So Nvidia have their new RTX 3070 graphics for laptops and although they’re not using the Max-Q branding anymore, there are still lower power limit variants, including this one in the Gigabyte Aero 15, so just how well does it actually perform in games? I’ve tested 14 different titles at all setting levels and also compared it against other gaming laptops to show you the differences. The RTX 3070 in the Aero 15 can run up to 105 watts in a GPU only workload, but when the CPU is active at the same time, I didn’t find the GPU to go above 75 watts, and this is the first time that I’ve seen this. Prior to this laptop, I’ve only seen the dynamic boost range between 15 and 20 watts, but this one has a 30 watt difference.
Just as I thought things couldn’t get any more confusing with Nvidia’s new laptops. The Gigabyte control center software lets you control the CPU and GPU power limits a bit. I’ve done all testing here with both maxed out for best performance as well as max fan speed, which you can quickly enable by holding function and pressing the escape key with the fan icon. Unfortunately there’s no option of disabling optimus for a speed boost, but it does have resizable BAR. Although I’ve got a 4K 60Hz OLED screen in my model, it is also available with high refresh 1080p options if gaming is the priority.
4K is still a struggle for most laptop hardware, so I’ve done all my testing at 1080p. We’ll start out by looking at how this gaming laptop runs in 14 different games at all setting levels, then afterwards I’ll show you how it compares against other gaming laptops. Cyberpunk 2077 was tested in little China with the street kid life path. The RT presets up the top had DLSS set to quality, as this was the recommendation in the Hardware Unboxed ray tracing guide for this game. Anyway even with ultra settings we’re still able to run with above 60 FPS at 1080p which I think is pretty decent for a laptop, especially given my screen is 60Hz anyway. Red Dead Redemption 2 was tested with the games benchmark.
This test is generally quite heavy on laptops, so a 60 FPS result at ultra settings is quite good, and is in part due to the 3070 graphics as I doubt we’d otherwise see this from the older model with RTX 20 series graphics.
There wasn’t much difference between low and medium settings, which were both above 100 FPS. Control was tested without ray tracing, shown by the purple bars, with ray tracing, shown by the green bars, and with ray tracing plus DLSS in the red bars. Pure ray tracing was actually around 60 FPS with the medium setting preset, but as we can see, DLSS is able to boost this quite significantly. With the high setting preset, ray tracing on with DLSS is actually doing slightly better than native.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla was tested with the game’s benchmark. Even with the highest ultra high setting preset we’re getting above 60 FPS in this test, another decent result from laptop hardware, while low settings was able to surpass 100 FPS. Microsoft Flight Simulator was tested in the Sydney landing challenge. There wasn’t much difference between medium or low-end settings, and high-end wasn’t too bad either, however there was a bigger step down comparatively running with the highest ultra setting preset.
Watch Dogs Legion was tested with the games benchmark.
This one runs better maxed out comparatively, with a nice 69 FPS at ultra settings. Again like many others, above 100 FPS can still be achieved at lower settings levels if your preference is fluidity over visual quality. Battlefield V was tested in campaign mode, and as you’ll see soon when we compare against other laptops, this is quite a good result when compared to last generation hardware. Absolutely no issues playing this one even at max settings, but I guess this title is a bit on the older side these days. Shadow of the Tomb Raider was tested with the games benchmark tool, and again no problems here either, easily above 100 FPS even with the highest setting preset, and this is another game I’ll use to compare with others soon. Fortnite was tested with the replay feature. Even the 1% low was well above the refresh rate of the display, so no issues running this one at all, and this would be better paired with the high refresh rate screen option if you’re looking at playing competitively.
Similar deal with Rainbow Six Siege, which was tested with the games benchmark tool, even the 1% lows are around 200 FPS, so perfectly smooth at 1080p. CS:GO is another that runs at super high frame rates, though there wasn’t really a difference between the various setting levels here. Generally I see big gains in this title with laptops that can disable optimus, but unfortunately that is not an option with the Aero.
Death Stranding also didn’t see that much of a difference between the different setting levels, so I suppose you might as well just run it at max settings. The Witcher 3 was also running without any problems with the highest ultra setting preset, though there was a reasonable boost to be had by stepping down just one level to high settings.
Metro Exodus was tested with the games benchmark tool. The built in RTX preset was just able to get 60 FPS. Extreme settings are quite intense compared to the others so we’re only around 40 FPS there, but you really don’t need anywhere near max settings to play.
Now let’s find out how well this hardware compares against other gaming laptops, but use these results as a rough guide only, as they were tested at different times with different drivers. I’ve tested Battlefield 5 in campaign mode at ultra settings, and the Aero 15 is highlighted in red.
This is a very impressive result. The average FPS is about the same as the XMG Neo 15 just below it which has a higher wattage 3070, but Ryzen 7 5800H processor. The 1% low in particular is higher with the Intel based Aero, which I think is interesting given the Aero can’t disable optimus while the Neo can. I’ll have the right laptops to fairly compare Intel and Ryzen in games soon, so make sure you’re subscribed for that upcoming comparison. The Aero moves down a few positions in Shadow of the Tomb Raider though. This test is more dependent on the GPU, which is likely why the higher wattage Neo 15 is now 8% ahead. Regardless, still a decent result, and similar to many of the 2080 Super Max-Q results, granted at the higher end out of the machines that I’ve got data for. What I found most interesting was that the Aero with these specs was 15% higher than the XMG Pro 17, the first laptop I’ve tested with 16gb RTX 3080 graphics. The unit I’ve tested has a similar power limit, so I would have thought they would be closer together, but that wasn’t the case.
Far Cry 5 was also tested with the games benchmark tool. The Aero 15 lowered a few more spots in this test. This is more of a processor heavy test in my experience, so other factors like CPU power limits will have more of an affect here. Again it’s close to many of the 2080 Super Max-Q laptops, though on the lower side of these results now.
What I found interesting was that it’s still outperforming the similar wattage 3080 in the XMG Pro 17 just below it with the same processor, so just goes to show that in some games the difference between a 3070 and 3080 isn’t going to be worth the extra price, it all comes down to the power limits.
So overall, the performance here is quite good. I found it particularly interesting that the Aero 15 was occasionally able to beat the XMG Neo 15, despite that one having a higher wattage 3070, as well as the option of disabling optimus. The main difference between those two is that this one is Intel while the other one is a Ryzen based model. It could just be that some games still favor Intel over AMD.
Now that Ryzen based gaming laptop that I tested over in this video will be arriving here soon with an Intel based processor, so I’ll be able to compare both somewhat fairly at both 1440p and 1080p resolutions, you’re definitely going to want to make sure you’re subscribed for that comparison, as well as of course the full review of the Gigabyte Aero 15.