Computex 2017 - Gigabyte and Aorus
Gigabyte had plenty to show us, which is unsurprising given how many markets it's a part of. Our main focus was on its Aorus offerings, since these are the ones most relevant to enthusiasts like ourselves.
Starting with laptops, the Aorus X9 was on display sporting twin GTX 1070s in SLI, and we were told this allows it to offer performance close to that of a desktop GTX 1080 Ti. The 17.3” screen can be a 4K 60Hz panel or a QHD 120Hz one (both with G-Sync), and the keys are mechanical, although we weren't allowed to know the OEM of the switches. It's set to launch in Q3, but there's no price tag attached yet.
The main Aorus laptop, however, was the new X5 MD, its most powerful 15” laptop to date. Thanks to what Nvidia achieved with its new Max-Q design, Aorus has been able to cram a GTX 1080 GPU and an Intel Core i7-7820HK CPU into a chassis that's just 22.9mm thin and 2.5kg on the scales. G-Sync support and X-Rite Pantone certification are included in the display selections, which will include a 15.6”, 3,840 x 2,160, IPS, anti-glare option. We also noticed some flick-out, rubber-tipped feet that are presumably used to enhance the cooling capabilities. Pricing and a release date have not been confirmed.
The Aorus GTX 1070 Gaming box also caught our eye. Compatible with any laptop that has a Thunderbolt 3 connection, this external graphics box can give your laptop a massive performance boost in games and will also charge your laptop and give you additional USB connectivity when connected. Unlike rival offerings, it ships with a graphics card installed, and the use of the Gigabyte GTX 1070 ITX card means the metal chassis is kept very small. An integrated 450W PSU keeps the lights on. It's due to be launched in July; pricing is yet to be confirmed.
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The Aorus K9 Optical is a mechanical keyboard that uses Flaretech switches (made by Adomax, presumably) and is splash-proof. Red or Blue switch types are available, and keys are programmable and have RGB, per-key backlighting.
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Aorus also had a chassis – the AC300W – on display. It has customisable RGB lighting for the logos that shine through the front and side and is a full-tower case that supports vertical GPU mounting. It has full dust filter coverage, and HDMI and USB 3.1 Type-C ports are included in the front panel. We'll have more details on this one when it launches, which should be at the end of Q3.
Understandably, a big focus for Aorus was Intel's new X299 platform – June 26th should be the on-sale date for the boards we were shown. These include the X299 Aorus Gaming 3, the X299 Aorus Gaming 7, the X299 Aorus ultra Gaming, and the flagship X299 Aorus Gaming 9. With the Intel CPUs set to have three different tiers of PCI-E lane support, features across X299 motherboards will vary based on what CPU is used, which we're told has made things a little complex from a design perspective. Still, we do know that all four motherboards support RGB Fusion with support for digital and RGB LED strips and multiple onboard lighting zones, triple PCI-E 3.0 x4 M.2 slots, and Smart Fan 5 with Fan Stop capabilities to automatically control case fans and even stop them completely if temperatures are low enough. Naturally, you can expect full details once we receive our review samples, which hopefully won't be far away!
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X299 is said to bring benefits to DDR4 speeds, and Gigabyte also had a display of a motherboard (with an early beta BIOS, it should be noted) running eight 16GB DDR4 sticks at 4,133MHz.