Metabox P950HP Review- Gaming Laptop Benchmarks. We’re going to check out the P950HP laptop from Metabox’s Prime-S series and find just how well it performs in games and various benchmarks. Metabox are an Australian company who specialise in high end custom laptops, basically you pick the model you’re after and then you can customize it to get it how you want.
Inside the box we’ve got a slim power brick and cable, instruction manual, warranty information, driver CD, and of course the laptop itself. First we’ll cover the basic specs of the laptop, keep in mind that you can customize these quite a bit when ordering online to meet your requirements, so you might end up with something a little different.
In this configuration there’s an Intel 7700HQ CPU, which is a quad core Kabylake chip running at 2.8GHz that can turbo up to 3.8Ghz. There’s 16GB of DDR4 RAM running at 2,400MHz, and for storage there’s a Crucial MX300 275GB SATA 3 M.2 SSD which is running Windows 10 pro, and an additional 1TB 5,400RPM drive for additional storage. For the graphics there’s an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 with 6GB of GDDR5 memory, which I think is a good match for the 15.6” 60Hz 1080p IPS panel, more on that in the benchmarks.
As for network connectivity there’s a built in gigabit ethernet port, and Intel 8265 AC dual band WiFi card which also supports Bluetooth 4.2. All of this hardware is sitting inside a Clevo body, which has a black metallic look to it. I’ve got to say, this is the 7th Metabox laptop that I’ve reviewed now, and the body of the laptop is the best yet, it both looks and feels great.
The physical dimensions of the laptop are 38cm in width, 25.2cm in depth, but most interestingly just 18.6mm in height, so the laptop is fairly thin considering the power it’s packing. The total weight of the base model with battery is advertised at 1.9KG, however this can vary based on your hardware selection. My particular configuration with the additional hard drive weighs 2.2KG, and with the power brick and cable the total increases to 2.86KG, making it a fairly portable gaming laptop. As I’ve come to expect from Metabox laptops, the screen looks really nice, as mentioned it’s a 1080p 60Hz IPS panel.
You can optionally upgrade to 4K, but in my experience that doesn’t look so great in Windows due to scaling issues. Additionally in this model you can’t upgrade the graphics card above the 1060, which probably isn’t the best match for a 4K panel if you plan on gaming at 4K, however I’d argue that the 1060 is a great match up for 1080p, as we’ll see in the benchmarks.
In this particular model, G-Sync only appears to be available with the 4K panel, so I don’t have that here. 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 you can see here it passes with flying colours, or should that be blacks? Anyway, there’s basically no noticeable backlight bleed here at all which is great to see, though your results may vary.
The brightness of the screen can be adjusted quite a bit, and the viewing angles are pretty good, no matter what angle I view the screen from I can clearly see all details and colours without any issues. The surface of the screen has a matte finish to it, which I personally prefer as you can more easily see what you’re doing despite your lighting situation, as reflections are harder to see. While moving the display I also found that there was only a little flex, overall it was fairly solid.
Above the display is an inbuilt 2MP camera which is capable of full HD 1080p video. As expected the quality isn’t anything special, but it’s not too bad with good lighting, I think the inbuilt microphone sounds pretty good, but you can judge for yourself. The keyboard’s great, I like the smooth texture of the keys and overall enjoy typing on it.
The keys don’t make too much noise and feel nice to press. It’s a full sized keyboard with numpad, and all of the keys are RGB backlit, allowing you to customize the overall look, although you can only customize groups of keys together, rather than the lighting of individual keys. I found a little flex to the keyboard when pushing down quite hard, but I don’t think it’s a big deal, it’s fine under normal use and still feels sturdy.
The touchpad was great to use too, it worked perfectly right to all edges. I liked the texture and found the buttons clicky enough and easy to press without being too noisy. The fingerprint scanner is also located toward the top left corner of the touch pad. There’s a couple of built in front facing speakers just under the display, they look a little small and to be honest they don’t sound that great. There’s basically no bass and they sound a little tinny. They’ll get the job done, but I’d recommend sticking to headphones here.
Now let’s check out the available I/O. On the left there’s the DC power input, HDMI port, 2 Mini DisplayPort 1.3 outputs, 2 USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C ports, and 2 USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A ports, one of which is powered. Over on the right there’s 3.5mm microphone and headphone jacks, another USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A port, 6 in 1 SD Card reader, Gigabit ethernet port, and Kensington lock. To use the ethernet port you have to push the plastic down first to get the cable in.
The front only features some basic status LEDs, while the back has nothing except some air exhaust vents. Up on top there’s a subtle white lighting pattern which doesn’t appear to be customizable. I found that it did a good job of collecting fingerprints, nothing the included microfiber cloth couldn’t handle. Underneath there’s some air intakes to keep everything 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 up slightly to help let cool air in. There’s a 55Wh battery, and 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 4 hours and 8 minutes.
While playing the Witcher 3 with medium settings the battery lasted just 52 minutes, which I think this is fair for the size of the laptop, remember there’s going to be a tradeoff between battery size and laptop size, and this laptop is on the thinner side. I didn’t have any major issues with the temperatures, which I was a little concerned about considering the specs in such a thin laptop with limited cooling space.
During normal use with an ambient room temperature of 17 degrees celsius, the four CPU cores idled at 28 degrees celsius, while the GPU idled at 47. During benchmarking with the same room temperature, the CPU reached a maximum of 75 degrees celsius, while the GPU peaked at 77. I left the tests going for over an hour and the temps had stabilised by that time. The laptop was quite warm to the touch, no issues gaming on a table but I wouldn’t want it on my lap for long. I also found the laptop fairly quiet, at idle it sat around the 28 decibel mark and I could barely hear it.
While running my benchmarks it went up to 50 decibels, and when I manually maxed out the fans it peaked at around 57 decibels. I’ll also note that while gaming there was a little noticeable coil whine, but nothing too serious. Finally let’s take a look at some benchmarks, we’ll first cover some real world gaming benchmarks followed by tests with various benchmarking tools. All tests were done with all Windows and Nvidia updates to date installed.
In battlefield 1 with the Ultra preset and Direct X 11 at 1080p we managed to get 71 FPS, not bad. In GTA 5 with VSync disabled, FXAA on and MSAA set to 8 at 1080p, we averaged 53 FPS. Just under that magical 60 FPS number, however it still looked great and played well. In The Witcher 3 with the Ultra preset, VSync and Hairworks disabled at 1080p, we averaged just 37 FPS. Upon dialing back slightly to the high preset we went to 53 FPS. Watchdogs 2 with the ultra preset at 1080p was only able to get 37 FPS, even at low settings we didn’t pass 48 FPS, the CPU appears to be the bottleneck as all cores were maxed out while playing, despite this it was still very playable.
Ashes of the singularity averaged 47 FPS with the high preset, and again it was quite CPU intensive, maxing out all cores. Shadow of Mordor at 1080p with Ultra settings averaged 89 FPS no problem. Rise of the tomb raider with the very high preset averaged perfectly on 60 FPS. Ghost Recon ran at 34 FPS with the ultra preset, however we could increase that to 58 FPS with the high preset.
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. In Heaven benchmark with the quality set to ultra, tessellation set to extreme, and anti-aliasing set to x8 at 1080p, the laptop averaged 56 FPS. Valley benchmark was a little behind, with the quality set to ultra and anti-aliasing on x8 at 1080p, the laptop averaged 53 FPS. I ran both the Fire Strike and Time Spy benchmarks from 3DMark and got scores of 9,408 and 3,534 respectively.
Most of the games were able to run around 60 FPS at high settings, some even surpassed this with max settings. I’ve said in the past that the 1060 seems to be a really good sweet spot for 60 FPS gaming and I still stand by this. In my tests here we’re definitely around that mark, while some games didn’t quite reach 60 you could easily lower the graphics a little to hit it.
In Crystal Disk Mark the SSD performed around 532 MB/s in sequential reads and 465MB/s in sequential writes.This is to be expected from a modern SATA 3 based SSD, you can optionally upgrade to a faster PCIe based disk though. There’s also a 2.5” drive bay which as mentioned contains a 1TB hard drive. It only gets around 143 MB/s in sequential reads and 137 MB/s in sequential writes which is about all you’re going to get from a 5,400RPM drive.
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’ve been helpful over the phone when troubleshooting a problem. Overall I think that the P950HP is really good, definitely my favourite laptop from Metabox that I’ve looked at yet.
The size does seem to sacrifice a little battery when compared to other 15” laptops that I’ve tested, but that’s always a trade off. I really like how thin it is, the metallic feel of it, and of course the hardware specs which are decent enough to get you to the 60 FPS sweet spot in 1080p gaming with high to max settings, however that comes at a bit of a price. The P950HP laptop with base configuration starts at $2,249 AUD at the time of recording, so about $1,790 USD for my international viewers. Many of the components can be further upgraded to suit your needs, so the final price will depend on your custom selection.
You can check out their website at metabox.com.au and customize your own laptop based on what you’re after, and I’ve left a link in the post description for this specific model. So what did you guys think of the P950HP laptop from Metabox? I’ve found it to be pretty powerful, smashing popular games at high settings around 60 FPS while still being fairly thin, lightweight and portable.
Let me know what you guys thought down in the comments, or simply leave a share on the post to let me know what you thought. Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to bookmark for future tech reviews like this one.