Metabox P870TM-G Gaming Laptop Reviews
Metabox P870TM-G Gaming Laptop Reviews . I’ve got something kind of insane, this is the P870TM-G gaming laptop from Metabox, and it’s got a full desktop 8700K 6 core overclockable CPU inside, as well as two 1070s in SLI. We’ll find out how the laptop performs through a number of benchmarks and find out if it’s worth considering for the price.
We’ve actually got two boxes here, there’s a smaller box just for one of the two power bricks. Inside the main box we of course have the laptop itself, and then in the interior box there’s the second power brick and charging cables, as well as usual manual and drivers. You can customize this laptop quite a bit while ordering, so let’s first cover the specs of the configuration I’ve got here.
As mentioned there’s an Intel 8700K Coffee Lake CPU, which runs at 3.7GHz and can turbo up to 4.7GHz. It’s got 6 CPU cores and 12 total threads with hyperthreading, and can of course be overclocked, more on that in the benchmarks. This only recently launched so it’s crazy to see it in a laptop already! As for RAM there’s 16GB of DDR4 memory running at 2,400MHz, but that’s only using one of the four available slots, you can max it out at 64GB.
For storage there’s a 525GB Crucial M.2 SATA3 SSD and a 1TB Seagate 2.5” hard drive installed, however you’ve got 3 M.2 slots and 2 2.5” bays in total, with the option of upgrading to faster PCIe based storage. For the graphics there’s two Nvidia 1070s in dual SLI here, however you can save some money and just get one 1070, or optionally upgrade to a single 1080 or dual 1080s in SLI if you’re a baller, and these power the 17.3 inch 1080p IPS panel.
As for the network connectivity there’s two gigabit ethernet ports and Intel 8265 AC dual band WiFi with Bluetooth 4.2 support. The entire laptop has a matte black look to it and it feels like a tank. The physical dimensions of the laptop are 42.8cm in width, 30.8cm in depth, and 4.5cm in height, so it’s pretty thick. The weight of the laptop will of course differ based on the hardware installed, and it’s listed on the website as weighing 5.5KG for the base model.
While testing this I found that the one I’ve got here weighed just a little more at 5.6KG, and when including both of the power bricks and all required cables for powering the laptop the total increases to around 8.6KG, so not only does it look and feel like a tank, it also feels as heavy as one. As mentioned the screen is a 17.3 inch 60Hz 1080p IPS panel and has G-Sync, however I found mine to actually run at 75Hz which was a nice bonus. If I was personally buying this I’d recommend upgrading to the 120Hz 1440P panel though, more on that in the benchmarks.
The screen looks great on all angles, I don’t notice any colour shift up or down, or side to side. The screen also has a matte finish, which I personally prefer as it helps reduce reflections. I’ve also measured the colours produced by the screen using the Spyder 5 Pro, and my results returned 92% of sRGB, 68% of NTSC and 71% of AdobeRGB, so pretty good compared to other laptops I’ve tested. I’ve performed my usual backlight bleed test on the display, which involves having the laptop show a completely black screen in a dark room to help emphasize any bleeding around the edges.
I then take a long exposure photo with my camera to help display any bleed, so basically this is a worst case scenario test. As we can see there’s no bleed detected, even in a dark room everything was lit evenly, although this will of course vary from laptop to laptop. While moving the display there was an average amount of flex, overall I’d say it felt fairly solid as it was quite thick.
The little flex is probably due to the hinge mechanism which attaches to the base of the laptop in the middle rather than the sides, and as you probably assumed the base of the laptop is heavy enough to allow for one finger opening. Above the display is a 1080p camera which is capable of 30 FPS video. The camera looks alright, although it’s still a little grainy even with some lighting, the microphone on the other hand sounds pretty good, but I’ll let you judge for yourself.
The speakers sound pretty good too, there’s two near the back on top which don’t get covered even with the laptop lid closed. Combined with the two subwoofers underneath there’s a fair amount of bass and they can get quite loud, although they don’t sound as clear at higher volumes. The keyboard was nice to type with, the keys were slightly clicky and quiet and I had no problems using it.
The keys are RGB backlit, however you can only customize it in three separate areas rather than down to the individual key, and there are a few different lighting effects available. There was almost no keyboard flex at all here even while pushing down fairly hard thanks to that solid body, it feels extremely sturdy which I expected based on its weight.
The touchpad has a light matte texture to it, and has physically separate left and right buttons, which like the keyboard were fairly quiet, and there’s a fingerprint reader in the top left corner of the touchpad. I also found the keyboard and touchpad area to do a decent job at hiding fingerprints owing to that matte texture, it seems to be the same material as the lid so it’s a similar story there, nothing a quick wipe couldn’t fix in any case.
Speaking of the lid there are some lights towards either side which can be controlled through software, although you can only set 7 different colours, either way it still looks kind of cool. As for the available I/O starting on the left side we’ve got those two gigabit ethernet ports previously mentioned, three USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A ports, and 3.5mm headphone, microphone, line-in and SPDIF jacks. On the right there’s another USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A port, SD card reader, two USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C ports with Thunderbolt 3, two mini DisplayPort 1.3 outputs, and kensington lock.
The front features what appears to be air intakes as well as some status LEDs, while the back has heaps of air exhaust vents, a HDMI 2.0 output, and another USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A port. Underneath was fairly clean, it’s mostly covered in air intakes and there are two subwoofers towards the left and right. There are some thick rubber feet which help prevent the laptop from moving around on flat surfaces, and also rise it up slightly to help let cool air in. Powering the laptop is a 89 Watt hour 8 cell battery, and you’d expect a massive laptop of this size to have a larger battery.
With a full charge and doing basic tasks such as browsing the Internet and watching YouTube with the screen on around half brightness, keyboard lighting off and background apps disabled, I was able to use it for 2 hours and 3 minutes, not that great for general tasks as I don’t think it’s swapping from the 1070s to built in graphics. While playing the Witcher 3 with medium settings the battery lasted for 58 and a half minutes, pretty good considering it wasn’t possible to use Nvidia’s battery boost as SLI isn’t supported, so it was running at 120 FPS on battery until about 30% where it dropped down to around 30 FPS.
Of course with that said, if you’re looking at a laptop of this size it’s unlikely you’ll be transporting it and actually running off battery power very often anyway. To run it off power you need to plug in both of the power bricks to the included connector, which then plugs into the back of the laptop. During normal use with an ambient room temperature of 23 degrees celsius, at stock speeds the CPU idled at 44 degrees celsius.
The first GPU idled at 45 degrees celsius, while the second one idled at 41c. During idle the total sound coming from the laptop was measured at 38 decibels, it was quiet but definitely noticeable, here’s what that sounded like. Using a thermal camera we can see what the external temps of the laptop look like where you’ll actually be putting your hands. With all 6 CPU cores and both 1070s maxed out, the CPU shot up to 98c while GPU 1 was 90c and GPU 2 was 86c.
Here’s what the external temps of the laptop looked like at full load, as you can see the keyboard area got quite warm. While maxed out the laptop was sitting around 48 decibels, and here’s how that sounded. This is actually quieter than a lot of lower spec’d laptops that I’ve tested, however I did notice the CPU was throttling by up to 30% in order to keep the temperatures under control, so that explains why it was running quieter.
The default fan profiles didn’t seem to be preventing the throttling, granted it only seemed to happen with both a CPU and GPU workload, the CPU was fine while the GPUs did nothing. I next manually set all the fans to 100% and we can see that the overall noise levels rose significantly to 62 decibels which is pretty loud, here’s what that sounded like. We can also see that the external areas of the laptop have cooled down a bit now as well. With the fans sped up there was now no more throttling, and even under max load the temps dropped down to 78c on the CPU, and 67c on GPU 1 and 63c for GPU 2, much better.
You probably don’t need to max out the fans, and it should be possible to tweak the fan profile to get a sweet spot where the fans aren’t too loud and the components aren’t too hot, I’m just demonstrating the extremes here. So all those tests were at stock speeds, next I did the same tests with all 6 CPU cores overclocked to 5GHz, and both 1070s had a 200Mhz core overclock.
At idle the temps and system volume were the same as before, but this time with the CPU and both GPUs maxed out the fans finally needed to speed up to keep things cool, we can see that the system volume rose to around 59 decibels, just 3 short of when we manually maxed out the fans so still quite loud, and here’s what that sounded like. The CPU was averaging 96c while overclocked, and it was throttling but only by 5% this time. GPU 1 was at 81c while GPU 2 was at 77c, so not too bad there.
The CPU throttling also disappeared as soon as the GPU load disappeared, and if we manually max out the fans even while overclocked no throttling was observed, so even with decent overclocks you are able to get full performance, as long as you can deal with the loud noise. Finally let’s check out some benchmarks, we’ll first cover some real world gaming benchmarks followed by tests with various benchmarking tools. I’m going to include results both with and without the overclocking, as mentioned while overclocked the CPU was running at 5GHz on all six cores while both 1070s had a 200Mhz overclock applied.
Starting with PUBG we can see that even with max settings we’re getting well above what the display is capable of, and the overclock is giving a nice boost to performance. It’s important to keep in mind that this game is difficult to accurately benchmark is it greatly depends on what’s going on in the game, so take these results with a level 3 grain of salt.
The Witcher 3 is also running very well, even at ultra settings it’s averaging above 60 FPS, and the overclock is giving us a nice boost in performance which is much more noticeable at the lower setting levels. Shadow of war is performing in a similar manner, over 60 FPS at max settings with a healthy little boost once the overclock is applied. Watchdogs 2 played great even at max settings, this is a fairly resource intensive game so it was nice to be able to get over 60 FPS on average even with ultra settings. The overclock doesn’t seem to make as big of a difference here compared to the other games though.
Meanwhile battlefield 1 is achieving over 120 FPS even at ultra settings without overclocking, pretty impressive. Again the overclock is giving us a little performance boost, but it’s not really needed at this resolution. Ghost recon is another resource intensive game, and even with ultra settings we almost got to a 60 FPS average, quite impressive, although I’d probably be looking to play at very high settings or lower.
Rise of the tomb raider is also getting good results, well over 80 FPS on average at max settings and overclocking just turns things up slightly further giving an additional 14% performance increase. Ashes of the singularity is another fairly resource intensive game, and with the overclock we only saw a 2% performance increase here, much lower compared to the other titles tested. From these gaming tests on average the CPU and GPU overclock is giving us approximately 14.5% of a performance boost, not bad.
Considering the specs we’ve got in the laptop I find it hard to recommend getting with a 60Hz 1080p screen, as it can consistently push much higher frame rates in many current games at max settings. I’d be looking at the 1440p 120Hz panel upgrade, unless of course you’d be instead plugging in an external higher refresh rate monitor in order to take advantage of the serious power. Now onto the benchmarking tools, while a useful indicator note that these results are less practical compared to the real world gaming results previously shown, especially when SLI comes into play. This is how the laptop performed in Heaven benchmark with the tessellation set to extreme, and anti-aliasing set to x8, and this is how Valley benchmark performed with anti-aliasing on x8 at various graphics settings.
Likewise here’s how Unigines newest Superposition benchmark performed at different levels. For the last graphics benchmarks I ran a few tests from 3DMark. These are the results for Fire Strike, Time Spy, and VRMark both at stock speeds and with the overclocks applied. Here are a few CPU bound benchmarks, outlining what the 8700K is capable of compared to the 7700HQ, which was in just about every laptop I’ve tested over the last 12 months, so it’s not even that old and is still very common. These results should let you see the differences that you can expect with the desktop coffee lake CPU.
In Crystal Disk Mark the 525GB SATA3 SSD performed around 530MB/s in sequential reads and 450MB/s in sequential writes. The 1TB hard drive gets just under 130MB/s in sequential reads and 80MB/s in sequential writes, which is about all you’ll get from a mechanical drive. As mentioned you can upgrade all the way up to Samsung 960 Pro SSD’s, so if you want more performance it’s available. In this exact configuration the laptop comes in at around $4450 AUD at the time of recording, so about $3430 USD for my international viewers.
This will of course vary quite a bit depending on your hardware selection, with the base options it starts at around $3500 AUD, so you can save money by lowering the specs. So what did you guys think of the P870TM-G gaming laptop from Metabox? Although I think it’s very expensive and weighs a ton, you have to admit the hardware packed inside it is very impressive. I just built a desktop with an 8700K and to see those six overclockable cores in an at least a somewhat portable form factor is very interesting. If you’re after a legitimate desktop replacement then you’re looking at a possible option, just make sure you also invest in a good pair of closed back headphones for the fan noise if you plan on overclocking!
Let me know what you guys thought down in the comments, simply leave a share it if useful.