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Jeff Rowe
Jeff Rowe
Jeffrey Rowe has almost 40 years of experience in all aspects of industrial design, mechanical engineering, and manufacturing. On the publishing side, he has written well over 1,000 articles for CAD, CAM, CAE, and other technical publications, as well as consulting in many capacities in the design … More »

Hardware Review: GoBOXX G1980 Mobile Workstation

 
July 23rd, 2015 by Jeff Rowe

For a number of reasons, I have been a fan of mobile workstations, so I was very interested in taking a quick look at a new machine from BOXX that is truly mobile .

The GoBOXX 15 G1980 is relatively thin. It’s the thinnest and lightest laptop BOXX has ever offered, weighing in at 4.36 pounds and 0.78 inches thick.

The backlit keyboard is nicely laid out with large wrist rest and trackpad areas. However, the letters on the keys takes a little getting used to, as the font on them looks a little like something from the movie, The Matrix.

As with all BOXX mobile workstations we have reviewed in the past, screen resolution and color were very good with the GoBOXX 15 G1980.

goboxx15slm2

GoBOXX 15 G1980

Its fan runs when the system gets taxed, but does not run all of the time, and is fairly quiet with no obnoxious whining sound frequency.

With programs running and WiFi on and operating, I averaged about 4.25 hours of battery life. Not bad, but also not great compared to some other mobile workstations I’ve used lately.

While smaller (thinner profile) than previous BOXX mobile workstations we have evaluated, the AC adapter is still quite large. I know to a great extent this can’t be helped, but it just gets a bit annoying to have to lug something this big around to work as part of a “mobile” package.

Performance

For objective testing, we ran two benchmarks NovaBench (geared more toward overall performance) and SPECviewperf 11 (geared more toward graphics performance).

Nova Bench Results
System RAM Score: 245
RAM Speed: 13,585 MB/s
CPU Test Results Score: 769
Floating Point Operations/second: 205,337,808
Integer Operations/second: 873,082,184
Graphics Test Results Score: 111
3D Frames/second: 344
Hardware Tests Score: 36
Drive Write Speed: 188 MB/s

The Nova Bench results were a bit lower than other recent evaluations, especially for graphics and hardware tests, but not out of range of most other comparable mobile worstations.

SPEC viewperf11
CATIA-03: 43.45
lightwave-01: 51.49
Maya-03: 51.60
ProE-05: 19.37
SW-02: 44.86
NX-01: 30.35

These SPEC viewperf11 benchmark results are comparable to recent so-called “mid-range” or “value” desktop machines that we have evaluated recently.

Software used for evaluation:
Normally, I would run engineering or rendering software as part of the hardware evaluation, but the companies I contacted this time around were not keen on the idea, even on a trial basis, so I had to pass this time around. So, in a word, no subjective testing for real working conditions.

Final Thoughts

Although there is still a case to be made for stationary desktop workstations for engineering purposes, an increasingly strong case could be made for mobile workstations for mobile professionals.

Compared with other GoBOXX mobile workstations we have evaluated in the past, the GoBOXX G1980 mobile workstation is relatively lightweight and inexpensive, but the level of performance in a portable platform that this machine exhibited is quite good.

Mobile workstations have come a long way in the past few years, and there is still a price premium to pay for mobility. However, with the performance, quality, and robustness of the GoBOXX G1980, I think the small price premium is definitely worth it. The GoBOXX G1980 mobile workstation offers true high-end desktop-level performance in a mobile platform at a price, weight, and profile that are literally easy to handle.

GoBOXX G1980 Specifications
CPU: Intel Core i7-4720HQ @2.60 GHz

RAM: 16 GB

GPU: NVIDIA Quadro K2100M

Screen: 15.5” diagonal

Resolution: 1920 x 1080

Hard Drive: >1,000 GB
Operating System: Windows 7 Professional, 64-bit
Misc: 3 USB ports, SD card slot, HDMI port

GoBOXX G1980 Mobile Workstation
Pros: Relative light weight, thin profile, build quality, performance.

Cons: None Significant.

Price: Starting at ~$2,400.

Final Grade: A-

For More Information: GoBOXX G1980 Mobile Workstation

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