Gigabyte Aorus 15G (RTX 30 series) review: top-tier gaming laptop power

The Gigabyte Aorus 15G (RTX 30 series) offers access to the latest Nvidia GPUs

Gigabyte Aorus 15G RTX 30 series review
(Image credit: Future)
T3 Verdict

The Aorus 15G gets some added RTX 30 series power and we've been very impressed by what the laptop has to offer – if you want a gaming laptop with top-level performance this year, then this is an option that we'd recommend putting somewhere on your shortlist.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Superb graphics performance

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    Understated style

  • +

    Crisp, 240Hz display panel

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    You'll need to save up

  • -

    Odd webcam placement

  • -

    Weak battery life

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Welcome to T3's Gigabyte Aorus 15G RTX 30 series review. Gigabyte has refreshed the already excellent Aorus 15G laptop with new Nvidia GeForce RTX 30 series configuration options – upgrades that are also now available on the other Aorus and Aero machines in an increasingly powerful line-up of Gigabyte gaming laptops.

Our review model here is the XC model, with an RTX 3070 under the hood rather than the RTX 3060 or RTX 3080 options. There's a 15.6-inch, 240Hz FHD panel here, but if you need something even bigger, check out the 17.3-inch models in the Gigabyte Aorus range.

While there are some other tweaks to the Gigabyte Aorus formula here, it really is the GPU boost that's all-important this time around. If you're wondering whether this is the right laptop upgrade for you, our detailed review will tell you everything you need to know.

We're pleased to announce that the Gigabyte Aorus 15G has also won T3's coveted Best Gaming Laptop award at the T3 Awards 2021.

Gigabyte Aorus 15G (RTX 30 series): screen and design

Gigabyte Aorus 15G RTX 30 series review

(Image credit: Gigabyte)

The RTX 30 series version of the Aorus 15G carries the same 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution, 240GHz refresh rate as the model that's already on the market, and again we've got a fine-looking display here – details are sharp, colours are vibrant, and that high refresh rate helps to eliminate any kind of ghosting or blur. From playing games to watching movies, it's a panel that impresses, with very thin bezels around the top and sides of the screen, and a display hinge that feels robust and solid in use.

Elsewhere the Aorus 15G is much more understated and low-key than a lot of other gaming laptops. It's really only the RGB lighting effects on the keyboard, and perhaps the oversized fan grilles on the back, that give away this laptop's gaming credentials. There's a nice feel to the soft, matte plastic that covers the top of the device and the lid, and it's relatively lightweight too, for a gaming laptop: the Gigabyte Aorus 15G tips the scales at 2 kg (4.4 lbs), so it can be moved around without too much of a struggle.

For your peripherals and accessories we've got an SD card reader, three USB 3.2 type-A ports, one USB 3.2 type-C port, an Ethernet port, a 3.5 mm headphone and mic combination port, a mini DisplayPort 1.4 video output and an HDMI 2.1 video output. Wi-Fi 6 support provides the fastest possible connection speeds as far as wireless internet goes. We do have a little quibble with the webcam placement – it's under the screen pointing up at you, which we're not all that keen on (though it does have a physical slider cover, which is a welcome touch).

Keys are well proportioned and positioned, and the trackpad is nice and big too. While you don't get the mechanical keys that you do with some other models, the Aorus 15G XC offers a comfortable and smooth typing experience. Overall, while some users (particularly gamers) will want a bit more in the way of flair and style, it's hard to complain about the look of this laptop or the feel of using it – and it gets all the most important bits right.

Gigabyte Aorus 15G (RTX 30 series): performance and features

Gigabyte Aorus 15G RTX 30 series review

(Image credit: Future)

This Gigabyte Aorus 15G offers all the benefits of the RTX GPU 30 series from Nvidia: a substantial performance boost, ray tracing, advanced AI processing and more besides. Add in the Microsoft Azure AI technology working in the background on the Aorus 15G – adapting system resources for the best performance – and you've got a graphics powerhouse at your fingertips here. As you would expect, the visuals were super-smooth and super-impressive in every game we tried.

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 in our review model is accompanied by a 10th-gen Intel Core i7-10870H processor, a generous 32GB of RAM, and 512GB of SSD storage – various configurations are available from Gigabyte, so check what else is on offer if this doesn't quite fit your needs and budget. As we've said, even top-tier games at high graphics settings simply fly on this – we were regularly getting around 70-80 frames per second on GTA V (and sometimes way about 100), while the laptop logged a 3D Mark Time Spy score of 9110 – up there with the best gaming laptops.

Thermals weren't too bad, thanks to the cooling system that Gigabyte calls Windforce Infinity. There are two large fans and five heat pins inside the laptop, and while the underside gets hot during gameplay, it's not noticeably worse than other gaming laptops we've tested. We felt a small amount of heat on the top of the laptop around the keyboard at times, but nothing major – and the fans stayed at a very respectable low volume throughout, suggesting Gigabyte has got the cooling system just right.

As always the Aorus Control Centre is here to let you choose your keyboard lighting, update drivers, optimise performance and so on. Battery is very ordinary, but of course if you care about battery life you're probably not looking for a gaming laptop: half an hour of intense gaming almost halves the battery level from 100 percent, while a two-hour video streaming session knocked the battery down from 100 percent to 68 percent, suggesting around six hours of playback in total. With some careful battery optimisation tweaks, you could probably eek out a bit more battery life.

Gigabyte Aorus 15G (RTX 30 series): price and verdict

Gigabyte Aorus 15G RTX 30 series review

(Image credit: Gigabyte)

You won't be short of options if you're shopping for an RTX 30 series gaming laptop this year, and the Gigabyte Aorus 15G looks like being right up there with the best of them. It's especially going to appeal if you're after a laptop that's subtle in its stylings as well as powerful – though some users might be looking for slightly more flair in terms of the overall aesthetics of their next laptop.

There's no arguing with the level of graphics power you get here, with all the benefits of the RTX 30 series and some top-notch internal components to go alongside the GPU too. The Aorus 15G will make light work of even the most demanding games on the market at the moment – with that 15.6-inch display making sure that everything looks fantastic – and based on our testing it can do all this without coming close to having any problems with overheating.

Battery life isn't particularly great, but that's understandable considering everything that Gigabyte has stuffed into this laptop – and it's not something that's really going to be high on your list of priorities if you're in the market for a gaming laptop. There are a few other little annoyances here, like the positioning of the webcam, but they're definitely not enough to stop us recommending this laptop.

As we've already mentioned, we can think of a few ways the Aorus 15G can be improved upon, but these are really minor quibbles rather than major drawbacks. With a starting price of £1,799 that goes up depending on configuration, it's obviously a lot of money for a laptop – but considering the amount of GPU power and performance you get here, as well as everything else the laptop offers, we think it's worth the investment.

Buy the Gigabyte Aorus 15G RTX 30 series gaming laptop at Scan Computers

David Nield

Dave has over 20 years' experience in the tech journalism industry, covering hardware and software across mobile, computing, smart home, home entertainment, wearables, gaming and the web – you can find his writing online, in print, and even in the occasional scientific paper, across major tech titles like T3, TechRadar, Gizmodo and Wired. Outside of work, he enjoys long walks in the countryside, skiing down mountains, watching football matches (as long as his team is winning) and keeping up with the latest movies.