Aorus X7 Pro Notebook Review: GeForce GTX 970M Gets Slim In SLI

Aorus X7 Pro: Performance, Efficiency And Value. Pick Two.

Aorus tells us that its X7 Pro, as delivered, will cost $2599. If we treat it as a general-purpose portable PC, that puts it on par with last spring’s GeForce GTX 870M configuration.

On the other hand, the X7 Pro’s primary mission is to play games while plugged in to the wall. Pick it up, take it to the office, plug it in. Go to a LAN party, plug it in again. When we treat it as a transportable gaming machine, it looks like an even better value.

It even beats a $1600 desktop machine in measures of raw performance. The price penalty for portability is around 50%, though my desktop build would probably need the added performance and cost of a desktop-oriented GeForce GTX 980 to confirm that estimate.

Aorus uses slimness to drive home its message about portability, but hasn’t exactly made this one a lightweight. The X7 Pro is a nice replacement for the previously-tested Dominator series from MSI though, except that the display connector arrangement is a bit weird (requiring the use of VGA for three-display spanning). And I’m a little disappointed that the battery is so hard to replace, even though we rarely need to swap out power supplies in our mobile platforms.

I recorded an acoustic reading of 51dB(A) during my game tests from ½ meter. That’s the equivalent of 45dB(A) at 1m, the familiar distance for testing things like industrial fans and loudspeakers.

That means the X7 Pro is still an award contender, though not necessarily as a slim gaming notebook. Thanks to nagging issues like the need to manually disable SLI in order to enable BatteryBoost, I can’t recommend it to anyone who wants to game from both the battery and a wall outlet until Nvidia irons out those idiosyncrasies. It does make a really nice desktop replacement notebook though, where an 8.7-pound combined weight (with power adapter) and sub-1” thickness make the system easier to carry around in a class where portability is normally an afterthought.

This thread is closed for comments
22 comments
    Your comment
  • Nuckles_56
    A nice machine but I wouldn't consider buying one til Nvidia fixes up the issues that the machine is having with SLI
  • blackmagnum
    Boo SLI. You create more miserly than happiness. Do yourself a favor and buy a top single-gpu gaming notebook instead.
  • StarBound
    I'm assuming the screen is a 60hz making the SLI somewhat pointless. Still the machine is impressive but at the end of the day I cannot see myself getting something that lasts only 40min when performing its primary function (in this case gaming).
  • eriko
    Certainly has my attention...
  • Steveymoo
    Colour me impressed. This could be the first truly functional gaming desktop replacement! It's faster than my desktop, and my GPU is less than a year old. Wowzers. And such a slim package.
  • AndrewBrodie
    Does the HDMI Port support HDMI 2.0? I would like to use it with a 4K TV and hope to exceed 30 FPS.
  • xyster
    FYI: Nvidia GeForce GTX 980M is offered also in 8GB capacities; not just 4gb. ie: MSI Dominator versions have it.
  • npyrhone
    The performance figures are really impressive, but why on earth are the "idle" and "reading" power consumption levels so absurdly high?

    I mean, I can somehow even understand the zombie drain by the other gpu, but even so: how is it possible that if you just write a word document and read news from the internet, you get something like 2h of battery life.

    Obviously, the person who purchases this might not need even 1h battery life ever, but that does not change the fact that something seems to be wrong here, or even broken, when the previous gen laptop achieves 5-6h of battery life in such scenarios.

    I am like 95% sure that either the power saving options were not enabled, or they were not functioning properly or some component was flawed or some driver was misbehaving. Or then something else weird was going on.

    In any case, I am 100% certain that I can get 3-4h of battery life in a light use, non-gaming scenario with a properly built laptop even if it was sporting this kind of hardware (ie. i7-4870HQ, 970M SLI, 17,3" FHD...)
  • sportfreak23
    Was thinking of purchasing this to replace my current Sony Vaio S as the dual core is starting to show its age. But the 1080p screen is kinda turn off when aorus offers a high res screen on its X3. Wish they made a high res 980M sli option to be purchased as this current 970m setup doesn't impress me much.
  • hst101rox
    On page 4, it is not just the Aorus x7 pro that has an AC adapter with an efficiency rating of "V", but the Delta 180W of the MSI GT60/70 and most any other new laptop, and tablet/smart phone charger should also be at that efficiency rating.
  • mlga91
    Its really impresive that this little machine can outperform in some cases a full sized $1600 desktop, i'd love to see this setup in a small factor case.
  • Karpet360
    How's the heat dissipation for this laptop? Are people gonna get thermal throttling when they play for a few hours?

    The "Gaming" laptops that I've had, have had serious heat issues that forced me to open my laptop up and re-apply the thermal compound, which only partially fixed the issue since the fan was underpowered.

    I don't mean to bash laptops, I just don't know if this has changed in the past year...I just think buyers should be more aware since heat issues translate to stuttering and graphical problems in game- which is inherent to laptops due to the small space packing powerful components.

    I'd like to see a stress-test benchmark to see how bad the thermal throttling is (if any) on newer laptops.
  • WyomingKnott
    1327195 said:
    ... but at the end of the day I cannot see myself getting something that lasts only 40min when performing its primary function (in this case gaming).


    My wife would love it if I could perform my primary function for a whole forty minutes. It's all relative.
  • s1rrah
    All that and not a single mention of GPU temps? .... WTF?
  • jazzy663
    Yeah, the heat that thing will generate is really a concern here. For the price that it costs, you could build a wonderfully powerful desktop. Aside from the portability I don't see why anyone would buy this, unless you do a lot, and I do mean a lot of traveling, and like to game while doing so.
  • Gotham
    One look at the msi gs60 ghost pro 3k-097 and the aorus x7 looses appeal.. it's a beast of a machine though..
  • rannon
    1798029 said:
    How's the heat dissipation for this laptop? Are people gonna get thermal throttling when they play for a few hours? The "Gaming" laptops that I've had, have had serious heat issues that forced me to open my laptop up and re-apply the thermal compound, which only partially fixed the issue since the fan was underpowered. I don't mean to bash laptops, I just don't know if this has changed in the past year...I just think buyers should be more aware since heat issues translate to stuttering and graphical problems in game- which is inherent to laptops due to the small space packing powerful components. I'd like to see a stress-test benchmark to see how bad the thermal throttling is (if any) on newer laptops.

    ( if i recall correctly ) linus tech tips reviewed this product, the cpu apparently throttled, but it was minor... the gpu's held their clock speed even after an hour of furmark and prime 95....so i would have assumed that replacing the thermal paste would fix the issue( NOTE:- the review model had dual 800m series gpu, )...but personally, not a fan of slim "gaming" machines. as you said, they normally have issues dissipating the heat... im looking towards the asus g751 with the single 970m, as their gaming line i known for its superior cooling thanks to its radical heatsink design. and i wouldn't even bother about frame rates.. because taken into fact that the refresh rate only 60hz, anything above that it practically useless. neverthe less the g751 with the 970m can run battlefield 4 on max setting and resolution and still crank over 50 fps easily. the other version of the g751 comes with a gtx 980m... and that is about 10-20% faster depending on the scenario. as for a benchmark. battlefield 4 max settings and resolution ... and "maintain" over 60fps at all times. (yes im talking about 64 player map multiplayer for both individual gpu's ).
    hope this helped :D
  • rannon
    22024 said:
    Does the HDMI Port support HDMI 2.0? I would like to use it with a 4K TV and hope to exceed 30 FPS.

    the performance of the 2 cards in sli outperform the gtx 970..... yes , you can easily do 4k and over 30fps...
    hoped this helped
  • rannon
    1089362 said:
    All that and not a single mention of GPU temps? .... WTF?

    gpu temps for both cards hover around 85c and cpu is at 88c under full load ... which of the bat is not bad but lets say after a year, this will run into overheating issues. so cleaning hsf and replacing thermal paste is a must. (i recommend arctic silver 5)
    so yeah.
  • ygohome
    I like the laptop a lot. I only wish it had more VRAM. 3 seems too little. I also wish it used the faster m.2 PCIe SSDs rather than SATA. And most of all I wish they could offer NBD repairs since I would use the laptop as my primary workstation business computer.
  • fatheroffour
    Would have love to see some performance numbers at higher resolutions. Looking to replace my desktop machine - with SLI 970s but if this laptop gave decent FPS at 1200p/1440p/4k I would really consider it. Anyone know of any such tests?
  • rannon
    1807343 said:
    Would have love to see some performance numbers at higher resolutions. Looking to replace my desktop machine - with SLI 970s but if this laptop gave decent FPS at 1200p/1440p/4k I would really consider it. Anyone know of any such tests?


    this can even haul ass at 1440p , by that i mean maintain above 50fps in most cases...but then again, anything under 60fps in sli seems to stutter. hope this helped