Aorus X7 Pro Notebook Review: GeForce GTX 970M Gets Slim In SLI

Aorus X7 Pro: Performance, Efficiency And Value. Pick Two.

Aorus tells us that its X7 Pro, as delivered, will cost $2599. If we treat it as a general-purpose portable PC, that puts it on par with last spring’s GeForce GTX 870M configuration.

On the other hand, the X7 Pro’s primary mission is to play games while plugged in to the wall. Pick it up, take it to the office, plug it in. Go to a LAN party, plug it in again. When we treat it as a transportable gaming machine, it looks like an even better value.

It even beats a $1600 desktop machine in measures of raw performance. The price penalty for portability is around 50%, though my desktop build would probably need the added performance and cost of a desktop-oriented GeForce GTX 980 to confirm that estimate.

Aorus uses slimness to drive home its message about portability, but hasn’t exactly made this one a lightweight. The X7 Pro is a nice replacement for the previously-tested Dominator series from MSI though, except that the display connector arrangement is a bit weird (requiring the use of VGA for three-display spanning). And I’m a little disappointed that the battery is so hard to replace, even though we rarely need to swap out power supplies in our mobile platforms.

I recorded an acoustic reading of 51dB(A) during my game tests from ½ meter. That’s the equivalent of 45dB(A) at 1m, the familiar distance for testing things like industrial fans and loudspeakers.

That means the X7 Pro is still an award contender, though not necessarily as a slim gaming notebook. Thanks to nagging issues like the need to manually disable SLI in order to enable BatteryBoost, I can’t recommend it to anyone who wants to game from both the battery and a wall outlet until Nvidia irons out those idiosyncrasies. It does make a really nice desktop replacement notebook though, where an 8.7-pound combined weight (with power adapter) and sub-1” thickness make the system easier to carry around in a class where portability is normally an afterthought.

Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.