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Shootouts

15.6-inch gaming notebook shootout: Hitting the sweet spot

By Koh Wanzi - 3 Jun 2017

Temperature, battery life & portability

Temperature

Note: We tested the Acer Predator 15 without the Predator FrostCore module installed.

We measured the external temperatures of the four quadrants of the notebook after looping the 3DMark Fire Strike stress test for 15 minutes.

There are few standouts here, and the important thing to note is the temperatures on the left and right palm rests. None of the notebooks ever became hot enough to be uncomfortable to touch.

One thing to point out is the low CPU temperatures of the Aftershock S-15. While the other notebooks ran at above 70°C, the Aftershock was a chilly 61°C. We’d like to think that was due to an excellent cooling system, but the fact that the laptop actually lags behind other GeForce GTX 1060 notebooks suggests that there may be some performance throttling going on.

 

Battery life and power consumption

Our battery life tests involve running the battery life benchmark in PCMark 8 Home at 50 per cent screen brightness with Wi-Fi running.

The Gigabyte P35X v6 was the most impressive here, as it turned out power consumption figures that were second only to the less powerful Aftershock S-15. On top of that, it had the longest battery life despite not having the largest battery. On the other hand, the ASUS ROG Strix GL502VM did particularly poorly, falling behind the Aftershock by quite a bit even though it had a slightly bigger battery.

We were also not surprised to see that the Aorus X5 v6 had the highest power consumption figures, and thus the worst efficiency. That was always going to be one of the trade-offs of it having the most powerful hardware, and that shows in its subpar battery life numbers as well.

 

Portability index

Our portability index is an objective measure of how portable a notebook is, taking into account factors like size, weight, and battery life.

The MSI GS63VR 6RF Stealth Pro did very well here, coming ahead as the undisputed leader. The Aorus lagged behind here because of its poor battery life, but it still did a lot better than its Acer and Alienware counterparts, the two notebooks which are arguably its closest competitors in terms of features and performance.

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