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Mech. Keyboard & Ultrathin Bezel Display – AORUS 17 Ultimate Gaming Laptop


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Recent 2 years GIGABYTE launched many Mid-High level laptop, want to gain more market share.
Now the hottest series are Gaming and Creator market
The AERO series for Creator market, designed with 15” and 17”, with many HW combination models.
AORUS is for Gaming series, mainly with 15” and 17” design.
This time we got GIGABYTE AORUS 17, the brand new design with highest SPECs.

Many brand like DELL, ASUS, MSI, they all separate Gaming notebook with 2 categories.
One is slim type with mid-high level Hardware, another is larger muscle notebook with highest Hardware SPECs.
AOTUS 17 is the 2nd type muscle book, but with thin bezel and slimmer chassis.
It’s kind of combination of both advantage of slim and strong power.
A side metallic chassis, with AORUS eagle Logo and dual lines to create speedy style.
The backside extend part is small, center stripe and both side airflow exhaust comes with LED light bars.

Dimension of this 17” NB is 396(W)x 293(D)x 38(H)mm, weight about 3.75kg
Actual weight is 3780g, compare its solid chassis and top level hardware, the size, thickness and weight all smaller than the previous review of Dell Alienware Area-51m.

B side and C side chassis design
AORUS 17 comes with 3 version of WA, XA and YA, YA is the top level.
It depends on CPU, Display and GPU combinations difference.
This article is TA version, comes with Intel Core i9-9980HK and GeForce RTX 2080

The C side 17.3” display, YA version with AUO FHD display.
Refresh rate is 240Hz, 3ms response time, match the top gaming display format.
Each notebook display passed the color calibration of X-Rite™ Pantone from factory.
Delta E <1 is very close to original color display, it helps a lot for many user environment.
3mm ultrathin bezel design, very rare design even on other ultrathin notebooks.
The HD resolution on the bottom side, the dark noise is higher, but still very smooth.

C side material is most important for user, because it will touch by fingers and palm rest.
The touchpad is very sensitive with high level NB quality, left & right holes for speakers.
Left down side showed “Made in Taiwan”, right down side is feature label.

AORUS eagle image power bottom, showed white light when boot up.
Back left and right side of vents design with style shape, comes with straight line colorful light for gaming style.
In front of C side with 2 zones light control, support RGB Fusion 2.0
Keyboard is the most special design, high light as world’s 1st OMRON switch slim mechanical keyboard.
Key Switch cap is round design, to make the LED light more balance, the light is more beautiful.

The key press up to 15Millions times lifecycle, 2.5mm slim key distance.
The 1.6mm trigger point is better than other top-level laptops of membrane keyboard.
Compared with Cherry keyboard switch still have some difference on feedback and click sound, that depends on personal preference.
According to my 10 years experience of Cherry switch keyboards, use OMRON switch keyboard shall not have big difference.
This design make the 17” muscle design of top level gaming notebook could be slimmer.

The right side
From left side, USB3.1 Gen1(Type-C) / UHS-II SD Card Reader
2x USB3.1 G1(Type-A)/ chassis vents.

The left side
From left, vents, / DP 1.4 & USB3.1 (Type-C)
Thunderbolt3(Type-C) / USB3.1 Gen1(Type-A)
Microphone jack / Headphone jack (Support Hi-Res Audio and SPDIF)

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The back side
Both right and left side are vents, IO port from left side is HDMI 2.0
AORUS 17 YA version with dual AC power input, 330+330W
Killer Ethernet E2600 LAN chip of RJ45 port

D side design
Emphasize the fighter jet, exotic car, and phoenix element shapes.
The vents on bottom side with phoenix image style, even D side comes with special art design.
With their latest WINDFORCE Infinity cooling technology, thermal efficient up to 37% enhancement.
Buit-in dual 12V of 51 blade fans, 5 heatopies, 4 airflow vents and Vapor Chamber.

Display open angle up to 125 degree, with Li Polymer 94Wh battery.
CPU and GPU main difference is i7 9750H or i9 9980HK, RTX 2060, RTX 2070 or RTX 2080 graphics.
The RTX 2070 models with 1 330W adaptor, and RTX 2080 support dual 330W adaptor.
Below is the AORUS 17 and dual 330W adaptor compared image

AORUS Control Center software
Open the software, main page “Smart Dashboard”
Mainly for system monitor, hardware condition and hardware working status.
On right top side is their AI interface, through Microsoft Azure cloud data to calculate and analysis.
AI could analysis the program and user behavior, to adjust CPU and GPU power consumption.
In the simple way that AI to optimize hardware performance, and make better software working experience.

Manager page looks like mobile phone interface.
Mainly show the function status and instant on/off.
The very rare design of “Graphic Switch” function, let user could use Discrete GPU or with NVIDIA Optimus for Intel UMA function.

C side chassis with 5 lighting zone, with 8 main color type and colorful brightness adjust design.

Keyboard light adjust page, built in 10 more lights shining mode.
Full range color light, support RGB Fusion 2.0

Fan speed control with silent, normal, gaming mode, also with deep control mode.
User could depends on preference to set any fan speed at any temperature.
Besides, the fan speed up to 4700rpm

Nahimic 3D sound software
Recent years tested many MSI gaming notebook all used this software
The interface and function already revised many versions, comes with lots features.
Mainly apply 4 sound stages, with 3 type to make it richer sound effects.

Microphone page got chat and conference mode, with 3 function to adjust.

Below is AORUS 17 speaker sound experience, this is subjective.
High frequency: Not too sharp, very rich detail, very high quality present.
Middle frequency: Overall clear and brilliant, human vocal is rich but still a bit thin.
Low frequency: Low frequency present clean, not turbid, woofer of drum sound is a bit weak.
Overall the built in speaker did achieve top level gaming notebook quality, if the detail could adjust will be better.
External speaker designed with ESS SABRE Hi-Fi DAC, up to 24bit/192KHz data rate.
Enough to push 16~600ohm mid-high level headsets, it’s a really good benefit for headset oriented users.

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AORUS 17 with Intel i7-9750H and i9 9980HK
This YA version with 9980HK, 8 Cores 16 threads, basic clock 2.4GHz and single core up to 5GHz.
Fan Speed set to “Normal”, about 2000~4000rpm to test CPU performance.
CPUZ 1.90.1
Single CPU => 523.5
8C16T multi CPU => 4592.3
Fritz Chess Benchmark => 56.74 / 27236

CPU => 1703 cb
CPU(Single Core) => 198 cb

CPU => 3754 cb
CPU(Single Core) => 472 cb

Geekbench 5
Single-Core Score => 1290
Multi-Core Score => 6511

Running Time => 2m 17s
x265 Benchmark 2.1.0 => 52.14FPS

PCMARK => 6745

Below i9 9980HK test progress of power consumption, system idle about 90W
If its full Cores test, it’s about 180W more, so single 330W is enough.
Around CPU test process it’s quiet, full speed will not be too noise.
AORUS 17 already delivered full performance of i9 9980HK, not like many slim type notebook will drop a bit of CPU performance.
I did test DT replacement Dell Alienware Area-51m with i9 9900HK, only about 10% higher on the CPU performance.
AORUS 17 with 9980HK on performance, power consumption, noise and temperature with very good balanced quality.

High light the only All Intel Inside components, and very rare of “Made in Taiwan”
Used Intel CPU, WiFi card and Intel 760P SSD.
AORUS 17 could install 2x M.2 SSDs and 1 2.5” SATA storage.
SSD test part – CrystalDiskMark
Seq Read - 3088.5 MB/s,Write - 1600.4 MB/s
AS SSD Benchmark - 3057
Seq Read - 2708.30 MB/s,Write - 1546.10 MB/s
4K - 64Thrd Read - 879.27 MB/s,Write - 1027.30 MB/s

This Intel 760P of read speed up to 3230MB/s, write speed up to 1625MB/s
If compared to PCIe x4 of M.2 SSD performance, Intel 760P is mid-high level.
Intel SSD take most advantage from stability and good quality, if comes with other higher SSD will be better.

Here comes 3D performance test. With GeForce RTX 2080 GDDR6 standard version.
Test result used dual 330W adaptor, single 330W adaptor results in the bracket for comparison.
Besides also attached previous test result reference from other high-level notebooks.
Installed NVIDIA GeForce 441.41 Driver. Win10 updated to 1909 version.
3DMARK Time Spy => 10422 (10149)
RTX 2070=>9102,RTX 2080 Max-Q=>7509

1080P MEDIUM => 19461 (19084)
RTX 2070=>15193,RTX 2080 Max-Q=>14942

1920 X 1080 HIGH=> 20021 (19786)
RTX 2070=>17832,RTX 2080 Max-Q=>15638

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1920 x 1080 3D effect set to highest, start character in lobby, - 393FPS (386FPS)

Apex Legends
1920 x 1080, Video setup to highest
Practice mode start theme – 245FPS (234FPS)
RTX 2060=>119FPS,RTX 2080 Max-Q=>147FPS

Monster Hunter: World
1020 x 1080, 3D effect set to highest, opening theme – 95FFPS (91FPS)
RTX 2070=>75FPS,RTX 2080 Max-Q=>71FPS

Resolution 1920 x 1080, set 3D effect to very high
Built in benchmark tool – rendering frames 6918 (6766)
RTX 2070 rendered frame 6784, 2080 Maxx-Q rendered frame 5654.

Battlefield V
1920 x 1080, Graphics setup Auto: Max Fifelity
DX12 and NVIDIA DLSS option, opening theme – 171FPS (164FPS)
2080 Max-Q=>138 FPS

AORUS 17 only with RTX 2080 support dual adaptor design.
With game test could see, single adaptor performance some are the same, some with performance gap less than 5~10%.
With single 330W adaptor, under heavy 3D games might loaded up to 320W
Dual adaptor will become half power consumption for each, 2nd adaptor could be the backup or used for extreme performance usage.
Not like some top level notebook need to plug on 2 adaptor to insure the highest performance.
AORUS 17 only need to being 1 out, make dual adaptor more flexibility for users.
Highest version with RTX 2080 is the top of notebooks, all comes with extreme performance on 3D benchmarks or gaming,
Some game play present are big gap from 2080 Max-Q, even mush stronger than 2070.

Burn-in Temp. test.
Ambient temp. 27˚C, proceed Intel Core i9 9980HK cooling test.
Fan speed set to full speed, about 4500~4600rpm
Run the LinX 0.7.1 at full speed, 52~65˚C, maxima up to 83.

The fan speed up to 4500rpm with CPU burn in test, the fan noise up to maxima status.
LinX burn in is often to see 2 clock of 3.89GHz-1.08V and 2.4GHz-0.83V
Core Temp. showed TDP is 58W, the AORUS 17 cooling seems still got enough power.
Suggest the BIOS could adjust a bit to drive higher speed clock and TDP to gain more performance.

FurMark mainly for GPU RTX 2080 burn in test.
GPU 1485MHz / MEM 7000MHz
Run FurMark got idle of 58˚C and full speed 73˚C

With FurMark burn in test, keyboard side around 28~31˚C, upper side 32~36˚C, left & right side vents 46~51˚C
Back side vents 42~57˚C, D side air intake vent 33~50˚C, so the rear side vent got higher temp.
If set fan to normal mode, used for internet, video or songs, speed around 2000rpm, less noise.
Fan speed over 3000rpm will get higher noise, and 4500rpm will even higher.
The noise level closer to mid-low frequency got less uncomfortable feeling, could wear headset or use speakers if needed.

On the battery life, Microsoft Azure AI set to “Battery Save Mode”.
Used Wi-FI link to internet and playback YouTube video at DVD 480P format, dual GPU switch GPU mode test.
Set on “dGPU” mode with RTX 2080, 1 hour with 67% left, 2 hours with 30% left, 2h25m with 8% left.
Switch to iGPU to use Intel UMA and Optimus, 1 hour with 77%, 2 hours with 59%, 3 hours with 39%, 4 hours with 19%, 4h40min with 6% left. Support GPU switch mode did have better flexibility for longer battery life.

Summarized on AORUS 7 (I9 9980HK/RTX 2080 8G)
Key features and advantages:
1. Solid chassis, assembling quality, ID design achieve the top-level notebook quality.
2. Top nVIDIA RTX 2080 of highest 3D performance version, with Graphic Switch function.
3. First mechanical keyboard notebook with OMRON switch, high durable and high quality type feedback.
4. YA version attached AUO FHD 240Hz display, 3 side ultrathin bezel.
5. Each notebook display with X-Rite Pantone color calibration from factory side, and fulfill the high standard of Delta E<1.
6. AORUS Control Center and Nahimic 3D sound software got rich functions.
7. ESS Sabre Hi-Fi DAC high-level sound chip make higher level headset sound experience.
8. WINDFORCE Infinity with dual 12V fans, 5 heatpipes, 4 vents of high level cooling.
9. Support Microsoft Azure AI auto adjust to get higher efficient and performance.
10. Outstanding WINDFORCE Infinity cooling system performance, dual 330W adaptors are more flexible.

Need to be enhanced or improved
1. A side metallic chassis if under strong lights, easier to get fingerprint image.
2. WebCam got lower resolution and quality, hope it could be improved.
3. The biggest CPU power up to 58W, could make it higher to raise up 9980HK performance.
4. If the 5 zones of surround chassis lights could have full RGB colors will be more beautiful.

Performance Rating ★★★★★★★★★☆ 92/100
Material Rating    ★★★★★★★★★☆ 90/100
Specification Rating ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 88/100
ID design Rating ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 88/100
Cost Performance Rating ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 80/100

GIGABYTE is gearing up to make better features products and tracing in the mid-high level gaming notebooks.
Besides of Ultrabook, also the first thin bezel & high performance laptop AERO 15.
This year they launched new version of AERO 15 OLED, provide creator markets with more unique features to users.
AORUS 15 of 2019 version goes to thin bezel and lighter design, for mid-high level gaming market.
And this article comes with latest top level Gaming Notebook AORUS 17, it’s the most featured gaming notebook.
On this kind of top level gaming notebook SPEC. with ultrathin bezel and mech. Keyboard with OMRON switch, could reduce the size and weight and very outstanding.
GIGABYTE designed in the ultrathin bezel and slimmer chassis with very high quality detail on recent AORUS and AERO series.
Hope that GIGABYTE could have more series for Mid-High level notebooks, to enhance the weakness or improve the weakness.
If could offer same SPEC. or same level notebook market more competitive price, this will be another good choice on top-level notebook market. :)

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