Aorus X9 packs two GTX 1070s in a slim chassis

There was once a time when having a laptop with a desktop-grade graphics card meant lugging around a 20-lb behemoth that could game for a half an hour or less on its internal battery. Recent upgrades in the efficiency of Intel's CPUs and Nvidia's graphics chips have mostly brought those days to an end. Gigabyte's latest portable gaming beast, the Aorus X9, packs not one, but two Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 graphics cards into a package just over an inch thick.

Gigabyte hopes that the first thing users notice about the Aorus X9 is the color-calibrated, high-resolution 17.3" screen available in two varieties—a 120-Hz display with 2560×1440 WVA resolution and a 5-ms response time, or a 60-Hz 3840×2160 IPS model. The second-brightest feature of the Aorus X9 might be its keyboard. The typing surface features per-key RGB LED illumination and "mechanical brown switches." The manufacturer has also bedazzled the machine with RGB LEDs on four sides to complement the light show from the keyboard. Users can control all the LEDs using Gigabyte's RGB Fusion software utility. 

The third noticeable feature on the outside of the laptop is a set of grilles for the quartet of cooling fans. The thumping heart within the Aorus X9 is an Intel Core i7-7820HK overclockable processor with a stock boost clock of 3.9 GHz. That CPU fetches instructions and data from a pool of up to 64 GB of DDR4 memory spread across two channels and as many as four memory modules. All the pixels in the X9's display get their marching orders from two Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 graphics cards in SLI. Each card has its own 8 GB of GDDR5 memory.

The Aorus X9 is big but not as large as one might expect considering the hardware within. The base configuration with 8 GB of memory and a single 256 GB SSD tips the scales at 7.9 lbs (3.6 kg). The laptop itself measures 16.9" wide, 12.4" deep, and 1.18" thick (43 cm x 31 cm x 3.1 cm). Gigabyte didn't talk battery capacity or life expectancy, but we don't think anyone is expecting all-day mobility from a machine like this. For peripheral connectivity, the X9 has three USB 3.0 Type-A ports, a USB 3.1 Type-C connector, and a Thunderbolt 3 port. A mini-DisplayPort and an HDMI 2.0 output also join the party.

The company did say that two different configurations would be available by the end of October. Both specs share the 3840×2160 display, a Core i7-7820HK processor, the two Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 graphics cards, and 16 GB of RAM. The first version has a 512 GB NVMe SSD and a 1 TB platter drive for a princely $3649. The second model deletes the spinning rust and adds a second 512 GB NVMe device for a $3749 asking price. Gigabyte says the Aorus X9 with two NVMe drives will be sold exclusively through Newegg.

Comments closed
    • MpG
    • 2 years ago

    As an owner of a current-gen gaming laptop, I would be genuinely impressed if the cooling system could keep the laptop from throttling under load. As least, without using total leaf-blowers for cooling fans.

    You can keep a hot CPU and hot GPU cool, but once you cram the second GPU in, you have more heat and less room for cooling. I’ve already seen and read about plenty of “slim” gaming laptops throttling with just a single 1070/1080 under the hood. It’s the reason I just went with a laptop that was an extra half inch thicker.

    • Chrispy_
    • 2 years ago

    Impressively small given the hardware.

    Sort of off-topic, why don’t manufacturers just ditch the batteries these days and admit that anything other than mains power renders this class of laptop useless? I read in an article the other day that one of these mobile gaming behemoths required a 700W power brick. At that load, a 100Wh battery (the legal maximum capacity) would last under nine minutes, and these laptops are usually only graced with a battery half that size.

    The space would be better used for decent speakers, more storage, a larger fan or heasinks, hell – even a load of AC-DC conversion circuitry, so that you didn’t need an external power brick….

      • tsk
      • 2 years ago

      Agreed, I’ve never seen a gaming laptop used without being plugged in.

      • Air
      • 2 years ago

      Well, normally i would say you could bring it to work. For office loads the battery can last for a decent amount of time.

      But in this specific case, the design of this laptop is so embarassing you probably will never take it out of your room, for fear of being spoted in public.

      So yeah, no point in a battery.

      • moose17145
      • 2 years ago

      I beg to differ.

      I knew someone in college who had a (at the time) similarly powerful gaming laptop like this one who used it on battery all the time.

      When the machine would hop onto battery (or if it was just sitting on the desktop doing 2D work) it would switch over to the integrated graphics built into the Intel CPU and basically shut off the discrete videocard.

      When plugged in and when a 3D application would fire up, it would kick over to the discrete GPU.

      He could get a couple of hours of battery life out of the thing taking notes in class and doing “actual work related things” with it (assuming those work related things don’t include 3D work, like running a CAD program or something).

      I’m not gonna say you are going to get 6+ hours of battery life out of this… but 2.5 – 3.5 hours of battery life is still enough to be useful. You just need to remember that you are not going to be gaming on it while on battery. But that has been a given of these types of systems for as long as they have existed.

        • DPete27
        • 2 years ago

        Nvidia Optimus tech is what you’re referring to.

          • moose17145
          • 2 years ago

          Yea that! Thank you!

            • Cuhulin
            • 2 years ago

            Both Nvidia and AMD had tech to do this. It had multiple problems – the need to sometimes manually tell the computer which gpu to use being one and games that tried to get too close to the gpu hardware and ignored the switch being another.

            • RAGEPRO
            • 2 years ago

            I don’t know why you’re speaking in the past tense; Nvidia Optimus is still in wide use on laptops, heh.

      • liquidsquid
      • 2 years ago

      I think the brick is sized for both maximum charge rate of the battery AND running the laptop at the same time… but still, yeah, it is not meant to run on batteries for long. Only long enough to run from one wall socket to another.

      • MOSFET
      • 2 years ago

      Give it internal power circuitry, tether it to the wall with a cord, and call it a desktop! [i<]sounds like we're back to mITX :/[/i<]

        • Chrispy_
        • 2 years ago

        Heh, I’d be fine with an mITX case that could unfold from a thin briefcase with a 1080p screen and a keyboard.

    • ColeLT1
    • 2 years ago

    Is there something wrong with the bird on the touchpad, it seems to be missing its massive unexplained aorus bird bicep…

      • derFunkenstein
      • 2 years ago

      [quote<]Is there something wrong with the bird on the touchpad[/quote<] Yes, it's there in the first place.

      • juzz86
      • 2 years ago

      I always thought that was its bottom jaw!?!

    • Voldenuit
    • 2 years ago

    I’d rather have a single 1080 or single 1070Ti.

    Really, why???

      • Sargent Duck
      • 2 years ago

      A single 1070TI or 1080 would be lighter and better on power than dual 1070’s. I don’t understand the design decision of this.

        • SuperPanda
        • 2 years ago

        In theory, appropriately clocked dual 1070s could be faster, lighter on power, and easier to cool than a single hot-clocked 1070Ti or 1080. The 1070s will just lose badly on price.

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