Gigabyte Aero 15 Y9 Review: RTX 2080 Performance, At A Price

Gigabyte Aero 15 Y9 Review: RTX 2080 Performance, At A Price

Last year, NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang won the Aero 15X as an example of what Max-Q makers can do with an explosion in light, thin but powerful gaming laptops. This year, he held the Aero 15Y. It is still just 19mm thick, but slightly heavier at 4.5lbs. This is still impressive, considering the new internal parts.

The only RTX 2080 Max-Q model that is lighter is the 4.2-pound MSI GS65 Stealth. However, this laptop has a smaller battery and, as you will soon learn, this makes a big difference. The HP Omen 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q package weighs 5.2 pounds, the Alienware m15 weighs 4.8 pounds, while the ASUS ROG Zephyrus S, with graphics RTX 2080 Max-Q, weighs just a touch of 4.5 kg. None of these weights often include the heavy brick of power.

Otherwise, the Gigabyte Aero 15 Y9 has exactly the same low-profile design as the last model, with triangular texture, as a nod in the genes of the game. It has tiny frames, making the laptop smaller than the 15.6 inch screen that would offer it and fit easily into the back case of my Peak Design messenger bag.

Gigabyte Aero 15 Y9 Portable Computer with NVIDIA RTX 2080 Max-Q graphics

The company was wise not to change. the design of the Aero 15X looks smart and will not be out of space in any office or production house. I liked the latest model enough to buy myself.

There are a good number of ports. You get two USB 3.1 (5 Gbps) ports, a higher USB 3.0 Gen2 USB (10 Gbps), Ethernet, a Thunderbolt USB Type-C, a UHS-II card reader, an HDMI 2.0 port and a 3.5mm / microphone jack.

However, the new Aero 15 Y9 also packs DisplayPort 1.4 via USB Type-C instead of a standalone mini DisplayPort like Aero 15X. Data speeds are the same but I had to buy a new cable (USB Type-C in DisplayPort 1.4) to get the best performance from my HDR screen. It is worth noting that all these ports are running at their nominal speeds (we have checked), which is not always the case with laptops.

In use
Due to the low-key design and high-tech components, the Aero 15 Y9 is just as good at creating games and content. Of course, the model we tested had drawer specifications. It has six Intel Core i9-8950H processors, 2TB Intel 760p NVMe SSD 2GB, 32GB RAM (upgraded to 64GB), NVIDIA RTX 2080 Max-Q graphics, 94 Wh battery and 4K 60Hz display. The Gigabyte will eventually release a similar model with a 1080p 144Hz display that will undoubtedly be more suitable for games and will have (much) longer battery life.

Gigabyte Aero 15 Y9 Portable Computer with NVIDIA RTX 2080 Max-Q graphics

During the game at 4K, I have seen 29 fps speeds in the Tomb Raider shadow with graphics settings at the “highest”. We achieved similar results to Hitman 2, and subjectively, both games played fairly smoothly with a little stuttering or tear. At 1080p with the same settings, both games hit 60 fps, maximizing the sync rate on the laptop screen. This is not bad, but it’s about 33 percent less than 45 fps that you can get to 4K with the RTX 2080 desktop. The GTX 1080 Max-Q can run the same reference point at around 22 fps, so the RTX 2080 Max-Q is about 30% faster.

The most remarkable new feature besides the hardware is AI Gaming + & Professional +. When using the graphics software or game, use AI technology (either from Gigabyte or Microsoft Azure) to set the speed and speed of the computer fan to optimize frame rates. In practice, by running the shadow of the Tomb Raider reference pointer, I found an increased 4K frame rate from a single frame or two per second in each mode.

There is no way to check it, run it only in “gigabyte”, “cloud” (Microsoft) or off mode. Because of the low yields, it was not particularly helpful. However, they have to learn and become smarter over time, so maybe they will improve on the road.

As for my favorite ray-tracing (RT), I could only use it in one game: Battlefield V. You can find a very specific computer installation that includes the latest version of Windows 10 (build 1806) and recent programs NVIDIA Drivers. I’m all about the beautiful graphics and ray detection offers – at times – with reflections, realistic lighting and more atmospheric gameplay.

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