The Aorus 7 is a new 17 inch gaming laptop from Gigabyte that I first saw at Computex earlier this year, so let’s check it out in this detailed review and help you decide if this laptop is worth it. I’ve got SA version of the Aorus 7, so there’s an Intel i7-9750H CPU, Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti graphics, 16gb of memory in dual channel, a 17.
3” 144Hz 1080p IPS screen and 512gb M.2 NVMe SSD and 1TB hard drive. For network connectivity it’s got gigabit ethernet, 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 5. The Aorus 7 is also available with RTX 2060, GTX 1650 or 1050 graphics, you find can examples and updated prices linked in the description.
The Aorus 7 is only available in 17 inches, and while the Aorus 5 I’ve previously reviewed is only available in 15 inches, they both use a completely different chassis. The lid is a smooth matte black plastic with silver accents and Aorus logo, while the interior is also matte black plastic.
There were no sharp corners or edges anywhere and the build quality felt ok, however it wasn’t as nice feeling compared to some other plastic machines I’ve tested. The weight is listed at around 2.
5kg, though mine was a bit more than this. With the 180 watt power brick and cables for charging included the total weight increases to 3.2kg. The dimensions of the Aorus 7 are 39.9cm in width, 28.2cm in depth, and 2.
9cm in height. It’s not quite a thin machine, but otherwise wasn’t that big compared to many other 17 inch units. I measured the screen bezels at 9.5mm. The 17.3” 1080p 144Hz IPS screen has a matte finish, viewing angles looked fine, and there’s no G-Sync here.
I’ve measured the colour gamut of the panel using the Spyder 5 Pro and got 96% of sRGB, 67% of NTSC, and 72% of AdobeRGB. At 100% brightness I measured the panel at 328 nits in the center and with a 870:1 contrast ratio, so overall pretty good results for a gaming laptop, I’d happily use it for photo or video editing too.
Backlight bleed wasn’t too bad in person, though the section from the bottom right was occasionally noticeable when viewing darker content, but this will vary between laptops. There was some screen flex due to the plastic build, though the hinges felt sturdy enough and helped with stability by being out towards the corners.
It wasn’t possible to open up with one finger as more of the weight is up towards the back, as you’ll see when we look inside later. Despite the thinner bezels, the 720p camera is found above the display in the center.
This is what the webcam and microphone look and sound like on the Aorus 7 laptop. Here’s what typing sounds like, and this is what it sounds like when you set the fan speed to maximum, so you can still hear me over the fan.
The keyboard has RGB backlighting, and while it does illuminate all keys and secondary functions, it’s only customized in a single zone, so the whole thing is set to the same colour out of about 13 options.
The keyboard lighting can be adjusted between 4 different levels of brightness or turned off either with the keys in the numpad, or through the included software. Overall I did like typing on the keyboard, though the presses were a little mushy feeling, here’s how it sounds to give you an idea of what to expect.
There was some keyboard flex when pushing down hard, but it was never an issue during normal day to day use, and I found the letter keys needed 59 grams of force to actuate. The precision touchpad worked fine, it doesn’t click down but has separate left and right click buttons below.
I liked its size and had no issues with it. Fingerprints and dirt showed up on the matte interior though were a little harder to see, and were easy to clean off the smooth finish. On the left from the back there’s a Kensington lock, air exhaust vent, USB 3.
1 Gen1 Type-A port, USB 2.0 Type-A port, and 3.5mm mic and headphone jacks. On the right from the front there’s a second USB 3.1 Type-A port, but Gen2 this time, mini DisplayPort 1.2 output, SD card slot and another air exhaust vent.
On the back there’s an air exhaust on the left, the right isn’t actually a vent, then for I/O from left to right there’s a USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C port which supports DisplayPort 1.3, but no Thunderbolt support though, HDMI 2.
0 output, gigabit ethernet, and the power input. I like the some of the bulky I/O is on the back as cables will be out of the way. The front just has some status LEDs towards the right. To remove the bottom panel you need to first remove 14 Phillips head screws.
The battery is also easily removable, if you have a spare you could quickly swap in a fully charged one, a nice and uncommon feature these days. Underneath the battery there are three more smaller Phillips head screws to take out before the bottom panel can be removed.
Once inside from left to right we’ve got the WiFi card, 2.5 inch drive bay, two memory slots in the center, and two M.2 slots towards the right, one of these supports both SATA and NVMe PCIe while the second is NVMe PCIe only.
The bottom space under the wrist rest is looking a little empty and wasted. The speakers are found down here at the front, the sounded ok, perhaps a little below average in terms of quality with no bass, though they get loud enough with the volume at max, and the Latencymon results looked good.
There’s a 49 watt hour battery powering the laptop. I’ve tested it with the screen brightness at 50%, background apps disabled, and all keyboard lighting off. While just watching YouTube videos it lasted for 3 hours and 40 minutes, and it was using the Intel integrated graphics due to Nvidia Optimus.
While playing the Witcher 3 with medium settings and Nvidia’s battery boost set to 30 FPS the battery lasted for an hour and 2 minutes, however it was constantly sitting at 25 FPS throughout the whole test.
The battery didn’t seem capable of providing full performance, however it didn’t dip at any point during the test. The 180 watt power brick that’s included with the Aorus 7 was adequate for these specs, I wasn’t seeing any drain during any of my testing.
Let’s move onto the thermal testing. Air is pulled in underneath the machine through the vents in the center, and is then exhausted out of the left and right sides, and from one of the exhausts on the back towards the left.
The vent on the right isn’t real as the removable battery is behind there. Inside there appears to be at least one heatpipe shared between the processor and graphics with the two fans near the previously mentioned exhausts.
The control center software allows us to swap between four different modes, quiet, power saving, entertainment and performance. I only found these modes to modify power limits and fan speeds, no overclocking or undervolting was done automatically.
We’ve also got the option to adjust fan speed, granted the curves are a little limited. I’ve tested with the fans either set to auto or maximum, but as you’ll hear later there’s basically no difference when under heavy load.
Thermal testing was completed in an ambient room temperature of 21 degrees Celsius, so expect different results in different environments. At idle in quiet mode both the CPU and GPU were looking good.
The rest of the results are from combined CPU and GPU workloads, and are meant to represent worst case scenarios as I ran them for extended periods of time. The gaming results towards the upper half of the graph were tested by playing Watch Dogs 2, as I find it to use a good combination of processor and graphics.
The stress test results shown on the lower half of the graph are from running the Aida64 CPU stress test with only the stress CPU option checked, and the Heaven GPU benchmark at max settings at the same time to fully load the system.
Starting with the stress tests, in quiet mode both the CPU and GPU were thermal throttling, which is to be expected, this mode prioritizes quieter fan speeds, as you’ll hear later. By enabling entertainment mode the fan speeds raise up, resulting in the GPU temperature lowering.
In performance mode the CPU temperature rises up further now as the power limit is increased, allowing it to perform better at the expense of higher temperatures. When I manually set the fans to maximum there was no difference, as you’ll hear later they were going at the same speed under this workload regardless of whether or not I set them to max or auto, as it was already hot enough anyway full speed was being reached in auto mode.
Undervolting the CPU by -0.1v, the furthest I could go in this workload, didn’t help the temperatures much, while the cooling pad was finally able to remove thermal throttling. The gaming results showed a similar pattern, just with slightly lower temperatures on the CPU, but slightly higher on the GPU with an actual game running, but temps will vary based on game anyway.
These are the average clock speeds for the same tests just shown. In quiet mode, regardless of with a game or stress tests running, the CPU and GPU clock speeds are much lower due to lower power limits set by quiet mode, but also due to thermal limitations as a result of the low fan speed.
In entertainment mode the fan speeds rise up, allowing for higher clock speeds, and then the CPU sees a further power limit boost in performance mode, further increasing CPU clock speed. In the stress tests we can see there’s no real difference with the fans set to the default auto mode compared to being set to maximum speed, as they were running at max anyway due to the thermal throttling that was taking place.
In the gaming results though there was a little clock speed boost with max fan speed, presumably as running an actual game is less constant. Undervolting the CPU improved the average clock speed across all 6 cores by over 200MHz in each of these tests, then adding the cooling pad allowed the CPU to finally average at the full 4GHz all core turbo boost speed of the i7-9750H CPU.
These are the TDP values during these same tests. The power used in quiet mode is the lowest, again due to the lower power limits these modes set, but also due to thermal throttling on the CPU and GPU as a result of lower fan speeds.
The GTX 1660 Ti has an 80 watt power limit, but when under stress test this wasn’t often hit due to thermal throttling. When gaming, outside of quiet mode the 1660 Ti was averaging around its 80 watt limit, so full performance was possible there.
It was also good to see that the 9750H was able to get to around 55 watts on average even under this combined stress test. Although this does result in the higher CPU temperatures we saw previously, it also means we should see higher levels of performance compared to other machines that follow the Intel spec of limiting this to 45 watts.
Here are the CPU clock speeds while under a CPU only stress test, the results are higher as the GPU is not contributing heat to the system. Despite this, to sit at the full 4GHz all core turbo boost speed the undervolt was required.
This is because the 60 watt power limit was being hit in performance mode in this CPU only workload, this throttle could be removed by raising the power limit with software like Intel XTU however that would have raised the temperature further where as the undervolt was able to reduce it by 10 degrees while also reaching higher speeds.
To demonstrate how this translates into performance I’ve got some Cinebench CPU benchmarks from these same modes. Quiet and power saver modes gave the same performance, and then we can see things step up with entertainment and performance mode, as these raise CPU power limits.
I was able to further boost this with the CPU undervolt, and improve it a little further by raising the power limit above the default 60 watts with Intel XTU. So how do these different changes actually affect game performance? I’ve tested some games to find out.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider was tested with the built in benchmark at highest settings. Even with the quiet profile above 60 FPS was being hit in this test at max settings, and we could slightly improve the result by undervolting the CPU and raising the CPU power limit.
Far Cry 5 was tested with the built in benchmark at ultra settings. There was less of a difference here outside of quiet mode. This is more of a CPU test, and quiet mode results in thermal throttling due to the slower fan speed, but also reduces the CPU power limit.
Battlefield 5 was tested with ultra settings in campaign mode, and again there weren’t really many differences in this game, it was still very playable while running the fans quieter, as you’ll hear soon.
As for the external temperatures where you’ll actually be putting your hands, at idle it was quite cool, below the 30 or so I usually see. With the stress tests going in quiet mode some parts were getting to 50 degrees, it was quite warm.
With entertainment mode enabled it was around 10 degrees cooler in some of those hotspots, as this boosts the fan speed. In performance mode it was pretty similar, the fans were the same speed though as we saw earlier internals are a little warmer now due to higher CPU power limits.
There wasn’t really any difference while gaming in performance mode either. Here’s what the fans sound like during these different tests. At idle in quiet mode the fan was still audible, and a couple of decibels louder if left idling in performance mode instead.
When under stress test or gaming in the quiet profile it was still fairly quiet, much better compared to most other machines, especially when we consider that games were still playable in this mode, as we saw earlier.
The fan speed was the same in entertainment or performance mode, with fans either at auto or max speed. Overall there was thermal throttling on the CPU and some on the GPU, both under worst case stress test and even some with this particular game, but it will vary based on the workload.
This was happening even with the fan at max speed, but primarily in performance mode. This is an expected trade off of boosting the CPU power limit above Intel’s 45 watt spec to 60 watts, we get better performance, like we saw in the Cinebench results, but it comes at the expense of higher temperatures.
With some undervolting and using a cooling pad it was possible to remove thermal throttling and average the full turbo boost speed though, which I think is a fair result given many other laptops can’t do this.
Next let’s take a look at some gaming benchmarks, I’ve tested these with the fans at max speed, though as we just saw they’re basically maxed under load anyway, and in performance mode for best performance.
I only recently added Borderlands 3 to my testing, and I’ve used Direct X 11 as 12 is still in Beta. With these specs high settings were able to reach 60 FPS, while low was able to sit around 100 FPS.
Battlefield 5 was tested in campaign mode, and it played fine maxed out at ultra settings. There wasn’t much difference to 1% low performance regardless of setting level, due to some of that previously mentioned CPU thermal throttling.
Apex Legends was tested with either all settings at maximum, or all settings on the lowest possible values, as it doesn’t have predefined setting presets. It was still playing nicely with everything at maximum, averaging just over 100 FPS, though we could boost average FPS by 32% with minimum settings.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider was tested with the built in benchmark, and the results here were pretty good. Highest settings was actually slightly ahead of the Lenovo Y540 with same processor and graphics, but we’ll see how these results compare to other laptops soon.
Fortnite was tested with the replay feature, and as a less demanding game even epic settings was playing fine with above 100 FPS averages, while high settings was pretty close to the refresh rate of the panel and sitting at 100 for the 1% low.
Overwatch is another well optimized game and was tested in the practice range, again it was still playing well with max settings, not far off the refresh rate of the screen, though we could easily surpass this with lower setting presets.
CS:GO was tested using the Ulletical FPS benchmark, and as a game that depends primarily on CPU power the results aren’t really that different compared to most other laptops I’ve tested with the same i7 CPU.
Dota 2 was tested playing in the middle lane and is in the same boat, it depends more on the CPU than the GPU so the results aren’t much different compared to other i7 based laptops I’ve tested even if they have lower tier graphics.
Rainbow Six Siege was tested with the built in benchmark, and in this test high settings was above the refresh rate of the display, though even ultra would likely still work just fine, given it was averaging over 120 FPS.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey was tested with the built in benchmark, and although this is a CPU heavy test and typically scores lower frame rates, it doesn’t need high results to play, 60 FPS was still possible in this test at very high settings.
The Division 2 was also tested with the built in benchmark, and 60 FPS was still being reached with ultra settings, while low settings was just able to match the refresh rate of the display in this test.
If you’re after more gaming benchmarks check the card in the top right corner where I’ve tested 21 games in total. Let’s also take a look at how this config of the Aorus 7 SA compares with other laptops, use these results as a rough guide only as they were tested at different times with different drivers.
In Battlefield 5 I’ve got the Aorus 7 highlighted in red near similarly specced machines. This game was performing very closely to the Lenovo Y540 just above it in terms of average frame rate as they’ve got the same specs.
The 1% low from the Aorus 7 was lower comparatively which seemed to be due to CPU thermal throttling. These are the results from Far Cry 5 with ultra settings in the built in benchmark. Again the Aorus 7 was quite close to the Y540 with same specs, though this time in this game the 1% low was the same, so it’s looking alright here.
These are the results from Shadow of the Tomb raider with the built in benchmark at highest settings. This time the average frame rate was 1 FPS ahead of the Y540 with same specs, and 8% ahead of the G3 with 1660 Ti Max-Q.
Like the other games though, the Helios 300 with same specs was ahead out of the box as it’s tuned well. As I’ve said in the past and as we’ve just seen here, I think the GTX 1660 Ti is a great sweet spot when it comes to laptop graphics.
When combined with the i7 CPU and dual channel memory we’re able to play basically any modern game with decent frame rates. Now for the benchmarking tools, I’ve tested Heaven, Valley, and Superposition from Unigine, as well as Firestrike, Timespy, and VRMark from 3DMark, just pause the video if you want a detailed look at these results.
I’ve used Crystal Disk Mark to test the storage, and the 512gb NVMe M.2 SSD was performing well, excellent read speeds but much lower writes comparatively. The 1TB hard drive was performing lower than expected considering it’s a 7,200RPM drive, and the SD card slot was ok.
For updated pricing check the links in the description, as prices will change over time. At the time of recording in the US I can only find the NA configuration available which comes with GTX 1650 graphics, and it’s going for $1150 USD on sale.
This current price seems a little hard to justify, when you could get a 1660 Ti Helios 300 for less which will outperform it. From my own testing, the 1660 Ti is around 47% faster than the 1650, so paying more to get less is hard to justify.
Here in Australia we’re looking at $2100 AUD on sale for the SA model with 1660 Ti graphics, so $100 less than the Helios 300 with same specs. With all of that in mind let’s conclude by looking at the good and bad aspects of the Aorus 7 gaming laptop.
Apart from pricing, the biggest issue I had with the actual machine was the CPU thermal throttling. This seems to be due to the result of a higher power limit, so that’s going to be a trade off, though given the near 3cm thickness I thought thermals would be a bit better.
Looking at the positives though, this does mean CPU power was able to get quite high once thermals were controlled, and we did have the option of playing games while running fairly quiet. In terms of gaming performance for the most part it seemed fairly in line with other 1660 Ti gaming laptops that I’ve tested.
The battery life was on the lower side, however it does have the uncommon advantage of being fully removable, although I haven’t yet seen Gigabyte selling these so I’m not sure how you’d get them.
The screen was decent for a gaming laptop in terms of colour gamut, brightness and contrast, though my unit did have a little bleed, but that will vary. For me personally I prefer a 15” machine, pretty much the only advantage of this 17” laptop is that you get the larger screen size at the expense of it being larger and heavier than a 15 inch version.
As we saw inside, there appears to be a fair bit of unused space, mainly towards the front, it could have been better if the components were moved down and more materials were dedicated to combating thermals.
The Aorus 7 is using the Clevo NH70RCQ chassis. I really liked the 15 inch version of this, the NH58RCQ, however despite being larger it seems that there are more thermal limitations with this larger unit, or at least with this specific machine.
In the end though, at the current price it’s difficult to recommend the Aorus 7 over the competition. This could all change if the price lowers though, so keep an eye out with the links in the description.
Let me know what you thought about the Aorus 7 gaming laptop down in the comments, and if you’re new to the channel consider getting subscribed for future laptop reviews and tech videos like this one.