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Gigabyte P37X v4 Gaming Notebook Review

Gigabyte's P37X v4 gaming notebook sports a Broadwell-based processor, GeForce GTX 980M graphics and an impressive tiered storage subsystem.

Synthetics, Gaming And Applications

Synthetics

3DMark Fire Strike

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The Gigabyte P37X v4's GTX 980M delivers an impressive Fire Strike and Graphics score of 8652 and 9922, respectively, plugged into the wall. The Broadwell-based Core i7-5700HQ is similarly impressive with a Physics score of 11,112. The GPU and CPU produce a Combined score of 3775. 

Unfortunately, those performance figures plummet on battery power. The 980M scores 4967 in Fire Strike and 5762 in Graphics, amounting to less than 60 percent of the 980M's AC power score. Compare this to the Gigabyte P34W v3 Chris Angelini reviewed in June. The P34 v3’s 970M scored 4960 in the Fire Strike test and 5720 in the Graphics test on battery power; the 980M provided a marginal increase over these scores. Fortunately, the Core i7-5700HQ pulled a solid 8512 in the Physics test. This isn't enough to redeem the 980M's performance drop, however; the Combined score is just 1868 on battery power

PCMark 8

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Similarly to Chris, I ran my PCMark 8 benchmarks using acceleration. The P37X v4 isn't the most portable laptop, but it is a laptop nonetheless; longevity is paramount in its performance, and potential buyers may be interested in the P37X v4's mileage when outlets aren't present. 

The P37X musters higher scores across the board while plugged in, earning 3917 in the Home module, 4563 in the Creative module and 4913 in the Work module. On battery power, it scores 3569, 3874 and 4476 on Home, Creative and Work modules, respectively.

PCMark 8 Storage Suite

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Likewise, hard drive and SSD performance numbers while plugged in exceed those on battery power, but the difference is next to negligible. The results are slightly lower than the P34W, but by a small margin.

Gaming

DirectXDirectX 11
Graphics DriverNvidia GTX 980M: GeForce Version 353.62
Screen ResolutionFull Screen, 1920x1080

Our benchmarking is split into two methodologies. While the machine was plugged in, we set each game to relatively demanding settings. In most cases, this was the game's highest graphical preset, but we made sure to avoid biased settings, such as TressFX and HairWorks.

To test the laptop on battery power, we optimized and launched each game via GeForce Experience. Doing this allowed us to use Battery Boost, which scales back settings and maintains a set maximum frame rate. The max frame rate was kept at the default 30 frames per second, which is perhaps the bare minimum for providing an acceptable gaming experience. Some readers will disagree, and Nvidia is aware of this; GeForce Experience contains a slider to adjust the maximum frame rate to whatever the user feels is most comfortable.

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The P37X v4 performed admirably on the highest presets. Battlefield 4 averaged 71 FPS and never dipped below 57; Grand Theft Auto V measured 74 FPS with a minimum of 54; Metro: Last Light averaged 76 FPS and had a minimum 54 and Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor had an average of 69 FPS and a minimum frame rate of 51. Thief had the lowest average and minimum frame rate, scoring 62 and 48 respectively, while Tomb Raider had the highest frame rates, scoring an average of 101 and a minimum of 90.

On battery power, the P37X maintained a steady average of 30 FPS across the board thanks to scaled-back clocks and graphical settings. It might be worth noting that the frame rate dropped to 22 at one point during our Metro: Last Light benchmark; if you game on the go, you might want to avoid that title.

Applications

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The quick jump from Haswell to Broadwell may seem odd considering Skylake is here, but Broadwell remains completely viable. The included Core i7-5700HQ illustrates a noted performance increase over the previous generation.

For the most part, both wall and battery power results are improvements over the Core i7-4720HQ in Gigabyte’s P34W v3. There is an especially significant performance increase on battery power during the TotalCode Studio test. Similarly impressive are our 7-Zip results; the benchmarks completed in nearly a third of the time it took for the i7-4720HQ to finish. The only odd result was our on-battery result in LAME, which reported 114.016 seconds.

  • jezzjc
    why not skylake?
    Reply
  • hst101rox
    typo; 0.9" thick not wide.
    AT LAST! A laptop manufacturer that supports the Samsung M9T 2TB mechanical hard drive. MSI and Asus don't offer it from the factory AFAIK.
    Reply
  • DXRick
    Allow me to start a new trend: BUT CAN IT RUN FO4???
    Reply
  • chaosmassive
    I simply fail to see what the purpose for gaming laptop, like you just gaming for 2 hours then need to recharge, where is fun in that? not mention overpriced laptop.
    Reply
  • Anders235
    I simply fail to see what the purpose for gaming laptop, like you just gaming for 2 hours then need to recharge, where is fun in that? not mention overpriced laptop.
    I simply fail to see what the purpose for gaming laptop, like you just gaming for 2 hours then need to recharge, where is fun in that? not mention overpriced laptop.

    They're for people who find themselves in places where space is very short. People in small apartments, or anyone in Japan.
    Reply
  • SteelCity1981
    no skylake? no ddr4 for that price no thank you. i'm sorry but if i'm going to spend that much on a laptop it better have the latest tech in it...
    Reply
  • Gurg
    no skylake? no ddr4 for that price no thank you. i'm sorry but if i'm going to spend that much on a laptop it better have the latest tech in it...

    You mean like this one for $50 more?

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834152935

    Reply
  • Gurg
    I simply fail to see what the purpose for gaming laptop, like you just gaming for 2 hours then need to recharge, where is fun in that? not mention overpriced laptop.

    I bought a 17.3" gaming laptop to take when traveling to my kids houses as well as using outside on patio on nice days or using downstairs. Sign on to kids wifi and can do personal stuff as well as reading news, playing games (during dead times) and watching football games when their main TV was otherwise occupied.
    Reply
  • Gurg
    I simply fail to see what the purpose for gaming laptop, like you just gaming for 2 hours then need to recharge, where is fun in that? not mention overpriced laptop.

    I bought a 17.3" gaming laptop to take when traveling to my kids houses as well as using outside on patio on nice days or using downstairs. Sign on to kids wifi and can do personal stuff as well as reading news, playing games (during dead times) and watching football games when their main TV was otherwise occupied.
    Reply
  • dE_logics
    I simply fail to see what the purpose for gaming laptop, like you just gaming for 2 hours then need to recharge, where is fun in that? not mention overpriced laptop.
    I simply fail to see what the purpose for gaming laptop, like you just gaming for 2 hours then need to recharge, where is fun in that? not mention overpriced laptop.

    They're for people who find themselves in places where space is very short. People in small apartments, or anyone in Japan.

    You can always have space to hold a box and a monitor (I think...). However the major advantage is you can game anywhere where there is a power socket in contrast to a desktop where you can play only at home.
    Reply