Mobile Gaming Powerhouse

What do you get when you combine a quad-core Haswell processor with a pair of GTX 780M GPUs in SLI in a 17-in laptop? A whole lot of gaming power!

Every once in a while, a vendor sends us a preconfigured gaming PC or notebook.  We don't usually focus too much on these systems because so many of readers are quite clearly DIY builders.  Gaming notebooks are another beast, though. Without going through a horrible amount of headaches, building a custom gaming notebook is a pretty tough task.  So, for users who are looking for a ton of gaming performance in a package that is mobile, going with a machine like the ORIGIN PC EON17-SLX is the best option.

As the name implies, the EON17-SLX is a 17-in notebook that includes some really impressive specifications including a Haswell processor and SLI GeForce GTX 780M GPUs.

Processor Core i7-4930MX (Haswell)
Cores / Threads 4 / 8
Graphics 2 x NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M 4GB
System Memory 16GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3-1600
Storage 2 x 120GB mSATA SSD (RAID-0)
1 x Western Digital Black 750GB HDD
Wireless Intel 7260 802.11ac
Screen 17-in 1920x1080 LED Matte
Optical 6x Blu-ray reader / DVD writer
Extras Thunderbolt
Operating System Windows 8.1
Price ~$4500

Intel's Core i7-4930MX processor is actually a quad-core Haswell based CPU, not an Ivy Bridge-E part like you might guess based on the part number.  The GeForce GTX 780M GPUs each include 4GB of frame buffer (!!) and have very similar specifications to the desktop GTX 770 parts.  Even though they run at lower clock speeds, a pair of these GPUs will provide a ludicrous amount of gaming performance.

As you would expect for a notebook with this much compute performance, it isn't a thin and light. My scale tips at 9.5 pounds with the laptop alone and over 12 pounds with the power adapter included.  Images of the profile below will indicate not only many of the features included but also the size and form factor.

On the left we find four audio connections (headphones, mic, line in, and digital), a card reader, and the Gigabit Ethernet port.

On the far right is the optical drive, eSATA port, a pair of USB 3.0 ports, and a Thunderbolt / mini-DisplayPort connection.  The inclusion of Thunderbolt is a nice addition and overlaps the EON17-SLX with many workstation notebooks.

On the back, you'll find an HDMI output, USB 3.0 port, power connection, and one final USB 3.0 connection (for a total of four).

The keyboard on the ORIGIN EON17-SLX is pretty good but doesn't rival devices like the Lenovo ThinkPad or even the MSI Steelseries-based designs.  

The touchpad is fairly large but I find its associated buttons are a bit too far from it.  The illuminated ORIGIN PC logo in the middle is pretty slick, though.

The screen itself is 1920x1080 LED backlit and has a fantastic matte finish - which is nice for a gaming machine, at least in my opinion.  At 17 inches, it can provide enough real estate for a decent gaming experience as well. Though, I would imagine, many users would pair this with an external display when at home in their typical gaming location.

For those curious about the inside of such a powerful machine, the above photo should give you an idea of how many components are crammed into this space. The left and right hand coolers are covering up the pair of GeForce GTX 780M GPUs running in SLI while the center heatsink keeps the Intel Core i7-4930MX processor running.  In front of the Corsair memory is the 89 WHr battery - big enough to keep the machine doing productivity tasks for a while but it obviously won't win any gaming time awards with all that silicon to power.

As you would expect, the gaming performance of the ORIGIN PC EON17-SLX just blows anything else I have tested in the mobile market out of the water.  At 1080p, the native screen resolution, we were able to run at over 55 FPS on Battlefield 4 at the Ultra preset, over 158 FPS on Bioshock Infinite at the Ultra preset and more than 67 FPS in Metro: Last Light at the top settings.

Not satisfied with that though, we connected an external 2560x1440 monitor to run some more gaming tests and found that the pair of GTX 780M GPUs were more than up to the task.  We stayed well above the 30 FPS mark in BF4 and over 100 FPS for Bioshock Infinite.  Clearly, if you are looking for a gaming machine that can work with your home monitor + keyboard setup but also treat you well on the road at LAN parties, the EON17-SLX fits the bill!

Now, the bad part of all of this is that you are still going to have to pay for it.  This notebook starts at $2000 and goes up quite a bit to meet the specifications of our review unit: 

Ouch!  The total price for our unit was just over $4500, thanks mainly to the dual GTX 780M graphics cards and the Intel Extreme Edition processor.  If you were to move to the lowest priced quad-core Intel Core i7 processor and a single GeForce GTX 780M, it brings the price to a much more reasonable $3000...

As I tend to say during these types of extremely high cost system reviews, this setup isn't for everyone (and, in fact, it isn't for most).  A $4,500 gaming notebook like this will surely last you for YEARS of PC gaming while still allowing you to be mobile enough to take your EON17-SLX on the road or to LAN parties with ease.  Performance was impressive, not just in gaming but in all CPU-based tasks as well - thanks to the Intel Core i7 Haswell processor and the RAID-0 array of SSDs keeping storage snappy.  If you can afford it, the ORIGIN PC EON17-SLX gaming notebook will, without a doubt, leave a positive impression on you in nearly every category.