Home Computers & peripherals Review: Gigabyte Aero 15X V8 with 8th Gen Intel Core i7 Coffee Lake H CPU

Featured IT News

Atlassian to acquire AgileCraft

19 March 2019 in Listed Tech

Collaboration and productivity vendor Atlassian has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Texas-based enterprise agile planning software provider AgileCraft.

Irish companies boost Australian investment with $10 million in new contracts

19 March 2019 in Strategy

More than $10 million in new contracts in Australia have been announced as part of a Trade Mission from Ireland…

TPG profit smashed by mobile network cancellation

19 March 2019 in Telecoms & NBN

Telecommunications provider TPG Telecom has announced a reported net profit after tax of $46.9 million for the first half of…

Apple launches new iPad mini at last, and new iPad Air, both with A12 CPU and Pencil compatibility

19 March 2019 in Home Tech

A new 10.5-inch iPad Air and a new 7.9-inch iPad mini have arrived, both with Apple Pencil support, advanced Retina…

Bush coalition welcomes plans for new regional mobile base stations

18 March 2019 in Telecoms & NBN

Regional Australian lobby group the Rural Regional and Remote Communications Coalition has welcomed the announcement from the Australian Government which…

Telstra says expanded investment will eliminate more mobile black spots

18 March 2019 in Telecoms & NBN

Telstra says it will eliminate black spots at 131 locations under Round Four of the Federal Government mobile black spot…

Cloudflare has 'process for tackling child porn on customer sites'

18 March 2019 in Technology Regulation

Reverse proxy and DDoS protection provider Cloudflare says it will not stop providing services to the website 8chan, despite clear…

ARENA, AEMO boost wind, solar energy industry with $9.41m in funding

18 March 2019 in Energy

Solar and wind farms in Australia are set to test providing their own short-term generation forecasts, under a funding initiative…

Pollies, don't try to pin the blame on social media. Look in the mirror

18 March 2019 in Open Sauce

When anything bad happens, politicians always look for the first convenient scapegoat. And in the case of the massacre of…

Exploiting existing NBN potential can improve situation: expert

17 March 2019 in Telecoms & NBN

Writing down the value of the NBN to take the pressure off NBN Co trying to increase the average revenue…

EU may hit Google with AdSense fine this week: report

17 March 2019 in Technology Regulation

The European Union is likely to announce a third fine on Google this week, this one for alleged abuse of…

Qualcomm awarded US$31m for violation of patents by Apple

16 March 2019 in Technology Regulation

Multinational semiconductor and telecommunications equipment firm Qualcomm has been awarded US$31 million (A$43.7 million) in damages for the infringement of…

Breaking IT News

Analytics key to IoT: SAS

19 March 2019 in Data

IoT projects will often require that automated decisions are made at the network edge to avoid latency issues.

Ericsson selected by TDC for Danish nationwide commercial 5G rollout

19 March 2019 in Deals

Ericsson has been selected by Danish service provider TDC to roll out nationwide commercial 5G, as part of a major…

How much does a CEO enjoy a cyber breach? Quite a lot, it seems

19 March 2019 in Security

Researchers at Warwick Business School have found that in the five years after a cyber incident, shareholders suffered, but CEO's…

Union seeks Uber probe over spyware use to knock off rivals

19 March 2019 in Technology Regulation

A union has demanded the Federal Government investigate the ride-sharing firm Uber after a program on the ABC on Monday…

Fintech Waddle secures $4 million in funding raise

19 March 2019 in Strategy

Australian fintech, Waddle has secured $4 million in Series A funding, with the funding secured from technology investor, Allectus Capital.

InstaReM closes $58 million funding round

19 March 2019 in Strategy

Fintech and digital cross-border payments company InstaReM has closed a $58 million series C funding scheme.

Myriota launches developer toolkit for ‘direct to orbit’ IoT access

19 March 2019 in Internet of Things

Nanosatellite Internet of Things connectivity vendor Myriota has launched its developer toolkit aimed at accelerating the availability of Internet of…

Like Splunk, Aust firms may also have to give up business abroad

19 March 2019 in Open Sauce

The same fate that befell big data analytics company Splunk last month — having to pull out of doing business in…

Nvidia Jetson Nano addresses mass-market ML

19 March 2019 in Hardware

GPU giant Nvidia has revealed the Jetson Nano, a tiny AI computer for use in mass-market products.

Industrial cyber security firm Dragos acquires NexDefense

19 March 2019 in Security

Industrial cyber security firm Dragos has acquired NexDefense, a pioneer in the field of industrial security, and says it will…

Online porn block will catch Britons on the hop: survey

19 March 2019 in Entertainment

Market research and data analytics firm YouGov claims 75% of Britons do not know that their government will put curbs…

Vocus denies speculation on fresh equity raising

19 March 2019 in Business Telecommunications

The Vocus Group has denied media speculation that it would be organising a fresh round of equity raising, saying it…

ACMA to probe murder footage broadcast on Australian TV

19 March 2019 in Technology Regulation

The Australian Communications and Media Authority says it is investigating whether broadcasters breached the rules by some of the material…

Epson demonstrates latest tech at flagship Mercedes me Store, Melbourne

18 March 2019 in Entertainment

Global electronics, printer and imaging equipment vendor Epson has demonstrated how a successful Formula One technology partnerships can affect everyday…

Give your own staff the full customer experience, BMC CIO says

18 March 2019 in The Wired CIO

Running the vast infrastructure for digital operations software company, BMC, affords its chief information officer Scott Crowder a perspective on…

Aldi brings TVs, Bluetooth headphones, Nokia smartphones and more back on special

18 March 2019 in Home Tech

Aldi's well-known special buys change twice a week, and on 23 March, it is unleashing two TVs, glittering rechargeable batteries,…

VIDEO Interview: Jay Flores talks STEM, robotics and more during FIRST Robotics Competition

18 March 2019 in Development

Last week, the FIRST Robotics Competition held its first two Australian events for 2019, having first arrived down under in…

VIDEO: LG launches new TVs and Sound Bars at its Sydney Innofest 2019 event

18 March 2019 in Home Tech

LG has held its annual Innofest event in Australia for the first time, showcasing its amazing range of connected home…

Review: Gigabyte Aero 15X V8 with 8th Gen Intel Core i7 Coffee Lake H CPU Gigabyte

Gigabyte's Aero 15 has been impressing the world for some time now. It's a noteable notebook in that it's a relatively thin, portable machine that is designed to fit into an executive office while simultaneously being able to play the latest games.

Today, we review the new, top-end 'X' variant which sports Intel's brand new, 8th Generation, Core i7, Coffee Lake H processor. This mobile-optimised beast wields six cores (each with HyperThreading) and promises to be extremely quick. Does it deliver? Oh yes...

Key specs

15.6-inch, matte, 1920 x 1080, 144Hz non-touchscreen LCD; 2.2GHz Intel Core i7-8750H CPU; 16GB DDR4-2666 RAM; Samsung EVO 512GB M.2 NvME SSD, Nvidia 1070 GPU, USB 3.1, Thunderbolt 3, UHS-II SD slot, Gigabit Ethernet, 94Wh battery, 356x250x20mm, 2.15KG.

Performance

Because this product line refresh is all about performance, we'll start with that.

The new, Core i7-8750H processor has six cores (12 threads) and a stock clock speed of 2.2GHz. One of these cores has Turbo Boost to 4.2GHz while all six can accelerate to 3.9GHz if required (full processor specs can be read here). It uses Intel's Coffee Lake H architecture which is based upon Intel's mature (3rd generation) 14nm fabrication process. Intel says that this design can offer "26% more performance for 52% less power." More about this Kaby Lake successor can be read, here but the upshot is that these new chips have two extra cores and are capable of higher clock speeds thanks to enhanced binning processes. Otherwise there's little difference between it and the older Skylake architecture.

Back in the real world, the processor is flanked by 16G GB of speedy DDR4-2666 RAM and a 512GB NvME drive. These flew to a PCMark 10 score of 4,950 which Futuremark places in top, 4K desktop gaming rig territory. That's quite something for a 15-inch highly-portable notebook.

We also ran the older PCMark 8 benchmark as we had done this for its older, Core i7-7700HQ-sporting predecessor which scored 3403 in the same test. The updated 15X scored 3783 – an 11% increase.

But to really see what 6 cores and 12 threads could accomplish, we ran the Cinebench R15 3D rendering test which makes full use of a processor's power. Here it scored 1140 which is the performance we'd expense from a very hefty home desktop PC. For mobile workers who need processing power, this makes a great choice.

Of course, this laptop isn't just about 2D performance, the mighty, Nvidia GTX 1070 chip means it can play the latest games. In 3DMark TimeSpy it scored 4,507 which equates to an average of around 30fps. It also scored 12,960 in FireStrike (around 70fps average). When coupled with the 144Hz, Full-HD screen, everything that we threw at it looked smooth. It's a great gaming notebook and that's comparing it with the much-larger, bread-basket, fan-filled monster competitors on the market.

gigabyte aero15x v8 coffee lake

Appearance and Handling

The Aero 15 has a 15.6-inch screen but because the bezel is so thin, it consumes the footprint of a typical- 14-inch rival. It looks the part for the office and we're impressed with the Gigabyte logo which is silver when off but glows when on. However, we do wonder whether the company should use a separate brand for its outside-Taiwan markets. Top, Western executives don't regard Gigabyte as having the same C-Suite cachet that Taiwan's equivalents do.

It feels sturdy and very well-built but the screen does wobble on its hinges when knocked. We also have issues with the webcam which sits below the screen – it's there in order to keep the bezel thin – but this is a very unflattering angle for most people. However, it was reasonable in low-light and useable otherwise. 

The keys have a nice action to them and feel both comfortable for typing and gaming. There's also a full number pad and arrow keys but we do feel it's gone a bit too far. By squeezing so many full-sized keys on to the right-hand side of the keyboard, the primary lettering has all been shifted over to the left. As such only O, P and L lie to the right of the laptop's centre line so you'll need to reach across more with your right arm. If you're a desk worker and don't move much in the first place, this can cause muscular aches. The trackpad is a standard affair and we had no issues with it. 

The screen, however, is a joy to look at. The new range has 144Hz refresh rates which makes gaming look and feel noticeably smoother and a smidge more accurate in fast-paced games like First Person Shooters.

It's an IPS panel so colours look very vibrant while viewing angles are just enough to maintain quality when sharing what's on your screen with colleagues without allowing for side-glancing eavesdroppers. It's also Pantone certified which will please designers who need accurate, real-world colour comparisons. A 4K version will also be made available.

Two 2W speakers boast about Dolby Atmos compatibility but in reality they sound tinny, offer little bass and don't get very loud.

A potential issue is inherent in a device that packs powerful components into a relatively-small chassis: it can get very hot and the fans will ramp up and get loud very quickly. Unless you're simply typing or watching a movie, you'll be unlikely able to keep it on your lap – this would cover the air-vent grilles for one thing. We torture-tested it with some cryptocurrency mining overnight and the processor hit 86 degrees Celsius while the GPU spiked at 72 degrees. These are high numbers but not as high as other gaming laptops which can regularly reach 80-90 degrees with much-larger, larger-fan-filled chassis. Nonetheless, at these points, the internal fans emitted a loud, high-pitched whine, but unless you plan on using it for cryptocurrency mining 24/7 you should only hear these noises when playing particularly-processor heavy game sequences or encoding.

Ports

On the left are a wired Ethernet port, HDMI, mini Display, 3.1mm audio jack and a USB 3.1. On the right are two USSB ports plus a USB-C.

Battery life

It's tricky to run accurate reflective tests with laptops like this as power will fluctuate considerably according to internal and ambient temperatures. Gigabyte also throws in a wild card in that no matter what we did, it runs PCMark 8's Battery Test in a low power mode to stretch out the battery score while at the same time slashing performance – rendering it a pointless test.

However, in power saving mode and with Flight Mode enabled, plus with earbuds attached and a screen set to a medium brightness, it did play our test 1080p movie for a whopping 7hrs 45mins. Its predecessor managed six hours ten minutes, That's excellent for both an ultraportable and amazing for a game-playing behemoth.

Overall

There's heaps to love about the Aero 15X. It does pretty much everything brilliantly. The only thing stopping it being our laptop dream machine is the keyboard because it literally puts our back out – that's a big deal.

As a showcase for Intel's new mobile chip, though... it's excellent. Performance-wise, this is a step up from everything that has come before it in this space and for it to appear in a machine as thin and portable as this is borderline stunning. At $3299 you'll certainly pay for it, but to people who don't want to separate their work machine from their gaming machine, it could represent excellent value. But do check out Asus' updated Zephyrus before you commit to buying.

Related - Intel strikes back with 'highest-performance' six-core Core i9 mobile processor
Related - Intel's new 8th-gen Core vPro business-class processors 'engineered for digital transformation'

CDAO SYDNEY TURNS 5 IN 2019

With 50+ Speakers, 300+ senior data and analytics executives, over 3 exciting days you will indulge in all things data and analytics before leaving with strategic takeaways that will catapult you ahead on your journey

· CDAO Sydney is designed to bring together senior executives in data and analytics from progressive organisations
· Improve operations and services
· Future proof your organisation in this rapidly changing technological landscape
· CDAO Sydney 2-4 April 2019
· Don’t miss out! Register Today!
· Want to find out more? Download the Agenda

REGISTER HERE!

LEARN HOW TO REDUCE YOUR RISK OF A CYBER ATTACK

Australia is a cyber espionage hot spot.

As we automate, script and move to the cloud, more and more businesses are reliant on infrastructure that has the high potential to be exposed to risk.

It only takes one awry email to expose an accounts’ payable process, and for cyber attackers to cost a business thousands of dollars.

In the free white paper ‘6 Steps to Improve your Business Cyber Security’ you’ll learn some simple steps you should be taking to prevent devastating and malicious cyber attacks from destroying your business.

Cyber security can no longer be ignored, in this white paper you’ll learn:

· How does business security get breached?
· What can it cost to get it wrong?
· 6 actionable tips

DOWNLOAD NOW!

Nick Ross

Nick Ross is a veteran technology journalist who has contributed to many of Australia's top technology titles and edited several of them. He was the launch editor of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation online Technology section.

 

Popular News

 

Telecommunications

 

Sponsored News

 

 

 

 

Connect