Gaming

Aorus X5 gaming laptop packs a punch

Gamers will like the keyboard on the Aorus X5. It has an extra row of keys on the left that can be assigned to user-created macros.
Gamers will like the keyboard on the Aorus X5. It has an extra row of keys on the left that can be assigned to user-created macros.PHOTO: AORUS

Two Nvidia GeForce GTX 965M graphics chips give huge boost to performance

This laptop is perfect for gamers who broadcast their games to online audiences using streaming video services such as Twitch.

These gamers use special software tools to record and stream their gameplay videos. But this method taps valuable system resources and may affect gaming performance. The Aorus X5 has a dedicated processor from Avermedia to address this. It is a niche feature that caters to a minority of gamers. Unsurprisingly, the Aorus X5 is the only gaming laptop I know of with such a feature.

A less esoteric feature is the use of two Nvidia GeForce GTX 965M graphics chips running in tandem inside this laptop. While this configuration does not result in twice the gaming performance, it still means a significant performance increase compared to machines that use a single GTX 965M.

  • TECH SPECS

  • PRICE: $3,799

    PROCESSOR: Intel Core i7-5700HQ (2.7GHz)

    GRAPHICS: Nvidia GeForce GTX 965M SLI 8GB GDDR5

    RAM: 16GB

    SCREEN SIZE: 15.6 inches, 2,880 x 1,620 pixels

    CONNECTIVITY: 4 x USB 3.0, HDMI, Mini-DisplayPort, VGA, Ethernet port, SD card slot, audio jacks

    BATTERY: 73 watt-hour

  • RATING

  • FEATURES: 5/5

    DESIGN: 4/5

    PERFORMANCE: 4/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 3/5

    BATTERY LIFE: 1/5

    OVERALL: 4/5

Playing Bioshock Infinite at the maximum setting of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels, I found the two GTX 965M chips combined to produce 97.20 frames per second (fps). I got similar numbers with the Aftershock S-17 gaming laptop, which has a single Nvidia flagship GeForce GTX 980M mobile graphics chip.

The Aorus X5 supports Nvidia's G-Sync technology. This feature synchronises the display refresh rate with the frame rate produced by the graphics chip to prevent screen tearing, which are horizontal lines that you may see in games. While G-Sync has been available in a number of gaming monitors, it was launched for laptops only a couple of months ago.

The laptop uses an IPS display with a high screen resolution of 2,880 x 1,620 pixels. Viewing angles are excellent.

Gamers will like the keyboard on the Aorus X5. It has an extra row of keys on the left that can be assigned to user-created macros. Key travel is good for a relatively slim laptop.

I like that Aorus has gathered useful gaming-centric system settings, including fan speed, keyboard backlight and screen brightness, in a custom app. My favourite: A setting to disable the Windows logo key so I do not hit it accidentally during a gaming session and exit to the Windows desktop.

The laptop runs quietly for tasks such as video playback. But it can get really loud when running a game, when its fans kick in at full blast. This is perhaps unavoidable because its dual graphics chips require more cooling than the usual single chip solution.

The bottom of the laptop feels warm even when its fans are spinning at maximum speed, so I would not recommend playing a game with the X5 on your lap.

Like most gaming laptops, the Aorus has dismal battery life. It lasted merely 2hr 14 min in our video- loop battery test.

  • Verdict: The powerful but noisy Aorus X5 is packed with the latest features.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 09, 2015, with the headline 'Aorus X5 gaming laptop packs a punch'. Print Edition | Subscribe