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  1. #1
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    Default Sager NP8760 Review

    The NP8760 is Sager's latest gaming notebook featuring a 17.3” display, Intel Core i7 processor, and Nvidia GTX 280M graphics. Just how fast is this beast, and is it worth the price? Read our review to find out.

    A special thanks goes out to Justin at XoticPC.com for loaning us this review unit.

    Our Sager NP8760 has the following specifications:

    • 17.3-inch 1080p (1920x1080) display with LED backlighting
    • Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
    • Intel Core i7 920XM processor (2.0GHz/3.2GHz Turbo Mode, 8MB L3 cache)
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 280M 1GB graphics card
    • 8GB DDR3-1333 RAM (2x 4GB)
    • 500GB 7200RPM hard drive (Seagate Momentus 7200.4/ST9500420AS)
    • Intel Wireless WiFi Link 5300AGN
    • Built-in Bluetooth 2.0+ wireless
    • 8X DVD burner
    • One-year limited warranty
    • Li-polymer battery (3800mAh/42.18Wh)
    • Weight: 8.35 lbs
    • Dimensions: 16.25” (W) x 11.0” (D) x 1.69~2.25” (H)
    • MSRP: $3,574

    The NP8760 starts at $1,959, however out test unit has some expensive options including the Core i7 920XM processor ($745), 8GB of RAM ($605), and Windows 7 Ultimate ($185). The starting price includes the GTX 280M video card and 1080p display.

    Build and Design
    The NP8760 is a large notebook with a less-than interesting design based on the Clevo W870CU. Like most Clevo-based customized notebooks, Sager notebooks are built with an emphasis on performance rather than looks. The nondescript appearance can be a pro or a con depending on the person. The chassis has a traditional shape with no odd curves or designs. The silver trim around the chassis and lid looks smart. Most of the chassis is non-reflective black plastic; the only glossy plastic in sight is the small border around the display. The NP8760's non-reflective surfaces are a welcome sight after seeing so many notebooks covered with nothing but reflective plastic. Matte plastics are more practical since they do not pick up fingerprints or show dust/dirt as easily.

    The overall build quality is good. The plastic is thick enough to feel a step above most consumer notebooks. The chassis is difficult to twist when grabbed by its corners. The palmrests and other areas do not flex under pressure. The lid resists twisting well for its size (17.3” diagonal) and pushing in on the back of the lid does not produce any ripples in the screen. The build quality is consistent; any given area is of the same quality as another and the chassis has no weak points.


    Fit and finish is very good; there are no rough edges or corners and all parts fit together with even spacing. Overall the build quality is good, however on a notebook starting at nearly $2,000 a bit of aluminum trim would be a nice touch. Then again, the NP8760 appears to have been designed with ambiguity in mind.


    Screen and Speakers

    The NP8760 has a 17.3-inch LED-backlit screen with a 1080p resolution (1920x1080). The display is quite beautiful – it has ample brightness and stark contrast. The display's glossy surface helps bring out colors and improves clarity at the expensive of glare and reflections. The backlighting is even with only a tiny bit of bleed at the edges. Viewing angles are very good as well – the horizontal is nearly perfect and there is a generous vertical range. Watching movies and playing video games are enjoyable activities on this display; it is one of the higher-quality panels we have seen.

    The speakers are typical for a notebook; they sound tinny and have no bass. Fortunately the NP8760 has many audio-out options, including HDMI, headphone jacks, and S/PDIF.

    Keyboard and Touchpad
    The NP8760 has one of the new 'chiclet' or island-style keyboards, where keys are raised above the keyboard surface and have more than usual spacing. The keyboard has a good if not sophisticated feel but is accurate and allows for precision typing. There is no flex at all. The keys provide enough resistance that resting fingers on them will not cause them to depress – this is good for gamers. Another plus is the matte surface for good traction. This keyboard has a harder feel than previous Sagers; it is not even remotely rubbery. It is somewhat noisy if typed hard on, but if typing softly it should not bother people sitting nearby.

    The downside of this keyboard is the lack of dedicated home, end, page up, and page down keys, which are integrated as secondary functions in the arrow keys. If number lock is disabled they can exist as dedicated keys, but then the functionality of the number pad is lost. Speaking of the number pad, it has an odd three-column layout (as opposed to the standard four-column), however all standard keys are present. Regardless, given the size of this notebook's chassis it should have a standard keyboard layout.

    The touchpad is easy to use thanks to its matte surface; too many notebooks use a glossy surface which trades looks for tracking ability. The right side of the touchpad functions as a scroll zone. The buttons are excellent, with a dimpled surface and quiet, defined clicks. The optional fingerprint reader is located between the two buttons.

    Ports and Features
    The Sager NP8760 has as many ports as some desktops. HDMI and DVI are both included for video-out. It also features eSATA for fast connections to external hard drives.
    All picture descriptions are left to right.


    Left Side: 56k modem jack, CATV (only enabled with TV tuner), 7-in-1 media card reader, IEEE 1394 mini-Firewire, USB, optical drive


    Right side: Headphone jack, microphone jack, line in, S/PDIF, ExpressCard/54 slot, eSATA, DVI-I, Kensington lock slot


    Rear: Exhaust vent, HDMI, power jack, 2x USB, Gigabit Ethernet, exhaust vent


    Front: Battery status, AC power indicators


    Performance and Benchmarks
    The NP8760 is one of the most powerful notebooks on the market with a Core i7 920XM Extreme processor, Nvidia's top-of-the-line GTX 280M graphics, a fast hard drive and 8GB of RAM. The NP8760 is no doubt an extremely powerful notebook and can play all of the latest games at maximum detail and resolution settings. It is one of the fastest notebooks we've reviewed here at NotebookReview.com.

    Wprime processor comparison results (lower scores mean better performance):

    PCMark05 measures overall system performance (higher scores mean better performance):

    3DMark 06 measures overall graphics performance for gaming (higher scores mean better performance):

    Crysis gaming benchmark (1600x900 and high settings):

    Left 4 Dead 2 benchmark (1920x1080, high settings, and 4X MSAA)

    Borderlands benchmark (1920x1080, high settings):

    HDTune storage drive performance test:

    The included 500GB 7200RPM Seagate hard drive is the fastest harddrive available for notebooks; the NP8760 can actually have two hard drives or SSDs configured in RAID 0 or 1.

    Heat and Noise
    A hefty cooling system is essential in a notebook with such powerful internal components. The NP8760 has three fans that exhaust warm air out two vents on the back. The need for extensive cooling unfortunately means the NP8760 is quiet noisy. Fan noise is pronounced even at idle, however only increases slightly under load. Regardless, quieter fans would be appreciated.

    The notebook itself remains quite cool even under extended load periods; the top and bottom surfaces  get no more than lukewarm. Component temperatures measured with HWMonitor are more than acceptable:

    Battery Life
    The NP8760 has a small battery at only 42Wh. While surfing the Internet in balanced mode with display brightness at minimum, I achieved just 59 minutes of battery life. This is low even for a gaming notebook. The battery pack serves as little more than an extended UPS.

    Conclusion
    The NP8760 is a good choice for those looking for a notebook focused entirely on high performance. It can play the latest games with ease thanks to its Core i7 processor and Nvidia GTX 280M graphics. The 1080p screen is beautiful and we like the keyboard and touchpad. While the NP8760s design is nothing to write home about its build quality is good; we would like to see some metal alloys used at this price however. This machine has notable downsides – noisy fans and low battery life - but if those factors can be ignored the NP8760 is sure to please.

    Pros:

    • Very high performance
    • Good build quality
    • Beautiful 1080p display

    Cons:

    • Loud fans
    • Abysmal battery life, even for a gaming notebook
    • Can get very expensive

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Sager NP8760 Review

    Looks like it retains at least one of the issues that earlier models suffered from, the fan volume.

    Battery life appears to have dropped drastically considering my previous D901C with SLI and a Q9450 had better battery life. Did the inclusion of another hard drive result in the smaller battery?
    Last edited by dtwn; 29th November 2009 at 06:36 PM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Sager NP8760 Review

    Personally, I like the way Clevo has gone with the battery. One hour is enough for me as I rarely use the battery. However, I am on a crusade to extend battery time during light work to two hours through pure optimization. I invite you all to join me once I complete it in a few weeks. Clevo did not create a larger battery for the W870CU because they wanted the notebook to be similar to it's smaller variant, the W860CU. The W860CU does not have any room for a larger battery, so instead of making a larger battery for the W870CU, which would be very expensive, Clevo added a second HDD bay in the empty space below the ODD. A second HDD bay is more of a reason to go with the W870CU over a larger battery. If Clevo did give the W870CU a larger battery, it would be reverse conflicting with the W860CU. Why would the W860CU, which is geared for portability, have far less battery time than the W870CU, which is made to be a DTR and a mobile workstation. It's all about compromises. If you want more battery time, then buy two more battery packs. They are fairly slim so you can easily slip them into your bag.

    To many, including myself, that have previously owned the predecessor to the W870CU, the M570TU, they will find that the fans are quieter. Is it quiet enough to use in a lecture hall? Yes. Is it quiet enough to use in a smaller classroom? Yes. Is it quiet enough for me to sleep through the night? Definitely so. I am a heavy sleeper that can sleep like a baby with my five 1TB ES.2's clicking away.
    Last edited by Soviet Sunrise; 29th November 2009 at 10:54 PM. Reason: Spelling and grammar.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Sager NP8760 Review

    Is the NP8760 louder than the NP5790? What about with silent mode activated?
    Arrived May 23 W110ER/NP6110: 2.1 GHz i7-3612QM, 16 GiB 1600 MHz RAM, Intel 480GB 520 Series SSD, Killer Wireless-N 1102, NVidia 650M, 11.1" Matte 768p
    Aging W870CU/NP8760: 1.7 GHz i7-820QM, 6 GiB 1333 MHz RAM, 256 GiB Crucial C300 SSD, 596 GiB HDD, NVidia 280M, 17.3" Glossy 1080p
    Gifted M570RU/NP5790: 2.4 GHz T7700, 4 GiB 667 MHz RAM, 232 GiB HDD, Hybrid TV-Tuner, NVidia 7950 GTX, 17" Glossy WUXGA

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Sager NP8760 Review

    The W870CU is quieter than the M570RU to M570TU. The CPU fan on the M570xU was notorious for being loud for many of it's users. For me it wasn't too bad, but compared to the W870CU fans, the M570xU fans have a more prominent "hum" when spinning.

    I have not yet tried silent mode as I am still setting up my notebook. I have a lot of finals to prepare for so I can't go too in-depth with the notebook until after December 23.
    Last edited by Soviet Sunrise; 29th November 2009 at 10:54 PM. Reason: Spelling and grammar.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Sager NP8760 Review

    Sigh....if only I had all the money in the world. Hence the reason I don't have the NP9280/D900F right now.

    Oh Sager, Sager...maybe next yr.



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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Sager NP8760 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Charles P. Jefferies View Post
    The NP8760 has three fans that exhaust warm air out two vents on the back.
    The W870CU only has two fans.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Sager NP8760 Review

    Well, my NP8760 certainly isn't that loud. (At least not since I last used some compressed air on it.) But if the NP8760 is quieter even before the use of silent mode, that is probably satisfactory. It would definitely be nice to be able to use the notebook in public without fear of bothering anyone with fan noise. :-)
    Arrived May 23 W110ER/NP6110: 2.1 GHz i7-3612QM, 16 GiB 1600 MHz RAM, Intel 480GB 520 Series SSD, Killer Wireless-N 1102, NVidia 650M, 11.1" Matte 768p
    Aging W870CU/NP8760: 1.7 GHz i7-820QM, 6 GiB 1333 MHz RAM, 256 GiB Crucial C300 SSD, 596 GiB HDD, NVidia 280M, 17.3" Glossy 1080p
    Gifted M570RU/NP5790: 2.4 GHz T7700, 4 GiB 667 MHz RAM, 232 GiB HDD, Hybrid TV-Tuner, NVidia 7950 GTX, 17" Glossy WUXGA

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Sager NP8760 Review

    Nice review. If the battery life were similar to the M570TU, this would be an almost flawless 17" notebook. Oh, by the way, just want to note that there is a USB port on the right side.
    Azone
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    Samsung Ativ Book 8 | 15.6" IPS 1080p Touchscreen | i7-3635QM | 8 GB DDR3 | 240 GB Crucial M500 | Radeon HD 8770m
    Sager NP2090 (Compal IFL90) | 15.4" WSXGA+ | Core 2 Duo T7500 | 3 GB DDR2 | 500 GB Scorpio Blue
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Sager NP8760 Review

    The speakers on this notebook are pretty nice. Bass, like every other notebook, isn't there, but they aren't too tinny either so it doesn't screech at certain upper frequencies. It's certainly better than my M38AW speakers, which is also a four speaker setup minus the "sub." Also, contrary to other W870CU users' observations, the speakers are quite loud. It should be loud enough to use during a presentation in a small classroom.

 

 
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