Maingear Pulse 15 3K Gaming Laptop Review

Metro Last Light, BioShock Infinite, and Hitman: Absolution

Note:  Since the Maingear Pulse 15 can run at 2880x1620, we've included that resolution in our results below. We then compared it to the MSI GT60 Dominator Pro and Alienware 17 at 1920x1080, with 3K resolution results at the top.

Metro Last Light is your typical post-apocalyptic first person shooter game with a few rather unconventional twists. Unlike most FPS titles, there is no health meter to measure your level of ailment; rather, you’re left to deal with life, or lack thereof, more akin to the real world with blood spatter on your visor and your heart rate and respiration level as indicators. Metro Last Light boasts some of the best 3D visuals on the PC platform and includes a DX11 rendering mode that makes use of advanced depth of field effects and character model tessellation for increased realism. This title also supports NVIDIA PhysX technology for impressive in-game physics effects. We tested the game at resolutions of 1920x1080 with its in-game image quality options set to their High Quality mode, with DOF effects disabled.

Metro Last Light
DirecX11 Gaming Performance

Metro Last Light

Maingear Pulse 15 Metro Last Light

The Pulse 15 managed playable framerates in Metro Last Light at 1920x1080 with an average of 32fps, though things can get choppy at times. To play a game like this on the Pulse 15, some visual quality concessions (motion blur might be a good one to uncheck) will need  to be made in order to maintain smooth on-screen action.

Running the same benchmark with a 3K resolution, the Pulse 15 was able to complete the benchmark run, albeit the 10.33fps average is far from being playable. We don't have a 3K score for MSI's machine because it was overheating and throttling in this benchmark.

Bioshock Infinite
DirectX Gaming Performance

Bioshock Infinite

BioShock Infinite is clear game-of-the-year material. The floating city of Columbia is one of the most evocative, intense, and gorgeous environments we've ever seen in a PC game -- but how much you like it may depend on what sort of visual wizardry you prefer. BioShock Infinite is built on Unreal Engine 3, and while it pushes that framework's capabilities into the stratosphere, there's a clear difference between BioShock Infinite and, say, Crysis 3. BioShock Infinite emphasizes light, color and motion, and while the characters look more exaggerated and cartoon-like than some other games, they still look great. We tested the game at 1920x1080 with its DX11 code path with DOF effects enabled.

Maingear Pulse 15 BioShock Infinite

There's no concern over playable framerates in BioShock Infinite. At 1920x1080, the Pulse 15 averaged nearly 54fps, giving itself lots of headroom to contend with more demanding scenes. That score also plops the Pulse 15 right in between the Alienware 17 and MSI GT60 Dominator Pro.

At its native 3K resolution, framerates fell to just under 22fps on average, just below the threshold of being playable. Bear in mind this is with the Ultra Quality setting -- a little bit of tweaking the system settings would likely allow BioShock Infinite to be played on the Pulse 15 at 3K. 

Hitman: Absolution
DirectX 11 Gaming Performance

Hitman: Absolution

Hitman: Absolution follows Agent 47, a cold-blooded assassin, who takes on his most dangerous contract to date. Betrayed by those he once trusted - and now hunted by the police - he suddenly finds himself at the center of a dark conspiracy and must embark on a personal journey through a corrupt and twisted world. We tested the game at 1920x1080 with all in-game options set to their maximum values and global illumination and 4X anti-aliasing enabled.

Maingear Pulse 15 Hitman Absolution

We wrapped things up with our Hitman: Absolution benchmark, and once again, we see the Pulse 15 managing playable framerates at 1920x1080p, though it takes the bottom slot behind the Alienware 17 and MSI GT60 Dominator Pro systems. That said, we like that even the minimum framerate in this test stayed above 25fps.

Moving up to a 3K resolution, the Pulse 15 again showed that it really doesn't have the hardware to play demanding games at its native resolution, which isn't too surprising.  However, again, dial back AA and the machine would definitely scale higher.

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