Gaming Laptop Review

Good Gaming Laptop – The GTX 1050 Ti Aero 14!

Recently we managed to get our hands on a very new gaming laptop from Gigabyte, an ultra slim and light AERO 14 with a GTX 1050 Ti inside! This was perfect as we really wanted to check out the GTX 1050Ti Laptop performance a game called Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds, but before we jump into gameplay FPS tests let’s take a quick look at the laptops full specs and design.

The Aero 14 is ultra thin and light, weighing in at around 2KG while being less than 2cm thick – it’s packing a popular intel i7-7700HQ quad core CPU with a 4GB GTX 1050Ti and 16GB of DDR4 ram. The display is a beautiful anti-glare 2560×1440 IPS, edged entirely in black with just a dash of orange and carbon fibre on the back of the laptop.

Inputs and Outputs…

3x USB 3.0
1x Mini DisplayPort
1x HDMI 2.0 (4K savvy)
1x ThunderBolt 3!
1x 3.5mm Audio Combo (headphone and mic)

In addition to these, it also has a built in webcam and microphone which is good, a Kensington lock point and a nice white LED backlit keyboard for late night gaming. That ThunderBolt 3 port is great to see too, you can use these to attach an external graphics card boosting the power of your gaming laptop into that of top tier of desktop gaming systems!

Performance is general use is excellent, with the NVMe M.2 SSD inside booting into Windows 10 took around 4 seconds, with battery life under extreme load (playing Path of Exile while live streaming via OBS with FaceRig running) which gave us just over an hour (1 hour 1 min 17 seconds) – as a side note here, gaming performance is excellent on battery with the Aero 14, we recorded everything including the 20% battery tipping point when a laptop will automatically switch from the Nvidia graphics to intel integrated – let us know if you want to see this and we’ll cut out the boring bits then upload for you to check out on YouTube 🙂

Must be time to jump into some PUBG! (literally)

The game begins with an airdrop onto the island where 100 players proceed to battle it out until the last man standing is declared the winner. We specifically captured the 60-second gameplay video below to include the parachute landing, item grabbing and a player kill, while in a level with the heavy rain weather effect active.

This is because we’ve heard from players having issues on low/mid range systems, specifically when the player first lands, the specific issue being that the buildings and items have not entirely loaded in! This would almost certainly lead to disaster as these opening moments are a rush for weapons to defend yourself with.

As you can see in the video below, the Aero 14 GTX 1050 Ti Gaming Laptop has no such issues and we are able to gear up even in this densely contested area 🙂

We then continued straight on from the gameplay above, dodging crazy people with crowbars and getting into firefights – we even managed to get flash-banged yet survived!

For all tests we ran with the fans set to auto, you can use the included Gigabyte Smart Manager software package to tweak this but auto works perfectly, ramping up and down the fan speeds when needed.

Overall we’ve loved spending time with this laptop, the design is so nice and physical build is of the highest quality, the intel/nvidia hardware combination is superb and that Pantone certified display, along with the Dolby speakers is both suprising and beautiful. Best of all though, now that we’ve had a really good go with the new GTX 1050 Ti Gaming Laptop we can happily give it our GGPC Recommends Award – The Gigabyte Aero 14 GTX 1050 Ti is GOOD!

Good Gaming Laptop – Gigabyte 120Hz P57x V7!

New Toys!

We got very lucky and had the chance to test drive the latest 17.3″ Gigabyte GTX 1070 Gaming Laptop, well, not that exact version actually – ours came with a very quick 120Hz display!

As we uploaded our first GGPC YouTube video however, we realised this was going to be a tough one to show you… the problem being that our maximum frame rate using the built-in Nvidia Shadowplay Game Capture is just 60FPS and the frames displayed on our screen were going as high as 120FPS!

With the Destiny 2 BETA underway we decided to jump in and see what this awesome laptop could do, testing first to see what our base FPS would be like at 1080p with low settings before tweaking upwards to get our 60FPS target on the highest settings possible, we found the best settings for this in Destiny 2 on the P57Xv7 was to run with MSAA turned on (crazy heavy!) and high settings across the board with textures tweaked up to the highest settings.

If we turned the MSAA setting down to SMAA our framerate skyrocketed upwards allowing us to capture between 90-120 FPS even with the resolution increased to 2560×1440, we are using the in-built FPS counter, found within the gameplay settings tab in Destiny 2, but we’ve also captured another test with our temperature and CPU/GPU usage stats up top left if you’re interested in checking these out.

Jumping into some Overwatch we turned everything up that we could, customising the EPIC preset to increase the antialiasing quality right up to ULTRA – SMAA HIGH (odd that epic doesn’t include this as standard right?) and also pushed our resolution all the way to 2560×1440. It’s nice that this higher resolution is available (some P57x models even have 4K!) and even better still to see that still supported a blazing 120Hz! Even with these extremely high settings though we still spent most of our time enjoying a crisp 90FPS, which, after experiencing the super visuals on the laptop itself, just isn’t done justice in the video below!

From here we decided to move into some Battlefield 1 and encountered a similar issue, even at the highest settings with our resolution set to 2560×1440 we were getting frame rates well into the 80’s – lucky for us the map rotation eventually swung around to the Amiens City which is notoriously heavy late game and we were able to snap a quick shadowplay with plenty of explosions, tanks, players and smoke everywhere helping to drop our FPS around 60 🙂

From here we moved into testing out our favourite space sim at the moment – the still-in-development Star Citizen \o/ We played with the settings for a while and found the best setup (right now, it changes with each update) is to play at 1080P with the graphics preset on HIGH. This gives you all the coolest effects like ambient occlusion and also adds some extra definition to the “space clouds” which I feel gives you something to visually gauge your speed and direction – turning things down to the lower preset does free up around 20 more FPS though so we captured a quick Shadowplay for those settings as well.

We decided to round off our gaming tests with a bit of Black Desert Online and set off on an adventure! Finding ourselves in an Orc village at dawn with rain pelting down we tweaked our settings for a smooth and beautiful combat experience at 1440p 🙂

Gaming performance aside there are a lot of things to like about this laptop, yet again the build quality is good with very little flex on the screen, the hinges on the screen are robust (and still orange) and if you tip the laptop upside-down you’ll see the impressive dual exhaust cooling system which, when at 100% speed (a setting we highly doubt you’ll use, auto is fine) has a noise output that is reminiscent of the noise from a kettle boiling. It’s packing most of the features we look for in a modern system like AC Wireless, Bluetooth, USB Type C, and HDMI 2.0 for 4K 60FPS, sadly no DisplayPort this time but ours did have a Blu Ray drive hidden on the front! The laptop has a nice white LED keyboard backlight that can be switched between half strength, full, off and of course auto mode which adjusts to suit the lighting around you

Battery on the P57Xv7 lasted us 1 hour & 11 mins at full brightness while looping videos which was excellent, we ran all the tests above with the fan profile set to auto which revs the cooling up and down as needed. As with our previous tests with the P57Xv6 we again set out to restrict airflow so we could see when things started to throttle and noted 90 degrees as the tipping point to watch with the CPU usage – during these high temps we still had no system crashes or instability.

Overall it’s been a pleasure to game with, and the Gigabyte P57Xv7 with it’s GTX 1070 + i7-7700HQ combo is most definitely good – on that note we happily give this fine gaming laptop our GGPC recommends award – the P57Xv7 is GOOD!

We’ll keep testing all the way upto 4K 🙂 Keep your eyes on our GGPC Computers Blog for more!

Good Gaming Laptop – Aero 15 GTX 1060!

Update: Aero 15 Laptops are available for order in NZ now!

These new ones have a slightly bigger screen size, but by opting for a class-leading 15” 5mm bezel display the new Aero 15 offers you greater display real estate without increasing chassis size allowing them to keep their signature, super slimness 🙂

Little tweaks to the design, like placement on the webcam and mics within the hinge keep things very slim indeed, and nice touches like the carbon fiber detailing on the back along with the way the RGB led shines through the dual cooling fans is just beautiful 🙂 When comparing with the previous Aero 14 the rear cooling vents on the Aero 15 have been extended and air blown out from two positions on the back of the laptop while gaming, and to go even further, a Thunderbolt 3 port has been added for a premium ultra-fast transfer speed at 40Gbps and the ability to connect external graphics enclosures (we tested this by adding a GTX 1080Ti), or run with twin 5K external displays… truly a mobile powerhouse without limits!

Specifications wise it’s packing the latest 7th gen Intel Core i7-7700HQ, a 6GB GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card along with 16GB of DDR4 ram and a super quick PCIe M.2 for storage. They’ve also done wonderful things to the keys on these new version and the new Aero 15 now sports a RGB Fusion chicklet keyboard with the best keys we’ve even seen – vibrant but with little light leakage!

In-game the Aero15 is excellent, far above expectations. The GTX 1060 inside was able to keep our framerates high in a range of games and when we tested the i7-7700HQ with a little CS:GO we were pleasantly surprised to see the CPU usage keeping around 50% even while using the built in Nvidia Shadowplay Game Capture tools. You can manually set fans speeds via the control center but leaving them set to auto is just fine, the laptop will pulse up the speed as needed when you’re gaming – we did a quick test to see at what point the CPU begins to throttle itself and the mark is 89 degrees, at this point the fans kick in and the CPU changes from its 3.8GHz boost to 3.2GHz (base is 2.8GHz) to keep things cooler, during these moments we noticed no bumps or jumps in game 🙂

We’ve continued adding to our GTX 1060 Laptop Test YouTube Playlist and as you can see in the latest Witcher 3 Novigrad gameplay test below – things are looking very good indeed!

Now that we’ve had a really good play with the new GTX 1060 Aero we happily give this super slim and powerful little laptop our GGPC Recommends Award – the Aero 15 is GOOD!

We’ve got more new laptops incoming, keep your eyes on the GGPC Computers Blog for the latest!

Good Gaming Laptop – The GTX 1070 P57Xv6!

Recently we have had the pleasure of testing out some amazing new Desktop Graphics Cards on our GGPC YouTube Channel and today we excitedly get to play some games on the next generation of Gaming Laptops to see just how good things are going to be for a gamer on the go 🙂 Spoilers, things are looking really really GOOD.

Armed with the new 17.3″ Gigabyte P57X Gaming Laptop which is packing an excellent i7-6700HQ + GTX 1070 combo (no M!) it’s got the power needed for high end gaming and also exceeds the requirements for a VR ready system!

We’ve started our gameplay tests off with a quick match in DOOM, then moved into a little space piracy in the just released SciFi exploration game No Man’s Sky, we then went for a very quick run around the Ark in Survival Evolved heading onwards to Novagrad to fight some guards in Witcher 3 🙂

Ah DOOM, such a great game and it plays beautifully on the new GTX 1070 Gaming Laptop as you can see for yourself below, when turning all the settings upto max we also turned film grain up by accident 😛 In the YouTube description for this video we have included a second test with film grain set to zero if you’re wanting to check it out, FPS is still 100+ either way but the newer video does look super crispy 🙂

In No Man’s Sky our P57X GTX 1070 Gaming Laptop was able to run everything at max settings while keeping above 110 FPS in space battles and didn’t drop below 60FPS once we hit the planets surface below, though it did come pretty close 😛

Ark: Survival Evolved took a little tweaking but seeing as the game is still in development it can be a rather hard one to run well, regardless we were still able to get pretty darn close to the 60 FPS we were chasing and once we had things configured it didn’t take us long to find a pretty happy looking Dinosaur, we expect our FPS will take a hit as we build structures and tame the beasts and when it does we’ll get right back to tweaking those settings 🙂

The Witcher 3 looks great with all the settings turned up as well battle the town guards in Novigrad some very high end hardware to enjoy, to get such high performance from a gaming laptop in this often challenging game is a really great to see.

To round off the first tests we’ve done a very quick run-through with the new 3DMark Time Spy Benchmark, we ran this benchmark three times in succession to ensure the laptop was nice and warm and on that note the front of the laptop doesn’t actually get hot like others have in past tests, good design from Gigabyte with smart placement of the components towards the back allowing ventilation via the keyboard, nicely done indeed.

The P57Xv6 Gaming Laptop also passes the VR Ready test even when running on battery, you can check out the SteamVR Performance Tests here though strangely it’s not actually detecting the Nvidia graphics card is these, the scores certainly looks like it’s using it however this could be interesting if the game you are wanting to play has some sort of autodetect hardware in place – more tests needed!

Performance aside there are a few more things we like about this laptop, firstly the build quality is outstanding with very little flex, the hinges on the screen are robust (and orange) and if you tip the laptop upside-down you’ll see the impressive dual exhaust cooling system which, when at 100% speed (a setting we highly doubt you’ll use, auto is fine) has a noise output that is about twice that of an intel stock cooler running at full load.  It’s packing most of the features we look for in a modern system like AC Wireless, Bluetooth 4.1, USB Type C, and HDMI 2.0 for 4K 60FPS, sadly no DisplayPort this time around. The laptop has a nice white LED keyboard backlight that can be switched between half strength, full, off and of course auto mode which adjusts to suit the lighting around you.

Battery lasted us 1 hour & 23 mins at full brightness while gaming which was nice, you lose a little of the graphics power when running in this way but the laptop is just so powerful you’ll still be running on very high settings in games like Overwatch, be aware that if you adjust the fans to quiet mode when running on battery a frame limiter will affect your FPS in game so it’s best to leave cooling on AUTO or GAMING modes. Temperature wise on AUTO fan settings you can reach into the 80’s which is just fine – we pushed the thermal limits by doing tests with DOOM and restricted airflow during which we started to notice the graphics throttling itself when it reached around 95 degrees and this caused the temps to drop rapidly even with the restricted airflow, during these high temps we still had no system crashes or instability 🙂

Gigabyte laptop build quality cooling and lighting

Gigabyte Smart Manager software comes pre-installed and with it we were easily able to tweak everything we wanted too, the usual things we look for like fans speed settings could be adjusted here but it also included a nice range of display settings to take some strain off our eyes via a smart colour option.  Using this software you can also overclock the graphics card in the laptop to squeeze out a little bit more performance, though it’s unlikely you’ll be doing that for a while as the laptop is a gaming beast at stock settings 🙂

We’ve had a really good go with this new Gaming Laptop we can happily give it our GGPC Recommends Award – The Gigabyte P57Xv6 is GOOD! 

The latest range of Gigabyte GTX 1070 & GTX 1060 Gaming Laptops are available in New Zealand now and we’ll update our GGPC Computers Blog with more tests as we make our way through the impressive new range – fun times ahead!