Review: Metabox Prime-X gaming laptop

Australia leads the way...

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Review: Metabox Prime-X gaming laptop
Supplier: Metabox
Price: $6899.00

Nvidia’s new Pascal architecture is taking the world by storm, and the moment we’ve been waiting for has finally arrived – a mobile version of the current king of the stack, the GeForce GTX 1080. Except Aussie company Metabox has gone one better – instead of just putting one 1080 inside the Prime-X, they’ve stuffed two of these monsters inside. 

Considering we were expecting this GPU to already be the world’s fastest on its own, putting two inside should deliver some remarkable performance. We should point out that the Prime-X series encompasses a wide range different laptops – this one is the P870DM2-G. This is its top-of-the-line system, and once you’ve selected it there’s a huge range of configuration options available. They gave us one of the highest spec systems available, but there’s room for even more hardware, as you’ll soon see.

Metabox has gone for an old-school mega-machine, weighing in at around 5kg. In other words, it’s bloody huge and heavy. The chassis is dominated by the huge 17.3-inch 4K display, which obviously supports Nvidia’s proprietary G-Sync technology. Unfortunately it’s currently limited to just 60Hz, but Metabox will be offering a 120Hz version in the near future, perfect for the twin GeForce GTX 1080s. 

Unlike prior mobile chipsets, Nvidia’s new mobile range are basically fully-fledged versions of its desktop parts but with slightly adjusted frequencies. The mobile GeForce GTX 1080 has 2560 CUDA cores, just like it’s desk-bound brethren, along with an identical 160 Texture units. There’s also 64 ROPs, just like the desktop version, along with 8GB of GDDR5X running over a 256-bit memory bus at 10GHz. These specs are simply unrivalled when it comes to mobile graphics, and the Prime-X has two of them.

Metabox has gone for an old-school mega-machine, weighing in at around 5kg. In other words, it’s bloody huge and heavy.

The only differences are the frequencies, but they’re not massively reduced. The core clock speed drops from 1607MHz to 1556MHz, yet the boost clock is identical, at 1733MHz. Given this is a 150W TDP GPU, we were a little surprised at the heat being pumped out by this beast – it’d act as a nice little heater during the colder months. Yet during testing the fans didn’t blast our ear drums, only pumping out an accommodating 46dB of fan noise.

To power these GPUs and everything else, Metabox has gone for a dual power supply system – there’s not one, but two huge power bricks. Weighing about a kilogram each – the same as an Ultrabook – they plug into a special Y-connector which then plugs into a single input on the back of the machine. Metabox claims you can stick with one power supply for mobility, but we’re not sure how that would impact performance – would one of the GeForce GTX 1080s be disabled in the process? 


Backing up the extraordinary graphics hardware are some of the most serious components in the biz. Intel’s Core i7-6700K Processor (8M Cache up to 4.2 GHz) is our favourite CPU for gaming, with its quad cores decked out with HyperThreading and hitting a maximum frequency of 4.2GHz. It can even be overclocked, though given the heat of this unit we probably wouldn’t recommend it. It’s paired with a ridiculous 64GB of DDR4, and Metabox has gone with the clever decision of sticking with 2400MHz memory instead of wasting cash on 3000MHz+ memory just for bragging rights. Samung’s super-fast 950 Pro M.2 drive delivers speedy storage, and comes packing the latest in NVMe technology, doubling its speed compared to standard M.2 drives.  Meanwhile another 1TB of mechanical hard drive space delivers your back-up room, and there’s the option to include a second one if you have a ridiculous amount of data to store.

Users are spoilt for choice when it comes to connectivity options. Twin DisplayPort 1.4 outputs sit alongside twin Type-C USB 3.0 connections, while on the other side, three USB 3.0 type-A connections are alongside dual Ethernet out. There’s also HDMI 2.0 if you want to hook this up to your shiny new 4K TV. The only thing missing is an optical drive… but Metabox is happy to jam one of them in if you don’t mind paying a little bit extra. 

In fact, nearly every component is configurable, from the RAM, to the GPUs (GeForce GTX 1070s and Quadros are also options), to the SSDs. The lowest spec starts at $3999, so you can see our review sample is well above the default version.

As expected, given its incredible hardware, this thing absolutely destroyed our benchmarks. Sadly we had to test at 1080p to compare it to other laptops, but we’re confident the HDMI 2.0 output would happily deliver 4K performance provided you don’t mind dropping a few detail settings. It basically doubled the performance of the Asus GL502 with GeForce GTX 1070, though the fact it’s SLI does entail a few wibbly wobblies. Our Shadow of Mordor benchmark is notorious for hating SLI unless you make a bunch of config hacks, which is why this dual-GPU laptop didn’t perform too well. 

This is undoubtedly the world’s fastest laptop, and the fact it’s made by an Aussie company makes us more than a little proud. It might be massive, hot, heavy and expensive, but its blazing speed will make all that easy to ignore for those who want the very best. Kudos to Metabox for delivering such an amazingly specced system. 

PROS
• Fastest laptop in the world
• Aussie made
• Relatively quiet
 
CONS
• Hot and heavy
• Extremely expensive
• We’d wait for the 120Hz screen
Power Award
10 10
Verdict
Aussie born and bred, this is the world’s fastest laptop.
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