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Gigabyte Aorus 15-SA (Core i7-9750H, GTX 1660 Ti, 144 Hz FHD) Laptop Review

Sascha Mölck, 👁 Florian Glaser (translated by Alex Alderson), 06/17/2019

An all-round gamer. The Gigabyte Aorus 15-SA handles all modern triple-A games with ease thanks to its Core i7-9750H processor, GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GPU and 16 GB RAM. Gigabyte complements this with a 512 GB NVMe SSD and a 15.6-inch 144 Hz IPS panel. However, the latter has low maximum brightness, while the 15-SA suffers from poor battery life and lacks ports like Thunderbolt 3.

You would be forgiven for thinking that we have already covered the Gigabyte Aorus 15-SA. The 15.6-inch gaming laptop is the sibling to the Aorus 15-W9 and Aorus 15-X9, which we have also reviewed this year. The 15-SA comes with an Intel Core i7-9750H processor, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GPU, 16 GB of DDR4-2666 RAM and a 512 GB PCIe SSD.

We shall compare the 15-SA against other midrange and comparably priced 15.6-inch gaming laptops. Our comparison devices will include the Alienware m15, the ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX531GM, the Lenovo Legion Y530, MSI GS65 8RF, Razer Blade 15 and Gigabyte’s own Aero 15 Classic-XA.

Since Gigabyte only separates the Aorus 15-SA, Aorus 15-W9 and Aorus 15-X9 by internal components, we shall skip straight to the Display section of this review. Please see our Aorus 15-X9 review for our thoughts on the case, connectivity, input devices and speakers. We have also covered the Display section in greater detail in the above review too.

Aorus 15-SA (15 Series)
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Laptop) - 6144 MB, Core: 1455 MHz, Memory: 1500 MHz, GDDR6, 192-bit connection, ForceWare 430.86
Memory
16384 MB 
, SO-DIMM DDR4-2666, dual-channel, two SO-DIMM slots, both occupied
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 141 PPI, LG Philips LP156WFG-SPB2 (LGD05E8), IPS, 144 Hz, Full HD, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel Cannon Lake HM370
Storage
Intel SSD 760p SSDPEKKW512G8, 512 GB 
, 2 x M.2 2280 (SATA/NVMe) & 1 x 2.5-inch drive bay
Soundcard
Realtek ALC298 @ Intel Cannon Point PCH - cAVS (Audio, Voice, Speech)
Connections
3 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 USB 3.1 Gen2, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: Combined 3.5 mm headphone and microphone jack, Card Reader: MicroSD
Networking
Killer E2500 Gigabit Ethernet Controller (10/100/1000MBit), Killer Wireless-AC 1550i Wireless Network Adapter (9560NGW) (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 5
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 24.4 x 361 x 246 ( = 0.96 x 14.21 x 9.69 in)
Battery
62 Wh, 4070 mAh Lithium-Ion
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: HD
Primary Camera: 0.9 MPix
Additional features
Speakers: Stereo, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, 180 W power supply, Control Center, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
2.127 kg ( = 75.03 oz / 4.69 pounds), Power Supply: 510 g ( = 17.99 oz / 1.12 pounds)
Price
1900 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Size Comparison

365 mm / 14.4 inch 260 mm / 10.2 inch 24 mm / 0.945 inch 2.3 kg5.07 lbs361 mm / 14.2 inch 246 mm / 9.69 inch 24.4 mm / 0.961 inch 2.1 kg4.69 lbs363 mm / 14.3 inch 275 mm / 10.8 inch 21 mm / 0.827 inch 2.2 kg4.76 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 15.75 mm / 0.62 inch 2.1 kg4.63 lbs356 mm / 14 inch 250 mm / 9.84 inch 19 mm / 0.748 inch 2.1 kg4.68 lbs355 mm / 14 inch 235 mm / 9.25 inch 19.9 mm / 0.783 inch 2 kg4.48 lbs
Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Gigabyte Aero 15 Classic-XA
Killer Wireless-AC 1550i Wireless Network Adapter (9560NGW)
696 MBit/s ∼100% +4%
Alienware m15 GTX 1070 Max-Q
Killer Wireless-AC 1550 Wireless Network Adapter
688 MBit/s ∼99% +3%
Aorus 15-SA
Killer Wireless-AC 1550i Wireless Network Adapter (9560NGW)
670 MBit/s ∼96%
Razer Blade 15 Base Model
Intel Wireless-AC 9260
666 MBit/s ∼96% -1%
MSI GS65 8RF-019DE Stealth Thin
Killer Wireless-AC 1550 Wireless Network Adapter
660 MBit/s ∼95% -1%
Asus GX531GM (Zephyrus S)
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
646 (min: 611, max: 665) MBit/s ∼93% -4%
Average of class Gaming
  (141 - 702, n=239)
603 MBit/s ∼87% -10%
Lenovo Legion Y530-15ICH
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165
293 (min: 186, max: 315) MBit/s ∼42% -56%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Aorus 15-SA
Killer Wireless-AC 1550i Wireless Network Adapter (9560NGW)
683 MBit/s ∼100%
Gigabyte Aero 15 Classic-XA
Killer Wireless-AC 1550i Wireless Network Adapter (9560NGW)
678 MBit/s ∼99% -1%
MSI GS65 8RF-019DE Stealth Thin
Killer Wireless-AC 1550 Wireless Network Adapter
662 MBit/s ∼97% -3%
Alienware m15 GTX 1070 Max-Q
Killer Wireless-AC 1550 Wireless Network Adapter
658 MBit/s ∼96% -4%
Razer Blade 15 Base Model
Intel Wireless-AC 9260
653 MBit/s ∼96% -4%
Asus GX531GM (Zephyrus S)
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
650 (min: 456, max: 801) MBit/s ∼95% -5%
Average of class Gaming
  (144 - 730, n=239)
555 MBit/s ∼81% -19%
Lenovo Legion Y530-15ICH
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165
144 (min: 113, max: 190) MBit/s ∼21% -79%

Display

Gigabyte has equipped our review unit with an LG Philips LP156WFG-SPB2 (LGD05E8) panel, which is something of a mixed bag. The 1080p display has low reaction times and a 144 Hz refresh rate, which should please gamers. However, its 254.2 cd/m² peak brightness is too low for a laptop at this price, as is its 950:1 contrast ratio. We would expect a display to reach at least 300 cd/m² peak brightness with a 1000:1 contrast ratio for a gaming laptop that costs almost 2,000 Euros (~$2,246). Only the Zephyrus S GX531GM and m15 meet these criteria of our comparison devices too though, so the 15-SA is not alone here.

The 15-SA has stable viewing angles and decent colour-space coverages just like the 15-W9 and the 15-X9. All three devices have the same panel, although they achieved subtly different results in our tests. This is expected though as every display is unique, even ones in the same batch.

262
cd/m²
248
cd/m²
255
cd/m²
260
cd/m²
266
cd/m²
264
cd/m²
243
cd/m²
240
cd/m²
250
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 266 cd/m² Average: 254.2 cd/m² Minimum: 12 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 90 %
Center on Battery: 266 cd/m²
Contrast: 950:1 (Black: 0.28 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 3.11 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6.1, calibrated: 1.37
ΔE Greyscale 3.94 | 0.64-98 Ø6.3
93% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 60% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.53
Aorus 15-SA
LG Philips LP156WFG-SPB2 (LGD05E8), IPS, 1920x1080
Razer Blade 15 Base Model
BOE NV156FHM-N61, IPS, 1920x1080
Asus GX531GM (Zephyrus S)
AU Optronics B156HAN08.2, IPS, 1920x1080
Lenovo Legion Y530-15ICH
LG Display LP156WFG-SPB2, IPS, 1920x1080
MSI GS65 8RF-019DE Stealth Thin
AU Optronics B156HAN08.0 (AUO80ED), IPS, 1920x1080
Alienware m15 GTX 1070 Max-Q
AU Optronics B156HAN, IPS, 1920x1080
Gigabyte Aero 15 Classic-XA
Sharp LQ156M1JW03 (SHP14C5), IGZO, 1920x1080
Response Times
-163%
35%
9%
-7%
-5%
8%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
15.6 (8, 7.6)
39.2 (19.6, 19.6)
-151%
7 (4, 3)
55%
15 (8, 7)
4%
17.6 (9.2, 8.4)
-13%
18 (9.2, 8.8)
-15%
15.2 (7.6, 7.6)
3%
Response Time Black / White *
12.8 (8.4, 4.4)
35.2 (20.4, 14.8)
-175%
11 (6, 5)
14%
11 (7, 4)
14%
12.8 (7.6, 5.2)
-0%
12 (6.8, 5.2)
6%
11.2 (6.8, 4.4)
12%
PWM Frequency
21190 (99)
23580 (24)
Screen
-17%
-2%
-16%
10%
-14%
3%
Brightness middle
266
273.6
3%
323
21%
305
15%
254
-5%
353.6
33%
266
0%
Brightness
254
262
3%
309
22%
284
12%
262
3%
346
36%
248
-2%
Brightness Distribution
90
86
-4%
93
3%
83
-8%
89
-1%
86
-4%
89
-1%
Black Level *
0.28
0.3
-7%
0.29
-4%
0.52
-86%
0.22
21%
0.3
-7%
0.31
-11%
Contrast
950
912
-4%
1114
17%
587
-38%
1155
22%
1179
24%
858
-10%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
3.11
3.22
-4%
4.33
-39%
3.63
-17%
2.37
24%
4.55
-46%
2.78
11%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
5.84
7.61
-30%
7.64
-31%
8.18
-40%
4.71
19%
7.91
-35%
5.96
-2%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
1.37
4.1
-199%
1.31
4%
1.84
-34%
3.37
-146%
0.91
34%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
3.94
1.4
64%
4.12
-5%
4.77
-21%
1.58
60%
4.1
-4%
3.58
9%
Gamma
2.53 87%
2.24 98%
2.43 91%
2.54 87%
2.48 89%
2.27 97%
2.46 89%
CCT
6210 105%
6636 98%
7427 88%
7500 87%
6785 96%
7434 87%
7186 90%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
60
56.4
-6%
59
-2%
59
-2%
60
0%
57.9
-3%
62
3%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
93
86.2
-7%
90
-3%
93
0%
92
-1%
88.9
-4%
96
3%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-90% / -40%
17% / 4%
-4% / -13%
2% / 7%
-10% / -13%
6% / 4%

* ... smaller is better

CalMAN: Grayscale
CalMAN: Grayscale
CalMAN: Colour Saturation
CalMAN: Colour Saturation
CalMAN: ColorChecker
CalMAN: ColorChecker
CalMAN: Grayscale - calibrated
CalMAN: Grayscale - calibrated
CalMAN: Colour Saturation - calibrated
CalMAN: Colour Saturation - calibrated
CalMAN: ColorChecker - calibrated
CalMAN: ColorChecker - calibrated
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
12.8 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 8.4 ms rise
↘ 4.4 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 (25.1 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
15.6 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 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 (40.2 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 9429 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Performance

Gigabyte has equipped the 15-SA with an array of potent hardware including a hexa-core CPU and a cutting-edge GPU. The device has no problems with playing all modern triple-A games smoothly on its 144 Hz display. Heavy video-editing is well within its capabilities too. Our review unit currently retails for around 1,900 Euros (~$2,134), for reference. Gigabyte sells other configurations too.

CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
GPU-Z
HWInfo
LatencyMon
Intel XTU
 

Test Conditions

The 15-SA comes with Gigabyte Control Center preinstalled, which contains numerous settings including the option to change the fan curve, the RGB keyboard backlighting and the power mode among others. We left our review unit on the Auto power mode for our tests, which Gigabyte claims includes active AI functionality. We only used the Windows 10 power modes for our battery life tests.

Processor

Gigabyte equips the 15-SA with a Core i7-9750H processor, a hexa-core chip based on Intel’s Coffee Lake Refresh architecture. The Core i7-9750H offers a good compromise between performance and power consumption, just like its predecessor, the Core i7-8750H. The Core i7-9750H has a 45 W thermal design power (TDP) and a 2.6 GHz base clock speed, which it can boost to 4 GHz on six cores thanks to Intel Turbo Boost. The CPU can increase the clock speed by 100 MHz for every one fewer core that it uses, culminating in a 4.5 GHz maximum Turbo Boost clock speed on a single core.

These specifications sound good on paper, but our review unit cannot match them in practice. The CPU fluctuated between 2.6 GHz and 3.9 GHz in Cinebench R15 Multi 64bit, with it averaging 3.4 GHz, around 600 MHz short of its maximum potential. Likewise, the CPU operates at between 300 and 400 MHz less than it is capable of in single-core benchmarks like CB R15 Single 64Bit. Some cores only reach 3.6 GHz though, for some reason. The CPU also operates at between 2.5 GHz to 2.9 GHz in multi-threaded benchmarks and 0.8 GHz to 4.2 GHz in single-threaded benchmarks when running on battery.

System information during a Cinebench R15 Single 64Bit benchmark
System information during a Cinebench R15 Single 64Bit benchmark
System information during a Cinebench R15 Multi 64Bit benchmark
System information during a Cinebench R15 Multi 64Bit benchmark
System information during a Heaven 4.0 benchmark
System information during a Heaven 4.0 benchmark

We also subjected our review unit to a loop of the CB R15 Multi 64Bit benchmark, which we left running for 60 minutes to determine how the system managed its CPU performance under sustained load. The 15-SA initially scored 1,129 points before throttling back to 1,088 points by the fourth run through. The CPU constantly maintains turbo clock speeds here and averaged around 1,090 points for the remainder of the benchmark loop.

Our graph below is an ambiguous picture. On the one hand, the 15-SA consistently outscores the Aero 15 Classic-XA, which Gigabyte also equips with a Core i7-9750H and does not throttle as hard as the former device does too. Our review unit trounces most of our Core i7-8750H powered comparison devices throughout our benchmark loop too, but it somehow lags behind the Legion Y530 and the m15, despite them also having Core i7-8750H processors. In short, the 15-SA does not get the most from its CPU, which is unsurprising considering that it can only keep it at around 3.4 GHz in multi-core benchmarks.

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Aorus 15-SA Intel Core i7-9750H, Intel Core i7-9750H: Ø1093 (1085.04-1129.94)
Razer Blade 15 Base Model Intel Core i7-8750H, Intel Core i7-8750H: Ø864 (856.88-926.63)
Asus GX531GM (Zephyrus S) Intel Core i7-8750H, Intel Core i7-8750H: Ø985 (977.23-1096.32)
Lenovo Legion Y530-15ICH Intel Core i7-8750H, Intel Core i7-8750H: Ø1118 (1106.5-1218.62)
MSI GS65 8RF-019DE Stealth Thin Intel Core i7-8750H, Intel Core i7-8750H: Ø981 (927.26-1023.23)
Alienware m15 GTX 1070 Max-Q Intel Core i7-8750H, Intel Core i7-8750H: Ø1164 (1146.3-1213.67)
Gigabyte Aero 15 Classic-XA Intel Core i7-9750H, Intel Core i7-9750H: Ø1007 (976.09-1115.02)
CPU clock speeds during a CB R15 Multi 64Bit loop
CPU clock speeds during a CB R15 Multi 64Bit loop
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
33467
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
6659
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
1130 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
173 Points
Help
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
MSI GS65 8RF-019DE Stealth Thin
Intel Core i7-8750H
175 Points ∼100% +1%
Razer Blade 15 Base Model
Intel Core i7-8750H
175 Points ∼100% +1%
Lenovo Legion Y530-15ICH
Intel Core i7-8750H
175 Points ∼100% +1%
Gigabyte Aero 15 Classic-XA
Intel Core i7-9750H
175 Points ∼100% +1%
Aorus 15-SA
Intel Core i7-9750H
173 Points ∼99%
Alienware m15 GTX 1070 Max-Q
Intel Core i7-8750H
172 Points ∼98% -1%
Asus GX531GM (Zephyrus S)
Intel Core i7-8750H
168 Points ∼96% -3%
Average of class Gaming
  (77 - 212, n=482)
155 Points ∼89% -10%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Alienware m15 GTX 1070 Max-Q
Intel Core i7-8750H
1218 Points ∼100% +8%
Lenovo Legion Y530-15ICH
Intel Core i7-8750H
1192 Points ∼98% +5%
Aorus 15-SA
Intel Core i7-9750H
1130 Points ∼93%
Gigabyte Aero 15 Classic-XA
Intel Core i7-9750H
1115 Points ∼92% -1%
Asus GX531GM (Zephyrus S)
Intel Core i7-8750H
1096 Points ∼90% -3%
MSI GS65 8RF-019DE Stealth Thin
Intel Core i7-8750H
1053 Points ∼86% -7%
Razer Blade 15 Base Model
Intel Core i7-8750H
923 Points ∼76% -18%
Average of class Gaming
  (196 - 2022, n=485)
804 Points ∼66% -29%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Single 32Bit
Gigabyte Aero 15 Classic-XA
Intel Core i7-9750H
6704 Points ∼100% +1%
Aorus 15-SA
Intel Core i7-9750H
6659 Points ∼99%
Asus GX531GM (Zephyrus S)
Intel Core i7-8750H
6416 Points ∼96% -4%
Average of class Gaming
  (8.85 - 8872, n=419)
4809 Points ∼72% -28%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
Gigabyte Aero 15 Classic-XA
Intel Core i7-9750H
33694 Points ∼100% +1%
Aorus 15-SA
Intel Core i7-9750H
33467 Points ∼99%
Asus GX531GM (Zephyrus S)
Intel Core i7-8750H
32791 Points ∼97% -2%
Average of class Gaming
  (19.7 - 48808, n=419)
18102 Points ∼54% -46%
Cinebench R20
CPU (Single Core)
Gigabyte Aero 15 Classic-XA
Intel Core i7-9750H
429 Points ∼100% +2%
Aorus 15-SA
Intel Core i7-9750H
420 Points ∼98%
Average of class Gaming
  (340 - 509, n=18)
415 Points ∼97% -1%
CPU (Multi Core)
Average of class Gaming
  (1685 - 4926, n=18)
2474 Points ∼100% +2%
Gigabyte Aero 15 Classic-XA
Intel Core i7-9750H
2427 Points ∼98% 0%
Aorus 15-SA
Intel Core i7-9750H
2419 Points ∼98%
Geekbench 3
32 Bit Multi-Core Score
Gigabyte Aero 15 Classic-XA
Intel Core i7-9750H
23246 Points ∼100% +6%
Asus GX531GM (Zephyrus S)
Intel Core i7-8750H
22650 Points ∼97% +4%
Aorus 15-SA
Intel Core i7-9750H
21849 Points ∼94%
Average of class Gaming
  (9307 - 27774, n=71)
16005 Points ∼69% -27%
32 Bit Single-Core Score
Gigabyte Aero 15 Classic-XA
Intel Core i7-9750H
4166 Points ∼100% +1%
Aorus 15-SA
Intel Core i7-9750H
4143 Points ∼99%
Asus GX531GM (Zephyrus S)
Intel Core i7-8750H
3998 Points ∼96% -3%
Average of class Gaming
  (2926 - 4825, n=71)
3684 Points ∼88% -11%
Geekbench 4.3
64 Bit Multi-Core Score
Gigabyte Aero 15 Classic-XA
Intel Core i7-9750H
23396 Points ∼100% +3%
Aorus 15-SA
Intel Core i7-9750H
22699 Points ∼97%
Asus GX531GM (Zephyrus S)
Intel Core i7-8750H
22276 Points ∼95% -2%
Average of class Gaming
  (4116 - 32070, n=46)
18811 Points ∼80% -17%
64 Bit Single-Core Score
Gigabyte Aero 15 Classic-XA
Intel Core i7-9750H
5218 Points ∼100% 0%
Aorus 15-SA
Intel Core i7-9750H
5194 Points ∼100%
Asus GX531GM (Zephyrus S)
Intel Core i7-8750H
4995 Points ∼96% -4%
Average of class Gaming
  (2131 - 6030, n=46)
4765 Points ∼91% -8%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score
Razer Blade 15 Base Model
Intel Core i7-8750H (Edge 42.17134.1.0)
1272.4 ms * ∼100% -18%
Average of class Gaming
  (753 - 7545, n=169)
1217 ms * ∼96% -13%
Alienware m15 GTX 1070 Max-Q
Intel Core i7-8750H (Edge 42.17134.1.0)
1115.7 ms * ∼88% -4%
Aorus 15-SA
Intel Core i7-9750H (Edge 44)
1074.5 ms * ∼84%
Gigabyte Aero 15 Classic-XA
Intel Core i7-9750H (Edge 44)
1071.8 ms * ∼84% -0%
Lenovo Legion Y530-15ICH
Intel Core i7-8750H
798.6 ms * ∼63% +26%
Octane V2 - Total Score
Lenovo Legion Y530-15ICH
Intel Core i7-8750H
37762 Points ∼100% +7%
Gigabyte Aero 15 Classic-XA
Intel Core i7-9750H (Edge 44)
36178 Points ∼96% +2%
Aorus 15-SA
Intel Core i7-9750H (Edge 44)
35433 Points ∼94%
Alienware m15 GTX 1070 Max-Q
Intel Core i7-8750H (Edge 42.17134.1.0)
33402 Points ∼88% -6%
Average of class Gaming
  (12288 - 49518, n=164)
33187 Points ∼88% -6%
Razer Blade 15 Base Model
Intel Core i7-8750H (Edge 42.17134.1.0)
29297 Points ∼78% -17%
JetStream 1.1 - Total Score
Average of class Gaming
  (51.6 - 333, n=168)
250 Points ∼100% +3%
Alienware m15 GTX 1070 Max-Q
Intel Core i7-8750H (Edge 42.17134.1.0)
249.58 Points ∼100% +3%
Gigabyte Aero 15 Classic-XA
Intel Core i7-9750H (Edge 44)
249.43 Points ∼100% +3%
Asus GX531GM (Zephyrus S)
Intel Core i7-8750H (Edge 44)
249.3 Points ∼100% +3%
Aorus 15-SA
Intel Core i7-9750H (Edge 44)
242.83 Points ∼97%
Razer Blade 15 Base Model
Intel Core i7-8750H (Edge 42.17134.1.0)
205.22 Points ∼82% -15%
Lenovo Legion Y530-15ICH
Intel Core i7-8750H
205.05 Points ∼82% -16%

* ... smaller is better

System Performance

The 15-SA motors through system performance benchmarks like PCMark 10, in which it scored more than all our comparison devices overall. In short, its powerful CPU, GPU and fast SSD should be sufficiently future-proofed for several years to come.

PCMark 10
PCMark 10
PCMark 7 Score
7445 points
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
5081 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
6075 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
5913 points
Help
PCMark 10 - Score
Aorus 15-SA
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Laptop), 9750H, Intel SSD 760p SSDPEKKW512G8
5761 Points ∼100%
Gigabyte Aero 15 Classic-XA
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 9750H, Intel SSD 760p SSDPEKKW512G8
5697 Points ∼99% -1%
Alienware m15 GTX 1070 Max-Q
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G
5426 Points ∼94% -6%
Average of class Gaming
  (2603 - 7171, n=178)
5151 Points ∼89% -11%
Lenovo Legion Y530-15ICH
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
5125 Points ∼89% -11%
Asus GX531GM (Zephyrus S)
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H, Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8
5102 Points ∼89% -11%
MSI GS65 8RF-019DE Stealth Thin
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
5095 Points ∼88% -12%
Razer Blade 15 Base Model
GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
4896 Points ∼85% -15%
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Gigabyte Aero 15 Classic-XA
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 9750H, Intel SSD 760p SSDPEKKW512G8
6035 Points ∼100% +2%
Aorus 15-SA
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Laptop), 9750H, Intel SSD 760p SSDPEKKW512G8
5913 Points ∼98%
MSI GS65 8RF-019DE Stealth Thin
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
5621 Points ∼93% -5%
Asus GX531GM (Zephyrus S)
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H, Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8
5579 Points ∼92% -6%
Lenovo Legion Y530-15ICH
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
5543 Points ∼92% -6%
Alienware m15 GTX 1070 Max-Q
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G
5407 Points ∼90% -9%
Razer Blade 15 Base Model
GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
5395 Points ∼89% -9%
Average of class Gaming
  (2484 - 6515, n=363)
5009 Points ∼83% -15%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Aorus 15-SA
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Laptop), 9750H, Intel SSD 760p SSDPEKKW512G8
5081 Points ∼100%
Gigabyte Aero 15 Classic-XA
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 9750H, Intel SSD 760p SSDPEKKW512G8
4851 Points ∼95% -5%
MSI GS65 8RF-019DE Stealth Thin
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
4665 Points ∼92% -8%
Asus GX531GM (Zephyrus S)
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H, Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8
4560 Points ∼90% -10%
Lenovo Legion Y530-15ICH
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
4440 Points ∼87% -13%
Razer Blade 15 Base Model
GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
4425 Points ∼87% -13%
Alienware m15 GTX 1070 Max-Q
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G
4418 Points ∼87% -13%
Average of class Gaming
  (3691 - 6093, n=381)
4241 Points ∼83% -17%

Storage Devices

Gigabyte has equipped the 15-SA with a 512 GB Intel 760p SSD, which utilises the NVMe protocol and four lanes of PCIe 3.0. The M.2 2280 drive has approximately 427 GB upon first use, with Windows 10 occupying the remainder of its capacity. The Intel 760p SSD achieved exemplary transfer speeds in CrystalDiskMark and finished ahead of all the drives in our comparison devices bar another Intel 760p in the Aero 15 Classic-XA.

The 15-SA has an additional M.2 2280 slot for adding a second NVMe or SATA III SSD should you need more storage. If you are feeling adventurous, you could even run the system in RAID 0 for faster transfer speeds. There is room for a 2.5-inch drive too, giving the 15-SA a total of three storage options. Gigabyte includes the necessary mounting frame and SATA III cable for adding a 2.5-inch drive.

Intel SSD 760p SSDPEKKW512G8
Sequential Read: 2342 MB/s
Sequential Write: 1406 MB/s
512K Read: 1013 MB/s
512K Write: 1175 MB/s
4K Read: 29.69 MB/s
4K Write: 130.5 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 593.8 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 428 MB/s
Aorus 15-SA
Intel SSD 760p SSDPEKKW512G8
Razer Blade 15 Base Model
Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
Asus GX531GM (Zephyrus S)
Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8
Lenovo Legion Y530-15ICH
Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
MSI GS65 8RF-019DE Stealth Thin
Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
Alienware m15 GTX 1070 Max-Q
Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G
Gigabyte Aero 15 Classic-XA
Intel SSD 760p SSDPEKKW512G8
CrystalDiskMark 5.2 / 6
-6%
-26%
-11%
-8%
-23%
6%
Write 4K
104
112.5
8%
100.8
-3%
108.9
5%
95.3
-8%
107.4
3%
115.5
11%
Read 4K
55.11
43.09
-22%
48.75
-12%
40.23
-27%
40.13
-27%
42.91
-22%
57.97
5%
Write Seq
1519
1450
-5%
975.1
-36%
1390
-8%
1883
24%
467.5
-69%
1555
2%
Read Seq
2486
1392
-44%
1344
-46%
964.2
-61%
1322
-47%
2335
-6%
2590
4%
Write 4K Q32T1
320.5
356.1
11%
283.7
-11%
314.2
-2%
309.9
-3%
289.7
-10%
369.3
15%
Read 4K Q32T1
431.8
406.9
-6%
330.3
-24%
369.2
-14%
353.7
-18%
354.4
-18%
441.7
2%
Write Seq Q32T1
1498
1451
-3%
986.3
-34%
1506
1%
1919
28%
460.9
-69%
1547
3%
Read Seq Q32T1
2868
3272
14%
1579
-45%
3446
20%
2466
-14%
3111
8%
2969
4%

Graphics Card

Gigabyte equips the 15-SA with a GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GPU, which is currently the most powerful GTX 1600 series card on the market. The GeForce GTX 1660 Ti does not support DLSS or ray tracing like its RTX 20 series counterparts though, nor does it have tensor cores. Our review unit achieved expected results in 3DMark benchmarks for a GeForce GTX 1660 Ti-powered device, which puts the 15-SA on par with its GeForce GTX 1070-powered competitors and significantly ahead of those equipped with GeForce GTX 1060 GPUs like the Zephyrus S GX531GM.

The GeForce GTX 1660 Ti supports DirectX 12 and 6 GB of GDDR6 VRAM along with a 1,455 MHz base clock speed, which it can boost up to 1,590 MHz. The GPU can exceed that boost clock speed if it does not reach its critical operating temperature or its maximum power limit, which explains why the one in our review unit can peak at 1,890 MHz. The GPU can only temporarily maintain this though and typically operates at 1,755 MHz in synthetic benchmarks. It averaged 1,815 MHz while running The Witcher 3 though, so it appears that Gigabyte has done a good job at optimising the 15-SA’s cooling system.

The 15-SA also has a UHD Graphics 630 GPU, which Intel integrates within the CPU. However, Gigabyte disables this at the factory and does not include any graphics-switching technology like NVIDIA Optimus. Hence, the NVIDIA card always remains active, the effects of which we shall cover in the Power Consumption section of this review.

Fire Strike
Fire Strike
Time Spy
Time Spy
Port Royal
Port Royal
3DMark 06 Standard
38166 points
3DMark 11 Performance
17701 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
167159 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
33672 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
13409 points
3DMark Time Spy Score
5944 points
Help
3DMark
2560x1440 Time Spy Graphics
Gigabyte Aero 15 Classic-XA
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
6716 Points ∼100% +13%
Aorus 15-SA
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Laptop)
5931 Points ∼88%
Average of class Gaming
  (368 - 13013, n=126)
5550 Points ∼83% -6%
Asus GX531GM (Zephyrus S)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
3626 Points ∼54% -39%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Gigabyte Aero 15 Classic-XA
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
17335 Points ∼100% +14%
Alienware m15 GTX 1070 Max-Q
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
16010 Points ∼92% +6%
Aorus 15-SA
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Laptop)
15164 Points ∼87%
MSI GS65 8RF-019DE Stealth Thin
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
14780 Points ∼85% -3%
Lenovo Legion Y530-15ICH
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
11640 Points ∼67% -23%
Razer Blade 15 Base Model
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q
11366 Points ∼66% -25%
Asus GX531GM (Zephyrus S)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
11332 Points ∼65% -25%
Average of class Gaming
  (385 - 40636, n=508)
11046 Points ∼64% -27%
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
Gigabyte Aero 15 Classic-XA
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
22005 Points ∼100% +5%
Aorus 15-SA
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Laptop)
20862 Points ∼95%
Alienware m15 GTX 1070 Max-Q
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
20573 Points ∼93% -1%
MSI GS65 8RF-019DE Stealth Thin
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
18687 Points ∼85% -10%
Lenovo Legion Y530-15ICH
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
14569 Points ∼66% -30%
Razer Blade 15 Base Model
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q
14351 Points ∼65% -31%
Average of class Gaming
  (513 - 50983, n=583)
12955 Points ∼59% -38%
Asus GX531GM (Zephyrus S)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
12620 Points ∼57% -40%

Gaming Performance

The 15-SA has no problems with playing all modern triple-A titles at maximum graphics in 1080p. Only Metro Exodus and The Witcher 3 averaged below 60 FPS of the games that we tested on our review unit, but both are still playable. You may have to reduce the graphics settings if you want to game in 4K on an external monitor though.

The Witcher 3 - 1920x1080 Ultra Graphics & Postprocessing (HBAO+)
Gigabyte Aero 15 Classic-XA
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 9750H
64.1 fps ∼100% +12%
Aorus 15-SA
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Laptop), 9750H
57.1 (min: 46) fps ∼89%
Alienware m15 GTX 1070 Max-Q
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H
54.2 fps ∼85% -5%
MSI GS65 8RF-019DE Stealth Thin
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H
52.7 fps ∼82% -8%
Average of class Gaming
  (12.6 - 115, n=281)
48.5 fps ∼76% -15%
Lenovo Legion Y530-15ICH
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H
41.4 fps ∼65% -27%
Asus GX531GM (Zephyrus S)
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H
40 fps ∼62% -30%
Razer Blade 15 Base Model
GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, 8750H
38.5 fps ∼60% -33%
BioShock Infinite - 1920x1080 Ultra Preset, DX11 (DDOF)
Gigabyte Aero 15 Classic-XA
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 9750H
150.3 fps ∼100% +7%
Aorus 15-SA
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Laptop), 9750H
140.3 fps ∼93%
Alienware m15 GTX 1070 Max-Q
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H
136.8 fps ∼91% -2%
Lenovo Legion Y530-15ICH
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H
114.2 fps ∼76% -19%
Razer Blade 15 Base Model
GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, 8750H
112 fps ∼75% -20%
Asus GX531GM (Zephyrus S)
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H
109.4 fps ∼73% -22%
Average of class Gaming
  (9.7 - 266, n=319)
94.8 fps ∼63% -32%
GTA V - 1920x1080 Highest Settings possible AA:4xMSAA + FX AF:16x
Aorus 15-SA
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Laptop), 9750H
68.1 fps ∼100%
Asus GX531GM (Zephyrus S)
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H
51 fps ∼75% -25%
Average of class Gaming
  (2.9 - 107, n=26)
46.9 fps ∼69% -31%
X-Plane 11.11 - 1920x1080 high (fps_test=3)
Aorus 15-SA
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Laptop), 9750H
79.8 fps ∼100%
Asus GX531GM (Zephyrus S)
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H
70.4 fps ∼88% -12%
Average of class Gaming
  (17.2 - 92.5, n=21)
61.9 fps ∼78% -22%
World of Tanks enCore - 1920x1080 Ultra AA:TSSAA HQ
Gigabyte Aero 15 Classic-XA
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 9750H
129.1 fps ∼100% +8%
Aorus 15-SA
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Laptop), 9750H
119.3 fps ∼92%
Average of class Gaming
  (9.6 - 129, n=7)
64.5 fps ∼50% -46%

We also ran The Witcher 3 for 60 minutes at maximum graphics in 1080p to check how the system managed performance under sustained load. We leave the playable character stationary for the entire play-through, for reference. Frame rates always remained playable save for a short aberration, although they had dropped by around 20% by the end of the test.

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