Gigabyte Aorus 17G Review: A real gaming laptop that's amazingly quiet

It brings awesome GeForce RTX 3080 performance without all the noise.

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Gigabyte Aorus 17G Gaming Performance

Because most people who buy the Gigabyte Aorus 17G will use it for gaming, graphics benchmarks matter even more. Up first is UL’s 3DMark Time Spy. It’s a synthetic test—meaning it’s not an actual game—but it’s well-respected. Many overclocking contests use 3DMark as a gauge because of its reliability.

Unlike an in-game benchmark, you can mostly separate CPU performance from GPU performance in 3DMark. That should help if you’re wondering how much you give up on the 105-watt TGP RTX 3080 in the Aorus 17G, compared to a laptop with a higher-wattage version.

You can see that directly below, where the two RTX 3080-based laptops are separated by about 18 percent in performance. The Gigabyte Aorus 17G is actually slightly outperformed by the Alienware Area 51m and the Acer Predator Helios 700—but both are giant laptops running the higher-wattage versions of their respective GPUs.

aorus17g timespy graphics IDG

In 3DMark Time Spy, you can see the difference between the full-bore, 155-Watt RTX 3080 in the Asus ROG Flow X13 at top, and the moderated, 105-Watt RTX 3080 in the Gigabyte Aorus 17G, four steps and 18 percent behind. Both scores are very good, though. Longer bars indicate better performance.

We also looked at a few games, including Rise of the Tomb Raider running in DX11 mode at 1920x1080 resolution, set to Very High. It’s about a five-year-old game and likely getting to be more CPU- than GPU-dependent. The Gigabyte Aorus 17G slightly outperforms the Asus ROG Flow X13 and its external GeForce RTX 3080, even though the latter runs at a higher wattage, likely due to limitations with the x8 connection of the external GPU.

aorus 17g rotr IDG

Here’s one gaming benchmark where the Gigabyte Aorus 17G noses out the Asus ROG Flow X13, likely because of the latter’s external GPU. Longer bars indicate better performance.

Looking toward the future of PC graphics, we used 3DMark’s Port Royal test to measure the performance of the Aorus 17G using hardware ray tracing. The Aorus 17G with its much more advanced RTX 3080 easily outperforms both of the high-wattage RTX 2080 GPUs in the much larger laptops. We also see the Asus ROG Flow X13 and its 150-watt GeForce RTX 3080 is about 16 percent faster than the Gigabyte Aorus 17G with its 105-watt RTX 3080.

aorus 17g port royal IDG

In 3DMark Port Royal, the Asus ROG Flow X13’s full-bore RTX 3080 leads the field, but the Gigabyte Aorus 17G’s moderated RTX 3080 follows with a 16-percent margin. Longer bars indicate better performance.

As we said earlier, if you’re into absolute performance needs, you should pony up for a laptop that features a higher-wattage GeForce RTX 3080. Of course, there is a noise cost to the full-bore version. The Asus ROG Flow X13’s external eGPU is quieter than some other 150-watt RTX 3080 laptops we’ve seen—but it’s still about 10 dB louder than the Gigabyte Aorus 17G. To most ears, that’s about double the perceived loudness.

Our last test, of battery life, uses Windows’ Movies & TV app to play a 4K video, with the screen set at a relatively bright 250 to 260 nits, earbuds connected, and the laptop in Airplane mode. The Aorus 17G features Nvidia’s Optimus hybrid graphics, which turns off the discrete GPU and passes the work over to the CPU’s more frugal graphics cores. Battery life is just under six hours, which is pretty fair for a laptop with a screen this large and a GPU this powerful. 

aorus 17g battery life IDG

The Gigabyte Aorus 17G lasted nearly six hours in our battery rundown test, which is actually good for a gaming laptop. Longer bars indicate better performance.

Of course, video playback is probably one of the easiest things a laptop can do today. Browsing, using Photoshop, or editing video will cause battery life to plummet, and games drain the battery most of all. Because most people who game know better than to do it on battery, however, the six hours-plus from the Aorus 17G is fine.

Conclusion

Whether the Gigabyte Aorus 17G is the gaming laptop for you largely depends on how much performance you’re willing to sacrifice for peace and quiet. In games, it’ll hinge on just how much the game is GPU- or CPU-bound. We’ve seen performance hits from as little as 2 percent to as much as 25 percent compared to laptops of similar size and weight.

For content creation apps, such as GPU-based rendering or compute, the differences between the 155-watt RTX 3080 and the 105-watt RTX 3080 shrink to 10 to 15 percent. That’s still a noticeable performance sacrifice, but we understand if you’ll take the hit because your ears can simply no longer take it. The Gigabyte Aorus 17G is still a very fast gaming laptop, and far from the noisiest, an awfully appealing combination.

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At a Glance
  • Gigabyte's Aorus 17G brings top-notch GeForce RTX 3080 gaming without all the noise you normally get in a gaming laptop.

    Pros

    • Crisp mechanical keyboard
    • Very quiet despite high-end GPU

    Cons

    • Some performance is sacrificed to keep the laptop quiet
    • Power adapter's right-side location could annoy gamers using a mouse and mouse pad
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