THIRD GEN GAMER
Gigabyte P35X V3
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