15.6" VYPER III - a review in response to PC Specialist Request | PCSPECIALIST

15.6" VYPER III - a review in response to PC Specialist Request

PhilWillG

New member
Hi

Recently purchased 15.6" VYPER III laptop (full spec here) and in response to PC Specialist's request for a review in return for extended warranty here are my thoughts.

Order lead time was good and there were email updates throughout. Order on a Friday (AM) and had the PC eight days later on the Saturday.

Ubuntu us my primary OS and I installed Desktop 20.04.01 with no drama and an NVIDIA driver for the GPU was installed automagically. All the hardware correctly detected and functioning with the exception of the RGB on both keyboard and front panel (which are well documented in the Linux sub-forum of this site). Various unofficial hacks are available online to drive the RGB but they do not work well if at all. Booting to Windows, the RGB works better but not great (via the supplied application). In Windows, the keyboard lights do operate as expected most of the time but sometimes they go out (but I don't really care). Settings are available in the BIOS screens but they are not persistent (as soon as Linux boots, or shortly after, the lights go out).

Minor gripes:
1) I worry about the connectors on the back - the HDMI, Thunderbolt and power plug into the back of the machine which is tidy but I do worry about bending something when tipping the machine backwards. I just have to remember to pick it up vertically with no back to front "lever" motion
2) The Windows drivers supplied (for download on the order pages) were useless; it was not easy to find .exe files to install or .ini files for device manager. but Windows picked up most of the correct ones in installation and "Driver Booster" and the NVIDIA apps did the rest; when installing Windows I usually run Driver Booster anyway. In fairness I did ordered without an OS because I wanted to dual boot and install everything myself.
3) The RGB (as above) does not work at all well in Linux and not brilliantly in Windows, to be fair (but I don't care)

Bigger Personal Gripe:
The "insert" key which is usually to be found on the top row of any keyboard that I am used to (with "Delete" and "Home" and so on) is only to be found on the zero key of the numeric keypad - this is a major bind especially when programming. To toggle "insert" on and off one has to toggle numlock off, press "0" and then toggle numlock back on. Personally, if space is an issue, then I'd prefer teeny weeny numeric pad to be dispensed with to make room. Using an external keyboard gets over this of course but I still struggle to find "insert" by muscle memory.

Overall:
I love it! I have not had a new PC in over 10 years and I've not had one with discreet graphics for more like 15 years. This thing is so quick and boots to a usable desktop in seconds. With a Linux host and Virtualbox, it runs four Linux server VMs and one Windows Desktop VM concurrently without any effort at all. Out of curiosity (I am not a gamer, nor an expert in benchmarking) I did benchmark the GPU and in Windows it's phenomenal getting scores that, to my untrained eye, compare well with desktops similarly equipped. It achieves 190 FPS in Unigine Heaven and is probably 99% glitch free (I have dug out the 1st version of Assassin's Creed and it looks amazing). Scores in Ubuntu are less good but games still look great. Ubuntu uses driver version 440; maybe an update would improve that. The screen is super clear and responsive too. I have not stressed the cores yet but just subjectively, things "feel" quicker. A frequently run Python script that took 5 to ten minutes on my old gen 2 Core i5 now runs in seconds.

There is a mystery button next to the power and I am not sure what it does; I think it is some kind of CPU throttle that has no effect in Linux but I am guessing that it can be used in Windows to reduce power consumption to the CPUs so that it uses less battery, gets less hot (and isn't as quick). I think they call this "Office Mode" but I have not researched hard enough to properly work that out.

Cooling seems adequate; the cores can run hot and the GPU runs in the 70's Celsius when benchmarking but the fans are up to it (a bit noisy but not too intrusive) and the case does not get "too hot to handle".

Build quality is good, the machine feels light in the hand and the keyboard is good to type on (notwithstanding the "insert" key gripe above) though most of the time I use an external keyboard. Same for the mouse pad, which does have a slightly hollow sound when tapped but nothing too concerning; I generally use an external mouse but the touchpad is accurate and responsive and HUGE (sometimes I miss right-click because I do not go far enough to the right).

I already recommended PC Specialist to a friend who has just placed an order.

If there's anything else you want to know just shout out!
 

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