Notebookcheck

Gigabyte Sabre 17 (i7-8750H, GTX 1060) Laptop Review

Christian Hintze, 👁 Sebastian Jentsch, Felicitas Krohn (translated by Ariana Brodsky), 11/02/2018

Double-edged sword Gigabyte's big 17-inch Sabre starts out with a lot of promise: The combination of a powerful new hexa core processor and a GTX 1060 should give rise to a full-fledged desktop replacement with plenty of gaming power. Can the Sabre 17 live up to its promise? Or will the saber grow dull only halfway there? Our review reveals the answer.

Until now, we had yet to review the 17-inch version of the Gigabyte Sabre. Now we will catch up with a comprehensive review of the current model, which is equipped with the quite new Intel Core i7-8750H and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060. Our comparison devices for this review will include the Asus Strix GL703GM-DS74 and the less expensive Asus TUF FX705GM, both of which are equipped with the same processor. The new Sabre will also come up against the MSI GP72VR 7RFX and the once-dominant Razer Blade Pro RZ09-0220, two devices with older processors but the same GPU. 

Our review reveals whether the "saber's" blade is equally sharp for various applications—home office tasks, video editing and gaming—and where the 17-inch powerhouse's weak spots are.

Gigabyte Sabre 17-W8 (Sabre Series)
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop) - 6144 MB, Geforce 398.82, Ja, UHD Graphics 630
Memory
16384 MB 
, PC4-19200 DDR4, 1 slot
Display
17.3 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 127 PPI, no, Chi Mei CMN1747, TN, 120 Hz, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel Cannon Lake HM370
Storage
Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPU7, 256 GB 
, plus 1 TB HDD HGST HTS721010A9E630 7200 RPM, 190 GB free
Soundcard
Intel Cannon Lake-H/S - cAVS (Audio, Voice, Speech)
Connections
1 USB 2.0, 1 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 2 USB 3.1 Gen2, 1 HDMI, 2 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: 1x mic-in, 1x headphone-out, Card Reader: full SD
Networking
Realtek RTL8168/8111 Gigabit-LAN (10/100/1000MBit), Intel Cannon Lake-H/S CNVi: WiFi (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth Bluetooth V5.0
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 29.9 x 418.5 x 288.7 ( = 1.18 x 16.48 x 11.37 in)
Battery
62 Wh, 5500 mAh Lithium-Ion, removeable
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: HD camera
Primary Camera: 1 MPix 720p
Additional features
Speakers: stereo, Keyboard: chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
2.929 kg ( = 103.32 oz / 6.46 pounds), Power Supply: 809 g ( = 28.54 oz / 1.78 pounds)
Price
1500 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case - Big Gigabyte

Gigabyte has chosen a rather angular design for the big Sabre. Almost the entire case is made of black plastic. The surface is matte, but it seems to attract fingerprints (grease marks) as if by magic. Twisting the machine can produce a quite creaking sound, but we did not experience any loud cracking noises. Large gaps between structural elements are also nowhere to be seen. All in all, the manufacturing quality seems to be good. The base is also quite stable; its only weakness is the middle of the keyboard, which gives somewhat when the user is typing. 

The bottom is robust, bulges slightly in the back, and houses the ventilation slots. Air is pulled in from the right side and from the bottom; hot air escapes on the left side toward the back. To make the appearance symmetrical, there is a dummy ventilation slot on the right side toward the back. A big plus: The battery is not permanently installed. It can be taken out and even exchanged if necessary.

dummy ventilation slot
dummy ventilation slot
the battery is removable
the battery is removable

The display reacts very sensitively when it comes to twisting and pressure on the display lid. The display lid is emblazoned with the silver Gigabyte logo. The top of the lid is not flat—instead it sports an indentation of sorts as a design feature. The display itself has a relatively wide bezel. The camera and microphone are located along the top, while another Gigabyte logo adorns the bottom part of the frame.

Compared to the competition, the new Sabre 17 is one of the biggest and clunkiest devices—only the MSI is around 2 mm (~0.08 in) fatter and similarly sized. As a result, the Sabre 17 works better as a desktop replacement than a mobile device. For the most part, the Gigabyte's rivals take up a little less room. In terms of weight, on the other hand, our test device is in line with most of the rest of the competitors. Only the Razer Blade breaks ranks here, weighing in at a little over 3 kg (~7 lbs).

Size Comparison

Independent journalism is made possible by advertising. We show the least amount of ads whenever possible but we intentionally show more ads when an adblocker is used. Please, switch off ad blockers and support us!

Connectivity - Versatile Sabre 17

In terms of connections, the Sabre is comparatively generously equipped. Buyers who place value on being able to connect multiple screens to their laptop—whether for gaming or for work—will be especially pleased here. Alongside the usual HDMI port, the Gigabyte also offers two Mini DisplayPorts, enabling the user to connect three external monitors at once. In addition, the computer is equipped with four USB slots, one of which is Type C. Another praiseworthy feature: Two USB ports support the USB 3.1 Gen2 standard. The one USB 2.0 port is the only superfluous item—here would would have liked to see another USB 3.x port or better yet, a Thunderbolt connection. The latter is unfortunately missing. For headsets, the laptop is outfitted with separate plugs for a microphone and headphones.

Due to the plethora of connections, the LAN and full-fledged SD card reader are located quite close to one another. But for the majority of uses, and regardless of what devices/cables may be connected to the computer, the distances between these two connections should generally be sufficient. Very few ports are located on the right side, but they are all positioned toward the front in the space where a right-handed person's mouse (i.e. hand) would be. In this case, cables or connected USB devices could get in each other's way.

left: Kensington, power, 2x miniDP, HDMI, USB-C (3.1), USB-A (3.1)
left: Kensington, power, 2x miniDP, HDMI, USB-C (3.1), USB-A (3.1)
right: headphones, microphone, USB-A (2.0), USB-A (3.1), fan slot
right: headphones, microphone, USB-A (2.0), USB-A (3.1), fan slot
back: fan slot
back: fan slot
front: nothing
front: nothing

SD Card Reader

According to our tests with our Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II reference memory card, the card reader's transfer speeds are acceptable. The Sabre ranks in the middle of the competition here.

SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Asus Strix GL703GM-DS74
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
84.8 MB/s ∼100% +12%
Gigabyte Sabre 17-W8
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
76 MB/s ∼90%
Razer Blade Pro RZ09-0220
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
69.2 MB/s ∼82% -9%
Average of class Multimedia
  (11.2 - 190, n=153)
57.2 MB/s ∼67% -25%
MSI GP72VR 7RFX
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
25.6 MB/s ∼30% -66%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Asus Strix GL703GM-DS74
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
90.7 MB/s ∼100% +7%
Gigabyte Sabre 17-W8
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
84.8 MB/s ∼93%
Razer Blade Pro RZ09-0220
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
83.2 MB/s ∼92% -2%
Average of class Multimedia
  (10.2 - 253, n=150)
74.7 MB/s ∼82% -12%
MSI GP72VR 7RFX
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
26.85 MB/s ∼30% -68%

Communication

Following our empirical tests, the Sabre 17 will not win any awards for its Wi-Fi performance. Only the MSI performed worse in this discipline. Overall, the Gigabyte laptop's results were around 40% worse than the class average.

This will not be noticeable in everyday use, however, unless you depend on the Wi-Fi functioning at maximum speed. Otherwise the WLAN connections worked flawlessly in our tests. The connections were never disrupted. Still, at a time when gigabit connections have been around for a while, it would have been nice to see some more speed.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Asus TUF FX705GM
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
681 MBit/s ∼100% +93%
Asus Strix GL703GM-DS74
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
657 MBit/s ∼96% +86%
Average of class Multimedia
  (44 - 949, n=112)
496 MBit/s ∼73% +41%
Razer Blade Pro RZ09-0220
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
424 MBit/s ∼62% +20%
Gigabyte Sabre 17-W8
Intel Cannon Lake-H/S CNVi: WiFi
353 (min: 343, max: 359) MBit/s ∼52%
MSI GP72VR 7RFX
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3168
330 MBit/s ∼48% -7%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Asus TUF FX705GM
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
692 MBit/s ∼100% +111%
Razer Blade Pro RZ09-0220
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
589 MBit/s ∼85% +80%
Average of class Multimedia
  (46.1 - 949, n=111)
469 MBit/s ∼68% +43%
Asus Strix GL703GM-DS74
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
448 MBit/s ∼65% +37%
Gigabyte Sabre 17-W8
Intel Cannon Lake-H/S CNVi: WiFi
328 (min: 311, max: 338) MBit/s ∼47%
MSI GP72VR 7RFX
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3168
309 (min: 33) MBit/s ∼45% -6%
0102030405060708090100110120130140150160170180190200210220230240250260270280290300310320330340350360Tooltip
; iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10; iperf 3.1.3: Ø353 (343-359)
; iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10; iperf 3.1.3: Ø328 (311-338)

Security

For a gaming laptop, security is not necessarily a main concern. A fingerprint reader or similar frill is nowhere to be found, and a smart card would also be sought in vain. Of course, there is a Kensington lock and TPM on board.

Accessories

The Sabre does not come with any accessories. The box contents are limited to the power supply, the battery and the laptop itself.

Maintenance

access to the Sabre's inner workings
access to the Sabre's inner workings

The Sabre 17 does not have a maintenance hatch, meaning that you need to remove the base plate to access the computer's inner workings. The biggest hurdle is the number of screws. The base plate is secured with 16 Phillips screws, plus a variety of plastic hooks inside the case. Once you have successfully completed this time-intensive endeavor, you will have access to both drive bays, the RAM slots and the WLAN module.

Warranty

2-year warranty
2-year warranty

The manufacturer's warranty lasts for two years, i.e. 24 months. Because the device is still very new, no store has listed it yet. This means, of course, that there are not any offers yet for warranty extensions.

Input Devices - Satisfactory Gigabyte Sabre

Keyboard

The chiclet keyboard offers an intuitive and neat layout, including a number block on the right side. The entire keyboard unit sits slightly recessed in the case. The markings are all easily legible, and the built-in backlighting is certainly one of the laptop's highlights. Here is why: The backlighting can be independently configured in three different zones, and even the colors can be set separately from one another in all three areas. It is even possible to set the colors to shuffle randomly. You can also create custom macros, and the brightness can be regulated across three levels. The controls can be accessed by pressing the "Fn" key plus various keys on the number pad.

The power button is separate from the keyboard, preventing the user from pressing it by accident.

the keyboard
the keyboard
separate power button
separate power button

The keys themselves are large and offer a comparatively long travel length, while the click point fortunately is not too soft. These characteristics make it easy to type quickly and accurately. The sound produced by the keyboard while typing is by and large unobtrusive, even if the space key is slightly louder than the rest.

Touchpad

the touchpad
the touchpad

The touchpad measures around 11 x 6.3 cm (~4.33 x 2.5 inches), which means that the available space for gliding and finger gestures is comparatively roomy. Two separate keys sit underneath the touchpad. The only tactile change when you move from the pad to the keys occurs as you move downwards, which requires some adjustment. The keys are not raised above the touchpad, so it is easy to find yourself searching blindly for them at first. The click sounds of the keys are quite soft, though the left key in particular feels somewhat rickety. Fingers glide smoothly across the touchpad's glossy surface, and gestures work exactly as they ought.

Display - Bright Gigabyte laptop

subpixels
subpixels
faint halation at the bottom
faint halation at the bottom

The Sabre 17's display is a matte TN panel with Full HD resolution, manufactured by Chi Mei. One disadvantage of its TN technology is that the screen content distorts more easily when the display is viewed from less than ideal vantage points. Its colors are also less rich than those of its IPS counterpart's. In exchange, the manufacturer claims the display's reaction time is a fast 3 ms and its refresh rate is 120 Hz. These are indeed good qualifications for a gaming display. When it comes to a realistic measurement of the display's reaction time, we measured 8 ms from black to white.

The average brightness comes to a good 309 cd/m²; out of the devices we have selected for comparison, only the Razer Blade Pro's panel is brighter. On the other hand, the similarity of brightness distribution across the screen is a mediocre 82%. In the middle of the screen, the brightness reaches up to 326 cd/m², while this number falls as low as 277 cd/m² along the edges.

Even less appealing is the noticeable screen bleeding along the lower edge. The halation is not terribly pronounced, but it is certainly visible in dark environments.

333
cd/m²
323
cd/m²
336
cd/m²
289
cd/m²
326
cd/m²
286
cd/m²
277
cd/m²
306
cd/m²
302
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 336 cd/m² Average: 308.7 cd/m² Minimum: 20.5 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 82 %
Center on Battery: 327 cd/m²
Contrast: 1207:1 (Black: 0.27 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 9.11 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.2, calibrated: 2.62
ΔE Greyscale 11.17 | 0.64-98 Ø6.5
100% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 76% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.28
Gigabyte Sabre 17-W8
Chi Mei CMN1747, , 1920x1080, 17.3
Asus TUF FX705GM
AU Optronics B173HAN04.0 (AUO409D), , 1920x1080, 17.3
Asus Strix GL703GM-DS74
Chi Mei CMN1747 M173JJE-G32, , 1920x1080, 17.3
Razer Blade Pro RZ09-0220
ID: AUO169D, Name: AU Optronics B173HAN01.6, , 1920x1080, 17.3
MSI GP72VR 7RFX
CMN1747, , 1920x1080, 17.3
Response Times
-4%
4%
-337%
-53%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
9 (5, 4)
7.4 (3.8, 3.6)
18%
8.8 (4.4, 4.4)
2%
36.8 (19.6, 17.2)
-309%
21.6 (12, 9.6)
-140%
Response Time Black / White *
8 (6, 2)
10 (4.8, 5.2)
-25%
7.4 (5.2, 2.2)
7%
37.2 (21.6, 15.6)
-365%
9.4 (7.6, 1.8)
-18%
PWM Frequency
25000 (20)
25510 (15)
2%
25000 (20)
0%
Screen
18%
10%
13%
-72%
Brightness middle
326
234
-28%
297.8
-9%
367.4
13%
309
-5%
Brightness
309
228
-26%
285
-8%
363
17%
290
-6%
Brightness Distribution
82
85
4%
84
2%
86
5%
88
7%
Black Level *
0.27
0.2
26%
0.33
-22%
0.32
-19%
0.22
19%
Contrast
1207
1170
-3%
902
-25%
1148
-5%
1405
16%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
9.11
2.16
76%
3.68
60%
3.8
58%
7.2
21%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
14.14
3.39
76%
7.71
45%
10.4
26%
12.8
9%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
2.62
2.02
23%
2.71
-3%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
11.17
2
82%
5
55%
3.5
69%
98
-777%
Gamma
2.28 96%
2.46 89%
2.06 107%
2.18 101%
1.96 112%
CCT
12475 52%
6394 102%
6728 97%
6467 101%
10963 59%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
76
58
-24%
84.77
12%
58.1
-24%
77
1%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
100
89
-11%
99.97
0%
89.3
-11%
100
0%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
7% / 14%
7% / 8%
-162% / -45%
-63% / -67%

* ... smaller is better

Even though this is a TN panel, the black value measured in at a good 0.27. The contrast ratio of 1207:1 is also more than satisfactory.  But as to be expected, the TFT performs poorly in terms of color reproduction. ColorChecker testifies to mediocre DeltaE 2000 values at best; our test device's results here are the worst among the comparison group, though a calibration diminishes the problem somewhat.

In terms of color space coverage, the Sabre is back in the lead: A full 100% of the sRGB color space and a good 76% of Adobe RGB are excellent results. Only the Asus Strix does better here; the MSI is more or less on par with our Gigabyte device.

We did determine that the display uses PWM backlight flickering. However, the flickering only kicks in at brightness levels of 20% and below—and at a frequency as high as 25,000 Hz, even the most sensitive users should not have any problems here.

From a subjective perspective, the display is reasonably good. Buyers should in fact be prepared for less than brilliant colors, but everything looks sharp. The display reacts very quickly, so even in the fastest action games, there should not be any bothersome streaking. As a result, the display is very well-suited for gaming.

sRGB: 100%
sRGB: 100%
AdobeRGB: 76%
AdobeRGB: 76%
in sunlight
in sunlight

The manufacturer has chosen to install a matte display. This fact, plus the display's average brightness level of 309 cd/m², means that the laptop can definately be used outdoors. However, the fact that you need to view the screen from the proper angle is somewhat frustrating —especially when it comes to the up-down perspective. If you are not looking at the display from the perfect angle, the brightness is immediately reduced. Overall, though, the users can play games or work outdoors on the Sabre 17—at least where the display is concerned.

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
8 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 6 ms rise
↘ 2 ms fall
The screen shows fast response rates in our tests and should be suited for gaming.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 5 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (25.6 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
9 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 5 ms rise
↘ 4 ms fall
The screen shows fast response rates in our tests and should be suited for gaming.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 4 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (41 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 detected 25000 Hz ≤ 20 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 25000 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 20 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 25000 Hz is quite high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering.

In comparison: 53 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 8929 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

The viewing angle stability on the TN panel is, of course, worse than on an IPS display. In principle, this is also true of the Sabre 17, though it certainly surprised us with its capabilities here. From the sides, the screen content actually continues to look fairly accurate. Only a small amount of detail is lost. Looking from above or below, however, reveals a less than perfect picture. Both brightness and details are quickly lost here, so it is important to open the display to exactly the right angle.

view of the display at 45-degree angles
view of the display at 45-degree angles

Performance - Gaming laptop with weaknesses

An Intel Core i7-8750H, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060, 16 GB of RAM and a dual storage solution comprised of an SSD and an HDD—those are the specs listed on the Gigabyte Sabre 17's base configuration sheet. These features theoretically qualify the laptop for virtually any intended application. The size of the device alone limits its on-the-go usefulnesss, but as a desktop replacement, the Sabre should be well-prepared to tackle anything. The GTX 1060 graphics card is just as well-suited for gaming as for photo and video editing. In the following sections, we will evaluate whether our test device truly lives up to its theoretical potential.

Our test to determine if there are any latencies came back negative—that is to say, we did not experience any bothersome latencies.

 

Processor

Cinebench R15
Cinebench R15

A high-performance Intel Core i7-8750H serves as the laptop's processor. This processor was released at the beginning of 2018. It has 6 cores with a clock rate between 2.2 and 4.1 GHz (single-core turbo) or 3.9 GHz (multi-core turbo). Naturally, it supports Coffee Lake CPU hyperthreading and can thus process up to 12 threads simultaneously. Its maximum power draw is 45 watts. This CPU should be fit to tackle any task.

In the Cinebench R15 loop, the Sabre reaches a substantially higher score in the first cycle, slumps drastically within the first three cycles, then levels off after 4 to 10 cycles and remains constant thereafter. Between the first cycle and the later stable cycles, the laptop loses about 14% of its performance power. Even so, our test device's competitors behave similarly, and the Sabre can boast of the best (starting) performance. The Asus Strix, which is equipped with the same processor, is easily beaten by the Sabre. The Asus TUF is nearly on par with our test device. The processor never falls below its base clock rate.

Cinebench R15 in battery mode
Cinebench R15 in battery mode

If you unplug the Gigabyte laptop, its performance power drops off significantly in battery mode. Instead of a starting score of around 1200, the Sabre only manages around 670 points. That means the performance in battery mode is cut nearly in half. If we take the constant AC power mode performance as our reference point (around 1034 points), the portable energy store can still only take us to 65% of the performance available through a wall socket.

01020304050607080901001101201301401501601701801902002102202302402502602702802903003103203303403503603703803904004104204304404504604704804905005105205305405505605705805906006106206306406506606706806907007107207307407507607707807908008108208308408508608708808909009109209309409509609709809901000101010201030104010501060107010801090110011101120113011401150116011701180119012001210Tooltip
Gigabyte Sabre 17-W8 Intel Core i7-8750H, Intel Core i7-8750H: Ø1041 (976.49-1204.86)
Asus TUF FX705GM Intel Core i7-8750H, Intel Core i7-8750H: Ø1022 (992.14-1137)
Asus Strix GL703GM-DS74 Intel Core i7-8750H, Intel Core i7-8750H: Ø935 (926.78-1026.8)

The Asus TUF proves to be the toughest competitor in the CPU tests. In the single-core test, at least, the two machines are on par with one another in both Cinebench R11.5 and R10. But in the multi-core test, the Sabre flexes its muscles and takes down the Asus TUF as well. The other comparison devices perform more poorly. Overall, the Sabre's CPU performance falls within the expected range for a computer with an i7-8750H—if not perhaps a cut above. 

Cinebench R11.5
Cinebench R11.5
Cinebench R10
Cinebench R10
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Asus TUF FX705GM
Intel Core i7-8750H
175 Points ∼100% +3%
Average Intel Core i7-8750H
  (163 - 177, n=52)
173 Points ∼99% +2%
Gigabyte Sabre 17-W8
Intel Core i7-8750H
170 Points ∼97%
Asus Strix GL703GM-DS74
Intel Core i7-8750H
168 Points ∼96% -1%
Razer Blade Pro RZ09-0220
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
160 Points ∼91% -6%
MSI GP72VR 7RFX
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
158 Points ∼90% -7%
Average of class Multimedia
  (36 - 191, n=337)
124 Points ∼71% -27%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Gigabyte Sabre 17-W8
Intel Core i7-8750H
1239 Points ∼100%
Asus TUF FX705GM
Intel Core i7-8750H
1137 Points ∼92% -8%
Average Intel Core i7-8750H
  (863 - 1251, n=55)
1107 Points ∼89% -11%
Asus Strix GL703GM-DS74
Intel Core i7-8750H
1015 Points ∼82% -18%
Razer Blade Pro RZ09-0220
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
733 Points ∼59% -41%
MSI GP72VR 7RFX
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
714 Points ∼58% -42%
Average of class Multimedia
  (73 - 1550, n=348)
458 Points ∼37% -63%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit
Asus TUF FX705GM
Intel Core i7-8750H
2 Points ∼100% 0%
Gigabyte Sabre 17-W8
Intel Core i7-8750H
2 Points ∼100%
Average Intel Core i7-8750H
  (1.89 - 2, n=34)
1.965 Points ∼98% -2%
Asus Strix GL703GM-DS74
Intel Core i7-8750H
1.92 Points ∼96% -4%
MSI GP72VR 7RFX
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
1.77 Points ∼89% -11%
Razer Blade Pro RZ09-0220
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
1.66 Points ∼83% -17%
Average of class Multimedia
  (0.39 - 2.16, n=410)
1.288 Points ∼64% -36%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Gigabyte Sabre 17-W8
Intel Core i7-8750H
13.5 Points ∼100%
Asus TUF FX705GM
Intel Core i7-8750H
12.79 Points ∼95% -5%
Average Intel Core i7-8750H
  (9.54 - 13.5, n=35)
12.3 Points ∼91% -9%
Asus Strix GL703GM-DS74
Intel Core i7-8750H
11.2 Points ∼83% -17%
MSI GP72VR 7RFX
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
7.99 Points ∼59% -41%
Razer Blade Pro RZ09-0220
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
7.14 Points ∼53% -47%
Average of class Multimedia
  (0.59 - 17.6, n=676)
3.7 Points ∼27% -73%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
Gigabyte Sabre 17-W8
Intel Core i7-8750H
8594 Points ∼100%
Average Intel Core i7-8750H
  (8481 - 8665, n=4)
8560 Points ∼100% 0%
Average of class Multimedia
  (1011 - 8665, n=508)
4422 Points ∼51% -49%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
Gigabyte Sabre 17-W8
Intel Core i7-8750H
45795 Points ∼100%
Average Intel Core i7-8750H
  (33944 - 45795, n=4)
41266 Points ∼90% -10%
Average of class Multimedia
  (1968 - 45795, n=508)
11903 Points ∼26% -74%
Cinebench R10 Shading 64Bit
7341 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
45795 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
8594 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
2 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
13.5 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
71.59 fps
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
102.11 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.6 %
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
1239 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
170 Points
Help

System Performance

The gain the Gigabyte Sabre 17 won over its competitors in the Cinebench benchmarks seems to be all but lost in the PCMark benchmarks. Compared to the two Asus devices with the same processor, the Sabre receives a Work score that is 4-7% lower. Even so, our test device comes in slightly ahead of the Razer Blade Pro and the MSI. The Sabre falls even further behind in the Home test—the two Asus competitors are 10% (TUF) and even 27% (Strix) faster. 

PCMark 8: Home Score
PCMark 8: Home Score
PCMark 8: Work Score
PCMark 8: Work Score
PCMark 10
PCMark 10

In everyday use, however, this difference will not be noticeable. All programs run smoothly; we did not experience any lags.

PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Asus TUF FX705GM
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-256G
5719 Points ∼100% +7%
Asus Strix GL703GM-DS74
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
5528 Points ∼97% +4%
Average Intel Core i7-8750H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
  (5111 - 5731, n=14)
5499 Points ∼96% +3%
Gigabyte Sabre 17-W8
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPU7
5340 Points ∼93%
MSI GP72VR 7RFX
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
5160 Points ∼90% -3%
Razer Blade Pro RZ09-0220
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SSD PM951 MZVLV256HCHP
5159 Points ∼90% -3%
Average of class Multimedia
  (2213 - 5651, n=254)
4239 Points ∼74% -21%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Asus Strix GL703GM-DS74
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
5371 Points ∼100% +27%
Asus TUF FX705GM
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-256G
4660 Points ∼87% +10%
Average Intel Core i7-8750H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
  (4119 - 5371, n=14)
4508 Points ∼84% +7%
Gigabyte Sabre 17-W8
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPU7
4231 Points ∼79%
Razer Blade Pro RZ09-0220
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SSD PM951 MZVLV256HCHP
4207 Points ∼78% -1%
MSI GP72VR 7RFX
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
4075 Points ∼76% -4%
Average of class Multimedia
  (1740 - 4693, n=274)
3352 Points ∼62% -21%
PCMark 10
Digital Content Creation
Asus Strix GL703GM-DS74
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
6828 Points ∼100% +17%
Average Intel Core i7-8750H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
  (5452 - 6828, n=13)
6143 Points ∼90% +5%
Asus TUF FX705GM
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-256G
6071 Points ∼89% +4%
Gigabyte Sabre 17-W8
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPU7
5823 Points ∼85%
Razer Blade Pro RZ09-0220
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SSD PM951 MZVLV256HCHP
5819 Points ∼85% 0%
MSI GP72VR 7RFX
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
5558 Points ∼81% -5%
Average of class Multimedia
  (1511 - 5823, n=68)
3620 Points ∼53% -38%
Productivity
Asus Strix GL703GM-DS74
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
7511 Points ∼100% +5%
Average Intel Core i7-8750H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
  (6917 - 7592, n=13)
7156 Points ∼95% 0%
Gigabyte Sabre 17-W8
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPU7
7140 Points ∼95%
Asus TUF FX705GM
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-256G
7025 Points ∼94% -2%
MSI GP72VR 7RFX
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
6641 Points ∼88% -7%
Razer Blade Pro RZ09-0220
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SSD PM951 MZVLV256HCHP
6481 Points ∼86% -9%
Average of class Multimedia
  (3113 - 8020, n=69)
5995 Points ∼80% -16%
Essentials
Asus Strix GL703GM-DS74
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
8923 Points ∼100% +6%
Asus TUF FX705GM
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-256G
8791 Points ∼99% +5%
Gigabyte Sabre 17-W8
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPU7
8400 Points ∼94%
Average Intel Core i7-8750H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
  (7200 - 9101, n=13)
8373 Points ∼94% 0%
Razer Blade Pro RZ09-0220
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SSD PM951 MZVLV256HCHP
7724 Points ∼87% -8%
MSI GP72VR 7RFX
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
7316 Points ∼82% -13%
Average of class Multimedia
  (3733 - 9360, n=69)
7201 Points ∼81% -14%
Score
Asus Strix GL703GM-DS74
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
5525 Points ∼100% +9%
Asus TUF FX705GM
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-256G
5169 Points ∼94% +2%
Average Intel Core i7-8750H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
  (4646 - 5525, n=13)
5134 Points ∼93% +2%
Gigabyte Sabre 17-W8
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPU7
5049 Points ∼91%
Razer Blade Pro RZ09-0220
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SSD PM951 MZVLV256HCHP
4752 Points ∼86% -6%
MSI GP72VR 7RFX
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
4633 Points ∼84% -8%
Average of class Multimedia
  (2046 - 5358, n=69)
3820 Points ∼69% -24%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
4231 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
5340 points
Help

Storage Solution

Our test model has a dual storage solution: Windows runs on a 256 GB Toshiba SSD, while larger data quantities can be stored on a 1-TB conventional hard drive. In our all-time top rankings, the former takes 57th place. True, this is not a Top 10 SSD, but it should be sufficiently fast.

In our test with CrystalDiskMark 5, however, the SSD achieved slightly below average results. On the other hand, AS SSD reports above average results. Overall, then, the Toshiba is solid where it ought to be. In everyday use, the drive tackles tasks effectively.

Crystaldiskmark 5
Crystaldiskmark 5
AS SSD
AS SSD
Gigabyte Sabre 17-W8
Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPU7
Asus TUF FX705GM
WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-256G
Asus Strix GL703GM-DS74
Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
Razer Blade Pro RZ09-0220
Samsung SSD PM951 MZVLV256HCHP
MSI GP72VR 7RFX
Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
Average Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPU7
 
CrystalDiskMark 5.2 / 6
9%
2%
-3%
51%
11%
Write 4K
104.7
104.2
0%
87.81
-16%
155.1
48%
186
78%
108 (105 - 110, n=2)
3%
Read 4K
37.39
41.46
11%
38.41
3%
44.22
18%
55.6
49%
38.8 (37.4 - 40.1, n=2)
4%
Write Seq
865.7
1295
50%
1177
36%
311.2
-64%
1599
85%
625 (384 - 866, n=2)
-28%
Read Seq
944.1
1325
40%
867.8
-8%
1247
32%
999.3
6%
733 (522 - 944, n=2)
-22%
Write 4K Q32T1
293.3
282.8
-4%
266.5
-9%
310.3
6%
493.3
68%
465 (293 - 638, n=2)
59%
Read 4K Q32T1
374.3
321.3
-14%
307.1
-18%
551.2
47%
556.2
49%
636 (374 - 898, n=2)
70%
Write Seq Q32T1
1064
1301
22%
1212
14%
311.5
-71%
1674
57%
1109 (1064 - 1154, n=2)
4%
Read Seq Q32T1
2616
1704
-35%
3006
15%
1560
-40%
3083
18%
2504 (2392 - 2616, n=2)
-4%
Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPU7
Sequential Read: 947.2 MB/s
Sequential Write: 881.3 MB/s
512K Read: 556.8 MB/s
512K Write: 597.4 MB/s
4K Read: 7.187 MB/s
4K Write: 84.3 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 342.4 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 255.2 MB/s

Graphics Cards

When it comes to graphics cards, our test device relies on two models: the UHD Graphics 630 integrated into the processor enables Windows to run in an energy-efficient manner, while the dedicated Nvidia GTX 1060 is responsible for graphics-heavy tasks. Before the new 2000 generation was released, the latter was nominally the third-most powerful mobile graphics card (Max-Q variations notwithstanding) and should be well-suited for running graphics-heavy games.

In 3DMark 11, the MSI clambers to the performance peak first, but the Sabre follows close behind in second place. Overall, the differences between the devices are fairly minimal here. In the 3DMark Fire Strike test, the picture looks similar—though the gaps of just 2% are negligible. In the Cloud Gate test, on the other hand, suddenly all the competitors perform between 9% (Razer) and 16% (Asus Strix) better than the Sabre. The result was reproducible, but it is also exactly average for a GTX 1060. Here the competition appears to be able to tickle out a little more performance.

We used the 3DMark 11 benchmark once again as our performance test in battery mode. Compared to the result in AC power mode, the score sank by almost 30%. Without a connection to a power socket, it can sometimes be necessary to lower a game's detail setting or resolution.

3DMark 11
3DMark 11
3DMark Cloud Gate
3DMark Cloud Gate
3DMark Fire Strike
3DMark Fire Strike
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
MSI GP72VR 7RFX
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-7700HQ
15161 Points ∼100% +4%
Average NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
  (12731 - 15607, n=75)
14720 Points ∼97% +1%
Gigabyte Sabre 17-W8
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-8750H
14534 Points ∼96%
Asus Strix GL703GM-DS74
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-8750H
14528 Points ∼96% 0%
Asus TUF FX705GM
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-8750H
13722 Points ∼91% -6%
Razer Blade Pro RZ09-0220
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-7700HQ
13668 Points ∼90% -6%
Average of class Multimedia
  (352 - 18234, n=605)
2791 Points ∼18% -81%
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
MSI GP72VR 7RFX
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-7700HQ
11870 Points ∼100% +1%
Gigabyte Sabre 17-W8
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-8750H
11752 Points ∼99%
Average NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
  (10708 - 12298, n=75)
11547 Points ∼97% -2%
Asus Strix GL703GM-DS74
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-8750H
11469 Points ∼97% -2%
Razer Blade Pro RZ09-0220
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-7700HQ
11049 Points ∼93% -6%
Average of class Multimedia
  (337 - 14463, n=381)
2693 Points ∼23% -77%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
Asus Strix GL703GM-DS74
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-8750H
81912 Points ∼100% +16%
MSI GP72VR 7RFX
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-7700HQ
81711 Points ∼100% +16%
Razer Blade Pro RZ09-0220
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-7700HQ
77354 Points ∼94% +10%
Average NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
  (26770 - 86193, n=67)
71097 Points ∼87% +1%
Gigabyte Sabre 17-W8
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-8750H
70496 Points ∼86%
Average of class Multimedia
  (2468 - 77755, n=383)
15946 Points ∼19% -77%
3DMark 11 Performance
12678 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
30202 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
10404 points
Help

Gaming Performance

The Sabre 17's gaming performance can be categorized as good. Even in graphics-heavy games, the performance is often sufficient for high detail settings in Full HD. Only at ultra settings does the Gigabyte sometimes start to stutter. This means, for example, that you can easily play “The Witcher 3” in Full HD at high details. If you switch to ultra, the frame rate falls to an average of 30 FPS. At that point, the stuttering is palpable and gets in the way of the fun. Below you can see our graph of the frame rate progression in “The Witcher 3” at ultra settings. From beginning to end, the progression is quite constant at 29-30 FPS. Our character is only standing in this instance—if it moved, the rate fell to 24 FPS.

Rise of the Tomb Raider” can also be played smoothly at maximum details in Full HD; the frame rate here comes to around 60 FPS.

Doom” also runs smooth as butter at 66 FPS in maximum details and Full HD.

The Witcher 3 framerate graph

010203040