Notebookcheck

Schenker XMG A516 (Clevo N150RF) Notebook Review

Florian Glaser, Stefanie Voigt (translated by Bernie Pechlaner), 02/24/2016

Well-rounded. With the XMG A516, Schenker Technologies extends their gaming portfolio with a compact 15-inch notebook. The 2016 edition of the GeForce GTX 965M GPU promises enough performance for current titles at Full-HD resolution. Our review examines the other aspects of the new notebook as well.

For the original German review, see here.

The German notebook-supplier Schenker Technologies offers gaming platforms for all budgets. While the models in the U-series (XMG U726XMG U716XMG U706XMG U506) come equipped with desktop CPUs and appeal especially to demanding gaming aficionados, the notebooks within the P-series (XMG P706XMG P506) are designed for more mobile users who don't want sacrifice performance. The A-series - and thus our review notebook XMG A506 - consists of lower high-end models at attractive price points and with well-rounded feature sets.

The XMG A516 isn't exactly inexpensive, however. Even though the base version only costs 1299 Euro (~$1450), upgrading the RAM from 4 to 8 GB, swapping the hard drive for an SSD and picking Windows 10 as the OS increases the price by several hundred dollars. Our review notebook retails for about 1760 Euro (~$1960). Depending on the manufacturer, some notebooks in this price range already feature the higher-end GeForce GTX 970M GPU. 

Conversely, Schenker Technologies offers up to three years of warranty and a good amount of flexibility. In addition to RAM and storage, the user can also choose the optical drive (DVD or Blu-Ray burner), the wireless module, as well as select the keyboard language. The GPU, the processor and the display can't be changed however and the notebook comes with a quad-core Intel Skylake i7-6700HQGeForce GTX 965M and features an IPS panel with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels.

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Schenker XMG A516
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M - 2048 MB, Core: 935 MHz, Memory: 2500 MHz, GDDR5, ForceWare 361.75, Optimus
Memory
16384 MB 
, 2x 8 GB DDR3-1866, Dual-Channel, two out of two slots occupied, 16 GB max
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel, LG Philips LP156WF6 (LGD046F), IPS, Full HD, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel Sunrise Point HM170
Storage
Samsung SSD 950 Pro 256GB m.2 NVMe, 256 GB 
, + WDC WD10JPVX-00JC3T0, 1000 GB HDD @ 5400 rpm. Slots: 1x m.2 2280 & 1x 2.5-inch
Soundcard
Realtek ALC269 @ Intel Sunrise Point PCH - High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
4 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 VGA, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: 1 headphone, 1 microphone, 1 S/PDIF, Card Reader: SD,SDHC,SDXC,Mini SD,MMC,RSMMC, 1 Fingerprint Reader, 1 SIM
Networking
Realtek PCIe GBE Family Controller (10/100/1000/2500/5000MBit/s), Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260 (a/b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5), Bluetooth 4.2
Optical drive
TSSTcorp CDDVDW SU-208HB
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 29 x 385 x 268 ( = 1.14 x 15.16 x 10.55 in)
Battery
62 Wh Lithium-Ion, 11.1V, N150BAT-6, 6 cells, 322 grams
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: 2.0 MP
Additional features
Speakers: 2.0 Onkyo (Sound Blaster Cinema 2), Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, Power adapter: 120 watts, accessories: Quick Start Guide, DVD with drivers, XMG sticker, Software: Control Center, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
2.54 kg ( = 89.6 oz / 5.6 pounds), Power Supply: 446 g ( = 15.73 oz / 0.98 pounds)
Price
1763 EUR
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

Visually, the XMG A516 looks a lot like the XMG A506 with GTX 960M GPU; the naming of the corresponding barebones (N150RF and N150RD) is also almost identical. We reviewed the latter model October 2015 when we took a look at a notebook from a different vendor - the Nexoc G515 II - which also scored 85 % in this sub-section.

Compared to the predecessor barebone N150SD, which we took a closer look at in form of the Schenker XMG A505, there are unfortunately no significant changes: the new version neither supports USB 3.1 Gen2 nor DDR4 RAM. At least there's the option to use a PCIe respectively NVMe SSDs. Since the barebones are nearly identical, we will skip the sections on connectivity, input devices, and sound. Please check our review of the XMG A505 for details. Users who prefer larger displays should take a look at the 17-inch XMG A716. It's based on the N170RF barebone which we took a look at mid-January when we reviewed the Mifcom EG7.

The lid and the palm rests ...
The lid and the palm rests ...
... are rubberized.
The lid isn't very sturdy ...
... and bounces rather easily.
Overall quality of the chassis is pretty decent.
Since the keyboard is located pretty far back, ...
... there's more than enough room for the hands.
The bottom is removable.
Both the GPU and the CPU ...
... have a dedicated fan.
Two RAM slots should be sufficient for most users.
The M.2 slot on the right is for the WLAN, the left one for the LTE/UMTS module.
SSDs, HDDs and SSHs can be installed.
An optical drive is included as well.
The battery is accessible from the outside.
The 2 MP webcam.
An XMG logo is located above the power button.
The loudspeakers are hidden behind large grills.
The keyboard layout is satisfying.
The color of the backlight can't be adjusted.
Between the touchpad buttons: the fingerprint scanner.
Lots of stickers hint at the installed hardware.
The notification-LEDs are located up front.
Both fans vent towards the back.
The location of the ports is exemplary.
Even a SIM card slot is available.
The notebook is very well equipped.
The 6-cell battery is rated at 62 Wh.
120 watts - a little too low for our liking.

The display is worth taking a closer look at. The chassis-manufacturer Clevo decided to go for the LG Philips LP156WF6, which is going to please gamers.

289
cd/m²
289
cd/m²
290
cd/m²
310
cd/m²
312
cd/m²
308
cd/m²
314
cd/m²
311
cd/m²
303
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
LG Philips LP156WF6 (LGD046F)
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 314 cd/m² Average: 302.9 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 92 %
Center on Battery: 312 cd/m²
Contrast: 1040:1 (Black: 0.3 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 5.11 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6
ΔE Greyscale 4.41 | 0.64-98 Ø6.2
83% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 55% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.5
Schenker XMG A516
LG Philips LP156WF6 (LGD046F)
Nexoc G515 II
LG Philips LP156WF4-SPL1 (LGD044F)
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
LG Philips
MSI GS60-6QE4K16H21
Samsung 156FL02-P01 (SDC424B)
Gigabyte P35X v5
SHP144E
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
Samsung 4NDDJ_156HL (SDC4C48)
Response Times
0%
-3%
-44%
-18%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
41 (15, 26)
40.8 (16.4, 24.4)
-0%
40 (12, 28)
2%
51.2 (21.2, 30)
-25%
48.8 (15.6, 33.2)
-19%
Response Time Black / White *
24 (5, 19)
24 (4, 20)
-0%
26 (8, 18)
-8%
39.2 (8.4, 30.8)
-63%
28 (6.8, 21.2)
-17%
PWM Frequency
58.14
1316 (20)
200 (20)
200 (25)
Screen
-21%
-26%
-32%
-17%
-22%
Brightness middle
312
232
-26%
258.6
-17%
212
-32%
278.9
-11%
180
-42%
Brightness
303
216
-29%
242
-20%
197
-35%
272
-10%
179
-41%
Brightness Distribution
92
82
-11%
88
-4%
78
-15%
80
-13%
83
-10%
Black Level *
0.3
0.3
-0%
0.277
8%
0.49
-63%
0.562
-87%
0.19
37%
Contrast
1040
773
-26%
934
-10%
433
-58%
496
-52%
947
-9%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
5.11
6.26
-23%
8.1
-59%
7.8
-53%
4.47
13%
6.74
-32%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
8.96
8.64
4%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
4.41
4.98
-13%
7.23
-64%
5.23
-19%
6.13
-39%
6.44
-46%
Gamma
2.5 88%
2.25 98%
1.99 111%
3.05 72%
2.2 100%
2.29 96%
CCT
6789 96%
6968 93%
6567 99%
6693 97%
7047 92%
6465 101%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
55
37
-33%
36.5
-34%
50
-9%
60.87
11%
38
-31%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
83
58
-30%
57.2
-31%
80
-4%
95.43
15%
60
-28%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-21% / -21%
-13% / -21%
-18% / -27%
-31% / -21%
-20% / -22%

* ... smaller is better

With a brightness of about 300 cd/m², a black value of 0.3 cd/m² and a contrast ratio of over 1000:1, the XMG outperforms most competitors. Both the Lenovo Y700-15 (GTX 960M) and the MSI GS60-6QE (GTX 970M) as well as the more expensive GTX 980M notebooks Gigabyte P35X v5 and Alienware 15 R2 clearly trail the review notebook in most aspects.

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)
Schenker XMG A516 vs. sRGB (83 %)
Schenker XMG A516 vs. sRGB (83 %)
Schenker XMG A516 vs. AdobeRGB (55 %)
Schenker XMG A516 vs. AdobeRGB (55 %)

The panel doesn't score quite as well as far as professional applications (photo and video editing) are concerned. Our testing software reveals rather average DeltaE-values of 4.41 for grayscale and 5.11 for colors. Although calibrating the display results in a very good grayscale DeltaE of 0.86, the DeltaE value of 3.23 for colors (up to 8.11 for orange/yellow) are less than optimal.

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

Users concerned with gaming are going to be more interested in the response times, which are typical for an IPS panel with 24 ms (black-white) and 41 ms (grey-to-grey), respectively. We didn't observe any streaking or ghosting effects. Unfortunately, there's minor display bleeding at the edges, although that's only visible if the background is very dark and even. Overall, we don't find a lot to criticize here. Viewing angle stability and outdoor suitability of the XMG A516 are above average. 

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
24 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 5 ms rise
↘ 19 ms fall
The screen shows good response rates in our tests, but may be too slow for competitive gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 34 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (24.9 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
41 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 15 ms rise
↘ 26 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 51 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (39.7 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

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

In comparison: 51 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9354 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Performance

Attached below is gallery of screenshots - we use well-established tools to collect them - which provides a view of the most important components.

Processor

We don't need to talk much about the CPU - after all: the Core i7-6700HQ is the de facto standard CPU for mobile gaming platforms thanks to the high performance and a still acceptable price point. The 14-nm processor is based on Intel's Skylake architecture and has a TDP of 45 watts. Hyper-Threading creates four virtual cores in addition to the physical ones and thus allows the CPU to process eight threads in parallel.

single-core rendering
single-core rendering
multi-core rendering
multi-core rendering
stress CPU & GPU
stress CPU & GPU

The nominal clock speed is 2.6GHz, although Turbo Boost allows overclocking to a maximum of 3.5 GHz. We took a closer look at this feature. Our findings: as long as only the CPU is taxed, the Core i7-6700HQ runs between 3.1 to 3.5 GHz. If the GPU is under load at the same time, the clock speed takes a hit and drops back to the nominal 2.6 GHz after a very short time.

Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.68 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
7.44 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
59.47 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
148 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
680 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
98.61 fps
Help

Considering that this is a gaming machine, this behavior isn't exactly what one would hope for, although our benchmark tests didn't show any detrimental effects when we compared the notebook to others with the CPU Turbo active at all times. When running dedicated CPU tests like the Cinebench R15, the XMG A516 actually ends up ahead of others with the same Core i7-6700HQ processor. For details, see the table below.

Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Schenker XMG A516
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
148 Points ∼100%
Nexoc G515 II
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
142 Points ∼96% -4%
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
129 Points ∼87% -13%
MSI GS60-6QE4K16H21
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
128 Points ∼86% -14%
Gigabyte P35X v5
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
147 Points ∼99% -1%
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
146 Points ∼99% -1%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Schenker XMG A516
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
680 Points ∼100%
Nexoc G515 II
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
676 Points ∼99% -1%
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
676 Points ∼99% -1%
MSI GS60-6QE4K16H21
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
663 Points ∼98% -2%
Gigabyte P35X v5
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
675 Points ∼99% -1%
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
677 Points ∼100% 0%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Schenker XMG A516
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
1.68 Points ∼100%
Nexoc G515 II
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
1.65 Points ∼98% -2%
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
1.48 Points ∼88% -12%
MSI GS60-6QE4K16H21
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
1.47 Points ∼88% -12%
Gigabyte P35X v5
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
1.66 Points ∼99% -1%
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
1.67 Points ∼99% -1%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Schenker XMG A516
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
7.44 Points ∼100%
Nexoc G515 II
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
6.56 Points ∼88% -12%
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
7.46 Points ∼100% 0%
MSI GS60-6QE4K16H21
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
7.33 Points ∼98% -1%
Gigabyte P35X v5
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
7.41 Points ∼99% 0%
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
7.43 Points ∼100% 0%

System Performance

The combination of quad-core CPU, high-end GPU and SSD guarantees ample system performance. Not least because of the clean Windows install the XMG A516 is a very speedy system indeed. The PCMark 7 score of 6085 points confirms our positive impression.

PCMark 7 Score
6085 points
Help
PCMark 7 - Score (sort by value)
Schenker XMG A516
GeForce GTX 965M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 950 Pro 256GB m.2 NVMe
6085 Points ∼99%
Nexoc G515 II
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZHPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e
6161 Points ∼100% +1%
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung MZNLN128HCGR-000L2
5918 Points ∼96% -3%
MSI GS60-6QE4K16H21
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Hynix HFS256G3MND
5941 Points ∼96% -2%
Gigabyte P35X v5
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e
6176 Points ∼100% +1%
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZ-VLV256D
5846 Points ∼95% -4%

Storage Devices

Not only does the N150RF barebone include a normal 2.5-inch, but also a modern M.2 slot. As we mentioned earlier, the slot supports Solid State Drives based on PCIe and NVMe technology. Suitable drives are still very expensive, but they can transmit data much faster since they are not restricted by the SATA III limit of 500-550 MB. The 256 GB Samsung 950 Pro in our review notebook managed sequential speeds of up to 2000 MB/s for reads and 900 MB/s for writes, which is at least double and up to quadruple the speed of a standard SSD. The difference is much less significant when dealing with smaller datablocks, which are important during normal Windows operation. The gist of the matter: a SATA III should be plenty fast enough for most users. 

Samsung SSD 950 Pro 256GB m.2 NVMe
Sequential Read: 2004.93MB/s
Sequential Write: 915.91MB/s
4K Read: 48.47MB/s
4K Write: 136.79MB/s
4K-64 Read: 995.29MB/s
4K-64 Write: 291.77MB/s
Access Time Read: 0.038ms
Access Time Write: 0.029ms
Score Read: 1244Points
Score Write: 520Points
Score Total: 2356Points
Schenker XMG A516
Samsung SSD 950 Pro 256GB m.2 NVMe
Nexoc G515 II
Samsung SM951 MZHPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
Samsung MZNLN128HCGR-000L2
MSI GS60-6QE4K16H21
Hynix HFS256G3MND
Gigabyte P35X v5
Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
Samsung PM951 NVMe MZ-VLV256D
AS SSD
-4%
-56%
-54%
-15%
Score Total
2356
2528
7%
883
-63%
998
-58%
2460
4%
4K Write
136.79
92.63
-32%
93.97
-31%
80.95
-41%
100.89
-26%
4K Read
48.47
39.56
-18%
34.29
-29%
28.77
-41%
22.8
-53%
Seq Write
915.91
1174.14
28%
150.96
-84%
389.33
-57%
1099.65
20%
Seq Read
2004.93
1862.57
-7%
491.97
-75%
516.42
-74%
1610.87
-20%

GPU Performance

The GeForce GTX 965M is a new version of the (identically named) GPU from 2015. The 28 nm chip has 1024 shader units, which should guarantee higher-end performance - the less expensive  GTX 960M, for example, only has 640 of them (a GTX 970M has 1280 shaders). The DirectX 12 chip can't compete with the top-of-the-line GTX 980M and GTX 980, which have 1536 to 2408 CUDA cores.

The clock speed is impressive: instead of running at 924-950 MHz, the new GTX 965M now delivers between 935 and 1150 MHz with no throttling even under maximum load. A bottleneck could potentially be the video RAM, since 2 GByte GDDR5 of VRAM (128-bit interface) are a bit sparse - especially when running some titles at maximum details. The GTX 965M doesn't always offer enough performance for the highest settings though. How much the lack of VRAM will be an issue going forward can't be determined at this point. Faster GPUs at the level of a GTX 980M would probably suffer more, since their raw performance is clearly higher and there aren't any other bottlenecks.

3DMark 11 Performance
8006 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
69746 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
19431 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
5261 points
Help

As far as the synthetic performance goes, the XMG A615 does quite well: with a score of 6001 points in the Fire Strike benchmark, the GPU outperforms the GTX 960M (4458 points - Nexoc G515 II) by 35 %. GTX 970M notebooks are roughly 20 % faster (7252 points - MSI GS60-6QE). Users who want even better performance need to spend a lot more: a GTX 980M though offers a performance plus of 60 % (9677 Punkte - Gigabyte P35X v5).

3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics (sort by value)
Schenker XMG A516
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
6001 Points ∼62%
Nexoc G515 II
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
4458 Points ∼46% -26%
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
4361 Points ∼45% -27%
MSI GS60-6QE4K16H21
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
7252 Points ∼75% +21%
Gigabyte P35X v5
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
9677 Points ∼100% +61%
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
9293 Points ∼96% +55%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Score (sort by value)
Schenker XMG A516
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
5261 Points ∼63%
Nexoc G515 II
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
4123 Points ∼49% -22%
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
4036 Points ∼48% -23%
MSI GS60-6QE4K16H21
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
5982 Points ∼72% +14%
Gigabyte P35X v5
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
8345 Points ∼100% +59%
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
8107 Points ∼97% +54%
3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance GPU (sort by value)
Schenker XMG A516
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
8064 Points ∼63%
Nexoc G515 II
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
5497 Points ∼43% -32%
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
5322 Points ∼41% -34%
MSI GS60-6QE4K16H21
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
10014 Points ∼78% +24%
Gigabyte P35X v5
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
12853 Points ∼100% +59%
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
11509 Points ∼90% +43%
1280x720 Performance (sort by value)
Schenker XMG A516
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
8006 Points ∼70%
Nexoc G515 II
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
5797 Points ∼51% -28%
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
5678 Points ∼50% -29%
MSI GS60-6QE4K16H21
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
9536 Points ∼83% +19%
Gigabyte P35X v5
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
11433 Points ∼100% +43%
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
10623 Points ∼93% +33%

Gaming Performance

Aside from extremely demanding games like XCOM 2, most titles are playable at the native resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels with high details and simple anti-aliasing (FXAA, SMAA, …) enabled. Maximum details can lead to occasional stutters (Batman Arkham KnightAnno 2205AC SyndicateRise of the Tomb Raider) - but that's true as well even for more expensive GeForce-variants.

All things considered, the GTX 965M is a very decent high-end GPU which closes the gap between the GTX 960M and the GTX 970M. Thanks to the latest GPU driver, we didn't encounter any major problems during our benchmark tests. Out of the 13 games we tested, only Assassin's Creed had an issue (fullscreen was only possible at the native resolution).

low med. high ultra
Dirt Rally (2015) 227.1112.388.144.2fps
Batman: Arkham Knight (2015) 98883922fps
Mad Max (2015) 139.570.463.9fps
FIFA 16 (2015) 233.7183.6130.9fps
Anno 2205 (2015) 133101.345.915.6fps
Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 (2015) 132.995.249.237.4fps
Fallout 4 (2015) 120.678.541.934.8fps
Star Wars Battlefront (2015) 172.7116.856.247.7fps
Assassin's Creed Syndicate (2015) 71.160.537.32.8fps
Rainbow Six Siege (2015) 203.9139.773.651fps
Just Cause 3 (2015) 99.191.349.942.8fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 102.363.136.429.1fps
XCOM 2 (2016) 74.64326.312fps

Emissions

System Noise

Despite the rather powerful GPU, the XMG A516 isn't really any louder than the version with GTX 960M. We measured 40 dB when running 3DMark 06 and 45 dB during the stress test - many gaming notebooks are louder: the Lenovo Y700-15 and MSI GS60-6QE reached 47 and 50 dB, respectively. Models equipped with a GTX 980M GPU like the Gigabyte P35X v5 and the Alienware 15 R2 are louder still.  

Idle-response could use some improvement: even though the fans are frequently not spinning at all - which means that only the whooshing sound of the HDD is audible (31-32 dB) - the cooling system spools up occasionally for no apparent reason whatsoever and the noise increases to 40 dB. The predecessor behaved the same, which some users might find annoying. A better fan control could probably alleviate this issue or at least lessen it (the pre-installed Control Center allows the user to manually set the fan speed).

noise level idle
noise level idle
noise level load
noise level load
pink & white Noise (speaker)
pink & white Noise (speaker)

Noise Level

Idle
31 / 32 / 38 dB(A)
HDD
32 dB(A)
DVD
35 / dB(A)
Load
40 / 45 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 (15 cm distance)
Schenker XMG A516
GeForce GTX 965M, 6700HQ
Nexoc G515 II
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ
MSI GS60-6QE4K16H21
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
Gigabyte P35X v5
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ
Noise
5%
2%
-7%
-5%
-3%
off / environment *
Idle Minimum *
31
29.4
5%
30.4
2%
35
-13%
32.2
-4%
33.6
-8%
Idle Average *
32
30.2
6%
30.5
5%
36
-13%
32.3
-1%
33.8
-6%
Idle Maximum *
38
35.6
6%
33.3
12%
37
3%
32.6
14%
34
11%
Load Average *
40
39.8
-0%
41.4
-4%
40
-0%
44.4
-11%
39.3
2%
Load Maximum *
45
41.6
8%
47
-4%
50
-11%
54.6
-21%
51.4
-14%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

Furmark & Prime
Furmark & Prime
Unigine Heaven & Prime
Unigine Heaven & Prime

Temperature control is also not perfect. Even though the CPU-Turbo deactivates when running demanding 3D applications and there's throttling under full load as well (the cores occasionally drop to 800 MHz), the CPU maxed out at about 90 °C when we subjected the notebook to our stress test with Furmark and Prime. True, many gaming notebooks get that hot as well - but the XMG A516 actually turns off after about 15 min into the stress tests (we had to pull the power plug for several seconds before we were able to restart the notebook).    

The culprit likely isn't the high temperature, but the power adapter, as the notebook battery actually slowly drains at maximum load levels. Since the XMG A505 with GTX 960M required 150 watts (the XMG A516 a maximum of 160 watts), 120 watts seem woefully inadequate even when taking efficiency into consideration. The barebone manufacturer Clevo should probably switch to a power adapter with a capacity of 150 watts. During normal operation, there aren't any concerns: running our benchmark tests (which included the hardware-taxing games Call of Duty Black Ops 3Star Wars Battlefront and Just Cause 3) didn't cause any crashes or other issues.

To check the temperature on the outside of the chassis we had to use the Unigine Heaven Benchmark which - together with Prime95 - generates a similar CPU temperature profile (the GTX 965M remained cooler at 73 vs 84 °C, however). The result: 52 °C on the upper and a maximum of 53 °C on the bottom That's quite hot, but still acceptable for a gaming notebook. The same is true for the idle test (2 hours), which resulted in a high of about  34 °C. The palm rest feels cool to the touch at all times (maximum of 31 °C). Please note: since we used different software, the resulting temperatures can't be compared directly to the competitors.

temperature idle (top)
temperature idle (top)
temperature idle (bottom)
temperature idle (bottom)
temperature load (top)
temperature load (top)
temperature load (bottom)
temperature load (bottom)
Max. Load
 46.8 °C
116 F
52.4 °C
126 F
44.5 °C
112 F
 
 43.8 °C
111 F
51.6 °C
125 F
45.2 °C
113 F
 
 25.3 °C
78 F
30.3 °C
87 F
30.6 °C
87 F
 
Maximum: 52.4 °C = 126 F
Average: 41.2 °C = 106 F
45.2 °C
113 F
53.1 °C
128 F
51.8 °C
125 F
31.8 °C
89 F
52.5 °C
127 F
51.1 °C
124 F
29.9 °C
86 F
29.4 °C
85 F
25.7 °C
78 F
Maximum: 53.1 °C = 128 F
Average: 41.2 °C = 106 F
Power Supply (max.)  57.3 °C = 135 F | Room Temperature 22 °C = 72 F | Voltcraft IR-900
(-) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 41.2 °C / 106 F, compared to the average of 33.2 °C / 92 F for the devices in the class Gaming.
(-) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 52.4 °C / 126 F, compared to the average of 39.6 °C / 103 F, ranging from 21.6 to 68.8 °C for the class Gaming.
(-) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 53.1 °C / 128 F, compared to the average of 42.2 °C / 108 F
(±) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 33.7 °C / 93 F, compared to the device average of 33.2 °C / 92 F.
(+) The palmrests and touchpad are cooler than skin temperature with a maximum of 30.6 °C / 87.1 F and are therefore cool to the touch.
(±) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 28.8 °C / 83.8 F (-1.8 °C / -3.3 F).
Schenker XMG A516
GeForce GTX 965M, 6700HQ
Nexoc G515 II
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ
MSI GS60-6QE4K16H21
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
Gigabyte P35X v5
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ
Heat
-6%
22%
7%
14%
9%
Maximum Upper Side *
52.4
56.8
-8%
43.8
16%
51.4
2%
52.4
-0%
48
8%
Maximum Bottom *
53.1
62
-17%
47.8
10%
68.9
-30%
58
-9%
57.3
-8%
Idle Upper Side *
39.3
39.6
-1%
27.4
30%
27.1
31%
26.6
32%
31.9
19%
Idle Bottom *
39.5
39.1
1%
26.8
32%
30.4
23%
27.4
31%
33.4
15%

* ... smaller is better

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The power consumption is also pretty modest. Thanks to graphics-switching (Nvidia Optimus), the XMG A516 only requires 11-22 watts during idle. The power draw of 75 watts in the first scene of the 3DMark 06 benchmark test is also quite acceptable considering the performance. This result is roughly 20 % below a notebook equipped with a GTX 970M or GTX 980M GPU.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.4 / 0.9 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 11 / 15 / 22 Watt
Load midlight 75 / 160 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Schenker XMG A516
GeForce GTX 965M, 6700HQ
Nexoc G515 II
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ
MSI GS60-6QE4K16H21
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
Gigabyte P35X v5
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ
Power Consumption
3%
-29%
-12%
Idle Minimum *
11
11.2
-2%
17
-55%
11.4
-4%
Idle Average *
15
14.6
3%
22
-47%
16.5
-10%
Idle Maximum *
22
21.8
1%
28
-27%
22
-0%
Load Average *
75
78.3
-4%
91
-21%
94.2
-26%
Load Maximum *
160
132.6
17%
149
7%
192.2
-20%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

Like its barebone predecessor, the new notebook ships with a 6-cell battery with a capacity of 62 Wh (competition: 47-96 Wh). The run times are thus pretty acceptable. We recorded 2 hours of 3D-usage with the screen brightness turned up to maximum and 6.5 hours with the display dimmed at idle - these results top those of the XMG A505, which was slightly more power-hungry. HD video playback is possible for about 4.5 hours (screen brightness at 50 %). A positive feature: the battery is accessible from the outside.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
6h 30min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
4h 22min
Load (maximum brightness)
2h 03min
Schenker XMG A516
62 Wh
Nexoc G515 II
62 Wh
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
60 Wh
MSI GS60-6QE4K16H21
47 Wh
Gigabyte P35X v5
76 Wh
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
96 Wh
Battery Runtime
-7%
15%
-48%
-15%
55%
Reader / Idle
390
617
58%
213
-45%
345
-12%
769
97%
H.264
262
456
74%
Load
123
114
-7%
88
-28%
61
-50%
101
-18%
114
-7%

Pros

+ many different, well-arranged ports
+ M.2-Slot with PCIe/NVMe support
+ only moderately noisy
+ IPS display with lots of contrast
+ chassis isn't too heavy
+ configurable
+ good battery life
+ touchpad works well
+ backlit keyboard
+ optical drive
+ no bloatware
+ pretty compact design
+ good performance

Cons

- Turbo Boost not active when running 3D apps
- CPU throttling under maximum load
- sensitive soft-touch finish
- speakers could be better
- fan system control not optimized
- no USB 3.1 Gen2 port and no DDR4
- power adapter is undersized
- small amount of screen bleeding
- lid is not very sturdy
- only 2 GB of VRAM

Verdict

In review: XMG A516. Test model courtesy of Schenker Technologies
In review: XMG A516. Test model courtesy of Schenker Technologies

New wine in an old wine skin: that's how one could summarize the XMG A516 in one sentence. The GeForce GTX 965M has similar emissions and a comparable power draw, but is noticeable more powerful than the GTX 960M, which at this time - early 2016 - just barely makes it into the high-end segment. Most users would probably consider this GPU to be middle-class.

In other respects, the XMG A516 inherits both strengths and weaknesses of the quasi-predecessor XMG A505. We like the backlit keyboard, the fairly large touchpad, and the IPS display with lots of contrast. The cooling system has some limitations, but keeps up with the competition reasonably well.

One of the most positive attributes of the notebook in our opinion is the mobility: 2.5 kg are fairly easy to transport, although the N150RF barebone isn't one of the thinnest notebooks around at 2.9 cm. The Lenovo Y700-15, MSI GS60-6QE, as well as the Gigabyte P35X v5 are slimmer still. A positive side effect is the fact that the temperatures and the noise level are not affected as much as they are in thinner notebooks.

For the next iteration of the chassis we hope that Clevo opts for a larger power adapter, a more constant CPU Turbo Boost and includes a USB 3.1 port (Type-C, for example). Better speakers and a sturdier display lid would also be nice.

Schenker XMG A516 - 02/29/2016 v5(old)
Florian Glaser

Chassis
70 / 98 → 71%
Keyboard
81%
Pointing Device
83%
Connectivity
69 / 81 → 85%
Weight
59 / 10-66 → 88%
Battery
76%
Display
87%
Games Performance
88%
Application Performance
93%
Temperature
74 / 95 → 78%
Noise
74 / 90 → 82%
Audio
65%
Average
77%
82%
Gaming - Weighted Average

Pricecompare

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Schenker XMG A516 (Clevo N150RF) Notebook Review
Florian Glaser, 2016-02-24 (Update: 2018-05-15)
Bernhard Pechlaner
Bernhard Pechlaner - Review Editor
Ended up in the IT sector in the 90s more or less accidentally and have remained in the industry (as a sysadmin) ever since. Always been interested in laptops - first purchase was - if memory serves correctly - a Toshiba Satellite T2115CS with DX4-75 processor, 4 MB of RAM and 350 MB hard disk drive (and Windows 3.1). To this day, laptops appeal to me - much to the chagrin of my wife, who doesn’t seem understand why we need 5-10 of them at any given time ;-).