ASUS ROG Strix GL553VD Gaming Laptop Review

January 20, 2017
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The market is not lacking gaming laptops. Manufacturers love these computers because they can make much money off players. Sadly, for the gamer, this indeed means spending some decent “dough”. But what if you can get a gaming notebook without paying too much? ASUS ROG Strix GL553VD might be a good option to think about. Price-wise, it’s in the lower range of gaming laptops, but this also begs the question about its true performance…

How good is it for gaming?

Undoubtedly, ASUS ROG Strix GL553VD is marketed as a player’s rig, so performance for that is present. However, you need to remember the GeForce GTX 1050 (4GB GDDR5), despite belonging to the new GTX 1000 series, is still a budget graphics card. It is going to run any game there currently is (and will be in a year or two). But you might not be able to use all-ultra settings on each game.

For example, on high presets and 1080p, you can expect The Witcher 3 have 50, GTA 5 70 and Battlefield 4 100 frames per second. It is very good, yet maxing all the settings might drop the FPS too low on the most demanding of games.

The GTX 1050 card does not support Virtual Reality. Only GTX 1060 and above will work with VR.

General performance

The processor is Intel Core i7-7700HQ so you can only expect the best from ASUS ROG Strix GL553VD! It runs on nothing less than four cores, and the clock speed is a high 2.8GHz. The speed will even increase higher thanks to the 3.8GHz turbo boost feature. As this unit beats most other competitors (CPU Mark score is an excellent 9000 points), there are no software I can think of that wouldn’t run on this rig. A slight disadvantage is the power hungriness of the i7-7700HQ – 45W Thermal Design Power. That’s the price you have to pay for performance.

You will find 16GB DDR4 memory installed inside. DDR4 supports 16GB sticks, and indeed there’s a single stick attached to the mainboard. One slot is free which allows for upgrade to 32 gigabytes memory. That is a ridiculous amount, I don’t think anybody using this notebook needs to go beyond 16 gigabytes.

One storage drive is taking care of your file storing needs. The one-terabyte 7200RPM hard drive may not please everybody, those who want better performance. But the manufacturer did a smart thing: included M.2 slot inside. Hence, if you think you need it, you can easily put a solid-state drive in. That will help a lot with the performance.

How about the selection of ports?

You are going to find one video port on ASUS ROG Strix GL553VD. That is the obligatory HDMI-output. I’ve read its maximum resolution is 4K, so feel free to hook up even a bigger television to that.

There are a few USB connectors to choose from. One “legacy” USB 2.0 port is present and two newer USB 3.0. In addition, there’s also the modern USB 3.1 Type-C port available. You might know it supports so many different things, such as DisplayPort, HDMI and RJ-45. You just need a right kind of adapter and using all those devices with this laptop is possible.

A speedy and high-range wireless adapter (dual band 2×2 802.11ac) is waiting for you. So is a Gigabit RJ-45 port if you want to use cable to connect to Internet.

The notebook contains a DVD burner for easy installation of games and software from discs – if anybody still does that. Memory card reader with support for SD and MMC cards is also installed. You can either expand the laptop’s storage with those cards, or just transfer data.

Other interesting features and benefits

The 15.6″ matte display on ASUS ROG Strix GL553VD has neat features. It of course supports 1080p resolution and using that with the GTX card won’t be a problem at all. In addition, its technique is similar to IPS (can’t be really called IPS due to license issues), with ~180 degree viewing angles and all. It is not a touch sensitive screen but in my experience, gamers don’t care about that much.

In the top bezel of the display, a front-facing webcam is installed.

The unit draws its power from a 4-cell, 48Whr battery unit. When you have such energy-hungry components on a laptop, the battery life won’t be good. It will last one or two hours under gameplay, and a maximum of four hours non-gaming, before you need to plug the laptop in. Having power outlet nearby at all times is a tremendous help!

This notebook comes with a backlit keyboard and you can change its color.

Final thoughts

There is no reason to skip ASUS ROG Strix GL553VD if you don’t have all the money in the world to spend, but still want to have decent gaming experience on a laptop. The GTX 1050 card is not really a beast, but can hold proper frame rates if you can skimp on few settings (yet use 1080p resolution). Because of the 15-inch display, this unit is also tad smaller than its bigger brother, so perhaps more suitable for carrying. Just note the battery life on all these models is subpar compared to non-gaming notebooks. Anyway, for its core job – to keep players happy – this ASUS is a right tool!

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