Aorus X7 DT v7

A gam­ing lap­top with ev­ery­thing you could want on pa­per, but does that add up in the flesh?

APC Australia - - Contents - Joel Burgess

While the X7’s sub­tly ac­cented heat vents, un­be­liev­ably-thin 2.5cm chas­sis and wing-shaped speaker grill add up to an im­pres­sive spec­ta­cle, run­ning your fin­gers over the ma­te­ri­als used on this gam­ing lap­top gives an even more vis­ceral in­di­ca­tion of the de­vice’s no-ex­pense-spared ap­proach. While the Aorus X7 DT v7 isn’t tech­ni­cally an Nvidia Max-Q cer­ti­fied lap­top, it still packs a top-end GeForce GTX 1080 GPU in a chas­sis that’s in­cred­i­bly thin.

The lap­top’s track­pad, em­bla­zoned with the com­pany’s dragon-like fal­con logo, is first rate. Add to this a full-size key­board with per-key cus­tomis­able RGB back­light­ing, good re­sis­tance and a gen­er­ous travel dis­tance (at least for such a slim de­vice) and you’ve got in­puts that are a cut above most oth­ers.

As im­pres­sive as these ex­te­rior el­e­ments are, they are over­shad­owed by un­usu­ally high-end com­po­nents, in­clud­ing an In­tel Core i7-7820HK CPU, 32GB of DDR4 RAM, a 1TB Hi­tachi me­chan­i­cal hard drive and a ridicu­lously-speedy 256GB Sam­sung M.2 PCIe SSD, which man­ages se­quen­tial read and write speeds of 3,252MB/s and 1,488MB/s, re­spec­tively. While that Core i7 CPU has a top clock speed that’s 100MHz faster than the Core i7-7700HQ we’re used to see­ing in high-end gam­ing lap­tops, this doesn’t re­ally trans­late into a per­for­mance bump. Drill down into more spe­cific CPU tasks, like CineBench’s multi-threaded CPU ren­der­ing and HWBot’s x265 1080p me­dia-en­cod­ing tests, and you do see a 7.6% and 13.6% per­for­mance in­crease, re­spec­tively, over de­vices run­ning the 7700HQ chip, like Gi­ga­byte’s Sabre Pro 15 (see APC 411, page 28) — good for any­one do­ing mul­ti­me­dia-cen­tric work, but for most day-to- day tasks the dif­fer­ence will be im­per­cep­ti­ble.

Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1080 is the most pow­er­ful sin­gle-GPU avail­able (for lap­tops), which means the X7 DT v7 has more than enough grunt to run the lat­est games faster than 60fps on ul­tra set­tings, but Aorus has added G-Sync and a QHD 1440p res­o­lu­tion to the 17.3-inch panel — de­mand­ing screen tech to chal­lenge even the best graph­ics cards. The X7 DT v7 hits an av­er­age of 71.4fps on The Di­vi­sion us­ing Ul­tra set­tings at a res­o­lu­tion of 1440p; that’s fast enough to still get some value out of the faster re­fresh rate of the screen, but you will have to trade on the var­i­ous qual­ity pa­ram­e­ters to find a bal­ance that suits the style of game you’re play­ing.

Drop­ping down one qual­ity set­ting, res­o­lu­tion level or av­er­age fram­er­ate bracket is the clos­est thing to a con­ces­sion you’ll have to make with Aorus’s X7 DT V7. Even the peak ther­mals of the unit’s CPU and GPU aren’t stretched fur­ther than 86ºC — at least at stock speeds. All this de­mand­ing hard­ware does draw heav­ily on the 94.2Wh Li-Poly­mer bat­tery. Un­plugged, the X7 lasted a mid­dling 1 hour and 47 min­utes in the PCMark 8 Home Bat­tery (Ac­cel­er­ated) bench­mark, but given all that power com­bined with a 17-inch dis­play, there re­ally isn’t much here to com­plain about. If you’re OK with drop­ping $4,399 on a gam­ing lap­top, this one barely sets a foot wrong.

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