Gigabyte P35X v6 Gaming Laptop Review
Too noisy and too expensive!
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 ConnectionsWe 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.
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.
Is the specification any good?
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.
- 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
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.
Many thanks to SpectraCal for providing the software and C3 Colorimeter for use with our reviews.
Pre-installed SoftwareIt’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.
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 Battery LifeThe 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
Gigabyte P35X v6 BenchmarksOur 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.
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
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
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 NoiseThe 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’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.
- Superb gaming performance
- Powerful GTX1070 GPU
- Glorious 4K Display
- Fast Samsung M.2 PCIe SSD
- Dual Storage
- Gets far too hot
- Very noisy
- Low battery life when gaming
- Quite expensive
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
Value For Money7
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