Have some questions before buying aero 15?

Discussion in 'Gigabyte and Aorus' started by JDV57, Oct 1, 2017.

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  1. JDV57

    JDV57 Newbie

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    First time poster here...

    I waited forever for Asus to release the zenpad pro 550 and I thought I wanted it, but after their horrible way of handling the release (as far as asking questions, etc.) I think I'd like to go for an Aero 15 instead.

    So, here are my questions for all of you smarter than me people:
    GeForce GTX 1060 vs GeForce 1050Ti - which one is better? (I do light gaming, Photoshop, video stuff)

    It seems like Gigabyte has good screens from what I've read, I gave up on the 4K idea because of windows stupid scaling issues. I like that the aero has a number pad on the keyboard as I actually use this a lot. And, I admit, I love the colored keys :)

    I really want to know about the speaker sound also. I cannot use ear buds or headphones (damaged ears) so I use the speakers alot for music. I was customizing one for fun on xoticpc and I saw a sound card update? So, maybe they could make the sound better? I don't know... does anyone know what that would mean?

    I was configuring an Aero 15 on multiple online store sites and it seems like xoticpc seems like the best to buy from, am I wrong on this? I've been using HP forever, but they don't have what I want and they seem to have gone way down hill. So I am new to buying from stores online like this, so it's kinda scary not knowing which are the good ones. Should I buy an additional warranty from on online site?

    In practicing customizing, I keep picking the "1TB Samsung 960 EVO M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD (Read 3200MB/s - Write 1900MB/s)" hard drive but have no idea if this is a good one, I'm choosing by price.

    What does IC Diamond Thermal Compound - GPU & CPU mean and should I add it (or an alternative)?
    Should I add the "no dead pixel" warranty? And apparently there is some "back bleed" problems, so should I add that too?
    I usually always have my laptop in my lap, so I'm concerned about how hot the aero gets? I've read many conflicting reviews about this. I almost always have it plugged in, so battery life is not really important to me.. I've read a lot of posts about paying to have a "clean install" and am wondering how much bloatware they put on that you can't take off? I have always been used to removing bloatware (cause you know HP).

    I've been searching for about a year now and just have to make a decision so I would definitely appreciate all the help I can get from people who know more that I do!

    Thank you in advance!
     
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  2. HussainQ

    HussainQ Notebook Evangelist

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    I would say the 1060 is better, you just get more performance. Also considering the Aero 15 does not have a 1050Ti variant, the least you can settle for is the 1060.

    The speakers are bottom facing, so they are not as good as, say the macbook pro's speakers which have more base and face upwards.
    They get pretty loud, but lack in terms of quality due to the above reason.

    IMO The stock 2 year warranty is good enough, but to be on the safe side, you probably should take some warranty from wherever you decide to buy the laptop.

    Backlight bleed is a mixed bag. It's really unpredictable in terms of if you will have it on your unit, and how much of it will be present. I have very minimal bleed on my unit.
    Dead pixel warranty rarely gets used since dead pixels aren't very common, so I wouldn't get it.

    In terms of thermals, the laptop does get very hot under high loads, but it is completely fine during regular loads. If thermals are a big issue (since you say you do some "video stuff") I would suggest getting a re-paste since I've seen that it does wonders for thermal performance.

    Hope this helps!

    Definitely wait for a second opinion as well!
     
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  3. CedricFP

    CedricFP Notebook Evangelist

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    The speakers are one of the weaker parts of the overall Aero 15 package, IMO. They get loud, but are distorted at loud volumes and because they are down-firing, the sound is further muffled since it bounces off your desk.

    I am not sure what a "sound card" upgrade is, but in modern PC computing, there is no need for a dedicated sound card unless you're doing professional-grade sound stuff, and in those cases, a USB DAC is usually the way to go.

    Further, even if you could improve sound quality by upgrading the "sound card", it would still be limited by the quality of the speakers, which aren't great. So if it's a cost-added option, I wouldn't bother with it, since it's not like you need a more powerful DAC to drive headphones or w/e as you can't use them.

    RE the 1TB Evo, it is worth it to note that in practice, the difference between the Evo (a top of the line NVME consumer SSD) and any other cheaper 1TB option is something you don't 'feel'. If your work flow will involve copying huge amounts of data - either tons and tons of tiny files or a few massive files - then you'll benefit from this drive. But if your workflow is standard games / word / youtube stuff, then picking a cheaper 1TB option is a better value proposition.

    The bloatware situation on the Aero 15 is really not that bad, and everything can be uninstalled from Add/Remove programs. I had a fresh install of Win 10 Pro on mine, but I ended up reinstalling all the Gigabyte apps like Smart Manager because they are useful.

    As @HussainQ has mentioned, light bleed is hit or miss. I also have a unit with minimal bleeding (just a bit along the bottom), but there are some users in the Owners Lounge that have really bad light bleed. *shrug* It's kind of a lottery.

    IC Diamond is a thermal compound. In simple terms, it is what helps to carry the heat from your CPU/GPU into the heatsink. If you can afford it, I would go for the IC Diamond option because then you'll be getting at the very least a good paste job. Sometimes, the stock paste job is pretty bad and that can cause high temperatures.

    I don't use my Aero 15 on my lap so I can't comment on that, but my unit doesn't get very warm on the bottom during normal operation. In fact, it is the keyboard deck above the keyboard that gets warm as that is where the heatsink placement is.
     
  4. JDV57

    JDV57 Newbie

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    thank you to all who have answered so far.. I have no idea what a "re-paste" is?
     
  5. HussainQ

    HussainQ Notebook Evangelist

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    Basically getting XoticPC, or whoever you order from, to apply another thermal compound (such as IC Diamond) would be considered a "re-paste" where the original thermal paste is removed and a new one is applied.
     
  6. Support.2@XOTIC PC

    Support.2@XOTIC PC Company Representative

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    1060 all day.

    That's a holdover from desktops. You don't need it on a laptop unless you have particular audio hookups, and if you aren't already looking for something like that you can leave it off. That said, If you can, invest in a good set of external speakers. The worst external speakers are better than the best laptop speakers IMO.

    I mean you know how I'm going to answer that first part. :) But seriously, if you've got any worries, DM me or even better, talk to our sales department, they will be address any concern you might have. As for the warranty, I usually get them personally but that part is up to you.

    Samsung is one of the best SSD manufacturers out there. Unless you are transferring huge files a lot, you could likely get away with an 850 Evo instead and not notice a difference.

    It's a thermal compound that outperforms the manufacturer compound. I recommend it for any build.

    Since OEMs don't usually cover individual or small numbers of dead pixels, having that policy is your best defense against them. Backlight bleed is a trickier thing, since it can vary greatly from screen to screen, and what manufacturers consider defective can also vary.

    I recommend against using laptops in your lap without a lapdesk or notebook cooler. Many of these laptops have intake vents on the bottom and your clothes can block them. Best operation is on a flat, hard surface.

    If you upgrade the primary drive, it's automatically a clean install. Clean install varies by system, as not every manufacturer puts the same things on their systems.
     
  7. JDV57

    JDV57 Newbie

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    Thank you!
     
  8. ryajso

    ryajso Notebook Consultant

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    Aero 15 is the best laptop I've ever owned, I'm coming from a 2014 Razer Blade and Asus UX303 for reference. 1080p is indeed much easier to live with than 3K/4K, the DPI doesn't bother me too much and the calibration is a lot better on the Aero. I think people are disappointed that it isn't more saturated or contrasty per say, but using my Spyder 5, it's pretty spot on for photo work. I also love the added ports and the SD slot is a huge plus for photography. The keyboard is firm but crisp with more travel than the majority of laptops.

    The speakers are good but not great, volume is higher than the Razer but they lack the same kind of depth due to their orientation (downward firing vs upward firing). Stereo separation is still quite good, they don't distort too much and quality is fine, they have a little bass with the Dolby Music profile and great vocal clarity for movies and videos. Of course, I would still recommend a set of external speakers, even a small Bluetooth speaker if you intend to use them for music. On that note, perhaps you can look into a set of in-ears with APEX or ADEL modules, I review audio over on The Headphone List and this is some of the most interesting technology I've come across, a lot of users with afflictions like tinnitus love it.

    The GTX1060 is a great chip and a considerable upgrade over the 1050Ti. I also mainly use the laptop for photo and video editing and the laptop never struggles, the screen also makes it ideal since the resolution is enough and the contrast/calibration are fabulous. The CPU is strong and I never run out of RAM, the GTX1060 even plays PUBG on high at 1080p which is no small feat, that game runs like Jared pre Subway diet.

    The thermals are a lot better than the Razer, the fans are quieter and the system runs cooler in general. It never throttles even during 5+hr gaming sessions and runs even cooler with a little undervolting. The repaste might help further but it isn't entirely necessary. It has some of the better thermals I've come across from a slim gaming laptop. During normal tasks, using the quiet cooling profile, the fans don't even turn on and the laptop doesn't get hot at all.

    What surprised me most about this laptop was the battery life. My gosh it is good. I easily hit 7hrs using chrome, word and some Photoshop/Lightroom. If I just browse, type and watch videos, I can stretch that to 8-10hrs. This is using the balanced profile, max cpu set to 99% to disable turbo boost and screen at 40% with no unorthodox battery saving measures.

    All in all, the Aero is a terrific laptop, it's not cheap but I'm sure it is one of the most balanced devices on the market, it really ticks all the boxes for me. It's probably not for everyone but in my location it's only $200 more than an XPS15 which makes it a bargain in my eyes.
     
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  9. JDV57

    JDV57 Newbie

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    Thank you for your in depth review, but I finally ordered a MSI GE63VR Raider which is supposed to be here by Thursday. I hope I like it and if I don't, i have your great review for a backup...

    thanks again!
     
  10. Support.2@XOTIC PC

    Support.2@XOTIC PC Company Representative

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    Good write-up. Thanks!
     
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