Performance is usually the highlight of any gaming notebook and it’s where the Aorus X7v2 has made the biggest strides. The most notable addition to the refreshed laptop is the pair of Nvidia GeForce GTX 860M SLI enabled GPUs. The two 4GB GPUs offer a whopping 8GB of DDR5 visual memory allowing the slim gaming laptop to compete with even the most powerful desktop replacements on the market. There is a limitation to SLI though, as performance scaling (or how well the power of the two GPUs is utilized) is dependent on the software’s design. While most games and software applications will utilize the two GPUs fairly well there is the rare occurrence where users could see a drop in performance.
The Aorus X7v2 also offers expanded storage options allowing users to add an additional drive over the previous model. As with the previous model, the Arous X7v2 employs a RAID 0 design offering incredibly fast read and write speeds.
Along with the new GPUs, the Arous X7v2 Notebook Review tested features a 2.5GHz Intel Core i7-4710HQ CPU (up to i7-4860HQ), with 16GB of DDR3 (up to 32GB), three 128GB SSDs (up to 512GB) RAID 0 and a 1TB HDD (up to 2TB) for $2,300. The Aorus X7v2 is a bit more expensive than some competing options such as the MSI GT70 Dominator, but it’s worth nothing the device also offers a considerably slimmer form factor and stronger performance as well.
Considering the Aorus X7v2 tops or is near the top of every benchmark test, it comes as little surprise the device offers excellent performance. The laptop is capable of running just about every program you throw at it. In terms of games the laptop is can run everything on the market and will run most games at the highest graphical settings with excellent performance.
To test the device Notebook Review played Diablo 3: Reaper of Sous at max graphical settings and a 1920 x 1080 resolution. Even with the settings cranked all the way up the Aorus X7v2 was able to the run the game at 130 frames per second, more than doubling the 60fps that the MSI GT70 Dominator ran at.
Our review unit of the Aorus X7v2 had the following specifications:
- Windows 8.1 (64-bit)
- 2.5GHz Intel Core i7-4710HQ CPU
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 860M SLI (8GB GDDR5)
- 16GB of DDR3
- mSATA 384GB (128GB x3) SSD (RAID 0)
- 1TB HDD (7200 RPM)
- Killer Lan
- Bluetooth 4.0
- Dimensions: 16.8” x 12” x 0.9”
- Weight” 6.6lbs.
- Price: $2,300
wPrime processor comparisons (lower scores mean better performance):
PCMark 7 measures overall system performance (higher scores mean better performance):
3DMark 11 is a benchmark that measures overall graphics card performance for gaming (higher scores mean better performance):
CrystalDiskMark storage drive performance test:
Heat and Noise
While the Aorus X7v2 may not be as big as a desktop replacement it can be just as hot and just as loud. The Aorus X7v2 houses two fans along the back left and right hand corners of the chassis. Because of the placement of the fans, the Aorus X7v2 is actually able to offer 4 vents two along the back end of the chassis and one along the right and left of the chassis. The device also uses 5 thermal pipes that distribute the heat between the various vents and pipes.
The back portion of the chassis runs warm to the touch, even when the device isn’t being taxed. Upon loading up a game or another demanding application the fan immediately begins to kick in, creating a steady hum of noise. The laptop never gets hot enough to the point where the integrity of the machine is in question, but the bottom of the chassis heats up to where using the device as a laptop can be uncomfortable.
To test battery life, we used our new PowerMark benchmark in balanced mode. The test consists of a combination of automated web browsing, word processing, gaming and video playback workloads. The test is far more strenuous than our previous test, measuring the machine under a litany of scenarios to better simulate real life use. With the test being far more demanding the scores are understandably lower than our previous benchmark.
Powermark battery life benchmark (higher score means longer battery life):
In our tests the Aorus X7v2 ran for 2 hours and 1 minute before shutting down. Edging just past two hours the Aorus X7v2 offers weak battery life even for a gaming laptop. But that’s actually not all that big a deal. Typically the difference separating good battery life and poor battery life with gaming notebooks is around one hour, and even at 3 hours of battery users will want to have a charger on-hand.
Given the portable design of the Aorus X7v2 it would have been nice to see slightly longer battery life, but it hardly makes or breaks the device.