XMG NEO 15 gaming laptop longevity test

We re-tested our 2021 XMG Neo laptop with RTX 3070 several years after purchase to see if there’s been any performance degradation Updated: Mar 19, 2024 11:52 am WePC is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Prices subject to change. Learn more Table of Contents Table of Contents SPONSORED PIECE XMG is a brand which focuses on performance-first laptops for gamers and also those looking for powerful workstation devices. These laptops often feature in our best of guides each year due to their high TGP (Total Graphics Power) GPUs that are some of the most powerful around, in addition to their excellent onboard software allowing for granular tweak-ability and solid customer support, and we’ve had the pleasure of reviewing multiple iterations of their Neo range over the years. One question it’s impossible to answer in a review on a new product however, is how will it perform over time as the years go by? Fortunately, we’ve retained the RTX 3070 mobile variant of the XMG Neo 15 we reviewed back in November 2021, which has been under regular use since this time, and decided to put it through its paces to see if it still passes muster. Although XMG do offer a ‘device check-up’ that you can pay €69 for which includes a replacing of the thermal paste and an update to the firmware, you’ll still want to make sure that your internal components will go the distance.  As we discuss in our ‘how long will a gaming laptop last?’ article, these highly tuned devices (across all brands and manufacturers, not just XMG) are subject to a lot of thermal stress in a relatively small chassis, therefore frequently don’t last as long as you’d like them to, particularly given the high asking price they often command. Whilst you’d expect to get, at minimum, 4 years our of your laptop before it properly dies (though 7 years is the more desirable typical upper range), the performance of the laptop can degrade in a couple of areas before then, as thermal damage takes its toll on the internal components. For this test we will be focusing on two areas: gaming performance (measured in FPS terms) and battery life longevity – which are areas where performance typically deteriorates over time. We’ll be conducting these tests as close as possible to those conducted in our original XMG Neo 15 2021 review, then comparing the old data with the new data and discussing the findings. Let’s dive in! XMG 15 NEO E21 in-game performance longevity For the comparative gaming benchmarks we re-tested three of the games in our original review of the XMG Neo 15: Doom Eternal, Far Cry 6, and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.  Since the time of the original review, all three of these titles can now utilise upscaling technology to improve FPS and/or quality (DLSS for Doom Eternal and FSR for the other two games). Given this tech was not switched on in the original review, we disabled it for the purposes of our re-test to make the comparison fair, but you should be aware that it frequently generates an FPS uplift of 50-60% or even higher, so you can squeeze substantially more performance out of this machine if you want. We just chose to re-test the laptop at the native 1440p resolution this time, given any performance degradation should be visible across the resolutions. Optimus was disabled using the MUX Switch to guarantee full use of the dedicated graphics card. The performance preset in the ‘Control Center’ software was set to the maximum ‘Overboost’ setting, with Fan Boost also enabled, although in reality the Fan Boost is probably too loud to be viable in a real world gaming session. Original game benchmarks (from when the laptop was new) Previous Next Game benchmark re-test (2 years + 3 months after purchase) Previous Next Analysing the results As you can see in the above, there is no detectable deterioration in the gaming performance of this laptop relative to the original results. In fact, overall there’s been a slight improvement in the average FPS generated across most of the titles on most settings – this is likely due to general tweaks and optimisation improvements to the games and/or drivers running the laptop’s hardware that we were unable to account for. So overall, a very solid result! XMG 15 NEO E21 battery longevity test comparison We conducted the same standard battery test on the laptop that we used in the initial review, and indeed for all our laptop reviews: 2 hours of full screen, 1080p YouTube video playback, followed by general web browsing and word processing until the battery is fully depleted. For this test, Windows battery saving mode is switched on, the brightness setting was set to 50%, and within the onboard software we set the performance mode to ‘Balanced’ and made sure that Nvidia Optimus was enabled – allowing the laptop to utilise the iGPU to save power. WiFi was left on but Bluetooth was disabled. The results compared against each other are as follows: Battery life when first reviewed: 4 hours 56mins Battery life when tested 2yrs 3 months later: 3 hours 52mins As you can see from the above, there has been a substantial reduction in the battery duration from the time of the original test: 54 minutes which amounts to an 18% reduction. The mileage you’d get in your particular model could vary from this of course, as it depends very much on how intensively you use your device, as well as what setup you choose within the ‘Control Center’ internal software for battery duration/charging speed/charging capacity. One should realistically expect all laptops to show battery degeneration over the years, with gaming laptops being particularly susceptible. The above results are reasonably typical then, although we would have liked to have seen another year of use before reaching this level ideally. Still, you can always pick up a replacement battery for this laptop or other models relatively easy from bestware.com, where you can find all the XMG products for sale. Comparable XMG laptops you can buy now You may struggle to find a 2021 XMG Neo 15 with RTX 3070 for sale these days, given it’s an older generation device, however your first port of call should be the bestware outlet, which sells remaining stock of older models, and also tested b-stock/refurbished models. You may also find some refurbished models or second hand units on Amazon or ebay. If you’re looking for comparable performance in a newer device, you’d likely be better off going for a newer-gen RTX 4060 laptop. XMG produce newer-gen XMG Neo 16 (16-inch) and XMG Neo 17 (17-inch) models that you can equip with RTX 4060 graphics cards, alternatively there’s the XMG Core which is similar to the 2023 Neo but equipped with an AMD Ryzen processor and lacking the XMG OASIS external liquid cooling compatibility (which we wouldn’t recommend for an RTX 4060 laptop anyway). You can read more about the differences between the Neo and the Core lines here. Finally, there’s the XMG Pro which is again similar to the Neo, except it only has a Mini-SD card reader (not the full size on in the Neo), doesn’t have the XMG OASIS compatibility, nor can you configure it with a mechanical keyboard; it is however cheaper. Take a look at our best XMG laptop 2024 guide to learn more about the different variants you can buy.

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