Maxwell’s mobile lineup touts better efficiency and TDP than Fermi or even Kepler. The turnaround is impressive and advantageous for certain markets and users; one such market is the mobile sector, a unique subset of computing that depends heavily on power efficiency. With the 900M series announced as retaining about 80% of desktop performance, we’re already seeing manufacturers selling laptops using Maxwell GPUs. One of them is System Integrator (SI) Origin -- no, EA did not start selling laptops that BSOD if steam is installed -- offering customizable laptops with the 970M and 980M. We just covered CyberPower and their customizable laptops, but we’ll compare value against Origin’s offerings here.
Origin is offering multiple SKUs of user-modifiable laptops, with their EVO15-S being the most comparable to CyberPower’s Fangbook Pro and Fangbook Pro 4K; both use what we believe is the same chassis designed by MSI, as found in their GS70 Stealth. Despite this, the hardware inside does differ in more than a few ways.
Origin’s EVO15-S features the i7-4710HQ, a slightly lower-performing processor than the Fangbook Pro’s i7-4870HQ, though the difference would be minimal in most applications. The EVO15-S also ships with 16GB of RAM -- something that can’t be customized for order (BTO) -- which ultimately will be of little gaming advantage compared to 8GB. The Fangbook ships with a single 1x1TB 7200RPM HDD, whereas the EVO15-S uses 2x128GB M.2 SSDs in RAID and a 1TB HDD, making for the massive difference in price you’re about to see. All these spec differences mean that the EVO15-S is priced at $2,445 for similar specifications, while the CyberPower Fangbook Pro is $1690. Cyberpower also offers an upgrade to a 3840x2160 (4K) screen, whereas Origin only allows for an upgrade to a 2880x1620 screen. Furthermore, with the Origin EVO15-S, if the 2880x1620 screen is chosen, the only GPU option is the 870M for 3K displays (the 900M lineup is not made available). This limitation is strange and something that is certainly a disadvantage for the EVO15-S. The rest of the hardware in these laptops is largely similar and generally not worth comparing.
With the same chassis (form factor) and similar CPU + GPU specs, but vastly different storage specs, the Origin EVO15-S comes in at a significantly higher price tag of $2445 compared to the CyberPower Fangbook Pro’s $1690. Both would certainly make a good, Maxell-based gaming laptop; you’d want Origin’s unit if RAID M.2 SSDs makes sense for your use-case scenarios, but for gaming, there’s no justifiable reason to opt for the EVO15-S over the Fangbook if form factor is a consideration. For production, maybe. Maybe.
- Michael "The Bear" Kerns.