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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.

Interior

Besides the grilles and vents on the laptop's shell, Gigabyte's cooling solution consists of a large heat sink that spans nearly the entire length of the chassis making contact with the Core i7-5700HQ and GTX 980M. Heat is expelled from two back vents, pushed by fans at each end of the heat pipes where the cooling fins are attached.

Intel’s Core i7-5700HQ is a quad-core Broadwell-based CPU with Hyper-Threading support and a 6MB last-level cache. Its base clock rate is 2.7GHz, though that accelerates up to 3.5GHz through Turbo Boost. The company’s HD Graphics 5600 engine has a base frequency of 300MHz and a maximum dynamic clock rate of 1.05GHz, though we’re pretty sure you’ll want to use the discrete GPU instead.

The P37X v4 sports Nvidia's GM204-based GeForce GTX 980M for more taxing 3D workloads. It contains 1536 CUDA cores, a 256-bit memory interface, 96 texture units and 64 ROPs. The 980M is attached to 8GB of GDDR5 memory, making it one of the few mobile graphics processors capable of playable performance at 3840x2160.

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Included in our test sample were two 8GB modules of DDR3L-1600 Transcend memory. There are two SO-DIMM slots available, so if you bought a lower-end model, you can upgrade the memory later. Just keep in mind that the most the P37X supports is 16GB.

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The P37X v4 features a hot-swappable storage bay that lets you easily switch between the included optical disc drive and a 9.5mm SSD mount. This should come in useful if you’d like to re-image the laptop's hard drive with an existing Windows installation on an SSD while enjoying the convenience of an optical drive for the rare times you need to use a disc. Gamers with large libraries will find using an SSD much easier than downloading their entire library again.

Along with the hot-swappable storage bay, Gigabyte’s P37X v4 supports up to three more storage drives through two mSATA slots and one 2.5-inch HDD slot. The mSATA slots are compatible with SSDs up to 512GB, and the hard drive bay is specified for up to 1TB 7200 RPM disks or 2TB 5400 RPM drives. 

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Our sample included two Lite-On 128GB SSDs rated at 520 MB/s of sequential reads and 320 MB/s of sequential writes, plus a 1TB HGST hard drive. Models with two drives of the same specification may run in RAID 0 or RAID 1.

Besides its gigabit Ethernet controller, the P37X v4 uses Intel's Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260HMW module supporting 802.11ac/b/g/n. Also included is Bluetooth 4.0 functionality.

Powering the P37X v4 is a 75.81Wh, 11.1V Li-polymer battery, which, in our home and creative battery tests was capable of 2.33 hours of operation and 2.66 hours in the work test. This is impressive, considering the hardware inside and the large display. Don't expect the battery to last through an entire day of work, though.

Underneath the two front grilles are a pair of 1.5W speakers. These drivers are advertised as Dolby Digital Plus, which should mean surround sound, but there are only two of them and they face downward. You're better off with your own speaker or headset.

Finally, Gigabyte tops its P37X v4 with a 17.3 inch 1920x1080 matte IPS display. As expected from an IPS panel, the display is just as crisp from outside angles as it is head-on. The matte coating helps if you game in an environment with multiple light sources.

  • 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