Notebookcheck

Schenker XMG U727 (Clevo P870DM3-G) Notebook Review

Florian Glaser (translated by Andreas Osthoff), 09/16/2016

Challenging the desktop. Desktop PC performance without compromises is what Schenker Technologies wants to achieve with its most expensive gaming notebook the XMG U727. The 17-inch model is equipped with two high-end MXM GPUs as well as a socketed CPU. Nvidia’s brand-new Pascal architecture promises sufficient performance for 4K.

For the original German review, see here.

After the Schenker XMG U726 managed a very good score of 88% in our review almost one year ago, we now have a look at the XMG U727 successor. It is still an expensive high-end notebook mainly designed as a desktop replacement for core gamers expecting maximum performance even with UHD contents. This is also the reason for the desktop Skylake CPU instead of a mobile chip. The range starts with the default Core i5-6600 (4 cores, 4 threads, 65-watt TDP, 3.3-3.9 GHz) all the way up to the Core i7-6700K (4 cores, 8 threads, 91-watt TDP, 4.0-4.2 GHz).

You can get either a common Full HD panel with 1920x1080 pixels or a 4K panel with 3840x2160 pixels. Graphics are handled by an SLI configuration consisting of two GTX 1080 chips, which is currently the fastest notebook solution. The Pascal GPUs are accompanied by DDR4-RAM from 8 up to 64 GB and up to four storage solutions. Besides two 2.5-inch slots, the XMG U727 also comes with two M.2 slots and both of them support PCIe/NVMe. Customers can also select the wireless module, the keyboard language, and the operating system.

The pricing of the desktop replacement is high-end as well. Even the base model retails for a hefty 4,400 Euros (~$4911), but you can spend much more when you go all-in in the company’s own configurator. Our test model with a Core i7-6700 (4 cores, 8 threads, 65-watt TDP), 16 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD, HDD RAID and Windows 10 Home 64-bit would currently retail for 5,653 Euros (~$6309). This kind of money would be sufficient for a powerful desktop PC AND a gaming notebook (both equipped with the GTX 1080), so the XMG U727 only really makes sense for a few users. The concept is still interesting.

Schenker XMG U727
Processor
Intel Core i7-6700, Socket 1151
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 SLI (Laptop) - 2x 8192 MB, Core: 1582 MHz, Memory: 5000 MHz, GDDR5X, ForceWare 372.70
Memory
16384 MB 
, 2x 8 GB SO-DIMM DDR4-2400, Dual-Channel, 2 of 4 slots free, up to 64 GB
Display
17.3 inch 16:9, 3840x2160 pixel 255 PPI, AU Optronics B173ZAN01.0 (AUO109B), IPS, 4K / UHD, G-Sync, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel Z170 (Skylake PCH-H)
Storage
Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB m.2 NVMe, 512 GB 
, + 2x Samsung Spinpoint M9T ST2000LM003 in RAID 0, 2x 2000 GB HDD @ 5400 rpm. Slots: 2x m.2 PCIe Gen3 x4 Type 2280 & 2x 2.5-inch
Soundcard
Realtek ALC899 @ Intel Sunrise Point PCH - High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
5 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 2 USB 3.1 Gen2, 2 Thunderbolt, 1 HDMI, 2 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: Headphones, Microphone, Line-in, Line-out (7.1 analog, S/PDIF), Card Reader: MMC,RSMMC,SD,Mini SD,SDXC,SDHC, 1 Fingerprint Reader
Networking
Killer e2400 Gigabit Ethernet 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): 47 x 428 x 308 ( = 1.85 x 16.85 x 12.13 in)
Battery
89 Wh, 5700 mAh Lithium-Ion, 8 cells
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: 2.0 MP FHD
Additional features
Speakers: 2.1 (Sound Blaster X-Fi MB5), Keyboard: 3 zones, Keyboard Light: yes, PSU: 2x 330 Watts, Accessories: Recovery-DVD, driver DVD, cleaning cloth, 2.5-inch covers, thermal paste, Software: Control Center, Killer Network Manager, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
5.5 kg ( = 194.01 oz / 12.13 pounds), Power Supply: 2x 1250 g ( = 0.07 oz / 0 pounds)
Price
5653 EUR

 

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Case

At first glance, the case does not differ from the predecessor. Barebones manufacturer Clevo once again uses aluminum for the (not very sturdy) lid, while the very pressure-resistant base unit is made primarily of plastic. Looking closer, however, you can find some new aspects compared to the old model. While the fingerprint scanner was moved from the mouse buttons onto the touchpad (not very clever in our opinion), Clevo also improved the port selection and the internals – but we will cover these aspects later.

The desktop replacement was not designed to be carried around a lot. Weighing almost 5.5 kilograms (~12 lb) tends to limit you to the desk. But the 17-inch system is not only very heavy, it is also extremely big. With a height of 4.7 centimeters (~1.85 in), the XMG U727 is one of the thickest laptops you can buy. However, other gaming notebooks like the MSI GT73VR or the Asus G752VS are also close to 5 centimeters (~2 inches), and they are only equipped with one GPU.

As expected from a Clevo barebone, the quality of the chassis leaves a decent up to good impression. The competition is on a similar build quality level. The design is somewhat subtle, despite the keyboard illumination and the decorative strip on the lid. If you prefer a more striking design, you should have a look at devices from Asus, Alienware or MSI.

Clevo could improve the lid and hinge construction. Vibrations will result in a bouncing display, and the lid creates unpleasant creaking sounds when we twist it, which leave a cheap impression. Otherwise, the chassis can meet our expectations. Attention: The 17-inch giant is shipped with two 330-watt power adapters (1250 grams/~2.8 pounds each), which have to be attached via a power connector box (see pictures) – a very uncomfortable and space-wasting solution for a notebook.

Size Comparison

Ports

Even though the predecessor was already very well equipped, Clevo even improves the barebone in this respect. The biggest highlight is the number of USB ports. Instead of 6, you now get 7. Two of them are 3.1 Gen2 Type-C ports and support Thunderbolt as well as DisplayPort besides USB. Corresponding monitors can be attached via the two Mini-DisplayPorts or the HDMI 2.0 output. The manufacturer uses the most modern technology, so all ports can drive 4K monitors at 60 Hz or even more. 

Owners of a surround sound system (four stereo jacks) and network enthusiasts (two RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet ports) will be satisfied. The package is completed by a card reader as well as a slot for a Kensington Lock. Only an optical drive is not available.

Left side: 2x RJ45 LAN, 3x USB 3.0, 4x audio
Left side: 2x RJ45 LAN, 3x USB 3.0, 4x audio
Rear: HDMI, USB 3.0, AC power
Rear: HDMI, USB 3.0, AC power
Right side: USB 3.0, card reader, 2x USB 3.1 Type-C with Thunderbolt, 2x Mini-DisplayPort, Kensington
Right side: USB 3.0, card reader, 2x USB 3.1 Type-C with Thunderbolt, 2x Mini-DisplayPort, Kensington

SD Card Reader

The integrated card reader supports the standards SD, SD Mini, SDHC, SDXC, MMC, and RSMMC. We measured a very good performance with our reference card from Toshiba. Almost 200 MB/s sequential read and 158 MB/s for the transfer of a 1 GB picture folder show the competition what is possible. Even the 18-inch monster MSI GT80S 6QF cannot quite keep up. The majority of gaming notebooks (like the Asus G752VS) manage 100 MB/s at best.

SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Schenker XMG U726
161.1 MB/s ∼100% +2%
Schenker XMG U727
158 MB/s ∼98%
MSI GT73VR-6RE16SR451
155 MB/s ∼96% -2%
MSI GT80S 6QF
145 MB/s ∼90% -8%
Asus G752VS-XB78K
76 MB/s ∼47% -52%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Schenker XMG U726
203.4 MB/s ∼100% +1%
Schenker XMG U727
201 MB/s ∼99%
MSI GT73VR-6RE16SR451
196 MB/s ∼96% -2%
MSI GT80S 6QF
179 MB/s ∼88% -11%
Asus G752VS-XB78K
86 MB/s ∼42% -57%

Communication

Depending on the configuration, you get a WLAN module from either Intel or Qualcomm Atheros. Our device was equipped with the Killer Wireless-AC 1535, which costs 20 Euros (~$22) more and supports WLAN 802.11 b/g/n/ac as well as Bluetooth 4.1. The signal quality of 593 Mbps (send) is the best result we have measured so far. The receiving performance on the other hand is mediocre. The XMG U727 fluctuated between 60 and 600 Mbps in our server test and did not level off at a constant level. The 361 Mbps in the table below represent the highest average value from multiple attempts (best-case scenario).

Networking
iperf Server (receive) TCP 1 m
MSI GT73VR-6RE16SR451
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
601 MBit/s ∼100% +66%
Asus G752VS-XB78K
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260
566 MBit/s ∼94% +57%
Schenker XMG U727
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
361 MBit/s ∼60%
iperf Client (transmit) TCP 1 m
Schenker XMG U727
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
593 MBit/s ∼100%
MSI GT73VR-6RE16SR451
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
502 MBit/s ∼85% -15%
Asus G752VS-XB78K
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260
465 MBit/s ∼78% -22%

Security

In addition to the Kensington Lock and the fingerprint scanner, the XMG U727 is also equipped with a TPM 2.0 chip.

Accessories

The accessories of our review unit (pre-production) should not be similar to the final product. Our box included an XMG sticker, a cleaning cloth, a recovery DVD, a driver DVD, thermal paste and two covers for the 2.5-inch drives.

Maintenance

Clevo deserves a lot of respect for the good end-user maintenance. You do have to remove the whole bottom panel and push it back from the front to the back (which requires some skill and force) before you can access the components, but it is worth the effort. Under the hood you will find the gigantic cooling system consisting of three fans, eight heat pipes and multiple metal plates covering the CPU, GPUs and the rear of the chassis. The cooling system is unfortunately so huge that replacing the processor (socket 1151) and the GPUs (MXM) would need a lot of time and probably be too challenging for inexperienced users.

The situation is better for the battery, the primary memory slots and the 2.5-inch trays. The latter are hidden underneath the Pascal chips, so you will have to trust the engaging sound and the position of the bracket when you upgrade them. If you want to use three or four memory modules or access the M.2 slots, you will have to remove the keyboard. There is one labeled screw (K/B) on the mainboard. After you have removed it, it is possible to push out the keyboard with a sharp object through the hole (watch out for cables!).

Software

The most important software addition is the Control Center, and the name already suggests the functionality. Besides a fan control (we used the Auto setting), you can also overclock both the CPU and GPU. Other features are shown in the screenshots.

Control Center - System application
Control Center - System application
Fan speed
Fan speed
Control Center - System application
Control Center - System application
Control Center - Gaming
Control Center - Gaming
Flexikey
Flexikey
GPU overclocking
GPU overclocking
Killer Network Manager
Killer Network Manager
Sound Blaster X-Fi MB5
Sound Blaster X-Fi MB5

Warranty

The base warranty period is 24 months including quick repair for 6 months. You can extend this all the way up to three years (+360 Euros/~$402) with quick repair for the whole period (+60 Euros/~$67).

Input Devices

Keyboard

The keyboard is probably identical to the XMG U726. Contrary to the current trend, it is not a chiclet, but a conventional keyboard with crowded yet bigger keys (~18 x 18 mm). Only the row with F-keys is smaller, while the numeric keypad is sufficiently sized. As long as you do not have any problems with the position of the arrow keys (they range into the main keyboard area and the numbers pad), the layout is pretty convenient as well. All important keys are at the usual spots, which will help frequent writers. It takes much longer to get used to the keyboard layout of MSI notebooks, for example.

It is possible to adjust the integrated 3-zone illumination (there are multiple colors and modes) via Flexikey software, which can also be used to create macros. Despite multiple brightness levels, however, the light could be a bit brighter, because you can hardly see it during the day. We would call the typing experience decent, even though the stroke gets a bit more spongy towards the center (probably due to the construction). The typing noise is nicely subtle in return.

3-zone keyboard ...
3-zone keyboard ...
... with multiple illumination levels
... with multiple illumination levels

Touchpad

Due to the relocation of the fingerprint scanner, the touchpad was slightly reworked. The surface with the dimensions 10.8 x 6.2 centimeters (~4.3 x 2.4 in) now has an indentation in the upper left corner, which occasionally annoyed us a bit in practice (not least by the visuals). Otherwise, the handling reminds us of the XMG U726. Thanks to the smooth finish, the gliding capabilities are decent and the precision is not bad, either.

Multi-touch gestures are obviously supported as well. You can comfortably zoom and scroll contents with two fingers. The latter was a bit tricky during our review. Gamers on the other hand should be happy about the slight shift of the touchpad to the right, so it is not directly aligned with the space bar. Thanks to the large palm rest and the location of the keyboard pretty far at the top, gaming sessions are very comfortable. The ergonomics would be even better with a slimmer chassis though.

Display

We already know and love the 4K display from the predecessor. The AU Optronics B173ZAN01.0 is a 17.3-inch AHVA model, which – based on the Acer Predator 17 G9-793 – is also certified for Nvidia's G-Sync technology by now (avoids tearing and creates a smoother picture), but is not supported by the review unit.

322
cd/m²
337
cd/m²
318
cd/m²
331
cd/m²
360
cd/m²
344
cd/m²
313
cd/m²
313
cd/m²
315
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 360 cd/m² Average: 328.1 cd/m² Minimum: 18 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 87 %
Center on Battery: 360 cd/m²
Contrast: 1125:1 (Black: 0.32 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 3.94 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 4.13 | - Ø
100% sRGB (Argyll) 88% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll)
Gamma: 2.46
Schenker XMG U727
AU Optronics B173ZAN01.0 (AUO109B), 3840x2160
MSI GT80S 6QF
Samsung 184HL (SDC4C48), 1920x1080
Schenker XMG U726
AU B173ZAN01.0 (AUO109B), 3840x2160
MSI GT73VR-6RE16SR451
N173HHE-G32 (CMN1747), 1920x1080
Asus G752VS-XB78K
LG Philips LP173WF4-SPF3 (LGD04E8), 1920x1080
Response Times
14%
53%
6%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
39 (14, 25)
35 (14, 21)
10%
26 (12, 14)
33%
38 (14, 24)
3%
Response Time Black / White *
24 (4, 20)
20 (5, 15)
17%
6.8 (4.2, 2.6)
72%
22 (4, 18)
8%
PWM Frequency
250 (80)
Screen
-6%
-1%
-32%
-1%
Brightness
328
265
-19%
327
0%
294
-10%
317
-3%
Brightness Distribution
87
78
-10%
86
-1%
89
2%
88
1%
Black Level *
0.32
0.35
-9%
0.38
-19%
0.23
28%
0.3
6%
Contrast
1125
851
-24%
868
-23%
1365
21%
1093
-3%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
3.94
2.72
31%
3
24%
9.74
-147%
3.74
5%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
4.13
3
27%
3.81
8%
9.58
-132%
2.67
35%
Gamma
2.46 98%
2.36 102%
2.52 95%
2.5 96%
2.41 100%
CCT
6533 99%
6995 93%
6306 103%
11854 55%
6861 95%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
88
58
-34%
88
0%
76
-14%
56
-36%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
100
89
-11%
100
0%
100
0%
85
-15%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
4% / -2%
-1% / -1%
11% / -15%
3% / 0%

* ... smaller is better

Similar to the XMG U726 the results are mostly convincing. It starts with the luminance, which is also sufficient for outdoor trips in the (half) shade at 328 cd/m² on average. A black value of 0.32 cd/m² is also great for an IPS panel, and dark gaming or video sections do not have a visible gray hue. This results in a contrast ratio of 1100:1, which deserves even more praise. Contrary to many other devices (also includes devices from Clevo), we could not notice annoying clouding or backlight bleeding, respectively, even though the brightness distribution is just average at 87%.

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 U727 vs. sRGB (100%)
Schenker XMG U727 vs. sRGB (100%)
Schenker XMG U727 vs. AdobeRGB (88%)
Schenker XMG U727 vs. AdobeRGB (88%)

Excellent is also a good description for the color gamut. 100% sRGB and 88% AdobeRGB for the AU B173ZAN01.0 easily beat all the competitors. Most notebook panels manage 60% AdobeRGB at best. However, the very rich and vivid colors will not be appealing to everybody. The colors are accurate ex-works, and no value surpassed the red line in the extended color tests of the software CalMAN. Great: A calibration will reduce the DeltaE-2000 deviations of the grayscale and the colors to less than 1.0.

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

You do not have to worry about the viewing angles, either. IPS displays are known for their wide viewing angles. There will only be deviations from angles from above or below. The panel refresh rate is 60 Hz.

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↗ 4 ms rise
↘ 20 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. » 28 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (26.7 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
39 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 14 ms rise
↘ 25 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. » 40 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (42.8 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: 57 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 6262 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Performance

No compromises would be a good summary for the performance concept. Schenker only uses components that can compete with full-fledged desktop PCs. This starts with the processor and continues with the graphics performance as well as the number of storage drives. Our test model was equipped with DDR4-2400 RAM from Apacer, which is designed for gamers and supposed to be good for overclocking in particular. The configurator does not list this option yet.

Processor

While other manufacturers like Asus (G752VSG800VIGX800VH) and MSI (GT73VR) overclock their CPUs ex-works, the XMG U727 gets a real desktop processor. This decision has advantages and disadvantages. Because of the much higher TDP, desktop chips require better cooling compared to their mobile counterparts.

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

The Core i7-6700 is one of the more frugal models rated at 65 watts, while the top models Core i5-6600K and Core i7-6700K are specified at 91 watts, which is basically twice as high as your regular notebook quad-core from Intel (45 watts). Another issue is the enormous power consumption. The XMG U727 does not last very long without a socket.

Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.89 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
8.94 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
166 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
817 Points
Help

Advantages for the desktop chip are the socket principle and the higher base clock. At 3.4 GHz, the Core i7-6700 can easily beat the Core i7-6700HQ (default: 2.6 GHz) and the Core i7-6820HK (base clock: 2.7 GHz). The differences are smaller when you look at the automatic overclocking via Turbo Boost. The Core i7-6820HK is 400 MHz and the Core i7-6700HQ 500 MHz slower than the 4.0 GHz of the desktop chip. All the comparison devices in the table are overclocked ex-works, so the advantage of the desktop CPU is gone.

Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
MSI GT80S 6QF
Intel Core i7-6820HK
174 Points ∼100% +5%
Schenker XMG U726
Intel Core i7-6700
171 Points ∼98% +3%
Schenker XMG U727
Intel Core i7-6700
166 Points ∼95%
Asus G752VS-XB78K
Intel Core i7-6820HK
160 Points ∼92% -4%
MSI GT73VR-6RE16SR451
Intel Core i7-6820HK
158 Points ∼91% -5%
CPU Multi 64Bit
MSI GT80S 6QF
Intel Core i7-6820HK
888 Points ∼100% +9%
MSI GT73VR-6RE16SR451
Intel Core i7-6820HK
860 Points ∼97% +5%
Schenker XMG U727
Intel Core i7-6700
817 Points ∼92%
Schenker XMG U726
Intel Core i7-6700
813 Points ∼92% 0%
Asus G752VS-XB78K
Intel Core i7-6820HK
789 Points ∼89% -3%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit
MSI GT80S 6QF
Intel Core i7-6820HK
1.98 Points ∼100% +5%
Schenker XMG U726
Intel Core i7-6700
1.91 Points ∼96% +1%
Schenker XMG U727
Intel Core i7-6700
1.89 Points ∼95%
MSI GT73VR-6RE16SR451
Intel Core i7-6820HK
1.78 Points ∼90% -6%
Asus G752VS-XB78K
Intel Core i7-6820HK
1.77 Points ∼89% -6%
CPU Multi 64Bit
MSI GT80S 6QF
Intel Core i7-6820HK
9.81 Points ∼100% +10%
MSI GT73VR-6RE16SR451
Intel Core i7-6820HK
9.53 Points ∼97% +7%
Schenker XMG U726
Intel Core i7-6700
8.94 Points ∼91% 0%
Schenker XMG U727
Intel Core i7-6700
8.94 Points ∼91%
Asus G752VS-XB78K
Intel Core i7-6820HK
8.63 Points ∼88% -3%

System Performance

The system performance was a bit weaker than expected. Despite high-end components and PCIe-SSD, PCMark 7 only determined an overall score of 6605 points. This is a great result, but some rivals manage more than 7000 points. The predecessor XMG U726 is also ahead by a couple of percent. We suspect the Solid State Drive or its firmware, because AS SSD determined very low write results. That the Samsung 950 Pro is a capable drive and among the fastest M.2 modules is confirmed by CrystalDiskMark.

PCMark 7 Score
6605 points
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
4507 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
4662 points
Help
PCMark 7 - Score
MSI GT80S 6QF
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL (RAID 0)
7386 Points ∼100% +12%
Schenker XMG U726
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700, Samsung SM951 MZHPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
7093 Points ∼96% +7%
MSI GT73VR-6RE16SR451
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL (RAID 0)
7024 Points ∼95% +6%
Asus G752VS-XB78K
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5512GPU7
6803 Points ∼92% +3%
Schenker XMG U727
GeForce GTX 1080 SLI (Laptop), 6700, Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB m.2 NVMe
6605 Points ∼89%
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Asus G752VS-XB78K
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5512GPU7
5778 Points ∼100% +24%
MSI GT73VR-6RE16SR451
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL (RAID 0)
5186 Points ∼90% +11%
Schenker XMG U727
GeForce GTX 1080 SLI (Laptop), 6700, Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB m.2 NVMe
4662 Points ∼81%
Schenker XMG U726
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700, Samsung SM951 MZHPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
4623 Points ∼80% -1%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Asus G752VS-XB78K
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5512GPU7
5575 Points ∼100% +24%
MSI GT73VR-6RE16SR451
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL (RAID 0)
5034 Points ∼90% +12%
Schenker XMG U727
GeForce GTX 1080 SLI (Laptop), 6700, Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB m.2 NVMe
4507 Points ∼81%
Schenker XMG U726
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700, Samsung SM951 MZHPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
4343 Points ∼78% -4%

Storage Devices

In the past, you had to combine two Solid State Drives in a RAID 0 system to manage sequential transfer rates of more than 1000 MB/s. Thanks to PCI-Express, this is not necessary anymore. The 512 GB version of the Samsung 950 Pro even manages more than 2000 MB/s for sequential reads. The 4K performance of the NVMe model is not bad, either. Samsung's SM951 inside the XMG U726 is about 15% slower on general, and the Toshiba drive of the Asus G752VS cannot keep up in many tests, either. The RAID systems of the MSI GT73VR and GT80S on the other hand are between 20 and 30% faster.

You should still not notice any differences in practice. Boot times, loading times or application launches: The important aspect is having a somewhat modern Solid State Drive. Particularly fast solutions can still pay off for users with special requirements. To make sure we have sufficient storage space, Schenker also equipped the test model with two 2 TB hard drives in a RAID 0 system (Samsung Spinpoint M9T). Up to 270 MB/s are great for conventional hard drives.

Schenker XMG U727
Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB m.2 NVMe
MSI GT80S 6QF
2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL (RAID 0)
Schenker XMG U726
Samsung SM951 MZHPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
MSI GT73VR-6RE16SR451
2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL (RAID 0)
Asus G752VS-XB78K
Toshiba NVMe THNSN5512GPU7
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
22%
-16%
27%
-15%
Write 4k
164.9
130.3
-21%
121.5
-26%
153.1
-7%
154.4
-6%
Read 4k
53.57
49.38
-8%
45.42
-15%
52.15
-3%
44.42
-17%
Write Seq
1499
2556
71%
1560
4%
2560
71%
1305
-13%
Read Seq
2257
3259
44%
1661
-26%
3285
46%
1718
-24%
Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB m.2 NVMe
Sequential Read: 2257 MB/s
Sequential Write: 1499 MB/s
512K Read: 863.2 MB/s
512K Write: 1495 MB/s
4K Read: 53.57 MB/s
4K Write: 164.9 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 677.9 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 414.9 MB/s

GPU Performance

Even more impressive than the performance of the storage devices is the performance of the two graphics adapters. Even though a single GeForce GTX 1080 can already run almost every title smoothly at 3840x2160 pixels up to maximum details, the XMG U727 is equipped with a very expensive SLI system.

GPU-Z
GPU-Z
GeForce Experience
GeForce Experience
SLI
SLI

You can certainly argue about such an investment. Except for the cost, such a dual-GPU configuration also affects the power consumption, heat and noise development and introduces other issues like micro stutters and driver dependency. If a title does not support a second graphics card or if there is no corresponding driver profile yet, the performance will be stuck on the level of a single GPU system. The frame rate could even be worse compared to a single GTX 1080. We only checked games with SLI support for our benchmarks.

3DMark 11 Performance
24547 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
21423 points
3DMark Time Spy Score
9768 points
Help

Synthetic graphics tests like 3DMark 2013, which are specifically optimized for dual-GPU systems, show lower-than-expected results. The XMG U727 is about 130-140% faster than a notebook equipped with the GeForce GTX 1070 and more than 200% faster compared to a GeForce GTX 980 laptop. An SLI system of the old top model falls behind by 70-80%. These advantages are much smaller in practice when you play games, so you should think hard about such a setup.

3DMark
3840x2160 Fire Strike Ultra Graphics
Schenker XMG U727
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 SLI (Laptop)
9646 Points ∼100%
MSI GT80S 6QF
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop)
5358 Points ∼56% -44%
MSI GT73VR-6RE16SR451
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
4067 Points ∼42% -58%
Asus G752VS-XB78K
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
4030 Points ∼42% -58%
Schenker XMG U726
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop)
3052 Points ∼32% -68%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Schenker XMG U727
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 SLI (Laptop)
39216 Points ∼100%
MSI GT80S 6QF
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop)
23351 Points ∼60% -40%
MSI GT73VR-6RE16SR451
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
17498 Points ∼45% -55%
Asus G752VS-XB78K
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
16757 Points ∼43% -57%
Schenker XMG U726
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop)
13047 Points ∼33% -67%
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
Schenker XMG U727
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 SLI (Laptop)
49645 Points ∼100%
MSI GT80S 6QF
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop)
30045 Points ∼61% -39%
MSI GT73VR-6RE16SR451
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
23586 Points ∼48% -52%
Asus G752VS-XB78K
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
22282 Points ∼45% -55%
Schenker XMG U726
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop)
17474 Points ∼35% -65%
Unigine Heaven 4.0 - Extreme Preset DX11
Schenker XMG U727
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 SLI (Laptop)
167.8 fps ∼100%
MSI GT80S 6QF
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop)
129.5 fps ∼77% -23%
MSI GT73VR-6RE16SR451
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
112.5 fps ∼67% -33%
Asus G752VS-XB78K
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
110.4 fps ∼66% -34%
Schenker XMG U726
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop)
78.7 fps ∼47% -53%

Gaming Performance

Games that are too challenging for other devices are an easy task for the XMG U727: 3840x2160 usually run smoothly even at high details. Even really demanding titles like Rise of the Tomb RaiderThe Division and Mirror's Edge Catalyst are accelerated to more than 60 fps by the SLI system. If you look at all the games (UHD setting), the advantage is +130% compared to a GeForce GTX 980, +100% compared to a GeForce GTX 1070 and +50% compared to the GeForce GTX 1080. Two GTX 980 chips fall behind by around 20%.

low med. high ultra4K
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 80.279.272.3fps
XCOM 2 (2016) 9685.457.4fps
Far Cry Primal (2016) 767573fps
The Division (2016) 13312270.1fps
Need for Speed 2016 (2016) 10689.587.8fps
Doom (2016) 14714183.2fps
Overwatch (2016) 294291211fps
Mirror's Edge Catalyst (2016) 11511265.5fps

There are hardly any similarly powerful alternatives right now. Only the Asus GX800VH and the MSI GT83VR, which will be available with the GTX 1080 SLI as well, should be able to compete with the XMG U727. We installed the latest driver version 372.70 from Nvidia's homepage.

Mirror's Edge Catalyst - 3840x2160 High Preset AF:16x
Schenker XMG U727
GeForce GTX 1080 SLI (Laptop), 6700
65.5 fps ∼100%
Asus GX800 Prototype
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
48.3 fps ∼74% -26%
Asus G800VI Prototype
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 6820HK
47.4 fps ∼72% -28%
MSI GT62VR-6RE16H21
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ
36.4 fps ∼56% -44%
Asus GX800 Prototype
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK
31 fps ∼47% -53%
Overwatch - 3840x2160 High (Render Scale 100 %) AA:SM AF:4x
Schenker XMG U727
GeForce GTX 1080 SLI (Laptop), 6700
211 fps ∼100%
Asus GX800 Prototype
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
143 fps ∼68% -32%
Asus G800VI Prototype
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 6820HK
104 fps ∼49% -51%
MSI GT62VR-6RE16H21
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ
78.7 fps ∼37% -63%
Asus GX800 Prototype
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK
69.4 fps ∼33% -67%
Doom - 3840x2160 High Preset AA:FX
Schenker XMG U727
GeForce GTX 1080 SLI (Laptop), 6700
83.2 fps ∼100%
Asus GX800 Prototype
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
70.3 fps ∼84% -16%
Asus G800VI Prototype
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 6820HK
65.8 fps ∼79% -21%
MSI GT62VR-6RE16H21
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ
45.6 fps ∼55% -45%
Asus GX800 Prototype
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK
41.4 fps ∼50% -50%
Need for Speed 2016 - 3840x2160 High / On AA:FX
Schenker XMG U727
GeForce GTX 1080 SLI (Laptop), 6700
87.8 fps ∼100%
Asus GX800 Prototype
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
75.1 fps ∼86% -14%
Asus G800VI Prototype
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 6820HK
59.4 fps ∼68% -32%
MSI GT62VR-6RE16H21
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ
47.8 fps ∼54% -46%
Asus GX800 Prototype
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK
40.5 fps ∼46% -54%
The Division - 3840x2160 High Preset AF:8x
Schenker XMG U727
GeForce GTX 1080 SLI (Laptop), 6700
70.1 fps ∼100%
Asus GX800 Prototype
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
55.1 fps ∼79% -21%
Asus G800VI Prototype
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 6820HK
49.4 fps ∼70% -30%
MSI GT62VR-6RE16H21
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ
37 fps ∼53% -47%
Asus GX800 Prototype
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK
33.3 fps ∼48% -52%
Far Cry Primal - 3840x2160 High Preset AA:SM
Schenker XMG U727
GeForce GTX 1080 SLI (Laptop), 6700
73 fps ∼100%
Asus GX800 Prototype
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
56 fps ∼77% -23%
Asus G800VI Prototype
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 6820HK
48 fps ∼66% -34%
MSI GT62VR-6RE16H21
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ
36 fps ∼49% -51%
Asus GX800 Prototype
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK
32 fps ∼44% -56%
XCOM 2 - 3840x2160 High Preset AA:FX AF:8x
Schenker XMG U727
GeForce GTX 1080 SLI (Laptop), 6700
57.4 fps ∼100%
Asus GX800 Prototype
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
39 fps ∼68% -32%
Asus G800VI Prototype
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 6820HK
30.9 fps ∼54% -46%
MSI GT62VR-6RE16H21
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ
23.6 fps ∼41% -59%
Asus GX800 Prototype
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK
20.1 fps ∼35% -65%
Rise of the Tomb Raider - 3840x2160 High Preset AA:FX AF:4x
Schenker XMG U727
GeForce GTX 1080 SLI (Laptop), 6700
72.3 fps ∼100%
Asus GX800 Prototype
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
60.9 fps ∼84% -16%
Asus G800VI Prototype
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 6820HK
50.1 fps ∼69% -31%
MSI GT62VR-6RE16H21
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ
37.5 fps ∼52% -48%
Asus GX800 Prototype
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK
33.7 fps ∼47% -53%

Emissions

System Noise

The system noise scares off many users of SLI systems. Thanks to the bulky cooling solution of the XMG U727, however, it is fortunately not much louder than regular single chip notebooks. Between 40 and 44 dB(A) in 3DMark 06 and up to 53 dB(A) under maximum load are clearly audible and right at the edge for sensitive gamers without a headset, but other high-end laptops like the MSI GT72VR (GTX 1070) or the Alienware 17 R3 (GTX 980M) reach similar levels – at a much lower performance. Compared to the 18-inch monster from MSI, the GT80S 6QF with the GeForce GTX 980 SLI at 51-60 dB(A), the XMG U727 performs well.

System noise idle
System noise idle
System noise load
System noise load
Speaker measurements
Speaker measurements

The fans are often completely deactivated while idling, so you will only hear the murmur of the HDD(s). Samsung's 2 TB Spinpoint M9T is unfortunately not the quietest model at around 33 dB(A). More annoying is the occasional and temporary pulsating (after boot, for example), which is unfortunately common for Clevo barebones. When the fans do not pulsate, they create somewhat acceptable 35 dB(A) while idling. The majority of gaming notebooks stay below 33 dB(A) on average. Note: Deactivating SLI requires a reboot (which will probably not be done very often), so the second GeForce GTX 1080 was active for all tests.

Noise Level

Idle
33 / 35 / 40 dB(A)
HDD
33 dB(A)
Load
44 / 53 dB(A)
 
 
 
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 U727
GeForce GTX 1080 SLI (Laptop), 6700
MSI GT80S 6QF
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
Schenker XMG U726
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
MSI GT73VR-6RE16SR451
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK
Asus G752VS-XB78K
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK
Noise
-7%
7%
8%
9%
off / environment *
30
30
-0%
30
-0%
Idle Minimum *
33
34
-3%
33
-0%
32
3%
31
6%
Idle Average *
35
36
-3%
34
3%
33
6%
32
9%
Idle Maximum *
40
40
-0%
35
12%
35
12%
33
17%
Load Average *
44
51
-16%
42
5%
35
20%
40
9%
Load Maximum *
53
60
-13%
46
13%
49
8%
47
11%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

Although the chassis is very thick at 47 millimeters (~1.85 in), the surface temperatures can get very hot. After our one-hour stress test, we measured up to 56 °C (132.8 °F) at the top and even up to 64 °C (147.2 °F) at the bottom. The WASD-area, which is particularly important for gamers, only warms up to 40 °C (104 °F) – a decent result. The temperature of the palm rest shows a steep temperature gradient from the left (32 °C/89.6 °F) to the right (48 °C/118.4 °F). You have to expect about 30-35 °C (86-95 °F) at the base unit while idling. Those are not great values, but still completely okay. All in all, the temperature development is similar to the predecessor.

Stress test
Stress test
Maximum load top (Optris PI 640)
Maximum load top (Optris PI 640)
Maximum load bottom (Optris PI 640)
Maximum load bottom (Optris PI 640)

It is not easy to keep two high-end GPUs and a desktop CPU cool, even in a desktop computer. That the Pascal chips inside the XMG U727 reach up to 90 °C (194 °F) is therefore not a big surprise. One GTX 1080 utilized its Turbo (~1730 MHz) during our stress test with the tools FurMark and Prime95, while the clock of the other card dropped significantly (~860 MHz). The Core i7-6700 (up to 100 °C/212 °F) also throttled (~2.9 GHz). The benchmarks do not show any sign of throttling though, so this behavior should be limited to extreme scenarios.

Max. Load
 52.8 °C55.8 °C46.8 °C 
 40.4 °C46.5 °C50.2 °C 
 32 °C43 °C47.5 °C 
Maximum: 55.8 °C
Average: 46.1 °C
63.7 °C62.8 °C61.1 °C
52.6 °C53.7 °C38.9 °C
47.6 °C45.9 °C31.7 °C
Maximum: 63.7 °C
Average: 50.9 °C
Power Supply (max.)  46.3 °C | Room Temperature 24 °C | Voltcraft IR-900
Schenker XMG U727
GeForce GTX 1080 SLI (Laptop), 6700
MSI GT80S 6QF
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
Schenker XMG U726
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
MSI GT73VR-6RE16SR451
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK
Asus G752VS-XB78K
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK
Heat
1%
-1%
12%
21%
Maximum Upper Side *
55.8
45.7
18%
46.9
16%
44.9
20%
42.9
23%
Maximum Bottom *
63.7
61
4%
61
4%
51.2
20%
41.5
35%
Idle Upper Side *
34.7
36.4
-5%
36.3
-5%
32.7
6%
31.6
9%
Idle Bottom *
34.7
39.2
-13%
40.8
-18%
34.2
1%
29.5
15%

* ... smaller is better

Speakers

Barebones manufacturer Clevo uses the chassis volume pretty well to create a decent sound system. While the two speakers are located right and left next to the display hinge, the subwoofer can be found at the bottom of the 17-inch system. We can completely support the assessment of our audio analysis, and the sound is surprisingly good for a notebook with the activated Soundblaster X-Fi MB5 technology. The sound systems of the MSI GT73VR and Asus G752VS are beaten in many scenarios, even though MSI is almost on par.

Great: Up to 87 dB(A) are sufficient even for bigger rooms. Fans of headsets will be happy as well. The D/A converter ESS Sabre HiFi and the amplifier Texas Instruments Burr-Brown should improve the sound quality with attached headphones (support for 600 Ohm, sampling rate up to 24-bit/192 KHz) and therefore impress audio enthusiasts, DJs and producers.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2040.145.82533.942.53128.730.94032.3375028.9336327.230.38028.435.310027.948.212524.560.416022.86520023.565.625021.772.931520.47640020.378.150019.480.963018.675.680018.274.5100018.378.9125018.378.4160018.273200018.274.5250018.172.9315018.274.6400018.272.7500018.271.8630018.574.3800018.672.91000018.667.71250018.762.81600018.759.7SPL30.787.1N1.579.4median 18.6Schenker XMG U727median 72.9Delta1.74.640.239.235.334.327.529.736.437.333.134.628.634.428.74627.951.523.255.622.557.423.462.12163.520.96320.366.919.565.118.965.918.967.61969.418.164.417.962.217.7651870.41873.51872.417.972.417.772.517.67517.76517.653.317.636.630.582.41.456.7median 18.1MSI GT73VR-6RE16SR451median 652.15.441.14037.635.430.730.134.136.228.430.129.2302932.427.635.525.340.323.147.322.154.920.858.819.658.918.7651962.317.665.917.669.817.362.517.157.617.257.317.362.51767.617.167.517.265.717.358.817.452.717.444.917.345.417.240.117.238.829.776.11.336median 17.4Asus G752VS-XB78Kmedian 58.81.89hearing rangehide median Pink Noise
Schenker XMG U727 audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (87 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 9.3% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (12.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 3.8% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 1.4% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (4% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (9.5% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 0% of all tested devices in this class were better, 2% similar, 98% worse
» The best had a delta of 10%, average was 18%, worst was 34%
Compared to all devices tested
» 2% of all tested devices were better, 1% similar, 98% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 22%, worst was 53%

MSI GT73VR-6RE16SR451 audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (82 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 6.2% lower than median
(+) | bass is linear (6.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 1.6% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 6.6% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (6.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (12.7% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 21% of all tested devices in this class were better, 6% similar, 73% worse
» The best had a delta of 10%, average was 18%, worst was 34%
Compared to all devices tested
» 9% of all tested devices were better, 2% similar, 88% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 22%, worst was 53%

Asus G752VS-XB78K audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (76 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 9.6% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (10.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 4.7% away from median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (10.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | reduced highs - on average 8.3% lower than median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (9.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (20.1% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 61% of all tested devices in this class were better, 11% similar, 28% worse
» The best had a delta of 10%, average was 18%, worst was 34%
Compared to all devices tested
» 41% of all tested devices were better, 7% similar, 52% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 22%, worst was 53%

Frequency Comparison (Checkboxes select/deselectable!) 

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The XMG U727 is not a good choice for environmentally friendly gamers. We can measure an idle consumption between 43 and 64 watts, so the 17-inch needs more power than all the other rivals.

The desktop replacement is not frugal under load, either. 185 watts on average in the first scene of 3DMark 06 and up to 490 watts in the stress test could also be the results of a regular desktop PC. Our desktop computer we use for our gaming articles (Core i7-6700K, GeForce GTX 980) actually only consumes 135 and 319 watts, respectively. The SLI rival MSI GT80S 6QF is also more frugal (163/411 watts), despite the less efficient Maxwell architecture. Single-GPU notebooks with mobile processors rarely consume more than 100-200 watts.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 1 / 1.4 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 43 / 53 / 64 Watt
Load midlight 185 / 490 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Schenker XMG U727
GeForce GTX 1080 SLI (Laptop), 6700
MSI GT80S 6QF
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
Schenker XMG U726
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
MSI GT73VR-6RE16SR451
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK
Asus G752VS-XB78K
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK
Power Consumption
6%
22%
40%
47%
Idle Minimum *
43
44
-2%
36
16%
31
28%
24
44%
Idle Average *
53
53
-0%
45
15%
35
34%
31
42%
Idle Maximum *
64
62
3%
53
17%
40
37%
36
44%
Load Average *
185
163
12%
139
25%
106
43%
94
49%
Load Maximum *
490
411
16%
306
38%
218
56%
204
58%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Runtime

You cannot expect long battery runtimes from the XMG U727. Even when the notebook idles at the lowest display luminance, it will only last for about 2.5 hours. About 2 hours web browsing at an average brightness and one hour 3D load at the maximum luminance are disappointing. The 89-Wh battery capacity sits between the MSI GT73VR (75 Wh) and the Asus G752VS (90 Wh), but they manage much longer runtimes in some cases.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
2h 37min
WiFi Surfing v1.3
1h 58min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 18min
Schenker XMG U727
89 Wh
MSI GT80S 6QF
75 Wh
Schenker XMG U726
89 Wh
MSI GT73VR-6RE16SR451
75.2 Wh
Asus G752VS-XB78K
90 Wh
Battery Runtime
-16%
15%
51%
61%
Reader / Idle
157
148
-6%
170
8%
290
85%
311
98%
WiFi v1.3
118
206
75%
210
78%
Load
78
58
-26%
94
21%
72
-8%
84
8%
Gaming
66
H.264
186

Pros

+ handy tools (overclocking, fan control, …)
+ Pascal MXM GPUs
+ full-fledged desktop replacement
+ UHD panel with huge color gamut
+ Skylake CPU can be replaced
+ up to four storage solutions
+ individual configurations
+ 3-zone illumination
+ a lot of ports
+ good input devices
+ enormous performance
+ easy maintenance
+ great sound
+ G-Sync

Cons

- typical dual-GPU issues (driver dependency, micro stutters, …)
- high temperature and noise development with 3D workloads
- palm rest vibrates when the speakers are active
- case very bulky and heavy
- extreme power consumption
- throttling under maximum load
- short battery runtimes
- two power adapters necessary
- high price

Verdict

In review: Schenker XMG U727. Test model courtesy of Schenker Technologies.
In review: Schenker XMG U727. Test model courtesy of Schenker Technologies.

Impressive prestige object or just a waste of money? Similar to a luxury sports car, the possible responses to this question can be very different.

Yes, you can argue that the XMG U727 is just way too expensive and you are better off getting a desktop PC AND a gaming notebook. If you do not want a desktop computer and still get the maximum amount of performance from a laptop though, the test model might be worth a look.

Besides the ports, the 4K display (88% AdobeRGB!), the upgrade options and the performance are great. USB 3.1 Type-C with Thunderbolt 3, MXM graphics cards and socketed CPU: Schenker Technologies definitely thought about the future and makes a statement against the trend to throw away the devices (keyword: soldered components).

Potential buyers should be aware, however, that this is a stationary system with very short battery runtimes. Including the two power adapters, the P870DM3-G barebone tips the scale at 8 kilograms (~17.6 lb). At least we did not want to carry it around anymore after we took the outdoor pictures.

If you assess the quality of the chassis, there is actually not much to criticize. Both the build quality and the input devices are more than decent. You also get good speakers and custom configurations. The software of the desktop replacement is suitable as well. Manual fan and performance controls are no problem thanks to the Control Center.

In short: The XMG U727 is an option for wealthy core gamers who want the maximum performance and like to experiment with technology, but hate desktop PCs. We recommend a regular notebook with single GPU for all other users.

Schenker XMG U727 - 12/31/2016 v6
Florian Glaser

Chassis
78 / 98 → 80%
Keyboard
85%
Pointing Device
81%
Connectivity
71 / 81 → 88%
Weight
31 / 66 → 38%
Battery
62%
Display
90%
Games Performance
97%
Application Performance
95%
Temperature
72 / 95 → 76%
Noise
60 / 90 → 67%
Audio
90%
Average
76%
86%
Gaming - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Schenker XMG U727 (Clevo P870DM3-G) Notebook Review
Florian Glaser, 2016-09-16 (Update: 2017-06- 2)
Andreas Osthoff
Andreas Osthoff - Senior Editor Business
I grew up with computers and modern consumer electronics. I am interested in the technology since I had my first computer, a Commodore C64, and started building my own PCs after that. My focus here at Notebookcheck is the business segment including mobile workstations, but I also like to test new mobile devices. It is always a great experience to review and compare new products. My free time is filled with a lot of sports, in the summer mainly on my bike.