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

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.
Sascha Mölck, 👁 Florian Glaser (translated by Alex Alderson),

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 Mobile - 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 (10/100/1000/2500/5000MBit/s), Killer Wireless-AC 1550i Wireless Network Adapter (9560NGW) (a/b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5), 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%
Average of class Gaming
  (141 - 1620, n=307)
657 MBit/s ∼94% -2%
Asus GX531GM (Zephyrus S)
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
646 (min: 611, max: 665) MBit/s ∼93% -4%
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 - 1645, n=307)
612 MBit/s ∼90% -10%
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
LG Philips LP156WFG-SPB2 (LGD05E8)
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 Ø5.9, calibrated: 1.37
ΔE Greyscale 3.94 | 0.64-98 Ø6.1
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. » 15 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (24.8 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. » 11 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (39.3 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: 50 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 18284 (minimum: 5 - maximum: 2500000) 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 - 215, n=564)
159 Points ∼91% -8%
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 - 2804, n=568)
871 Points ∼72% -23%
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
  (1645 - 8872, n=440)
4904 Points ∼73% -26%
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
  (3026 - 50462, n=440)
18844 Points ∼56% -44%
Cinebench R20
CPU (Single Core)
Average of class Gaming
  (340 - 511, n=84)
438 Points ∼100% +4%
Gigabyte Aero 15 Classic-XA
Intel Core i7-9750H
429 Points ∼98% +2%
Aorus 15-SA
Intel Core i7-9750H
420 Points ∼96%
CPU (Multi Core)
Average of class Gaming
  (1530 - 6321, n=85)
2773 Points ∼100% +15%
Gigabyte Aero 15 Classic-XA
Intel Core i7-9750H
2427 Points ∼88% 0%
Aorus 15-SA
Intel Core i7-9750H
2419 Points ∼87%
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=81)
16229 Points ∼70% -26%
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=81)
3710 Points ∼89% -10%
Geekbench 4.4
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 - 40720, n=80)
20070 Points ∼86% -12%
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=80)
4891 Points ∼94% -6%
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
  (746 - 7545, n=227)
1170 ms * ∼92% -9%
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%
Average of class Gaming
  (12288 - 49518, n=209)
33647 Points ∼89% -5%
Alienware m15 GTX 1070 Max-Q
Intel Core i7-8750H (Edge 42.17134.1.0)
33402 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=216)
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 Mobile, i7-9750H, Intel SSD 760p SSDPEKKW512G8
5761 Points ∼100%
Gigabyte Aero 15 Classic-XA
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, i7-9750H, Intel SSD 760p SSDPEKKW512G8
5697 Points ∼99% -1%
Alienware m15 GTX 1070 Max-Q
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, i7-8750H, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G
5426 Points ∼94% -6%
Average of class Gaming
  (2603 - 7511, n=258)
5291 Points ∼92% -8%
Lenovo Legion Y530-15ICH
GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile, i7-8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
5125 Points ∼89% -11%
Asus GX531GM (Zephyrus S)
GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile, i7-8750H, Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8
5102 Points ∼89% -11%
MSI GS65 8RF-019DE Stealth Thin
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, i7-8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
5095 Points ∼88% -12%
Razer Blade 15 Base Model
GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, i7-8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
4896 Points ∼85% -15%
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Gigabyte Aero 15 Classic-XA
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, i7-9750H, Intel SSD 760p SSDPEKKW512G8
6035 Points ∼100% +2%
Aorus 15-SA
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Mobile, i7-9750H, Intel SSD 760p SSDPEKKW512G8
5913 Points ∼98%
MSI GS65 8RF-019DE Stealth Thin
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, i7-8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
5621 Points ∼93% -5%
Asus GX531GM (Zephyrus S)
GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile, i7-8750H, Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8
5579 Points ∼92% -6%
Lenovo Legion Y530-15ICH
GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile, i7-8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
5543 Points ∼92% -6%
Alienware m15 GTX 1070 Max-Q
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, i7-8750H, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G
5407 Points ∼90% -9%
Razer Blade 15 Base Model
GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, i7-8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
5395 Points ∼89% -9%
Average of class Gaming
  (2484 - 6593, n=422)
5075 Points ∼84% -14%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Aorus 15-SA
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Mobile, i7-9750H, Intel SSD 760p SSDPEKKW512G8
5081 Points ∼100%
Gigabyte Aero 15 Classic-XA
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, i7-9750H, Intel SSD 760p SSDPEKKW512G8
4851 Points ∼95% -5%
MSI GS65 8RF-019DE Stealth Thin
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, i7-8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
4665 Points ∼92% -8%
Asus GX531GM (Zephyrus S)
GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile, i7-8750H, Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8
4560 Points ∼90% -10%
Lenovo Legion Y530-15ICH
GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile, i7-8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
4440 Points ∼87% -13%
Razer Blade 15 Base Model
GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, i7-8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
4425 Points ∼87% -13%
Alienware m15 GTX 1070 Max-Q
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, i7-8750H, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G
4418 Points ∼87% -13%
Average of class Gaming
  (2554 - 6093, n=439)
4275 Points ∼84% -16%

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 Mobile
5931 Points ∼88%
Average of class Gaming
  (368 - 13013, n=203)
5882 Points ∼88% -1%
Asus GX531GM (Zephyrus S)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile
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 Mobile
15164 Points ∼87%
MSI GS65 8RF-019DE Stealth Thin
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
14780 Points ∼85% -3%
Average of class Gaming
  (385 - 40636, n=590)
11837 Points ∼68% -22%
Lenovo Legion Y530-15ICH
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile
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 Mobile
11332 Points ∼65% -25%
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 Mobile
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 Mobile
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=667)
14104 Points ∼64% -32%
Asus GX531GM (Zephyrus S)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile
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, i7-9750H
64.1 fps ∼100% +12%
Aorus 15-SA
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Mobile, i7-9750H
57.1 (min: 46) fps ∼89%
Alienware m15 GTX 1070 Max-Q
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, i7-8750H
54.2 fps ∼85% -5%
MSI GS65 8RF-019DE Stealth Thin
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, i7-8750H
52.7 fps ∼82% -8%
Average of class Gaming
  (12.6 - 115, n=357)
51.6 fps ∼80% -10%
Lenovo Legion Y530-15ICH
GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile, i7-8750H
41.4 fps ∼65% -27%
Asus GX531GM (Zephyrus S)
GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile, i7-8750H
40 fps ∼62% -30%
Razer Blade 15 Base Model
GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, i7-8750H
38.5 fps ∼60% -33%
BioShock Infinite - 1920x1080 Ultra Preset, DX11 (DDOF)
Gigabyte Aero 15 Classic-XA
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, i7-9750H
150.3 fps ∼100% +7%
Aorus 15-SA
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Mobile, i7-9750H
140.3 fps ∼93%
Alienware m15 GTX 1070 Max-Q
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, i7-8750H
136.8 fps ∼91% -2%
Lenovo Legion Y530-15ICH
GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile, i7-8750H
114.2 fps ∼76% -19%
Razer Blade 15 Base Model
GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, i7-8750H
112 fps ∼75% -20%
Asus GX531GM (Zephyrus S)
GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile, i7-8750H
109.4 fps ∼73% -22%
Average of class Gaming
  (9.7 - 266, n=367)
100 fps ∼67% -29%
GTA V - 1920x1080 Highest Settings possible AA:4xMSAA + FX AF:16x
Aorus 15-SA
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Mobile, i7-9750H
68.1 fps ∼100%
Average of class Gaming
  (2.9 - 107, n=39)
54.4 fps ∼80% -20%
Asus GX531GM (Zephyrus S)
GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile, i7-8750H
51 fps ∼75% -25%
X-Plane 11.11 - 1920x1080 high (fps_test=3)
Aorus 15-SA
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Mobile, i7-9750H
79.8 fps ∼100%
Asus GX531GM (Zephyrus S)
GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile, i7-8750H
70.4 fps ∼88% -12%
Average of class Gaming
  (17.2 - 92.5, n=53)
68.2 fps ∼85% -15%
World of Tanks enCore - 1920x1080 Ultra AA:TSSAA HQ
Gigabyte Aero 15 Classic-XA
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, i7-9750H
129.1 fps ∼100% +8%
Aorus 15-SA
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Mobile, i7-9750H
119.3 fps ∼92%
Average of class Gaming
  (9.6 - 129, n=11)
68.3 fps ∼53% -43%

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.

051015202530354045505560657075Tooltip
Aorus 15-SA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Mobile, i7-9750H, Intel SSD 760p SSDPEKKW512G8; The Witcher 3: Ø57.9 (4-61)
Razer Blade 15 Base Model GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, i7-8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ; The Witcher 3: Ø37.3 (34-41)
Asus GX531GM (Zephyrus S) GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile, i7-8750H, Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8; The Witcher 3: Ø36.6 (32-42)
Lenovo Legion Y530-15ICH GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile, i7-8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ; The Witcher 3: Ø39 (36-42)
MSI GS65 8RF-019DE Stealth Thin GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, i7-8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ; The Witcher 3: Ø49.5 (46-53)
Alienware m15 GTX 1070 Max-Q GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, i7-8750H, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G; The Witcher 3: Ø52 (49-56)
Gigabyte Aero 15 Classic-XA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, i7-9750H, Intel SSD 760p SSDPEKKW512G8; The Witcher 3: Ø63 (1-68)
GPU information while playing The Witcher 3
GPU information while playing The Witcher 3
low med. high ultra
BioShock Infinite (2013) 331.2 287.2 252 140.3 fps
GTA V (2015) 152.7 142.5 123.7 68.1 fps
The Witcher 3 (2015) 257.1 180.8 104.3 57.1 fps
World of Warships (2015) 220.1 179.7 148.2 141.1 fps
X-Plane 11.11 (2018) 105.3 95 79.8 fps
World of Tanks enCore (2018) 558.8 247.6 119.3 fps
Forza Horizon 4 (2018) 161 134 125 99 fps
Far Cry New Dawn (2019) 104 90 86 78 fps
Metro Exodus (2019) 123.9 64.1 48.7 39.6 fps
Rage 2 (2019) 162.7 81.6 69.5 67.9 fps

Emissions

Fan Noise

The 15-SA is a noisy device. Its two fans remain audible even when the system is idling and reach a maximum of 41 dB(A). The fans peaked at 56 dB(A) during our stress test and at 52 dB(A) while playing The Witcher 3, both of which are loud enough to drown out the internal speakers at maximum volume. In short, headphones are indispensable if you are gaming.

Fan noise at idle
Fan noise at idle
Fan noise under load
Fan noise under load
Speaker frequency graph
Speaker frequency graph

Noise Level

Idle
32 / 35 / 41 dB(A)
Load
54 / 56 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: 29 dB(A)
Aorus 15-SA
i7-9750H, GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Mobile
Razer Blade 15 Base Model
i7-8750H, GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q
Asus GX531GM (Zephyrus S)
i7-8750H, GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile
Lenovo Legion Y530-15ICH
i7-8750H, GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile
MSI GS65 8RF-019DE Stealth Thin
i7-8750H, GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
Alienware m15 GTX 1070 Max-Q
i7-8750H, GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
Gigabyte Aero 15 Classic-XA
i7-9750H, GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
Average of class Gaming
 
Noise
11%
16%
14%
13%
14%
3%
10%
off / environment *
29
27.8
4%
30.3
-4%
30.2
-4%
30
-3%
28.6
1%
30
-3%
29.4 (27.7 - 32, n=359)
-1%
Idle Minimum *
32
31
3%
30.3
5%
30.9
3%
30
6%
28.6
11%
31
3%
31.4 (28 - 42, n=781)
2%
Idle Average *
35
31.2
11%
33.2
5%
30.9
12%
31
11%
28.6
18%
34
3%
32.6 (28 - 46.6, n=781)
7%
Idle Maximum *
41
31.3
24%
33.2
19%
31.6
23%
34
17%
28.6
30%
39
5%
34.7 (28 - 52, n=782)
15%
Load Average *
54
47.2
13%
32.3
40%
42.3
22%
43
20%
40.8
24%
46
15%
40.9 (30.1 - 59, n=782)
24%
Witcher 3 ultra *
52
51.3
1%
42
19%
49.6
5%
53
-2%
Load Maximum *
56
44.3
21%
39
30%
40
29%
44
21%
49.6
11%
55
2%
48.3 (38.9 - 64.1, n=782)
14%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

We subjected our review unit to a FurMark and Prime95 stress test, which we ran for at least an hour to determine how well it manages its performance under extreme load conditions. Notably, the 15-SA performs better when on charge than when we ran our stress test on battery. The CPU operated at between 2.7 and 2.9 GHz in the former scenario, with the GPU able to maintain a clock speed of 1,515 MHz. By contrast, the CPU downclocks to 800 MHz on battery, although it occasionally reached 1.4 GHz. Additionally, the GPU fluctuates between 1,300 MHz and 1,450 MHz.

You should not experience such heavy throttling either on battery or on charge in daily use though. We have designed our stress test to push our test devices to their limits, which works systems harder than even the most demanding triple-A games do.

System information while playing The Witcher 3
System information while playing The Witcher 3
System information during a stress test
System information during a 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

The 15-SA gets incredibly hot to the touch under load, especially on its underside. Some areas of our review unit exceeded 50 °C during our stress tests, with two areas peaking at 58 °C. Surface temperatures are slightly lower when gaming as demonstrated by our The Witcher 3 results, but most of the bottom case still exceeds 50 °C. In short, we would advise against using the 15-SA on your lap if you are pushing the machine hard.

Our review unit also runs rather hot when idling. Most of the case peaks at over 30 °C. Even the palm rest will never feel cool to the touch. The 15-SA runs slightly cooler than its sister model, the 15-W9, although this is unsurprising considering that the latter has a GeForce RTX 2060 GPU on board.

Max. Load
 44 °C
111 F
43 °C
109 F
43 °C
109 F
 
 42 °C
108 F
43 °C
109 F
41 °C
106 F
 
 34 °C
93 F
39 °C
102 F
33 °C
91 F
 
Maximum: 44 °C = 111 F
Average: 40.2 °C = 104 F
58 °C
136 F
58 °C
136 F
50 °C
122 F
54 °C
129 F
56 °C
133 F
42 °C
108 F
33 °C
91 F
34 °C
93 F
30 °C
86 F
Maximum: 58 °C = 136 F
Average: 46.1 °C = 115 F
Power Supply (max.)  48 °C = 118 F | Room Temperature 20 °C = 68 F | Voltcraft IR-900
(-) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 40.2 °C / 104 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 44 °C / 111 F, compared to the average of 39.7 °C / 103 F, ranging from 21.6 to 68.8 °C for the class Gaming.
(-) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 58 °C / 136 F, compared to the average of 42.4 °C / 108 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 28.9 °C / 84 F, compared to the device average of 33.2 °C / 92 F.
(±) Playing The Witcher 3, the average temperature for the upper side is 37.6 °C / 100 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 39 °C / 102.2 F.
(-) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 28.8 °C / 83.8 F (-10.2 °C / -18.4 F).
Aorus 15-SA
i7-9750H, GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Mobile
Razer Blade 15 Base Model
i7-8750H, GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q
Asus GX531GM (Zephyrus S)
i7-8750H, GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile
Lenovo Legion Y530-15ICH
i7-8750H, GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile
MSI GS65 8RF-019DE Stealth Thin
i7-8750H, GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
Alienware m15 GTX 1070 Max-Q
i7-8750H, GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
Gigabyte Aero 15 Classic-XA
i7-9750H, GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
Average of class Gaming
 
Heat
8%
12%
10%
7%
-1%
-8%
4%
Maximum Upper Side *
44
45.2
-3%
47.7
-8%
48.4
-10%
49
-11%
52
-18%
58
-32%
45.9 (28 - 68.8, n=747)
-4%
Maximum Bottom *
58
46.4
20%
46.1
21%
48
17%
63
-9%
55.6
4%
64
-10%
49.7 (25.9 - 78, n=745)
14%
Idle Upper Side *
30
27.2
9%
26.2
13%
26.7
11%
24
20%
29.8
1%
30
-0%
30.7 (21.6 - 46.8, n=699)
-2%
Idle Bottom *
34
32.8
4%
27.1
20%
26.9
21%
25
26%
31
9%
31
9%
31.8 (21.1 - 50.3, n=697)
6%

* ... smaller is better

Speakers

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2034.539.22535.839.1312830.84030.435.25027.230.46326.728.68024.52710024.627.812525.631.816024.540.42002242.325020.85231520.35440018.858.950018.362.363018.263.680017.861.4100017.663.9125018.56616001868.4200017.267.6250017.767.2315017.367.7400017.361500017.556.7630017.261.8800017.261.91000017.261.11250017.159.21600016.954.6SPL29.976.9N1.338.5median 17.8median 61.1Delta1.75.343.345.539.640.632.434.934.435.527.228.829.332.327.732.226.832.523.434.222.74922.958.323.562.119.962.219.762.419.260.217.967.51871.917.87118.975.217.871.617.470.117.768.517.770.917.869.317.562.417.564.617.467.717.366.717.367.617.362.630.281.91.453.1median 17.8median 66.71.54.7hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseAorus 15-SAGigabyte Aero 15 Classic-XA
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
Aorus 15-SA audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (77 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 19.7% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (10.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 3.5% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2.7% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (5.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (17.4% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 53% of all tested devices in this class were better, 6% similar, 41% worse
» The best had a delta of 6%, average was 18%, worst was 37%
Compared to all devices tested
» 26% of all tested devices were better, 6% similar, 68% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 65%

Gigabyte Aero 15 Classic-XA audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (82 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 17% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (10.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 4.7% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (6.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2.3% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (5.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (14.3% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 30% of all tested devices in this class were better, 5% similar, 65% worse
» The best had a delta of 6%, average was 18%, worst was 37%
Compared to all devices tested
» 12% of all tested devices were better, 3% similar, 85% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 65%

Power Management

Power Consumption

The 15-SA has comparatively high power consumption and is less efficient than all but the Aero 15 Classic-XA of our comparison devices. This is perhaps unsurprising considering the 15-SA’s powerful components, but the lack of NVIDIA Optimus integration takes its toll.

Our review unit consumes a minimum of 20 W when idling, which is up to 65% higher than our most efficient comparison device. We also recorded a maximum consumption of 173 W under load and 136 W while playing The Witcher 3. These values are in line with expectations, with the 15-SA consuming roughly as much as the 15-W9 does.

Gigabyte includes a 180 W power supply in the box. Our power consumption tests certify that the power supply will keep the 15-SA charging even when it is operating under sustained load.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.6 / 1 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 20 / 23 / 29 Watt
Load midlight 87 / 173 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Aorus 15-SA
i7-9750H, GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Mobile
Razer Blade 15 Base Model
i7-8750H, GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q
Asus GX531GM (Zephyrus S)
i7-8750H, GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile
Lenovo Legion Y530-15ICH
i7-8750H, GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile
MSI GS65 8RF-019DE Stealth Thin
i7-8750H, GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
Alienware m15 GTX 1070 Max-Q
i7-8750H, GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
Gigabyte Aero 15 Classic-XA
i7-9750H, GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
Average of class Gaming
 
Power Consumption
26%
14%
30%
22%
22%
-10%
-6%
Idle Minimum *
20
10.2
49%
13.8
31%
7.3
63%
7
65%
7.6
62%
21
-5%
19.3 (1.9 - 113, n=743)
3%
Idle Average *
23
13.2
43%
20.9
9%
11.1
52%
11
52%
13.8
40%
23
-0%
24.7 (6.6 - 119, n=743)
-7%
Idle Maximum *
29
17.6
39%
26
10%
12.6
57%
20
31%
14.6
50%
32
-10%
30.2 (8.3 - 122, n=743)
-4%
Load Average *
87
99.5
-14%
89
-2%
109
-25%
98
-13%
97.6
-12%
97
-11%
104 (14.1 - 319, n=733)
-20%
Load Maximum *
173
133.3
23%
131
24%
168
3%
182
-5%
172.5
-0%
213
-23%
174 (21.9 - 590, n=732)
-1%
Witcher 3 ultra *
136
113.6
16%
132
3%
145.8
-7%
148
-9%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

The 15-SA has a 62 Wh battery, which is a smaller capacity than all but the Zephyrus S GX531GM and the Legion Y530 of our comparison devices. Moreover, some laptops like the m15 and Aero 15 Classic-XA have around 50% larger batteries than our review unit.

Unsurprisingly, the 15-SA has comparatively poor battery life. Worse still, all our comparison devices lasted longer than our review unit in our battery life tests, including those that have smaller batteries. The 15-SA lasted just 2:49 hours in our Wi-Fi battery life test, which is appalling. We conduct this test by running a script that simulates the load required to render websites and set the display to approximately 150 cd/m². We also left the device on its Balanced power mode, for reference.

The 15-SA fares no better in our battery life tests, lasting just 2:46 hours in our looped H.264 video test, 2:02 hours under sustained load and 3:28 hours when idling.

Overall, the 15-SA would last longer between charges if it supported NVIDIA Optimus, which would have allowed it to reduce power consumption by disabling its dedicated GPU when it is not being used. Nevertheless, the 15-SA lasts a little longer than its sibling, the 15-W9.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
3h 28min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3 (Edge 44)
2h 49min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
2h 46min
Load (maximum brightness)
2h 02min
Aorus 15-SA
i7-9750H, GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Mobile, 62 Wh
Razer Blade 15 Base Model
i7-8750H, GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, 65 Wh
Asus GX531GM (Zephyrus S)
i7-8750H, GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile, 53 Wh
Lenovo Legion Y530-15ICH
i7-8750H, GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile, 52 Wh
MSI GS65 8RF-019DE Stealth Thin
i7-8750H, GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 82 Wh
Alienware m15 GTX 1070 Max-Q
i7-8750H, GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 90 Wh
Gigabyte Aero 15 Classic-XA
i7-9750H, GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 94.24 Wh
Average of class Gaming
 
Battery Runtime
99%
14%
31%
85%
120%
126%
36%
Reader / Idle
208
690
232%
495
138%
507
144%
627
201%
545
162%
351 (39 - 1174, n=698)
69%
H.264
166
356
114%
408
146%
256 (88 - 508, n=152)
54%
WiFi v1.3
169
330
95%
193
14%
228
35%
362
114%
463
174%
421
149%
261 (62 - 622, n=408)
54%
Load
122
87
-29%
26
-79%
81
-34%
103
-16%
181
48%
79.3 (18 - 202, n=665)
-35%

Pros

+ attractive design
+ slim bezels
+ 144 Hz panel
+ NVMe SSD
+ free M.2 2280 PCIe/SATA slot
+ free SATA III 2.5-inch drive bay
+ easy to repair and maintain
+ excellent performance

Cons

- no NVIDIA Optimus or G-Sync
- warm and loud under load
- no Thunderbolt 3
- poor battery life

Verdict

The Aorus 15-SA-7DE0250W laptop review. Test device courtesy of Gigabyte Germany.
The Aorus 15-SA-7DE0250W laptop review. Test device courtesy of Gigabyte Germany.

Gigabyte has equipped the Aorus 15-SA with a cutting-edge combination of hardware. Its Core i7-9750H processor and GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GPU handle all triple-A games without issue and make full use of the 15-SA’s 144 Hz display. Do not underestimate the GTX 1660 Ti either, as it almost reaches the performance of the GeForce RTX 2060. The Aorus 15-SA is not a cool and quiet gaming laptop though.

The Gigabyte Aorus 15-SA is the genuine article: A true 15.6-inch gaming laptop that blitzes through all modern games. The device is not without its shortcomings though.

Gigabyte has also equipped the device with a fast NVMe SSD, which ensures that the system always runs smoothly. If 512 GB of storage is not enough, you can always add a second M.2 2280 drive and even a 2.5-inch drive.

The 144 Hz IPS display is a mixed bag. On the one hand, it has stable viewing angles and fast response times. However, its contrast ratio and maximum brightness should be higher for a gaming laptop at this price. The RGB backlit keyboard impressed us though and is pleasant to type on. However, the battery life is not worth mentioning.

Moreover, we cannot fathom why Gigabyte only included a USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C port rather than a more versatile Thunderbolt 3 port. The inclusion of just a microSD card reader is disappointing too, especially as there is space for Gigabyte to have included a full-sized one. Overall, the Gigabyte Aorus 15-SA is an excellent gaming laptop, which is let down by its dim display, limited selection of ports and poor battery life.

Aorus 15-SA - 06/16/2019 v6(old)
Sascha Mölck

Chassis
86 / 98 → 87%