Eurocom P5 Pro / Clevo P750ZM Introduction

Some people look at notebooks as a way to cut the cord and go mobile for long periods of time, but others view the portability as a mere convenience while they move from one power socket to another (e.g. from home to the office). If you’re mostly running with your notebook connected to the power grid and you need the absolute fastest processor possible, there are some interesting options.

Clevo is pretty much the go-to option these days for desktop replacements (DTR), with the ability to support full performance desktop processors (including LGA2011 options) and up to two GTX 980M graphics cards in SLI on their top models. Today we’re looking at the next step down from that, the P750ZM that supports Haswell processors up to the i7-4790K and a single GTX 980M graphics chip.

We’ve already seen with the MSI GT72 that the GTX 980M is quite the potent mobile GPU, and in fact the GPU is so fast that there are times (especially at lower quality settings) where it becomes CPU limited. Moving up to an 88W i7-4790K should remove most of the CPU bottleneck, at least at settings anyone is likely to use, so let’s see exactly how fast the 980M can run with a desktop processor.

We’ve noted before that there are only a handful of true high-end notebook providers: Alienware, ASUS, Clevo, Gigabyte, and MSI are pretty much it, with a few companies like Razer and Gigabyte’s AORUS brand maxing out at the GTX 970M. We’re working on a review of Gigabyte’s rather slim P35W v3 as well, which is almost insanely thin for a full 980M laptop, but we’ll hold off on further comparisons until that review is ready.

As for the Clevo P750ZM, our sample laptop comes courtesy of Eurocom, where it’s sold as the Eurocom P5 Pro. While Eurocom may offer a few tweaks and options you might not find in stock configurations at other vendors, I have to be brutally honest here and say that there’s not much that separates the various branded Clevo notebooks from each other – Clevo, Eurocom, Sager, or whatever else you want to call it, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” The main factors when buying any Clevo notebook are going to be price and component options.

Of course that doesn't mean there are no differences between the various vendors. Eurocom is one of the few (only?) vendors to offer a TPM 2.0 security chip on the P750ZM, and they also offer Radeon R9 M290X graphics (though at this stage in the life cycle I'm not sure why you'd want to go with AMD's Pitcairn-derived GPU). Finally, Eurocom uses IC Diamond 7 thermal paste on their notebooks, where many vendors charge extra for that feature.

Moving on to the component side of things, Eurocom doesn’t disappoint, with a pretty well fully loaded solution being available. You can choose between several 1080p display options, as well as two different 4K panels (including the 4K Sharp IGZO display in our test sample). Four SO-DIMM slots allow for up to 32GB RAM, there are two M.2 slots (SATA or PCIe supported, though RAID requires SATA), another two 2.5” drive bays, and five USB 3.0 ports (with one being an eSATA combo port). Here are the full specifications for our review unit:

Eurocom P5 Pro / Clevo P750ZM Specifications
CPU Core i7-4790K (Quad-core, 4.0-4.4GHz, 8MB L3, 88W)
GPU NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M 8GB
(1536 CUDA cores, 1038MHz + Boost, 256-bit 5010MHz GDDR5)
RAM 16GB (2x8GB) Corsair Vengeance DDR3-1866
(Two additional SO-DIMM slots available)
SSD 256GB M.2 SATA SSD Array
(2x128GB  Crucial M600 in RAID 0)
HDD 1TB 7200RPM (HGST 7K1000-1000
Optical N/A
Display 15.6" Glossy 4K (3840x2160)
(Sharp IGZO LQ156D1JX01B)
Networking Killer N1525 Combo (2x2 802.11ac + BT 4.0)
Realtek RKL8111/8168/8411 Gigabit Ethernet
Audio Realtek ALC892
2.1 speakers
Four audio jacks
Front N/A
Left 1 x USB 2.0/eSATA Combo
Flash Reader (SDXC/SDHC/MMC)
3 x USB 3.0
Ethernet
Right 1 x USB 3.0
4 x Audio jacks
Kensington Lock
Rear Left/Right Exhaust Vents
2 x DisplayPort 1.2
1 x HDMI 1.4
AC Adapter
Input 102-Key Keyboard
Multi-touch Touchpad
Power 8-cell ~82Wh battery
330W AC adapter
Extras 2MP webcam
Configurable Multi-colored Backlighting
Fingerprint Scanner
TPM 2.0 Security Chip
100% Cooling Switch (Fn+1)
OS Windows 8.1 Professional 64-bit
Dimensions 15.4" x 10.48"x 1.4"
(386mm x 262mm x 35mm)
Weight 7.48 lbs. (3.4kg)
Pricing Starting at $1995 with GTX 980M
$3192 as Configured

Short of an SLI equipped notebook, this is pretty much the fastest system currently possible, and the only areas left to upgrade over the configuration we’re testing would be via increasing the amount of memory and/or solid state storage. Otherwise, Eurocom sent us the maximum performance/quality configuration in every respect. We’ve got a Core i7-4790K that’s overclockable (more on that later), the GTX 980M, a 4K IGZO display, 16GB of DDR3-1866 RAM, 256GB of SSD storage, and even the optional 330W power adapter (again, more on that later).

Interestingly, Clevo even dropped support for optical drives on this chassis, which seems a bit odd as Gigabyte manages to stuff a slim optical drive into a much thinner 15.6” chassis. Of course, I rarely use optical drives these days so it’s not a huge concern, but it’s something to be aware of. It’s also worth pointing out that battery life isn’t going to be a strong point on this system; even with a large 82Wh battery the high performance components will typically mean two hours of light use while unplugged, and if you want to try doing some gaming you can easily drain the battery in under an hour.

Considering the P750ZM is a full desktop replacement notebook, including an 88W desktop processor, it’s actually surprising that the system isn’t bulkier. Older Clevo models that supported desktop CPUs were often in the 10+ pound range, but the P750ZM is at least reasonably portable at 7.5 pounds. Of course, that’s not including the AC power brick, and with the 330W model we received it tips the scales at an impressive 2.6 pounds (1.2kg) all by itself. Yes, the 330W power brick actually weighs more than some 13” Ultrabooks.

The default 230W adapter should be lighter and less bulky, but there’s a reason for going the 330W route, specifically overclocking. I’m planning a separate article to do a deeper investigation of overclocking potential with the P750ZM, but under full load I’ve seen power draw at the outlet hit 260-270W. At 85% efficiency that would be a 100% load on a 230W adapter, so it’s still possible to use the default adapter and that will save you about $75-$100, but if you’re buying this sort of system it’s probably not a bad idea to opt for the 330W adapter.

Pricing as usual is going to be the biggest obstacle to overcome. There’s no getting around the fact that $2000 is a lot of money for a notebook, and as configured we’ve passed the $3000 mark. I checked around and Eurocom is generally slightly more expensive than some of the other Clevo resellers – and if you’re okay with a preconfigured unit, Amazon has some options as well – but there are differences in the specific RAM and SSD modules so I won’t belabor the point. Obviously this system is designed to set performance records for our notebook test suite, and it does.

Clevo P750ZM: Subjective Evaluation
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  • Denithor - Tuesday, March 10, 2015 - link

    Okay, duh moment, was reading specs from bottom up looking for HDD/SSD, saw the HDD and didn't go on.

    Reading fail!
    LOL
    Reply
  • Buk Lau - Tuesday, March 10, 2015 - link

    Jarred, can you post the icc files for the calibrated display? Also, if you check with the service manual provided by Clevo, you'll notice that two of the USB ports are actually USB 3.1 with ASM 1142 used as the bridging controller. I was hoping that you could do some testing with those USB ports but it's a pity that you didn't discover this :(

    the manual is linked here http://repo.palkeo.com/clevo-mirror/P75xZM/
    on page 18 and 22 of the document you'll see the Clevo listed two of ports on the left as USB 3.1 and on page 81 which is the schematic diagram of the USB port shows the ASM1142 controller
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, March 10, 2015 - link

    I'd have to try and get a USB 3.1 peripheral or it won't do me much good I suppose. I believe Eurocom is also doing monitor calibration standard now (?), though my unit didn't have that. Reply
  • Buk Lau - Tuesday, March 10, 2015 - link

    Doesn't AT have a bunch of those lol? I'd assume since you guys did USB 3.1 testing articles before Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, March 11, 2015 - link

    Different people in different places -- none of us live all that close to each other, and unless you count Purch (or Anand's house), there is no official headquarters. :) Reply
  • noeldillabough - Tuesday, March 10, 2015 - link

    I'm extremely interested in the chip in the new Macbook Pro 13" (Core i7-5557U) and wondering how fast it is, how much power it uses, and how fast the HD 6100 graphics with 48 EUs are...

    Are any other laptops coming out with this particular chip? Seems like the best portable device chip around, low power but still 28W TDP.
    Reply
  • noeldillabough - Tuesday, March 10, 2015 - link

    Interestingly the new Aorus X5 has the 5557U in a 15" format with SLI videocards...seems like overkill since there's no optimus support but will be nice to see the benches. Reply
  • will54 - Wednesday, March 11, 2015 - link

    Wow I bet that chip is going to bottleneck the X5. seems like a waste to have sli and use a low voltage cpu. Reply
  • Zak - Tuesday, March 10, 2015 - link

    Did someone throw up on that keyboard? Reply
  • Khenglish - Tuesday, March 10, 2015 - link

    Any idea on why clevo did not include optimus? Does it not work properly with desktop CPUs? The battery life is attrocious. This laptop is much thinner and lighter than older EM and SM series and thus it's a shame that with the improved portability the battery life goes to crap. Reply

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