Maingear Pulse 15 3K Gaming Laptop Review

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Cinebench and SiSoft SANDRA

Before we get to gaming performance, we have some professional and synthetic testing to get through. It starts with Cinebench, a brutal benchmark that tests a system's ability to play in the content creation arena. This is an important metric for a laptop wielding a 3K display, as that extra on-screen real-estate is going to attract professionals in addition to gamers.

So, how did the Pulse 15 fare?

Cinebench R11.5 64-bit
Content Creation Performance

Cinebench R11.5 is a 3D rendering performance test based on Cinema 4D from Maxon. Cinema 4D is a 3D rendering and animation suite used by animation houses and producers like Sony Animation and many others. It's very demanding of processor resources and is an excellent gauge of pure computational throughput.

Maingear Pulse 15 Cinebench

In CPU performance, the Pulse 15's Intel Core i7 4710HQ pulled ahead of the pack, though it's a close race among the top contenders. Turning our attention to OpenGL, the Pulse 15 finished the benchmark run at 61.24 frames per second, which is good enough to take fourth place -- that's exactly where we expected it be when looking at the GPUs of each configuration. What's really impressive about the Pulse 15's NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M GPU is that it only trailed the Alienware's dual GTX 780 GPUs in SLI by a few frames per second.

SiSoft SANDRA 2013
Synthetic General Performance Metrics

We continued our testing with SiSoftware's SANDRA, the System ANalyzer, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant. We ran four of the built-in subsystem tests (CPU Arithmetic, Multimedia, Memory Bandwidth, File System).
  
Maingear Pulse 15 SiSoftSandra Maingear Pulse 15 SiSoftSandra
SANDRA CPU and Multimedia Benchmarks
 
Maingear Pulse 15 SiSoftSandra
Maingear Pulse 15 SiSoftSandra
SANDRA Physical Disk and Memory benchmarks

Here again we see the strength of the Core i7 4710HQ, a 22nm part based on Intel's Haswell architecture. It touts four physical cores, eight processing threads, 6MB of cache, and a 2.5GHz to 3.5GHz (Turbo) clockspeed. Put another way, it brings desktop-class performance to the mobile side of the fence.

Of equal interest, if not more so, is the ultra-high disk read score in Sandra's disk benchmark. With a pair of 128GB mSATA solid state drives in RAID 0, the Pulse 15 hovers just short of 1,000MB/s. While this is a synthetic benchmark, we observed lag-free performance in real world chores, as well. Booting into Windows 8.1 is blazing fast, and programs open up with minimal load times, depending on the application.

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