Aorus X3 Plus v6 review

A fine compact gaming laptop

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Here's how the Aorus X3 Plus v6 performed in our suite of benchmark tests:

3DMark: Cloud Gate: 26,303; Sky Diver: 29,396;  Fire Strike: 10,335

Cinebench Graphics: 121.28 fps, CPU: 805 points

GeekBench: 4910 (single-core); 15,602 (multi-core)

PCMark 8 (Home Test): 2,411 points

PCMark 8 Battery Life: 3 hours and 54 minutes

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

Grand Theft Auto V (1080p, Ultra): 165 fps; (1080p, Low): 43 fps

The secret weapon that the Aorus has up its sleeve is its overclocking software. Open up Command & Control and in there you can shift the CPU clock speed (which is normally at 2.7) from 3.6 up to 4.0. In reality, the speed on the dial on our test machine didn’t register that far above 3.9, but it’s still a big boost and undoubtedly increases its benchmark results. The chip on paper is only meant to go up to 3.5 when pushed.

The software keeps a close eye on the CPU temperature and it’s a simple slider to increase or decrease the speed. We left it on the 4.0 setting during the majority of our tests, apart from battery and movie test. 

And the benchmarks are where the Aorus really shone. It scored a whopping 4,910 on Geekbench, nearly 1,500 more than the Razer and a little bit more again over the Alienware 13 R3.

All three of these machines have GTX 1060s with 6GB but the processor must be bumping up the score as it clocks over 10,000 in Firestrike, a score that neither the Alienware or Razer can manage. Only it’s big brother the X5 can beat it on that.

It also wipes the floor with them at again on GTA, 165 fps on Low and 43 fps on high. Everything looks so smooth on the epic screen. And even when running at full pelt during these tests, the fans weren’t particularly intrusive. 

There’s another thing that will turn heads, it logged a battery test at just under four hours, 3hrs 54 mins to be precise, nearly a whole half hour over the Razer and two more hours than the battery gobbling Alienware. It’s prowess as a gaming machine still means it’s also possible to use it as a work laptop around the office or for students with less need to charge it than the Razer Blade.

The only places where it did fall behind was the movie test, it scored a mildly disappointing 4 and a half hours. In addition to that, its PC Mark Home test was less than both the Razer Blade and Alienware, hitting just 2,411. As this is primarily a gaming machine that performs incredibly well in our gaming tests, we don’t think this will be much of an issue for anyone interested in using it as a gaming machine.

We liked

Most of all we loved the performance coupled with the in built overclocking software. It even outshined its bigger brother the X5 in the low GTAV test, and most definitely gives the Razer and run for it’s money, beating them in pretty much everything. It’s also nicely constructed with low fan noise. The battery life is also top notch, far exceeding other machines in the same class. And then there are the nifty macro buttons and detailed screen. Did we say that we liked this? We tested the model with twin 500GB SD drives, which was a bit overkill and adds around £500 to the price. We’d recommend getting the single 500GB model (there’s a generic SSD drive available which will knock down the price considerably) which generally ended up only £50 more expensive than the equivalent Razer Blade and Alienware 13 R3. Splash out the extra cash, as the performance gains are absolutely worth it.

We disliked

The design won’t suit everyone, it’s subtle for a gaming laptop but it’s certainly no MacBook. It’s also a little pricey at a little under £1,800 depending on which setup you plump for. If you’re looking for a cheaper gaming laptop, then go for a lower specced and heavier Alienware 13 R3. Also, Aorus don’t have their own online store, meaning you’ll have to buy it from a reseller such as Amazon, Overclockers UK or ebuyer. Therefore they may not have the specific model you’re after unfortunately. Also the prices vary somewhat and we couldn’t nail down the same price across different websites. You’ll have to hunt around for the best deal.

Final verdict

All in all, this is not just an excellent gaming laptop, it’s an excellent laptop too. Some may have slight qualms about the design, while it’s not as showy as using gaming laptops, it might be a little bit too much for situations. In our benchmarks it surprisingly outperforms its nearest rivals we think in part due to the ability to overclock the CPU.

Of course, overclocking in the past has been a double edged sword, although with the latest, and manufacturer approved, software it’s a lot safer than in the dark old days. It’s great to see Aorus fully embracing the technology available on this Skylake CPU and the new X3 is the proof of their hard work.