Today we are gonna review one of the premium gaming laptops Gigabyte Max X5 MD-KL4K3M, better known as Aorus X5 MD. This 15 incher is considered one of the focal contenders of beasts like the Asus ROG Zephyrus. Let’s see how it stacks up in comparison to the others.
- CPU – Intel Core i7 Quad-Core (7th Gen), 2.9 GHz
- GPU – 8 GB DDR5, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 with Max-Q technology
- Memory – 32 GB DDR4, extendable up to 64 GB
- Screen – 15.6-inch Ultra HD IPS (3,840 x 2,160) with G-SYNC technology
- Storage – 1 TB SATA HDD + 256 GB SSD
- OS – Windows 10 Home edition
- Performance – So what has this beast of a machine got? It includes a powerful Intel Core i7 processor which can be overclocked up to 4.3 GHz by Command and Control software, 32 gigs of RAM which can be expanded up to 64 GB and a hybrid storage of 256 GB SSD and 1 TB HDD. With this configuration, it can handle even the most gruesome task quite easily.
- Display – Aorus X5 MD comes equipped with a 15.6-inch 4K IPS display with anti-glare coating. The visuals look stunning on this UHD panel. The average brightness of the screen can be found around 290 nits which frankly speaking isn’t anything stellar. It, in fact, is a bit lying on the lower end of the range. Next is the colour coverage. It performed surprisingly well in this challenge. It showed nearly a 95% sRGB coverage of the colour gamut. This X-Rite PANTONE certified screen (which I honestly don’t really know how much matter anyway) comes pre-calibrated from the factory which is not a common thing at all.
- GPU – It comes with a Max-Q version of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 GPU. It’s considered the ultimate mobile gaming GPU from NVIDIA till now. It is able to run even the newest and most infamous titles known to make most of the other laptops come down to their knees. Games like the Witcher 3 (>60 fps in 1080p Ultra, ~25 fps in 4K Ultra), Fallout 4 (>75 fps in 1080p Ultra, ~40 fps in 4K Ultra) and Doom (>100 fps in 1080p Ultra, >30 fps in 4K Ultra) ran at an awe-inspiring >60 fps in 1080p settings; although it struggled a bit to run them fluently in 4K settings. But curiously enough it turned out that this Max-Q 1080 is somewhat lacklustre in comparison with a full-fledged GTX 1080 (or even a 1070). More about it in detail later.
- Cooling – Now a high-performance laptop like this one begs for a great cooling system. While the fans are not that bad at all but they do seem a bit inefficient for a high-performance machine like this. As usual, it seems there is no problem whatsoever doing lightweight tasks like web surfing or even photo editing. The highest temperature never seemed to cross the safe boundary of 35°C (95°F). But gaming for an hour or so made the underside of the keyboard deck as hot as 55°C (131°F) near the vents with some parts of the top side as hot as 46°C (115°F). So it can be really uncomfortable putting it on your lap with it becoming scorching hot. You better use a cooling pad for a better experience.
- Low power GPU – It’s no wonder that Max-Q variation of a GPU usually underperforms in front of the standard version. They are designed such they can be made fit in the slim chassis of the modern laptops; even at the expense of the performance. But the relative deviation in the performance in the case of GTX 1080 is a bit too prominent. When we compare the performance of the Aorus X5 MD with Alienware 17 R4 with a full blown 1080 GPU we notice that X5 MD is at least 15-25% less powerful than Alienware (it, in fact, falls even behind the ROG Zephyrus sometimes which includes a Max-Q 1080). This happens for both being a Max-Q GPU and also due to the GPU consuming less power than the others.
Now, Gigabyte Max X5 MD-KL4K3M isn’t perfect. As stated earlier the GTX 1080 can underperform at times. And for the price range, I think there shouldn’t be such issues. Considering the pros and cons I would say it can be a choice for your desktop replacement, but it certainly won’t be the best one.