Do you like being able to go to a LAN without carrying a massive tower around? Do you travel a lot, or work in a job that requires you to set up shop in tiny towns for weeks at a time? Whatever your reason, you are in the market for a gaming laptop. Have you met the Aorus X7 v2?
What is an Aorus?
What is an Aorus, I hear you say? You might recognise some of the stylings on the hood of the laptop from the Gigabyte range of laptops, and you would be right. Meet Gigabyte’s own brand of super-thin laptops with a heavy punch. Aorus is a line focused on gaming, tailored to meet the high demands of this group of users.
Gaming on the go
This machine is for gaming, no doubt about it. The Aorus X7 v2 doesn’t attempt to promise you battery longevity. This machine is loud, power hungry and proud of it. The Aorus weighs in at 3kg and is a tiny 22.9mm thick, making it appear to be half of the laptop compared to the competition. Besides thickness, this is pretty far from the truth. This baby packs two Nvidia 860M GPUs in SLI, sharing 8GB of GDDR5, connected to a Intel i7-4710HQ CPU running at 2.5GHz with 16GB of 1,866MHz RAM. To make sure you can game on the go, the Aorus has a 2TB drive for storage, and three mSATA 128GB drives running in raid 0, to give you a fast, enjoyable experience. Even the keyboard has been made for gaming, with a bunch of programmable macro keys on the left side of the keyboard.
[toggle_simple title=”What’s in the box?” width=”Width of toggle box”]The rather sexy packaging of the X7 v2 includes the power brick and power cable, as well as the pretty handy Aorus B7 backpack, which has been specially built with gaming in mind, so expect more than enough space for your cans, keyboard, mouse and energy drinks. It is a great addition, considering a laptop is kinda daft if it doesn’t have a safe way to travel.[/toggle_simple]
Here are the pictures from the benchmarks, for those whose eyes glazed over in pleasure a paragraph ago. As this is the first full machine review, let me explain my methodologies.I prefer to use programs and software that is easily available on the internet, as well as games that have built-in benchmarks, as the results are much, much easier to test and replicate. Why replicate? Because sometimes a PC will have a hiccup or two and forget how to brain, and then after a few gurgles it gets back on track. This also allows me to see how a PC runs under stress, as nobody wants a computer just for it to sit there and look good. Also, once I have more machines to compare stats against, there will be tables and charts for comparing information between two or more machines. Feel free to shout at me in the comments if there are other tests you would prefer. Without any further delays, on to the benchmarks.
Batman: Arkham Origins with everything set to max runs at min 36fps, max 87fps with an average of 53fps with its built in benchmark. Even BF4 (despite its benchmark, for whatever reason) can be run on ultra with an average frame rate of more than 40fps, with less action on screen increasing that number into the 70s.
Running Firestrike without SLI scored a full 2,000 points lower, at 2,955 vs the 4,964 of the test in SLI. (The very first Firestrike test gave a puzzling score of 3,806, but couldn’t be replicated. Oh PCs.)
More images of the benchmarks are in the gallery at the end of the article.
For those who want to skip all the images, here are the 3D Mark scores:
Ice Storm: 130,190
Hot property, not hot peripherals
The more time I spend with the Aorus, the more I notice finer details in its construction. From the slightly sturdier weight and construction of the WASD keys, to the fact that the twin exhaust ports of the machine blow all heat backwards, away from the user. This ensures you don’t heat your hands or your connected peripherals, a problem I have had with other laptops. The machine never reached much higher than 63 degrees, except for the synthetic benchmarks, which pushed the machine much higher for short bursts. The cooling system is phenomenal, which is something you can hear. Your neighbours might hear the amazing cooling system at work too, which is my only real gripe with the machine. When the machine hits heavy load, expect things to cool down rather quickly back to idle temps, but the jet turbine noise might get you kicked out of the coffee shop, nevermind the library. That is if they can get their eyes off that screen. At 17.3” inches of LED with a 72% color gamut (sorry, print nerd showing himself) expect some really clear and rich colours. If you prefer multi monitor, the Aorus can output to three external displays.
The Aorus is lighter, thinner and cheaper than the competition (in the same power range, of course). If you are in the market for a top-end gaming laptop, the Aorus X7 v2 should be on your radar. An object of lust.
[toggle_simple title=”Full specs” width=”Width of toggle box”] Specification
OS Windows 8.1 / Windows 8.1 Pro
CPU 4th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-4710HQ Processor 2.5GHz
Display 17.3″ Full HD 1920×1080 LED backlight
System Memory 8GB DDR3L 1866, 4 slots (Max 32GB)
Chipset Mobile Intel® HM87 Express Chipset
Video Graphics NVIDIA® GTX 860M SLI GDDR5 8GB
Storage mSATA 128GB/256GB/512GB, 3 slots
2.5” HDD 500GB/750GB/1TB/2TB 5400/7200rpm , 1 slot
Keyboard Type Backlit Keyboard Backlit Keyboard
Optical Disk Drive N/A
I/O Port USB(3.0) x3,USB(2.0) x2, HDMI, mini-Display port, Surround port, D-sub RJ45,SD card reader, microphone-in, earphone-out(SPDIF)
Audio 2 watt speaker*2, woofer*2, Microphone, AORUS Acoustic+ technology
LAN: Killer LAN Chip
Wireless LAN: 802.11ac
Bluetooth: Bluetooth V4.0
Security Kensington Lock
Battery Li Polymer 73.26Wh
Dimensions 428(W) x 305(D) x 22.9(H)mm
Weight 3kg [/toggle_simple]