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XMG P507 Review (GTX 1070, Intel Core i7)

XMG P507 Review (GTX 1070, Intel Core i7)

XMG-P507-02The XMG P507 is the first laptop we’ve seen with Nvidia’s new GeForce GTX 1070 – one of the firm’s brand-new Pascal-powered graphics cores.

This, though, is no normal mobile chip – it’s not been cut back for laptops. Instead, Nvidia has used its efficient new architecture to deliver a notebook GPU that offers the same performance as its desktop counterpart.

That’s a tempting proposition, but the £1,951 price could put this machine out of reach for many gamers. We’re going to find out if this subtle-looking laptop can justify that high price.

 

Components

The GTX 1070 is the star of this show – and it’s clear to see why. It’s built using 2,048 stream processors, which is more than the 1,920 that Nvidia includes with its desktop card. That’s a trade off, because the mobile GTX 1070’s base and clock speeds of 1,442MHz and 1,645MHz are lower than the desktop version’s 1,506Mz and 1,683MHz speeds.

xmgp50710The mobile GTX 1070 has 8GB of GDDR5 memory clocked to 8,000MHz – the same as the desktop card.

Remarkably, the mobile GTX 1070 actually outpaces the desktop card on paper: its theoretical processing power of 5,096 GFLOPS is higher than the 5,783 GFLOPS of the desktop GPU.

The rest of the P507’s specification ticks the right boxes. The Core i7-6700HQ is one of Intel’s most popular mobile parts: a quad-core CPU with a 2.6GHz core and a 3.5GHz Turbo speed. There’s 16GB of 2,400MHz memory, and the 256GB Samsung SM951 SSD is paired with a 1TB hard disk.

Connectivity is decent, too. The XMG’s interior serves up dual-band 802.11ac wireless and Gigabit Ethernet. On the outside there are three USB 3 ports, two USB 3.1 Type-C connectors, an SD card slot and three audio jacks.

It’s a solid mobile specification, and XMG doesn’t mess around with any unwanted software. The P507 arrived with an impressively clean Windows install – there’s a Sound Blaster control panel and a tool for tweaking the keyboard, and that’s it.

xmgp50726Full Specification

CPU: 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-6700HQ
Memory: 16GB 2,400MHz DDR4
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 8GB
Screen size: 15.6in 1,920 x 1,080 Nvidia G-Sync IPS
Hard disk: 256GB Samsung SM951 NVMe M.2 SSD, 1TB hard disk
Weight: 2.94kg
Ports: 3 x USB 3, 2 x USB 3.1 Type-C, Gigabit Ethernet, 3 x audio, SD card slot, HDMI, 2 x mini-DisplayPort, SIM card slot
Dimensions: (W x D x H): 385 x 270 x 32mm
Extras: Windows 10 Pro 64-bit, dual-band 802.11ac WiFi
Warranty: 1yr RTB

 

xmgp5078Design

The P507 isn’t the most outlandish gaming notebook around – its lid is only decorated with a subtle XMG logo, and opening the lid reveals similarly low-key design – dark aluminium that’s only decorated with another small logo and a cluster of stickers.

The XMG is mixed when it comes to build quality, too. The underside is strong, but pressing down on the wrist-rest sees the material flex, and the screen bends too easily. The P507 isn’t weak, but we’d certainly use a sleeve or case when taking this machine out of the house.

Interior access is better. The entire base panel slides free, which gives access to the storage, memory and cooling gear, with the latter numbered for easier removal. There are even two M.2 connectors free for extra components.

XMG has crammed this hardware into a 2.94kg machine that’s 32mm thick at its chunkiest point. They’re entirely ordinary dimensions – mid-range for a gaming laptop. It’s not the heaviest, but you’ll certainly notice it in your bag.

xmgp5072Ergonomics

The keyboard has a white backlight, but it’s inconsistent to use. It looks good thanks to its white backlight, and we’ve no issues with its layout: it’s got large Return and Space keys, a full-size number pad and a left-aligned Windows button.

Get typing, though, and it’s clear that this isn’t the best unit for gaming. The keys are too wobbly and don’t press down with enough speed or snap, and the base of the keyboard is too soft. This keyboard isn’t bad, but it’s certainly not the best around – and it’s certainly not as good as a proper mechanical keyboard.

The trackpad suffers from similar problems. The two buttons are slow and soft and the pad has a little too much friction. It’s not awful, but we’d always use a USB rodent.

xmgp50723Performance

The GTX 1070 is an impressive mobile GPU that had no problem with running games at the screen’s 1080p native resolution.

Its slowest result came in Fallout 4, and in that game it still managed an incredible 83fps – and then delivered 95fps in Witcher 3 and 100fps in Crysis 3.

Full HD isn’t the limit of this laptop’s abilities. Its 1440p benchmarks averaged 55fps or more, which is handy if you’re outputting to a larger panel – and the GTX 1070 even managed 30fps and 39fps in Crysis 3 and Witcher 3 at 4K. That doesn’t just mean that this laptop can run titles on high-resolution screens – it means it’ll have no problem running games on VR headsets either.

The GTX 1070’s grunt was demonstrated further in 3D Mark tests. Its Fire Strike Extreme score of 7,142 is almost 3,000 points ahead of last year’s best laptops – the Gigabyte P37X and its GTX 980M core could only manage 4,358 points.

fire strike extreme

There’s no doubting this machine’s application abilities, either. Its Cinebench result of 682cb sees it keep pace with other high-end gaming machines, which means there’s enough power to handle intense games and work software. You’ll have to spend hundreds more to get extra CPU grunt in a notebook. Everything loads quickly, too, thanks to the SSD’s read and write speeds of 2,237MB/s and 1,298MB/s – among the best you’ll get from any consumer SSD.

geekbench

There were no surprises in battery tests, despite Pascal’s improved efficiency. We loaded a gaming benchmark and let the laptop run, but it only lasted for about ninety minutes – entirely normal for this class of system. That means it’s barely possible to get a proper gaming session while away from the mains.

Our thermal tests revealed that the P507 has to battle to keep its components chilled. The processor’s peak temperature of 97°C is only a few degrees short of the chip’s thermal limits, and the GPU topped out at 88°C.

Those temperatures aren’t dangerous, but the P507 did struggle to dissipate the heat. A vent on the left-hand side pumps out hot air, which is no good for left-handers using USB mice, and the top-left area of the keyboard also became pretty toasty. The base warmed up too much, too – not a problem if you’re sat at a table, but uncomfortable if you have the P507 on your lap.

Thermals Cinebench Gaming 3D Mark Fire Strike

xmgp50728Screen and Sound

The P507 comes with a 1080p matte panel that’s got Nvidia G-Sync installed, which means games look butter-smooth thanks to refresh rate and frame rate synchronisation.

Quality is reasonable. The P507 reaches a retina-searing peak brightness of 320cd/m2, which is enough for outdoor use and for keeping things clear beneath bright artificial lights. The measured black point of 0.32cd/m2 is decent, and it helps create a 1,000:1 contrast ratio. That’s good enough to deliver vibrancy across the whole range, with punchy bright colours and suitably inky dark shades.

xmgp50715Those colours are reasonably accurate. The machine’s average Delta E of 3.31 is middling, while the colour temperature of 7,019K isn’t far enough away from the 6,500K ideal figure to be noticeable.

The XMG’s panel can display 85.3% of the sRGB colour gamut, which is average for this kind of machine, and the panel only loses about 10% of its backlight strength in its corners and along its sides. That, again, is a middling result.

The P507’s panel is absolutely fine for playing games: its colours are vivid and accurate, and the screen has ample brightness and decent uniformity. It’ll make games look good, but we can’t help but think that its 1080p resolution is a missed opportunity – after all, the GTX 1070 is capable of much more.

The audio hardware is less consistent. The two speakers serve up crisp high-end sounds and rich treble noises, but the P507 has no subwoofer, so deeper sounds lack impact. They’re fine for gaming, but we’d prefer a headset.

XMG-P507-06Packaging, Bundle and Alternative Specs

There isn’t anything fussy about the P507’s packaging. The laptop arrived in a plain cardboard, and inside it was wrapped inside a black fabric slipcase with another swathe of black fabric included to protect the keyboard and the screen.

The box has a manual, two driver discs, a USB stick and a cleaning cloth alongside the power adapter and cable. The adapter is a chunky Delta Electronics unit, and it requires a full-size kettle lead to work.

XMG is known for its customisation, so it’s no surprise that the P507 is one of the market’s most versatile laptops. A pricier i7-6820HK processor can be added for £137, while upgrading to a 4K screen costs an additional £382. There are dozens of options for memory and storage configurations that involve both SSDs and hard disks, and you can drop down to GTX 1060 graphics to save £344.

xmgp5075Conclusion

This laptop is all about the GTX 1070 graphics core, and Nvidia’s latest hardware delivers. The P507 blitzed our 1080p tests, and it’s got the power to handle numerous scenarios beyond the XMG’s native resolution: outputting to 1440p and 4K screens won’t be a problem, and VR headsets will run smoothly.

The rest of the specification is reasonable, too. There’s a quick CPU, loads of memory, and fast storage. The screen is consistently decent, and the battery underwhelms – but, on a gaming laptop, that’s no surprise.

However, the concentration on the components means poorer form elsewhere. The keyboard and trackpad are middling, the speakers lack punch, and the exterior lacks flair and strength.

The P507 is a good option if gaming performance is a priority, but if you’re after the full package we’d wait until more GTX 10-series laptops have emerged.

SUMMARY: Rock-solid gaming performance and a decent screen, but inconsistencies elsewhere undermine this Pascal-powered portable.

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XMG P507 Laptop

About Author

Mike Jennings

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