Most gaming laptops have eager about getting slimmer and smaller over the last few years, however that’s not the intention for all. The Aorus 17 (starts at $1,799; $3,699 as tested) is one such computer that wishes to stretch its vast legs, measuring in at about an inch and a 1/2 thick and greater than eight pounds. Its Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 GPU and Intel Core i9-9980HK CPU queue up top-finish gaming efficiency, as you would expect given the dimensions and price. Ultimately, though, nobody function or design side decisively sets it aside from different big, even-better-performing, laptops. The Aorus 17 is a fantastic high-finish gamer, but the Alienware area-51m and Acer Predator Helios 700 are our prime picks on this tier.
A true Gaming Behemoth
Most humans can go their entire lives without seeing a desktop as tremendous as the Aorus 17, but at PCMag Labs, we see a veritable parade of them. Even in that context, I was surprised when handed the Aorus 17 for the primary time. Some 17-inch laptops have a way of no longer looking particularly as massive as they are, however this process makes no such effort. It can be huge, deep, and most absolutely, really thick. It is now not on my own on this regard, but there’s no denying its huge dimension.
Extra principally, it measures 1.Forty nine via 15.6 with the aid of 11.5 inches (HWD), larger than almost something now we have visible come by means of for assessment that doesn’t have a laptop-category CPU within. There are, though, a small group of equivalent laptops. Among tremendous-powered machines, the Alienware discipline-51m is somewhat thinner at 1.2 inches, but is otherwise just as massive. Simplest the MSI GT76 Titan DT really surpasses the Aorus 17 with its all-in design at a whopping 1.7 via 15.6 by way of 13 inches. If you’re watching for a rather portable 17 incher, the Razer Blade pro 17 (2019) manages a chassis that comes in at zero.7 through 15.6 by means of 10.2 inches. It falls in need of this tremendous-heavyweight classification, although—these three different laptops are in a vigor, size, and price tier of their own among up to date machines.
Whilst i am on the field of measurement, I need to mention the fact that there are not one, however two enormous charging bricks for this computer. We’ve got seen this a handful of times in the past, and most lately on the MSI GT76 Titan, nevertheless it’s a noteworthy inclusion at any time when. Just this type of power bricks is large sufficient, but two of them reduces the portability of this computer to a stage i might call “most effective transfer if definitely fundamental.” The system weighs 8.Four pounds on its possess, but the total with both bricks is a outstanding 14 kilos. Add in the annoyance of packing and organizing two units of cables, and also you will not need to convey the Aorus with you anywhere. The computing device will run with only one brick plugged in, but, like while you attempt to play video games off a gaming computer’s battery handiest, the efficiency is diminished.
The Alienware and MSI laptops both endure from the equal predicament, for what it is worth. This stage of wattage is probably necessitated by the powerful GPU (more on that later), and when you consider that laptops would not have the bodily area for a computing device-dimension power deliver, this is the answer most manufacturers have landed on. The Acer Predator Helios seven-hundred can also be significant, but as a minimum it has a particular physical function to justify its size, and only one energy brick. For me, the twin bricks are a borderline disqualifying characteristic: It makes the already-cumbersome laptops that much more complicated to take with you. They’re technically portable in comparison with immobile computers, however except you are taking a protracted trip and can play a variety of video games the place you’re going, it is infrequently going to look valued at lugging a computing device like this along.
Visually, it can be a tremendous and blocky approach that feels extra plasticky than it will have to for the rate. There’s some chassis lighting fixtures in the type of headlight- and taillight-like strips and a striped row of LEDs above the keyboard. The previous are a first-rate, restrained inclusion, but i do not rather just like the look of the stripes. Your mileage may range.
Also, now not that you’ll be able to see it often, however the bottom panel has a cool-watching airflow cutout. It’s shaped like a hen with wings, and Aorus calls it a “fireplace Phoenix” design. The lid, in the meantime, has muscle lines the enterprise says are stimulated by means of a fighter jet, at the same time it likens the taillights to an uncommon auto. It is numerous influences, arguably one too many, but they share enough of the equal aesthetic to be cohesive. Customarily, the type is a bit on the busy and gamer-aesthetic part, however i do not dislike the appear of the back and front edges.
For some consumers, the vigour stage and even a measure of portability are worth it, though, and a method of this dimension and price does deliver along attractive features. A type of for the Aorus 17, made possible with the aid of the thick chassis, is the mechanical keyboard. The key switches come from Omron, and provide each tactile and audible feedback. I observed typing on this keyboard to go with the flow quickly, despite the fact that the keys are a little looser than i’d like. The travel (2.5mm) is not as deep or as fulfilling as on a excellent desktop keyboard, nevertheless it’s approach better than the typical computer keyboard.
The keys are additionally in my view backlit. That you may customise each key is lighting colour and influence, as has become usual on most excessive-end gaming machines, by way of integrated application. On this case, that is the Aorus control core. This program also lets you alternate the chassis lighting fixtures, alter fan speeds, display components, use shortcuts for apps and settings, and extra. It’s particularly intuitive, as I determined everything I was once watching for simply, and i might say it offers an above-traditional number of choices.
One other application feature is collaboration with the Microsoft Azure AI cloud platform. What this pretty much offers is clever switching between suitable energy modes to your CPU and GPU, depending on what form of project you are doing. For some, that won’t be that appealing. For instance, you may also handiest intend to play games on this laptop, and when you achieve this, you assume the accessories to crank out as much juice as they are able to.
Other users could need to do content construction and other tasks, nevertheless, and no longer run the process at full vigor always. That you can toggle the AI assistance with the “Gaming and legit” app incorporated on the desktop, and decide on special settings (limited offline use, whether or to not share your knowledge with Microsoft, and so forth). If you leave the AI option on in the historical past, that you could anticipate some body-cost upticks in gaming with out manually altering vigour modes. It should memorize your settings and keep them in a database for future use. I did certainly notice an uptick of a couple of frames per second whilst gaming when utilizing these settings, so that you would be able to leave it strolling, if you want.
Show, Ports & Configurations
The Aorus 17’s screen measures, as you may have guessed, 17.3 inches diagonally. The decision is only full HD (1080p), which i have blended emotions about.
On one hand, this decision is a surer approach to make use of its 240Hz refresh price. The curb pixel count shall be much less straining on the accessories, and the computer as a result shall be better competent to show extra frames per 2nd. Maximizing frame rates is the purpose of many fans, specially in aggressive multiplayer video games and in esports situations, and this procedure may be very well suited to doing just that.
However, getting only 1080p feels a little bit disappointing at this fee factor and reveal dimension. 1440p is a popular computing device-reveal gaming resolution (though most gamers are still making use of full HD), and the robust add-ons are borderline overkill for 1080p. If real hitting 240fps is certainly one of your high priorities, this must be tune to your ears, but a sharper photo for AAA video games and gazing movies has its own appeal. I companion better resolutions with more top class builds, however many avid gamers could certainly price the 240fps capacity extra. You can must make that decision for yourself.
Outside of the decision and refresh cost, the panel is X-rite Pantone certified for more correct colours, and it aspects an anti-glare coating. This does curb reflections (though it would not eliminate them), but the picture is duller for it. There is no contact capacity on this reveal.
The leisure of the bodily construct is rounded out by a swath of ports. The left part hosts two USB style-C ports, one among which supports Thunderbolt three, as good as one USB 3.1 port, and headphone and mic jacks. The correct flank holds two more USB three.1 variety-A ports, an additional USB form-C port, and an SD card reader. That is now not all, although, because the rear involves an HDMI connection, an Ethernet jack, and the two vigor ports.
Sooner or later, we come to configuration options. Our tester (mannequin YA-9US2452SH) is the top-end variant of this computer, ringing up at $three,699. For that, you internet an Intel Core i9-9980HK processor, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080, 32GB of memory, a 1TB SSD, and a 2TB tough drive. Be aware that the GeForce RTX 2080 will not be the Max-Q version of the chip, but the full-vigor cellular GPU.
Max-Q GPUs are tuned-down models of the cell chips that have their vigor and warmness output capped so they may be able to fit in slim laptops. Naturally, that is not wanted right here, and so you get more graphical energy (and vigour draw, accordingly the extra vigour brick). The Aorus 17 additionally entails aid for Optimus, for smart switching between the discrete GeForce GPU and integrated Intel photographs to avoid wasting you vigour when you are not looking for the RTX 2080.
Aorus offers three much less pricey SKUs below our model. The lowest starts at $1,799 and offers a Core i7-9750H CPU, a GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GPU, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, and a 144Hz monitor. The following mannequin up fees $2,199 and entails the identical processor, RAM, and storage as the previous construct, but bumps as much as an RTX 2070 GPU and a 240Hz show. 1/3 is a $2,999 config that presents the identical processor, reminiscence, and 240Hz show, but in addition involves an RTX 2080 and a 1TB SSD. The change between it and our prime mannequin, then, is the leap to a Core i9 CPU and the extra 2TB difficult power. These duvet a huge variety of budgets, though even the least costly is hardly entry-level pricing.
Performance testing: vigour to match Its measurement
For performance testing, I compared the Aorus 17 to other top-end 17-inch gaming laptops. Some of these are not really as big or pricey, but they’re all about as shut as you could get among modern machines. The chart beneath suggests what accessories every one packs…
I blanketed the Alienware ($four,409.99 as tested) and the MSI ($four,599 as proven) prior, and they’re certainly the only laptops right here more steeply-priced than the steeply-priced Aorus. The in a similar fashion hulking Acer Predator Helios seven hundred ($2,199.99 as proven) is not quite as pricey, and it entails the step-down RTX 2070 GPU and a lesser CPU. Razer’s computing device ($2,799 as established) is the least strong on this list, with a Max-Q variation of the RTX 2070, but it’s via far the sleekest and most moveable. This is what the Aorus 17 is up against, so let’s have a look at the way it did.
Productiveness, Storage & Media tests
PCMark 10 and eight are holistic efficiency suites developed with the aid of the laptop benchmark specialists at UL (previously Futuremark). The PCMark 10 scan we run simulates exclusive real-world productivity and content-production workflows. We use it to check overall method performance for place of work-centric tasks similar to phrase processing, spreadsheet jockeying, net browsing, and videoconferencing. The scan generates a proprietary numeric rating; greater numbers are higher. PCMark eight, meanwhile has a Storage subtest that we use to verify the velocity of the process’s storage subsystem. This ranking can be a proprietary numeric rating; once more, higher numbers are higher.
I will hold this short, due to the fact you probably would’ve guessed a laptop like this is more than able of handling every day home and place of work tasks. It was once the second-quickest on this scan, and given the baseline for these robust programs is high, the Aorus 17 will pace through any workaday applications you throw its way. Its SSD pace was once minutely slower than the relaxation, however all of these represent snappy drives on the way to boot and cargo quickly.
Subsequent is Maxon’s CPU-crunching Cinebench R15 experiment, which is wholly threaded to utilize all to be had processor cores and threads. Cinebench stresses the CPU as an alternative than the GPU to render a complex photo. The outcome is a proprietary score indicating a computer’s suitability for processor-intensive workloads.
We also run a custom Adobe Photoshop picture-modifying benchmark. Using an early 2018 unencumber of the ingenious Cloud version of Photoshop, we observe a sequence of 10 difficult filters and results to a normal JPEG experiment photo. We time every operation and, on the end, add up the complete execution time. As with Handbrake, shrink instances are better here.
These two assessments are much more strenuous than PCMark 10, and the Aorus 17 did well. It used to be peculiarly rapid on Photoshop, slower simplest than the beefy MSI. The 2 computer-grade Core i9 laptops were the one ones that carried out better on Cinebench, however they performed markedly better—you will see that where the additional juice comes in for these worrying multi-threaded tasks. The Aorus 17’s chip is short of the i9-9900K’s level, but it surely’s still a lusty Core i9 CPU. It’s your decision this desktop in particular for gaming, nevertheless it’s plenty capable of reputable multimedia and other strenuous official work.
3DMark measures relative photos muscle by means of rendering sequences of extremely unique, gaming-sort 3D portraits that emphasize particles and lighting. We run two unique 3DMark subtests, Sky Diver and fireplace Strike, that are suited to one-of-a-kind varieties of systems. Each are DirectX eleven benchmarks, but Sky Diver is extra proper to laptops and midrange PCs, at the same time hearth Strike is more disturbing and made for high-finish PCs to strut their stuff. The results are proprietary rankings.
Subsequent up is one more artificial portraits experiment, this time from Unigine Corp. Like 3DMark, the Superposition scan renders and pans by way of a distinctive 3D scene and measures how the process copes. In this case, it’s rendered in the organization’s eponymous Unigine engine, delivering one other 3D workload scenario than 3DMark, for a second opinion on the computing device’s graphical prowess.
The 3D prowess of the Aorus 17 is on full show here, posting high results on the two extra traumatic exams (3DMark hearth Strike and Superposition excessive). The two muscle laptops part it out in every case, however when you consider that the extra cost and vigor, the Aorus 17 holds up well.
On a less head-to-head foundation, these scores are objectively high, and factor to plenty of graphical vigor. For non-gaming duties like video enhancing, animation, modeling, and extra that require mighty graphics hardware, this non-Max-Q RTX 2080 is more than up to the mission. As for gaming…
Actual-World Gaming exams
the factitious assessments above are priceless for measuring general 3D aptitude, but it surely’s tough to beat full retail video video games for judging gaming efficiency. A long way Cry 5 and rise of the Tomb Raider are both trendy, high-fidelity titles with developed-in benchmarks that illustrate how a system handles actual-world video games at various settings. These are run on each the reasonable and maximum pix-best presets (normal and extremely for a long way Cry 5, Medium and very high for upward push of the Tomb Raider) at native decision to judge performance for a given process. The results are additionally offered in frames per 2nd. A long way Cry 5 is DirectX 11-centered, whilst upward thrust of the Tomb Raider can be flipped to DX12, which we do for the benchmark.
As mentioned prior, these accessories are greater than able for 1080p, and the results right here show simply that. A long way Cry 5 and upward thrust of the Tomb Raider are far from aggressive titles where you need the very best possible frame rates, and this laptop still pushes 117fps and 144fps, respectively, at maximum settings. Extra-stressful video games will push these body premiums slightly slash, however at 1080p, the stress of essentially the most latest titles will probably be diminished relatively.
These games exhibit that the Aorus 17’s parts are not particularly overkill for 1080p, given that the frame charges don’t, in fact, hit the 240Hz cap in video games like these. You may handiest need 60fps in AAA games, however more frames does result in a smoother expertise. In multiplayer titles which might be a lot less taxing, this procedure will make a lot better use of the 240Hz refresh expense. For example, in a trial I ran utilizing Rainbow Six: Siege at maximum settings and 1080p, it averaged 254fps on the constructed-in benchmark test.
In whole, the performance is in a infrequent tier for laptops, despite the fact that it takes its gigantic measurement to get there. For illustration, the Blade pro 17 is an expensive, slick laptop with undeniably high-tier hardware, however even then there’s a clear hole between it and behemoths just like the Aorus 17. I will also add that for a computing device of this measurement, it wasn’t too loud, and stays fairly cool due to its “Windforce Infinity” cooling system and vapor chamber. If you ramp the fan speeds to maximum using the Aorus Command middle, the procedure will get very loud. It’ll add a pair further frames to your video games, nevertheless it is probably not valued at the noise.
Battery Rundown scan
After utterly recharging the computing device, we hooked up the computing device in energy-shop mode (versus balanced or excessive-performance mode) and make a number of other battery-conserving tweaks in training for our unplugged video rundown scan. (We additionally flip Wi-Fi off, placing the desktop in aircraft mode.) on this scan, we loop a video—a in the community stored 720p file of the Blender foundation short Tears of metal—with display brightness set at 50 percent and volume at one hundred percent unless the system conks out.
One discipline where the Aorus 17 does not shine—no surprise—is its battery life. I expected a bad outcome like this with only one seem on the method; laptops this size not often final very lengthy. The hardware and feature set is readily draining, as reflected in the sub-three-hour battery life. Even supposing you do deliver the Aorus 17 with you, I cannot envision a scenario the place you’ll wish to use it off the charger for lengthy. It can be now not lap-pleasant, and it is not going to match on any aircraft tray I’ve ever seen. Remarkably, two of the programs on this batch drained even turbo, at the same time the MSI will get credit score for lasting as long as it does given its size and power.
Tremendous & daring, however not our favorite Beast
The Aorus 17 is a beast of a gaming computer, although i wouldn’t name it the great in its type. It is much less expensive than its predominant rivals, but value is hardly a problem in this over-the-high rate tier, and the type of configurations way you should take defined price variations with a grain of salt. The other prime-tier choices and their computing device CPUs present advanced performance throughout the board, and their builds are nicer besides. The Alienware area-51m, in special, has an appealing design that is effectively a step above, versus the tremendous black chassis that outline the Aorus 17 and the MSI GT76 Titan DT.
The Aorus 17 delivers high frame premiums at maximum settings, however that is the table stakes from a desktop of this size and fee. It can be competitive, to be certain; it can be just now not an unassailable decide upon for spending more than $3,000. In this cost range, even if you are now not getting value, you need to at the least think like you are getting the peak of design and components. The Aorus 17 is just a bit off that mark, and for the reason that it can be priced a lot towards its behemoth-computing device competition than the midrange options, it’s complex to advise in the $3,699 mannequin we received. (i believe i might have been a little keener on a configuration just like the $1,799 entry one.) in case you do desire a laptop this colossal and strong and are looking to keep on with any sort of funds, this may occasionally prevent some money. Otherwise, go all in with the Editors’ option Alienware subject-51m or the distinct, sliding-keyboard Acer Predator Helios seven hundred.