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ASUS G750JX-DB71 Gaming Notebook Review: And to the Republic...

Subject: Mobile
Manufacturer: ASUS

Performance - Synthetic GPU, Gaming Benchmarks

So, with acceptable battery life, excellent CPU performance, and fantastic application performance and storage scores, what’s left?  Oh yeah, that one thing that this PC was designed to do: gaming.

It’s worth reiterating that although things were peachy with BIOS 0208 on AC power, throughout our testing, our review unit repeatedly encountered severe GPU throttling while operating on battery only. We saw values hovering around 135 MHz (!) for much of the stress periods, and resulting scores in synthetic benchmark applications during subsequent unplugged test runs were nearly half of their AC-supplemented values.  Do those same limitations apply also to real-world gaming?  We’ll take a look at that during our gaming benchmarks in just a moment as well.

Synthetic GPU Benchmarks

The G750JX does well in 3DMark, and it even manages first place (15% above the GT60!) in Ice Storm:

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Cloud Gate and Fire Strike are predictably much lower in comparison, but then, we’re comparing to a 780M.

3DMark 11 sees much of the same:

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Again, a great standing for the G750JX, even if it can’t hold a candle to the GT60’s score (which is nearly 30% higher).

Gaming Benchmarks

As we continue to expand our testing repertoire for new laptop reviews, we’ve got five total games to look at today.  The first of these is the tried-and-true Just Cause 2:

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Again, second place (behind the MSI GT60), which is not a bad place to be.  It stands to reason that this would be expected given the GT60’s 780M versus the G750JX’s 770M.  Again, the 770M here beats the dual GT 650M setup in the Lenovo Y500, but not by much: the Y500 is within a few frames of the G750JX—not bad considering that it’s over $600 cheaper, too.  Let’s see if this situation holds up however.

Next up, let’s take a look at how the machine handles StarCraft II:

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With an average score of 69, the G750JX easily eclipses the Lenovo Y500 in this case (which manages a lowly 38 fps).  On the other hand, the GT60 is 35% better with a score of roughly 93 frames per second.

To the gates of Hell:

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Auction house or not (heh!), the G750JX churns out a predictably butter-smooth performance in DIII.  Again, though, in this case, it’s merely neck-and-neck with the Lenovo Y500, which again makes a strong case for the Y500’s budget gaming category dominance (and thus reinforces our PC Perspective Gold Award which we assigned to it nearly four months ago today).  The GT60 once again embarrasses everything else with an average FPS score that’s 42% better than the G750JX.

And now, a newcomer to our testing routine, even if it isn’t a brand new game: Metro 2033.  Here, we have results from just two machines, the review of the other which we have yet to post.  It’s the MSI GE40 2OC that we’re referring to, a 14-inch Ultrabook-inspired gaming notebook that looks far too small to be considered a gaming notebook.  Nevertheless, it can handle quite a lot of GPU punishment in spite of its size.  Thanks to its 1600x900 native resolution, for sake of comparison to the G750JX, we performed the benchmarks using an external monitor capable of displaying 1080p.

 

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The G750JX rightfully bests the GE40’s “measely” GTX 760M here, with an average FPS 56% higher.  But take a look at what happens when we perform the same benchmark on battery power only.  Suddenly, thanks to the severe throttling of the G750JX, the MSI GE40 2OS manages to pull ahead—thus demonstrating the paralyzing performance hit the G750JX suffers running on battery power only.

Finally, one of everyone’s favorite games from this year, and yet another newcomer to the testing routine:

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Yet again, we tested on both AC power and battery only.  On AC power, it’s as expected: top performance from the G750JX, far ahead of the GE40 2OC.  But yet again, once we unplug, the 2OC maintains its composure, while the G750JX falls to pieces with a laughable 37.45 frames per second.

Our tests here confirm that the power-constrained GPU throttling on our G750JX while on battery power is real and does indeed directly affect the performance of the machine in real-world scenarios.  ASUS has confirmed that this behavior is by design, though we still have not received confirmation of whether this is the case with all G750JX units.  Let us know if you happen to see different results from your unit in our comments section below.

October 7, 2013 | 10:29 AM - Posted by edwinjamesmiller36

Thank you for such an informative review. I currently use (and love) an Asus ROG G73JH and have been thinking of replacing it. I am considering this unit and the G750JH-DB71 which only very recently became available on Newegg here in the US. Identical except for a GTX 780M in the G750JH instead of the GTX 770M resulting in a $500 price premium.

Again, I have been very happy with my 3 year old Asus which I continuously travel with in my truck. The only failure was the power brick after a month or so. And I also appreciate the rear facing cooling vents as my previous Toshiba vented to the side and could be annoying. Also I like where the screen lid folds. It seems to give me more confidence in the laptop physical stability as I use it on improvised objects in place of a desk while in the sleeper of my truck.

Almost all of my gaming with this laptop has been the Total War series as well as Civ5 along with a very recent plunge into Skyrim. With the exception of some stuttering and tearing in Skyrim, I have always been able to game with maximum settings with no problems. But I never, ever game on battery. That is a guaranteed path to pain and sorrow.
Also, Asus Customer Support seems to be a model of automation with little to no human contact.

All that said, I fully expect to purchase either this model or the GTX 780M variant. It really comes down to how much cash I can justify spending.

October 7, 2013 | 05:27 PM - Posted by Steve Schardein

Hey Edwin,

It's seriously my pleasure.  Glad you enjoyed the review and found it helpful!

Yes, you should be fine as long as you're planning on staying plugged in.  At least temperature is managed well; the notebook should hopefully last a while under the circumstances.  Though it is a bummer that the fans and other internal components can't be easily reached as before.

Anyway, it's a great machine notwithstanding.  Its performance does not disappoint and I seriously love the keyboard.

Best of luck with your purchase!

-Steve

October 15, 2013 | 04:42 AM - Posted by RobertPinx (not verified)

Hello Steve,
Thank you for the review.
Does the ASUS G750JX-DB71 has already C2-stepping?
Grts,
Robert

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