Metabox P955HQ1 Review . We’re going to take a look at the P955HQ1 workstation laptop from Metabox. We’ll see how it performs through a series of benchmarks, and help you decide if it’s something you should consider. Laptop Review and Benchmarks. Inside the box we’ve got the laptop itself, manual and warranty information, driver CD, micro fiber cloth, and the power brick and cable.
Let’s start off with the specs of the laptop, keeping in mind that you can customize it while ordering. In my configuration there’s an Intel 7700HQ quad core Kabylake CPU which runs at 2.8GHz and can turbo up to 3.8Ghz. I’ve got 16GB of DDR4 memory running at 2,400MHz here, but the two slots can support up to 32GB. For storage there’s a Samsung 960 EVO 250GB PCIe M.2 SSD, although there are also lower end SSD options available if you want to save some money. There’s also a secondary 1TB 5,400 RPM hard drive installed for additional space.
What makes this laptop different to others I’ve looked at previously is that it’s got an Nvidia Quadro P3000 graphics card, as it’s designed to be a workstation rather than your typical gaming laptop. I’m still going to perform some gaming benchmarks in addition to more professional workloads, as I’m sure people will want to see how it performs. For the screen there’s a 15.6 inch 1080p display which can optionally be upgraded to 4K.
As for network connectivity there’s a gigabit ethernet port on the right which needs to be pulled down to access, and an intel dual band wireless-AC 8265 card for WiFi with Bluetooth 4.0. The whole body of the laptop has a black matte finish and is made from aluminium, or aluminium depending on where you’re from, which makes it feel nice and solid while remaining relatively light weight.
The physical dimensions of the laptop are 38cm in width, 25.4cm in depth, and just 1.86cm in height, so it’s also fairly thin. The weight of the laptop will of course differ based on your custom hardware selection, and the website lists it as 2KG with a barebones configuration. In the configuration I’ve got here I found it to weigh around 2.25KG, and once you add the power brick and cable it’s around 2.9KG total, so still quite portable for a 15 inch laptop.
As mentioned the screen is a 15.6 inch 1080p display, it’s an IPS panel and runs at 60Hz. As an IPS panel it looks great on all angles, side to side or up and down, I can clearly see all colours without any noticeable colour shift. The screen also has a matte finish to it, 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 the results returned 91% of sRGB, 66% of NTSC, and 70% of AdobeRGB.
This is the second laptop display I’ve tested with this tool, so I don’t have much to say other than it did better than the recent Dell 7577 laptop that I 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. We can see there’s a little bleed towards the top right and left corners, and I did notice the right corner a little in dark scenes.
This type of thing will differ laptop to laptop, so your results will vary. While moving the display there was only minor flex, overall it felt fairly solid owing to the metal construction, and the hinges being towards the left and right sides of the screen. The base of the laptop is also heavy enough to allow for one finger opening.
Above the display is a 2MP camera capable of full HD video. The keyboard was quite nice and seemed the same as other Metabox laptops that I’ve tested recently, it’s great to type with and isn’t very noisy, I’ve got no complaints. All keys are RGB backlit and can be customized through the included Flexikey software. Although there’s no individual key customization available, there are a number of effects to choose from, or you can colour the keyboard in three separate sections. I was surprised to find a little bit of keyboard flex considering the solid metal body of the laptop, but while typing normally this wasn’t noticeable.
The touch pad worked fine, and has a light matte texture to it. There are physically separate left and right buttons which were clicky but not too loud. As for the available I/O starting on the left side we’ve got a kensington lock, air exhaust vent, power input, HDMI port, two mini DisplayPort 1.3 outputs, two USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C ports, and two USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A ports, one of which is powered. On the right there’s 3.5mm microphone and headphone jacks, another USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A port, SD card reader, and ethernet port. The front has nothing other than some status LEDs towards the left, while the back only has some air exhaust vents.
Underneath was very clean, just a couple of air intakes towards the back and two long rubber feet which extend most of the way along the base and 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 55 Watt hour 4 cell 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 3 hours and 28 minutes. While playing the Witcher 3 with medium settings and Nvidia’s battery boost set to 30 FPS the battery lasted for 47 minutes, so it’s about on par with many other laptops of this size that I’ve tested.
During normal use with an ambient room temperature of 22 degrees celsius, the CPU idled at 40 degrees celsius while the GPU idled at 49, and here are the external temperatures of the laptop where you’ll actually be putting your hands. While benchmarking for half an hour with the same room temperature, the CPU averaged an 86 degrees celsius maximum, while the GPU peaked at 70. We can see that the whole keyboard got fairly warm, the metal towards the back and left sides was very hot to the touch, while the palm rests for your hands remained fairly cool in comparison.
As for the noise levels it ran fairly quiet at idle, just under 37 decibels and I could barely hear it, and here’s what that sounded like. While running benchmarks it sat around 51 decibels, which is fairly average for a laptop of this size, and here’s what that sounded like. Even with both the CPU and GPU fully utilized the fans still didn’t max out. With the fans manually set to maximum the total volume increases to the 56 decibel mark and is quite loud, here’s what that sounded like.
Finally let’s get into the benchmarks, we’ll first take a look at some more professional tests that should make better use of the Quadro graphics card, followed by some gaming tests. As mentioned this is my first time with a Quadro card, so I’ve chosen some benchmarks that are commonly run with these, let me know if there are any others you’d like to see in the future.
Specviewperf is a standard benchmark tool that’s based on professional applications and measures 3D graphics performance of OpenGL and Direct X. I’ve run these tests three times to get the averages shown here. LuxMark is an OpenCL benchmark tool, and I’ve run the LuxBall HDR, Neuman TLM and Hotel lobby tests 3 times each to get these averages. I’ve also run these tests with both the GPU only, and with GPU and CPU combined. I’ve run Cinebench’s OpenGL benchmark which renders a 3D scene which resulted in an average of 112.8 FPS over 3 runs.
I’ve run the Fire Strike and Time Spy benchmarks from 3DMark and got scores of 8,176 and 3,027 respectively. Likewise here are the results for the Heaven, Valley, and Superposition benchmarks from Unigine, just pause the video for a more in depth look. Now let’s check out the gaming results. While I fully understand that Quadro graphics cards are not really intended for gaming, that’s what the GeForce series of graphics cards are designed for, I was interested to see how it performed, and if you’re buying a laptop like this for work you might also want to play some games on it too.
All games were run at a 1080p resolution with all Windows and Nvidia updates to date installed. Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds performed fairly well, although you’ll want to run at high settings or lower to average 60 FPS. As the frame rate in this game can vary quite a bit based on what’s going on in the game, the 1% lows are quite a bit lower than the averages so you’ll likely have some sharp drops while playing. Shadow of War was fairly similar in terms of frame rates at various setting levels, where high or lower settings gets you around the 60 FPS average.
In the Witcher 3 once again high or lower settings are required for a 60 FPS average, however the 1% lows are quite a bit lower than the averages here. As usual Doom performs fairly close at all levels of settings, and even at ultra settings we’re averaging above 60 FPS with 1% lows that aren’t too low. Rise of the Tomb Raider also ran quite well, requiring high or lower settings to hit that 60 FPS sweet spot yet again. Ghost recon is a fairly resource intensive game and you’ll definitely need to look at playing this one with lower settings. Ashes of the singularity is another fairly resource intensive game, and these are the results we got with the p3000 quadro and 7700hq combo.
The gaming results weren’t actually too bad, the quadro performed very close to a 1060 with Max-Q, just slightly behind, but better than a 1050Ti, so it’s definitely capable of gaming with decent settings at 1080p, though of course if gaming is your focus you’d be looking at a much cheaper laptop instead with a GeForce graphics card, however it’s good to know that you have the option of gaming here if you want.
In Crystal Disk Mark the Samsung 960 EVO 250GB PCIe SSD performed just under 3000 MB/s in sequential reads and around 1400 MB/s in sequential writes. The read speeds were pretty amazing and made opening programs feel nice and snappy, the writes were around half as much but still very impressive. The 1TB 5,400 RPM Seagate hard drive gets above 130MB/s in both sequential read and write speeds, which is about all you’ll get from a mechanical drive. The laptop starts at around $2,999 AUD, but is on sale for $2,799 at the time of recording, so around $2,100 USD for my international viewers with tax included.
In the exact configuration that I’ve got here with the 16GB of memory and PCIe SSD you’re looking at around $3,150 AUD, however the price will vary based on your selection of hardware. So what did you guys think of the P955HQ1 workstation laptop from Metabox? Overall I think the solid yet lightweight aluminium build makes this one of the nicest laptops I’ve tested from Metabox yet, it’s similar in quality to the P950HP.
It’s got decent battery life, but as a professional workstation grade laptop with the Quadro graphics card you’ll be paying a bit more in comparison to the standard GeForce series of graphics cards. If a Quadro is something you need though, this laptop could be what you’ve been looking for and it’s still capable of playing many popular games at 60 FPS when you’re ready to take a break from work.
Let me know what you guys thought down in the comments, or simply leave a share if it useful.