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Gigabyte P35X v6 Gaming Laptop Review

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Too noisy and too expensive!

by Greg Hook Feb 2, 2017 at 8:20 AM

  • SRP: £1,999.99

    What is the Gigabyte P35X v6?

    The arrival of the new 10 series Nvidia chips means that gaming laptops can now finally hold their own compared to the desktop equivalent. No longer will you have to suffer paying £2,000 for a ‘top end’ gaming laptop, only for it to be easily outperformed by a significantly cheaper desktop PC and find that it won’t even play the latest games on maximum settings. The 1060, 1070 and 1080 laptop GPUs perform very close to the desktop equivalent, which was unheard of with the 9 series mobile GPUs.

    Our last laptop review saw our first foray into the world of the 10 series laptops with Gigabyte’s P55W and the GTX1060. Overall this performed superbly and showed us just what these 10 series chips can do. Our next laptop for review is also from Gigabyte, this time we have the delights of the GTX1070. The P35X v6 comes with a 15.6” UHD display, i7-6700HQ CPU, 16GB DDR4 RAM and dual storage in the shape of a M.2 256GB SSD and 1TB HDD but that does come at a price with this configuration costing just shy of £2,000. Given the performance received with the P55W and the 1060, we are eager to see how well this P35X v6 performs with the GTX1070 and 8GB of GDDR5. Read on to find out how it performs.

    Design and Connections

    We commented in our last review that it was good to see Gigabyte going for a slightly bulkier chassis to negate the cooling and heat issues that are often seen in high-end gaming laptops. Unfortunately, the P35X chassis is very much in the light and slim category which as you will read later does have a few negative consequences in the heat and noise department. The design isn’t likely to win any awards as it has no bells and whistles such as RGB lighting or other features seen in the MSI or Aorus laptop ranges. It’s all black – all over. No other colours at all save for the chrome power button and Gigabyte Logos. If you like your gaming laptops visually understated, then you are on to a winner here.
    Gigabyte P35X v6 Design and Connections
    The keyboard is full sized complete with the NUM keys and the obligatory row of function keys for quick access to various functions such as turning the webcam on or off, connecting to a second display and changing the screen brightness to name just a few. The keyboard does have backlighting but as we said above it’s not RGB, with Gigabyte opting for just an all-white scheme and no other gaming features such as macros are present either. It’s basic in that regard. But whilst it is plain the keyboard, along with the trackpad and buttons, are very comfortable to use and responsive.

    Aiming for those wanting a thin and light gaming laptop, Gigabyte have used a chassis with a standard footprint of 385 x 270mm but with a thickness of just 20.9mm and weighing just 2.4kg. The battery is a hefty 75.81Wh 11.1v Li-polymer. The connections aren’t the most generous we have seen with just 2 x USB 3.0 ports, Ethernet port, microphone and headphone jacks and SD card reader to the left, a further USB 3.0 port (with USB charge), USB C 3.1, Mini display port, VGA and HDMI to the right along with the power connection. Nothing to the rear and to the front we find the DVD drive and two 1.5 Watt speakers.
    Gigabyte P35X v6 Design and Connections

    Is the specification any good?

    • OS: Windows 10 64 Bit
    • CPU: Intel Core i7 Skylake-6700HQ (2.6GHz - 3.5GHz)
    • Display: 15.6" UHD, (3840*2160) IPS LCD Anti-glare
    • Memory: 2 x 8GB DDR4 @ 2400Mhz
    • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX1070 with 8GB GDDR5
    Featuring the 6th generation Skylake i7-6700HQ CPU, 16GB of fast 2400Mhz DDR4 RAM, a UHD display and of course the GTX1070 with 8GB of GDDR5, the specification is top notch, but then you should expect nothing less as the P35X v6 in this configuration retails for a penny shy of £2,000. Along with this we also find 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.1+ LE and a HD webcam.
    Gigabyte P35X v6 Is the specification any good?
    Dual storage is again present in the P35X v6 featuring an M.2 PCIe SSD as the main drive alongside a 1TB HDD. The SSD model is a Samsung SM951 with a quoted read speed of 2,150MB/s and write speed of 1,260 MB/s. Using ATTO Disk Benchmark we received a pretty stonking 2,220MB/s read and write of 1,263MB/s, pretty much spot on to the speeds we were expecting. The HDD is a HGST Travelstar 7200RPM and we received tested speeds of 136MB/s read and 126MB/s write.

    Using the latest PC Mark 8 Storage test 2.0 that has been updated to provide better support for NVMe SSDs, which uses workload traces recorded from actual programs and is not affected by differences in CPU or GPU performance we get score of 5078 with a storage bandwidth of 569.83MB/s.

    The 256GB SSD equates to 224GB in Windows and arrived to us with 192GB of free space and the 1TB HDD equates to 931GB in Windows. Manually timed from power on with a cold boot to the Windows desktop we get an average of 19.6 seconds, which is one of our slower times seen of late.

    Is the UHD 4K IPS LCD display any good?

    The screen here is a 15.6" UHD 3840 x 2160 resolution IPS LCD display. The viewing angles are impressive with a clear image seen at angles approaching 160°. The display has a matte finish and being anti-glare helps to keeps reflections at bay. The 4K display is stunning with a high brightness level and with the right content the detail is outstanding.
    Gigabyte P35X v6 Is the UHD 4K IPS LCD display any good?
    Using SpectraCal software and our C3 Colorimeter, the maximum screen luminance was detected at 244cd/m2. The screenshot below shows the pre and post calibration results. Out of the box the ColorChecker error wasn’t too far off the target error of 3 at 3.55 with a Greyscale error of 4.36. Following the calibration, the ColorChecker error was reduced to an excellent 0.72 and Greyscale to just 0.84.

    Many thanks to SpectraCal for providing the software and C3 Colorimeter for use with our reviews.

    Pre-installed Software

    It’s good to see that Gigabyte continue to keep the level of pre-installed software to a bare minimum which saves the hard drive being full of pointless bloatware. With the P35X v6 we just find the usual ‘Smart’ software such as the Smart Manager which gives quick access to various system controls such as power mode, fan settings, keyboard backlighting and more. Smart Dashboard, launched via Smart Manager, gives an easy to read dashboard style layout of the system performance such as the CPU and GPU usage, system temperatures and fan speeds to name just a few.
    Gigabyte P35X v6 Pre-installed Software
    Smart Update is the last of the Gigabyte software worthy of a mention which gives a very easy one click way to keep the various laptop drivers up to date, including beta versions too if you fancy being daring, although it does seem to find a server in the middle of nowhere to download from, often taking ages to download a fairly small file. Also present is XSplit Gamecaster which includes a free three-month Broadcaster premium membership plus the old favourite 1-month free trial of Microsoft 365.
    Gigabyte P35X v6 Pre-installed Software

    Is the audio any good?

    Whilst being significantly more expensive than the P55W v6 with the 2 x 2 watt speakers, it’s slightly disappointing to see the audio here on the P35X v6 is provided by just 2 x 1.5 watt speakers, although specs aside the audio using Dolby Digital Plus Home Theatre is not too bad at all, for a laptop anyway. The maximum volume is more than enough for normal use and the quality remains decent, even when at maximum. However headphones are unfortunately an essential, especially given how noisy this machine is which we will get to later in this review.
    Gigabyte P35X v6 Is the audio any good?

    Gigabyte P35X v6 Battery Life

    The battery fitted here is Li-Polymer 11.1v, with 75.81Wh capacity.

    Battery Life Tests

    Powermark Battery Test 170minutes
    YouTube 4K, High Performance, 100% Brightness 119 minutes
    YouTube 1080P, Balanced, 50% Brightness 202 minutes
    Netflix 1080P, High Performance, 100% Brightness 209 minutes
    Gaming 49 minutes
    The battery tests here are about what we anticipated seeing based on the specification with perhaps only the Powermark result being lower than we would have expected. As we can see the laptop can comfortably show a Full HD movie or two in Netflix, but 4K video does tax it slightly more with just under 2 hours viewing time on a single charge. Thanks to the Nvidia GeForce Experience and the ability to turn off the battery boost feature, we achieved a decent 51.3FPS on Ultra settings in Battlefield 1, where previously the system had been capped at a lousy 30FPS. Whilst the frame rates have improved the batteries have not, with just 49 minutes gaming time from a full charge. To charge from flat to 100% took 117 minutes.

    Gigabyte P35X v6 Benchmarks

    Our standard tests as shown in the table below, with each run at least 3 times and the average score taken. The tests were all carried out with the laptop in high performance mode, mains power plugged in and the screen set to 3840 x 2160 resolution. With this laptop, we are using Nvidia 376.33 graphics drivers. With just a 10% reduction in performance compared to the desktop equivalent, these new 10 series Nvidia chips have firmly consigned the previous generation to the history books. The GTX1070 uses Nvidia’s Pascal technology with 2048 pipelines, a core clock of 1443-1645Mhz and memory speed of 8000Mhz. So long GTX980M, don’t let the door hit your overpriced butt on the way out.

    Gaming Performance

    3840 x 2160 Resolution FPS (Fraps)
    Battlefield 1 Ultra Settings 36
    Battlefield 1 High Settings 40
    Sims 4 Ultra Settings 74
    Sims 4 Medium Settings 91
    Max Payne 3 Maximum Settings 54
    Max Payne 3 High Settings 108
    Metal Gear Solid 5 Maximum Settings 43
    Metal Gear Solid 5 High Settings 58

    Gaming Performance

    1920 x 1080 Resolution FPS (Fraps)
    Battlefield 1 Ultra Settings 89
    Sims 4 Ultra Settings 80
    Max Payne 3 Maximum Settings 83
    Metal Gear Solid 5 Maximum Settings 60
    Our last review saw the 1060 blow away the previous mobile king, the GTX980M, in every test we threw at it, so with the 1070 we expected even better results and we weren’t disappointed. Across the board the performance was superb – such as 89FPS in 1080P Battlefield 1 with Ultra settings, 54FPS in 4K Max Payne 3 maximum settings and 74FPS in 4K Sims 4. We had anticipated 4K gaming to be out of reach of even the 1070, but the results show that you can achieve a decent frame rate even on maximum settings, although to achieve a stable 60FPS you may have to lower the settings quite a bit, especially on Battlefield 1 which saw only 35 FPS on 4K with Ultra settings.

    The other test results were equally outstanding with Unigine Heaven 4 scoring 2903, Valley giving 3134 and 3D Mark Timespy 4849. The 1070 laptop GPU is a fantastic performer.

    Benchmark Score Summary

    Time to Desktop 19.6 Seconds 7
    Super Pi @ 1M 10.65 seconds 9
    3D Mark - Fire Strike 12676 9
    3D Mark - Sky Diver 24691 8
    3D Mark - TimeSpy 4849 9
    Passmark Performance Test 9.0 4191.7 6
    Cinebench R15 Open GL 86.57 - CPU 688 CB 8
    Unigine Heaven 4.0 2903 9
    Unigine Valley 1.0 3134 9
    PC Mark 8 - Home Conventional 3.0 2877 7
    PC Mark 8 - Storage Test 2.0 5078 8

    System Temperature and Noise

    The HWMonitor screenshot below shows the maximum temperatures the various system components reached during our benchmarking and gaming test sessions. The CPU core temperatures at idle were 36°C and under test conditions these reached a sweltering 93°C with the Nvidia GPU reaching 90°C. As we had feared, the ultra-thin and lightweight chassis is not one that is conducive to keeping the temperatures and noise low.
    Gigabyte P35X v6 System Temperature and Noise
    The P55W v6 with the 1060 graphics wasn’t the quietest gaming laptop we’ve seen but did peak at 44dBs. Here the P35X v6 during gaming was even louder at around 48dBs and peaked at a crazy 51dBs during our various benchmarking tests. It’s so loud that even with the volume turned right up on a game, it often overpowers the gaming sounds. The heat is expelled from the two vents to the rear of the laptop with the two fans running their little socks off most of the time.

    Gigabyte’s ‘Supra-cool technology’ is used here which features dual heat pipes and dual fans, but the ultra-thin chassis seems too much for this cooling technology to cope with. A rethink is needed with the P35X v6 because having an ultra-thin laptop is all well and good, but not at the expense of a cooling system that it screaming its guts out when under load.

    Conclusion

    7
    AVForumsSCORE
    OUT OF
    10

    Pros

    • Superb gaming performance
    • Powerful GTX1070 GPU
    • Glorious 4K Display
    • Fast Samsung M.2 PCIe SSD
    • Dual Storage

    Cons

    • Gets far too hot
    • Very noisy
    • Low battery life when gaming
    • Quite expensive
    You own this Total 0
    You want this Total 0
    You had this Total 0

    Gigabyte P35X v6 Gaming Laptop Review

    Should I buy one?

    At £2,000, the P35X v6 is a whole lot of money to pay for a gaming laptop. The specification is top notch though with a glorious UHD 4K display, 8GB GTX1070 GPU, Skylake i7-6700HQ CPU, 16GB of DDR4 RAM and a lightning fast Samsung SM951 M.2 SSD. No longer will gaming laptop owners have to lower the settings massively to get a decent frame rate and maximum settings are not exclusive to desktop owners anymore.

    Apart from the very powerful GTX1070 graphics, the UHD IPS display is one of the standout features. With the right 4K content, the display is stunning with incredible levels of detail, but the 4K resolution is still one that Windows and a lot of games and applications haven’t got to grips with properly yet. For example, Sims 4 in 4K is unplayable as the GUI is so small you can hardly make anything out. But, did we mention how good it looked?

    Our main gripe with this laptop is that due to the ultra-thin chassis and the cooling system employed, it is extremely noisy and very hot. Possibly the noisiest laptop we have ever reviewed at 51dB, which is just not acceptable for a machine that you are likely to be just a few inches away from. We’d also have concerns over the long-term health of a machine that, performing the function that you most likely bought it for, i.e gaming, regularly sees the GPU and CPU topping 90°C.

    What alternatives are available?

    As for alternatives, there are now many laptops available with the new 10 series GPUs. If you can forgo the UHD screen, Full HD 1070 laptops can be found for around £1,600, some even with G-Sync for this price too. If you must have UHD then it does seem the P35X v6 is a tad overpriced with similar specced models starting from £1,750. If Gigabyte could shave a chunk off the price and sort out the excessive noise issues, they might be on to a winner, but the model as reviewed is unfortunately some way off receiving an award.

    Those looking to buy the Gigabyte P35X v6 can find it here.

    MORE: Gaming Laptop Reviews


    Suggested retail price when reviewed: £1,999.99

    The Rundown

    Screen Quality

    9

    Sound Quality

    7

    Processing Speed

    9

    Connectivity

    9

    Features

    8

    Build Quality

    7

    Value For Money

    7

    Verdict

    7

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