Gigabyte G5 KC-5US1130SH Review

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8.1 Total Score
EXCELLENT

The Gigabyte G5 KC-5US1130SH is a fantastic gaming laptop for anyone looking for an affordable machine that’s very upgradeable in the future but still packs enough muscle to run modern AAA titles at great frames rates.

PROS
  • Powerful gaming performance
  • 144 Hz display allows for smooth visuals
  • Full array of ports
  • Tool-free battery replacement
CONS
  • Audible cooling fans under load
  • Relatively thick case

The Gigabyte G5 KC-5US1130SH is a powerful laptop that excels at Ful HD gaming with decent specs and a high refresh rate. It’s the upgradeability that stands out most, however, with the Gigabyte G5 being one of the few portables of this to have a battery that can be removed without requiring any tools.

With the KC-5US1130SH, it seems like Gigabyte finally got the memo that gaming laptops are following a trend of late, discarding the previously chunky aesthetic in favor of slimmer, more portable builds.  The new exterior has been upgraded to contain an Nvidia RTX 3060 graphics card to power the latest AAA games, and the already impressive 144Hz display delivers a punch in competitive titles.

The CPU sadly hasn’t been upgraded to an 11th gen model, but you’re still getting a powerful Intel Core i5-10500H. When you pair that processor with Nvidia’s latest GPU offering, you get a beast of a laptop that can handle almost anything you throw its way. Provided you’re not looking for a device that’s suitable for both professional creative tasks, school, and work, the Gigabyte G5 KC-5US1130SH is a fantastic choice for 1080p gaming.

Gigabyte G5 KC Specs

  • Processor: 2.5 GHz Intel Core i5 6-Core (10th Gen)
  • RAM: 16GB of DDR4 RAM
  • Storage: 512GB M.2 SSD
  • Screen: 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080, 144Hz
  • Graphics card: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Home (64-Bit)
  • Weight: 4.85 pounds
  • Dimensions: 10.15 x 14.21 x 1.09 inches

Design – Case with replaceable battery

The G5 gaming laptop isn’t exactly a looker. Its chassis is dominated by a bland grey color scheme and the single lighting across its keyboard is subtle enough that it doesn’t have a massive impact on the overall aesthetic. The entire case is made of sturdy plastic, which is common in the midrange category, but we’ve seen aluminum cases in high-end gaming laptops.

Still, the build quality is good, and you don’t find any flex on the case. A standout design feature must be the replaceable battery at the bottom that can be removed without requiring tools. All you need is to release the lock and then replace the battery. Competing gaming laptops like the Acer Predator Helios 300 and Acer Nitro 5 require that you ply-open the base to replace the battery and other components.

Gigabyte G5 KC-5US1130SH lid

The dimensions are nothing to write about, either. The 4.85 pounds weight means that the KC-5US1130SH is a little weightier than the MSI GF65 (4.10 pounds) but lighter than the Helios 300 (5.07 pounds), and its 4.85-inch body makes it thicker than both rivals. Build quality is great, at least, there is hardly any movement in the panels.

The Gigabyte G5 KC continues to impress in other practical areas. It has a USB-C port that handles mini-DisplayPort, a standalone DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI, two USB-A 3.1, Ethernet, microphone/headphone jacks, and an SD card reader. Since some of the interfaces have been placed on the back, you shouldn’t have too much congestion caused by connected cables.

Screen – A 144Hz panel with vivid color

There’s no 4K model of the Gigabyte G5 KC, after all, it’s a midrange gaming laptop aimed at those who prioritize performance, with the very robust Full HD 15.6-inch screen sporting a 144Hz refresh rate and all the technology innards to ensure a majority of games take advantage of this feature. If you need rock-solid frame rates in modern competitive games, this Gigabyte gaming laptop is a great choice.

Even when playing relatively demanding AAA games such as GTA V and Shadow of the Tomb Raider, the 144Hz refresh screen provides a punchy and colorful picture without struggling. We’d argue that the small design lacks the real estate to truly take advantage of 4K anyway, but it does increase the headroom for butter-smooth gaming at 1080p, which the Gigabyte gaming G5 delivers with no problem at all.

Gigabyte G5 KC-5US1130SH screen

On the 15.6 IPS screen, some colors may sometimes appear slightly warm and oversaturated, but the overall color quality doesn’t have any major issues. This is a likable panel, and the not-so-big bezel surrounding the display means it both looks and feels great. This makes the unusual build quality issues I mentioned earlier more bearable, and far from being a deal-breaker.

Input Devices – With good backlighting

Keyboard

While its high-end siblings like the Gigabyte Aorus 17G rock a fantastic mechanical keyboard, the KC-5US1130SH gets a simple backlit keyboard, that offers clear feedback and is well adapted for long typing sessions. Notably, the keyboard lighting is via uniform illumination of the key labels, meaning users can’t change the colors themselves, as they can select them from a predefined palette.

The keyboard has a full-sized numeric keypad and the arrow keys are of standard size. Notably, most of the special keys on the deck are available as single keys, which ensures that the keyboard doesn’t have a lot of keys with secondary functions.

Gigabyte G5 KC-5US1130SH keyboard

Touchpad

As for the touchpad, you get a big pad with two separate buttons. It responds well to swipe and works fine as a mouse pointer. However, compared to rivals, the touchpad’s response is a bit sluggish, especially when the mouse clicks are triggered by touch. Nonetheless, the two mouse buttons are triggered easily and audibly, though their feedback is a bit soft.

Performance – Ready for gaming

Sale
GIGABYTE G5 KC - 15.6" FHD IPS Anti-Glare 144Hz - Intel Core i5-10500H -...
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 Series Laptop GPUs with Boost Clock 1425 MHz and Maximum Graphics...
  • 10th Gen Intel Core i5 Processor H-Series, 15 GB RAM, 512 GB PCIe SSD
  • 15.6" Thin Bezel FHD IPS-Level 144Hz display

Graphics – Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060

The Gigabyte G5 is available in two distinct configurations, both with decent power to compete in the modern computer gaming scene. Our review model, the KC-5US1130SH features an RTX 3060 (6GB) alongside an Intel Core i5-10500H processor, 16GB RAM, and 512GB SSD storage.

Such a configuration is more than enough for Full HD gaming, but if you’re willing to spend a little more, you can upgrade to an Intel Core i7-11800H with the Acer Predator Helios 300, the rest of the features remain unchanged, though.

In real-world gaming tests, the GeForce RTX 3060 GPU is capable enough to run modern AAA titles at great frames rates and high settings: With such a graphics engine, it means you can average 57 frames per second in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla at Ultra, 1080p settings. And, it means a few other things too.

On the Assassin’s Creed Odyssey (Ultra, 1080p), the Gigabyte G5 averages 54 fps, which is well above the mainstream gaming laptop average (49 fps). Compared, it tails both the Acer Predator Helios 300 (63 FPS) and the Asus TUF Dash F15’s RTX 3070 (66 fps).

Gigabyte G5 KC-5US1130SH lid

On Far Cry New Dawn (Ultra, 1080p), the Gigabyte G5 KC-5US1130SH once again slides past the category average (74 fps) with 78 fps, but again behind the Helios 300 (78 fps) and the Asus TUF Dash F15 (81 fps).

When it comes to Grand Theft Auto V, the Dash 15 averages 79 fps, still above the mainstream category average of 78 fps, and behind the Acer Predator Helios 300 (83 fps). However, the Asus TUF Dash F15 (85 fps) does much better.

Processor – Intel Core i5-10500H

When not gaming, the Intel Core i5-10500H comes in handy for productivity tasks. The Core i5-10500H is a six-core chip, that can process up to 12 tasks simultaneously. Its clock rates are between 2.5 and 4.5Ghz, which translates to solid single-core and multi-core processing.

Well, the Helios 300 packs the latest iteration of this CPU – Intel Core i7-11800H, making it a better proposition in gaming and productivity as compared to the Gigabyte G5 KC.

Battery Life

The Gigabyte G5 KC averages 3: 39 hours in real-world tests, meaning that it doesn’t last as long as competing gaming laptops. It somehow aces the 3:21 category average for gaming laptops. On the other hand, very powerful gaming laptops tend to offer about 2.5 hours of battery life, so it could have been much worse.

It won’t last a cross-country flight, but as long as you’re within three hours of a power outlet, it’s hard to imagine the Helios 300 nit serving its purpose.

Verdict – Solid gaming for little money

With the Gigabyte G5 KC, smooth modern gaming is finally achievable in a machine that doesn’t cost so much. The 15.6-inch 144Hz refresh rate screen shows its good side with rich colors, while the Core i5-10500H processor makes for stable performance over prolonged periods. The built-in Nvidia GeForce RTX utilizes ray-tracing and DLSS to deliver butter-smooth frame rates in modern AAA titles.

Elsewhere, the Gigabyte KC-5US1130SH remains a perfect choice for anyone looking to upgrade the system later, thanks to a second M.2 slot and a free slot for a 2.5-inch drive. Once again, you can replace the battery without the need for tools, although it simply provides moderate runtimes.

The newest Acer Predator Helios 300 remains our Editors’ Choice for midrange gaming laptops, thanks to a solid feature set, including an 11th Gen., Intel Core i7-11800H processor, an RTX 3060 GPU, and an RGB keyboard. That said, if you need something upgradable down the road, then the Gigabyte G5 KC-5US1130SH is an excellent choice.

Last update on 2022-12-05 at 10:21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

OUR PICK

Acer Predator Helios 300 PH315-54-760S Gaming Laptop | Intel i7-11800H | NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Laptop GPU | 15.6" Full HD 144Hz 3ms IPS Display | 16GB DDR4 | 512GB SSD | Killer WiFi 6 | RGB Keyboard

$1,299.99
$1,172.00
 in stock
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17 used from $1,015.22
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as of December 5, 2022 10:27 am
Gigabyte G5 KC-5US1130SH Review
Gigabyte G5 KC-5US1130SH Review
$1,172.00 $1,299.99
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