GIGABYTE’s high end gaming brand, Aorus, has been killing it in the laptop department. And the GPU department. The Aorus brand is making a splash in a big way, but it all started with high end gaming laptops.
Now, with the advent of Nvidia’s Max Q, the game has changed. Gone are the days of bulky gaming juggernauts that struggle to contain a 1070, in with sleek, powerful laptops with inventive cooling systems and seriously high performing GPUs.
Aorus’s newest V7 line of Max Q laptops demonstrate what’s awesome about the new generation of gaming laptops. They’re powerful, but they’re also powerful expensive.
When we discussed the X7V6, we said, “Maybe a 1080 and a gen 7 CPU for the X7V7?” Looks like Aorus was listening.
You can pick up one of these fancy V7 Aorus laptops here.
Version 7th Heaven
Aorus is shooting for laptop supremacy with four new models- two fifteen inchers and two seventeen inchers. Both sizes are available with 1070 or 1080 graphics cards.
These new models are a slight upgrade from the previous gen. That means the latest 7th gen i7-7820HK unlocked CPU, 32 gigs of RAM, NVMe SSDs with larger hard drives, full RGB keyboards, and ESS Sabre headphone amps.
They've also got all the connectivity features that are becoming standard, including Thunderbolt 3, DisplayPort 1.3 for 8k displays, and HDMI 2.0 if you’re looking for 4k 60hz on an external monitor.
Regardless of which of these V7 laptops you go with, you’re well into premium territory.
Of course, none of that comes cheap. We’re talking $2549 for the X5 with a GTX 1070 and $2800 for the 1080, both with 4k screens. On the 17 inch X7 models, 1440p screens are offered, including the $2499 1070 version and $2900 1080 model.
The absolute top dog runs $3400 with GTX 1080, 4K resolution and 512 gig NVMe SSD. That’s a serious chunk of change, but sometimes you get what you pay for.
Design / Display
The design of these Aorus laptops haven’t really changed. The same sturdy metal body, the same logo on the trackpad, the same high quality keyboard with full on RGB. The moderate design and the flat black means it can blend in for work or play, and the solid build oozes quality.
The screens on these laptops are pretty serious business.The 1440p screens are 120Hz refresh with G-Sync, while the 4k models are 60Hz, also with G-Sync. All of these displays are Pantone-approved for you content creators out there.
Big Cards in Small Places
The big news is that the 15 incher, the “X5 MD” ships with the NVIDIA 1080 Max-Q graphics card. Max Q is NVIDIA’s inventive thermal solution, making it possible for a GTX 1080 to reside in a fifteen inch laptop that’s under an inch thick.
That means the X5 MD is one of the lightest 1080 laptops out there.
Performance wise, the Max-Q doesn’t offer quite the same numbers as the full 1080 on the X7 version, though portability is definitely the focus here.
And it’s a freakin’ 1080 in an itty bitty laptop! What a time to be alive.
Battery life is solid for a gaming laptop, hitting over 4 hours in some scenarios. The huge 94.24 watt/hour batteries found on both X5 and X7 models mean you can spend some time away from an outlet.
Unfortunately, the fact that the displays support G-Sync means the laptops can’t throttle back the NVIDIA GPU and use the less power hungry onboard graphics. No Nvidia Optimus here, which means substantially shorter battery life. Other laptops like GIGABYTE’s own Aero 15 don’t have G-Sync screens, thus seeing huge 10 hours of battery life even with a GTX 1060 graphics card.
The trade off is worth it because G-Sync is awesome, but here’s to hoping NVIDIA eventually finds a way to have both G-Sync and Optimus at the same time.
The Eagle Strikes Again
Regardless of which of these V7 laptops you go with, you’re well into premium territory. These are bleeding edge gaming laptops, with the design, power and cost that comes along with that distinction.
As Max Q continues to proliferate, we’re going to see even smaller laptops with even more power. It will be cool to see what Aorus has up their sleeves for the next round of gaming laptops. Our predication came true last time, so let's try again...two Titans in SLI!
You never know (sigh, we do know, sadly).