Eurocom Monster 4 14-inch Gaming Notebook Review

by Rob Williams on April 1, 2016 in Systems

Building a gaming desktop can be tough, but building a gaming notebook can be even harder. While most vendors limit your options, Eurocom goes out of its way to provide the most customization possible. As we find out in this review, the company’s offerings are diverse, and based on our findings with the Monster 4, a notebook with professional looks can still be a beast inside.

1080p (Native) Gaming Performance

Last spring, I took a look at ASUS’ G751 gaming notebook, which featured NVIDIA’s second-from-the-top GeForce GTX 980M. In that evaluation, I discovered that the card could handle 1440p gaming without issue, so I decided to test gaming out on an external monitor in addition to the internal one. Since the 970M is right up there on the performance scale, I’ve done the same here.

What’s changed this time around is the game selection. Some titles have been dropped and others have been added. As always, we try to cover all of the important bases with our performance testing here, so there are not only high-end games here, but some aging ones as well.

As with most of our GPU-related content, the ultimate goal when testing the Monster 4 was to find the Best Playable settings from each game. Ideally, we want the framerate to be 60, but we can sometimes ignore that rule at our discretion if it makes sense to (and we’ll explain why on a game-by-game basis).

Games tested include Rise of the Tomb Raider, Far Cry Primal, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Dying Light, Grand Theft Auto V, Crysis 3, GRID Autosport, Borderlands 2, Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition, and Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist. Framerates were captured with Fraps; our manual playthroughs can last between 1 and 2 minutes.

Rise of the Tomb Raider

Rise of the Tomb Raider - Eurocom Monster 4 (1080p)
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Resolution:1920 x 1080Anti-Aliasing:FXAA
Texture Quality:MediumAnisotropic Filter:16x
Shadow Quality:MediumSun Soft Shadows:Off
Ambient Occlusion:OnDepth of Field:On
Level of Detail:MediumTessellation:Off
SS Reflections:OnSpecular Reflection:Normal
Dynamic Foliage:LowBloom:On
Vignette Blur:OnMotion Blur:On
Purehair:OffLens Flares:On
Screen Effects:OnFilm Grain:On

RotTR is a game that I underestimated graphically – it’s simply stunning. It’s also incredibly demanding on a system, with us being forced to run with “Medium” settings in certain cases even at 1080p. The game looks great despite that, especially on a small 14″ monitor.

Far Cry Primal

Far Cry Primal - Eurocom Monster 4 (1080p)
Far Cry Primal
Resolution:1920 x 1080Anti-aliasing:SMAA
Post FX:NormalGeometry:High
Environment:HighVolumetric Fog:High
Motion Blur:On

Far Cry Primal also happens to be graphically demanding. Since I haven’t had a chance to start a campaign here, I just used the built-in benchmark to test. 51 FPS isn’t quite the 60 we want to see, but the game looked great and still felt very smooth during gameplay testing.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt - Eurocom Monster 4 (1080p)
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Resolution:1920 x 1080Anti-Aliasing:On
Sharpening:LowAmbient Occlusion:None
Depth of Field:OnChromatic Aberration:On
Vignetting:OnLight Shafts:On
NVIDIA Hairworks:OffNumber of BG Chars:Ultra
Shadow Quality:MediumWater Quality:Ultra
Grass Quality:UltraTexture Quality:High
Terrain Quality:HighFoliage Visibility:Low
Detail Level:Ultra

I am not sure I could ever get bored looking at The Witcher 3‘s world, and thankfully, I don’t think I’ll have to give it up soon given the game takes great advantage of high-end GPUs. In the Monster 4’s case, its 970M enabled me to run very high detail levels overall and peak at just over 60 FPS. Notably, ambient occlusion was disabled, and shadow quality was set to medium.

Dying Light

Dying Light - Eurocom Monster 4 (1080p)
Dying Light
Resolution:1920 x 1080Texture Quality:High
Shadow Map Size:HighFoliage Quality:High
View Distance:60%Ambient Occlusion:On
NVIDIA HBAO+:OnNVIDIA Depth of Field:Off
Motion Blur:OnAntialiasing:On

Dying Light didn’t require too much tweaking to get running well, but it’s an interesting game where one detail setting change can drastically impact performance. I found this particular blend of settings to be ideal versus increasing anything, as I’d end up dipping below 60 FPS with no major IQ difference to be seen.

Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto V - Eurocom Monster 4 (1080p)
Grand Theft Auto V
Resolution:1920 x 1080FXAA:On
Population Density:100%Population Variety:100%
Distance Scaling:100%Texture Quality:High
Shader Quality:HighShadow Quality:Very High
Reflection Quality:Very HighReflection MSAA:Off
Water Quality:Very HighParticles Quality:Very High
Grass Quality:HighSoft Shadows:PCSS
Post FX:HighMotion Blur:0%
DoF Effects:OffAnisotropic Filtering:16x
Ambient Occlusion:OffTessellation:Very High

GTA V might be a console port, but it’s a damn good one where graphics are concerned. On this notebook, the 970M could handle the game at great detail (minus AO and TXAA) at 1080p with the minimum framerate settling at around 60 FPS.

Crysis 3

Crysis 3 - Eurocom Monster 4 (1080p)
Crysis 3
Resolution:1920 x 1080Anti-aliasing:SMAA Low (1x)
Texture:Very HighEffects:Very High
Object:Very HighParticles:Very High
Post Processing:Very HighShading:High
Shadows:Very HighWater:Very High
Anisotropic Filtering:x16Motion Blur:Medium
Lens Flares:Yes

Can the Monster 4 run Crysis 3? Of course it can, and as the table above highlights, it can do so largely at “Very High” detail levels.

GRID Autosport

GRID Autosport - Eurocom Monster 4 (1080p)
GRID Autosport
Resolution:1920 x 1080Multisampling:8x MSAA
Night Lighting:UltraShadows:Ultra
Advanced Fog:OnParticles:Ultra
Ambient Occlusion:UltraSoft Ambient Occlusion:On
Ground Cover:UltraVehicle Details:Ultra
Vehicle Reflections:UltraWater:Ultra
Rear-view Mirror:OffSkidmarks:On
Advanced Lighting:OnGlobal Illumination:On
Texture Quality:High

As great as games in the GRID series look, they’re not incredibly demanding on graphics hardware. It’s no surprise, then, that the 970M was able to handle this game just fine at 1080p with max detail levels – even 8xMSAA.

Borderlands 2

Borderlands 2 - Eurocom Monster 4 (1080p)
Borderlands 2
Resolution:1920 x 1080Anisotropic Filtering:16x
Bullet Decals:HighFoliage Distance:Far
Texture Quality:HighGame Detail:High
Ambient Occlusion:OnDepth of Field:On
FXAA:OnView Distance:Ultra High
Texture Fade:OnPhysX:High

Following in the footsteps of GRID Autosport, Borderlands 2 runs smoother than butter on this notebook at max detail. If not for the fact that PhysX was cranked to High, the average framerate would be even higher.

Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition

Sleeping Dogs Definitive Edition - Eurocom Monster 4 (1080p)
Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition
Resolution:1920 x 1080Anti-aliasing:High
SSAO:HighShadow Resolution:High
Shadow Filtering:HighMotion Blur:High
World Density:Extreme

Sleeping Dogs might have come out over three-and-a-half years ago, but it and its Definitive Edition still look downright incredible. With max detail levels, and “High” anti-aliasing, this notebook hits 57 FPS on average in this game. If you want a further boost in performance at almost no sacrifice to image quality, I’d recommend dropping anti-aliasing down to “Normal”.

Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Blacklist - Eurocom Monster 4 (1080p)
Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist
Resolution:1920 x 1080Texture Detail:Ultra
Tessellation:OnTexture Filtering:16x
Ambient Occlusion:Field AO & SSAOAnti-aliasing:FXAA

Helping us wrap 1080p testing is Blacklist, which as with some other games in this lineup, runs at max detail with great framerates. That even includes the performance-hitting AO modes.

Since the GTX 970M is such a powerful GPU, I performed 1440p testing in addition to the 1080p testing above. In case you haven’t guessed it, those results are on the next page, so let’s move on.

Rob Williams

Rob founded Techgage in 2005 to be an 'Advocate of the consumer', focusing on fair reviews and keeping people apprised of news in the tech world. Catering to both enthusiasts and businesses alike; from desktop gaming to professional workstations, and all the supporting software.

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