XMG’s APEX 15 MAX ‘Desktop-Replacement’ Laptops Upgraded To Support AMD Ryzen 5000 Desktop CPUs


XMG has announced that its 'Desktop-Replacement' APEX 15 MAX laptop has now been upgraded to support AMD's Ryzen 5000 Desktop CPUs.

XMG APEX 15 MAX: Desktop replacement laptop gets an update to AMD Ryzen 5000 Desktop CPUs for socket AM4

Press Release: With the XMG APEX 15 (E20) introduced in March 2020, XMG attracted much attention for the world's first laptop with AMD Ryzen desktop processors for socket AM4. It is now succeeded by the XMG APEX 15 MAX (E22), which brings an update to CPUs up to the Ryzen 9 5900X and 5950X, a GeForce RTX 3070, and a motherboard with a B550 chipset. By focusing on desktop processors, the MAX version also differs from the XMG APEX 15 (M21) presented in 2021, which utilizes conventional mobile CPUs. In line with the desktop replacement approach, the size and weight are somewhat higher in order to integrate a powerful cooling system.

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Replaceable desktop processors in a portable laptop form factor

The E22 version of the XMG APEX 15 MAX comes with a B550 chipset motherboard and several hardware updates compared to its B450-based predecessor, the XMG APEX 15 (E20). To begin with, the laptop makes the leap to Nvidia’s current GeForce RTX 3070 and RTX 3060. Both graphics cards operate at 115 watts TGP and are now connected via PCI Express 4.0, as is the primary M.2 SSD.

The heart of the unusual concept, however, is the processors. The company does not opt for mobile CPUs from AMD's Ryzen H-series, but for swappable AM4 socket desktop processors. Officially, XMG recommends the configuration of a Ryzen 9 5900X, Ryzen 7 5700X, or Ryzen 5 5600X. Regardless of the respective TDP class of 65 or 105 watts, the processors operate with a PPT (Package Power Tracking) of up to 88 watts, so CPUs starting with the Ryzen 9 5900X with 12 cores and 24 threads run in AMD's ECO mode.

XMG also offers the option of equipping the APEX 15 MAX with an AMD Ryzen 9 5950X with 16 cores and 32 threads. However, this is not officially recommended for standard users and should only be configured by experts: In order to achieve a significant performance advantage over the already powerful Ryzen 9 5900X, it is necessary to manually adjust the voltage and fan curves using AMD's Ryzen Master software. The extent to which this process succeeds depends strongly on the potential of the individual processor used.

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In order to make 105 Watt processors such as the 5900X in the APEX 15, MAX run stable under all operating conditions, profound and exclusive modifications to the BIOS and firmware of the MPS-VRMs were necessary compared to the original laptop design. XMG applies these on every laptop regardless of the configured processor; making a subsequent upgrade to a stronger, supported Ryzen processor possible without any problems.

The performance that can be expected from the configurable CPUs, and that which experienced users and enthusiasts can theoretically get out of a Ryzen 9 5950X in the APEX 15 MAX, is shown by the company's own performance benchmarks. For example, the Ryzen 7 5700X with eight cores achieves a multi-core result of 4,757 points in Cinebench R20, while the Ryzen 9 5900X with twelve cores achieves 6,350 points. With the Ryzen 9 5950X with 16 cores, up to 8,140 points is possible under the aforementioned conditions, but cannot be guaranteed.

CPU 5600X 5700X 5900X 5950X
Cinebench R20 Single 589 584 583 582 623
Cinebench R20 Multi 4172 4757 6350 6045 8140
Remark out-of-the-box recommended lowest internal
the result, is no tuning
best internal
the result, with tuning

 Fast 240 Hz display and generous connectivity

Externally, the XMG APEX 15 MAX does not differ from its predecessor and still utilizes a 361 x 258 x 32.5 mm desktop replacement chassis with a weight of 2.6 kg. Accordingly, the laptop has ample internal space, allowing the integration of a cooling system that matches the components and enables their performance potential to be permanently unleashed. The chassis mainly consists of robust ABS polymer, while the display lid is made of aluminum.

When it comes to the 15.6-inch Full HD display, XMG steps up a gear and uses a considerably faster 240 Hz IPS panel. In addition, the laptop is capable of driving up to three external monitors. Image output is via a DisplayPort 1.4-capable USB 3.2 Gen2 port (Type C), and HDCP 2.3-capable HDMI 2.1 output, and a Mini DisplayPort 1.4. Since the AMD desktop CPUs used do not feature an integrated graphics unit, all video interfaces are directly connected to the dedicated Nvidia graphics chip.

Furthermore, the APEX 15 MAX offers a Gigabit Ethernet port, WiFi 6, two USB-A 3.2 ports, USB-A 2.0, a microSD card reader, a headset-compatible headphone output, and a separate microphone input.

The maintenance-friendly concept with up to 64 GB RAM and three SSDs

Alongside two SO-DIMM sockets for up to 64 GB of plugged-in DDR4-3200 RAM, the XMG APEX 15 MAX offers two M.2 slots for SSDs and an additional 2.5-inch drive bay. The primary M.2 bay communicates via four PCI Express 4.0 lanes and can thus fully support the performance of all current high-end storage drives – especially since both M.2 SSDs get more thermal headroom to maximize performance due to the use of heat conduction pads between the drive and the motherboard. All components are easily accessible via the screwed-down bottom shell, so your own upgrade plans are just as easy to implement as cleaning the interior of the laptop. In keeping with the maintenance-friendly concept, the 62 Wh battery can also be removed from the chassis. Inputs are made via a Microsoft Precision-compliant touchpad with an area fingerprint reader and a multi-color backlit keyboard with a full numeric keypad and full-size arrow keys.

Pricing and availability

The base configuration of the XMG APEX 15 MAX (L21), which can be freely configured on bestware.com, includes AMD's Ryzen 5 5600X desktop CPU, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060, 16 (2x8) GB DDR4-3200, a 500 GB Samsung 980 and a Full HD IPS display with 240 Hz. The starting price including 19% VAT is € 1,399. In addition to memory and storage upgrades, the configuration options include a GeForce RTX 3070 (€ 245), AMD's Ryzen 7 5700X (€ 91) and Ryzen 9 5900X (€ 284), as well as the Ryzen 9 5950X (€ 468) for expert users. All equipment variants of the XMG APEX 15 MAX are in stock and available.

Tech specs - XMG APEX 15 MAX
Product ID XAP15XE22
Display 15.6" IPS | 1920×1080 px | 240 Hz | 300 nits | 95 % sRGB | non-glare
Chipset AMD B550
Processors AMD Ryzen 5000 desktop processors (code name Vermeer)
AMD Ryzen 5 5600X | 6 cores/12 threads | 32 MB cache | up to 88 W PPT
AMD Ryzen 7 5800X | 8 cores/12 threads | 32 MB cache | up to 88 W PPT
AMD Ryzen 9 5900X | 12 cores/24 threads | 64 MB cache | up to 88 W PPT (ECO Mode)
AMD Ryzen 9 5950X | 16 cores/32 threads | 64 MB cache | up to 88 W PPT (ECO Mode)AMD Ryzen 9 5950X is not recommended in the XMG APEX 15 MAX unless the user is willing to manually adjust the frequency/voltage curve and other manual optimizations in AMD Ryzen Master. Results might be prone to silicon lottery. XMG will not guarantee specific performance results.

System stability is only guaranteed when the system runs at factory defaults, including the 4 performance profiles in Control Center: Power Saving, Quiet, Entertainment & Performance.

When applying manual performance tuning in BIOS Setup or AMD Ryzen Master, please proceed in very small steps and with caution as the system might be rendered unbootable when exaggerated or invalid settings are applied.

Graphics NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Laptop GPU | 6 GB GDDR6 | 115 W TGP | dedicated
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU | 8 GB GDDR6 | 115 W TGP | dedicateddisplay, HDMI, Mini DisplayPort, DisplayPort via USB-C connection: direct
3 external displays are directly addressable (more with MST adapter via USB-C or Mini DisplayPort )

VR Ready

Memory 2x DDR4 SO-DIMM | up to 64 GB and 3200 MHz | Dual Channel | max. 1.2 V
Storage M.2 2280 SSD via PCI Express 4.0 x4
M.2 2280 SSD via PCI Express 3.0 x4
2.5" SSD/HDD (7 mm)
Audio stereo speakers
microphone with noise-canceling
Sound Blaster Cinema 6+
Keyboard backlit keyboard with full-size arrow keys and numeric keypad, 15 color options
Touchpad Microsoft Precision Touchpad, two buttons
card reader (microSD)
2x USB-A 3.2 Gen2
RJ45 Gbit Port (LAN)rear:
Mini DisplayPort 1.4 (G-SYNC compatible)
HDMI 2.1 (with HDCP 2.3)
USB-C 3.2 Gen2×1 (DisplayPort 1.4: yes, G-SYNC compatible | Power Delivery: no)

USB-A 2.0
headphone-out (smartphone headset compatible)

Communication Realtek Gbit LAN
Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax + Bluetooth 5
HD webcam
Security Kensington Lock
TPM 2.0 (via dTPM)
area fingerprint reader
Power supply 230 watts (155 x 75 x 30 mm | 805 g incl. EU power cable)
Battery fast-swappable 62 Wh Li-poly battery
The flexible battery charging function can be activated in BIOS (FlexiCharger)
Chassis display lid made of aluminum
display frame, top and the bottom case made of plastic
130° display opening angle
PH1 screw heads
Weight ca. 2.6 kg
Dimensions 361 x 258 x 32.5 mm (W x D x H)
Included in-box Laptop (incl. battery), power supply, driver CD/USB stick, manual

Products mentioned in this post

GeForce RTX 3060
GeForce RTX 3060
RTX 3060
RTX 3060
USD 414.99
RTX 3070
RTX 3070

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