How We Tested The Aorus X7 Pro
|Test Hardware Configurations|
|Row 0 - Cell 0||Aorus X7 Pro||MSI GT60-2PC-424US||Q3 $1600 Performance PC|
|Processor||Intel Core i7-4870HQ: 2.5 - 3.7GHz, Four Physical Cores||Intel Core i7-4800MQ: 2.7 - 3.7GHz, Four Physical Cores||Intel Core i7-4790K: 4.0GHz - 4.40GHz, Four Physical Cores|
|Graphics||2x Nvidia GTX 970M: 1038MHz GPU, GDDR5-5000, SLI||Nvidia GTX 870M: 967MHz GPU, GDDR5-5000||PowerColor 290X: 1050MHz GPU, GDDR5-5400|
|Memory||16GB Crucial DDR3-1866 CAS 10-10-10-30||8GB Kingston DDR3-1600 CAS 11-11-11-28 (single-channel)||8GB G.Skill DDR3-1866 CAS 8-9-9-24|
|Motherboard||Gigabyte X7V3: BGA1364, HM87 Express||MS-16F4: FCPGA946, HM87 Express||MSI Z97 Gaming 5: LGA 1150, Intel Z97 Express|
|Case||Aorus X7||MSI GT60||Enermax Ostrog GT|
|CPU Cooler||Aorus X7||MSI GT60||Phanteks PH-TC14PE 140mm|
|Hard Drive||2x Lite-On LMT-256L9M 256GB mSATA 6Gb/s SSD, RAID 0||HGST HTS721010A9E630: 1TB, 7200RPM, 32MB cache||Plextor M6S PX-256M6S 256GB SATA 6Gb/s SSD|
|Power||Chicony A11-200P1A: 200W, 19V, Level V Efficiency (~87%)||Delta ADP-180NB: 180W 19.5V, External||EVGA SuperNova 750 B2: 750W, 80 PLUS Bronze|
|OS||Microsoft Windows 8 Pro x64||Microsoft Windows 8 Pro x64||Microsoft Windows 8 Pro x64|
|Graphics||Nvidia Mobile Version 344.24||Nvidia Mobile Version 337.5||AMD Catalyst 14.4|
|Chipset||Intel INF 18.104.22.1687||Intel INF 22.214.171.1243||Intel INF 126.96.36.1996|
Unlike boutiques that can match hardware to specific test requirements, Aorus sells turnkey systems with limited configuration options. That sales method provides buyers with improved pricing, but also forces us to compare the X7 Pro to another pre-configured system. MSI’s GT60-2PC Dominator is the closest of our previously-tested machines, but it has only one GPU.
A head-to-head between a single GeForce GTX 970M and one GTX 870M would have required us to remove one of the modules from the X7 Pro, except Aorus doesn't use modules. The next option was to chisel the second GPU off the X7 Pro’s motherboard. We didn’t do that either. Rather than destroy the notebook to get accurate single-GPU power numbers, we decided to put more of our focus on the performance aspect.
Aorus was so certain that its notebook would deliver desktop-class gaming performance that it offered to send along a GeForce GTX 980 discrete card for the sole purpose of making the comparison. After the firm failed to meet both its own delivery deadline and its desktop hardware commitment, I decided to put it up against my System Builder Marathon $1600 Performance PC using the full set of SBM benchmarks.
|Battlefield 4||Version 188.8.131.52, DirectX 11, 100-Sec. Fraps "Tashgar" Test Set 1: High Quality Preset, No AA, 4x AF, SSAO Test Set 2: Ultra Quality Preset, 4x MSAA, 16x AF, HBAO|
|Grid 2||Steam Version, In-Game Test Test Set 1: High Quality Preset, No AA Test Set 2: Ultra Quality Preset, 8x AA|
|Arma 3||Version 1.08.113494, 30-Sec. Fraps "Infantry Showcase" Test Set 1: Standard Preset, No AA, Standard AF Test Set 2: Ultra Preset, 8x FSAA, Ultra AF|
|Far Cry 3||V. 1.04, DirectX 11, 50-sec. Fraps "Amanaki Outpost" Test Set 1: High Quality, No AA, Standard ATC., SSAO Test Set 2: Ultra Quality, 4x MSAA, Enhanced ATC, HDAO|
|Adobe Creative Suite|
|Adobe After Effects CC||Version 184.108.40.2064: Create Video which includes 3 Streams, 210 Frames, Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously|
|Adobe Photoshop CC||Version 14.0 x64: Filter 15.7MB TIF Image: Radial Blur, Shape Blur, Median, Polar Coordinates|
|Adobe Premiere Pro CC||Version 7.0.0 (342), 6.61GB MXF Project to H.264 to H.264 Blu-ray, Output 1920x1080, Maximum Quality|
|iTunes||Version 220.127.116.11 x64: Audio CD (Terminator II SE), 53 minutes, default AAC format|
|LAME MP3||Version 3.98.3: Audio CD "Terminator II SE", 53 min, convert WAV to MP3 audio format, Command: -b 160 --nores (160Kb/s)|
|HandBrake CLI||Version: 0.99: Video from Canon EOS 7D (1920x1080, 25FPS) 1 Minutes 22 Seconds Audio: PCM-S16, 48,000Hz, 2-Channel, to Video: AVC1 Audio: AAC (High Profile)|
|TotalCode Studio 2.5||Version: 18.104.22.16877: MPEG-2 to H.264, MainConcept H.264/AVC Codec, 28 sec HDTV 1920x1080 (MPEG-2), Audio: MPEG-2 (44.1kHz, 2-Channel, 16-Bit, 224Kb/s), Codec: H.264 Pro, Mode: PAL 50i (25 FPS), Profile: H.264 BD HDMV|
|ABBYY FineReader||Version 10.0.102.95: Read PDF save to Doc, Source: Political Economy (J. Broadhurst 1842) 111 Pages|
|Adobe Acrobat 11||Version 22.214.171.1249: Print PDF from 115 Page PowerPoint, 128-bit RC4 Encryption|
|Autodesk 3ds Max 2013||Version 15.0 x64: Space Flyby Mentalray, 248 Frames, 1440x1080|
|Blender||Version: 2.68A, Cycles Engine, Syntax blender -b thg.blend -f 1, 1920x1080, 8x Anti-Aliasing, Render THG.blend frame 1|
|Visual Studio 2010||Version 10.0, Compile Google Chrome, Scripted|
|WinZip||Version 18.0 Pro: THG-Workload (1.3GB) to ZIP, command line switches "-a -ez -p -r"|
|WinRAR||Version 5.0: THG-Workload (1.3GB) to RAR, command line switches "winrar a -r -m3"|
|7-Zip||Version 9.30 alpha (64-bit): THG-Workload (1.3GB) to .7z, command line switches "a -t7z -r -m0=LZMA2 -mx=5"|
|3DMark 11||Version: 126.96.36.199, Benchmark Only|
|3DMark Professional||Version: 188.8.131.52 (64-bit), Fire Strike Benchmark|
|PCMark 8||Version: 1.0.0 x64, Full Test|
|SiSoftware Sandra||Version 2014.02.20.10, CPU Test = CPU Arithmetic / Multimedia / Cryptography, Memory Bandwidth Benchmarks|
I mean, I can somehow even understand the zombie drain by the other gpu, but even so: how is it possible that if you just write a word document and read news from the internet, you get something like 2h of battery life.
Obviously, the person who purchases this might not need even 1h battery life ever, but that does not change the fact that something seems to be wrong here, or even broken, when the previous gen laptop achieves 5-6h of battery life in such scenarios.
I am like 95% sure that either the power saving options were not enabled, or they were not functioning properly or some component was flawed or some driver was misbehaving. Or then something else weird was going on.
In any case, I am 100% certain that I can get 3-4h of battery life in a light use, non-gaming scenario with a properly built laptop even if it was sporting this kind of hardware (ie. i7-4870HQ, 970M SLI, 17,3" FHD...)