Battery Life

Given that we're using a newer, much more vigorous battery testing methodology now, it's harder to make an accurate comparison between the CyberPowerPC FangBook and competing gaming notebooks. Unfortunately all we have for the moment are ultrabooks, all of which are running substantially slower (and less power hungry hardware). [Ed: I added the ASUS UX51VZ to the list as well; still an Ultrabook, but substantially faster than the ULV models.] Perspective remains important, though, and battery life is one of the major sacrifices made when you use a heavy gaming notebook. It's not as bad as it used to be thanks to switchable graphics technology, but we're still running a 45W CPU.

Battery Life 2013 - Light

Battery Life 2013 - Medium

Battery Life 2013 - Heavy

Battery Life 2013 - Light Normalized

Battery Life 2013 - Medium Normalized

Battery Life 2013 - Heavy Normalized

Given that we're dealing with a 45W CPU competing with 17W CPUs while running a bigger display, the FangBook's efficiency really isn't half bad. We still get a minimum of three hours of useful running time, which is appreciated.

Display Quality

Amusingly enough, we're starting to get to the point where a 1080p display on a 17.3" notebook may not cut it. For now, though, it's a good size, especially for a gaming notebook that isn't going to be able to push games beyond 1080p. The FangBook is using the exact same panel as iBuyPower's Valkyrie CZ-17 (again, same chassis), so it remains to be seen if there's any real difference. We also want to see how it stacks up against competing options in the gaming market. Note that the FangBook is also using a matte panel while the Alienware M17x R4's and Dell XPS 13's (filling in here for IPS 1080p) are glossy.

LCD Analysis - White

LCD Analysis - Black

LCD Analysis - Contrast

LCD Analysis - Delta E

LCD Analysis - Color Gamut

Interestingly, despite using the exact same panel and chassis, the FangBook posts slightly better performance all around. All of these 1080p displays are competitive, and for being TN panels they hold their own with Dell's XPS 13 and its IPS panel.

System Performance Two Conclusions
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  • kjohio - Wednesday, May 1, 2013 - link

    Excellent observation. Heat is definitely a big issue while playing games. Would love to have any updates on this topic. Thanks,
  • darkhawk1980 - Friday, May 3, 2013 - link

    Since this chassis is based off the older MSI GT70, the most likely cause is that it has the same problems the GT70 did in production, and that the heatsink compound and heatsinks were not done properly, do you were not getting efficient cooling. After re-applying compound and remounting the heatsinks, it should be better. Atleast, if this is based on the GT70 as much as it looks like. They could have skimped on the heatsink more than MSI did, which might help explain the heat issues.
  • whyso - Wednesday, May 1, 2013 - link

    Does the 7950m even exist? I've never seen it.
  • cknobman - Wednesday, May 1, 2013 - link

    I'd rather have the MSI GX60 for $1200.
    It boasts a 7970m and is overall a nicer laptop.
    TH did a review on it yesterday and while it lacked the raw cpu horsepower of some of the intel models the review proved that when it came to games it really did not make that big of an impact and it could still play everything at max settings on 1920x1080. It also had pretty decent battery life.
  • Bob Todd - Wednesday, May 1, 2013 - link

    That's actually a very interesting gaming laptop. I love the tear down pics of the cooling design. CPU performance obviously isn't earth shattering but about the only intensive thing I do on my laptop these days is playing the occasional game anyway. I wish they made a more subtle looking version. Also, I checked the usual places and the versions they are selling lack the dual mSATA RAID 0 array. It's still a good deal of gaming performance for the money, but the SSDs would make it a pretty phenomenal piece of gaming kit for the money.
  • DanNeely - Wednesday, May 1, 2013 - link

    Consumer SSD raid0 is a benchmark chasers/suckers gimmick only. You won't notice the performance difference vs a single larger drive any more than you will the difference between a cheap and high performance SSD.

    You will however have doubled your risk of losing data to a drive failure.
  • Bob Todd - Wednesday, May 1, 2013 - link

    Understood, and I don't really care that it's set up as a RAID 0 array. What I'm really after is just mSATA (or NGFF now) + 9.5mm HDD. I'll gladly give up a few millimeters in any laptop for a full height HDD. Newegg had the HGST 1TB drives for $65 for quite a while. That plus a 256GB mSATA is an ideal setup for me. Unfortunately Lenovo seems to be the only manufacturer including mSATA/NGFF support into most of their lineup. And I wouldn't really care if they throw two mSATA drives in RAID 0. I have sysprep'd OS images set up how I want them, and anything important goes to a home server with 2 disk redundancy, with the stuff I really care about in the cloud as well. I screw around with my hardware enough that wiping the system drives on any of them isn't going to make me lose any sleep. If one of the mSATA drives died I'd just replace it and restore from the last daily backup.
  • Majes - Wednesday, May 1, 2013 - link

    I was pretty dissapointed in the MSI GX60... The video card did not switch as advertised for some of my games, and was quite a hassle to deal with. Would have rather they just put in the 7970m as a dedicated card than do all the switching based on program. I returned my laptop in less than a week I was so dissatisfied.

    My two cents anyway :-/
  • will54 - Wednesday, May 1, 2013 - link

    notebookcheck reviewed the GX60 a while back and the CPU bottlenecked the GPU so bad that some games were below the 660M and 3630QM.
  • whyso - Thursday, May 2, 2013 - link

    The a10 bottlenecks quite badly. It can be seen in the toms hardware review or the notebookcheck review. Even looking at the bf3 singleplayer benchmarks we see a cpu problem at lower settings (and looking at other bf3 reviews practically any cpu will not bottleneck bf3 singleplayer). BF3 multiplayer is going to kill this thing. Hitman is flat out unplayable. You can see a lot in that review that in a lot of games you are limited to only 40-50fps in current and old games, as hardware requirements rise you are going to be cpu limited to 30 fps or below.
    In my opinion gpu bottleneck is much preferable to cpu bottleneck. You can always work around a gpu bottleneck but a cpu bottleneck is much harder. Its better to have a laptop than can play all games on average settings than one that can play 75% of games on high and 25% not at all.

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