17.3 Octane Review | PCSPECIALIST

17.3 Octane Review

Fallout 3531

New member
Specifications:

Processor (CPU) :
Intel Core i7 Quad Core Processor i7-4790S
Memory (RAM) :
16GB Kingston Hyper-X Impact
Graphics Card :
Nvidia GeForce GTX 970M
Memory - Hard Disk :
1TB Samsung 850 EVO SSD
Memory Card Reader :
Integrated 6 in 1 Card Reader
Thermal Paste :
Arctic MX-4 Extreme Thermal Conductivity Compound
Sound Card :
Intel 2 Channel High Definition Audio + MIC/Headphone Jack
Bluetooth & Wireless :
Gigabit LAN & Killer 1525 WIRELESS GAMING 802.11N + BLUETOOTH 4.0
USB Options :
4 x USB 3.0 PORTS (1 x Powered) + 1 e-SATA/USB 3.0 Port Combined
Battery :
Octane Series 8 Cell Lithium Ion Battery (82WH)
Power Lead & Adaptor :
1 x UK Power Lead & 230W AC Adaptor
Operating System :
Windows 8.1 64 Bit


Accessories

Laptop Cooling Stands :
Zalman ZM-NC3500-PLUS
Notebook Mouse :
Cyborg R.A.T. 7 Wired Gaming Mouse


Production, Delivery and Bonuses

Delivery :
Standard insured delivery to UK mainland (MON-FRI)
Build Time :
Standard Build - Approximately 5 to 7 working days
Promotional Item :
Free Dying Light Digital Voucher
Windows 10 Upgrade :
Free Upgrade to Windows 10


Chassis

The Octane Chassis is very well built, it looks rather nice even with the lack of a metal body, the rubber like finish is in my eyes an improvement on the metal/ plastic laptop builds that i have previously owned. The Keyboard is well spaced and no creeks or rattles can be heard, the addition of a backlit keyboard is also a nice touch, expecially with the fully customisable colour settings that are available. When i first received the laptop i realised fingerprints are easily visible on the chassis and they arent too easy to remove, i am aware that other users have brought this up and have found it hard to keep the laptop clean and looking new much like myself however i have realised that screen cleaning solution is very good at removing these marks when applied using a cloth, this is a relatively cheap and easy way to clean the laptop.


Screen,Webcam and Microphone

The Octane screen is very clear and is great for gaming, it has a full 1080p resolution which is great for gaming and movies, the lining of the screen is rubber like the rest of the chassis and fits neatly all the way around with no gaps or bending which i have had problems with in older laptops, the webcam is fitted central above the screen much like most laptops and bares a 2mp full HD camera, although it is not the best on the market it does very well for skype and gives off a very clear image with no stutter during videos. The Laptops Microphone is great for recording and eliminating background noise, I have noticed that it is able to block out the sound of the laptop and cooler fans even when i have them both set to full (and yes that is loud), with most laptops this would not be the case, you would be unable to record from the built in microphone due to the sound of the environment around you.


Performance

The Octane is more than capable of playing any game at max settings in full HD 1920 x 1080p. So far I have not found a game that lags whilst running on the highest settings, I have been able to play ARMA 3 at an average of 80fps, Battlefield 4 at an average of 90fps and even warthunder Planes at 120fps and tanks at 70fps in movie quality. Below I have posted a few benchmarks on 3D Mark to show how this computer compares to others.

3D Mark Sky Diver
http://www.3dmark.com/3dm/6254388?

3D Mark Fire Strike
http://www.3dmark.com/3dm/6254494?

3D Mark Cloud Gate
http://www.3dmark.com/3dm/6254550?

Overall i must say i am very impressed with the performance of this laptop. With the laptop also having a Samsung 850 EVO solid state hard drive it has a very fast boot time (around 3-5 seconds) and can reduce loading times in programs and games by a noticable ammount when compared to a conventional hard drive.


Sound

The sound quality of this laptop is great, the sound 'bar' is located beneath the screen and gives out good quality sound, when listening to music it performs just as well as my external speakers (GX Gaming SW-G2.1 3000). The speakers have their own program which allows you to finetune the sound they give off and even comes with a 'scout mode' to enhance gameplay.


Build Time and Delivery

When i ordered the laptop i did not pay extra for build time or delivery, this was a mixture of me wanting more time to be spent on the building of the laptop and the fact that i was in no real hurry to recieve it. At the time of purchase the predicted build time was around 14 working days from order to delivery. I recieved the laptop on the 10th working day which was a bonus, the laptop had no problems once it had arrived and was up and running in a couple of minutes. PCSpecialist kept me updated both via email and my profile letting me know how far along the laptop was and what stage it was at, from dispatch to my door took 2 working days and once again PCSpecialist provided a tracking number for the courier to allow me to keep an eye on where the laptop was and even specify a delivery time for the day that it was predicted to be delivered. Overall i am very happy with the fast dispatch of the order and the tracking of the progress of the build, If you are considering upgrading to get your order sooner im sure that PCSpecialist will keep to their predicted production times whilst stillensuring the quality of your device however if you aren't in a hurry then the default build/ delivery settings should be fine for you.


Accessories

With the laptop i also ordered a cooling tray (Zalman ZM-NC3500-PLUS) and a gaming mouse (Cyborg R.A.T. 7 Wired Gaming Mouse), some pictures of these can be seen below. The cooling tray is of a very good quality and does not produce much noise, it is not on too much of an angle so it does not cause strain in the wrist whilst typing and gaming however it does requre 2 USB ports to power, this can be resolved by buying a Zalman 5V adaptor (around £6 on amazon), the cooling tray also comes with a fan speed ajuster which is great if you want it to run quiter and it also comes with 4 USB 2.0 ports which work very well with flash drives and accessories such as mice and keyboards. The cooler is able to seat the full laptop on its tray without overlap and provides good grip for the laptop.
The gaming mouse has been great so far, the only real downside is that you need to download the drivers from the website. Themouse has plenty of extra buttons which are programable and is able to be modified to fit in your hand perfectly, with the extra attachments and the ability to move parts of the mouse out or in to better suit your hand it is a huge advantage in FPS games and MMOs.


Improvements

Really i dont have many bad things to say about the Octane laptop, it performs great and couldnt get much better, but theres always a few things that could be improved upon. As you probably know the laptop does not come with a disk drive, this is not too much of a problem however when i first booted up the laptop i realised that most of the drivers (for the backlit keyboard and a few other secondary features) were missing, i later realised that these were on a disk... this wouldnt have been a problem if I had bought a external disk drive with the laptop but i had not. What i had to do was get my old laptop and copy the disks files onto a usb flash drive then run the file from the USB flash drive on the new laptop, this wasnt too much of a problem but i could imagine that it would be if other users did not have a spare disk drive lying around or a usb flash drive, what would have been much easier for the user is either a usb flash drive with the drivers on rather than a disk or just for the drivers to be installed as part of the building process, it doesnt take too long at all and would have been much easier this way.
Another small thing that i had noticed when i first booted the laptop was that the browser that i had requested had not been installed, this is not too much of an issue at all as it takes no more than 3 seconds to download the chrome browser and have it up and running but it did make me question the quality control stage of the production, do they actually do anything or do they just tick a box and hope everything is well once the user receives it. Once again im sure that the production team do all of these last minute checks and i am in no way criticising the whole process over a browser that was not installed :').


Overall i would recommend the octane laptop to anyone who is considering an upgrade. It is a great system and i honestly have nothing i can say against it, if you have any questions about the system or would like to see a screenshot or picture of a program or the chassis dont hesitate to ask and i'll do my best to get back to you asap.


Pictures

Laptop 4.jpg

Laptop 2.jpg

Laptop 3.jpg

Laptop 1.jpg

Cooler 3.jpg
 

Hewhoist

Gold Level Poster
I've had mine for about 3 weeks, I got the 15'6 inch for travel purposes. Only problems I had with it was a shift key came off and i'm awaiting an RMA to replace the keyboard. When I did my own install of win8 it was not a happy bunny for some reason. Also I really don't like the weight of the charger plus its short lead from the laptop to the charger. Also I'm slightly miffed that they didn't mention it wasn't upgradeable. After I got this I looked into getting the 980 instead of the 970 and they said it wasn't possible. I got very similar scores to you in the 3Dmark
 

keynes

Multiverse Poster
I've had mine for about 3 weeks, I got the 15'6 inch for travel purposes. Only problems I had with it was a shift key came off and i'm awaiting an RMA to replace the keyboard. When I did my own install of win8 it was not a happy bunny for some reason. Also I really don't like the weight of the charger plus its short lead from the laptop to the charger. Also I'm slightly miffed that they didn't mention it wasn't upgradeable. After I got this I looked into getting the 980 instead of the 970 and they said it wasn't possible. I got very similar scores to you in the 3Dmark
Most laptops cannot upgrade the gpu, I thibk it is something you need to research and wouldn't be indicated in the description.
 

Fallout 3531

New member
I've had mine for about 3 weeks, I got the 15'6 inch for travel purposes. Only problems I had with it was a shift key came off and i'm awaiting an RMA to replace the keyboard. When I did my own install of win8 it was not a happy bunny for some reason. Also I really don't like the weight of the charger plus its short lead from the laptop to the charger. Also I'm slightly miffed that they didn't mention it wasn't upgradeable. After I got this I looked into getting the 980 instead of the 970 and they said it wasn't possible. I got very similar scores to you in the 3Dmark
I am aware that the laptop itself and the charger is rather heavy however for me this is not a problem at all, i bought this as i travel a lot as a marine engneer so i needed something that would allow me to play high end games without the need to bring a desktop to work with me... As for the upgrade,nearly all laptops are unable to upgrade GPU, its something that PC Specialist wont mention as its just something that they dont have control over, if they could im sure they would give the option to upgrade GPU. Anyway its possible to upgrade pretty much every other part of the laptop which is great.
 

MiniPCNut

Member
I am aware that the laptop itself and the charger is rather heavy however for me this is not a problem at all, i bought this as i travel a lot as a marine engneer so i needed something that would allow me to play high end games without the need to bring a desktop to work with me... As for the upgrade,nearly all laptops are unable to upgrade GPU, its something that PC Specialist wont mention as its just something that they dont have control over, if they could im sure they would give the option to upgrade GPU. Anyway its possible to upgrade pretty much every other part of the laptop which is great.

The part most likely in need of a future upgrade is the GPU so I don't see how that is great if you can upgrade everything else. I thought the Octane was the standard MXM format that was upgradeable?

If not then it is probably BGA and soldered to the board which is why I no longer buy gaming laptops. The whole point of a gaming laptop for me was portability and the MXM format gave me the option of upgrading the GPU in the future. I upgraded my old P170HM to the GTX 680M and got anywhere from 50-70+% extra performance over my old GTX 485M. We spend all of that money on something that can't be upgraded?
 

micgup

Bronze Level Poster
The Octane GPU is of mxm design, so you 'should' be able to upgrade your GPU. At the present time a straight swap for you is going to be upgrading your 970m to a Clevo 980m. Fairly simple.

I've just taken delivery of a 17" Octane with a 980m, so for me, upgrading is a little more uncertain! At the mo the 980 is top of the range, so there is no upgrade option. In the future when faster cards are released they will have to be compatible with my Octane bios, power requirements, and of course the heatsink arrangement. Only time will tell.

My gut feeling is that for such a top end gaming rig of this design, Clevo will just sell an upgrade kit to whatever the latest & greatest GPU turns out to be. But for me it's nothing to worry about for a couple of years :)

Mick
 

keynes

Multiverse Poster
From previous threads, Clevo doesn't really release upgrade kits or BIOS that are supported by CLEVO that allows you to upgrade to a next gen GPU
 

MiniPCNut

Member
The Octane GPU is of mxm design, so you 'should' be able to upgrade your GPU. At the present time a straight swap for you is going to be upgrading your 970m to a Clevo 980m. Fairly simple.

I've just taken delivery of a 17" Octane with a 980m, so for me, upgrading is a little more uncertain! At the mo the 980 is top of the range, so there is no upgrade option. In the future when faster cards are released they will have to be compatible with my Octane bios, power requirements, and of course the heatsink arrangement. Only time will tell.

My gut feeling is that for such a top end gaming rig of this design, Clevo will just sell an upgrade kit to whatever the latest & greatest GPU turns out to be. But for me it's nothing to worry about for a couple of years :)

Mick
Unfortunately, if what Alienware say is correct, there might not be any upgrade options in the future because the whole industry is moving to soldered components. Apparently both Nvidia and Intel are pushing this BGA format over Mxm. That is why I did not bother with a laptop this time around. It is also the reason why Alienware got the graphics amplifier out way before schedule. Apparently using BGA lowers costs for Nvidia / Intel too.
 
Top