Home Laptop Reviews Aorus X7 DT v8 Gaming Laptop Review – GTX 1080 Power!

Aorus X7 DT v8 Gaming Laptop Review – GTX 1080 Power!

53
0
Aorus X7 DT v8 Gaming Laptop Review – GTX 1080 Power!

The Aorus X7 is a very powerful gaming laptop, with an overclockable CPU and GTX 1080 graphics, so let’s take a closer look and help you find out if it’s a laptop you should consider buying. Getting into the specs this unit has an Intel i7-8850H CPU, so 6 cores 12 threads with a 4.

3GHz single core turbo boost but the CPU can also be overclocked as well, more on that later. I’ve got 16gb of memory running at DDR4-2666 in dual channel, but the four slots can support up to 64gb in total.

For storage there’s a 512GB M.2 NVMe SSD in one of the two slots, and a 1TB hard drive installed in the single 2.5” drive bay. For the graphics there’s an Nvidia GTX 1080 which powers the 17.3” 1080p 144Hz IPS panel with G-Sync.

As for network connectivity, there’s a gigabit ethernet port, 802.11ac WiFi, and Bluetooth version 4.1. The Aorus X7 has a solid metal build with a nice matte black finish on the top and on the interior.

All of the edges are smooth and the finish and build quality overall is very nice. The dimensions of the laptop are 42.8cm in width, 30.5cm in depth, and 2.54cm in height, so fairly large though not too thick considering the specs inside.

The weight is listed as 3.2KG and I found mine to come in a bit heavier at 3.3KG, and with the 250 watt power brick and cable included the total weight increases to under 4.2KG. The power brick also has a USB Type-A port on it so you can use that to charge other devices too.

It’s got an AUO 17.3” 1080p 144Hz IPS panel with G-Sync, and comes X-Rite Pantone calibrated. As an IPS panel I had absolutely no issues with viewing angles from any direction either. I’ve measured the current colour gamut using the Spyder 5 Pro, and my results returned 97% of sRGB, 68% of NTSC and 74% of AdobeRGB, so pretty decent for a gaming laptop.

At 100% brightness I measured the panel at 322 nits in the center, and with an 890:1 contrast ratio, so again fairly decent for a gaming laptop, overall I thought it looked pretty good. I’ve taken a long exposure photo in a dark room as a worst case backlight bleed test, and we can see some imperfections along the bottom and in the top left corner.

I didn’t really notice these myself though even while browsing darker content, but this will vary between laptops anyway. There was some screen flex while pushing it, likely as the hinge is in the middle so the far corners will have less stability, but overall as it’s metal it felt fairly solid.

It can also be opened easily with one finger as there’s a fair bit of weight, and it felt very well balanced so you could use it on your lap without it falling off. Above the display in the centre is a 720p camera.

The camera looks alright, a little grainy even when lit well though and the microphone is around average. The keyboard was nice to type with and has n-key rollover, here’s how the key presses sound to try and give you an idea of what to expect.

It’s an RGB keyboard with individual key backlighting, so you can apply a lot of different effects through the Aorus Fusion software. Throughout the video the key lighting may look like it’s flickering at times, that’s just to do with the shutter speed of my camera not matching the lights, in person it looks fine.

On the left of the keyboard there are 5 programmable macro keys which can be configured through the same Aorus Fusion software. This took me some getting used to, I kept hitting G5 when I wanted to press control for example.

There was almost no keyboard flex while pushing down fairly hard, it felt very sturdy. The touchpad uses ELAN drivers by default and was extremely smooth to the touch, it felt great and it has a blue coloured Aorus logo on it.

I was able to easily install precision drivers though which made it perfect for me, much like the Aero 15x and Aorus X5. Above the keyboard on the left and right appear to be extra air intakes for the internal components, with the power button which lights up in the centre.

Moving onto the I/O, on the left there’s a Kensington lock, air exhaust vent, gigabit ethernet port, three USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A ports, 3.5mm headphone and mic jacks, and the left speaker in the front corner.

On the right there’s the right speaker on the front corner, UHS-II SD card slot, two Type-C ports, one of which is Thunderbolt 3 while the other is USB 3.1 Gen2, HDMI 2.0 and mini DisplayPort 1.4 outputs, and air exhaust vent.

On the back there’s two large air exhaust vents on the corners, as well as the power input in the centre with a fourth USB 3.1 Type-A port though this one is Gen2 unlike the others. The front only has some status LEDs towards the right hand side, and if you click the bottom right corner of the touchpad they light up to show you the battery charge level.

The two 2 watt speakers sound pretty decent for a laptop, nice and clear but a little tinny at higher volumes but some bass from the two 2 watt subwoofers, although I expected more. On the back of the matte black metal lid there’s some grooves and the Aorus logo in the centre.

The logo has a mirrored finish and lights up white when the laptop is powered on. Fingerprints are mostly hidden thanks to the matte finish, but they still show up and are easy to wipe away from the smooth surface.

Underneath there’s some air intake vents towards the back and vents closer to the front are the two subwoofers. The rubber feet also do a very good job at preventing movement while in use. The bottom can be removed by unscrewing the 12 TR6 screws, and from left to right there’s the single 2.

5 inch drive bay, WiFi card, first NVMe or SATA M.2 slot, four memory slots and the second NVMe slot underneath. Powering the laptop is a fairly large 94 Watt hour battery, and with a full charge and just watching YouTube videos with the screen on half brightness, lighting effects off and background apps disabled, it was only lasting for 2 hours and 32 minutes, not great.

This is due to the G-Sync display, I wasn’t able to manually swap over to the Intel integrated graphics, so the GTX 1080 was in use the whole time. While playing the Witcher 3 with medium settings and Nvidia’s battery boost set to 30 FPS the battery lasted for 59 minutes, however it was still running at 100 FPS on average even with my cap in place, I couldn’t limit it properly.

By the time it had 10% battery remaining the frame rate dropped so low that it wasn’t playable any longer. Overall I was a little disappointed with the battery life as it’s got a huge 94 watt hour one like the Aero 15, but it wasn’t unexpected due to G-Sync and being forced into only using the Nvidia GTX 1080 graphics, you’ll probably want to keep the charger close by.

Thermal testing was completed with an ambient room temperature of 21 degrees Celsius, so expect warmer temperatures in a warmer environment. Also keep in mind there’s a heatpipe shared between processor and graphics, so a change in one component may affect the other.

Starting towards the bottom of the graph, at idle the temperatures are fairly cool, though the fans were still audible, as you’ll hear soon. Moving up the graph the green bar shows the result of playing Watch Dogs 2 at stock settings, so with the normal fan profile in use.

The normal fan profile keeps the CPU clock speeds at stock settings with a 40 Watt TDP cap though. The max fan profile not only maxes out the fan, but also increases the TDP cap on the CPU to 55 Watts and boosts all 6 cores to 4.

3GHz, and this is shown in the yellow bar. The CPU temperature goes up here as we’re unlocking more CPU performance in this mode, but the GPU drops just slightly thanks to the boosted fan speeds. If we undervolt the CPU by -0.

150v in orange the CPU and GPU do drop back slightly, and then finally in red I was actually seeing better temperatures with the overclocks applied, though as you’ll see in the next graph the CPU wasn’t performing quite as well anymore.

The stress tests were done by running Aida64 and the Heaven benchmark at the same time in order to attempt to fully utilize both the processor and graphics. Continuing up in the graph with the dark red bar there was a combination of thermal and power limit throttling taking place on the CPU at stock.

With the max fan profile in pink it gets slightly hotter now as this boosts the power limit and there is still thermal throttling taking place. With the -0.150v undervolt applied to the CPU in purple the temperatures don’t change, but we’ll see in the next graph how this helped with performance, and then no real difference with the overclocks applied in dark blue at the top.

These are the average clock speeds for the same tests just shown. Again starting down the bottom in green while gaming we can see a nice improvement when we enable the max fan profile as the power limit of the CPU gets boosted.

With the undervolt applied in orange the clock speeds are able to get even higher, but with the overclock applied in this game I was seeing slower results due to power limit throttling. With the stress tests it’s a similar story, we’re basically able to get 4.

0GHz on all 6 cores under this worst case scenario with full CPU and GPU load. These are the clock speeds I got while just running CPU only stress tests without any GPU load. Out of the box with the normal fan profile shown in light blue we’re not getting that great of a result, we can easily improve this by undervolting or boosting the power limit in Intel XTU, as shown by the green and yellow bars respectively.

With the max fan profile in orange we’re now getting better results, though still not able to get the full 4.3GHz speed that all cores have been overclocked to due to power limit throttling. Boosting the power limit further in red allows us to start getting higher clock speeds, I just set it to 100 watts or something fairly high.

Finally in the purple bar with a combination of undervolting, power limit boosting, and manual overclocking I’m able to get all 6 cores to 4.4GHz and actually achieve this speed under stress test. To demonstrate how this translates into performance I’ve got some Cinebench CPU benchmarks here, with an i7-8750H just there for comparison as it’s the next level down.

At stock the result isn’t great, though once we boost the power limit we’re at least getting performance comparable to the 8750H. Applying the CPU undervolt helps improve things a little and then with all cores overclocked we start seeing some further improvements.

Here are the GPU only clock speeds while under a graphical only stress test both at stock and with a 200MHz GPU core overclock applied, although on average in this test we’re only seeing a 100MHz boost due to power limitations on the graphics, and I wasn’t able to modify this with MSI’s Afterburner.

As for the external temperatures where you’ll actually be putting your hands, at idle it was sitting in the low 30s. While gaming the keyboard area is in the low 40s while the area just above the keyboard reaches 50, which should be fine as you aren’t typically putting your hands there, and very similar results were observed when under CPU and GPU stress test, and it’s worth noting the area where your wrists sit stayed fairly cool in comparison.

As for the fan noise produced by the laptop, I’ll let you have a listen to some of these tests. At idle the fans were still a little audible, and while gaming it was perhaps a little quieter than many other laptops I’ve tested, with around the same result while under stress test.

If we max the fans out it can get quite loud though, however the Aorus software does allow you to customize the fan speed in 15 different stages of speed control. Overall I thought the performance was pretty decent considering the powerful specs inside.

Although the CPU does get quite hot, as expected, but as shown with undervolting and boosting the power limit we are able to get quite a bit of performance out of it. Finally let’s take a look at some gaming benchmarks.

As mentioned earlier by default the Aorus X7 runs with the normal fan profile, which caps the CPU TDP to 40 watts. I’ve done all of the following gaming tests with the max fan profile enabled, so the power limit has been boosted to 55 watts and all cores have been overclocked to 4.

3GHz, as I think that would be a pretty common way people would make use of the laptop without going in and manually tweaking undervolting, power limits and clock speeds, but I will show how these changes affect performance later.

Other than that I was running Windows 10 with all updates applied and these Nvidia drivers, so let’s see how well it runs! Fortnite was tested with the replay feature, and even at epic settings the average frame rate was close to the refresh rate of the screen, with even the 1% low result still above 100 FPS with even higher results at lower settings, although it ran perfectly smoothly at epic anyway.

Overwatch was tested playing in the practice range, and once again very high average frame rates even at epic settings, although the 1% low results are quite low comparatively, though still good overall, and the 300 FPS cap could be hit at medium and low settings.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider was tested with the built in benchmark, I still haven’t tested this out on too many laptops yet, but the average frame rates look pretty good here compared to the others that I have tried it on, with 100 FPS and above at high settings or below.

PUBG was tested using the replay feature, and although this is a less optimized game we’re able to get some pretty good frame rates, with above 100 FPS averages possible at high settings or below, and the lower settings are actually allowing us to put the 144Hz display to use.

CS:GO was tested using the Ulletical benchmark, and the results are fairly high here for a laptop, over 400 FPS at minimum settings on 1080p with the 1% low result not too far behind the refresh rate of the display.

Rainbow Six Siege was tested with the built in benchmark, and was another that ran well at basically all setting levels, with 1% lows at ultra settings not far behind the refresh rate of the display, so even the dips in performance weren’t bad.

Far Cry 5 was also tested with the built in benchmark, and the results for this test are pretty good, almost averaging 100 FPS at ultra settings with up to 120 seen at low settings. Assassin’s Creed Origins is another game that I’ve tested using the built in benchmark, and here we’re seeing pretty good results for this somewhat intensive test, even at ultra high settings the frame rates are pretty decent, as I don’t personally think this game needs a high frame rate to play.

Dota 2 was tested using an intensive replay as a worst case scenario, these results do NOT represent real game play, which would perform higher, but are comparable to my previous Dota 2 benchmarks. Testing Battlefield 1 in the first campaign mission ran well at all setting levels, although the 1% low results were a fair bit below the averages, however I didn’t personally really notice any dips in performance while playing, and this doesn’t really change much at lower settings anyway.

Watch Dogs 2 is a demanding game, although it doesn’t really need a high frame rate to play, but despite this even at ultra settings we’ve got pretty nice results and still very playable, with not too much of a difference as we drop the setting levels down.

Ghost Recon is another demanding game and was tested using the built in benchmark, and we’re just able to average 60 FPS in this test at ultra settings, so still playable though a much better experience at pretty much any other setting level.

The Witcher 3 was playing great at all setting levels, though I did have Hairworks disabled here. Above 100 FPS averages at ultra settings in this game are pretty nice results for a laptop, and these increase a fair bit as we step down in setting levels.

I’ve got a few more games covered in the dedicated gaming benchmark video if you’re interested. All of the games tested are giving us pretty nice results, I think this is only the second or third laptop I’ve ever had with Nvidia GTX 1080 graphics, and paired with an overclockable CPU we’re seeing pretty good results, although performance does depend on the specific game and settings in use.

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.

As we saw earlier, we’ve got the option of overclocking the CPU and graphics, so let’s see how this actually helps improve gaming performance. The exact same Windows updates, game updates and Nvidia drivers were installed so there shouldn’t be any changes other than these overclocking, undervolting and power limit boost changes.

Far Cry 5 was retested using the built in benchmark, and there wasn’t much difference in this title, just a 2.3% improvement to average FPS with the overclocks applied at ultra settings. Fortnite was retested using the exact same replay, and there was a little more improvement in this game, with a 6% better average frame rate at epic settings and a 5% improvement to the 1% low results.

It looks like with the power limit boosting, overclocking and undervolting combination we can extract a little extra performance out of the laptop. As for storage, in Crystal Disk Mark the 512GB M.2 NVMe SSD is giving us pretty good results, and remember there’s space to install a second NVMe M.

2 drive too. The 1TB 7,200RPM hard drive on the other hand is giving us typical speeds of a spinning disk. The SD slot was also performing very well, as a UHS-II slot my V90 rated card achieves good results.

For updated pricing check the links in the description, as this will change over time. At the time of recording here in Australia it’s going for around $4200 AUD, or around $2850 USD in the US on Amazon, so fairly pricey as you’d expect for a laptop with Nvidia GTX 1080 graphics, you’re paying for the best.

Based on the specs competition would be something like the Alienware 17, though that costs more but does have the slightly better i9 CPU, either way I haven’t personally really tested anything that directly compares to these specs just yet myself.

So what did you guys think of the Aorus X7 gaming laptop? Overall it’s very impressive, it’s got excellent build quality and it feels great. The specs are amazing, and you can boost performance a bit with CPU and GPU overclocking, though as expected it will run hot with all that power, even after some undervolting.

The battery life wasn’t too great despite the large battery, although not too unexpected with these powerful specs and G-Sync. Either way it’s definitely a very premium laptop and as a result comes attached with a premium price, personally I’d probably go for the smaller 15 inch and cheaper Aorus X5, but that’s just because for me 1070 graphics are perfectly fine.

Let me know if you’d be interested in seeing a comparison between the X5 and X7 in a future video, and of course I’m interested in hearing what you guys thought of the X7 down in the comments. Thanks for watching, and don’t forget to subscribe for future tech videos like this one.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here