Gigabyte have continued to update their excellent line up of GTX 10 series gaming laptops and now the first of the Kaby Lake refresh has arrived in New Zealand – among which is the absolutely stunning Aero series which is now packing the mighty i7-7700HQ and a 6GB GTX 1060!
What makes this series so darn impressive is the laptop sports a gorgeous 2560×1440 resolution IPS screen packed into a very portable 14″ package, it’s simply a joy to look at 🙂
Weighing in at around 2KG this is one of the few laptops available now that’s perfect for work (it’s so fast!) and also great for gaming after hours. It’s super thin too, coming in just under 2cm slim and yet those talented chaps at Gigabyte still managed to fit very comfortable auto-adjusting backlit keyboard… and individual macro keys!
Aside from the very latest in hardware inside you’ll also find it has all the connections we look for like USB Type-C and HDMI 2.0 for connecting to a 4K 60FPS screen should you decide that you want to play a little League of Legends on the TV when you get home 😛
UPDATE: We were blown away when we first tested the GTX 1060 in laptops and with this new, more portable option things are certainly looking even better now for the gamer on go 🙂 Even with the new slimmer frame this GTX 1060 Kaby Lake combo still pushes out the frames like a big gaming PC and with that beautiful 2560×1440 screen games are a joy to play! Even in the most intense firefights, the Gigabyte Aero manages to keep thing nice and smooth as we try to capture the flag in Overwatch below \o/
GGPC has been busy capturing gameplay with the new Kaby Lake CPU range from intel \o/ We started things off with the new i3 (we even managed to get the new “unlocked” i3-7350K!) and we’ve gone all the way into the powerful i7 🙂 As usual we’ll be testing in-game but this time with no additional graphics cards fitted in our systems…
Gaming with no dedicated graphics card might sound a little crazy, and in most cases it really is but with the right game you can still enjoy some pretty high settings and go for that 60FPS @ 1080p sweet spot 🙂
Of course when you throw a much heavier game at the CPU with no Graphics Card supporting things it gets a lot tougher! Below is a quick test playing Overwatch with just the i5-6400 CPU and while it’s still very playable we’ve had to turn down all of the beautiful graphics settings and we still couldn’t quite get to our 60FPS 1080P target – got pretty close though!
Swinging back around to a game that’s a lot lighter but still pretty popular we jumped into a CSGO match to see just what the CPU alone could do, while we maintained pretty close to 60FPS things were definitely still pretty tight! Much like Overwatch above adding a little GPU like the RX 460 goes a long way performance wise 🙂
When we hit League of Legends with the Skylake i5-6400 things really started looking good, we were pretty amazed to see LOL running so beautifully and we managed to get into a nice brawl in the bottom lane for the capture, settings wise we’ll show them at the end of every video – this is Character Detail: Very High, Environment Quality: Very High, Effects Quality: High and Shadows: Medium and in the clip you’ll see the FPS dip slightly below 60FPS – this provides us with a nice comparison point as we move into the tests with the new Kaby Lakes!
For our Kaby Lake system we’ve built using the very affordable ASRock Z270 motherboard, Avexir 2400MHz DDR4 and a 250GB SSD loaded with Windows 10 Home 64Bit. Originally we set things up with the B250 chipset but quickly realised we’d need to move onto a Z series for testing the “K” series unlocked CPU 🙂
All of the Kaby Lake CPU we’ll be testing for this blog are packing integrated graphics known as Intel HD Graphics 630 series so we don’t expect too much swing between the quad core i5 and the i7, what’s going to be really interesting is see how things go with the new dual core unlocked i3-7350K so let’s get started there!
Firstly, seeing as this is an unlocked processor we jumped into the bios (by pressing DEL as the computer was turned on) and edited the CPU Ratio + Fixed Voltage values shown here for a quick & easy 5GHz overclock. Once in game a little tweaking was still needed for the settings bringing down shadows and effect quality a little to ensure FPS stayed very close to 60 during some pretty colourful team fights 🙂
Jumping into a few quick matches with the new Kaby Lake i5 saw solid boost in FPS and even allowed us to push up the effects details again which was really nice, the peak framerate difference between the i5 and previous i3 (even with our 5GHz OC) was instantly noticeable and while both performed well above expectations, if you’re about to build a new system the i5-7500 certainly hits a pretty sweet spot \o/
Rounding up the tests we move our way through the new i7 range, as expected performance in game was very similar to the i5 above although again the peak FPS did reach just that little bit higher, it would be very hard to spot this in game though as once the action starts up both do really well. We played a few extra matches with these ones just to double check the shadows quality settings couldn’t be pushed to max and in most cases it can, however in the bigger team fights (especially around bases or big rift beasts) fps can dip very slightly under 60 with the shadows higher than in the gameplay FPS test below and as we like to turn V-Sync on usually keeping everything above 60 is the goal!
So what’s the verdict with Kaby Lake? It’s GOOD!
The i3-7100 at 3.9GHz performance was right up there with the unlocked i3-7350K in game, if you’re wanting to have a play around with overclocking though that “K” i3 sure is a great way to get into things (just make sure you grab a Z series mobo!) – we didn’t expect to hit 5GHz stable so easily and if it was ours (this one was a loan from intel) we would have kept going for sure 🙂
Once you hit those sweet Kaby Lake i5 things get really good, the quad cores pushed out some fantastic performance right through from the i5-7400 all the way up to the i5-7600K – These are pretty great really and going forward GGPC will be using them for most of our Gaming PC designs.
If you’re going with the i7 series you’ll still notice a difference in game, but it’s harder to spot vs the difference between the i3 & i5. As with our eSports Skylake builds we’ll likely be using these ones in special gaming PC designed to stream gameplay via Twitch, XSplit and YouTube 🙂 Even these super powerful CPU have a little trouble when it comes to shadows, but hey – graphics cards gotta have something to do right!
We’ll continue to update this blog as we learn new things and get our hands on our own i3-7350K for potentially destructive max OC check 😛 Lots of fun times ahead so be sure to keep your eyes on the GGPC Computers Blog for the latest!
Throughout 2016 we were treated to a range of outstanding new chassis as manufacturers embraced both tempered glass and RGB lighting in their chassis lineups 🙂 Of all these new cases though one has really stood out, from a manufacturer known as Segotepwho also made our orignal GGPC Shaman chassis known as Warship. This new case is a massive leap ahead in quality and looks a lot like the InWin 805 but with slightly different front IO placement, a big PSU shield and comes pre-fitted with 4x 120mm RGB fans.
Good looks aside there are a lot of other things Segotep got right with the SGK7, firstly the way it’s all packaged up is excellent with a sturdy double box and no polystyrene to be found 🙂 The foam padding holds everything securely and both sides of all the glass panels (two sides and front) are shrink wrapped for extra protection. The RGB fans are fitted 3x in the front and 1x in the back and come pre-connected to an included hub so you can control the colours and effects easily via the front IO. It also contains a decent manual for new builders which we really appreciate, and even a cleaning cloth which is a must for any glass build as they do tend to become fingerprint magnets 😛
There’s no better way to get to know a chassis than building a gaming PC in one so for this blog we designed one that’s using the new B250m motherboard from Gigabyte and fitted the new i5-7500 taking a little time to wrap the cable up on the included CPU cooler so it looks nice. Another good thing about the new motherboards is we get to use 2400MHz ram this time around – the previous 2133MHz limitations are removed giving us access to a much larger variety of kits at the faster speed which is great for us as we like to try out new parts whenever possible – the new G.Skill Trident RGB is coming in 2400MHz so we’re extremely happy about this little change up!
Putting it all together was a quick process and once we successfully did a little boot test I thought I’d spend a moment doing something with the Segotep SGK7 I haven’t really seen any other chassis do – adding a custom RGB name plate!
To do this you need to remove the front glass panel so you can access some screws, once those are out a little clear plastic panel (with the default Segotep sticker on it) can be removed. When we peeled off the sticker it left a little residue which we quickly cleaned off with some meths, using the old sticker as a sizing template I began hunting around for something the right size to use. We then simply printed GGPC on a piece of paper with black around it, the LED glow is powerful enough to shine through the paper but if you take a little time to cut out the name it really blasts through – just put your gamertag on the plastic backer and screw it back in you won’t need any glue etc – it’s that easy 🙂
We’ve not seen a chassis this good available for so little before especially in New Zealand and on that note, now that we’ve built a Good Gaming PC in this chassis we are happy to give it a well deserved recommendation to anyone looking for a top chassis at a great price – The Segotep SG-K7 is GOOD!
The arrival of the new Kaby Lake CPU brought with it some new Z270 motherboards for some beautiful high end Gaming PC builds and although these latest generation motherboards only have a couple of new techy features depending on the model (good for supporting more high speed storage devices) they’ve all had a solid update to the lighting kits and some even have some pretty sweet liquid cooling loadouts ready to roll 🙂
Starting things off with a favourite from the bunch we take a closer look at the new lineup from Gigabyte, specifically the Aorus Z270X Gaming 5 \o/
With this new lineup Aorus motherboards we get a major cooling controller upgrade. The Aorus Gaming 5 (and all other Aorus mobo as well :P) includes what Gigabyte is calling “hybrid fan headers” which allow us to adjust the voltage to each connected device so we can tweak our builds cooling, pumps and most importantly – make things oh so quiet. It’s not just one or two of the headers that are special like this either, all (5) on our Gaming 5 mobo work in this way 🙂 The mobo also packs a bunch of thermal sensors so if you want your machine to rev up additional cooling automatically it’s ready to roll and to top things off if you’re wanting to add additional RGB lighting strips you’ll find a handy RGB 12v header just under the bottom PCIe slot and connecting to this will allow you to sync the lighting throughout the build via Fusion \o/
One of the main reasons we like the Aorus lineup so much is because of the pure black and white colour scheme Gigabyte have gone with, and this makes using the new multi-zone RGB LED lighting system that Aorus comes equipped with all the more awesome – you can light up around the ram slots, graphics card slots and there has also been a really cool update to the trace lighting path on the side of the motherboard thanks the addition of a patterned transparent plate that really captures the LED and the glow isincredible, these plates are easily interchangeable as well so messing around with patterns for custom builds is going to be blast! They’ve got some slick new software to make the most of this which also has the fancy name “RGB Fusion” and it will allow you to quickly customise the various zones to get the perfect look.
Combine all this with some really nice features like re-enforced PCIe slots, X-Fi audio (great if you want to hear those footsteps), gold plated connections and dual M.2 slots for some very rapid storage and you’ve got one killer motherboard that looks good and can hold together a top tier system – fun times ahead!
But that’s not all!
Asus have revealed their new lineup also and among these is what looks to be an updated version for the Z170-AR we use in our own Paladin GTX 1070 Gaming PC which Asus are calling the Z270-A Prime (looks like this one is the Z270-AR in NZ)
Much like the Gigabyte motherboard above this new version has had the previous blue accent removed and is now sports a clean black and white colour scheme we like. It sports those nifty fan headers as well and although it’s shy on the lighting zones (a small bit of RGB path lighting) Asus have continued to make the new lineup a little more mod friendly by offering a range of unique customisation options for those with access to a 3D Printer \o/ Dedicated mounting points on the motherboard make fitting 3D printed parts possible by using the same screws as M.2 drives (hard to find but four 2mm x 3mm screws included with the kingston ssd bracket if you get stuck) so we’ll be able fit nameplates, ninja cable covers and more as we experiment with things – With Asus backing 3D Printer modding in this way along with Cooler Master and ThermalTake we’re sure to see more and more cool models emerge for these and not just for those lucky few with a fancy new motherboard – 3D models for 120mm fan covers, 2-way SLi bridges and even cable combs!
When the GTX 10 series laptops first appeared late last year we were blown away in our tests with the new GTX 1060 and GTX 1070 variants, both in terms of performance but also with how close these portable solutions were to their desktop brethren. With the GTX 1060 Gaming Laptop power efficiency had become so good that when running on battery it was almost as powerful as when it was connected to mains power – as you’ll see below in our long test with Battlefield one it was very close but still required a little settings tweak when switching between the two.
In a perfect world a gaming laptop will allow you to switch between powered and battery modes with no tweaking of settings required allowing us to truly game on the go.
And that’s why we’ve been excitedly awaiting the new GTX 1050 gaming laptop release, and today a pretty cool looking new one just got announced!
The new Sabre 15 Gaming Laptop in coming our way \o/ Featuring the new Kaby Lake Intel Core i7 processor and equipped with either the newly announced GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB or the GTX 1050 2GB we’ll be putting both versions though some GGPC gaming tests to see exactly what these machines can do! We’ve recently updated our GTX 1050 Desktop playlist with new tests with a range of titles to compare with and it’s going to be blast finding out what these new gaming laptops can do.
Future tests aside (for now) the new Sabre series is looking really good, they’ve taken away the orange trim in favour of a clean all black look and the keyboard has been improved and is now fitted with 2.2mm travel scissor type keys, for that extra feel and precision 🙂 There will be options for a either a red LED or a glorious RGB backlit keyboard with 16.8 million colours to choose from.
Taking inspiration from the iconic CM Storm Stryker chassis this latest addition to the new MasterCase lineup is sporting a very tough handle on the top that will make transport very easy but blends into the form of the chassis looking good even if you never use it 🙂 The tempered glass sides on this new case have been done in a new way that opens a like a reverse gull wing and have a key lock to open and close the panels which is pretty cool. Another really good thing about this chassis is the internal graphics card support bar is ready for two graphics cards making it absolutely amazing for a killer SLi Gaming PC 🙂
Just in time and perfect for the Red/Black theme we’re going for with this new build, Cooler Master Seidon 120V3 Plus water cooling kits have arrived in New Zealand! These have actually been available in the UK for a while now but here in NZ we’ve only had the blue options so this is absolutely perfect 🙂
We’ve had a good go with a bunch of Z270 series motherboards now and for our Red/Black theme there is one that really does look perfecto!
The Z270MX-Gaming 5 from Gigabyte boasts the most advanced LED system in the market today. With more customisability than ever and a convenient, intuitive UI thanks to the RGB Fusion App we’re going to have a blast making a build with this one! The bright and vibrant LEDs can even be configured to display the PC’s temperature or load… hmmm tempting 😛