Origin had a whole load of new gaming laptops to show off at CES this year. The svelte EVO15-S, which weighs only 4.3 pounds, has been upgraded with Nvidia’s latest 970M GPU. It’s damn light for a gaming laptop, and still feels sturdy. But Origin hasn’t done anything drastic with that system—it’s simply gotten a spec bump to stay current. The rest of its gaming laptop are a different story. Their most powerful laptop, the EON-17X, has gotten a chassis redesign to be thinner and lighter than the previous models. And both the EON-17X and its 15-inch cousin, the EON15-X, are running some brand new, serious hardware: GTX 980M graphics with 8GB of VRAM alongside desktop Intel Core i7 4790K processors.
Desktop processors. In gaming laptops. We don’t see that every day.
Origin says the EON17-X is about 37% thinner and 30% lighter than the previous model. It weighs 8.6 pounds, while the EON15-X weighs 7.5. The support for desktop CPUs is the big deal here. While the laptops start with more modest components configured on Origin’s store (the 2.9GHz Intel i5-4460S), they can be configured with beefy i5 4690Ks or i7 4790Ks. Go all the way, and Origin will even overclock the CPU to a full 4.4GHz, so all four cores are running at the i7’s normal turbo boost speed.
The EON17-X and 15-X also have room for two m.2 PCIe SSDs, with two standard storage bays for SATA SSDs/HDDs. The m.2 SSDs can be run in RAID via SATA, and the graphics choices are the 970M with 6GB of VRAM or the 980M with 8GB of VRAM. These are some serious machines. Running on battery, Origin says you’ll get about two hours of normal use or one hour of gaming. But these are hefty desktop replacement machines that you’ll likely always want to have plugged into the wall.
The 17-X and 15-X are about as user-serviceable as gaming laptops get. Memory and storage are obviously upgradeable, and the graphics cards are MXM, meaning they’ll be swappable with other GPUs down the line. Origin covers that upgrade under its warranty, if you’re squeamish about doing it yourself. The best part is that you can change out that desktop CPU, too. The laptops use the standard Intel LGA1150 socket, so any future CPU on that platform will be interchangeable. That’s pretty cool.
While desktop CPUs are significantly more powerful than Intel’s best mobile CPUs usually found in gaming laptops, you’re not going to need that extra power for most games unless you’re multitasking. For video editing or other seriously CPU-intensive tasks, though, this is a real step up from a mobile i7 CPU.
The Origin EON15-X starts at $1842 with a desktop CPU on Origin’s site, while the 17-X is a touch more at $1878. Both are available to customize and order as of today.
The New ORIGIN PC EON15-S starts at $1,837. It’s a smaller system than the 15-X (5.5 pounds compared to 7.5) and doesn’t use desktop parts. Still, it can run the Intel i7-4720HQ CPU, the Nvidia 980M GPU and has two slots for m.2 PCIe SSDs. It also got a redesign from its previous model, shaving off 25% of its weight.