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Product Listing

Gigabyte Aorus 15 XA review: Roaring fast

By Koh Wanzi - 28 Oct 2019
Launch SRP: S$2999

Productivity & gaming performance

Test setup and performance

Here's a full list of the notebooks we're looking at:

  • Aorus 15 XA
  • ASUS ROG Strix Scar III GL531GW
  • Acer Predator Triton 500
  • Lenovo Legion Y740

I picked a mix of GeForce RTX 2070 and 2070 Max-Q laptops to show how the Aorus 15 stacks up against the closest competition.

Take note that the ASUS ROG Strix Scar II GL531GW is equipped with single-channel memory out of the box, but for more equal footing comparisons against most other dual-channel memory configuration notebooks, we've got a special set of results from this ASUS notebook after running it with dual-channel memory and that's what we've chosen for comparison in this review.

Test notebooks compared
  Gigabyte Aorus 15 XA ASUS ROG Strix Scar III GL531GW Acer Predator Triton 500 Lenovo Legion Y740 (9th Gen)
  Gigabyte Aorus 15 XA ASUS ROG Strix Scar III GL531GW Acer Predator Triton 500 Lenovo Legion Y740 (9th Gen)
Launch SRP
  • From S$2999
  • From S$3598
  • From S$3198
  • From S$3599
Processor and Chipset
  • Intel Core i7-9750H (2.6GHz, 12MB L3 cache)
  • Intel Core i7-9750H (2.6GHz, 12MB L3 cache)
  • Intel Core i7-9750H (2.6GHz, 12MB L3 cache)
  • Intel Core i7-9750H (2.60GHz, 12MB L3 cache)
Operating System
  • Windows 10
  • Windows 10
  • Windows 10
  • Windows 10
System Memory
  • 16GB DDR4-2666 dual-channel RAM
  • 16GB DDR4-2666 single-channel RAM
  • 16GB DDR4-2666 dual-channel RAM
  • 32GB DDR4-2666 dual-channel RAM
Video & Display
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070
  • 15.6-inch 1,920 x 1,080-pixel 240Hz IGZO display
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070
  • 15.6-inch 1,920 x 1,080-pixel 240Hz IPS-type display
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
  • 15.6-inch 1,920 x 1,080-pixel 144Hz IPS display
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
  • 15.6-inch 1,920 x 1,080-pixel 144Hz IPS G-Sync display
Storage
  • Intel 760p 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
  • Seagate Barracuda 1TB HDD
  • Intel 660p 1TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
  • 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
  • Western Digital PC SN720 NVMe 512GB M.2 SSD
  • Seagate Barracuda Pro 1TB HDD
Optical Drive
  • None
  • None
  • None
  • None
Connectivity
  • Killer Wireless-AC 1550i
  • Killer E2500 Gigabit Ethernet Controller
  • Intel Wireless-AC 9560
  • Realtek PCIe GbE Family Controller
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Killer E3000 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet Controller
  • Killer Wireless-AC 1550i Wireless Network Adapter
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Killer Wireless-AC 1550i Wireless Network Adapter (9560NGW)
  • Realtek PCIe GbE Family Controller
Audio
  • Built-in stereo speakers
  • Built-in stereo speakers
  • Built-in stereo speakers
  • Built-in Dolby Atmos speakers
I/O Ports
  • 3x USB 3.1 (Gen 1) Type-A
  • 1x USB 3.1 (Gen 2) Type-C
  • 1x HDMI 2.0
  • 1x Mini DisplayPort 1.3
  • 1x RJ-45
  • 1x microSD
  • 3x USB 3.1 (Gen 1) Type-A
  • 1x USB 3.1 (Gen 2) Type-C
  • 1x HDMI 2.0b
  • 1x RJ-45
  • 3x USB 3.1 (Gen 1) Type-A
  • 1x Thunderbolt 3
  • 1x HDMI 2.0
  • 1x Mini DisplayPort 1.4
  • 1x USB 3.1 (Gen 2) Type-A
  • 2x USB 3.1 (Gen 1) Type-A
  • 1x Thunderbolt 3
  • 1x Mini DisplayPort 1.4
  • 1x HDMI 2.0
  • 1x RJ-45
  • 1x 3.5mm mic/headphone combo jack
Battery Type
  • 62Wh
  • 66Wh
  • 84Wh
  • 57Wh
Dimensions
  • 361 x 246 x 24.4mm
  • 360 x 275 x 24.9mm
  • 358.5 x 255 x 17.9mm
  • 361.42 x 267 x 22.45mm
Weight
  • 2.4kg
  • 2.57kg
  • 2kg
  • 2.2 kg

I ran the notebooks through the following benchmarks:

  • PCMark 10
  • AS SSD
  • 3DMark
  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
  • Far Cry 5
  • Metro Exodus
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider
  • Tom Clancy's The Division 2

 

How good is it for work?

PCMark 10 Extended evaluates systems based on workloads that can be categorized into four distinct groups, comprising Essentials, Productivity, Digital Content Creation, and Gaming. This includes tests such as app start-up times, web browsing, word processing and spreadsheets, photo and video editing, and rendering and visualization tasks. Finally, gaming performance is evaluated using the Fire Strike benchmark. 

The Aorus 15 has a good showing in PCmark 10, handily beating the other notebooks in the Productivity, Digital Content Creation, and Gaming benchmarks. In terms of overall scores, it was ahead of the ROG Strix Scar III by around 10 per cent, despite the latter also being equipped with a GeForce RTX 2070 Max-P. 

 

What's the storage performance like?

The Aorus 15 ships with a 512GB Intel SSD 760p as its OS drive and a secondary Seagate Barracuda 2TB HDD. The Intel drive fell somewhere in the middle of the pack for all the AS SSD benchmarks, although its sequential write performance lagged behind the rest. 

 

How fast is it in games?

The Aorus 15 showed itself to be a top performer in our gaming benchmarks, consistently taking the lead most of the time. 

Taken as a whole, the GeForce RTX 2070 Max-P has a clear lead over its Max-Q counterparts. For example, the Aorus 15 was nearly 13 per cent faster than the Legion Y740 in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided  and 11 per cent quicker in Tom Clancy's The Division 2

I tested the Aorus 15 again after updating the BIOS and Azure AI to see whether there was any performance difference with the quieter and less aggressive fan curve, but there didn't appear to be any significant differences. 

7.5
  • Design 7.5
  • Features 8
  • Performance 8.5
  • Value 8.5
  • Mobility 4
The Good
Excellent gaming performance
Reasonable price
Speedy 240Hz display
Plentiful I/O options
The Bad
Fans get insanely loud at maximum speed
Thick, heavy chassis
Dim RGB backlighting on keyboard