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XMG P505 Review (GTX 980M Laptop)

XMG P505 Review (GTX 980M Laptop)

Over the past few years XMG have released a number of quality laptops, specifically aimed at gamers. Today we take a look at their latest model, featuring high end Intel i7  CPU and the latest GeForce GTX 980M in our XMG P505 Review.

XMG P505 Review – Packaging and Bundle

xmg-p505-review-box xmg-p505-review-bundle

XMG go with pretty plain packaging on the P505 so not much point in showing the outside of the box but inside it is good to see a nice amount of protection. The laptop is suspended in foam, wrapped in a cloth bag and has various protective layers applied to the surfaces to ensure it arrives in good condition. Bundled with the laptop we get driver and recovery discs, our mains cable, a cleaning cloth and our Chicony 180w PSU.

XMG P505 Review – External

xmg-p505-review-lid

The XMG P505 is a 15.6″ form factor system which has an all black chassis. It measures 385x271x29mm and weighs 2.5Kg (with battery). On the aluminium lid there is some discrete XMG branding but otherwise the system is reasonably plain. Also visible on the image above is the back edge which is the location for the power input, an air vent and an eSATA/USB combo port. Also worthy of note is that the GTX 970M variant of this system is 3mm thinner and uses an aluminium base.

xmg-p505-review-left xmg-p505-review-right

Looking down to the left side of the system we see an air vent, HDMI connector, USB 3.0 port and two mini-DisplayPort connectors. Then over on the right we find three 3.5m audio connectors, our 6in1 card reader, two USB 3.0 ports, GB LAN and kensington lock slot

xmg-p505-review-base

The bottom of the P505 has six perforated areas to promote airflow and there are four rubber feet which help keep the unit steady on our desk as well as lifting it off the surface.

xmg-p505-review-LED

The final external aspect of note is shown above and is a set of status LEDS which run along the front left surface.

XMG P505 Review – Open

xmg-p505-review-open

Shown above is the P505 open and on this model the screen is a 1920×1080 resolution with matt finish (LED Backlit, IPS). Above it sits a 2MP webcam (with mic) and there is an XMG logo at the base. During the purchase process we can choose a glossy 4K resolution screen if we wish (Sharp LQ156D1JX01B, IPS).

xmg-p505-review-keyboard xmg-p505-review-pad

Looking down to the keyboard area we find a backlit chiclet model with the Synaptics touchpad and mouse buttons left of centre in the aluminium palm area. Our power button can be found top right of this and there is a note of the Onkyo speaker tech top left.

XMG P505 Review – Components

xmg-p505-review-components

Inside our review sample we find an Intel i7-4710HQ CPU which runs from 2.5GHz up to 3.5GHz. Its a quad core model with HyperThreading and a 6MB cache. Also available is an i7-4870HQ which draws the same 47w however runs from 2.5-3.7GHz. That alternate CPU also has enhanced Intel Iris Pro 5200 graphics, rather than the standard CPUs HD4600. Of course both work with the NVIDIA GPU. A GTX 970M is available however or model uses the GTX 980M Maxwell based card. This GPU has access to 4GB of 1250MHz GDDR5 and runs at 1038MHz, boosting to 1127MHz. The GTX 980M also uses a 256bit bus and has 1536 CUDA cores.

Elsewhere in our review sample we find 8GB of DDR3 (Kingston, up to 32GB supported), Samsung PCIe based 256GB SSD (SAMSUNG MZHPU256HCGL), Western Digital mechanical drive, Creative Soundblaster X-Fi MB3 based audio, Killer Wireless-ac and a 4cell Li-ion battery rated for 4+ hours of general use.

XMG P505 Review – Software

xmg-p505-review-windows xmg-p505-review-software

XMG go with 64bit Windows 8.1 on their P505 and it arrives with us in a very clean state. No updates, no bloatware, just our drivers and associated control panels.

XMG P505 Review – Performance

Selected tests vs MSI GS70 Stealth (i7-4710HQ/GTX970)

Cinebench R15
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Music Conversion (2CD lossless to MP3)
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Video Conversion 4K to 720p
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Memory Bandwidth DDR3-1600
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SATA/usb3
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Temps (Gaming)
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3DMark FireStrike Extreme
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Alien Isolation 1920×1080 Ultra FXAA
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alien (1) alien (2) alien (3)

DOTA2 1920×1080 Max
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dota (1) dota (2) dota (3)

Call of Duty Advanced Warfare 1920×1080 Extra HBAO FXAA, 2xSS
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codaw (1) codaw (2) codaw (3) codaw (4)

F1 2014 1920×1080 Ultra 8xAA
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f1 (2) f1 (1)

XMG P505 Review – Conclusion

Starting with the overall design of the P505 we have a laptop which is essentially pretty plain to look at, though that is no bad thing. It looks decent and there are no garish sections which often feature on gaming laptops. The build quality is decent, though there is plastic mixed in with the aluminium. Inside the components are all good, branded parts from the likes of Samsung and Kingston. We also appreciate the use of a matt screen on the 1920×1080 model, minimising glare.

In terms of performance there are plenty of configuration options such as alternate CPU, GPU and drive configurations. Memory too, though we did find it odd that our model shipped with a single stick of DDR3 which meant reduced bandwidth. Really, any knowledgeable consumer will stick to two modules (or more) as their config. That didn’t have too much of an impact on performance though with the i7-4710HQ used here competing well with an alternate laptop. Where the P505 really shines though, apart from a REALLY fast SSD, is in its use of the GTX 980M. We have used the GTX 970M before and it was impressive, the 980M though is just phenomenal. And not just for a laptop, this is a mobile GPU which can compete with desktop parts as far as FPS are concerned.

In each of the games we tested the XMG P505 and its GTX 980M breezed through at 1920×1080. Alien Isolation with everything turned on, no problem. Call of Duty Advanced Warfare with maximum detail, easy. This should be a mobile GPU which is capable of running games for at least the next few years. Battery life is also decent with just over an hour of gaming which is pretty standard and just under 4hrs of general use on a single charge.

Finally, with prices starting at 1046 pounds/1286 euros the XMG P505 also seems fairly priced, though we do need to pay extra for the more advanced components.

Summary: A pretty basic, no frills chassis which holds a system capable of exceptional performance.

Performance Award

Buy Direct from XMG.

About Author

Stuart Davidson

12 Comments

  1. jackjackduank

    Thanks for the review. Pretty powerful gaming laptop, very nice.

  2. Very good review and an impressive system. The difference between this GPU and the 880m is striking.
    How was the noise from the fans? Any idea if RAM/HDD are easily user replaceable?

  3. pff..
    mysn.eu don’t ship to Russia 🙁

    • XMG UK

      Hi Big Badaboom, our UK office deals with all orders placed from oustide of Europe. Shipping to an individual in Russia is tricky though, but please contact us at sales@mysn.co.uk and we will do what we can do. Thanks

  4. Rich

    Does this laptop feature optimus?

  5. L1ber8

    Hi,
    I have a couple of questions.
    I see that the MSI GS70 with GTX970M has a DOTA 2 benchmark FPS from 139 AVG and the P505 with the GTX980M 78 FPS AVG. How is that possible.?

    Is it normal that everybody can see the windows 8.1 key.? Don’t know if that key is usable.
    Thanx.

  6. Stan

    Hi! I’d like to use this computer for photo editing. I don’t know which to choose between this one and the Macbook pro. I heard the xmg has a really good fhd panel. But what about the durability, solidity of the xmg? I travel a lot and I’m often at sea (ac rooms, but still). I will use it plugged in most of the time btw. Can someone help me?

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