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x15E Review

Post Date: 2012-05-19

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Trumpeteer23 View Drop Down
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  Quote Trumpeteer23 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Topic: x15E Review
    Posted: 19 May 2012 at 1:21am
A little while ago I ordered my new x15E Digital Storm Laptop, and let me tell you... it was well worth the 10 day build time and three day ship time. After reading reviews from 2011 and searching high and low over the internet for the new versions of the 15" laptops, I frustratingly couldn't find one. I read many reviews that discussed the cooling ability of these laptops, and some of the numbers people were posting kind of scared me. After doing some more digging and becoming more knowledgeable about CPU and GPU temps, and going off of the sheer ridiculously-freaking-awesome specs of the this computer, along with the even more ridiculously-freaking-awesome customer service, I decided it was time to press the order button.

Here are the specs of my new x15E Laptop:

System Configuration:
Chassis Model: Digital Storm x15E Laptop (Model: 9150)
Display: 15.6 Inch (16:9) (Resolution: 1920 x 1080) (Glossy Surface) LED-Backlit Display
Processor: Intel Core i7 3720QM (2.6 GHz Turbo Mode to 3.6Ghz) (Quad Core) (6MB Cache)
Thermal Compound: Premium IC Diamond CPU and GPU Thermal Compound (Reduces Thermal & Laptop Noise)
Memory: 8GB DDR3 1600MHz
Primary Hard Drive: Intel 240GB SSD (520 Series) (SATA 6Gb/s)
Secondary Hard Drive: - Not Available
Optical Drive: DVD/CD 8x Multi-Drive (Writes and Reads DVDs, CDs)
Wireless Card: Intel Ultimate-N 6300 Wireless LAN Module
Video Card(s): NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675M 2GB with NVIDIA Optimus Technology
Windows OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium (64-Bit Edition)
Warranty Plan: Life-time Expert Customer Care with 3 Year Limited Warranty


Opening the case, was pretty much like every other Digital Storm laptop review you've read--high quality packaging, everything you need inside the box, and of course a carrying case. After setting up my computer I decided to pop in Starcraft 2 and give it a go. I immediately maxed out everything in the game, and neglected to read one of the specs asking me to reset the game after changing it. I then started up the game, expecting amazing frame-rate and to my surprise, the opening cinematic was extremely choppy. I thought it had something to do with plugging my laptop into my 42" LCD via HDMI. I then ran it off my computer screen and it was smooth as butter on the extreme settings. I later figured out (about 15 minutes later, haha) that it was because of that one setting that made the fps go to hell and back. Sorry for that ridiculously long description, but I just wanted to give you guys all the details so you don't think it was the fault of DS at all. Intireley my own lack of reading instructions... failsauce

Anyways... on to temperatures. This computer, to my very pleasant surprise, runs very cool. While idling, it runs from about 38C-43C (very acceptable and cool temps for laptop idling). While gaming during Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3 (not the most graphically taxing games, but they're all I've got right now, haha), the CPU's got up to around 78C, and never really rose above that. The GPU, that only kicks in while gaming or doing something that requires graphics processing, hours into gaming would clock at around 79C. Almost immediately after gaming, the temp would drop to like 47C. Really fast cooling. So pretty much as long as you're in a well ventilated room that's not like 80F or above for a long period of time, you should be just fine :)

I'm planing on getting a more graphically intense game sometime soon, but I can imagine that this computer will have no problems tearing through them like they're nothing.

The 15" display is really nice, but being able to plug it into my 42 inch is really easy and a great way to game while at home. On the go, I'm sure this would be easy to carry around and game. The battery doesn't last super long--about 3.5ish if you're not gaming probably. I mean, with all the power that's under the hood of this beast, I would expect it to not run very long, compared to a macbook pro which can't even touch this in terms of quality or raw power of the hardware.

To sum things up... if you are looking for a portable gaming monster that can handle anything on the gaming scene right now, and probably into the next couple of years, you really need to look into this. Digital Storm knows what they are doing, and they are very good at proving it in the fine quality of their products and the insanely reliable customer support. I really don't know what else to say that can convince you to get this thing. The only other thing I guess I can say is that if you get this, you will not even be close to disappointed, and all of your expectations will be blown away.

I would post pictures, but I mean... you can pretty much see what it looks like from the pictures DS has provided... and I'm too lazy/tired from gaming to upload them right now, haha.

Trumpeteer23
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  Quote Trumpeteer23 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 19 May 2012 at 1:23am
Spelled "entirely" wrong...
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Tidgxor View Drop Down
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  Quote Tidgxor Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 19 May 2012 at 1:28am
Awesome
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  Quote Black5Lion Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 19 May 2012 at 2:46am
why no pics :< oh well anyways gratz Awesome
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  Quote Trumpeteer23 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 19 May 2012 at 8:49am
Video link incoming soon...
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  Quote Black5Lion Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 19 May 2012 at 9:54am
sweet! :D
i'm just torn between x15e or xm11 whenever i make a configuration x15e is better and more expensive but i might be more worried about shipping :/
sorry alex wonder if you can till me how much x15e weights too? xD

edit:sorry just checked the configuration and choose "more info" on the case and found the weight xD around 7pounds so only 3 pounds differ :)


Edited by Black5Lion - 19 May 2012 at 10:14am
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  Quote Trumpeteer23 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 19 May 2012 at 10:33am
It isn't really that heavy. Also, the product is packaged REALLY well. There are two boxes--an outer, more heavy duty box, and an inner box which is also very strong that will protect the laptop and all the other materials you get. It also has these two foam (or whatever the material is) bracers that support the laptop for a tight fit. I mean, if you are moving around ALL the time, I would maybe consider the 11", but if you want a portable desktop substitute, I would definitely go with x15E.
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  Quote Alex Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 19 May 2012 at 11:10am

Thank you for the kind words and taking the time to post your review! Big%20Smile

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  Quote Alex Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 19 May 2012 at 11:15am
Black5Lion,
 
No problem. Big%20Smile
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  Quote Trumpeteer23 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 19 May 2012 at 12:26pm
No problem One question. Actually, I guess the laggy issue wasn't starcraft 2's fault. I went back to try and see if it would get laggy again, but it didn't. Did I somehow mess with the graphics cards, or not activate the 675M but instead leave the integrated card running? Is there a way to turn it on or off? This isn't a huge issue, I just kinda want to know what happened. Maybe when going through my tv instead of my laptop screen for the first time, something weird happened and it didn't register correctly... idk, haha. Any idea on what might have happened? Hasn't happened at all since, but gave me a scare when it happened.

Edited by Trumpeteer23 - 19 May 2012 at 12:26pm
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  Quote Alex Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 19 May 2012 at 12:38pm
Sure thing! You can manually configure the driver to turn the dedicated GPU on by going into the NVIDIA control panel then (3D Settings -> Manage 3D Settings -> Program Settings) and add your program/game and set it to use the dedicated graphics all the time.
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  Quote Trumpeteer23 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 19 May 2012 at 5:53pm
Awesome! During games, it is pretty much always running though, right? If I minimize the game, it seems to turn off, or at least idle or something because the temp drops to like 41C, haha. Is that what happens? Sorry, just trying to understand this foreign beast GPU... I was pretty much a mac user for the last five years. YEAH YEAH, I know... haha.

Edited by Trumpeteer23 - 19 May 2012 at 5:54pm
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  Quote Tidgxor Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 19 May 2012 at 6:18pm
Originally posted by Trumpeteer23

Video link incoming soon...


Excited
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  Quote Trumpeteer23 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 19 May 2012 at 7:15pm
haha sorry. I'll get it up now if I can... give me a few minutes...
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  Quote Trumpeteer23 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 19 May 2012 at 8:02pm
Here is a link to my video review. I just posted it on Youtube.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSJ04mrZtI8


Edited by Trumpeteer23 - 19 May 2012 at 8:02pm
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  Quote Alex Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 20 May 2012 at 6:03pm
Awesome video!
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  Quote Trumpeteer23 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 20 May 2012 at 6:18pm
Thanks! Downloaded Battlefield 3 today an ran it at Ultra Settings with a minimum of 30fps. Not too bad for such a graphically intense game.
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  Quote Black5Lion Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 21 May 2012 at 2:58am
woah 30fps is the fps that ps3/xbox360 are locked on right? :O
bcz anyways i can't tell the difference between 30 and 60 except in slo-mo :)
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  Quote Trumpeteer23 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 21 May 2012 at 6:15am
Haha, probably. They probably do only get around 30fps, but at a small fraction of the graphics quality that my computer gets. Last night I was getting anything from 30-45fps.
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  Quote Tidgxor Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 21 May 2012 at 7:32am
Rest Assured:

Your Computer > Any Console

Hahaha
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  Quote Trumpeteer23 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 21 May 2012 at 7:48am
Haha, I know dude. Light years away from any console.
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  Quote Trumpeteer23 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 15 Jun 2012 at 4:37pm
Alright, so I actually finally figured out why it was all laggy at first... I was trying to run the game on just the battery, not with it plugged in. I guess it needs to be plugged in to run the GPU and CPU at full powerhouse performance. Once plugged in, it's a total beast.

Also, no a darker note... I got a blue screen error message today. I don't have any viruses or anything, so it couldn't be that, but here's what happened. I downloaded a music writing program off of the Finale website because I wanted to write some music on my new comp. It went all smoothly and everything while I was writing. I then decided to play some Diablo 3. As Diablo was opening, I decided to last second change my volume by clicking on the sound icon on the bottom right of the screen. I literally clicked it as it was opening the full-screen window for Diablo. As I clicked it, the screen went white for a second, then went to a blue screen error message. I couldn't really read it because the screen was oddly zoomed in, so I don't really know the exact error type I got. Any thoughts, Alex?

Also, when I boot my computer up, it makes a sound around the area of the GPU or SSD of a bumpish sound, followed by a short whistle or "zip" sound. This is probably me just being paranoid, but is this laptop supposed to make noise like that when I have a SSD? Perhaps it's simply the sound of electricity beginning to run through the machine, or a fan turning on, but I only notice it coming from the right side of the machine. I'm just giving you all the info so that maybe you guys can set my mind to rest and tell me that this was a random hopefully-one-time-fluke, haha.

Any help or advice would be awesome!

Thanks!
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  Quote Trumpeteer23 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 15 Jun 2012 at 5:59pm
Also, while playing Battlefield 3, my computer warned me that my computer has "slowed down" and suggests changing my theme to save on memory? What's with that? haha, sorry for all the noob questions...
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  Quote Trumpeteer23 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 15 Jun 2012 at 8:50pm
Alright. I have solved the mysterious sound coming from the right side of my laptop. It's the cd drive simply searching for a cd... yeah, I'm stupid, haha. Anyway, everything else with this machine has been absolutely amazing except for the BSOD, but I'm sure that's not DS's fault but this Finale program. I've looked online and a couple other people have had issues with Finale and the BSOD while leaving it running and doing other things. We'll see if the problem resurfaces. I'll let ya know...
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  Quote Alex Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 15 Jun 2012 at 9:26pm
Thank you for the update, if you need anything from us, feel free to contact our team, we'll be more than happy to help! Big%20Smile
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  Quote Tidgxor Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 16 Jun 2012 at 3:19am
Glad to know its resolved for the moment!
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  Quote Trumpeteer23 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 16 Jun 2012 at 8:25am
I have a question about upgrading this system down the road. How much would it cost me, for example, if I were to upgrade to the GTX 680M right now? Would my computer be able to support that card, or would it need another motherboard or a better GPU cooling fan, or would it need more power? I know that you guys build these thing for to be fully customizable, but I'm just curious about the process and price of perhaps changing graphics cards in a couple years. For the moment, the GTX 675M is doing a fine job with all the current games, haha.
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  Quote Alex Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 16 Jun 2012 at 10:18am
Great question, I looked at our configurator for your model, which is the X15E and it does support the GTX 680M. Based on it's pricing, it will be an additional +$516 to upgrade to the GTX 680M and your laptop will be able to handle it with no problem.
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  Quote Trumpeteer23 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 16 Jun 2012 at 11:03am
Awesome. Maybe in a couple years I'll make the upgrade, haha
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  Quote Tidgxor Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 29 Jun 2012 at 1:31pm
In a couple of years that 516$ would be better put towards a new laptop, at least in my opinion. Big%20Smile

Of course my current laptop is 4.5 years old and nowhere near the quality as yours, so you might be fine!
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  Quote Jason R Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 17 Aug 2012 at 10:46pm
Fyi, bf3 does that theme switching thing all the time. It is the game and not your laptop. Commonly reported on a range of comps.

If you don't mind, what kind of performance are you getting with bf3?
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  Quote Trumpeteer23 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 18 Aug 2012 at 9:50am

I get great performance while playing bf3. Runs on max settings with anywhere from 30-50 fps. It never hiccups and is really smooth.

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  Quote SpicierMire Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 18 Aug 2012 at 10:54am
 Awesome                        .Cool.
 <|____Alien                   \ |  /
   /\      /\                       _/\_


Edited by SpicierMire - 18 Aug 2012 at 10:58am
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  Quote Orange7 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 18 Aug 2012 at 12:19pm
Originally posted by SpicierMire




 Awesome                        .Cool.
 <|____Alien                   \ |  /
   /\      /\                       _/\_



That looks so obscenely wrong.
DS xm15 Stage 4
i7-3820 (2.7GHz/3.7GHz)
16GB 1600MHz DDR3
GT 630, 1GB
240GB Intel 520
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  Quote ormossaiov12 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 24 Oct 2012 at 7:34pm
how are the speakers?
Etzio
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