Gaming has always been one of the popular things people do on their computers. Also laptops can be used for this task. Notebooks suitable for players tend to be extremely powerful and cost an arm and leg. ASUS ROG G501JW-DS71 is this kind of a gamer laptop, consisting of high-end components like i7-4720HQ processor, half a terabyte SSD and a speedy GTX 960M graphics card. Fascinating, indeed, but below I’ll tell you if these specs really work for your favorite games or will the system slow down and make you frustrated…
Intel Core i7-4720HQ is a popular processor when top notch performance is required. And you don’t certainly want slow components for a gaming laptop. Thus, i7-4720HQ is perfect choice here: it packs a lot of power in its four cores, featuring a 2.6GHz clock speed with 3.6GHz turbo boost. It gets excellent 8200+ grade in CPU Mark while low power i7s meant for cheaper notebooks reach around half of that. The bad side is of course power consumption: battery life is very limited on this rig. But at least you can be sure the ASUS handles any program and game you throw at it.
Not really a surprise, the manufacturer decided to go with 16GB DDR3L 1600MHz memory with ASUS ROG G501JW-DS71. It’s already maxed out but for a gaming laptop sixteen gigabytes should easily suffice.
One thing that makes this system so expensive is the storage selection. It’s a 512GB solid-state drive and so big SSD costs quite much. The configuration is PCI-e x4, you can replace the SSD with a supporting drive. It looks like there are no free mSATA slots available so you’ll indeed have to rely on the PCI-e x4 slot.
ASUS ROG G501JW-DS71 has a 15.6″ anti-glare screen with 3860 x 2160 maximum resolution. In another words, if you can find 4K content you can enjoy much higher resolution than the current Full HD (1920×1080). Refresh rate varies between 60Hz and 100Hz. IPS being the panel type you can also expect sharper image than on cheaper TN-type screens. It doesn’t support touch, but I don’t think players mind.
The laptop comes with GeForce GTX960M (2GB GDDR5) graphics engine. If you’re coming from the world of integrated graphics units you’ll see a huge improvement. Most games run well on maximum settings, such as the popular GTA V getting more than 40FPS on 1920×1080 and high details. You might even get away with Ultra – it will happen at least on Battlefield 4 and less demanding titles than that. One thing the card is particularly not great about is the 4K (3840×2160) resolution. GTX960M will have struggles with that, but if you’re fine with “just” 1920×1080 you have no worries.
There are three USB 3.0 ports waiting for your peripherals to be connected. ASUS ROG G501JW-DS71 has an HDMI out and Thunderbolt port too, so plugging in two gaming monitors or HDTVs work.
Networking options are everything a gamer would need: Gigabit RJ-45 interface, 802.11AC WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 support out of the box.
ASUS ROG G501JW-DS71 comes with no optical drive. An external one must be acquired if you want to work with discs.
Other useful things include SD/MMC card reader and 1.2MP front-facing webcam.
Something else to keep in mind?
ASUS ROG G501JW-DS71 weighs 5 pounds, just like a general use 15.6″ laptop would. It has an impressive 6-cell 96 Wh battery which will last up to 5 hours non-gaming on dim screen. Of course, firing up a game will reduce the duration to 1-2 hours. So keep a power outlet nearby! Also the battery can be hard to replace, you’ll have to remove the bottom part. If you’re unsure, ASUS service should be able to do this for you.
Like a true gaming laptop, this ASUS features illuminated keys. Numpad is also installed on the right, however this time trackpad is hardly pushed to left which is a positive thing.
It’s the price that makes ASUS ROG G501JW-DS71 stand out from the crowd. But indeed, for the money, you’ll be getting a lot. The the GTX 960M graphics unit is able to keep very playable frames on most games (even newer ones like Grand Theft Auto 5) with lots of eye candy on. It’s not the quickest card around, gaming on 4K might not be ideal, but performance is good enough for the majority of players I’d dare to say. In addition, the fast processor and SSD will serve your files fast and make sure Windows environment is lag free. If you find these things attractive, and you especially like gaming, getting this expensive laptop makes perfect sense.