What is the Gigabyte P37X v5?
Here with Gigabyte’s freshly updated P37X v5, the GTX980M should have the grunt needed to at least give more of an effort to 4K gaming. With the P37X v5, the 4K display is optional and disappointingly our review sample only came with a Full HD display. Coming in at around £1650 (£300 more for the 4K version), we get a 17.3” Full HD display, Intel Skylake i7-6700HQ CPU, GTX980M graphics, 16GB of DDR4 RAM and both a 256GB M.2 SSD and 1TB HDD. Whilst we sadly can’t test how this system would have coped with 4K gaming, we can at least give it a good work out for Full HD gaming. Read on to see how we get on….
Design and Connections
Being a 17.3” laptop this is quite a beast coming in at a fairly hefty 2.9kg and a footprint of 417mm x 285mm, although the chassis is very slim at just 23mm. You certainly can’t forget it’s there if you are using it on your lap! The high capacity battery Gigabyte have installed no doubt adds some weight. The connections are pretty generous with most requirements covered. On the left we find 2 x USB 3.0 ports, RJ-45, SD card reader and audio jacks. To the right we have the power connector, a MiniDisplay port, 1 x USB 3.0 (USB charge) port, HDMI, VGA and a USB 3.1 (type C) port. No further connections to the rear or the front, with just the front giving us the DVD (not Blu-ray) drive and the various LED indication lights.
Is the specification any good?
- OS: Windows 10 64 Bit
- CPU: Intel® Core™ i7 Skylake-6700HQ (2.6GHz - 3.5GHz)
- Display: 17.3" FHD, (1920 x 1080) IPS LCD
- Memory: 2 x 8GB DDR4 @ 2133Mhz
- Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX980M with 8GB GDDR5
Using the latest PC Mark 8 Storage test 2.0 that has recently been released 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 a score of 5087 with a storage bandwidth of 594MB/s. Excluding the 5079 result we saw in the Gigabyte P35W v5, this new NVMe SSD blows away anything we have seen before that used a traditional mSATA SSD. The 256GB SSD equates to 226GB in Windows and arrived to us with 189GB 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 a decent average result of 14 seconds.
Is the Full HD IPS Display any good?
Many thanks to SpectraCal for providing the software and C3 Colorimeter for use with our reviews.
Is the audio any good?
P37X v5 Battery Life
A battery of this rating should give excellent results, especially as it’s paired with the Skylake CPU which offers better battery life.
Battery Life Tests
|Powermark Battery Test||256 minutes|
|YouTube 1080P, High Performance, 100% Brightness||160 minutes|
|YouTube 1080P, Balanced, 50% Brightness||229 minutes|
|Netflix 1080P, Balanced, 50% Brightness||205 minutes|
The results shown above are what we would expect from a battery of this specification, you can comfortably fit in even the longest of films before it dies on you. The battery life when gaming is still poor though, even here with the GTX980M the system is capped at 30FPS and you can forget a long gaming session unless you have it plugged in. To charge to 100% from flat took 137minutes. The laptop will go to sleep with between 7 and 4% battery remaining, so if you are doing something very important and it sleeps on you, at least you have the chance to start it back up and save before the batteries dies completely.
P37X v5 Benchmarks
|1920x1080 FHD Resolution||FPS (Fraps)|
|Battlefield 4||High Settings||118|
|Battlefield 4||Ultra Settings||82|
|Sims 4||Medium Settings||121|
|Sims 4||Ultra Settings||112|
|Max Payne 3||High Settings||85|
|Max Payne 3||Maximum Settings||45|
|Metal Gear Solid 5||Maximum Settings||
|Metal Gear Solid 5||High Settings||60|
These results show just what a performer the GTX980M is with all the games on maximum settings offering a superb frame rate, save for perhaps Max Payne 3 which always seems to offer the hardest test maxing out at 45FPS with all settings on maximum. Whilst the GPU does have 8GB of GDDR5, Max Payne 3 only recognised 3GB of it.
The other results such as PC Mark 8 Home Conventional of 3482, Unigine Valley 1.0 of 2055 and Heaven 4 of 1511 all were significantly better than the previous systems we’ve reviewed with just GTX970M graphics. Overall this system can comfortably cope with the majority of games on maximum settings, we only wish we could have tested it with the optional 4K display!
Benchmark Score Summary
|Time to Desktop||14.61 Seconds||8|
|Super Pi @ 1M||10.86 seconds||9|
|3D Mark - Ice Storm 1.2||87605||7|
|3D Mark - Cloud Gate 1.1||21679||7|
|3D Mark - Fire Strike||8192||7|
|3D Mark - Sky Diver||20435||7|
|Passmark Performance Test 8.0||4864||8|
|Cinebench R15||Open GL 97.41FPS - CPU 680 CB||8|
|Unigine Heaven 4.0||1511||7|
|Unigine Valley 1.0||2055||7|
|PC Mark 8 - Home Conventional 3.0||3487||7|
|PC Mark 8 - Storage Test 2.0||5087||8|
System Noise and Heat
- Very powerful GTX980M GPU
- Excellent general battery life
- Top draw specification
- Gets extremely hot
- Restricted gaming performance using battery
- No Blu-ray drive
Gigabyte P37X v5 17" FHD Gaming Laptop Review
Should I buy the Gigabyte P37X v5?At £1650, Gigabyte’s Full HD P37X v5 offers a real high end gaming system with the latest Skylake i7-6700HQ CPU, GTX980M graphics with 8GB of GDDR5, 16GB of DDR4 and a lightning fast 256GB M.2 SSD. Sadly, no 4K display here, that costs you another £300. Without resorting to a £3K plus SLI machine, the P37X v5 offers some of the best gaming performance you will find on a laptop, although isn’t all roses here as there are some negatives.
The Full HD display is excellent giving good visuals and the IPS LCD screen could be calibrated to a high level. Battery life is very good for a gaming laptop, although not actually when gaming though. Performance is significantly restricted to a 30FPS and just over an hour is the best you’ll get. Audio quality is ok, but not really what you would want for £1650. Heat is a significant concern, it’s slightly noisier that we would have liked, but a system that gets to 100°C is one that would be a worry when the warranty period runs out!
What alternatives are available?Alternatives at this price point, in this large 17.3” size with GTX980M are not that numerous. MSI’s GT72S is one that springs to mind with a very similar specification save for half the GPU VRAM and half the SSD size at £1670. Another is the very keenly priced ASUS ROG G752 at £1700 which has a similar specification except for the display being a G-Sync and offering a few more bells and whistles.
For gaming (plugged in that is) the Gigabyte P37X v5 performs superbly with excellent frame rates in all our test games at maximum levels and whilst £1650 would buy you a fantastic desktop gaming PC, if you must have a gaming laptop then the performance offered here at the price is one that is worthy of consideration. Noise and heat are the biggest concerns and ones that just prevent the system from getting our AVForums recommend award.
Value For Money
Our Review Ethos
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