Ultimate Speed to Go: Eurocom P5 Pro Mobile Workstation Review

The Eurocom P5 Pro mobile workstation offers blazingly fast performance at a premium price.

The Eurocom P5 Pro delivered the fastest performance we’ve ever recorded for a mobile workstation. Image courtesy of Eurocom.

Eurocom P5 Pro Mobile Workstation The Eurocom P5 Pro delivered the fastest performance we’ve ever recorded for a mobile workstation. Image courtesy of Eurocom.

We have come to expect a lot from Eurocom. Since 1989, this Canadian company has been delivering long-lifespan, upgradable notebook computers and mobile workstations, such as the Eurocom Racer 3W. That system proved that you could have excellent performance and good battery life without spending a fortune. This time around, the company sent us its new Eurocom P5 Pro, a system the company calls a mobile server.

Based on an Intel Xeon CPU and Intel X97 chipset, the $1,635 base configuration includes an Intel Xeon E3-1230 CPU, NVIDIA mobile GPU (graphics processing unit), 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SATA hard drive, but no preinstalled operating system.

The Eurocom P5 Pro comes housed in a sculpted charcoal gray case measuring 15.4 x 10.4 x 1.4 in. and tipping the scales at 7.75 lbs., although the large (7 x 3.5 x 1.4 in.) 230-watt power supply adds an additional 2 lbs. to the total package. In this age of thin, light portables, the P5 Pro seems beefy. If only it felt more solid.

Eurocom P5 Pro Mobile Workstation The lid on the Eurocom P5 Pro flexes noticeably when adjusting its tilt. Image courtesy of Eurocom.

Raising the lid reveals a beautiful 15.6-in. backlit IPS (in-plane switching) display with a non-glare surface and 700:1 contrast ratio. Unfortunately, the lid is quite flexible. Although we were somewhat alarmed at how much the screen bent whenever we adjusted its tilt, this did not appear to cause any actual issues. In addition to the panel in our evaluation unit, Eurocom also offers 4K (3840 x 2160) IPS displays from Samsung and Sharp that add $182 and $391 to the base price, respectively. Eurocom also sells a larger version of the P5 Pro with a 17.3-in. display, but only offers 1080p resolution on those models.

The backlit 102-key keyboard includes a separate numeric keypad that had a nice, crisp feel. A 4.25x2.5-in. touchpad with a pair of buttons and a built-in fingerprint reader is centered below the spacebar, which positions it slightly to the left of the center of the case. A 2-megapixel webcam, centered above the LED, is flanked by a microphone. A pair of 2 watt Onkyo speakers for the Sound Blaster X-Fi sound system are located below a perforated band that extends across the top of the keyboard.

Eurocom P5 Pro Mobile Workstation The 102-key backlit keyboard has an excellent feel. Image courtesy of Eurocom.

Ample Options

The right side of the case offers a USB 3.0 port, an S/PDIF port, audio ports for headphone, microphone and line-in and a lock slot. The left side provides an RJ-45 network port, three more USB 3.0 ports (including one that is powered), a 6-in-1 card reader, and an eSATA/USB 3.0 combo port. The rear panel hosts a pair of DisplayPorts, an HDMI port and the connection for the external power supply. As is becoming more common, the Eurocom P5 Pro does not include an optical drive bay. For customers who still need this capability, Eurocom offers external USB DVD-RW and Blu-ray drives.

Our evaluation unit came equipped with an Intel Core i7-4790K, a quad-core CPU with 8MB cache, a maximum turbo frequency of 4.4GHz and a thermal design power (TDP) rating of 88 watts, adding $128 to the base price. That CPU also includes Intel HD Graphics 4600. Other CPU options include several Xeon and Core i5 CPUs. Eurocom also equipped our system with an NVIDIA Quadro K5100M mobile GPU, with 1536 CUDA cores and 8GB of dedicated GDDR5 memory, increasing the system cost by an additional $1,955. For those looking to save a bit, Eurocom also offers the NVIDIA Quadro K3100M as well as several other NVIDIA GTX and Radeon boards.

Eurocom P5 Pro Mobile Workstation Removing the bottom panel reveals space for multiple hard drives and exposes ample cooling ducts and fans that let the system run cool and quiet at all times. Image courtesy of Eurocom.

While 16GB of system memory comes standard, you have a choice of configurations. You can also opt for 2133MHz RAM, or increase the total system memory to 24GB or 32GB. Our evaluation unit came equipped with 32GB of 1866MHz memory, installed as four 8GB SODIMMs, which added $382 to the price.

There are also many storage options. While the base configuration includes a 1TB 7200rpm Hitachi Travelstar SATA hard drive, there are actually two 2.5-in. drive bays and Eurocom offers other drives, including solid state drives (SSDs) ranging from 120GB to 1TB and standard drives up to 2TB capacity, with RAID array capabilities. But the P5 Pro also has two internal slots for SSD M.2 card-based drives and offers these in capacities ranging from 128 to 512GB. Our evaluation unit came with a 256GB Plextor M.2 SSD as the primary drive, which added another $272 to the system cost.

An 802.1b/g/n WLAN and Bluetooth 4.0 combo card is included in the base configuration, and Eurocom also offers higher-end network cards. An 8-cell lithium-ion battery and 230 watt auto-switching worldwide power supply are standard.

The last Eurocom mobile workstation we reviewed lasted 3.75 hours. The battery life of the P5 Pro was less robust, powering the system for two hours and 10 minutes. Throughout our tests, the P5 Pro ran cool and remained quiet, averaging 33dB at rest (compared to 29dB ambient background noise) and barely rising above 43dB under heavy compute loads.

Record-breaking Performance

Thanks to its fast CPU, abundance of memory and high-end graphics card, the Eurocom P5 Pro turned in the best performance we have ever recorded for a mobile workstation. On the SPECviewperf test, which focuses solely on graphics performance, the P5 Pro beat all competitors—often by a wide margin—even surpassing the performance of some entry-level and midrange workstations.

Similarly, on the SPECapc SolidWorks benchmark, which is more of a real-world test, the Eurocom P5 Pro beat out every other mobile system that we have tested to date and again surpassed many full-fledged workstations.

We also ran the new SPECwpc benchmark and here again, the Eurocom P5 Pro beat the competition on nearly every aspect of this demanding test.

But the Eurocom P5 Pro would have set us back $4,489 as configured, including the Microsoft Windows 8.1 Professional 64-bit operating system that came preinstalled on our evaluation unit. Eurocom also offers Windows 7 and 8 as well as Microsoft Windows Server. The price also includes a one-year warranty with return to depot service with the option to extend the warranty to two or three years for $159 or $341, respectively.

Eurocom says the P5 Pro is the world’s first Xeon-based 15.6-in. lightweight mobile server. It’s certainly fast. We think it makes a great mobile CAD workstation, but its price will likely relegate it to users who need the ultimate performance in a mobile form factor.

More Info

Mobile Workstations Compared

Eurocom P5

Pro Mobile4.0GHz Intel Core i7-4790K quad-core CPU, NVIDIA Quadro K5100M, 32GB RAM

MSI WS602.5GHz Intel Core

i7-4710HQ quad-core CPU, NVIDIA Quadro K2100M, 16GB RAM

Dell Precision M38002.2GHz Intel Core

i7-4702HQ quad-core CPU, NVIDIA Quadro K1100M, 16GB RAM

MSI GT70 2OLWS2.4GHz Intel Core

i7-4700MQ quad-core CPU, NVIDIA Quadro K4100M, 16GB RAM

Eurocom Racer 3W2.4GHz Intel Core

i7-4700MQ quad-core CPU, NVIDIA Quadro K1100M, 16GB RAM

BOXX GOBOXX G27203.6GHz Intel Core i7-3820 quad-core CPU, NVIDIA Quadro K5000M, 16GB RAM
Price as tested$4,372$2,600$2,887$3,200$2,172$5,895
Date tested2/4/151/17/153/13/1411/25/1311/10/135/28/13
Operating SystemWindows 8.1Windows 7Windows 7Windows 7Windows 7Windows 7
SPECviewperf 12higher
SPECviewperf 11higher
SPECapc SolidWorks 2013higher
Graphics Composite9.003.082.415.273.632.72
RealView Graphics Composite10.613.232.716.273.972.93
Shadows Composite10.653.232.346.263.952.93
Ambient Occlusion Composite21.363.512.2013.005.356.09
Shaded Mode Composite8.882.962.315.783.832.66
Shaded with Edges Mode Composite9.123.212.514.803.442.78
RealView Disabled Composite4.662.552.402.622.552.02
CPU Composite4.253.062.413.743.993.61
Autodesk Render Testlower

Numbers in blue indicate best recorded results. Numbers in red indicate worst recorded results.

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About the Author

David Cohn's avatar
David Cohn

David Cohn is a consultant and technical writer based in Bellingham, WA, and has been benchmarking PCs since 1984. He is a Contributing Editor to Digital Engineering, the former senior content manager at 4D Technologies, and the author of more than a dozen books. Email at [email protected] or visit his website at www.dscohn.com.

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