Gigabyte P35X v3 Notebook Review: GTX 980M Gets Slim

Can Gigabyte fit true gaming performance into a 7/8”-slim notebook chassis? You do get a Core i7-4710HQ and GeForce GTX 980M, after all.

Portability means different things to different people, and gamers probably have lower expectations than tablet users when it comes to a device's dimensions. It wasn’t so long ago that the word “slim” applied to any notebook under an inch thick, and it seems almost incredible that today’s manufacturers are able to fit a top-end gaming GPU into that old spec. When Gigabyte came to us offering the latest high-end notebook GPU in a 7/8” chassis, my first question was, “Great, but where did you put the battery?" But the company did so much more than add a battery to a high-end graphics processor!

Underneath its lighted keyboard (the lights are disabled by default) lies the heart of a true portable gaming machine, complete with 16GB of RAM in dual-channel mode, a Haswell-based CPU running at up to 3.5GHz with Turbo Boost, the aforementioned GeForce GTX 980M GPU and even…get this…a 1TB secondary storage drive and DVD writer. All of those parts are squeezed into the bottom ¾” of this machine.

Above that, we find Gigabyte’s optional 2880x1620 WQHD display, which brings us to a brief discussion of part numbers. Different versions of the P35X v3 come with either a 1920x1080 or WQHD display, along with various drive and memory configurations ranging in price from around $1800 to $2400. We got one of the top units.

Gigabyte P35XV3-CF3 Component List
PlatformGigabyte P35V3: Intel FCBGA1364, HM87 Express, BGA Discrete Graphics
CPUIntel Haswell-Based Core i7-4710HQ (2.5-3.5GHz, 47W Max TDP)
RAM2x Transcend TS1GSK64W6H (2x 8GB) DDR3-1600 SO-DIMM, CL11
GraphicsNvidia GeForce GTX 980M: 1038MHz, 8GB GDDR5-5012
Display15.6" WQHD Glossy LCD, 2880x1620
WebcamGeneric HD Webcam
AudioRealtek ALC282 with Dolby Digital Plus software
SecurityKensington Security Slot
Storage
Hard DriveSystem: 2x Lite-On LMT-128L9M mSATA 6Gb/s SSD (Striped, 256GB)
Storage: HGST HTS721010A9E630 1TB/7200RPM/2.5" HDD, 32MB Cache
Optical DrivePanasonic UJ8E2 DVD±R 8x DVD±R DL 6x DVD-RAM 5x Reader/Writer
Media DriveRTS5227 SD media card interface
Networking
Wireless LANIntel Dual Band (2x2) Wireless-AC 7260 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 867Mb/s Wi-Fi / Bluetooth Combo
Wireless PANIntegrated Bluetooth 4.0 Transceiver on Wireless Combo Card
Gigabit NetworkRTL8111E 10/100/1000Mb/s Ethernet
IEEE-1394None
TelephonyNone
Peripheral Interfaces
USB2x USB 2.0, 2x USB 3.0
Expansion CardNot Available
HDD(USB only)
AudioHeadphone, Microphone
VideoMini DisplayPort, HDMI, VGA
Power & Weight
AC AdapterDelta ADP-180MB 180W Power Brick, 100-240V AC to 19.5V DC
Battery11.1V 6830mAh (75.81Wh) Internal
WeightNotebook 5.5 lbs, AC Adapter 1.7 lbs, Total 7.2 pounds
Software
Operating SystemMicrosoft Windows 8.1, OEM
Service
WarrantyTwo years labor, two years parts
Price$2400

Newegg calls this the P35XV3-CF4, while XoticPC calls it the P35XV3-CF3. The box says this is a 9WP35XV33-UE-A-003 (CF3), though XoticPC clarifies that it should sport a matte (rather than gloss) version of the display. Since both parts have the same internal specs and price, we’ll leave it to you to read the specifications sheet of your seller.

Getting back to the portability scale, Gigabyte’s P35X v3 is lighter and thinner than even Lenovo’s Y50-70. The AC adapter is a little heavier, but that’s what it takes to run monster graphics. Questions about whether a system this thin can use all that power (without overheating) will certainly be answered by our benchmarks. But let’s first take a look inside to see how Gigabyte makes all of its high-end hardware fit into such a tiny chassis!

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18 comments
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  • blackmagnum
    Please rank the top gaming laptop line of the Taiwanese brands: Gigabyte, Asus, Acer and MSI. Which offer better durability, expandability, price to performance and bragging rights?
  • Crashman
    We should do durability tests! I wonder if the manufacturers would agree!
  • Agera One
    How the gigabyte laptop gives the same 30.4 FPS in GRID 2 both when "No AA" and "8x AA" in all three resolutions???
  • ashburner
    Did you test heat and noise? Does this thing sound like a jet engine during normal productivity or gaming?
  • Au_equus
    One of the main points about doing a thinner FF than say a ASUS G751JY, is thermals, in regards to whether GB can keep it in check. The G751JY is able to keep the palm rest <10C above ambient. What about the P35X v3?
  • theDoItYourselfAmeture
    Wile the P35x v3 may not cool components as well as the G751jy (the asus is over twice as thick) The palm rest is actually cooler than normal body temperature so it wont feel warm, the same cannot be said for the keyboard as it gets kinda toasty especially with that i7 and the 980m in that slim package. But it works, and works well enough. With arctic silver thermal compound and undervolting the cpu, temps stay in the mid to low 80's when in battlefield 4 on ultra. A cooling pad also helps when you want to game as well, even though its not needed when doing word or internet.

    This thread is dedicated to this laptop and is actually full of awesome information even though the op decided to return it. If you are really interested in this small form factor laptop then I suggest you look at the p35w v3 cf4 as its the same chassis but with the 970m so it stays cooler and its cheaper and comes with an ssd wile giving great fps in almost every game on ultra
    (information taken form the forum from various posts)

    http://forum.notebookreview.com/threads/gigabyte-p35x-v3-owners-lounge.764645/
  • gamebrigada
    Why are they releasing gaming laptops under their brand name when they have AORUS in a similar price range but WAY better design and specs. Why are they competing with themselves?
  • TechyInAZ
    Gigabyte makes excellent gaming laptops, but they have bad cooling. I had a Gigabyte q2532N and it couldn't even take both cpu and gpu at 100% without nearly overheating.
  • Damn_Rookie
    1633001 said:
    How the gigabyte laptop gives the same 30.4 FPS in GRID 2 both when "No AA" and "8x AA" in all three resolutions???

    It's explained in the article:

    Quote:
    Unlike fixed-frequency battery-saver mode, Nvidia Battery Boost modulates GPU frequency to provide a target frame rate at the lowest possible power consumption. Though this sounds like a great way to conserve battery power, the technology actually increases power consumption in situations where the old method failed to produce playable frame rates. We left the original 30 FPS target in place.

    So when unplugged, the system modulates GPU usage to maintain a constant 30 FPS.
  • Eggz
    That's one beast of a laptop!
  • Steve Simons
    Where are the heat tests you said you were going test on page 1? I read that whole thing to see that you didn't even do that. A great laptop is useless as a melted brick.
  • slyu9213
    330381 said:
    Why are they releasing gaming laptops under their brand name when they have AORUS in a similar price range but WAY better design and specs. Why are they competing with themselves?


    Well the AORUS line, aesthetically is fit more for gaming with it's sharp edges like the Asus ROG laptops. The P3XX line of laptops is a bit more subtle and plain that doesn't feel designed for people who want to brand themselves as gamers everywhere they go. Also AORUS focuses on SLI setups by putting two 2nd place/class GPUs to provide performance beyond the best single GPU for each generation. Even now there are people who have no clue AORUS is part of Gigabyte. Additionally I think the quality of the P34/35 are better than the AORUS laptops (case/enclosure). One can go with AORUS with their dual GPU setups (some games won't scale as well with two GPUs) and others can go with one single GPU that will cause less heat and need less room.
  • dragonsqrrl
    Any information on the panel? Is it TN, IPS? How's the viewing angles? Is it responsive? Any backlight bleed? Would really appreciate it if you added this type of information to future notebook reviews.
  • Crashman
    1675850 said:
    Where are the heat tests you said you were going test on page 1? I read that whole thing to see that you didn't even do that. A great laptop is useless as a melted brick.
    Sorry, there was a problem with the heat test: I couldn't get it hot enough to maintain full fan speed. Part of that is environmental, since the lab is only 18 °C.

    307808 said:
    Any information on the panel? Is it TN, IPS? How's the viewing angles? Is it responsive? Any backlight bleed? Would really appreciate it if you added this type of information to future notebook reviews.
    Thanks, we're looking for a notebook reviewer to focus primarily on things like the panel, and our equipment for testing the panel is at another lab. Basically the color was cool, the blacks weren't black enough, and I believe I saw a hint of bleed at the top right edge of the panel. Since I didn't have the meter I put that comment in the cons as a qualitative assessment. The view angles were good: I did most of my testing with the panel facing away from me at a 50° angle.
  • cirslevin
    sealed battery won't last long for a gaming computer, not a smart move.
  • eojhet
    I own this configuration and absolutely love it. I can play Max Payne 3 at top quality set to the full 3K resolution and not fall below 60 fps. Yes. Its not a new game but its still beautiful. At very high resolutions I don't mind turning off AA since jaggies really aren't very obviously on a denser display. If you've got the dough get the good stuff.
  • Lama Nian
    Ive had mine for 4 monthes now and battery still gets around 6 hours
  • sickbones
    How are the thermals for this laptop for the owners out there? How hot does it get?