Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Aorus X5

Aorus X5


An ode to NVIDIA

Aorus claims that this is the world’s fastest 15.6” gaming notebook, which is a rather bold claim to make. But a quick scan of competitor’s models confirms that this is indeed the only one gaming laptop of this size on the market with a dual GPU configuration. Stuffing twin graphics processors into a 15.6 inch laptop is no easy feat, but Aorus has had to pay a price to do so.

The twin GPUs in question are NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 965M, which is the desktop equivalent of a GTX 960. It’s a superior product to the woeful GTX 960M that powered so many budget gaming laptops at the start of the year, and shoving two of them inside the X5 gives this machine the performance required to power through anything you can throw at it. However, a 15.6” laptop is not a big place, and running twin GPUs equals more heat output, so you can guess how noisy the X5 is whilst gaming. We tested the machine with the fans set to gaming mode, and measured a very loud 59dB of fan noise. As with the X3, lowering the fan speed to quiet mode dramatically reduced fan noise to just 42dB, but performance dropped by over 70%. Even the normal fan mode dropped performance by half, so gaming mode is the only way to extract the true performance out of the twin GPUs.

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Continuing the NVIDIA love is the inclusion of a G-Sync display, one of the first we’ve seen on a gaming laptop. It’s the perfect place for one, as laptops traditionally struggle to maintain 60fps, and G-Sync makes framerates of 40 and above look perfectly smooth. Throw twin GPUs into the mix and you have a machine that can deliver smooth performance in basically any game on the market. Our benchmarks don’t really show it though, as the system is CPU limited at the 1080p resolution we tested at. It should even be possible to make the most of the screen’s native 2880 x 1620 resolution in slightly less demanding games.

Backing up the powerful graphics hardware is the Intel Core i7-5700HQ, a quad-cored Hyperthreaded chip that tops out at 3.5GHz under load. 16GB of DDR3-1866 memory is ample for this system, while the hard drive space is also exemplary. Our sample had twin M.2 256GB SSDs in RAID 0 mode, along with a 1TB 7,200RPM mechanical drive.

Weighing just 2.5kg, this 15.6” is surprisingly mobile considering the specs. It’s built to Aorus’ exacting standards, with a sturdiness that is lacking in other, lesser brands. Priced a touch over three grand, it’s actually surprisingly affordable for such a beefy system, and the inclusion of twin GPUs plus a G-Sync display make this arguably the best 15.6 inch gaming laptop around.


Verdict

Combine twin GPUs with a G-Sync display and the net result is a killer 15.6 inch gaming laptop.


By Bennett Ring

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