THIRD GEN GAMER

Gi­ga­byte P35X V3

HWM (Singapore) - - TEST - by Sale­hud­din Husin

Gi­ga­byte’s P35 line of lap­tops have been around for while. In fact, it bears a pretty im­pres­sive distinc­tion of hav­ing three sep­a­rate graph­ics card con­figs in the same se­ries.

The orig­i­nal P35, the P35K, had a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M. When the P35 was up­dated, it was up­dated into two dif­fer­ent vari­ants, the P35W V2 and the P35G V2. The hard­ware in the P35W and P35G were mostly iden­ti­cal, ex­cept for one main com­po­nent. The P35W had a 870M while the P35G had the weaker 860M. And now, we fi­nally get a P35 with the lat­est of NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 900M se­ries in­side. Like the pre­vi­ous re­fresh, the lat­est P35 has two vari­a­tions, the P35W V3 (with GTX 970M) and the P35X V3 (GTX 980M).

The Gi­ga­byte P35X V3 fea­tures a matte plas­tic chas­sis. It doesn’t re­ally stand out and de­mand your at­ten­tion like some note­books (such as the Aorus se­ries) but its spar­tan de­sign might ap­peal to those who like their ma­chines clean and unas­sum­ing.

Like most note­books, the Gi­ga­byte P35X V3 fea­tures a chi­clet-style key­board, and sim­i­lar to the key­board on the Aorus X7 Pro, the one here seems to get smudged way too eas­ily when com­pared to other note­books. Also, there are no macro keys or any spe­cial fea­tures present other than a back­light. The smooth matte tex­ture of the track­pad lets you move your fin­ger around with min­i­mal re­sis­tance and ef­fort but the lack of a groove to dif­fer­en­ti­ate left and right mouse but­tons as well as the lack of phys­i­cal but­tons might put some off.

As a gam­ing ma­chine, the P35X V3 has a few things go­ing in its fa­vor. It uses a 15 inch WQHD+ dis­play that’s leagues be­yond most Full HD mon­i­tors avail­able on most other gam­ing note­books and it has the mus­cle to play games at that higher res­o­lu­tion due to it pack­ing the GTX 980M. While there’s not a huge leap in qual­ity

from Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) to the WQHD+ (2,880 x 1,620), there is a no­tice­able dif­fer­ence in vis­ual fidelity nonethe­less.

As a sin­gle GPU ma­chine though, you can ex­pect games run­ning at this res­o­lu­tion to lose a chunk of FPS if you plan to play at the high­est set­tings (Mid­dle Earth: Shadow of Mor­dor for ex­am­ple). They’re still playable mind you, and the ones we tested still man­aged to hit the min­i­mum 30 FPS thresh­old for a sat­is­fac­tory ex­pe­ri­ence.

There be­ing an op­ti­cal drive (which is be­com­ing a rar­ity) is also a plus point due to the con­ve­nience of be­ing able to read phys­i­cal me­dia with­out need­ing an ex­ter­nal drive. You can also swap it out for a Blu-ray drive or even more stor­age ca­pac­ity with an ad­di­tion HDD.

Still, it’s a bit lack­ing in fea­tures and pro­cess­ing speed. Whereas other gam­ing note­books use the more pow­er­ful In­tel Core i7-4870HQ or the i7-4980HQ pro­ces­sors, the P35X is us­ing the i7-4710HQ. While its ba­sic speed of 2.5GHz may be the same as the i7-4870HQ’s, it can only be turbo boosted to 3.5GHz, un­like the 3.7GHz on the i7-4870HQ. When we bench­marked its per­for­mance, the P35X V3 was con­sis­tently out­per­formed by the su­pe­rior MSI GT72 2QE Dom­i­na­tor Pro de­spite hav­ing the same graph­ics card. The only dif­fer­ence be­tween the two was mainly in the pro­ces­sors, which shows that de­spite most peo­ple fo­cus­ing on the graph­ics cards, pro­ces­sors still do make an im­pact on per­for­mance, es­pe­cially in note­books.

The P35X V3 has a top of the line graph­ics card and a great dis­play, but we couldn’t help but feel that it’s a bit of a shame that pro­ces­sor is the weak link in the whole scheme of things. That said, as a gam­ing ma­chine, it also doesn’t re­ally come with many frills. There are no ded­i­cated macro keys like the Aorus X7 se­ries or cus­tom­iz­a­ble back­lights like those from MSI’s range. In a world of high-end gam­ing note­books, the P35X V3 seems rather plain.

Now, we don’t ac­tu­ally have a prob­lem with that if it was meant to be a main­stream al­ter­na­tive to the more pow­er­ful Aorus X7 Pro. How­ever, the P35X V3 is priced ex­actly the same. The only ad­van­tage it has, and ap­par­ently what you’re pay­ing a pre­mium for, is its higher res­o­lu­tion screen. As a sin­gle GPU gam­ing note­book, It can cer­tainly hold its own against the com­pe­ti­tion, but we’d have pre­ferred if Gi­ga­byte made a bet­ter dis­tic­tion be­tween the P35 and the Aorus line.

TESTED & RATED

8.0 /10

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