The BEST Gaming Laptop In 2020!

The BEST Gaming Laptop In 2020!
19 min read
17 July 2020

This is the best gaming laptop I’ve tested so far in 2020! It uses the same Tongfang chassis as the Eluktronics Mech-15 G3 and XMG Neo 15. This is the Infinity W5, as sold in Australia and New Zealand markets, so let’s find out what makes this machine so impressive. The BEST Gaming Laptop In 2020!My unit has an 8 core Intel i7-10875H processor, Nvidia RTX 2070 Super graphics, and that’s full power, no Max-Q here, 32gb of memory in dual channel, a 15.6” 1080p 240Hz screen, and a 1TB NVMe M.2 SSD.

It’s got gigabit ethernet, WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5, but there are a few different configurations available. XMG also sent me the same chassis with same specs, so I’ve got 2 to look at.The BEST Gaming Laptop In 2020! The top lid is a matte black aluminium alloy, and the interior is the same, overall build quality feels excellent and there are no sharp corners or edges anywhere.The BEST Gaming Laptop In 2020! The weight is listed at 2.1kg, though mine was closer to 2.2kg. With the 230w power brick and cables for charging the total rises to more than 3kg or 6.75lb. The BEST Gaming Laptop In 2020!The dimensions are quite good for a 15 inch gaming laptop with this level of hardware inside, it’s not too thick, and this smaller footprint allows for 8mm thin screen bezels on the sides.

The 15.6” 1080p 240Hz screen has a matte finish and viewing angles looked fine. We have the option of using optimus, or swapping to integrated or discrete graphics only through the BIOS, but there’s no G-Sync here.

Here are the screen response time results for the 1080p 240Hz screen in my unit.The BEST Gaming Laptop In 2020! The average grey to grey response time is around 5ms.

I’ve tested the screen with the Spyder 5, and got 97% of sRGB, 71% of NTSC, 76% of AdobeRGB and 75% of DCI-P3. The BEST Gaming Laptop In 2020!At 100% brightness I measured the panel at 294 nits in the center with a 710:1 contrast ratio, so quite good results overall, contrast aside. The BEST Gaming Laptop In 2020!Backlight bleed wasn’t too bad, there were some patchy spots in my unit but I didn’t notice this while viewing darker content, but this will vary between laptops and panels.

There was some screen flex when intentionally pushing it which seems to be due to the thinner lid despite the metallic build, but this was never an issue and overall the lid and hinges felt quite sturdy. It opened up easily with one finger, demonstrating a somewhat even weight distribution, no issues using it on my lap.

As a result of the thinner bezels, the 720p camera is found below the screen.The BEST Gaming Laptop In 2020! It’s got infrared for Windows hello support, but you have to tilt the screen back for it to actually see you. So we’ve got the nose cam down the bottom which can be adjusted by tilting the screen back to get yourself in frame.

The mechanical keyboard has per key RGB backlighting which illuminates all keys and secondary key functions. It also has project aurora support, so there’s a lot of customization that can be done.

Brightness can be adjusted between 4 levels or turned off with the F6 and F7 keys, or through the software. The keyboard looks a little cramped, but the buttons aren’t small and I had no problems using it. It felt great to type with and has 2mm key travel, but due to it being mechanical it was on the louder side to type on.

The BEST Gaming Laptop In 2020!There’s a power button above the keyboard to the right, as well as another button to swap between the three performance modes. There’s also what appears to be an air vent up the back, at first I thought it might be speakers but I couldn’t hear any sounds with my ear next to it.

Keyboard flex was quite minimal when intentionally pushing down hard, it felt very sturdy compared to most other laptops. The glass precision touchpad clicks down anywhere, feels very smooth to the touch, and for the most part works great. If you lightly tap it it seems to move and make a noise without actually being the full click, I noticed it occasionally in both my units but didn't see it as a deal breaker personally. You can double tap the top left corner to quickly disable it, and doing so will turn on a light to let you know it’s off.

Fingerprints show up easily on the matte black interior and lid, but as a smooth surface they’re fairly easy to clean with a microfiber cloth.

On the left from the back there’s a kensington lock slot, air exhaust vent, USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-A port, and separate 3.5mm mic and headphone jacks. The BEST Gaming Laptop In 2020!On the right from the front there’s a full size SD card slot, two USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A ports and another air exhaust vent. The BEST Gaming Laptop In 2020!The back has a couple of air exhaust vents towards the corners as well as the rest of the I/O, which from left to right includes a Type-C Thunderbolt 3 port, HDMI 2.0 output, gigabit ethernet and power input.

I confirmed that both the HDMI and Type-C ports connect directly to the Nvidia graphics, the laptop cannot be charged over Type-C however. In order to actually use the ethernet port though, I had to lift up the back of the machine as I wasn’t able to push the tab down with the cable with the laptop on the desk. The BEST Gaming Laptop In 2020!There’s a light bar on the front which can be customized through the software or turned off.

Underneath there are heaps of air intake vents at the back, much nicer to see after the recent ASUS TUF testing. The BEST Gaming Laptop In 2020!Getting inside involves taking out 11 phillips head screws of the same size, the panel basically came right off so it’s very easy to get inside.The BEST Gaming Laptop In 2020! Inside we’ve got the two NVMe M.2 slots towards the left in the middle, two memory slots in the center, WiFi 6 card to the right, and battery down the bottom. Heatpipes also appear to cover VRM which is nice to see. Here’s what that bottom panel looks likeThe BEST Gaming Laptop In 2020! so there is a piece of metal that acts as a heatsink for the two M.2 slots.

The speakers are found on the left and right towards the front, and I thought they sounded pretty good for a laptop, above average with some bass and still clear at higher volumes, which can get quite loud when maxed out, and the latencymon results were looking decent too.

This laptop is powered by a 6-cell 94Wh battery. I’ve tested with the screen brightness at 50%, background apps disabled and RGB lighting off. The result while playing the witcher 3 was one of the best so farThe BEST Gaming Laptop In 2020! however the frame rate was 22 FPS and not hitting the default 30 FPS cap, so that may explain why. 

Outside of gaming in the YouTube playback test it was possible to get an hour with Optimus enabled. As we’ve got the option of changing the GPU in use in the BIOS, I’ve retested the YouTube playback test in the available modes. The BEST Gaming Laptop In 2020!We’re able to boost battery life in the iGPU only mode, as it’s not possible for any calls to go out to the Nvidia graphics, while using the Nvidia GPU only resulted in much worse battery life.

I don’t normally test how long it takes to charge, but I did notice that this laptop seemed to take a long time, after 3 hours it was only 80% charged.

Next let’s get into the thermal testing. The Gaming Center software lets you select between different performance modes, which from lowest to highest are office mode, game mode, and turbo mode in the Infinity unit, while XMG label them as balanced, enthusiast and overboost so this will vary.The BEST Gaming Laptop In 2020! Unlike many other 10th gen laptops, undervolting works fine and can also be controlled in the BIOS, though neither of my units had undervolting or overclocking done by default, but that could easily change with updates.

Thermals were tested with a 21 degree Celsius ambient room temperature. The BEST Gaming Laptop In 2020!Idle results down the bottom were looking fine. Worst case stress tests were done with the Aida64 CPU stress test with CPU only checked and the Heaven benchmark at max settings at the same time, and gaming was tested with Watch Dogs 2 as I find it to use a good combination of processor and graphics. The CPU would thermal throttle at 90 degrees celsius which was happening any time turbo mode was engaged, and personally I prefer having a limit like this rather than just letting it run up to say 100 like other machines, especially when performance is still good. No GPU thermal throttling was ever observed.

These are the clock speeds in the same tests. The BEST Gaming Laptop In 2020!The GPU doesn’t really change outside of office mode as no overclocking is done with the different modes in the Infinity W5 version of this chassis, but the CPU performance can vary a fair bit depending on the mode selected. Undervolting was able to improve performance from turbo mode as CPU thermal throttling was the limit in these tests, and this is why the cooling pad further helped. Remember I’ve got the 8 core processor here, so 4GHz over all 8 cores in both heavy stress test or gaming workloads sounds pretty reasonable to me given the 90 degree cap.

Regardless of which mode was used, the RTX 2070 Super had no issues running up to its 115w limit. The BEST Gaming Laptop In 2020!CPU power is limited to 25 watts in office mode, then in game mode PL1 raises to 120 watts, however in game mode the thermal throttle cap of the processor seems to be set to 85 degrees which is what prevents this going further. The CPU package power then runs around 45 watts in turbo mode before being able to boost to 55 watts with the cooling pad in use, as that 90 degree thermal throttle cap is the main limitation. Again just to be clear, I don’t have an issue with this, the performance is still up there and the cap prevents the machine getting too hot.

Here’s how an actual game performs with these different modes in use, so even office mode was able to perform pretty well. The BEST Gaming Laptop In 2020!This is more of a GPU heavy test, and if you recall office mode could still run the GPU at 115 watts. We’re able to get a little boost by undervolting the processor and overclocking the GPU too.

The BEST Gaming Laptop In 2020!In a CPU only stress test, office mode still has a 25 watt power limit, however the laptop is way quieter when the GPU is inactive. At all other modes the processor is able to use far more power with the GPU idle, it’s good to see that it’s not capped low.

The BEST Gaming Laptop In 2020!This results in the 4.2GHz all core turbo boost speed being hit in this heavy CPU stress test once we apply the undervolt, again keep in mind this is over 8 cores, so it’s harder to reach these speeds compared to say the 6 core 10750H configuration.

When the GPU is idle the CPU also doesn’t seem to have that 90 degree cap anymore, as it was able to run up to 95 degrees here.The BEST Gaming Laptop In 2020! As for the external temperatures where you’ll actually be putting your hands, at idle it was in the mid 30s in the center. The BEST Gaming Laptop In 2020!With the stress tests running in the lowest office mode the middle gets to the mid 40s now. Stepping up to game mode and the temperatures are just a little cooler, then turbo mode was about the same. Check out the cool left and right sides of the keyboard, these felt extremely cool to the touch and the wrist rest was fine too, the middle just felt a bit warm, so great results.

The fan was just audible at idle, with the stress tests going in the same office mode this increases. Game mode and turbo mode were about the same, and they were the same as manually setting the fan to max speed, so in this worst case CPU plus GPU load the fans are going as fast as they can anyway, but again it’s worth noting that in a CPU only workload the fan noise was much lower.

Now my infinity model came with stock paste, while the same chassis from XMG came with liquid metal. The tongfang chassis comes with either option, but XMG will be offering liquid metal with their Neo 15 by default.The BEST Gaming Laptop In 2020! Interestingly the liquid metal configuration was a couple of degrees warmer on the GPU, however it was clocking a bit better on both CPU and GPU as a result, but either way in these tests I didn’t see too much change.The BEST Gaming Laptop In 2020!

Next let’s find out just how well this configuration actually performs in games. I’ve tested with turbo enabled and optimus disabled for best results.

In Battlefield 5 I’ve got this machine highlighted in red.The BEST Gaming Laptop In 2020! It’s giving me one of the best results compared to other high end laptops, only the far thicker and much more expensive desktop replacements like the MSI GT76 with much higher wattage GPUs are able to beat it. The 1% low performance was also very good, likely as a result of the 8 core processor which was also performing well.

These are the results from Far Cry 5 with ultra settings in the built in benchmark. The BEST Gaming Laptop In 2020!The W5 is still up there, though the Triton 500 with 2080 Max-Q was a little ahead in this one, regardless still one of the best results out of all gaming laptops I’ve tested so far, the 2070 Super Max-P looks pretty good.

These are the results from Shadow of the Tomb raider with the built in benchmark at highest settings. The BEST Gaming Laptop In 2020!Again the results are very high, the GS66 was 1 FPS ahead this time, though this and the Triton 500 all allow you to disable Optimus which is why I think we’re seeing this higher tier of performance compared to others.

If you’re after more gaming benchmarks check out Eluktronics Mech-15 G3 Gaming Performance

Overall the gaming performance was excellent, and this is a result of the combination of 2070 Super at full 115w power limit, 8 core processor and the option of disabling optimus through BIOS. I’d expect the Eluktronics or XMG configurations to possibly do better, I believe they customize them a bit better in terms of overclocking and undervolting by default, at the moment I think XMG are still evaluating undervolting, plus I don’t know if my machine has an equivalent of Eluktroboost, my guess is on no.

I measured the power draw from the wall in the two units I have in a GPU only load and didn’t see increased power draw when going into the highest modes, but I don’t think Eluktroboost really goes beyond 115w anyway.

Now for the benchmarking tools, I’ve tested Heaven, Valley, and Superposition from Unigine, as well as Firestrike, Timespy and Port Royal from 3DMark.The BEST Gaming Laptop In 2020!I’ve used Adobe Premiere to export  video at 4K, and the W5 was the fastest machine I’ve tested in some time.The BEST Gaming Laptop In 2020! I’ve also tested Premiere but with the Puget systems benchmark which also accounts for things like live playback rather than just export times, and again the W5 with these specs was a chart topper. The BEST Gaming Laptop In 2020!It was also at the top in Adobe Photoshop, though it was only a little ahead of the MSI WS66 with Quadro 3000 and weaker processor. The BEST Gaming Laptop In 2020!Davinci Resolve was also getting the best result I’ve seen so far, so this hardware is definitely offering killer performance for content creators. The BEST Gaming Laptop In 2020!I’ve also tested SPECviewperf which tests out various professional 3D workloads.The BEST Gaming Laptop In 2020! I’ve used the OpenVR benchmark to test the HTC Vive Cosmos EliteThe BEST Gaming Laptop In 2020! the W5 was behind the 2080 max-q in the m15 R2 in this test, though still one of the best results I’ve tested so far, so no issues running VR games with this hardware.

I’ve used Crystal Disk Mark to test the storage.The BEST Gaming Laptop In 2020! The 1TB NVMe M.2 SSD was doing quite well, but this will vary by region based on what storage is being used.

The SD card slot was on the slower side, but far better than not having one at all, even if the card sticks out quite a lot when inserted.The BEST Gaming Laptop In 2020!

In the US the Mech-15 G3 which is the same chassis starts at $2000 USD. Here in Australia we’re looking at about $3700 AUD for these specs in the Infinity W5, but there are also cheaper and more expensive options. With all of that in mind let’s conclude by summarising the good and bad aspects of the Infinity W5 gaming laptop, aka XMG Neo 15, aka Eluktronics Mech-15 G3.

Overall I am extremely impressed with what this machine is able to offer. In short, the build quality feels great, there are high levels of performance available for the size of the machine, the exterior of the machine is mostly very cool and only a little warm at worst.

Check out: Best Windows Laptop Dell XPS

There are some nice features, like the option of disabling optimus, Thunderbolt, SD card slot, mechanical keyboard, and a larger battery. The screen was decent for a gaming laptop, fair colour gamut and good response time compared to others. Issues to note include the subtle touchpad movement, and the nosecam was a little awkward when trying to use face unlock, but those are pretty minor when everything else is looking so good, which is why this is the best gaming laptop I’ve tested so far in 2020.

Let me know what you thought about the Infinity W5 gaming laptop down in the comments.

JT 1.6K
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