Proteus VI RTX review | PCSPECIALIST

Proteus VI RTX review

de4life

Bronze Level Poster
I haven't seen too many reviews on this laptop, so I thought I'd add one for anybody interested in picking it up. Relevant specs below:

Processor (CPU)Intel® Core™ i7 Six Core Processor 8750H (2.2GHz, 4.1GHz Turbo)
Memory (RAM)16GB Corsair 2133MHz SODIMM DDR4 (1 x 16GB)
Graphics CardNVIDIA® GeForce® RTX 2070 - 8.0GB GDDR6 Video RAM - DirectX® 12.1
1st Storage DriveNOT REQUIRED
1st M.2 SSD Drive128GB ADATA SU800 M.2 2280 (560 MB/R, 300 MB/W)
Thermal PasteCOOLER MASTER MASTERGEL MAKER THERMAL COMPOUND

I originally bought an UltraNote II from PCS in 2014, and was a little hesitant about ordering from them again as it took 15 working days to arrive and had two RMA's due to seperate motherboard faults. With that said I was very happy with the customer service and after the second RMA everything was OK until recently when the screen died on me. I figured I might as well upgrade at this point as I wanted a laptop which could handle VR. I couldn't find a laptop with a full RTX 2070 for anything even close to what PCS were offering, so I went for it.

The ordering process was easy as usual, and this time they got the laptop to me far faster. It was six working days before dispatch, which I was very happy with. They also deliver with DPD who I've always been very happy with. I received the laptop 1 week and 1 day after ordering.

Initial impressions were that the laptop looks beautiful. It's solid and heavy, but the lights on the outside of the chassis look really nice. The power brick is absolutely massive, triple the size of my UltraNote power brick, but it's not a big deal. I didn't get this laptop for portability outside of the home, so it's not a huge deal to me. The keyboard and touchpad is lit up which is fine, although not something I care that much about. I turned off the light on the touchpad as it was a little distracting. Overall the keyboard feels solid and the touchpad is nice and big. I'm not so enthused about the lack of seperate left/right mouse buttons though. Instead you press down on the touchpad to the left or the right, which activates a click. It works fine for left click, but it often mistakes a right click for a left click which is a bit awkward. Not a massive problem but slightly annoying at times. The screen looks good to me, although I'm not a stickler which it comes to screens so I can't say whether it's much better or worse than others.

One of the first things I did was open the chassis to insert the SSD from my previous laptop alongside the M2 SSD that came with the system. The UltraNote had a small compartment that could be opened to easily add and remove hard drives, but this chassis doesn't have that option. You have to take the bottom off entirely. It's not difficult but there are some hidden screws (middle of the laptop under the sticker, and two under the rubber foot at the back). Once the screws are out the bottom pops off and adding the HDD was simple. It was recognised straight away and I've had no issues.

The default setting in the control centre is 'high performance' and I got about two hours battery life out of it, without doing much beyond internet browsing and installing various programs. I appreciate this is a powerful laptop with desktop components inside though, so I wasn't expecting especially long battery life. I'll almost always have it plugged in when I'm using it so it won't have a huge impact on me. The power cord plugs into the left hand side of the chassis, right beside the screen, which seems like a good place to put it.

One of the first areas I looked at were temps. I was expecting high temps considering the spec, and wanted to know what I was dealing with. At stock the laptop idled at about 55c for CPU and 45C for the GPU. This was a tad high for my preferences so I decided to undervolt the CPU (from further testing I would say undervolting this laptop is crucial). I initially undervolted to -0.150 which produced some really solid results temp wise, but after about 7 hours of stability the laptop suddenly crashed. So I reset the voltage to -0.130 and have had no issues since then. Undervolted the CPU idles at about 43C and the GPU at about 41C, which is fine. With applications like chrome open the CPU goes between 55C-63C and the GPU stays at about 45C. Worth noting it's a bit muggy here at the moment so room temps are 24-26C which likely has some impact on the temps.

So far I've tested two normal games - Football Manager 2018 and Total War: Three Kingdoms. When playing FM18 normally the CPU stays at about 55-60C, GPU at about 50C. If I holiday the game (intensive processing) the CPU goes up to around 65-70C and the GPU around 55C. Total War had the GPU at about 55-60C and the CPU also at 65-70C. Both games ran quickly and smoothly on highest settings. I didn't expect the laptop to have any problems running these games, but I was happy with the temps. Without undervolting I think they'd probably be 10-15C higher though.

The primary reason I chose this laptop was for VR. I already have a PC with a GTX 1070 which runs my Oculus Rift well, but dragging it to different rooms to play is pretty painful. I wanted this so that I could play seated games elsewhere, whilst keeping the PC in the living room to play games which require more movement. I tested three apps - Robo Recall, Google Earth VR and Big Screen VR.

Robo Recall is an awesome but pretty graphically intensive shooter. I played it on highest settings and the gameplay was flawless, certainly smoother and faster loading than my PC (which has a 7th gen i7). In terms of temperatures this game was the most intensive on the CPU and GPU. The CPU ran between 82-89C throughout, whilst the GPU ran between 70-75C. The CPU temp is a little on the high side but I was expecting that considering how demanding VR is. I was pretty pleased that it didn't get into the 90s. Again though without undervolting I think the CPU temp would likely have gone into the 90s. I was very happy with the GPU temp not going above 75C.

Google Earth & Big Screen were less intensive and for both the CPU ran between 82-85C and the GPU was between 64-66C. Again, totally satisfied with these temperatures. Performance on both apps was flawless. Google Earth VR is basically Google Earth in VR (amazing and free), whilst Big Screen (also free) is essentially a virtual cinema app, although you can also have screens in living rooms, on balconies, etc. I was particularly impressed with the performance of the laptop here considering during this process windows was unbeknowest to me downloading and installing an update.

Overall thoughts are that this is a really awesome laptop and I'm very happy with my purchase, but I would definitely advise getting the best possible thermal paste and for gaming undervolting is, imo at least, absolutely necessary to maintain decent temps without any throttling. -0.150 was stable for a while but did induce a crash, whilst -0.130 has worked perfectly for a couple of days now, including running FM18 and the aforementioned VR apps. -0.140 may be fine too, but for now I'm happy with the temps and performance so will probably stick with -0.130.

Hopefully some people find this of interest :)
 

ubuysa

Moderator
Moderator
Thank you so much for the detailed, informative, and balanced review. I'm sure this will help others thinking of getting a similar spec. :)
 

Doodles

Member
First of all, thanks for the review! I've been eyeing the Proteus for a little while because of the low price, and it's good to see elaborate reviews like this.
I have two questions you may be able to answer, though:
Can the lights on the body of the Proteus VI be turned off the same way you turned off the touchpad lighting? While I quite like the aesthetic, I'm not entirely convinced classmates and in the future colleagues could appreciate an alien mothership parked in the room :p

And how big is massive, with regards to the charger? Would you happen to have dimensions of the adapter block? I don't have a problem with large chargers, but I oughtta make sure it still fits in my day to day bag.

Thanks in advance!
 

de4life

Bronze Level Poster
I'm actually not sure if the lights on the body can be turned off or not. The keyboard and touchpad definitely, but looking at the control centre I can't see any options for turning off the lights on the body. Might be worth contacing PCS to ask about that!

As for the charger, it's pretty hefty. 8 inches in length, 4 inches across and 1 inch in depth. Should fit in most bags I think, but you'll know it's there.
 
Last edited:

Doodles

Member
That's a good point, I'll have a call with 'em later and update this reply in case other people have the same question.

That's one big charger indeed, definitely bigger than my current one, but looks like it'll just about fit in the same front pocket I store my current charger in.

Thanks for your time, it's much appreciated!
 

de4life

Bronze Level Poster
Let us know if you get an answer from PCS. I'd be curious to know if it's possible to turn the lights on the body off.

Also I think I may have gotten length and width the wrong way around in my original reply, so have edited it!
 

Doodles

Member
Apologies for the delay, I've been away from home for most of the week. Saw a chance to call PCS today, and as it turns out the LED strips on the chassis can't be turned off. Bit of a shame, but I don't think it'll be a dealbreaker in the end.

How bright would you say the LED strips are, do they produce a noticeable glow in a dark room or are they more like indicator lights?
 

de4life

Bronze Level Poster
I wouldn't say they are obnoxiously bright or anything like that. It's just two blue strips on the lid. I can't imagine it would be an issue to be honest.
 

Ellanth

Member
I have the same specs and i noticed the device manager only detect the RTX 2070 but cannot detect the HD graphics.
I tried everything to make the hd graphics work but so far its not even detected (neither as "microsoft basic" someting).
 
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