Should buy Aero 15x or Aorus X5? Gaming Laptop
Should buy Aero 15x or Aorus X5? Review Aero 15x vs Aorus X5, 8th Gen Gaming Laptop Comparison. The Gigabyte Aero 15x and Aorus X5 are similar in many aspects, to the point where I kind of see the Aorus X5 as the bigger brother to the Aero 15x, so let’s compare these two laptops, see how they perform and help you pick which is right for you.
First let’s check out the differences in specs. Perhaps most importantly, the Aero 15x has an Intel i7-8750H CPU, while the Aorus X5 has the i7-8850H which is the next step up. There’s only a small difference in out of the box clock speeds, however the 8850H can be overclocked while the 8750H can’t, and we’ll see how this performs in the benchmarks.
Aero 15x vs Aorus X5 review
The Aero 15x also has 1070 Max-Q graphics while the Aorus X5 has the next level up with a regular laptop 1070. They both also have 15.6” 1080p 144Hz screens, although the Aorus has G-Sync while the Aero doesn’t.
Both laptops have 16GB of DDR4 memory running at 2,666MHz, however the Aero is running in single channel while the Aorus is in dual channel, so keep in mind that this will affect our benchmarks slightly, in any case both laptops have two slots and can support up to 32GB. For storage both laptops have 512gb NVMe M.2 SSDs and both have two M.2 slots, while the Aorus also has a 2.5” drive bay which is populated with a 1TB 7,200RPM hard drive, but again like the memory they’re available with different configurations, this is just what I had.
For network connectivity both have gigabit ethernet ports, support for 802.11ac WiFi, and Bluetooth version 4.2 in the Aero and version 4.1 in the Aorus. Both laptops have a matte black metal design, giving the interior and lid a nice clean look.
The lids also have corresponding Gigabyte and Aorus logos with mirrored finishes which light up white while the laptops are powered on. As for size differences the Aorus is bigger considering they’re both 15 inch laptops, although that’s not unexpected considering the higher specs of the Aorus which requires more cooling.
As for the weight differences the Aorus was almost 600g more than the Aero, and this increased to around 750g more once you include the power bricks and cables for charging, so the Aero is noticeably smaller and lighter.
On the left the Aorus has its mini DisplayPort 1.4, two USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C ports one of which has Thunderbolt 3 support and 3.5mm headphone and mic jacks while the Aero has it’s ethernet port, USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-A port, HDMI 2.0 port, mini DisplayPort 1.4 and 3.5mm audio combo jack.
On the right both have an SD card slot and two USB 3.1 Type-A ports, the Aorus’s are Gen2 while the Aero’s are Gen1, while the Aorus has its HDMI 2.0 port and the Aero has its USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C port with Thunderbolt support as well as the power input towards the back.
The Aorus has some more IO on the back, including the power input, two more USB 3.1 Type-A ports and ethernet port, as well as some pretty big air exhaust vents in the corners and on the sides, while there’s nothing on the back of the Aero, which exhausts its air out the back just below the screen. Overall they have similar IO, the Aorus has an extra Type-C and Type-A port.
The screens are also somewhat similar, both are 15.6 inch 1080p screens with a 144Hz refresh rate. The Aero uses a LG Philips panel while the Aorus uses an AUO panel, both seem to be AHVA which to be honest looks similar to IPS, giving both screens excellent viewing angles with no noticeable colour shift.
The Aorus has G-Sync available while the Aero doesn’t, although personally I think that’s less of a benefit at the higher 144Hz refresh rates anyway. I’ve measured the colour gamuts of both displays using the Spyder 5 pro, and the one in the Aorus scored slightly better, however to my eyes both looked great and I’d happily use either for gaming or content creation.
The bezels on the Aero are really thin, at around 5mm or so, whereas the Aorus has your traditional thicker bezels. Due to the thin bezels of the Aero the camera is placed below the screen, giving you that lovely up the nose look, while it’s above the screen in the Aorus.
The quality of both cameras and microphones were similar, not great for both. There was backlight bleed detected with both laptops, but there was much less with the Aero, I could only just barely notice it in a dark room while I could occasionally notice the bleed from the Aorus in a normally lit room when viewing darker content, however this will vary between laptops, this is just my experience with a small sample size of one. As for screen flex, both were pretty similar, there wasn’t a clear winner, they were both quite sturdy being metal.
Keyboard flex was again fairly similar, a little movement when pushing down hard but both were perfectly fine while actually typing normally, overall the build quality in both was very similar and quite good. When it comes to typing I’d rate both keyboards about the same, although I did have some issues with the Aorus keyboard, as it has macro keys on the left hand side which took some getting used to.
Both have individual key RGB backlighting with similar effects, and they might appear to be flickering in the video but that’s just because of the shutter speed of my camera, in person both look fine. Both touchpads felt extremely smooth, the Aero’s is plain while the Aorus features the Aorus logo in a bronze colour. They both use the ELAN drivers out of the box which made them suboptimal, at least to me based on my own preferences, but I was easily able to install precision drivers in both with made them both perfect.
Both laptops have 94 watt hour batteries inside. While just watching YouTube videos with the screens on 50% brightness, keyboard lighting off and background apps disabled, the Aero lasted for almost 3 hours more. This was because only the Aero was able to swap to the integrated Intel graphics, as the Aorus has G-Sync which cannot be disabled, so it was burning extra power with the Nvidia graphics the whole time.
While playing the Witcher 3 with Nvidia’s battery boost capping the frame rate at 30 FPS the Aero lasted about 40 minutes longer than the Aorus. I didn’t expect the results to be that different given they’ve got the same battery size, especially with the frame rates capped I didn’t expect the Aorus to have to do extra work, although it could also be other factors such as the more powerful 8850H CPU.
As for the temperatures I tested the Aero 15x with an ambient room temperature of 22 degrees celsius and the Aorus X5 at 18 degrees celsius, so a little difference there as I had them at different times. These differences haven’t been accounted for in the graphs, as simply adjusting up or down would not be accurate as thermal throttling was taking place at 90 degrees, so just something to keep in mind.
Near idle though the Aorus was running slightly warmer despite the cooler room temperature, and the 1070 graphics in the Aorus were also warmer as expected, it’s a more powerful card. The CPU temperatures were all mostly 90 degrees, as that seems to be where both CPUs would begin thermal throttling, but this could be improved with some undervolting.
Read more: Should buy Aero 15x or MSI GS65
Unfortunately I didn’t do enough in depth undervolting tests on the Aero 15x to compare the two properly, but I was able to remove all thermal throttling on the Aero with a -0.150v undervolt while the Aorus was still seeing minimal throttling in similar stress tests with the same undervolt applied, but that was during a full load stress test.
As for the areas where you’ll actually be putting your hands both were about the same at idle, look at the temperature readouts rather than the colours as the colours are automatically set by the camera. While gaming the Aorus actually stays a fair bit cooler here, probably due to the side and rear exhaust vents while the Aero removes all heat underneath the screen, and again with the CPU and GPU stress tests running the Aorus is still cooler, so the Aorus seems to run warmer inside due to the more powerful hardware but does a better job at containing or removing it.
As for the fan noise produced by the laptops, I’ll let you have a listen to some of these tests. At idle the Aorus was just slightly louder, but while gaming the Aorus is quite a bit louder in comparison, although the gap narrows if you manually max out the fans where both get quite loud.
Aero 15x vs Aorus X5 Benchmarks
Now let’s check out some benchmarks! All tests were run at 1080p, as this is the resolution of the screens, granted the Aero is available with a 4K display that wasn’t what I had. Just as a quick recap remember that the Aorus has a slightly better CPU which was overclocked to 4.3GHz out of the box, better graphics card, and dual channel memory, so we expect it to perform better than the Aero.
In Fortnite we’re seeing quite a big boost with the Aorus, although the difference gets closer together at epic settings where there’s still a 23% improvement with the Aorus. It played great on either laptop, but you can average above 144 FPS to make use of the high refresh rate panel much easier on the Aorus. Also don’t forget this game depends on what other players are doing, so take the results with a grain of salt.
PUBG was tested using the same replay, and again we’re seeing a fair boost with the Aorus with just under 30% of an improvement at ultra settings, but again like Fortnite take the results with a grain of salt as actual gameplay will vary a lot based on which map you’re playing on, where you are in game and what other players are doing.
Overwatch was tested playing with the bots, and the render scale defaulted to 140% here so you’d get better results by lowering that back to 100, but even so the results are still quite good as this is a well optimized game, and we’re seeing a 15% performance increase at epic settings.
Battlefield 1 was tested playing the first mission, and again the results were quite good, but much easier to hit that 144 FPS with the Aorus again, with around a 15% performance improvement at ultra settings. Rise of the Tomb Raider was tested using the built in benchmark, and yet again there’s a noticeable improvement with the Aorus, with a 40% improvement at max settings.
Watchdogs 2 is a more resource demanding game, but it ran well on both laptops and doesn’t really need a high frame rate to play, and at ultra settings the Aorus is performing around 38% better on average, even the 1% lows with the Aorus are above the averages on the Aero.
Ghost Recon is another resource intensive game and at ultra settings we’re seeing around 20% of an improvement with the Aorus laptop. Shadow of War was also tested with the built in benchmark, and again we’re getting around 20% better at ultra settings with larger differences at the lower setting levels as usual.
The Witcher 3 on the other hand was running 15% better on the Aorus at ultra settings, but again this isn’t really a game that feels much better with a higher frame rate in my opinion. Just quickly I’ve also got the results from some benchmark tools, including the Heaven, Valley and Superposition benchmarks from Unigine, as well as Firestrike, Timespy and VRMark from 3DMark.
The differences in most games are much larger than I expected, but keep in mind the CPU was overclocked to 4.3GHz on all cores out of the box with the Aorus, the dual channel memory is likely helping out a bit too and of course most importantly the 1070 graphics perform better than the Max-Q 1070 in the Aero 15x.
Just to give you an idea of CPU performance differences here’s how both laptops did in Cinebench with the CPUs undervolted for best performance, we can see the 8850H is only just slightly ahead in single core and further ahead in multicore, especially when overclocked to 4.3GHz, but I’ll be comparing these CPUs in more detail in a future review post. I’ve tested the 512gb M.2 NVMe SSD speeds using CrystalDiskMark, and the results weren’t too far apart, but keep in mind that you might get different drive models or sizes in different regions.
Both SD readers are UHS2, and these results are unfortunately not directly comparable as I upgraded to a V90 SD card after testing the Aero which performed better, but either way hopefully this shows that you should get decent speeds from either.
Read more: Aero 15X Laptop Review
The Aorus also had a 1TB 7,200RPM hard drive in the single 2.5 inch drive bay, which the Aero doesn’t have. Now perhaps the most important difference, the price. Here in Australia the Aorus goes for around $400 AUD more than the Aero. In the US though there seems to be a $300 USD difference between the two, so you’ll need to decide if the extra performance is worth the price.
Personally I’m leaning towards the Aero 15x, but I’m looking at it from a content creation perspective and I don’t really need the extra power of the 8850H and 1070 and I’d prefer the extra battery life as I don’t need G-Sync, not to mention the thinner and lighter build.
As for gaming though you’re going to get quite a better experience with the Aorus X5 due to those better specs, so you’ll need to decide if that boost in performance is worth the $300 USD difference, or whatever the price difference happens to be at the time you’re deciding.
Assuming you don’t mind the larger and heavier Aorus with lower battery life, in US dollars the Aorus costs 13% more at the time of recording, but at least in the games I tested was giving me anywhere from 15% to 40% of a performance increase, so in terms of raw gaming power it may be worthwhile.
Hopefully as you’ve seen the Aorus X5 is basically a jacked up Aero 15x in many ways, which is why I tend to think of it as the bigger brother of the Aero. So which of these two laptops would you guys pick? The Aero 15x or Aorus X5? Let me know what you guys thought down in the comments!