TONGFANG GK5CN5Z and TONGFANG GK5CN6Z

Discussion in 'Other Manufacturers' started by sicily428, Apr 22, 2018.

  1. sicily428

    sicily428 Donuts!! :)

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    TONGFANG GK5CN5Z
    i7-8750h+gtx1050ti
    Review
    http://zhongce.sina.com.cn/article/view/8457/
    https://browser.geekbench.com/v4/cpu/8022714


    [​IMG]





    TONGFANG GK5CN6Z
    i7-8750h+gtx1060
    Review
    https://www.notebookcheck.net/Tongfang-GK5CN6Z-i7-8750H-GTX-1060-FHD-Laptop-Review.331426.0.html
    https://www.hardwareluxx.de/index.p...7-das-neue-xmg-neo-15-im-ersten-hands-on.html
    http://www.sohu.com/a/227607842_404443
    https://post.smzdm.com/p/683749/
    https://www.notebookcheck.net/Schen...-GTX-1060-Full-HD-Laptop-Review.315660.0.html
    [​IMG]





    Resellers
    http://sklep.hyperbook.pl/hyperbook-pulsar-z15-gtx-1050ti-p-26443.html
    https://www.illegear.com/laptops/onyx/
    https://www.fortunetechnology.com/notebooks/11811/
    https://www.mysn.de/xmg-neo-gaming-laptops/xmg-neo-15
    http://www.raiontech.com/prodotto/raionbook/gaming/raionbook-gi5/
    https://syspack.com/b-notebook-bare...DD-Sata-2-M2-GTX-1060-6GB-156-FullHD-IPS.html
    https://laptopparts4less.frl/15.6in...1060-6Gb-Coffee-Lake-game-laptop-samenstellen
    http://www.hidevolution.com/new-lap...s/17-inch-gaming-laptops?dir=desc&order=price
    http://www.eluktronics.com/MECH-15-G2


    Usefull videos













    Mods

    Bigger Battery (@david04 tested it on a GK5CN6Z )
    http://forum.notebookreview.com/thr...ongfang-gk5cn6z.815943/page-103#post-10802420
    [​IMG]



    here a guide made by
    @Blebleuh

    /!\ BE CAREFUL /!\
    None of the methods, software or tips explained here is absolutely safe. Be sure of what you do, and do it at your own risks !


    ######## Reviews and resellers are listed here
    ######## Videos about GK5CN are aggregated here (more reviews, teardowns, ingame tests, keyboard and fan noise tests, tutorials...)

    ######## Keyboard
    It is known to be very clicky and causes sometimes multiple actuation. Thanks to @lKinder_Bueno for his videos
    - Keyboard chattering fix - Against undesired multiple actuation, set the value to 100-150ms. Info found here
    - Video : DIY silent brown switch mod (semi-destructive way) + sound comparison
    - Video : DIY silent mod (very destructive way)
    - Some proper options exists (see next links), but are not publicly available yet
    - Exetrnal topic : Illegear (Malaysia) sells blue (clicky) and brown (silent) switches with 2 different caps layers, for the moment only to their clients.
    - PCS sells a 17.3" GK5CN (Recoil II) which seems to have the exact same keyboard as the 15.6", but with silent switches and sober layout.
    - XMG also sells the laptop with the sober keyboard layout (but still clicky switches)

    ######## Battery
    A bigger battery can be installed at the cost of the 2.5"" disk emplacement, increasing autonomy of about 40 to 60%
    - Link to bigger battery - worldwide shop (Hong Kong)
    - Link to bigger battery - european shop
    - Successful mods from small to big battery on GK5CN6Z by @david04 here and by @99-0 there

    ######## Noisy fans
    Fans can be normally or abnormally noisy. You can see this video (done by @lKinder_Bueno ) to get an idea of what should be a "normal" noise.
    If you think that your fans are abnormally noisy, you maybe have :
    - Turbo fan mode turned on : turn it off into the Fans settings tab of the Gaming Center (switch in the upper right corner), or via the dedicated fan button next to the power button of your laptop
    - Gaming fan mode turned on into the Fans settings tab of the Gaming Center. This mode can be a little bit noisy. If you don't need a lot of power, switch to way quieter Office mode. Keep in mind that it sets CPU power limits at 35W instead of 55 and 65 in Gaming mode.
    - a mechanical issue that can be solved by opening your computer and carefully disassemble and check the fans. Also, have a look at "Fixing the hardware issues" rubric.
    - a laptop running too hot, because of dirty fans, badly thermal pasted CPU and/or GPU, or weird performance settings.

    ######## BIOS + EC
    BE CAREFUL
    check this post
    http://forum.notebookreview.com/thr...ongfang-gk5cn6z.815943/page-109#post-10809196


    HOW TO FLASH YOUR BIOS/EC ?
    There is two main methods.
    - Easy but risky: using automatic batch installer. As this method is depreciated, you will find instructions into corresponding archives.
    - Tricky but safer: EFI boot an USB stick and install from here. See instructions below :






    ######## Gaming Center / Control Center
    (from most recent to older ones)
    - 1.2.2.2 (from Mechrevo - branded)
    - 1.2.2.1
    - 1.2.1.6 (from BTO - branded)
    - 1.1.16.4
    - 1.1.16.1 (from Mechrevo -branded)
    - 1.1.15.12 (from XMG) - no xtu service - Modded installer with regular skin and no animation
    - 1.1.15.3 (from PCS) - no xtu service

    How to disable animations ?
    There is two ways. One applies before installation, the other can be done after installation (depreciated)
    Before installation (best way) :
    - Find setup.ini in the unzipped archive you got from the download
    - Open setup.ini with a text editor
    - Locate the two lines beginning by "Animation" and "ShowAnimation" and modify them as following:
    Animation = 0x00
    ShowAnimation = 1
    - Save and close the file then run the installer
    If you didn't followed these steps before installing Gaming center, you can still disable animations by modifying the registry so way is depreciated.
    - Open the registry editor (push Win Key and type "regedit")
    - Go the following path: \HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\OEM\GamingCenter\Animation
    - Edit Animation entry by double clicking on it, set the value to 0, then press OK.
    - This will be effective on next reboot

    How to change Gaming center's appearance ?
    Some GK5CN sellers provide customized versions of the Gaming Center with a branded skin.
    You can find proper images in a clean version of the Gaming Center, as well as you can create your own if you want \o/
    Simply replace image files found in logo folder situated:
    - Before installation: in the archive you downloaded
    - After installation : C:/Program Files/OEM/GamingCenter/logo
    - New images have to keep the same name, extension and dimension as the ones they replace
    - Most of the time you only have to replace img-edm.png as well as some .ico

    ######## Drivers links
    - Mechrevo support drivers download page: Hoover the links on the right side and check the file's name to know what you're going to download
    - Eluktronics support drivers download page

    ######## Fixing some hardware issues
    Some issues (erratic on/off and behavior) regarding the keyboard, its backlights, and fans have been fixed by carefully checking mobo connections to these components and/or wiring management, as some wires might be jammed by a screw.

    Working touchpad in Linux
    Solutions to get the touchpad working under Linux have been found here.
    - For a Linux distro with 4.15 Kernel : download patches located here and run them. You may need to re-apply a few of them (especially linux-image-unsigned-4.15.0-34-generic.deb) after a system update.
    - For a Linux distro with other kernel : more info and source can be found on original page


    ######## Performance

    In-game video performances can be found in this youtube playlist, thanks to @lKinder_Bueno

    Know problems
    Some people noticed processor performance issues (low clock rate, power limits stuck at 35W...), resulting in a Cinebench score under 1000, FPS drops...
    Concerning v1.2.2.2 (might be the same - or not - for older versions) : it appears that the Gaming Center (or Control Center as logically called by XMG) is changing CPU power limits depending on the FAN mode :
    - Gaming mode : PL1=55W and PL2=65W
    - Office mode : PL1=PL2=35W
    Performance modes changes minimum and maximum CPU speed as and Windows power plans (known as My******* in Windows Power Option configuration panel).
    As far as we know:
    - Game and High Performance modes set CPU speed to full speed (between 3.8 and 4.1GHz)
    - Equilibrium Mode : variable CPU speed (up to 4.1GHz theoretically)
    - Power Saving Mode sets maximum CPU speed at 2.2GHz

    Tips to solve CPU power/performance issues, in order of troubleshooting :
    - Plug your AC adapter in !
    - In Gaming Center, switch to Gaming mode in the fans settings, and to High performance mode in the the System Monitor tab.
    - Update to last BIOS, EC and Gaming center versions. So far (early october 2018) the combination of most recent versions of BIOS (1.16), EC (1.33.09) and Gaming Center (1.2.2.2) seems to be to be the best in terms of performance. See above ######## BIOS + EC part for download links and instructions
    - Obviously, check for drivers and Windows updates
    - Give a try to OEMSev, as some laptops might be sent with a firmware power limitation that doesnt fit the used AC adapter. Instructions below.
    - Try to undervolt CPU core and cache offsets of around 125mV with Throttlestop. You should notice slightly lower temps and better perfs. A 2017 Throttlestop guide is available here while the thread with download links and a lot of useful information is there. Information about undervolting under Linux can be found here.

    OEMsev : "A tool to flash your system when changing adapter and other components."
    Found on this forum by @steberg LINK TO FILE (for GK5CN5Z and GK5CN6Z)
    steberg said:
    Most resellers sold this notebook with 150W adapter, like mine. But the power requirements is more than 150W for i7 +1060 combo. So they fixed an artificial power limit in bios.
    I guess with this program you program the bios to work with 180W adapter and it removes the power limit.
    /!\ Benefits and risks of this tweak are still uncertain /!\
    What to do :
    - Download the file and open the correct folder regarding your laptop version
    - Open F.bat with a text editor
    - Find the following line : OemServiceWinApp.exe AdpType /Set #
    - Depending on your AC adapter, replace the # at the end by : 1 (?W adapter), 2 (180W adapter), 3 (150W adapter), 4 (120W adapter)
    - Save the file and run it as administrator
    - Reboot and you're done

    ####################

    I'll try to keep this post up to date as much as I can by watching this thread and others. Please tell if you find missing or irrelevant information, as well as missing download links (especially GK5CN5Z BIOS and EC).
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2018
  2. XMG

    XMG Company Representative

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    Yes! But there are companies which already have stock, so please add the others to the OP like Dream Machines in Poland and Illegear who have stock already

    As mentioned, our version has a different keyboard and sandblast aluminium finish...i can't say more until we release our version, but this will be in a couple of weeks.
     
    Vasudev and sicily428 like this.
  3. eiraku

    eiraku Notebook Consultant

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    I'm probably getting one of these soon, will post more details when I do.

    That said, I have spent some time with a sample unit though so these are my initial thoughts.

    PROS:

    1) Runs quite cool for a 1060 "thin-and-light", even at full loads - bottom part gets around 45 degrees at the hottest point, after 20-ish minutes of Furmark (tested with an IR Thermometer). Fan curves seems not bad too, plus there's always the "panic-button" (the full fan override button) if things ever get too hot.

    2) Sturdy build (A and B panels are metal, lid cover considerably sturdier then the MSI GS series or the Clevo P950 series).

    3) 60hz screen is the same panel used on the Aero 15/15X Mk 1 (at least on the unit I tested). Not a bad panel (though not the best either).

    4) The thin bazels are deceptively sturdy, feels better then what the GS65 has (but probably worse the Aero 15's full laminated, Macbook-style screen, even if those are a PITA for maintenance).

    5) Very easy to get into for maintenance / upgrades (a few bottom screws and you're in). Also none of that upside down motherboard silliness that the equivalent MSIs have.

    6) Possibly external G-Sync capable (as the HDMI at least runs off the Nvidia rather then off the iGPU).

    7) 2x M2 NVMe slots + 2.5 SATA bay for a whole host of storage possibilities.

    8) Runs at about 40-ish dba at full (Furmark) load (tested with a phone app with my phone mic put 5cm from the right / left vents). Also, adjustable fan curves FTW.

    9) "Mechanical" KBB feels awesome to type on, but IS considerably "clicky-er" than the KBB on the GS65 (which feels mushy in comparison). However, it's an Alienware type aka "old-style" type KBB (NOT an island or chiclet type like on most other similar notebooks) so it might take a while to get used to for touch-typing.

    10) Lots of ports (3x USB 3, 1x Type-C, 2x MiniDP, 1x HDMI, 1x Ethernet, seperate Mic/Audio Jack's), BUT...

    CONS:

    1) ... no TB3 (yep, unfortunately).

    2) Card reader is of the "half-in" type and only runs at USB2.0 speeds.

    3) 3-4 hour battery life (with the current battery config, supposedly an optional config is coming that sacrifices the 2.5 bay for an extended battery).

    4) Point above is made worse by the fact that the Nvidia (rather than the iGPU) runs the HDMI connection so if you plug a HDMI screen / projector in, there WILL be higher than expected battery drain (but hey, if you're plugging it into a monitor / projector you should have a plug close right?). You do get the possibility of External Gsync out of this compromise though (see Pro #6).

    5) No Clevo-style "Flexi-Charge" (user configurable battery charge limits). At least not yet.

    6) TBH, its sliiiiiightly thicker then the Aero 15 / GS series / P950, by a few CMs (due to the rubber feet at the bottom of the case)... if that's important to you.

    7) Also, C panel is NOT metal, though the bottom fan vents are (it's like some hybrid build). I do like the plastics used though (more the GE63's textured, durable feeling material then the smooth, flimsy-ish stuff on the GS43).

    So yeah, initial thoughts. Will go even deeper once I get my unit for a full review.

    And what's an "initial thoughts" post without some teaser pics (of the sample unit, not mine):

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  4. bubuch

    bubuch Newbie

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  5. eiraku

    eiraku Notebook Consultant

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    Ooooh!

    @XMG send a unit to NBC to be reviewed, STAT!

    I mean, I will run my own in depth review on my "version" once I get mine, but I'm thinking that this little thing deserves all the coverage (and hype) it can get, under whatever name.

    Also, nice smooth finishing and concave key caps! Gives a nice touch of character to the XMG unit to be honest, a shame you guys are half-way across the world from me.

    Finally...
    ... oh yeah some confirmation at last re: External G-Sync.

    Yep, quite possibly the same AUO 144hz IPS/AVHA panel used by the Asus Strix and the GS65 (and hopefully not the LGP one on the Aero v8). The big battery option is nice too - though being the media black hole that I am I've opted for the 2.5 bay + smaller battery combo for my own unit.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2018
    Arondel, XMG and bubuch like this.
  6. Legion343

    Legion343 Notebook Consultant

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    Hmm looks interesting. I also bet this is AUO panel and as i suspected the 2.5 bay is sacrificed in favor to bigger battery.

    The KB is little strange though. It feels like mechanical but there is extra spring there which looks like it is supposed to make only clicking sound (it can be seen when you remove keycap). The KB isn't like any other laptop mechanical switches i had experienced (for example MSI GT75 or HP Omen X feel better). It might be some membrane/mechanical hybrid (i would have to destroy KB and this i can't do).

    I agree with most points made by eiraku. For more well i'm waiting for retail laptop.
     
  7. bubuch

    bubuch Newbie

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    I think buy this laptop but I would like to know if a 144hz screen is really useful with a 1060 graphics card and also if the additional capacity of the battery is really interesting in terms of autonomy.Thank you
     
  8. XMG

    XMG Company Representative

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    Look forward to seeing your review!

    We will have one with nbc as soon as we've finished our tweeking!!!!
     
  9. Prema

    Prema Your Freedom, Your Choice

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  10. eiraku

    eiraku Notebook Consultant

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    There's a pretty in depth review of the 1060 version out as well, albeit in a striking shade of silver (ugh):

    https://goo.gl/aRrHnf (direct link untranslated)

    But yeah, TongFang's web presence is pretty iffy. It took me the LONGEST time to get ANY info about them at all while searching for details on this particular laptop and the previous TongFang barebones my local folks brought in.

    @Legion343 Yeah, they don't really feel like other "mech keyboard" types but I'm chalking that up to the in-house tech they're using, which doesn't look like Cherry or Kailh or whatever - because they don't feel like membrane (or even a mech/membrane hybrid) to me either, at least in consistency of travel and response.

    Maybe it's a scissors type mech switch, I know Kaihua was working on those since last year (though it was subtly different in form)... maybe TongFang got... ehem... "inspired" by those. Or, maybe it's just something else entirely.

    @bubuch Unfortunately, no, a 1060 (and maybe not even a 1070) is probably not enough to max out a 144hz screen, except maybe for some older (and "eSport") titles. But AFAIK you CAN set the screen to refresh to 60hz if you wanted to, or you can simply go get the 60hz screen instead, which isn't too bad.

    Also, the extended battery should be good for an additional 1-2 hours minimal over the basic version, which is a decent trade off IMHO if you need the battery life.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2018
  11. bubuch

    bubuch Newbie

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    Thank you Eiraku, I had forgotten that we could switch to 60hz...
    I read the test and if it’s right temperatures are very correct!
    3 hours battery life, 4h expected with the modification. Pretty nice
     
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