Gigabyte P37X v6 review

A super-powered GTX 1070 gaming giant

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The Gigabyte P37X v6 has a monster GPU in the form of the GTX 1070. It’s the mid-strength card in Nvidia’s new Pascal line-up, in front of the GTX 1060 but behind the GTX 1080, and it’s capable of powering the latest titles with graphics dialed up to maximum – in most instances, anyway.

It’s paired with a sixth-generation Intel Core i7-6700HQ Skylake processor, which doesn’t use the latest Kaby Lake architecture but still offers impressive performance.

That means it’s also great for video and photo editing, and it doesn’t break a sweat when you’re in full swing multi-tasking mode. Like the previous model, there’s a capacious 1TB HDD (7200rpm) drive that you can load games onto, while the 512GB SSD hosts Windows 10.

Gigabyte P37X v4 trackpad

TKTK PLEASE ADD SHORT GRAPH HERE RE: SKUS OF THIS MODEL AND WHAT ONE OR TWO SIMILARLY-PRICED COMPETITORS GET YOU.

Keyboard, trackpad and display

The P37X's keyboard and trackpad are identical to what has gone on the previous model. The keyboard is comfortable to type on, thanks its chiclet-spaced keys that offer a decent amount of key travel. It’s possible to really pick up speed after some practice, and there’s no noticable flex in the keyboard’s build quality. In fact, everything from the keyboard base to the lid is made of a rock hard plastic material that doesn’t easily succumb to flex.

We can’t say that we enjoyed using the trackpad on this year’s model, however – it’s simply too cramped and makes scrolling across the display with a single finger something of chore even if you increase its sensitivity.

One of the P37X’s best features is its colorful 4K display, which makes everything you do on the laptop - from gaming to productivity work - shine. It’s full of vibrancy and pleasingly bright once you’ve turn off Windows 10’s Adaptive Brightness setting.

You’ll be more than happy using its sizable screen to game on, though on the negative side it doesn’t feature Nvidia’s frame-syncing G-Sync tech, meaning you’re still going to have one reason to pick an external display. It’s not a huge loss and probably won’t be a deal-breaker for you, but considering the P37’s price tag, we would have liked to have seen G-Sync included.

Gigabyte P37X v4 keyboard

Benchmarks

Here’s how the Gigabyte P37X v6 performed in our suite of benchmark tests:

3DMark Cloud Gate: 19,497; Sky Diver: 23,319; Fire Strike: 12,495

Cinebench CPU: 679 (cb) points; Graphics: 104.3 fps

GeekBench 3: 3,829 (single-core); 13,617 (multi-core)

PCMark 8 (Home Test): 3,642 points

PCMark 8 Battery Life: 3 hours and 23 minutes

Battery Life (techradar movie test): 4 hours and 45 minutes

The Division (1080p, Ultra): 72 fps; (1080p, Low): 160 fps

GTA V (1080p, Ultra): 52 fps; (1080p, Low): 130 fps

Performance

Without G-Sync you’re going to drop a few frames here or there by activating V-Sync in game, but the P37X still serves up incredibly impressive performance, thanks to the GTX 1070 inside – particularly at 1080p.

In our benchmark tests, the P37X cranked out an impressive 12,495 points, slightly edging the more affordable HP Omen 17 that has the same graphics card.

It also fared well in our demanding GTA V benchmark, matching the Omen’s 52 fps. Ultimately, both laptops are excellent performers, achieving 70 fps in The Division set to Ultra graphics settings.

There’s even enough power here to game at the display’s native 4K resolution, though don’t expect to hit the golden 60 fps mark on the very latest titles without turning the graphics down a notch. 

We achieved a healthy 45 fps in Doom (2016) played at 4K, compared to a much more playable 86 fps set to 1440p.

The P37X is a VR-ready machine. We put it through its paces by playing the demanding Raw Data, which can cripple a graphics card when robots begin to fly all over the screen. It coped admirably, maintaining a steady frame-rate on ‘High’, even if the action became too laggy when set to ‘Epic’. 

As 2016 draws to a close, you’re going to need a GTX 1080 in your laptop to cope with VR’s most demanding scenarios.

And, the P37X is very loud. It’s something that we’ve become accustomed to when gaming on machines from Gigabyte and its subsidiary company Aorus. Running demanding VR titles, the P37X sounds like a hairdryer – such is the noise that it generates.

The fans are noticeably quieter when you’re playing older games, but if you’re going to push it to its limits (which, let’s face it, you are), then it’s not a good idea to play games on the P37X in the family room or while somebody’s sleeping, to put it mildly.

We liked

The Gigabyte P37X V6 hasn’t changed that much compared to its predecessor. The design has been smartened up slightly, and it’s a hair or two thinner, making it one of the slimmest and lightest GTX 1070-equipped laptops on the market, even if it’s also one of the widest.

That graphics card brings desktop-like power in a slim frame, and when paired with a 4K display you have a machine that can easily game at higher resolutions. Added to that, the P37X’s stellar build quality, attractive display, decent port selection and tactile keyboard add up to make a great gaming laptop.

We disliked

Though the P37X has a lot going for it, it’s far from perfect. It’s fairly expensive, for a start, costing much more than some rival GTX 1070 gaming laptops without delivering a meaningful amount (if any) more performance. And when it does its thing, those fans really scream. The P37X could benefit from having a larger trackpad – there’s certainly room for one. 

And, Gigabyte, please include G-Sync on the next version – the smoothness it brings really can make a difference.

Final verdict

If you’re prepared to pay a little more for a little less (i.e. a slimmer chassis), then the Gigabyte P37X v6 has oodles of appeal. It makes for a great gaming experience on its own, so unless you really want to experience G-Sync, then you won’t need to pick up an external monitor.

It’s an all-out desktop replacement, thanks to that display, excellent performance, a wide number of ports and comfortable keyboard that will let you frag online enemies until the P37X v8 comes out in, say, around two years' time.