Gaming Performance, Storage, Battery & Conclusion
The EON15-X is armed with a GeForce GTX 980M. As it stands, this is currently the undisputed king of mobile GPUs. The GTX 980M, more so than any previous generations, is remarkably close in specs to its desktop counterpart. On paper, the performance is about 80-percent that of the desktop variant which is fabulous news for mobile gamers. Here’s a quick spec comparison:
|GPU||Architecture||CUDA cores||Core clock||Memory width||Memory bandwidth|
|GTX 980||Maxwell||2048||1126||256-bit||160 GB/s|
|GTX 980M||Maxwell||1536||1038||256-bit||224 GB/s|
It should be no surprise that the EON15-X is a very capable gaming machine. At 1080p, games like Tomb Raider and Bioshock Infinite ran beautifully with essentially all settings maxed. However, even the 980M has limits and those limits really start to show at ultra-high 4K UHD resolution (3840 x 2160). For example, Crysis 3 was a slideshow at 2160p. To make it playable, it had to be turned down to “Low”. Meanwhile, Tomb Raider ran a bit jagged until some of the details were turned down a bit. For older and less visually sophisticated titles (Path of Exile, Dungeons & Dragons Online, Borderlands 2), the EON15-X has got you covered at 4K.
Officially, the EON15-X is the fastest gaming laptop benchmarked at TechSpot. Watch as it flaunts its gaming savvy by besting every other laptop we’ve tested. Even the recently reviewed Alienware 15 must bow down before Origin’s beastly creation.
In heavily CPU-reliant games like Crysis 3 and Metro: Last Light, the EON15-X cleans up thanks to its unrestrained desktop processing capabilities.
The M.2 SSD (Samsung MZ-HPU512T) Origin shipped with our EON15-X review is crazy fast. The benchmark numbers are basically off the charts, performing well-beyond standard SATA options. Another great thing about the EON15-X aside from its desktop CPU is the array of storage options. You can have up to four drives (2 x M.2 and 2 x 2.5-inch drives) for some seriously high-performing, high-capacity storage. Don’t forget though: no optical drive is available for this model. If you need CD/DVD capability, plan on using an external USB device.
Heat and Noise
Although adequate for use just about anywhere under normal usage, the EON15-X isn’t shy in producing heat or noise while gaming. While doing everyday things on the EON15-X made the laptop pretty warm, gaming was what set it afire. Most of the heat pools around lower right and center of the base. The bottom gets the hottest of course, but signs of heat become very evident on the keyboard and palm rest as well. Of course, even mobile CPUs generate copious amounts of heat, so it’s no surprise that nestling an i7-4790K atop your thighs is going to get uncomfortable.
If you plan on firing up a 3D game, forget your lap and seek the nearest desk or table. Most gamers will be forced onto a desk anyway as touchpads are a poor tool for the trade. Also, the intake vents are located on the bottom, so you’ll want to keep those unobstructed for maximal airflow. This means avoiding legs and blankets as resting surfaces.
The included battery is a beefy 8-cell lithium-ion pack rated at 82WH. Origin advertises a battery life of 130 minutes. Your mileage may vary, but my typical experiences were something close to two hours of “normal” everyone-does-these-things usage.
This is abysmal in an age of laptops that last several hours, but in line with other gaming machines. Actually, it may even be remarkable considering the desktop CPU and all. While gaming, the EON15-X threw in the towel after just an hour, so don’t forget your charger on the way to the LAN party!
The EON15-X is amongst the elite few notebooks to offer true desktop performance in a 15-inch form factor. This is a very serious gaming laptop. Origin has crammed a lot of high-end hardware into a minimal amount of space. It’s well-suited for gamers in search of a diverse mix of properties: great performance and reasonable portability on a generous but not unlimited budget.
For 4K gaming, the EON15-X is clearly capable but alas not the holy grail. Many games are playable at 4K. Some will require a few tweaks here and there, but the most taxing titles will require significant visual sacrifices. I suggest 1080p with anti-aliasing so you can enjoy all the fixings with good frame rates.
Unfortunately, all the CPU power in the universe can’t make a GTX 980M run recent AAA titles at 4K with max settings smoothly. To achieve a feat this crazy, you’ll have to look at dual-GPU solutions which quickly become unwieldy in size and price.
When it comes to value, the EON15-X spans the gamut of competitive (mid-range configs) to absurd (ultimate performance and storage options). Maxed-out builds, as usual, will offer poor bang for your buck. As a reminder, our review unit (i7-4790K, 980M, 16GB, 480GB M.2. SSD + 1TB HDD) tops $3,300 as configured.
As with other manufacturers, Origin-installed upgrades are costly. Exercise a bit of modesty though and you can snag yourself a fantastic gaming machine for about $2,200 (e.g. Intel Core i5-4690K, 980M, 240GB SSD). At this price, the EON15-X closes in on being competitive with the Alienware 15. Alternatively, opting for a GTX 970M, i5-4460 and 1080p gaming will get you below the $1,800 mark. Relative to its peers, that’s not bad.
Pros: Desktop CPU. Fastest laptop we've reviewed to date. Thinnest and lightest notebook of its kind. 4K UHD display option. Highly configurable with prices starting at $1680. Remarkable storage options. Solid build quality. Easily upgraded.
Cons: Hot and loud during gaming. Origin-installed upgrades quickly add up in price (DIY upgrades will save you money!). Battery life will keep you tethered to the grid. Wish the TN panel was a little brighter.