If you are interested in gaming laptops not only, so to say, from the point of view of consumption, but also as a kind of mirror, reflecting the world of modern computer technology, I strongly recommend that before reading this material read the article “Best gaming laptops 2017 — summarize and make predictions.”

Familiar? Then let’s see what interesting happened in 2018.

Why desktop PC will always be the baddest gaming notebook: summarize 2018

The trend of “thingies”

At the end of 2017, it became clear that the market of gaming laptops desperately needed a breath of fresh air, that is, the emergence of a new iron. For example, our website has published reviews of models such as MSI GE63VR 7RF Raider 4K, HP Omen 17 (an008ur) and ASUS ROG Strix GL503VD, which in any case can not be called bad, but the iron in them was about the same as a year earlier.


And as suggested by leading noutbukami instead of solutions, which are sold whole in 2017? The new 6-core Intel processors up to that time is not out, NVIDIA mobile graphics too. Therefore, the manufacturers to somehow invigorate the market had to make, figuratively speaking, the same thing, but in a new wrapper. Mainly design offices and design departments took up appearance: the rounded shape of the hull was replaced by a strict, delineated faces (although some things went exactly the opposite); keyboard received independent RGB-backlit (when the user can customize the color and type of illumination of each key separately) — here, perhaps, and all. Something revolutionary when creating new gaming laptops, I personally have not seen.

Model ASUS GL704GM (top) with GL703GE

In 2017, in my opinion, the most important event on the gaming laptops in the market was the release of a powerful mobile graphics NVIDIA design Max-Q. as a result, producers have released their interesting models with thickness less than 2 cm, but with a pre-installed GPU GeForce GTX 1080. To be honest, I was expecting a development of this theme in 2018. Thought NVIDIA will surely delight gamers with something more productive — for example, the Max-Q-version of the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti. But this, unfortunately, happened.

However, as you know, my expectations is my problem. The trend of compactness still continued in 2018. So, at Computex 2018 all the leading manufacturers showed 13-, 15 – and 17-inch versions of gaming laptops with screens with thin frames.

Last year on our website an overview of the model ASUS ROG Strix SCAR II (GL504GS). In comparison with the laptop the first generation it was 2.3 cm for use on top and sides 6 mm framework. With some reservations we can say that the 15-inch matrix “pushed” in a 14-inch case. A similar comparison (but only with the 15-inch models) can be made in relation to 17-inch devices. So, ASUS GL704GM has already become a model GL703GE half an inch.

Me personally such innovations only please — it’s nice that gaming laptops are becoming smaller. According to our data, of the 10 gaming laptops sold only one model is based on a 17-inch screen. It turns out, gamers still prefer a more mobile laptops. Consequently, the trend of compactness will increase the popularity of such devices. At the same time, we must recognize that all these alterations of the body, the emergence of RGB-illumination and small changes in the size did not change dramatically. It’s a nice bonus that only add the device of advantages to the Treasury, but not be the main reason for his choice. Parameters such as quality, reliability, and performance, second they don’t push back. Here for laptops, released in 2018, I have a few questions.

Before proceeding to the main innovation of the past 12 months, I note that becoming more and more popular laptops with 144-gerevini IPS-matrices. Displays the level of AUO AUO409D and have a fast response time (3 MS according to the manufacturers), and excellent color reproduction. On the other hand, to get a stable 144 FPS really not all modern games — both multiplayer and big-budget AAA projects.

Shestiyaderny that (not) able

The output of six-core processors is the main event in 2018 on the market of mobile computers. In early April Intel unveiled seven CPU belongs to a generation of Coffee Lake. Among them, two “Zeon” — Xeon E-2176M and Xeon E-2186M, which are going portable workstations. For the first time among notebooks “stones” there was a family of Intel Core i9 — although at the moment it includes only one model. List of mobile chips used in gaming laptops, is given in the table below.

  Core i5-8300H Core i5-7300HQ Core i7-8750H Core i7-7700HQ Core i9-8950HK Core i7-7820HK
Generation Coffee Lake Kaby Lake Coffee Lake Kaby Lake Coffee Lake Kaby Lake
Production technology, nm 14 14 14 14 14 14
Cores/threads 4/8 4/4 6/12 4/8 6/12 4/8
Base frequency, GHz 2,3 2,5 2,2 2,8 2,9 2,9
Max Turbo Boost 2.0 frequency, GHz 4 3,5 4,1 3,8 4,8 3,9
Acceleration No No No No Yes Yes
L3 cache 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 Graphics 630 UHD Graphics 630 UHD Graphics 630 UHD Graphics 630 UHD Graphics 630 UHD Graphics 630
Max. the graphics core frequency, GHz 1 1 1,1 1,1 1,2 1,1
PCI Express 3.0 16 16 16 16 16 16
TDP, watts 35-45 35-45 35-45 35-45 45 45
Official price $ 250 250 395 378 583 378

As you know, nothing new in processors Coffee Lake not: the main thing in this generation is, of course, increase cores and threads. Note that a pure Quad-core processors are gone. Thus, a Series of Core i5 generation Coffee Lake now supports Hyper-Threading technology, that is now chips have eight threads. We see that mobile CPUs are developing differently than the desktop counterparts of the same generation. Core i5 desktop, as we know, does not support Hyper-Threading, but we have six full cores. In my opinion, this is due to the fact that laptops released just a few models of Coffee Lake.

In 2017, when choosing a laptop gamer could expect a selection of about one and the same. All manufacturers used, in fact, only three processor Kaby Lake. Laptops budget graphics came with a Core i5-or Core i7 7300HQ-7700HQ. Expensive devices with graphics of GeForce GTX and GeForce GTX 1070 1080 was used mostly Core i7-7700HQ. In a very “monsters”, sometimes equipped with SLI-GPU arrays, met Core i7-7820HK with an unlocked multiplier. In a few cases was used the processor Core i7-7920HQ. The choice of CPUs was over. With the advent of chip generation Coffee Lake situation has not fundamentally changed, but at least the chips are updated. To replace Core i5-7300HQ and Core i7-7700HQ came Core i5-8300H and Core i7-8750H respectively, and the Core i7-7820HK was superseded by the Core i9-8950HK.

If you compare the processors in the “then and now”, the strongest of all, in my opinion, stands out the model Core i5-8300H. Compared to the Core i5-7300HQ she not only doubled the number of threads, and significantly increased the volume cache of the third level and clock frequency in Boost mode. It does not change the cost of the processor. Other mobile Coffee Lake, as seen, are more than their predecessors, especially models of the Core i9.

An example of one inexpensive laptop with Core i7-8750H and GeForce GTX 1060

Of course, increasing the number of cores in the processor and requires serious cooling. In 2017 in the test lab was visited by a great number of gaming notebook, equipped with a Central processor Core i7-7700HQ. Take a look at cooling models such as the ASUS VivoBook Pro 15 N580VD, Power HP Pavilion 15 and Lenovo Y520 Legion — it is obvious that such coolers will not be enough to achieve optimal performance from Core i7-8750H.

Stopped whether it is a laptop manufacturer? No, of course. In selling you will encounter there are plenty of inexpensive models pre-installed 6-core. The trick is that the Core i7-8750H may not run stably even in games. In the screenshot above you can clearly see that 6-core processor goes into throttle — more precisely, the frequency of cores is reset to 800 MHz (in fact, the core is alternately turned off when the critical temperature).

An example of a good cooling system

Laptops with good cooling systems in the sale is — as far as I noticed it is only on expensive models. But even in 6-core processor may not work on the frequency, which is embedded in Intel Turbo Boost technology. The fact that at very high load Core i7-8750H simply goes beyond the heating package (45 watts).

MSI GE73 Raider RGB 8RF is a clear proof. The cooling system of the laptop (photo above), consisting of a total of seven teplorulon does not relieve the CPU from throttling down … … with subsidence frequency of 100 MHz. The maximum temperature of the hottest core Core i7 in the program LinX varies in the range of 73 to 79 degrees Celsius, which is more than acceptable and the noise level measured from a distance of ~30 cm is of 39.9 dB (cooling fan is clearly working not at full capacity). As you can see, the throttle is caused by exceeding the power limit. In fact, because of this, mobile processors Coffee Lake and got so low (relative to the Kaby Lake-analogues) nominal frequency puzzle successfully developed.

So why desktop PC will always be the baddest gaming laptops? Well, for example, because in 2018 the manufacturers have not really figured out what to do with the cooling of the 6-nuclear Coffee Lake. Plus, the processors themselves have very poor level of TDP, which increase is not possible. At the same time in the desktop segment 8-core CPUs have become a mass phenomenon. Thanks to AMD, which released very successful (compared to the FX-chips — right) processors Ryzen. In the end, Intel this year introduced a series of 8-core “stones” Coffee Lake Refresh for mass LGA1151 platform-v2. And something tells me that the counterparts for mobile PC from AMD and Intel will appear soon.

By the way, “red” spent the last year very consistently — high-performance solutions based on chips and Radeon graphics Ryzen in large quantity stable was not seen in the sale. And I thought that the class models ASUS ROG Strix GL702ZC will be much more.

And in 2018 the market, a laptop has a 4-nuclear processors ultramodnye Kaby Lake Refresh and graphics entry level — mainly GeForce GTX 1050. To play on such devices can, of course, but a bunch of “Core i5-7300HQ + GeForce GTX 1050” looks much better.

  Intel Core i7-7700HQ [MSI GE73VR 7RF Raider] Intel Core i7-8750H [MSI GE73 Raider RGB 8RF] Increase/decrease performance %
Fritz 9 Chess Benchmarks, knodes/s (more is better) 13779 20575 49
Corona 1.3, with (less — better) 278 177 36
Blender 2.79, with (less — better) 245 171 30
CINEBENCH R15, scores (more is better) 742 1220 64
CINEBENCH R15 single thread score (more — better) 162 175 8
Processing photos and videos
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 6.9, with (less — better) 191 144 25
Adobe After Effects CC 2017, with (less — better) 300 308 -3
Video transcoding
x264 FHD Benchmark v1.0.1, FPS (higher is better) Of 24.65 38,43 56
x265 HD Benchmark 0.1.4, FPS (higher is better) 15,4 22,3 45
WinRAR 5.40, with (less — better) 494 398 19
Surfing the web
JetStream 1.1 points (more is better) 191,92 213,32 11
WebXPRT 3 points (more is better) 207 230 11

But back to our shestiyaderny. Of course, gaming laptops buy, not only for games. The appearance of 6-core chips in mobile PC would appreciate those users who are on laptops not only play, but also work. Six-core Core i7-8750H demonstrates who in the house called “mobile processors” host. In some applications the advantage of a processor Coffee Lake reaches 50 percent. Impact the increase in the number of cores/threads, and increasing clock frequency and increasing the cache of the third level. Here in this article we focus on computer games — it is not so clear.

*Settings in games here.

Result test results of the same MSI GE73 Raider RGB 8RF. The first thing that you notice immediately is a laptop with Core i7-8750H almost always ahead of the MSI GE73VR Raider RGB 7RF, which uses a 4-core Core i7-7700HQ. It turns out, is the point of using 6-core gaming laptop is definitely there. I specifically tested the laptops in AAA projects using the quality modes “High” and “Medium”. The lower the quality of graphics the more pronounced the so-called effect of processorepiemonte. And the more difference between the MSI GE73 Raider RGB 8RF and MSI GE73VR Raider RGB 7RF. This, in particular, due to the fact that when you change the settings in some projects, the FPS does not change or changes symbolically — in both cases there is a bottleneck becomes the video card.

There are games in which the difference in performance between the laptops is quite noticeable: for example, in GTA V, Watch_Dogs 2 and “Civilization 6” — these projects seem to react not only to a significant increase in clock frequency, but the additional four threads. In General MSI GE73 Raider RGB 8RF ahead of MSI GE73VR Raider RGB 7RF in games by 8% when using the maximum (or near maximum) graphic settings, 13% at high graphics quality settings and 14% at medium graphics quality settings.

*Settings in games here.

Obviously, when buying a gaming laptop need to take a more modern model. However, the results of the testing, in my opinion, clearly show that for graphs of GeForce GTX 1070 and below will suffice, and a 4-core CPU that is Core i5-8300H or Core i7-7700HQ. As you can see, the long-awaited Core i7-8750H did mobile PC much faster. In this respect, 2018 gaming notebooks especially not progressed.

New graphics? Not this time!

In any game system, even the most processorintensive — plays a decisive role card. In 2016, I sang the praises of NVIDIA: the chipmaker has finally managed to release a mobile version of graphics cards, which are almost in no way inferior to the analogues used in desktop PCs. It was a real revolution, because for the first time in the history of laptop graphics stood one step from the desktop. In 2017, we have seen the evolution of game graphics in laptops: the first laptop with a thickness of 18-20 mm was supplied with such a powerful GPU as GeForce GTX GeForce GTX 1070 and 1080. However, in 2018, nothing has happened. At least nothing of a breakthrough. I could tell you about the version of the GeForce GTX and GeForce GTX 1050 1060 to Max-Q-design, but what’s so interesting? There are GPU, Yes, okay.

At the same time “green” in 2018, introduced desktop GeForce series RTX 2000 with the flagship in the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti. For the first time appeared on the market the graphics card is able to pull all of the modern games in 4K resolution — even with the maximum graphics quality settings, and antialiasing. But gaming laptops are still considered the fastest GPU GeForce GTX 1080. Some laptops use SLI arrays GeForce GTX GeForce GTX 1070 and 1080, which work efficiently not always. So, despite the popularization of 4K-resolution laptops, playing it using the maximum (and very often even higher) graphic settings on such devices is not very comfortable. So, in 2018, gaming laptops are seriously lagging behind desktop computers. Something to hide, to date, RTX 2080 between GeForce Ti and GeForce GTX 1080 is a whole abyss.


Intelligence reports that notebooks with mobile GPU GeForce RTX 2000 will be available in late January or early February. As you can see, the wait is very long. This means that 2019 will be completely different. If in 2018 the laptops have not become significantly faster in games, but now we have come to expect from mobile computers great leap performance. Manufacturers of such devices we wish that they offered users devices are not only colorful RGB led, but with effective and sophisticated cooling.

Source: 3dnews.ru

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