Aorus, the gaming brand for Taiwan-based Gigabyte, has announced a new variant of its 15.6-inch X5 gaming notebook at Computex 2017, dubbed the Aorus X5 MD. This notebook is unique in that it sports Nvidia’s fastest mobile graphics card, the GeForce GTX 1080. This card is routinely seen in high-end 17.3-inch gaming notebooks, but not as often in anything smaller.
Less Than One Inch Thin
The claim to fame for the Aorus X5 MD is its 0.90-inch thinness, which is impressive for a 15.6-inch gaming notebook in general, let alone one that houses a GeForce GTX 1080 GPU. The Aorus X5 MD has what Nvidia calls Max-Q design, allowing a thinner and lighter chassis with quieter fans.
Earlier this year, we tested the 15.6-inch Eurocom Tornado F5 (MSI 16L13) with the same graphics card. It was 1.6 inches thick, though some of that might have been due to its use of a desktop-class processor. The Aorus X5 MD, by comparison, uses Intel’s Core i7-7820HK quad-core processor, which should be able to get close to desktop-level performance. Aorus says it supports overclocking. We’ll be anxious to get our hands on one to test out its cooling. The Aorus X5 v5 we tested last year ran rather hot under extended gaming load; we’re hoping that Max-Q changes that.
Aorus X5 MD Specifications
Aorus has announced the following specifications for the X5 MD:
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 GDDR5X 8GB
- 7th Gen. Intel Core i7 Overclocked Processor
- Thunderbolt 3: Up to 40Gbps Transfer Speed
- 32-bit ESS Sabre Hi-Fi Audio DAC
- Island-Style AORUS RGB Fusion Keyboard: Per-Key RGB Backlight
- 15.6″ UHD 3840 x 2160 IPS Anti-Glare (Optional)
- X-Rite Pantone Certified Display
- NVIDIA G-SYNC: Tear-free, Super Smooth Display
- Chassis Designed for Cooling
- Multi External Display Support: 3 Surround Display
- Versatile Fan Control | 10 Stage Deep Fan Control
- mDP 1.3 | External 8K Display Output
Given the 4K display is listed as optional, we’re expecting there to be another choice of display. The current Aorus X5 models offer 1080p 120Hz and 3K panels. A 4K display has not previously been available on the Aorus X5. Also of note is that Aorus is factory calibrating these displays with X-Rite Pantone technology. It’s rare we have color issues out of the box with the notebooks we test, though we’re certainly not going to complain about extra effort being put into that area.
Of final note is the per-key RGB backlit keyboard. Next to Razer’s Blade series notebooks, such as the Blade Stealth, we’re not aware of another notebook that offers such a keyboard. Each key on the keyboard can be changed to one of 16.7 million colors. This feature already exists on the Aorus X5 v6 and X7 v6 models.
The expected availability for the Aorus X5 MD is in Q4 of this year, although pricing has not yet been announced. Given the current X5 v6 models with the GeForce GTX 1070 graphics card go for between $2,099 and $2,399, we’d expect the X5 MD to retail for at least $2,799. Finding a notebook equipped with a GeForce GTX 1080 GPU for less than that in today’s market is uncommon. One of its closest competitors for the X5 MD be the larger $3,999 17.3-inch Razer Blade Pro V2, which is another sub-one-inch thin gaming notebook with a GeForce GTX 1080 GPU.