Review of 15.6" Octane III purchase | PCSPECIALIST

Review of 15.6" Octane III purchase


Bronze Level Poster
Review of 15.6" Octane III

I weighed up a lot of options before settling on PC Specialist... who were unknown to me. I had only discovered them via a Google search. In comparison with the other sites I was looking at, PCS had the widest range of components/options at the most competitive price for a 15.6" chassis. After studying the forums for a while and taking note of different peoples opinions I decided to sign up myself and ask a few questions. The friendly community here really helped and soon it was time to place the order.

One thing to bear in mind is that it doesn't matter what you look up on the internet; most people are going to feel compelled to write something when there is something wrong rather than if something is working well - so you'll always find some negative reviews - especially at this price point.

Ordering process:
I found this quite easy. The configurator on the PCS site was straightforward and as I was applying for finance I found that the website for that was also as easy to use. A decision was made in minutes and my order had been accepted. I received an email shortly after informing me that the M.2 drive I had specified was out of stock. I'm not very patient but I gave it over the weekend before I finally cracked and decided to make an order amendment.

I did this via the website choosing "amend" next to my open order. I upgraded the size of the M.2 drive, removed the antivirus trial and upgraded the RAM from 2133mhz to 2400mhz as this appeared to be a new option from when I had initially placed my original order. I paid the amends in full on debit card so that the finance agreement/decision wouldn't be affected.

The next day I got an email to say that my laptop was now in pre-production. 4 days after that it had been through all of the necessary stages and was delivered. I had no issues with DPD. For info the full spec I ordered is below and also the dates of the different stages are there for reference.

What for me is so impressive here is that at no stage did I ever need to physically speak to anyone. The whole thing went through seamlessly with only online input - which considering I had finance and an amendment I find very pleasing.

Chassis & Display: Octane Series: 15.6" Matte Full HD IPS LED Widescreen (1920x1080)
Processor (CPU): Intel® Core™i7 Quad Core Processor i7-6700k (4.0GHz) 8MB Cache
Memory (RAM): 32GB HyperX IMPACT 2400MHz SODIMM DDR4 (2 x 16GB) (Amended as noticed this was a new option after ordering)
Graphics Card: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1070 - 8.0GB GDDR5 Video RAM - DirectX® 12.1, G-SYNC
1st Hard Disk: 960GB HyperX SAVAGE 2.5" SSD, SATA 6 Gb/s (upto 560MB/sR | 530MB/sW)
2nd Hard Disk: 1TB WD BLACK 2.5" WD10JPLX, SATA 6 Gb/s, 32MB CACHE (7200 rpm)
M.2 SSD Drive: 512GB SAMSUNG SM961 M.2, PCIe NVMe (up to 3200MB/R, 1700MB/W) (Amended as original 256GB option was unavailable)
Memory Card Reader: Integrated 6 in 1 Card Reader (SD /Mini SD/ SDHC / SDXC / MMC / RSMMC)
Power Supply: 1 x 230W AC Adaptor
Power Cable: 1 x 1 Metre UK Power Cable (Kettle Lead)
Sound Card: Intel 2 Channel High Definition Audio + MIC/Headphone Jack
Wireless/Wired Networking: GIGABIT LAN & KILLER™ WIRELESS-AC 1535 M.2 GAMING 802.11AC + BLUETOOTH 4.1
USB Options: 3 x USB 3.0 PORTS, 2 x USB 3.1 PORTS, 1 x USB 2.0 PORT
Battery: Octane Series 8 Cell Lithium Ion Battery (82WH)
Operating System: Genuine Windows 10 Home 64 Bit - inc DVD & Licence
Operating System Language: United Kingdom - English Language
DVD Recovery Media: Windows 10 (64-bit) Home DVD with paper sleeve
Anti-Virus: NO ANTI-VIRUS SOFTWARE (amended from the free trial)
Browser: Google Chrome™
Warranty: 3 Year Silver Warranty (1 Year Collect & Return, 1 Year Parts, 3 Year Labour)
Dead Pixel Guarantee: 1 Year Dead Pixel Guarantee Inc. Labour & Carriage Costs
Build Time: Standard Build - Approximately 7 to 9 working days
Promotional Item: FREE GEARS OF WAR 4 with select GTX 10 Series GPUs!

Production Dates
[B][I]Processed Date[/I][/B]            03-11-2016
[B][I]Amend Date[/I][/B]            07-11-2016
[B][I]Pre-Production Date[/I][/B]    08-11-2016
[B][I]Build Date[/I][/B]            10-11-2016
[B][I]Test Date[/I][/B]            11-11-2016
[B][I]QC Date[/I][/B]                    14-11-2016
[B][I]Awaiting Dispatch Date[/I][/B]    14-11-2016
[B][I]Dispatch Date[/I][/B]            14-11-2016[/FONT][/SIZE]
Everything was well packaged. There was a large outer box and inside that another box wedged into air filled plastic sleeves. In the smaller box was the laptop in two foam/polystyrene holders; and another box with the power leads. The power lead is a weighty thing on it's own! There was also a pouch with the usual restore disc, driver disc and instruction manuals etc.

The first thing I checked was that my amended order had been processed. I was paranoid it could potentially have been missed and the original components specified placed in it - but these were unfounded fears and indeed the correct components had been installed (I used CPUID's tool to check this).

A weighty lump but seems very well put together. There was a stupid amount of unnecessary (imo) little stickers next to the trackpad - the majority of which are sound related - seems a little silly to put them on. I do like the feel of the materials used and the number of ports available - all of which appear to function fine. I love the backlit keyboard which makes playing games late into the night much easier! The trackpad is probably my only slight annoyance - whist I like the fingerprint reader which works well; the ability to turn off the trackpad in the control centre doesn't work. I tried updating the driver but the option toturn off is still ineffective. This is a minor nuisance when using wasd as my hand can sometimes catch the very edge of the pad causing unexpected actions in the games I'm playing. I can live with it though. [Edit: 24/11/16: I have discovered that uninstalling the Synaptics Touchpad driver and reinstalling it (after resinstalling the Control Centre software) has cured the issue! :) ]

I'd read a bit of the forums about backlight bleed on IPS screens. I can confirm on mine that there is a slight bit of bleed towards the top right but it's very minimal and really nothing that bothers me. Otherwise I've found the HD screen to be very clear and responsive.

I have found the M.2 drive to be ultra fast. The laptop boots very quickly and shuts down fast too. My old laptop had an SSD so I was used to what I thought was a rapid start-up or shutdown... but this just blitzed that. I note that the WD Black HDD is exceptionally quiet.

Runs on idle between 29-31C and after 3 hours straight of Fallout 4 and 2 hours of Skyrim SE was registering 58C. So no concerns there. Hopefully that is the Arctic paste doing it's job. I feel no inclination to OC the chip or undervolt it right now as for my uses and needs the standard set up eats through everything easily :) I like the option of being able to do so in the future though - the laptop control centre comes with functions specifically for doing this it seems! Nice. [Edit: Well it didn;t take me long to change my mind and go for the OC and undervolt! SS in posts below]

I had a huge smile of my face when I loaded Skyrim SE for the first time and it popped up a message saying "detecting optimal system settings based on yoiur hardware" and then returned a message saying everything was set to Ultra! :D Temps at idle are around the 36-38C mark and after the Fallout 4 & Skyrim session as previously mentioned it was running at 65C.

When the fans spin up I can't say that I thought they were that loud really - I've seen other people say its loud but I didn't really think so at all. I had an MSI laptop several years ago that was way way louder! I tried putting headphones on to see if the fans were noticeable and I couldn't hear the fans at all after that.

I would happily recommend this laptop and PCS to my friends and family. I will definitely order again in the future and try to remain an active member of these forums.

I attach some pics I've taken.
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Bronze Level Poster
Found a couple of pics that didn't upload on last post (must be limited).

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I recently brought (03months ago) 15.6" Octane III basically fr doing 2d/3D Animation in windows 10 operating system,Howevr last week i had weird thing,Laptop fan spins at max even when PC is turned off.Before that i update windows 10 & VGA Driver ( Usuay Auto updates both )Anyone had a clue.Please Respond.

Chassis & Display Octane Series: 15.6" Matte Full HD IPS LED Widescreen (1920x1080)
Processor (CPU) Intel® Core™i7 Quad Core Processor i7-6700k (4.0GHz) 8MB Cache
Memory (RAM) 16GB HyperX IMPACT 2133MHz SODIMM DDR4 (2 x 8GB)
Graphics Card NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1060 - 6.0GB GDDR5 Video RAM - DirectX® 12.1, G-SYNC
1st Hard Disk NOT REQUIRED
M.2 SSD Drive 512GB SAMSUNG SM961 M.2, PCIe NVMe (up to 3200MB/R, 1700MB/W)
Memory Card Reader Integrated 6 in 1 Card Reader (SD /Mini SD/ SDHC / SDXC / MMC / RSMMC)
Power Supply 1 x 230W AC Adaptor
Power Cable 2 x 1 Metre UK Power Cable (Kettle Lead)
Sound Card Intel 2 Channel High Definition Audio + MIC/Headphone Jack
Wireless/Wired Networking GIGABIT LAN & WIRELESS INTEL® AC-8260 M.2 (867Mbps, 802.11AC) +
USB Options 3 x USB 3.0 PORTS, 2 x USB 3.1 PORTS, 1 x USB 2.0 PORT
Battery 2 x Octane Series Battery Pack, 82WH (One Spare)


Bronze Level Poster
Just popped in to say that I still have this laptop (now nearly 3 years in) and had zero issues with it. Still works like a dream. OC and undervolt still in place.