New here, question about Clevo type desktop replacement laptops

Discussion in 'Sager and Clevo' started by goguvarra, Jun 23, 2021.

  1. goguvarra

    goguvarra Newbie

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    Hello people,
    I'm searching for a powerful laptop to replace my desktop so I arrived at Clevo laptops, the ones with dekstop replaceable processors and graphic cards, because I would like to be able to upgrade it as time passes, and I need the processing power for video editing and other hardware intensive tasks like these, maybe some VR games from time to time.
    The laptops that i'm looking at are the Schenker XMG Ultra 17, and the Dreammachines ones.
    As you probably know Schenker is a german integrator of Clevo and Dreammachines is a Polish one.

    1) First question is about the mobile graphics card. the MxM versions of these are the most powerful on the market in terms of supported wattage, right?
    And here comes the first thing that i don't understand.
    the 2080RTX Super mobile can go up to 200W TGP and the 3080RTX mobile up to 165W TGP - so shouldn't the 2080 be faster than the 3080?
    is seems this way in some the benchmarks here, in some of them the 3080 is slower than the 2080!
    https://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-RTX-3080-Mobile-GPU-Benchmarks-and-Specs.497450.0.html
    but there is also there is a power consumption one and the power consumption goes up to 244W, but i'm not sure that is just the graphics card.

    2) If the laptop with the 2080 Super mobile can support a power drain of 200W, shouldn't its cooling be better than the one designed for the 3080 mobile?
    And this brings me to the 3rd question

    3) Are these graphic cards really swappable? IS this MXM standard so flexible?
    I mean when the next generation of mobile GPUs will be available will I be able to buy it from the manufacturer and just stick it in my laptop? And if so if it will have a higher TGP than the one I currently own will it be possible for it to work? So should I look the 2080super which supports 200W TGP? :)
    Are there any other manufacturers that make cards like these? I know that these ones are made by Clevo for their own laptops and I skimmed over some posts here where people put MSI mxm gpus in Alienwares, but those were older 1080 generation.

    4) I also found out that these things exist, external desktop GPU enclosures which connect via Thunderbolt to a laptop.
    Like this one https://www.razer.com/gaming-egpus/razer-core-x/RC21-01430100-R3U1
    Do they really work as advertised?
    This way I could maybe buy a cheaper laptop without the latest and greatest GPU but then I'll reallybe able to upgrade whenever I want.

    5) Schenker or Dreammachines.
    I think the XMGs are really well built after reading some reviews but Dreammachines have a dealer directly in my country and are a bit cheaper. The model is the same, I'm just wondering about the built quality and if the control software and all the other technical stuff is the same, like Schenker advertises that they have a really nice cooling system that even has an auto cleaning mode (the fans can run backwards and clean up stuff on the inside), is this specific to them or to Clevo so all their resellers include this?

    6) and finally and also really important :)
    The panel options are Full HD 300hz or 4K IPS. I personally don't care about the 300hz,but I like the IPS as it shows colors better and is good for video editing and such but isn't that resolution huge for a 17" screen? Won't all the buttons and interface be tiny?
    I have a 1440P 27" screen at work and even that seems small to me (the pixel density is too high for my taste.

    Sorry for the long post but I'm new to some of these things and i've never owned a laptop before.
    thank you for all your answers in advance.
     
  2. Charles P. Jefferies

    Charles P. Jefferies Lead Moderator Super Moderator

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    Hi there, I'm moving your thread to our Sager/Clevo forum where you may get a better response.
    Charles
     
  3. Tech Junky

    Tech Junky Notebook Deity

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    MXM is a standardized sizing / socket for the GPU's

    Power draw doesn't necessarily equal performance but the higher the number the more heat it will produce. heat = less performance w/o adequate cooling

    eGPU cases have been in use for quite awhile w/ Mac's

    Branding is just the badging placed on the Clevo / Sager devices. All of the internals are the same.

    Screen visual scaling can be adjusted in the display properties. Windows setup defaults to 125% and you can change this to make things appear larger / smaller. 4K will give you more real estate to work with multiple windows or zoom into images / video. 300hz is overkill and will make things blur. 1440P is an in between aspect ration between FHD/4K some refer to it as 2K.

    I would personally hold off until they start releasing 11th gen Intel CPU's for the benefits associated with them such as USB4 / TB4 ports which will be beneficial if you do go the eGPU route for higher bandwidth over the cabling. If you go to the Clevo website and spot something you like you can typically search using the model # on your local vendor website.

    https://www.clevo.com.tw/clevo_prodetail.asp?id=1391&lang=en
     
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  4. Meaker@Sager

    Meaker@Sager Company Representative

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    The clevo MXM cards are always the high power variants, there are a few out there that can be a bit lower.
     
  5. thewizzard1

    thewizzard1 Notebook Consultant

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    For those external GPU options, you'll still need to verify that the laptop you'll be using it with has Thunderbolt / Type-C, not just normal Type-C.
    Then something to be mindful of, is when the laptop is not attached to the enclosure, you're stuck with whatever video acceleration your laptop has integrated.

    This is why these "desktop replacement" laptops are called exactly that - All the power of a desktop PC in one package.

    Lastly, you can always change the DPI settings inside Windows, setting it to 125% or 150% on 3k and 4k screens helps a bunch.

    You might be best of consulting with a local IT guy if you are setting all this up for productivity and aren't aware of settings like this - Small things like this can cause massive changes in your workflow, and just a single professional consult can clear up so many details like this.
     
  6. 4W4K3

    4W4K3 Notebook Evangelist

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    Wattage draw doesn't always constitute processing power. The 2080S at 200W is likely not outperforming the 3080 at 165W; it's less power efficient and uses a good portion more power for around the same performance (or worse).

    I think you biggest question is ,"3) Are these graphic cards really swappable? IS this MXM standard so flexible?"

    To that I answer; how hard do you want to work? In dream land you open the laptop, take old card out, put your new MXM card in, close it all up, wipe the driver and presto everything works and you jump your GPU up a generation or two whenever is convenient for you.

    In reality just finding a new generation MXM card is a bit like a needle in the haystack. They also cost about as much as an entry gaming laptop. You may be buying internationally or even second hand unless MSRP doesn't scare you. Assuming the card you get fits in your chassis, you install and maybe you need a vBIOS flash or some driver modification to actually successfully get the laptop to boot or even work. You scrounge around the internet for solutions and eventually find one (probably from here) that allows the laptop to boot with the new MXM card and you begin function and stability testing. From a manufacturer perspective, nothing is guaranteed to work.

    For the average user I honestly think it's less of a headache to buy a brand new laptop every 3-4 (2-3?) generations and save yourself the headache. Are you really going to carry around an eGPU enclosure for work and play while also toting around a 17" laptop? Is the prospect of a $800-1200+ MXM GPU upgrade worth it in a $3,000+ laptop that will be 1-2 generations behind at the time of upgrade? Can you successfully MXM upgrade without bricking your machine?
     
  7. Tech Junky

    Tech Junky Notebook Deity

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    This is the easiest option vs the whole upgrade main components like CPU/GPU. Then again there are some around here toting around 10 year old chassis w/ newer guts.

    Personally I aim for 1 generation older CPU to provide a discount similar to what you would see in a used car that has very low miles on it vs the sticker price. I picked up a 9th gen for ~$750 and then packed in memory, dual NVMEs, upgraded wifi to AX210, and screen to 4K to total cost of ~$1250. Mind you it has a GTX1650 for the GPU which is middle of the road but, it works for what I need it for. In most cases the high end GPU's aren't even in use 90-95% of the time you're using the laptop.

    I get the hype around the newest / greatest GPU's but, 2/3 of the price of a laptop is a bit much for a few games or whatever else they're being used for. Getting a slightly lower end system and beefing it up where it counts is more cost effective than going all out. Taking the average system and then adding on the eGPU makes a bit more sense if you're consistently using the GPU for day to day operations. Getting a model of laptop that excludes it also reduces the cost of accessories due to the lower power draw / power port configuration. The high end powerhouse configurations require power supplies that run ~$300 vs lower end setups ~$50 or even being able to use USB-PD while the GPU isn't in use which makes travel easier or just simply running USB for a longer cable from the power source for convenience.

    There are further updates coming with USB=PD as well that can get higher outputs than the current 100W which doesn't even hit the minimum of 120W for my model which causes power flaps / no charging while the GTX is in use.
     
  8. runix18

    runix18 Notebook Consultant

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    1. No. Depends on content (ray tracing or not).
    2. No. The cooling was designed for more than 200w in the first place.
    3. NO. 1000 / 2000 / 3000 series not interchangeable. Layout differences / mounting holes differences.
    4. Yes for the most part, they are working as advertised.
    5. Does not matter. What is better / affordable for you.
    6. 300 hz for gaming / 4k for content creation.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2021
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