Gigabyte P35W v2 Gaming Laptop AVForums Review

I found this review covered most of the relevant questions when looking for a laptop such as screen viewing angle, battery, gaming performance with various benchmarks as well as battery life, ports, heat and noise

Only thing I would add is a full list of specs including CPU Speed and turbo boost speed, wifi card model all listed in one section as I find I have to look all over the review to pull the detail together. The one thing most reviews miss out on is performance of the onboard web cam in low light. I have used acer crystal eye webcams which in low light / no light give a clearly visible picture, useful when you webcam or Skype at night, so a test of this would be useful, the only test I found that is missing.

High informative review though, I have read through a lot of reviews from various tech sites and I have to say this one is the most informative and detailed review covering all questions that you would ask when buying a laptop, based on this review you can clearly make a decision if this laptop is right for you, which is the whole point of a review, other reviewers take note!

Clearly the loud fan noise of 50+DB and High heat output would make this laptop unsuitable for quite few people.

Keep up the good work, maybe you can help out the avf bluray hardware and tv reviewers as I found their reviews lacking a lot of detail and not covering key questions that would be asked when looking to buy one of the items reviewed.

Also Free Up you MESSAGE inbox GREG
 
Last edited:

Greg Hook

Moderator & Reviewer
I found this review covered most of the relevant questions when looking for a laptop such as screen viewing angle, battery, gaming performance with various benchmarks as well as battery life, ports, heat and noise

Only thing I would add is a full list of specs including CPU Speed and turbo boost speed, wifi card model all listed in one section as I find I have to look all over the review to pull the detail together. The one thing most reviews miss out on is performance of the onboard web cam in low light. I have used acer crystal eye webcams which in low light / no light give a clearly visible picture, useful when you webcam or Skype at night, so a test of this would be useful, the only test I found that is missing.

High informative review though, I have read through a lot of reviews from various tech sites and I have to say this one is the most informative and detailed review covering all questions that you would ask when buying a laptop, based on this review you can clearly make a decision if this laptop is right for you, which is the whole point of a review, other reviewers take note!

Clearly the loud fan noise of 50+DB and High heat output would make this laptop unsuitable for quite few people.

Keep up the good work, maybe you can help out the avf bluray hardware and tv reviewers as I found their reviews lacking a lot of detail and not covering key questions that would be asked when looking to buy one of the items reviewed.

Also Free Up you MESSAGE inbox GREG
Many Thanks for the comments. It's great to have positive feedback! :)

I've freed up my inbox now. :)

As for the spec list, I know it's not the easiest layout, but if you look right to the bottom of the page you will see below the Rundown section, it has a tab for the specs, in there you will find a list of the specs for the laptop. It's not ideal granted, but that's the current layout. Plus you are right I did not include the webcam performance, but will include that in future.

Thanks again for the comments.
 
Nice review mate!
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
A few corrections and comments:

"(one also being a USB charge port)"

Sleep and Charge Port or Charging Downstream Port?


"Nvidia GTX870M graphics with a whopping 6GB of DDR5 VRAM"

GDDR5, not DDR5. GDDR is a variant of DDR that offers higher performance for graphics applications. GPUs are sometimes referred to as using DDR memory because slower chips will often trade the higher performance of GDDR for the cheaper bulk production costs of DDR.

While it's obvious now that's it's not actually using DDR5 memory (DDR5 isn't out yet) it may not be so obvious to someone looking for information on a potential second hand purchase in a few years time.


"(still no Blu-ray sadly, although this is available as an option)"

As far as I can see the two configurations of the laptop available in the UK are the -CF1 and the -CF2. Neither come with a blu-ray drive and Gigabyte's UK website don't appear to offer the ability to order a customised version of the laptop. Is a blu-ray drive really an option if there's no way to opt for it?


"The storage can be upgraded to 4TB in total"

With the lack of the ability to upgrade the model on purchase that sounds like you're stating that's the maximum capacity the laptop will support for after market upgrades. Looking on the gigabyte website the numbers you've quoted match the configurations available worldwide so I wonder if this statement is again referring to the mythical 'options'.


"similar to the P35K screen with a clear viewable image still visible at 150⁰"

Is that with the hinge at a 150° angle or do you mean across a 150° range side to side?


"Another useful addition is Gigabyte's Smart Switch software which, amongst offering quick access to the shutdown options, also allows you to choose your default start-up screen from either the desktop or the Metro screen, so set it to the desktop and you hopefully will never have to see the Windows 8 Metro screen again!"

It's not clear from the description how this differs from the standard option offered by windows.


"With the tests it's always worth bearing in mind the relative power of the graphics unit compared to the desktop equivalent and whilst no 800 series desktop GPUs have been released yet according to Passmark's Video Card benchmark, the GTX870M is roughly in the same area as a Radeon HD 6970 or an Nvidia GTX750Ti"

nVidia have made such a mess of their series naming at the moment that the 750ti is a newer design than the 870M. You're better off quoting design, pipelines('CUDA cores') and clock/memory frequencies to give an accurate idea of age and performance.

The 870M is a Kepler chip with 1344 pipelines running at 941Mhz core and 1250Mhz memory speeds. It's basically a detuned GTX 660ti. Passmark isn't always terribly accurate but in this case it's about right, performance should be similar to a 750ti/660 and R9 265/7850/6970.

Kepler was introduced with the Geforce 600 series (it made up all of the gaming desktop cards and about half of the mobile chips). The newer Maxwell design is only available in a few chips at the moment. Namely the 750, 750ti, 830M, 840M, 850M and some 860Ms (those running at over 1000Mhz), anything else carrying the 700 or 800 series branding is using a Kepler chip (or in the case of the 710M, 720M and 820M the even older Fermi design).
 

Greg Hook

Moderator & Reviewer
Thanks for the comments.
To address your points in turn:

A few corrections and comments:

"(one also being a USB charge port)"

Sleep and Charge Port or Charging Downstream Port?
It's a sleep and charge port. I've clarified that in the review now.


"Nvidia GTX870M graphics with a whopping 6GB of DDR5 VRAM"

GDDR5, not DDR5. GDDR is a variant of DDR that offers higher performance for graphics applications. GPUs are sometimes referred to as using DDR memory because slower chips will often trade the higher performance of GDDR for the cheaper bulk production costs of DDR.

While it's obvious now that's it's not actually using DDR5 memory (DDR5 isn't out yet) it may not be so obvious to someone looking for information on a potential second hand purchase in a few years time.
The rest of the review said GDDR5, I'm aware of the differences, this was just a typo. The other places in the review correctly said GDDR5, so thanks for pointing that out.


"(still no Blu-ray sadly, although this is available as an option)"

As far as I can see the two configurations of the laptop available in the UK are the -CF1 and the -CF2. Neither come with a blu-ray drive and Gigabyte's UK website don't appear to offer the ability to order a customised version of the laptop. Is a blu-ray drive really an option if there's no way to opt for it?
I can only go by the information given by the manufacturer. They have told me a blu-ray option is available, so I have mentioned that in the review as an option (as most of the other reviewers have done). The Gigabyte P35W v2-CF3 has the Blu-ray drive.

"The storage can be upgraded to 4TB in total"

With the lack of the ability to upgrade the model on purchase that sounds like you're stating that's the maximum capacity the laptop will support for after market upgrades.
That's exactly what I'm doing. Given that the storage upgrade options appear to be a big area Gigabyte are pushing in their marketing, then I felt the need to mention it in the review.


"similar to the P35K screen with a clear viewable image still visible at 150⁰"

Is that with the hinge at a 150° angle or do you mean across a 150° range side to side?
Again, I've clarified that in the review.

"Another useful addition is Gigabyte's Smart Switch software which, amongst offering quick access to the shutdown options, also allows you to choose your default start-up screen from either the desktop or the Metro screen, so set it to the desktop and you hopefully will never have to see the Windows 8 Metro screen again!"

It's not clear from the description how this differs from the standard option offered by windows.
Whilst Windows 8.1 offers this and for users who are computer experts like yourself is a piece of cake, for the general user it's still several mouse clicks away. The Gigabyte Smart Switch has a simple one click menu that changes from the Metro or the Desktop as your default landing screen. It also offers quick access to shutdown, restart etc.


"With the tests it's always worth bearing in mind the relative power of the graphics unit compared to the desktop equivalent and whilst no 800 series desktop GPUs have been released yet according to Passmark's Video Card benchmark, the GTX870M is roughly in the same area as a Radeon HD 6970 or an Nvidia GTX750Ti"

nVidia have made such a mess of their series naming at the moment that the 750ti is a newer design than the 870M. You're better off quoting design, pipelines('CUDA cores') and clock/memory frequencies to give an accurate idea of age and performance.

The 870M is a Kepler chip with 1344 pipelines running at 941Mhz core and 1250Mhz memory speeds. It's basically a detuned GTX 660ti. Passmark isn't always terribly accurate but in this case it's about right, performance should be similar to a 750ti/660 and R9 265/7850/6970.

Kepler was introduced with the Geforce 600 series (it made up all of the gaming desktop cards and about half of the mobile chips). The newer Maxwell design is only available in a few chips at the moment. Namely the 750, 750ti, 830M, 840M, 850M and some 860Ms (those running at over 1000Mhz), anything else carrying the 700 or 800 series branding is using a Kepler chip (or in the case of the 710M, 720M and 820M the even older Fermi design).
I definitely agree NVIDIA naming is all over the place, I use Passmark as a guide and as you say in this case it's about right. But I'm happy to include that pipeline, core and memory speed in future.

Thanks for the comments.
 

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