This right here is a premium gaming laptop which in many ways is as fast as many people’s gaming rigs. It is Aorus 15G and it features Intel’s 10th gen i7 CPU with RTX2060 graphics card accompanied by 240Hz display. One of the most notable features is a full size mechanical keyboard which is surprisingly satisfying. Let’s talk about it.
As mentioned earlier, this baby rocks Intel i7 10875H CPU which is an 8 core 16 thread chip with base clock of 2.3 GHz and boost up to 5.1GHz. Our model is paired with 16GB RAM but you could go all the way up to 64GB with two DIMM slots. This model has a more budget set-up with RTX 2060 under the hood, but it can be upgraded all the way up to RTX 2080 Super Max-Q. It’s nice to see that Gigabyte has chosen to put a nifty 512GB NVME drive and it still has a room for a second M.2 drive. So spec-wise we are looking pretty good, before we get into testing and performance, let’s have a closer look at the exterior and IO.
The laptop has a non assuming silver-grey design, it is a little thick at 1 inch – a big part of that is vents on the sides and at the back to provide cooling for pretty powerful components. But surprisingly enough, on the outside it doesn’t scream “gaming laptop”. So a proud owner could get away bringing it into a meeting without getting funny looks.
As far as IO is concerned it features a well-rounded selection of ports. On the left hand side we have full size HDMI 2.0 and mini display port 1.4, single USB 3 port, Headphone and Microphone Combo Jack as well as a network point. On the opposite side we have a barrel style DC power point and a full size SD card reader – nice! It also sports a single Thunderbolt 3 port and two USB type 3 ports. Overall there is a whole stack of ports, but I would have liked them to be positioned a little bit better as when you plug a few cables in it starts to get a bit crowded on the desk.
As this is a gaming laptop, it does come with a chunky 230W power adapter to keep it fed while you are ripping it up.
I was actually surprised with the included battery. This unit comes with a 94Wh battery with up to 8 hours of claimed battery life. We ran PCMark 10 Modern Office battery life test and it hit 6 hours and 36minutes which is really impressive considering this is a gaming laptop.
One small but actually really pleasant thing is the ability to open the lid one-handed. The hinges work smoothly and feel solid. Once opened, we are greeted with a nice matte 15.6 inch screen with very small top and side bezels. The screen is actually X-rite Pantone certified so this laptop can also be used for colour accurate work such as photo and video editing. While this display has no touch support, it does boast 1080p resolution with 240Hz refresh rate, unfortunately it does not support G-SYNC so running games at a very high frame rate would be preferred to ensure smooth game play. More on that later on.
Because of these small bezels, the webcam is placed below the screen, on the deck itself, turning it into a chin facing webcam… And we all know it’s not the most flattering angle. Additionally, you can’t even change the angle since it lays firmly in the base of the device. Aorus team probably assumes gamers will already have a webcam and maybe even a full streaming set-up. For us “normies” – well, we are stuck with it. At least there is a built-in privacy cover.
Next we have the star of the show, pun intended. The full size fully RGB mechanical keyboard with Omron switches. While these keys are the low profile, they do still have 2.5mm travel distance. It has per-key RGB backlight illumination, meaning you can customise the LED colour of each key if you wish or choose one of their presets. I have been using mechanical keyboards for many years and more recently moved to using Logitech G915 which is using low profile mechanical keys – due to this, I feel the learning curve is not as steep. Others will probably need some time to adjust. It’s also nice to find a full suite of F1 through F12 keys on top of the number row. Usually they get buried under function keys. Overall I am really happy with this fully featured keyboard.
The touchpad feels OK but is rather small. When I put three fingers over it, it is basically fully covered. As this is aimed at gamers – I imagine they would always have a mouse nearby and with this in mind it is actually better to have a smaller touchpad with larger palm rest which is exactly what is happening here – they have left enough space to comfortably rest your palms without interfering with the touchpad. It’s nice to see that Gigabyte has also gone the extra mile and included a fingerprint reader. It’s a small detail that makes the overall experience more convenient.
Ok, I think we are ready to actually see how powerful this laptop actually is, so let’s check some benchmarks starting with a few triple A titles. In Shadow of The Tomb Raider we see 68 average FPS and 61 FPS on 1 percentiles.
Something that is really apparent straight away – when playing games on this laptop the fans considerably ramp up and become loud. If we then turn the fans to max speed we gain extra 1FPS which obviously is not worth it. While we are on the subject of sound – the speakers are pretty loud and quality is ok, I wish it had a bit more base, but it’s a laptop, not a stereo system, so overall I would rate it as decent. Do bear in mind, if you are gaming then the fan noise will interfere with the sound, so it is probably best to use headphones anyway.
Back to gaming, In Ghost Recon Breakpoint we see 78 average FPS and 61 FPS on 1 percentiles. Again when turning the fans up to full, we gain extra 1 FPS. When we look closer at the results we see that GPU is a massive bottleneck here.
Next we have a more reasonable game – Overwatch and here at maxed out settings we see 80 average FPS and 62 FPS on 1 percentiles. In this game it is important to have smooth game play and after all we have 240Hz display so we turned down the settings to medium and now are getting 166 average FPS and 118 FPS on 1 percentiles. Better but still not great.
Going down to an even less demanding game CS:GO and here we have 241 Average FPS and 142 FPS on 1 percentiles which is very reasonable and at this point we are utilising the high refresh rate panel. But even here I would say – turning down the settings is advisable as we are still being bottlenecked by the RTX2060.
Someone buying a laptop like this will likely do some productivity tasks as well, and 15G delivers rather well. In Cinebench R20 single core test we have a score of 445 and multicore score averaging just short of 3000.
Next we ran PCMark test against my DIY PC which has Ryzen 5 3800XT with RTX 2060 GPU and the results are rather surprising. Of course DIY PC has higher scores, it has full size components without thermal and power restrictions, at the same time Aorus 15G is keeping up in most general productivity tasks and actually beats our Ryzen system in web browsing scores. The big loss is in the GPU department and more specifically video editing and rendering scores where it falls far behind.
To summarize, first kudos to the Intel chip doing its work across all of these tests, but it is clear that in gaming and video editing this RTX2060 GPU is simply not enough. I would say unless you intend to play CS:GO or similar titles with medium settings then either go for a 144Hz panel or save up for the version with RTX2070 or above. Upgrading the graphics card will also make this into a very capable editing machine.
The Aorus 15G is definitely not cheap but it has enough power to deal with basically any of the commonly used applications and providing you choose a higher end GPU you can then play basically any game at high settings.
And if you are looking to save some money, don’t really want the mechanical keyboard and are willing to sacrifice some performance then Aorus 15P or even Aorus 5 & 7 are some of the devices worth checking out.
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