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genexis_x

[REVIEW] Illegear Raven SE Laptop (i7-9750H, GTX 1650)

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Posted · Original PosterOP

[UPDATE: Thermal performance follow-up]

 

Welcome to my 13th review in LTT forum. I will be reviewing the Illegear Raven SE laptop. Main specs of the laptop are as below:

Spoiler

i7-9750H

GTX 1650

8GB 2666MHz RAM (single channel)

256GB Samsung PM981 M.2 SSD

Intel 9462

W10 Trial

Kryonaut paste and display colour calibration included

 

Based on Tongfang GK5CP5V chassis

This is a quick review; thus, not everything will be covered in here. Also, this review will mainly focus on thermals instead of performance. Note that this model is different compared to Prodigy.

 

Product page: https://store.illegear.com/game-ready-performance/195-illegear-raven-se.html

Side note: There will be RTX 2060 and 144Hz options coming soon (Check out Raven SE-R)

 

Part 1: Build quality, input devices

Build quality is good overall. The plastic lid has little flex when applying pressure on the middle of the lid cover. Twisting the lid is possible but the flex will be locked out at certain point, therefore not a concern. The hinges feel a bit loose, causing a bit of screen wobbling. You can open the lid with single hand.

 

The body uses plastic build. Despite that, there is little to flex on the entire keyboard+palm rest – areas with little flex are at the middle of keyboard, above the touchpad, below arrow keys and bottom bezel.

 

The membrane keyboard is clicky; however, some square sized keys have a bit of mushiness (doesn’t affect typing feel much). Key travel is ~2mm, actuation force is 50-55g (~60g for keys with a bit of mushiness). You can set the effect, brightness and speed of the keyboard lighting via Illegear Command Center.

 

The Precision clickpad has plastic surface but wet fingers don’t result in rough surface. Movements are a bit sensitive and jumpy, still precision is still OK. However, the L/R clicks has loud noise when pressed which feels a little cheap. Only small amount of force is needed to click. You can disable the clickpad by double tapping the left top corner of the clickpad. The clickpad is aligned slightly to the right of the keyboard space bar to make it more centered.

 

Part 2: Display, Audio, Battery

The display is a 60Hz IPS panel from LG (LGD05E5). Since it's a low sRGB panel, colours are less vibrant. Surprisingly, it has quite high max brightness (above average for low sRGB panel I would say). Contrast is good. It has thin bezels. As expected, there is some ghosting due to 60Hz and IPS panel (maybe I'm too used to 144Hz?).

 

The 2 down firing speakers has good enough audio only if you tune the audio via Sound Blaster software:

 

Example of a tuned audio profile: Bass 0, treble 9, surround 80, crystalizer 70, bass 20, smart vol loud 90, dialog+ 50. 100% volume doesn't result in distortion which is good.

 

I don’t have time to test the battery life, however don’t expect much from the 46.74Wh battery (there is optional 63Wh upgrade which sacrifices 2.5 inch bay).

 

Part 3: Cooling performance

The cooling design consists of 2 heatpipes - both shared on CPU+GPU. The heatsink doesn’t stretch to left and right - no exhaust vents there. Sounds not that great on paper but we'll see how's the thermal performance later.

Spoiler

Cooling design - taken from Illegear YT
303133892_coolingravenseyt.PNG.2e45f328c0692ea0d7b33891f0e0f276.PNG

Notes on all thermal testing: 

Spoiler

PL1 – 45W, PL2 – 50W

BIOS N.1.04, EC 1.05.20

GPU driver tested is 430.86

Test is conducted in an A/C room (ambient 20-22C)

Game mode and equilibrium mode are used (no turbo mode)

BD PROCHOT for CPU is 95C

Max fan noise is ~52dBA

Laptop is plugged in

Undervolt profile: CPU core+cache -100mv. You can undervolt GPU if you want, but it takes time. Blue highlighted part is the undervolted result.

 

CPU temp - Cinebench R15 multi core - temperature taken from first run

Max 70C, 3.07-3.09GHz, 50W, ~970cb

Max 70C, 3.2-3.22GHz, 50W, ~1020cb

~36dBA

 

CPU temp - Aida64 FPU 45W

Max 68C, ~2.5GHz

Max 69C, ~2.65GHz

~33dBA

 

GPU temp - Unigine Valley (extreme HD profile)

Clock speed fluctuates: 1650+MHz

Max 61C, ~50W

~36dBA

 

FPU + Valley (extreme HD) with max fans

CPU: Max 72C, 2.37-2.4GHz (2.53-2.56GHz), 35W (PL1 will drop to 35W)

GPU: Max 63C, 1635+MHz, ~50W

 

CSGO - 1080p all max, Mirage, no bots

CPU: 70-73C, 2.6-3.6GHz, 30W*

GPU: Max 67C, 1710-1845MHz, ~50W

~41dBA

*PL1 will drop to 30W regardless of office/game mode and video settings

 

Apex Legends - 1080p all max, 4GB budget, 90 FOV, training map

CPU: 68-73C, 3-4GHz, 20-25W

GPU: Max 65C, 1575-1665MHz, ~50W

~41dBA

 

Time Spy (1 run):

Score: 3479, Graphics: 3303

 

Fire Strike (1 run):

Score: 7707, Graphics: 8622

 

There is only minor uneven core temp. The fan speed takes a while to change while under load. You can lower power limits via Throttlestop / XTU, but increasing PL doesn’t work. There is undervolt applied out of the box: -50mv.

 

In Illegear Command Center, there are 2 modes to choose from: Game or Office mode. Office mode gives you access to control fan speed but has a 35W CPU power limit. There are 4 power profiles: High performance (same with Windows), Game, Equilibrium, Power saving. Basically, just keep it to game mode and equilibrium.

 

The included power adapter is an 120W unit from FSP. Take note that temps might be a little higher when running dual channel memory.

 

Part 4: Miscellaneous

The laptop is thin and light – 1.9kg and 20mm thickness. The footprint is also relatively small.

 

Ports:

L: RJ45, USB 2.0, mic, headphone
R: x2 USB 3.0 (might block mouse movements), full SD card slot
Rear: x2 mDP, HDMI, USB C, power

 

Illegear Command Center (basically the same, but without turbo mode):

Spoiler

870646706_commandcenter1.jpg.27dd2c446c5d57929bf5ddc9ee20d979.jpg862291108_commandcenter2.jpg.f36113311353d9634b0f038f6f92e8f0.jpg1295332510_commandcenter3.jpg.d5f9712778c033bb22354bf90da45e7e.jpg797156994_commandcenter4.jpg.2e466df49960413f11994652390a7cff.jpg

 

Conclusion

Yes, CPU power limit issue had existed since the original Raven (8th gen) I tested. This is due to BIOS/firmware implemented by Tongfang (ODM) out of the box which is entirely not necessary IMO – power adapter has sufficient power output and there is thermal headroom for higher clock speeds. Moreover, Tongfang already has their own SPC technology which reduces clock speed when not needed in milliseconds of time while not affecting performance. i5-9300H model should be able to achieve higher clock speeds but this needs confirmation. If you ask, does this affect performance? I would say it depends on the games you play – if the game is CPU dependent like CSGO then yes, you’ll see some loss in FPS, but not significant IMO.

[To solve power limit issue: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhXIiBPJseI - will do an update soon]

 

Anyway, back to topic, is this a good buy? Well, it’s impossible to find a thin and light gaming laptop at this price range. If you need a <2kg and <2cm gaming laptop but have limited budget, this is a good option – good build quality and cooling for the price.

 

Pros:

Spoiler

Most portable gaming laptop in this price bracket

Well built, well cooled

Plenty of ports

Priced competitively

Comes with optional battery upgrade (no 2.5 inch bay)

Cons:

Spoiler

CPU power limit issue caused by BIOS/firmware

Audio needs tuning

Thanks for reading!


Feel free to ask for recommendations if you're looking for a new lappy!

 

My daily driver: Lenovo Legion Y530 [REVIEW]

Spoiler

Intel Core i5-8300H Nvidia GTX1050TI 2GB LP156WFG-SPB2 144Hz IPS 16GB 2666MHZ DDR4 RAM (2x8GB) PM981 256GB+ST1000LM035 1TB

Check out my blog here

Check out my older laptop reviews here

 

ODMs: Clevo, Tongfang, Quanta

 

My Phone: Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (Snapdragon 625, 3GB RAM, 32GB ROM)

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29 minutes ago, GeneXiS_X said:

Side note: There will be RTX 2060 and 144Hz options coming soon

RTX 2060? 

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Posted · Original PosterOP
11 minutes ago, bindydad123 said:

RTX 2060? 

Yes


Feel free to ask for recommendations if you're looking for a new lappy!

 

My daily driver: Lenovo Legion Y530 [REVIEW]

Spoiler

Intel Core i5-8300H Nvidia GTX1050TI 2GB LP156WFG-SPB2 144Hz IPS 16GB 2666MHZ DDR4 RAM (2x8GB) PM981 256GB+ST1000LM035 1TB

Check out my blog here

Check out my older laptop reviews here

 

ODMs: Clevo, Tongfang, Quanta

 

My Phone: Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (Snapdragon 625, 3GB RAM, 32GB ROM)

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Share on other sites
Posted · Original PosterOP
6 hours ago, n56vz said:

can i say forge 15 is a better choice? 

Both have their own pros and cons, nevertheless both are good models anyway


Feel free to ask for recommendations if you're looking for a new lappy!

 

My daily driver: Lenovo Legion Y530 [REVIEW]

Spoiler

Intel Core i5-8300H Nvidia GTX1050TI 2GB LP156WFG-SPB2 144Hz IPS 16GB 2666MHZ DDR4 RAM (2x8GB) PM981 256GB+ST1000LM035 1TB

Check out my blog here

Check out my older laptop reviews here

 

ODMs: Clevo, Tongfang, Quanta

 

My Phone: Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (Snapdragon 625, 3GB RAM, 32GB ROM)

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Share on other sites
On 6/4/2019 at 9:36 PM, GeneXiS_X said:

Welcome to my 13th review in LTT forum. I will be reviewing the Illegear Raven SE laptop. Main specs of the laptop are as below:

  Reveal hidden contents

i7-9750H

GTX 1650

8GB 2666MHz RAM (single channel)

256GB Samsung PM981 M.2 SSD

Intel 9462

W10 Trial

Kryonaut paste and display colour calibration included

 

Based on Tongfang GK5CP5V chassis

This is a quick review; thus, not everything will be covered in here. Also, this review will mainly focus on thermals instead of performance. Note that this model is different compared to Prodigy.

 

Product page: https://store.illegear.com/game-ready-performance/195-illegear-raven-se.html

Side note: There will be RTX 2060 and 144Hz options coming soon

 

Part 1: Build quality, input devices

Build quality is good overall. The plastic lid has little flex when applying pressure on the middle of the lid cover. Twisting the lid is possible but the flex will be locked out at certain point, therefore not a concern. The hinges feel a bit loose, causing a bit of screen wobbling. You can open the lid with single hand.

 

The body uses plastic build. Despite that, there is little to flex on the entire keyboard+palm rest – areas with little flex are at the middle of keyboard, above the touchpad, below arrow keys and bottom bezel.

 

The membrane keyboard is clicky; however, some square sized keys have a bit of mushiness (doesn’t affect typing feel much). Key travel is ~2mm, actuation force is 50-55g (~60g for keys with a bit of mushiness). You can set the effect, brightness and speed of the keyboard lighting via Illegear Command Center.

 

The Precision clickpad has plastic surface but wet fingers don’t result in rough surface. Movements are a bit sensitive and jumpy, still precision is still OK. However, the L/R clicks has loud noise when pressed which feels a little cheap. Only small amount of force is needed to click. You can disable the clickpad by double tapping the left top corner of the clickpad. The clickpad is aligned slightly to the right of the keyboard space bar to make it more centered.

 

Part 2: Display, Audio, Battery

The display is a 60Hz IPS panel from LG (LGD05E5). Since it's a low sRGB panel, colours are less vibrant. Surprisingly, it has quite high max brightness (above average for low sRGB panel I would say). Contrast is good. It has thin bezels. As expected, there is some ghosting due to 60Hz and IPS panel (maybe I'm too used to 144Hz?).

 

The 2 down firing speakers has good enough audio only if you tune the audio via Sound Blaster software:

 

Example of a tuned audio profile: Bass 0, treble 9, surround 80, crystalizer 70, bass 20, smart vol loud 90, dialog+ 50. 100% volume doesn't result in distortion which is good.

 

I don’t have time to test the battery life, however don’t expect much from the 46.74Wh battery (there is optional 63Wh upgrade which sacrifices 2.5 inch bay).

 

Part 3: Cooling performance

The cooling design consists of 2 heatpipes - both shared on CPU+GPU. The heatsink doesn’t stretch to left and right - no exhaust vents there. Sounds not that great on paper but we'll see how's the thermal performance later.

  Reveal hidden contents

Cooling design - taken from Illegear YT
303133892_coolingravenseyt.PNG.2e45f328c0692ea0d7b33891f0e0f276.PNG

Notes on all thermal testing: 

  Reveal hidden contents

PL1 – 45W, PL2 – 50W

BIOS N.1.04, EC 1.05.20

GPU driver tested is 430.86

Test is conducted in an A/C room (ambient 20-22C)

Game mode and equilibrium mode are used (no turbo mode)

BD PROCHOT for CPU is 95C

Max fan noise is ~52dBA

Laptop is plugged in

Undervolt profile: CPU core+cache -100mv. You can undervolt GPU if you want, but it takes time. Blue highlighted part is the undervolted result.

 

CPU temp - Cinebench R15 multi core - temperature taken from first run

Max 70C, 3.07-3.09GHz, 50W, ~970cb

Max 70C, 3.2-3.22GHz, 50W, ~1020cb

~36dBA

 

CPU temp - Aida64 FPU 45W

Max 68C, ~2.5GHz

Max 69C, ~2.65GHz

~33dBA

 

GPU temp - Unigine Valley (extreme HD profile)

Clock speed fluctuates: 1650+MHz

Max 61C, ~50W

~36dBA

 

FPU + Valley (extreme HD) with max fans

CPU: Max 72C, 2.37-2.4GHz (2.53-2.56GHz), 35W (PL1 will drop to 35W)

GPU: Max 63C, 1635+MHz, ~50W

 

CSGO - 1080p all max, Mirage, no bots

CPU: 70-73C, 2.6-3.6GHz, 30W*

GPU: Max 67C, 1710-1845MHz, ~50W

~41dBA

*PL1 will drop to 30W regardless of office/game mode and video settings

 

Apex Legends - 1080p all max, 4GB budget, 90 FOV, training map

CPU: 68-73C, 3-4GHz, 20-25W

GPU: Max 65C, 1575-1665MHz, ~50W

~41dBA

 

Time Spy (1 run):

Score: 3479, Graphics: 3303

 

Fire Strike (1 run):

Score: 7707, Graphics: 8622

 

There is only minor uneven core temp. The fan speed takes a while to change while under load. You can lower power limits via Throttlestop / XTU, but increasing PL doesn’t work. There is undervolt applied out of the box: -50mv.

 

In Illegear Command Center, there are 2 modes to choose from: Game or Office mode. Office mode gives you access to control fan speed but has a 35W CPU power limit. There are 4 power profiles: High performance (same with Windows), Game, Equilibrium, Power saving. Basically, just keep it to game mode and equilibrium.

 

The included power adapter is an 120W unit from FSP. Take note that temps might be a little higher when running dual channel memory.

 

Part 4: Miscellaneous

The laptop is thin and light – 1.9kg and 20mm thickness. The footprint is also relatively small.

 

Ports:

L: RJ45, USB 2.0, mic, headphone
R: x2 USB 3.0 (might block mouse movements), full SD card slot
Rear: x2 mDP, HDMI, USB C, power

 

Illegear Command Center (basically the same, but without turbo mode):

  Reveal hidden contents

870646706_commandcenter1.jpg.27dd2c446c5d57929bf5ddc9ee20d979.jpg862291108_commandcenter2.jpg.f36113311353d9634b0f038f6f92e8f0.jpg1295332510_commandcenter3.jpg.d5f9712778c033bb22354bf90da45e7e.jpg797156994_commandcenter4.jpg.2e466df49960413f11994652390a7cff.jpg

 

Conclusion

Yes, CPU power limit issue had existed since the original Raven (8th gen) I tested. This is due to BIOS/firmware implemented by Tongfang (ODM) out of the box which is entirely not necessary IMO – power adapter has sufficient power output and there is thermal headroom for higher clock speeds. Moreover, Tongfang already has their own SPC technology which reduces clock speed when not needed in milliseconds of time while not affecting performance. i5-9300H model should be able to achieve higher clock speeds but this needs confirmation. If you ask, does this affect performance? I would say it depends on the games you play – if the game is CPU dependent like CSGO then yes, you’ll see some loss in FPS, but not significant IMO.

[To solve power limit issue: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhXIiBPJseI - will do an update soon]

 

Anyway, back to topic, is this a good buy? Well, it’s impossible to find a thin and light gaming laptop at this price range. If you need a <2kg and <2cm gaming laptop but have limited budget, this is a good option – good build quality and cooling for the price.

 

Pros:

  Reveal hidden contents

Most portable gaming laptop in this price bracket

Well built, well cooled

Plenty of ports

Priced competitively

Comes with optional battery upgrade (no 2.5 inch bay)

Cons:

  Reveal hidden contents

CPU power limit issue caused by BIOS/firmware

Audio needs tuning

Thanks for reading!

Hi, may i ask, "well cooled" meants it have a good cooling system? 

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Posted · Original PosterOP
2 hours ago, COODIE said:

Hi, may i ask, "well cooled" meants it have a good cooling system? 

yes, the cooling is good but not superior level


Feel free to ask for recommendations if you're looking for a new lappy!

 

My daily driver: Lenovo Legion Y530 [REVIEW]

Spoiler

Intel Core i5-8300H Nvidia GTX1050TI 2GB LP156WFG-SPB2 144Hz IPS 16GB 2666MHZ DDR4 RAM (2x8GB) PM981 256GB+ST1000LM035 1TB

Check out my blog here

Check out my older laptop reviews here

 

ODMs: Clevo, Tongfang, Quanta

 

My Phone: Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (Snapdragon 625, 3GB RAM, 32GB ROM)

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Share on other sites
Posted · Original PosterOP
40 minutes ago, Kien Yu said:

illegear raven SE-R or Level51 forge 15 pro?

Haven't tried SE-R so can't comment


Feel free to ask for recommendations if you're looking for a new lappy!

 

My daily driver: Lenovo Legion Y530 [REVIEW]

Spoiler

Intel Core i5-8300H Nvidia GTX1050TI 2GB LP156WFG-SPB2 144Hz IPS 16GB 2666MHZ DDR4 RAM (2x8GB) PM981 256GB+ST1000LM035 1TB

Check out my blog here

Check out my older laptop reviews here

 

ODMs: Clevo, Tongfang, Quanta

 

My Phone: Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (Snapdragon 625, 3GB RAM, 32GB ROM)

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Share on other sites
Posted · Original PosterOP
10 hours ago, Alm1ghtyB3ck said:

I just got a Raven se recently , I want to ask which panel should I buy if I want to upgrade it to a 144hz panel and where can I buy it .

sorry but I have no idea, however I've heard that the panel connection is not compatible with 144Hz panels


Feel free to ask for recommendations if you're looking for a new lappy!

 

My daily driver: Lenovo Legion Y530 [REVIEW]

Spoiler

Intel Core i5-8300H Nvidia GTX1050TI 2GB LP156WFG-SPB2 144Hz IPS 16GB 2666MHZ DDR4 RAM (2x8GB) PM981 256GB+ST1000LM035 1TB

Check out my blog here

Check out my older laptop reviews here

 

ODMs: Clevo, Tongfang, Quanta

 

My Phone: Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (Snapdragon 625, 3GB RAM, 32GB ROM)

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Share on other sites

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