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AVADirect Whitebook 16K2 Gaming Laptop Review

Gaming Benchmarks

Starting with our review of the Acer Aspire VX 15, we ran additional benchmarks with settings reduced to normal whenever a laptop was incapable of maintaining an average of 45 FPS. This was done to illustrate that low-powered gaming laptops can, at the very least, achieve close to 60 FPS at FHD. Unfortunately, we do not have reduced results for the Sager NP8156 or NP6852, as these were reviewed before we tested the Aspire VX 15.

Alien: Isolation

Our 3DMark and CompuBench results foreshadow the performance you can expect from the AVADirect Whitebook 16K2. In Alien: Isolation, the Whitebook matches the Sager NP8165 within a fraction of a frame. A laptop with a GTX 1070 (Alienware) will provide around 29% additional performance. Conversely, you'll sacrifice about 32% performance and save a few hundred dollars by downgrading to a system like the NP6852. That’s not bad considering how easy Alien: Isolation runs.

Ashes of the Singularity

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On the other hand, Ashes of the Singularity can cripple performance, and the GTX 1060 doesn’t quite cut it at max settings. The Alienware 15 performs 31% faster, but even that places it just above 45 FPS. The Sager NP6852 cannot even maintain a playable frame rate.

With the settings reduced, the AVADirect can easily surpass 60 FPS. In fact, it closes the wide performance gap against the Alienware to 7%.

Bioshock Infinite

Bioshock Infinite enjoys a bit more platform balance, but because all of the laptops in this comparison feature the Intel Core i7-7700HQ, the determining factor will be the GPUs.

The AVADirect unit places third yet again, only losing to the Sager NP8165 by small margin. This could be due to some thermal throttling. The GTX 1060 has a boost clock of 1708, but our GPU-Z log reports the clock rate falling well below that once the GPU hits higher temperatures.

The throttling ultimately affects the AVADirect by just a handful of frames; it still delivers far more power than the Sager NP6852, which falls behind by 27%. Even then, the GTX 1050 Ti provides enough performance to play Bioshock Infinite comfortably.

DiRT Rally

You should start seeing a trend: the Whitebook 16K2 underperforms the NP8165 by 7%, due to what looks like thermal throttling (we no longer have the Sager unit to re-test, so we're relying on the numbers we're seeing with the AVADirect system). However, this isn’t a deal breaker, considering that both perform close enough to 60 FPS that light tweaking will easily push it past this threshold. The same cannot be said for the NP6852, which only barely manages to maintain a playable frame rate. However, if you want to play DiRT Rally without compromises, you’ll need to step up to a GTX 1070.

Grand Theft Auto V

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Grand Theft Auto is one of the most demanding games in our suite, and not even the Alienware 15 can withstand the infamous Vinewood Sign scene, despite its powerful GTX 1070. The Whitebook falls below 45 FPS in all benchmark loads except the Del Perro Pier scene, so you absolutely need to drop settings for a more responsive gaming experience.

With the settings reduced to normal, the AVADirect delivers well above 60 FPS in all scenes, and it falls behind the Alienware by anywhere from 6% - 27% for the duration of the benchmark.

GRID Autosport

GRID Autosport is a platform-based title, much like its racing companion, DiRT Rally. However, GRID also gives a slight edge to GPUs with high clock rates. Because of this, a laptop with a GTX 1060 can perform competitively against a laptop with a more powerful GTX 1070. The AVADirect performs only 8% slower than the Alienware 15. It also helps that GPU-Z doesn’t detect major dips in clock rate as a result of thermal throttling.

Meanwhile, the less powerful GTX 1050 Ti has a low clock speed of 1392 MHz, which lands the NP6852 15% lower than the Whitebook 16K2.

Hitman

Hitman is yet another title that demands balanced platform performance. By a stroke of fate, the AVADirect manages to outperform the Sager NP8156 by around 8%; the difference only amounts to 7 FPS, and both GTX 1060-based laptops offer more than enough performance to play Hitman at max. By comparison, the NP6852 scores dramatically worse, delivering less than half the performance of the Whitebook, which nearly lands in it unplayable territory.

Metro: Last Light Redux

Metro: Last Light Redux differs from the last few titles in that it’s heavily GPU reliant. Unfortunately, the GTX 1060 doesn’t offer enough power to maintain 60 FPS, but with some light tweaking in areas such as anti-aliasing, laptops like the Whitebook 16K2 or the NP8156 can easily surpass this threshold. Alternatively, the Alienware 15 is capable of maintaining 60 FPS with some performance to spare, thanks to its GTX 1070. All three laptops make fine options, but stepping to the NP6852 will jeopardize your frame rate.

Rise of the Tomb Raider

Rise of the Tomb Raider takes Metro’s GPU reliance up a notch. This time, both the Whitebook and the NP8156 drop to the mid-to-high 30s (FPS). Because of this, you’ll have to drop your settings to smooth out the experience. Meanwhile, the Alienware provides 12% additional performance, landing it just close enough to where it won’t need quality leaps to reach 60 FPS.

Unfortunately, setting the quality preset to normal doesn’t land the AVADirect anywhere close to 60 FPS, either, so some settings will have to be set to low *gasp*. This also means that budget laptops like the NP6852 are unlikely to reach 60, even with the settings reduced to low. If you plan on playing RotTR and other demanding games without breaking the bank, the GTX 1060 will still be your safest bet.

The Division

The Division continues our trend of GPU-intensive titles, although it’s not as demanding as Metro or RotTR. Because of this, the AVADirect easily maintains over 50 FPS, but falls behind the NP8165 by about 4%. At this frame rate, you can easily turn the graphics down a smidgen to reach 60 FPS.

On the other hand, the NP6852 struggles to maintain playable frame rates, delivering 36% lower performance than the Whitebook. More dramatic reductions in graphics quality are needed for an enjoyable experience, so a GTX 1060-based laptop hits the sweet spot for price/performance.

Thief

Finally, our benchmarks conclude with Thief, a title that demands balanced platform performance. Thermal throttling doesn’t affect the Whitebook 16K2 GPU as heavily; we only see a 2% decrease in performance. Meanwhile, the Sager NP6852 performs pretty well, but not well enough to hit 60 FPS. If you want to play Thief at maximum settings, the Whitebook or NP8156 are the best bang for the buck.


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  • webdevsam
    Is it possible to install your own 2.5 SSD in the space provided? Are the connections present?
    Reply
  • Kursem
    well, if you really that thight on budget but wan to game, then I suppose you should get Acer Helios 300 (i7-7700HQ, GTX 1060 6GB, 250GB SSD, FHD IPS), which is only $1,050 on Amazon
    Reply
  • ledhead11
    Nice review. Nice looking laptop. I'll echo the same thing most say about "gaming' laptops, way, way, overpriced. Pretty sure the marketing and visual design people are laughing all the way to the bank on thing like this.

    I have to agree with Kursem. Just checked it out and for nearly a $1000 less you'll have pretty much an identical system. It'd take some serious obsession to choose the Whitebook over the Helios. I'd actually recommend that Helios as a good general all-purpose non-4k laptop, pretty solid looking for the price.
    Reply