Vortex IX first look | PCSPECIALIST

Vortex IX first look

ixende

Bronze Level Poster
Hello,

I finally recieved my PCSpecialist Vortex IX today, first time using a PCSpecialist Laptop (and also a clevo laptop).
The Vortex IX uses a Clevo PB50RF chassis, and mine comes configured with a i7-9750H and a RTX2070 8gb. Full specs of my configuration is down below.



What you recieve in the box is the laptop itself, powerbrick and lead, welcome booklet, clevo manual, drivers disk, cleaning cloth and screws for 2.5inch drive and m.2 ssd


Bottom of the laptop is a large vent for air intake. The battery is located at the bottom left held in by 2 screws, while the back panel has 12 by itself. All are philips/cross head.


The battery for the laptop is a 62Wh, 5500mAh.


The internals of the laptop. Stock thermal paste looks fine for now, but feels like the type that dry out after some time.
Will also be installing my other ssds into the system. Those eagle eyed would have noticed a 2nd stick of 8gb ram which I had already installed. I already had another stick of ddr4 2666mhz corsair stick lying around, bringing the total to 16gb (note that it will not be reflected in the specs below as I only ordered one 8gb stick from pcspecialist).

*NOTE* The harddrive bay (bottom right) will fit a 2.5" ssd or a 2.5" 7mm thick mechanical drive. I tested a 2.5" 9.5mm thick drive but a thick regtangular black pad prevented it from fitting, but maybe it could be ripped off to make it fit which I did not try.


A quick look at the Nvidia RTX 2070 (non max-q). CPU not featured as it is unmarked


I will be upgrading the thermal paste to kyronaut for the GPU and conductonaut liquid metal for the CPU.

After closing the laptop back up,

Vortex IX is using an Insyde UEFI bios.

There is an overclocking option inside the bios, which is for the RAM. (will be overclocking later)

And finally, booting up the laptop for the first time to install Windows


Chassis & Display
Vortex Series: 15.6" Matte Full HD 144Hz LED Widescreen (1920x1080) + G-Sync
Processor (CPU)
Intel® Core™ i7 Six Core Processor 9750H (2.6GHz, 4.5GHz Turbo)
Memory (RAM)
8GB Corsair 2666MHz SODIMM DDR4 (1 x 8GB)
Graphics Card
NVIDIA® GeForce® RTX 2070 - 8.0GB GDDR6 Video RAM - DirectX® 12.1
1st M.2 SSD Drive
256GB ADATA SU800 M.2 2280 (560 MB/R, 520 MB/W)
Memory Card Reader
Integrated 6 in 1 Card Reader (SD /Mini SD/ SDHC / SDXC / MMC / RSMMC)
AC Adaptor
1 x 230W AC Adaptor
Battery
Vortex IX Series 6 Cell Lithium Ion Battery
Power Cable
1 x 1 Metre Cloverleaf UK Power Cable
Thermal Paste
STANDARD THERMAL PASTE FOR SUFFICIENT COOLING
Sound Card
2 Channel High Def. Audio + SoundBlaster™ Cinema
Bluetooth & Wireless
GIGABIT LAN & WIRELESS INTEL® AC-9260 M.2 (1.73Gbps, 802.11AC) +BT 5.0
USB/Thunderbolt Options
1 x USB 3.1 PORT (Type C) + 2 x USB 3.0 PORTS + 1 x USB 2.0 PORT
Keyboard Language
RGB BACKLIT USA KEYBOARD
Operating System
NO OPERATING SYSTEM REQUIRED
Operating System Language
United Kingdom - English Language
Windows Recovery Media
NO RECOVERY MEDIA REQUIRED
Office Software
FREE 30 Day Trial of Microsoft® Office® 365 (Operating System Required)
Anti-Virus
NO ANTI-VIRUS SOFTWARE
Browser
Microsoft® Edge (Windows 10 Only)
Notebook Mouse
INTEGRATED 2 BUTTON TOUCHPAD MOUSE
Webcam
INTEGRATED 1MP HD WEBCAM
Warranty
3 Year Standard Warranty (1 Month Collect & Return, 1 Year Parts, 3 Year Labour)
Delivery
STANDARD INSURED DELIVERY TO UK MAINLAND (MON-FRI)
Build Time
Standard Build - Approximately 6 to 8 working days
Welcome Book
PCSpecialist Welcome Book - United Kingdom & Republic of Ireland

Total Order Price£1,407.00
Overall, the laptop is very clean with a non-descript top panel with no logos. Keyboard is RGB with limited colour selection using the clevo control centre 3.0, and no it isnt per-key RGB.
I will be posting performance testing in a second post once windows has settled down with installing all these freaking updates. Stay tuned.
 
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ixende

Bronze Level Poster
All benchmarks done with performance mode set in clevo control centre 3.0, fan speed on auto unless mentioned otherwise.
CPU has been repasted with conductonaut. Default -0.050V undervolt from factory.
GPU has been repasted with kyronaut.
CPU-Z/ GPU-Z
Its sorta wierd that cpu-z (version 1.88) is referring to the processor name as 8850H (bug?), but the specification is correct 9750H.



Cinebench R15:

1319 points and max temps at 84c on the highest core. [4.0ghz constant during run]
There seems to be a wierd (bug?) that the turbo boost drops nearing the end of the test (suspect turbo boost duration)
where the cpu will maintain 4.0ghz all cores and then drop to 3.5~3.3ghz.
If that happens the score drops to ~1270 points.

*Stock Benchmarks*





Back to back max temps-

A very toasty 95c on the CPU and 75c on the GPU.
Fans: During the tests, the fan sounded like a mini jet engine. Firestrike Ultra (4k test) was probably the main culprit.


Lastly a quick 1080p Ultra Division 2 in-game benchmark


Thermals Update:

Fans were set to custom profile to control noise in CCC3.
Idle fan speed ~25% and fan speed during load ~55-60%
I suggest that you keep fan speed below 60% unless you like the Vortex IX sounding like a jet engine. Still abit noisy but for the most part will not distract non-headphone users.


Applied a -0.250V on the CPU core and -0.101 on the cache (highlighted in red) .
I did a 10 minutes aida64 stress test and although max temps were just below 80c mark (highlighted in blue)
There wasnt a point testing more as it seems to be power limited to 55w (highlighted in green) and the max all core load could only reach 3.4-3.5ghz. I assume the high temp spikes probably was due to single/fewer cores turboing higher than in the aida64 stress test.

Superposition (Stock vs Overclocked):


I tried to do a +200 on the core to try and match the desktop variant of the RTX 2070 (https://www.techpowerup.com/gpu-specs/nvidia-tu106.g875) but superposition crashed every time. I settled on a +150 core and +100 mem

This will probably be my last benchmark so thank you all for reading! A great overall laptop from PCSPECIALIST!
 
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drumks

Bronze Level Poster
Hi,

Thank you for that review !

Can't wait for your CPU & GPU temp, i'am hesitating with that PC !
Did you apply new thermal past or you will ?

Why you didn't take the Recoil III from Tong Fang ?
 

ixende

Bronze Level Poster
Memory Overclocking:

Managed to get my 2666mhz vengeance ram to 3000mhz.


IMPORTANT *READ THIS*
The memory overclocking profile is unintuitive. I say that because in nowhere does it provide any info on what frequency you will be applying, and the [custom XMP2] column does NOT show the values until a reboot.

So how do you overclock memory with this bios?
Firstly, it uses the DoubleDataRate(DDR) values. And to get the base frequency you have to multiply [memory reference clock] with [memory ratio] and then double it.
In my 2nd picture the example is 100MHz x 15 ratio = 1500MHz
Double 1500MHz = 3000MHz.
Alternatively the default XMP profile for my 2666MHz is
Double (133MHz x 10ratio = 1333MHz)

I learnt this the hard way, normally most bios uses the maximum(already doubled values).
Which I accidentally applied because I didnt know: 133MHz x 23ratio = 3059MHz
and the bios doubles that in 6118MHz (LOL)

What happens next you ask. Firstly the laptop fails to boot (of course), I was like no problem I'll reset the laptop.
The BAD part- Holding the Fn + D and pressing power resets the bios. But I panicked as the laptop takes literally FOREVER to reset.
Just be patient. 3-5minutes after the keycombo, (while still in black screen) the laptop will power off on its own and turn on. 1-2minutes later the bios splash screen will finally appear and you can press F2 to go back to bios.

Also, I found out later that a bad overclock of memory will do the same shutdown and reset procedure on its own. No need for Fn + D key.
Im glad thats over :)



Audio
This laptop has surprisingly good sound quality from the 3.5mm jack.

Tested subjectively with AudioTechnica M40x, no equalizer/enhancements settings applied.

Audio tracks:


VortexIX
Realtek Audio Driver Integration log information

Device HWID: HDAUDIO\FUNC_01&VEN_10EC&DEV_1220&SUBSYS_155865D1&REV_1000
Audio CODEC: ALC1220

Realtek Driver Version: 6.0.1.8622
HDA Driver Integration: FF00 - no integration (Generic)
comparing to Samsung S9+ Dolby audio off

Decently surprised by the amount of soundstage present in the vortex which was slightly better than my s9+. Instruments are well placed and vocals can be easily separated, vortex pulls ahead of the s9+ as it feels spatially wider.
However, in my first track [SHAUN-Way Back Home] the opening beat+snaps are louder/sharper than what I was hearing on the s9+. Would have preferred if the "Tuned by SoundblasterX" had toned it down slightly, but overall a very pleasurable listening experience.

I would describe the tuning done to be a fun, exciting sound signature that most people will enjoy, just grab a decent pair of headphones and most will enjoy their favourite tracks. If anything, the soundblaster connect software will allow you to customize the equalizer and sound profile to your liking.

Meanwhile, the built in speakers are acceptable, get decently loud for its size for those who are asking. You can hear the sound by the speakers by Bob Of All Trades
 
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drumks

Bronze Level Poster
Yes I reapplied thermal paste with Kyronaut and conductonaut.
Oh ok, i would have seen the result with stock :(

I didnt take the Recoil III because it is only upgradable to a RTX 2070 max-Q which is a power throttled version of the RTX 2070 mobile in the Vortex IX
With 17" you can have an RTX non max-q but i think you wanted only an 15" screen so i understand your choice :)
 

ixende

Bronze Level Poster
Post merge to make space.
Hi,

Thank you for that review !

Can't wait for your CPU & GPU temp, i'am hesitating with that PC !
Did you apply new thermal past or you will ?

Why you didn't take the Recoil III from Tong Fang ?
Yes I reapplied thermal paste with Kyronaut and conductonaut.

I didnt take the Recoil III because it is only upgradable to a RTX 2070 max-Q which is a power throttled version of the RTX 2070 mobile in the Vortex IX

Oh ok, i would have seen the result with stock :(



With 17" you can have an RTX non max-q but i think you wanted only an 15" screen so i understand your choice :)
Oh I didnt notice that the 17.3" had a non max-q. And yes I wanted a 15.6".
Looking more closely, the 17.3 Recoil costs more (starting at £1,220) vs (starting at £1,180 )15.6 Recoil/15.6 Vortex , and you lose g-sync and also thunderbolt 3 compared to the vortex. What you probably gain is a thinner chassis. Weight wise, 17.3 Recoil weighs 2.4kg, 15.6" Recoil at 2.0kg and 15.6" vortex at 2.5kg.
 
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Oussebon

Moderator
Moderator
Thanks for this review - and thanks in advance for the forthcoming updates and info esp. re: thermals.

:)
 

Oussebon

Moderator
Moderator
*NOTE* The harddrive bay (bottom right) will fit a 2.5" ssd or a 2.5" 7mm thick mechanical drive. I tested a 2.5" 9.5mm thick drive but a thick regtangular black pad prevented it from fitting, but maybe it could be ripped off to make it fit which I did not try.
That pad's presumably there in part as a cushion for the drive. Most SSDs will be 7mm and I'm not sure I'd want to install a 9.5mm HDD without the padding...
 

markh

Bronze Level Poster
looks lovely! I'm strongly considering purchasing the Vortex with RTX2070 also so will be interested to see how it performs, especially cooling-wise. thanks for posting
 

ixende

Bronze Level Poster
That pad's presumably there in part as a cushion for the drive. Most SSDs will be 7mm and I'm not sure I'd want to install a 9.5mm HDD without the padding...
Yea, I know its for cushioning and maybe reducing vibration. But if some had a 9.5mm drive that wanted to stick it in its not going to fit with the pad in the way. Im not saying that it is guaranteed to fit with the pad removed, because I did not try to remove it

Thanks for this review - and thanks in advance for the forthcoming updates and info esp. re: thermals.

:)
looks lovely! I'm strongly considering purchasing the Vortex with RTX2070 also so will be interested to see how it performs, especially cooling-wise. thanks for posting
Im updating my windows to 1809 via the update assistant as I realised that windows update only gave me up to 1803. Without the update I cannot run the 3dmark ray tracing benchmark.

However, I have a quick cinebench r15 cpu test posted [2nd Post]. Max temps are 84c hottest core with conductonaut liquid metal applied. Definitely expect thermal throttling with the stock thermal paste.
 

drumks

Bronze Level Poster
However, I have a quick cinebench r15 cpu test posted [2nd Post]. Max temps are 84c hottest core with conductonaut liquid metal applied. Definitely expect thermal throttling with the stock thermal paste.
Wow that is hot even with LM :eek:

You prolly don't had the time to undervolt yet ?
 

ixende

Bronze Level Poster
Wow that is hot even with LM :eek:

You prolly don't had the time to undervolt yet ?
I havent touched the undervolt, but the laptop came undervolted by -0.050V out of the box. Its gonna be a very hot beast of a CPU. Gonna push more negative voltage offsets once I get the default benchmarks done.

EDIT: I forgot to mention I even double checked my LM application to make sure it was making good contact!
 

Lewis747

New member
I'm excited to see the results because I've been torn between the Vortex and the Recoil RTX 17". And with the specs almost exactly the same (except the Vortex has G-Sync ) the price is near enough the same too.
 

drumks

Bronze Level Poster
I'm excited to see the results because I've been torn between the Vortex and the Recoil RTX 17". And with the specs almost exactly the same (except the Vortex has G-Sync ) the price is near enough the same too.
Exactly the same here ;)
 

ixende

Bronze Level Poster
Updated the 2nd Post with TimeSpy, FireStrike Extreme/Ultra and PortRoyal Raytracing benchmarks.

cpuz/gpuz/hwmonitor temps also included during the test run. Look at the max temps!
 

a_bolog

New member
Finally, someone who does a proper review on this forum of specialists.

I personally think this heatsink is not designed to work well with LM. I highly advise you try using Kryonaut on the CPU as well and see if the temps are any better. And if that is not helping, you can try another paste with higher viscosity, based on your TjMax.

Also, if you right click on a HWInfo row, you can have a graph over time, which is more useful than seeing the spiked max temp.



Could you also run AIDA64 and see if the CPU is able to maintain 3.9 for more than 2-3 minutes? (maybe with a stronger UV?)

And don't forget to select Performance Mode in Clevo Center which should set the PL1 to 55W, as opposed to the starved 45W.

Awesome review.
 

ubuysa

Moderator
Moderator
Finally, someone who does a proper review on this forum of specialists.
Welcome to the fora! :)

It's not a 'forum of specialists' however. These fora belong to a company called PC Specialist (PCS) who sell custom built high-end and gaming PCs and laptops and the principle purpose of these fora is for the pre and after sales support of their builds. Few of us here actually work for PCS, we're all mostly happy PCS customers. :)
 

drumks

Bronze Level Poster
Thank you for this very detailed informations !! :love:

I'am very surprised about that HIGH CPU temp... like A_BOLOG said did you set the good profile for the fan ?
95 degrees with LM is not acceptable...
 

Sylence

Member
Looking at YouTube review on the chassis it was recommended to place the laptop on a stand, apparently the rubber feet block a lot of the airflow from the fans. Lifting the back of the laptop reduced temps by 6-8 degrees
 
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