REVIEW: Gigabyte AORUS 17G YC, or a player from Taiwan – Introduction of a laptop

The model tested today is one of the more expensive laptops, in e-shops we can find it typically for some 70,000 CZK with VAT and some small ones. This is the most expensive configuration, with Gigabyte offering models with weaker components in the same chassis at lower prices.
In the Czech Republic, you can buy the following models, and today I am testing a piece with the nickname YC:

  • AORUS 17G KD – i7-11800H, 16G RAM, 512G SSD, RTX 3060 6G, FHD 300Hz – 52 000 Kč
  • AORUS 17G XC – i7-10870H, 32G RAM, 512G SSD, RTX 3070 8G, FHD 300Hz – 58 000 Kč
  • AORUS 17G XD – i7-11800H, 32G RAM, 512G SSD, RTX 3070 8G, FHD 300Hz – 59 000 Kč
  • AORUS 17G YC – i7-10870H, 32G RAM, 1TB SSD, RTX 3080 8G, FHD 300Hz – 70 000 Kč
  • AORUS 17G YC – i7-11800H, 32G RAM, 512G SSD, RTX 3080 8G, FHD 300Hz – 71 000 Kč

As we can see, the new AORUS 17G offers Intel tenth and eleventh generation processors, the graphics cards are typically from the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3000 series. I assume that the processor mix may be due to poorer availability of newer Intel Tiger Lake-H processors.

The model tested today has the following hardware:

  • Intel Core i7-10870H – 2,2GHz, Turbo až 5GHz, 16MB L3, 62W TDP, 14nm, 8C/16T
  • 2x16GB RAM DDR4-2933 CL-21-21-21-47 2T
  • Intel Graphics UHD 630
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Max-Q 8GB
  • 17,3“ Sharp SHP14E1, 1920×1080 IPS 300Hz
  • Gigabyte ESR01TBTLCG-EAC-4 1TB PCIe M.2 2230 NVMe Gen3 x4
  • Intel AX200 WiFi 6 (802.11ax + Bluetooth 5.1)
  • 4 cell 99Wh baterie
  • 230W adapter
  • Windows 10 Home v20H2

The notebook arrived in the standard sales package. Inside the cardboard box we find the notebook itself and in a cloth package and foam holders. The power adapter then lives in a smaller cardboard box. The power adapter was manufactured by Chicony and provides up to 230 watts, while it has a good old DC jack.

In the box we will also find a bag with manuals and a thermally conductive pad for the secondary M.2 NVMe SSD. The notebook itself weighs 2.7 kilograms, which is a relatively low value for a 17.3 “notebook (I’m used to 4kg + machines (:), the dimensions are 405 x 276 x 26 millimeters.

The notebook is made of aluminum, Gigabyte explicitly boasts CNC production, which I would somehow expect, bending sheets like this by hand is not very efficient. On the upper cover of the display we find the AORUS logo, which is backlit by the display, I must mention that you can place fingerprints on black aluminum very easily. Gigabyte also boasts a “Made in Taiwan” label, which is certainly not pleasing to the unnamed Secretary General of a province.

On the back of the laptop we find only two cooling exhausts, no ports can be found here.

AORUS 17G YC has all ports on the sides, on the left side we find one cooling exhaust, RJ45 connector connected to 2.5GBe Realtek RLT8125, SD card reader (supposedly supports up to UHS-II standard), two USB-A 5Gb / s ports and surprisingly two audio jacks for microphone and headphones. I very much welcome two audio jacks, a large SD card reader and faster ethernet.

On the other hand, we find another cooling exhaust, a DC jack for powering the notebook’s HDMI 2.1 output, a miniDisplayPort 1.4, a USB-C with Thunderbolt 3 support and a USB-A 5Gb / s port. The port equipment is very decent for a gaming laptop, and the SD card reader and TB3 can also attract freelancers, content creators and other non-players.

After opening the laptop, we are greeted by a keyboard, Gigabyte is another of the manufacturers who have decided to use a mechanical keyboard in a laptop, so the keys have a specific clicking sound. The switches are manufactured by Omron and are said to be quieter than the blue variants, subjectively the keyboard is relatively quiet and does not sound like a typewriter. The keys are said to withstand up to fifteen million keystrokes and travel a distance of 1.6 millimeters. The keyboard also offers RGB LED backlighting, which can be configured in the AORUS Control Center. The layout of the keyboard is surprisingly normal, I’m also happy about the Context menu key, but there are no LEDs indicating whether the NumLock and CapsLock keys are on or off.

Gigabyte has integrated a fingerprint reader into a full-click touchpad. We find a set of stickers on the palm rest, including the funny typo “Superme CPU & GPU Performance”, which is a relatively bold statement.

Above the keyboard there are vents for ventilation, in the middle there is a power button with a status LED. There is a special switch above the power button, I originally thought it was a hardware switch, but in fact it is a mechanical 720p webcam cover. AORUS 17G, along with the DELL XPS 13, is one of the notebooks offered by the “carrier”. The cover does not turn off the webcam, it only covers its lens and looks slightly pofider, it occurred to me that such an expensive and well-crafted device has a surprisingly cheap cover.

The keyboard as such is comfortable to use, but I would appreciate if the keys were slightly bent, I write them better than with completely flat keys, but that’s my subjective feeling.

Not to mention the display, the notebook boasts a 17.3 “IPS 300Hz panel, specifically the Sharp SHP14E1 is used, which is the same display used by the previously reviewed ASUS ROG STRIX SCAR 17 G733Q. This panel provides 100% sRGB coverage and 300 thread luminosity. Unfortunately This is a fixed 300Hz display, FreeSync / G-Sync is not available here.

Traditionally, I decided to look inside the laptop. The bottom lid is all-metal and has plenty of perforations with a basic dust filter, which is good news. The bottom lid is held in place by a pile of starred screws, a total of thirteen, all of the same length.

After opening the bottom cover, we find that it also serves as a large heatsink for the PCIe NVMe SSD, in the package we also find a second heat-conducting cushion for the secondary drive. Giving a thumbs up, this is a great solution that works much better than leaving the NVMe drive without a heatsink, or sending heat back to the PCB. There is no danger of throttling under load here.

Now we get a look at the inside of the laptop, the bottom two corners occupy the speakers, while in the middle sits a battery with a surprisingly high capacity, namely 99Wh! Unfortunately, the Gigabyte itself reports only up to seven hours of battery life, which is not entirely hilarious, however, hi-end gaming laptops typically do not expect very high battery life.

The Gigabyte ESR01TBTLCG-EAC-4 1TB PCIe M.2 2230 NVMe Gen3 x4 SSD is connected to the Intel HM470 PCH, and is an OEM custom-made SSD with a Phison controller. The second free M.2 2280 slot is also connected to the PCH.

In the middle of the board we can find a WLAN module, there is a standard M.2 2230 Intel AX200NGW card supporting WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1. The Intel HM470 chipset itself has a heatsink in the form of a small piece of sheet metal, which is better than nothing, many manufacturers leave these chipsets completely without cooling.

The notebook also has two SODIMM DDR4 slots, which is positive, we can easily upgrade to 2x32GB RAM, they are equipped with relatively standard 16GB DDR4-3200 CL22 memory from Samsung, however, it actually runs with a throughput of 2933 MT / s, as Intel Core i7-10870H does not support 3200 MT / s throughput within the JEDEC standard, in theory it could work with the XMP profile, but I don’t have any such memory at hand (only some 2667 MT / s slower).

Above the memory slots we find CPU and GPU coolers, the liabilities are partially shared, while we have a total of five heatpipes that take care of cooling. The processor can consume a maximum of 62 Watts in the long run, very short up to 106 Watts, for GPUs some e-shops state up to 105W within NVIDIA Dynamic Boost 2.0®, however it is a Max-Q version of GeForce RTX 3080 and during testing I never received 105W on the graphics card did not see (I do not mean taking the GPU itself, but the entire graphics card, including VRAM), the highest value stabilized at 95W, occasionally there were drops to 80W with massive CPU usage. The tested mobile RTX 3080 is one of the more economical models, moreover only with 8GB of VRAM instead of 16GB. For players, however, this will not be a problem, perhaps sometime in the future, it will be difficult to say this, the problem can be when playing on an external 4K monitor and provided that we need more than 8GB of VRAM.

Overall, I have to praise Gigabyte for the quality of workmanship, the all-metal body really succeeded, the laptop also has reasonable port equipment, decent cooling and the only thing that spoils this impression is the webcam cover, but the user will not notice it until it starts moving.

Performance tests were performed in the factory settings, the behavior of CPU and GPU can be configured in the AORUS Control Center.

Interestingly, I tested the performance of the processor in all five modes, ECO, Normal, Sport, Sport + and Boost. The performance in the review represents the Boost mode for the CPU and in the GPU I have Turbo enabled with the “Always Keep” check box. I used the Cinebench R23 to test for differences in performance, and each time I ran a ten-minute test to make the difference in performance clearer over longer loads. In all modes, the Core i7-10870H boosts for a few seconds with a 106W power limit, so a very short test does not make sense. In ECO mode, the long-term power limit is 37 Watts, Normal is 45W, Sport is 52W, Sport + is 58W and Boost holds 62W for a long time.

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I left three different generations of AMD Ryzens with eight cores in the test, while all other laptops can be found in the corresponding chapter. Very interesting is the performance of the old Ryzen 7 2700 from 2018, based on the Earth + architecture, much slower RAM can compete with the tenth-generation Intel processor with a similar power limit. The Core i7-10870H does not have enough power in this test even for 35W Ryzen 7 4800HS, despite almost double the consumption. So the performance is not dazzling, I believe that the model with the Core i7-11800H will be a bit better.

AORUS Control Center can monitor fans and laptop temperatures, we can configure various things like brightness, charging, set LCD colors, RGB LED keyboard backlight and custom fan speed curves. The program can also update hardware drivers.

Finally, I mentioned that I tested with pre-installed Windows 10 Home v20H2, I also noticed that the RTX 3080 has a bit slower GDDR6 memory, instead of 14GHz memory it only has 12GHz memory, which means a reduction in memory throughput from 446 GB / s to 384 GB / s . This is another feature of the Max-Q variant of the graphics card, there are also more economical 80W versions on the market, which have 11GHz memory with slightly lower power consumption.


Source: Diit.cz by diit.cz.

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