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Aorus X9 Review: Dual graphics in a baroque package

With the Aorus X9 gaming laptop, Aorus has spared no expense in crafting a dream laptop for gamers. Everything starts with the surface design, that takes exactly the sport car styling favoured by gambling laptops into the next level. Its aluminium chassis is baroque-like, using an increase of sharp edges compared to a Gothic cathedral. I have never seen a more intricate laptop chassis style. More importantly, the X9 appears relatively slick to get a 17.3-inch gaming laptop, in just under 30mm in depth and weighing approximately 3.6kg.

In its front and back are all air vents, illuminated by customisable LEDs. The vents at the bottom panel are ordered to resemble a towering bird of prey to accommodate Aorus' falcon logo. This logo is on the lid too, and backlit by a customisable LED. What's unusual are the LED bars above the computer keyboard. These LEDs, dubbed the Aorus HUD, give users an inkling of the chip temperature or fan speed, and on occasion perhaps the CPU battery and usage levels. For instance, as the temperature rises, so does the number of coloured LED bars. However, it doesn't show the precise values, which limits its usefulness. Users may tweak its settings using the pre-loaded Aorus Fusion usefulness.

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The keyboard's RGB LED backlights will also be controlled using this same software. Every person key might be customised to display a specific shade, that will be more granular than the zone-based back-lighting approaches present in certain gaming laptops. But I was more impressed with the X9's mechanical computer keyboard. It feels shaky, with increased key traveling (2.5mm in contrast to 2mm) than the people available on many gaming laptops. Aorus says that the computer uses brownish mechanical broadcasts - that they undoubtedly feel nearly as excellent to type with as a desktop computer version.

My X9 review collection has a high-resolution 3,840 x 2,160-pixel display. It's bright and sharp, with excellent viewing angles. Additionally, it comes calibrated out of the box with X-Rite Pantone, a company that makes colour measurement tools. Aorus also includes a 120Hz high-refresh rate screen for the X9, but this choice is inaccessible in Singapore. Powering the notebook is not just one graphics chip, but two high end Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 chips. The GTX 1070 is your second-fastest version in Nvidia's graphics line up supporting the GTX 1080, therefore running two of these together should cause a greater performance than one 1080.

At least that is your theory. But, not all games support that a double graphics processors setup. Notable for example the past year's first-person shooter Doom. Consequently, the X9 performs about as well as the Alienware 17, which has a single GTX 1070, at Doom. Both PCs scored approximately 1-10 frames per second (fps) in comparison to 130fps to a GTX 1080-equipped notebook computer. In games that support two graphics chips, the operation level is not double that of one processor. From the 3DMark Fire Extreme grade, the X9 scored 11,344 compared to 7,390 over the Alienware 17. For those interested in gambling in 4K resolution, the X9 operated around 60fps in Crysis 3 in Very High graphics setting at its native 4K resolution, which is impressive for a laptop.

Moreover, that the X9 has a quad core Intel Core i7-7820HK chip that may be overclocked to run at a higher speed than usual. It also has 32GB of RAM and two 512GB solidstate drives. In other words, the X9 is right up there with the best gaming laptops concerning hardware specifications. While you would expect of a powerful gaming system, the X9 gets fairly warm when conducting a game. But it doesn't get too hot to the touch, even although the fan becomes noticeably more noisy. Fortunately, the X9 has competent speakers that can drown out the fan noise.

The proprietary software tools offered by Aorus - usedto adjust settings just like the processor clock speed - feel clunky to use. I discovered a bug using an earlier version that failed to apply my setting right. At $5,599, the Aorus X9 appears to be expensive at first glance, but it is in reality competitive with rivals like the $6,000 Razer Blade Pro, which has a equivalent 4K display but comes with one GTX 1080 chip.