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Gigabyte P57x V6-CF2 review: Performance
It’s no surprise that gaming performance is fantastic. With V-sync engaged, both Alien:Isolation and Thief manage a rock-solid 60fps at max settings, 1080p.
Switching v-sync off to let the Gigabyte P57x V6-CF2 rip, Thief averages 89fps. Again, this is with max settings and using 1080p resolution. It increases to an average 95.4fps at 720p, low settings. Not that you’d ever choose to use such a setting with a laptop like this.
Alien: Isolation averages 163fps at high settings, and 186fps at 720p. Right now, the hardware is actually a little wasted on the Gigabyte P57x V6-CF2’s display, but offers scope for several other important eventualities.
There’s VR, of course, attaching a 4K monitor or TV and upping the resolution of your games, or just having the security of knowing the spare power means games are going to run well on the 1080p display for years to come.
Nvidia’s new GPUs are the most important laptop gaming hardware advancement in years. Finally you don’t need to feel like you’re paying over the odds for graphics hardware that doesn’t really compare with the desktop alternative.
There is a problem, though. The Gigabyte P57x V6-CF2 is not very good at managing its own heat output.
Look at the underside of the laptop and you can see the two main fans, one at either side. They are large enough to make a fairly low whooshing sound rather than a much more annoying whine, but the airflow is not all that effective.
After a few minutes of high-intensity gaming, the right side of the keyboard starts to get quite warm, and this starts to spread across the laptop as you play. After half an hour much of the keyboard ends up a little toasty. The crucial WSAD keys are some of the last affected, and don’t get anywhere near as warm as the right part of the board, but it is not ideal.
The P57x V6-CF2 explains larger laptops’ use of more involved airflow systems.
It does seem to cause some throttling of performance too, although not to an extent that will affect you in real terms at this point. We ran our Thief benchmark test over and over to see if performance would fall off a cliff, but the P57x V6-CF2 only dropped by around 5fps. One run dropped by almost 10fps. It appeared to be an aberration, though.
Poor handling of heat is the main reason to consider waiting to see the Alienware, Asus and Acer alternatives, which tend to use larger rear heat/air vents.
It otherwise has just about everything you could need. There’s a 256GB SSD for performance-critical data, and a 7200rpm 1TB hard drive for all your general files.
Gigabyte P57x V6-CF2 review: Battery Life
With truly muscular power on tap, the Gigabyte P57x V6-CF2 was always unlikely to last that long off a charge. However, it does have a large, non-removable 75.8Wh cell that lasts for a handful of hours if you only leave it to handle light work.
Playing back a 720p movie on loop, it lasts four hours 50 minutes. Don’t expect anything like that if you start playing demanding games, though. This is fairly standard performance for a good gaming laptop.
Gigabyte P57x V6-CF2 review: Speakers
Gigabyte hasn’t put any special effort into the speakers either. The Gigabyte P57x V6-CF2 has a pair of drivers that fire out from each side of the front’s underside. Those parts above the keyboard that look a bit like speaker grilles are actually ‘passive’ heat outlets: just a bit more ventilation.
As you’d hope for a laptop this big, max volume and the general bulk of the sound are fair. However, it’s not super-refined. The mids are a little boxy, a tiny bit crude and prone to occasional distortion with certain material.
Now that makers of smaller laptops are starting to put more effort into making their speakers sound better, the Gigabyte P57x V6-CF2 is shown up a little. But like the conventional trackpad, the assumption is likely that you’re going to use speakers for any serious gaming.
Gigabyte P57x V6-CF2: Specs
- 17.3in (1920 x 1080) 165dpi IPS LCD matt touchscreen
- 2.6 GHz, up to 3.5 GHz Turbo Intel Core i7-6700U CPU, four cores, eight threads
- Nvidia GTX1070 8GB DDR5
- 16GB RAM DDR4-2133
- 256GB SSD
- 1TB 7200rpm
- Hot-swappable Super Multi DVD writer optical drive
- Gigabit Ethernet
- 802.11b/g/n/ac 2x2
- Bluetooth 4.0
- 3 USB 3.0 port
- HDMI 2.0
- SDXC card slot
- stereo speakers
- 0.9MP webcam
- single mic
- 3.5mm headset jack
- UK tiled keyboard
- 75.8Wh lithium-ion battery, non-removable
- 421mm x 290mm x 28.6mm
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