The Sky’s The Limit? Eurocom Sky M5 R2 Gaming Notebook Review

Eurocom Sky M5 R2 Gaming Notebook
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by Rob Williams on December 29, 2016 in Systems

Achieving excellent 1080p gaming on a modestly-sized notebook for relatively cheap has long been a difficult proposition, but Eurocom’s Sky M5 R2 is up for the challenge. This $1,399 notebook comes packed with NVIDIA’s GTX 1060 and Intel’s i7-6700HQ – not just enough for 1080p, but good for 1440p to boot. Let’s dive in!

1440p (External) Gaming Performance

To repeat some of what was said on the last page:

All of this benchmarking is performed hands-on, so no DirectX 12 testing has been included here. Instead, we rely on the trusty Fraps, which is sure to be reaching its EOL soon thanks to its lack of support for the newer APIs (which includes Vulkan).

As with our regular GPU reviews, this page represents the “Best Playable” settings I could find in each game at each resolution. To make things easier, I take advantage of GeForce Experience’s auto-configuration tool to give me a baseline, and then tweak further if I think I could eke a bit more graphical detail out of the GTX 1060 and still retain great framerates. Note that all screenshots were taken at the configuration listed. G-SYNC is disabled by default as the external monitor used for testing doesn’t support it.

Battlefield 1

Battlefield 1 Eurocom M5 R2 Gaming Notebook (1440p)
Battlefield 1
MinimumAverage
5560
Resolution:2560 x 1440Texture Quality:Ultra
Texture Filtering:UltraLighting Quality:Ultra
Effects Quality:MediumPost Process Quality:Ultra
Mesh Quality:UltraTerrain Quality:Ultra
Undergrowth Quality:UltraAntialiasing Post:TAA
Ambient Occlusion:HBAO

Surprisingly, Battlefield 1 can run at almost identical detail levels as I set for 1080p gaming – the big difference is with the framerate. At 1080p, I saw 79 FPS average, while bumping up to 1440p and decreasing the Effects Quality to Medium gave me an even 60 FPS.

Civilization VI

Civilization VI Eurocom M5 R2 Gaming Notebook (1440p)
Civilization VI
MinimumAverage
4553
Resolution:2560 x 1440Antialiasing:Off
High-Res Asset Textures:OffHQ Visual:Low
Bloom:OnDynamic Lighting:Off
Shadows:OnShadow Resolution:2048×2048
Overlay Resolution:4096×4096Screen-Space Overlay:On
Terrain Quality:MediumHigh-Res Geometry:On
High-Res Textures:OnHQ Quality Shader:On
Ambient Occlusion:OffHigh-Detail Clutter:On
High-Res Water:OffHQ Water Shader:Off
Reflections:OffAnimated Leaders:Off

For some reason, I ended up testing the 1440p Civilization VI test at slightly higher detail than I did at 1080p. It didn’t do too much to the framerate, though: ~50 FPS is more than enough for a game of this nature, but if you demand 60 FPS (or higher), the detail can be adjusted accordingly.

Crysis 3

Crysis 3 Eurocom M5 R2 Gaming Notebook (1440p)
Crysis 3
MinimumAverage
4462
Resolution:2560 x 1440Anti-aliasing:FXAA
Texture:Very HighEffects:Very High
Object:Very HighParticles:Very High
Post Processing:HighShading:High
Shadows:MediumWater:Very High
Anisotropic Filtering:x16Motion Blur:Medium
Lens Flares:Yes

Not too much had to be decreased to get Crysis 3 to run at 60 FPS at 1440p. The only difference is a drop from Very High to High for both Shading and Post Processing.

DOOM

DOOM Eurocom M5 R2 Gaming Notebook (1440p)
DOOM
MinimumAverage
4761
Resolution:2560 x 1440Anti-Aliasing:FXAA
Overall Quality:HighLights Quality:High
Shadows Quality:HighPlayer Self-Shadow:Yes
Directional Occlusion:HighDecal Quality:High
Decal Filtering:4xVirtual Texture Size:High
Reflections Quality:HighParticles Quality:High
Compute Shaders:YesMotion Blur:High
Depth of Field:YesDepth of Field AA:Yes
HDR Bloom:YesLens Flare:Yes
Lens Dirt:YesSharpening:2.0
Film Grain:1.0UI Opacity100%

While DOOM ran just fine at Ultra detail at 1080p, things had to be dropped to High for 1440p. Even still, the game looks downright amazing (and I admit, sometimes it’s hard to even tell the difference between High and Ultra – it’s just a great-looking game).

Rise of the Tomb Raider

Rise of the Tomb Raider Eurocom M5 R2 Gaming Notebook (1440p)
Rise of the Tomb Raider
MinimumAverage
4653
Resolution:2560 x 1440Anti-Aliasing:FXAA
Texture Quality:HighAnisotropic Filter:16x
Shadow Quality:HighSun Soft Shadows:On
Ambient Occlusion:OnDepth of Field:On
Level of Detail:MediumTessellation:Off
SS Reflections:OnSpecular Reflection:Normal
Dynamic Foliage:MediumBloom:On
Vignette Blur:OnMotion Blur:On
Purehair:OnLens Flares:On
Screen Effects:OnFilm Grain:On

As mentioned before, RotTR is a brutal game on today’s hardware, so it’s no surprise that detail levels had to be decreased a fair bit to become playable at 1440p versus 1080p. I could have obsessed about the detail levels to hit 60 FPS, but it just wasn’t worth it. At 1440p, it’s just worth sacrificing a few frames for higher details.

Steep

Steep Eurocom M5 R2 Gaming Notebook (1440p)
Steep
MinimumAverage
5257
Resolution:2560 x 1440Multisampling:None
Overall Quality:CustomEnvironment Quality:Medium
Texture Quality:MediumShadow Quality:Medium
Snowtrail Tessellation:MediumAmbient Occlusion:SSBC
Post-effect AA:FXAAAnisotropic Filtering:16x

Steep saw a handful of graphics drops versus the 1080p settings, but again, the game still looks good overall. Still, I’d probably quicker recommend sticking with 1080p, because not only is the detail better, the framerate is, too – and high FPS is pretty important for sports titles.

Watch Dogs 2

Watch Dogs 2 Eurocom M5 R2 Gaming Notebook (1440p)
Watch Dogs 2
MinimumAverage
4858
Resolution:2560 x 1440Geometry:Very High
Extra Details:0%Terrain:High
Vegetation:HighTexture Resolution:High
Texture Filtering:UltraShadows:High
Headlight Shadows:Your CarWater:High
Reflections:HighScreenspace Reflections:Off
San Francisco Fog:OffDepth of Field:On
Motion Blur:OnBloom:On
Ambient Occlusion:SSBCTemporal Filtering:On
Multisample AA:MSAA 2xPost-Process AA:SMAA

Watch Dogs 2 is another case of a game looking great even though detail levels need to be dropped. Shadows and Vegetation had to be decreased ever-so-slightly to High (from Ultra), and screenspace reflections had to be dropped from Very High to off.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The Witcher 3 Eurocom M5 R2 Gaming Notebook (1440p)
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
MinimumAverage
5160
Resolution:2560 x 1440Anti-Aliasing:On
Blur:OnBloom:On
Sharpening:HighAmbient Occlusion:None
Depth of Field:OnChromatic Aberration:On
Vignetting:OnLight Shafts:On
NVIDIA Hairworks:OffHairworks AA:N/A
Hairworks Preset:N/ANumber of BG Chars:Ultra
Shadow Quality:MediumWater Quality:Ultra
Grass Quality:UltraTexture Quality:High
Terrain Quality:HighFoliage Visibility:Low
Detail Level:Ultra

Finally, we wrap up game testing with the most beautiful (subjective) one of them all: Witcher 3. At 1080p, I ran NVIDIA Hairworks, but at 1440p, that was dropped in addition to a couple of other settings. To repeat myself again, the game still looks great at despite the detail drop, and just as important, the framerate is excellent.

It’s time for a look at system performance, battery-life, and then a wrap-up.