2021 means it is the year of 30-series gaming notebooks and Gigabyte sent me the Aorus 15G RTX 3070 to review. For the most part, the device delivers some hefty power inside of it which helps carry its dated design. The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 also means that gamers are no longer restricted to using massive desktop towers in order to get the best performance on the market. Gigabyte hit the performance of this device out of the park but at the same time, I feel as if the company simply threw a 30-series GPU into a 2018 notebook as its overall design and lack of innovation lets it down. But just how powerful is “powerful” on this device? Well, we are going to review this now.
Watch our review down below
Gigabyte Aorus 15G RTX 3070 Tech Specs
- Display: 15.6-inch FHD 240Hz IPS display (X-Rite Pantone Certified)
- GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 GDDR6 8GB / Mobile Intel HM470 Express Chipset
- CPU: Intel 10 Gen Core-i7 10870H 2GHz – Overclockable at 5.0GHz
- RAM: 2 x DDR4 16GB 2933MHz
- Storage: 2x M.2 SSD slots (1 used for 512GB NMVe PCIe SSD)
- Keyboard: AORUS Fusion Per-Key RGB
- I/O Ports: 3x USB 3.2 Type A / 1x USB 3.2 Type C / 1x HDMI 2.1 / 1x Mini DisplayPort / 1x 3.5mm Headphone and Mic Port / 1x UHS-II SD Card Reader / 1x DC-in Jack / 1x security port
- Audio: 2x 2W speakers / 1x Dual-Array Microphone, Nahamic 3 support
- Networking: LAN – Realtek 2.5G Ethernet / WLAN – Intel AX2000 Wireless 802.11ax, a/b/n/ac/ax + BlueTooth V5.0 + LE
- Battery: 99Wh
- Dimensions: 357x244x23mm / 2.0Kgs
Gigabyte Aorus 15G RTX 3070 Design
For the most part, the Gigabyte Aorus 15G notebook is a pretty thin and light device. Coming in at 2Kgs, it means you can carry it around and considering it packs the RTX 3070 inside of it, this is quite an impressive design feat from Gigabyte. Standing it next to any other Gigabyte 15-inch notebook, there’s nothing much here to set it apart. For example, the keyboard is identical to my current Gigabyte Aero 15XA OLED notebook. The bezels are the same size, the webcam is in the same spot with the same slider and even the power button, trackpad and air vents are all sort of the same.
The Gigabyte Aorus 15G is built into a black metal casing. On the top, there is the iconic Aorus falcon that illuminates when the device is open. On the bottom, you will find the air vents that help keep this machine cool. Gigabyte claims that the new thermal design helps dissipate heat and is optimized for the new RTX 30-series GPUs. Gigabyte calls this the Windforce Infinity Cooling System and includes 5 heat pipes, 2 fans and 4 airflow exhausts. While the airflow exhausts match the likes of the Aorus 17G, the 5 heat pipes are new and include one that even wraps around the outer sides of the fan. While this system does not look that impressive, it sounds efficient but we will have to see how it holds up during the benchmarks.
The rest of the notebook is quite sleek when it comes to its design. When closed on your desk, it will look like any other great notebook. The ports are all situated on the left and right-hand side including the DC charging port which is yet again in the way of your mouse hand on the right of the device. Both sides include USB ports and the HDMI and MiniDisplayport are on the left of the device. The Gigabyte Aorus 15G also packs an SD card reader which is great news for anyone who needs one for transferring files from cameras and such.
I love the compact design of the Gigabyte Aorus 15G. It is quite a beastly machine and practical for most gamers who want to work on their notebooks and aren’t looking for this crazy-looking device. Part of me just feels like Gigabyte could have done something different here considering the 30-series GPUs mark such a substantial jump in performance compared to last year’s devices. The overall design is just simple and that you can either love or hate.
There are also some features I thought felt dated. For starters, the device still uses an old-school DC charger in 2021? Most notebook makers have already jumped ship and started using the practical and versatile USB Type-C charging port for on-the-go charging. They allow users to top up the device with a Type C port for daily use and when gaming they need to DC plug. Not only does this allow for some pretty fast charging but it means if your charger wonks out then you can easily replace it with another cable you have around the house. It also makes carrying around the device so much easier without having to take the brick with you. Let’s hope this becomes the norm for Gigabyte soon.
Then there’s the webcam which is placed at the bottom of the device near the keyboard. I used to love this placement and slider until COVID-19 hit us and I have had more Zoom meetings now than ever before. This camera position is everything you should not do on a notebook. You know how you are meant to hold the camera above you when taking a selfie to get the best photo? Well, this camera position is like holding the phone under your chin. It does nothing for your face and you see even more body surface because of it too. I hate it and you will too.
Gigabyte Aorus 15G Performance and Benchmarks
Now onto the meat and juice of this Gigabyte Aorus 15G review. How does it all perform and can the Gigabyte Aorus 15G deliver decent performance without it throttling under pressure? Keep in mind that the device packs a full HD display that can run at up to 240Hz. This means that the RTX 3070 GPU will deliver some high frames and silky smooth gameplay especially when playing older multiplayer games. When you are jumping into modern titles that have ray-tracing such as Watch Dogs: Legion, you are going to sacrifice a lot of frames in order to get the game to look prettier. In a way, the Gigabyte Aorus 15G lets you enjoy the best of both worlds and the full HD display also means that 4K ray-tracing, which is a tough one to achieve still, delivers great visuals and performance.
I ran a few benchmark tools during the review process for this notebook. This included PCMark and 3DMark. All in all, these benchmark tests managed to pump out some great scores. In addition, the overall performance of the machine including the temperature and throttling was handled well thanks to the improved cooling system. Running 3DMark on the highest setting maxed out the GPU temperature at 77-degrees celsius. However, changing the fan control from “Gaming” to “Deep Control” drastically brought down the temperatures during these tests.
The 3DMark test saw frames drop to the mid-fifties but the scores were pretty impressive. Keep in mind that these tests were all performed with the Gigabyte Contol Center on max including max fan control and boost mode for both the GPU and CPU.
|Test||Score||Max Temp (GPU)|
|PCI Express Test||12.37GB/s||N/A|
|Time Spy (Deep Fan Control)||8990||69 Degrees Celsius|
|Time Spy (Gaming Fan)||9347||77 Degrees Celsius|
|Fire Strike Ultra (Deep Fan Control)||6061||65 Degrees Celsius|
|Fire Strike Ultra (Gaming Fan||6009||72 Degrees Celsius|
|Final Fantasy XV (High)||8549||83 Degrees Celsius|
If one thing was clear, it is that the Gigabyte Aorus 15G has some impressive cooling. These tests managed to keep the GPU and CPU at just under the 80-degree mark during the most intensive benchmarks. This also means that owners can expect to play ray-tracing games such as Watch Dogs: Legion at 30FPS with maxed-out settings. Unfortunately, the 8GB VRAM might be a problem for future ray-tracing games as Watch Dogs: Legion maxed it out and even went over the mark. Thankfully, you can always tweak these sort of things to bring down some settings.
Again, it comes down to what you are playing. A 250Hz display on this device is pretty pointless if you are sticking to the latest games and running ray-tracing on them. Even on the lowest settings, you won’t get past the 100FPS mark. However, older multiplayer games and heavy competitive titles will glow on this high refresh rate display.
Here’s what you can expect just from Watch Dogs: Legion alone
|1080P||Max FPS||Min FPS||Avg FPS|
|Watch Dogs Legion (High With RT)||92||38||64|
|Watch Dogs Legion (Maxed With RT)||77||32||57|
It goes without saying that the general use of the device was also smooth. Photoshop has few stuttering issues and even heavy web browsing and video content worked well. While many criticise Intel’s CPUs especially when directly comparing them to AMD, the Gigabyte Aorus 15G works pretty solid with this CPU. With that being said, it would have been nice to see an AMD variant of the device on the market. Gigabyte is also slow to the punch with that.
As for the battery life, it is great and also on par with most other 15-inch Gigabyte notebooks on the market. It helps that there’s a dedicated Intel GPU here to take over when you are not playing games. This means the RTX 3070 does not chow down on the battery while you are scrolling through Facebook. You can get around 5-6 hours of work use on the device while using 60% brightness and power save mode. Trust me, it will come in handy when load shedding kicks in. Of course, gaming will need you to plug it in. Unless you’re playing app-based games.
Another smaller detail on the Gigabyte Aorus 15G I enjoy is the speaker system. The speakers are loud and enhanced thanks to the Nahimic app. It helps stimulate a sort of surround sound experience. Not as great as a headset but it works.
Gigabyte Aorus 15G RTX 3070 Gaming Notebook Review Verdict
The Gigabyte Aorus 15G is a powerful machine. The RTX 3070 will deliver some great gaming at high and ultra-high settings. However, when ray-tracing comes into play, some sacrifices need to be made to optimise the experience. The cooling system is impressive as the results show some great performance when it comes to heavy gaming loads. However, the biggest issues I have revolve around the lack of innovation in design. The old DC charger restriction is just a no for me and there’s really nothing outstanding when it comes to the design in general. Let’s not mention that webcam again, please.