Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
Gaming has grown tremendously over the past few years, leading GIGABYTE to expand its AORUS brand into motherboards, GPUs, and peripherals in early 2017. This was a major shift and positioned AORUS to take on other major players in the market. Leading up to this, AORUS was almost a sub-brand on products like notebooks and prebuilt desktop machines, but the GIGABYTE brand was always held front and center. With this new shift, AORUS is the brand with its own logo. While GIGABYTE is still behind the quality, performance, and reliability of the products, it isn't pronounced in marketing materials.
In house today, we have the latest from the AORUS 15 notebook lineup, the 15P. This model slides in just under the 15G that we looked at in July of this year and offers similar specifications with some design changes, including a new Max-Q design for the RTX 2070.
If we look at the specifications above, we have the model on the left, the 15P WB SKU. This model is offered with either Windows 10 Home or Pro and the Intel Core i7-10750H processor, a Comet Lake solution that offers a 6 core 12 thread configuration with a base clock of 2.6GHz and boost of 5GHz. Comet Lake launched earlier this year on the 14nm process, the 10750H being a 45w part that supports 128GB of DDR4.
Moving on, we have the display panel at 15.6", an IGZO type with a display resolution of 1920x1080 at 144Hz. These displays are extremely popular for notebooks and other slim devices that require high-resolution performance panels. Also, this 15.6" display offers a rated coverage of 72% NTSC color gamut or 99% sRGB with nearly no bezel to be seen at just 3mm.
System memory for the model tested is configured at 2x8, 16G total from Crucial operating at 2666MHz, and the system chipset is the HM470 from Intel.
The graphics platform for the 15P WB has been completely optimized to offer the best gaming experience without all the bulk that comes with traditional notebooks. This starts with the RTX 2070 Max Q, an optimized version of the Turing TU106 GPU with 2304 shaders, a 256-bit bus, and 8GB of VRAM. The GPU's base clock sits at 900MHz with 1125MHz ready for boost, VRAM operates at 1375MHz.
Storage affords the end-user two m.2 2280 slots, both supporting NVMe. Our sample has one slot populated by a 512GB ADATA SX8200.
The system I/O for the 15P offers all the basics with 3x Type-A ports and one Type-C both on the 5Gbps USB 3.2 Gen 1 standard. We also have HDMI 2.0 and a MiniDP 1.4 for adding displays. The 15P offers a combination of 3.5mm audio jack, UHS-II capable card reader, and HD camera.
Internet connectivity will depend on the Realtek Gaming gigabit ethernet controller or the integrated Intel AX200 Wi-Fi 6 controller. Bluetooth 5 + LE is also made available by the AX200 for connecting additional devices like peripherals.
The 15P depends on a 15.2V 94Wh battery while unplugged and can be quickly recharged with the included 230W power supply.
The AORUS 15P WB model we have on hand sells for $1699.00 as of the time of writing. You can buy the AORUS 15P at Best Buy.
Packaging, Accessories, and Overview
Packaging and Accessories
The AORUS 15P comes in attractive packaging with the AORUS logo at the top.
Unboxing, we get to the accessories first showing a second thermal pad for those that want to populate that empty NVMe slot, warranty, quick start guides, and the power brick, a unit from Chicony at 19.5v 11.8A.
The 15P is well protected in shipment by a fleece bag and dense foam.
AORUS 15P (2020) Overview
The top of the 15P houses only the AORUS logo chromed, sleek design edges down the side to the bottom where we have a large mesh opening for incoming air, with plenty of screws securing the panel itself.
The left side I/O includes both the HDMI and DP ports, followed by a USB 3.2, 3.5mm jack, and RJ45 for ethernet. On the right side, we have the other two USB 3.2 ports, the USB-C and UHS-II slot for memory cards.
Opening the 15P, the first thing you notice is the lack of bezel and the large full-size keyboard, the trackpad is offset to the left.
Hidden in the body of the 15P, AORUS has placed the HD webcam with an integrated cover for privacy.
Turning down the lights, we can get a better look at the impressive per-key illumination of the keyboard.
Opening the 15P, it has a very friendly layout. You can easily get to the memory, m.2 slots for Wi-Fi, NVMe, and the entire cooling solution, dubbed WindForce Infinity, is one piece and looks relatively easy to service if ever needed.
Our model's memory is Crucial CT8G4SFS8266 in two pieces for a 2x8GB configuration at 2666MHz.
To the left of the memory, you will find both the m.2 slot Key E for Wi-Fi, in this case, the AX200 from Intel and a 2280 m.2 with support for NVMe and SATA solutions. In our 15P WB, we find an SX8200 from ADATA supplied in the 512GB capacity.
A second m.2 slot is available supporting 2280 form factor drives.
The 94.2Wh battery is supplied by Getac, model GAG-J40.
BIOS/UEFI and Software
Booting up the 15P, we are greeted by the logo and onscreen notifications for setup under F2, bootable drives under BBS F12, and System Recovery under F9.
Setup is the old-type BIOS menu, blue on grey background offering specifications on the landing page, and the ability to customize the I/O configuration, SATA, and RST along with NVMe and USB ports. No manual overclocking options are available.
Software on the AORUS 15P is the AORUS Control Center, from here you can get a central look at the operation of the entire notebook from CPU and GPU load to memory usage and disk space used. Along the bottom left, we start with SMART status for the installed SSD, quick access to power controls for the CPU and GPU, and battery information and fan control.
Moving through the available tabs, we stop on the manager, which shows us all configured control panels for the system. These include everything from GPU control in NV Control Panel to Volume, Screen Brightness, and Wi-Fi/Bluetooth. Additionally, you can change the current power mode, switch to an external display, or change how the notebook manages to charge the battery.
Fusion is complete control for the integrated RGB keyboard. In here, we have 19 presets for the keyboard along with a custom option allowing per key control. On the left, we have additional options for setting macros as well.
The Device Setting menu allows for full adjustment of the fan profile for a custom curve. You can also select from the gaming or quiet profiles to adjust the balance of audibility versus cooling performance.
Last we have the Smart Utilities tab, which is one my favorite features. Within this menu, we can see all driver versions installed along with the latest official driver to the right. When updates are available, a box will appear as you see with Bluetooth above, you can then click on it, and the drive is updated without any further intervention. If you happen to let this go for awhile, you can use the update all option along the top to process all updates.
The second piece of software for the 15P is AORUS Azure AI. We first noted this software in our 15G article as it allows the additional notebook flexibility to optimize the performance based on your usage. Three options are available for Azure AI when plugged in, including a disable for those that don't want to take advantage of the feature.
That said, AI Edge allows the system to learn your usage patterns and adjust the performance based on those metrics, while AI Azure Download will use data gathered by AORUS to tune the notebook for optimal responsiveness.
WPrime is a leading multi-threaded benchmark. In our setup, we will manually set the number of cores for the CPU under test. In the case of the 15P, it's 12.
We were lucky enough to have the higher-powered 15G come through a few months back, so we have a solid comparison between it and the 15P. WPrime at 32M showed the 15P only a hair slower with a time of 4.62 seconds.
At 1024M, we see some separation between the 15G and 15P. 121.7 seconds for the 15P.
Cinebench is a long-standing render benchmark that has been heavily relied upon by both Intel and AMD to showcase their newest platforms during unveils. The benchmark has two tests, a single-core workload that will utilize one thread or 1T. There is also a multi-threaded test which uses all threads or nT of a tested CPU
Single-core comes out with a score of 450 for the 15P while moving to multi-core, we see a near 6x gain with a score of 2985.
PCMark is a benchmark from UL and tests various workload types to represent typical workloads for a PC. Everything from video conferencing, image import, and editing, along with 3D rendering, are tested.
With PCMark testing full system performance, the 15P does quite well, beating the 15G in our tests by a slight margin of 82 points overall. Essentials and Productivity offers a 400 point win for the 15P while Digital Content is edged slightly by the 15G.
Graphics Performance Benchmarks
VRMark includes three VR benchmark tests with varying quality. Orange Room is set up for the recommended specifications for HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. Cyan Room is a DirectX 12 benchmark. It features a large, complex scene and many eye-catching effects. Blue Room is the most demanding with a massive 5K rendering resolution and spectacular volumetric lighting effects. The Blue Room sets the bar for future hardware generations.
Superposition from Unigine is a DX12 based benchmark. We test with the 1080p Extreme preset as this puts an immense load on the GPU at the common 1080p resolution for gaming.
The 15P nets a score of 3948 in Superposition - quite good for the 2070 Max Q comparatively.
3DMark Time Spy
Time Spy is another 3DMark test variant, but this one is for DX12 based systems. This test can be quite stressful, and since its an entirely different load, you may be surprised to see how the results shuffle when compared to Firestrike.
Time Spy shows pretty solid results for the 15P, an overall score of 6772. Splitting up the results, we see a graphics score of 6709 and a CPU score of 7155.
3DMark Port Royal and PCIe Bandwidth
Port Royal is the latest add-on for 3DMark allowing end-users to test Ray Tracing performance. The 15P managed a score of 3944 in this test. The second screen above shows the PCI Express Bandwidth test from 3DMark. In this scenario, the 15P showed 12 GB/s of bandwidth.
Horizon Zero Dawn
First, for real gaming benchmarks, I chose Horizon Zero Dawn. We are looking at the Ultimate graphics preset at 1080p, with the 15P getting an average FPS of 56.
Metro is one of the first games to support RTX. For our testing, we used the medium preset with has no RTX and the Ultra preset with RTX. In these scenarios, we see an average framerate of 78 for the 15P in medium and 38FPS at Ultra with RTX.
We have two presets for testing Far Cry 5, Normal and Ultra. In these two testing scenarios, the 15P runs through with very little issues, an average FPS of 106 in normal mode, and 93FPS on Ultra.
System I/O Benchmarks and Power Consumption
System I/O Benchmarks
The included ADATA SX8200 did OK in testing, showing 2610 MB/s read and 2470 MB/s write in sequentials. 4KQ1, where it really matters, sees 57 MB/s read and 133 MB/s about average for mainstream drives.
For battery tests, we use the PCMark 10 Battery tests in Office and Game modes.
The office battery test shows a total run time of 360 minutes, slightly better than the 15G as expected with the more efficient Max Q and lower spec'd CPU.
For gaming, we had a run time of almost two hours, 105 minutes to be exact.
I took both images above during several benchmark runs that included 3DMark and Horizon Zero Dawn. As you can see, the advanced WindForce Infinity design pulls in much cooler air pushing heat out of the chassis.
The AORUS 15P is one hell of a machine that offers an amazing balance of power vs. weight with a 4.5lb notebook offering desktop-class performance. Build quality exudes from this machine with clever design choices with features like the webcam and attached privacy screen and the 3mm almost bezel-less 1080p panel that comes calibrated from the factory. Additionally, AORUS chose proven parts to complement its design with Crucial DDR4 2666 and the ADATA SX8200 for NVMe duties.
What We Like
1080p 144Hz Calibrated Display More important than resolution is having that high FPS panel for extremely smooth gaming. AORUS adds to this with a display that's calibrated from the factory for the best colors.
10th Generation Core i7: Having the latest processor is always a plus, and the 15P sports the fantastic Core i7-10750H, a 6 core 12 thread part with a peak boost of 5GHz!
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max Q: The Max-Q design of the 2070 in this machine is optimized to provide the best performance at lower TDP.
WindForce Infinity Cooling AORUS means business with its WindForce Infinity cooling system. You can feel the air rush to the bottom of this machine with its large cooling fans, keeping temperatures in the mid 60's degrees Celcius during intense gaming sessions.
Value: Like the 15G, the new professional AORUS 15P shows incredible value with top of the line build quality and legit hardware featuring an Intel Core i7-10750H and NVIDIA 2070 Max-Q.
Anyone in the market for a legit gaming notebook that ticks many boxes should take a close look at the AORUS 15P. It has the battery life to handle your daily tasks and, when needed, the power required for current high demanding gaming titles.