Gigabyte 17.3” P37X Gaming Notebook Now in North Americaby Jarred Walton on February 26, 2015 1:56 AM EST
Gigabyte has an interesting line of gaming notebooks these days, including their own brand of P-series laptops as well as the AORUS brand. We’re in the process of reviewing the P35X v3, which packs a GTX 980M into a 0.82” thick 15.6” chassis, and now Gigabyte sends word that they have officially launched the big brother P37X with a 17.3” chassis in the North American market. It’s actually slightly thicker than the P35X, and the design language is very similar as well. That’s either good or bad depending on what you’re looking for in a gaming notebook.
On the one hand it’s generally slimmer (0.9”) and lighter (6.17 lbs.) than competing notebooks from Alienware, ASUS, Clevo, and MSI; however, keeping things cool in a thinner chassis generally means either more noise from the fans, higher temperatures, or both. It’s also either a conservative and subdued looking design, or it’s boring – I tend to like less bling on my laptops, but others are happier with multi-colored keyboard backlighting and a more aggressive industrial design.
In terms of features, all the core elements are essentially the same as the 15.6” model, but the keyboard adds a column of six dedicated macro keys. The top key switches between five banks of macros, so all told that gives you access to 25 macro sets. Besides the GTX 980M GPU, the system also supports Core i7 processors (Haswell series still), up to two 512GB mSATA drives in RAID 0, and two 2.5” drives are available as well. As with most other 17.3” laptops, the display remains a 1080p panel – there just aren’t many other options yet, though we’ve heard 3K/4K may be coming later this year (hopefully?) for 17.3” panels. At least the display is anti-glare and wide viewing angle (IPS most likely, though AHVA is also a possibility)
Amazon and other retailers are carrying the Gigabyte P37X, and the base model comes with i7-4720HQ, GTX 980M 8GB, 8GB system RAM, and a 1TB HDD (no SSDs in the base model, though you can always add your own) for $1999. If you prefer a slightly upgraded build, the Gigabyte P37X-CF2 also has 8GB RAM and an i7-4720HQ, but it includes a 256GB mSATA SSD and a Blu-ray burner for $2499. So yeah, just buy the base model and pick up a pair of 512GB mSATA MX200 SSDs for $440 instead – and if you really want a Blu-ray burner, that can be arranged for the remaining $60. You’ll probably want to upgrade the RAM as well, as 8GB is a bit chintzy on a high-end gaming rig these days.
Despite the odd pricing on the “upgraded” build, it’s good to see additional gaming notebook options, and for those that prefer a more subdued aesthetic the Gigabyte line might be exactly what you’re after. We’ll have the full review of the P35W v3 in the next week or two, so stay tuned.
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BMNify - Thursday, February 26, 2015 - linkWaiting for your P35X v3 review, this laptop is getting a lot of attention in the gaming forums and many have bought and praised it.
JarredWalton - Thursday, February 26, 2015 - linkShort summary: I like it, my only real concern is with heat. The back of the laptop (right near the CPU/GPU) gets quite warm to the touch while gaming. I haven't measured the temp yet, but I'd say 60C give or take? The display appears to be RGBW (Pentile), based on how it calibrates, which is to say it doesn't calibrate super well (this is the 2880x1620 LCD), but for non-professionals it's not really a problem. Side note: I need to get a microscope for taking images of the display structure. Anyway, it's definitely the lightest and fastest laptop right now. I think Razer Blade 14 looks nicer and is probably built a bit better, but 980M vs. 970M is no contest for gaming. :-)
BMNify - Friday, February 27, 2015 - linkThanks for the summary, yeah the Razer Blade has its own userbase and popularity but as you say 980M v 970M is what makes all the difference for gaming.
Hrel - Friday, February 27, 2015 - linkI would think the 980 would hurt battery life, right?
I look forward to your full review. The Razer offerings are far too limited for my tastes.
Does this one come in a variety with a 1920x1080 screen? Again, battery life, compatibility, consideration of source material and match between hardware capability and resolution, I just detest anything over 1080p right now. Maybe in another few years it won't be so solidly in the "early adapter" category.
JarredWalton - Saturday, February 28, 2015 - linkBattery life is okay for a high-end gaming laptop but not spectacular; about 5 hours for Light and 4 hours for Heavy (just a bit under in both cases).
eanazag - Thursday, February 26, 2015 - linkIf I went for a 17 gaming laptop this would be close to what I'd be looking for. 8GB of RAM in a $2000 laptop is a fail. Not that I would absolutely need more, but that for that much money it should just come with 16GB. The standard HDD is not helping the value proposition. Anything, that makes the Razer Blade look like a value deal is not working.
JarredWalton - Thursday, February 26, 2015 - linkCome on, Razer is what, $2200 with a 128GB SSD? You can buy a 512GB SSD for $200 and since this accepts two 2.5" drives there's no real difficulty involved in installing it. But the RAM is stingy for sure.
hrrmph - Thursday, February 26, 2015 - linkJarred nailed it regarding the lack of availability of 3K / 4K displays hurting this category. I think there is a lot of pent-up demand for better displays in the 17 and 18-inch class.
akdj - Thursday, February 26, 2015 - linkWhile I agree with Jarred and yourself, Windows (not the OS alone, developers are also responsible but their SDK for 8.1 isn't nearly as 'friendly' nor slick as OS X, Xcode, and it's relatively easy scaling solutions across OS X and iOS devices) isn't quite 'ready' for HiDPI displays ubiquitously yet. 1920/1080 right now makes perfect sense (especially for gaming on an 8 million pixel display with current mobile GPU's and the 'heat' Jarred refers to) compared to four times that.
Although incredibly powerful the 980 still isn't 'there' yet when it comes to delivering consistent, playable performance at native resolution. Nor, really, are the game developers. They're slowly jumping in, keyword 'slowly' as the permeation of HiDPI displays (the new Samsung $699 will help) isn't yet very commonplace
That said, I've owmed the MacBook Pro 15" rMBP 2012 since its release and purchased an updated Haswell this last year to replace my '11 17" MacBook Pro. At 44, the clarity of everything --- text to video, stills to the GUI/UIs of my main software. Extremely impressive having the entire 4k motion shot, pixel for pixel in the canvas while enjoying a UI in FCP X, Premier or AE is incredible on the iMac 5k but other than us geeks, it's a tough proposition to get folks to upgrade their sets or computer displays when they just bought the current TV for $419!!!
My 2004 Sony XBR weighs in at nearly 200 pounds, cost $4600 and its on an articulating arm with in wall wiring. I refuse to replace it til it falls off the wall! I could get a dozen today with twice the picture quality and a ⅛ the weight! Without content available, bandwidth limits and still to be decided delivery mechanism for such large files, I think we're still a few years from mainstream 'living room' ownership
But it starts with computers. After 44 years my eyes are shot and I live on my computers. We run a flight service in Alaska, have for 24 years and we fly folks all over the state to shoot (cameras only, no guns) motion and still photography, capture audio or full on productions (we've worked with Discovery, several subsidiaries, NatGeo and Smithsonian to name a few, including 'Deadliest Catch' gear and production transport). iPads have replaced my kneeboards. They tell me how much gas I need, file my flight plan, hook into advanced GPS ADSB and TCAS systems for 3D terrain, weather and traffic, up to date Jep charts, plates and NFZs...the MacBook Pro, the 2012 has many thousands of miles on it, still runs like the day I bought it and I can 'see' everything! We also use Windows at the studio along side OS X and special UNIX rendering farm...and I'm looking forward to Win10 addressing this issue --- IMHO, with Windows, like OS X and iOS's vertical and horizontal aggregation and integration...Android will have a helluva time if Redmond figures out mobile;)
Thank God the 3D in the living room fad has died
Long. Live. HiDPI!