I have never built my own computer, and in all likelihood, I never will. It’s just not my thing. But people in the know tell me that if I was to build my own computer. I should opt for a motherboard made by GIGABYTE.
Goodo then, so the laptop the nice PR person sent me to test, an AERO 15 OLED made by these very GIGABYTE folks, might just be a rip snorter. It’s primarily designed for gaming, but every time I am in a Facebook forum and there is a thread on “building your own PC for video editing”, it seems to me the specifications gamers use to put together their dream machine is very similar to the ones suggested for a top of the range video editing machine.
Now to me a computer is composed of four fundamental bits; screen, keyboard, hard drive space and memory. The rest I don’t (technically) give a hoot about. As long as it is fast, reliable, easy on the eyes and after my recent hospital escapade to cater for carpal tunnel syndrome in the right wrist, have a damn good keyboard.
I might add here I also don’t really worry too much about trackpads in laptops. Why? ‘Cause I detest ‘em and always plug in a proper wrist friendly mouse.
The Screen is Brilliant
In these important areas, the GIGABYTE AERO 15 OLED shines – mostly. The 4K UHD screen is sublime and probably the best I have ever seen on a laptop. It is clear, bright and importantly for video editing, accurate and with a fast refresh allowing previews of special effects to be seen accurately without ghosting or stuttering.
The video card employed is the very, very good NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 20 Series and video panel is a Samsung 4K UHD AMOLED if you were wondering.
Disco in a Keyboard
The keyboard is a beauty. It even comes with its own built in disco light system.
I kid you not, in the default setup mode, the keys have a permanent wave of rainbow colours wash over them from the underlying backlit key LEDs. It is quite mesmerising initially just to sit and watch the colours keep changing as they roll from left to right.
I say initially, as after about 10 seconds I was madly searching for how the hell to turn it off! (My 20 something step-daughter loved it conversely, so what would I know?)
Anyway, to type, the keys have a nice travel and feel and even after a 45 minute session, my wrist(s) felt fine, which is more than I can say for other laptops I have tested.
Main storage is to a 500GB SSD drive and there is provision to plug in a second if you need. This makes it incredibly fast to read and write video files. Complementing this, the main engine is a brand new new 9th gen Intel® Core™ i9, 8 core processor matched to 16GB RAM with an optional 32GB based machine available or of course you can upgrade the RAM later.
And at this point I became a little mystified. With all this horsepower, I would have envisaged the AERO15 in a simple Vegas Pro render test of a 40 second video with some titling, effects and a bit of 3D space thrown in would sneer at me as if to ask if that was the best I had.
However, surpisingly it was a fair percentage slower than my 2 ½ year old i7 Dell desktop that also has 16GB RAM but no SSD drive. My own laptop, a 2 year old ASUS A541U (16GB RAM and i5 processor with a 512GB SATA drive) gave a time of 2:32.18 which gives made Gigabyte look a bit better.
The render times (all files coming off a Sandisk Extreme Pro SSD 1TB drive and writing to each computer’s own internal drive) were:
- Dell – 1:17.21 minutes
- GIGABYTE AERO 15 OLED – 1:30.81
- ASUS A541U – 2:32.18
The story was a little better if the files were rendered off the Aero 15s hard drive as well as writing to it which in all honesty would probably be the norm. Under this circumstance, the Aero registered a time of 1:25.76 for the same test.
In short, it’s not as fast at this task as I thought it would be, but in the real world the AERO 15 is no slouch either.
As you’d expect, doing reasonably hefty video work, working on the battery alone minimizes what you’ll get: I managed just over 5 hours before it ran out of puff. Even then, that is enough for say, a flight from Perth to Sydney without plugging in so no complaints there.
Garish keyboard besides, I liked the GIGABYTE AERO 15 OLED The speed difference between it and a dedicated desktop is a bit of a worry but I could offset this against that beautiful screen to a very large degree.
But the price to many might be a deal breaker. In this configuration you’ll get a dollar back from 3K which is a lot. The 3K I mean not the $1.
A dedicated top-of-the-range desktop can be built for less than this with a wide screen BenQ monitor on it (or twin “standard” monitors if you prefer).
But if you are a video editor who is also a so-called “road warrior” (ugh!) and spend more time on aircraft, on set or on site than chained to a desk then I couldn’t think of a better laptop to use for the task. As long as you turn those damn keyboard party lights off that is.
For more information, see https://www.gigabyte.com/au/Laptop/AERO-15-OLED–Intel-9th-Gen#kf