Notebookcheck

Aorus X5 Notebook Review

SLI and G-SYNC. Aorus may be less than a couple years old, but the manufacturer already has some of the thinnest gaming notebooks with the latest hardware and features in the market. Are the GTX 965M SLI GPUs and 2880 x 1620 resolution G-SYNC screen the perfect match?

Aorus launched not too long ago with its 17.3-inch X7 and followed up with the much smaller 13.9-inch X3. Thus, it was inevitable that the manufacturer would fill the void with the new 15.6-inch X5.

The X5 continues the Aorus tradition by offering an insane performance package squeezed into a thin and attractive chassis. To push the envelope even further, the X5 is the first notebook equipped with two GTX 965M GPUs and a high resolution 3K (2880 x 1620) G-SYNC display. Top this off with 4x storage bays and 4x video outputs and you've got the attention of gamers and enthusiasts around the world.

Amazon has the Aorus X5 in stock for $2300 USD, which is about what most current gaming notebooks with GTX 980M GPUs are retailing for. Let's find out what exactly this ambitious notebook has to offer.

Our previous Aorus reviews can be found here:

Aorus X7 (X7 v2) (X7 Pro)

Aorus X3 Plus v3

Aorus X5 (X5 Series)
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M SLI - 4096 MB, Core: 924 MHz, Memory: 5010 MHz, 348.10
Memory
16384 MB 
, Dual-Channel, DDR3-1866, PC3-14900, 10-10-10-32
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 2880 x 1620 pixel, IPS, ID: Panasonic MEI96A2, Name: VVX16T028J00, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel HM97
Storage
2x Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G (RAID 0), 500 GB 
, Secondary: HGST HTS721010A9E630
Soundcard
Intel 9-series Chipset
Connections
4 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 VGA, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm headphones, 3.5 mm microphone, Card Reader: SD reader, Sensors: Ambient Light
Networking
Qualcomm Killer e2200 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller (10/100/1000MBit), Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265 (a/b/g/h/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.0
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 22.9 x 390 x 272 ( = 0.9 x 15.35 x 10.71 in)
Battery
73 Wh Lithium-Polymer
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 8.1 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: 720p
Additional features
Speakers: 1.5 W stereo + subwoofer, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, Velvet cleaning cloth, Touchpad surface cover, Quick Start guide, Command&Control, MacroEngine, System Backup, Drivers Update, XSplit Gamecaster, CyberLink PowerDVD 10, 12 Months Warranty
Weight
2.676 kg ( = 94.39 oz / 5.9 pounds), Power Supply: 862 g ( = 30.41 oz / 1.9 pounds)
Price
2600 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

The overall design of the Aorus series hasn't changed since the debut of the X7. Thus, the X5 shares the same sharp features, magnesium chassis, and smooth matte black surfaces from top to bottom. This isn't a bad thing as the chassis still holds a unique and recognizable look that makes it unmistakably Aorus when compared to the crowd of gaming notebooks in the market. The prevalent ventilation grilles and wide rear do mimic the popular Asus ROG G751 series to a degree.

While the sleek design philosophy remains untouched, the build quality of the X5 has not substantially improved and is largely the same as its siblings. This means that the lid can be more easily twisted compared to thicker gaming notebooks and the base is simply not as solid either. Such drawbacks are typical of ultrathin designs and the X5 is no different in this regard. Nonetheless, our test model shows no flaws, gaps, or major creaking issues. The single bar hinge is fairly stable, opens up to roughly 120 degrees, and is just rigid enough to prevent the display from rocking when typing. The center of the outer lid still experiences moderate warping when applying pressure, but the keyboard shows much more resistance.

In terms of size, the X5 is one of the thinnest 15.6-inch gaming notebooks around. It's ever so slightly thinner than the Lenovo Y50, but still comes in thicker than both the Asus G501 and super-thin MSI GS60. Its girth (length x width) is actually slightly larger than most competing models including the Alienware 15, so the X5 certainly has a big footprint. At roughly 2.6 kg, our Aorus is heavier than the Asus G501 (2.0 kg), MSI GS60 (2.0 kg), and Lenovo Y50 (2.4 kg), yet lighter than the Alienware 15 (3.1 kg) and Eurocom P5 Pro (3.4 kg).

386 mm / 15.2 inch 262 mm / 10.3 inch 35 mm / 1.378 inch 3.4 kg7.5 lbs386 mm / 15.2 inch 270 mm / 10.6 inch 34 mm / 1.339 inch 3.1 kg6.83 lbs380 mm / 15 inch 269 mm / 10.6 inch 34 mm / 1.339 inch 2.7 kg6 lbs390 mm / 15.4 inch 272 mm / 10.7 inch 22.9 mm / 0.902 inch 2.7 kg5.9 lbs387 mm / 15.2 inch 263.4 mm / 10.4 inch 23.9 mm / 0.941 inch 2.4 kg5.27 lbs390 mm / 15.4 inch 266 mm / 10.5 inch 20 mm / 0.787 inch 2 kg4.41 lbs383 mm / 15.1 inch 255 mm / 10 inch 21 mm / 0.827 inch 2 kg4.46 lbs

Connectivity

Available ports are spread quite evenly around the three sides of the notebook with at least one USB 3.0 port on each side. Perhaps more notably, the X5 includes 2x HDMI 1.4 ports, 1x VGA-out, and 1x Mini-DisplayPort for support for up to three external displays and Nvidia Vision Surround. This is compared to most 15-inch notebooks where two video-out ports are much more common. The thicker Eurocom P5 Pro, for example, includes 3x video-out ports.

There are no options for Thunderbolt support via the mDP port unlike on the Asus G501. Another small oddity is that the the VGA-out port is upside-down compared to its orientation on most other notebooks.

Front: No connectivity
Front: No connectivity
Right: SD reader, 2x USB 3.0, 1x HDMI
Right: SD reader, 2x USB 3.0, 1x HDMI
Rear: AC adapter, VGA-out, 1x USB 3.0, Gigabit Ethernet
Rear: AC adapter, VGA-out, 1x USB 3.0, Gigabit Ethernet
Left: 1x mDP, 1x HDMI (covered), 1x 3.5 mm headphones, 1x 3.5 mm microphone, 1x USB 3.0
Left: 1x mDP, 1x HDMI (covered), 1x 3.5 mm headphones, 1x 3.5 mm microphone, 1x USB 3.0

Communication

WLAN is provided by an Intel Dual-Band Wireless-AC 7265 M.2 module with integrated Bluetooth 4.0 and WiDi. The card utilizes both bands (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz) simultaneously for theoretical transfer rates of up to 867 Mbps. Aorus offers no configurations with 1 Gbps WLAN modules, but users can easily replace the Intel module if needed.

WWAN and GPS radios are not supported on the X5 gaming notebook.

Maintenance

Aorus makes a good habit of designing notebooks with accessible internals. In this case, the panel underneath can be popped off after removing 12 small Torx screws that are similar in size to the Torx screws found on the recent Razer notebooks. Users have direct access to the cooling components, storage bays, WLAN card, battery, and two of the four SODIMM slots. Further disassembly is required to reach the last two SODIMM slots similar to many Clevo barebones.

Accessories

There are no dedicated accessories for the X5 since the the notebook lacks proprietary docking ports. Instead, Aorus-branded keyboards, mice, and other accessories are available directly from the manufacturer as optional gear.

Warranty

Aorus is one of the few notebook manufacturers to offer two-year coverage as standard for customers in the United States. The internal battery, however, is covered for one year only. Any number of stuck pixels is eligible for LCD replacement, while dead pixels are not covered at all.

Accessible core components
Accessible core components

Input Devices

Keyboard

The backlit Chiclet keyboard (35.5 x 10.5 cm, excluding Macro keys) provides satisfactory feedback when pressed with low clatter. Travel is unfortunately quite shallow, especially after just checking out the Gigabyte P55W and its uniquely deep keys. It's unfortunate that Gigabyte has not yet carried over its excellent P55W keyboard to the Aorus series. The flat plastic keys accumulate grease and fingerprints very quickly as well.

The keyboard feels solid nonetheless with its full-size Arrow keys and a dedicated column of Macro keys. Its MacroEngine software allows the user to customize and scroll between five sets of Macros for a total of 25 potentially different inputs. The same hardware and software can also be found on most other Gigabyte models and is more than what other gaming notebooks can provide.

Touchpad

The touchpad (10 x 7 cm) is the standard Aorus fare. The actual surface area for navigation is smaller than it appears since the bottom 2 cm is textured and reserved for mouse clicks. This means the touchpad is just 10 x 5 cm, which makes it the same size as the touchpad on the recent Gigabyte P55W. The Elan software recognizes up to three-finger inputs and includes the usual customization settings.

Furthermore, Aorus seems intent on making its glossy touchpads work. We're not the only publication to complain about the poor gliding properties on Aorus touchpads, so it's likely that the manufacturer just prefers the unique visuals of the glossy surface over the better ergonomics of a plain matte surface. It's a sharp-looking touchpad for sure, but it still feels like we're controlling the cursor with a window pane.

The two integrated mouse keys have shallow travel and could have benefited from more solid feedback. On the positive side, the softer feedback means quieter operation compared to most other notebooks. However, the mouse keys themselves are picky about where they can be depressed; Users can only input clicks when close to the bottom left or bottom right corners. We find it easier to simply double tap on the touchpad surface instead.

Signature Aorus Macro keys on the left edge
Signature Aorus Macro keys on the left edge
The reflective surface looks nice, though it's not very ergonomic
The reflective surface looks nice, though it's not very ergonomic

Display

The 15.6-inch 3K (2880 x 1620) resolution display may not have the highest pixel count for its size class, but it is easily one of the crispest displays available for a gaming notebook. Its PPI of 212 is 50 percent higher than an equivalently sized 1080p screen. Subjectively, images have deep colors and texts are sharp and easy to read assuming appropriate scaling. Hints of the screen-door effect are non-existent at this high of a DPI count, though slight grains are noticeable if looking at the display up close. It's worth pointing out that this exact 3K panel from Panasonic (MEI96A2, VVX16T028J00) can also be found on the Gigabyte P35X v3 and even on both the Sony Vaio Fit multi-flip and MSI GT60 with slightly different model names.

While backlight brightness is on par with many high-end gaming notebooks (Aorus rates the X5 at 350 cd/m2), contrast is lower at roughly 600:1 compared to 1000:1 on others. Of course, the Aorus makes up for it with G-SYNC support.

327.1
cd/m²
310.9
cd/m²
332.9
cd/m²
294.1
cd/m²
324.3
cd/m²
313.1
cd/m²
290.2
cd/m²
334.6
cd/m²
324.4
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro Basic 2
Maximum: 334.6 cd/m² Average: 316.8 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 87 %
Center on Battery: 324.3 cd/m²
Contrast: 586:1 (Black: 0.553 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 3.53 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6.1
ΔE Greyscale 3.12 | 0.64-98 Ø6.3
85.2% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 55.4% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.28
Aorus X5Eurocom P5 Pro ExtremeGigabyte P55 V4Asus G501JW-CN168HAlienware 15 (R9 M295X)
Screen
7%
10%
5%
10%
Brightness middle
324.3
347.3
7%
262.3
-19%
344
6%
314
-3%
Brightness
317
349
10%
265
-16%
337
6%
294
-7%
Brightness Distribution
87
91
5%
89
2%
95
9%
87
0%
Black Level *
0.553
0.407
26%
0.259
53%
0.31
44%
0.33
40%
Contrast
586
853
46%
1013
73%
1110
89%
952
62%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
3.53
3.49
1%
4.29
-22%
5.98
-69%
4.14
-17%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
3.12
4.65
-49%
2.28
27%
5.75
-84%
2.8
10%
Gamma
2.28 96%
2.2 100%
2.31 95%
2.51 88%
3.19 69%
CCT
6600 98%
7060 92%
6350 102%
7366 88%
6540 99%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
55.4
58.49
6%
53
-4%
71
28%
56
1%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
85.2
80.3
-6%
100
17%
85
0%

* ... smaller is better

Color coverage is about 55.4 percent and 85.2 percent of the AdobeRGB and sRGB standards, respectively. These are typical numbers for high quality IPS panels and are very similar to the panels found on the Eurocom P5 Pro and Alienware 15. Gamut isn't as wide as the Asus UX501 or G501 where the manufacturer advertises 95 percent sRGB coverage. For gaming purposes and day-to-day work, however, this has little significance outside of professional graphics work.

vs. AdobeRGB
vs. AdobeRGB
vs. sRGB
vs. sRGB
vs. Asus G501 FHD
vs. Asus G501 FHD
vs. HP Omen Pro 15
vs. HP Omen Pro 15

Further analyses with an X-Rite spectrophotometer reveal accurate colors and grayscale out-of-the-box. The X5 benefits little from a calibration as colors are already quite balanced across the board. Orange and Yellow are a bit less accurate compared to most other colors, but this is hardly an issue for a gaming notebook. Accuracy decreases with increasing saturation levels since sRGB coverage is imperfect. For the target audience, however, this level of accuracy is more than satisfactory.

Grayscale pre-calibration
Grayscale pre-calibration
Saturation Sweeps pre-calibration
Saturation Sweeps pre-calibration
ColorChecker pre-calibration
ColorChecker pre-calibration
Grayscale post calibration
Grayscale post calibration
Saturation Sweeps post calibration
Saturation Sweeps post calibration
ColorChecker post calibration
ColorChecker post calibration

Outdoor visibility is not bad as the system utilizes a matte screen, IPS panel, and bright backlight. Maximum brightness does not drop if running on batteries, so users are able to make full use of the backlight when outdoors. Nonetheless, the screen is not nearly bright enough for use under direct sunlight and will become quickly washed out from the ambient light.

Viewing angles are excellent with just minimal brightness and color changes if viewing from extreme angles.

Average visibility on overcast day
Average visibility on overcast day
Wide IPS viewing angles
Wide IPS viewing angles

Performance

Turbo Boost up to 3.5 GHz
Turbo Boost up to 3.5 GHz

The current Aorus X5 configuration has a fixed Core i7-5700HQ CPU with GTX 965M SLI graphics. No other options exist just yet as the hardware was probably designed for a very specific TDP and performance target. The Broadwell core runs at its base 2.7 GHz clock rate and will throttle down to just 800 MHz if on the Power Saver profile.

While the i7-5700HQ is becoming increasingly common, systems with dual GTX 965M GPUs are a rarity. The X5 is our first system with such GPUs from Nvidia and includes no Optimus support. The GPU cores run at 949/1252 MHz (core/memory) under stress and 135/162 MHz when idling on the Power Saver profile. For more technical information and benchmarks on the GTX 965M SLI, see our dedicated page here

System RAM is provided by two G.Skill PC3-14200 SODIMM modules for a total of 16 GB. Four SODIMM slots are available for up to 32 GB. LatencyMon reveals no latency spikes even with the WLAN radio active.

Processor

The i7-5700HQ officially supports Turbo Boost up to 3.5 GHz for all cores, but the X5 is unable to maintain this maximum for more than just a couple of minutes. Fortunately, the Broadwell core still holds a small lead over the previous generation Core i7-4720HQ found on most gaming notebooks like the thin Razer Blade Pro 17. The lead is at most about 10 percent according to CineBench and even the i7-4710HQ is not that far behind.

Once we reach down to the Core i7-4700HQ, the raw CPU performance advantages of the i7-5700HQ can be as high as 30 percent. The performance gaps between Haswell and Broadwell are always larger during multi-threaded benchmarks compared to single-threaded benchmarks as Haswell cores generally have lower maximum Turbo Boosts for multi-threaded applications. Of course, the very high-end desktop i7-4790K outpaces the i7-5700HQ by another 20 to 30 percent on all tested benchmarks.

For more information on the Core i7-5700HQ, see our dedicated CPU page here.

CineBench R10 64-bit
CineBench R10 64-bit
CineBench R11.5 64-bit
CineBench R11.5 64-bit
CineBench R15 64-bit
CineBench R15 64-bit
Cinebench R10 Shading 64Bit
6773 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
25941 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
7138 Points
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
6789
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
20241
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
5579
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
68.37 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
7.3 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.66 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.6 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
116.35 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
668 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
144 Points
Help
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Aorus X5
144 Points ∼66%
Razer Blade Pro 17 inch 2015
139 Points ∼64% -3%
Aorus X3 Plus v3
135 Points ∼62% -6%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
125 Points ∼57% -13%
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme
171 Points ∼78% +19%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Aorus X5
668 Points ∼15%
Razer Blade Pro 17 inch 2015
597 Points ∼14% -11%
Aorus X3 Plus v3
608 Points ∼14% -9%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
490 Points ∼11% -27%
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme
873 Points ∼20% +31%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit (sort by value)
Aorus X5
7138 Points ∼69%
Razer Blade Pro 17 inch 2015
6964 Points ∼68% -2%
Aorus X3 Plus v3
6610 Points ∼64% -7%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
6493 Points ∼63% -9%
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme
8911 Points ∼87% +25%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit (sort by value)
Aorus X5
25941 Points ∼34%
Razer Blade Pro 17 inch 2015
24149 Points ∼32% -7%
Aorus X3 Plus v3
24459 Points ∼32% -6%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
18887 Points ∼25% -27%
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme
33974 Points ∼45% +31%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Aorus X5
1.66 Points ∼68%
Razer Blade Pro 17 inch 2015
1.59 Points ∼65% -4%
Aorus X3 Plus v3
1.55 Points ∼64% -7%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
1.46 Points ∼60% -12%
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme
2.07 Points ∼85% +25%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Aorus X5
7.3 Points ∼27%
Razer Blade Pro 17 inch 2015
6.51 Points ∼24% -11%
Aorus X3 Plus v3
6.73 Points ∼25% -8%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
5.29 Points ∼20% -28%
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme
9.4 Points ∼35% +29%
wPrime 2.0x - 1024m (sort by value)
Aorus X5
221.927 s * ∼3%
Razer Blade Pro 17 inch 2015
262.199 s * ∼3% -18%
Aorus X3 Plus v3
246.038 s * ∼3% -11%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
323 s * ∼4% -46%
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme
174.76 s * ∼2% +21%
Super Pi Mod 1.5 XS 32M - --- (sort by value)
Aorus X5
565.637 Seconds * ∼3%
Razer Blade Pro 17 inch 2015
562.178 Seconds * ∼2% +1%
Aorus X3 Plus v3
575.629 Seconds * ∼3% -2%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
569.349 Seconds * ∼3% -1%
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme
437 Seconds * ∼2% +23%
3DMark
Fire Strike Extreme Physics (sort by value)
Aorus X5
10026 Points ∼37%
Razer Blade Pro 17 inch 2015
9335 Points ∼34% -7%
Aorus X3 Plus v3
8881 Points ∼33% -11%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
6706 Points ∼25% -33%
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme
12395 Points ∼46% +24%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Physics (sort by value)
Aorus X5
10138 Points ∼37%
Razer Blade Pro 17 inch 2015
9286 Points ∼34% -8%
Aorus X3 Plus v3
8871 Points ∼33% -12%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
6713 Points ∼25% -34%
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme
12382 Points ∼46% +22%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Physics (sort by value)
Aorus X5
7439 Points ∼19%
Razer Blade Pro 17 inch 2015
6563 Points ∼17% -12%
Aorus X3 Plus v3
5982 Points ∼15% -20%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
4710 Points ∼12% -37%
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme
8811 Points ∼22% +18%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Aorus X5
57700 Points ∼67%
Razer Blade Pro 17 inch 2015
46222 Points ∼53% -20%
Aorus X3 Plus v3
44331 Points ∼51% -23%
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme
58919 Points ∼68% +2%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Physics (sort by value)
Aorus X5
56359 Points ∼67%
Razer Blade Pro 17 inch 2015
44550 Points ∼53% -21%
Aorus X3 Plus v3
42771 Points ∼51% -24%
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme
59800 Points ∼71% +6%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Physics (sort by value)
Aorus X5
56461 Points ∼36%
Razer Blade Pro 17 inch 2015
44082 Points ∼28% -22%
Aorus X3 Plus v3
42849 Points ∼28% -24%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
31331 Points ∼20% -45%
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme
59430 Points ∼38% +5%

Legend

 
Aorus X5 Intel Core i7-5700HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M SLI, 2x Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G (RAID 0)
 
Razer Blade Pro 17 inch 2015 Intel Core i7-4720HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, Samsung PM851 Series MZMTE256HMHP
 
Aorus X3 Plus v3 Intel Core i7-4710HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M, 2x Lite-On LMT-256L9M (RAID 0)
 
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50 Intel Core i7-4700HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M, Western Digital WD10S21X SSHD 1TB + 8GB SSD-Cache
 
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme Intel Core i7-4790K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 2x Micron M600 MTFDDAV128MBF (RAID 0)

* ... smaller is better

System Performance

PCMark benchmarks put our Aorus near the top of our database. Its final PCMark 7 score of 6471 points is roughly 10 percent down from our current record holder of 7272 points. The RAID 0 SSDs have a large influence on PCMark scores and the Lite-On drives in our X5 are no slouch as detailed in our next section.

Subjectively, the system operates smoothly with no navigation hitches or latency. Most applications launch almost instantaneously as to be expected from SSD systems. The useful Command&Control System Gauge, however, will periodically freeze for a second or two when dragging its window. It's a small complaint and likely just a bug in our test version.

PCMark 7
PCMark 7
PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Creative Accelerated
PCMark 8 Creative Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 7 Score
6471 points
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
4317 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
5270 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
4578 points
Help

Storage Devices

Three of the four accessible storage bays. Note that the AverMedia Live Streaming Engine occupies one of the M.2 slots.
Three of the four accessible storage bays. Note that the AverMedia Live Streaming Engine occupies one of the M.2 slots.

Available storage slots include 3x M.2 and 1x 2.5-inch SATA III. Only the M.2 drives are RAID compatible, though this should be more than enough for most enthusiasts. It's very uncommon for a system this thin to have accessible triple RAID bays. The MSI GS60, for example, includes just 2x M.2 drives and a single 2.5-inch SATA III slot.

Our configuration uses two Lite-On L8T-256L9G SSDs in RAID 0 and a 1 TB HGST HTS721010A9E630 HDD for secondary storage. CrystalDiskMark is able to record sequential read speeds of about 900 MB/s and a write speed of 800 MB/s. While these results are normal for dual SATA III drives, they can be outmatched by the single PCIe x4 slot found on the latest MacBook Pro and the recent Asus G501/UX501. It's possible that future Aorus models could make use of this faster interface instead.

Lastly, the 7200 RPM HDD is quite fast with its average transfer rate of 108 MB/s and access time of 15.4 ms according to HD Tune. Most 5400 RPM drives have transfer rates in the 80 MB/s range and even slower access times in comparison.

AS SSD Lite-On Primary
AS SSD Lite-On Primary
CDM Lite-On Primary
CDM Lite-On Primary
CDM HGST Secondary
CDM HGST Secondary
PCMark 8 Storage
PCMark 8 Storage
HD Tune Lite-On Primary
HD Tune Lite-On Primary
HD Tune HGST Secondary
HD Tune HGST Secondary
2x Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G (RAID 0)
Transfer Rate Minimum: 642.9 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 998.7 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 973.6 MB/s
Access Time:
Burst Rate: 2515.7 MB/s
CPU Usage: 9.7 %

GPU Performance

The dual GTX 965M GPUs score roughly 50 to 60 percent better than a single GTX 965M according to 3DMark benchmarks. Thus, the scaling is right where we expect it to be when moving from a single GPU to double GPU setup. We would have liked to see higher scaling, of course, but our final scores already rival the GTX 980M in our Gigabyte P37X and is about 20 to 25 percent lower than our GTX 970M SLI in our Aorus X7 Pro.

3DMark 11
3DMark 11
Ice Storm Unlimited
Ice Storm Unlimited
Cloud Gate
Cloud Gate
Fire Strike
Fire Strike
Fire Strike Extreme
Fire Strike Extreme
Fire Strike Ultra
Fire Strike Ultra
3DMark 11 Performance
11638 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
68846 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
22188 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
7815 points
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme Score
4366 points
Help
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU (sort by value)
Aorus X5
14428 Points ∼28%
MSI GT80-2QES32SR311BW
21901 Points ∼43% +52%
Aorus X7 Pro
18249 Points ∼36% +26%
Gigabyte P37X
12655 Points ∼25% -12%
Razer Blade 14 2015
9571 Points ∼19% -34%
Schenker XMG P705
7136 Points ∼14% -51%
Asus Zenbook Pro UX501JW-FI218H
5135 Points ∼10% -64%
3DMark
Fire Strike Extreme Graphics (sort by value)
Aorus X5
4892 Points ∼25%
Gigabyte P37X
4479 Points ∼23% -8%
Razer Blade 14 2015
3367 Points ∼17% -31%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics (sort by value)
Aorus X5
10207 Points ∼25%
MSI GT80-2QES32SR311BW
19121 Points ∼47% +87%
Aorus X7 Pro
14873 Points ∼37% +46%
Gigabyte P37X
9927 Points ∼24% -3%
Razer Blade 14 2015
7321 Points ∼18% -28%
Schenker XMG P705
5394 Points ∼13% -47%
Asus Zenbook Pro UX501JW-FI218H
4197 Points ∼10% -59%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics (sort by value)
Aorus X5
51182 Points ∼28%
MSI GT80-2QES32SR311BW
127465 Points ∼69% +149%
Aorus X7 Pro
95682 Points ∼52% +87%
Gigabyte P37X
67973 Points ∼37% +33%
Razer Blade 14 2015
38777 Points ∼21% -24%
Schenker XMG P705
34748 Points ∼19% -32%
Asus Zenbook Pro UX501JW-FI218H
21686 Points ∼12% -58%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
Aorus X5
250259 Points ∼47%
Gigabyte P37X
310112 Points ∼58% +24%
Razer Blade 14 2015
273460 Points ∼52% +9%
Cinebench R10 - Shading 64Bit (sort by value)
Aorus X5
6773 Points ∼32%
Gigabyte P37X
6844 Points ∼32% +1%
Razer Blade 14 2015
6837 Points ∼32% +1%
Cinebench R11.5 - OpenGL 64Bit (sort by value)
Aorus X5
68.37 fps ∼40%
MSI GT80-2QES32SR311BW
65.93 fps ∼39% -4%
Aorus X7 Pro
67.04 fps ∼39% -2%
Gigabyte P37X
62.48 fps ∼37% -9%
Razer Blade 14 2015
50.48 fps ∼30% -26%
Schenker XMG P705
60.14 fps ∼35% -12%
Asus Zenbook Pro UX501JW-FI218H
60.45 fps ∼35% -12%
Cinebench R15 - OpenGL 64Bit (sort by value)
Aorus X5
116.35 fps ∼47%
MSI GT80-2QES32SR311BW
152.67 fps ∼61% +31%
Aorus X7 Pro
143.25 fps ∼57% +23%
Gigabyte P37X
110.03 fps ∼44% -5%
Razer Blade 14 2015
60.56 fps ∼24% -48%
Schenker XMG P705
103.02 fps ∼41% -11%
Asus Zenbook Pro UX501JW-FI218H
94.73 fps ∼38% -19%

Legend

 
Aorus X5 Intel Core i7-5700HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M SLI, 2x Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G (RAID 0)
 
MSI GT80-2QES32SR311BW Intel Core i7-4980HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M SLI, 4x Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU (RAID 0)
 
Aorus X7 Pro Intel Core i7-4870HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M SLI, 2x Lite-On LMT-256L9M (RAID 0)
 
Gigabyte P37X Intel Core i7-4720HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 2x Lite-On LMT-128L9M (RAID 0)
 
Razer Blade 14 2015 Intel Core i7-4720HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
 
Schenker XMG P705 Intel Core i7-4720HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M, Kingston SM2280S3120G
 
Asus Zenbook Pro UX501JW-FI218H Intel Core i7-4720HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, SanDisk SD7SN3Q128G1002

Gaming Performance

Can two GTX 965M GPUs outgun a single GTX 980M? The answer depends on the title. Our Aorus has the advantage in titles like Thief and Sleeping Dogs, but the Eurocom P7 Pro and its single GTX 980M proves to be faster when running Metro: Last Light, Guild Wars 2, and Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor.

Of course, most users will want to play at the native 2880 x 1620 resolution to make the most out of the display. The Aorus X5 is very capable of playing most games at 3K even on Ultra or close to maximum graphical settings. Most titles run just above 30 FPS, which is actually perfect when paired with G-SYNC to eliminate screen tear and stutters that are otherwise inherently more common on SLI systems. This is perhaps the biggest draw of owning the X5 over more powerful notebooks. Meanwhile, Batman: Arkham Knight proves to be a bit too intensive for our resolution and graphical demands, but it still looks and plays great with Nvidia-specific features switched off.

Goes G-SYNC incur penalties to frame rate? We reran our games on 3K resolution and Ultra settings to compare and saw no statistically significant differences in FPS results.

More details on the Nvidia technology can be found on our review page of the G-SYNC-enabled Asus G751JY.

Batman: Arkham Knight
Batman: Arkham Knight
Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm
Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
low med. high ultra
Sleeping Dogs (2012) 159.962.8fps
Guild Wars 2 (2012) 64.557.3fps
Tomb Raider (2013) 244.5117.6fps
StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm (2013) 14576.2fps
BioShock Infinite (2013) 165.393.1fps
Metro: Last Light (2013) 85.856.9fps
Thief (2014) 84.760.1fps
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor (2014) 89.569.2fps
Ryse: Son of Rome (2014) 61.258.8fps
F1 2014 (2014) 11590fps
Dragon Age: Inquisition (2014) 7249.8fps
Battlefield Hardline (2015) 105.271.9fps
Batman: Arkham Knight (2015) 694027fps
2880 x 1620 Resolution on Ultra Settings
Title FPS
Sleeping Dogs 26.3
Guild Wars 2 57
Tomb Raider 57.6
Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm 60.3
Metro: Last Light 34.8
Thief 34.7
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor 35.4
Ryse: Son of Rome 34.5
F1 2014 59
Dragon Age: Inquisition 25.7
Battlefield Hardline 36.9
Batman: Arkham Knight 16
Thief
1920x1080 Very High Preset AA:FXAA & High SS AF:8x (sort by value)
Aorus X5
60.1 fps ∼42%
Eurocom X8
87 fps ∼61% +45%
Aorus X7 Pro
86.8 fps ∼61% +44%
Eurocom P7 Pro
49.8 fps ∼35% -17%
Gigabyte P55 V4
43.3 fps ∼31% -28%
Razer Blade Pro 17 inch 2015
28.3 fps ∼20% -53%
1366x768 High Preset AA:FXAA & Low SS AF:4x (sort by value)
Aorus X5
84.7 fps ∼58%
Eurocom X8
93 fps ∼64% +10%
Aorus X7 Pro
115.1 fps ∼79% +36%
Eurocom P7 Pro
78.8 fps ∼54% -7%
Gigabyte P55 V4
56.3 fps ∼39% -34%
Razer Blade Pro 17 inch 2015
54.1 fps ∼37% -36%
Metro: Last Light
1920x1080 Very High (DX11) AF:16x (sort by value)
Aorus X5
56.9 fps ∼33%
Eurocom X8
95 fps ∼55% +67%
Aorus X7 Pro
79.2 fps ∼46% +39%
Eurocom P7 Pro
67.9 fps ∼39% +19%
Gigabyte P55 V4
48.9 fps ∼28% -14%
Razer Blade Pro 17 inch 2015
32.2 fps ∼19% -43%
1366x768 High (DX11) AF:16x (sort by value)
Aorus X5
85.8 fps ∼45%
Eurocom X8
125 fps ∼65% +46%
Aorus X7 Pro
112.1 fps ∼58% +31%
Eurocom P7 Pro
124.2 fps ∼64% +45%
Gigabyte P55 V4
80 fps ∼41% -7%
Razer Blade Pro 17 inch 2015
61.9 fps ∼32% -28%
Sleeping Dogs
1920x1080 Extreme Preset AA:Extreme (sort by value)
Aorus X5
62.8 fps ∼42%
Eurocom X8
109 fps ∼74% +74%
Eurocom P7 Pro
58.4 fps ∼40% -7%
Gigabyte P55 V4
45.2 fps ∼31% -28%
Razer Blade Pro 17 inch 2015
24.3 fps ∼16% -61%
1366x768 High Preset AA:High (sort by value)
Aorus X5
159.9 fps ∼60%
Eurocom X8
178 fps ∼67% +11%
Eurocom P7 Pro
171.8 fps ∼64% +7%
Gigabyte P55 V4
112.5 fps ∼42% -30%
Razer Blade Pro 17 inch 2015
93.1 fps ∼35% -42%
Guild Wars 2
1920x1080 All Maximum / On AA:FX (sort by value)
Aorus X5
57.3 fps ∼62%
Eurocom X8
64 fps ∼70% +12%
Aorus X7 Pro
78.2 fps ∼85% +36%
Eurocom P7 Pro
70.6 fps ∼77% +23%
Gigabyte P55 V4
45.1 fps ∼49% -21%
Razer Blade Pro 17 inch 2015
36 fps ∼39% -37%
1366x768 Best Appearance Preset AA:FX (sort by value)
Aorus X5
64.5 fps ∼70%
Eurocom X8
69 fps ∼75% +7%
Aorus X7 Pro
85.6 fps ∼93% +33%
Eurocom P7 Pro
75.8 fps ∼83% +18%
Gigabyte P55 V4
57.3 fps ∼62% -11%
Razer Blade Pro 17 inch 2015
62.6 fps ∼68% -3%
StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm
1920x1080 Ultra / Extreme AA:on (sort by value)
Aorus X5
76.2 fps ∼35%
Eurocom X8
92 fps ∼42% +21%
Eurocom P7 Pro
111.8 fps ∼51% +47%
Gigabyte P55 V4
76.4 fps ∼35% 0%
Razer Blade Pro 17 inch 2015
55.1 fps ∼25% -28%
1366x768 High AA:on (sort by value)
Aorus X5
145 fps ∼49%
Eurocom X8
141 fps ∼48% -3%
Eurocom P7 Pro
171.5 fps ∼58% +18%
Gigabyte P55 V4
118 fps ∼40% -19%
Razer Blade Pro 17 inch 2015
127.8 fps ∼43% -12%
BioShock Infinite
1920x1080 Ultra Preset, DX11 (DDOF) (sort by value)
Aorus X5
93.1 fps ∼35%
Eurocom X8
145 fps ∼55% +56%
Aorus X7 Pro
130.1 fps ∼49% +40%
Eurocom P7 Pro
94.5 fps ∼36% +2%
Gigabyte P55 V4
68.4 fps ∼26% -27%
Razer Blade Pro 17 inch 2015
46.8 fps ∼18% -50%
1366x768 High Preset (sort by value)
Aorus X5
165.3 fps ∼48%
Eurocom X8
212 fps ∼61% +28%
Aorus X7 Pro
233.7 fps ∼67% +41%
Eurocom P7 Pro
217.1 fps ∼62% +31%
Gigabyte P55 V4
128.4 fps ∼37% -22%
Razer Blade Pro 17 inch 2015
120 fps ∼34% -27%
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
1920x1080 Ultra Preset (HD Package) (sort by value)
Aorus X5
69.2 fps ∼43%
Aorus X7 Pro
89.9 fps ∼56% +30%
Eurocom P7 Pro
69.7 fps ∼43% +1%
Gigabyte P55 V4
52.6 fps ∼33% -24%
Razer Blade Pro 17 inch 2015
31 fps ∼19% -55%
1920x1080 High Preset (sort by value)
Aorus X5
89.5 fps ∼48%
Aorus X7 Pro
105.2 fps ∼57% +18%
Eurocom P7 Pro
89.9 fps ∼48% 0%
Gigabyte P55 V4
69.2 fps ∼37% -23%
Razer Blade Pro 17 inch 2015
40.1 fps ∼22% -55%
Ryse: Son of Rome
1920x1080 Very High Texture Res. + High Graphics Quality (Motion Blur & Temporal AA On, Rest Off/Disabled) AF:8x (sort by value)
Aorus X5
58.8 fps ∼57%
Eurocom X8
103 fps ∼100% +75%
Aorus X7 Pro
61.1 fps ∼59% +4%
Eurocom P7 Pro
62.6 fps ∼61% +6%
Gigabyte P55 V4
46.1 fps ∼45% -22%
Razer Blade Pro 17 inch 2015
28.2 fps ∼27% -52%
1920x1080 High Texture Res. + High Graphics Quality (Rest Off/Disabled) AF:8x (sort by value)
Aorus X5
61.2 fps ∼55%
Eurocom X8
111 fps ∼100% +81%
Aorus X7 Pro
61.6 fps ∼55% +1%
Eurocom P7 Pro
68.6 fps ∼62% +12%
Gigabyte P55 V4
48.2 fps ∼43% -21%
Razer Blade Pro 17 inch 2015
30.5 fps ∼27% -50%
F1 2014
1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:4x MS (sort by value)
Aorus X5
90 fps ∼75%
Eurocom X8
102 fps ∼85% +13%
Aorus X7 Pro
118 fps ∼98% +31%
Eurocom P7 Pro
120 fps ∼100% +33%
Gigabyte P55 V4
73 fps ∼61% -19%
Razer Blade Pro 17 inch 2015
94 fps ∼78% +4%
1920x1080 High Preset (sort by value)
Aorus X5
115 fps ∼86%
Eurocom X8
117 fps ∼88% +2%
Aorus X7 Pro
118 fps ∼89% +3%
Eurocom P7 Pro
120 fps ∼90% +4%
Gigabyte P55 V4
80 fps ∼60% -30%
Razer Blade Pro 17 inch 2015
113 fps ∼85% -2%
Dragon Age: Inquisition
1920x1080 Ultra Graphics Quality AA:2x MS (sort by value)
Aorus X5
49.8 fps ∼29%
Eurocom X8
85 fps ∼50% +71%
Eurocom P7 Pro
46.5 fps ∼27% -7%
1920x1080 High Graphics Quality (sort by value)
Aorus X5
72 fps ∼41%
Eurocom X8
119 fps ∼68% +65%
Eurocom P7 Pro
69.1 fps ∼40% -4%
Battlefield Hardline
1920x1080 Ultra Graphics Quality (DX11) AA:4x MS (sort by value)
Aorus X5
71.9 fps ∼41%
Eurocom P7 Pro
71.8 fps ∼41% 0%
Gigabyte P55 V4
53 fps ∼30% -26%
1920x1080 High Graphics Quality (DX11) (sort by value)
Aorus X5
105.2 fps ∼54%
Eurocom P7 Pro
98 fps ∼50% -7%
Gigabyte P55 V4
75.3 fps ∼39% -28%
Batman: Arkham Knight
1920x1080 High / On AA:SM AF:16x (sort by value)
Aorus X5
27 fps ∼19%
1920x1080 High / On (Interactive Smoke & Paper Debris Off) AA:SM AF:8x (sort by value)
Aorus X5
40 fps ∼25%
1366x768 Normal / Off AF:4x (sort by value)
Aorus X5
69 fps ∼34%

Legend

 
Aorus X5 Intel Core i7-5700HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M SLI, 2x Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G (RAID 0)
 
Eurocom X8 Intel Core i7-4940MX, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M SLI, Samsung SSD 840 EVO 120GB mSATA
 
Aorus X7 Pro Intel Core i7-4870HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M SLI, 2x Lite-On LMT-256L9M (RAID 0)
 
Eurocom P7 Pro Intel Core i7-5775C, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, Samsung SSD SM951 512 GB MZHPV512HDGL
 
Gigabyte P55 V4 Intel Core i7-5700HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M, Lite-On LMT-128L9M
 
Razer Blade Pro 17 inch 2015 Intel Core i7-4720HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, Samsung PM851 Series MZMTE256HMHP

Stress Test

We stress the notebook with synthetic benchmarks to gauge system stability and potential throttling issues. 

With just Prime95 active to stress the CPU, all four cores can be observed running consistently at 3 GHz. This is 300 MHz above the base clock rate and 500 MHz below the maximum rated Turbo Boost. Core temperature jumps very quickly to the 90 to 95 C range and fan noise is already at its maximum 5300 to 5400 RPM.

With just FurMark active to stress the GPU, the Nvidia core operates at a steady 949 MHz, or just 25 MHz above its base clock rate of 924 MHz. There are occasional dips to 924 MHz, though these are short-lived. GPU temperature plateaus at the low 80 C range and memory speed remains consistent at 1252 MHz.

Full stress with both Prime95 and FurMark will throttle the CPU down to 1.4 to 1.6 GHz. The GPU, however, is surprisingly able to maintain clock rates just slightly above its base 924 MHz. CPU and GPU temperature remain stable at 95 C and 86 C, respectively, after half an hour of stress. The system remains stable even at 100 percent processing loads.

Next, we run Unigine Heaven 4.0 to better represent load conditions when gaming. Here the CPU can be observed running at its advertised maximum Turbo Boost clock rate of 3.5 GHz, but this slowly drops to a steady 3 GHz over the first few minutes of the test. Meanwhile, the GPU maintains its core clock of 949 MHz with no interruptions. CPU and GPU temperatures plateau at 90 to 95 C and 66 C, respectively. As such, the Intel CPU appears much more prone to throttling than either of the two Nvidia GPUs. Running the Metro: Last Light benchmark ten times in a row shows no drop in average FPS from beginning to end.

Running on battery power will reduce CPU and GPU performances. A 3DMark 11 run on batteries returns GPU and Physics scores of 6620 and 6873 points, respectively, compared to 14428 and 7408 points when on mains. This is because the CPU will run only up to its base clock rate of 2.7 GHz, while GPU memory is limited to 800 MHz compared to its regular speed of 1252 MHz. Impressively, both GPU cores maintain 949 MHz without issues.

Prime95 stress
Prime95 stress
FurMark stress
FurMark stress
Maximum stress
Maximum stress
Unigine Heaven stress
Unigine Heaven stress

Emissions

System Noise

The cooling solution for the X5 is larger than on most gaming notebooks and is reminiscent to the heavier Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme. The Aorus utilizes dual 50 mm system fans and a total of eight heat pipes, which is twice the number of heat pipes found on systems with a single GPU.

Fan noise is unavoidable and occasionally pulsates on the X5. Its fan controls allow for Quiet, Normal, Gaming, and Custom modes, but the fans hover around 2100 RPM even on Quiet mode with SLI disabled and Power Saver enabled. Recorded fan noise pulsates between 32 dB(A) and 34 dB(A) at the quietest state.

Gaming will cause fan noise to jump to the 50 dB(A) range up to nearly 57 dB(A) (5400 RPM) at the maximum. This makes the Aorus X5 one of the loudest 15.6-inch gaming notebooks available as others tend to remain in the mid 40 dB(A) range or low-to-mid 50 dB(A) range at the highest when gaming. The Razer Blade 14 instantly comes to mind when dealing with such loud notebooks. Setting the fan mode to Quiet will throttle the CPU and GPU, but this is an invaluable setting if using the notebook for daily tasks and anything other than games.

Dual 50 mm fans
Dual 50 mm fans
Large cooling system
Large cooling system

Noise Level

Idle
32.5 / 32.6 / 34.4 dB(A)
Load
44 / 56.8 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   BK Precision 732A (15 cm distance)

Temperature

Surfaces temperatures are predictably warm considering the SLI hardware and thin chassis. The bottom rear of the notebook can be almost 40 C just by idling on the desktop due to the large and encompassing heat pipes in this area. This is compared to ~35 C on the GTX 970M-equipped MSI GS60 and 25 to 30 C on the GTX 960M-equipped Asus ROG G501. Generally speaking, both Aorus and Gigabyte notebooks have warmer-than-average surface temperatures.

Maximum CPU and GPU loads will cause temperatures to skyrocket. As is normal for most manufacturers, the palm rests and frontal quadrants are kept as cool as possible for maximum user comfort. With such powerful hardware, however, Aorus can only do so much to keep temperatures low. They keyboard keys can be as hot as ~49 C under 100 percent processing loads compared to just ~44 C on the MSI GS60 or ~35 C on the Asus G501. Is this bothersome when gaming? Not necessarily, but the warmth is definitely more noticeable compared to other gaming notebooks.

Max. Load
 45.8 °C
114 F
52 °C
126 F
55.6 °C
132 F
 
 45.6 °C
114 F
49.8 °C
122 F
49.2 °C
121 F
 
 36.6 °C
98 F
32.8 °C
91 F
39.2 °C
103 F
 
Maximum: 55.6 °C = 132 F
Average: 45.2 °C = 113 F
57.6 °C
136 F
54.6 °C
130 F
52.8 °C
127 F
53.6 °C
128 F
55.6 °C
132 F
49.8 °C
122 F
44.6 °C
112 F
46.2 °C
115 F
43 °C
109 F
Maximum: 57.6 °C = 136 F
Average: 50.9 °C = 124 F
Power Supply (max.)  56.4 °C = 134 F | Room Temperature 24 °C = 75 F | Fluke 62 Mini IR Thermometer
(-) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 45.2 °C / 113 F, compared to the average of 33.1 °C / 92 F for the devices in the class Gaming.
(-) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 55.6 °C / 132 F, compared to the average of 39.5 °C / 103 F, ranging from 21.6 to 68.8 °C for the class Gaming.
(-) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 57.6 °C / 136 F, compared to the average of 42 °C / 108 F
(±) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 33.6 °C / 92 F, compared to the device average of 33.1 °C / 92 F.
(±) The palmrests and touchpad can get very hot to the touch with a maximum of 39.2 °C / 102.6 F.
(-) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 28.8 °C / 83.8 F (-10.4 °C / -18.8 F).

Speakers

Speaker grilles
Speaker grilles

The grilles for the dual 1.5 W speakers are on the front of the notebook and can be easily mistaken for exhaust grilles. The X5 also includes a subwoofer near its rear.

Sound quality is good for the size and the speakers are loud at high volume settings, which is essentially required to overcome the inevitable fan noise when gaming. Sounds feel balanced, but we still prefer headphones to minimize fan noise and maximize bass.

There is no pre-loaded audio software unlike on a handful of multimedia notebooks with Sound Blaster or DTS equilizers.

Battery Life

The non-removable 73 Wh battery is of higher capacity compared to the similarly sized MSI GS60 and Lenovo IdeaPad Y50. It does, after all, have to power dual GPUs and a 3K screen. Aside from our Load test, our Reader and WiFi tests were performed with SLI disabled and on the Normal fan speed setting.

Runtimes for the X5 are just under two hours when surfing the net at 150 nit brightness (setting 4/10) and under three hours when sitting idle on the desktop at minimum display brightness. The results are poor compared to most other 15-inch gaming notebooks, though this is to be expected from a system with SLI and no Optimus support.

Maximum runtime (Reader's Test)
Maximum runtime (Reader's Test)
Minimum runtime (Classic Test)
Minimum runtime (Classic Test)
WLAN runtime
WLAN runtime
Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
2h 45min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
1h 52min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 31min
Aorus X5
73 Wh
Alienware 15
92 Wh
MSI GE60-2QEWi781
56 Wh
MSI GS60 2QE Ghost Pro 4K (2QEUi716SR51G)
52 Wh
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme
82 Wh
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50-70-59441231
55 Wh
Battery Runtime
161%
65%
4%
-2%
69%
Reader / Idle
165
696
322%
386
134%
276
67%
163
-1%
388
135%
WiFi v1.3
112
222
98%
203
81%
Load
91
91
0%
58
-36%
36
-60%
89
-2%
84
-8%
WiFi
266
184
136

Pros

+ GPU performance rivaling GTX 980M
+ 3x M.2 RAID bays, 1x 2.5-inch SATA III
+ 4x video-out ports, 4x SODIMM slots
+ High quality 3K matte G-SYNC display
+ Very high performance-to-weight ratio
+ Live Streaming Engine
+ No GPU throttling
+ Easily accessible internals
+ Good sound quality; Built-in subwoofer
+ No Optimus for improved external monitor support
+ Two-year warranty as standard

Cons

- Loud fan noise when gaming
- Very warm surface temperatures when gaming
- No PCIe x4 slot or external desktop GPU support
- No Thunderbolt support
- Soldered CPU and GPUs
- Build quality of lid could be better
- Shallow key travel
- Glossy touchpad exhibits poor gliding
- CPU unable to maintain maximum Turbo Boost
- Only 2x SODIMM slots are easily accessible
- Non-removable battery; Short battery life

Verdict

In Review: Aorus X5. Test model provided by Aorus US.
In Review: Aorus X5. Test model provided by Aorus US.

The Aorus X5 is everything we've come to expect from Aorus. It's a notebook for users who aren't satisfied with the performance and features of ultralight gaming notebooks like the Asus G501 or MSI GS60, but still want the power and expandability of thicker models found on Clevo barebones (Eurocom P5 Pro) and the Alienware series without the heavy weight. In some cases, the X5 can offer more than the competition with its 3K G-SYNC screen, large number of video-out ports, and accessible internals.

All Aorus notebooks share the same downsides, including loud fan noise when gaming, low runtimes, higher stable temperatures, and weaker chassis compared to the big guns like the MSI GT72, Asus G751, and Alienware 17. While the GTX 965M SLI performs very well and offers GTX 980M-level performance, the Broadwell CPU is unable to sustain its maximum Turbo Boost for more than just a couple of minutes. Additionally, the notebook includes no PCIe x4 slot, just one of which could outperform our dual M.2 Lite-On SSDs.

Perhaps the biggest trump card for the X5 is its combination of 3K display, SLI, and G-SYNC. Nvidia's adaptive refresh technology allows SLI to function that much more smoothly when frame rates are low or erratic, both of which are more common on dual GPU systems at higher resolutions. G-SYNC works best when FPS is in the 30 to 60 range, which again happens to be where most games perform on High settings and 3K resolution. It's an excellent use of the technology to mitigate the shortcomings of SLI.

If you're going to get a SLI notebook or just want GTX 980-class performance from the thinnest 15-inch notebook possible, then it might as well be the Aorus X5.

Aorus X5 - 02/23/2016 v5
Allen Ngo

Chassis
82 / 98 → 84%
Keyboard
82%
Pointing Device
56%
Connectivity
60 / 81 → 74%
Weight
59 / 10-66 → 88%
Battery
60%
Display
87%
Games Performance
92%
Application Performance
93%
Temperature
72 / 95 → 76%
Noise
68 / 90 → 76%
Audio
80%
Average
74%
82%
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Aorus X5 Notebook Review
Allen Ngo, 2015-08- 6 (Update: 2015-08-18)
Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - US Editor in Chief
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.