In the first part of our review we evaluated the feasibility of a gaming laptop as a mobile video editing station. This was primarily because we wanted to be able to prove that you could get high performance video editing into an ultra-small, ultraportable package. In the second part of our review, we actually went in and measured the performance of the laptop based on real world gaming and usage scenarios.
The great thing about the Origin EON11-S was that during the course of our review, we were informed by the team at Origin that they had established an exclusive special partnership with LucidLogix to integrate their Virtu MVP GPU virtualization software into the laptop with nothing more than a software installation. This is awesome because Origin is effectively giving consumers additional performance on their laptops at absolutely no cost. We have been working closely with LucidLogix on their Virtu MVP software and testing it on Z77 based motherboards for desktop systems. This is the ?mobile? manifestation of the same software that they include with most Z77 desktop boards.
In this review, we will be evaluating the real world in-game performance of the laptop on both battery as well as AC power. In addition, we will be testing the laptop?s overall performance difference when running with and without LucidLogix?s Virtu MVP Hyperformance acceleration feature. We will also be measuring the exact battery life of the laptop as well as the expected temperatures from this laptop. This way, between our two reviews of this laptop one can effectively determine whether or not this laptop fits one?s needs.
This custom-built beastie is packed with Intel?s Ivy Bridge i7-3610QM, 8GB of RAM, a 250GB Samsung 830 SSD, and NVIDIA?s GT650 2GB graphics chip with Nvidia?s Optimus switchable graphics technology that can handle the latest games with ease ? and it weighs in at just 4 lbs (1.8 kg). This is all handled by the 11-inch 1366×768 resolution display.
Since this laptop is fairly portable, we decided to go with games that are likely to be more popular with the majority of ?portable gamers? today. The DX11 games we chose were Borderlands 2, Counter Strike: Global Offensive, and Civilization 5. We picked these games because they are most likely to cover the broadest gamut of gamers while simultaneously not being overly intensive games that are still fun to play with decent graphics on the go. In all games, in order to guarantee decent performance we set the graphical settings to medium.
On-Battery Gaming Performance
In Borderlands 2, we were able to get an average frame rate of 23 FPS with a minimum of 8 FPS and a maximum of 33 FPS. We would consider our experience mostly playable and satisfactory to the point where we did not find it necessary to dial down the settings any further. In Counter Strike: Global Offensive, the laptop was able to get a more playable average of 31 FPS with a minimum of 15 and a maximum of 34 FPS. Playing CS:GO on this laptop was probably the most enjoyable FPS experience because the game is best designed for lower resolutions and it did not feel much different from our more powerful desktop systems. Albeit, playing any FPS is still quite difficult on an 11 inch screen, however, the biggest obstacle was not the laptop but actually the lack of a good mouse pad for the Transformers Razer Deathadder mouse we used. In Civilization 5, it was more of the same, with the game reporting 23 FPS average and a maximum FPS of 34. Interestingly, the game reported a minimum FPS of 0 but it never once seemed slow or laggy, so that appears to be a FRAPS bug. This game is an RTS and as a result felt the smoothest since it also had the lowest graphical load on the computer.
Plugged-in AC Gaming Performance
In Borderlands 2, the game average FPS bumped up a whole 30% and minimum FPS 100% since the GPU and CPU were no longer downclocking for battery life. On average, it got 30 FPS with a minimum of 16 FPS and a maximum of 32 FPS. In Counter Strike: Global Offensive, the difference was barely noticeable with the average staying at 31 FPS but the minimum going up to 17 FPS and the maximum remaining at 33. In Civilization 5 we saw a significant improvement in the average frame rate going from 23 FPS up to 31 FPS, over a 30% improvement in performance.
Please do note that none of these three games are currently supported by LucidLogix?s HyperFormance feature inside of their Virtu MVP GPU virtualization software. As a result, other games may actually see even better performance than the games that we chose.
Lucidlogix Virtu MVP with HyperFormance
In order to show you how much of a difference that Lucid?s Virtu MVP software can make, we decided to run Futuremark?s 3DMark11 graphical test on the Performance setting. We did this with both HyperFormance on and HyperFormance off. HyperFormance is Lucid?s way of tweaking some graphical settings and combining the performance of the integrated GPU and dedicated GPU.
With HyperFormance turned off in 3DMark11, under the performance setting, the laptop put up a score of 2449. By simply flipping on HyperFormance, the score was boosted to 2993. This represents a boost of 22% from using HyperFormance which is effectively 22% more performance for free without any noticeable penalties to visual quality.
For our battery life tests, we were able to determine that the approximate battery life of the laptop was 2 hours under normal workloads. In order to accurately measure this, we have utilized the best battery life measurement tool known to us, Futuremark?s PowerMark. Under our PowerMark tests, we were able to determine that the battery life of the laptop under a balanced load on the OriginPC power profile was one hour and fifty seven minutes, three minutes short of two hours.
Note that this measurement was achieved with a 62 work hour battery (5600mAh battery).
The temperatures of the laptop under our observation were fairly warm, so we wanted to accurately measure exactly how warm this laptop was getting under intense gaming scenarios. We did this by running 3DMark11 and putting it under the maximum graphical settings to fully load the CPU and GPU. We found that the CPU achieved a maximum core temperature of 79 degrees Celsius and the GPU reached a maximum temperature of 70C. The CPU temperature was a bit warm, but when considering that this is an 11 inch laptop packing a true quad-core processor, it is not much of a surprise.
Components and Cooling
Upon doing our temperature testing, we got a little curious and decided to pop off the bottom of the laptop to take a look at the cooling solution. It is apparent in the pictures below that the Clevo solution that Origin opted for is very compact with some very heavy copper cooling.
The Origin EON11-S is a very small, yet powerful laptop. In its current spec, it is primarily designed for performance above battery life. We could have opted for the i5 version; however, since we were looking for a desktop replacement class laptop, we sacrificed the extra 30 minutes or so of battery for quite a bit more power. We really enjoyed the portability of the laptop and we got some real gaming done while on vacation. Considering that this is only an 11 inch laptop, and has as much connectivity as a 15 or 17? laptop, there is no doubt that this thing is a technological wonder, albeit a somewhat thick one.