The grand tour
Before we dig into some benchmarking results, let's take a closer look at the P57X, both inside and out. This machine offers three USB 3.0 Type-A ports, two on the left side and one on the right. Along with the HDMI 2.0 port on the right, that's enough connectivity for the base versions of the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift. Folks looking to embark on an Oculus Touch-powered journey might need to break out a USB hub, though.
Speaking of VR, we were initially puzzled to see Gigabyte advertise that the P57X is both VR-Ready and equipped with Nvidia's Optimus technology, as our understanding has been that those two technologies don't work together. When we reached out to Gigabyte's team, however, we learned that the company's engineers re-designed the HDMI output so that it connects to the GPU directly. Effectively, any external display, like a virtual reality HMD, will only be handled by the GTX 1070 and not the Intel HD Graphics 530 IGP. This allows users to enjoy the power-saving benefits of Optimus without kneecapping the machine's ability to power VR HMDs.
A surprisingly decent, if not particularly loud, pair of 2W speakers reside to the right and left of the power button near the hinge. With Dolby Digital Plus providing surround sound, the P57X creates an immersive audio experience right out of the box. Audiophiles (and those who prefer to frag demons without waking up the children) will still prefer to plug in their own cans, however.
One of the perks of owning a 17" laptop is the space for a full-sized keyboard and numpad. Gigabyte claims this backlit keyboard has 30-key rollover and anti-ghosting technology. Like I found with this machine's predecessor, the P57X's keyboard offers short travel that's just average for typing but feels fine for games.
Under the hood
Keen-eyed readers will notice that the interior of the P57X is quite similar to that of the P57W that we reviewed earlier this year. Gigabyte stacked the two sticks of RAM on top of each other and moved the M.2 gumstick over into the space formerly occupied by one of the sticks of RAM. Otherwise, the internal layout is largely the same. Users who find the presence of an optical drive offensive can swap it out for an empty plastic bracket that Gigabyte provides in the box.
Notably, Gigabyte is using a very similar, if not identical, cooling solution for the GPU and CPU. The company must be confident that its dual fan arrangement is just as capable of cooling a GTX 1070 as it was at cooling a GTX 970M.
The Transcend MTS800 256GB SATA SSD that Gigabyte ships in the P57X seems a bit anachronistic in a world increasingly dominated by NVMe storage. That said, we haven't seen gaming performance benefits from speedy NVMe SSDs, so Gigabyte's part choice here likely strikes a good balance between cost and performance. That 256GB SSD is backed up with a 1TB Hitachi Travelstar 7K1000 7200-RPM hard drive, which should offer a large chunk of speedy-enough performance for games and applications that can't fit on the SSD.
Now that we've seen what's new inside the P57X v6, let's see how it performs.