Do not be alarmed. You’ve seen this notebook before, and quite recently as well. This is the v7 edition of the P57X, an updated model of the previous P57x v6 from GIGABYTE, and it brings with it a few changes which are worth covering.
This time around, the specs are everything, as there are no cosmetic changes. It’s the same frame / chassis housing and the same components, save for a new CPU, faster DRAM modules and, of course, a UHD display instead of the FHD IPS panel. GIGABYTE hopes that all of these changes will make the P57 an even more attractive notebook, especially at the aggressive price of R29,999. How useful these changes are to the end user will depend on your intended purpose for the notebook.
The most obvious change is the UHD display. As you can imagine, the pixel density is fantastic at 266 PPI, making for an impressively sharp, detailed image. It may come in handy for designers and those who work with high-resolution models, videos or images. When it comes to gaming though, even the mighty 8GB of GDDR5 paired with the GTX 1070 GPU can’t muster enough performance to make 4K gaming possible without some compromises. The upgrade to the 7700HQ and faster DRAM doesn’t help at all either, as this is a GPU-bound situation. While some games will definitely be playable at 4K resolution and maximum detail, you’ll be better off running at 1920×1080 and turning up all the settings available in the game instead. Rise of the Tomb Raider is a perfect example of this, where the 4K results were barely over the 30fps mark, but at 1080p, were well over 80fps.
If you’re not a graphic artist, or you aren’t involved in work that necessitates a high-resolution / high-pixel-density display, then you’ll be better off with the FHD model of this same notebook. Keep in mind as well that you’ll not find many notebooks for under R30,000 which have such a beautiful display, or these specs for that matter. This is definitely one of the cheaper (if not the cheapest) GTX 1070 notebooks you can buy. Just be mindful, and carefully choose the model that suits your needs (i.e. FHD versus UHD model, assuming they’re both an option).
Does the 7700HQ and increased DRAM frequency make a difference in gaming? Perhaps, but that can only be observed at FHD resolution or in very specific, CPU-bound games. At 4K, the benefits of these upgrades are lost. Benchmarks such as 3DMark Fire Strike, however, showcase the effects of the improved component selection. The performance gains are relatively small, but they’re in line with the changes made to the notebook. As usual, GIGABYTE includes software that manages your notebook, and an OC/Performance mode which can be enabled for that extra bit of horsepower. This is exclusively a graphics card overclock, so be careful not to block any ventilation openings when using this mode. The notebook becomes noticeably louder as well, but the trade-off is that your synthetic scores and gaming performance will increase, even if only marginally.
If you’ve been preparing to commit to the v6 edition, you may as well skip it and buy this one instead. The retail price is the same and you simply get a better machine, and if 4K is something you’re looking for, that upgrade to a UHD panel is free.
Ultimately, as with the v6, this is an excellent notebook, and the various improvements are very welcome. It’s well worth your time and is certainly cost-effective given the specifications. You’ll have a hard time finding a better spec’d notebook than this for less money.