Regular readers will know that I have quite a good opinion of Gigabyte’s gaming laptops.
The company has struck upon a pretty good recipe – kitting gaming laptops out with massively powerful hardware that keeps frame rates high, and wrapping it in a range of chassis designs that allow them target specific price bands.
The latest model I’ve been given to review is the P57X V6. It’s exactly the same, hardware-wise, as the P35X V6 I had a while ago, but it has a far less exciting chassis as it’s a bit plump and made primarily of plastic.
While that could be seen as disappointing, it’s not – it’s how Gigabyte is able to keep the price of the system relatively low at R31k, while delivering frame rates at the same sort of level as its more expensive P35X V6 and Aorus X5 models.
The latest Hitman managed some impressive numbers, hitting a maximum of 183fps in the game’s DX11 test and 114fps in the DX12 test, averaging well above 60fps in both.
I threw in a DX9 benchmark in there for fun – the Resident Evil 6 benchmark utility – and scored well over 16 000.
This is a brilliant gaming laptop when it comes to raw performance, delivering what gamers want in their games – high frame rates at the highest quality settings. But then that’s what you get from any GTX1070, high-end 6th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, any system with 16GB of RAM and any SSD. These are performance parts that deliver.
So while I am not nuts about the P57’s chassis – it’s just too plasticky for my liking – that’s a moot point because this is a fast gaming laptop that plays anything I can throw at it at 1080p.
It’ll even do 4K if I wanted it to, but that’s theoretical as I didn’t have a 4K screen to run the numbers during my time with it. But going on what I know of this particular graphics card, it should run games at that resolution at frame rates of anything from 40fps to 60fps, and sometimes above depending on the game.
Everything else is fairly standard – my test unit had a 1080p screen, Gigabyte’s usual touchpad which I quite liked using (it was smooth and responsive), three USB 3.0. ports, HDMI and VGA outputs and a removeable DVD writer that could be replaced by another 2.5” hard drive by swapping it out with the included bracket. The usual for Gigabyte by now, down to very good thermals and minimal noise even under load.
To buy or not to buy?
The one question that I keep coming back to with anything I review these days is whether or not I would buy the item I am reviewing with my own money. In this case, if I actually had R31k instead of the massive piles of debt I unsuccessfully attempt to reduce every month, I’d probably still spend it on a desktop system, as R31k can go a long way towards creating a brilliant gaming desktop.
To prove that point I put together a comparable gaming desktop using hardware equivalent to that of the P57X (Core i7-6700, 16GB DDR4, 240GB SSD and a 1TB secondary drive) on Evetech’s website; since I needed it to be a complete system I also included a 24-inch 144Hz 1080p screen, a mechanical keyboard, a gaming mouse, a secondary 1TB hard drive and a gaming mousepad and speakers. The total cost came to just over R32k (including VAT).
Had I gone with a regular 24-inch (or smaller) 1080p screen (no 144Hz) or cut out the R3k Corsair K70 mechanical keyboard I chose, I could have dropped that price down to below R26k.
While that proves my point on a technical level – an equivalent-performing desktop system is indeed cheaper than a gaming notebook – I was surprised that a desktop gaming system with all the bells and whistles wasn’t actually that much cheaper than a gaming laptop that works out the box without needing any extras. Plus a gaming desktop isn’t convenient to move at all, so there’s that to consider as well.
This before others
So, let’s assume this has convinced me to buy a gaming laptop, and I had the R32k to spend – I’d definitely buy this before I bought a P35X or an Aorus X5. The P57X delivers very similar performance to those systems and costs a few grand less than both, and since performance is what I want from a gaming laptop, I don’t mind as much if the chassis is plasticky and a little thicker than I’d like. At least it’s not as fat as the Acer Predator or Dell’s Alienware 17.
The convenience on offer here simply can’t be ignored. For only a few thousand more than a full-blown desktop system would cost, and a few grand less than similarly-performing but more stylish gaming notebooks from Gigabyte, you can have a highly capable gaming system that can be tethered to a desk and treated like a desktop, but which can also be moved when needed.
If that’s what you’re looking for in a system that can play games at 1080p and high frame rates, the P57X V6 is a compelling option.
Price: R30 999
Get it from: Evetech