CyberpowerPC Vector-17 VR Review

In Short

A cheaper GTX 1060 gaming laptop with nothing exceptional compared to the others (Lenovo Y720, Helios 300), with none of the more interesting extra qualities like GSync, 120HZ display, good thermals or low weight. However, it’s often considerably discounted and can serve as a high performance cheap gaming laptop.

GPU's best
7856.5
CyberpowerPC Vector-17 VR Specs
CPUIntel Core I7-6700HQ (Skylake 4c / 8t, 2.6 - 3.6GHZ)
GPUGTX 1060 6GB (mobile) (Pascal), GP106, 1280 cores@1.404GHZ-1.67GHZ, GDDR5@2GHZ (8GHZ eff.), 192-bit
RAM16GB
Storage

SSD: SanDisk SD8SBBU480G1122 480GB
2.5″ SATA bays: 1
M.2: 1xM.2 SATA

DisplayAUO B173HW01 V0
Weight & Dimensions (w x d x h)
3.83kg / 8.44lbs. PSU: / 18.61lbs
419mm x 284mm x 32.2mm, 16.5" x 11.18" x 1.27"
Keyboardwhite backlit, 3 levels including off
IO Portsright: USB Type-C, USB 3.0, audio in/out
Camera1080p@30FPS camera
WirelessIntel Wireless-AC 7265 AC 2x2 HMC
EthernetRealTek RTL8168/8111
Speakers2.0 speakers + subwoofer
Battery8 cell, 72Wh
Bios/EC
MoreEmbedded TPM 2.0, Kensington lock

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!

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.

 

Performance

Test Methods & Drivers

Latest Nvidia drivers were in use, 378.49.

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

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:

Synthetic 3D benchmarks

Gaming performance

Deus EX : Ex Machina

1920x1080, DirectX 12 vs DirectX 11
Highest"Ultra" preset AAx2
Very high"Ultra" preset, no AA
High"Very High" preset, no AA
Medium"High" preset, no AA
Low
Lowest"Medium" preset, no AA

The Division

1920x1080, DirectX 12
Highest
High
Medium

Dragon Age: Inquisition

1920x1080, DirectX 11
Highest
High
Medium
Low

The Talos Principle

1920x1080, Vulkan vs DirectX 11
Highest
Very highUltra minus AA

Total War : Warhammer

1920x1080, DirectX 12 vs DirectX 11
Highest
Very high
Medium
Low

Total War : Attila

1920x1080, DirectX 11
Highest
Very high
High
Medium
Lowest

Rise Of The Tomb Raider

1920x1080, DirectX 12 vs DirectX 11
Highest
High
Medium
LowNo FXAA

Gears Of War 4

1920x1080, DirectX 12
Highest
High
Medium
Low

Shadow Of Mordor

1920x1080, DirectX 11
Highest
Very high
High
Medium
Low
Lowest

Battlefield 1

DirectX 12, AVG
Highest
Very high
Medium

Battlefield 4

1920x1080, DirectX 11
Highest
High
Medium

Hitman

1920x1080, DirectX 12 vs DirectX 11
HighestSMAA, SSAO, AFx16, all highest
Very highFXAA, no SSAO, AFx16, all highest
HighFXAA, no SSAO, AFx16, everything high
MediumFXAA, no SSAO, AFx16, medium quality, texture and shadow maps and resolution
LowEverything lowest

Doom (2016)

1920x1080, Vulkan vs OpenGL 4.5
Highest
Very high
Medium
Low

Crysis 3

1920x1080, DirectX 11
Highestsystem spec, texture resolution: "very high" preset; SMAA 2Tx
Very high
Medium
Low

The Elders Scrolls V : Skyrim Special Edition

1920x1080, DirectX 11
Very high
High

Titanfall 2

1920x1080, DirectX 11
HighestMSAAx2
Very highAO = false, TQ = VH, else=  high

Ashes of Singularity

1920x1080, DirectX 12 vs DirectX 11
Highest
Very high
High
Medium
Low

Metro : Last Light

1920x1080, DirectX 11
Highest
Very high
High
Medium

Thief

1920x1080, DirectX 11
Highest
Very high
Medium
Low

Bioshock Infinite

1920x1080, DirectX 11
Highest"Ultra" preset
Very high"Very High" preset
High
Medium"Medium" preset
Low
120

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.

244033
233429
212723

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.

CPU: stable temps [C]CPU: max temps [C]CPU: stable clocksCPU: average utilizationCPU: max utilizationGPU : stable core temps [C[GPU: utilization
Idle3136
Prime95597852
Prime95 + Furmark747870
Ashes Of Singularity707267

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
860610.07
8501500.18
8502110.25
8902960.33
sRGBadobeRGBNTSC
987368

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.

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

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