Aorus 17 Review

Discussion in 'Gigabyte and Aorus' started by Desertf0x9, Dec 23, 2019.

  1. Desertf0x9

    Desertf0x9 Notebook Evangelist

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    Introduction: Just so you get a sense of where I’m coming from. I have a small form factor PC with 2080ti and 9900k as my desktop. I’ve been running a macbook pro 13(2013) as my daily work laptop. I wanted a 17 inch gaming laptop cause I’ve found that 15.6 inch is too small for me to enjoy. I’ve owned an area 51m for nearly a year now. I’ve used a razer blade 15 with 1070 maxq, razer blade pro with 2080 maxq, and a GS75 with 2060.

    Several things with the area 51m bothered me enough to start looking at other options. The lunar light finish seems to tarnish easily with no way to really clean it up. The Alienware software was slow, buggy, and restrictive. There were many instances where it stopped working and was quite the chore to uninstall and reinstall. However, the main thing was lack of nvidia optimus. I mean I specifically got the version without gsync so I could have that feature, then to find out it wasn’t available basically ruins the actual laptop function. I didn’t mind a larger bulkier, heavier laptop for all that power. I actually liked that the Alienware area 51m came with a 240 watt and 330 watt brick. What I didn’t like was when you were running a single brick they severely limited GPU performance to essentially half with no way around it. I would have preferred it to limit the CPU performance to half and maybe restrict GPU power to 150 watt. Mind you I have a small form factor PC I can pack up quite easy and transport around easily. Each Alienware update forced a new bios version that was restricting performance. Aside from that, I loved the new design, it felt light for what it was, it had good cooling performance, good keyboard and I was getting good performance on my area 51m with overclocked 9700k to 4.9 ghz and 2080 undervolted and running around 1900 mhz. The Aorus 17 seemed to check all the boxes, even with a lower powered 9750h.

    Case: Admittedly I didn’t like the way the Aorus 17 looked in pictures online, but seeing it in person it’s not as bad as I expected. The black color hides majority of th Still looked way too gamer and too busy but it was likeable enough. The chassis was extremely rigid and sturdy. The whole thing felt well-built and the size and weight was somewhere between a razer blade pro 17 and the area 51m. Only negative is the laptop feet on the bottom were uneven and made the entire laptop wobble which drove me nuts. Hope this isn’t any indication of their quality control. Razer blade pro 17 has the best design and feels very solid and premium while maintaining a very slim form factor. The Aorus 17 and area 51m are both twice as thick. I like the area area 51m design, but the soft touch material seems to tarnish easily and not easy to clean. At least with aluminum you can easily wipe away the fingerprints. The GS75 is the lightest of the bunch but also the flimsiest

    Power Supply: I have the 9750h model with the 2080 graphics card which comes with TWO 330 watt power bricks. They are frigging huge. I really wish manufacturers would really find a way to minimize the brick size. I think packaging it with two 330 watt power bricks is overkill, maybe they could have included a 240 watt for easily portability like the Area 51m or offer usb-c charging like the mothership. I don’t actually have a USB-C charging so I’m not able to see if I’m able to do it. The good news is that it runs very well with just a single 330 watt brick which is how I run it a majority of the time. No matter what anyone tells you having two bricks just makes the portability just that much worse.

    Keyboard:

    The keyboard seems to be the main selling point of this laptop. It’s a joy to type on, but maybe a little clicky for my taste. Still if you love mechanical keyboards then you’ll love this one. The area 51m had a good keyboard as well so there were no complaints there. I really disliked the razer blade pro keyboard, mainly because the cntrl key was too small and the weird placement of the left shift throwing off the other keys. Finally, the gs75 keyboard was too mushy and didn’t really enjoy typing on, but was useable.

    Trackpad: All 4 laptops had glass trackpads, but I found the area 51m to be the least responsive. GS75 has a good trackpad but was too wide and you would often run into issues with palm throwing things off. The razer blade pro is probably my favorite in terms of size and feel, but the Aorus 17 is a close second, it’s large enough without getting in the way which occasionally happens. Nothing beats apple macbook trackpads though.

    Performance: Performance is excellent, and cooling is fantastic as well. This thing is loud though. I’ve been running it under gaming fan profile because I find the other modes are a little inconsistent and the noise of the fan ramping up and down is a lot more irritating than just having the fans go on constantly. Even at idle and mild tasks you can hear the fans running. The gaming profile maxes out at 70% fan speed and trust me I haven’t needed anymore than that.

    I have my system undervolted by -150 mv and my GPU overclocked by +139. With a single power brick I’m usually hitting 50 watt limit on the CPU and 150 watt limit on the GPU. That’s plenty and Firestrike 1080p I get an overall score of 20568 and GPU score of 26711. My max CPU temp during that run was 84 degrees and Max GPU is 65 degrees.

    With two power bricks you get the full 200 watt 2080 and I got a Firestrike score of 21131 and a GPU score of 28235. In practice I found the fps differences in games to be minor and even with the single 330 watt brick I was hitting close to 2000 mhz consistently on the 2080. I basically keep one 330 watt brick on my desk and one in my backpack for traveling. I don’t see any reason to run both.

    Area 51m is still offers better gaming performance with the desktop CPU, but realistically I don’t think you’ll be able to notice a difference compared to the aorus 17. The advantage of the Aorus 17 comes in that you only need one 330 watt battery to get essentially 95% of the gaming performance. I saw a 3 FPS difference using one power brick versus two power bricks running shadow of the tomb raider benchmark. The advantage of carrying around one 330 watt brick makes it much more portable than the area 51m.

    Battery: It comes with a 94 watt battery which is quite large and the ability to switch graphics to igpu with a restart. Now this is the main reason why I decided to give the Aorus 17 a shot and it’s because it has switchable graphics. I am able to get 5-6 hrs of battery life using powersaver mode, limiting my screen brightness to about 10%, screen set to 60 hz, XTU limiting the cpu to 15 watt which is quite reasonable. I’m able to do light word processing tasks or stream videos and I’m quite happy with this. The Area 51m without optimus was stuck at 2 and a half hrs with all my power saving tweaks. The razer blade pro I was able to get about 7 hrs, and the GS75 I got approximately 8 hrs.

    Others: I won’t go into the other stuff, but port selection is excellent and well placed. I have everything I want or need. RGB illumination on the aorus 17 is excellent. On my area 51m the lighting was different between the display, and the power button versus the keyboard. The aorus software is pretty decent and offers a lot of functionality without running slow. I’d prob rank it first compared to Alienware, Razer, and MSI. Razer is second place because it’s simple and effective, but I did wish they offered better fan control. MSI is way too busy and not intuitive at all, coming with way too much bloatware. Alienware is very slow, buggy, and doesn’t work half the time and is dead last. Speakers are awesome, loud and clear. I’m not an audiophile but I would rank it first, with razer blade pro being a close second, followed by the Area 51m and GS75 being dead last.

    Overall thoughts: I’m very impressed with the Aorus 17. They’ve fit a powerful beast in a relatively small laptop (within its class) without excellent cooling, and a lot of features. It’s a good desktop replacement and a multimedia laptop. It’s got good enough battery to lug around and get some work done without being plugged in. I think the key features here are the switchable GPU with a reasonable 5-6 battery life performing productivity tasks. Also, the ability to run one 330 watt power brick is a huge plus. It’s got great port selection, awesome gaming performance, a 240 hz display, sweet keyboard, and a good touch pad.

    Ironically Dave 2D put out this video when he reviewed the Aorus 17 laptop, which is a shame cause his discussion overshadows the Aorus 17’s actual review. Though I think he raises a good point.

    If this is your only laptop/PC and you must get a desktop replacement class laptop, this is what I would recommend. It does everything very well at the expense of noise compared to the other desktop replacements.

    In this day and age though I feel like small form factor pc has really replaced the need for desktop replacement laptop. I run one as my main PC which is why I feel the way I do. I have no problem packing everything in a backpack and transporting it from place to place.

    With that said I think ultimately, I’ll probably go for the razer blade pro for the fact that it does the things that a laptop should do, well. It’s thin and portable enough to fit most of my bags. It’s got reasonable battery life, good multimedia functions, and a 2080 maxq that runs 100 watt putting it closer to the 2080 max p rather than the max q variant. It’s also got a less gamer aesthetic so I wouldn’t feel so awkward pulling it out at work.
     
    DaMafiaGamer and GTVEVO like this.
  2. Jalen9762

    Jalen9762 Notebook Evangelist

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    Is there an owner's lounge for this laptop
     
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