2016 was an exciting time for gaming notebooks. NVIDIA’s new Pascal GPUs proved to be quite a game changer, as mobile graphics chips were now performing closer than ever to their desktop counterparts. In fact, one could argue that there is no longer any such thing as a mobile GPU from NVIDIA, as the company has dispensed with the -M suffix to signify that its mobile and desktop GPUs are now one and the same.
Sure, there are certain tweaks to make them better suited for notebooks, but NVIDIA is otherwise claiming performance within 10 per cent of desktop graphics cards. This performance parity means that you’re no longer trading away a ton of performance when you opt for a gaming notebook instead of desktop.
This puts 15-inch gaming notebooks in an especially attractive position, and they are poised to offer an attractive combination of graphics firepower and decent portability. For this year’s awards, we rounded up 15-inch gaming notebooks from the various brands to see which best satisfied the above expectations.
Aorus is Gigabyte’s premium gaming brand, and the X5 v6 is quite clearly designed to appeal to the crowd for whom money is no object. At S$3,799, it is the most expensive laptop of the eight reviewed, but it justifies its price with a combination of powerful hardware – the best of the lot – and a slim and light chassis. It is the only notebook to feature an overclockable Intel Core i7-6820HK processor, and our review unit came overclocked out of the box at 4.0GHz. In addition, it features an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 GPU and 16GB of RAM, and manages to cram all that in a chassis that is just 22.9mm thick and weighing 2.5kg.
Some of the other notebooks, like the Acer Predator 15 and Alienware 15 boast similar specifications but are an entire kilogram heavier, which only makes what Aorus has done even more impressive. The X5 v6 checks all the right boxes for performance and portability, but it extends its lead with a higher resolution 2,880 x 1,620-pixel IPS G-Sync display and per-key RGB backlighting.
Here's a quick snapshot of its performance from our shootout:
|Model/Criteria||Acer Predator 15||Aftershock S-15 (2016)||Alienware 15||Aorus X5 v6||ASUS ROG GL502VM||Gigabyte P36X v6||MSI GS63VR 6RF Stealth Pro|
For more details on how we selected our winners, check out the full reviews and articles listed at the References section at the end.