Recently, Gigabyte sent us their latest AERO series laptop, the flagship 15-Y9. The Y9 uses the latest 6-core 12-thread Intel i9-8950HK, 32G of DDR4 memory, the RTX2080 Max-Q that supports ray-tracing, 2TB high-capacity and a speedy NVMe SSD. This is all hooked up to a stunning 4K 60Hz IPS anti-glare screen.
So, can this laptop stand out against similar brands competing for the flagship market? Let’s test it in detail!
GIGABYTE AERO 15-Y9 Tech Specs from Official Website
After removing a simple sticker with the Gigabyte Logo, the laptop body is simple.
Since this machine is a sample sent by Gigabyte, there is no fibre jacket with anti-scratch protection and anti-static outer packaging
A 230W brick power supply with a standard D-type power cord is provided in the accessory box
The manufacturer of the power supply is Chicony Electronics from Taiwan. 19.5V / 11.8A output voltage / current, 110V-240V adaptive
Gigabyte’s latest AERO 15-Y9 follows the design of the first two generations. The black aluminum alloy case is matched with the carbon fibre to decorate the triangle area and make the whole machine stand out. This seems to be ruined by the huge backlit Gigabyte LOGO. It was criticised by netizens as “the design work of college students”. Confusingly, although the A-panel top cover is made of aluminum alloy, the deformation can still be seen if you press it.
The screen design of the B-panel is also the same as the previous generation, the design of the three-side thin-bezel and the 720P camera at the bottom. The sticker of Pantone colour is attached to the lower right corner of the screen
The keyboard on the C-panel is also the same design as the previous generation. The full-sized keyboard + Per-key RGB button feels solid and it is currently the most comfortable laptop keyboard to use in the market
The design of the air-exhausting vent is similar to a Macbook. The left and right radiator grids are the air outlets of the fan. However, the left and right shafts will block the air duct of the outlet and affect the wind pressure inside the machine. This will cause a small amount of heat to flow back to the bottom of the machine, forcing the fan to intake again and resulting in overheating issues
The D-panel still uses the previous chassis. The thin design of the rubber feet makes the bottom of the machine only 2-4mm away from the tabletop, plus the fan-shaped opening design is narrow, also the metal dust-proof net is too dense, the seriously insufficient space results in a lack of overall heat dissipation
The left side I/O of this laptop includes the LAN port with Killer E2500 Ethernet card, a USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-A port, an HDMI 2.0 port, an USB 3.1 Type-C with DP 1.4 and a standard 3.5mm combo audio port
Hardware & Software Brief Introduction
Gigabyte Control Center
The Gigabyte Control Center is very powerful and can be divided into 6 major functions
‘Smart Utilities’ is the laptop driver and utility downloader, if the driver has an update, it will show on the 2nd column, user can click the highlighted version number to start downloading and installing
Since the Gigabyte Control Center provides overclocking options, we definitely need to use it. In all tests, fan cooling is selected to turn on the automatic temperature control of Microsoft Azure AI and turn on the Maximum Fan Cooling option to maximise the fan speed
None Overclocking – Aida64 Stress FPU – Both AI and Max cooling, CPU still Overheat and throttled
Fan Speed ≈ 5,530rpm | CPU package Temp : 83°C | CPU FQ ≈ 3.8Ghz (14% loss) | CPU Power : 61.9W | GPU Temp : 57°C
During the test, we have found the overclocking level of CPU from level 0 to 4 has the same frequency and power consumption setting, only level 5 is actually overclocked.
Overclocking – Aida64 Stress FPU – CPU Overheat and throttled – MS Azure AI Gaming+ & Professional+ turned on
Fan Speed ≈ 3,700rpm | CPU package Temp : 90°C | CPU FQ ≈ 3.5Ghz (21% loss) | CPU Power : 72.8W
Overclocking – Aida64 Stress FPU – CPU Overheat and throttled – Fan Maximum Cooling turned on | MS Azure AI turned off
Fan Speed ≈ 5,530rpm | CPU package Temp : 88°C | CPU FQ ≈ 3.8Ghz (14% loss) | CPU Power : 61.9W | GPU Temp : 63°C
None overclocking GPU | overclocking CPU – Furmark 4K stress test – MS Azure AI Gaming+ & Professional+ turned on
Fan Speed ≈ 4,410rpm | GPU Max Temp : 80°C | GPU Max Clock ≈ 1.47Ghz | Max Memory Clock ≈ 1.50Ghz | CPU Max Temp : 95°C
overclocking GPU & CPU – Furmark 4K stress test – Fan Maximum Cooling turned on | MS Azure AI turned off
Fan Speed ≈ 5,600rpm | GPU Max Temp : 77°C | GPU Max Clock ≈ 1.81Ghz | Max Memory Clock ≈ 1.50Ghz | CPU Max Temp : 95°C
First of all, the overclocking level of the CPU may be set incorrectly, only ‘0’ and ‘5’ do have different frequencies. The CPU frequency and voltage do not change at all in level 1-4. The CPU frequency can indeed go up. Similarly, the graphics card can also be overclocked under the same situation, and the performance is also obviously improved. However, in some games either need the higher single-core CPU frequency or required the extreme graphics resources such as Ray Tracing and DLSS, etc., Consuming graphics resources, such as turning on optical chasing and anti-aliasing, etc., this thin-n-double copper tube cooling system is completely collapsed.
Secondly, turning Azure AI on or off does not play a decisive role in heat dissipation, and most of the time it will affect it. Then the fan speed needs to be manually adjusted to the highest level to barely hold the i9 and 2080 Max-Q while working lightly. When we tested the SPECview Workstation, the time used exceeded our imagination and the test did not pass. In the end, the CPU has been overheated and throttled. Similarly, the temperature of the CPU and GPU in idle state is also somewhat hot, and AI seems to ignore this selectivity. Therefore, after our tests, although this laptop can be overclocked, but based on the incompetence of the cooling system, it will naturally reduce the frequency after overclocking, and it is completely useless.
Run-time Benchmark Test
PCMark10 Benchmark : 5,505
Results Link : http://www.3dmark.com/pcm10b/516317
3DMark 2K DLSS Test :
Result Link : http://www.3dmark.com/nd/43570
3DMark 4K DLSS Test :
Result Link : http://www.3dmark.com/nd/43566
3DMark Time Spy : 7,201
Result Link : http://www.3dmark.com/spy/6693251
3DMark Time Spy Extreme : 3,300
Result Link : http://www.3dmark.com/spy/6693329
3DMark Fire Strike : 16,628
Result Link : http://www.3dmark.com/fs/18828560
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme : 8,825
Result Link : http://www.3dmark.com/fs/18828618
3DMark Fire Strike Ultra : 4,621
Result Link : http://www.3dmark.com/fs/18828665
3DMark Fire Port Royal : 4,206
Result Link : http://www.3dmark.com/pr/68148
Thermal and Noise Tests
The NCP303150 integrates a MOSFET driver, high−side MOSFET and low−side MOSFET into a single package. The driver and MOSFETs have been optimised for high−current DC-DC buck power conversion applications. The NCP303150 integrated solution greatly reduces package parasitic and board space compared to a discrete component solution.
According to our evaluation and disassembling result, I believe that the AERO 15-Y9 laptop, which is light-weighted, portable, performance, longer battery life and even professional.
For a laptop that sells for $5,699, it hasn’t reached or exceeded the price of some professional workstation laptops, and buyers could use this budget to purchase a top-of-the-line multi-core desktop workstation and a thinner office-use laptop. From the perspective of usability, for high-end gamers, this laptop uses an RTX2080 Max-Q graphics card, but the screen does not support G-SYNC, and the refresh rate is only 60hz, also the weakness of the high-color IPS screen such as Light leakage and high latency of around 30ms are also unacceptable for gamers, so an external large-sized high-refresh rate gaming screen may be a good additional choice.
For workstation users, the CPU of this laptop has reached the standard or even better, 32GB memory and 2TB NVMe SSD plus 4K colour-calibrated screen also make this laptop a performance beast, but the RTX2080 Max-Q is designed for game graphics, there is a huge gap between RTX and Quadro series graphic card in rendering and 3D modeling processing, this is obvious from our SPECviewperf test results, and for light-weight 4K graphics and video editing, the 15.6-inch screen size is a bit small, an external large-size display can play the strengths prominently of this laptop. So in terms of usability, the positioning of this laptop is quite vague.
However, the largest drawback is not the appearance, but the cooling system. Aside from the dispensable Microsoft Azure AI, when you really need to play games or do your work, it is best to turn off the overclocking, and the fan must be switched to max speed, otherwise the CPU will overheat and throttling, causing tumbled gaming fps or extending the time of video rendering. A cooling pad with fans and height adjustable may be the best partner for this laptop. At the same time, the design of the right I/O ports may make it inconvenient for users who use an external mouse. In general, this laptop is more suitable to stay on the cooling pad and connect to an external display, but in this way, the 4K screen attached to the laptop itself is completely wasted. Therefore, this laptop is more suitable for working people who play less AAA games.
EPIC REWARD: EPIC EXTREME POWER
GIGABYTE AERO 15-Y9 OFFICIAL WEBSITE: https://www.gigabyte.com/Laptop/AERO-15–RTX-20-Series#kf