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Gigabyte Aero 15-X9 (Core i7-8750H, RTX 2070 Max-Q) Laptop Review

Sascha Mölck, 👁 Florian Glaser (translated by Alex Alderson), 02/25/2019

Charisma. The slim and compact Aero 15-X9 succeeds the popular Aero 15X v8 that we reviewed last year. The new 15.6-inch gaming laptop handles modern triple-A games smoothly on its 144 Hz, 1080p display thanks to its Core i7-8750H processor, RTX 2070 Max-Q GPU and 16 GB DDR4-2666 RAM. Its NVMe SSD should ensure solid system performance too, while its Thunderbolt 3 port gives you the option of connecting an external GPU should you wish to run a desktop GPU. Read on to find out how it performs in our tests and whether it can set new standards for thin and light gaming laptops.

The Gigabyte Aero 15 series is made up of powerful yet compact 15.6-inch gaming laptops that have been well received in recent years. Most recently we reviewed the Aero 15X v8, which Gigabyte equipped with an Intel Core i7-8750H processor and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q GPU. Now, the company has upgraded the Aero 15 with Nvidia GeForce RTX 20 series GPUs but has kept the 15-X9 largely the same as its predecessor, including its processor. Gigabyte has equipped our review unit with the same Core i7-8750H processor that we saw with the Aero 15X v8 and an RTX 2070 Max-Q GPU. These specifications put the Aero 15-X9 in direct competition with devices like the Acer Predator Triton 500 and the Razer Blade 15, which are equipped with RTX 2080 Max-Q and RTX 2070 Max-Q GPUs, respectively. We shall also compare the Aero 15-X9 against its predecessor along with the MSI GS65 8RF Stealth Thin and the ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX531GS. Please keep in mind that these laptops are equipped with the older and less-powerful GeForce GTX 10 series GPUs, so they will achieve lower scores in benchmarks and fewer FPS in games. They offer an insight into the differences between the GTX 10 and RTX 20 series though, which is one of the reasons why we have included them as comparison devices.

We should also point out that the Aero 15-X9 and Aero 15X v8 share the same case, connectivity, input devices and speakers, so we shall skip these and jump directly to the Display section. Please see our Aero 15X v8 review for our views on these areas.

Gigabyte Aero 15-X9 (Aero 15 Series)
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q - 8192 MB, Core: 885 MHz, Memory: 1500 MHz, GDDR6, 256-bit connection, ForceWare 417.71, Optimus
Memory
16384 MB 
, DDR4-2666, single-channel, two SODIMM slots; one occupied, maximum of 64 GB RAM
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 141 PPI, LGD05C0, IPS, Full HD, X-Rite Pantone, 144 Hz, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel HM370
Storage
Intel SSD 760p SSDPEKKW010T8, 1024 GB 
, NVMe. 2x M.2 Type 2280 slots; one slot occupied
Soundcard
Realtek ALC255 @ Intel Cannon Point-LP PCH - cAVS (Audio, Video, Speech)
Connections
2 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 2 USB 3.1 Gen2, 1 Thunderbolt, 1 HDMI, 2 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm combined headphone and microphone jack, Card Reader: SD/SDHC/SDXC, TPM 2.0
Networking
Killer E2500 Gigabit Ethernet Controller (10/100/1000MBit), Killer Wireless-AC 1550i Wireless Network Adapter (9560NGW) (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 5.0
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 18.9 x 356 x 250 ( = 0.74 x 14.02 x 9.84 in)
Battery
94.24 Wh Lithium-Polymer
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: HD
Primary Camera: 0.9 MPix
Additional features
Speakers: 2x 2 W stereo speakers, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, 230 W charger, XSplit Gamecaster, XSplit Broadcaster, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
2.12 kg ( = 74.78 oz / 4.67 pounds) ( = 0 oz / 0 pounds)
Price
2800 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Size Comparison

359 mm / 14.1 inch 255 mm / 10 inch 18 mm / 0.709 inch 2.1 kg4.73 lbs358 mm / 14.1 inch 248 mm / 9.76 inch 18 mm / 0.709 inch 1.8 kg4.07 lbs360 mm / 14.2 inch 268 mm / 10.6 inch 15.8 mm / 0.622 inch 2.1 kg4.62 lbs356 mm / 14 inch 250 mm / 9.84 inch 18.9 mm / 0.744 inch 2.1 kg4.67 lbs356 mm / 14 inch 250 mm / 9.84 inch 18 mm / 0.709 inch 2.1 kg4.58 lbs355 mm / 14 inch 235 mm / 9.25 inch 17.8 mm / 0.701 inch 2.1 kg4.63 lbs
SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
200 MB/s ∼100%
Gigabyte Aero 15X v8
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
191 MB/s ∼96% -4%
Average of class Gaming
  (11.7 - 202, n=219)
91.6 MB/s ∼46% -54%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Gigabyte Aero 15X v8
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
242 MB/s ∼100% 0%
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
242 MB/s ∼100%
Average of class Gaming
  (13.4 - 257, n=217)
110 MB/s ∼45% -55%
Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
684 MBit/s ∼100% +1%
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GS
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
683 MBit/s ∼100% +1%
Gigabyte Aero 15X v8
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
682 MBit/s ∼100% +1%
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
Killer Wireless-AC 1550i Wireless Network Adapter (9560NGW)
678 MBit/s ∼99%
Acer Predator Triton 500
Killer Wireless-AC 1550i Wireless Network Adapter (9560NGW)
671 MBit/s ∼98% -1%
MSI GS65 8RF-019DE Stealth Thin
Killer Wireless-AC 1550 Wireless Network Adapter
660 MBit/s ∼96% -3%
Average of class Gaming
  (141 - 702, n=210)
596 MBit/s ∼87% -12%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GS
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
693 MBit/s ∼100% +2%
Acer Predator Triton 500
Killer Wireless-AC 1550i Wireless Network Adapter (9560NGW)
683 MBit/s ∼99% 0%
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
Killer Wireless-AC 1550i Wireless Network Adapter (9560NGW)
680 MBit/s ∼98%
MSI GS65 8RF-019DE Stealth Thin
Killer Wireless-AC 1550 Wireless Network Adapter
662 MBit/s ∼96% -3%
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
655 MBit/s ∼95% -4%
Average of class Gaming
  (144 - 721, n=210)
543 MBit/s ∼78% -20%
Gigabyte Aero 15X v8
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
379 MBit/s ∼55% -44%

Display

The Aero 15-X9 has a matte, 144 Hz 15.6-inch display that operates natively at 1920x1080 just like its predecessor. Gigabyte uses the same LG Philips LGD05C0 panel in both laptops, but its values differ drastically. The Aero 15X v8 that we already reviewed achieved an average maximum luminosity of 300 cd/m², which is 28% brighter than what the Aero 15-X9 achieves, according to X-Rite i1Pro 2. This also puts the latter device at the bottom of our comparison table in this regard.

Similarly, our review unit has an 862:1 contrast ratio, which is lower than all but the Razer Blade 15 of our comparison devices. We would expect at least a 1,000:1 contrast ratio for such an expensive laptop. However, we measured the display as having a 0.29 cd/m² black value, which should ensure that black tones look richer than they would on the Aero 15X v8 or the Razer Blade 15. The Aero 15-X9 also has an 85% evenly lit display, which is on par with our comparison devices.

Please keep in mind that the differences between the two LGD05C0 panels are normal. No two panels are 100% identical, but we suspect that the X-Rite Pantone calibration may reduce the theoretical maximum luminosity to a greater extent with our review unit than it does with its predecessor. We are merely speculating here, but the display in your Aero 15-X9 may have different brightness, black value and contrast ratio levels than both devices that we have tested.

247
cd/m²
239
cd/m²
248
cd/m²
238
cd/m²
250
cd/m²
241
cd/m²
221
cd/m²
213
cd/m²
218
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 250 cd/m² Average: 235 cd/m² Minimum: 7 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 85 %
Center on Battery: 250 cd/m²
Contrast: 862:1 (Black: 0.29 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 1.46 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.1
ΔE Greyscale 1.27 | 0.64-98 Ø6.4
93% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 60% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.4
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
LGD05C0, IPS, 1920x1080
Gigabyte Aero 15X v8
LGD05C0, IPS, 1920x1080
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GS
AU Optronics B156HAN08.2 (AUO82ED), IPS, 1920x1080
MSI GS65 8RF-019DE Stealth Thin
AU Optronics B156HAN08.0 (AUO80ED), IPS, 1920x1080
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
LG Philips LGD05C0, IPS, 1920x1080
Acer Predator Triton 500
AU Optronics B156HAN08.2 (AUO82ED), IPS, 1920x1080
Response Times
8%
41%
-1%
7%
35%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
16.4 (8.8, 7.6)
16.8 (8.4, 8.4)
-2%
7.4 (3.8, 3.6)
55%
17.6 (9.2, 8.4)
-7%
16.8 (9.2, 7.6)
-2%
8 (4, 4)
51%
Response Time Black / White *
13.6 (8.4, 5.2)
11.2 (6, 5.2)
18%
10 (4.4, 5.6)
26%
12.8 (7.6, 5.2)
6%
11.6 (7.2, 4.4)
15%
11.2 (6, 5.2)
18%
PWM Frequency
Screen
12%
-18%
-10%
-31%
-75%
Brightness middle
250
313
25%
294
18%
254
2%
314.7
26%
304
22%
Brightness
235
300
28%
275
17%
262
11%
312
33%
299
27%
Brightness Distribution
85
78
-8%
84
-1%
89
5%
90
6%
89
5%
Black Level *
0.29
0.33
-14%
0.24
17%
0.22
24%
0.38
-31%
0.27
7%
Contrast
862
948
10%
1225
42%
1155
34%
828
-4%
1126
31%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
1.46
1.29
12%
2.57
-76%
2.37
-62%
2.56
-75%
4.66
-219%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
2.47
2.04
17%
4.88
-98%
4.71
-91%
4.89
-98%
9.65
-291%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
1.27
0.69
46%
2.41
-90%
1.58
-24%
3.4
-168%
5.53
-335%
Gamma
2.4 92%
2.43 91%
2.5 88%
2.48 89%
2.3 96%
2.5 88%
CCT
6749 96%
6550 99%
6370 102%
6785 96%
6435 101%
8028 81%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
60
60
0%
59
-2%
60
0%
60.7
1%
60
0%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
93
94
1%
91
-2%
92
-1%
94.6
2%
93
0%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
2.14
1.84
1.71
1.72
Total Average (Program / Settings)
10% / 11%
12% / -8%
-6% / -9%
-12% / -25%
-20% / -57%

* ... smaller is better

CalMAN: Grayscale - X-Rite Pantone
CalMAN: Grayscale - X-Rite Pantone
CalMAN: Colour Saturation - X-Rite Pantone
CalMAN: Colour Saturation - X-Rite Pantone
CalMAN: ColorChecker - X-Rite Pantone
CalMAN: ColorChecker - X-Rite Pantone
CalMAN: Grayscale - Native Colour
CalMAN: Grayscale - Native Colour
CalMAN: Colour Saturation - Native Colour
CalMAN: Colour Saturation - Native Colour
CalMAN: ColorChecker - Native Colour
CalMAN: ColorChecker - Native Colour
93% sRGB colour space coverage
93% sRGB colour space coverage
Sub-pixel array
Sub-pixel array
60% AdobeRGB colour space coverage
60% AdobeRGB colour space coverage

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
13.6 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 8.4 ms rise
↘ 5.2 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. » 13 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (25.5 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
16.4 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 8.8 ms rise
↘ 7.6 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 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 8 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (40.7 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: 52 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9705 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Performance

The Gigabyte Aero 15-X9 continues the Aero 15 series’ trademark of being a thin and light 15.6-inch gaming laptop. Our review unit handles all modern triple-A games smoothly, as it did with all programs that we ran on the device. The configuration of our test device currently retails for around 2,800 Euros (~$3,170). Gigabyte also sells the Aero 15-Y9, which features an RTX 2080 Max-Q GPU. Both models can be configured with up to 32 GB RAM, a Core i9-8950HK processor and a 60 Hz, 4K display.

CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
GPU-Z
GPU-Z
HWinfo
Intel XTU
 

Test Conditions

Gigabyte preinstalls its Gigabyte Control Center, which has several preset power plans among other settings to tweak the system. We disabled any Gigabyte power plans for our tests and set our review unit to the Windows 10 Balanced power mode.

Gigabyte Control Center – Smart Dashboard
Gigabyte Control Center – Smart Dashboard
Gigabyte Control Center – Manager
Gigabyte Control Center – Manager
Gigabyte Control Center – Device Settings
Gigabyte Control Center – Device Settings

Processor

There are no surprises with our review unit’s CPU. The Core i7-8750H is a hexa-core processor from Intel’s Coffee Lake generation of CPUs. Many OEMs have equipped 15.6-inch gaming and multimedia laptops with the Core i7-8750H in the last year as it offers a good compromise between performance and power consumption. In short, the Core i7-8750H is the baseline CPU for a modern mobile gaming laptop. The Core i7-8750H has a 45 W thermal design power (TDP), but Gigabyte allows the CPU to boost to 70 W temporarily. The CPU has a 2.2 GHz base clock speed that can use Intel Turbo Boost to achieve 3.9 GHz across six cores, 4 GHz across four cores, and 4.1 GHz across one and two cores.

Our review unit operates at between 3.5 GHz and 3.9 GHz in Cinebench R15 Multi 64-bit, while the CPU increases to between 3.9 GHz and 4.1 GHz in single-threaded benchmarks, which both correspond with Intel’s specifications. The Aero 15-X9 downclocks the CPU to 1.7 GHz when running on battery though, which is worth keeping in mind if you planned to push the device hard when working away from a power outlet.

Cinebench R15 Single-Core Render
Cinebench R15 Single-Core Render
Cinebench R15 Multi-Core Render
Cinebench R15 Multi-Core Render
GPU load during a Heaven 4.0 benchmark
GPU load during a Heaven 4.0 benchmark

We also subjected our review unit to a looped CB R15 Multi 64-bit benchmark that we run for around 30 minutes to determine how well it maintains its CPU performance under sustained load. As the graph below demonstrates, the Aero 15-X9 initially scored 2% more than the Aero 15X v8, but it had throttled to 2% below its predecessor by the third benchmark pass through. Our review unit then consistently scored between 1,090 and 1,095 points for the remainder of the benchmark loop, apart from three times when it dropped to 1,087 points. By contrast, the Aero 15X v8 fluctuated widely between 1,041 and 1,117 points during the same benchmark, so Gigabyte appears to have tweaked the CPU to make it run more consistently but at the cost of absolute performance. Both Aero 15 laptops consistently outperformed our comparison devices though, which are all equipped with a Core i7-8750H processor.

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Gigabyte Aero 15-X9 Intel Core i7-8750H, Intel Core i7-8750H: Ø1095 (1087.31-1156.25)
Gigabyte Aero 15X v8 Intel Core i7-8750H, Intel Core i7-8750H: Ø1110 (1041.91-1133.72)
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GS Intel Core i7-8750H, Intel Core i7-8750H: Ø1004 (937.73-1119.73)
MSI GS65 8RF-019DE Stealth Thin Intel Core i7-8750H, Intel Core i7-8750H: Ø981 (927.26-1023.23)
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q Intel Core i7-8750H, Intel Core i7-8750H: Ø922 (913.2-999)
Acer Predator Triton 500 Intel Core i7-8750H, Intel Core i7-8750H: Ø980 (961.82-1019.05)
CPU clock speeds during a loop of CB15 R15 Multi 64-bit
CPU clock speeds during a loop of CB15 R15 Multi 64-bit
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
6351
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
33923
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
7870
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
166 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
1156 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
91.06 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.6 %
Help
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Acer Predator Triton 500
Intel Core i7-8750H
176 Points ∼100% +6%
Gigabyte Aero 15X v8
Intel Core i7-8750H
175 Points ∼99% +5%
MSI GS65 8RF-019DE Stealth Thin
Intel Core i7-8750H
175 Points ∼99% +5%
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
Intel Core i7-8750H
174 Points ∼99% +5%
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GS
Intel Core i7-8750H
166 Points ∼94% 0%
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
Intel Core i7-8750H
166 Points ∼94%
Average of class Gaming
  (77 - 212, n=454)
153 Points ∼87% -8%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
Intel Core i7-8750H
1156 Points ∼100%
Gigabyte Aero 15X v8
Intel Core i7-8750H
1133 Points ∼98% -2%
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GS
Intel Core i7-8750H
1120 Points ∼97% -3%
MSI GS65 8RF-019DE Stealth Thin
Intel Core i7-8750H
1053 Points ∼91% -9%
Acer Predator Triton 500
Intel Core i7-8750H
1019 Points ∼88% -12%
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
Intel Core i7-8750H
999 Points ∼86% -14%
Average of class Gaming
  (196 - 1979, n=457)
779 Points ∼67% -33%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Single 32Bit
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
Intel Core i7-8750H
6351 Points ∼100%
Average of class Gaming
  (8.85 - 8872, n=409)
4765 Points ∼75% -25%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
Intel Core i7-8750H
33923 Points ∼100%
Average of class Gaming
  (19.7 - 48808, n=409)
17742 Points ∼52% -48%
Geekbench 3
32 Bit Multi-Core Score
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
Intel Core i7-8750H
21358 Points ∼100%
Average of class Gaming
  (9307 - 27774, n=63)
15264 Points ∼71% -29%
32 Bit Single-Core Score
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
Intel Core i7-8750H
3741 Points ∼100%
Average of class Gaming
  (2926 - 4825, n=63)
3624 Points ∼97% -3%
Geekbench 4.0
64 Bit Multi-Core Score
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
Intel Core i7-8750H
17795 Points ∼100%
Average of class Gaming
  (8085 - 26471, n=29)
15155 Points ∼85% -15%
64 Bit Single-Core Score
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
Intel Core i7-8750H
4692 Points ∼100%
Average of class Gaming
  (3387 - 5744, n=29)
4476 Points ∼95% -5%
Geekbench 4.3
64 Bit Multi-Core Score
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
Intel Core i7-8750H
18716 Points ∼100%
Average of class Gaming
  (4116 - 32070, n=36)
18043 Points ∼96% -4%
64 Bit Single-Core Score
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
Intel Core i7-8750H
4810 Points ∼100%
Average of class Gaming
  (2131 - 6030, n=36)
4677 Points ∼97% -3%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score
Average of class Gaming
  (753 - 7545, n=148)
1238 ms * ∼100% -9%
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
Intel Core i7-8750H (Edge 44)
1138.1 ms * ∼92%
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
Intel Core i7-8750H (Edge 44.17763.1.0)
1125.7 ms * ∼91% +1%
Octane V2 - Total Score
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
Intel Core i7-8750H (Edge 44)
33659 Points ∼100%
Average of class Gaming
  (12288 - 49518, n=143)
32779 Points ∼97% -3%
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
Intel Core i7-8750H (Edge 44.17763.1.0)
30594 Points ∼91% -9%
JetStream 1.1 - Total Score
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
Intel Core i7-8750H (Edge 44.17763.1.0)
255.92 Points ∼100% +4%
Average of class Gaming
  (51.6 - 333, n=148)
249 Points ∼97% +1%
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
Intel Core i7-8750H (Edge 44)
245.41 Points ∼96%

* ... smaller is better

System Performance

Our review unit performed smoothly throughout our tests thanks to its powerful processor and lightning-fast NVMe SSD. Synthetic benchmark results confirmed our subjective impressions, with the Aero 15-X9 just shy of the Razer Blade 15 in PCMark 10. The Acer Predator Triton 500 outscored our review unit by 10% in the same benchmark, but this is mainly because of its more-powerful GPU.

Hence, the Aero 15-X9 is not only an impressive gaming laptop but is also powerful enough for image and video-editing. There is also scope to further improve performance by adding a second SODIMM module, which would enable dual-channel mode. Making this change would generally boost performance in games and programs by a few percent.

PCMark 10
PCMark 10
PCMark 7 Score
6400 points
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
4338 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
5111 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
5645 points
Help
PCMark 10 - Score
Acer Predator Triton 500
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H, 2x WDC PC SN720 SDAPNTW-256G-1014 (RAID 0)
5883 Points ∼100% +10%
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
5416 Points ∼92% +1%
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H, Intel SSD 760p SSDPEKKW010T8
5353 Points ∼91%
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GS
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-512G
5170 Points ∼88% -3%
MSI GS65 8RF-019DE Stealth Thin
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
5095 Points ∼87% -5%
Average of class Gaming
  (2603 - 7171, n=149)
5068 Points ∼86% -5%
Gigabyte Aero 15X v8
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5512GPU7
5059 Points ∼86% -5%
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GS
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-512G
5706 Points ∼100% +1%
Gigabyte Aero 15X v8
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5512GPU7
5676 Points ∼99% +1%
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H, Intel SSD 760p SSDPEKKW010T8
5645 Points ∼99%
MSI GS65 8RF-019DE Stealth Thin
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
5621 Points ∼99% 0%
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
5607 Points ∼98% -1%
Average of class Gaming
  (2484 - 6515, n=340)
4971 Points ∼87% -12%
Home Score Accelerated v2
MSI GS65 8RF-019DE Stealth Thin
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
4665 Points ∼100% +8%
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GS
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-512G
4620 Points ∼99% +7%
Gigabyte Aero 15X v8
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5512GPU7
4504 Points ∼97% +4%
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H, Intel SSD 760p SSDPEKKW010T8
4338 Points ∼93%
Average of class Gaming
  (2554 - 6093, n=358)
4242 Points ∼91% -2%
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
4150 Points ∼89% -4%

Storage Devices

Gigabyte has equipped our review unit with an Intel 760p SSD. The 1 TB M.2 2280 drive, of which about 909 GB was free upon first boot, utilises the NVMe protocol to deliver excellent transfer speeds. The Intel 760p is on par with the Samsung PM981, which is one of the fastest consumer SSDs currently on the market.

NVMe SSDs operate on four lanes of PCI Express 3.0, which allows them to achieve significantly faster transfer speeds than their SATA III counterparts. Hence, NVMe SSDs are essential for gaming laptops, as they allow the system to load games quickly.

The Aero 15-X9 also has a second M.2 2280 slot, which works with either NVMe or SATA III SSDs. You could also run the system in RAID 0 with two NVMe SSDs for even faster transfer speeds.

Intel SSD 760p SSDPEKKW010T8
Sequential Read: 1975 MB/s
Sequential Write: 1428 MB/s
512K Read: 1092 MB/s
512K Write: 1305 MB/s
4K Read: 60.58 MB/s
4K Write: 126.9 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 566.2 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 435.5 MB/s
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
Intel SSD 760p SSDPEKKW010T8
Gigabyte Aero 15X v8
Toshiba NVMe THNSN5512GPU7
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GS
WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-512G
MSI GS65 8RF-019DE Stealth Thin
Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
Acer Predator Triton 500
2x WDC PC SN720 SDAPNTW-256G-1014 (RAID 0)
CrystalDiskMark 5.2 / 6
-10%
-14%
1%
3%
23%
Write 4K
97.13
94.43
-3%
98.17
1%
95.3
-2%
93.88
-3%
93.6
-4%
Read 4K
53.66
37.65
-30%
39.43
-27%
40.13
-25%
40.56
-24%
38.82
-28%
Write Seq
1526
1335
-13%
1386
-9%
1883
23%
1468
-4%
2455
61%
Read Seq
2020
1404
-30%
1100
-46%
1322
-35%
1540
-24%
2107
4%
Write 4K Q32T1
285.6
268.6
-6%
270.3
-5%
309.9
9%
293.5
3%
298.7
5%
Read 4K Q32T1
321.8
332.8
3%
340.3
6%
353.7
10%
346
8%
338.7
5%
Write Seq Q32T1
1533
1375
-10%
1454
-5%
1919
25%
1941
27%
2902
89%
Read Seq Q32T1
2351
2627
12%
1681
-28%
2466
5%
3266
39%
3536
50%

Graphics Card

Gigabyte equips the Aero 15-X9 with an RTX 2070 Max-Q GPU, but there is an RTX 2080 Max-Q version should you need more graphics performance, which the company names the Aero 15-Y9. Max-Q GPUs are more-efficient versions of traditional mobile GPUs that are designed for thin and light laptops.

The GPU in our review unit can boost up to 1,635 MHz, but it only averaged 1,245 MHz during synthetic benchmarks. The RTX 2070 Max-Q has 8 GB of GDDR6 VRAM, which helps it achieve excellent 3DMark benchmark results. The Core i7-8750H also integrates an Intel UHD Graphics 630 GPU, which can handle simple graphics tasks. The Aero 15-X9 supports Nvidia Optimus too, which allows it to switch between GPUs when required.

Fire Strike
Fire Strike
Time Spy
Time Spy
Port Royal
Port Royal
3DMark 06 Standard
34534 points
3DMark 11 Performance
16608 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
80496 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
31838 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
15587 points
3DMark Time Spy Score
6400 points
Help
3DMark
2560x1440 Port Royal Graphics
Average of class Gaming
  (3020 - 5942, n=19)
4418 Points ∼100% +24%
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
3679 Points ∼83% +3%
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
3557 Points ∼81%
2560x1440 Time Spy Graphics
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
6728 Points ∼100% +3%
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
6562 Points ∼98%
Average of class Gaming
  (368 - 13013, n=99)
5321 Points ∼79% -19%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
18153 Points ∼100% +3%
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
17598 Points ∼97%
Gigabyte Aero 15X v8
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
15156 Points ∼83% -14%
MSI GS65 8RF-019DE Stealth Thin
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
14780 Points ∼81% -16%
Average of class Gaming
  (385 - 40636, n=479)
10733 Points ∼59% -39%
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
Acer Predator Triton 500
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
28083 Points ∼100% +27%
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
22723 Points ∼81% +3%
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
22089 Points ∼79%
Gigabyte Aero 15X v8
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
19162 Points ∼68% -13%
MSI GS65 8RF-019DE Stealth Thin
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
18687 Points ∼67% -15%
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
18296 Points ∼65% -17%
Average of class Gaming
  (513 - 50983, n=555)
12544 Points ∼45% -43%

Gaming Performance

Do not let the Aero 15-X9’s thin and light exterior fool you. The laptop packs enough power to render all modern triple-A games at smooth frame rates at maximum graphics in 1080p. The RTX 2070 Max-Q is also powerful enough to take advantage of our review unit’s 144 Hz display at these settings in some older games like BioShock Infinite. Dropping the graphics settings to high allows all the games we tested, apart from Ashes of the Singularity, to average more than 60 FPS. You will have to lower the graphics even further if you want to game at 4K on an external monitor though, or if you buy the 60 Hz, 4K display option.

It is worth noting that you could achieve better frame rates by adding a second SODIMM module and enabling dual-channel mode. The Razer Blade 15 runs in dual-channel mode by default and delivers around 18% higher frame rates than the Aero 15-X9, as demonstrated by the graphs below, despite having the same CPU and GPU. The Aero 15-X9 is still powerful for all modern titles in single-channel mode, but you will take better advantage of its 144 Hz display if you add a second SODIMM module.

low med. high ultra
BioShock Infinite (2013) 233.9217.9202.6127.7fps
GTA V (2015) 133.1123.192.954.2fps
The Witcher 3 (2015) 177.7144.986.558.3fps
Ashes of the Singularity (2016) 60.253.152.6fps
Destiny 2 (2017) 110.995.996.996.1fps
X-Plane 11.11 (2018) 84.670.261.6fps
Far Cry 5 (2018) 94737067fps
Darksiders III (2018) 102.268.265.364.9fps
The Witcher 3 - 1920x1080 Ultra Graphics & Postprocessing (HBAO+)
Acer Predator Triton 500
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
76.5 (min: 63) fps ∼100% +31%
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H
68.9 fps ∼90% +18%
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H
58.3 (min: 48) fps ∼76%
MSI GS65 8RF-019DE Stealth Thin
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H
52.7 fps ∼69% -10%
Gigabyte Aero 15X v8
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H
52.4 fps ∼68% -10%
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GS
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H
49.2 fps ∼64% -16%
Average of class Gaming
  (12.6 - 115, n=252)
47 fps ∼61% -19%
BioShock Infinite - 1920x1080 Ultra Preset, DX11 (DDOF)
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H
152.5 fps ∼100% +19%
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H
127.7 fps ∼84%
Average of class Gaming
  (9.7 - 266, n=295)
91.3 fps ∼60% -29%

We also ran The Witcher 3 for an hour to check whether our review unit can maintain frame rates over a prolonged period. We conducted this test with the game running at 1080p and set to maximum graphics, for reference. We also do not move the game's main character, Geralt of Rivia, at all. Our review unit initially achieved a solid 60 FPS, but frame rates then slowly reduced to around 50 FPS with the occasional drops to 45 FPS. By contrast, the Razer Blade 15 only briefly dropped below 60 FPS during the same test.

051015202530354045505560657075808590Tooltip
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9 GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H, Intel SSD 760p SSDPEKKW010T8; The Witcher 3: Ø51.3 (44-61)
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ; The Witcher 3: Ø62.2 (57-70)
Acer Predator Triton 500 GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H, 2x WDC PC SN720 SDAPNTW-256G-1014 (RAID 0); The Witcher 3: Ø76.1 (70-81)

Emissions

Fan Noise

The Aero 15-X9 has two fans that constantly run at idle. The noise is not particularly disturbing, but you can set the fan control to Quiet in the Gigabyte Control Center to force the system to run silently.

Predictably, the fans get much louder when the system is operating under sustained load. Our review unit reached a maximum of 48 dB(A) during a stress test and averaged 42 dB(A) in our gaming tests. Unfortunately, one of the two fans in our test device makes a whistling sound at higher speeds, which we found intrusive and annoying.

Fan noise at idle
Fan noise at idle
Fan noise under load
Fan noise under load
Speaker characteristics
Speaker characteristics

Noise Level

Idle
32 / 34 / 36 dB(A)
Load
42 / 48 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)
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
8750H, GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
Gigabyte Aero 15X v8
8750H, GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GS
8750H, GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
MSI GS65 8RF-019DE Stealth Thin
8750H, GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
8750H, GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
Acer Predator Triton 500
8750H, GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
Average of class Gaming
 
Noise
-4%
-7%
5%
10%
2%
3%
off / environment *
30
29
3%
29
3%
30
-0%
28.8
4%
29
3%
29.4 (27.7 - 32, n=257)
2%
Idle Minimum *
32
30
6%
33
-3%
30
6%
28.8
10%
30
6%
31.5 (28 - 41.7, n=680)
2%
Idle Average *
34
31
9%
34
-0%
31
9%
28.8
15%
32
6%
32.8 (28 - 46.6, n=680)
4%
Idle Maximum *
36
35
3%
40
-11%
34
6%
29.4
18%
34
6%
34.7 (28 - 51, n=680)
4%
Load Average *
42
49
-17%
47
-12%
43
-2%
35.7
15%
44
-5%
40.5 (30.3 - 58, n=681)
4%
Witcher 3 ultra *
44
51
-16%
51
-16%
42
5%
42.5
3%
46
-5%
Load Maximum *
48
54
-13%
53
-10%
44
8%
45
6%
47
2%
47.8 (38.9 - 64.1, n=681)
-0%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

We subjected our review unit to a FurMark and Prime95 combined stress test that we ran for an hour to determine how well the Aero 15-X9 can manage its performance under sustained load. The CPU operated at between 2.7 GHz and 2.8 GHz with our test device on charge, while the CPU only clocked at 885 MHz. By contrast, both components are throttled to 1.7 GHz and 300 MHz, respectively, when the system is running on battery.

The Aero 15-X9 also gets uncomfortably hot during a stress test. Our review unit reached a maximum of 66 °C on its bottom case during our tests, while the palm rest averaged around 36 °C. In short, we would recommend placing the Aero 15-X9 on a table if you are pushing it hard, as it gets too hot to place on your lap. The device gets just as hot when gaming too. The case feels cool to the touch at idle though, so you should have no issues with using the Aero 15-X9 on your lap if you are doing some general tasks like web-browsing or word-processing.

CPU and GPU information while playing The Witcher 3
CPU and GPU information while playing The Witcher 3
CPU and GPU information during a combined FurMark and Prime95 stress test
CPU and GPU information during a combined FurMark and Prime95 stress test
Heat map of the top of the device under load
Heat map of the top of the device under load
Heat map of the bottom of the device under load
Heat map of the bottom of the device under load
Max. Load
 48 °C
118 F
56 °C
133 F
56 °C
133 F
 
 39 °C
102 F
45 °C
113 F
40 °C
104 F
 
 35 °C
95 F
38 °C
100 F
37 °C
99 F
 
Maximum: 56 °C = 133 F
Average: 43.8 °C = 111 F
64 °C
147 F
66 °C
151 F
59 °C
138 F
58 °C
136 F
58 °C
136 F
44 °C
111 F
41 °C
106 F
40 °C
104 F
39 °C
102 F
Maximum: 66 °C = 151 F
Average: 52.1 °C = 126 F
Power Supply (max.)  41 °C = 106 F | Room Temperature 20 °C = 68 F | Voltcraft IR-900
(-) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 43.8 °C / 111 F, compared to the average of 32.9 °C / 91 F for the devices in the class Gaming.
(-) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 56 °C / 133 F, compared to the average of 39.3 °C / 103 F, ranging from 21.6 to 68.8 °C for the class Gaming.
(-) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 66 °C / 151 F, compared to the average of 41.8 °C / 107 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 25.4 °C / 78 F, compared to the device average of 32.9 °C / 91 F.
(-) Playing The Witcher 3, the average temperature for the upper side is 44.3 °C / 112 F, compared to the device average of 32.9 °C / 91 F.
(±) The palmrests and touchpad can get very hot to the touch with a maximum of 38 °C / 100.4 F.
(-) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 28.7 °C / 83.7 F (-9.3 °C / -16.7 F).
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
8750H, GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
Gigabyte Aero 15X v8
8750H, GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GS
8750H, GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
MSI GS65 8RF-019DE Stealth Thin
8750H, GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
8750H, GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
Acer Predator Triton 500
8750H, GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
Average of class Gaming
 
Heat
0%
-2%
9%
11%
-5%
3%
Maximum Upper Side *
56
53
5%
54
4%
49
12%
49
12%
49
12%
45.6 (28 - 68.8, n=645)
19%
Maximum Bottom *
66
65
2%
60
9%
63
5%
49
26%
58
12%
49.2 (25.9 - 78, n=643)
25%
Idle Upper Side *
27
26
4%
30
-11%
24
11%
25.4
6%
33
-22%
30.7 (21.6 - 46.8, n=596)
-14%
Idle Bottom *
27
30
-11%
30
-11%
25
7%
27.2
-1%
33
-22%
31.5 (21.1 - 50.3, n=594)
-17%

* ... smaller is better

Speakers

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2043.440.32538.437.23129304035.2365028.527.56325.626.28026.225.910026.430.312523.234.41602348.120024.258.825023.761.73152063.24001962.350018.860630196880018.273.8100018.270.8125019.574160018.170.2200017.368.7250017.666.8315017.471.2400017.469.7500017.561630017.357.2800017.462.71000017.367.31250017.266.91600017.363.4SPL30.381.4N1.451median 18.2median 63.4Delta1.65.339.144.635.64028.430.433.537.726.428.525.527.429.23028.932.324.532.921.141.520.748.520.955.919.561.218.465.118.366.417.567.61867.918.665.317.469.216.765.817.264.517.365.917.26817.257.317.256.417.261.117.36617.262.217.259.61754.129.777.51.342.2median 17.4median 62.21.86.8hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseGigabyte Aero 15-X9Gigabyte Aero 15X v8
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9 audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (81 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 14% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (13.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 6.2% higher than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (7.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 4.4% away from median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (9.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (16.1% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 44% of all tested devices in this class were better, 6% similar, 50% worse
» The best had a delta of 6%, average was 17%, worst was 37%
Compared to all devices tested
» 20% of all tested devices were better, 4% similar, 76% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Gigabyte Aero 15X v8 audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (78 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 16.8% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (11.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 4.3% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 3.6% away from median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (9.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (16.6% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 46% of all tested devices in this class were better, 11% similar, 43% worse
» The best had a delta of 6%, average was 17%, worst was 37%
Compared to all devices tested
» 23% of all tested devices were better, 5% similar, 72% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Power Management

Power Consumption

Gigabyte appears to have generally reduced power consumption with the Aero 15-X9 compared to its predecessor. Our review unit consumes a minimum of 16 W at idle, which is 2 W more than the Aero 15X v8. However, power consumption rises to a maximum of 167 W under load and averages at around 88 W, which is approximately 3.5% less than its predecessor consumed. Moreover, our review unit consumed just 120 W while playing The Witcher 3, which makes it more efficient than all our comparison devices.

In short, the Aero 15-X9 is a surprisingly power-efficient laptop given its powerful components. These results are even more impressive considering that it is equipped with a more-powerful GPU than its predecessor. Gigabyte includes a 230 W charger with the Aero 15-X9, which is powerful enough to recharge the device even if it is being pushed hard.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.6 / 0.9 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 16 / 18 / 23 Watt
Load midlight 88 / 167 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
8750H, GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
Gigabyte Aero 15X v8
8750H, GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GS
8750H, GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
MSI GS65 8RF-019DE Stealth Thin
8750H, GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
8750H, GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
Acer Predator Triton 500
8750H, GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
Average of class Gaming
 
Power Consumption
-2%
-21%
13%
7%
-15%
-24%
Idle Minimum *
16
14
12%
17
-6%
7
56%
10.4
35%
16
-0%
19.9 (3.8 - 113, n=640)
-24%
Idle Average *
18
18
-0%
20
-11%
11
39%
14.6
19%
22
-22%
25.5 (6.8 - 119, n=640)
-42%
Idle Maximum *
23
22
4%
29
-26%
20
13%
16.3
29%
32
-39%
30.5 (8.3 - 122, n=640)
-33%
Load Average *
88
91
-3%
112
-27%
98
-11%
88.5
-1%
89
-1%
104 (14.1 - 319, n=631)
-18%
Load Maximum *
167
173
-4%
211
-26%
182
-9%
182.4
-9%
173
-4%
168 (21.9 - 590, n=630)
-1%
Witcher 3 ultra *
120
142
-18%
152
-27%
132
-10%
155.4
-30%
147
-23%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

Gigabyte continues to equip the Aero 15 with a 94.24 Wh battery, but it generally achieved considerably shorter runtimes than its predecessor. We initially suspected that this could have been because of the Aero 15-X9’s more-powerful GPU, but we ruled this out when our tests determined that the system drastically downclocks the GPU when running on battery and mainly relies on the integrated GPU instead. We also tried various drivers and even installed a fresh version of Windows 10 without any preinstalled Gigabyte software, but our review unit lasted roughly just as long before it needed recharging.

The Aero 15-X9 lasted for 6:22 hours in our practical Wi-Fi battery life test, in which we run a script that simulates the load to render websites. We also set the Windows 10 power mode to Balanced and adjusted the display brightness to around 150 cd/m². Our review unit even needed recharging sooner than the Razer Blade 15 did, despite the latter having a 14.24 Wh smaller battery. Likewise, the Aero 15-X9 lasted just 6:04 hours in our H.264 video test where we run the short film Big Buck Bunny on a loop until the battery needs recharging. We also set the Windows 10 power mode to Battery Saver, the display to 150 cd/m² and the system to Flight Mode. In short, the Aero 15-X9 has disappointing battery life compared to its predecessor, but it still lasts longer than most other gaming laptops.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
9h 9min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3 (Edge 44)
6h 22min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
6h 04min
Load (maximum brightness)
2h 54min
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
8750H, GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 94.24 Wh
Gigabyte Aero 15X v8
8750H, GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 94.24 Wh
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GS
8750H, GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 50 Wh
MSI GS65 8RF-019DE Stealth Thin
8750H, GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 82 Wh
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
8750H, GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 80 Wh
Acer Predator Triton 500
8750H, GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 82 Wh
Average of class Gaming
 
Battery Runtime
25%
-65%
-17%
-8%
-47%
-40%
Reader / Idle
549
762
39%
213
-61%
507
-8%
682
24%
335
-39%
335 (39 - 1174, n=621)
-39%
H.264
364
504
38%
356
-2%
246 (88 - 506, n=132)
-32%
WiFi v1.3
382
513
34%
157
-59%
362
-5%
387
1%
190
-50%
251 (78 - 622, n=302)
-34%
Load
174
156
-10%
42
-76%
81
-53%
88
-49%
81
-53%
78.5 (18 - 202, n=586)
-55%

Verdict

Pros

+ X-Rite Pantone certification
+ 144 Hz screen
+ compact and lightweight design
+ excellent build quality
+ understated design
+ narrow display bezels
+ RGB keyboard backlighting
+ practical software
+ fast NVMe SSD
+ second M.2 2280 slot
+ Thunderbolt 3

Cons

- single-channel RAM
- annoying fan noise
- runs hot
- the speakers could be better
- worse battery life than its predecessor
The Gigabyte Aero 15-X9-7DE0310P laptop review. Test device courtesy of Gigabyte Germany.
The Gigabyte Aero 15-X9-7DE0310P laptop review. Test device courtesy of Gigabyte Germany.

The Gigabyte Aero 15-X9 is an excellent gaming laptop, but it is just a slight refinement of its predecessor with a few added downsides. The Core i7-8750H processor and RTX-2070 Max-Q GPU is a winning combination that is powerful enough to handle all triple-A games at maximum graphics in 1080p. Moreover, the NVMe SSD ensures that the system runs smoothly even when it is working under sustained load. The device is easy to maintain and upgrade too, which is a bonus.

The Gigabyte Aero 15-X9 is a class-leading thin and light gaming laptop, but it is not quite as impressive as its predecessor was a year ago.

Likewise, the 144 Hz IPS screen continues to impress with its X-Rite Pantone certification, its stable viewing angles and its low response times. However, it is rather dim, which results in a poor contrast ratio.

Unfortunately, the battery life is underwhelming, considering the precedent that its predecessor set. We hope that this is a bug that Gigabyte can iron out. Furthermore, the more-powerful GPU generates more heat, which makes the device too hot to have on your lap while gaming or video-editing. The persistence with single-channel RAM bottlenecks performance too, which seems unnecessary and an easy win for Razer to remedy. Fortunately, all these issues, besides the high temperatures, are hopefully resolvable. The device also retails for several hundred US$ more than its predecessor currently and brings only minor improvements. In short, the Gigabyte Aero 15-X9 is one of the best thin and light gaming laptops that money can buy, but its high price and issues at the time of our tests mean that we cannot recommend it as highly as we did its predecessor.

Gigabyte Aero 15-X9 - 02/25/2019 v6
Sascha Mölck

Chassis
87 / 98 → 89%
Keyboard
83%
Pointing Device
78%
Connectivity
70 / 81 → 87%
Weight
62 / 10-66 → 93%
Battery
87%
Display
90%
Games Performance
95%
Application Performance
95%
Temperature
72 / 95 → 75%
Noise
71 / 90 → 79%
Audio
74%