Schenker XMG P506 review

This gaming dark horse can punch above its weight

Schenker XMG P506

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The P506 weighs in at just over a pound heavier than the GS60's slight 4.2lb frame. MSI's machine is mostly the smaller machine, though Schenker's is a little less wide at 0.65 inches.

The XMG has double the video RAM, with 6GB to play with. All this for not much more money than the GS60 seems like a pretty good bargain if you don't mind the extra weight.


Spec sheet

Here is the Schenker XMG P506 configuration sent to techradar for review:

  • CPU: 2.60GHz Intel Core i7-6700HQ (quad-core. 6MB cache, up to 3.5GHz with Turbo Boost)
  • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 970M (with 6GB GDDR5); Intel HD Graphics 530
  • RAM: 8GB Dual Channel DDR4 (2,400MHz)
  • Screen: 15.6-inch (39.6cm), (1,920 x 1,080)
  • Storage: 256GB Samsung SSD + 1TB HGST 7,200 RPM HDD
  • Optical drive: No
  • Ports: 4 x USB 3.0 Ports (inc 1 x Powered USB 3.0), 2 x MiniDP, 1 x HDMI, 1 x Headphone, 1 x Microphone, 1 x S/PDIF, 1 x RJ-45 LAN, 6 in 1 Card Reader
  • Connectivity: Qualcomm Atheros Killer Wireless-AC 1535 (with Bluetooth)
  • Camera: 2.0 megapixel FHD video camera
  • Weight: 5.5lb / 2.5kgs
  • Size: 375 x 271 x 25mm (W x D x H)

As configured, the P506 costs $1,792 (around £1,347, or AU$2,531). With all the bells and whistles selected, it's possible to configure the machine to around an eye-watering $5,000 (£3,500, or AU$7,000). We'd recommend keeping an eye on the price, and we've heard from XMG that there's currently a 10% sale on at the time of writing.



Unlike the higher-priced P35X v5, which has a GTX 980M with 8GB of video memory, the P506 has a GTX 970M with 6GB of video memory. However, the lack of a 980M in the P506 didn't appear to affect the frame rates in gaming benchmarks as much as you might think.

Both laptops have G-sync, which makes games run silky smooth by locking game frame rates to the fresh rates of the laptop's display to eliminate screen tearing.


Here's how the XMG P506 performed in our suite of benchmark tests:

  • 3DMark: Cloud Gate: 21,661; Sky Diver: 19,023; Fire Strike: 6,524
  • Cinebench: CPU: 684 points; Graphics: 67.55 fps
  • GeekBench: 3,638 (single-core); 12,883 (multi-core)
  • PCMark 8 Home Test: 3,327 points
  • PCMark 8 Battery Life: 3 hours 11 minutes
  • Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor: (1080p, Ultra): 52.71 fps; (1080p, Low): 119.76 fps
  • Grand Theft Auto V: Ultra: 22.4 fps; Low: 138 fps

Battery life is at the higher end of the time bracket than expected for a traditional gaming laptop, clocking in at over three hours. I repeated the test to make sure this wasn't an anomaly, and it racked up 3 hours 13 minutes the second time — over an hour more than the GS60 — but less than the 3 hours and 31 minutes achieved by the P35X v5.

The P506 beat the GS60 in nearly all of the 3DMark tests, only losing out on Fire Strike by a mere 34 points. It was, however, soundly beaten by the P35X v5's GTX 980M in all three benchmarks by around 2,000 points.

If you're planning on playing games at Medium settings, our GTA V and Shadow of Mordor benchmarks show that there's little between the two machines. The P506 scored 138 fps versus the P35X v5's 137 fps in the former game, and it achieved 119.7 fps versus 122 fps in the latter. However, the gap widens when settings are flicked to 'Ultra', with the P506 scoring 22.4 fps versus the P35X v5's 30 fps. It makes for a subtle, yet noticeable difference at the high-end.


Aside from the benchmark tests I played Campo Santo's Firewatch on the highest settings. Our initial test found that frame rate suffered and to make it playable most settings had to be turned down to the lowest level. However, after discovering that the game would only use the dedicated Nvidia GTX 970 once the integrated graphics had been disabled in Windows 10's Device Manager, the game ran silky smooth.

Onkyo sound

However, the P506 runs incredibly quietly for a gaming laptop – the fan kick in after a while but it isn't a whirring helicopter of a sound, more of a gentle hum that won't impede significantly while shooting aliens, or as in our case, scouting out for forest fires. The built-in Onkyo speakers are surprisingly loud, with the top end cutting through more than most internal speakers — and it isn't piercing.

The P506's chiclet-spaced keyboard has a little bit of bounce, but nothing that will impede gaming. And as a nod to gamers, the WASD keys are marked with red arrows.

Bundled software

You only get Nero on CD. However, there's no optical drive to use it with. And that's it, there's no other bundled software — a refreshing change.