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Gigabyte Aero 15-X9 vs. Aero 15-Y9: you may want to reconsider the RTX 2080 Max-Q SKU

Gigabyte Aero 15-X9 vs. Aero 15-Y9: you may want to reconsider the RTX 2080 Max-Q SKU
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9 vs. Aero 15-Y9: you may want to reconsider the RTX 2080 Max-Q SKU
The Aero 15-Y9 is over $1000 more expensive than the Aero 15-X9 and yet both configurations perform about the same in all of our tests. Is there really a reason to get the pricier version? Based on our numbers, the less expensive Aero 15-X9 is the better option by a very wide margin.

Gigabyte unveiled its refreshed Aero 15 lineup at CES 2019 with two SKUs at launch: the Aero 15-X9 and Aero 15-Y9. The major differences between the two configurations are detailed in the table below.

The Aero 15-Y9 configuration should be noticeably better than the Aero 15-X9 since it carries the faster processors on paper. Now that we've had the chance to check out both, we're ready to compare the two laptops directly.

Gigabyte Aero 15-X9Gigabyte Aero 15-Y9
CPUCore i7-8750HCore i9-8950HK
GPUGeForce RTX 2070 Max-QGeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
RAM16 GB DDR4-2666, Single-channel64 GB DDR4-2666, Dual-channel
Display1920 x 1080, 144 Hz, LGD05C03840 x 2160, 60 Hz, AUO31EB
Storage1 TB Intel SSD 760p2 TB Intel SSD 760p

CPU Performance

The Core i9 CPU in the Aero 15-Y9 is only about 7 to 16 percent faster than the Core i7 in the Aero 15-X9 according to CineBench benchmarks. When accounting for throttling, the gap between them closes even more at just 6 percent.

GPU Performance

This is perhaps where the Aero 15 disappoints the most. 3DMark results between the two laptops are nearly identical even though the RTX 2080 Max-Q should be faster than the RTX 2070 Max-Q. When comparing the GPU-Z data between the Aero 15-Y9 and Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX equipped with the same GPU, we can see that Gigabyte has reduced both the clock rates and number of TMUs for its version of the RTX 2080 Max-Q.

Display

Gigabyte sources LG and AU Optronics for the FHD and 4K UHD IPS panels, respectively. The 4K UHD option is brighter (350 nits vs. 250 nits) with both deeper contrast (1207:1 vs. 862:1) and wider gamut (88 percent vs. 60 percent AdobeRGB) than the FHD panel. Meanwhile, the FHD panel has faster black-white response times for reduced ghosting and a higher native refresh rate (144 Hz vs. 60 Hz).

Storage

Gigabyte advertises "All Intel Inside" for its latest Aero and Aorus laptops. The 1 TB Intel 760p NVMe SSD has slower sequential read rates than the 2 TB version (2020 MB/s vs. 2426 MB/s).

Fan Noise

Fan noise appears to be identical between the two SKUs despite the processor differences. Core temperatures are also nearly the same with the Core i9 SKU being slightly warmer by just a few degrees C (~88 C vs. 83 C).

Power Consumption

The Core i9 configuration is measurably more demanding. Idling on desktop and running Witcher 3 draws 27 W and 130 W, respectively, compared to 23 W and 120 W on the Core i7 configuration.

Battery Life

Runtimes are subsequently longer on the Core i7 configuration albeit by just half an hour. Expect around 6 and 6.5 hours of real-world WLAN use from the Aero 15-X9 and Aero 15-Y9, respectively.

Verdict

As of this writing, the Aero 15-X9 and Aero 15-Y9 can be found on NewEgg for $2200 and $4000 USD, respectively. The price premium for the the higher-end RTX 2080 Max-Q GPU, Core i9 CPU, 4K UHD panel, additional storage, and additional RAM is significant to say the least.

Based on our experience with both configurations, however, the pricier Aero 15-Y9 performs essentially the same as the Aero 15-X9. GPU performance in particular is nearly identical between them as the RTX 2080 Max-Q in the Aero 15-Y9 SKU is below average. Meanwhile, the Core i9-8950HK is only marginally faster than the Core i7-8750H by just a few percentage points. There is more RAM and storage on the Aero 15-Y9, but these are easily upgradeable on the less expensive 15-X9.

Thus, the biggest reason to own the Aero 15-Y9 over the Aero 15-X9 is for its 4K UHD panel. This may be useful for professionals who work with large Excel files or want the denser PPI for better multi-tasking. Otherwise, most users will be better off with the Aero 15-X9.

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Gigabyte Aero 15-Y9 Intel Core i9-8950HK, Intel Core i9-8950HK: Ø1157 (1138.53-1236.86)
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9 Intel Core i7-8750H, Intel Core i7-8750H: Ø1095 (1087.31-1156.25)
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Gigabyte Aero 15-Y9
Intel Core i9-8950HK
193 Points ∼100%
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
Intel Core i7-8750H
166 Points ∼86%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Gigabyte Aero 15-Y9
Intel Core i9-8950HK
1237 Points ∼100%
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
Intel Core i7-8750H
1156 Points ∼93%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Single 32Bit
Gigabyte Aero 15-Y9
Intel Core i9-8950HK
7089 Points ∼100%
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
Intel Core i7-8750H
6351 Points ∼90%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
Gigabyte Aero 15-Y9
Intel Core i9-8950HK
37099 Points ∼100%
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
Intel Core i7-8750H
33923 Points ∼91%
Cinebench R20
CPU (Single Core)
Gigabyte Aero 15-Y9
Intel Core i9-8950HK
387 Points ∼100%
CPU (Multi Core)
Gigabyte Aero 15-Y9
Intel Core i9-8950HK
2379 Points ∼100%
Geekbench 3
32 Bit Multi-Core Score
Gigabyte Aero 15-Y9
Intel Core i9-8950HK
23881 Points ∼100%
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
Intel Core i7-8750H
21358 Points ∼89%
32 Bit Single-Core Score
Gigabyte Aero 15-Y9
Intel Core i9-8950HK
4511 Points ∼100%
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
Intel Core i7-8750H
3741 Points ∼83%
Geekbench 4.4
64 Bit Multi-Core Score
Gigabyte Aero 15-Y9
Intel Core i9-8950HK
24847 Points ∼100%
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
Intel Core i7-8750H
18716 Points ∼75%
64 Bit Single-Core Score
Gigabyte Aero 15-Y9
Intel Core i9-8950HK
5682 Points ∼100%
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
Intel Core i7-8750H
4810 Points ∼85%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
Intel Core i7-8750H (Edge 44)
1138.1 ms * ∼100%
Gigabyte Aero 15-Y9
Intel Core i9-8950HK (Edge 44)
1014.2 ms * ∼89%
Octane V2 - Total Score
Gigabyte Aero 15-Y9
Intel Core i9-8950HK (Edge 44)
37865 Points ∼100%
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
Intel Core i7-8750H (Edge 44)
33659 Points ∼89%
JetStream 1.1 - Total Score
Gigabyte Aero 15-Y9
Intel Core i9-8950HK (Edge 44)
274.86 Points ∼100%
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
Intel Core i7-8750H (Edge 44)
245.41 Points ∼89%

* ... smaller is better

PCMark 10
Digital Content Creation
Gigabyte Aero 15-Y9
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8950HK, Intel SSD 760p SSDPEKKW020T8
7280 Points ∼100%
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H, Intel SSD 760p SSDPEKKW010T8
6618 Points ∼91%
Productivity
Gigabyte Aero 15-Y9
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8950HK, Intel SSD 760p SSDPEKKW020T8
7640 Points ∼100%
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H, Intel SSD 760p SSDPEKKW010T8
7315 Points ∼96%
Essentials
Gigabyte Aero 15-Y9
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8950HK, Intel SSD 760p SSDPEKKW020T8
9245 Points ∼100%
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H, Intel SSD 760p SSDPEKKW010T8
8600 Points ∼93%
Score
Gigabyte Aero 15-Y9
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8950HK, Intel SSD 760p SSDPEKKW020T8
5743 Points ∼100%
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H, Intel SSD 760p SSDPEKKW010T8
5353 Points ∼93%
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H, Intel SSD 760p SSDPEKKW010T8
5645 Points ∼100%
Gigabyte Aero 15-Y9
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8950HK, Intel SSD 760p SSDPEKKW020T8
4775 Points ∼85%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H, Intel SSD 760p SSDPEKKW010T8
4338 Points ∼100%
Gigabyte Aero 15-Y9
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8950HK, Intel SSD 760p SSDPEKKW020T8
3944 Points ∼91%
Gigabyte Aero 15-Y9
AU Optronics B156ZAN03.1 (AUO31EB), IPS, 3840x2160
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
LGD05C0, IPS, 1920x1080
Response Times
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
60 (29.2, 30.8)
16.4 (8.8, 7.6)
Response Time Black / White *
28.8 (13.2, 15.6)
13.6 (8.4, 5.2)
PWM Frequency
Screen
Brightness middle
350
250
Brightness
337
235
Brightness Distribution
92
85
Black Level *
0.29
0.29
Contrast
1207
862
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
0.93
1.46
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
1.43
2.47
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
0.62
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
1.21
1.27
Gamma
2.2 100%
2.4 92%
CCT
6672 97%
6749 96%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
88
60
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
100
93
Total Average (Program / Settings)

* ... smaller is better

Gigabyte Aero 15-Y9
Intel SSD 760p SSDPEKKW020T8
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
Intel SSD 760p SSDPEKKW010T8
CrystalDiskMark 5.2 / 6
Write 4K
109.4
97.13
Read 4K
56.57
53.66
Write Seq
1508
1526
Read Seq
2427
2020
Write 4K Q32T1
307
285.6
Read 4K Q32T1
351.3
321.8
Write Seq Q32T1
1523
1533
Read Seq Q32T1
2825
2351
3DMark
2560x1440 Time Spy Graphics
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
8512 Points ∼100%
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
  (6464 - 8844, n=15)
7837 Points ∼92%
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
6562 Points ∼77%
Gigabyte Aero 15-Y9
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
6464 Points ∼76%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
21515 Points ∼100%
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
  (18048 - 23032, n=15)
20540 Points ∼95%
Gigabyte Aero 15-Y9
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
18048 Points ∼84%
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
17598 Points ∼82%
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
29453 Points ∼100%
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
  (23386 - 30910, n=16)
27578 Points ∼94%
Gigabyte Aero 15-Y9
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
23386 Points ∼79%
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
22089 Points ∼75%
Gigabyte Aero 15-Y9
8950HK, GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
8750H, GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
Noise
off / environment *
29
30
Idle Minimum *
31
32
Idle Average *
33
34
Idle Maximum *
36
36
Load Average *
44
42
Witcher 3 ultra *
43
44
Load Maximum *
45
48

* ... smaller is better

Gigabyte Aero 15-Y9
8950HK, GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
8750H, GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
Power Consumption
Idle Minimum *
17
16
Idle Average *
21
18
Idle Maximum *
27
23
Load Average *
111
88
Load Maximum *
183
167
Witcher 3 ultra *
130
120

* ... smaller is better

Gigabyte Aero 15-Y9
8950HK, GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 94.24 Wh
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
8750H, GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 94.24 Wh
Battery Runtime
Reader / Idle
561
549
H.264
332
364
WiFi v1.3
354
382
Load
147
174
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
Gigabyte Aero 15-Y9
Gigabyte Aero 15-Y9
Gigabyte Aero 15-Y9
Gigabyte Aero 15-Y9
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9 (Prime95+FurMark)
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9 (Prime95+FurMark)
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9 (Witcher 3)
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9 (Witcher 3)
Gigabyte Aero 15-Y9 (Prime95+FurMark)
Gigabyte Aero 15-Y9 (Prime95+FurMark)
Gigabyte Aero 15-Y9 (Witcher 3)
Gigabyte Aero 15-Y9 (Witcher 3)
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
Gigabyte Aero 15-Y9
Gigabyte Aero 15-Y9
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 03 > Gigabyte Aero 15-X9 vs. Aero 15-Y9: you may want to reconsider the RTX 2080 Max-Q SKU
Allen Ngo, 2019-03-25 (Update: 2019-03-25)
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.