Aorus 17 review YE5

Aorus 17 Review

In a world where high performance laptops are almost whizz-bang in their existence – thanks to rapid refreshes and upgrades – we’ve recently been heartened to see that the Aorus 17G has remained in our shortlist of the best laptops for many months. Now here’s a successor, the Aorus 17 YE5. It’s got the best everything. How good will it be?

Key specs of the Aorus 17 YE5

17-inch, matte, 360Hz, 1080 x 1920, IPS display; 3.5-4.7GHz Intel Core i7-12700H CPU; 32GB DDR5-4800 RAM; 1TB HDD; 16GB GDDR6 Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti GPU; 99Wh battery; 2.7KG. SKU: YE5, Full specs here.

Design and handling

The Aorus 17 YE5 has a chiselled black chassis with strong lines and cut out corners. The glowing logo looks impressive and should just about fit into a boardroom environment in addition to impressing people at a LAN. Opening it up reveals a full-sized, bright, individually lit RGB keyboard that’s very comfortable and accurate to use. It also sports both full-sized number pad and arrow keys. We approve! The trackpad is large, smooth, accurate and the buttons actuate with a perfect, well-pressured click.

Aorus 17 YE5 front view
Great full-size keyboard (including number pad and arrow keys).

The screen is bright and well-lit. It has a relatively low, Full HD resolution (despite having 17-inches to play with) but it still manages to display a crisp and clear Windows Desktop. We can’t grumble though, the 360Hz refresh rate means that motion is rendered smoother than a baby’s bum. The fast pixel response time equates to their being practically zero ghosting and meaning that rapidly moving objects are displayed almost pin sharp.

Aorus 17 YE5 lid
Sharp lines, a glowing logo and go-anywhere panache. Nice!

It’s fantastic for fast-and-frantic gaming but experience tells us that such speed often comes with compromises. Yet, we were impressed. Colours remain vibrant and, although colourful and monochromatic gradients can exhibit some stepping, it’s far from the worst we’ve seen. The bright screen helps with contrast and details prevailed in both bright and dark areas. Only designers demanding ultimate colour accuracy might find it wanting, but the Aorus 17 is not designed for them. 

Aorus 17 YE5 rgb keyboard
We do love an individually lit RGB keyboard (if not photographing them).

A ridge above the screen encases a decent, HD webcam that also supports rapid Windows Hello log-on.

Disappointingly, the speakers are mediocre. The twin, 2-Watt units offer reasonable fidelity but don’t get very loud or exhibit too much bass. We want more from a 17-inch beast.

All in all, though, the Aorus 17 looks very good and is a joy to use.

Performance

The Aorus 17 sports a 12th Gen, 3.5-4.7GHz Intel Core i7-12700H processor. This has 14 cores (six for performance based and eight for efficiency) with 20 (Hyper)threads. It’s flanked by a whopping 32GB of the latest DDR5 RAM and a 1TB hard drive. These combined to score 7900 in PCMark 10 which is, well, the highest score we’ve ever seen on a laptop! In the Cinebench processor rendering tests, It scored 2634 in R15 and 14,430 in R23. These are second only to the MSI Stealth GS77 with it’s 12th Gen Core i9 processor.

3D performance comes via Nvidia’s new RTX 3080 Ti GPU. This has a massive 16GB of GDDR6 graphics RAM so it will easily handle the demanding HD texture pack of Far Cry 6. In 3DMark Time Spy it scored 12,060 which is an average of 72fps. Only the heavily overclockable Alienware X17 R1 can beat that. In Fire Strike Extreme it managed 14,685 (average 67.2fps) which is the best score we’ve seen. In the challenging Port Royal ray-tracing test it scored 7507 (average 35fps) which is also the best score we’ve yet seen.

Ultimately, it will easily play any game on the market and at the sort of framerates that make the 360Hz, Full HD screen thrive.

Connectivity of the Aorus 17 YE5

On the left
On the left is Gigabit Ethernet, a full-sized HDMI 2.1 port, miniDP 1.4 and a USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 port.
On the right
On the right is a USB-C port with Thunderbolt 4.0, another USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 port and a 3.5mm audio jack.

Inside there’s Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2. It’s the latest everything!

Portability

At 2.7KG it’s not light, but for a 17-inch monster it’s almost svelte. It’s also only 24mm thick. The ‘thin’ power brick adds 730g to the bulk but we’ve seen much worse elsewhere. The chassis is very rigid and even the wide, 17-inch screen stands up well against robust, twisting forces – so it should easily withstand life on the road. The large, 99Wh battery ran PCMark 10’s Modern Office test for 5hrs 20mins which is average for a laptop in this class.

Underneath
99Wh is the maximum size a battery can be (due to international airline regulations).

Should I buy the Aorus 17 YE5

Yes. It’s our new number one laptop. The phenomenal performance and excellent ergonomics mean the $4,999 price tag represents very good value. We’d like better performance from the speakers and yes, it can get a little loud when pushing its limits for sustained periods. But this is High Performance Laptops – not Slightly Compromising Laptops – and the numbers are clear. It’s dethroned the brilliant MSI GS77 Stealth while costing two-and-a-half grand less! Just… wow! Just note that MSI’s flagship Raider refresh is on the horizon and history suggests it’s coming to compete.

Aorus 17 Results
  • 2D Performance
  • 3D Performance
  • Ergonomics
  • Stability
  • Portability
  • Value
4.5

Summary

Unrivaled performance and features at a respectable price. Fantastic.

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