Notebookcheck

Gigabyte P57W Notebook Review

Florian Glaser (translated by Martina Osztovits), 04/05/2016

Gaming scion. With the P57W, Gigabyte presents a high-end notebook in 17-inch format, which brings various modern features and technologies. Apart from a replaceable drive bay, the manual fan control stands out. Do rivals have to prepare for strong competition?

For the original German review, see here.

While there is already the fifth revision of the 15-inch P55W sibling available (see review), the P57W is completely new to the market. Gigabyte did not take many risks. In the gaming segment, a quad-core processor from Intel's Skylake generation (Core i7-6700HQ) is currently as common as a high-end GPU with Nvidia's Maxwell architecture (GeForce GTX 970M). 16 GB of DDR4 RAM and a Full HD IPS panel are also now practically obligatory. The same is true for the combination of SSD and HDD. Currently, the P57W costs just under 1700 Euros (~$1934). However, the new model is hard to find in German online shops.

The main competitors include similarly fast and expensive 17-inch gamers like the Acer Predator 17, the Alienware 17 R3, the Asus G752, the MSI GS70, or the Schenker XMG P706. Alternatives from the same manufacturer are the P37X v5 and the Aorus X7 Pro v5.

Gigabyte P57W (P57 Series)
Processor
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M - 3072 MB, Core: 924 MHz, Memory: 2500 MHz, GDDR5, ForceWare 359.00, Optimus
Memory
16384 MB 
, 2x 8 GB DDR4-2133, 2 of 2 slots used, max. 32 GB
Display
17.3 inch 16:9, 1920x1080 pixel 127 PPI, LG Philips LP173WF4-SPF1 (LGD0469), IPS, Full HD, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel Sunrise Point HM170
Storage
Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G, 256 GB 
, SSD + HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630, 1000 GB HDD @7200 rpm. Slots: 1x M.2 NVMe/PCIe Typ 2280 & 1x 2.5 inch
Soundcard
Realtek ALC255 @ Intel Sunrise Point PCH - High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
3 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 USB 3.1 Gen2, 1 VGA, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: headphones, microphone, Card Reader: SD
Networking
Realtek PCIe GBE Family Controller (10/100/1000MBit), Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260 (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.2
Optical drive
Matshita DVD-RAM UJ8G2
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 25 x 421 x 290 ( = 0.98 x 16.57 x 11.42 in)
Battery
75.81 Wh, 6830 mAh Lithium-Polymer, 11.1V
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: HD
Additional features
Speakers: 2.0 (Dolby Digital Plus Home Theater), Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, power adapter: 180 Watt, accessories: mounting frame for 2.5-inch drive, driver DVD, warranty card, multilingual manual, Software: Adobe Reader XI, CyberLink PowerDVD 12, MS Office 365 Trial, several manufacturer's tools, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
3.16 kg ( = 111.47 oz / 6.97 pounds), Power Supply: 638 g ( = 22.5 oz / 1.41 pounds)
Price
1700 Euro

 

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Case

Alike most manufacturers Gigabyte uses a black plastic chassis, which is made less monotonous with orange lines on the sides. With a height of 2.5 cm, it is quite slim for a gaming notebook.

Despite the slim build, the stability of the base unit is relatively good. However, the lid could be stiffer. It can be easily warped and depressed with the hands. The build quality is not absolutely perfect, either. Especially the joint of the display frame and lid is slightly imprecise in our test model. But, the keyboard lines up much more precisely with the palm rests than we often saw in Gigabyte notebooks in the past.

In terms of quality, the chassis appears to be decent. If you ignore creaking noises when warping the display, you cannot complain. The hinges allow opening the 17-incher with one hand. The display does not wobble too heavily on vibrating surfaces.

Card-reader performance
Card-reader performance

Interfaces

Apart from the USB 3.1 port (Type C without Thunderbolt), the connectivity is not striking. While the left side houses two USB 3.0 ports, an RJ45 port, a card reader, two audio jacks (microphone + headphones), and a Kensington security lock slot, the right side provides power-in, another USB 3.0 port, and as many as three video-outs (VGA, HDMI 2.0 & Mini-DisplayPort). In our opinion, the biggest highlight is the replaceable drive bay on the front side, which either houses a DVD or Blu-ray burner or a 2.5-inch hard drive.

Card reader

The SD-card reader achieves average results. Just under 86 MB/s in sequential reading and 76 MB/s in moving jpg files are neither good nor especially bad compared to the competition. In theory, our Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II reference card is able to reach up to 260 MB/s. However, only very few notebooks can achieve this.

Left side: Kensington lock, RJ45-LAN, 2x USB 3.0, card reader, headphones, microphone
Left side: Kensington lock, RJ45-LAN, 2x USB 3.0, card reader, headphones, microphone
Right side: USB 3.0, USB 3.1 Type-C, HDMI, Mini DisplayPort, VGA, DC-in
Right side: USB 3.0, USB 3.1 Type-C, HDMI, Mini DisplayPort, VGA, DC-in

Wireless Communication

The Intel Wireless-AC 8260 adapter provides wireless connections to the Internet. Apart from Bluetooth 4.2, it also supports the WLAN standards 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac. Its range was good in the individual test setup of the author. It could even connect to the router in a distance of 10 to 15 meters and through several walls. Windows showed 2 out of 5 bars and 40-50 Mbit/s on average.

Maintenance

Although the P57W does not have a maintenance hatch, buyers can upgrade components and clean the cooling system. Once you loosened 16(!) screws the underside can be easily removed. You can get to the two fans and also to the Wi-Fi module, the storage devices (1x M.2 PCIe + 1x 2.5 inch), two DDR4 RAM slots and the screwed battery. As so often, graphics card and processor are soldered to the motherboard and cannot be replaced.

Preinstalled software
Preinstalled software

Software

The laptop scores points with the handy tools preinstalled from Gigabyte. While Smart Update helps in updating drivers, the LAN Optimizer deals with network traffic. Programs for creating recovery media (Smart USB Backup) and system monitoring (Smart Dashboard) are also not a bad thing.

The Smart Manager is noteworthy, since it is the primary place to go. It provides many handy functions, some of which can also be triggered by key combinations (volume, brightness, webcam, etc.). Advanced users can also adapt fan control and display colors. Our display tests are based on the standard setting Native Color. We selected the most suitable fan option for each scenario (Quiet for idle, Gaming for Load) in Fan Tweak.

Smart Manager
Smart Manager
Smart Dashboard
Smart Dashboard
LAN Optimizer
LAN Optimizer
Smart Update
Smart Update
Smart USB Backup
Smart USB Backup

Accessories

A warranty card, a driver DVD, a multi-lingual user guide, and an empty mounting frame, which can be incorporated instead of the DVD burner, are included. The 15.5 x 7.5 x 3 cm big power adapter weighs in at 638 g. The notebook itself weighs 3.16 kg, which is alright in view of the performance.

Warranty

The manufacturer's warranty is two years.

Input Devices

Keyboard

Basically, the keyboard is good. Although pressure point, stroke, and typing noise cannot completely keep up with premium gaming laptops' (e.g. the Alienware 17 R3), most buyers should be satisfied with its performance. Thanks to a standard layout, you'll get used to the keyboard quickly. Only the combined Ins/Del key was slightly annoying. The short travel is a matter of taste.

The dedicated number block, the good key size (15 x 15 mm), and the two-level keyboard light are praiseworthy. Since the keyboard is relatively far back, you'll get big palm rests, which even provide enough space for large hands.

Touchpad

We did not like the touchpad that much. First of all, it lacks stability especially on the left side, which reduces its value. On the other hand, it often registers wrong inputs when using multi-touch gestures (zooming, scrolling, etc.), since the mouse pointer tends to move with them. In general, ClickPads are not known for maximum precision and reliability. Drag and drop usually works better on conventional touchpads with dedicated buttons.

The size is good. 10.5 x 8 cm is usual for 17-inch devices. Mouse replacement and palm rests are hardly distinguishable by haptics. The surface is similarly smooth and so are the gliding traits.

Keyboard
Keyboard
Touchpad
Touchpad

Display

We already know the used display type. The LG Philips LP173WF4-SPF1 (do not confuse it with the SPD1) is used in lots of 17-inch notebooks, for example the Acer Predator 17 or the Gigabyte P37X v5.

289
cd/m²
276
cd/m²
278
cd/m²
290
cd/m²
286
cd/m²
271
cd/m²
267
cd/m²
258
cd/m²
253
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 290 cd/m² Average: 274.2 cd/m² Minimum: 8 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 87 %
Center on Battery: 286 cd/m²
Contrast: 923:1 (Black: 0.31 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 4.49 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 4.76 | - Ø
84% sRGB (Argyll) 55% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll)
Gamma: 2.47
Gigabyte P57W
LG Philips LP173WF4-SPF1 (LGD0469)
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
Chi Mei N173HGE-E11 (CMN1735)
Acer Predator 17 G9-791-75PV
LP173WF4-SPF1 (LGD0469)
Gigabyte P37X v5
LP173WF4-SPF1 (LGD0469)
Schenker XMG P706
LG LP173WF4-SPD1
Alienware 17 R3 (A17-9935)
CV69H_173WF4 (LGD0459)
Response Times
9%
-15%
8%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
37
37
-0%
45
-22%
33
11%
Response Time Black / White *
24
20
17%
26
-8%
23
4%
PWM Frequency
Screen
10%
-3%
4%
-0%
-1%
Brightness
274
161
-41%
303
11%
294
7%
302
10%
336
23%
Brightness Distribution
87
85
-2%
85
-2%
89
2%
90
3%
90
3%
Black Level *
0.31
0.26
16%
0.26
16%
0.42
-35%
0.34
-10%
0.44
-42%
Contrast
923
662
-28%
1296
40%
729
-21%
900
-2%
818
-11%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
4.49
2.06
54%
5.92
-32%
3.51
22%
5.49
-22%
4.76
-6%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
4.76
2.42
49%
7.55
-59%
2.23
53%
3.97
17%
3.69
22%
Gamma
2.47 97%
2.45 98%
2.42 99%
2.51 96%
2.15 112%
2.24 107%
CCT
6843 95%
6855 95%
7270 89%
6346 102%
6163 105%
6091 107%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
55
62
13%
56
2%
56
2%
55.5
1%
55
0%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
84
97
15%
85
1%
85
1%
84.5
1%
84
0%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
10% / 10%
3% / -1%
-6% / 0%
0% / -0%
4% / 0%

* ... smaller is better

This is not surprising due to its great image quality - at least in the aspects important for gamers. For example, the panel achieves a brightness of 274 cd/m², a black value of 0.31 cd/m², and a contrast of about 920:1. Well, many competitors perform a bit better here, but you can hardly see differences. In case you are concerned about the inferior brightness distribution (87 %): Don't panic, the test model showed very even images without backlight bleeding.

CalMAN: Grayscale
CalMAN: Grayscale
CalMAN: Grayscale (after calibration)
CalMAN: Grayscale (after calibration)
CalMAN: Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN: Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN: Saturation Sweeps (after calibration)
CalMAN: Saturation Sweeps (after calibration)
CalMAN: ColorChecker
CalMAN: ColorChecker
CalMAN: ColorChecker (after calibration)
CalMAN: ColorChecker (after calibration)
Gigabyte P57W vs. sRGB (84%)
Gigabyte P57W vs. sRGB (84%)
Gigabyte P57W vs. AdobeRGB (55%)
Gigabyte P57W vs. AdobeRGB (55%)

The P57W has not been designed for professional users with photo or video ambitions. As a typical gaming laptop, it slightly lacks color-space coverage (84% sRGB, 55% AdobeRGB) and color precision. While calibration improves the grayscales a lot, the DeltaE2000 shift remained above 3 (maximum of 8 for yellow and orange colors).

Subpixel
Subpixel
Viewing angles
Viewing angles
Outdoor use
Outdoor use

Gamers can safely ignore these weaknesses. Videos and other entertainment media are displayed flawlessly. Response time and viewing-angle stability are ordinary. As you might expect from an expensive laptop, it uses IPS instead of TN technology.

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
24 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 5 ms rise
↘ 19 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. » 26 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (27.2 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
37 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 13 ms rise
↘ 24 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. » 29 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (44 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: 59 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 2255 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Performance

The P57W follows the current trend in connectivity as well as hardware. A combination from Intel CPU and Nvidia GPU, 8-16 GB of RAM, and a Solid State Drive with preinstalled Windows 10 Home 64-bit are typical for high-end notebooks.

Processor

The Core i7-6700HQ is the standard quad-core processor for laptops of around 1000 Euros (~$1138). Gigabyte handles the 14 nm Skylake chip well (TDP: 45 Watt). A maximum of 3.5 GHz in single-core applications and 3.1 GHz in multi-core applications match the limit specified by Intel.

Single-core rendering
Single-core rendering
Multi-core rendering
Multi-core rendering
CPU- & GPU load
CPU- & GPU load

The CPU cannot use its full Turbo potential only under full load. The clock rate falls to about 2.9 GHz, with short drops to 800 MHz. However, our tests prove that you do not have to bother about throttling during everyday tasks.

Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.67 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
7.46 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
50.64 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
140 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
675 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
63.35 fps
Help

Cinebench R15 and Cinebench R11.5 confirm that the performance of the P57W is on par with the 6700HQ competition (see table). More powerful CPUs like the Core i7-6820HK do not really pay off, since they only achieve slightly higher scores. Note: On battery, the Core i7-6700HQ clocks between 2.6 and 3.2 GHz in the benchmarks.

Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Schenker XMG P706
Intel Core i7-6820HK
151 Points ∼100% +8%
Alienware 17 R3 (A17-9935)
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
146 Points ∼97% +4%
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
144 Points ∼95% +3%
Gigabyte P37X v5
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
142 Points ∼94% +1%
Gigabyte P57W
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
140 Points ∼93%
Acer Predator 17 G9-791-75PV
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
137 Points ∼91% -2%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Schenker XMG P706
Intel Core i7-6820HK
709 Points ∼100% +5%
Gigabyte P37X v5
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
682 Points ∼96% +1%
Alienware 17 R3 (A17-9935)
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
680 Points ∼96% +1%
Gigabyte P57W
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
675 Points ∼95%
Acer Predator 17 G9-791-75PV
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
654 Points ∼92% -3%
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
633 Points ∼89% -6%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit
Schenker XMG P706
Intel Core i7-6820HK
1.73 Points ∼100% +4%
Alienware 17 R3 (A17-9935)
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
1.68 Points ∼97% +1%
Gigabyte P37X v5
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
1.67 Points ∼97% 0%
Gigabyte P57W
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
1.67 Points ∼97%
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
1.64 Points ∼95% -2%
Acer Predator 17 G9-791-75PV
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
1.58 Points ∼91% -5%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Schenker XMG P706
Intel Core i7-6820HK
7.78 Points ∼100% +4%
Alienware 17 R3 (A17-9935)
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
7.5 Points ∼96% +1%
Gigabyte P37X v5
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
7.47 Points ∼96% 0%
Gigabyte P57W
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
7.46 Points ∼96%
Acer Predator 17 G9-791-75PV
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
7.24 Points ∼93% -3%
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
7.01 Points ∼90% -6%

System Performance

The system performance complies with other Skylake-based high-end notebooks. With 5955 points, the P57W performs even slightly better than the Alienware 17 R3 with GeForce GTX 980M and NVME SSD in PCMark 7. The MSI GS70 6QE and the Gigabyte P37X v5 are beaten, too. The Acer Predator 17 and the Schenker XMG P706 are minimally better on paper. In practice, all systems respond very quickly and you can hardly notice differences.

PCMark 7 Score
5955 points
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3946 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
4754 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
4935 points
Help
PCMark 7 - Score
Schenker XMG P706
GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK, Samsung SM951 MZHPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
6054 Points ∼100% +2%
Acer Predator 17 G9-791-75PV
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Lite-On CV1-8B256
5991 Points ∼99% +1%
Gigabyte P57W
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
5955 Points ∼98%
Alienware 17 R3 (A17-9935)
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
5938 Points ∼98% 0%
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
5912 Points ∼98% -1%
Gigabyte P37X v5
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e
5422 Points ∼90% -9%
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Gigabyte P37X v5
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e
5061 Points ∼100% +3%
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
5043 Points ∼100% +2%
Schenker XMG P706
GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK, Samsung SM951 MZHPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
5022 Points ∼99% +2%
Gigabyte P57W
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
4935 Points ∼98%
Creative Score Accelerated v2
Gigabyte P37X v5
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e
4947 Points ∼100% +4%
Schenker XMG P706
GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK, Samsung SM951 MZHPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
4893 Points ∼99% +3%
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
4873 Points ∼99% +3%
Acer Predator 17 G9-791-75PV
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Lite-On CV1-8B256
4810 Points ∼97% +1%
Gigabyte P57W
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
4754 Points ∼96%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Gigabyte P37X v5
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e
4041 Points ∼100% +2%
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
4002 Points ∼99% +1%
Schenker XMG P706
GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK, Samsung SM951 MZHPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
3961 Points ∼98% 0%
Gigabyte P57W
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
3946 Points ∼98%
Acer Predator 17 G9-791-75PV
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Lite-On CV1-8B256
3880 Points ∼96% -2%

Storage Devices

Although there is a trend towards PCIe SSDs, Gigabyte incorporated a conventional Solid State Drive with SATA III interface. Thus it is limited to 500-550 MB/s in sequential tasks. The 256 GB Lite-On L8T-256L9G of the P57W achieves a maximum of 486 MB/s (Read @AS SSD Benchmark) and 406 MB/s (Write), which is sufficient for almost all application scenario. The gap to PCIe models is much smaller with small files. So, most users will not face disadvantages here. It is annoying that the free M.2 slot is functionless.

As secondary storage device there is a 2.5-inch HDD on board. The HGST Travelstar 7K1000 works at 7200 rpm and features a capacity of 1000 GB. The SATA III model achieves up to 147 MB/s in sequential reading and 138 MB/s in sequential writing in CrystalDiskMark - very good results for an HDD.

Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
Sequential Read: 491.6 MB/s
Sequential Write: 391.1 MB/s
512K Read: 352.8 MB/s
512K Write: 371.7 MB/s
4K Read: 29.89 MB/s
4K Write: 37.75 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 338.7 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 278 MB/s
Gigabyte P57W
Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
Acer Predator 17 G9-791-75PV
Lite-On CV1-8B256
Gigabyte P37X v5
Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e
Schenker XMG P706
Samsung SM951 MZHPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
Alienware 17 R3 (A17-9935)
Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
AS SSD
-24%
-25%
151%
Score Total
911
718
-21%
769
-16%
2278
150%
4K Write
55.54
54.98
-1%
33.45
-40%
95.25
71%
4K Read
28.77
20.85
-28%
15.09
-48%
39.93
39%
Seq Write
406.16
109.69
-73%
332.92
-18%
1272.66
213%
Seq Read
486.74
501.48
3%
483.58
-1%
1862.83
283%

Graphics Card

After the GeForce GTX 980 and the GeForce GTX 980M, the GeForce GTX 970M is the third-fastest notebook GPU from Nvidia. The high-end chip contains 1280 shaders and clocks at 924 to 1038 GHz during 3D load. According to the Unigine Heaven 4.0 benchmark, the Turbo can be kept up. The only exception is our stress test with the Furmark and Prime95 tools, which, however, is not very realistic. Here, the clock rate sometimes falls below the standard value.

Otherwise, the DirectX 12 model boasts 3 GB of GDDR5 VRAM and a 192-bit interface. However, it has to be mentioned that several manufacturers equip the GTX 970M with 6 instead of 3 GB of VRAM. Several games (e.g. Call of Duty Black Ops 3, Rise of the Tomb Raider & Hitman) require at least 4 GB for maximum settings and/or resolutions from FHD.

3DMark 11 Performance
9363 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
86161 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
21461 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
6619 points
Help

The VRAM capacity has hardly an impact on synthetic graphics benchmarks like 3DMark 13. With a Fire Strike score of 6619 points, the P57W ranks in between the GTX 970M competitors MSI GS70 and Acer Predator 17. Notebooks with a GTX 980M are 25% faster on average.

3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Schenker XMG P706
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
9687 Points ∼100% +29%
Gigabyte P37X v5
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
9673 Points ∼100% +29%
Alienware 17 R3 (A17-9935)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
9227 Points ∼95% +23%
Acer Predator 17 G9-791-75PV
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
7594 Points ∼78% +1%
Gigabyte P57W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
7489 Points ∼77%
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
7486 Points ∼77% 0%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Score
Schenker XMG P706
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
8380 Points ∼100% +27%
Gigabyte P37X v5
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
8355 Points ∼100% +26%
Alienware 17 R3 (A17-9935)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
8099 Points ∼97% +22%
Acer Predator 17 G9-791-75PV
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
6708 Points ∼80% +1%
Gigabyte P57W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
6619 Points ∼79%
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
6555 Points ∼78% -1%
3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance GPU
Schenker XMG P706
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
12402 Points ∼100% +28%
Gigabyte P37X v5
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
12373 Points ∼100% +27%
Alienware 17 R3 (A17-9935)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
11388 Points ∼92% +17%
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
9962 Points ∼80% +3%
Acer Predator 17 G9-791-75PV
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
9902 Points ∼80% +2%
Gigabyte P57W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
9713 Points ∼78%
1280x720 Performance
Schenker XMG P706
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
11514 Points ∼100% +23%
Gigabyte P37X v5
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
11171 Points ∼97% +19%
Alienware 17 R3 (A17-9935)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
10464 Points ∼91% +12%
Acer Predator 17 G9-791-75PV
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
9529 Points ∼83% +2%
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
9421 Points ∼82% +1%
Gigabyte P57W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
9363 Points ∼81%

Gaming Performance

Apart from the extremely demanding ultra presets of Assassin's Creed Syndicate and XCOM 2 (which we continue to test with 8x MSAA even after the patch), the GTX 970M is mostly fast enough to run current games in native Full HD resolution with (very) high details and anti aliasing. Those who do not want to play games below 40 fps at maximum settings should choose a notebook with a GTX 980M or GTX 980.

low med. high ultra
Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 (2015) 96.794.957.550.8fps
Assassin's Creed Syndicate (2015) 79.973.847.919.4fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 107.176.846.337.6fps
XCOM 2 (2016) 88.954.335.716.5fps
Far Cry Primal (2016) 94564935fps
The Division (2016) 117.287.643.933.6fps
Hitman 2016 (2016) 61.658.633.631.7fps
Need for Speed 2016 (2016) 95.789.857.844.4fps

Emissions

System Noise

The emissions show that the cooling system is appropriate. Although the P57W gets quite hot and loud under full load, it is still cooler and quieter than many competitors. While the MSI GS70 6QE reaches 42-52 dB (44-49 dB @Acer Predator 17) in 3D mode, the Gigabyte reaches "only" 37-47 dB. Top: The fans only slowly speed up under load and slow down quickly afterwards.

While idle, the laptop hardly gets loud. We felt that about 32-33 dB is decent. The 37 dB listed in the table only applies to booting. Unlike some devices, the P57W fortunately does not increase the fan speed sporadically without reason. The HDD is usually quieter than the fans. It only generates a quiet clattering noise when it is accessed heavily.

System noise while idle
System noise while idle
System noise under load
System noise under load
Pink & White noise (speakers)
Pink & White noise (speakers)

Noise Level

Idle
32 / 33 / 37 dB(A)
HDD
33 dB(A)
DVD
38 / dB(A)
Load
37 / 47 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)
Gigabyte P57W
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
Acer Predator 17 G9-791-75PV
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
Gigabyte P37X v5
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ
Schenker XMG P706
GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK
Alienware 17 R3 (A17-9935)
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ
Noise
-3%
-5%
-3%
3%
1%
off / environment *
30
30
-0%
Idle Minimum *
32
30.8
4%
32
-0%
32
-0%
30.9
3%
31
3%
Idle Average *
33
31.2
5%
33
-0%
34
-3%
31.2
5%
32
3%
Idle Maximum *
37
36.6
1%
37
-0%
36
3%
31.2
16%
33
11%
Load Average *
37
41.8
-13%
44
-19%
40
-8%
40.5
-9%
38
-3%
Load Maximum *
47
53
-13%
49
-4%
51
-9%
47
-0%
50
-6%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

Stress test
Stress test

We especially liked the cool palm rests. Regardless whether idle or during the stress test, the front third of the notebook never exceeded 30 °C. While idle the whole chassis has a pleasant temperature. An average of 27 °C is an excellent value. After 60 minutes of full load, the case reached up to 55 °C, which is acceptable compared to the competitors.

Moreover, the components do not get hotter as in other 17-inch gaming laptops. Our stress test caused a GPU temperature of 78 °C and a CPU temperature of just under 90 °C.

Temperature while idle (top side)
Temperature while idle (top side)
Temperature while idle (underside)
Temperature while idle (underside)
Temperature under load (top side)
Temperature under load (top side)
Temperature under load (underside)
Temperature under load (underside)
Max. Load
 47.8 °C53.7 °C52.3 °C 
 44.6 °C55.1 °C54.2 °C 
 29.5 °C29.8 °C26.8 °C 
Maximum: 55.1 °C
Average: 43.8 °C
55.2 °C54.5 °C44.4 °C
54.4 °C52.6 °C43.9 °C
26.3 °C28.5 °C27 °C
Maximum: 55.2 °C
Average: 43 °C
Power Supply (max.)  50.5 °C | Room Temperature 22 °C | Voltcraft IR-900
Gigabyte P57W
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
Acer Predator 17 G9-791-75PV
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
Gigabyte P37X v5
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ
Schenker XMG P706
GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK
Alienware 17 R3 (A17-9935)
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ
Heat
-17%
17%
-9%
8%
-3%
Maximum Upper Side *
55.1
53.8
2%
41.7
24%
52.7
4%
44
20%
51.1
7%
Maximum Bottom *
55.2
65.4
-18%
41.6
25%
70
-27%
42.3
23%
53.2
4%
Idle Upper Side *
30.8
36.3
-18%
27.2
12%
30.9
-0%
31.7
-3%
31.7
-3%
Idle Bottom *
27.1
36.3
-34%
25
8%
31
-14%
29.9
-10%
32.2
-19%

* ... smaller is better

Speakers

The sound is worse than should be possible. Many buyers would expect higher quality for 1700 Euros (~$1934). Despite the Dolby Digital Plus audio software, videos, games, and music do not sound very precise. Volume and bass could also be better. The 17-inch sibling Aorus X7 Pro v5 performs significantly better with its four speakers and two subwoofers. Therefore, we recommend using an external sound system or a headset. The 2.0 system of the P57W does not give pleasure in the long run.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

Thanks to Nvidia's Optimus technology (only activates the GeForce GTX 970M during 3D tasks) the power consumption is quite low while idle. 11-22 Watt exactly matches the results of the Acer Predator 17. Under load the P57W requires 85 Watt (3DMark06) on average and a maximum of 178 Watt (stress test). Thus, the included 180-Watt PSU is not overloaded.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.7 / 1.1 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 11 / 17 / 22 Watt
Load midlight 85 / 178 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Gigabyte P57W
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
Acer Predator 17 G9-791-75PV
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
Gigabyte P37X v5
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ
Schenker XMG P706
GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK
Alienware 17 R3 (A17-9935)
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ
Power Consumption
-20%
-1%
-26%
-7%
-10%
Idle Minimum *
11
16.5
-50%
11
-0%
16
-45%
12
-9%
12
-9%
Idle Average *
17
23.1
-36%
17
-0%
21
-24%
17.9
-5%
18
-6%
Idle Maximum *
22
26.1
-19%
22
-0%
28
-27%
19.3
12%
26
-18%
Load Average *
85
95.8
-13%
96
-13%
96
-13%
97.7
-15%
95
-12%
Load Maximum *
178
146.4
18%
164
8%
215
-21%
213
-20%
188
-6%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

While gaming notebooks could not work miracles in terms of battery runtimes in the past, they are able to reach acceptable results nowadays (graphics switch). Under ideal conditions, the P57W lasts almost 8 hours without the power adapter. Just under 5.5 hours during web surfing via Wi-Fi and 5 hours video playback at medium brightness are also not bad. As usual, the battery capacity is only sufficient for 1-1.5 hours of gaming. The GPU performance falls by about 25% on battery (Fire Strike test @3DMark 13).

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
7h 40min
WiFi Surfing v1.3
5h 34min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
4h 56min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 39min
Gigabyte P57W
75.81 Wh
MSI GS70-6QE16H21
56 Wh
Acer Predator 17 G9-791-75PV
 Wh
Gigabyte P37X v5
76 Wh
Schenker XMG P706
60 Wh
Alienware 17 R3 (A17-9935)
92 Wh
Battery Runtime
-44%
31%
-6%
-24%
35%
Reader / Idle
460
238
-48%
702
53%
383
-17%
297
-35%
758
65%
Load
99
64
-35%
109
10%
103
4%
97
-2%
105
6%
WiFi v1.3
334
180
-46%
358
7%
254
-24%
220
-34%
444
33%
H.264
296
154
-48%
456
54%
334
13%
220
-26%

Pros

+ replaceable drive bay
+ always cool palm rest
+ decent battery life
+ keyboard with backlight
+ graphics switch
+ good IPS display
+ SSD / HDD combo
+ slim case
+ handy tools
+ USB 3.1 Type C
+ high performance

Cons

- quite sensitive surfaces
- Clickpad yields heavily
- modest speakers
- only 3 GB of VRAM
- unstable lid

Verdict

In review: Gigabyte P57W. Test model provided by Gigabyte Germany.
In review: Gigabyte P57W. Test model provided by Gigabyte Germany.

At a first glance, you could think the Gigabyte P57W was a bigger variant of the P55W v5. This impression is actually true in most aspects, but there are some adaptations. For example, the 17-incher scores points with a better interface layout and rear-facing fans.

Moreover, there is a replaceable drive bay and the battery has a higher capacity (75 vs. 61 Wh), which, however, compensates for the slightly higher power consumption. Temperature and system noise are comparable, although the P57W is marginally better.

Apart from the subpar ClickPad, the 17-incher does not need to hide behind the competition. Looks, display, connectivity, and emissions are up-to-date. The same is true for the performance, which heavily profits from the Solid State Drive and the modern CPU and GPU. However, Gigabyte should improve the sound.

All things considered, the P57W proves to be a good high-end notebook, which can stand up to the MSI GS70, the Acer Predator 17, and the Schenker XMG P706. The partly significantly bulkier 17-inch gamers Alienware 17 R3, Asus G752 and MSI GT72S could achieve slightly higher ratings - regardless of the graphics cards.

Gigabyte P57W - 04/18/2016 v5.1
Florian Glaser

Chassis
76 / 98 → 78%
Keyboard
77%
Pointing Device
69%
Connectivity
62 / 81 → 77%
Weight
55 / 66 → 80%
Battery
85%
Display
86%
Games Performance
90%
Application Performance
89%
Temperature
82 / 95 → 86%
Noise
75 / 90 → 83%
Audio
70%
Average
76%
82%
Gaming - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Gigabyte P57W Notebook Review
Florian Glaser, 2016-04- 5 (Update: 2016-04- 6)