16%
Gigabyte P55W v7
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Liteonit CV3-8D256
4013 Points ∼82% -18%
PCMark 10 - Score
Schenker XMG Core 15
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SSD 960 Evo 250GB m.2 NVMe
5134 Points ∼100% +32%
PC Zentrum Proteus V
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
3904 Points ∼76%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
4916 points
Help

Storage Devices

When individually configuring the notebook, storage devices are the domain with the most options available. For maximum performance, an NVMe SSD is the way to go. We have opted for a 256 GB Samsung PM961 with sequential read and write speeds of up to 3325 MB/s and 1203 MB/s in CrystalDiskMark, respectively. Results are somewhat lower in AS SSD, but still fairly high, at 2,541 and 1180 MB/s read and write. SATA III SSDs like the one the Gigabyte P55W v7 is equipped with are limited to around 500 to 550 MB/s due to their interface. At the other end of the spectrum Samsung’s 960 EVO (Schenker XMG Core 15) and SM961 (MSI GS63VR 7RF) prove that there is still room for improvement.

If necessary, a cheap secondary 2.5-inch hard disk drive can be added for storing data as well. PC Zentrum offers sizes ranging from 500 GB to 2 TB.

PC Zentrum Proteus V
Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
Schenker XMG Core 15
Samsung SSD 960 Evo 250GB m.2 NVMe
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
Acer Aspire VN7-593G-73HP V15 Nitro BE
Seagate Mobile HDD 1TB ST1000LM035
Gigabyte P55W v7
Liteonit CV3-8D256
AS SSD
20%
26%
-68%
Score Total
2842
3728
31%
3756
32%
840
-70%
Score Write
677
1323
95%
1468
117%
248
-63%
Score Read
1472
1639
11%
1549
5%
393
-73%
4K Write
136.43
142.92
5%
127.63
-6%
48.47
-64%
4K Read
51
46.56
-9%
48.01
-6%
23.34
-54%
Seq Write
1180.47
1171.97
-1%
1550.23
31%
328.08
-72%
Seq Read
2541.27
2678
5%
2719.21
7%
513.59
-80%
Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
CDM 5/6 Read Seq Q32T1: 3325 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write Seq Q32T1: 1203 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K Q32T1: 560.4 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K Q32T1: 444.4 MB/s
CDM 5 Read Seq: 1997 MB/s
CDM 5 Write Seq: 1186 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K: 47.7 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K: 157.4 MB/s

Graphics Card

Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1060, a DirectX 12 GPU manufactured in a 16 nm process, features 1280 shaders and a total of 6 GB of GDDR5 VRAM accessed via a 192-bit wide bus.

3DMark - 1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
PC Zentrum Proteus V
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
11920 Points ∼100%
Acer Aspire VN7-593G-73HP V15 Nitro BE
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
11494 Points ∼96% -4%
Gigabyte P55W v7
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
11426 Points ∼96% -4%
Schenker XMG Core 15
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
11322 Points ∼95% -5%
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
11261 Points ∼94% -6%
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
PC Zentrum Proteus V
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
15386 Points ∼100%
Acer Aspire VN7-593G-73HP V15 Nitro BE
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
14942 Points ∼97% -3%
Gigabyte P55W v7
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
14693 Points ∼95% -5%
Schenker XMG Core 15
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
14471 Points ∼94% -6%
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
14450 Points ∼94% -6%

Accordingly, the Proteus V’s graphics performance was very high. It even managed to outperform the entire GTX 1060-equipped competition in 3DMark 11 and 3DMark 13’s Fire Strike test by 3 to 6%. In everyday usage this difference is negligible though, and could possibly be  caused by optimizations in the Proteus V’s newer drivers.

3DMark 11 Performance
12205 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
143270 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
26044 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
10010 points
Help

Just like on the CPU we test sustained load on the GPU as well by running “The Witcher 3” in a loop for at least 60 minutes. During this test, both the clock speed (around 1600 MHz) and frame rates (36 to 42 FPS @ FHD/Ultra) remained consistent. Lengthy gaming sessions should thus not suffer from reduced performance. Unfortunately, this cannot be said about gaming on battery: like many of its high-performance brethren the Proteus V severely reduces clock speeds on battery as well. Frame rates in “The Witcher 3” fell by 65% and dropped to an unplayable 14 FPS. 

0123456789101112131415161718192021222324252627282930313233343536373839404142Tooltip
The Witcher 3 ultra

Gaming Performance

On mains, graphics performance is more than decent. At the FHD panel’s native resolution most games will only manage to hit a wall on maximum settings with high levels of anti-aliasing enabled. More often than not, high details cause no problems at all, and in the rare cases where the Proteus V is incapable of running games smoothly at 60 FPS or more it is mostly due to poor game optimization (The Evil Within 2Assassin‘s Creed Origins).

The Witcher 3
1920x1080 Ultra Graphics & Postprocessing (HBAO+)
PC Zentrum Proteus V
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
39.9 fps ∼100%
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
39.4 fps ∼99% -1%
Gigabyte P55W v7
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
38.4 fps ∼96% -4%
Acer Aspire VN7-593G-73HP V15 Nitro BE
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
38.3 fps ∼96% -4%
Schenker XMG Core 15
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
38.2 fps ∼96% -4%
1920x1080 High Graphics & Postprocessing (Nvidia HairWorks Off)
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
76 fps ∼100% +5%
PC Zentrum Proteus V
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
72.2 fps ∼95%
Gigabyte P55W v7
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
70.4 fps ∼93% -2%
Schenker XMG Core 15
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
69.57 fps ∼92% -4%
Acer Aspire VN7-593G-73HP V15 Nitro BE
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
68 fps ∼89% -6%

Generally speaking, the GeForce GTX 1060 is a decent graphics card for gaming in 1920 x 1080. The faster GeForce GTX 1070 makes sense for resolutions of 2560x1440 and above while the GTX 1080 is an absolute necessity for UHD/4K gaming at 3840x2160.

low med. high ultra
The Witcher 3 (2015) 72.239.9fps
Middle-earth: Shadow of War (2017) 6852fps
The Evil Within 2 (2017) 43.441.8fps
ELEX (2017) 68.151.9fps
Destiny 2 (2017) 94.178.4fps
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus (2017) 77.470.7fps
Assassin´s Creed Origins (2017) 5747fps
Call of Duty WWII (2017) 93.870.4fps
Need for Speed Payback (2017) 77.873.7fps
Star Wars Battlefront 2 (2017) 80.662.3fps

Emissions

System Noise

System noise is by far the Proteus V’s biggest weakness. While the comparatively equipped Schenker XMG Core 15 remained fairly quiet in almost all situations, the Proteus V was very noticeable even when idling: 37 to 39 dB(A) are way too much and hint at rather poor fan speed control presets, particularly when taking into account that low-load scenarios such as working with office productivity suites, watching videos, or browsing the web will spin up the fans even further and result in a sound level of more than 40 dB(A). PC Specialist needs to address this issue right away.

noise level idle
noise level idle
noise level load
noise level load
noise level speakers
noise level speakers

An average of 47 dB(A) in 3DMark 06 and 52 dB(A) under maximum load is almost deafening. Oddly enough, the Proteus V remained comparatively quiet running “The Witcher 3” (43 dB(A)). That said, the MSI GS63VR 7RF and the Acer V15 Nitro are much slimmer than the Proteus V and consequently offer much less internal space for cooling.

Noise Level

Idle
37 / 38 / 39 dB(A)
Load
47 / 52 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: 31 dB(A)
PC Zentrum Proteus V
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
Schenker XMG Core 15
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
Acer Aspire VN7-593G-73HP V15 Nitro BE
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
Gigabyte P55W v7
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
Noise
12%
10%
11%
9%
off / environment *
31
29
6%
28.8
7%
30.4
2%
30
3%
Idle Minimum *
37
31
16%
33.1
11%
30.9
16%
33
11%
Idle Average *
38
32
16%
33.1
13%
30.9
19%
34
11%
Idle Maximum *
39
34
13%
34
13%
31.5
19%
35
10%
Load Average *
47
41
13%
37.2
21%
40.7
13%
39
17%
Witcher 3 ultra *
43
39
9%
46.1
-7%
45.5
-6%
Load Maximum *
52
47
10%
47.1
9%
43.9
16%
50
4%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

A positive side effect of fast spinning fans is the Proteus V’s moderate temperatures. Compared to the Schenker XMG Core 15, it remained between 5 to 10 °C (~9 to 18 °F) cooler both when idle and in 3D load scenarios. Overall, the Proteus V remained cooler than the Acer V15 Nitro but got warmer than the Gigabyte P55W v7. 

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

Our review unit completed the stress test with no surprises. After 60 minutes of FurMark and Prime95 simultaneously, the Core i7-7700HQ’s temperature was measured at a high yet still acceptable 89 to 90 °C (~192 to 194 °F). Some gaming notebooks get very close to the CPU’s 100 °C (~212 °F) shutdown threshold despite throttling. The Proteus V on the other hand completed this test running at 3.4 GHz. The graphics card remained even cooler and only reached a maximum of 69 °C (~156 °F), partly because it was running at its base clock of 1240 MHz instead of its turbo boost clock of 1405 MHz. As far as we can tell, this only occurred during the not particularly realistic stress test scenario.

Max. Load
 44 °C
111 F
43 °C
109 F
44 °C
111 F
 
 41 °C
106 F
41 °C
106 F
38 °C
100 F
 
 29 °C
84 F
31 °C
88 F
29 °C
84 F
 
Maximum: 44 °C = 111 F
Average: 37.8 °C = 100 F
52 °C
126 F
53 °C
127 F
41 °C
106 F
33 °C
91 F
46 °C
115 F
35 °C
95 F
23 °C
73 F
25 °C
77 F
23 °C
73 F
Maximum: 53 °C = 127 F
Average: 36.8 °C = 98 F
Power Supply (max.)  42 °C = 108 F | Room Temperature 20 °C = 68 F | Voltcraft IR-900
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 37.8 °C / 100 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 44 °C / 111 F, compared to the average of 39.3 °C / 103 F, ranging from 21.6 to 68.8 °C for the class Gaming.
(-) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 53 °C / 127 F, compared to the average of 41.7 °C / 107 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 26.9 °C / 80 F, compared to the device average of 32.9 °C / 91 F.
(±) Playing The Witcher 3, the average temperature for the upper side is 36.6 °C / 98 F, compared to the device average of 32.9 °C / 91 F.
(+) The palmrests and touchpad are reaching skin temperature as a maximum (33 °C / 91.4 F) and are therefore not hot.
(-) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 28.7 °C / 83.7 F (-4.3 °C / -7.7 F).
PC Zentrum Proteus V
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
Schenker XMG Core 15
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
Acer Aspire VN7-593G-73HP V15 Nitro BE
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
Gigabyte P55W v7
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
Heat
-23%
0%
-6%
8%
Maximum Upper Side *
44
53
-20%
51.9
-18%
49.6
-13%
Maximum Bottom *
53
61
-15%
54.6
-3%
47.7
10%
Idle Upper Side *
29
35
-21%
28.4
2%
29.1
-0%
23.6
19%
Idle Bottom *
29
39
-34%
29.6
-2%
29.3
-1%
24.6
15%

* ... smaller is better

Speakers

Despite its built-in subwoofer, the sound quality was subpar, and in addition to lack of bass the Proteus V’s maximum volume was also very low. 65 dB(A) is too quiet, even for small rooms, and far too quiet for almost everything else. Our audio analysis further revealed that mids and highs are not very well balanced. Ignoring the low maximum volume, it still beat the Schenker XMG Core 15. Nevertheless, we suggest using headphones or external speakers instead, since using the integrated 2.1 speakers is anything but enjoyable.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2036.642.1253339.83129.831.54030.638.25026.932.96325.728.68027.63310026.432.912524.53216022.242.820021.450.425021.85531520.858.340020.658.350020.158.963019.554.580019.250.3100019.154.5125018.852.6160018.851.420001950.4250018.647.3315018.754.4400018.853500018.649.7630018.449.6800018.6471000018.645.11250018.740.91600018.330.8SPL31.164.6N1.520.2median 19median 50.4Delta1.35.44345.436.739.929.431.834.140.527.23024.829.525.738.825.439.822.234.221.644.222.748.822.452.519.853.118.350.817.361.117.269.517.172.716.866.316.863.516.960.416.858.717.155.51751.216.95317.153.517.156.617.258.517.554.117.843.417.134.929.475.31.232.1median 17.2median 53.51.95.2hearing rangehide median Pink NoisePC Zentrum Proteus VSchenker XMG Core 15
PC Zentrum Proteus V audio analysis

(-) | not very loud speakers (65 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 9.3% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (14.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 3.5% away from median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (7% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2.8% away from median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (8.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (18.4% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 60% of all tested devices in this class were better, 5% similar, 35% worse
» The best had a delta of 6%, average was 17%, worst was 37%
Compared to all devices tested
» 32% of all tested devices were better, 6% similar, 61% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Schenker XMG Core 15 audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (75 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 8% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (11.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 10.1% higher than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (13.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 1.9% away from median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (7.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (20.5% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 72% of all tested devices in this class were better, 8% similar, 21% worse
» The best had a delta of 6%, average was 17%, worst was 37%
Compared to all devices tested
» 44% of all tested devices were better, 9% similar, 47% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Frequency diagram (checkboxes selectable/deselectable!)

Energy Management


Power Consumption

Regardless of the lack of Optimus, the Proteus V’s idle power consumption was far too high. A power draw of between 28 and 38 W is much higher than on the similarly equipped Schenker XMG Core 15 (18 to 26 W), whose GTX 1060 also lacks support for Optimus. Power consumption under load on the other hand was inconspicuous. 91 to 152 W is very close to the Acer V15 Nitro’s 82 to 155 W. The 200-W power supply is amply dimensioned.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.5 / 0.9 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 28 / 32 / 38 Watt
Load midlight 91 / 152 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
PC Zentrum Proteus V
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
Schenker XMG Core 15
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
Acer Aspire VN7-593G-73HP V15 Nitro BE
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
Gigabyte P55W v7
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
Power Consumption
14%
28%
35%
41%
Idle Minimum *
28
18
36%
14.5
48%
7.2
74%
8
71%
Idle Average *
32
22
31%
17.3
46%
10.5
67%
13
59%
Idle Maximum *
38
26
32%
17.4
54%
16
58%
18
53%
Load Average *
91
93
-2%
93
-2%
82
10%
76
16%
Load Maximum *
152
175
-15%
155
-2%
143
6%
Witcher 3 ultra *
124
119
4%
128.8
-4%
124
-0%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

The notebook’s above-average power consumption has the expected negative impact on battery life. 89 minutes in Battery Eater’s Classic Test may still be acceptable for a gaming notebook, but 3:41 hours in the Readers Test at minimum brightness are anything but. In the real-world Wi-Fi test, the Proteus V lasted for only 3:16 hours and it ran out of juice playing HD videos after 3:20 hours. Both, the Acer V15 Nitro and the Gigabyte P55W v7, outlasted the Proteus V by what seem to be eons thanks to Optimus, and both lasted for around 6 hours (in other words: twice as long). Thus, the Proteus V is definitely the wrong choice for road warriors.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
3h 41min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
3h 16min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
3h 20min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 29min
PC Zentrum Proteus V
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ,  Wh
Schenker XMG Core 15
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, 82 Wh
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, 65 Wh
Acer Aspire VN7-593G-73HP V15 Nitro BE
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, 69 Wh
Gigabyte P55W v7
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, 63 Wh
Battery Runtime
22%
26%
90%
115%
Reader / Idle
221
300
36%
386
75%
501
127%
789
257%
H.264
200
234
17%
WiFi v1.3
196
282
44%
232
18%
357
82%
346
77%
Load
89
80
-10%
75
-16%
144
62%
98
10%

Verdict

Pros

+ sleek aluminum case
+ high contrast and decent viewing angles
+ extensive lighting options
+ individually configurable
+ moderate temperatures
+ decent input devices
+ no bloatware
+ excellent performance
+ Windows DVD

Cons

- low brightness, subpar color space, slow response times
- neither G-Sync nor Optimus
- poor fan control
- poor maintainability
- poor battery life
- no Thunderbolt 3
- poor sound quality
Proteus V. Review unit courtesy of PC Zentrum
Proteus V. Review unit courtesy of PC Zentrum

If battery life is not important and neither are internal speakers for listening to music, watching movies, or playing games, then the Proteus V by PC Specialist can be a viable alternative at a fair price. Besides the sleek case made in part of aluminum, we also liked the input devices.

Its overall performance is more than decent. Equipped with 16 GB of DDR4 RAM and an SSD the Proteus V can easily keep up with the likes of Acer, Asus, or MSI. Modern games run smoothly at the device’s native FHD resolution of 1920x1080 thanks to the Core i7-7700HQ processor and GTX 1060 graphics card.

Unfortunately, the FHD display turned out to be pretty poor. Despite its high contrast ratio and low black level, it simply does not get bright enough to leave a lasting positive impression, and it suffers from subpar color space coverage to boot. Fan speed controls need a massive revamp as soon as possible. The device’s low temperatures are a sign of way too aggressively spinning fans; fans have the potential to annoy the notebook’s users fairly quickly. Hopefully, PC Specialist is going to improve upon this with a future BIOS update.

Thus, at the time of writing, we would much rather recommend the somewhat warmer yet significantly quieter Schenker XMG Core 15 despite its lack of shiny metal surfaces. Other 15-inch competitors can be found in our (portabletop 10 list and the GTX 1060 benchmark page.

PC Zentrum Proteus V - 12/16/2017 v6
Florian Glaser

Chassis
76 / 98 → 78%
Keyboard
79%
Pointing Device
81%
Connectivity
61 / 81 → 75%
Weight
59 / 10-66 → 88%
Battery
70%
Display
86%
Games Performance
93%
Application Performance
95%
Temperature
86 / 95 → 91%
Noise
56 / 90 → 62%
Audio
60%
Average
75%
82%
Gaming - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > PC Specialist Proteus V (i7-7700HQ, GTX 1060, Full HD) Laptop Review
Florian Glaser, 2017-12-20 (Update: 2017-12-20)