Gigabyte Aero 14 GTX 970M Gaming Laptop Review

Gaming Performance


Grand Theft Auto 5

Evidently, the GTX 970M isn’t engineered to deal with advanced graphics presets or extreme resolutions. In the interest of fairness, I decided to run the benchmarks using the standard procedure as a way of comparing with other systems, then selected more sensible settings. Hopefully, this will showcase the kind of your experience which is possible from the Aero 14’s graphics chip.

In Grand Theft Auto V, the Aero 14 performed admirably and managed to exceed an average frame-rate of 60 when scaling back the screen resolution to 1920×1080. Once the display ran at the native resolution, the frame rate remained solid although there are some moments when it drops considerably. Overall, a great result considering the demanding preset.

If you decide to employ medium settings, the frame rate is much better and it’s remarkably easy to maintain a fluid user experience. Even when using the 2560×1440 resolution, the performance is superb and demonstrates that it’s feasible to enjoy 1440p gaming providing you make some concessions in the options menu.

Rise of the Tomb Raider

Rise of the Tomb Raider’s Very High preset requires graphics hardware with a large framebuffer. During the testing, I disabled the safeguards and wasn’t expecting the Aero 14 to perform well. Rather surprisingly, the average 1080p frame rate was decent and remained playable. Saying that, there are moments involving heavy effects which make the frame rate plummet. Also, the system struggles with the preset when using the native 2560×1440 resolution.

Here we can see, the performance improves by a decent amount after applying the medium preset. This is enough to achieve a stable 60 frames-per-second figure at 1920×1080. Additionally, the 1440p frame rate is good and more than playable if you’re accustomed to games running around 30 frames-per-second.

Hitman

Sadly, the Gigabyte Aero 14’s graphics card hasn’t got the required horsepower to provide a smooth experience when using the Ultra preset. While you might argue 35.3 frames-per-second is fine, it doesn’t take into account the massive drops which often dip below 15. This is to be expected and lower settings are required.

Once the medium preset was enabled, the system fared rather well and managed an average frame rate of 69.2 during 1080p testing. This is a stellar result and illustrates how well the GPU copes with medium settings 1080p gaming.

Far Cry Primal

In Far Cry Primal, the Aero 14 obtains a respectable result when scaling back the display to 1920×1080. I wouldn’t personally sacrifice a higher frame rate to run the Ultra preset, but this shouldn’t detract from another solid showing. As expected, the 1440p frame rate is unplayable and not recommended.

Thankfully, it’s possible to almost reach an average of 60 frames-per-second by enabling the “Normal/Medium” preset. The system didn’t encounter any problems using the lower graphical details after setting the display to 1080p. Weirdly, the 1440p frame rate only increased by 10 which suggests there’s a bottleneck coming into play.

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John Williamson

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