Eurocom's Sky X9E3 Is a Fully Upgradable Gaming Laptop

Subject: Systems, Mobile | March 17, 2017 - 07:21 PM |
Tagged: Sky X9E3, nvidia, notebook, MXM, modular, laptop, Intel Core i7, geforce, gaming, eurocom

Fancy a desktop processor in your laptop? How about dual MXM graphics card slots? While such a machine is likely not as 'portable' as the laptop designation would make it seem, it is interesting to see a notebook product built specifically for upgradability, and that is exactly what Eurocom has done with the Sky X9E3.

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"The Sky X9E3 is an SLI Ready and VR capable super high-performance supercomputer laptop. With an upgradeable desktop CPU and two upgradeable desktop GPUs cooled with high-quality copper heatsinks and IC Diamond thermal paste, and controlled by an unlocked system BIOS for the ultimate in overclocking capability."

One of the things detractors of gaming laptops will point out is the limited lifespan of a product that is often far more expensive than a high-end gaming desktop. Granted, gaming laptops generally do not follow the soldered memory trend from thin-and-light machines, allowing users to swap SODIMMs for more memory down the road, and storage is generally upgradable as well. But what about the most expensive parts of a laptop, namely CPU and (even more expensive) GPU? The use of desktop CPUs in the X9E3 is novel, and translates to ready availability for future upgrades; but MXM graphics is still a very expensive route, though I have ended up at Eurocom's website when researching MXM GPU upgrades in the past, so they are at least readily available.

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What are the specifications? Eurocom sells the machine configured to order, and lists basic specs as follows:

  • Chipset: Intel Z270 Express (Kaby Lake)
  • Processor: socketed desktop LGA1151 CPU, up to Intel i7 7700K
  • Memory: up to 64GB; DDR4-2400/2666/3000/3200; 4 RAM Sockets
  • VGA Technology: NVIDIA Pascal GeForce GTX 1080 8GB DDR5X and GeForce GTX 1070 8GB DDR5; single or Dual SLI; two MXM 3.0 slots; up to 190W per slot
  • Display Technology: supports total of 4 displays including LCD via 2x DP 1.3, 1x HDMI 2.0 and 1x HDMI 2.0 or DP1.2 (via USB 3.1 type C port); Nvidia Surround View
  • Storage: up to 14TB or storage with 5 drives; 2x HDD/SSD (SATA3) + 3x M.2 PCIe Gen3 x4/SATA3; RAID 0/1/5; supports NVMe SSDs
  • Communications: two 1GbE Killer E2400 RJ45 ports + M.2 WLAN/Bluetooth; Killer DoubleShot X3
  • Operating Systems: Microsoft Windows: 10, 8.1 and 7
  • Card Reader: 6-in-1 MMC/RSMMC/SD/miniSD/SDHC/SDXC up to UHS-II
  • Keyboard: Illuminated, backlit with customizable 7-colours
  • Security: TPM 2.0, Fingerprint and Kensington Lock
  • Audio System: Sound Blaster X-Fi MB5; external 7.1CH audio output; headphone out, microphone in, S/PDIF and Line-in port; two built-in FOSTER Speakers (2W)+ Subwoofer (2.5W)
  • Ports: 2x USB 3.1 type C (HDMI 2.0/DP 1.3/Thunderbolt 3); 2x miniDP 1.3; 1x HDMI 2.0; 5x USB 3.0 (1x Powered USB AC/DC); S/PDIF; Headphone; Mic; Line-in; 2x RJ45 (LAN)
  • Weight and dimensions: 5.5kg / 12.1lbs; WxDxH 428x308x47.2mm / 17.12x12.32x1.88-inch

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Pricing begins at $2499, which makes this a hefty proposition at the outset. But for someone looking for desktop experience in a notebook, and wants the ability to purchase faster CPUs and GPUs down the road, it may be worth it.

Source: Eurocom

March 18, 2017 | 03:16 AM - Posted by eyeoncomputers

Might want to add that Eurocom is the OEM reseller/distributor. The ODM for this notebook is Clevo, and the model is CLEVO P870KM series.

http://www.clevo.com.tw/clevo_prodetail.asp?id=997&lang=en

Its already being sold by many Clevo resellers internationally.

March 18, 2017 | 07:35 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

It does not mean Eurocom will sell every Clevo.

March 19, 2017 | 05:52 AM - Posted by eyeoncomputers

Historically, Eurocom started as and still is one of the three main North American distributors for Clevo, so they would carry every Clevo model and you can special order any Clevo stuff from them if needed.

I have gotten Clevo notebooks (as well as parts) from them and Sager (the other large Clevo distributor) for over 10 years now.

March 18, 2017 | 11:08 AM - Posted by Jabbadap (not verified)

Heh, someone should tell Eurocom that mxm graphics cards are not considered to be desktop gpus...

Well of course gpu is the same(although mxm gtx1070 has more shaders than it desktop sibling)

March 19, 2017 | 05:52 AM - Posted by eyeoncomputers

MXM cards has gotten pretty far since the GTX 980 desktop GPU was put onto the small form factor. So its desktop grade GPU graphics performance you are getting with these super high-end notebooks.

I guess some people think still think "desktop videocards" in notebooks means that they actually stuck a PCI-E x16 card in the chassis.... which is pretty ridiculous.

March 20, 2017 | 11:18 AM - Posted by Marc Sticken (not verified)

Well I thought it had PCI-e x16 cards
I feel so stupid I'm.sirta new to the PC gaming world but my first gaming PC about a month ago

March 20, 2017 | 11:18 AM - Posted by Marc Sticken (not verified)

Well I thought it had PCI-e x16 cards
I feel so stupid I'm.sirta new to the PC gaming world but my first gaming PC about a month ago

March 18, 2017 | 11:40 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Awesome, this will go great with my Motorola DynaTAC phone.

March 18, 2017 | 01:32 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I'd like an option with a Ryzen 7 1700 and some RX 470's(RX 570s if the thermals are better)/other GPU options(Radeon WX) and of course a Linux OS factory installed option. I really hope for some 16 core Zen server workstation options also using that MXM graphics card from factor so things can be updated and hopefully by that time there will be some Vega MXM GPU options for form factors like this.

Those workstation APU's on an Interposer SKU's in development by AMD will take this to the next level with maybe a 12 or 16 core Zen/workstation CPU on the same interposer as a larger Vega Die and single or dual stacks of HBM2.

At least for any CPU only Zen/Server variants there is the possibility of some direct attached Vega GPU SKUs via the Infinity Fabric connecting of any Discrete GPUs to the Zen/CPU cores only processor as that's an option on the server/workstation motherboards that are coming starting with Zen/Naples.

March 19, 2017 | 04:50 PM - Posted by Arc (not verified)

I had a Clevo/sager a few years ago (The military hates desktops and will be destroyed by boots / jealous people.) Great rig, could run anything I threw at it.

Don't get fooled by the up-gradable part, good luck finding "parts" for it...

March 19, 2017 | 07:46 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

That the Rub with the MXM GPU form factor cards and the OEM Only strangle hold on the laptop market.

If only someone would grow some Cojones and make a Nikon Camera "F-Body" style of user upgradeable standardized laptop case and complement of open IP mainboard/other industry standarized components. Laptops are definitely a big racket in the computing industry, even among the other many computing market ills!

March 19, 2017 | 11:46 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

From the specs it apparently doesn't come with a screen or a battery.

March 20, 2017 | 11:56 AM - Posted by Gunbuster

Still rocking the giant clunky plastic chassis from the early 2000's, don't ever change Clevo/Sager/Eurocom/

March 22, 2017 | 02:35 PM - Posted by Mutation666 (not verified)

Sockets don't last long enough to merit that being changeable, but the gpus sure