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.

1440p (External) Gaming Performance

Years ago, it felt like no mobile GPU could give us a great gaming experience at the resolution that shipped with our notebooks. Today, things are quite different. Modern mobile GPUs are so powerful, that the highest-end ones can handle resolutions that are higher than native. That includes the GeForce GTX 970M. It can eat most games at up to 1080p (as seen on the previous page), and it can handle 1440p games quite well, too.

That said, the 970M has 83% of the CUDA cores that the 980M does, and based on that and the experiences I’ve had, I can say that 1440p won’t be flawless, but it will most certainly be “good”. Just expect the latest and greatest games to require some serious tweaking.

Rise of the Tomb Raider

Rise of the Tomb Raider - Eurocom Monster 4 (1440p)
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Resolution:2560 x 1440Anti-Aliasing:FXAA
Texture Quality:MediumAnisotropic Filter:16x
Shadow Quality:MediumSun Soft Shadows:Off
Ambient Occlusion:OffDepth of Field:Off
Level of Detail:LowTessellation:Off
SS Reflections:OffSpecular Reflection:Normal
Dynamic Foliage:LowBloom:Off
Vignette Blur:OnMotion Blur:On
Purehair:OffLens Flares:Off
Screen Effects:OffFilm Grain:On

After seeing the Monster 4 getting punished with RotTR at 1080p, I cringed when opening the game up at 1440p. As you might have expected, low graphics settings have to be used here – and even then you’re not going to be getting 60 FPS. The upside? That ~47 FPS didn’t feel that bad, and somehow, the game still manages to look great. Admittedly, I’d recommend just sticking to 1080p even if you’re connected to an external monitor for this one.

Far Cry Primal

Far Cry Primal - Eurocom Monster 4 (1440p)
Far Cry Primal
Resolution:2560 x 1440Anti-aliasing:Off
Post FX:LowGeometry:Low
Environment:NormalVolumetric Fog:Normal
Motion Blur:On

Like RotTR, Far Cry Primal is a seriously punishing game. Dropping the detail levels on this one isn’t going to help the frame rate much. I have a hard time calling an FPS “playable” at 39 FPS, but that’s the best I got. What we can take away from this is that like RotTR, Primal should stick to 1080p even on an external display.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt - Eurocom Monster 4 (1440p)
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Resolution:2560 x 1440Anti-Aliasing:On
Sharpening:LowAmbient Occlusion:None
Depth of Field:OnChromatic Aberration:On
Vignetting:OnLight Shafts:On
NVIDIA Hairworks:OffNumber of BG Chars:Medium
Shadow Quality:LowWater Quality:Low
Grass Density:MediumTexture Quality:Low
Terrain Quality:LowFoliage Visibility:Low
Detail Level:Low

Wild Hunt like the two previous games, proves to be a bit much at 1440p. While the game was fairly playable, I am again going to have to recommend sticking to 1080p for this one.

Dying Light

Dying Light - Eurocom Monster 4 (1440p)
Dying Light
Resolution:2560 x 1440Texture Quality:Medium
Shadow Map Size:MediumFoliage Quality:Medium
View Distance:50%Ambient Occlusion:Off
NVIDIA HBAO+:OffNVIDIA Depth of Field:Off
Motion Blur:OnAntialiasing:On

Dying Light might have great graphics, but it’s not quite as punishing as those earlier games, which allowed me to retain “Medium” detail levels at 1440p. Perhaps not surprisingly, ambient occlusion was a big, fat “no” for this game and resolution combination.

Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto V - Eurocom Monster 4 (1440p)
Grand Theft Auto V
Resolution:2560 x 1440FXAA:On
Population Density:60%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:Softest
Post FX:HighMotion Blur:0%
DoF Effects:OffAnisotropic Filtering:16x
Ambient Occlusion:OffTessellation:Very High

With as many knobs and dials as GTA V has, you could spend an eternity fine-tuning the game for your particular rig. In this notebook’s case, I could thankfully stick to the higher-end of the options spectrum. While ambient occlusion definitely wasn’t happening, many other settings were able to be High or better.

Crysis 3

Crysis 3 - Eurocom Monster 4 (1440p)
Crysis 3
Resolution:2560 x 1440Anti-aliasing:FXAA
Post Processing:MediumShading:Medium
Anisotropic Filtering:x16Motion Blur:Medium
Lens Flares:Yes

I had anticipated having to go even lower than I did in Crysis 3, but thankfully, the game runs quite well at ~50 FPS.

GRID Autosport

GRID Autosport - Eurocom Monster 4 (1440p)
GRID Autosport
Resolution:2560 x 1440Multisampling:8x MSAA
Night Lighting:HighShadows:Ultra
Advanced Fog:OnParticles:Ultra
Ambient Occlusion:HighSoft Ambient Occlusion:Off
Ground Cover:HighVehicle Details:Ultra
Vehicle Reflections:HighWater:High
Rear-view Mirror:UltraSkidmarks:On
Advanced Lighting:OnGlobal Illumination:Off
Texture Quality:High

Being that GRID Autosport isn’t the most demanding game around, I was able to attain playable framerates at 1440p without much of an issue. Some of the “Ultras” had to be turned into “Highs”, and soft ambient occlusion had to be disabled entirely. As it is, these are still high detail settings, so the game will look almost as great at 1440p as it does at 1080p – without sacrificing framerates.

Borderlands 2

Borderlands 2 - Eurocom Monster 4 (1440p)
Borderlands 2
Resolution:2560 x 1440Anisotropic 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:Low

As with GRID above, we’ve entered the “easier” set of games, which definitely includes Borderlands 2. As cool as the game looks, you can achieve great detail levels and framerates at 1440p with this notebook. If you really love the PhysX effects in the game, you might want to increase that detail level and just deal with the lower framerates, because in reality, the heavier PhysX parts don’t come along too often.

Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition

Sleeping Dogs Definitive Edition - Eurocom Monster 4 (1440p)
Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition
Resolution:2560 x 1440Anti-aliasing:Normal
SSAO:HighShadow Resolution:High
Shadow Filtering:HighMotion Blur:High
World Density:Extreme

I can’t think of many examples that are as great as Sleeping Dogs where the graphics/performance ratio is concerned. With dropped anti-aliasing (which makes almost no difference in the game, in my opinion), the game can run at max detail with good framerates. If you want to secure 60 FPS+, SSAO should be the first thing to go.

Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Blacklist - Eurocom Monster 4 (1440p)
Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist
Resolution:2560 x 1440Texture Detail:High
Tessellation:OffTexture Filtering:16x
Ambient Occlusion:OffAnti-aliasing:FXAA

We’ve reached the end of our real-world game testing with Blacklist, a game that runs very well at 1440p on the Monster 4 if AO and tessellation are turned off. Fortunately, those features don’t impact the overall visual quality that much.

On the next (and final page), we’ll take a quick look at system performance, and then wrap this thing up.

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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