Notebookcheck

Gigabyte P55W v7 Notebook Review

Sven Kloevekorn (translated by Liala Stieglitz), 03/03/2017

Quintessential v7. Gigabyte's new gaming machine is aimed at players who want as much power per Euro as possible and are willing to make compromises in the configuration for this. Compared with the predecessor, the P55W v7 can primarily boast with a slightly better total performance, and a somewhat quieter and cooler system.

For the original German review, see here.

After testing Gigabyte's P55W v6 in late January, the Kaby Lake successor dubbed P55W v7 is now already waiting in the wings. It is - surprise - the seventh iteration of the relatively low-priced 15.6-inch gaming laptop. The modifications made to the casing are limited to some new interfaces and different positioning. Furthermore, a new screen is used for the first time since the P55W v4. The 128 GB SSD by Transcend has been replaced by a 256 GB model by Liteon. While 16 GB of DDR4 RAM operate in dual-channel mode in the v6, the 16 GB in the v7 is only connected via one memory channel (1 RAM slot empty).

The most important innovation is, of course, the brand new Intel Core i7-7700HQ that replaces the very similar but somewhat slower i7-6700HQ in the v6. Gigabyte again relies on Nvidia's GeForce GTX 1060 with 6 GB of dedicated vRAM introduced in the v6 model. The screen is still IPS and Full HD. A DVD burner is also installed for users who still use digital optical disc storage. The reason that the P55W v7 can be offered for a lower price (approximately 1700 Euros (~$1802) at test time) than many rivals based on the same CPU and graphics card is the lack of a metal casing, subwoofer, 4K or WQHD, Thunderbolt 3, and G-Sync. In return, Nvidia's Optimus promises lower power consumption and longer battery runtimes.

We primarily focused on size, price, and power components while choosing comparison laptops for this test. Like the predecessor, the other comparison laptops are furnished with an i7-6700HQ, GTX 1060, and SSD. The participants are:

Gigabyte P55W v7 (P55 Series)
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop) - 6144 MB, Core: 1405 MHz, Memory: 8000 MHz, GDDR5, ForceWare 378.49, Nvidia Optimus
Memory
16384 MB 
, SO-DIMM DDR4, 2400 MHz, single-channel, 1 of 2 memory banks filled, max. 32 GB
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1920x1080 pixel 141 PPI, LG Philips LP156WF6 (LGD046F), IPS, Full HD, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel HM175
Storage
Liteonit CV3-8D256, 256 GB 
, SATA-3-SSD + HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630, 1 TB HDD @ 7200 rpm. Slots: 1x M.2 type 2280 (optional PCIe/NVMe) & 1x 2.5 inch
Soundcard
Realtek ALC255 @ High Definition Audio-Controller
Connections
3 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 USB 3.1 Gen2, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: headphone (audio out) + microphone (audio in), both 3.5-mm jacks, Card Reader: SD/SDHC/SDXC, Brightness Sensor
Networking
Realtek RTL8168/8111 Gigabit-LAN (10/100/1000MBit), Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260 (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.2
Optical drive
HL-DT-ST DVDRAM GUD0N
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 34 x 380 x 269 ( = 1.34 x 14.96 x 10.59 in)
Battery
63 Wh Lithium-Polymer, 6 cells
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: HD
Additional features
Speakers: stereo, 2 x 2 watts, Keyboard: chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, 180-watt power supply, Adobe Reader XI, CyberLink PowerDVD 12, MS Office 365 trial, diverse manufacturer tools, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
2.628 kg ( = 92.7 oz / 5.79 pounds), Power Supply: 646 g ( = 22.79 oz / 1.42 pounds)
Price
1700 EUR

 

Case

Gigabyte is again continuous with the casing and only modifies the interfaces compared with the former P55W v4 and v5. The futuristic sharp-edged and sooner masculine design with eye-catching orange trims on the base's lateral upper edges and the non-slip but still fingerprint-susceptible soft-touch surfaces are not stale. However, they are not as flashy as in Asus' ROG or Alienware's gaming laptops.

Since plastic is again used exclusively, the overall solid-looking base can be warped to a small degree with a lot of effort. It produces a loud cracking noise that we located in the vent's area. The lid is much easier to twist. Its pressure resistance has apparently been improved as image distortions can only be provoked using high pin-point pressure. Very good: Although the lid can be opened easily with one hand, it stays in its position when the laptop is jerked and only rocks for a moment.

We did not find any manufacturing flaws. The gaps look even and the edges do not protrude anywhere. In total, the casing makes a good impression.

Gigabyte P55W v7
Gigabyte P55W v7
Gigabyte P55W v7
Gigabyte P55W v7
Gigabyte P55W v7
Gigabyte P55W v7
Gigabyte P55W v7
Gigabyte P55W v7
Gigabyte P55W v7
Gigabyte P55W v7
Gigabyte P55W v7

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None of the laptops in the test is a member of the especially compact, 15.6-inch gaming-laptop genre, such as MSI's GS63VR-6RF16H22 Stealth Pro (1.9 kg, 18 mm height). Schenker presents its relatively prominent yet also quite slim XMG P507. MSI's GE62VR has the smallest surface area, and like Asus' Strix, it belongs to the lightest devices in the test at "just" 2.5 kg. Like the predecessor with identical dimensions, our review sample's height of 34 mm is striking.

Size Comparison

Connectivity

Interfaces

While premium-priced gaming laptops now regularly feature Thunderbolt 3, this cannot be expected in the price range of our review sample. Consequently, all comparison devices do not sport this versatile and fast interface. In return, USB 3.1 Type-C Gen2 is present. Thanks to HDMI 2.0 and mini-DisplayPort, external 4K screens can be used at their full 60 Hz. Only a few potential buyers will miss the absence of the old-fashioned VGA.

The card reader is on the front. Unfortunately, Gigabyte has placed all sufficiently spaced ports, including Ethernet for stationary use, on the front sides where inserted cables and flash drives could interfere with using an external mouse.

Left: Kensington, vent, mini-DisplayPort, Ethernet, HDMI, USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C, USB 3.0
Left: Kensington, vent, mini-DisplayPort, Ethernet, HDMI, USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C, USB 3.0
Right: audio-in (mic), audio-out (headset), 2x USB 3.0, DVD burner, power
Right: audio-in (mic), audio-out (headset), 2x USB 3.0, DVD burner, power

SD-Card Reader

Like all participants in this test, except for MSI's sluggish GE62VR in this aspect, Gigabyte's P55W v7 achieves mediocre transfer rates with our Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II reference SD card. This points to a USB 3.0 interface and does not differ much from the other comparison laptops. By comparison: The average transfer rates of all SD-card readers that we have tested to date is approximately 63 MB/s; very fast models achieve more than twice the speed at up to 213 MB/s.

SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Schenker XMG P507
77 MB/s ∼100% +1%
Gigabyte P55W v7
76 MB/s ∼99%
Asus Strix GL502VM-FY039T
75 MB/s ∼97% -1%
Gigabyte P55W v6
73 MB/s ∼95% -4%
MSI GE62VR 6RF-001US
23.4 MB/s ∼30% -69%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Gigabyte P55W v7
88 MB/s ∼100%
Gigabyte P55W v6
87 MB/s ∼99% -1%
Schenker XMG P507
86 MB/s ∼98% -2%
Asus Strix GL502VM-FY039T
85 MB/s ∼97% -3%
MSI GE62VR 6RF-001US
23.5 MB/s ∼27% -73%

Communication

Mobile Internet access is not wanted and not present, either. Gigabyte relies on Intel's tried and fast module Wireless-AC 8260 (MIMO 2x2) that transmits in the 802.11 standard and, above all, in the less frequented 5 GHz band. Thanks to two antennas, a theoretical gross rate of 867 MBit/s can be achieved. After deducting the unavoidable overhead, a very good 663 MBit/s in receive and a good 470 MBit/s in transmit were achieved under ideal conditions (1 meter away from the Linksys EA8500 test router). The comparably configured rivals in the test are on par.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Asus Strix GL502VM-FY039T
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260
677 MBit/s ∼100% +2%
Gigabyte P55W v7
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260
663 MBit/s ∼98%
Gigabyte P55W v6
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260
660 MBit/s ∼97% 0%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Asus Strix GL502VM-FY039T
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260
507 MBit/s ∼100% +8%
Gigabyte P55W v6
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260
492 MBit/s ∼97% +5%
Gigabyte P55W v7
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260
470 MBit/s ∼93%

Accessories

Besides a user manual and two DVDs with OS, software, and drivers, only the compulsory power supply is found in the box. Gigabyte does not offer any accessories made specifically for the P55 lineup.

Maintenance

A maintenance hatch is not available. However, it is relatively easy to remove the base plate after releasing 15 Philips screws. The battery, fan, storage device, RAM banks, and Wi-Fi module can then be accessed, not leaving much if anything to be desired in terms of maintenance.

Warranty

While US buyers will be pleased about the manufacturer's three-year warranty, the period is limited to only two years in Germany (one year on battery and power supply). Details can be found here. Gigabyte does not seem to offer any warranty upgrades. In addition to this warranty, the legal retailer warranty of two years applies.

Input Devices

Keyboard

Gigabyte has not made any changes to the two-level, backlit chiclet keyboard since the P55W v4 - and this is good. The width of the main field is roughly identical with that of a standard desktop keyboard. The key size and spacing do not thwart touch typing. The manufacturer does not install dedicated macro keys or the usual extra column of keys with special functions as found in bigger gaming laptops. The mostly standard layout does not present any surprises.

The non-slip and impeccably lettered keys, some of which are slightly concave, have a long drop and well-palpable pressure point. Their stop is not too soft, making them perfect in the tester's opinion. This results in a pleasing typing feel with good feedback. In contrast to the small keys, the big keys, like space and return, clatter audibly, which forbids extensive typing sessions in noise-sensitive environments. The homogeneous yet somewhat too dark backlight also has to be criticized. The lowered keyboard is fitted flush, and it hardly dents.

Touchpad

The ClickPad without dedicated keys is used for a third time in the P55W v7. It is unusual that the area of both replacement keys marked by a vertical line does not respond to swipe gestures. Only the surface above it is intended for this. It is a bit small and has a relatively wide area at the sides that does not respond to touch, either. We nevertheless had enough room for gestures in practice.

The gliding properties of the absolutely sleek surface are good, but very moist fingers sometimes tend to stutter. While the pinpoint accuracy is without reproach, very fast gestures are sometimes ignored. The tester would have wished for a slightly deeper drop and a bit less resistance for the replacement mouse keys. The crisp pressure point provides tactile and acoustic feedback. Gestures for up to three fingers can be configured in the Elan Smart Pad menu, but it does not offer many options.

Display

Subpixels
Subpixels

The 1920x1080 pixel, 15.6-inch screen of the former v4, v5 and v6 is called LG Philips LP156WF4. The v7 comes with LG Philips LP156WF6. Both screen models are matte, based on IPS, and they are illuminated with LEDs. We performed our measurements using the "Native Color" Smart Color mode that can be selected in Gigabyte's proprietary Smart Manager in the former models. Gigabyte does not offer alternative screens.

Both panels achieve very similar rates in many sub-categories, such as brightness, illumination, and color reproduction. However, a very evident improvement can be ascertained in the LP156WF6: The black level is much lower and the brightness consequently higher, and the too long response times of the v6 are now on the normal market level in the new v7. We could not criticize the image sharpness.

270
cd/m²
271
cd/m²
283
cd/m²
280
cd/m²
287
cd/m²
299
cd/m²
295
cd/m²
304
cd/m²
309
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 309 cd/m² Average: 288.7 cd/m² Minimum: 9 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 87 %
Center on Battery: 287 cd/m²
Contrast: 990:1 (Black: 0.29 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 4.92 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 3.66 | - Ø
82% sRGB (Argyll) 54% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll)
Gamma: 2.32
Gigabyte P55W v7
LG Philips LP156WF6 (LGD046F), 1920x1080, 15.6
Asus Strix GL502VM-FY039T
LG Philips LP156WF6-SPB6 (LGD046F), 1920x1080, 15.6
MSI GE62VR 6RF-001US
1920x1080, 15.6
Schenker XMG P507
LG Philips LP156WF6 (LGD046F), 1920x1080, 15.6
Gigabyte P55W v6
LG Philips LP156WF4 (LGD040E), 1920x1080, 15.6
Response Times
-4%
-3%
6%
-38%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
37 (15, 22)
40 (15, 25)
-8%
36.8 (16.4, 20.4)
1%
36 (12, 24)
3%
56 (23, 33)
-51%
Response Time Black / White *
25 (5, 20)
25 (5, 20)
-0%
26.4 (5.2, 21.2)
-6%
23 (5, 18)
8%
31 (8, 23)
-24%
PWM Frequency
Screen
1%
19%
-3%
-9%
Brightness
289
296
2%
303
5%
292
1%
294
2%
Brightness Distribution
87
88
1%
87
0%
87
0%
82
-6%
Black Level *
0.29
0.33
-14%
0.169
42%
0.3
-3%
0.46
-59%
Contrast
990
973
-2%
1787
81%
960
-3%
609
-38%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
4.92
4.42
10%
4.61
6%
5.1
-4%
4.48
9%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
3.66
3.34
9%
3.32
9%
4.43
-21%
2.69
27%
Gamma
2.32 103%
2.4 100%
2.24 107%
2.46 98%
2.37 101%
CCT
6482 100%
6213 105%
6358 102%
6687 97%
6455 101%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
54
55
2%
55.4
3%
55
2%
53
-2%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
82
83
1%
84.4
3%
83
1%
80
-2%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-2% / 0%
8% / 14%
2% / -2%
-24% / -14%

* ... smaller is better

A black image does not look particularly black at least not in a dark room, but it looks largely homogeneous. Although screen bleeding is not an issue, the backlight seems to shine through marginally at the lower edge. This is not at all noticed in practice, though.

Overall, all rates measured in the newcomer are on a good to very good if not excellent level. Gigabyte's P55W v7 is not suitable for dedicated image editing due to the not quite ideal color shifts in delivery state (ideal: DeltaE < 3, color profile linked in the box above), and primarily due to the just 54% coverage of the professional AdobeRGB color space (sRGB: 82%). Users susceptible to screen flickering will be pleased to hear that Gigabyte again does not use PWM.

CalMAN: Grayscale
CalMAN: Grayscale
CalMAN: Grayscale (calibrated)
CalMAN: Grayscale (calibrated)
CalMAN: Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN: Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN: Saturation Sweeps (calibrated)
CalMAN: Saturation Sweeps (calibrated)
CalMAN: ColorChecker
CalMAN: ColorChecker
CalMAN: ColorChecker (calibrated)
CalMAN: ColorChecker (calibrated)
P55W v7 vs. sRGB (82%)
P55W v7 vs. sRGB (82%)
P55W v7 vs. AdobeRGB (54%)
P55W v7 vs. AdobeRGB (54%)

Gigabyte's P55W v7 does a good job outdoors at least on cloudy days. We aligned the screen to the sky in the left screenshot; the shadow on the right is the photographer. Although the legibility of content suffers, it can still be recognized. The right screenshot illustrates the so-to-speak best case scenario with the doorway in the back. The bright and matte screen should make it possible to find a shadowy place that does not affect ergonomics too strongly even on sunny days.

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
25 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 5 ms rise
↘ 20 ms fall
The screen shows relatively slow response rates in our tests and may be too slow for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 36 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (26.6 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
37 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 15 ms rise
↘ 22 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 30 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (42.5 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: 54 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 8568 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

IPS panels are very superior to their lower-priced (and decreasing in demand) TN counterparts in terms of viewing-angle stability. However, there are also differences here. The model in our review sample is in the midfield of current IPS panels. Minor color deviations are at most seen when two levels of view are shifted (corner screenshots), but not when looking from the sides or from below or above. Slight brightness and contrast losses are observed starting at angles of approximately 45 °.

Viewing angles
Viewing angles

Performance

Modern gaming laptops with a high-performance quad-core CPU, plenty of storage, a fast Pascal graphics card, and SSD like in the review sample cope with all commercial software easily. According to the manufacturer's website, it is possible to select Windows 10, only 8 GB of RAM and/or a Blu-ray drive. 8 GB does not make much if any sense for gamers, though.

Processor

Intel's Core i7-7700HQ (4x 2.8-3.8 GHz, Hyper-Threading, TDP: 45 W) is the Kaby Lake successor of the i7-6700HQ Skylake chip (4x 2.6-3.5 GHz, Hyper-Threading, TDP: 45 W) that is very popular in the gaming sector. As can be seen, Intel has decided to increase the clock speeds by 200 (base) and 300 MHz (boost) while largely keeping the former architecture, which actually results in a higher performance that is not as insignificant as often was the case before.

The lightning-fast processor whose TDP can be reduced from 45 watts to 35 watts, which then involves performance losses, is sooner made for bulkier laptops such as in this test. We do not know any games that push the Core i7-7700HQ or even the one in the predecessor to its limits. More information about the CPU can be found by following the link at the beginning of this chapter and in our Kaby Lake article.

Compared with other laptops based on the same CPU, the Cinebench scores are within the expected range and 5 to 13% higher than all rivals furnished with an i7-6700HQ in this test. 3.4 GHz could be maintained stably in our Cinebench loop in both AC and battery modes.

Single-core rendering
Single-core rendering
Multi-core rendering
Multi-core rendering
CPU & GPU load
CPU & GPU load
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Gigabyte P55W v7
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
156 Points ∼100%
Schenker XMG P507
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
148 Points ∼95% -5%
Asus Strix GL502VM-FY039T
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
148 Points ∼95% -5%
Gigabyte P55W v6
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
143 Points ∼92% -8%
MSI GE62VR 6RF-001US
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
138 Points ∼88% -12%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Gigabyte P55W v7
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
733 Points ∼100%
Schenker XMG P507
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
682 Points ∼93% -7%
Asus Strix GL502VM-FY039T
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
680 Points ∼93% -7%
Gigabyte P55W v6
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
673 Points ∼92% -8%
MSI GE62VR 6RF-001US
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
658 Points ∼90% -10%
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
156 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
733 Points
Help

System Performance

It is no surprise that our P55W v7 can place itself at the top of the test field in the PCMark 8 Work benchmark although it only uses one memory channel. The standoff in the Home benchmark with MSI and the former P55W v6 can be explained with variance in measurements, but then why can Asus take an 18% lead here? Since the performance components do not give reason for this difference, it must be due to the faster SSD in the GL502M that is sometimes considerably superior to that in the review sample especially in write performance. Subjectively, handling is perfectly smooth and loading times are extremely short.

PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Gigabyte P55W v7
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Liteonit CV3-8D256
5317 Points ∼100%
Asus Strix GL502VM-FY039T
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ, Micron SSD 1100 (MTFDDAV256TBN)
5109 Points ∼96% -4%
MSI GE62VR 6RF-001US
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
5046 Points ∼95% -5%
Gigabyte P55W v6
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ, Transcend MTS800 128GB M.2 (TS128GMTS800)
4784 Points ∼90% -10%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Asus Strix GL502VM-FY039T
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ, Micron SSD 1100 (MTFDDAV256TBN)
4741 Points ∼100% +18%
MSI GE62VR 6RF-001US
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
4059 Points ∼86% +1%
Gigabyte P55W v6
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ, Transcend MTS800 128GB M.2 (TS128GMTS800)
4014 Points ∼85% 0%
Gigabyte P55W v7
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Liteonit CV3-8D256
4013 Points ∼85%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
4013 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
5317 points
Help

Storage Devices

The M.2 slot is fitted with a 256 GB Liteon SSD connected via SATA III. Faster and more expensive NVMe SSDs can also be inserted. Gigabyte additionally installs a conventional 1 TB, 7200 RPM hard drive.

The SSD's performance did not really convince us. It is better to look at the sequential read performance, that can be important for launching large games, and it does not drop significantly below the interface limit of a good 500 MB/s. The entire write performance that is also considerably less relevant for practice is disappointing. The review sample always ends up in one of the last two places compared with its rivals. The 4K read performance (4K read), especially important for opening programs and booting the OS, of approximately 23 and 25 MB/s is only just acceptable.

AS SSD: SSD
AS SSD: SSD
CrystalDiskMark 3.0: SSD
CrystalDiskMark 3.0: SSD
CrystalDiskMark 3.0: HDD
CrystalDiskMark 3.0: HDD
Gigabyte P55W v7
Liteonit CV3-8D256
Asus Strix GL502VM-FY039T
Micron SSD 1100 (MTFDDAV256TBN)
MSI GE62VR 6RF-001US
Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
Schenker XMG P507
Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e
Gigabyte P55W v6
Transcend MTS800 128GB M.2 (TS128GMTS800)
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
28%
249%
227%
-6%
Write 4k QD32
240.1
301.5
26%
422.8
76%
386.8
61%
160.3
-33%
Read 4k QD32
358.5
246.7
-31%
590.6
65%
694.7
94%
264.7
-26%
Write 4k
54.98
86.25
57%
139.2
153%
167.4
204%
76.7
40%
Read 4k
25.4
25.61
1%
50.84
100%
54.08
113%
26.2
3%
Write 512
254.8
407.1
60%
1562
513%
1239
386%
160.8
-37%
Read 512
252.5
335
33%
1044
313%
971
285%
338
34%
Write Seq
261.9
462.7
77%
1584
505%
1240
373%
161.1
-38%
Read Seq
466.2
462.5
-1%
1696
264%
1857
298%
511
10%
Liteonit CV3-8D256
Sequential Read: 466.2 MB/s
Sequential Write: 261.9 MB/s
512K Read: 252.5 MB/s
512K Write: 254.8 MB/s
4K Read: 25.4 MB/s
4K Write: 54.98 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 358.5 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 240.1 MB/s

Graphics Card

Nvidia's DirectX 12 GeForce GTX 1060 Pascal scion introduced in August 2016 takes the third place behind the GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 among mobile graphics cards. The card has a 6 GB GDDR5 memory that clocks at 8000 MHz effectively and is connected via a 192-bit interface. The GTX 1060 clocks at 1506 to 1708 MHz (Turbo) by default. According to GPU-Z, Gigabyte has opted for a clock range of 1405 to 1671 MHz.

Besides hardware-based decoding and encoding of H.265 videos, DisplayPort 1.4, and HDMI 2.0 are supported, making it possible to display 4K materials on external playback devices at the full 60 Hz. More information concerning the high-end card's features can be found in our special article about the Pascal architecture.

Gigabyte's P55W v7 can keep up well in the 3DMark 11 and 2013 (Fire Strike) benchmarks, and it only lags behind the present GTX 1060 leader in our database, MSI's GE62VR 6RF-001US, by 4 to 5%.

3DMark - 1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
MSI GE62VR 6RF-001US
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
11872 Points ∼100% +4%
Asus Strix GL502VM-FY039T
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
11622 Points ∼98% +2%
Gigabyte P55W v7
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
11426 Points ∼96%
Gigabyte P55W v6
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
11422 Points ∼96% 0%
Schenker XMG P507
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
11045 Points ∼93% -3%
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
MSI GE62VR 6RF-001US
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
15466 Points ∼100% +5%
Asus Strix GL502VM-FY039T
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
15387 Points ∼99% +5%
Gigabyte P55W v6
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
14792 Points ∼96% +1%
Gigabyte P55W v7
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
14693 Points ∼95%
Schenker XMG P507
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
14222 Points ∼92% -3%
3DMark 11 Performance
11778 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
21839 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
9669 points
Help

Gaming Performance

The GTX 1060's Full HD power is enough to smoothly render almost all up-to-date games regardless of their hardware requirements using maximum settings and enabled graphics enhancements and anti-aliasing. Exceptions are, for example, Deus Ex Mankind Divided and XCOM 2. The player sometimes has to be happy with high presets in WQHD (2540x1440). Users who want to regularly play in the 4K resolution will need a GTX 1070 at minimum.

low med. high ultra
The Witcher 3 (2015) 70.438.4fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 72.661.8fps
Battlefield 1 (2016) 77.673.6fps
Dishonored 2 (2016) 80.260.246.5fps
Resident Evil 7 (2017) 98.583fps

Emissions

System Noise

We set the fan to "Normal" in the Smart Manager setting for all noise measurements. The CPU fan is always on even in idle mode here. This can be prevented by setting the mode to "Quiet". Then, the running P55W v7 is only just audible when concentrating on it in a quiet private office at a distance of one meter. Light load with sporadic peaks does not change this.

After initiating the stress test (Prime95 + Furmark), the P55W v7's fan speeds up gradually so that an audible noise is heard even a few meters away from the laptop. Unfortunately, it is accompanied by high-pitched side noises at faster speeds. It is difficult to say whether this is fan whistling or coil whining. However, the writer did not find this very present noise too annoying. As is true for most high-end gaming laptops, it is recommendable to use headphones.

Idle noise level
Idle noise level
Load noise level
Load noise level
Speaker noise level
Speaker noise level

Noise Level

Idle
33 / 34 / 35 dB(A)
HDD
34 dB(A)
DVD
37 / dB(A)
Load
39 / 50 dB(A)
 
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Audix TM1, Arta (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 30 dB(A)

Temperature

The underside will heat up to an unpleasant 48 °C for some users when the P55W v7 is placed on the lap for gaming. However, the laptop will likely be used on a table in most cases, and thus the temperatures in the wrist rest area are more important. It is unusual even for a gaming laptop that the corresponding areas of our full load visualization below are not completely blue, which points to problematic temperatures of up to 45 °C. Sensitive users will have to look for another laptop. In return, everything is okay in idle mode.

Now we look at the clock speed development in the unrealistic stress test (Prime95 + Furmark). The CPU's speeds varied from 2.6 to 3.8 GHz and the GPU reached approximately 1200 MHz in phase I. In phase II, the GPU's clock speeds dropped to almost 480 MHz (memory: 1500 vs. 2000 MHz), while the processor settled to a consistent 3.4 GHz. Thus, CPU and, above all, GPU throttling is an issue in this artificial scenario.

Stress test (phase I)
Stress test (phase I)
Stress test (phase II)
Stress test (phase II)
Full load upper side (Optris PI 640)
Full load upper side (Optris PI 640)
Full load underside (Optris PI 640)
Full load underside (Optris PI 640)
Max. Load
 49.6 °C43.6 °C31.1 °C 
 49 °C45.4 °C31.8 °C 
 45.1 °C44.3 °C28.3 °C 
Maximum: 49.6 °C
Average: 40.9 °C
26.3 °C38.7 °C47.7 °C
29.7 °C44.7 °C47.1 °C
28.5 °C44.5 °C46.3 °C
Maximum: 47.7 °C
Average: 39.3 °C
Power Supply (max.)  40.1 °C | Room Temperature 20 °C | Voltcraft IR-900

Speakers

Like in the predecessors, Gigabyte again does not install a subwoofer as has almost become standard in higher-priced gaming laptops. This naturally affects the sound. The bass-free, low-dynamic and very mid-heavy sound is hollow and tinny in the Dolby Music preset at maximum volume, which is at most loud enough to fill medium-sized rooms. Although minor distortions are rarely heard, the playback is never piercing and does not suffer from volume fluctuations.

While the sound system still copes quite well with light pop music, it decreases at consistently high volumes in metal music and slightly blends the instruments. Voice is well intelligible and sounds more natural than music. We recommend using headphones for real oomph when playing games.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2041.548.72535.843.33131.330.44036.537.65033.133.46334.729.88034.234.3100323212526.432.116022.739.820021.852.525022.857.731520.558.640019.958.250019.261.463019.163.580018.558.2100018.665.212501872.4160017.769.6200017.567.3250017.662.9315017.861.540001860.5500018.265.6630018.468.7800018.472.71000018.761.41250018.963.71600019.355.2SPL30.679.2N1.544.6median 18.7Gigabyte P55W v7median 61.4Delta1.84.738.135.744.241.14038.832.337.229.334.231.429.93134.524.335.423.525.626.634.822.343.522.851.721.260.720.36119.260.618.764.818.464.618.667.519.465.818.662.718.863.518.864.718.764.618.863.418.966.918.965.918.953.71949.718.849.318.745.431.276.31.538.8median 18.9Asus Strix GL502VM-FY039Tmedian 611.38.640.442.437.538.237.935.934.834.934.334.632.83331.434.330.235.530.440.628.349.128.35328.358.327.2612763.426.665.32663.625.65625.46325.765.625.162.424.153.124.156.523.762.923.964.923.767.123.664.823.371.723.368.723.462.623.458.336.876.92.840.9median 25.4MSI GE62VR 6RF-001USmedian 62.62.35.837.230.229.929.329.2293328.729.228.126.826.825.928.624.928.324.329.622.437.722.447.120.347.820.750.719.261.718.666.318.965.418.461.618.760.417.863.51862.417.862.818.164.818.164.91858.417.857.71862.518.161.718.160.918.158.8185730.474.71.435.4median 18.1Schenker XMG P507median 60.916.5hearing rangehide median Pink Noise
Gigabyte P55W v7 audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (79 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 15.9% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (11.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 4.7% away from median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (8.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 3.6% away from median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (10.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (17% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 44% of all tested devices in this class were better, 9% similar, 47% worse
» The best had a delta of 6%, average was 18%, worst was 37%
Compared to all devices tested
» 25% of all tested devices were better, 7% similar, 68% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Asus Strix GL502VM-FY039T audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (76 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 19.1% lower than median
(-) | bass is not linear (18.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 2.9% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (4% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 5.6% higher than median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (8% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (21.1% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 71% of all tested devices in this class were better, 5% similar, 24% worse
» The best had a delta of 6%, average was 18%, worst was 37%
Compared to all devices tested
» 47% of all tested devices were better, 7% similar, 46% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

MSI GE62VR 6RF-001US audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (76.94 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 13.1% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (12% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 3% away from median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (12% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 4.4% away from median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (10.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (16% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 41% of all tested devices in this class were better, 3% similar, 56% worse
» The best had a delta of 6%, average was 18%, worst was 37%
Compared to all devices tested
» 21% of all tested devices were better, 4% similar, 75% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Schenker XMG P507 audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (75 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 20.7% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (8.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 2.2% away from median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (7.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2.3% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (5.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (16.7% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 42% of all tested devices in this class were better, 9% similar, 48% worse
» The best had a delta of 6%, average was 18%, worst was 37%
Compared to all devices tested
» 24% of all tested devices were better, 7% similar, 70% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Frequency diagram in comparison (checkboxes above can be turned on/off!)

Energy Management

Power Consumption

Since all laptops in the test have an i7-6700HQ or i7-7700HQ, a GeForce GTX 1060 and an SSD, their power consumption can be compared nicely. First, the very high consumption of the overclocked MSI in all load states except maximum is striking. The review sample is the most economic device in all three idle load states and consumes 43 to 69% (!) less power. The P55W v7 also drains the least power from the outlet during full load. However, Schenker's XMG P507, as the "leader", consumes just 18% more energy.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.4 / 0.8 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 8 / 13 / 18 Watt
Load midlight 76 / 143 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Gigabyte P55W v7
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
Asus Strix GL502VM-FY039T
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
MSI GE62VR 6RF-001US
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
Schenker XMG P507
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
Gigabyte P55W v6
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
Power Consumption
-35%
-97%
-21%
-0%
Idle Minimum *
8
16
-100%
25.4
-218%
11
-38%
8
-0%
Idle Average *
13
19
-46%
30.3
-133%
16
-23%
13
-0%
Idle Maximum *
18
23
-28%
31.5
-75%
21
-17%
17
6%
Load Average *
76
68
11%
111.8
-47%
80
-5%
71
7%
Load Maximum *
143
157
-10%
163.2
-14%
174
-22%
165
-15%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Runtimes

Disregarding MSI's GE62VR due to its rather small 51 Wh battery and unusually high power consumption, a comparison within the test field again seems logical in view of the very similar battery capacities of 60 to 64 Wh. Our P55W v7 lasts particularly long especially in idle mode and in the practical Wi-Fi test at medium brightness (our test criteria) and is only defeated by the XMG P507. The Asus Strix presents a relatively weak runtime.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
13h 9min
WiFi Surfing v1.3
5h 46min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 38min
Gigabyte P55W v7
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 63 Wh
Asus Strix GL502VM-FY039T
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 64 Wh
MSI GE62VR 6RF-001US
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 51 Wh
Schenker XMG P507
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 60 Wh
Gigabyte P55W v6
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 63 Wh
Battery Runtime
-36%
-73%
-14%
-8%
Reader / Idle
789
315
-60%
137
-83%
409
-48%
610
-23%
WiFi v1.3
346
220
-36%
101
-71%
274
-21%
352
2%
Load
98
87
-11%
35
-64%
123
26%
95
-3%
H.264
235
338

Pros

+ impeccably built, solid-looking casing
+ relatively long battery life
+ a lot of (gaming) bang for the buck
+ good input devices
+ USB 3.1 Gen.2 Type-C
+ IPS panel
+ no PWM

Cons

- occasional fan whistling/coil whining at higher speeds
- plastic casing with sensitive surfaces
- unfavorable interface positioning
- comparatively slow SSD
- response times not ideal
- no Thunderbolt 3

Verdict

Gigabyte P55W v7. Test model courtesy of Gigabyte Germany
Gigabyte P55W v7. Test model courtesy of Gigabyte Germany

Gigabyte has again made cutbacks in the right places and sends an overall decent gaming laptop into the race with the P55W v7. Omitting features, such as Thunderbolt 3 and G-Sync, makes it possible for buyers to save a few hundred Euros - and this without compromises in performance.

Just in view of the relatively low price, we particularly liked the input devices and, with some restrictions, the IPS panel. This also applies to the solid plastic casing with its easy to remove base plate. The interface positioning, relatively slow screen response times, and the as before not really convincing SSD are not as favorable. The high-pitched side noises during load are the only shortcoming of Gigabyte's P55W v7. However, this phenomenon could be a unique case. Thus, it easily achieves a purchase recommendation but with a sound-check clause.

Gigabyte P55W v7 - 02/28/2017 v6
Sven Kloevekorn

Chassis
79 / 98 → 81%
Keyboard
81%
Pointing Device
78%
Connectivity
60 / 81 → 74%
Weight
59 / 66 → 87%
Battery
87%
Display
86%
Games Performance
92%
Application Performance
91%
Temperature
86 / 95 → 90%
Noise
71 / 90 → 79%
Audio
68%
Camera
71 / 85 → 84%
Average
78%
84%
Gaming - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Gigabyte P55W v7 Notebook Review
Sven Kloevekorn, 2017-03- 3 (Update: 2017-03- 3)