With Aorus, you always know you’re getting great hardware for your buck. I’ve had the pleasure of testing a ton of their notebooks over the years and that’s been true for every single one of them. It doesn’t take much to guess then that the Aorus 5 SB will be a good machine.
Well…then the next step in that line of thinking is to ask…how good is the Aorus 5 SB?
Let’s find out in the review.
What is the Aorus 5 SB?
The Aorus 5 SB is a 15.6-inch mainstream gaming machine from Aorus. It features an Intel Core i7-10750H, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660Ti (6GB), 16GB DDR4 RAM and a 512GB SSD.
The display on the Aorus 5 SB is a 1080p IPS with a 72% Wide-Gamut display, and a 144hz refresh rate. For connectivity, the machine comes with Bluetooth 5.0 and Wi-Fi 6 capability.
The notebook measures 361 (W) x 258 (D) x 27.9 (H)mm, and about 2.2KG. It also has a detachable 48.96Wh battery, which is an awesome feature that shouldn’t be overlooked.
The Aorus 5 SB retails for SG$2,199 (but you can get it at 5% off via the links below).
For a mainstream gaming notebook, the Aorus 5 SB is a near perfect machine. Its CPU and GPU are great for 1080p gaming, delivering great performance in our benchmarks (which you’ll see later on).
As for what ports the machine has…here’s the lowdown.
I honestly like the layout of the ports on the notebook. The USB ports are spread on both the right and left side, which lets you pick and choose how you want to set up your mouse.
The display output ports are all intelligently placed at the back of the machine, so wires won’t be tangling up the sides. There’s even an SD card reader, which is a great for those who regularly use SD cards (or microSD cards in my case) to transfer data.
I’ve had the pleasure of using the machine for a couple of weeks now and it’s been great experience.
Of particular note is the keyboard (with 15 colors to its backlight), which comes with decently tactile keys. It’s nowhere near the quality of a mainstream keyboard, but it’s certainly one of the better keyboards I’ve had the chance to type on. There aren’t any special macros keys (other than the general shortcut keys) but then again, none are needed.
The keyboard also features a Numpad, which is great for those who wish for a full sized keyboard. I just wish that there was some sort of indicator near the Numpad that shows whether it’s toggled on or not.
There have been a ton of times I’ve happily entered my pin on the Numpad, only to realize the Num Lock’s off.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the 72% Wide-Gamut display.
That image shows off why it’s an awesome piece of hardware quite succinctly, doesn’t it?
Now don’t worry if you’re still not convinced, just take a look at it in action.
Yeah, it’s definitely an improvement over regular display, isn’t it? I usually game in the dark and the display works exactly as advertised!
Lastly, we come to the notebook’s trackpad.
It’s nothing special (with no frills like lighting or whatnot) but it gets the job done. Plus, it actually has physical buttons that represent the left and right mouse buttons. That’s always a big plus in my book.
Unfortunately, the chassis for the notebook is bit underwhelming.
It’s made completely out of plastic and captures fingerprint oils rather easily, especially on the trackpad. You’d better have a cleaning cloth handy, because you’ll be doing a ton of wiping each time you touch the notebook. Even the keyboard keys tend to smudge easy, requiring constant wipes.
With its NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660Ti, the Aorus 5 SB was never going to be a tour de force. If you’re getting the machine, forget about gaming on 4K. You’ll have a bad, bad time. Sure, the machine can do ray tracing on paper, but in practice, that feature is best ignored if you want to play a game with a decent frame rate.
However, if you manage your expectations properly, you’ll find that the Aorus 5 SB is a powerhouse in its own right. Its GPU might not be cutting edge, but its still one of the best mid-range cards from last generation. The notebook’s 1080p gaming performance is quite stellar.
Don’t believe me? Here are the benchmarks so you can ogle the results for yourself.
The results pretty much speak for themselves, no? As a multimedia machine, the Aorus 5 SB performs admirably. It aces PCMark 10’s tests, with high scores in all categories. That means no matter what workload (whether it’s spreadsheets, video or photo editing) you chuck at the machine, it’ll take everything in stride.
3DMark score is similarly promising, promising decent performance in most modern games on 1080p. It’s a promise that the Aorus 5 SB delivers on completely, as you can see in our gaming benchmark tests.
On Final Fantasy XV, one of best RPGs in recent years (and also one of the most visually taxing), the notebook performs admirably, even on the Custom setting, which has everything turned up as high as they can go. A rating of Standard might not seem like much, but it’s akin to console level performance but much, much prettier.
On Shadow of the Tomb Raider, the results are equally positive.
On Custom, with every setting maxed out (except for Ray Tracing), the Aorus 5 SB delivers an average framerate of 65 frames per second. That’s more than the optimal 60fps target. Remember, this is with everything maxed on 1080p. Pretty good, eh?
We’re not done yet though! Here’s our final benchmark test; Three Kingdoms’ Battle Benchmark.
Max out the settings in Three Kingdoms and most machines will be driven to their knees. It takes a damn good machine to deliver great performance on Three Kingdoms…and the Aorus 5 SB is one of them.
Even on Custom (everything maxed out), the notebook delivers an average framerate of 36.9. It’s a decent result, considering how complex the game is when maxed out; tons of soldiers battling, heavy particle effects and other visual effects that can tax a GPU to its limit.
A framerate upwards of 30 is a decent result, with a game that’s more than playable. Remember, Three Kingdoms is an RTS, so you won’t really need split second response to enjoy the game.
The Bottom Line.
If you’re in the market for a notebook that delivers great gaming performance on 1080p without shattering your bank account, then look no further than the Aorus 5 SB.
Its NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660Ti GPU is a workhorse when it comes to modern games, delivering a more than capable performance on most games tested. Sure, it’s lacking in modern features like DLSS or Ray Tracing, but it’s a decent trade-off for what you’re getting.
The only downsides I found to the Aorus 5 SB aren’t that big a deal really.
Sure, smudges are annoying to clean but on the grand scheme of things, they’re an annoyance…nothing more. The Numpad not having an indicator is a similarly trivial issue.
Sure, the chassis being plastic is a downer but what did you expect at the price the machine is going for? Something’s got to give…and I’m glad it’s the chassis instead of something integral like a GPU or CPU.
At the end of the day, the Aorus 5 SB is one of the best mainstream machines you can get right now, especially if you’re on a budget.
Head on over to these links if you’re interested (and you should be!) in getting the Aorus 5 SB:
Impressive 1080p performance with only minor hardware issues that are easily overlooked.
- Great 1080p gaming performance.
- Great hardware for its asking price.
- Keyboard’s great to type on.
- Plastic chassis.
- No Num Lock indicator.
- Chassis smudges easily.