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Product Listing

Gigabyte Aorus X9 DT review: A laptop to replace your desktop

By Koh Wanzi - 5 Jan 2019
Launch SRP: S$5999

Performance benchmarks

Test setup

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

  • Gigabyte Aorus X9 DT
  • MSI GT75VR 7RF Titan Pro
  • ASUS ROG Scar II
  • Razer Blade

The MSI GT75VR 7RF is equipped with last generation's Core i7-7820HK processor, also an overclockable chip, so you get an idea of how much of an improvement you get from upgrading to this generation's flagship laptop chip. Given that the Gigabyte Aorus X9 DT is the most powerful machine we've tested this year, we also included the ASUS ROG Scar II and Razer Blade to show the performance drop-off as you move down to the GeForce GTX 1070 and GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q.

Test notebooks compared
  Gigabyte Aorus X9 DT MSI GT75VR 7RF Titan Pro ASUS ROG Strix Scar II GL504GS Razer Blade (2018)
  Gigabyte Aorus X9 DT MSI GT75VR 7RF Titan Pro ASUS ROG Strix Scar II GL504GS Razer Blade (2018)
Launch SRP
  • From S$5999
  • From S$5899
  • From S$3398
  • From S$3899
Processor and Chipset
  • Intel Core i9-8950HK (2.9GHz, 12MB L3 cache)
  • Intel Core i7-7820HK (2.9GHz, 8MB L3 cache)
  • Intel Core i7-8750H (2.2GHz, 9MB L3 cache)
  • Intel Core i7-8750H (2.2GHz, 9MB L3 cache)
Operating System
  • Windows 10 Home
  • Windows 10 Home (64-bit)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • Windows 10
System Memory
  • 32GB DDR4-2666 dual-channel RAM
  • 32GB DDR4 RAM
  • 16GB DDR4-2666 single-channel RAM
  • 16GB DDR4-2667 dual-channel RAM
Video & Display
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080
  • 17.3-inch 1,920 x 1,080-pixel 144Hz IPS G-Sync display
  • 17.3-inch 1,920 x 1,080-pixel 120Hz display
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070
  • 15.6-inch 1,920 x 1,080-pixel 144Hz IPS-type display
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
  • 15.6-inch 1,920 x 1,080-pixel 144Hz IPS display
Storage
  • Transcend MTE850 1TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
  • HGST Travelstar 7K1000 1TB HDD
  • 2x 256GB M.2 PCIe SSD in RAID 0
  • 1TB 7,200RPM HGST Travelstar 7K1000
  • Toshiba XG3 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
  • Samsung PM981 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
Optical Drive
  • None
  • None
  • None
  • None
Connectivity
  • Killer E2500 Gigabit Ethernet Controller
  • Killer Wireless-AC 1535
  • Aquantia AQtion 10Gbit Network Adapter
  • Wireless 802.11ac/b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 4.2
  • Intel Wireless-AC 9560
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Intel Wireless-AC 9260
  • Bluetooth 5.0
Audio
  • ESS Sabre HiFi Audio DAC
  • 2x 2W Speakers
  • 2x 2W Subwoofers
  • 1x Dual-Array Microphone
  • Dolby Atmos
  • 2x 3W Speaker
  • 1x 5W Woofer
  • 2x 3.5W speakers with Smart AMP technology
  • Built-in stereo speakers
I/O Ports
  • Thunderbolt 3.0 x 1
  • HDMI 2.0 x 1
  • mini DP 1.4 x 1
  • RJ45 x 1
  • USB 3.1 Gen.2 (Type-A) x 2
  • USB 3.1 Gen.1 (Type-A) x 1
  • USB 3.1 Gen.2 (Type-C) x 1
  • Audio Jack : Earphone (HiFi / SPDIF) x 1
  • MIC in x 1
  • SD Card Reader (UHS-II) x 1
  • 1x Thunderbolt 3
  • 5x USB 3.1 (Gen 1) Type-A
  • 1x RJ45
  • 1x SD (XC/HC)
  • 1x (4K @ 60Hz) HDMI
  • 1x Mini DisplayPort
  • 1x USB 3.1 (Gen 2) Type-C
  • 2x USB 3.1 (Gen 1) Type-A
  • 1x USB 3.1 (Gen 2) Type-A
  • 1x HDMI 2.0
  • 1x Mini DisplayPort 1.2
  • 1x audio combo jack
  • 1x SD card reader
  • 1x RJ-45
  • 1x microphone-in, headphone-out jack
  • 1x Thunderbolt 3
  • 3x USB 3.1 (Gen 1) Type-A
  • 1x HDMI 2.0b
  • 1x Mini DisplayPort 1.4
Battery Type
  • 94.24Wh Li-ion
  • 75Wh
  • 66Wh Li-ion
  • 80Wh Li-ion polymer
Dimensions
  • 428 x 305 x 22.9-25.4mm
  • 428 x 314 x 31-58mm
  • 361 x 262 x 26.1mm
  • 355 x 235 x 17.3mm
Weight
  • 3.59kg
  • 4.565kg
  • 2.4kg
  • 2.1 kg
Miscellaneous
  • Low-profile mechanical switches
  • Per-key RGB lighting

We ran the notebooks through the following benchmarks:

  • PCMark 10
  • 3DMark
  • VRMark
  • Ashes of the Singularity
  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
  • Tom Clancy’s The Division

 

Benchmarks

 

PCMark 10 Extended

PCMark 10 Extended assesses the performance of systems in a variety of workloads, including basic computing tasks, productivity applications, digital content creation, and gaming. Compared to PCMark 8, it also adds in new test metrics, such as app startup times, which quantifies how long it takes to launch a variety of real-world apps, and a rendering and visualization workload to simulate professional graphics and engineering applications. In addition, existing workloads have been updated to reflect modern usage.

The Aorus X9 DT didn't really impress in PCMark 10. It was slightly ahead of the Razer Blade, but fell behind everything else, including the MSI GT75VR 7RF Titan Pro. That said, a look at the score breakdown shows that it did power ahead in the Gaming benchmarks, and it mainly lagged in the areas of Productivity and Digital Content Creation. 

 

3DMark

3DMark is a more relevant assessment of gaming performance, and it puts the system through a range of graphics and computational performance tests at different resolutions, starting at 1080p and going all the way up to 4K.

Fortunately, the Aorus notebook redeemed itself in 3DMark, coming ahead of the MSI laptop by roughly 15 per cent in the Fire Strike benchmark. It was also a good 33 per cent faster than the Razer Blade and its GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q.

 

VRMark

Futuremark’s VRMark benchmark is designed to assess a PC’s ability to handle high-performance headsets like the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. If a PC passes the Orange Room test, it is ready for the latter two systems. The benchmark also has a target frame rate of 109FPS, and I've included the average FPS each notebook managed to provide a clearer measure of their respective performance. 

The Aorus X9 DT also took the lead here, edging out the older specced Titan Pro by 12 per cent.

 

Ashes of the Singularity

Ashes of the Singularity is a demanding real-time strategy game that puts thousands of units on screen, and it’s capable of pushing even the most powerful GPUs. However, it can be CPU-limiting at lower settings.

I don't have DirectX 12 results for the MSI laptop, so those figures are missing from the graph. That said, a look at the DirectX 11 numbers shows the Aorus X9 DT quite a bit ahead of everyone else, coming in at around 33 per cent ahead of the Razer Blade. 

 

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Mankind Divided is one of the most demanding titles to run today, but the Aorus X9 DT is more than capable of delivering a playable experience.

Oddly enough, it looks like the Aorus X9 DT and MSI GT75VR 7RF Titan Pro were forced into a situation where the CPU became the limiting factor at High settings. Conversely, the Aorus notebook had its chance to shine at Ultra settings, where it outstripped the MSI notebook by 26 per cent. 

 

Tom Clancy's The Division

The Division isn’t as demanding to run as Ashes of the Singularity or Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, but its Snowdrop engine can still stress cards with the use of dynamic lighting and the like.

The Aorus X9 DT was 9 per cent faster than the MSI laptop here, and a good 36 per cent quicker than the Razer Blade. 

8.0
  • Design 8
  • Features 9
  • Performance 8.5
  • Value 6.5
  • Mobility 6.5
The Good
Excellent mechanical keyboard
Superb gaming performance
Reasonably thin for its specifications
Portable for a DTR machine
The Bad
Large and heavy compared to more compact options
Expensive
Fans can get really loud
Unimpressive speakers