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Axel Young
Axel Young

Helio Gaming Draws Power From Azure

ROG Strix Z490-F Gaming helps you get the most out of your gaming build with up-rated power delivery and optimized cooling. Intelligent controls lets you manage overclocking, cooling and networking settings easily, giving you everything you need to harness the full potential of your build for top-tier gaming performance.

Helio Gaming Draws Power From Azure


The new Predator Orion 5000 (PO5-605S) adopts the overclockable octa-core 9th Generation Intel Core i9-9900K (with Z390 chipset) with support for dual-channel DDR4 configurations (up to 64GB). For superior graphics performance, the revolutionary NVIDIA Turing architecture combines real-time ray tracing, artificial intelligence and programmable shading to immerse players in a visually stunning gaming experience. A Cooler Master CPU Liquid Cooler [1] regulates temperature to maximize peak performance. Strategically placed intake and exhaust fans, as well as a shrouded power supply unit outfitted with its very own removable dust filter, ensure each internal component of the Orion tower stays cool during extended gaming sessions.

The 43-inch Predator Monitor also saves power through a light sensor that can detect the light level in the room and automatically adjusts brightness for comfortable viewing, and a proximity sensor, so as viewers move to the front of monitor it will automatically wake up from standby mode, or revert to sleep mode when no one is in the room. It also includes a remote control, making it convenient for living room use.

Virtual worlds are more immersive with QHD displays. Over 3.5 million pixels enable deep realism, smooth color gradients, and rounder curves. Entertainment experiences are more engaging with lifelike colors and detail, from gaming to videos.

Three modes for the integrated microphone array give you greater control over your input. Cardioid mode captures sound from right in front of the laptop, while minimizing input from the back, making it ideal for streaming and gaming. Stereo mode uses right and left channels to record a wider soundscape for live music or other immersive experiences. Omnidirectional mode picks up sound from all directions equally for clearer group conference calls.

6 heatpipes pull heat away from not only the CPU, GPU and VRAM, but also the VRM circuitry supplying them with power. Reducing the temperature of these components helps improve long-term stability and reliability.

As per earlier leaks, the Redmi Note 4X is expected to feature a 5.5-inch full-HD display, draw power from a 2GHz deca-core CPU, again presumably a MediaTek Helio X20 SoC, though other countries including in India may see launch of a Snapdragon 653 SoC variant as we have seen with the Redmi Nore 4.

Most gaming laptops have focused on getting slimmer and smaller over the last few years, but that's not the goal for all. The Aorus 17 (starts at $1,799; $3,699 as tested) is one such laptop that wants to stretch its sizable legs, measuring in at about an inch and a half thick and more than 8 pounds. Its Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 GPU and Intel Core i9-9980HK CPU queue up top-end gaming performance, as you'd expect given the size and price. Ultimately, though, no one feature or design aspect decisively sets it apart from other huge, even-better-performing, laptops. The Aorus 17 is a solid high-end gamer, but the Alienware Area-51m and Acer Predator Helios 700 are our top picks in this tier.

While I'm on the subject of size, I have to mention the fact that there are not one, but two big charging bricks for this laptop. We've seen this a handful of times in the past, and most recently on the MSI GT76 Titan, but it's a noteworthy inclusion each time. Just one of these power bricks is large enough, but two of them reduces the portability of this laptop to a level I would call "only move if absolutely necessary." The system weighs 8.4 pounds on its own, but the total with both bricks is a staggering 14 pounds. Add in the annoyance of packing and organizing two sets of cables, and you won't want to bring the Aorus with you anywhere. The laptop will run with just one brick plugged in, but, like when you try to play games off a gaming laptop's battery only, the performance is diminished.

The Alienware and MSI laptops both suffer from the same issue, for what it's worth. This level of wattage is mostly necessitated by the powerful GPU (more on that later), and because laptops don't have the physical space for a desktop-size power supply, this is the solution most manufacturers have landed on. The Acer Predator Helios 700 is also huge, but at least it has a unique physical feature to justify its size, and only one power brick. For me, the dual bricks are a borderline disqualifying feature: It makes the already-cumbersome laptops that much more difficult to take with you. They are technically portable compared to immobile desktops, but unless you're taking a long trip and will play a lot of games where you're going, it's hardly going to seem worth lugging a laptop like this along.

For some buyers, the power level and even a degree of portability are worth it, though, and a system of this size and price does bring along appealing features. One of those for the Aorus 17, made possible by the thick chassis, is the mechanical keyboard. The key switches come from Omron, and provide both tactile and audible feedback. I found typing on this keyboard to flow quickly, even if the keys are a bit looser than I'd like. The travel (2.5mm) isn't as deep or as satisfying as on a good desktop keyboard, but it's way better than the average laptop keyboard.

Other users may want to do content creation and other tasks, however, and not run the system at full power all the time. You can toggle the AI assistance with the "Gaming and Professional" app included on the laptop, and choose different settings (limited offline use, whether or not to share your data with Microsoft, and so on). If you leave the AI option on in the background, you can expect some frame-rate upticks in gaming without manually changing power modes. It should memorize your settings and keep them in a database for future use. I did indeed note an uptick of a couple of frames per second while gaming when using these settings, so you can leave it running, if you wish.

On the other hand, getting only 1080p feels a bit disappointing at this price point and screen size. 1440p is a popular desktop-monitor gaming resolution (though most gamers are still using full HD), and the powerful components are borderline overkill for 1080p. If truly hitting 240fps is one of your top priorities, this should be music to your ears, but a sharper picture for AAA games and watching videos has its own appeal. I associate higher resolutions with more premium builds, but many gamers may indeed value the 240fps capability more. You'll have to make that call for yourself.

On a less head-to-head basis, these scores are objectively high, and point to a lot of graphical power. For non-gaming tasks like video editing, animation, modeling, and more that require potent graphics hardware, this non-Max-Q RTX 2080 is more than up to the task. As for gaming...

The Aorus 17 delivers high frame rates at maximum settings, but that's the table stakes from a laptop of this size and price. It's competitive, to be sure; it's just not an unassailable pick for spending more than $3,000. In this price range, even if you're not getting value, you want to at least feel like you're getting the peak of design and components. The Aorus 17 is just a bit off that mark, and since it's priced much closer to its behemoth-laptop competition than the midrange options, it's difficult to recommend in the $3,699 model we received. (I suspect I'd have been a bit keener on a configuration like the $1,799 entry one.) If you do want a laptop this big and powerful and are trying to stick to any kind of budget, this will save you some cash. Otherwise, go all in with the Editors' Choice Alienware Area-51m or the unique, sliding-keyboard Acer Predator Helios 700.


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