Illegear ONYX V Ryzen - A Desktop Replacement for Streaming?
Disclaimer: We were loaned a review unit, courtesy of Illegear in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are the author’s own and not influenced by Illegear, and/or its affiliates, in any way.
For the longest time, people have been streaming games on their desktop computers. Usually due to how intensive the process is and how expensive it is to build a computer that is capable of doing so. However, as time passed and technology became more powerful, cheaper, and small enough to fit into a small form factor device like a laptop. Enter the Illegear Onyx V - a Ryzen-powered gaming laptop with beefy enough specs to handle everything thrown at it, including streaming.
Here are the specs of the review unit:
- AMD Ryzen 5 4600H (3.00 GHz)
- 16GB DDR4 RAM (3200MHz)
- 15.6″ 120Hz/144Hz Full HD Anti-glare IPS INFINIVISION Display
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (6GB)
- 256GB PCIe SSD
At this point in time, we know that the laptop’s specs are good enough to run any game you throw at it, so I won’t spend any time on it and get right to the meat of this article - is this machine good enough for your streaming needs? In short, yes. I installed two popular, intensive games on the laptop, set up a stream and put it to the test.
- I didn’t connect the laptop to an external display for streaming - I decided that people would be interested in this device to stream on the go, and since most people won’t be carrying around external monitors, it made the most sense to use this route.
- 720p stream to Facebook Gaming at 30 FPS (due to me not having a partnered account, it’s the max video quality I can stream at).
- The streams I tested were over a 500Mbps WiFi connection. This was done under the impression that not everybody will have access to a LAN port to stream with if they were on the go.
- I used the laptop’s built-in webcam, and for audio, I used an external headset/microphone combo (Armaggeddon WASP-7). This isn’t necessary, but I prefer it when my computer’s audio isn’t picked up by a microphone.
- I ran both games at the high graphic settings to stress out the laptop because I assume that’s what most people will be doing.
- I used an external keyboard and mouse because I’m not a fan of all laptop keyboards (this one is no exception), and I’m terrible at gaming with a trackpad. Most people will probably do the same thing as well.
- Dota 2 and Fortnite were my games of choice. Dota 2 because it was a CPU-intensive game, while Fortnite was GPU-intensive, and both games are free-to-play on the PC and still relevant in the streaming scene.
Here are the results:
Under normal conditions, I had Dota 2 running in high settings, at 120 FPS. When I started streaming the game, it dropped to around 60 FPS - still playable, but not optimal. However, during the stream, there were no other issues. The game ran smoothly, and there were no hitches with performance at all.
I decided to limit the frame rate to 60FPS for Fortnite, and during streaming, I didn’t notice it drop, so it looks like 60FPS might be the sweet spot to stream at. Depending on where you’re streaming to, that’s usually the max frame rate you’ll be able to stream at, so it shouldn’t be a problem. The game looked and played great, no performance issues at all either.
I was impressed by the results. Based on my tests, it’s safe to say that the Illegear Onyx V is perfectly capable of being a streaming machine.
However, the machine is not perfect - during heavy load, the fans get extremely loud, to a point where I got worried about the laptop. Fortunately, the CPU/GPU never got too hot when I monitored them, but parts of the laptop were extremely warm to the touch. If you don’t plan on using the onboard keyboard, this heat isn’t going to be a problem (something I’d recommend anyway, as laptop keyboards aren’t the best to use) but I would recommend a keyboard stand of some sort to cool the laptop while it is in use. Most importantly, it didn’t affect gaming performance or cause any crashes.
The laptop works best when it’s connected to a power-outlet - not a huge issue, but if you’re planning to game on the go, expect framerates to drop if you don’t lower your settings.
The Onyx V is also noticeably heavy (1.85kg with the battery), but that’s a given seeing how it’s a desktop replacement. But for what it’s worth, it’s much lighter than desktop replacement laptops I’ve used in the past.
My favourite feature of the Onyx V is its 120Hz FHD display - high refresh rate displays aren't very common on laptops, and the one on this machine was a joy to use. Everything felt buttery smooth - even dragging around windows and scrolling through websites. If you don't plan to stream with this machine, I would say the gorgeous display would be its next best selling point.
If you’re buying a laptop for regular wordprocessing and email usage - there are more suitable and lightweight machines out there. But if you want a laptop that is capable of gaming and streaming, the Illegear Onyx V is definitely one of the best devices for the job.
The starting price for the Illegear Onyx V is RM3,499 and can be purchased through their official website.