Sager NP9873 / Clevo P870DM3 Quick Review by HTWingNut

Discussion in 'Sager/Clevo Reviews & Owners' Lounges' started by HTWingNut, Aug 21, 2016.

  1. HTWingNut

    HTWingNut Potato

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    SAGER NP9873 / CLEVO P870DM3 QUICK PREVIEW


    EDIT Aug 31, 2016: Added LOTS more info to bottom of this review.
    (I'll add a tag link as soon as I figure it out! - just search for "Part Deux" :p)


    It has been a long and highly anticipated wait for Pascal GPU's and the time has finally come, as Nvidia has finally started to release their lineup of desktop and mobile Pascal GPU's. Nvidia went big up front offering 1060, 1070, and 1080 mobile versions of their desktop variants. This time around though Pascal is supposed to close the gap between desktop and laptop gaming performance. Gone is the "m" moniker for mobile, although I don't know why, because it's not like even if specs are identical that you'd be slapping a desktop PCI-express GPU in any laptop. But in any case it is great to see the mobile market finally get a substantial upgrade in the 3D graphics department.

    Sager has gone above and beyond, however, by offering their NP9873 which is designed off the Clevo P870DM3 chassis. What makes this machine so special, is not only does it support the top end 1080 Pascal GPU, it supports dual GPU's in SLI! Not to mention that there is no Optimus to hinder performance, and it houses a *desktop* i7-6700k 14nm Skylake Socket 1151 CPU. So this is a fully configurable system with interchangeable components.

    LPC-Digital has graciously supplied me with a Sager NP9873 well equipped so we can share the performance with your for your entertainment and possibly help with your purchasing decicision. This is a quick overview of the laptop at this time, but a full fledged review will be forthcoming with detailed temperatures, power, and overall gaming performance this machine has to offer.

    The laptop being reviewed is spec'ed with the following:

    Sager NP9873 / Clevo P870DM3
    17.3" Full HD (1920 x 1080 ... ie 1080p) 120Hz AUO LCD
    Intel Core i7-6700K Unlocked with 8MB cache, and up to 4.2GHz Desktop CPU
    DUAL Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 mobile GPU's with 8GB GDDR5X on each GPU
    32GB (2x16GB) DDR4 2400MHz (PC4 19200) system RAM (supporing up to 64GB with 4 total slots)
    OCZ RD400 M.2 512GB NVMe SSD (supports two M.2 80mm SSD's and two 2.5" 9.5mm height drives)
    Intel dual band Ultra - 802.11AC 8260 + Bluetooth 4.2 M.2 Combo Card
    Dual 330W AC adapters with a power converter box for a total of 660W power output

    Other items that come with the system: thermal paste, owner's manual, two hard drive adapter brackets to convert from 7mm to 9.5mm, two drive brackets to install into system, drivers DVD, Windows 10 install USB drive (that's a purchased add-on)

    The laptop is about 17" wide by 12" deep, and about 2" at its thickest point including the feet. It weighs in at a hefty 12 lbs 6 oz, that's about 5.6kg! Each of the two 330W nuclear fusion power bricks that fuel this beast weigh in at 2lbs 12oz each, and are 8" x 4" x 1.75" in dimension connected through a dual converter box into the single 4 pin connector to the back of the laptop.

    [​IMG]

    You can see my video preview of the system here:




    OVERVIEW

    First, a general overview of the system. This sucker is big and heavy, but what do you expect from a portable to end gaming desktop? It has a plastic matte black lid with faceted accents that light up and configurable with the keyboard backlighting software. Opening the laptop lid feels smooth as the single wide center mounted hinge feels robust and steady through the swing of the lid that goes to about 20-30 degrees past vertical to its furthest point. Black metal speaker grilles of irregular quadrilateral shape sit on the outboard side of the laptop hinge. The entire laptop is comprised of facets at irregular angles except the hinge which is rounded in shape, but overall it has a very stealth combat plane look to it.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    A large round chrome trimmed power button that lights up white when powered on, sits above the keyboard, with white status lights adorned on either side of it.

    In traditional Clevo fashion, a backlit keyboard is offered that has medium travel keys and contains a separate numberpad. It looks like it is the same keyboard used on their 15" notebooks, which really isn't a bad thing since they are reasonably comfortable and responsive keyboards, just it would be nice to see the 17" width utilized more fully especially on their flagship laptop. The three zones of keyboard backlighting can of course be adjusted through the Clevo keyboard backlighting app.

    The surface surrounding the keyboard is a black painted metal and feels sturdy and does not flex. A generously sized Synaptics touchpad sits just below the surface of the palm rest surface. It is also black and very solid with two physical mouse buttons that offer a slight movement for activation and do not make much noise at all when depressed. Clevo did away with the fat fingerprint reader that was nestled between the touchpad mouse keys, as it is now integrated in the upper left portion of the touchpad.

    LCD

    A 120Hz IPS Matte panel is available for this machine and is what was included with this device. There is also a 4K panel coming soon as well, should you desire such a resolution. In any case, the LCD at first look is crystal clear, but with a matte finish. First impressions are the its brightness levels are a bit low, but overall from my brief time with the machine, the colors look great and 120Hz definitely helps make the display feel responsive. Note that this is NOT a G-Sync display.

    HWInfo64 indicates that it is an AUO B173HAN01.2. Panelook has details for the B173HAN01.0 which shows it as a 60Hz panel, but I can only imagine that the 1.2 version is the 120Hz version of this same panel, and Nvidia Control Panel definitely lets you set this LCD to 120Hz and is running at that from the start. You can find details for the 1.0 version at Panelook here: http://www.panelook.com/B173HAN01.0_AUO_17.3_LCM_overview_26291.html

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    PORTS

    Attaching peripherals and storage devices to a computer is a common requisite even in a world of wireless everything, and thankfully the Sager NP9873 offers a plethora of ports.

    Around the laptop starting with the right side are a single USB 3.0 Type A connector, dual Thunderbolt 3 / USB 3.1 Type C ports, dual mini DisplayPorts 1.3 and a Kensington lock type port. I'm not real thrilled with all those peripheral ports coming off the right side in the path of a mouse, it would have been better to include a couple of those out the rear in my opinion. In any case, at the rear there is a single HDMI port, a USB 3.0 Type A port, and the four pin power connector. Moving over to the left there are three more USB 3.0 Type A ports, dual Killer Gigabit ethernet ports, and four 1/8" or 3.5mm audio jacks.

    Specs for the USB ports on the system are confusing since they indicate the USB 3.0 ports are acutally USB 3.1 Gen1, so I'm not sure what to make of that.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    INTERNAL COMPONENTS

    Cooling two massive GPU's and a desktop CPU requires significant airflow. The bottom panel has a large number of open air grilles to feed the three main system fans. Removing the bottom panel requires removing about 8-9 philips head screws, and pulling up firmly on the front center edge of the case to remove it. Some effort is required, but after removing it a few times it's pretty straight-forward. Removing this bottom panel reveals the guts of the laptop.

    [​IMG]

    Honestly, there's not really a lot ot see except a lot of black painted surface. A majority of that black painted surface is a huge solid chunk of metal, assuming copper, that is used to cool the GPU's and CPU since they are all tied together with a multitude of heatpipes snaking around the system to the three system cooling fans. It appears this entire massive heatsink needs to be removed when servicing or repasting the CPU and GPU's which involves removal of about 18 screws. At this time I have not removed this heatsink but will be sure to do so when giving the laptop its thorough shakedown. It will be interesting to take a peek at the desktop Intel i7-6700K CPU and of course the GTX 1080 mobile GPU's.

    [​IMG]

    Other components that are accessible here are two hard drive bays that are loaded from the front of the laptop sandwidched underneath the two GPU's and the keyboard and palm rest. Two of the four RAM slots are accessible here, as are the battery and subwoofer. The remainder of the components are seated underneath the keyboard. Removing the keyboard requires removing one screw clearly labeled "K/B" and after removig the screw, opening the lid of the laptop and pushing through that screw hole with a blunt philips head screwdriver, popping out the keyboard otherwise secured only by magnets. This exposes the two M.2 drive bays, the other two of the four RAM slots, the wireless card, and the connectors for the keyboard and touchpad.

    [​IMG]


    SOFTWARE

    Sager usually only includes bare bones applications without any spamware or trialware crap, and this machine is no exception. They offer their useful utilities like Sound Blaster X-fi for manipulating sound reproduction and loudness levels, the Clevo Control Center for managing system options including their own CPU and GPU overclocking utilities as well as adjusting fan profiles among many other options. And the Flexikey utility adjusting keyboard backlighting and macros.

    Clevo's Overclocking Tools:
    [​IMG]


    AUDIO

    It appears that Clevo has kept the Realtek audio despite Texas Instruments Burr-Brown Audio and Sabre HiFi stickers showing on the system. I will have to look into this further, because there must be some audio features that aren't readily apparent in the software provided. There is no indication of what brand of speakers are being used, either. Clevo laptops have been notorious for using Onkyo speakers. They have never been particularly good, but not horrible either on the high end machines like this one. Initial impressions are that they are decent. Not very full or rich but average sound and volume. It will work fine with movies and video games, but likely will not satisfy a modest audiophile.

    SSD

    Sager included an OCZ RD400 M.2 NVMe SSD with this configuration. RD apparently stands for Revo Drive, and shows up as a Toshiba drive and not OCZ, which stands to reason since Toshiba has recently acquired OCZ. According to Anandtech this SSD has a Toshiba branded controller but suspected to be a Marvell 88SS1093 8-channel 3-core controller. Running Crystal Disk Mark shows this SSD offers great performance and initial use of the system has not shown this SSD to show any signs of hitching or slowing of the system performance at all. There is a temp sensor readable by HWInfo64 and during the CrystalDiskMark benchmark temps did not exceed 75C. This seems a bit high, but many M.2 drives without active cooling runs even hotter, including the Samsung drives that typically reach 80C quickly and then throttle excessively. With idle/light use it tends to sit in low 40C territory.

    [​IMG]


    PERFORMANCE

    Since this is only an initial impressions review, I will only offer a few performance benchmarks up front. Detailed and a more exhaustive library of bencharks and respective metrics will be shared at a later time. But up front, you can see this machine is a beast. I have a GTX 980 Ti in my desktop with an i7-5820K hexacore CPU and this Sager NP9873 clearly outpaces it in gaming performance. Clearly with this much horsepower, the dual 1080 GPU's were destined for 4k gaming, and I'll be sure to check performance at 1080p, 2.5K/3K (2560 x 1440) and 4k (3840x2160).

    GPU-z confirmed that these cards do contain GDDR5X but running at 5000MHz. The core clocks actually ran at 1885MHz despite boost being reported at max 1771 MHz. That is pretty incredible clock speeds.

    Here's some details of the system:

    CPU-Z info:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    GPU-Z Info:
    [​IMG]

    Note the clock speeds at load are 1885MHz
    [​IMG]


    The desktop 980 Ti that it is benchmarked against runs at 1342MHz on the core and 7000MHz vRAM (GDDR5)


    FUTUREMARK 3DMARK

    A few Futuremark benchmarks were run in both SLI and single 1080 GPU mode, and compared with the desktop 980 Ti.

    Results are pretty impressive and are shown here:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    You can see that in SLI mode that the performance is nearly perfectly double compared with a single GPU. That is an impressive feat. However we will see how well that holds up with actual gaming and also running at various screen resultions from 1080p up to 4k.


    TEMPS AND POWER

    Despite these great performance results, it takes a toll on temperatures. That being said, despite the high temps of the CPU and two GPU's the surface temp of the palm rest and keyboard were barey warm to the touch. The fans did spin up pretty high during some of these benchmarks, and was noticeably loud during these times. Although when running on a single GPU the fans were not that noticeable.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We will see if these temps are a result of a poor thermal paste job at the factory after I remove the heatsink and repaste myself.

    Power consumption was shockingly high as well, although well within the capability of the dual 330W PSU's, running at about 500W with SLI enabled. Although, the power bricks were barely warm to the touch at full load.

    [​IMG]


    CONCLUSION

    From this brief review and time spent with this laptop I would have to say that it is, first and foremost, about damn time Pascal made it's way here, adn to mobile in strong fashion. The Sager NP9873 with dual 1080 GPU's definitely can hold or at least fight for title for top laptop for a while. Even a single mobile 1080 blows away a desktop 980 Ti. The construction of the laptop overall feels solid, and has a simple yet techy look to it with all its faceted angles. Temperatures are definitely a concern considering the CPU hit 100C during benchmarking and GPU's were in the mid to high 80C range. This could be the result of a poor factory thermal paste job, and I will investigate that to find out for certain. Otherwise for pure gaming performance, the Sager NP9873 takes the crown.

    Look for more detailed benchmarks and metrics on this machine as I put it through further testing over the next couple of weeks. But hopefully in the meantime this satiates initial questions or concerns about the laptop.



    -------------------------------------------------------------------


    Sager NP9873 / Clevo P870DM3 Quick Review - PART DEUX

    Since it seemed I covered all the basics about the hardware in the initial impressions review, I thought I'd just follow up with some details and some clarification and resolution of some concerns, primarily relating to heat.

    But first, a look at the setups. There were two laptop configurations tested and compared against a desktop with a GTX 980 Ti. The laptop was run in SLI mode as well as with SLI disabled to show performance of a single GTX 1080 mobile GPU. The desktop GTX 980 Ti is a Maxwell based GPU running with a boost speed of 1341MHz and GDDR5 video RAM at 7000MHz with drivers 372.54. The desktop also house a hexacore i7-5820K CPU that is also used for comparison against the i7-6700K in the NP9873 laptop.

    Multiple benchmarks were run, at three different resolution settings:
    4K (3840 x 2160) - attached to an external Acer 60Hz G-sync 4K display through the mini DisplayPort output
    3K UW or 3K Ultra-Wide (3440x1440) - While I do have an Acer Preadator 3K ultra-wide LCD, I just ran that resolution on the Acer monitor since it was already plugged in
    1080p (1920 x 1080) - Used the built-in display for these test just to check performance and if there were any anomalies.

    Note that not all games had great SLI scaling or even worked at all. More an issue of the game than the drivers or hardware.


    LCD

    Before I get into all the fun stuff of thermals and power and gaming benchmarks, I thought I'd folow up with some more details on the 17.3" 120Hz LCD. This is not a G-sync LCD, but G-sync is supported on external G-sync monitors through the DisplayPorts. There was no backlight bleed whatsoever and the 120Hz refresh really makes it look crisp and responsive.


    Details of the LCD are listed in the original preview of this laptop, but will link to the B173HAN01.0 version of this LCD, because there are no details yet on this B173HAN01.2 version, assuming they're similar just this one is 120Hz vs 60Hz of the other: http://www.panelook.com/B173HAN01.0_AUO_17.3_LCM_overview_26291.html

    A Spyder5Pro was used to calibrate and also measure the brightness, contrast, and gamut characteristics of this LCD. It has a 329 cd/m^2 brightness (compared with 300 in specs) and 1150 contrast (compared with 700:1 in specs), 97% of sRGB and 97% of AdobeRGB, so pretty impressive.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]




    THERMAL MANAGEMENT

    Before we hit the benchmark and thermal and power results, I wanted to address temperature concerns from the initial impressions review. Out of the box, the CPU and GPUs were running quite toasty. The CPU at a fine water boiling temperature of 100C and the master GPU running at it's 91C thermal limit, with the slave GPU in SLI mode running well into the mid to upper 80C's.

    After a teardown and repaste, it was found that the GPU's require a significant amount of thermal paste to properly transfer heat from the GPU to the heatsink. Part of this was due to the large heatsink/vapor chamber/heatpipe assembly that getting a perfect alignment between both GPU's is not going to happen. For this, a thick and excellent heat transfer medium is desired, and in this case, IC Diamond, since it has great thermal transfer and remains thick even when hot. Two lines the length of the die were applied and this resulted in GPU temps remaining under the 91C thermal limit.

    Additionally, if desired, the fans can be adjusted in the Clevo Control Center to increase to a faster speed, or flip on an "OC" switch which ramps the fans up to near 100% full speed (~ 4300RPM) , or even just go full fans if desired. The Clevo GPU overclock tool has an OC options as well and if activated the GPU fans spin up near full just the same as if setting the "OC" setting in the Clevo Control Center.

    Of course running high fan speeds isn't always ideal since the noise generated is quite substantial. Very loud in fact, although it did drop temps for the CPU down in the mid 80C range at stock voltage and master GPU into the mid 80C range even with a poor thermal paste job.

    See this video showing fan noise and temps:





    For the CPU, the thermal paste from the factory appeared to be adequate, so other measures had to be taken. Recent Intel desktop chips, Skylake in particular, have been known to run with much higher than required voltages. So using the Clevo CPU and Memory overclocking utility, the CPU voltage was able to be dropped safely by 160mV which resulted in CPU running at less than 80C typically in high load scenarios without detriment to performance and running at stock 4.0GHz boost speeds.

    Initial inspection of the heatpipe assembly while assembled to the laptop makes it look as if the CPU and GPU share the same assembly, but they do not. Well, they kind of do, but only through a couple screws and a thermal pad between them, so the influence of the heat between the CPU and two GPU's wouldn't be as substantial as initially thought. In any case, with a little tuning it is possible get the temperatures to a reasonable level.

    Note that your system from the manufacturer may have a fine thermal paste job. The CPU and slave GPU were perfectly fine, just the master GPU needed a little thermal paste love and the CPU can adjust voltage easily enough that results in significant temperature improvements.

    All that being said, below are the temperature results after running a multitude of gaming, artificial 3D, and CPU benchmarks in various configurations. Run in both SLI mode as well as single GPU and compared with the desktop GTX 980 Ti for comparison.

    Peak temps as well as average temperatures were recorded. Note that peak temps aren't always indicative of where the system is running at, and average temps tend to run quite a bit cooler than the peak temp. I think average temp is more an indicator of how well the cooling system performs since even a single spike in temp to 90C+ can look alarming on a graph.

    CPU TEMPS

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    GPU TEMPS

    SINGLE GPU - ONE GTX 1080 (SLI DISABLED)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    SLI GPU - DUAL GTX 1080

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    BENCHMARKS

    CPU BENCHMARKS

    The i7-6700K is a 91W TDP quad core (with hyperthreading) desktop CPU based on Intel's Skylake's 14nm chip design running at 4GHz. There are slight performance improvements over previous generation 22nm Haswell. The socketed design of course allows the CPU to be easily removed and replaced, something many users with this class of machine desire. That being said it requires removal of the massive GPU heatsink in order to remove the much smaller heatsink assembly that cools the CPU.

    As noted earlier, stock voltage tends to let the chip run hotter than it should, but this chip, as with most Skylake chips, was able to undervolt by 160mV using the included CPU/RAM Clevo tuning utlity. This resulted in a 1.093V at load voltage compared with 1.285V of stock. This reduction in voltage dropped temps from near 100C down to high 70C to 80C in high load scenarios with the GPU (i.e. intense 3D gaming), without any cost in performance. Clock speeds always maintained 4GHz at load.

    Considering the cooling potential was already stressed with all these high end desktop components, I did not bother to overclock the CPU, although it can easily be done if one so desires since it is an unlocked CPU, allowing adjustment of voltage and clock speeds. RAM timings can also be adjusted as desired as well. If you're doing specifically CPU-centric tasks, like encoding video, there is still some thermal wiggle room for faster clock speeds.

    [​IMG]

    Following are results of a few CPU tests comparing with a hexacore (six core) i7-5820K that was run in my desktop PC. I ran it both with 4 cores active for straight comparison between Haswell and Skylake. Both CPU's were set to run at 4GHz.

    Cinebench R15
    [​IMG]

    wPrime 2.10 1024Million Integers
    [​IMG]

    x264 v5.0 Benchmark
    [​IMG]

    From these benchmarks you can see that the i7-6700K based on the Skylake architecture improves performance over Haswell by about 8-10% at same clock speeds.


    GPU BENCHMARKS

    Now for the GTX 1080 SLI gaming benchmarks. As noted in the beginning of this review, three configurations were compared:
    1. NP9873 with GTX 1080 in SLI mode
    2. NP9873 with GTX 1080 running single card (SLI disabled)
    3. Desktop with GTX 980 Ti

    Each of the game benchmarks were run at three different resolutions:
    1. 1080p
    2. 3440 x 1440 Ultra-Wide
    3. 3840 x 2160 aka "4K"

    For the 1080p tests on the NP9873, it was run on the laptop LCD. For the higher resolutions it was connected to an external monitor through the mini-displayport.

    Drivers were 372.54 on both the NP9873 and desktop. Stock drivers for the Sager caused some stability issues with Deus Ex Mankind Divided but updating to these latest drivers allowed the game to run without a hitch.

    But first let's compare specs:

    GTX 1080
    CUDA Cores: 2560
    Technology: PASCAL 16nm
    Base/Boost Clock: 1607/1733MHz (1800MHz+ in reality)
    vRAM: 8GB GDDR5x at 5000MHz 256-bit

    GTX 980 Ti
    CUDA Cores: 2816
    Technology: MAXWELL 28nm
    Base/Boost Clock: 1140/1228MHz (1300+ in reality)
    vRAM: 8GB GDDR5 at 7000MHz 384-bit

    Below are the benchmark results after running the following tests:

    Aritifical Benchmarks
    3DMark 11 'P' (720p) and 'X' (1080p) Scores
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    3DMark 'Fire Strike' (1080p) and 'Fire Strike Ultra' (4k)
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    3DMark 'Time Spy' (DirectX 12)
    [​IMG]


    Unigine Heaven
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Ashes of the Singularity (DirectX 12)
    [​IMG]



    Game Benchmarks

    1080p (1920 x 1080)
    [​IMG]

    3K Ultra-Wide (3440 x 1440)
    [​IMG]

    4K (3840x2160)
    [​IMG]


    On paper, the more CUDA cores, faster vRAM and wider bit width seems it should give the 980 Ti a slight edge over the 1080, but the higher clock speeds and smaller node size seems to trump the 980 Ti in performance based on the benchmarks performed.

    SLI is a fickle beast. It's great when it works, but sometimes it just doesn't. The results are clear below where SLI failed to cooperate. That is more an issue with the specific games supporting it properly. Batman Arkham Knight developers basically said that they ditched SLI support in order to maintain stability in the game. Doom surprisingly does not support SLI, although a single card at 4K runs it at 60FPS+ with Ultra settings, and Hitman and GTA 5 had mixed results. SLI not helping much at lower resolutions but improved greatly at 4k.

    As far as clock speeds, I grabbed a 60 second section of data during some Crysis 3 gaming to show the GPU and vRAM clock speeds during that time. The GPU ran consistently between 1700-1800MHz with core load 90-100% on both cores. This seemed to be consistent in the other games that supported SLI well.

    [​IMG]

    While Sager includes a GPU tuning utility, considering the already high performance and higher temperatures, overclocking is not much of a possibility at least while running in SLI. No overclocking was attempted, but it is possible if you manage to get your thermals under control. Below is an image of the GPU tuning utility.

    [​IMG]


    POWER CONSUMPTION

    No doubt that a system with this much high performance hardware is going to also require a lot of power. If you order an SLI system you get dual 330W power supplies and a Y adapter so that it can draw from both power bricks simultaneously for 660W of total power. Power measurements were taken as power draw from the wall during benchmarks with both SLI and single card, and resulted in the below results:

    Artificial Benchmarks:
    [​IMG]

    1080p Gaming:
    [​IMG]

    3K Ultra-Wide Gaming:
    [​IMG]

    4K Gaming:
    [​IMG]

    Note that these are peak power draw. Average power draw if roughly about 10% lower usually. I don't have a way to capture actual average power draw data, but I can visualize it on the readout, so 10% is an estimate based on my observations.


    BATTERY LIFE

    Not that you'd expect a beast like this Sager NP9873 to be able to run all day on battery for you, and the included 89WHr battery is really more as an integrated UPS system, but it is a laptop so I gave it a run on battery just for fun. A movie test was done, running in Airplane mode (i.e. networking cards off) with 40% LCD brightness and it surprisingly made it over two hours playing a movie. It made it entirely through Star Wars Empire Strikes Back until it reached 3% battery life where I set it to shut down.


    FINAL THOUGHTS

    The Sager NP9873 is surely a high performance beast that does its best to pack high end desktop gaming performance in a portable package, and it delivers. The single card configuration with the GTX 1080 bested my GTX 980 Ti desktop in gaming performance all around, and SLI, when properly supported, demolished it. While dual GTX 1080 cards in SLI are overkill for the included 1080p display, this laptop finally offers a decisive and rewarding 4K gaming experience once hooked up to an external display. 4K LCD's are coming for this laptop, so if you want to contain your 4K gaming to one package, that will be an option.

    Keeping temperatures in an acceptable range can require a little fussing and possibly reapplying adequate (normally excessive) thermal paste to ensure proper heat transfer from the GPU to the massive heatsink and vapor chamber assembly. The CPU just needs a little dialing in with some simple undervolting and you're good to go. If louder fan speeds don't bother you, there is no doubt the system will perform cool.

    Obviously the GTX 1080 GPU's are the highlight of this machine, but other features like multitude of ports, backlit keyboard, socketed desktop CPU, support for up to 64GB of DDR4 RAM, two M.2 SSD's, and two 2.5" hard drives or SSD's round out the package. So if you're looking for a user expandable system for highest end gaming on the go, the NP9873 is a good option, albeit at a hefty price tag starting at about $4000.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2016
  2. Dufus

    Dufus .

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    Nice. Would you be so kind as to run the following to check power limits.

    "C:\Program Files\NVIDIA Corporation\NVSMI>nvidia-smi.exe -q -d power"
     
  3. Meaker@Sager

    Meaker@Sager Company Representative

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    Quick review better than some "complete" ones, nice :)
     
  4. Meaker@Sager

    Meaker@Sager Company Representative

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    Note that it's not a huge chunk of copper but a vapor chamber sitting on top of the GPUs ;)
     
    jaug1337, hmscott, jclausius and 2 others like this.
  5. TBoneSan

    TBoneSan Laptop Fiend

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    Great review bro. Enjoyable and informative read! I'm keen to see how the paste job was because those temps on the CPU are too high for stock clocks. Or this could simply be the cost of a shared heatsink. Man those CPU's should come factory delided.

    I'm also be interested to hear your thoughts on the heatsink fit, something that was hit or miss with the previous gen.

    Still. An awesome machine with colossal potential.
     
    hmscott and Papusan like this.
  6. i_pk_pjers_i

    i_pk_pjers_i Even the ppl who never frown eventually break down

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    12 pounds excluding charger, wow, that's impressively heavy!

    Really good review, btw. :D
     
  7. HTWingNut

    HTWingNut Potato

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    Thanks. I figured it was probably something besides a bunch of copper. It would have been even heavier! LOL. I was just thinking out loud at the time.
     
    hmscott likes this.
  8. pathfindercod

    pathfindercod Notebook Deity

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    Great review so farZ scary temps.
     
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  9. HTWingNut

    HTWingNut Potato

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    Umm, something not worky...

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Dufus

    Dufus .

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    Thanks. Possibly power management has been disabled, no power limit. That's surprising.

    Seen similar in a cross-flash on FE card with no power limits. The power draw is lower than expected, usually around 10W at idle and should be accurate within 5W or 5%. HWiNFO should show GPU power AFAIK similar to that reported by nVidia.

    Here's a FS GT1 at 2.2GHz 1.2V no power limit
    [​IMG]

    1.062V should typically get 2-2.1GHz so voltage seems a little high or clocks a little low for those 1080's. Temps usually have a big effect, losing one voltage point per 10C (usually about 13MHz per 10C), so might have a sweet spot for best clocks. Should keep you busy for a while :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2016
    jaug1337, Papusan and i_pk_pjers_i like this.
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