Notebookcheck

Schenker XMG A517 (Clevo N850EP6) Laptop Review

Florian Glaser, 👁 Florian Glaser (translated by Mark Riege), 06/21/2018

Mixed performance. From a purely technical point of view, the XMG A517 from Schenker Technologies is quite up-to-date. Key words such as hexa-core CPU, 144-Hz panel, and NVMe SSD will please a gamer's heart and promise a good performance. We clarify in our test why the 15-incher still cannot completely convince.
Update: we have found the culprit for our GPU throttling issues: a bug in the Control Center.

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Schenker XMG A517

While the similarly named predecessor was equipped with a CPU from Intel's Kaby-Lake series, the new XMG A517 uses a Coffee-Lake processor. Besides the quad-core Core i5-8300H, the configurator on the manufacturer's website also includes the Core i7-8750H hexa-core model, which can run 12 threads in parallel via Hyper-Threading.

With the exception of the GPU (GeForce GTX 1060), all the other components can be configured as well, be it the working memory (8-32 GB DDR4) or the storage solution (1x M.2 and 1x 2.5 in). You also have the choice of the wireless module, the operating system, and the keyboard language. As the display, there is a 60, a 120, or a 144-Hz screen, with all the choices having a 1920x1080 pixel resolution.

Schenker XMG A517 Coffee Lake
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop) - 6144 MB, Core: 1405 MHz, Memory: 8000 MHz, GDDR5, ForceWare 397.93, Optimus
Memory
16384 MB 
, 2x 8 GB SO-DIMM DDR4-2666, dual channel, all slots occupied, 32 GB max
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 141 PPI, LGD05C0, IPS, Full HD, 144 Hz, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel HM370
Storage
Samsung SSD 970 EVO 500GB, 500 GB 
, Slots: 1x M.2 Type 2280 and 1x 2.5 inch
Soundcard
Realtek ALC269 @ Intel Cannon Lake PCH
Connections
1 USB 2.0, 1 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 2 USB 3.1 Gen2, 1 HDMI, 2 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: 1x headphones, 1x microphone, Card Reader: SD, SDHC, SDXC
Networking
Realtek PCIe GBE Family Controller (10/100/1000MBit), Killer Wireless-AC 1550 Wireless Network Adapter (a/b/g/h/n/ac), Bluetooth 5.0
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 30 x 378 x 267 ( = 1.18 x 14.88 x 10.51 in)
Battery
62 Wh, 5300 mAh Lithium-Ion, removeable, 333 g
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: Full HD
Additional features
Speakers: 2.0, Keyboard: Chiclet RGB, Keyboard Light: yes, 180-watt power supply, driver DVD, quick start guide, warranty card, sticker, 2.5 in accessories (screws), USB stick with software, Control Center, Killer Performance Suite, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
2.31 kg ( = 81.48 oz / 5.09 pounds), Power Supply: 628 g ( = 22.15 oz / 1.38 pounds)
Price
1767 EUR
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

The price of the XMG A517 starts at 1179 Euros (~$1373), but it quickly starts to rise with a few upgrades. Our test unit which has 16 GB RAM, a 500 GB NVMe SSD, the Core i7-8750H, and the 144-Hz panel would currently cost 1767 Euros (~$2059).

If you take a look on some other online shops, you can save a lot of money with a similar configuration. For example, you can get a model with an SSD-HDD combo for about 1500 Euros (~$1748, see link below the article).

Schenker XMG A517
Schenker XMG A517
Schenker XMG A517
Schenker XMG A517

The case of the XMG A517 comes from the bare-bone manufacturer Clevo, like most of the Schenker laptops. Since there were no external modifications, we will not discuss the case, the equipment, and the input devices in this article again. You can find this information in the previous review.

The competitors of the XMG A517 include other 15-inch gaming notebooks with the Core i7-8750H such as the Asus ROG GU501GM, the MSI GP63 Leopard 8RE, and the Eurocom Q6. You can find these notebooks as comparison devices in the charts.

Size Comparison

SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Eurocom Q6
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
170.67 MB/s ∼100% +125%
Average of class Gaming
  (11.7 - 202, n=205)
90.1 MB/s ∼53% +19%
Schenker XMG A517
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
78 MB/s ∼46% +3%
Schenker XMG A517 Coffee Lake
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
76 MB/s ∼45%
MSI GP63 Leopard 8RE-013US
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
26.26 MB/s ∼15% -65%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Eurocom Q6
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
207.24 MB/s ∼100% +144%
Average of class Gaming
  (13.4 - 257, n=203)
109 MB/s ∼53% +28%
Schenker XMG A517
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
87 MB/s ∼42% +2%
Schenker XMG A517 Coffee Lake
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
85 MB/s ∼41%
MSI GP63 Leopard 8RE-013US
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
32.84 MB/s ∼16% -61%
Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Schenker XMG A517 Coffee Lake
Killer Wireless-AC 1550 Wireless Network Adapter
691 MBit/s ∼100%
Schenker XMG A517
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
683 MBit/s ∼99% -1%
Asus ROG GU501GM-BI7N8
Intel Cannon Lake-H/S CNVi: WiFi
666 MBit/s ∼96% -4%
Eurocom Q6
Killer Wireless-AC 1550 Wireless Network Adapter
658 MBit/s ∼95% -5%
MSI GP63 Leopard 8RE-013US
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
626 MBit/s ∼91% -9%
Average of class Gaming
  (141 - 702, n=180)
594 MBit/s ∼86% -14%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Schenker XMG A517 Coffee Lake
Killer Wireless-AC 1550 Wireless Network Adapter
671 MBit/s ∼100%
MSI GP63 Leopard 8RE-013US
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
660 MBit/s ∼98% -2%
Eurocom Q6
Killer Wireless-AC 1550 Wireless Network Adapter
620 MBit/s ∼92% -8%
Schenker XMG A517
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
616 MBit/s ∼92% -8%
Asus ROG GU501GM-BI7N8
Intel Cannon Lake-H/S CNVi: WiFi
593 MBit/s ∼88% -12%
Average of class Gaming
  (144 - 697, n=180)
534 MBit/s ∼80% -20%

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Display - 60, 120, or 144 Hz

The optional 144-Hz display is definitely one of the main strengths of the XMG A517. We already know the matte LGD05C0 Full HD screen from the Gigabyte Aero 15X and the recently tested Schenker Key 15.

270
cd/m²
295
cd/m²
309
cd/m²
265
cd/m²
298
cd/m²
302
cd/m²
251
cd/m²
264
cd/m²
277
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 309 cd/m² Average: 281.2 cd/m² Minimum: 16 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 81 %
Center on Battery: 298 cd/m²
Contrast: 1104:1 (Black: 0.27 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 2.88 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.2, calibrated: 1.25
ΔE Greyscale 3.44 | 0.64-98 Ø6.5
93% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 60% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.45
Schenker XMG A517 Coffee Lake
LGD05C0, IPS, 1920x1080
Schenker XMG A517
LG Philips LP156WF6 (LGD046F), IPS, 1920x1080
Asus ROG GU501GM-BI7N8
AU Optronics AUO45ED, IPS, 1920x1080
MSI GP63 Leopard 8RE-013US
Chi Mei CMN15F4 (N156HHE-GA1 CMN), TN LED, 120 Hz, 1920x1080
Eurocom Q6
LG Philips LGD05C0, IPS, 1920x1080
Response Times
-111%
-111%
-8%
10%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
16.8 (8.4, 8.4)
36 (18, 18)
-114%
30.8 (13.6, 17.2)
-83%
24 (12.8, 11.2)
-43%
15.2 (8.4, 6.8)
10%
Response Time Black / White *
11.6 (6.8, 4.8)
24 (12.4, 11.6)
-107%
27.6 (16, 11.6)
-138%
8.4 (6, 2.4)
28%
10.4 (6, 4.4)
10%
PWM Frequency
21000 (95)
26040 (19)
Screen
-20%
-11%
-58%
0%
Brightness middle
298
320
7%
286.7
-4%
368.5
24%
326.6
10%
Brightness
281
311
11%
281
0%
341
21%
312
11%
Brightness Distribution
81
90
11%
92
14%
87
7%
88
9%
Black Level *
0.27
0.36
-33%
0.39
-44%
0.34
-26%
0.42
-56%
Contrast
1104
889
-19%
735
-33%
1084
-2%
778
-30%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
2.88
5.08
-76%
4.17
-45%
8.91
-209%
2.54
12%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
6.48
10.73
-66%
7.22
-11%
14.39
-122%
4.7
27%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
1.25
2.87
-130%
1.63
-30%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
3.44
4.04
-17%
2.5
27%
12
-249%
1.9
45%
Gamma
2.45 90%
2.34 94%
2.274 97%
1.825 121%
2.14 103%
CCT
7042 92%
7029 92%
6885 94%
11519 56%
6562 99%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
60
56
-7%
57
-5%
85.94
43%
60.9
2%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
93
85
-9%
87
-6%
99.98
8%
94.5
2%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-66% / -35%
-61% / -27%
-33% / -50%
5% / 2%

* ... smaller is better

Primarily, there are some positive points for the fast response times. 11.6 ms when changing from black to white and 16.8 ms when changing from gray to gray are surprisingly good for an IPS model. The 60-Hz panel of the old XMG A517 only managed 24 and 36 ms here. Granted, some gaming notebooks offer even shorter response times via TN technology, but this goes at the expense of the viewing-angle stability, which we would not appreciate.

CalMAN: Grayscales
CalMAN: Grayscales
CalMAN: Color Saturation
CalMAN: Color Saturation
CalMAN: ColorChecker
CalMAN: ColorChecker
CalMAN: Grayscales (calibrated)
CalMAN: Grayscales (calibrated)
CalMAN: Color Saturation (calibrated)
CalMAN: Color Saturation (calibrated)
CalMAN: ColorChecker (calibrated)
CalMAN: ColorChecker (calibrated)

The other display values are to a large extent unspectacular. As required at this price range, at around 1100:1 the contrast is more than decent. The black value (0.27 cd/m²), the color accuracy, and the color space (93% sRGB) do not need to hide from the competitors either.

Schenker XMG A517 vs. sRGB (93%)
Schenker XMG A517 vs. sRGB (93%)
Subpixel grid
Subpixel grid
Schenker XMG A517 vs. AdobeRGB (60%)
Schenker XMG A517 vs. AdobeRGB (60%)

Only the brightness could have been better. While an average of 281 cd/m² might be sufficient indoors, we often wish for more brightness in outdoor areas. It is also a little annoying that the screen tends to have halos on the edges.

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
11.6 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 6.8 ms rise
↘ 4.8 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. » 8 % 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
16.8 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 8.4 ms rise
↘ 8.4 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 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 6 % 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 not detected

In comparison: 53 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 8933 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Performance - The devil is in the details

In contrast to the case, the insides and the software have in parts been tuned significantly. Most prominent is probably the change in the Control Center, the central settings app of the XMG A517. It not only has changed visually but also offers more features and functions now. Similar to the predecessor, we ran the test in the Entertainment mode with the fan speed set to Automatic.

Control Center
Control Center
Control Center
Control Center
Control Center
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
HWiNFO
GPU-Z
GPU-Z
AS SSD Benchmark
CrystalDiskMark
Latencies
Software

Processor

Even though computer games have not profited much from more than four CPU cores until now, Intel takes a big step forward with the Coffee-Lake architecture.

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

The best example is the comparison between the Core i7-7700HQ and the Core i7-8750H. While the old XMG A517 "only" achieved 710 points in the multi-core test of Cinebench R15, the successor achieves a full 1176 points, which is 66% more. On one hand, this is due to the higher number of cores and on the other, to the higher clock speed. Instead of a maximum of 3.4 GHz, the Core i7-8750H achieves up to 3.9 GHz while loading all cores.

Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Schenker XMG A517 Coffee Lake
Intel Core i7-8750H
176 Points ∼100%
Eurocom Q6
Intel Core i7-8750H
170 Points ∼97% -3%
MSI GP63 Leopard 8RE-013US
Intel Core i7-8750H
170 Points ∼97% -3%
Asus ROG GU501GM-BI7N8
Intel Core i7-8750H
168 Points ∼95% -5%
Schenker XMG A517
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
161 Points ∼91% -9%
Average of class Gaming
  (79 - 209, n=420)
152 Points ∼86% -14%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Schenker XMG A517 Coffee Lake
Intel Core i7-8750H
1176 Points ∼100%
Asus ROG GU501GM-BI7N8
Intel Core i7-8750H
1113 Points ∼95% -5%
Eurocom Q6
Intel Core i7-8750H
1050 Points ∼89% -11%
MSI GP63 Leopard 8RE-013US
Intel Core i7-8750H
964 Points ∼82% -18%
Average of class Gaming
  (196 - 1865, n=421)
749 Points ∼64% -36%
Schenker XMG A517
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
710 Points ∼60% -40%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit
MSI GP63 Leopard 8RE-013US
Intel Core i7-8750H
1.99 Points ∼100% +1%
Schenker XMG A517 Coffee Lake
Intel Core i7-8750H
1.98 Points ∼99%
Eurocom Q6
Intel Core i7-8750H
1.95 Points ∼98% -2%
Asus ROG GU501GM-BI7N8
Intel Core i7-8750H
1.92 Points ∼96% -3%
Schenker XMG A517
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
1.8 Points ∼90% -9%
Average of class Gaming
  (0.71 - 2.38, n=408)
1.68 Points ∼84% -15%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Schenker XMG A517 Coffee Lake
Intel Core i7-8750H
13.35 Points ∼100%
Asus ROG GU501GM-BI7N8
Intel Core i7-8750H
12.55 Points ∼94% -6%
MSI GP63 Leopard 8RE-013US
Intel Core i7-8750H
11.86 Points ∼89% -11%
Eurocom Q6
Intel Core i7-8750H
11.62 Points ∼87% -13%
Schenker XMG A517
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
7.65 Points ∼57% -43%
Average of class Gaming
  (1.13 - 21.2, n=509)
7.28 Points ∼55% -45%

Unfortunately, the CPU is unable to maintain its Turbo speed over longer periods. Already in the first run of our Cinebench loop, the clock speed varies between 3.5 and 3.9 GHz, and it finally drops to an average of 3.3 GHz towards the end, which was also often the case in the Coffee-Lake notebooks we have tested so far. Some devices even directly show a worse performance, as the chart on top shows.

01020304050607080901001101201301401501601701801902002102202302402502602702802903003103203303403503603703803904004104204304404504604704804905005105205305405505605705805906006106206306406506606706806907007107207307407507607707807908008108208308408508608708808909009109209309409509609709809901000101010201030104010501060107010801090110011101120113011401150Tooltip
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64 Bit
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.98 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
13.35 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
176 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
1176 Points
Help

System Performance

The system performance fulfills the expectations to a large extent. The XMG A517 could boot a little faster in light of the SSD, but otherwise the notebook responds pleasantly fast. This subjective impression is confirmed by the benchmark tests. In PCMark 8 as well as in PCMark 10, the 15-incher does not break ranks but remains at the level of the competitors.

PCMark 10 - Score
Eurocom Q6
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung SSD 960 Pro 512 GB m.2
5362 Points ∼100% +7%
Asus ROG GU501GM-BI7N8
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H, Kingston RBUSNS8154P3128GJ
5092 Points ∼95% +1%
Schenker XMG A517 Coffee Lake
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H, Samsung SSD 970 EVO 500GB
5019 Points ∼94%
Average of class Gaming
  (2603 - 6959, n=120)
4946 Points ∼92% -1%
Schenker XMG A517
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SSD 960 Evo 500GB m.2 NVMe
4866 Points ∼91% -3%
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Eurocom Q6
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung SSD 960 Pro 512 GB m.2
5751 Points ∼100% +1%
Schenker XMG A517 Coffee Lake
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H, Samsung SSD 970 EVO 500GB
5697 Points ∼99%
MSI GP63 Leopard 8RE-013US
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H, Samsung PM871b MZNLN128HAHQ
5354 Points ∼93% -6%
Schenker XMG A517
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SSD 960 Evo 500GB m.2 NVMe
5198 Points ∼90% -9%
Asus ROG GU501GM-BI7N8
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H, Kingston RBUSNS8154P3128GJ
5111 Points ∼89% -10%
Average of class Gaming
  (2484 - 6515, n=315)
4928 Points ∼86% -13%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Eurocom Q6
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung SSD 960 Pro 512 GB m.2
4644 Points ∼100% +3%
Schenker XMG A517 Coffee Lake
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H, Samsung SSD 970 EVO 500GB
4523 Points ∼97%
MSI GP63 Leopard 8RE-013US
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H, Samsung PM871b MZNLN128HAHQ
4415 Points ∼95% -2%
Average of class Gaming
  (2554 - 6093, n=333)
4222 Points ∼91% -7%
Schenker XMG A517
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SSD 960 Evo 500GB m.2 NVMe
4187 Points ∼90% -7%
Asus ROG GU501GM-BI7N8
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H, Kingston RBUSNS8154P3128GJ
4119 Points ∼89% -9%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
4523 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
5697 points
Help

Storage Solution

Anyone often working with large amounts of data should choose an NVMe-SSD during the purchase. The Samsung 970 EVO built into our test unit is a particularly fast example that wipes the floor with other SSDs, so to speak. More than 2000 MB/s during sequential reads and writes (AS SSD benchmark) are excellent values which initially make us think of a RAID system. In addition to the M.2 slot, there is also a classical 2.5-inch slot to expand the storage.

Schenker XMG A517 Coffee Lake
Samsung SSD 970 EVO 500GB
Schenker XMG A517
Samsung SSD 960 Evo 500GB m.2 NVMe
Asus ROG GU501GM-BI7N8
Kingston RBUSNS8154P3128GJ
MSI GP63 Leopard 8RE-013US
Samsung PM871b MZNLN128HAHQ
Eurocom Q6
Samsung SSD 960 Pro 512 GB m.2
AS SSD
-7%
-70%
-74%
-19%
Score Total
4666
4063
-13%
900
-81%
742
-84%
3894
-17%
Score Write
2237
1575
-30%
345
-85%
245
-89%
1693
-24%
Score Read
1612
1677
4%
377
-77%
325
-80%
1477
-8%
4K Write
113.41
147
30%
67.1
-41%
60.78
-46%
96.21
-15%
4K Read
55.51
48
-14%
22.62
-59%
21.88
-61%
29.62
-47%
Seq Write
2300.21
1662
-28%
404.73
-82%
462.89
-80%
1943.43
-16%
Seq Read
2630.17
2694
2%
840.77
-68%
503.5
-81%
2522.91
-4%
Samsung SSD 970 EVO 500GB
CDM 5/6 Read Seq Q32T1: 3524 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write Seq Q32T1: 2442 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K Q32T1: 343.9 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K Q32T1: 279.3 MB/s
CDM 5 Read Seq: 1376 MB/s
CDM 5 Write Seq: 1407 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K: 41.6 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K: 100.4 MB/s

Graphics Card

While simple tasks in the office, video, and web areas are handled by the GPU integrated into the processor (Intel UHD Graphics 630), Nvidia's high-end GeForce GTX 1060 chip takes care of demanding 3D programs. The DirectX-12 model from the Pascal series brings 6 GB of GDDR5-VRAM and is the perfect companion for 1920x1080 pixels.

3DMark - 1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Eurocom Q6
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
14694 Points ∼100% +25%
MSI GP63 Leopard 8RE-013US
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
12235 Points ∼83% +4%
Schenker XMG A517 Coffee Lake
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
11743 Points ∼80%
Asus ROG GU501GM-BI7N8
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
11733 Points ∼80% 0%
Schenker XMG A517
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
11439 Points ∼78% -3%
Average of class Gaming
  (385 - 40636, n=448)
10263 Points ∼70% -13%
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
Eurocom Q6
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
18363 Points ∼100% +26%
MSI GP63 Leopard 8RE-013US
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
15411 Points ∼84% +6%
Asus ROG GU501GM-BI7N8
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
14975 Points ∼82% +3%
Schenker XMG A517 Coffee Lake
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
14543 Points ∼79%
Schenker XMG A517
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
14399 Points ∼78% -1%
Average of class Gaming
  (513 - 50983, n=521)
11899 Points ∼65% -18%

In the benchmarks, the performance of the XMG A517 settles on the level of other GTX-1060 notebooks, be it in 3DMark 11 or the Fire-Strike test of 3DMark 13. The disadvantage to the more expensive GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q is about 20%.

3DMark 11 Performance
13684 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
33942 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
10451 points
Help

With the help of The Witcher 3 (60 minutes @ Full HD/Ultra), we tested whether the graphics card can maintain its performance over a longer period of time. Unfortunately, as in the Key 15, there was an unpleasant surprise. Despite moderate temperatures, the CPU deactivated its Turbo, so that the Core i7-8750H only ran at its base core speed (2.2 GHz). The GPU got hit even worse, being throttled even below its base speed (1190 instead of 1405 MHz). Such a thing should not occur in a gaming notebook.

Apart from 3DMark06 and the stress test, no other applications or games were affected by throttling (for example in the Unigine Heaven 4.0 benchmark the GTX 1060 had a clock speed of about 1620 MHz), so we assume that this is a bug. However, in its current state the XMG A517 has to still accept a corresponding lowering of the evaluation in the 3D performance.

01234567891011121314151617181920212223242526272829303132333435363738394041Tooltip
The Witcher 3 ultra

Update 06/23/18: after much fiddling around we were able to discover that the Control Center was the culprit behind our GPU throttling issues. Killing the program via task manager immediately restores regular behavior of our GeForce GTX 1060. In "The Witcher 3", the GPU ran with enabled turbo boost at around 1,645 MHz, as can be seen in the graphs and screenshots. Given that we saw the same behavior on the Key 15 and the XMG A707 (currently in review) this particular bug seems to be affecting all Clevo barebones with preloaded Control Center.

Control Center running (GPU throttling)
Control Center running (GPU throttling)
Control Center disabled (no GPU throttling)
Control Center disabled (no GPU throttling)

Gaming Performance

As already indicated, the GTX 1060 has no problems with the native Full HD resolution. High and maximum settings ran smoothly in all the tested games. Anyone who connects a WQHD panel (2560x1440 pixels) should in most cases also be satisfied with the frame rates. 

The Witcher 3 - 1920x1080 Ultra Graphics & Postprocessing (HBAO+)
Eurocom Q6
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H
48.9 fps ∼100% +29%
Average of class Gaming
  (12.6 - 115, n=224)
44.5 fps ∼91% +18%
MSI GP63 Leopard 8RE-013US
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H
42.3 fps ∼87% +12%
Schenker XMG A517
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
39.2 fps ∼80% +4%
Asus ROG GU501GM-BI7N8
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H
39 fps ∼80% +3%
Schenker XMG A517 Coffee Lake
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H
37.8 fps ∼77%
Schenker XMG A517 Coffee Lake
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H
31.3 fps ∼64% -17%

Only starting from 3840x2160 pixels does the XMG A517 hit its limits. However, the same would also be the case for a notebook with the GTX 1070 (Max-Q). Passionate gamers should choose a GTX 1080 for the 4K range.

low med. high ultra
The Witcher 3 (2015) 7037.8fps
FIFA 18 (2017) 250247fps
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus (2017) 83.476.3fps
Call of Duty WWII (2017) 96.370.5fps
Need for Speed Payback (2017) 84.877fps
Star Wars Battlefront 2 (2017) 74.362fps
Fortnite (2018) 11481.2fps
Far Cry 5 (2018) 6965fps

Emissions - On the level of the competition

Noise Emissions

The fan control has always been one of the biggest weaknesses of the Clevo barebones. In terms of the fan behavior, the N850EP6 case can hardly convince here either. Granted that at a maximum of 51 dB under load, the 15-inch notebook does not run any louder than the competitors from Asus, MSI, and Eurocom, there is room for improvement in the idle mode. Instead of remaining at a constant level, the fans are either almost quiet or intermittently rev up to a high speed, which will annoy some users.

Noise level, idle
Noise level, idle
Noise level, load
Noise level, load
Speaker level
Speaker level

This behavior is typical for Clevo cases, and the cooling often makes a lot of noise even during small to medium tasks (Windows updates, starting up programs, installations, etc.). Fortunately, the situation is more relaxed in battery operation. Tuning the power settings can also alleviate the issue, or you can just use the manual fan control.

Noise Level

Idle
30 / 31 / 42 dB(A)
Load
45 / 51 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)
Schenker XMG A517 Coffee Lake
8750H, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
Schenker XMG A517
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
Asus ROG GU501GM-BI7N8
8750H, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
MSI GP63 Leopard 8RE-013US
8750H, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
Eurocom Q6
8750H, GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
Average of class Gaming
 
Noise
1%
2%
3%
6%
4%
off / environment *
30
30
-0%
28.6
5%
28.4
5%
28.3
6%
29.4 (27.7 - 32, n=227)
2%
Idle Minimum *
30
30
-0%
31.4
-5%
32.8
-9%
30.4
-1%
31.5 (28 - 41.7, n=650)
-5%
Idle Average *
31
35
-13%
31.4
-1%
32.8
-6%
30.5
2%
32.8 (28 - 46.6, n=650)
-6%
Idle Maximum *
42
40
5%
34.2
19%
33
21%
33.3
21%
34.7 (28 - 50.4, n=650)
17%
Load Average *
45
43
4%
42.8
5%
35.8
20%
42.3
6%
40.4 (30.3 - 58, n=651)
10%
Witcher 3 ultra *
48
43
10%
50.9
-6%
51
-6%
43.3
10%
Load Maximum *
51
49
4%
50.9
-0%
52.3
-3%
50.8
-0%
47.6 (38.9 - 64, n=651)
7%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

Due to the GPU throttling and the inactive CPU Turbo, our test unit did not get particularly hot in the load scenarios. A maximum of 47 °C (117 °F) on the top and bottom are no reason for complaint. However, the palm rests could have stayed a bit cooler for our tastes.

The Witcher 3
The Witcher 3
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 development of the components is also limited by the throttling. Even 60 minutes of the stress test with the Furmark and Prime95 tools was only able to heat up the Core i7-8750H to 70 °C (158 °F). The GeForce GTX 1060 heated up to 85 °C (185 °F).

Max. Load
 45 °C
113 F
46 °C
115 F
47 °C
117 F
 
 45 °C
113 F
46 °C
115 F
46 °C
115 F
 
 44 °C
111 F
44 °C
111 F
37 °C
99 F
 
Maximum: 47 °C = 117 F
Average: 44.4 °C = 112 F
47 °C
117 F
44 °C
111 F
42 °C
108 F
47 °C
117 F
42 °C
108 F
42 °C
108 F
33 °C
91 F
36 °C
97 F
34 °C
93 F
Maximum: 47 °C = 117 F
Average: 40.8 °C = 105 F
Power Supply (max.)  42 °C = 108 F | Room Temperature 24 °C = 75 F | Voltcraft IR-900
(-) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 44.4 °C / 112 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 47 °C / 117 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 47 °C / 117 F, compared to the average of 41.7 °C / 107 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 28 °C / 82 F, compared to the device average of 32.9 °C / 91 F.
(-) Playing The Witcher 3, the average temperature for the upper side is 42.7 °C / 109 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 44 °C / 111.2 F.
(-) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 28.7 °C / 83.7 F (-15.3 °C / -27.5 F).
Schenker XMG A517 Coffee Lake
8750H, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
Schenker XMG A517
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
Asus ROG GU501GM-BI7N8
8750H, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
MSI GP63 Leopard 8RE-013US
8750H, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
Eurocom Q6
8750H, GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
Average of class Gaming
 
Heat
-2%
5%
5%
-5%
3%
Maximum Upper Side *
47
53
-13%
43
9%
42.2
10%
49
-4%
45.6 (28 - 68.8, n=615)
3%
Maximum Bottom *
47
49
-4%
46.6
1%
47.8
-2%
53
-13%
49.1 (25.9 - 78, n=613)
-4%
Idle Upper Side *
32
33
-3%
29.2
9%
29.6
7%
32.4
-1%
30.8 (21.6 - 46.8, n=566)
4%
Idle Bottom *
34
30
12%
34
-0%
32.6
4%
34
-0%
31.6 (21.1 - 50.3, n=564)
7%

* ... smaller is better

Speakers

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2041.542.32533.836.23130.131.14033.735.35026.827.96327.228.2803327.310029.93112527.231.616023.428.22002534.525023.640.231521.444.940019.650.750018.457.163017.461.980017.769.1100018.175.4125018.469.6160017.364.8200017.168.4250017.365.8315017.360.9400017.365.6500017.370.8630017.359.2800017.460.41000017.356.81250017.2521600016.943.7SPL30.179.7N1.442.2median 17.4median 59.2Delta2.710.838.637.53535.635.733.934.434.132.236.934.237.131.844.930.251.729.257.429.665.728.564.327.464.827.563.426.359.326.358.925.162.625.666.225.5662564.42564.524.26724.470.924.571.623.974.323.769.423.765.823.466.623.464.323.558.723.450.336.880.82.850.1median 25median 64.51.82.6hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseSchenker XMG A517 Coffee LakeAsus ROG GU501GM-BI7N8
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
Schenker XMG A517 Coffee Lake audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (80 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 24.1% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (9.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 8.1% higher than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (13.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 4.3% away from median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (11.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (27.3% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 90% of all tested devices in this class were better, 4% similar, 6% worse
» The best had a delta of 6%, average was 17%, worst was 37%
Compared to all devices tested
» 80% of all tested devices were better, 5% similar, 15% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Asus ROG GU501GM-BI7N8 audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (74.27 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(+) | good bass - only 3.8% away from median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (10.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 2.3% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 4.6% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (6.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (10.3% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 6% of all tested devices in this class were better, 5% similar, 89% 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, 96% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Power Management - Optimus instead of G-Sync

Power Consumption

During idle mode, the power consumption is inconspicuous. Thanks to Nvidia's Optimus technology, the 15-incher only uses 12-23 watts, which is almost equivalent to the values of the Eurocom Q6 and the Asus GU501GM. Due to throttling, the values are not comparable with the competition under load anymore.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.5 / 1 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 12 / 16 / 23 Watt
Load midlight 64 / 188 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Schenker XMG A517 Coffee Lake
8750H, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
Schenker XMG A517
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
Asus ROG GU501GM-BI7N8
8750H, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
MSI GP63 Leopard 8RE-013US
8750H, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
Eurocom Q6
8750H, GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
Average of class Gaming
 
Power Consumption
4%
-13%
3%
-8%
-43%
Idle Minimum *
12
8
33%
12.35
-3%
7.99
33%
11.6
3%
20.1 (3.9 - 113, n=610)
-68%
Idle Average *
16
12
25%
19.98
-25%
12.15
24%
16.3
-2%
25.7 (6.8 - 119, n=610)
-61%
Idle Maximum *
23
25
-9%
25.44
-11%
13.4
42%
21.5
7%
30.7 (8.3 - 122, n=610)
-33%
Load Average *
64
85
-33%
94.28
-47%
103.62
-62%
100.7
-57%
104 (14.1 - 319, n=601)
-63%
Load Maximum *
188
180
4%
140.63
25%
164.29
13%
150.3
20%
166 (21.9 - 590, n=600)
12%
Witcher 3 ultra *
117
110
6%
132.86
-14%
156.1
-33%
140.1
-20%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

Together with the graphics switching, the 62-Wh battery ensures a decent battery life. In our Wi-Fi test, which all notebooks undergo with reduced brightness, the XMG A517 lasted 4:41 hours. The devices from the competitors often have to make do with smaller batteries and a correspondingly shorter battery life.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
5h 39min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
4h 41min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 44min
Schenker XMG A517 Coffee Lake
8750H, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 62 Wh
Schenker XMG A517
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 62 Wh
Asus ROG GU501GM-BI7N8
8750H, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 55 Wh
MSI GP63 Leopard 8RE-013US
8750H, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 51 Wh
Eurocom Q6
8750H, GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 55 Wh
Average of class Gaming
 
Battery Runtime
11%
-31%
-5%
-21%
-12%
Reader / Idle
339
447
32%
271
-20%
451
33%
306
-10%
332 (39 - 1174, n=598)
-2%
WiFi v1.3
281
301
7%
240
-15%
286
2%
219
-22%
251 (78 - 622, n=272)
-11%
Load
104
99
-5%
45
-57%
52
-50%
72
-31%
78.7 (18 - 202, n=564)
-24%
H.264
310
244 (88 - 506, n=124)

Verdict - A difficult case

Pros

+ powerful Control Center
+ individual configuration
+ good input devices
+ moderate weight
+ RGB illumination
+ no bloatware
+ 144 Hz display
+ NVMe SSD

Cons

- GPU throttling under heavier 3D loads
- unfavorable positions of the connections
- case appears cheap
- mediocre fan control
- bad sound
- screen bleeding
XMG A517, test unit provided by Schenker Technologies.
XMG A517, test unit provided by Schenker Technologies.

The Schenker XMG A517 is currently not in an easy place. While the input devices, maintenance options, the connections, and the equipment know how to please, the sound and the quality of the case don't do justice to the purchase price.

The case feels very plastic-like (keyword: rattling noises) and shows some weaknesses in the workmanship and stability upon taking a closer look. 

There is good and bad in the remaining categories as well. For example, the very responsive 144-Hz panel with stable viewing angles only makes up to a limited extent for the lack of performance. Regardless of whether it is a software bug or insufficient cooling, the quality assurance department should have caught the fact that the GPU throttles in some 3D game applications.

Without this flaw, the XMG A517 would be a decent gaming laptop and a serious alternative to the Asus ROG GU501GM and MSI GP63 8RE.

Update 06/23/18: with the Control Center deactivated, the GPU throttling issues all but disappeared. Apparently, there is a bug present in Clevo’s Control Center application that causes this behavior. See above for details.

Schenker XMG A517 Coffee Lake - 07/07/2018 v6
Florian Glaser

Chassis
65 / 98 → 66%
Keyboard
83%
Pointing Device
76%
Connectivity
63 / 81 → 78%
Weight
61 / 10-66 → 91%
Battery
79%
Display
88%
Games Performance
93%
Application Performance
97%
Temperature
85 / 95 → 89%
Noise
69 / 90 → 77%
Audio
50%
Average
76%
83%
Gaming - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Schenker XMG A517 (Clevo N850EP6) Laptop Review
Florian Glaser, 2018-06-21 (Update: 2018-06-26)