I love a 17-inch gaming notebook. Great screen space, a guaranteed full keyboard and of course, powerful internals. These are a few things you are most likely to get when investing in one. The Gigabyte Aorus 17G has the full feature set including a great mechanical keyboard, awesome display and overall decent design. Instead of the cliche black, you get a steel grey shell, and the keyboard RGB is subtle too. The device has just the right amount of “difference” to make it feel unique and while it lacks the “wow” factor, it manages to still stand out.
Check out our Gigabyte Aorus 17G video review
Gigabyte Aorus 17G Tech Specs
- Display: 17.3-inch 1920×1080 240Hz Pantone Certified
- CPU: Intel Comet Lake Core i7-10875H
- GPU: Intel UHD and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 8GB
- RAM: 16GB DDR4 3200MHz
- Storage: 512GB PCIe SSD
- Wireless: Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0
- LAN: Gigabit LAN
- Ports: 3x USB-A 3.2 gen1, 1x USB-C with Thunderbolt 3, HDMI 2.0b, miniDP 1.4, LAN, SD card reader, headphone, mic
- Size: 405mm x 276mm x 26mm thick / 2.72 Kgs
- Keyboard: Per-key RGB with mechanical OMRON switches
Gigabyte Aorus 17G Design
As I mentioned before, the Gigabyte Aorus 17G includes a steel grey shell and looks fairly decent. The colour palette is striking and comes close to a MacBook. While not as clean and subtle as Apple’s range, it is one of the first gaming notebooks I have reviewed that came close to resembling it. On top of the device, you’ll find an Aorus logo that lights up when the device is open. You can’t change the logo colour or manually turn it off.
When it comes to the portability of the device, the Gigabyte Aorus 17G is not that heavy. Don’t get me wrong, it is not light either but considering the internals and size, it is a lot lighter than I thought it would be. It is also not the thinnest notebook either but it does its job. When closed, it sits nicely on the counter and looks professional. Picking it up and it weighs 2.72Kgs which is not too bad. My Acer Helios 500 is around 3.8Kgs. However, we need to take into consideration it is a two-year-old device.
The Gigabyte Aorus 17G includes a lot of ports. So many that the company could not put them all on one side of the device either and it could be a problem. Unlike the recent ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15 I reviewed which kept the right-hand side clean for your mouse, the G17 does not. On the left-hand side, you will find two USB A 3.2 gen 1 port, the headphone and microphone jack, the SD card reader and the ethernet ports. On the right-hand side, there is the power port, HDMI, Thunderbolt 3, USB-C and another USB A 3,2 Gen1.
I don’t have a major issue with the placement of the ports but I do think Gigabyte could have moved some stuff to the back of the device to keep the side where your gaming mouse is placed clean. The HDMI, power port and at least one of the USB ports could have been moved. It is not a train smash but there’s nothing worse than having an HDMI or power cable jutting out the side of your gaming laptop while you’re trying to play Overwatch.
We then have the smaller details like the webcam which includes a nifty little slider so you can close and open it when you need it. Those of you worried about security will love this feature. The RGB keyboard is also great. The mechanical OMRON switches feel great while typing and gaming. There’s some great space between the keys, and the travel time feels fantastic. Of course, you can change the RGB as you wish and the per-key lights are not as “in-your-face” as other devices. General use of the keyboard was pleasant. Both typing and gaming felt great thanks to the satisfying clicks, layout and travel time of each key.
The trackpad is okay. I do prefer a trackpad with actual buttons to click but I managed to master the Gigabyte Aorus 17G pad after some time. There’s also a fingerprint sensor on the trackpad for that added security.
One of the device’s best features is the display. The Gigabyte Aorus 17G packs a gorgeous 17.3-inch 240Hz FHD panel and it goes a long way to improve not only gaming but for general use too. The screen hits just above 300 nits of brightness which is okay. It won’t help in super-bright environments but general usage is okay. The display takes up a lot of the device’s space. This means the bezels are extremely thin so less frame and more screen space.
Gigabyte Aorus 17G Performance
So how does the Gigabyte Aorus 17G perform when gaming and under pressure? Fairly well. It does have its issues but benchmarks resulted in some high scores and testing games kept the frames high and the fans spinning. The device packs an NVIDIA RTX 2070 Super which is a somewhat powerful GPU. When put up against other chipsets on the market, its closest competitor is the GTX 1080 Ti which it should surpass on paper.
Of course, it is not a laptop test without the Final Fantasy XV Windows Edition benchmark tool. Running this on the highest setting in full screen pumped out a score of 7433 with a “high performance” result. I then overclocked the GPU to max through the Aorus app and it saw a slight increase in performance. The benchmark scored 7461 showing that the device does not really overclock very well. This is a clear bottleneck warning sign. The Geekbench CPU benchmark score was 1281 for single-core and 6955 for multi-core. The Compute benchmark score was 81549 OpenCL.
When it comes to actual games and playing them, the Gigabyte Aorus 17G performed well. You won’t be able to achieve over 100fps on most of today’s modern games, however. Shadow of the Tomb Raider with maxed out settings pumped out around 80-85fps. Far Cry 5 at max sat at around 60-70fps. More graphical intensive games came out a bit lower. Metro Exodus could not hit 60fps on max with RTX disabled and dropped to around 40fps with RTX enabled. However, these tests are not far off what you can expect from a desktop version of an RTX 2070 Super which means this notebook is capable of some great things.
So is that 240Hz display a waste? Well, not really. There were a few games that managed to get some high frames. Overwatch on high ranged between 190fps and 210fps. Destiny 2 at 100% render resolution sat at 120fps. This means the Gigabyte Aorus 17G can make use of its fancy high hertz display. However, any major games may struggle to do so. Are you being shortchanged here? Not at all. The RTX 2070 performed just as it should give or take a few lower scores due to heating.
Speaking of heating, the Gigabyte Aorus 17G handles long gaming sessions fairly well. They do come at a cost of noise as the fans are loud and often annoying. However, they do a great job to keep the heat down. I never experienced the CPU load over 80-degrees and the GPU never hot over 75-degrees. Sure, you can get this higher if you tweak a few settings and overclock the CPU and GPU even more but the fans will only get louder.
The Gigabyte Aorus 17G includes a fairly decent battery cell. General use without it plugged in pumped out at least 5-6 hours of use. This is pretty high for a gaming laptop. However, keep in mind that this result is thanks to the Intel UHD graphics chipset which is enabled when not gaming. When you are playing a game, you need to plug this in. The great battery means the device makes for a practical work station without worrying about it dying on you.
I really enjoyed the Gigabyte Aorus 17G during my time with it. The overall design is simple and effective. When it comes to gaming, the RTX 2070 SUPER is powerful and managed to deliver some high performance. Is the display’s 240Hz overkill? I think so. The GPU often can’t even get to half of that while testing the latest games. No doubt the display’s high hertz is there for multiplayer games like Overwatch and CS Go. However, there’s still a lot of titles that can fully utilize it which is great. In general, the 17G is a great RTX 2070 Super machine that should stand the test of time for a couple of years to come
Thie Gigabyte Aorus 17G review was based on a device sent to us by Gigabyte. The Aorus 17G retails for R49,999 and is available from early September 2020.