Notebookcheck

Gigabyte P37X Notebook Review

Thin is in. How thin of a laptop can you fit a GTX 980M? The Gigabyte P37 is the thinnest 17.3-inch notebook with the Nvidia GPU and we find out if there are any performance consequences that may entail.

Gigabyte pride themselves in offering ultra slim and lightweight gaming models from the 14-inch P34W to the 15.6-inch P35 series and the even larger 17.3-inch P37 models. There are no compromises to the hardware either as these notebooks sport high-end GTX 970M and 980M GPUs with reasonably easy maintenance and accessibility.

Today we take a closer look at the P37 series, in particular the P37X configuration. It's equipped with powerful mobile components including a Core i7-4720HQ, GTX 980M GPU, 16 GB RAM, matte 1080p IPS display, and 128 GB SSDs in RAID 0. The only other configuration is the P37W, which is essentially identical save for its GTX 970M GPU and installed RAM.

The P37X starts at $2000 with 8 GB RAM and a 1 TB HDD. We compare it to the current popular lineup of 17-inch gaming notebooks to see if the Gigabyte can hold its own in terms of performance and expandability.

Case

If you're looking for the thinnest and lightest 17.3-inch notebook with GTX 980M graphics, then the P37X will certainly deliver. Its thickness of 22.5 mm is less than half of the popular Asus G751 and its weight of 2.8 to 2.9 kg is rivaled closest by the much less powerful Acer Aspire V17 Nitro at 3 kg. If anyone is counting, the MSI GS70 and its GTX 970M graphics is half a millimeter thinner and about 100 g lighter than the P37. Otherwise, most gaming notebooks in this size category are usually in the 3.5 kg range or heavier. The slim profile on its own doesn't look very impressive at first glance, but the difference in size is remarkable when the Gigabyte is placed sitting next to the MSI GT72 or Alienware 17.

Beyond the thin looks, the chassis has a very basic matte dark gray appearance with no special surfaces or accent marks to really make it stand out. It has a very barebones aesthetic as if the chassis was produced by Clevo. Visually, the aluminum lid and body look very similar to the smaller P34W. The base feels thick to prevent any major twisting or depressions, even down on the center of the keyboard, and the small hinges are taut up to the maximum angle allowed. The lid itself could have been more rigid as it can still be twisted side-to-side without too much effort. It's overall a strong case, especially compared to the lesser build qualities of the Lenovo Y70 and Acer V17 Nitro.

Thin with no standout colors or features
Thin with no standout colors or features

Connectivity

Available interfaces are plentiful despite the thin profile of the notebook. Three video-out ports should be more than enough for users alongside the expected Gigabit Ethernet, 4x USB ports, and SD card reader. This is compared to only one video-out port on the Acer Aspire V17. For what it's worth, the Aorus X7 and GT72 have even more USB ports than the P37.

Front: Optical drive
Front: Optical drive
Right: Mini DisplayPort, 2x USB 3.0, HDMI-out, VGA-out, DC-in
Right: Mini DisplayPort, 2x USB 3.0, HDMI-out, VGA-out, DC-in
Rear: No connectivity
Rear: No connectivity
Left: Kensington Lock, Gigabit Ethernet, 2x USB 2.0, SD reader, 3.5 mm mic-in, 3.5 mm earphones
Left: Kensington Lock, Gigabit Ethernet, 2x USB 2.0, SD reader, 3.5 mm mic-in, 3.5 mm earphones

Communication

A half-mini PCIe Intel 7260 card provides both 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.0 support. This common dual-band module supports transfer speeds of up to 867 Mbps and we experienced no connectivity issues when paired with a standard home network. For the most reliable connection, a Gigabit Ethernet port is available as is standard for most gaming notebooks. This is certainly a sigh of relief especially after coming from the Razer Blade 14 and its very limited communication options.

Additional options like WWAN or GPS are not available as expected from a dedicated gaming notebook.

Accessories

A full User's Guide, Gigabyte Drivers disc, PowerDVD 10 disc, and warranty card are included with the P37. An HDD bay caddy cover is thrown in as well since the optical drive can be removed to reduce weight or replaced with an additional 2.5-inch SATA drive. 

Warranty

A two-year global warranty is standard for Gigabyte notebooks, which is a year more than most manufacturers. Buyers must register their purchases with Gigabyte here to receive the coverage. The AC adapter and battery are covered for one year only. 

Input Devices

Keyboard

The full-size chicklet keyboard (35.5 x 10.5 cm) provides very good and relatively quiet tactile feedback with no responsiveness issues. Travel is satisfactory and a bit better than on the Y70, but could still be a bit deeper as it's a hair shallower than the keyboard on the Eurocom X8. There are no dedicated auxiliary keys as there are on the MSI G Series.

A column of macro keys sits on the left hand side of the keyboard similar to the Alienware 18. The five customizable keys (labeled G1 to G5) can be cycled through five different sets for a total of 25 different macros. We especially like the location of these keys as they can be easily and quickly pressed with the left hand while on the WASD keys when gaming. This is in contrast to the Chimera CX-9, which has its macro keys out-of-reach and above the keyboard instead. The macro keys here are a bit smaller and softer compared to the main QWERTY keys, so there is certainly still room for improvement.

Touchpad

The touchpad is an adequate 10 x 7 cm, but the available surface area for cursor movement is actually less than it appears at about 10 x 5.5 cm because the bottom section of the touchpad is reserved for mouse clicks only. There is no texture or surface separation between the touchpad and mouse keys, so controlling the cursor can be a pain as it will frequently start and stop as you glide across the entirety of the touchpad surface. Responsiveness is fine otherwise, but some kind of separation between the tracking and non-tracking surfaces would aid in ergonomics.

The mouse clicks themselves are uneven between the left and right click keys. The left click feels more satisfying with a more tactile and firm auditory response compared to the spongier right click. Both sides could definitely use more depth though, especially compared to the superior touchpads on the G751 and newer Clevo models.

Display

Unlike the recent 15.6-inch MSI GS60 models, Gigabyte is sticking with matte 1080p displays for the P37 series. The LG Philips LP173WF4-SPF1 panel used here can also be found on the Lenovo Y70 and Acer Aspire V17 and while it may not be as sharp as 2K or 3K+ panels, it avoids any scaling issues that commonly arise with higher native resolutions. The screen is also remarkably devoid of any color noise, so pictures appear extremely clean with pure colors.

Display brightness is high for a gaming notebook at an average of about 350 nits. 250 nits (or higher for glossy displays) is usually enough for an indoor environment, but it's nice to have the option to go brighter if needed. Its contrast of about 500:1 is good for gaming and movies. Competing notebooks, however, tend to offer higher contrast for even deeper black levels at the cost of lower maximum display brightness compared to the P37X.

330.9
cd/m²
339.5
cd/m²
346.5
cd/m²
343.1
cd/m²
361.7
cd/m²
353.1
cd/m²
337.5
cd/m²
356.3
cd/m²
351.8
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro Basic 2
Maximum: 361.7 cd/m² Average: 346.7 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 91 %
Center on Battery: 361.7 cd/m²
Contrast: 493:1 (Black: 0.734 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 2.81 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 1.92 | - Ø
57.95% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll)
Gamma: 2.21
Gigabyte P37XAorus X7 ProAlienware 17 (GTX 880M)Asus G751JY-T7009HLenovo Y70-70 TouchIbuypower GT72 Dominator
Screen
-6%
-85%
-6%
27%
-95%
Brightness
347
283
-18%
284
-18%
326
-6%
332
-4%
255
-27%
Brightness Distribution
91
82
-10%
90
-1%
93
2%
84
-8%
84
-8%
Black Level *
0.734
0.54
26%
0.49
33%
0.47
36%
0.4
46%
0.224
69%
Contrast
493
589
19%
616
25%
700
42%
862
75%
1178
139%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
2.81
3.79
-35%
9.31
-231%
3.95
-41%
11.85
-322%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
1.92
2.35
-22%
9.63
-402%
3.36
-75%
11.75
-512%
Gamma
2.21 109%
2.37 101%
2.13 113%
2.46 98%
2.22 108%
CCT
6384 102%
6775 96%
10778 60%
5961 109%
14746 44%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
57.95
58
0%
57
-2%
56
-3%
56.31
-3%

* ... smaller is better

Color space reproduction is very good at 78 percent and 58 percent of sRGB and AdobeRGB, respectively. The coverage is a least 10 percent more than budget TN panels for both standards and is equivalent to expensive IPS panels aside from those found on professional mobile workstations like HP ZBooks or Dell Precision models. Colors are also about as wide as competing Asus G751 and Aorus X7 models at over 90 percent overlap.

vs. AdobeRGB
vs. AdobeRGB
vs. sRGB
vs. sRGB
vs. Asus G751
vs. Asus G751
vs. Aorus X7 Pro
vs. Aorus X7 Pro

Further color analyses with an X-Rite spectrophotometer reveal accurate grayscale and colors out-of-the-box. All colors have very low DeltaE deviations and are generally more accurate the lower the saturation level. Yellow and Orange colors are represented least accurately compared to the other colors, which is again similar to the Lenovo Y70. Calibration efforts resulted in very marginal improvements across the board.

Grayscale pre-calibration
Grayscale pre-calibration
Saturation Sweeps pre-calibration
Saturation Sweeps pre-calibration
ColorChecker pre-calibration
ColorChecker pre-calibration
Grayscale post calibration
Grayscale post calibration
Saturation Sweeps post calibration
Saturation Sweeps post calibration
ColorChecker post calibration
ColorChecker post calibration

Outdoor visibility is better than expected due to the relatively high brightness, low DPI, and matte display to reduce reflections. However, such a large display requires an even brighter backlight than what is available, so users will still be limited to working under shade and away from direct sunlight. Additionally, no matter how thin a 17.3-inch notebook can be, it will always have a large footprint that will be difficult to comfortably handle outdoors for long periods of time.

Bright matte display helps just a bit for outdoor use
Bright matte display helps just a bit for outdoor use
Wide viewing angles
Wide viewing angles

Viewing angles are excellent as expected from an IPS panel. The large 17.3-inch screen size makes it easy to share the notebook with others nearby with no major degradation in colors or grayscale.

Performance

Turbo Boost up to 3.6 GHz for single-core operations
Turbo Boost up to 3.6 GHz for single-core operations

The P37X uses the same Core i7-4720HQ that is common amongst most high-end gaming notebooks. The Haswell CPU runs at the 800 to 1200 MHz range when on the Power Saver profile, but is otherwise capable of running up to 3.4 GHz or 3.6 GHz for multi-threaded and single-threaded operations, respectively. Similarly, the discrete GTX 980M will idle at 135/162 MHz core/memory and can run up to 1126/1252.2 MHz core/memory with GPU Boost.

RAM is provided by two removable Transcend SODIMM modules for a total of 16 GB. The RAM and other internal components are easy to access as the maintenance panel underneath pops off without much of a hassle.

System information Gigabyte P37X

Processor

The Core i7-4720HQ performs well in synthetic benchmarks with no artificial throttling implemented. Results are similar to the P34W v3, which uses the same CPU in a smaller 14-inch chassis. Multi-core performance is slightly better than the popular desktop i7-2600K and about 10 to 15 percent slower than the current i7-4940MX champion according to CineBench R15. Single-threaded performance according to Super Pi is also again very similar to the i7-2600K despite running at half the TDP (47 W vs. 95 W) and at much lower base frequencies. Compared to the Ivy Bridge generation, the CPU is most similar in performance to the i7-3840QM.

More technical information and benchmarks on the i7-4720HQ can be found on our dedicated CPU page here.

CineBench R10 64-bit
CineBench R10 64-bit
CineBench R11.5 64-bit
CineBench R11.5 64-bit
CineBench R15 64-bit
CineBench R15 64-bit
Cinebench R10 Shading 64Bit
6844 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
25935 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
6702 Points
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
6839
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
19901
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
5078
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
62.48 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
7.2 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.52 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.6 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
110.03 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
662 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
133 Points
Help

System Performance

Synthetic system performance benchmarks place the P37X alongside other high-end gaming notebooks like the P25X v2 and MSI GE62. Its PCMark 7 score could have been a little higher as it just barely edges out the iBuyPower Chimera CX-9 (6302 vs. 6290) despite the latter having a much weaker GTX 860M GPU. RAID 0 performance, which greatly affects final PCMark scores, is relatively slower on the P37X and prevents the notebook from reaching higher numbers on paper.

Subjectively, the operating system and applications respond instantaneously with no major latency issues similar to other SSD-based notebooks. Multi-tasking is incredibly smooth for both games and everyday browsing.

PCMark 7
PCMark 7
PCMark 8 Home
PCMark 8 Home
PCMark 8 Creative
PCMark 8 Creative
PCMark 8 Work
PCMark 8 Work
6
Windows 8 Experience Index
Processor
Calculations per second
8.2
Memory (RAM)
Memory operations per second
8.2
Graphics
Desktop performance for Windows Aero
6
Gaming graphics
3D business and gaming graphics
6
Primary hard disk
Disk data transfer rate
8.25
PCMark 7 Score
6302 points
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
4070 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
5002 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
4462 points
Help

Storage Devices

2x mSATA and 1x 2.5-inch SATA III slots are available on the P37. An additional SATA slot is occupied by a swappable optical drive that can be replaced with another HDD or SDD. This is similar to certain Clevo models, but is an uncommon feature outside of barebones. Note that this fourth SATA slot is not SATA III, so this extra storage drive will be slower than the two dedicated mSATA drives and the single SATA III drive. RAID 0 is compatible between all drives except for this slower SATA slot.

Our test model uses dual 128 GB Lite-On LMT-128L9M mSATA drives in RAID 0 configuration and a single 1 TB Hitachi HTS721010A9E630 HDD. The mSATA drives are of course very fast, though raw write speeds are on the slower side for a RAID 0 setup according to CDM and AS SSD. The 2x RAID 0 Plextor drives in the Chimera CX-9, for example, returns sequential write speeds of 830 MB/s compared to just 640 MB/s on the P37. Meanwhile, the Hitachi HDD performs very well (as usual for hard drives from Hitachi) with a transfer rate of just over 111 MB/s according to HD Tune. Typical drives normally fall in the 90 MB/s range or even lower for slower 5400 RPM platters.

More HDD and SSD benchmarks can be found on our dedicated comparison table here.

AS SSD (Lite-On RAID 0)
AS SSD (Lite-On RAID 0)
CDM (Lite-On RAID 0)
CDM (Lite-On RAID 0)
CDM (Hitachi HDD)
CDM (Hitachi HDD)
HD Tune (Hitachi HDD)
HD Tune (Hitachi HDD)
2x Lite-On LMT-128L9M (RAID 0)
Transfer Rate Minimum: 669.5 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 998.3 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 952.2 MB/s
Access Time: 0.1 ms
Burst Rate: 2564.6 MB/s
CPU Usage: 8.8 %

GPU Performance

Synthetic graphics benchmarks place the P37 alongside the similarly equipped Asus G751 with healthy performance gains over the GTX 970M and the previous generation GTX 880M. Perhaps notably, 3DMark 11 results are close to the Eurocom X7 and its AMD Radeon HD 8970M CrossFire graphics while demanding far less power.

3DMark 11
3DMark 11
Cloud Gate
Cloud Gate
Fire Strike
Fire Strike
Fire Strike Extreme
Fire Strike Extreme
3DMark 06 Standard
28162 points
3DMark 11 Performance
10864 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
124208 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
20603 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
8304 points
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme Score
4248 points
Help
3DMark
Fire Strike Extreme Graphics (sort by value)
Gigabyte P37X
4479 Points ∼27%
Gigabyte P34W V3
3451 Points ∼21% -23%
Alienware 17 (GTX 880M)
2726 Points ∼17% -39%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics (sort by value)
Gigabyte P37X
9927 Points ∼24%
Asus G751JY-T7009H
9819 Points ∼24% -1%
Gigabyte P34W V3
7564 Points ∼19% -24%
Alienware 17 (GTX 880M)
5825 Points ∼14% -41%
Aorus X7 Pro
14873 Points ∼37% +50%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics (sort by value)
Gigabyte P37X
67973 Points ∼42%
Asus G751JY-T7009H
68315 Points ∼42% +1%
Gigabyte P34W V3
52542 Points ∼32% -23%
Alienware 17 (GTX 880M)
38938 Points ∼24% -43%
Aorus X7 Pro
95682 Points ∼59% +41%
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU (sort by value)
Gigabyte P37X
12655 Points ∼25%
Asus G751JY-T7009H
12981 Points ∼25% +3%
Gigabyte P34W V3
9779 Points ∼19% -23%
Alienware 17 (GTX 880M)
8114 Points ∼16% -36%
Aorus X7 Pro
18249 Points ∼36% +44%

Legend

 
Gigabyte P37X Intel Core i7-4720HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 2x Lite-On LMT-128L9M (RAID 0)
 
Asus G751JY-T7009H Intel Core i7-4710HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, Samsung SSD XP941 MZHPU256HCGL
 
Gigabyte P34W V3 Intel Core i7-4720HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M, Lite-On LMT-128L9M
 
Alienware 17 (GTX 880M) Intel Core i7-4700MQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-75JC3T0
 
Aorus X7 Pro Intel Core i7-4870HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M SLI, 2x Lite-On LMT-256L9M (RAID 0)

Gaming Performance

Performance in games from the GTX 980M is pretty much second to none in the mobile field without resorting to SLI solutions. All tested games can be played on maximum settings at 1080p with average frame rates close to or above 60 per second. There are a few exceptions and we recommend checking out our dedicated GTX 980M page here for more comparisons and benchmarks. Results are in line with other notebooks carrying the same GPU with no outliers or stability issues unique to the system. Frame rates are roughly 20 to 25 percent higher than the P34W v3 and its single GTX 970M.

The Aorus X7 Pro and its GTX 970M SLI can run games up to 30 to 50 percent faster or even higher in the case of Thief, so anyone not satisfied with a single GTX 980M can certainly look into dual GPU solutions.

COD: Advanced Warfare
COD: Advanced Warfare
SC II: Heart of the Swarm
SC II: Heart of the Swarm
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
low med. high ultra
Sleeping Dogs (2012) 139.657.6fps
Guild Wars 2 (2012) 65.257.1fps
Tomb Raider (2013) 243.6103.7fps
StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm (2013) 127.482.2fps
BioShock Infinite (2013) 173.790.9fps
Metro: Last Light (2013) 98.4563.2fps
Thief (2014) 81.659.2fps
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor (2014) 86.566.8fps
Ryse: Son of Rome (2014) 63.160.2fps
F1 2014 (2014) 11596fps
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (2014) 101.665.9fps
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
1920x1080 Ultra Preset (HD Package) (sort by value)
Gigabyte P37X
66.8 fps ∼42%
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme
66.6 fps ∼41% 0%
Aorus X7 Pro
89.9 fps ∼56% +35%
Gigabyte P34W V3
53.9 fps ∼33% -19%
1920x1080 High Preset (sort by value)
Gigabyte P37X
86.5 fps ∼46%
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme
90.7 fps ∼49% +5%
Aorus X7 Pro
105.2 fps ∼57% +22%
Gigabyte P34W V3
66.1 fps ∼36% -24%
1344x756 Medium Preset (sort by value)
Aorus X7 Pro
209.4 fps ∼100%
Gigabyte P34W V3
137.1 fps ∼65%
1280x720 Lowest Preset (sort by value)
Aorus X7 Pro
268.9 fps ∼100%
Sleeping Dogs
1920x1080 Extreme Preset AA:Extreme (sort by value)
Gigabyte P37X
57.6 fps ∼39%
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme
56.5 fps ∼38% -2%
Alienware 18
72.2 fps ∼49% +25%
Gigabyte P34W V3
44.7 fps ∼30% -22%
Clevo Clevo P157SM
40 fps ∼27% -31%
1366x768 High Preset AA:High (sort by value)
Gigabyte P37X
139.6 fps ∼68%
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme
162.3 fps ∼80% +16%
Alienware 18
109.4 fps ∼54% -22%
Gigabyte P34W V3
128.9 fps ∼63% -8%
Clevo Clevo P157SM
97.9 fps ∼48% -30%
1366x768 Medium Preset AA:Normal (sort by value)
Alienware 18
139 fps ∼81%
Gigabyte P34W V3
170.6 fps ∼100%
Guild Wars 2
1920x1080 All Maximum / On AA:FX (sort by value)
Gigabyte P37X
57.1 fps ∼62%
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme
68.4 fps ∼75% +20%
Alienware 18
54.3 fps ∼59% -5%
Aorus X7 Pro
78.2 fps ∼85% +37%
Gigabyte P34W V3
49.2 fps ∼54% -14%
Clevo Clevo P157SM
49.1 fps ∼54% -14%
1366x768 Best Appearance Preset AA:FX (sort by value)
Gigabyte P37X
65.2 fps ∼71%
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme
81.7 fps ∼89% +25%
Alienware 18
57.6 fps ∼63% -12%
Aorus X7 Pro
85.6 fps ∼93% +31%
Gigabyte P34W V3
65.5 fps ∼71% 0%
Clevo Clevo P157SM
59.2 fps ∼64% -9%
1024x768 Best Performance Preset (sort by value)
Aorus X7 Pro
160.7 fps ∼100%
Tomb Raider
1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:FX AF:16x (sort by value)
Gigabyte P37X
103.7 fps ∼37%
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme
102.6 fps ∼37% -1%
Alienware 18
130.1 fps ∼47% +25%
Aorus X7 Pro
156.5 fps ∼57% +51%
Gigabyte P34W V3
81.3 fps ∼29% -22%
Clevo Clevo P157SM
73.6 fps ∼27% -29%
1366x768 High Preset AA:FX AF:8x (sort by value)
Gigabyte P37X
243.6 fps ∼48%
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme
241.8 fps ∼48% -1%
Alienware 18
273.1 fps ∼54% +12%
Aorus X7 Pro
351.8 fps ∼69% +44%
Gigabyte P34W V3
191 fps ∼38% -22%
Clevo Clevo P157SM
167.5 fps ∼33% -31%
1366x768 Normal Preset AA:FX AF:4x (sort by value)
Alienware 18
365 fps ∼64%
Aorus X7 Pro
465.4 fps ∼82%
Gigabyte P34W V3
293.4 fps ∼52%
1024x768 Low Preset (sort by value)
Aorus X7 Pro
519.3 fps ∼83%
StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm
1920x1080 Ultra / Extreme AA:on (sort by value)
Gigabyte P37X
82.2 fps ∼47%
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme
101.5 fps ∼58% +23%
Gigabyte P34W V3
87.7 fps ∼50% +7%
Clevo Clevo P157SM
80.1 fps ∼46% -3%
1366x768 High AA:on (sort by value)
Gigabyte P37X
127.4 fps ∼74%
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme
123 fps ∼72% -3%
Gigabyte P34W V3
111 fps ∼65% -13%
Clevo Clevo P157SM
120.6 fps ∼70% -5%
1366x768 Medium (sort by value)
Gigabyte P34W V3
127 fps ∼78%
BioShock Infinite
1920x1080 Ultra Preset, DX11 (DDOF) (sort by value)
Gigabyte P37X
90.9 fps ∼42%
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme
85.8 fps ∼40% -6%
Alienware 18
94.5 fps ∼44% +4%
Aorus X7 Pro
130.1 fps ∼61% +43%
Gigabyte P34W V3
73.7 fps ∼34% -19%
Clevo Clevo P157SM
108.5 fps ∼50% +19%
1366x768 High Preset (sort by value)
Gigabyte P37X
173.7 fps ∼57%
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme
217.8 fps ∼71% +25%
Alienware 18
208.5 fps ∼68% +20%
Aorus X7 Pro
233.7 fps ∼76% +35%
Gigabyte P34W V3
153.1 fps ∼50% -12%
Clevo Clevo P157SM
160.4 fps ∼52% -8%
1366x768 Medium Preset (sort by value)
Alienware 18
233.5 fps ∼73%
Aorus X7 Pro
273.1 fps ∼86%
Gigabyte P34W V3
162.9 fps ∼51%
1280x720 Very Low Preset (sort by value)
Aorus X7 Pro
290.2 fps ∼81%
Metro: Last Light
1920x1080 Very High (DX11) AF:16x (sort by value)
Gigabyte P37X
63.2 fps ∼42%
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme
65 fps ∼44% +3%
Alienware 18
53.7 fps ∼36% -15%
Aorus X7 Pro
79.2 fps ∼53% +25%
Gigabyte P34W V3
50.8 fps ∼34% -20%
Clevo Clevo P157SM
42 fps ∼28% -34%
1366x768 High (DX11) AF:16x (sort by value)
Gigabyte P37X
98.45 fps ∼62%
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme
117.5 fps ∼73% +19%
Alienware 18
79.3 fps ∼50% -19%
Aorus X7 Pro
112.1 fps ∼70% +14%
Gigabyte P34W V3
93.6 fps ∼59% -5%
Clevo Clevo P157SM
93 fps ∼58% -6%
1366x768 Medium (DX10) AF:4x (sort by value)
Alienware 18
104.4 fps ∼63%
Aorus X7 Pro
137 fps ∼83%
Gigabyte P34W V3
118.5 fps ∼72%
1024x768 Low (DX10) AF:4x (sort by value)
Aorus X7 Pro
139.7 fps ∼83%
Thief
1920x1080 Very High Preset AA:FXAA & High SS AF:8x (sort by value)
Gigabyte P37X
59.2 fps ∼47%
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme
62.5 fps ∼50% +6%
Aorus X7 Pro
86.8 fps ∼69% +47%
Gigabyte P34W V3
46.1 fps ∼37% -22%
Clevo Clevo P157SM
41 fps ∼33% -31%
1366x768 High Preset AA:FXAA & Low SS AF:4x (sort by value)
Gigabyte P37X
81.6 fps ∼62%
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme
101 fps ∼77% +24%
Aorus X7 Pro
115.1 fps ∼88% +41%
Gigabyte P34W V3
77.3 fps ∼59% -5%
Clevo Clevo P157SM
59 fps ∼45% -28%
1366x768 Normal Preset AA:FX (sort by value)
Aorus X7 Pro
119.7 fps ∼90%
Gigabyte P34W V3
81.1 fps ∼61%
1024x768 Very Low Preset (sort by value)
Aorus X7 Pro
125.5 fps ∼90%
Ryse: Son of Rome
1920x1080 Very High Texture Res. + High Graphics Quality (Motion Blur & Temporal AA On, Rest Off/Disabled) AF:8x (sort by value)
Gigabyte P37X
60.2 fps ∼58%
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme
56.6 fps ∼55% -6%
Aorus X7 Pro
61.1 fps ∼59% +1%
Gigabyte P34W V3
47.5 fps ∼46% -21%
1920x1080 High Texture Res. + High Graphics Quality (Rest Off/Disabled) AF:8x (sort by value)
Gigabyte P37X
63.1 fps ∼57%
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme
58 fps ∼52% -8%
Aorus X7 Pro
61.6 fps ∼55% -2%
Gigabyte P34W V3
52 fps ∼47% -18%
1366x768 Medium Texture Res. + Normal Graphics Quality (Rest Off/Disabled) AF:4x (sort by value)
Aorus X7 Pro
62.9 fps ∼52%
Gigabyte P34W V3
63.8 fps ∼52%
1024x768 Low Texture Res. + Low Graphics Quality (Rest Off/Disabled) AF:2x (sort by value)
Aorus X7 Pro
63.6 fps ∼47%
F1 2014
1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:4x MS (sort by value)
Gigabyte P37X
96 fps ∼80%
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme
116 fps ∼97% +21%
Aorus X7 Pro
118 fps ∼98% +23%
Gigabyte P34W V3
100 fps ∼83% +4%
1920x1080 High Preset (sort by value)
Gigabyte P37X
115 fps ∼86%
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme
118 fps ∼89% +3%
Aorus X7 Pro
118 fps ∼89% +3%
Gigabyte P34W V3
114 fps ∼86% -1%
1366x768 Medium Preset (sort by value)
Aorus X7 Pro
118 fps ∼89%
Gigabyte P34W V3
116 fps ∼87%
1024x768 Ultra Low Preset (sort by value)
Aorus X7 Pro
118 fps ∼87%
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
1920x1080 Extra / On (Cache Shadow Maps Off), 2x Supersampling AA:2x SM (sort by value)
Gigabyte P37X
65.9 fps ∼86%
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme
59.9 fps ∼78% -9%
Gigabyte P34W V3
51.8 fps ∼67% -21%
1920x1080 High / On (Cache Shadow Maps Off) AA:FX (sort by value)
Gigabyte P37X
101.6 fps ∼81%
Eurocom P5 Pro Extreme
107.1 fps ∼85% +5%
Gigabyte P34W V3
86.7 fps ∼69% -15%
1366x768 Normal / On (Cache Shadow Maps Off) (sort by value)
Gigabyte P34W V3
127.7 fps ∼66%

Stress Test

We stress the notebook with synthetic benchmarks to observe for any stability or throttling issues. First, with just Prime95 active, the i7-4720HQ CPU is able to maintain a steady 3.0 to 3.2 GHz clock rate or 400 to 600 MHz above the base clock rate. Core temperatures are maintained in the 80 to 90 C range. Next, with just FurMark active, the GPU drops to 848 to 873.3 MHz with temperatures reaching a maximum of 80 to 82 C according to GPU-Z. This is below the base clock rate of 1038 MHz for the GTX 980M, though memory remains consistent at the maximum 1252 MHz.

Full stress with both Prime95 and FurMark active will throttle both the CPU and GPU. Under these conditions, the CPU will settle in the 800 to 1300 MHz range while the GPU will run in the 873 to 974.5 MHz range. CPU and GPU temperatures never go above 90 C and 83 C, respectively. When taking into consideration the base 2.6 GHz speed of the CPU, the throttling here is extreme.

Prime95 stress
Prime95 stress
FurMark stress
FurMark stress
Full stress
Full stress

We run a more realistic stress test with Unigine Heaven 4.0 to better emulate gaming stress. Under these conditions, the CPU is able to maintain a clock rate of about 3 to 3.4 GHz for the first few minutes before falling to the 2 GHz range. Turbo Boost benefits then become sporadic thereafter. On the other hand, the GPU performs extremely well and will run at 1126/1252 MHz core/memory without ever dropping. CPU and GPU temperatures peak at about 90 C and 77 C, respectively. The Turbo Fan feature will only drop core temperatures by a couple of degrees further.

Gaming performance decreases very slightly overtime. By running the Metro 2033: Last Light benchmark ten times in a row, average frame rates can be observed falling from 63 FPS on the first run to 61 on the second and 59 on the third before leveling off at 58 FPS on the final run.

Running on battery power will severely limit gaming performance. A quick 3DMark 11 run on batteries returned a Physics and GPU score of 6811 and 6540 points, respectively, compared to 7545 and 12655 points when on mains. The CPU and GPU are throttled accordingly to as low as 800 MHz and 670.8 MHz, respectively. VRAM takes a hit as well to 799.2 MHz.

Unigine Heaven stress shows a throttling CPU
Unigine Heaven stress shows a throttling CPU
Unigine Heaven stress with Turbo Fan active. The temperature improvements are extremely marginal
Unigine Heaven stress with Turbo Fan active. The temperature improvements are extremely marginal

Emissions

System Noise

Dual 50 mm fans
Dual 50 mm fans

Two identical 50 mm fans connected via two long heat pipes make up the cooling solution for the P37. The fans are smaller than those found on the GT72 and Asus G751 due to the more limited space available.

Both fans never idle even if the notebook is at its most energy-efficient state. They are reasonably quiet at the lowest Stealth state at about 36 dB(A) when browsing or during video playback. Running on High Performance with the Nvidia GPU active can bump fan speeds to the 38 to 40 dB(A) range regardless of onscreen activity. Gaming will increase noise even further to the 47 to 51 dB(A) range. Max Fan mode results in a constant 54 dB(A).

Compared to the GS70, system noise when gaming is similar at the low 50 dB(A) range. Thicker notebooks tend to settle in the mid to high 40s, which is still quite loud, so headphones will definitely help during gameplay.

Noise Level

Idle
36.3 / 36.4 / 36.5 dB(A)
DVD
37.2 / 39.1 dB(A)
Load
47 / 51.1 dB(A)
 
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   BK Precision 732A (15 cm distance)

Temperature

Surface temperatures are very warm even when sitting completely idle on the Power Saver profile with integrated graphics active. We were able to record temperatures of over 45 C on the rear of the notebook, which is much warmer than we had anticipated. In comparison, the MSI GT72 stays well below 30 C across all quadrants while the thinner MSI GS70 reaches 40 C under the same conditions.

Maximum load (Prime95 and FurMark) for half an hour produces surface temperatures of over 65 C on the rear of the notebook directly above the CPU and GPU. This is significantly warmer than thicker gaming notebooks where they tend to stay below 50 C under the same conditions. The GS70 makes for a more appropriate comparison and the P37X does come out cooler in this regard. The front palm rests and the left side of the keyboard, for example, remain cooler on the Gigabyte than the MSI. Thus, the WASD and macro keys will be more comfortable to use when gaming.

Note that the maximum load conditions above are more stressful than gaming conditions, so our temperature measurements are on the worst conditions possible. Users can expect the notebook to be a bit cooler during gameplay.

Max. Load
 42.4 °C50 °C46.8 °C 
 32.4 °C42.6 °C43.8 °C 
 29.8 °C29.4 °C30.8 °C 
Maximum: 50 °C
Average: 38.7 °C
40.4 °C66.8 °C38 °C
46.6 °C49.4 °C30.4 °C
28.2 °C31.2 °C28.6 °C
Maximum: 66.8 °C
Average: 40 °C
Power Supply (max.)  49.4 °C | Room Temperature 22 °C | Fluke 62 Mini IR Thermometer

Speakers

Dual stereo speakers on front corners
Dual stereo speakers on front corners

The dual 1.5 Watt stereo speakers face toward the front edge of the notebook near the corners. Sound quality is very good even though the system lacks a dedicated subwoofer. Sounds feel balanced with no static or discrepancies at higher volume settings. We feel satisfied with the output for movies and music without resorting to external speakers, which is fortunate since the system lacks dedicated SPDIF and Line-in ports. The included Dolby Digital Plus software is easy to use but with less features than the Sound Blaster X-Fi MB3 solution.

Battery Life

The non-removable 75.81 Wh Li-Ion polymer battery is an adequate size for a 17.3-inch notebook and is equal in capacity to the smaller 15.6-inch Gigabyte P35X. Less powerful gaming models have smaller modules such as the Acer Aspire V17 Nitro (52.5 Wh) and Lenovo Y70 (54 Wh) while thicker competitors like the Asus G751 (88 Wh) and MSI GT72 (87 Wh) have higher capacities.

Battery life is average at almost 4 hours of constant WLAN use at a brightness setting of about 150 nits. This is similar to the Y70 and G751 despite the differences in capacities. Users can expect half the runtime with intensive gaming and 5.5 hours of runtime under unrealistic minimum brightness and idling conditions.

Minimum runtime (Reader's Test)
Minimum runtime (Reader's Test)
Maximum runtime (Classic Test)
Maximum runtime (Classic Test)
WLAN runtime
WLAN runtime
Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
5h 32min
WiFi Surfing v1.3
3h 57min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 50min
Gigabyte P37XAorus X7 ProAlienware 17 (GTX 880M)Asus G751JY-T7009HLenovo Y70-70 TouchIbuypower GT72 Dominator
Battery Runtime
-34%
1%
-21%
52%
-1%
Reader / Idle
332
178
-46%
460
39%
272
-18%
505
52%
397
20%
WiFi v1.3
237
Load
110
86
-22%
69
-37%
85
-23%
87
-21%
WiFi
349
220
258
184

Verdict

Gigabyte P37X. Test model provided by Gigabyte US.
Gigabyte P37X. Test model provided by Gigabyte US.

Why invest in a thicker gaming notebook when a much thinner and lighter one delivers roughly the same performance? The Gigabyte P37X makes no significant sacrifices to hardware or quality for its slimmed-down profile. The aluminum base is solid with easy maintenance, the Chiclet keyboard feels comfortable, the matte IPS display is accurate out-of-the-box, and the 4x storage bays and 3x video-out ports provide wide expandability options expected from a high-end gaming notebook. Perhaps surprisingly, the GTX 980M does not throttle under gaming loads and will run consistently at its its maximum 1126 MHz core clock despite the smaller cooling solution. CPU Turbo Boost is more inconsistent, but this shouldn't have a major effect on gaming performance.

On the negative side, surface temperatures and fan noise are both higher than larger gaming notebooks. The display could have been more firm and the touchpad in particular could use a redesign.  Visually, the chassis is bland and uninspiring, especially when compared to the Lenovo Y70 and the sleeker MSI Ghost and Aorus X7 series. The CPU and GPU are not upgradeable either  (no MXM 3.0 slot), so upgradeability is a step down compared to barebone models. 

For $2000, the P37X starts on almost equal footing as competing models with 980M graphics. Ultimately, users will decide if they want a heavier, sturdier model that will be quieter and cooler or a thinner and more compact model that will run hotter and louder.

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In Review: Gigabyte P37X. Test model provided by Gigabyte US.
In Review: Gigabyte P37X. Test model provided by Gigabyte US.

Specifications

Gigabyte P37X (P55 Series)
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M - 8192 MB, Core: 1038 MHz, Memory: 5010 MHz, GDDR5, 344.77, Optimus
Memory
16384 MB 
, Dual-Channel, 800 MHz, DDR3L-1600, PC3-12800, 11-11-11-28
Display
17.3 inch 16:9, 1920x1080 pixel, LG Philips LP173WF4-SPF1, ID: LGD0469, IPS, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel HM87 (Lynx Point)
Storage
2x Lite-On LMT-128L9M (RAID 0) , 256 GB 
, Secondary: 1 TB HGST HTS721010A9E630
Soundcard
Intel Lynx Point PCH - High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
2 USB 2.0, 2 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 VGA, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm combo, Card Reader: SD reader
Networking
Realtek RTL8168/8111 Gigabit-LAN (10/100/1000MBit), Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260 (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.0
Optical drive
Matshita DVD-RAM UJ8E2
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 22.5 x 417 x 287 ( = 0.89 x 16.42 x 11.3 in)
Battery
76 Wh Lithium-Polymer, 11.1 V
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 8.1 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: 720p
Additional features
Speakers: 1.5 W stereo, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, User's Manual, Driver CD, PowerDVD 10, ODD insert tray, SmartManager V3, MacroHub, SmartUpdate, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
2.95 kg ( = 104.06 oz / 6.5 pounds), Power Supply: 795 g ( = 28.04 oz / 1.75 pounds)
Price
2200 Euro

 

Slimmest (22.5 mm) and lightest (2.8 kg) notebook with GTX 980M graphics
Slimmest (22.5 mm) and lightest (2.8 kg) notebook with GTX 980M graphics
MSI GS70 is thinner by just 0.5 mm
MSI GS70 is thinner by just 0.5 mm
Matte dark gray surface and a very plain chassis design
Matte dark gray surface and a very plain chassis design
Smooth surfaces are a fingerprint magnet
Smooth surfaces are a fingerprint magnet
Aluminum lid and base
Aluminum lid and base
The display portion could have been more rigid
The display portion could have been more rigid
The base feels strong despite the thin profile
The base feels strong despite the thin profile
Palm rests stay cool under heavy loads
Palm rests stay cool under heavy loads
The hinges are small, but taut to prevent shaking
The hinges are small, but taut to prevent shaking
Macro keys on the left-hand side
Macro keys on the left-hand side
Healthy number of connectivity options with 3x video-out ports
Healthy number of connectivity options with 3x video-out ports
Matte 1080p IPS panel with no higher resolutions or touchscreen options
Matte 1080p IPS panel with no higher resolutions or touchscreen options
Difficult to use under direct sunlight
Difficult to use under direct sunlight
Keyboard backlight with two levels of brightness
Keyboard backlight with two levels of brightness
Full-size Arrow keys
Full-size Arrow keys
The grilles across the Power button are not for speakers, but for ventilation
The grilles across the Power button are not for speakers, but for ventilation
No dedicated Volume or other multimedia keys
No dedicated Volume or other multimedia keys
Maintenance panel held down by a total of 17 Philips screws
Maintenance panel held down by a total of 17 Philips screws
ODD can be removed and replaced with additional SSD or HDD storage
ODD can be removed and replaced with additional SSD or HDD storage
Large rear ventilation grilles
Large rear ventilation grilles
Easy access to internals
Easy access to internals
Non-removable battery is the same capacity as the Gigabyte P35
Non-removable battery is the same capacity as the Gigabyte P35
RAID 0 compatibility between the dual mSATA slots and the single SATA III slot
RAID 0 compatibility between the dual mSATA slots and the single SATA III slot
Total of two SODIMM slots of available
Total of two SODIMM slots of available
Rear of notebook becomes very hot under gaming loads at about 60 C
Rear of notebook becomes very hot under gaming loads at about 60 C
Relatively small power adapter (15 x 7.5 x 3 cm) outputs 19.5 V with a 100-240 V input
Relatively small power adapter (15 x 7.5 x 3 cm) outputs 19.5 V with a 100-240 V input

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Devices with the same GPU and/or Screen Size

Acer Predator 17 (i7-6700HQ, GTX 980M) Notebook Review
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DogHouse Systems Mobius SS (Clevo P770DM) Notebook Review
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Alienware 17 R3 Notebook Review
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Xotic PC Asus G752VY Notebook Review
GeForce GTX 980M, Core i7 6700HQ, 4.504 kg

Links

  • Manufacturer's information

Compare Prices

Pros

+Thinnest and lightest 17.3-inch notebook with GTX 980M GPU
+4x storage bays (2x mSATA, 1x SATA III, 1x SATA ODD) and RAID 0
+3x video-out ports
+Excellent performance
+High quality matte 1080p IPS panel
+Bright backlight
+Two-year global warranty
+Comfortable keyboard and Macro keys
+Easily accessible internals
+Aluminum chassis with strong base
 

Cons

-High surface temperatures
-Loud under load
-Non-removable battery
-Inconsistent CPU Turbo Boost
-Average battery life
-Uninspiring chassis
-No higher resolution display options
-Awkward touchpad and mouse inputs
-CPU and GPU not upgradeable
-Display portion could be more rigid

Rating

Gigabyte P37X - 04/04/2015 v4(old)
Allen Ngo

Chassis
82 / 98 → 84%
Keyboard
86%
Pointing Device
74%
Connectivity
80 / 81 → 99%
Weight
60 / 66 → 89%
Battery
82%
Display
87%
Games Performance
100%
Application Performance
92%
Temperature
76 / 95 → 80%
Noise
77 / 90 → 86%
Audio
80%
Average
81%
85%
Gaming - Weighted Average
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Gigabyte P37X Notebook Review
Allen Ngo, 2015-04- 4 (Update: 2015-04- 4)
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.