CyberpowerPC Vector-17 VR Review

Excellent performance/price ratio for prices under $1200

Excellent performance price with an I7-6700HQ and a GTX 1060 6GB for $900-$950
Screen is relatively good with very high contrast and very good maximal color coverage
Low CPU, GPU and chassis temperatures even under the highest load
Keyboard is not perfect, but pretty comfortable
2.1 speakers system that produces good listening experience (but, tops)
The screen's outer lid can stand high direct pressure
Usually includes an SSD for the same low price and might includes some other stuff like "gaming headphones"
Battery running times could get to around 4.5-5.0 hours of normal work

Unclear CyberpowerPC support quality, really heavy looks and TN panel with no GSync

Very heavy looks which probably make many keep away from this machine
Fans are almost constantly running, even when doing nothing
Pretty bulky and heavy
Touchpad is annoying to use
No GSync
The TN panel, although not bad at all, doesn't look that sharp to me
Only 2 memory slots
Only a Sata M.2 port and an additional 2.5" Sata port
2.5" storage port is located "under" the battery
CPU and GPU are soldered
Availability

Newer versions are available from CyberpowerPC mostly and maybe Amazon sometimes

More Reviews :

    Introduction

    The CyberpowerPC Vector 17 VR is CP’s previous generation 17.3″ midrange gaming machine. The new version is Vector II. The test unit has an I7-6700HQ CPU, GTX 1060 6GB Nvidia GPU, 1080p TN (relatively high quality), 500GB Sandisk Z410 SSD and 8GB RAM (which I upgraded manually just for the benchmarks). The CP Vector 17 has its own design which resembles a racing car a bit, to me at least. Like other CP machines, it can sometimes be bought for a relatively low price thanks to some aggressive discounts and can get as low as $900-$950 for such a machine (or its newer relatives).

    Overall, this is a regular 17.3″ bulky gaming laptop, for a relatively low price. It might be based on some other machine. Even though it’s the previous generation, it’s probably a good marker for the successive version too, with the newer Kaby Lake I7 CPU, as gaming performance shouldn’t be such different.

    OK, let’s review it!

    ComponentDescription
    Model NamesCyberpowerPC Vector 17 VR
    PriceBasic version: $1000-$1100
    CPUI7-6700HQ, 2.6-3.5GHZ, 45W Max TDP (locked)
    MotherboardQuanta NL9E/NL8E / Intel HM170 (Skylake PCH-H)
    5xPCI Express x1, 1xPCI Express x2, 1xPCI Express x4, 2xPCI Express x16
    GPUNVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 3GB (GP106M/N17P-G1) GDDR5, 1280 shadars core@1405-1671MHZ, GDDR5@2GHZ, 192-bit bus
    RAMBasic version: 2 x 8GB 2666MHZ DDR4 (manual upgrade)
    2 slots total
    StorageHDD : none
    SSD: SanDisk SD8SBBU480G1122 480GB, located under the battery
    2.5" SATA bays: 1
    M.2: 1xM.2 SATA

    LCD PanelIn review: 1080p 17.3", AU Optronics B173HW01 V0 TN, LVDS
    Weight / Dimensions~3.8kg / 8.38 lbs, PSU 0.7-0.8kg
    419 x 284 x 32.2 mm
    16.5" x 11.18" x 1.27"
    (w x d x h)
    Keyboardwhite backlit, 3 levels including off
    Connection Portsright side: Kensington lock, USB Type-C, USB 3.0, audio in/out
    Left: 2xUSB 3.0, card reader
    Rear: HDMI, mDP, RJ-45,Power in
    Camera1080p@30FPS camera
    WiFi / EthernetWiFi: Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265 AC 2x2 HMC WiFi Adapter
    Ethernet: RealTek Semiconductor RTL8168/8111 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet NIC
    Speakers2.0 speakers + subwoofer. The 2.0 speakers are located at the bottom front of the laptop, at both sides. The subwoofer is located at the bottom.
    Battery8 cell, 72Wh
    Bios / EC version (test unit)QP114 (09/24/2016) /
    Extra featuresEmbedded TPM 2.0
    more details

    Build quality, Case, design and looks

    Well, the CP Vector 17 VR chassis build quality is average. The base unit is strong enough, but nothing exceptional – it can be twisted if you use enough force and the base unit will yield under pressure including the keyboard surface. However, it’s nothing to worry about worry about nor exceptional. The hinges feel pretty strong and the screen’s outer lid can hold under high pressure if it delivered directly at 90deg angle. The screen unit can be twisted with not a lot of force, but this is not a common scenario.

    Overall, seems like an average build quality.

    Looks

    As I wrote before, the Vector 17 VR has a somewhat “racing car” looks with its two speakers in front and “vectory” design of the body. The outer lid and keyboard surface have a slight metallic brush finish. Otherwise, it is pretty bulky in form and weight.

    Personally, I wouldn’t walk around with such a laptop. I like them simple in looks, with no show off.

    Maintenance and inner parts

    There is a maintenance panel which is hold by two screws. You’ll see the battery and underneath it you’ll see the 2.5″ SSD/HDD. There is also an M.2 NVMe slot, 2 RAM slots (2 in total). You’ll also see the subwoofer.

    CyberpowerPC Vector 17 VR motherboard complete

    CPU and GPU are soldered and the two of them share two heatpipes.

    Keyboard and touchpad

    The keyboard is pretty comfortable to use. The keyboard surface can yield *a bit* under the pressure (really unnoticeable). The typing experience is pretty ok with good enough feedback, fast response, no missed clickes, well spaced keys and enough travel depth. Keys resistance could/should have been more pronounced. Overall, it should be comfortable for most to a good degree, but it’s not a high quality keyboard in the sense of typing experience.

    Touchpad could be a little annoying. The active part of the pad is partial and it could be frustrating because the fingers continue with the motion, but the cursor does not respond. Also, unclear to me why, sometimes it gets “stuck” – perhaps for the same reason as I described before, something with the actual active surface of the touchpad. The buttons are dedicated and respond well, but require using more force that I think comfortable.

    Sound & Speakers

    The Vector 17 VR comes with a 2.1 speakers system. Subjectively, the system maximal volume is not high, but the sound is relatively pleasant. The subwoofer is located on the bottom of the laptop and adds to the experience.

     

    General subjective performance experience

    The CP Vector 17 VR was fast, but at first it felt like it gets “stuck” from time to time. I think some software was the cause.

    GPU-Z and CPU-Z screenshots:

    Gaming Performance

    Test Methods & Drivers

    Latest Nvidia drivers were in use, 378.49.

    This section is dull currently, but I’ll improve it soon!

    Synthetic 3D benchmarks

    Games performance

    Deus EX : Ex Machina

    1920x1080, DirectX 12 vs DirectX 11

    The Division

    1920x1080, DirectX 12

    Dragon Age: Inquisition

    1920x1080, DirectX 11

    The Talos Principle

    1920x1080, Vulkan 1.0 vs DirectX 11

    Total War : Warhammer

    1920x1080, DirectX 12 vs DirectX 11

    Total War : Attila

    1920x1080, DirectX 11

    Rise Of The Tomb Raider

    1920x1080, DirectX 12 vs DirectX 11

    Gears Of War 4

    1920x1080, DirectX 12

    Shadow Of Mordor

    1920x1080, DirectX 11

    Battlefield 1

    DirectX 12, AVG

    Battlefield 4

    1920x1080, DirectX 11

    Hitman

    1920x1080, DirectX 12 vs DirectX 11

    Doom (2016)

    1920x1080, Vulkan 1.0 vs DirectX 11

    Crysis 3

    1920x1080, DirectX 11

    The Elders Scrolls V : Skyrim Special Edition

    1920x1080, DirectX 11

    Titanfall 2

    1920x1080, DirectX 11

    Ashes of Singularity

    1920x1080, DirectX 12 vs DirectX 11

    Metro : Last Light

    1920x1080, DirectX 11

    Thief

    1920x1080, DirectX 11

    Bioshock Infinite

    1920x1080, DirectX 11

    Alien : Isolation

    1920x1080, DirectX 11
    121

    Thermals, Throttling & Noise handling

    Cool air sucked from the bottom of the machine (hence, it’s important to keep its bottom above the sitting surface) and is thrown from the rear and side (in GPU case)

    Four tests:

    1. Idle, power saver mode

    2. Gaming : Ashes Of Singularity benchmark. “Crazy” settings, “High performance” power mode. Four consecutive runs.

    3. Prime95 torture test. “High performance” power mode.

    4. Prime95 + Furmark on 900p test, AAx4. “High performance” power mode.

    As you can see, thermals are not a problem with this big machine whatsoever. It’s quite interesting given that the machine cooling system is quite basic. I think that the space inside the laptop allows for better air circulation.

    Heat

    The Vector 17 VR remains pretty cool even under continued highest load.

    24 40 33
    23 34 29
    21 27 23

    Throttling

    Under Prime95 + Furmark load, the GTX 1060 clocks are around the base, but while gaming, the clocks are much higher, averagely and the CPU clocks are almost at maximal.

    CyberpowerPC Vector 17 VR review - Furmark + Prime95 CyberpowerPC Vector 17 VR review - Prime95
    CyberpowerPC Vector 17 VR Review - GPU & CPU clocks

    Noise

    The noise levels of the Vector 17 VR are relatively good under high load and bad under low load. It seems that the preference with this machine is to start with high fans spin no matter what. There were several occasions when the fans stopped spinning, but it was rare. Under high load, the laptop can keep itself cool with relatively low fans speed, but it’s audible.

    In the noise department, the Vector is not that great. It’s a simple matter, but not sure that CyberpowerPC will address it at all.

    Screen & Screen quality

    The CP Vector 17 VR 1080p display is a TN panel AUO B173HW01 V0. Although this is a TN model, it’s relatively good with good horizontal viewing angles and not too much distortion vertically – mostly changing brightness. Contrast is quite high. Subjectively, I it was nice to use, although I sometimes I felt that it’s a little hard to read (even though the contrast is higher according to the Datacolor Spyder5Elite screen measurement tool)

    ContrastBrightnessBlack levels
    860 61 0.07
    850 150 0.18
    850 211 0.25
    890 296 0.33
    sRGBadobeRGBNTSC
    98 73 68

    Battery Performance

    Issues

    • Fans speed cannot be decreased, even under low load situation (Trying to get answer from CP tech support)

    Competing gaming laptops / Alternatives

    • Currently, the alternatives are previous and current generations GTX 1060 laptops

      • MSI GT62VR and GT72VR – has an MXM GPU, GSync + IPS display, better storage/connection ports selection and better software/support. Sometimes can be found for a very close price to this one
      • If you want a slimmer laptop, the MSI GE72VR and the Asus GL502VM/GL702VM can provide it
      • Others with a GTX 1060

    Conclusion

    Well, let’s consider not only this model, but also its successor, as they should be quite similar. The lowest price point of these machines – including all the CP promotions and discounts – is relatively low and performance/price is pretty high. At $900-$950, you it’s by far the most cost effective GTX 1060 machine for $1200 and less. This is its biggest advantages and main selling point.

    Furthermore, the Vector 17 VR has relatively low temperatures even under highest load, it comes with an agreeable screen, even though it’s not an IPS (many IPSs are even worse than this one) and the speakers are indeed not bad at all (though maximal volume is not high). You can even get a 500GB SSD for the mentioned price.

    Not all is great though. The Vector 17 VR is quite bulky (with no visible reason), has no Thunderbolt 3 nor USB 3.1 gen2 USB port (but it does have a Type-C port), storage connection options are limited for such a big machine. The touchpad isn’t great and because of the big size of the keyboard surface, you might find yourself touching the pad by mistake sometimes. The looks will probably be too heavy for many. The screen, although good, could be better in terms of sharpness and there is no GSync. The GPU and CPU are soldered. The system fans are almost constantly running, even if the system is cool and you’re doing nothing.

    However, the biggest issue may be CyberpowerPC support. I couldn’t find how to get a bios update and it doesn’t seem you can get rely on it either.

    Personally I think that if you can get a laptop with a GTX 1060 6GB for $900-$950 with a 500GB SSD (even a simple one) and you like the dimensions and looks, it’s *probably* worth it, just make sure you’re taking into account all the disadvantages. Personally, I’d try to wait and find a laptop like the GT72VR or GT62VR for $1100 with an SSD + HDD, GSync, better software + support, nicer to look at and has an MXM GPU.