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Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 mobile acquits itself well in the Origin PC Evo17-S

The graphics processor held up well in my preliminary test of Origin's new gaming laptop.

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Lori Grunin/CNET

Origin PC's one of the first out of the gate in the race to ship gaming laptops with Nvidia's latest mobile gaming graphics processor, the GeForce RTX 3080. Its slim 17-inch Evo17-S checks many of the boxes I expect from a gaming laptop, including a big screen, lots of fast SSD storage, a speedy eight-core Intel Core i7-10870H processor and the power GPU. 

Although I've only performed a teensy bit of testing on the system, I'm impressed so far with Nvidia's new flagship and haven't had any issues with the laptop (which is nontrivial). But the devil's in the details -- or in this case, the gaming -- and I haven't had much time to get down to that.

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Connections on the back, just where I like 'em.

Lori Grunin/CNET

During my preliminary testing of this model and the Asus ROG Flow X13 with its XG Mobile sidekick, the GPU performed comparably to the same RTX 3080 mobile in the XG Mobile eGPU. Where the Origin lags, it could be due to being crammed into a smaller space with other components that run hot, as well as possible compromises for the Max-Q design. The Evo17-S is substantially less expensive at $2,194 (about £1,600 or AU$2,830), though, and Origin PC lets you configure and customize your machine. 

But neither does the Evo17-S use Nvidia Optimus or even better, Advanced Optimus technology, which allows the built-in display to run on the discrete-GPU bus rather than the integrated GPU, where it's only used for processing, not to deliver data directly to the display. That can result in lesser performance in some situations. It does have a Mini DisplayPort connection, however, so you can get better performance and your G-Sync jollies on an external monitor.

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I have a lot more work to do before I'm ready to formally review the Evo17-S, but a few aspects of the design jumped out at me. The power connection, Mini DisplayPort and HDMI ports are on the back, which is a good place for them. That lets you attach devices from either side without the connectors getting in the way. On the other hand, there's only a single USB-C/Thunderbolt port, and given how large the laptop is, I'd expect a full-size SD card slot and not just a mini SD.

I'll be back with my review after I've had a chance to torture it some more.