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Hi All,

I have got my hands on a few new 4th gen core (Haswell) machines recently...

I have been lurking on TI for about 15 months, came here looking for Kepler video bioses after MKV tech went away, in that time I've not really posted any information. I found so much more than I was looking here over that time, I thought I would share something in return.

As I have the W230ST right here (I'm typing this on it) I thought I would share my thoughts with you.

I have a lot of experience with older Clevo and other laptops over the years and this one is continuing the improvements that have been present in more recent Clevo laptops.

In my opinion this is a worthy successor to the M860TU and the W110ER (if you don't know what that M860TU is, click here: M860TU Clevo Specs)

This one is configured with a 1080p IPS panel (with PSR to save power), i7-4900MQ, 16GB DDR3-1866 CAS10 (Corsair Vengeance), 2x 240GB Intel 525 Series mSATA SSD, 1x 960GB M500 Crucial SSD, Intel 6235 ABGN Wireless with Bluetooth. It also comes with the NVIDIA GTX765M with 2GB DDR5.

Apart from the screen and wireless card, all the other bits were added by myself. I have installed Win 8 on the system, I'm a big Win 7 fan, but personally I have had no problem with the transition, even on a device with no touchscreen.It does provide super speedy boot times and seems to offer better compatibility with Clevo's power utilities.

Plus Points:

1. The system size / weight for the spec. It's 35mm high (sat on a desk to to top of the screen) and weighs 2KG. Even the PSU is smaller than 120W bricks that have been shipped recently (it is the same as the one that ships with the W350ST)

2. Keyboard. This is a first! I'm not normally a fan of Clevo's keyboard setup, but they have made this one very rigid, so the laptop does not flex while typing! Also the keyboard has a subtle white back-light, combined with the chicklet style and semi-tactile covering on the keys, it is a nice experience.*

* I have yet to test the keyboard for gaming, so not sure how it will cope with multi-key presses.

3. Its quiet! Yes the fan controller does seem to allow the fan to switch off, right now the fan is silent, occasionally it will kick in to its slowest settings. There are several power modes with the Clevo Control Center tool, one is silent which limits the CPU speed to 1.7GHz, Multimedia and Performance. There is also power saver too which seems to switch off most of the system including the wireless card! I'm running in performance mode right now and it is still silent. If the CPU is not working too hard it will still got to 800MHz.

4. The Screen - This 1080p IPS screen is superb, I’m running at 100% scaling and can see this text perfectly. This is a nice resolution for a 13.3" panel. The good news is that you can run games at a lower resolution to increase detail and framerate and they don't look fuzzy.

5. Performance - The performance is excellent for a small machine like this, I got just shy of P5000 on 3D mark 11 and 1000 points / 24fps on Unigine Valley (This was with a 120MHz Core / 600MHz Memory OC on the GFX). To give you some context, My AW M14XR2 with a GTX650M and the VGA unlocked BIOS from this site could get P3222 with a 340MHz Core OC (bringing the core to 1176MHz) and 1000MHz extra on the memory (Bringing memory to 3000MHz)

6. The lid is painted with that soft touch paint, personally I like this.

7. It looks nice! - You would not be embarrassed to be seen in public with it!

8. Good I/O , there are 3 USB 3.0 Ports and 1x USB 2 port. One of the USB 3 ports is always powered. There is also HDMI, VGA, LAN, 2x Audio (Mic and Headset) there is also a card reader in the front, and the card goes almost flush with the body when pushed in (this is nicer than some laptops with have the card sticking out). The card is on a push latch.

Not so good points: - These may be particular to my machine, please don’t assume it is a general problem.

1. Its quiet when at idle / light use, however there is a bit of a ticking rattle that occasionally comes up (its like a PWM frequency harmonic is manifesting in the fan motor). Also the fan creates some vibration in the body of the laptop (ironically if I were using a mechanical HDD this would not be an issue as it would not be felt)

2. Loud when pushed - I think this is the same for all smaller laptops, although it is louder than the AW14 with the same components. Although when I'm playing games I have my headset on, so this becomes a non-issue.

3. Power to the USB ports. I tried to connect a USB optical drive to the machine to copy the drivers that Clevo supply, the drive would initialise and then as the motor spins up would disappear from the OS. I tried this drive / disk on an AW17 which worked perfectly (the AW17 also has an optical of course). The drive only had one USB connector, so would only take power from one port.

4. Position of the USB ports. All the USB ports are on the front quarter of the machine, with the 3x USB 3.0 on the right, this means if you have HDDs etc. plugged in, these can get in the way of your mouse movement.

5. No Display Port - Instead of the VGA (or as well as), it would have been nice to have a displayport connector, this would allow a higher than 1080p panel to be connected

.

5. No NVIDIA Verde support for Clevo yet, or at least the SVID / SDID for this GTX 765 - I tried to hack the inf of the current Verde Beta Driver - but this caused a failure on boot. The supplied 311 drivers work fine but are old!

6. Although the screen is great, it does have a semi-gloss finish. It would be nicer if it was Matte.

7. Palm rest, this is another symptom of a smaller machine, the palm rest is very slightly too short, also it is painted glossy plastic, it would be nicer if it had the same soft touch surface as the lid. (The AW14 has a longer palm rest and is painted with soft touch paint)

8. TIM - The stock TIM is just about enough for stock speeds, if you a building yourself, or the person who built it for you didn’t change the TIM, this is an easy upgrade path. I'm using Arctic Silver 5 on this system. Even under load the CPU will not go over 85C and the GPU over 78C.

9. Cannot give the CPU more power. Or at least with XTU... The short and long term turbo power limits are greyed out. I can reduce turbo vcore however which means the CPU will turbo higher under load before it reaches its power limit. - Will Throttlestop be able to change this?

As you can see the list of gripes are really minor issues day to day, and some will be fixed with drivers etc.

I'm not sure what sort of price your favourite system builder will charge for this, probably less than an AW14 configured to the same spec!

I will get some pics and screenshots for my next post.

Any Q's feel free to ask!

Onyoto

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As promised in the post above here are some pics:

Clevo Control Center:

post-11138-14494995861148_thumb.jpg

Excuse the pink, Win 8 automatically changes the window borders colour in sync with the background pic!

XTU - CPU Stress Test

post-11138-14494995861338_thumb.jpg

Correction to the info on the previous post, the CPU gets to 90C under load.

Here are the XTU options, see the TDP options are greyed out.

post-11138-14494995861706_thumb.jpg

Maybe Throttlestop and a custom BIOS can allow users to change this. In order to get a higher load turbo clock, I undervolted the CPU by 80mv in turbo. The GPU is undervolted by 50mv while in turbo. This helps the CPU meet its TDP target while increasing the core clock (it sustained 3.4GHz 4 core turbo).

Onyoto

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Here are some pics of the system itself, please excuse some of the dubious editing!:

post-11138-14494995863243_thumb.jpg

post-11138-1449499586397_thumb.jpg

Left hand side

post-11138-14494995864566_thumb.jpg

Right Hand Side

post-11138-14494995865016_thumb.jpg

Underside with cover on

post-11138-14494995862543_thumb.jpg

Lid Closed, showing top of lid.

Here are the money shots!

Photos taken looking straight down at the underside of the system with the cover off.

post-11138-14494995865901_thumb.jpg

With the cover off - showing heatsink:

post-11138-144949958667_thumb.jpg

With the heatsink removed, you can see the CPU and GPU side by side. They share the same heatsink with a heatpipe each.

You can also see the position of the RAM, 2x mSATA Drives and 2.5" drive. This bay will take upto a 9.5mm drive although takes thinner ones too.

Onyoto

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Thanks for the overview! I have been debating between this and the GE40, I am definitely leaning toward the Clevo though :D

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Thanks!

Can't wait for mine to show up...

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I thought it would use MXM 3.0 type B and not a soldered GPU as it has a gtx 765. But the CPU isn't soldered which is awesome :)

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Thanks for the thanks!

One thing I have noticed, with all the mobile Haswell CPU sockets, the latch is no longer operated by a flat blade screwdriver. You will need to arm yourself with a Torx screwdriver, T-9 seems to be the best fit. T-10 does fit, but you need to provide a lot of pressure for the teeth to grip the head of the screw.

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Thanks for the thanks!

One thing I have noticed, with all the mobile Haswell CPU sockets, the latch is no longer operated by a flat blade screwdriver. You will need to arm yourself with a Torx screwdriver, T-9 seems to be the best fit. T-10 does fit, but you need to provide a lot of pressure for the teeth to grip the head of the screw.

I thought something was a bit off with that lock :D

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Can you overclock your 4900mq? I know temps and power limit would be an issue, but I'm wondering if it simply lets you or not.

I'm just curious because clevo has never officially allowed overclocking on anything smaller than a 17" before.

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Can you overclock your 4900mq? I know temps and power limit would be an issue, but I'm wondering if it simply lets you or not.

I'm just curious because clevo has never officially allowed overclocking on anything smaller than a 17" before.

Yes, if you click on the XTU screenshots you can see the settings which Clevo leave unlocked. This only works in Windows however, there is no OC support in BIOS.

You can only adjust the max ratios of the CPU and GPU parts, the 4900MQ allows upto 800MHz to be added to the stock turbo speed.

As you pointed out, you can't adjust the max power or current on this system, you are limited in power budget.

To get around this slightly, you can reduce the maximum dynamic voltage (turbo voltage) and depending on teh CPU it will vary. On this CPU it was reduced by 80mv. I also had to reduce the top single core clock speed to keep the system stable under light loads.

Although clipping the max speed for light loads, the increase in 4 core load speeds was dramatic (from 3.2GHz to 3.6GHz sustained).

I also reduced the GPU voltage by 50mv and have since been experimenting reducing the cache voltage. Somewhere between -33mv to -50mv seems to maintain reliability and reduce a bit of power.

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Good review. I think the niggling little problems can be fixed. My biggest issues that could / can be fixed fairly easily are pretty common ones for Clevo unfortunately:

- fan profile

- iGPU only at 400MHz on battery (come on Clevo, wtf?)

- CPU speeds locked to 1.5GHz on battery, although Throttlestop 6.00 b1 fixes that (thanks unclewebb)

- usual limited BIOS options (Prema's hard at work though)

- fan rattling at low speeds. I know some users had theirs replaced but never knew if it fixed the issue or not

Otherwise the size, weight, performance, and screen of this laptop are phenomenal.

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Good job man!

I have my w230st from a the spanish clevo retailer "Mountain" and I'm very happy whit it but I coincide in some of the pros and cons.

I'm planning to add the second mSATA ssd to my configuration and replace TIM. And also waiting for Prema's magic to get a decent bios!

I have undervolted the CPU by 120mV and the temps are really lower.

I also have seen that when running on integrated GPU it never downclocs, it is normal?

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Really looking at getting one of these, but due to the heat issues that some people are having, might give it a miss.

Does it affect performance?

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Really looking at getting one of these, but due to the heat issues that some people are having, might give it a miss.

Does it affect performance?

I think there is no necessary to worry about this,it works very good.the hightest temperature i seen was 85..so,you just make it easy.

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I think there is no necessary to worry about this,it works very good.the hightest temperature i seen was 85..so,you just make it easy.

Yes there are no problems with temperatures. The fan is loud when you stress the computer but no throttle and no performance issues. If you undervolt a little the CPU you can get lower temps and substituting the stock TIM by another better will lower more the temps.

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In case you guys didn't see it. I have added the latest stock BIOS & EC v5 to our BIOS thread here.

Solves some Fan issues etc...

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yeah the 05 bios "almost" gets rid of all the random bursts. Hope the next update (or your mod:D) will fix everything, amazing machine!

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Got the 05 BIOS and EC with my W230ST and I never hear the fan bursting when it's in quiet mode. Still get it occasionally when it's in performance mode.

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I'll give the new BIOS a try, hopefully will get rid of my fan suddenly bursting into a hurricane when opening some bigger applications :)

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Finally, after 3 weeks, i got mine.

Weird thing in Germany: You get the Clevo under the name "schenker xmg", "Nexoc G3012" and "One 13.3".

Good that i found out, this piece was a CLEVO. As i wsa struggling to get vt-x working (was the main purpose why i bought the machine)

The fan is, in deed very annoying.

I haven't undervolted my cpu yet, and i don't really think it's going to help, as it's a 4900mq. What do you expect from a "ultrabook" with only 1 fan? :D

As soon as i get my full post count, I'll get the latest version of the Prema bios (Thanks for yout astonishing work btw @ Prema), and I'll see what I can do.

I'Ve seen some screens of the Bios settings, and they do look pretty interesting.

Even tho I am an IT-consultant, there are some setting which don't tell me anything. Great - Time to learn some new "basic" stuff.

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      Apologies for the wall of text, next time I take this machine apart I will take some photos!
      Teardown Instructions:
      ---- WARNING! THIS WILL MOST LIKELY INVALIDATE YOUR WARRANTY WITH DELL ----
      ---- This is a guide only, no warranties or guarantees are implied, damage is at your own risk ---
      ---- You will need: T9 TORX screwdriver (to remove CPU only), Decent Thermal Paste, Philips Screwdriver, Thin flatblade screwdriver, Isoproponal electronics cleaner (Meths will probably work too), paper towels, plastic pry tool (or very strong fingers!) ----
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      ---- END OF BIOS OC RESET ----
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      If everything is OK, repeat the teardown in reverse to reconstruct your machine.
      When the system is rebuilt but the power button, touchpad, LEDs, backlight or SD card reader don't work, this is because the ribbon cables were not connected back or locked down properly.
      Make sure the ribbon cables are square to their sockets (there is a guide line on the cable to indicate the final position) and the locks are clamping the cables.
      The next time I need to take the system apart again I will include some photos!
      Good luck!
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