It seems Gigabyte’s Aorus might be a little power hungry, if their latest laptop is anything to go by. Not only did they put the powerful Nvidia Pascal GPU chipset in their new laptop, but they added an overclockable Skylake CPU for good measure.
The gaming hardware focus hasn’t stopped there, either. They’ve also added subwoofers to the speakers and a fully moddable RGB LED keyboard for good measure.
But let’s get back to basics first. The Aorus X7 V6 is primarily a showcase for the new Pascal card, the 8GB GTX 1070, which is capable of some strong gaming benchmarks, as we’ve previously seen from Gigabyte. This is coupled with a 3.6GHz Core i7-6820HK, overclockable via the bios, 16GB of DDR4 RAM running at 2,400MHz, a 256GB SSD from Toshiba and a 1TB standard hard drive for more storage. This is rounded off by an impressive 17.3-inch QHD resolution (2560×1440 pixels) screen that features G-Sync and 120Hz. As you can see, it was built purely with gaming in mind.
Ports and Connectivity
Three USB 3.0 ports and a USB 3.1 port of type C provide the most up-to-date connections for hard drives and peripherals, while the standard 3.5″ headphone jack and LAN port are no surprise. Interestingly, the power supply is plugged in through the back of the laptop, rather than the usual side facing port on other modern models.
What is a surprise, in a good way, is the Video output, which sees 2 HDMI ports for VR support alongside a mini-DisplayPort. This is a win over the standard Gigabyte we reviewed earlier, which we were surprised by for not going for an obvious VR headset supporting range of ports, though.
There’s also the standard SD card slot and Bluetooth support.
The Keyboard settings can be changed by the included AorusKeyboard software, which give you 13 different lighting settings, 6 macro keys (with their own light system) and support for specific game settings, too. The feel of the keyboard was good for gaming and didn’t feel cramped at all, even when typing in Word.
The touchpad, which has a subtle blue Aorus symbol emblazoned on it, was responsive but possibly a little too responsive at times when fine control was needed. The buttons (unfortunately not separate, but part of the smooth touchpad) worked well when I could find them. There’s always going to be a trade off between the tactile feel of real buttons and the aesthetics of a smoother touchpad, though.
Speakers are pretty impressive, too, with subwoofers on the sides above the keyboard blasting out some pretty impressive bass for a laptop. It’s not going to host a party any time soon, but it’s the best I’ve heard from built in speakers in a long time.
As I noted earlier, the screen is part of an overall gaming-focused package which means that it can justify having both a 120Hz refresh rate and including Nvidia G-Sync in the mix. Couple this with a 1440p display (2,560 x 1,440) which looks really impressive in action and has a good colour level, despite only being a TN panel. It’s only let down slightly by the black levels not being dark enough, which is certainly noticable during darker scenes in games, but again it’s down to the technology used.
With great power comes great strain on battery, so my uncle Ben told me, and it’s true with this laptop. The overclocked CPU, 1070 card and the work the fans have to do to keep this unit cool all take it out on the poor battery. Gaming, I managed 1 hours 10 minutes before it finally gave up. Even on a power test, using the web and other tasks, it only managed 2 hours and 39 minutes. In short, you need to be near a wall socket with this beast.
Our Shadow of Mordor test at 1080p on Ultra gave us an average of 154 FPS, while taking advantage of the higher resolution screen at 1440p it still achieved 90 FPS.
GTA 5 running on Very High 1440p gave us 105 FPS, proving that the GTX1070 card is a great match for the screen.
A Firestrike test brought back an impressive score of 13,054 without overclocking the CPU via the tools included.
As a gaming laptop, the X7 v6 excels at providing power, though the heat can be an issue after taxing the graphics card to its limits, particularly on the keyboard. It’s nothing new, I’ve seen the last few gaming laptops have exactly the same issue as they try to disperse heat through the top of the machine as well as the bottom and sides, but it doesn’t help when one of your features happens to be a gaming focused keyboard. We’re talking hot enough to make it uncomfortable around the middle to top of the keyboard here. Fan noise also ramps up to try and take some of this extra heat away and it’s difficult to hear the more subtle in-game noises with the fans on full blast. It’s the only real fault in the whole setup, though.
Build very much with gaming in mind, the focus here is on providing power alongside affordability and the Aorus seems to have the balance just right. The laptop is currently retailing at just over £2000 and a lower 1080p model can be had for a couple of hundred pounds less. Battery heat and fan noise aside, I can safely say that this laptop is an impressive addition to the Aorus range and is a great choice for gaming on the go.