Notebookcheck

Schenker XMG P506 PRO (Clevo P651RG) Notebook Review

Florian Glaser, Tanja Hinum (translated by Bernie Pechlaner), 04/18/2016

Compact gaming. In the past, high-end notebooks were both large and heavy. Schenker's XMG P506 puts an end to that notion. In our review we'll take a look a the top version with Core i7-6820HK and GeForce GTX 980M.

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There are actually two different versions of the 15-inch XMG P506. The model with GTX-970M utilizes the 2.5 cm thin chassis of the Clevo P651RE, while our review notebook with the GTX-980M uses the P651RG, which is about 4 mm thicker. Except for bottom of the base unit, which is made from plastic instead of metal, the latter looks the same and matches the less expensive model from a quality standpoint.

Despite the compact design, users don't have to compromise as far as the hardware is concerned. After all: the CPU of choice is a quad-core model that's part of Intel's Skylake generation. Should manual overclocking not be required or if the user doesn't intend to run any power-hungry special apps, sticking with the i7-6700HQ instead of upgrading to the i7-6820HK is likely the better choice. The latter CPU isn't actually that much faster. Either quad-core is accompanied by 8 GB to a maximum of 64 GB DDR4 RAM.

Generous as well is the range of possible hard drives : the P506 features two M.2 and two 2.5-inch slots, which is pretty unusual for a 15-inch notebook. In addition to the CPU, the GPU, the RAM and the hard drives, the keyboard and the wireless module are configurable on Schenker's homepage as well. The only display choice features Full-HD resolution - so 1920 x 1080 pixels. An OS is not installed by default, but can be ordered for an additional charge.

Schenker XMG P506 PRO
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M - 8192 MB, Core: 1038 MHz, Memory: 2500 MHz, GDDR5, ForceWare 361.43, Optimus
Memory
16384 MB 
, 2x 8 GB DDR4-2133, 2 of 4 slots occupied, maximum 64 GB
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 141 PPI, LG Philips LP156WF6 (LGD046F), IPS, Full HD, G-Sync, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel Sunrise Point HM170
Storage
Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB m.2 NVMe, 512 GB 
, + Samsung Spinpoint M9T ST2000LM003, 2 TB HDD @5400 rpm. Slots: 2x M.2 Typ 2280 & 2x 2,5-inch
Soundcard
Realtek ALC892 @ Intel Sunrise Point PCH - High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
4 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, 2 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: headphone, microphone, S/PDIF, Card Reader: SD,Mini SD,SDHC,SDXC,MMC,RSMMC, 1 Fingerprint Reader, SIM card slot
Networking
Realtek PCIe GBE Family Controller (10/100/1000MBit), Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter (b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.1
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 29 x 385 x 271 ( = 1.14 x 15.16 x 10.67 in)
Battery
60 Wh Lithium-Polymer, 4 cells
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: 2.0 MP
Additional features
Speakers: 2.0 Onkyo (Sound Blaster X-Fi MB5), Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, Power adapter: 200 watts, accessories: USB flash drive (with drivers), Software DVD, cleaning cloth, user guide in several languages, Control Center, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
2.765 kg ( = 97.53 oz / 6.1 pounds), Power Supply: 830 g ( = 29.28 oz / 1.83 pounds)
Price
2778 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

One of the biggest highlights is the support for Nvidias G-Sync, which can take the place of the graphics-switching technology Optimus. To activate G-Sync, the user has to venture into the BIOS (F2 or Del during the boot process) and find the "MSHYBRID" or "DISCRETE Switch"-options, which are located under "Advanced" and then "Advanced Chipset Control". After this prerequisite task, the Nvidia control panel (right-click on the desktop) should now contain a menu called "G-Sync setup". How noticeable is this feature? Well, that is highly individual: while user X might not notice a difference, user Y might report noticeable changes.

Since the video-outs are connected to the dedicated GPU, external and certified monitors will support G-Sync as well (the exception is the HDMI-out). Users with a 4K display will appreciate the 60 Hz support on all video ports. The XMG P506 unfortunately lacks a USB 3.1 Gen2 port. Since our review notebook is very similar to the XMG P505, we will omit the sections on the chassis, connectivity, and input devices. Please check our review here for details. The 15-inch notebook starts at 1599 Euro (~$1800). Our high-end luxury version - please take a look at the specs - sells for 2778 Euro (~$3130) at the time of writing.

Control Center - System Program
Control Center - System Program
Control Center - Device
Control Center - Device
Control Center - Gaming
Control Center - Gaming
GPU Overclock
GPU Overclock
Flexikey
Flexikey
Killer Network Manager
Killer Network Manager

Display

The GTX-970M pre-sample shipped with the wrong panel - the final version now is equipped with the LG Philips LP156WF6. As our users have reported in our forum, this particular panel is affected by backlight bleeding.

303
cd/m²
282
cd/m²
295
cd/m²
307
cd/m²
312
cd/m²
307
cd/m²
281
cd/m²
270
cd/m²
277
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 312 cd/m² Average: 292.7 cd/m² Minimum: 18 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 87 %
Center on Battery: 312 cd/m²
Contrast: 975:1 (Black: 0.32 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 4.45 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.2
ΔE Greyscale 3.05 | 0.64-98 Ø6.4
84% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 55% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.58

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Schenker XMG P506 PRO
LG Philips LP156WF6 (LGD046F)
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
Samsung 4NDDJ_156HL (SDC4C48)
Acer Predator 15 G9-591-74ZV
LG LP156WF6-SPP1 (LGD04D5)
Gigabyte P35X v5
SHP144E
Gigabyte P55W v5
LG Philips LP156WF4-SPH1
Schenker XMG P506
Samsung 156HL01-102 (SDC324C)
Response Times
-22%
8%
-48%
-14%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
37 (15, 22)
48.8 (15.6, 33.2)
-32%
31 (10, 21)
16%
51.2 (21.2, 30)
-38%
44 (18, 26)
-19%
Response Time Black / White *
25 (5, 20)
28 (6.8, 21.2)
-12%
25 (7, 18)
-0%
39.2 (8.4, 30.8)
-57%
27 (7, 20)
-8%
PWM Frequency
200 (25)
200 (20)
Screen
-30%
1%
-23%
-6%
-8%
Brightness middle
312
180
-42%
310
-1%
278.9
-11%
254
-19%
310
-1%
Brightness
293
179
-39%
287
-2%
272
-7%
267
-9%
299
2%
Brightness Distribution
87
83
-5%
86
-1%
80
-8%
89
2%
84
-3%
Black Level *
0.32
0.19
41%
0.36
-13%
0.562
-76%
0.28
12%
0.35
-9%
Contrast
975
947
-3%
861
-12%
496
-49%
907
-7%
886
-9%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
4.45
6.74
-51%
3.83
14%
4.47
-0%
4.28
4%
4.1
8%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
8.5
8.64
-2%
10.6
-25%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
3.05
6.44
-111%
2.53
17%
6.13
-101%
2.77
9%
5.7
-87%
Gamma
2.58 85%
2.29 96%
2.42 91%
2.2 100%
2.28 96%
2.53 87%
CCT
6495 100%
6465 101%
6934 94%
7047 92%
6284 103%
7454 87%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
55
38
-31%
56
2%
60.87
11%
47
-15%
63
15%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
84
60
-29%
86
2%
95.43
14%
73
-13%
96
14%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-26% / -29%
5% / 2%
-36% / -27%
-10% / -7%
-8% / -8%

* ... smaller is better

And indeed: our review notebook suffered from backlight bleeding in the upper right hand corner. We'd say the severity is medium - though it's only really noticeable when the background is very even or very dark. Since twisting the display can actually improve the appearance, we don't think that the panel itself is the culprit but rather the construction of the display lid itself. The display just isn't very rigid (the predecessor had the same issue).

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 P506 vs. sRGB (84 %)
Schenker XMG P506 vs. sRGB (84 %)
Schenker XMG P506 vs. AdobeRGB (55 %)
Schenker XMG P506 vs. AdobeRGB (55 %)

The backlight bleeding issue notwithstanding, the display is actually very good. Both the brightness at 293 cd/m² and the contrast ratio of 975:1 are decent, although the black value of 0.32 cd/m² could be even lower. As far as the coverage of the professional color spaces is concerned, the LG Philips LP156WF6 display doesn't stray from the typical performance of an IPS panel. 84 % sRGB and 55 % AdobeRGB are plenty for gaming and the same is true for the viewing angle stability and the response time.

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

The software CalMan doesn't reveal any substantial weaknesses - at least not from a gaming perspective. Photo and video experts who want to use their notebook for professional purposes are going to be somewhat disappointed: a calibration only optimizes some areas well (graylevels, RGB balance, gamma...)

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
25 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 5 ms rise
↘ 20 ms fall
The screen shows relatively slow response rates in our tests and may be too slow for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 39 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (25.7 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
37 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 15 ms rise
↘ 22 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. » 31 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to 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: 52 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9173 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Performance

What was unthinkable just a few years ago, is now a reality: extremely potent hardware components in a slim chassis. In addition to MSI's GS60 and Gigabyte's P35X v3, Schenker also offers a 15-inch high-end notebook with GeForce GTX 970M/980M and a thickness of less than three centimeters (1.2 inches).

Processor

Compared to the frequently-encountered Core i7-6700HQ, the Core i7-6820HK runs between 2.7-3.6 GHz instead of 2.6-3.5 GHz and comes with 1/3 more L3 cache (8 MB vs. 6 MB). One of the most compelling features is the multiplier, which can be adjusted to allow for overclocking.

Single-core rendering
Single-core rendering
Multi-core rendering
Multi-core rendering
CPU & GPU load
CPU & GPU load

The base performance is very similar to the less expensive sibling. The review notebook scored 707 points and 150 points in the Cinebench R15 for the multi and single portions, which is just a few percentage points above the notebooks in our comparison (see table). Quite often, the difference is actually less than 5 %.

Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.73 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
7.75 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
68.27 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
150 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
707 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
101.7 fps
Help

The fan system doesn't appear to struggle with the Core i7-6820HK in any way. During single-core load, we recorded between 3.2-3.6 GHz, during multi-core loads 3.2 GHz, which is right around the limit for this CPU. When the GPU is under load as well, the frequency drops to 3-3.4 GHz (Unigine Heaven 4.0 Benchmark). The Turbo only deactivated during the stress test with Prime95 and Furmark running in parallel. Aside from brief dips to 800 MHz, throttling is not an issue.

Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Schenker XMG P506 PRO
Intel Core i7-6820HK
150 Points ∼100%
Gigabyte P35X v5
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
147 Points ∼98% -2%
Schenker XMG P506
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
146 Points ∼97% -3%
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
146 Points ∼97% -3%
Gigabyte P55W v5
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
144 Points ∼96% -4%
Acer Predator 15 G9-591-74ZV
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
143 Points ∼95% -5%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Schenker XMG P506 PRO
Intel Core i7-6820HK
707 Points ∼100%
Schenker XMG P506
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
680 Points ∼96% -4%
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
677 Points ∼96% -4%
Gigabyte P35X v5
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
675 Points ∼95% -5%
Gigabyte P55W v5
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
675 Points ∼95% -5%
Acer Predator 15 G9-591-74ZV
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
659 Points ∼93% -7%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit
Schenker XMG P506 PRO
Intel Core i7-6820HK
1.73 Points ∼100%
Schenker XMG P506
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
1.69 Points ∼98% -2%
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
1.67 Points ∼97% -3%
Gigabyte P35X v5
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
1.66 Points ∼96% -4%
Gigabyte P55W v5
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
1.65 Points ∼95% -5%
Acer Predator 15 G9-591-74ZV
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
1.62 Points ∼94% -6%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Schenker XMG P506 PRO
Intel Core i7-6820HK
7.75 Points ∼100%
Schenker XMG P506
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
7.48 Points ∼97% -3%
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
7.43 Points ∼96% -4%
Gigabyte P35X v5
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
7.41 Points ∼96% -4%
Gigabyte P55W v5
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
7.33 Points ∼95% -5%
Acer Predator 15 G9-591-74ZV
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
7.27 Points ∼94% -6%

System Performance

Considering the potent hardware, the good benchmark results of the review notebook don't come as a surprise. The PCMark 7 score of over 6000 points is great - not all high-end notebooks (Alienware 15 R2Gigabyte P55W v5) are capable of such a performance.

PCMark 7 Score
6245 points
Help
PCMark 7 - Score
Schenker XMG P506 PRO
GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK, Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB m.2 NVMe
6245 Points ∼100%
Schenker XMG P506
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZHPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e
6228 Points ∼100% 0%
Gigabyte P35X v5
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e
6176 Points ∼99% -1%
Acer Predator 15 G9-591-74ZV
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Lite-On CV1-8B256
6021 Points ∼96% -4%
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZ-VLV256D
5846 Points ∼94% -6%
Gigabyte P55W v5
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Samung SM951 MZVPV128 NVMe
5124 Points ∼82% -18%

Storage Devices

Fast, faster, NVMe: while SATA III SSDs are usually limited to 500-550 MB/sec, PCIe drives can be much faster. Our review notebook is equipped with a Samsung 950 Pro with a capacity of 512 GB. The sequential read and write speeds of 2249 and 1331 MB/sec, respectively (AS SSD benchmark) are outstanding and show the competition how it's done. The 950 Pro also offers convincing performance when dealing with 4K data blocks.

Note: when configured with a PCIe SSD a second M.2 drive can't be added for technical reasons. The two 2.5-inch slots can be populated with a 9.5 mm and a 7 mm drive (GTX 980M) or 2x 7 mm or 1x 9.5 mm (GTX 970M).

Our secondary drive was a 2 TB Samsung Spinpoint M9T. The drive spins at 5400 RPM and offers sequential speeds of up to 137 MB/sec according to CrystalDiskMark - very decent for a HDD.

Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB m.2 NVMe
Sequential Read: 2249 MB/s
Sequential Write: 1331 MB/s
512K Read: 971.8 MB/s
512K Write: 731.6 MB/s
4K Read: 54.63 MB/s
4K Write: 173 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 687.1 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 418.5 MB/s
Schenker XMG P506 PRO
Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB m.2 NVMe
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
Samsung PM951 NVMe MZ-VLV256D
Acer Predator 15 G9-591-74ZV
Lite-On CV1-8B256
Gigabyte P35X v5
Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e
Gigabyte P55W v5
Samung SM951 MZVPV128 NVMe
Schenker XMG P506
Samsung SM951 MZHPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e
AS SSD
-63%
-27%
-25%
-22%
Score Total
2716
826
-70%
2460
-9%
2201
-19%
1875
-31%
4K Write
138.32
71.49
-48%
100.89
-27%
112.67
-19%
93.86
-32%
4K Read
48.71
28.16
-42%
22.8
-53%
45.15
-7%
39.23
-19%
Seq Write
1415.82
324.1
-77%
1099.65
-22%
535.62
-62%
1199.54
-15%
Seq Read
2103.59
512.56
-76%
1610.87
-23%
1739.11
-17%
1869.53
-11%

GPU Performance

We really appreciate that the barebone manufacturer Clevo decided to incorporate the 8 GB and not the 4 GB variant of the GTX 980M (6 GB for the GTX 970M). Most games are quite happy with 4 GB at maximum details, but looking at the VRAM requirements of some games, more is always better. Especially when a 4K display is connected, the VRAM usage goes up significantly.  

Another highlight is the pre-installed Control Center. In addition to manual fan control, there's also a tool to overclock the CPU. We conducted our tests at the default settings, however. Without any tuning, the GTX 980M runs between 1038 to 1127 MHz for the core and 2500 MHz for the RAM. Throttling only occurred when we subjected the notebook to the rather unrealistic stress test.

3DMark 11 Performance
11406 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
90620 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
24074 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
8371 points
Help

Just like the Maxwell siblings GTX 980, GTX 970M and GTX 965M, the DirectX 12 model is based on the 28nm GM204 chip. 1536 shader is the midpoint between the GTX 965M (1024 shader) and the GTX 980 (2048 shader). Most competing notebooks either us the GTX 980M or the GTX 970M, which offers about 20 % less performance. The benchmark results are as expected. The results of the 3DMark 13 and the 3DMark 11 are on par with the Acer Predator 15 and the Gigabyte P35X v5. The Alienware 15 R2 trails the others slightly - even though it has the same GPU.

3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Gigabyte P35X v5
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
9677 Points ∼100% 0%
Schenker XMG P506 PRO
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
9671 Points ∼100%
Acer Predator 15 G9-591-74ZV
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
9576 Points ∼99% -1%
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
9293 Points ∼96% -4%
Schenker XMG P506
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
7595 Points ∼78% -21%
Gigabyte P55W v5
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
7450 Points ∼77% -23%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Score
Schenker XMG P506 PRO
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
8371 Points ∼100%
Gigabyte P35X v5
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
8345 Points ∼100% 0%
Acer Predator 15 G9-591-74ZV
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
8306 Points ∼99% -1%
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
8107 Points ∼97% -3%
Schenker XMG P506
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
6672 Points ∼80% -20%
Gigabyte P55W v5
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
6565 Points ∼78% -22%
3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance GPU
Gigabyte P35X v5
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
12853 Points ∼100% +3%
Schenker XMG P506 PRO
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
12517 Points ∼97%
Acer Predator 15 G9-591-74ZV
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
12238 Points ∼95% -2%
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
11509 Points ∼90% -8%
Schenker XMG P506
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
9967 Points ∼78% -20%
Gigabyte P55W v5
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
9910 Points ∼77% -21%
1280x720 Performance
Gigabyte P35X v5
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
11433 Points ∼100% 0%
Schenker XMG P506 PRO
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
11406 Points ∼100%
Acer Predator 15 G9-591-74ZV
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
10977 Points ∼96% -4%
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
10623 Points ∼93% -7%
Schenker XMG P506
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
9627 Points ∼84% -16%
Gigabyte P55W v5
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
8932 Points ∼78% -22%

Gaming Performance

Unless the user expects a particularly demanding anti-aliasing mode, all games can be enjoyed at full details, no matter if it's action games like Just Cause 3Far Cry PrimalRainbow Six SiegeThe Division and Hitmanor an Arcade-style racing game like Need for Speed. Only the ultra preset of XCOM 2 - which we tested after the patch with the initially selected 8x MSAA - gave us some troubles (FXAA prevents intermittent stutters). All things considered, the XMG P506 offers enough performance to satisfy most demands.

low med. high ultra
Rainbow Six Siege (2015) 242.4195.4114.996.1fps
Just Cause 3 (2015) 112.6105.872.463.2fps
XCOM 2 (2016) 93.464.247.422.8fps
Far Cry Primal (2016) 102716345fps
The Division (2016) 141.8106.75542.3fps
Hitman 2016 (2016) 66.162.443.641.1fps
Need for Speed 2016 (2016) 107.6101.772.251.8fps

Emissions

System Noise

The noise level is typical for gaming rigs. During idle, the fans emit a faint whooshing sound around 32-33 dB, which generally drown out the noise coming from the HDD. The fans in the XMG P506 tend to spool up rapidly at times - a common issue with Clevo barebones - but the brief jumps to 37 dB aren't a big deal and not really annoying.

Under load, the noise level increases significantly. We measured between 38 and 46 dB when we ran 3DMark 06 with an average of 41 dB - not a particularly impressive result. Since the sound frequency is fairly high, the notebook sounds a little louder than it is. We measured a maximum of 49 dB, which matches the results of the Acer Predator 15 and the Gigabyte P55W v5. Users who are not super-sensitive to noise should find the emissions of the fan system acceptable.

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

Noise Level

Idle
32 / 33 / 37 dB(A)
Load
41 / 49 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 P506 PRO
GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ
Acer Predator 15 G9-591-74ZV
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ
Gigabyte P35X v5
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ
Gigabyte P55W v5
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
Schenker XMG P506
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
Noise
0%
-4%
-1%
-1%
0%
off / environment *
30
Idle Minimum *
32
33.6
-5%
31
3%
32.2
-1%
33
-3%
30.8
4%
Idle Average *
33
33.8
-2%
32
3%
32.3
2%
34
-3%
32.8
1%
Idle Maximum *
37
34
8%
42
-14%
32.6
12%
35
5%
35.9
3%
Load Average *
41
39.3
4%
47
-15%
44.4
-8%
43
-5%
42.2
-3%
Load Maximum *
49
51.4
-5%
48
2%
54.6
-11%
49
-0%
51
-4%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

Stress test
Stress test

Thanks to the slightly thicker chassis, the observed temperatures are quite similar to the GTX 970M variant. We measured 30 °C after two hours of idle and 41 °C after 60 minutes of maximum load - very typical for a gaming notebook. A positive aspect: the palm rests remain below 31 °C at all times. The XMG P506 is never unpleasant - at least as long as it's not used on the lap while gaming.

No heat-related fatalities are likely to occur among the internal hardware components, either: considering how demanding the stress test is, the observed temperatures - we use the tool HWMonitor - for the GPU and CPU are perfectly acceptable at 81 °C and 83 °C, respectively.

Temperature idle (top)
Temperature idle (top)
Temperature idle (bottom)
Temperature idle (bottom)
Temperature load (top)
Temperature load (top)
Temperature Last (bottom)
Temperature Last (bottom)
Max. Load
 51.6 °C
125 F
50.8 °C
123 F
45.6 °C
114 F
 
 53 °C
127 F
50 °C
122 F
37.7 °C
100 F
 
 31 °C
88 F
26 °C
79 F
26.1 °C
79 F
 
Maximum: 53 °C = 127 F
Average: 41.3 °C = 106 F
39.6 °C
103 F
50.2 °C
122 F
58 °C
136 F
35 °C
95 F
41.2 °C
106 F
49.5 °C
121 F
24.8 °C
77 F
30.3 °C
87 F
36.3 °C
97 F
Maximum: 58 °C = 136 F
Average: 40.5 °C = 105 F
Power Supply (max.)  52.2 °C = 126 F | Room Temperature 20 °C = 68 F | Voltcraft IR-900
(-) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 41.3 °C / 106 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 53 °C / 127 F, compared to the average of 39.2 °C / 103 F, ranging from 21.6 to 68.8 °C for the class Gaming.
(-) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 58 °C / 136 F, compared to the average of 41.6 °C / 107 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 29.1 °C / 84 F, compared to the device average of 32.9 °C / 91 F.
(+) The palmrests and touchpad are cooler than skin temperature with a maximum of 31 °C / 87.8 F and are therefore cool to the touch.
(-) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 28.7 °C / 83.7 F (-2.3 °C / -4.1 F).
Schenker XMG P506 PRO
GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ
Acer Predator 15 G9-591-74ZV
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ
Gigabyte P35X v5
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ
Gigabyte P55W v5
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
Schenker XMG P506
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
Heat
4%
7%
10%
12%
3%
Maximum Upper Side *
53
48
9%
49.8
6%
52.4
1%
50
6%
49.3
7%
Maximum Bottom *
58
57.3
1%
59.2
-2%
58
-0%
57.7
1%
60.4
-4%
Idle Upper Side *
33.7
31.9
5%
32.2
4%
26.6
21%
25.7
24%
31.4
7%
Idle Bottom *
33.2
33.4
-1%
26.9
19%
27.4
17%
27.2
18%
32.3
3%

* ... smaller is better

Speakers

The XMG P506 is equipped with a 2.0 speaker system from Onkyo, which is housed above the keyboard behind two speaker grills. In conjunction with the Sound Blaster X-Fi MB5 technology, the sound is decent but not overly exciting. The audio is sometimes tinny and bass is lacking - not surprising, since there's no subwoofer. Turning up the volume all the way can also push the speakers to distortion. Compared to older Clevo barebones, the sound is still an improvement. 

Energy Management

Power Consumption

As expected, the power consumption is slightly higher than the version equipped with the GTX 970M. One reason is of course the GPU and the other the more powerful processor. 15-27 watts during idle and 98-210 watts under load are more than the GTX 980 competitors Alienware 15 R2 and Acer Predator 15 require. The XMG P506 isn't really all that power hungry, either: notebooks without graphics switching - like Schenker's own XMG U506 - can draw substantially more.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.6 / 1.3 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 15 / 20 / 27 Watt
Load midlight 98 / 210 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Schenker XMG P506 PRO
GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ
Acer Predator 15 G9-591-74ZV
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ
Gigabyte P35X v5
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ
Gigabyte P55W v5
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
Schenker XMG P506
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
Power Consumption
14%
16%
31%
25%
Idle Minimum *
15
11.4
24%
12
20%
9
40%
10.5
30%
Idle Average *
20
16.5
17%
16
20%
13
35%
14.6
27%
Idle Maximum *
27
22
19%
22
19%
17
37%
20.7
23%
Load Average *
98
94.2
4%
100
-2%
81
17%
81.8
17%
Load Maximum *
210
192.2
8%
162
23%
152
28%
146.3
30%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

The XMG P506's battery has a capacity of 60 Wh, which is on the lower end of average for this type of notebook. The same is true for the run times: 1.5 hours under load with the screen set to maximum brightness and 5 hours during idle condition lead to a "C" rating here. Users who require longer battery life are better off with a competing product. The Acer Predator 15 runs up to 11 hours on one charge, the Alienware 15 R2 almost 13 hours.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
5h 10min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
4h 27min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
3h 34min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 38min
Schenker XMG P506 PRO
60 Wh
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
96 Wh
Acer Predator 15 G9-591-74ZV
 Wh
Gigabyte P35X v5
76 Wh
Gigabyte P55W v5
61 Wh
Schenker XMG P506
60 Wh
Battery Runtime
86%
79%
4%
44%
1%
Reader / Idle
310
769
148%
670
116%
345
11%
604
95%
314
1%
H.264
214
456
113%
442
107%
332
55%
WiFi v1.3
267
446
67%
261
-2%
348
30%
Load
98
114
16%
113
15%
101
3%
93
-5%
98
0%

Pros

+ pretty slim for a gaming notebook
+ graphics switching / G-Sync
+ up to four hard drives
+ manual fan control
+ individually configurable
+ good input devices
+ part metal construction
+ very high performance
+ matte IPS display
+ 8 GB VRAM
+ NVMe-SSD

Cons

- some GPU throttling under maximum load
- average battery life
- no USB 3.1 Gen2 port
- lid not very sturdy
- backlight bleeding

Verdict

In review: Schenker XMG P506 PRO. Test model courtesy of Schenker Technologies.
In review: Schenker XMG P506 PRO. Test model courtesy of Schenker Technologies.

Even though the final score of 84 % prevents the Schenker XMG P506 from leading the pack, the notebook is nonetheless well-engineered and cleverly put together. The high-end notebook is comparatively compact and aside from the rather mediocre battery life and the backlight bleeding, we can't really find much to complain about.   

The appealing 15-inch chassis features good input devices, a display with good contrast, and a well-designed fan system. We also like the fact that the P506 can handle up to four hard drives and DDR4 modules.

All things considered, the XMG P506 is one of the best 15-inch notebooks weighing less than 3 kg / 6.6 lbs. Gaming aficionados who like to travel but also don't want to compromise on performance should definitely take a look.

Schenker XMG P506 PRO - 04/18/2016 v5.1
Florian Glaser

Chassis
78 / 98 → 80%
Keyboard
81%
Pointing Device
81%
Connectivity
66 / 81 → 81%
Weight
58 / 10-66 → 86%
Battery
74%
Display
87%
Games Performance
93%
Application Performance
95%
Temperature
79 / 95 → 83%
Noise
70 / 90 → 78%
Audio
75%
Average
78%
84%
Gaming - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Schenker XMG P506 PRO (Clevo P651RG) Notebook Review
Florian Glaser, 2016-04-18 (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 ;-).