Metabox P870KM-G 17” Laptop Review.
Metabox P870KM-G 17” Laptop Review – Benchmarks and Overclocking. We’re going to take a look at the P870KM-G laptop from Metabox, an Australian company that specialise in custom high-end laptops. What makes this laptop interesting is that it’s got an Intel 7700K CPU, which is typically a desktop processor, as well as dual Nvidia 1070s in SLI.
The laptop was delivered in two separate packages, the smaller package contained the first power brick, while the main package contained the laptop itself, the second power brick, all necessary cables as well as manuals, driver CD and warranty information. Out of the box, my first impressions are that this thing is huge, and weighs quite a bit! It’s a 17” laptop with some seriously powerful hardware inside, so that’s to be expected.
In terms of specs as mentioned there’s an Intel 7700K CPU at 4.2GHz which can turbo up to 4.5GHz. It’s got a Z270 chipset so you can overclock the CPU if you like, which let’s face it, if you’re buying a 7700K you probably plan on doing. I’ve included overclocking results in the benchmarks which we’ll get to shortly. There’s 16GB of DDR4 memory at 2400MHz, for storage there’s a 512GB Hynix SATA3 M.2 SSD which runs the Windows 10 operating system.
There’s even TPM 2.0 available if you’re going to be using full disk encryption with something like Bitlocker. Finally for graphics there’s not one, but two Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070’s with 8GB of GDDR5 memory. The display is a 17.3” 1080p IPS WVA 120Hz LED-backlit panel with a matte finish, unfortunately there’s no G-Sync in this one, however it is an option with the other available panels if you’re after it. For network connectivity there’s two gigabit ethernet ports, and for wireless there’s an Intel 8265 AC WiFi card with Bluetooth.
Keep in mind that the specs of the laptop can be quite different, as there are a lot of customizations that you can make when ordering. All of this hardware is placed into a Clevo case, which is made out of black plastic. The overall build quality is pretty nice, it feels really solid. The physical dimensions of the laptop are 42.8cm (w) x 30.8 cm (d) x 4.7cm (h), so it’s definitely on the thicker side as far as laptops go.
The total weight of the laptop is 5.6KG, and when combined with the dual power bricks and all required cables to charge the total goes up to 8.6KG. Keep in mind that the total weight will depend on the components that you select, such as additional hard drives. This one is quite heavy and not really something I’d personally want to have to move around very often. It wouldn’t be an issue to take to the occasional LAN party for instance, but if I was back at uni I wouldn’t want to lug it around all day that’s for sure!
The screen looks pretty good, it’s been awhile since I’ve used a 17” laptop and I found the larger size quite refreshing. Speaking of refreshing, the panel has a 120Hz refresh rate which is definitely ideal given the serious graphics power that it’s packing. When viewed from sharp angles you can still clearly see everything, however the colours start to slightly change which I had no issues with.
The brightness can be adjusted quite a bit, and the surface of the screen has a matte finish to it, allowing you to see what you’re doing regardless of the lighting situation as there’s less reflections shown. I found that there was very little flex to the display, again the whole thing felt quite solid. I performed my usual backlight bleed test, which involves having the display show a pure black image.
I then take a photo exposed for a few seconds using my camera with the lights off. This allows us to easily see any present backlight bleed, however it’s important to note that this really is a worst case extreme scenario. In this case we can see a little bleed around the edges but nothing too major, I didn’t notice it at all during normal use. Above the display is the inbuilt 2MP camera which is capable of 1080p video.
While the quality isn’t that great, which seems to be pretty common with inbuilt laptop cameras, it’ll be enough to get the job done in tasks like video chat. Under the display are two 2 watt speakers, which actually sound pretty good in combination with the subwoofer underneath, definitely above average in terms of maximum volume while still sounding clear, bass, and overall quality as far as laptop speakers are concerned. Even with the lid of the laptop fully closed, the two speakers are still available so you can listen to music just as clearly with the lid shut.
The keyboard has been really nice to type on, it’s a full keyboard with numpad and features customizable RGB backlighting. I found very little flex when pushing quite hard on the keys, as mentioned previously the whole laptop is quite solid. As with previous Metabox laptops that I’ve reviewed, the RGB lighting is controlled by the provided Flexikey software, which has its limitations. You can control the colours of different groups of keys rather than individual keys, and apply a few simple effects.
What I found interesting this time around was that the software also controls the lighting present on the top of the lid, which I personally think looks pretty awesome. Although you’re limited in the colours that you can select when compared to customizing the keyboard, I think there are enough colours and the breathing effect is pretty cool. Just above the keyboard is the power button, which has a cool light up effect when you press it to power the laptop on.
There are also some indicator LEDs for hard drive activity, num, caps, and scroll lock. The touchpad works pretty well, however as the laptop is larger than the usual 15” ones that I’m familiar with it took some getting used to the positions of the left and right keys as they were a little further up than I’m used to, so initially I kept missing the buttons, however I got used to the new positioning pretty quick.
There’s also an integrated fingerprint reader in the top left corner of the touchpad within the blue rectangle. Now let’s take a look at the I/O that’s available. On the left there are two gigabit ethernet ports, three USB 3.1 gen 1 Type-A ports, one of which is powered, followed by various audio input and outputs which include line-in, S/PDIF, microphone, and headphone jacks.
On the right there’s a USB 3.1 gen 1 Type-A port, 6 in 1 card reader, two thunderbolt 3 USB 3.1 gen 2 Type-C ports, two mini DisplayPort 1.3 out ports, and kensington lock. The front only features some status LEDs as well as air intakes for the fans. While the back has a HDMI 2.0 port, the 5th USB 3.1 gen 1 Type-A port, and DC power in. There’s also a hexagonal pattern grill along the whole back which I think looks pretty cool.
Underneath there’s the subwoofer, a bunch of air intakes to help keep the components cool, as well as some rubber feet which both stop the laptop from moving around on flat surfaces when in use, and also rise it a little to let cool air in. It’s advised that you only plug both power bricks into the power input rather than just one. This is done by first plugging both power bricks into the included adapter, and then plugging the adapter into the laptop itself, both of the power bricks then plug into the wall, the adapter will light up showing which sides are receiving power.
While I expected the laptop to require a lot of power with the 7700K and dual 1070 graphics cards I didn’t expect dual power bricks to be needed, so this is definitely my first experience needing two and I think it makes the whole thing somewhat less portable as a laptop unless you’re just going to run purely off of battery power, as that’s quite a lot of charging gear you’d need to carry with you, an extra 3KG worth to be exact.
The included battery is an 8 cell Lithium-Ion battery rated at 89 Watt Hours. With a full charge and doing basic tasks such as web browsing with the screen on half brightness, keyboard and lid lighting off, and no overclocking, Windows 10 initially estimated that it would last for approximately 3 hours and 45 minutes. I was able to use the laptop for just under 3 hours before it ran out of power in my testing. As expected that’s not too impressive, however considering the high specs inside the laptop, I don’t think battery efficiency is the goal here, performance is, which of course requires more power, it’s a tradeoff.
During the testing I wasn’t doing anything graphically intensive, so in theory the integrated Intel graphics from the CPU should have been in use rather than the higher power 1070s thanks to Nvidia’s Optimus technology. While gaming on battery power the estimate quickly dropped, I was able to play for just under an hour before running out of power.
Considering the high specs of the machine I think that overall the battery life is acceptable, and should allow you to get a few things done on a full charge with the exception of hardcore gaming which shouldn’t be surprising in general with gaming laptops packing these kind of specs. So with all of that in mind how is the laptop to actually use? While using the laptop normally I’ve found the performance to be excellent which is to be expected based on the high end specs.
I’m running Windows 10 Home edition on this and have not had any slowness or delay at all while using the OS or installed programs, the overall experience has been fantastic. Everything would basically be perfect if I never had to move it, which can be challenging due to the size and weight. Now let’s get into those benchmarks, I was excited to do these as this was my first experience with Nvidia’s SLI in a laptop. First we’ll cover some gaming benchmarks followed by synthetic tests.
The Nvidia drivers installed were version 381.65 which are the latest at the time of this recording, all available Windows updates are also installed. I’ve run all of the tests with the 7700K at stock clock speeds, as well as overclocked to 4.9GHz, which was as high as I was able to get it stable in this laptop, so you should be able to see how much extra performance can be gained from overclocking the CPU in games.
Although the CPU wasn’t maxed out during any of my tests, the higher clock speed should still allow it to complete CPU bound tasks faster. In GTA 5 I have disabled VSync and tested with FXAA on with MSAA set to x8 with a 1080p resolution. We can see that even with these settings we still averaged 86 FPS, with the CPU overclocked the average increased to 101 FPS, quite a decent jump. In the Witcher 3 I used the Ultra preset, disabled VSync and NVIDIA Hairworks, and again ran at the full 1080p resolution.
With these settings I was able to get an average of 108 FPS, and with the CPU overclocked this increased only slightly to 115 FPS. In Shadow of Mordor with ultra settings at 1080p we averaged 169 FPS, interestingly I got the same result with the CPU overclocked, however neither the CPU or GPUs were fully maxed out.
The first two cores of the CPU were quite close at around 90% utilization, and no thermal limits were reached either, everything was running quite cool at the time of testing so perhaps it was simply a limitation of the game? Regardless I can’t complain about 169 FPS. Now onto the synthetic benchmarking tools, while a useful indicator note that these results are considered to be less practical compared to the real world gaming results previously shown.
In Heaven benchmark with the quality set to ultra, tessellation set to extreme, and anti-aliasing set to x8 at 1080p, the 1070s averaged 152 FPS with the CPU at stock speeds. With the CPU overclocked this increased to 161 FPS. It’s a similar story in Valley benchmark, with the quality set to ultra and anti-aliasing on x8 at 1080p, the 1070s managed to average 112 FPS. With the CPU overclocked this increased to 123 FPS.
The PassMark benchmark resulted in a score of 10,621 for the CPU, 11,566 for the 3D graphics, and 5,428 for the overall score putting this laptop into the 97th percentile of all results, very impressive! With the CPU overclocked we got a slight increase to 11,150 for the CPU, 13,127 for the 3D graphics, and 5,622 for the overall score, increasing us to the top 98th percentile of all results.
I ran the both the Fire Strike and Time Spy benchmarks from 3DMark and got scores of 21,207 and 9,082 respectively, I’ll leave a link to the full results in the post description. These results are 98% better than all others in Firestrike and 95% better than all other Timespy results, again pretty impressive for a laptop. With overclocking they increased to 22,147 and 9,129. As the refresh rate of the display is 120Hz and the 1070s in SLI are able to run current games on max settings well above 60Hz I definitely suggest getting a 120Hz panel if you’re getting SLI.
You should even be able to have a fairly good experience at 4K with this hardware, however it’s hard for me to recommend a 4K panel in a laptop, Windows scaling is still pretty bad and overall it’s not the best experience. A larger external monitor with high resolution on the other hand would work very well here. I didn’t have any major problems with heat surprisingly, even while using the laptop sitting on my lap while performing benchmarks the bottom side of it didn’t heat up too much, although due to the weight I don’t recommend doing that for too long. it seems quite good at efficiently dissipating the heat, the only warm part was the bottom toward the back.
I can feel it sucking in air through the front, and there’s heaps of warm air being exhausted out the back. With an ambient room temperature of 20c, while sitting at idle the CPU was 27c while the GPUs were around the 43c mark. While benchmarking the CPU got to 81c while the GPUs maxed out at 80c. With the CPU overclocked the maximum temperature rose to 99c, pretty crazy! I don’t think I’d leave the overclock in place as the performance increases in my testing weren’t that great.
You could of course manually increase the fan speed to get cooler temps if you don’t mind the additional noise, the fans can get pretty loud. During normal operation the laptop is actually fairly quiet, at idle it sat around the 37 decibel mark as you can see here. While running my benchmarks it went up to around 62 decibels, from there it only increased another 1 or 2 decibels when I manually maxed out all fans. Note that I had the microphone pretty close to the exhaust vent near the back of the laptop so I consider this to be a worst case scenario test.
At complete idle although the fans were slightly audible it was hardly noticeable to me, however during the benchmarking while playing games it was definitely fairly loud, although I had no issues with my headphones on. In Crystal Disk Mark the SSD performed around 560MB/s in sequential reads and 470MB/s for sequential writes, so about what you’d expect for a SATA 3 based SSD.
You can of course upgrade to even faster PCI Express based storage, there are 3 M.2 slots and 2 2.5” drive bays in total so you can add additional storage. The laptop comes with a 2 year warranty with the option of extending to 3 years, and in the past I’ve found dealing with Metabox support to be a great experience overall. They were helpful over the phone when troubleshooting a problem, and the first year of the platinum warranty includes the shipping cost if you need to send the laptop back for any reason for repair.
The Metabox P870KM-G is a very powerful laptop which is capable of running current games at high frame rates with maximum settings easily thanks to the overclockable 7700K CPU and dual Nvidia 1070s in SLI. The P870KM-G starts at $4,049 AUD at the time of recording, which is around $3000 USD for my non Australian viewers. Most of the components can be further upgraded or modified to suit your needs, so the final price will depend on your custom selection. If you’re really crazy you can even upgrade both graphics cards to 1080s!
You can check out their website at metabox.com.au and customize your own high-end laptop, I’ve left a link in the post description for this specific model if you’re interested. So what did you guys think of the P870KM-G laptop from Metabox? While I’m extremely impressed with the amount of gaming power on offer I’m not generally a fan of 17” laptops, as they are larger and heavier. That may just be because I’m lazy and prefer portability, however if you’re after extremely high power while still having a degree of portability then this is worth taking a look at.