ATIV Book 6 "Light Gaming Edition" (NP680Z5E) Owner's Lounge

Discussion in 'Samsung' started by ryanlecocq, Jan 4, 2015.

  1. ryanlecocq

    ryanlecocq Notebook Consultant

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    So this is like 18 months late, but I didn't see one and the other 5 owners of this lappy in the world should not have to read the 500 pages of the NP7/8 thread like I did to get info relevant to our model. Basically, you can just read the first page of the Series 7 Chronos/ATIV Book 8 thread and then read these caveats and you're set.
    http://forum.notebookreview.com/samsung/713184-2013-series-7-chronos-ativ-book-8-15-owner-s-lounge-np770z5e-np780z5e-np870z5e-np880z5e.html

    What is different about this model from similar ones in other threads?
    The Book 6 X01&02US are basically just the Book 8 with i7 and 8770m gpu. There was originally going to be a base model Book 6 with i5 and integrated graphics, but only the higher priced model almost indistinguishable from the Book 8 was released here. Since not many people bought these vs. those others, owners of these often can only find info about those models and will be unsure if it applies. Basically what you need to know about this model is that the internal parts are almost identical to the Book 8 with the same specs. Besides the battery, the two have all the same guts. The only variation is the RAM configuration, 8GB soldered vs. 4GB soldered + 4GB stick, much like different models in the Book 8 lineup.

    So to answer the most common questions; since the two have the same components, any fixes, BIOS updates or modified GPU drivers for one will work for the other. EDIT: Read carefully, the motherboard is only shared with US models that have the same gpu. If you flash a BIOS from another model with the 8870m gpu, the BIOS could be different, because the amount of soldered vram is different. This is almost irrelevant now as the current version for the Book 6 has no major issues, but has apparently been relevant to some who had issues with RAM upgrades unless they used a specific version.

    Key differences from the info posted on the Series 7/Book 8 thread:

    GPU Overclocking:
    You may have seen it posted that you cannot overclock the 8770m, this is true and it isn't. The 8770m seems to have only been used in a few laptops and its' default temperature throttling settings seem to be designed to mirror the stock configuration of this laptop or vice versa. By this I mean the AMD power profile built into the driver is designed to throttle speeds down at 1 or 2 degrees hotter than the max temp at stock boosted speed. So if you go above 825MHz, it will throttle back to 650MHz almost immediately and then bounce back, causing uneven performance that is worse than stock.

    The only way to get any overclocking out of this gpu is to lower temperatures. The only real option you have for this is to repaste with better thermal paste and add a laptop cooling fan underneath. If this was some junker laptop, we might talk about modifying the case airflow or removing the bottom cover. This is still a pretty nice laptop though, even now and I imagine you are probably taking it to work like I am and don't want to Dremel holes in it. So realistically, we're talking about a 10-15% decrease in temperatures assuming you use the best paste, apply it perfectly and buy a high airflow cooling fan.

    Assuming you overclock by roughly the same margin, we're talking a fairly small increase in performance. So if you are very savvy with a screwdriver and spudgers and need just a tiny bit more to run a game you simply must play, then go for it. If you are just wanting to do it to do it, then you should accept the commonly accepted 'it can't be done'. Don't risk bricking your GPU by modifying your vbios or anything crazy like that. The 8770m is already clocked as high as it can be for its' cooling solution and is well above the 8730 and 8750 which are the same chip. The higher clocked 8790m is only found in larger laptops with multiple fans. You CANNOT upgrade to an 8870m or other GPU because yours is soldered to the board like most of the other components.

    Battery life estimates:
    Be aware that your Book 6 is not just a Book 8 that only comes in black, there is one major difference between the models. The Book 6 comes with a smaller battery that brings its' weight down slightly below that of the Book 8 and nearly into the sub 5lb ultrabook territory. The battery in the X01 and X02 models lasts about 5 hours for media, 8-9 hours of typical business use (waking and sleeping between office docs and web) and lasts just under 2 hours of gaming with the dedicated card. So expect roughly 20-30% less battery life compared to what users in the Series 7/Book 8 thread are describing.

    My laptop looks blue, are you sure it's the same model on the official website?
    So is mine, the black is blue or the blue is black or whatever. What Samsung describes as 'Mineral Ash Black' is what most of us call dark cobalt or gunmetal blue. Although it looks black in every promotional picture I have ever seen as well as the model page on Sammy's website, it is in fact blue. You are not colorblind and you are on the right page.


    Mini review or why I chose this laptop and like using it:
    When this laptop released a lot of users panned it in favor of the Book 8 because that model listed a superior 8870m gpu in its' specs. Here in the USA though, our Book 8s came with the same 8770m gpu and were identical besides only being offered in silver and having a larger battery. Although it was originally launched at the same price as the Book 8 with similar specs, it was available almost immediately for $1000-1100, putting it in the sweet spot between the $1200 Book 8 and the lesser models with integrated graphics. For many of us, the sacrifice of a little battery life to shave a little weight is a compromise we would gladly make. The lightest version of the Book 6 with dedicated gpu (with only soldered 8GB RAM and non-touch screen) weighs in at just under 5.3lbs, making it an attractive option for the working crowd who like to game a little on breaks.

    For me the styling of this series just looks better in dark blue. The silver models look too much like a cross between a MacBook and a Vaio. Blue is Samsung's color and it really gives this system a standout look among all the other silver and black laptops in any computing situation. In the USA, we only had one color choice for most of the late '13 and early '14 models. So if you could only get Book 8s in silver, Book 9s in black and so on, at least for many months after release. Blue is my favorite color, so for me it was literally a no-brainer, because my eyes made the decision for me.

    Much like its' Book 8 sibling, the Book 6 had some growing pains with the transition to Windows 8.1, driver updates and power management issues. Most of these took many months to resolve and only about half of them were solved by the manufacturer as opposed to users. I'm fairly tech savvy though and a frequent user of this forum, so these were much less frustrating for me than for most. I have all of the quirks ironed out of my system at this point and actually bought a SECOND one used on eBay because I knew what I could get out of it for the price.

    This system is best used as the work computer of a serious gamer. By which I mean you should have another computer dedicated for gaming, unless you only play MMOs and casual games. This system does pretty well, even with modern games, but you will have to reduce resolution and settings, which is a turn off to most serious gamers. My standards of what I require for gaming at home as opposed to on a business trip are very different however. Being able to fire up some Dragon Age Inquisition or Alien Isolation on the road is worth turning down some settings. The other major consideration is you do not generally take a gaming PC out of your suitcase at work, unless you make games. My Book 6 makes me look like a buttoned-down professional grown-up, while still being able to handle some gaming. With a quad core i7, even a now aging 3rd gen, it goes without saying that it cranks through my spreadsheets. The battery life is plenty solid for a normal workday and the weight is just enough reduced from the Book 8 to make it feel portable, even though the difference is slight. That combined with the much more elegant appearance in blue vs. silver make this my work notebook of choice. The screen, while seeming a little dated now with its' only full HD screen, still looks better in most cases than the Apple retina devices we have in the house. Even though it's just a traditional LCD and not even an IPS display, this laptop has a remarkably bright and well balanced screen for almost any use. While the retina looks crisp but washed-out and the super amoled looks crisp but over-saturated, this lowly TN panel seems to balance everything perfectly. I just all around love this laptop and I would still recommend picking it up today if you can find it in good condition at the right price.


    With that giant wall of text, any user searching the forum with any questions on this model should be able to get here and find most of them answered.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2015
    jack53 and Dannemand like this.
  2. Dannemand

    Dannemand Decidedly Moderate Super Moderator

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    Nice summary, thank you for posting.

    As you point out, there are many similarities between the Ativ Book 6 (NP680Z5E) and the Book 8 (NP770/780/870/880Z5E), and thus most AB6 owners have used the AB8 Owner's Lounge.

    But there have been several other threads specific to the AB6. A few are listed in our Samsung Forum Sticky List. Others can be found by Googling site:notebookreview.com/samsung np680z5e.

    I would suggest making this an Owner's Lounge for all NP680Z5E models, not just the X01US/X02US. That includes X01/X02/03 models from other countries, some of which may have small hardware differences. Let us know if you want to update the thread title to reflect that.
     
  3. ryanlecocq

    ryanlecocq Notebook Consultant

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    Certainly, that makes sense, though I personally only have experience with the US models. Hopefully owners of the other versions will contribute info about those, as they have a lot of different components. Should I bother linking to any of the other Book 6 threads? It seems like most of them are answered already in the first page of the NP7/8 thread. I just wanted to post this since every 50 pages or so of that thread an NP6 owner would pop in and often get lost looking for answers in that lengthy discussion. I only found it necessary because I actually read it all and saw the pattern repeated. If people with Book 6s can just read this and know what applies to them, it may save them the time and trouble.
     
  4. Dannemand

    Dannemand Decidedly Moderate Super Moderator

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    I changed the thread title, as you can see. If you disagree in any way, just let me know. This is YOUR thread :)

    And I absolutely hope that owners of other AB6 country variants will pop in. Nobody expects the OP to know everything about every computer model. We just try to bring like minded people together to share information and discuss. Just be prepared that discussion may be slow to pick up, both because there are not that many AB6 owners in the first place, and because it's now almost 2 years old.

    A list of links to other relevant threads AND to relevant posts in other threads would be a fantastic service to AB6 owners. If the link texts provide good descriptions, Google will learn what this thread is about, which will help attract other AB6 owners.
     
  5. ryanlecocq

    ryanlecocq Notebook Consultant

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    I searched both google and the forum directly and all of the threads I found about the NP680 were issues that are covered in the Series 7/Book 8 thread or were just people deciding which one to choose. I may be missing something, but I didn't see anything relevant enough to link in the OP.

    I looked a little more into the model differences and found out that the base model of the Book 6 doesn't appear to have been released anywhere, though I remember seeing it in press releases when I researched mine. Also there appear to be at least 3 different screens used in different models worldwide. Some US models appear to have the same panel as the Book 8, while some have a lower color gamut panel. My original one is an X01 and appears to have the same screen as an ATIV Book 8 when compared side by side. The second one I just ordered used is an X02, so we'll see if there is any difference.
     
  6. MrBrian200

    MrBrian200 Newbie

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    Also note at least some 680's have an onboard TPM (NP680Z5E-X01us). The 880 version Z5E-X01UB does not have a TPM.
     
  7. Worzyl

    Worzyl Notebook Consultant

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    The chasis from the Ativ 6 and the Ativ 8 - how similar are they? For instance, could you put the motherboard from a chrono 7/Ativ 8 into the chasis of the Ativ 6? The chasis screen can be completely flattened which makes the touch option very useful to use in a tablet like state unlike the chronos/Ativ 8.

    Also, from the notebook check review, the touchscreen panel on the Ativ 6 looks godly and superior in every way when compared to the other two.
    http://www.notebookcheck.net/Review-Samsung-ATIV-Book-6-Touch-680Z5E-X01US-Notebook.103287.0.html

    A TN panel which will have fast response rate and great colour,contrast and viewing angles? Why aren't we seeing more of these?
    However - it does not say if the screen has touch technology or if it is covered with a a glass digitizer.*

    In regards to the battery, if the innards are the same as the chrono7/Ativ 8, is there anything stopping anyone from just placing a 91w battery in place of the 57w?

    *Edit:https://www.laptopscreen.com/English/model/Samsung/ATIV~BOOK~6/

    This site shows a digitizer, but it's strange that it has so many different screens for the model? Including matte IPS versions? Or are they just selling any old 15.6 inch panel.....
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2015
  8. MrBrian200

    MrBrian200 Newbie

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    I own a 680Z, I also got off ebay a fixer-upper 880z for friends that couldn't afford a decent new laptop (a 880z upgraded with a SSD was overkill for their use-good for many years). At one point I had both machines side by side. Display quality was identical. To get full brightness on the 880 (and that vibrant display quality) options have to be set both in the Samsung settings program -and- windows power options (adaptive brightness setting must be turned off in CP both for AC and battery power if desired). Samsung never disclosed the actual panel type other than what it isn't (it is not IPS/PLS). It is most likely a high quality TN. It looks similar to some of their excellent 10-bit a-Si HDTV panels of around 6-8 years ago (LNTxx65FX series) but updated from CCFL->LED backlighting.
    Most models without the touchscreen used a lower quality panel. To my knowledge all touch enabled models of 680-780-880 were equipped with the "Superbright Display technology" @1920 x 1080 which is what you are after. The lesser panels are 1280 x 960.

    I wouldn't count on the system board being physically interchangeable. I had both the 680 and 880's apart at some point I remember noticing minor differences, though at a glance they looked nearly the same.
     
  9. Worzyl

    Worzyl Notebook Consultant

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    Thank you for your answer.

    One thing - the 770Z5E has a better panel than the 880Z5E in terms of contrast and gamut, though not nearly as good as the 680Z5E according to notebookcheck reviews, but it's good to know from your experience that the display quality between the 880 and 680 are identical. I'm starting to wonder if they just took the one panel and just covered it with some sort of high quality matte film for the 770.

    I did an internet search and Superbright Display Technology seems to be manufactured by Samsung, but the panels in the 680, 780 and 880 are all manufactured by AUO.

    So the innards are different enough that the boards are not interchangeable? That's a real shame as the layout seem very similar in regards to the placement of the ports. So with the first post, it must be talking more about the configuration.
     
  10. MrBrian200

    MrBrian200 Newbie

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    My 680 full model is NP680Z5E-X01US
    The 880 was a NP880Z5E-X01UB

    Other than chassis color and TPM (on the 680) they are identical machines. (3635QM, 8GB, 8770M 1GB, 1080 glossy touchscreen). Maybe a colorimeter could pick minor deviations but to my critical eye yes they look identical. The panel is so outstanding on these I'm holding onto it despite only being able to run newer games at half res. Newer gaming laptops I've looked at could render at full HD, but lower quality LCDs (poor blacks, washed out color) the overall look of games wasn't as impressive. 2000:1 native contrast is about as good as it gets with LCD tech right now. These laptops won't easily be outdone. Eventually Intel is to release broadwell quad core mobile. I'm hoping Samsung cooks up a "980Z" quad core + updated GPU + HQ LCD touchscreen. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be happy with anything less from anyone else. Nobody else can seem put it all together in the same chassis (that looks nice). Lenovo makes some nearly suitable machines but the cheap LCDs they use suck.
     
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