Notebookcheck

Aorus X7 Pro v5 Notebook Review

Florian Glaser, Stefanie Voigt (translated by Liala Stieglitz), 04/01/2016

Performance artist. The fifth edition of Aorus' X7 is one of the strongest and yet slimmest gaming laptops on the market. Find out in our test report whether the manufacturer has this combination well under control or whether the cooling system is pushed to its limits.

For the original German review, see here.

Following Aorus X7 Pro v3 that was equipped with a Core i7-4870HQ Haswell processor, and the  not yet reviewed X7 Pro v4 based on Intel's Broadwell architecture (Core i7-5850HQ), the parent company Gigabyte now presents the fifth iteration of its 17-inch premium laptops. The X7 Pro v5 can boast with a quad-core model from the latest Skylake generation. The power of the Core i7-6820HK promises enough power to not slow down the SLI array composed of two GTX 970M chips. 16 GB of DDR4 RAM (2x 8 GB @2133 MHz) and a mix of a 512 GB SSD and 1000 GB HDD are also generous. A matte IPS panel with 1920x1080 pixels rounds of the bundle. Too bad: The 17-inch laptop is not sold in any German shops yet.

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Aorus X7 Pro v5 (X7 Series)
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M SLI - 2x 6144 MB, Core: 924 MHz, Memory: 2500 MHz, GDDR5, ForceWare 359.33 (364.72 für Games)
Memory
16384 MB 
, 2x 8 GB DDR4-2133, 2 of 4 slots filled, max. 64 GB
Display
17.3 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 127 PPI, LG Philips LP173WF4-SPD1 (LGD046C), IPS, Full HD, G-Sync, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel Sunrise Point HM170
Storage
Samsung SM951 MZVPV512 m.2 PCI-e, 512 GB 
, SSD + HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630, 1000 GB HDD @ 7200 rpm; slots: 1x 2.5", 3x M.2 PCIe/NVMe
Soundcard
Realtek ALC255 @ Intel Sunrise Point PCH - High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
3 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 USB 3.1 Gen2, 1 VGA, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: headphone, microphone, Card Reader: SD, Brightness Sensor, 1 surround jack
Networking
Qualcomm Killer e2200 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller (10/100/1000/2500/5000MBit/s), Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260 (a/b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5), Bluetooth 4.2
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 25 x 428 x 305 ( = 0.98 x 16.85 x 12.01 in)
Battery
94.24 Wh Lithium-Polymer
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: HD
Additional features
Speakers: 2 speakers + 2 subwoofers, Keyboard: chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, 230 watt power supply; accessories: polishing cloth, USB flash drive with drivers, warranty card, multilingual manual, software: Adobe Reader XI, CyberLink PowerDVD 12, Killer Performance Suite, MS Office 365 trial, various manufacturer tools, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
3.264 kg ( = 115.13 oz / 7.2 pounds), Power Supply: 782 g ( = 27.58 oz / 1.72 pounds)
Price
2300 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

What's New

Fundamentally, the X7 Pro v5 is very similar to the previous review sample, with minor differences in some places. For example, the elegant Aorus logo now adorns the relatively sensitive touchpad. The casing's underside and the interfaces have also been reworked. As appropriate for a modern gaming platform, the 17-inch device is now equipped with an HDMI 2.0 port (4K @60Hz) and a USB 3.0 port (but without Thunderbolt).

The most important innovation is the support for Nvidia's G-Sync technology that is a further development of the classic V-Sync, which ensures a more stable image without screen tearing. However, G-Sync was disabled in the benchmarks in order to  retrieve the maximum from the system. We selected the fan management in the "Command & Control" according to the application scenario (Quiet = idle; Gaming = load).

Talking about tools, Aorus once again, provides a lot of useful software: In addition to Command & Control that enables tuning the keyboard backlight and image color ("Color Gerent") as well as hardware monitoring ("System Gauge"), the tools "Macro Engine" and "Drivers Update" should be mentioned. The latter two allow configuring the dedicated macro section (five extra keys in several levels), and - as the name already suggests - a program for updating the components' drivers.

Some innovations are also found under the hood. Instead of DDR3 RAM, DDR4 is used in the fifth revision. Supposedly, now the battery achieves 93 rather than 73 Wh (power supply: 230 v. 200 watts). Aorus has swapped the three mSATA slots for SSD for M.2 slots with PCIe/NVMe technology. We mentioned the processor upgrade in the introduction. Since the X7 Pro's build looks identical to the predecessors, we will skip the Case, Connectivity and Input Device sections, and go directly to the Display. The omitted information can be found in this linked review.

Display

A new screen takes care of video output to make the X7 Pro v5 G-Sync ready. Apart from the slightly lower brightness (~257 vs. 283 cd/m²), LG's Philips LP173WF3-SPD1 mostly does a better job than the former AU Optronics B173HW01 V5.

249
cd/m²
248
cd/m²
264
cd/m²
261
cd/m²
271
cd/m²
267
cd/m²
256
cd/m²
248
cd/m²
246
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
LG Philips LP173WF4-SPD1 (LGD046C)
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 271 cd/m² Average: 256.7 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 91 %
Center on Battery: 271 cd/m²
Contrast: 1178:1 (Black: 0.23 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 4.14 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6
ΔE Greyscale 4 | 0.64-98 Ø6.2
83% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 55% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.43
Aorus X7 Pro v5
LG Philips LP173WF4-SPD1 (LGD046C)
Aorus X5
 
Aorus X7 Pro
AU Optronics B173HW01 V5 (AUO159D)
Eurocom X8
Chi Mei 173HGE
MSI GT80S 6QF
Samsung 184HL (SDC4C48)
Response Times
5%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
35 (13, 22)
35 (14, 21)
-0%
Response Time Black / White *
22 (4, 18)
20 (5, 15)
9%
PWM Frequency
250 (80)
Screen
-12%
-14%
-71%
2%
Brightness middle
271
324.3
20%
318
17%
267.9
-1%
298
10%
Brightness
257
317
23%
283
10%
254
-1%
265
3%
Brightness Distribution
91
87
-4%
82
-10%
78
-14%
78
-14%
Black Level *
0.23
0.553
-140%
0.54
-135%
0.62
-170%
0.35
-52%
Contrast
1178
586
-50%
589
-50%
432
-63%
851
-28%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
4.14
3.53
15%
3.79
8%
10.39
-151%
2.72
34%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
8.11
5.4
33%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
4
3.12
22%
2.35
41%
10.96
-174%
3
25%
Gamma
2.43 91%
2.28 96%
2.37 93%
2.51 88%
2.36 93%
CCT
6558 99%
6600 98%
6775 96%
13449 48%
6995 93%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
55
55.4
1%
58
5%
57
4%
58
5%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
83
85.2
3%
89
7%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-12% / -12%
-14% / -14%
-71% / -71%
4% / 3%

* ... smaller is better

The X7 Pro v3 managed a contrast of only 589:1 compared to the fifth revision's much higher 1178:1. The illumination of now 91% has also increased compared to the former 83% (no backlight bleeding).

CalMAN: Grayscale
CalMan: Grayscale
CalMAN: Grayscale (post calibration)
CalMAN: Grayscale (post calibration)
CalMAN: Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN: Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN: Saturation Sweeps (post calibration)
CalMAN: Saturation Sweeps (post calibration)
CalMAN: ColorChecker
CalMAN: ColorChecker
CalMAN: ColorChecker (post calibration)
CalMAN: ColorChecker (post calibration)
Aorus X7 Pro v5 vs. sRGB (83%)
Aorus X7 Pro v5 vs. sRGB (83%)
Aorus X7 Pro v5 vs. AdobeRGB (55%)
Aorus X7 Pro v5 vs. AdobeRGB (55%)

This is enough for a decent 83% in sRGB and 55% in AdobeRGB color spaces. Professional users needing photo or video editing will probably not be completely satisfied with the 17-inch device. Although the grayscale levels can be optimized via calibration (DeltaE 2000: 0.84 vs. 4.0), yellow and orange tones deviate quite strongly from the ideal value.

Subpixels
Subpixels
Blickwinkel
Viewing angles
Outdoors
Outdoors

There are no reasons for complaint from a gamer's point of view. The image makes a very rich, balanced and differentiated impression - especially since dark scenes are rendered decently thanks to the low black level of 0.23 cd/m².

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
22 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 4 ms rise
↘ 18 ms fall
The screen shows good response rates in our tests, but may be too slow for competitive gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 26 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (24.9 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
35 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 13 ms rise
↘ 22 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. » 28 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (39.7 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 not detected

In comparison: 51 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9314 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Performance

The X7 Pro v5 definitely plays in the major league. Two dedicated graphics cards at a height of 25 millimeters (~1 in)? Quite impressive what Gigabyte has accomplished here. Our benchmarks prove that the other components have also been handpicked.

Processor

While most gaming manufacturers rely on the Core i7-6700HQ (2.6 to 3.5 GHz), the somewhat faster Core i7-6820HK with an 8 rather than 6 MB L3 cache and a clock rate of 2.7 to 3. GHz operates in the X Pro v5. Unfortunately, the optional overclocking to 4.0 GHz did not work in the review sample. Regardless of whether we set the OC Launcher option to 36x or 40x in Command & Control, the CPU ran at a maximum of 3.6 GHz. However, this is easily enough for gaming.

Single-core rendering
Single-core rendering
Multi-core rendering
Multi-core rendering
CPU & GPU load
CPU & GPU load

Unlike the X7 Pro v3, the standard Turbo is fully utilized. The Core i7-6820HK climbed to at least 3.2 GHz in both the Cinebench R15 and Unigine Heaven 3.0 benchmarks. Intel specifies this rate as the maximum clock when four cores are loaded simultaneously.

Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
5653
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
21046
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
8351
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.73 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
7.7 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
69.3 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
150 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
701 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
107.85 fps
Help

Therefore, the X7 Pro v5 does well in the comparison field. According to the CPU tests, the Core i7-6820HK places itself in front of the Core i7-6700HQ by several percent (Alienware 17 R3Acer Predator 17, etc.). Only laptops with a desktop processor (Schenker XMG U716) or additional overclocking (MSI GT80S) can take a lead of over 10%.

Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
MSI GT80S 6QF
Intel Core i7-6820HK
174 Points ∼100% +16%
Schenker XMG U716
Intel Core i7-6700
171 Points ∼98% +14%
Eurocom X8
Intel Core i7-4940MX
157 Points ∼90% +5%
Aorus X7 Pro v5
Intel Core i7-6820HK
150 Points ∼86%
Alienware 17 R3 (A17-9935)
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
146 Points ∼84% -3%
Acer Predator 17 G9-791-75PV
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
137 Points ∼79% -9%
CPU Multi 64Bit
MSI GT80S 6QF
Intel Core i7-6820HK
888 Points ∼100% +27%
Schenker XMG U716
Intel Core i7-6700
791 Points ∼89% +13%
Eurocom X8
Intel Core i7-4940MX
708 Points ∼80% +1%
Aorus X7 Pro v5
Intel Core i7-6820HK
701 Points ∼79%
Alienware 17 R3 (A17-9935)
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
680 Points ∼77% -3%
Acer Predator 17 G9-791-75PV
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
654 Points ∼74% -7%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit
MSI GT80S 6QF
Intel Core i7-6820HK
1.98 Points ∼100% +14%
Schenker XMG U716
Intel Core i7-6700
1.94 Points ∼98% +12%
Eurocom X8
Intel Core i7-4940MX
1.77 Points ∼89% +2%
Aorus X7 Pro v5
Intel Core i7-6820HK
1.73 Points ∼87%
Alienware 17 R3 (A17-9935)
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
1.68 Points ∼85% -3%
Acer Predator 17 G9-791-75PV
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
1.58 Points ∼80% -9%
CPU Multi 64Bit
MSI GT80S 6QF
Intel Core i7-6820HK
9.81 Points ∼100% +27%
Schenker XMG U716
Intel Core i7-6700
8.77 Points ∼89% +14%
Aorus X7 Pro v5
Intel Core i7-6820HK
7.7 Points ∼78%
Eurocom X8
Intel Core i7-4940MX
7.64 Points ∼78% -1%
Alienware 17 R3 (A17-9935)
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
7.5 Points ∼76% -3%
Acer Predator 17 G9-791-75PV
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
7.24 Points ∼74% -6%

System Performance

The system performance falls slightly behind the competition. This is surprising to the extent that the X7 Pro v5 can serve with a lightning fast SSD. Nevertheless, 5816 points in PCMark 7 are still good.

PCMark 7 Score
5816 points
Help
PCMark 7 - Score
MSI GT80S 6QF
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL (RAID 0)
7386 Points ∼100% +27%
Schenker XMG U716
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700, Samsung SM951 MZHPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
7159 Points ∼97% +23%
Eurocom X8
GeForce GTX 980M SLI, 4940MX, Samsung SSD 840 EVO 120GB mSATA
6931 Points ∼94% +19%
Acer Predator 17 G9-791-75PV
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Lite-On CV1-8B256
5991 Points ∼81% +3%
Alienware 17 R3 (A17-9935)
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
5938 Points ∼80% +2%
Aorus X7 Pro v5
GeForce GTX 970M SLI, 6820HK, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512 m.2 PCI-e
5816 Points ∼79%

Storage Devices

CrystalDiskMark confirms that the solid-state drive's performance is outstanding. The Samsung SM951 NVMe is a cutting-edge PCIe model that has a capacity of 512 GB in the case of the X7 Pro v5. The SATA III limit makes a maximum of 1736 MB/s in sequential read and up to 1562 MB/s in sequential write impossible for standard SSDs (500-550 MB/s). Since other tools like the AS SSD still have problems with NVMe drives, it is recommended to update the driver and/or firmware.

The secondary hard drive can be used, should the storage capacity get tight. Aorus is not tight-fisted and integrates the Travelstar 7K1000 by HGST, a fast 1 TB model with 7200 rpm.

Samsung SM951 MZVPV512 m.2 PCI-e
Sequential Read: 1736 MB/s
Sequential Write: 1562 MB/s
512K Read: 1115 MB/s
512K Write: 1560 MB/s
4K Read: 51.87 MB/s
4K Write: 148 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 649.4 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 421.2 MB/s
Aorus X7 Pro v5
Samsung SM951 MZVPV512 m.2 PCI-e
Acer Predator 17 G9-791-75PV
Lite-On CV1-8B256
Alienware 17 R3 (A17-9935)
Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
Schenker XMG U716
Samsung SM951 MZHPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
Eurocom X8
Samsung SSD 840 EVO 120GB mSATA
MSI GT80S 6QF
2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL (RAID 0)
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
-70%
-28%
-10%
-48%
34%
Write 4k
148
42.65
-71%
140.6
-5%
119.5
-19%
111.1
-25%
130.3
-12%
Read 4k
51.87
20.8
-60%
42.59
-18%
44.95
-13%
37.77
-27%
49.38
-5%
Write Seq
1562
357.8
-77%
587.2
-62%
1577
1%
495.4
-68%
2556
64%
Read Seq
1736
484.5
-72%
1263
-27%
1608
-7%
513.6
-70%
3259
88%

Graphics Card

Not much is new in terms of GPU. Like in the X7 Pro v3, two GTX 970Ms by Nvidia take care of pending calculations. The high-end combo slightly outruns the wickedly expensive GTX 980 top model in the synthetic graphic benchmarks. A single GTX 970M is outperformed by 80 to 90% and a GTX 980M by 50 to 70%. Two GTX 980Ms calculate 15 to 30% faster, and an SLI array made of GTX 980 chips has an edge of over 50%.

3DMark 06 Standard
27179 points
3DMark Vantage P Result
36920 points
3DMark 11 Performance
14777 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
102972 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
25241 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
10655 points
Help

Great: Aorus does not use the 3 GB but the 6 GB version of the GTX 970M in the X7 Pro v5, making it more future proof.

3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
MSI GT80S 6QF
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop)
23351 Points ∼100% +64%
Eurocom X8
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M SLI
18400 Points ∼79% +29%
Aorus X7 Pro v5
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M SLI
14231 Points ∼61%
Schenker XMG U716
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop)
12691 Points ∼54% -11%
Alienware 17 R3 (A17-9935)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
9227 Points ∼40% -35%
Acer Predator 17 G9-791-75PV
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
7594 Points ∼33% -47%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Score
MSI GT80S 6QF
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop)
17165 Points ∼100% +61%
Eurocom X8
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M SLI
13181 Points ∼77% +24%
Schenker XMG U716
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop)
10734 Points ∼63% +1%
Aorus X7 Pro v5
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M SLI
10655 Points ∼62%
Alienware 17 R3 (A17-9935)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
8099 Points ∼47% -24%
Acer Predator 17 G9-791-75PV
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
6708 Points ∼39% -37%
3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance GPU
MSI GT80S 6QF
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop)
30045 Points ∼100% +56%
Eurocom X8
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M SLI
22072 Points ∼73% +15%
Aorus X7 Pro v5
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M SLI
19252 Points ∼64%
Schenker XMG U716
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop)
17050 Points ∼57% -11%
Alienware 17 R3 (A17-9935)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
11388 Points ∼38% -41%
Acer Predator 17 G9-791-75PV
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
9902 Points ∼33% -49%
1280x720 Performance
MSI GT80S 6QF
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop)
20055 Points ∼100% +36%
Eurocom X8
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M SLI
16276 Points ∼81% +10%
Aorus X7 Pro v5
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M SLI
14777 Points ∼74%
Schenker XMG U716
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop)
14477 Points ∼72% -2%
Alienware 17 R3 (A17-9935)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
10464 Points ∼52% -29%
Acer Predator 17 G9-791-75PV
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
9529 Points ∼48% -36%
Unigine Heaven 4.0 - Extreme Preset DX11
MSI GT80S 6QF
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop)
129.5 fps ∼100% +58%
Aorus X7 Pro v5
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M SLI
82.1 fps ∼63%
Schenker XMG U716
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop)
78.1 fps ∼60% -5%
Acer Predator 17 G9-791-75PV
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
45.2 fps ∼35% -45%

Gaming Performance

Unfortunately, the SLI array could only partially utilize its potential in gaming practice. The second GPU only accelerated 4 of the 16 tested games ("Mad Max", "Call of Duty Black Ops 3", "Fallout 4", "Assassin's Creed Syndicate"). The reason is the outdated driver that is probably from 2015. Although we replaced the preloaded 359.33 version with the slightly newer ForceWare 359.46 via Drivers Update, the matching SLI profile was missing for all games that were introduced at the beginning of 2016. In addition to "Rise of the Tomb Raider", "Far Cry Primal", "The Division", "Hitman", "Need for Speed" and "XCOM 2" were also affected.

Actually, this would not be a big problem if the X7 Pro v5 could support official Nvidia drivers. Unfortunately, this is not yet the case. Installing the new ForceWare 364.51 aborted with an error message ("no compatible hardware found"). The GeForce Experience tool did not help either.

However, dual-GPU platforms have their pitfalls even with the latest drivers. Some games hardly benefit from SLI or CrossFire (e.g. "Rainbow Six Siege") or generally cannot use a second graphics card because the developer wanted/had to make cutbacks ("Batman Arkham Knight", "FIFA 16", "Anno 2205", "Just Cause 3"). Then there are other issues like micro-stuttering that, however, are rare in high-performance laptops like the X7 Pro v5. "Star Wars Battlefront" was affected by momentary hang-ups which prevented gaming enjoyment.

On the whole, SLI and CrossFire laptops are more suitable for savvy users. However, regardless of the experience level, the parent company Gigabyte should quickly provide either new GPU drivers or at least support for the official Nvidia drivers. Currently, the GTX 970M is often just idle.

Update 03/29/2016: The day our article went into publishing, Nvidia launched the ForceWare 364.72 that can be installed on the X7 Pro v5. We will repeat all gaming benchmarks as soon as possible and replace the results.

low med. high ultra4K
Batman: Arkham Knight (2015) 119108593918fps
Mad Max (2015) 225157.4145.149.7fps
FIFA 16 (2015) 302.4247173.170.8fps
Anno 2205 (2015) 116.3110.355.617.521.4fps
Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 (2015) 141.1138.4109.298.936fps
Fallout 4 (2015) 145.9139.29678.432.4fps
Star Wars Battlefront (2015) 199.8196.9127.1109.340.8fps
Assassin's Creed Syndicate (2015) 83.681.476.337.630.8fps
Rainbow Six Siege (2015) 234.5185.5110.794.633.5fps
Just Cause 3 (2015) 127.6104.560.151.721.3fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 78.772.471.46831.9fps
XCOM 2 (2016) 94.680.267.231.7fps
Far Cry Primal (2016) 6964636027fps
The Division (2016) 161.3129.471.954.926.2fps
Hitman 2016 (2016) 60.760.352.250.225.1fps
Need for Speed 2016 (2016) 107.6102.590.768.137.1fps

Emissions

System Noise

The X7 Pro runs more quietly than the previous review sample not least thanks to the modern Skylake processor. While the maximum level of 54 to 58 dB(A) is only marginally lower than the second last device's level, we could measure a considerably quieter 39 dB(A) rather than 52 dB(A) in 3DMark 06. The X7 Pro v5 is slightly louder in idle mode. Our instruments recorded almost 34 to 35 dB(A) instead of 30 to 32 dB(A), and even 39 dB(A) for a short while when the 17-inch laptop was booting. Perfect: Both casing fans speed up relatively slowly in load situations, and are soon quiet after prolonged stress periods.

Idle noise level
Idle noise level
Load noise level
Load noise level
Pink & White Noise (speakers)
Pink & White Noise (speakers)

Noise Level

Idle
34 / 35 / 39 dB(A)
Load
39 / 54 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Audix TM1, Arta (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 30 dB(A)
Aorus X7 Pro v5
GeForce GTX 970M SLI, 6820HK
Aorus X5
GeForce GTX 965M SLI, 5700HQ
Aorus X7 Pro
GeForce GTX 970M SLI, 4870HQ
Eurocom X8
GeForce GTX 980M SLI, 4940MX
MSI GT80S 6QF
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
Noise
1%
-5%
-13%
-10%
off / environment *
30
Idle Minimum *
34
32.5
4%
29.5
13%
40.5
-19%
34
-0%
Idle Average *
35
32.6
7%
32.1
8%
41.4
-18%
36
-3%
Idle Maximum *
39
34.4
12%
41
-5%
41.6
-7%
40
-3%
Load Average *
39
44
-13%
52.3
-34%
45.6
-17%
51
-31%
Load Maximum *
54
56.8
-5%
57.9
-7%
55
-2%
60
-11%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

Stress test
Stress test

We would describe the temperature development as average. Approximately 32 °C (~90 °C) in idle mode is acceptable in view of the slim build. The chassis heats up quite strongly during load. A maximum of 55 °C (~131 °F) on the upper side and up to 62 °C (144 °F) on the underside are experienced in other slim 17-inch gaming machines, such as MSI's GS70, which are however powered by only one GPU. The X7 Pro v5 should not be used on the lap for gaming anyway.

The hardware reaches normal rates in 3D mode. The GPUs throttled slightly at 86 and 81 °C (187 and 178 °F) after 60 minutes of full load via FurMark and Prime95. The Core i7-6820HK that occasionally dropped to 800 MHz for a moment also got very warm with 90 °C (194 °F), but not excessively hot.

Idle temperature (upper side)
Idle temperature (upper side)
Idle temperature (underside)
Idle temperature (underside)
Load temperature (upper side)
Load temperature (upper side)
Load temperature (underside)
Load temperature (underside)
Max. Load
 49.7 °C
121 F
55.4 °C
132 F
53.2 °C
128 F
 
 46.5 °C
116 F
50.8 °C
123 F
50.6 °C
123 F
 
 43.2 °C
110 F
45 °C
113 F
44.2 °C
112 F
 
Maximum: 55.4 °C = 132 F
Average: 48.7 °C = 120 F
62.4 °C
144 F
62.2 °C
144 F
54.5 °C
130 F
62.2 °C
144 F
61 °C
142 F
53 °C
127 F
44.1 °C
111 F
44.9 °C
113 F
39.9 °C
104 F
Maximum: 62.4 °C = 144 F
Average: 53.8 °C = 129 F
Power Supply (max.)  57.3 °C = 135 F | Room Temperature 22 °C = 72 F | Voltcraft IR-900
(-) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 48.7 °C / 120 F, compared to the average of 33.2 °C / 92 F for the devices in the class Gaming.
(-) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 55.4 °C / 132 F, compared to the average of 39.6 °C / 103 F, ranging from 21.6 to 68.8 °C for the class Gaming.
(-) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 62.4 °C / 144 F, compared to the average of 42.2 °C / 108 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 31.8 °C / 89 F, compared to the device average of 33.2 °C / 92 F.
(-) The palmrests and touchpad can get very hot to the touch with a maximum of 45 °C / 113 F.
(-) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 28.8 °C / 83.8 F (-16.2 °C / -29.2 F).
Aorus X7 Pro v5
GeForce GTX 970M SLI, 6820HK
Aorus X5
GeForce GTX 965M SLI, 5700HQ
Aorus X7 Pro
GeForce GTX 970M SLI, 4870HQ
Eurocom X8
GeForce GTX 980M SLI, 4940MX
MSI GT80S 6QF
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
Heat
-4%
-18%
20%
-0%
Maximum Upper Side *
55.4
55.6
-0%
61.2
-10%
44
21%
45.7
18%
Maximum Bottom *
62.4
57.6
8%
59.1
5%
41.6
33%
61
2%
Idle Upper Side *
33.6
36.2
-8%
43.9
-31%
30
11%
36.4
-8%
Idle Bottom *
34.6
39.4
-14%
46.8
-35%
29.8
14%
39.2
-13%

* ... smaller is better

Speakers

Although Gigabyte has now equipped the X7 Pro with audio software called Audio Aorus, the sound quality cannot quite compete with that of thicker gaming laptops like MSI's GT72S. The 17-inch laptop is equipped with two speakers that are situated on the front sides, and two subwoofer that are, as usual, on the casing's underside. The sound is quite good for a laptop, which is a label that the X7 Pro v3 did not achieve.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

One of the biggest drawbacks of SLI and CrossFire is the exorbitant power consumption that is due to the lack of graphics switching. 32 to 42 watts in idle mode do not exactly point to long battery runtimes. Laptops with only one GPU usually consume only 10 to 30 watts. However, the improved energy efficiency of the Skylake architecture is noticed during load. While the Core i7-4870HQ in the X7 Pro v3 reached 132 to 276 watts in 3D mode, the v5 "only" consumes 101 to 245 watts. The 230 watt power supply should be sufficiently sized including efficiency.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.6 / 1 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 32 / 37 / 42 Watt
Load midlight 101 / 245 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Aorus X7 Pro v5
GeForce GTX 970M SLI, 6820HK
Aorus X5
GeForce GTX 965M SLI, 5700HQ
Aorus X7 Pro
GeForce GTX 970M SLI, 4870HQ
Eurocom X8
GeForce GTX 980M SLI, 4940MX
MSI GT80S 6QF
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
Power Consumption
-5%
-52%
Idle Minimum *
32
29
9%
44
-38%
Idle Average *
37
34.8
6%
53
-43%
Idle Maximum *
42
40.6
3%
62
-48%
Load Average *
101
132
-31%
163
-61%
Load Maximum *
245
276
-13%
411
-68%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Runtime

The battery life tends heavily toward that of the second last device. Since the X7 cannot make use of the Optimus technology, it shuts down after three hours even in idle mode. By comparison: Some single-chip laptops manage over 10 hours (especially Alienware's 17 R3). 2.5 hours of Internet browsing in medium brightness and 1.5 hours of 3D mode using maximum brightness are also poor.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
3h 01min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
2h 32min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 29min
Aorus X7 Pro v5
94.24 Wh
Aorus X5
73 Wh
Aorus X7 Pro
73 Wh
Eurocom X8
89 Wh
MSI GT80S 6QF
75 Wh
Battery Runtime
-11%
-3%
-21%
-27%
Reader / Idle
181
165
-9%
178
-2%
148
-18%
148
-18%
WiFi v1.3
152
112
-26%
Load
89
91
2%
86
-3%
68
-24%
58
-35%
WiFi
88

Pros

+ high-contrast IPS panel
+ manual fan control
+ max. 4 storage devices
+ dedicated macro keys
+ very slim chassis
+ outstanding performance
+ stylish design
+ useful tools
+ NVMe SSD
+ USB 3.1
+ G-Sync

Cons

- sensitive high-gloss touchpad with middling gliding traits
- exorbitant power consumption for laptops
- somewhat outdated GPU driver preloaded
- very warm wrist rest during load
- limited WiFi reception
- keyboard should be higher
- short battery life

Verdict

In review: Aorus X7 Pro v5. Review sample courtesy of Gigabyte Germany.
In review: Aorus X7 Pro v5. Review sample courtesy of Gigabyte Germany.

Setting aside the short battery life and the hassle with the outdated GPU driver, Aorus' X7 Pro v5 gives a good overall performance.

Despite the slim build and the second graphics card, the device is not louder or hotter than many 17-inch rivals (although it gets down to business in 3D mode).

Gigabyte also has to be praised for the improved sound quality, the finer build, the high-contrast screen and for installing a PCIe or NVMe SSD. On the whole, the user is ideally equipped for the future with the X7 Pro v5. USB 3.1, G-Sync, 16 DDR4 RAM and 2x 6 GB of VRAM speak for themselves. The useful tools (fan management, etc.) are also unique selling points.

We see room for improvement in the sensitive touchpad, Wi-Fi range, keyboard's positioning and interface distribution. Anyone wanting as stress-free as possible gaming experience (keywords: driver dependency) will be better off with a single GPU laptop with a GTX 980M or GTX 980 for the time being.

Aorus X7 Pro v5 - 04/18/2016 v5.1(old)
Florian Glaser

Chassis
79 / 98 → 81%
Keyboard
79%
Pointing Device
64%
Connectivity
64 / 81 → 79%
Weight
55 / 10-66 → 80%
Battery
66%
Display
86%
Games Performance
91%
Application Performance
94%
Temperature
70 / 95 → 74%
Noise
63 / 90 → 70%
Audio
80%
Average
74%
82%
Gaming - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Aorus X7 Pro v5 Notebook Review
Florian Glaser, 2016-04- 1 (Update: 2018-05-15)