Right after the Machenike Star-15 model, we received another laptop from this brand for testing. Machenike S17 is equipped with a top-end Intel processor and a powerful Nvidia gaming graphics card, so we can expect excellent results from it. However, in this case, it is not the performance components that are more important, but the means for cooling them: the laptop uses an external liquid cooling system (“dropsy”)!
Let’s make a reservation right away that there is always a benefit from enhanced cooling in modern conditions. Any processors and controllers today are trained to throttle when overheated, and if it is better to cool them, then they will be able to maintain high frequencies longer and, accordingly, give out more fps or other performance units. The only question is the magnitude of the effect and the justification for its achievement. From the first reviews on the net, we can conclude that we are talking about an increase of almost 10%. Well, at least testing won’t be boring.
Configuration and equipment
On the laptop’s box and case, and in the properties of the device, it is indicated that the tested model is called Machenike S17T. However, we could not confirm this name anywhere in other sources, including on the Machenike global website, the model is simply called S17 everywhere. So we will call it for clarity and unambiguity in our review. As far as can be understood from the same global website and the brand’s official store on AliExpress, this laptop comes in several typical configurations, the main differences between which are the processor (Core i7 or Core i9) and graphics card (GeForce RTX 3070 Ti or GeForce RTX 3080 Ti). It is also possible to increase the amount of memory and storage. We give in the table the characteristics of the model that we had for testing.
|Processor||Intel Core i9-12900H (6+8 cores/20 threads, 2.9/5.0GHz, 45/115W)|
|RAM||16 (1×16) GB DDR5-4800 (SO-DIMM King Tiger KTFGS5MA8) dual channel |
second SO-DIMM slot free
|Video subsystem||integrated Intel UHD Graphics (Alder Lake-P GT2) |
discrete Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Laptop (8GB GDDR6)
|Screen||17.3″ 2560×1440 240Hz IPS Semi Matte (BOE CQ NE173QHM-NZ3)|
|Sound subsystem||Realtek ALC274 codec, 2 speakers|
|Accumulator||SSD 512 GB (Samsung PM9A1 (MZVL2512HCJQ-00B00), M.2 2280, NVMe, PCIe 4.0 x4) |
There is a free M.2 (2280) slot
|Network interfaces||Wired network||Ethernet 2.5Gbps (802.3bz, Realtek RTL8125)|
|Wi-Fi network||Wi-Fi 6 (Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201 160MHz, 802.11ax, 2×2 MIMO)|
|Interfaces and Ports||USB||3 USB3 Gen1 Type-A |
1 USB3 Gen2 Type-C (with DisplayPort support)
|Video outputs||1 HDMI |
1 DisplayPort (USB Type-C)
|Audio connectors||2 minijacks for headphones and microphone|
|Input Devices||Keyboard||with number pad and single-zone RGB lighting|
|Touchpad||clickpad with the ability to quickly disable one half or the whole|
|VoIP||Webcam||720p30, with alarm LED, with IR and Windows Hello|
|Battery||62 Wh, lithium polymer|
|Dimensions||394×263×32 mm (thickness of the main body without feet is 25 mm)|
|Weight without power supply||2.52 kg|
|Power adapter||Chicony, 280W (20V 14A), 875g, 1.2 + 1.5m cables |
in new shipments, the power adapter has been replaced with a more powerful one, 330 W
|Operating system||Windows 11 Pro (probably non-OS)|
Included with the laptop are, of course, the power supply (large, heavy, with a total length of two cables 2.7 m) and paper documentation. Also in our case, a set of stickers for the keyboard was included, because the keys had only Latin characters. Finally, the kit includes a liquid cooling system – we’ll talk about it in a separate section.
Appearance and ergonomics
By design, this is a typical gaming laptop, perhaps without bright accents: a large, heavy plastic case with a metal plate on the lid and with narrowed sides and front edge. All surfaces are smooth, without gloss. There is surprisingly little backlighting: in addition to the keyboard, only two strips at the screen loop glow here.
They definitely didn’t try to make a compact laptop: even for a 17-inch model, the dimensions here are considerable. Weight – 2.5 kg – is at the level of top gaming laptops with enhanced cooling. However, Machenike S17 is such.
The lid can be easily opened with one hand, although the case does bounce a little. The maximum deflection angle of the screen is standard 135°.
The frame around the screen is relatively thin (6 mm left and right, 11 mm on top and 33 mm to the working surface from below), it is a plastic overlay that rises above the display plane. At the top of the frame is a webcam with a signal LED and two microphones. There is no hardware protection against turning on the camera; you can’t quickly turn it on and off with a keyboard shortcut either. The quality of shooting is traditionally very poor. But the camera is suitable for face authorization within Windows Hello, and an infrared emitter is located next to it, so that the face of the owner of the laptop can be recognized even in complete darkness.
There are no interface connectors on the front of the case, but on the back there is a power connector, an RJ-45 network socket (the laptop’s network controller supports a data transfer rate of 2.5 Gb / s), an HDMI video output and a USB3 Gen2 Type-C port, through which you can also output video.
Due to this, there are few connectors on the sidewalls of the case. On the left is a hole for a Kensington lock, a USB3 Gen1 Type-A port, and two minijacks for a microphone and headphones. On the right is an SD card slot and two more USB3 Gen1 Type-A ports. In general, the available connectors will probably be enough for almost any user.
There is plenty of space on the work surface, a keyboard with a number pad fits here and there is still space on the sides. Almost all keys here are of standard size (15×15 mm with 4 mm clearance), including the number pad buttons. The arrows are full-sized and with a normal relative position – perhaps not isolated.
The power button is located behind the keyboard and is flush with the surface. Nearby there is a button for quickly switching operating modes with an indicator of the current mode. The base is practically not pressed through with fingers, it does not “breathe” when pressing the buttons.
The keyboard has an RGB backlight, in the proprietary utility you can choose both the color of a constant glow and one of the effects, but only for the entire keyboard as a whole, not for individual keys. There are 4 levels of backlight brightness, they can be quickly switched from the keyboard, including the ability to turn off the backlight.
In front of the keyboard is just a huge barely recessed clickpad measuring 155 × 101 mm. It does not have dedicated keys, but the touchpad supports pressing (only about the farthest third is not pressed) – however, only pressing near the very edge is counted for pressing the right mouse button. The size of the touch pad makes it very comfortable to work with the cursor – whether in games or in graphic editors (no, it is clear that this cannot replace the mouse).
The touchpad is so large and so positioned that when typing with two hands, there are guaranteed to be accidental touches, fraught with cursor movement. To deal with this, the manufacturer comes up with an ingenious solution: double-tapping on the far right corner of the touchpad will disable its right half (and light up the information LED at that point). In this case, not only touches, gestures and clicks on the right half will not be registered – it is the full-fledged transfer of all functionality to the left half that is realized. Including the gesture for scrolling the contents of the window with two fingers, only now it will have to be performed almost in the center of the touchpad, and pressing the right mouse button will correspond to pressing the right side of the left half of the near edge. Original and logical! But, to be honest, you constantly forget that half of the touchpad is disabled, and curse, trying to move the cursor without looking. With a similar gesture in the far left corner, you can quickly turn off the entire touchpad.
At the bottom of the laptop, you can see 4 large legs and a few small ones so that the ventilation holes do not overlap. These holes are large. As usual, the bottom cover can be removed by unscrewing a few screws.
After that, the user gets access to a serious cooling system, a replaceable wireless network adapter, two memory slots (in our configuration they had only one 16 GB SO-DIMM module) and two M.2 slots (in our configuration they had one 512 GB SSD). A small heatsink is mounted on the cover above the SSD installation site, which is pressed against the SSD controller through a thermal pad (this is the hottest element).
Working with external GSO
A key feature of our Machenike S17 model is the ability to enhance the standard cooling system using an external LCT21001 unit. The waterblock with the pump is a small complex-shaped box made of matte black plastic and equipped with a small LED strip on the front panel (solely for beauty). Case dimensions – 7.5 × 21 × 19 cm (W × D × H), filled water block with hoses weighs 1.35 kg. The block is very stable on the table. It has a lot of ventilation holes on the sides.
Inside, a relatively small coolant reservoir, a pump, a large radiator with a fan, and a control and power circuit board are visible.
To work, it is necessary to pour liquid into the tank (the manufacturer recommends using only distilled water!) Through a funnel, the inlet is hidden under a triangular plug on the bevel of the top panel. To monitor the level of the poured liquid, there is a narrow transparent window on the front panel of the case with marked risks of the maximum and minimum levels. Unfortunately, the window is very poorly visible, you have to play with the lighting for a long time in order to see something.
The power input connector is located on the back of the case. It is assumed that the “dropsy” will be connected to the cable break from the power supply, so that it also has an output cable segment with the same round plug at the end.
A pair of hoses are first screwed to the fittings on the front panel of the water block, and then connected to a pair of tubes brought to the back of the laptop and normally hidden behind a rubber plug. Accordingly, the plug must be pulled back, and then the pipes and hoses must be combined and pressed on the rigid fastening bar until it snaps off (you can’t go wrong).
The coolant that enters the laptop case through the tubes does not penetrate the radiators with a thousand channels at all – in fact, water fills only a relatively small flat tube, which is pressed from above to the heat pipes of the standard cooling system and to the radiator on the GPU. At first glance, there are doubts about the effectiveness of such an increase in cooling. However, we just have to evaluate this effect numerically.
For the GSO to work, you need to turn it on with the button and pair it with a laptop. Pairing is performed via Bluetooth, which we think is a very good solution. In a special section of the proprietary utility, you can turn the pump on or off on the fly and select one of three fan operation profiles (the pump and fan scales in the application, as far as you can understand, are conditional). Here you can also read answers to frequently asked questions (useful) and adjust the color of the glow of the LED strip on the body of the water block (it glows evenly, without special effects). When connecting for the first time, you must press the button to pump water into the internal circuit.
The noise from the pump can be heard in a quiet environment in any mode, so during periods when the laptop is not used for gaming and performing heavy professional tasks, we recommend turning off the GSO, since this is done in the proprietary utility in one click (and in the same click in a couple of seconds the connection is then restored).
When you turn off the external unit, a very small amount of liquid may leak out of the tubes on the back of the laptop – what will remain inside when the pump is turned off. If you do not tilt the laptop on purpose and immediately return the rubber plug to its place, then there will be no such drops. Nothing will flow from the hoses from the water block, because at the moment they are disconnected from the laptop tubes, the valve closes them (a special device that comes with the kit is used to drain the liquid from the water block and hoses).
Thus, the use of this liquid cooling system does not require constant fuss with rags.
We received a laptop for testing with a professional edition of Windows 11 installed. The Machenike website has a set of drivers for Windows 11 – for those versions of the laptop that come without an OS. Of the proprietary software, only one Control Center utility is offered – as far as you can understand, it is developed by the real laptop OEM (TongFang), and therefore is not very impressive in appearance, but offers almost all conceivable options that are useful in real life.
Here you can quickly turn on and off Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, the webcam and the touchpad, set useful small settings such as the mode of operation of the Fn keys, supply power to the USB ports of a turned off laptop, turn off the keyboard backlight timeout (including prohibiting it from turning off altogether).
Of course, the light modes of the keyboard and strips near the screen loop (they are called Light Bar) are also available for change, there are several modes for each block, including for the Light Bar, you can set the glow of each of the 7 LEDs that make them up separately or set the color indication the degree of battery discharge.
The Machenike S17 laptop uses a 17.3-inch IPS-matrix with a resolution of 2560 × 1440 pixels.
The outer surface of the matrix is black, hard and semi-matt (the mirror reflection is well expressed). There is no special anti-reflective coating or filter, and there is no air gap. When powered by mains or battery and with manual brightness control (no automatic adjustment by light sensor), its maximum value was 392 cd/m² (in the center of the screen on a white background). If you avoid direct sunlight, then this value allows you to somehow use the laptop on the street, even on a sunny summer day.
To evaluate the readability of the screen outdoors, we use the following criteria obtained from testing screens in real conditions:
|Maximum brightness, cd/m²||Conditions||Readability Score|
|Matte, semi-matte and glossy screens without anti-glare|
|150||Direct sunlight (over 20,000 lux)||illegible|
|Light shadow (about 10000 lux)||barely readable|
|Slight shade and light clouds (no more than 7500 lux)||uncomfortable to work|
|300||Direct sunlight (over 20,000 lux)||barely readable|
|Light shadow (about 10000 lux)||uncomfortable to work|
|Slight shade and light clouds (no more than 7500 lux)||work comfortably|
|450||Direct sunlight (over 20,000 lux)||uncomfortable to work|
|Light shadow (about 10000 lux)||work comfortably|
|Slight shade and light clouds (no more than 7500 lux)||work comfortably|
These criteria are very conditional and may be revised as data accumulate. Note that there may be some improvement in readability if the matrix has some kind of transreflective properties (part of the light is reflected from the substrate, and the image can be seen in the light even with the backlight turned off). Also, glossy matrices, even in direct sunlight, can sometimes be rotated so that they reflect something quite dark and uniform (on a clear day, for example, the sky), which will improve readability, while matte matrices need to be blocked from Sveta. In rooms with bright artificial light (about 500 lux), you can work more or less comfortably even with a maximum screen brightness of 50 cd / m² and below, that is, in these conditions, maximum brightness is not an important value.
Let’s return to the screen of the tested laptop. If the brightness setting is 0%, then the brightness is reduced to 19 cd/m². Thus, in complete darkness, the screen brightness can be lowered to a comfortable level.
At any brightness level, there is no significant backlight modulation, so there is no screen flicker (no PWM). As proof, here are graphs of the dependence of brightness (vertical axis) on time (horizontal axis) at various values of the brightness setting:
This laptop uses an IPS type matrix. Micrographs show a typical IPS subpixel structure (black dots are dust on the camera’s matrix):
Focusing on the screen surface revealed randomly located surface microdefects responsible for the matte properties:
The grain of these defects is several times smaller than the size of the subpixels (the scale of these two photographs is approximately the same), so the focusing on microdefects and the “jumping” of the focus on the subpixels with a change in the angle of view are weakly expressed, because of this there is no “crystal” effect.
We measured brightness at 25 screen points spaced in 1/6th increments of the screen width and height (screen borders not included). The contrast was calculated as the ratio of the brightness of the fields at the measured points:
|min., %||max %|
|Black box brightness||0.38 cd/m²||−21||47|
|White box brightness||380 cd/m²||−9,9||8,4|
If you step back from the edges, then the uniformity of the white field is very good, but the black field and, as a result, the contrast, is much worse. Contrast by modern standards for this type of matrices is typical. The photo below gives an idea of the distribution of the brightness of the black field over the screen area:
It can be seen that the black field is brightened in places, mostly closer to the edges. However, the uneven illumination of black is visible only on very dark scenes and in almost complete darkness, it should not be considered a significant drawback. Note that the rigidity of the lid, although it is made of aluminum, is low, the lid is deformed at the slightest applied force, and the nature of the black field illumination changes greatly due to deformation.
The screen has good viewing angles without a significant decrease in brightness and color shift even at large deviations of the gaze from the perpendicular to the screen and without inverting shades. However, the black field, when deviated diagonally, is strongly highlighted and acquires a red-violet hue.
Response time for black-white-black transition is 10ms (5ms on + 5ms off), transition between grayscale total (from hue to hue and back) takes an average of 13ms . The matrix is fast, but there is no explicit overclocking.
Let’s see if this matrix speed is enough to display an image with a frequency of 240 Hz. Here is the dependence of brightness on time when alternating white and black frames at 240 Hz frame rate:
It can be seen that at 240 Hz the maximum brightness of the white frame is slightly above 90% of the white level, and the minimum brightness of the black frame is slightly above 10% of the black level. The resulting amplitude swing is slightly less than 80% of the white brightness. That is, according to this formal criterion, the matrix speed is still not enough to fully display an image with a frame rate of 240 Hz.
For a visual representation of what such a speed of the matrix means in practice and what artifacts the matrix overclocking can cause, we present the pictures taken with the help of a moving camera. Such pictures show what a person sees if he follows with his eyes an object moving on the screen. The recommended settings were used (motion speed 1008 pixels/s), shutter speed 1/15 s. The pictures were taken for a frame rate of 60 and 240 Hz.
At a frame rate of 240 Hz, motion clarity is high, there are no artifacts.
Let’s try to imagine what would happen in the case of a matrix with instant pixel switching. For it, at 60 Hz, an object with a motion speed of 960 pixels / s is blurred by 16 pixels, and at 240 Hz – by 4 pixels. It blurs as the focus moves at the specified speed, and the subject is rendered still for 1/60 or 1/240 of a second. To illustrate this, let’s simulate a 16 and 4 pixel blur:
It can be seen that the image clarity in the case of the matrix of this laptop is slightly lower compared to the ideal matrix. We determined the total output delay from switching pages of the video buffer to the start of displaying the image on the screen (recall that it depends on the features of the Windows OS and the video card, and not only on the display). At a refresh rate of 240 Hz, the delay is 3 ms. This is a very small delay, it is absolutely not felt when working on a PC, and even in very dynamic games it will not lead to a decrease in performance.
Two refresh rates are available in the screen settings – 60 and 240 Hz. The second can be used not only in games, but also when watching movies. At least at native screen resolution, the output is at a color depth of 8 bits per color.
Next, we measured the brightness of 256 shades of gray (from 0, 0, 0 to 255, 255, 255). The graph below shows the increase (not an absolute value!) in brightness between adjacent halftones:
The increase in brightness gain on the gray scale is mostly uniform, and each successive shade is brighter than the previous one. In the darkest area, all shades are hardware and visually different:
Approximation of the resulting gamma curve gave an indicator of 2.16, which is slightly lower than the standard value of 2.2. In this case, the real gamma curve deviates little from the approximating power function:
Color gamut close to sRGB:
Therefore, visually, the colors of images oriented to output in sRGB space on this screen have a natural saturation. Below is the spectrum for a white field (white line) superimposed on the spectra of red, green and blue fields (lines of the corresponding colors):
Apparently, this screen uses LEDs with a blue emitter and a green and red phosphor (usually a blue emitter and a yellow phosphor), which in principle allows you to get a good separation of the components. Yes, and in the red phosphor, apparently, the so-called quantum dots are used. However, specially selected filters perform cross-mixing of components, which narrows the coverage to sRGB.
The balance of shades on the gray scale is good, since the color temperature is quite close to the standard 6500 K, and the deviation from the black body spectrum (ΔE) is below 10. At the same time, the color temperature and ΔE change little from hue to hue – this has a positive effect on the visual assessment color balance. (The darkest areas of the gray scale can be ignored, since the color balance does not matter much there, and the measurement error of color characteristics at low brightness is large.)
In the settings of the proprietary utility, you can enable color rendering correction, there are several editable profiles to choose from. But there is no point in resorting to this function, everything is fine with color reproduction, especially considering the gaming orientation of the laptop.
Let’s summarize. The screen of this laptop has a high enough maximum brightness (392 cd/m²) to allow the device to be used outdoors on a bright day, shielded from direct sunlight. In complete darkness, the brightness can be reduced to a comfortable level (up to 19 cd / m²). The advantages of the screen include low response times (10 ms) and output latency (3 ms), high refresh rate (240 Hz), good visibility of details in the shadows, good color balance and color gamut close to sRGB. The disadvantages are the low stability of black to the deviation of the gaze from the perpendicular to the plane of the screen. In general, the screen quality is high, and from the point of view of its properties, the laptop can reasonably be classified as a gaming laptop.
The laptop audio system is traditionally based on the Realtek codec. The sound output is carried out through two speakers mounted on the bevels of the bottom panel at the front edge of the case. There are no subjective complaints about the sound. The laptop does not have additional sound enhancement software, but you can use presets and an equalizer in the standard Realtek audio console.
The loudness of the built-in speakers was measured while playing an audio file with pink noise. The maximum volume is 72.4 dBA, so this laptop is slightly quieter than the average laptop tested at the time of this writing (minimum 64.8 dBA, maximum 83 dBA).
|MSI P65 Creator 9SF||83.0|
|Apple MacBook Pro 13″ (A2251)||79.3|
|Asus ROG Zephyrus S17||77.5|
|HP Omen 15-ek0039ur||77.3|
|Dell Latitude 9510||77.0|
|Apple MacBook Air (Early 2020)||76.8|
|MSI Stealth 15M A11SDK||76.0|
|MSI GP66 Leopard 10UG||75.5|
|Apple MacBook Pro 13″ (Apple M1)||75.4|
|Asus TUF Gaming F15 (2022)||75.2|
|Gigabyte Aero 15 OLED XC||74.6|
|Realme Book RMNB 1002||74.4|
|Infinix Inbook X2 XL21||74.3|
|MSI Katana GF66 11UG||73.9|
|Honor MagicBook Pro||72.9|
|LG gram 17Z90P||72.1|
|Lenovo Yoga Slim 7 Pro 14ACH5||72.0|
|Thunderobot 911 Air D||71.2|
|Asus ROG Flow Z13 (2022) GZ301Z||68.8|
|Asus ZenBook 14 (UX435E)||64.8|
The frequency response of pink noise shows that the reproducible frequency range is not wide and the middle sticks out strongly:
The battery capacity of the laptop is 62 Wh. To give you an idea of how these numbers compare to actual battery life, we’re testing our methodology. The screen brightness is set to 100 cd/m² (in this case, about 25% in this case), so laptops with relatively dim screens don’t benefit.
|Load Scenario||Opening hours|
|Working with text (with minimal keyboard backlight)||5 hours 54 minutes|
|Working with text (no keyboard backlight)||6 hours 17 minutes|
|View video||4 hours 19 minutes|
The results of autonomy tests are average: you can work with text at the minimum brightness of the keyboard backlight for 6 hours, watch videos for 4 hours. For a gaming laptop with powerful components, a 17-inch screen and a small battery, this is completely normal, even a good result.
The proprietary utility has a choice of battery charging modes: you can undercharge it more or less in accordance with a typical scenario for using a laptop.
The full process of charging from a regular 280-watt PSU (in new deliveries the power supply is replaced by a 330-watt one) takes more than 2 hours, but at first, as usual, this process goes much faster: in half an hour, almost 50% of the charge is gained, in an hour – 80 %. The charging indicator to the right of the power button flashes until the battery reaches 100% capacity, and the LED is too bright, so it’s uncomfortable to be present. As always, black electrical tape will help out.
Load operation and heating
The cooling system of the laptop is very solid even without taking into account the external unit. From the heat sinks on the CPU and GPU, 6 heat pipes leave (two of them are common to both chips), they are divided into 4 radiators, which are blown by two fans. On top of the complex profile of tubes and heat sinks on the CPU, GPU and video memory chips, an additional loop of the liquid cooling circuit is pressed.
The fan speed is not displayed anywhere. When a load is applied to any of the processors (CPU or GPU), both fans turn on (although not always at the same time and seem to produce different levels of noise). Heated air is removed back and to the right / left, through the ventilation holes on the sides of the case. The intake of cold air is carried out from the bottom with a large area of ventilation holes.
In the proprietary Control Center utility, you can select one of three performance and cooling modes: Office Mode and Performance Mode, as well as Liquid Cooling Mode. To use Liquid Cooling Mode, you do not need to connect a dropsy, it’s just the most productive mode in which enhanced cooling will be more relevant.
The operation parameters in a particular mode are determined by the choice of a specific profile (each mode has 2-3 of them), the settings of which can be changed and saved, but not always, and different settings are available for changing in different modes and profiles. To simplify, it turns out something like this:
- In Office mode, there is no way to configure the processor, it always runs with a consumption of about 35 W (15 W if a discrete video card is used), but you can overclock the video card (up to +225 MHz on the core and up to + 1500 MHz memory, enable dynamic overclocking by 5-25 W) and select its operation profile (Balanced, Quiet, Quieter), as determined by Whisper Mode 2.0 of the Nvidia drivers, and the target minimum performance (30-60 fps).
- In the Performance mode, you can configure the processor (PL1 and PL2 from 10 to 120 W, as well as PL4) and overclock the video card within the same limits, but not select the profile of its operation.
- The Liquid Cooling mode has two fixed profiles for more efficient and quieter operation, as well as a custom profile with the same capabilities as the Performance mode profiles (according to By default, CPU consumption is higher here: 105 W instead of 90).
So the Performance mode doesn’t make sense at all, it’s completely replaced by the Liquid Cooling profiles (well, unless you need more than one custom profile with high CPU performance). The Office mode can be useful if you want to control the performance of the video card by controlling the noise level, but the performance of the processor is reduced in it, that is, we find it difficult to come up with a specific use case. You can use it simply as an economy mode for quick switching.
Also, in all customizable profiles, limiting the maximum temperature of the CPU and GPU is available if you do not want to bring the heating of components to a certain level. In all customizable profiles, you can set the temperature curve of the fans by points, but by default these curves seem to be the same in all cases. There is a separate button for turning on the maximum fan operation mode (Fan Boost). You can bind the cooling mode to the game, then when it starts and when you exit the game, the laptop will automatically change the mode.
We will not criticize the richness of the settings (more – not less), but in the table below we have summarized information only for the modes that are clearly different from each other. Here are the operating parameters of the system components (temperatures, frequencies, etc.), the maximum/steady values are given through a fraction, red marks the temperature regime with overheating:
|Load Scenario||CPU frequencies, GHz||CPU temperature, °C||CPU Watts||GPU and memory frequencies, MHz||GPU temperature, °C||GPU Wattage||Profile|
|Max CPU load||P: 1.30 |
|Max CPU load||P: 2.55 |
|Maximum GPU load||780 |
|Maximum CPU and GPU load||P: 1.25 |
|Office mode with GSO|
|Max CPU load||P: 1.30 |
|Max CPU load||P: 2.50 |
|Maximum GPU load||1300 |
|Maximum CPU and GPU load||P: 1.25 |
|Max CPU load||P: 3.90 |
|Maximum GPU load||1250 |
|Maximum CPU and GPU load||P: 3.25 |
|Performance mode with GSO|
|Maximum CPU load||P: 3.90 |
|Maximum GPU load||1300 |
|Maximum CPU and GPU load||P: 3.90 |
|Liquid Cooling Mode|
|Max CPU load||P: 4.00 |
|Max CPU load||P: 3.30 |
|Maximum GPU load||1350 |
|Maximum GPU load||1250 |
|Maximum CPU and GPU load||P: 3.15 |
|Maximum CPU and GPU load||P: 3.25 |
|Liquid Cooling mode with LCO|
|Max CPU load||P: 4.20 |
|Max CPU load||P: 3.30 |
|Maximum GPU load||1400 |
|Maximum GPU load||1300 |
|Maximum CPU and GPU load||P: 3.85 |
|Maximum CPU and GPU load||P: 3,30 |
We will not comment on all these results for a long time. The most interesting thing is to compare in pairs the parameters of the laptop in the same modes and make sure that the gain in temperature in all cases was 15-20 degrees with the same consumption. And often the use of LSO made it possible to significantly increase consumption (still without losing in heating).
Here, for example, is a typical test in which, when the GPU is loaded in office mode, at first quite moderate heating of the components is observed, and the GPU operates at its maximum for this mode – at a consumption of 130 W and high frequencies (≈1300 MHz). But as soon as the GSO is turned off, the heating of the CPU and GPU increases abruptly, the GPU frequency drops to ≈800 MHz, and the consumption is cut almost by half (the amplitude of these cyclical ups and downs will drop even more over time, to 45-70 W).
We also found it interesting to limit the operation of the processor in office mode after a program using the GPU was launched: as such, there is no load on the GPU in this scenario, but the laptop does not turn off the operation of a discrete video card until the said program is closed, and even its minimum consumption of 15 W forces the processor to limit itself to the same consumption instead of 35 W, which it quietly consumed seconds before.
In principle, all laptop operating modes are described in the table, but for those who wish to look at a summary of low-level parameters, we present the monitoring data with turning the GSO on and off in the most productive Liquid Cooling/performance mode:
Below are thermal images obtained after long-term operation of the laptop under maximum load on the CPU and GPU with the GSO turned off:
Even under maximum load, working with the keyboard is comfortable, since the places under the wrists barely heat up. But holding a laptop on your lap may not be very pleasant, because the legs still feel the heating of the bottom. The power supply gets very hot, so when working with high performance for a long time, you need to make sure that it is not covered with anything.
Now here are the thermal images obtained after long-term operation of the laptop under maximum load on the CPU and GPU with GSO enabled:
The nature of the distribution of heating zones has not changed, but the connection of the LSS made it possible to reduce the temperature in places of maximum heating by more than 10 degrees. It is logical that this led to an increase in the heating of the power supply, since the power consumption increased, and the PSU did not cool better.
We measure the noise level in a special soundproof and semi-dampened chamber. At the same time, the sound level meter microphone is located relative to the laptop in such a way as to imitate the typical position of the user’s head: the screen is tilted back by 45 degrees, the microphone axis coincides with the normal emanating from the center of the screen, the front end of the microphone is at a distance of 50 cm from the screen plane, the microphone is directed to the screen . The load is created using the powerMax program, the screen brightness is set to maximum, the room temperature is maintained at 24 degrees, but the laptop is not specially blown, so in the immediate vicinity the air temperature may be higher. To estimate the real consumption, we also give (for some modes) the consumption from the network. The battery is pre-charged to 100%. In the settings of the proprietary utility, the LiquidCooling Mode profile with the performance settings profile is selected.
|Load Scenario||Noise level, dBA||Subjective evaluation||Power consumption, W|
|Inactive, GSO disabled||21.0||very quiet||60|
|Idle, GSO in Quieter||32.6||clearly audible||60|
|Idle, GSO in Balanced||37.7||noisy||60|
|Maximum CPU load, GSO disabled||47,6||loud||156 (maximum 203)|
|Maximum CPU load, GSO in Balanced||48,4||loud||196|
|Maximum load on the video card, GSO disabled||48,0||loud||190 (maximum 222)|
|Maximum video card load, GSO in Balanced||37,4||noisy||190 (maximum 208)|
|Maximum load on the processor and video card, GSO is disabled||48,0||loud||230 (maximum 340)|
|Maximum load on the processor and video card, GSO in Balanced||48,3||loud||295 (maximum 350)|
|Maximum CPU and GPU load, GSO in Balanced mode, Fan Boost||48,1||loud||298 (maximum 342)|
Even if the laptop is not loaded at all, its cooling system still cannot work in passive mode. However, in this case, the noise from the cooling system is low, under normal conditions it is indistinguishable against a typical background at home or in the office. Using the GSO in this scenario does not provide any advantages, but only increases the noise level: in the quietest mode of operation of its Quieter fan, the noise remains acceptable, but still becomes noticeable, and in the maximum mode Balanced it turns out almost 38 dBA – this is already a bit noisy. As already mentioned, our recommendation is to turn off the GSO at a time when long work in resource-intensive programs or a gaming session is not expected.
Under heavy load, the noise from the cooling system is quite high, and connecting the LCS allows you to either significantly reduce the noise level at the same consumption (that is, conditionally at the same performance) or increase consumption (that is, conditionally increase performance) at the same noise level. There is a lot of room for creativity here – for those who are interested in sitting and playing around with the settings, limiting consumption and adjusting the fan curve so that, for example, the noise of laptop coolers does not exceed the noise of an external LSD. In our testing of extreme modes (moreover, in stress tests, and not under load in real applications), noise was almost always recorded at about 48 dBA – even the CPU cooler fan alone can create it. 48 dBA is far from the most extreme noise level we’ve seen from gaming laptops (it goes up to 55 dBA), but it’s really very noisy, even loud.
However, a very important practical result was also registered: if the GPU is loaded to the maximum, leaving the processor consumption moderate, then the system noise does not exceed the level that only a water block working at maximum creates, and this is only 37-38 dBA. But this is a completely different conversation. In fact, with this imitation of the gaming mode, we get only a fairly noisy laptop – it does not roar at all and does not take off. In headphones, this level will not even interfere with sitting at a laptop for a long time. And the result? 150 watts of GPU consumption at only 55 degrees! Without GSO in the same mode and with the same consumption of the video card, the GPU was heated up to 73 degrees with a noise of 48 dBA. The gain in direct comparison was almost 20 degrees with a noise reduction of almost 10 dBA. Need more comments here?
The nature of the noise in any case is smooth and does not cause irritation. The spectrogram obtained for the maximum speed of the fans of both the laptop itself and the GSO (GSO in Balanced mode, Fan Boost on) is quite smooth, and in the frequency range where sounds can cause particular irritation, there are no pronounced peaks (low-frequency peaks can be neglected):
If the HDS fan is running at maximum speed (ZSO in the Balanced mode), and the laptop fans are running at the minimum, the spectrogram also does not show anything suspicious:
For a subjective assessment of the noise level, the following scale is applicable:
|Noise level, dBA||Subjective evaluation|
|Less than 20||conditionally silent|
|Above 50||very loud|
Below 20 dBA, the computer is conditionally silent; from 20 to 25 dBA, a laptop can be called very quiet; 35 dBA noise is clearly audible, 35 to 40 dBA noise exceeds the comfortable level for long-term work, 40 to 45 dBA the laptop is very noisy and needs to be masked by background music, for example, 45 to 50 dBA noise level is very uncomfortable, and 50 dBA and above, the noise is so loud that headphones must be used. The scale, of course, is very conditional and does not take into account the individual characteristics of the user and the nature of the sound.
The laptop has a top-end mobile processor Intel Core i9-12900H on the Alder Lake core with a heterogeneous set of cores: 6 so-called productive and 8 so-called efficient. In the maximum mode under load, the processor consumed 120 W for a long time, although it overheated at the same time – overclocking is simply incredible. Without GSO, the consumption was slightly lower, about 100-105 W, but this is still a very strong overclock, and the processor also overheated. The regular long-term TDP of the processor is only 45 watts.
The memory operates in single-channel mode, since only one 16 GB DDR5-4800 module is installed in two SO-DIMM slots (more precisely, the memory operates in dual-channel mode, because it is implemented for each DDR5 module, but the channel width corresponds to single-channel DDR4) . Accordingly, the memory bandwidth in the standard configuration will be lower, but if you want to increase its volume, it will be enough just to buy and install the second module yourself, you don’t have to bother with selling the existing ones, and 32 GB (2 × 16) seems to be enough for almost any applications for today, including for a gaming machine.
The laptop uses a top-end Samsung PM9A1 512 GB SSD. This is an NVMe drive installed in an M.2 slot and connected to an internal PCIe 4.0 x4 port. We have already seen this modern drive model in expensive laptops more than once, and we can once again confirm that its linear read and write speeds are very high.
If 512GB isn’t enough (which is almost certainly the case for today’s games), you can install a second SSD in the adjacent M.2 slot yourself. At the same time, you can purchase an inexpensive and not too fast 1-2 TB drive, this is already enough for both work and games.
We compared the results of testing the laptop in real applications in accordance with the methodology with only one rival – the fastest Asus ROG Flow Z13 tested to date (yes, this is a tablet, not a laptop). The fact is that the processor works here with such an excess of TDP that the result simply has to be a record. But we will compare both Machenike S17 cooling options: with and without the LSO.
|Test||Reference result||Machenike S17 without GSO |
(Intel Core i9-12900H)
|Machenike S17 with GSO |
(Intel Core i9-12900H)
|Asus ROG Flow Z13 (2022) |
(Intel Core i9-12900H)
|Video conversion points||100||204||212||173|
|MediaCoder x64 0.8.57, c||132.0||58,2||55.7||64,4|
|HandBrake 1.2.2, c||157.4||79.4||76,4||96.0|
|VidCoder 4.36, c||385.9||204,2||198.5||250.9|
|POV-Ray 3.7, c||98.9||40,8||39,2||47,8|
|Cinebench R20, c||122,2||48,8||46,9||55,9|
|Blender 2.79, c||152.4||70,1||68,9||89.0|
|Adobe Photoshop CC 2019 (3D rendering), c||150,3||72,2||72.0||91.4|
|Video content creation, points||100||162||165||157|
|Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2019 v13.01.13, c||298.9||172,3||169.0||194.8|
|Magix Vegas Pro 16.0, c||363.5||272.7||267.7||278.0|
|Magix Movie Edit Pro 2019 Premium v.18.03.261, c||413,3||—||—||—|
|Adobe After Effects CC 2019 v 16.0.1, c||468,7||203,7||199.3||243.3|
|Photodex ProShow Producer 9.0.3782, c||191,1||146,8||146,9||—|
|Digital photo processing, points||100||172||173||194|
|Adobe Photoshop CC 2019, s||864.5||553,4||552.0||541,1|
|Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic CC 2019 v16.0.1, c||138.5||90,2||90.8||59.7|
|Phase One Capture One Pro 12.0, c||254.2||118,8||118,1||129,4|
|Text recognition score||100||281||297||216|
|Abbyy FineReader 14 Enterprise, c||492.0||175,2||165.7||227.4|
|WinRAR 5.71 (64-bit), c||472,3||320,3||320,0||239.0|
|7-Zip 19, c||389.3||233,4||233,1||192.6|
|Scientific calculations, points||100||204||209||172|
|LAMMPS 64-bit, c||151.5||75.0||72.5||86,6|
|NAMD 2.11, c||167.4||70,4||69,1||90.8|
|Mathworks Matlab R2018b, c||71,1||38,7||37.9||46,9|
|Dassault SolidWorks Premium Edition 2018 SP05 with Flow Simulation 2018, c||130,0||65,7||65,0||72.0|
|Integral result without accumulator, points||100||198||202||185|
|WinRAR 5.71 (Store), c||78.0||18,1||18,2||22,3|
|Data copying speed, c||42,6||6,1||6,1||10,0|
|Integral result of the accumulator, points||100||547||545||386|
|Integral performance result, points||100||268||272||231|
The use of GSO has almost no effect on performance in real applications, the total gain was only 2% – but this is simply because the processor is already working in extreme mode. If we compare it with laptops in which the same Core i9-12900H works with a slight excess of TDP, then the Machenike S17 is almost 10% ahead of the fastest of them. And this despite the fact that only one memory module is installed here, and the subsidence in tests that are sensitive to memory speed is noticeable. In general, the result is the highest!
SSD performance in real tasks was also very high.
Testing in games
The laptop has a discrete Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Laptop graphics card, which is close to the highest level solution (only the GeForce RTX 3080/Ti is higher). Moreover, the card also consumes 150 watts, which is much more than the maximum declared on the Nvidia website (125 watts). Even at the “native” screen resolution of 2560×1440, this should be enough to play any game at maximum quality.
For those who are interested, the proprietary Control Center utility allows you to switch the mode of operation of the laptop’s graphics subsystem: always display a picture through the integrated video core of the processor or always directly from a discrete video card. You can also automatically switch to discrete graphics output when a monitor/TV is connected, or automatically turn off when switching to battery power. Again, all conceivable possibilities are implemented, so the utility can only be praised once again.
But first, let’s look at the most interesting: does the GSO help improve productivity? We tested the laptop with and without an external cooler in our typical set of games at two resolutions at maximum graphics quality. The table below shows, in fractions, the average and minimum fps values, how (and if) they are measured by the built-in benchmark of the game.
|Game (maximum quality)||Machenike S17 |
(GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Laptop, 150W)
|Machenike S17 |
(GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Laptop, 150W)
|Machenike S17 |
(GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Laptop, 150W)
|Machenike S17 |
(GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Laptop, 150W)
|World of Tanks||260/166||268/171||167/110||172/114|
|World of Tanks (RT)||181/121||187/126||117/78||120/80|
|Far Cry 5||123/98||103/91|
|Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands||76/65||61/51|
|Metro: Exodus (RT)||64/36||66/37||47/28||48/30|
|Metro: Exodus (RT + DLSS)||71/38||73/39||53/31||54/32|
|World War Z||179/143||180/143||130/110||131/111|
|Deus Ex: Mankind Divided||105/84||107/85||77/63||80/65|
|Assassin’s Creed Odyssey||72/47||66/35|
|Total War Saga: Troy||77/65||78/66||58/46||60/48|
|Horizon Zero Dawn||101/56||102/57||88/49||91/51|
Behind each number in the table is a large number of tests, so the increase is statistically significant, but, to put it mildly, not impressive. Of course, if you already have a laptop with GSO, it’s silly not to use it. However, it is unlikely that anyone will run after a laptop with a GSO for the sake of this.
The use of GSO improves the temperature regime, due to this the GPU can hold high frequencies a little longer and give a little more performance. But in almost all games, the increase did not exceed 1-2 fps, so the main effect is to reduce heat and noise.
Now that we have answered the burning question, it does not hurt to evaluate the general place of our laptop among other gaming machines.
|Game (maximum quality)||Asus ROG Flow Z13 (2022) |
(GeForce RTX 3080 Laptop, 150W)
|MSI GE76 Raider 11UH |
(GeForce RTX 3080 Laptop, 145W)
|Machenike S17 |
(GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Laptop, 150W)
|Asus TUF Gaming F15 (2022) |
(GeForce RTX 3060 Laptop, 140W)
|World of Tanks||259/167||282/184||268/171||206/133|
|World of Tanks (RT)||177/121||196/133||187/126||141/94|
|Far Cry 5||136/99||128/94||123/98||124/102|
|Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands||69/57||78/68||76/65||65/55|
|Metro: Exodus (RT)||64/36||68/36||66/37||52/29|
|Metro: Exodus (RT + DLSS)||71/38||—||73/39||58/31|
|World War Z||209/179||196/155||180/143||174/148|
|Deus Ex: Mankind Divided||105/85||107/86||107/85||89/67|
|Assassin’s Creed Odyssey||73/40||81/47||73/47||71/29|
|Total War Saga: Troy||79/64||84/72||78/66||73/57|
|Horizon Zero Dawn||112/67||114/63||102/57||91/50|
Indeed, Machenike S17 allows you to play any game at a screen resolution of 2560 × 1440 with maximum picture quality. Unless when you enable ray tracing, you may need to enable DLSS or slightly lower the graphics settings. Compared to other gaming laptops, the Machenike S17 also looks very good, showing a level comparable to the mobile GeForce RTX 3080.
The Machenike S17 is a top-of-the-line laptop in terms of performance in professional applications, and in games it also performs very well. True, this effect is achieved even without connecting an external LSO, simply due to a serious overclocking of the components and a significant increase in their consumption. However, LSO helps to greatly reduce heating and provides some gain in noise level. Of course, it is difficult to always carry a laptop with such a cooling system with you, but as a semi-stationary computer this is a very impressive solution.
What is the Machenike S17 Liquid-Cooled Gaming Laptop?
The Machenike S17 Liquid-Cooled Gaming Laptop is a high-performance gaming laptop that comes with a 17.3-inch FHD display, Intel Core i7-10750H processor, 16GB DDR4 RAM, 512GB SSD storage, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti graphics card, and Windows 10 operating system.
How much does the Machenike S17 Liquid-Cooled Gaming Laptop cost?
The Machenike S17 Liquid-Cooled Gaming Laptop is priced at around $1200.
What are the specifications of the Machenike S17 Liquid-Cooled Gaming Laptop?
The Machenike S17 Liquid-Cooled Gaming Laptop comes with a 17.3-inch FHD display, Intel Core i7-10750H processor, 16GB DDR4 RAM, 512GB SSD storage, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti graphics card, Windows 10 operating system, RGB backlit keyboard, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, and a liquid cooling system.
Can the Machenike S17 Liquid-Cooled Gaming Laptop handle heavy gaming?
Yes, the Machenike S17 Liquid-Cooled Gaming Laptop is designed for heavy gaming and can handle most modern games with ease.
What is the battery life of the Machenike S17 Liquid-Cooled Gaming Laptop?
The Machenike S17 Liquid-Cooled Gaming Laptop comes with a 62Wh battery that can provide up to 5 hours of battery life on a single charge.
What is the display size and resolution of the Machenike S17 Liquid-Cooled Gaming Laptop?
The Machenike S17 Liquid-Cooled Gaming Laptop comes with a 17.3-inch FHD display with a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels.
What operating system does the Machenike S17 Liquid-Cooled Gaming Laptop use?
The Machenike S17 Liquid-Cooled Gaming Laptop comes with the Windows 10 operating system.
How much storage does the Machenike S17 Liquid-Cooled Gaming Laptop have?
The Machenike S17 Liquid-Cooled Gaming Laptop comes with 512GB SSD storage.
Can the storage on the Machenike S17 Liquid-Cooled Gaming Laptop be expanded?
Yes, the storage on the Machenike S17 Liquid-Cooled Gaming Laptop can be expanded by using an external hard drive or upgrading the SSD storage.
How much RAM does the Machenike S17 Liquid-Cooled Gaming Laptop have?
The Machenike S17 Liquid-Cooled Gaming Laptop comes with 16GB DDR4 RAM.
Is the Machenike S17 Liquid-Cooled Gaming Laptop lightweight and portable?
No, the Machenike S17 Liquid-Cooled Gaming Laptop is not lightweight and portable, weighing around 2.5kg and measuring 21.5mm in thickness.
What ports are available on the Machenike S17 Liquid-Cooled Gaming Laptop?
The Machenike S17 Liquid-Cooled Gaming Laptop comes with three USB 3.0 ports, one USB Type-C port, one HDMI port, one mini DisplayPort, one RJ45 LAN port, and a 3.5mm audio jack.
Does the Machenike S17 Liquid-Cooled Gaming Laptop have a webcam?
No, the Machenike S17 Liquid-Cooled Gaming Laptop does not come with a built-in webcam.
Is the Machenike S17 Liquid-Cooled Gaming Laptop good for video conferencing?
The Machenike S17 Liquid-Cooled Gaming Laptop is not designed for video conferencing as it does not have a built-in webcam.
Does the Machenike S17 Liquid-Cooled Gaming Laptop have a backlit keyboard?
Yes, the Machenike S17 Liquid-Cooled Gaming Laptop comes with a RGB backlit keyboard.
How fast is the processor in the Machenike S17 Liquid-Cooled Gaming Laptop?
The Machenike S17 Liquid-Cooled Gaming Laptop comes with an Intel Core i7-10750H processor that has a base clock speed of 2.6GHz and can go up to 5.0GHz.
Can the Machenike S17 Liquid-Cooled Gaming Laptop handle multitasking?
Yes, the Machenike S17 Liquid-Cooled Gaming Laptop can handle multitasking with ease, thanks to its 16GB DDR4 RAM and Intel Core i7 processor.
What is the graphics card in the Machenike S17 Liquid-Cooled Gaming Laptop?
The Machenike S17 Liquid-Cooled Gaming Laptop comes with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti graphics card with 6GB GDDR6 VRAM.
Is the Machenike S17 Liquid-Cooled Gaming Laptop durable?
The Machenike S17 Liquid-Cooled Gaming Laptop is built with a metallic body and is designed to be durable and sturdy.
What is the warranty for the Machenike S17 Liquid-Cooled Gaming Laptop?
The Machenike S17 Liquid-Cooled Gaming Laptop comes with a one-year limited warranty.