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First up in our round of gaming benchmarks is this year's reboot of Prey, a sci-fi horror shooter built on CryEngine V. The 2006 original has mostly stuck in my mind for its portals, but the new version dropped most of the puzzle mechanics. It focuses instead on establishing an unsettling environment, unpredictable enemies, and a mind-bending narrative.

As we did with our tests of the Aorus X5, we tested this game's performance in the Arboretum, a zone filled with foliage and long-distance views. I'd previously cleared the benchmarking area of enemies to ensure consistency between runs. We used the game's Very High preset for testing.

Even if its average frame rates aren't quite as fluid as its bigger brother's, the Aero 15 delivers an excellent 99th percentile frame time that's just a whisker behind what the Aorus X5 produced at the same resolution. There's an odd spike about halfway through the benchmark represented in the first graph, but that seems to be an anomaly, as it didn't reappear in the other runs. Both notebooks keep 99th-percentile frame times under the magic 16.7-ms threshold.

The "time spent beyond X" graphs quantify the "badness" during a benchmark, those moments when the fluidity of the animation is interrupted. If there are any frames beyond the 50-ms threshold, that indicates a severe hitch that brought down the average frame rate to a 20 FPS average or lower. 33 ms correlates to 30 FPS or a 30Hz refresh rate. Ideally, every frame should meet or surpass the 16.7-ms threshold, as that correlates to a 60 FPS average. The 8.3-ms threshold corresponds to 120 FPS, a very high standard for the machines to meet.

The Aero 15 worked hard for its second-place finish in this title. It posted a few more frames past the 16.7-ms threshold than the Aorus X5 did, but only a few: neither notebook spends more than a tenth of a second or so on tough frames here. So far, the Aero 15 is looking like the kind of scrappy underdog folks love to root for.