Notebookcheck

Aorus X5S v5 Notebook Review

One is better than two. The refreshed X5 shows that a single more powerful GPU is the better choice against two weaker GPUs in SLI.

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When Aorus launched the original X5, some fans were clamoring about the lack of any SKUs with just a single GPU. What if you liked the system and its features but were turned off by its force-fed SLI?

The Aorus X5S is a direct response to these criticisms as it removes the uncommon GTX 965M SLI in favor of a single GTX 980M. The move required some small internal redesigns as the cooling requirements are not the same, but the X5S is otherwise visually identical to the X5. besides the GPU switch up, Aorus also took the opportunity to update the notebook with Skylake, NVMe, USB Type-C, and other minor changes.

See our original review on the Aorus X5 for more information on its chassis and input features. For this update review, we will focus on the performance of the X5S and how the GTX 980M compares to the GTX 965M SLI that it replaces.

Aorus X5S v5 (X5 Series)
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M - 8192 MB, Core: 1038 MHz, Memory: 5010 MHz, 359.33, Optimus
Memory
16384 MB 
, 1300 MHz, 15-15-15-36, Dual-Channel, DDR4, PC4-17000
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 3840x2160 pixel 282 PPI, IPS, Name: Sharp LQ156D1JW04, ID: SHP1436, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel HM170 (Skylake PCH-H)
Storage
Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2, 256 GB 
, Secondary: HGST HTS721010A9E630
Soundcard
Intel Skylake PCH-H High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
3 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 USB 3.1 Gen2, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm earphones, 3.5 mm microphone, Card Reader: SD, Brightness Sensor
Networking
Qualcomm Killer e2200 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller (10/100/1000MBit), Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260 (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.1 + LE
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 22.9 x 390 x 272 ( = 0.9 x 15.35 x 10.71 in)
Battery
73.26 Wh Lithium-Polymer
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: HD
Additional features
Speakers: 1.5 W stereo + 2 W subwoofer, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, Velvet cloth, USB flash drive (w/ drivers), Warranty card, Quick Start manual, 12 Months Warranty
Weight
2.532 kg ( = 89.31 oz / 5.58 pounds), Power Supply: 825 g ( = 29.1 oz / 1.82 pounds)
Price
2300 USD

 

Case

With no major or minor revisions done to the chassis since the X5, users will get the same good and bad qualities with the X5S. The good are mostly visual with the sleek and unique matte styling and magnesium surfaces with the bad being an overall average build quality. The lid in particular feels weak and can creak when subjected to twisting and depressions. The material making up the base feels thin and lacking in rigidity as well. This is, after all, one of the thinnest 15.6-inch notebooks available with the GTX 980M. Construction quality is nonetheless perfect with no unintended gaps between edges and corners. 

Connectivity

Available ports are slightly different than on the original X5. Changes include the removal of one USB 3.0 Type-A port in favor of a USB 3.1 Type-C Gen. 2 port, albeit with no native Thunderbolt 3 support. While users will see two HDMI ports, the second HDMI port has no functionality and has a rubber cover placed over it. The first HDMI port has been upgraded from 1.4 to 2.0 for external displays that support the extra features. Port placement is otherwise identical.

It's worth noting that there are no longer any USB Type-A ports on the left edge of the notebook. This can be a hassle for some users with no USB Type-C adapters at hand.

Front: No connectivity
Front: No connectivity
Right: SD reader, 2x USB 3.0, 1x HDMI 2.0
Right: SD reader, 2x USB 3.0, 1x HDMI 2.0
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 3.1 Type-C Gen. 2
Left: 1x mDP, 1x HDMI (covered), 1x 3.5 mm headphones, 1x 3.5 mm microphone, 1x USB 3.1 Type-C Gen. 2

Communication

WLAN and Bluetooth are provided by a dual-band Intel 8260 wireless-ac module capable of transfer rates of up to a theoretical 867 Mbps. In comparison, the original X5 houses an older Intel 7265 module. We experienced no connectivity issues or dropouts during our time with the X5S. WWAN and GPS options are not available on the notebook.

Accessories

Included extras are a cleaning cloth, Quick Start guide, and an 8 GB USB flash drive with drivers and utilities. Aorus sells branded mice, keyboards, and backpacks separately.

Maintenance

Removing the bottom panel is easy and requires a T6 Torx wrench. When compared to the original X5, the X5S has changed the positioning of the WLAN slot and two of the M.2 slots in addition to some other minor adjustments to accommodate the GPU. Note that accessing two of the four DDR4 SODIMM slots will still require additional disassembly.

Warranty

New purchases are covered for two years with the battery covered for only the first year. Furthermore, the manufacturer will cover any stuck pixel within the first 30 days of purchase. Black or "off" pixels, however, are not covered by the standard warranty.

Aorus X5S
Aorus X5S
Aorus X5
Aorus X5

Input Devices

Keyboard

No changes have been made to the keyboard, so users can expect the same experience as on the X5. The individual keys are shallow in travel with relatively quiet and soft feedback. The Space bar in particular could have benefited from deeper travel and firmer feedback as it feels slightly softer than the standard QWERTY keys surrounding it.

Other features include the dedicated column of Macro keys on the left-hand side. These can be cycled in serial between five different user-defined settings to fit the application. Unlike on Asus ROG notebooks where the Macro keys are above the Function keys, the Macro keys here are positioned to be easier to reach with a resting palm.

The standard white keyboard backlight is available in two different intensity levels. There are no options for individually lit keys as on the Lenovo Y900 or Razer Blade Stealth.

Touchpad

The touchpad (10 x 7 cm) is no longer super glossy as found on older generation Aorus models due to complaints from users and the press about its poor gliding properties. The surface is now matte and easier to use than before. Nonetheless, we still experienced issues regarding responsiveness. Gliding a finger across the touchpad at a constant speed will not always translate to smooth cursor movements for unknown reasons. This occurs more frequently on the bottom half of the touchpad, so output is not always consistent either. A dedicated mouse is still recommended over the touchpad for even basic commands.

Meanwhile, the integrated mouse clicks have satisfactory travel with an easy-to-press surface. The problem, however, is that feedback is a bit on the soft side, so inputting multiple clicks in quick succession can be difficult. We find it easier to simply double tap the touchpad surface than to push down on its lower half corners.

Display

While the X5 ships with a 3K 2880 x 1620 resolution panel, the X5S ships with an even denser 4K 3840x2160 resolution panel as the new standard. Images and texts are incredibly sharp on the matte screen with no visible color noise or grains. The same high quality Sharp LQ156D1JW04 panel can also be found on a number of other 15.6-inch notebooks including the Alienware 15, Acer Aspire V15 Nitro Black Edition, and the Clevo P751ZM barebones. Backlight brightness is the same as the X5 despite the denser pixel grid on the X5S. Colors and contrast are measurably better on the updated model as well.

Uneven backlight bleeding occurs to a moderate degree near the top corners and bottom edge. The light bleed is difficult to notice unless if watching movies or playing games where scenes may be dimly lit. Nonetheless, it's an area that could use improvement for future iterations of the notebook.

Moderate backlight bleeding around top corners and bottom edge
Moderate backlight bleeding around top corners and bottom edge
Subpixel array at 282 PPI
Subpixel array at 282 PPI
318.8
cd/m²
342.6
cd/m²
320.3
cd/m²
317
cd/m²
324.7
cd/m²
315.6
cd/m²
335
cd/m²
309.4
cd/m²
335.3
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro Basic 2
Maximum: 342.6 cd/m² Average: 324.3 cd/m² Minimum: 10.642 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 90 %
Center on Battery: 324.7 cd/m²
Contrast: 806:1 (Black: 0.403 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 2.62 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 2.55 | - Ø
92.3% sRGB (Argyll) 59.4% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll)
Gamma: 2.11
Aorus X5S v5
15.6, 3840x2160
Aorus X5
15.6, 2880x1620
HP ZBook 15 G3
15.6, 1920x1080
MSI GS60-6QE4K16H21
15.6, 3840x2160
Dell XPS 15-9550 i7
15.6, 3840x2160
Response Times
-10%
199%
-19%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
41.2 (20, 21.2)
54 (24.4, 29.6)
-31%
40 (12, 28)
3%
58 (21, 37)
-41%
Response Time Black / White *
36 (17.2, 18.8)
35.6 (11.6, 24)
1%
26 (8, 18)
28%
35 (12, 23)
3%
PWM Frequency
198 (20)
198 (95)
0%
1316 (20)
565%
Screen
-18%
-33%
-57%
-13%
Brightness
324
317
-2%
289
-11%
197
-39%
344
6%
Brightness Distribution
90
87
-3%
85
-6%
78
-13%
90
0%
Black Level *
0.403
0.553
-37%
0.34
16%
0.49
-22%
0.38
6%
Contrast
806
586
-27%
900
12%
433
-46%
950
18%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
2.62
3.53
-35%
5.1
-95%
7.8
-198%
5.34
-104%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
2.55
3.12
-22%
7.4
-190%
5.23
-105%
4.84
-90%
Gamma
2.11 114%
2.28 105%
2.37 101%
3.05 79%
2.21 109%
CCT
7000 93%
6600 98%
7263 89%
6693 97%
7395 88%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
59.4
55.4
-7%
63
6%
50
-16%
89
50%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
92.3
85.2
-8%
95
3%
80
-13%
100
8%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-18% / -18%
-22% / -27%
71% / 13%
-16% / -14%

* ... smaller is better

Color coverage is a measured 92.3 percent and 59.4 percent of the sRGB and AdobeRGB standards, respectively. This is indicative of a high-end panel at work and is actually quite similar to the 3K panel as found on the X5. Competing models like the GS60 cover a narrower gamut while a few others like the XPS 15 9550 aim for the wider AdobeRGB gamut. Though good for digital artists, the deeper colors aren't necessarily more important than other factors like response times for gaming purposes.

vs. AdobeRGB
vs. AdobeRGB
vs. sRGB
vs. sRGB
vs. Aorus X5
vs. Aorus X5
vs. XPS 15 9550
vs. XPS 15 9550

Color analyses with an X-Rite spectrophotometer reveal very accurate colors and grayscale without any calibration needed. A quick calibration will improve all properties just slightly. The panel here is already more accurate than most other notebooks out-of-the-box.

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

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
36 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 17.2 ms rise
↘ 18.8 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 90 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (26.7 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
41.2 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 20 ms rise
↘ 21.2 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 50 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (42.8 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 198 Hz20 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 198 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 20 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 198 Hz is relatively low, so sensitive users will likely notice flickering and experience eyestrain at the stated brightness setting and below.

In comparison: 57 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 6668 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Outdoor visibility is average at best. The display backlight was not designed to be powerful enough to overcome outdoor ambient lighting and glare despite the matte panel. Thus, users will be treated to a washed out screen with hard-to-see content especially if not scaled correctly against the high native resolution.

Viewing angles are excellent as expected from an IPS panel. Colors and contrast do not significantly degrade even if viewing from extreme angles. Apparent brightness drops only slightly if not looking directly in front of the display.

Outdoors on overcast day
Outdoors 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

Aside from the obvious GPU changes, jumping from the X5 to the X5S brings the system up from Broadwell to Skylake and from DDR3 to DDR4 for up to double the maximum RAM. The X5S carries Optimus and no G-Sync for graphics switching with the integrated HD Graphics 530. The opposite is true on the older X5 model where G-Sync comes standard with no Optimus options since the two technologies are still mutually exclusive as of this writing.

Processor

CPU performance from the i7-6700HQ is where we expect it to be for a processor of its class. Thus, performance advantages against the previous generation i7-5700HQ or even i7-4700HQ are minimal since the generational gaps between them are more defined by the jumps in integrated GPU performance rather than raw CPU power. A "proper" desktop i7-6700K is still roughly 20 to 30 percent faster than the Core i7-6700HQ according to CineBench benchmarks while having over twice the TDP (45 W vs. 91 W).

See our dedicated CPU page on the Core i7-6700HQ for more information and benchmarks.

CineBench R10 32-bit
CineBench R10 32-bit
CineBench R11.5 64-bit
CineBench R11.5 64-bit
CineBench R15
CineBench R15
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Aorus X5S v5
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
138 Points ∼71%
DogHouse Systems Mobius SS
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700K, Samsung SSD 850 EVO 1TB
166 Points ∼85% +20%
MSI GT72S 6QE-071PL
GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK, 2x Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ128G8NU (RAID 0)
154 Points ∼79% +12%
MSI GE62 2QC-468XPL
GeForce GTX 960M, 5700HQ, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
144 Points ∼74% +4%
Clevo P150SM-A
GeForce GTX 870M, 4700MQ, Crucial MX100 256 GB
135 Points ∼69% -2%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Aorus X5S v5
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
681 Points ∼32%
DogHouse Systems Mobius SS
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700K, Samsung SSD 850 EVO 1TB
865 Points ∼40% +27%
MSI GT72S 6QE-071PL
GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK, 2x Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ128G8NU (RAID 0)
710 Points ∼33% +4%
MSI GE62 2QC-468XPL
GeForce GTX 960M, 5700HQ, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
719 Points ∼33% +6%
Clevo P150SM-A
GeForce GTX 870M, 4700MQ, Crucial MX100 256 GB
644 Points ∼30% -5%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Aorus X5S v5
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
1.64 Points ∼74%
DogHouse Systems Mobius SS
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700K, Samsung SSD 850 EVO 1TB
1.91 Points ∼86% +16%
MSI GT72S 6QE-071PL
GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK, 2x Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ128G8NU (RAID 0)
1.74 Points ∼79% +6%
MSI GE62 2QC-468XPL
GeForce GTX 960M, 5700HQ, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
1.68 Points ∼76% +2%
Clevo P150SM-A
GeForce GTX 870M, 4700MQ, Crucial MX100 256 GB
1.5 Points ∼68% -9%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Aorus X5S v5
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
7.47 Points ∼31%
DogHouse Systems Mobius SS
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700K, Samsung SSD 850 EVO 1TB
9.56 Points ∼40% +28%
MSI GT72S 6QE-071PL
GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK, 2x Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ128G8NU (RAID 0)
7.74 Points ∼32% +4%
MSI GE62 2QC-468XPL
GeForce GTX 960M, 5700HQ, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
7.96 Points ∼33% +7%
Clevo P150SM-A
GeForce GTX 870M, 4700MQ, Crucial MX100 256 GB
6.99 Points ∼29% -6%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Single 32Bit (sort by value)
Aorus X5S v5
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
5432 Points ∼61%
DogHouse Systems Mobius SS
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700K, Samsung SSD 850 EVO 1TB
6487 Points ∼73% +19%
MSI GT72S 6QE-071PL
GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK, 2x Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ128G8NU (RAID 0)
5648 Points ∼64% +4%
MSI GE62 2QC-468XPL
GeForce GTX 960M, 5700HQ, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
5567 Points ∼63% +2%
Clevo P150SM-A
GeForce GTX 870M, 4700MQ, Crucial MX100 256 GB
5007 Points ∼56% -8%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit (sort by value)
Aorus X5S v5
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
20324 Points ∼41%
DogHouse Systems Mobius SS
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700K, Samsung SSD 850 EVO 1TB
26150 Points ∼53% +29%
MSI GT72S 6QE-071PL
GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK, 2x Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ128G8NU (RAID 0)
21181 Points ∼43% +4%
MSI GE62 2QC-468XPL
GeForce GTX 960M, 5700HQ, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
21681 Points ∼44% +7%
Clevo P150SM-A
GeForce GTX 870M, 4700MQ, Crucial MX100 256 GB
19019 Points ∼38% -6%
wPrime 2.0x - 1024m (sort by value)
Aorus X5S v5
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
229.514 s * ∼3%
DogHouse Systems Mobius SS
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700K, Samsung SSD 850 EVO 1TB
178.464 s * ∼2% +22%
MSI GT72S 6QE-071PL
GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK, 2x Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ128G8NU (RAID 0)
222.663 s * ∼3% +3%
MSI GE62 2QC-468XPL
GeForce GTX 960M, 5700HQ, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
206.294 s * ∼2% +10%
Clevo P150SM-A
GeForce GTX 870M, 4700MQ, Crucial MX100 256 GB
240.126 s * ∼3% -5%
Super Pi Mod 1.5 XS 32M - --- (sort by value)
Aorus X5S v5
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
565.023 Seconds * ∼3%
DogHouse Systems Mobius SS
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700K, Samsung SSD 850 EVO 1TB
498.33 Seconds * ∼2% +12%
MSI GT72S 6QE-071PL
GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK, 2x Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ128G8NU (RAID 0)
542.505 Seconds * ∼2% +4%
MSI GE62 2QC-468XPL
GeForce GTX 960M, 5700HQ, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
573.691 Seconds * ∼3% -2%
Clevo P150SM-A
GeForce GTX 870M, 4700MQ, Crucial MX100 256 GB
564.976 Seconds * ∼3% -0%

* ... smaller is better

Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
6840
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
20324
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
5432
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
61.36 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
7.47 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.64 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.6 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
99.51 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
681 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
138 Points
Help

System Performance

PCMark 8 ranks the X5S in the same ballpark as other gaming systems equipped with a similar CPU and GPU. The exception is the recent Asus G752VY, which ranks unusually high in the same benchmark tests. The original Aorus X5 returns higher scores as well. In practice, however, the system is responsive and without any noticeable hiccups. We experienced no hardware or software issues specific to the Aorus during our time with the notebook.

PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 8 Creative Accelerated
PCMark 8 Creative Accelerated
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Aorus X5S v5
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
3937 Points ∼60%
Asus G752VY-RH71
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB m.2 NVMe
5535 Points ∼85% +41%
Aorus X5
GeForce GTX 965M SLI, 5700HQ, 2x Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G (RAID 0)
4578 Points ∼70% +16%
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZ-VLV256D
5011 Points ∼77% +27%
Gigabyte P35X v5
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e
3999 Points ∼61% +2%
Creative Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Aorus X5S v5
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
4747 Points ∼51%
Asus G752VY-RH71
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB m.2 NVMe
7127 Points ∼77% +50%
Aorus X5
GeForce GTX 965M SLI, 5700HQ, 2x Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G (RAID 0)
5270 Points ∼57% +11%
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZ-VLV256D
4541 Points ∼49% -4%
Home Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Aorus X5S v5
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
3260 Points ∼55%
Asus G752VY-RH71
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB m.2 NVMe
5026 Points ∼84% +54%
Aorus X5
GeForce GTX 965M SLI, 5700HQ, 2x Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G (RAID 0)
4317 Points ∼72% +32%
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZ-VLV256D
3822 Points ∼64% +17%
Gigabyte P35X v5
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e
3301 Points ∼55% +1%
MSI GS60-6QE4K16H21
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Hynix HFS256G3MND
3134 Points ∼52% -4%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3260 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
4747 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
3937 points
Help

Storage Devices

Free M.2 slots adjacent to the heat pipes
Free M.2 slots adjacent to the heat pipes

Users get a total of four storage bays (3x M.2 2280, 1x 2.5-inch SATA III) with NVMe speeds available on the first M.2 slot. This is an upgrade from the original X5, which was limited to SATA III transfer rates. Our data below shows that a single NVMe drive in the X5S can already outperform two SATA III SSDs in RAID 0. Competing models like the GS60 or Predator 15 tend to offer fewer internal storage bays than the X5S.

Performance from the NVMe Samsung SSD is significantly faster than on notebooks with only the SATA III interface. More high-end gaming notebooks and multimedia notebooks like the Asus UX501 or XPS 15 9550 are incorporating the new interface standard due to its performance advantages. Meanwhile, the 7200 RPM Hitachi HDD provides a fast average transfer rate of just under 119 MB/s according to HD Tune.

See our growing list of HDDs and SSDs for more comparisons and benchmarks.

April 25, 2016 update: Aorus has informed us that RAID support has been brought back in a new BIOS update for the X5S.

AS SSD (Primary SSD)
AS SSD (Primary SSD)
CDM (Primary SSD)
CDM (Primary SSD)
CDM (Secondary HDD)
CDM (Secondary HDD)
PCMark 8 Storage
PCMark 8 Storage
HD Tune (Secondary HDD)
HD Tune (Secondary HDD)
 
Aorus X5S v5
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
Aorus X5
GeForce GTX 965M SLI, 5700HQ, 2x Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G (RAID 0)
HP ZBook 15 G3
Quadro M2000M, E3-1505M v5, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
MSI GS60-6QE4K16H21
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Hynix HFS256G3MND
Acer Predator 15 G9-591-74ZV
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Lite-On CV1-8B256
AS SSD
-16%
19%
-71%
-53%
Copy Game MB/s
688.13
704.67
2%
1023.44
49%
348.42
-49%
Copy Program MB/s
357.91
327.54
-8%
584.65
63%
243.65
-32%
Copy ISO MB/s
1319.2
894.17
-32%
1493.7
13%
391.34
-70%
Score Total
2433
1618
-33%
2495
3%
998
-59%
826
-66%
Score Write
509
730
43%
548
8%
352
-31%
316
-38%
Score Read
1298
584
-55%
1302
0%
425
-67%
337
-74%
Access Time Write *
0.032
0.046
-44%
0.024
25%
0.112
-250%
0.05
-56%
Access Time Read *
0.049
0.051
-4%
0.031
37%
0.089
-82%
0.063
-29%
4K-64 Write
290.77
564.83
94%
257.01
-12%
232.18
-20%
212.31
-27%
4K-64 Read
1059.36
457.79
-57%
1065.76
1%
344.68
-67%
257.36
-76%
4K Write
115.91
79.69
-31%
173.07
49%
80.95
-30%
71.49
-38%
4K Read
45.81
32.68
-29%
52.51
15%
28.77
-37%
28.16
-39%
Seq Write
1018.58
856.91
-16%
1180.74
16%
389.33
-62%
324.1
-68%
Seq Read
1924.85
931.84
-52%
1841.21
-4%
516.42
-73%
512.56
-73%

* ... smaller is better

Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
Transfer Rate Minimum: 73 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 151.6 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 118.9 MB/s
Access Time: 15.4 ms
Burst Rate: 174.9 MB/s
CPU Usage: 4.1 %

GPU Performance

3DMark 11 and Fire Strike Graphics rank the GTX 980M in the Aorus X5S comfortably in between the GTX 970M and GTX 965M SLI. The GTX 980 is even faster by 30 to 40 percent while the GTX 965M SLI is ahead by only about 10 to 20 percent.

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
1280x720 Performance GPU (sort by value)
Aorus X5S v5
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
12197 Points ∼24%
Eurocom Sky DLX7
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700K, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
17109 Points ∼34% +40%
Aorus X5
GeForce GTX 965M SLI, 5700HQ, 2x Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G (RAID 0)
14428 Points ∼28% +18%
Gigabyte P57W
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
9713 Points ∼19% -20%
Alienware 15 (R9 M295X)
Radeon R9 M295X, 4710HQ, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-75JC3T0
8234 Points ∼16% -32%
1280x720 Performance (sort by value)
Aorus X5S v5
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
11055 Points ∼39%
Eurocom Sky DLX7
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700K, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
15273 Points ∼53% +38%
Aorus X5
GeForce GTX 965M SLI, 5700HQ, 2x Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G (RAID 0)
11638 Points ∼41% +5%
Gigabyte P57W
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
9363 Points ∼33% -15%
Alienware 15 (R9 M295X)
Radeon R9 M295X, 4710HQ, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-75JC3T0
7943 Points ∼28% -28%
3DMark
3840x2160 Fire Strike Ultra Graphics (sort by value)
Aorus X5S v5
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
2212 Points ∼22%
Eurocom Sky DLX7
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700K, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
3046 Points ∼30% +38%
Alienware 15 (R9 M295X)
Radeon R9 M295X, 4710HQ, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-75JC3T0
1494 Points ∼15% -32%
Fire Strike Extreme Combined (sort by value)
Aorus X5S v5
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
1987 Points ∼23%
Eurocom Sky DLX7
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700K, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
2693 Points ∼31% +36%
Aorus X5
GeForce GTX 965M SLI, 5700HQ, 2x Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G (RAID 0)
1646 Points ∼19% -17%
Fire Strike Extreme Graphics (sort by value)
Aorus X5S v5
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
4426 Points ∼27%
Eurocom Sky DLX7
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700K, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
6109 Points ∼37% +38%
Aorus X5
GeForce GTX 965M SLI, 5700HQ, 2x Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G (RAID 0)
4892 Points ∼30% +11%
Fire Strike Extreme Score (sort by value)
Aorus X5S v5
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
4248 Points ∼30%
Eurocom Sky DLX7
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700K, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
5829 Points ∼42% +37%
Aorus X5
GeForce GTX 965M SLI, 5700HQ, 2x Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G (RAID 0)
4366 Points ∼31% +3%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Combined (sort by value)
Aorus X5S v5
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
3675 Points ∼30%
Eurocom Sky DLX7
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700K, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
5008 Points ∼41% +36%
Aorus X5
GeForce GTX 965M SLI, 5700HQ, 2x Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G (RAID 0)
2520 Points ∼21% -31%
Gigabyte P57W
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
2807 Points ∼23% -24%
Alienware 15 (R9 M295X)
Radeon R9 M295X, 4710HQ, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-75JC3T0
2434 Points ∼20% -34%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics (sort by value)
Aorus X5S v5
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
9441 Points ∼23%
Eurocom Sky DLX7
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700K, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
12977 Points ∼32% +37%
Aorus X5
GeForce GTX 965M SLI, 5700HQ, 2x Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G (RAID 0)
10207 Points ∼25% +8%
Gigabyte P57W
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
7489 Points ∼18% -21%
Alienware 15 (R9 M295X)
Radeon R9 M295X, 4710HQ, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-75JC3T0
6414 Points ∼16% -32%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Score (sort by value)
Aorus X5S v5
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
8179 Points ∼35%
Eurocom Sky DLX7
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700K, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
11183 Points ∼48% +37%
Aorus X5
GeForce GTX 965M SLI, 5700HQ, 2x Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G (RAID 0)
7815 Points ∼33% -4%
Gigabyte P57W
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
6619 Points ∼28% -19%
Alienware 15 (R9 M295X)
Radeon R9 M295X, 4710HQ, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-75JC3T0
5727 Points ∼24% -30%
3DMark 11 Performance
11055 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
52105 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
18711 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
8179 points
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme Score
4248 points
Help

Gaming Performance

While the synthetic 3DMark benchmarks show that the GTX 965M SLI is marginally faster than a single GTX 980M in raw horsepower, real-world games typically favor single GPU systems since they introduce no scaling issues. Indeed, the Aorus X5S will sometimes outperform the GTX 965M SLI depending on the title.

As for native 4K gaming, it's going to take more than a single GTX 980M to run modern titles at acceptable frame rates without first turning down graphical features to Medium or below. In this case, a 2K or 3K option for the X5S may not have been a bad idea. As mentioned earlier, G-Sync is unfortunately not supported on the X5S where it would have paired up very nicely with the 4K UHD panel.

See our dedicated GPU page on the GTX 980M for more benchmarks and comparisons.

Thief - 1920x1080 Very High Preset AA:FXAA & High SS AF:8x
Eurocom Sky DLX7
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700K, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
86.5 fps ∼100% +39%
Aorus X5S v5
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
62.1 fps ∼72%
Aorus X5
GeForce GTX 965M SLI, 5700HQ, 2x Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G (RAID 0)
60.1 fps ∼69% -3%
Aorus X3 Plus v5
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
46.5 fps ∼54% -25%
Alienware 15 (R9 M295X)
Radeon R9 M295X, 4710HQ, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-75JC3T0
32.2 fps ∼37% -48%
Sleeping Dogs - 1920x1080 Extreme Preset AA:Extreme
Eurocom Sky DLX7
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700K, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
82.5 fps ∼100% +41%
Aorus X5
GeForce GTX 965M SLI, 5700HQ, 2x Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G (RAID 0)
62.8 fps ∼76% +7%
Aorus X5S v5
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
58.6 fps ∼71%
Aorus X3 Plus v5
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
45 fps ∼55% -23%
BioShock Infinite - 1920x1080 Ultra Preset, DX11 (DDOF)
Eurocom Sky DLX7
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700K, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
124.4 fps ∼100% +43%
Aorus X5
GeForce GTX 965M SLI, 5700HQ, 2x Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G (RAID 0)
93.1 fps ∼75% +7%
Aorus X5S v5
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
87 fps ∼70%
Aorus X3 Plus v5
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
71.8 fps ∼58% -17%
Alienware 15 (R9 M295X)
Radeon R9 M295X, 4710HQ, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-75JC3T0
65.4 fps ∼53% -25%
Metro: Last Light - 1920x1080 Very High (DX11) AF:16x
Aorus X5S v5
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
66.5 fps ∼100%
Aorus X5
GeForce GTX 965M SLI, 5700HQ, 2x Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G (RAID 0)
56.9 fps ∼86% -14%
Aorus X3 Plus v5
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
53.6 fps ∼81% -19%
Alienware 15 (R9 M295X)
Radeon R9 M295X, 4710HQ, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-75JC3T0
42.6 fps ∼64% -36%
Batman: Arkham Knight
3840x2160 High / On (Interactive Smoke & Paper Debris Off) AA:SM AF:8x
Eurocom Sky DLX7
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700K, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
31 fps ∼100% +63%
Aorus X5S v5
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
19 fps ∼61%
1920x1080 High / On AA:SM AF:16x
Eurocom Sky DLX7
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700K, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
69 fps ∼100% +44%
Aorus X5S v5
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
48 fps ∼70%
Aorus X5
GeForce GTX 965M SLI, 5700HQ, 2x Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G (RAID 0)
27 fps ∼39% -44%
Fallout 4
3840x2160 High Preset AA:T AF:16x
Aorus X5S v5
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
23.5 fps ∼100%
1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:T AF:16x
Aorus X5S v5
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
55.3 fps ∼100%
Aorus X3 Plus v5
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
42.4 fps ∼77% -23%
Rise of the Tomb Raider
3840x2160 High Preset AA:FX AF:4x
Aorus X5S v5
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
22.4 fps ∼100%
1920x1080 Very High Preset AA:FX AF:16x
Aorus X5S v5
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
47.1 fps ∼100%
low med. high ultra4K
Sleeping Dogs (2012) 136.558.6fps
BioShock Infinite (2013) 156.687fps
Metro: Last Light (2013) 109.966.5fps
Thief (2014) 91.262.1fps
Batman: Arkham Knight (2015) 754819fps
Metal Gear Solid V (2015) 606033.4fps
Fallout 4 (2015) 58.855.323.5fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 58.247.122.4fps

Stress Test

The Core i7-6700HQ is able to maintain its rated 3.1 GHz maximum for all active cores when under Prime95 stress and even simultaneous Prime95+FurMark stress. Core temperature averages about 80 C while the GPU settles at even higher temperatures nearing 90 C.

Running Unigine Heaven is more representative of gaming loads. Consistent CPU Turbo is not required under these conditions, so the core fluctuates at much lower temperatures in the 45 to 60 C range depending on the onscreen demand. The GPU maintains a maximum Boost speed of 1126 MHz (against a base clock speed of 1038 MHz) with core temperatures in the very warm mid 80 C range.

Running on batteries will limit GPU power while having only a minimal impact on the CPU. A 3DMark 11 benchmark run on battery power returned Physics and Graphics scores of 8303 points and 9977 points, respectively, compared to 8746 points and 12197 points when on mains.

Prime95 stress
Prime95 stress
FurMark stress
FurMark stress
Prime95+FurMark stress
Prime95+FurMark stress
Unigine Heaven stress
Unigine Heaven stress

CPU Clock (GHz) GPU Clock (MHz) Average CPU Temperature (C) Average GPU Temperature (C)

Prime95 Stress

3.1 -- ~80 --

FurMark Stress

-- 860 -- ~87

Prime95 + FurMark Stress

3.1 810 ~78 ~86

Unigine Heaven Stress

2.4+ 1126 ~47 ~83

Emissions

System Noise

Fan noise (White: Background, Red: System idle, Blue: Unigine Heaven, Green: Prime95+FurMark)
Fan noise (White: Background, Red: System idle, Blue: Unigine Heaven, Green: Prime95+FurMark)

The altered cooling system still utilizes the same 50 mm fans as the X5 with similar fan behavior. The fans never idle and are always audible even when on the Power Saver profile. Fan speed increases in discrete steps in response to onscreen demand; We were able to record a steady fan noise of about 50 dB(A) when running Unigine Heaven and 54 dB(A) when running both Prime95 and FurMark simultaneously.

Compared to other notebooks, the 50 dB(A) range when gaming is quite loud and can be bothersome without earphones. Competing notebooks with the same GTX 980M GPU like the Asus G752 or Eurocom P5 Pro tend to hover in the low to mid 40 dB(A) range under the same conditions, albeit such systems tend to be much thicker and larger as well. In short, Gigabyte and Aorus are notorious for offering very thin and lightweight gaming notebooks at the cost of fan noise and heat.

50 mm GPU fan
50 mm GPU fan
50 mm CPU fan
50 mm CPU fan
Aorus X5S v5
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
Aorus X5
GeForce GTX 965M SLI, 5700HQ, 2x Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G (RAID 0)
HP ZBook 15 G3
Quadro M2000M, E3-1505M v5, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
MSI GS60-6QE4K16H21
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Hynix HFS256G3MND
Acer Predator 15 G9-591-74ZV
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Lite-On CV1-8B256
Noise
3%
8%
2%
2%
off / environment *
28.3
30
-6%
Idle Minimum *
34.3
32.5
5%
30
13%
35
-2%
31
10%
Idle Average *
34.4
32.6
5%
30
13%
36
-5%
32
7%
Idle Maximum *
34.4
34.4
-0%
30
13%
37
-8%
42
-22%
Load Average *
50
44
12%
45.3
9%
40
20%
47
6%
Load Maximum *
54
56.8
-5%
49.7
8%
50
7%
48
11%

* ... smaller is better

Noise Level

Idle
34.3 / 34.4 / 34.4 dB(A)
Load
50 / 54 dB(A)
 
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   BK Precision 732A (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 28.3 dB(A)

Temperature

Surface temperatures are flat when idling and slightly warmer towards the center of the keyboard since the processors are positioned directly underneath. Running on maximum load will warm up the center areas of the notebook with the GPU side being warmer than the CPU side. When taken as an average, the X5S isn't significantly warmer or cooler than the Predator 15 or Alienware 15, but still much cooler than the X5 and super-thin MSI GS60 under similar stress testing conditions. The palm rests and frontal quadrants remain relatively cool since only the battery and HDD take up this space.

Maximum stress (Top)
Maximum stress (Top)
Maximum stress (Bottom)
Maximum stress (Bottom)
Max. Load
 45 °C57.6 °C38.8 °C 
 42.2 °C44 °C34.8 °C 
 34.4 °C30.2 °C31.2 °C 
Maximum: 57.6 °C
Average: 39.8 °C
44.2 °C46.8 °C53 °C
39.6 °C46.2 °C46.8 °C
35.8 °C39 °C39.2 °C
Maximum: 53 °C
Average: 43.4 °C
Power Supply (max.)  52.2 °C | Room Temperature 23 °C | Fluke 62 Mini IR Thermometer

Speakers

The 2.1 speakers with dedicated 2 W subwoofer give the same quality sound as on the original X5. That is, the subwoofer provides a small level of bass for a better balance compared to systems with only a stereo setup. Earphones are still recommended for gaming due to the loud fan noise and it would have been nice if the X5S had included a dedicated SPDIF port for optical out capabilities.

1.5 W speaker on bottom front corner next to HDD
1.5 W speaker on bottom front corner next to HDD
(Red: System idle, Pink: Pink noise, Green: White noise)
(Red: System idle, Pink: Pink noise, Green: White noise)

Energy Management

Power Consumption

Power demand from the X5S is very high and noticeably more demanding than other GTX 980M notebooks including the Predator 15 and Alienware 15 R2. In particular, the system is wasteful and draws more than 9 W of power even when turned completely off. The system demands around 130 W when gaming.

Maximum load with Prime95 and FurMark will entail about 216 W of power. The power adapter itself measures roughly 17 x 9.5 x 2.5 cm.

Aorus X5S v5
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
HP ZBook 15 G3
Quadro M2000M, E3-1505M v5, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
MSI GS60-6QE4K16H21
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Hynix HFS256G3MND
Dell XPS 15-9550 i7
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
Acer Predator 15 G9-591-74ZV
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Lite-On CV1-8B256
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZ-VLV256D
Power Consumption
54%
27%
38%
36%
34%
Idle Minimum *
27.4
5.7
79%
17
38%
12.5
54%
12
56%
11.4
58%
Idle Average *
30.7
12.2
60%
22
28%
19.6
36%
16
48%
16.5
46%
Idle Maximum *
31.2
12.6
60%
28
10%
22.8
27%
22
29%
22
29%
Load Average *
130.4
83.1
36%
91
30%
102
22%
100
23%
94.2
28%
Load Maximum *
216.6
138.2
36%
149
31%
107
51%
162
25%
192.2
11%

* ... smaller is better

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 9.35 / 9.48 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 27.4 / 30.7 / 31.2 Watt
Load midlight 130.4 / 216.6 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy

Battery Life

The move from SLI to a single GPU setup has made no changes to the 73.26 Wh battery capacity. As expected, battery life is significantly longer than the X5 since there are no longer two GPUs to power. Even so, overall runtimes are below average and shorter than 4 hours when under WLAN conditions. Other 15-inch notebooks with discrete GPUs tend to run for longer including the XPS 15 9550 and Acer Predator 15.

Charging from near empty to full capacity will take roughly 2 to 2.5 hours.

Maximum runtime (Reader's Test)
Maximum runtime (Reader's Test)
Minimum runtime (Classic Test)
Minimum runtime (Classic Test)
WLAN runtime
WLAN runtime
Aorus X5S v5
73 Wh
Aorus X5
73 Wh
HP ZBook 15 G3
90 Wh
MSI GS60-6QE4K16H21
47 Wh
Dell XPS 15 2016 9550
56 Wh
Acer Predator 15 G9-591-74ZV
90 Wh
Battery Runtime
-29%
90%
-29%
65%
76%
Reader / Idle
313
165
-47%
822
163%
213
-32%
544
74%
670
114%
WiFi v1.3
223
112
-50%
386
73%
157
-30%
332
49%
Load
82
91
11%
110
34%
61
-26%
140
71%
113
38%
Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
5h 13min
WiFi Surfing v1.3
3h 43min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 22min

Pros

+ DDR4, HDMI 2.0, NVMe SSD, USB Type-C Gen. 2
+ high quality matte panel with accurate colors; high sRGB coverage
+ strong performance under stress; no throttling
+ improved matte touchpad with better gliding
+ RAID support (after BIOS update)
+ Nvidia Optimus now standard
+ unique and sleek design
+ dedicated Macro keys
+ 4x storage bays

Cons

- high power consumption even when idling or in Sleep mode
- PWM utilization at very low brightness settings
- fewer HDMI and USB Type-A ports than X5
- loud fan noise when idling and gaming
- high core and surface temperatures
- inconsistent touchpad performance
- only 4K UHD
- no more G-Sync

Verdict

In review: Aorus X5S v5. Test model provided by Aorus.
In review: Aorus X5S v5. Test model provided by Aorus.

The Aorus X5S is a sizable leap over the X5, but not without taking a few small steps back in the process. All the new upgrades are no doubt appreciated including DDR4, NVMe, USB Type-C, and the move from GTX 965M SLI to a single GTX 980M. The latter in particular proves that there's little to no reason to opt for a weaker SLI setup when gaming on one stronger GPU can deliver comparable results. It's hard to recommend the X5 over the X5S for this reason alone.

While battery life is up and surface temperatures are down as a direct result from the GPU changes, other factors like fan noise have not improved and can still be loud enough to be distracting when gaming. More display options like 2K or 3K resolutions with G-Sync support could have made for a more balanced notebook considering the GTX 980M GPU. For future iterations, we would like to see improvements on the keyboard and touchpad and on other characteristics like case rigidity, backlight bleeding, response times, and system noise.

Packing a GTX 980M in a thin 15.6-inch chassis entails some sacrifices including louder fan noise and a weaker case. Users who absolutely do not want larger and heavier gaming notebooks will find a lot to like about the Aorus X5S as long as they are aware of its drawbacks.

Aorus X5S v5 - 05/04/2016 v5.1
Allen Ngo

Chassis
78 / 98 → 79%
Keyboard
83%
Pointing Device
72%
Connectivity
53 / 81 → 65%
Weight
60 / 66 → 89%
Battery
73%
Display
91%
Games Performance
91%
Application Performance
91%
Temperature
84 / 95 → 88%
Noise
62 / 90 → 69%
Audio
80%
Camera
50 / 85 → 59%
Average
74%
82%
Gaming - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Aorus X5S v5 Notebook Review
Allen Ngo, 2016-04-25 (Update: 2016-04-25)
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.