If you are interested in gaming laptops not only, say, from the point of view of consumption, but also as a kind of mirror that reflects the world of modern information technology, then I strongly recommend reading the article "The best laptops from play in 2017 – summarize and make predictions. "
You have read? So let's see what is so interesting success in 2018.
⇡ # trend on "ryushechki"
At the end of 2017, it became clear that the gaming notebook market desperately needed a breath of fresh air, that is, the emergence of a new iron. For example, on our site there are reviews of models such as MSI GE63VR 7RF Raider 4K, HP Omen 17 (an008ur) and ASUS ROG Strix GL503VD, which in no way can be called "bad", but the iron in them contained about the same of the year previously.
And what have the leading notebook manufacturers offered in exchange for solutions sold in 2017? The new 6-core Intel processors had not yet been released and even the NVIDIA mobile graphics. Therefore, the producers, in order to cheer the market in some way, had to produce, in a figurative sense, the same thing, but in a new wrapping. Basically, the design offices and design departments took on the appearance: the rounded forms of the box were replaced by strict and delineated edges (although for some it was the opposite); The keyboard has received an independent RGB backlight (when the user can separately adjust the color and glow type of each key) – that's probably all. Personally I have not seen anything revolutionary in the creation of new gaming laptops.
In 2017, in my opinion, the most important event on the gaming notebook market was the release of the powerful NVIDIA mobile graphics in the Max-Q design. As a result, manufacturers have released their interesting models with a thickness of less than 2 cm, but with a pre-installed GeForce GTX 1080 graphics processor. Actually, I was expecting the development of this theme in 2018. I thought NVIDIA would definitely please the players with something more productive, such as the Max-Q version of the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti. But this, unfortunately, happened.
However, as you know, my expectations are my problems. The compactness trend continued in 2018. So at Computex 2018, all major manufacturers showed 13, 15 and 17-inch versions of gaming laptops with thin-framed screens.
We reviewed the ASUS ROG Strix SCAR II (GL504GS) model on our website last year. Compared to the first generation laptop, it was already 2.3 cm thanks to the use of a 6 mm frame on the top and sides. With some reservations, it can be said that the 15-inch matrix has been "stuffed" into a 14-inch case. A similar comparison (but only with 15-inch models) can be made for 17-inch devices. So, ASUS GL704GM has become a model and a half centimeter GL703GE.
Personally, these innovations make me happy – it's nice that gaming laptops are becoming more compact. According to our data, on 10 gaming laptops sold only one model is based on a 17-inch screen. Turns out, the players prefer even more portable laptops. As a result, the tendency towards compactness will increase the popularity of such devices. At the same time, it is necessary to recognize that all these modifications of the case, the appearance of the RGB backlight and the small variations in size do not substantially modify anything. These are good bonuses that only add benefits to the device to the piggy bank, but do not become the main reason for choosing it. Parameters like quality, reliability and performance do not put aside. And here for laptops, published in 2018, I have some questions.
Before moving on to the main innovation of the last 12 months, I notice that laptops with IPS 144-hertz matrixes are becoming more and more popular. The AUO AUO409D level displays have a short response time (3 ms according to the manufacturers) and an excellent color reproduction. On the other hand, getting 144 FPS stable is really far from all modern games: both multiplayer projects and high-budget AAA projects.
⇡ #Sixmen that (could not)
The release of six-core processors is the main event of 2018 in the market for laptops. At the beginning of April, Intel immediately presented seven CPUs belonging to the Coffee Lake generation. These include two "Zeon" – Xeon E-2176M and Xeon E-2186M, based on which portable workstations are assembled. For the first time among the "stones" notebooks, a family of Core i9 processors appeared – although at the moment it includes only one model. The list of mobile chips used in gaming laptops is shown in the following table.
|Core i5-8300H||Core i5-7300HQ||Core i7-8750H||Core i7-7700HQ||Core i9-8950HK||Core i7-7820HK|
|generation||Coffee lake||Lake Kaby||Coffee lake||Lake Kaby||Coffee lake||Lake Kaby|
|Production technology, nm||14||14||14||14||14||14|
|Kernels / Threads||4/8||4/4||6/12||4/8||6/12||4/8|
|Basic frequency, GHz||2.3||2.5||2.2||2.8||2.9||2.9|
|Maximum frequency Turbo Boost 2.0, GHz||4||3.5||4.1||3.8||4.8||3.9|
|Cache L3, MB||8||6||9||6||12||8|
|Memory support||DDR4-2666, DDR3-2133||DDR4-2400, LPDDR3-2133, DDR3L-1600||DDR4-2666, DDR3-2133||DDR4-2400, LPDDR3-2133, DDR3L-1600||DDR4-2666, DDR3-2133||DDR4-2400, LPDDR3-2133, DDR3L-1600|
|Integrated graphics||UHD 630 graphics||UHD 630 graphics||UHD 630 graphics||UHD 630 graphics||UHD 630 graphics||UHD 630 graphics|
|Max. Graphics core frequency, GHz||1||1||1.1||1.1||1.2||1.1|
|PCI Express 3.0 lines||16||16||16||16||16||16|
|Official price, $||250||250||395||378||583||378|
As you know, there is nothing fundamentally new in the Coffee Lake processors: the main thing in this generation is, of course, the increase in core and thread. I noticed that purely quad-core processors are a thing of the past. Therefore, the Core i5 series in the Coffee Lake generation now supports Hyper-Threading technology, meaning, now the chips have eight streams. We see that mobile CPUs are developing slightly differently than desktop counterparts of the same generation. Core i5 for desktop, as you know, does not support Hyper-Threading, but has six complete cores. In my opinion, this is due to the fact that only some models of Coffee Lake are released for laptops.
In 2017, when choosing a laptop, a player can count on a choice of the same. In fact, all the manufacturers used only three Kaby Lake processors. Laptops with economical graphics have been completed with a Core i5-7300HQ or Core i7-7700HQ processor. In expensive devices with a graphical level, GeForce GTX 1070 and GeForce GTX 1080 mainly used Core i7-7700HQ. In the same "monsters", sometimes equipped with SLI GPU arrays, the Core i7-7820HK encountered an unlocked multiplier. In rare cases, the processor used Core i7-7920HQ. Everything, on it the choice of central processors has ended. With the advent of the Coffee Lake generation chips, the situation does not change substantially, but at least the chips are updated. Core i5-7300HQ and Core i7-7700HQ were replaced respectively by Core i5-8300H and Core i7-8750H, while Core i7-7820HK was replaced by Core i9-8950HK.
If we compare the processors in the "era – has become" mode, in my opinion, the Core i5-8300H model stands out the most. Compared to the Core i5-7300HQ, it not only doubled the number of threads, but also significantly increased the third-level cache and the clock rate in Boost mode. In this case, the processor cost has not changed. The rest of Mobile Coffee Lake, as you can see, has cost more than its predecessors, especially for the Core i9 model.
Naturally, the increase in the number of cores in the processor requires a serious cooling system. In 2017, the test lab was visited by a huge number of gaming laptops equipped with a central i7-7700HQ processor. Take a look at the cooling systems of models such as ASUS VivoBook Pro 15 N580VD, HP Pavilion Power 15 and Lenovo Legion Y520: it is obvious that such coolers will not be enough to maximize the performance of the Core i7-8750H.
Has this stopped laptop manufacturers? No, of course. On sale you will find many economic models with a pre-installed 6-core. The trick is that the Core i7-8750H can not work stably even in games. The screenshot above clearly shows that the 6-core processor goes into choking – more precisely, the frequency of its cores is reset to 800 MHz (in fact, the cores are turned off alternately when critical temperatures are reached).
Laptops with good cooling systems are for sale – only, as far as I've noticed, we're talking only about expensive models. But even in them, a 6-core processor may not work at the same frequency as the Intel Turbo Boost technology. The fact is that with a very high load, the Core i7-8750H easily exceeds the thermal package (45 W).
MSI GE73 Raider RGB 8RF is a clear demonstration. The laptop cooling system (pictured above), consisting of a total of seven heat pipes, does not spare the CPU from throttling with a frequency drop of 100 MHz. The maximum temperature of the hotest Core i7 of the LinX program goes from 73 to 79 degrees Celsius, which is more than acceptable, and the noise level measured from a distance of ~ 30 cm is 39.9 dB (the cooling fans obviously do not work at full power). As you can see, the bottleneck is caused by exceeding the power limit. In fact, because of this, Mobile Mobile's mobile processors have received such low nominal frequencies (related to Kaby Lake analogs) – the puzzle has been successfully formed.
So, why desktop PCs will always be cooler than gaming laptops? Well, for example, because in 2018 the producers did not really think about what to do with the cooling of 6-core Coffee Lake. In addition, the processors themselves have a very low TDP level, which can not be increased. At the same time, in the desktop segment, the 8-core processors have become a mass phenomenon. Thanks to AMD, which has released a great success (against the background of the FX chips – for sure) Ryzen processors. As a result, Intel introduced a series of 8-core "Coffee Lake Refresh" stones for the LGA1151-v2 mass platform. And something tells me that the analogs for laptops of AMD and Intel will appear sooner.
By the way, the "red" has spent this year very stable: the high performance solutions based on Ryzen chips and the Radeon graphics in a large number were not constantly visible for sale. And I thought that the models of the ASUS ROG Strix GL702ZC class will become much larger.
And in 2018 laptops equipped with Kaby Lake Refresh 4-core learning processors and entry-level graphics, mainly GeForce GTX 1050, appeared on the market. Of course, it is possible to play on such devices, but Core i5-7300HQ + GeForce GTX 1050 " It looks noticeably better.
|Intel Core i7-7700HQ [MSI GE73VR 7RF Raider]||Intel Core i7-8750H [MSI GE73 Raider RGB 8RF]||Increase / decrease in performance,%|
|Fritz benchmark 9 Chess, knodes / s (more is better)||13779||20575||49|
|Corona 1.3, with (less is better)||278||177||36|
|Blender 2.79, with (less is better)||245||171||30|
|CINEBENCH R15, points (more is better)||742||1220||64|
|CINEBENCH R15, single flow, points (other – better)||162||175||8|
|Processing of photos and videos|
|Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 6.9, s (less is better)||191||144||25|
|Adobe After Effects CC 2017, with (less is better)||300||308||-3|
|x264 Benchmark FHD v1.0.1, FPS (more is better)||24.65||38.43||56|
|x265 HD Benchmark 0.1.4, FPS (more is better)||15.4||22.3||45|
|WinRAR 5.40, s (less is better)||494||398||19|
|JetStream 1.1, points (more is better)||191.92||213.32||11|
|WebXPRT 3, points (more is better)||207||230||11|
But let's go back to our six cores. Naturally, gaming laptops buy not just for games. The appearance of 6-core chips in portable PCs has certainly been appreciated by those users who not only play on laptops, but also work. The six-core Core i7-8750H clearly demonstrates who the owner of the house is called "mobile processors". In some applications, the Coffee Lake processor advantage reaches 50%. An increase in the number of cores / threads, an increase in the clock frequency and an increase in the third-level cache also have an effect. It is only in this article that we focus on computer games, and it is not all that simple.
* See settings in games. here.
I will give the test results of the same MSI GE73 Raider RGB 8RF. The first thing you notice immediately is that a laptop with Core i7-8750H almost always brings MSI GE73VR Raider RGB 7RF, which uses a Core i7-7700HQ with 4 cores. It turns out that the sense of using a 6-core in a laptop for games is definitely there. I specifically tested laptops in AAA projects using "High" and "Medium" quality modes. The lower the quality of the graphics, the more pronounced the so-called effect of processor dependency. And the most notable is the difference between MSI GE73 Raider RGB 8RF and MSI GE73VR Raider RGB 7RF. This, in particular, explains the fact that when you change the settings in some projects, the FPS does not change or change in a purely symbolic way – in either case the video card becomes the bottleneck.
There are games where the difference in performance between laptops is quite tangible: for example, in GTA V, Watch_Dogs 2 and Civilization 6 – these projects seem to react not only to a noticeable increase in the clock frequency, but also to the appearance of four streams additional. In general, MSI GE73 Raider RGB 8RF exceeds MSI GE73VR Raider RGB 7RF in games of 8% when using the maximum (or near maximum) graphics quality settings of 13% with high graphics quality settings and 14% with average graphics quality settings.
* See settings in games. here.
Obviously, when you buy a gaming laptop, you have to take a more modern model. However, the results of the test, in my opinion, clearly show that for the GeForce GTX 1070 and lower graphics, a 4-core CPU will be quite sufficient, ie Core i5-8300H or Core i7-7700HQ. As you can see, the look and feel of the long-awaited Core i7-8750H did not make laptops much faster. In this regard, in 2018, gaming laptops are not particularly advanced.
⇡ # New graphics? Not this time!
In every game system – even the processor-dependent system – the video card plays a decisive role. In 2016, I sang the praises of NVIDIA: the chip maker finally managed to release mobile versions of video cards, which were in no way inferior to their counterparts used in desktop PCs. It was a real revolution, given that for the first time in history the notebook graphics came on a step from the desktop. In 2017, we have already seen the evolution of gaming graphics in laptops: for the first time laptops only 18-20 mm thick were equipped with such powerful GPUs as GeForce GTX 1070 and GeForce GTX 1080. However, in 2018 nothing happened. At least nothing breakthrough. I could tell you about the versions of the GeForce GTX 1050 and the GeForce GTX 1060 in the Max-Q design, but what's so interesting? There are such GPUs, yes and good.
At the same time, the "green" in 2018 presented the desktop series GeForce RTX 2000 with the flagship GeForce RTX 2080 Ti. For the first time, a video card appeared on the market, capable of extracting all the modern games in 4K resolution, even with the use of the highest graphic quality and anti-aliasing settings. But in gaming laptops, the GeForce GTX 1080 is still considered the fastest GPU: some laptops use the GeForce GTX 1070 and GeForce GTX 1080 SLI arrays, which do not always work effectively. Therefore, despite the spread of 4K resolution in laptops, it is not very comfortable to reproduce it using the maximum (and often very high) graphics quality settings on such devices. Thus, in 2018, gaming laptops were seriously lagging behind desktop computers. What to hide, today between the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti and the GeForce GTX 1080 lies a whole gulf.
⇡ # Conclusions
Intelligence reports that laptops based on mobile GPUs of the GeForce RTX 2000 series will go on sale in late January or early February. As you can see, the wait is not long. This means that the 2019 year will be completely different. If in 2018 laptops did not become significantly faster in games, we can now expect a serious leap in performance from laptops. The manufacturers of such devices would like to offer users of the devices not only colored RGB lighting, but also efficient and weighted cooling.
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