ASUS UL80Vt and G51J: Going for the Gold

by Jarred Walton on 12/15/2009 1:30 AM EST
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  • crydee - Wednesday, December 16, 2009 - link

    From reading other forums it sounds like the UL30VT has a nicer LCD and build quality. As soon as they start selling those and with the same battery as the UL80VT the price should be lower for an overall smaller laptop and no dvd-rom. That sounds like the laptop I'd want. 13" will be easier to handle the smaller resolution. Reply
  • duffmann - Wednesday, December 16, 2009 - link

    On my ASUS UL30a (which also has a SU7300) there is an option to do a 1-5% overclock in the BIOS. By default it was set to a 3% when I recieved the system effectively making it 1.339GHz. Is this option also present on the UL80Vt and if so, do the "stock" numbers in the article correspond to 1.3GHz? Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, December 16, 2009 - link

    I did not check in the BIOS (and the laptop is on its way back to ASUS), but CPU-Z/Intel TAT showed a clock of 1.30GHz at stock and 1.73GHz overclocked, so if there is a BIOS overclock option it was not enabled. Reply
  • rubbahbandman - Wednesday, December 16, 2009 - link

    I got the Lenovo Ideapad Y550 over the holidays and think it should be considered as well if you're looking for a budget gaming laptop.
    For $820 (not including tax) I got:

    *Intel Core 2 Duo P8700 (only 25watt processor) vs i7 720QM (45watts for similar performance, and costs far more)
    *4GB DDR3 (pretty standard)
    *Nvidia Geforce 240M (23watt videocard) vs 260M (75watts)
    *320GB HD (5400 RPM, my worst part, but at least it's low power, quiet, runs cooler, and doesn't vibrate as much as a 7200)
    *HD LED 1366x768 native resolution doesn't seem like a disadvantage to me. It's comfortable for the eyes and doesn't require as beefy a videocard, uses less power too I'd imagine than 1920x1080. While the 240M offers far less powerful than the 260M, it good enough to play most games at 1366x768 with high settings and doesn't draw nearly as much power or produce as much heat as the 260M.
    *and it comes with bluetooth, wireless N, nice 'laptop' speakers (w/a tiny sub), win 7 64bit, hdmi, dvd writer, eSATA, 6 lbs, (no TV-tuner though).
    *with only a 6-cell battery I can surf the web for 4hrs 15min with my setup. gaming on the other hand is about 90min-2hrs, which is still very good compared to most.
    Reply
  • bennyg - Thursday, December 17, 2009 - link

    There's budget midrange gaming and there's budget highend gaming, you're comparing quite different categories here Reply
  • rubbahbandman - Thursday, December 17, 2009 - link

    "ASUS G51: Affordable Midrange Gaming"
    FTA
    I'm just pointing out there's affordable midrange gaming at less than $900 for laptops versus the $1400-1500 price tag for the G51. Neither of the computers in this article would be considered "high-end" for laptop gaming.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, December 17, 2009 - link

    The only thing significantly faster in laptops would be something sporting dual GPUs (for now). GTX 280M laptops are about 20-30% faster at most in gaming, which isn't much considering the majority of such laptops will cost well over $2000.

    Mostly, I call this "Affordable Midrange" because I consider $1500 to be the top of the midrange laptop market in terms of cost. The GTX 260M is about twice the performance (slightly more) of the GT 240M: 96 vs. 48 SPs, and clock speeds that are marginally faster, with 256-bit vs. 128-bit memory interface. Also, if you're going to quote 23W for power on the GT 240M, the GTX 260M would only be 38W -- 82W is the difference I measured between system idle and gaming load, which is going to be split between the CPU, RAM, GPU, etc. (I also only show a 31W difference between 100% CPU load and gaming load, which corroborates that 38W figure from NVIDIA.)

    Of course, the GT 240M is going to be around 2.5 times the speed of the G210M in the UL80Vt, so you'll be able to run any game as long as you're willing to drop the details. Where the GTX 260M is able to run games at 1080p with medium to high detail, the GT 240M will be limited to 900p at ~medium detail.
    Reply
  • Hulk - Tuesday, December 15, 2009 - link

    The flex results from the torque applied to the screen. Reply
  • Wesleyrpg - Tuesday, December 15, 2009 - link

    As well all know Asus underclocked the GTX 260M in the G51J from the defaults of 550/1375/950 to 500/1250/800 for heat management issues, but im wondering how much extra performance can be squeezed out of the system by 'overclocking' the GPU to its default speeds and beyond. I'm also curious to know how this affect the systems temps!

    Can the Asus G51J take advantage of faster RAM like DDR3-1333 or DDR3-1600 modules? At what point does the machine start to gain/lose performance because of extra bandwidth/latency of the faster modules?

    Reply
  • Wesleyrpg - Tuesday, December 15, 2009 - link

    ok so i did some testing and got some very interesting results, i ran 3dmark06 three time and here are the average results!

    10069 (500/1250/800)
    SM2.0 4417
    SM3.0 4036
    CPU 3179
    Temp min/max 64-91

    and now for the GPU running at 550/1375/950

    10983
    SM2.0 4854
    SM3.0 4559
    CPU 3191
    Temp min/max 64-92

    Thats it......a 10% improvement for a 1C in temp? Maybe im not getting the whole picture here or maybe Asus are downclocking for longevity reasons?
    Reply
  • bennyg - Wednesday, December 16, 2009 - link

    I think you're not getting the whole picture

    Run it for an hour and then see the max temps then

    When mine arrives I intend to downclock below the 9800MGTX speeds ... for longievity.
    Reply
  • clarkn0va - Tuesday, December 15, 2009 - link

    You may want to blur that picture of the bottom of the second laptop. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, December 15, 2009 - link

    Ummm... oops! Thanks. Reply
  • Zero110 - Wednesday, December 16, 2009 - link

    YOU'RE TOO LATE!!! Just kidding. Reply
  • KikassAssassin - Tuesday, December 15, 2009 - link

    I'm one of those people who has complained on the internet about the viewing angles, and I think your assessment is spot-on, because I came from an older laptop that had a higher-quality, but much dimmer, display. I do like that the UL80Vt's display is so much brighter than my previous laptop's, but the fact that such low-quality displays are commonplace nowadays is really sad. Companies will do anything to cut costs, I guess, but it's unfortunate that it's being done with such an important component. I guess most consumers don't care that much about the display quality, though, or else they wouldn't be able to get away with it. It would be nice if laptop manufacturers would at least offer the option of upgrading to a high-quality display. I would seriously have been willing to spend $1000 on a UL80Vt with a display on par with, say, the Macbook Pro or Dell Studio XPS (throw in a matte finish, an all-aluminum chassis, and a backlit keyboard, and you'd have the perfect laptop).

    Also, I notice in this article you said the graphics switch time takes about five seconds. I guess your fifteen second time to switch to the nvidia GPU went away when you reinstalled the old drivers? I'm still curious what might've been causing that.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, December 15, 2009 - link

    I think it may have been either drivers or something else; at one point I broke the GPUs with updated Intel and NVIDIA reference drivers. (They altered the support list to explicitly exclude hybrid GPUs after that, I guess.) Anyway, it's working fine now. If you're running a 3D app when you try to switch, it will blank for a bit and then you'll get an exclamation point on the NVIDIA icon, which is maybe what happened before... worst I've seen that I can confirm worked was around 10 seconds.

    Agree on the LCD, finish, etc. I've got a Photodon cover for a 17" laptop that I'm going to test out in a little bit and see how that compares to running a native matte LCD.
    Reply
  • zorxd - Tuesday, December 15, 2009 - link

    What's the point of having a dedicated GPU in this laptop? It's too slow for gaming anyways. It's a thin and light laptop. Better to save 150-200$ to get a desktop computer to play games. The X4500MHD IGP will play 1080p movies just fine anyways. What else do you need? It's like people who want a dedicated GPU on an atom laptop or on their mac. Most of them will never make use of it. Reply
  • DominionSeraph - Wednesday, December 16, 2009 - link

    WTH? It's the discrete graphics that make the UL80Vt interesting. Without it, there's no reason for it to have anything more than an Atom.

    Too slow for gaming? Jarred mentions playing Batman and Fallout 3 for several hours each. Sounds to me as though he was deriving entertainment value. Bet it plays WoW just fine, too.

    With laptops, there's always tradeoffs between price, performance, portability, and battery life. The UL80Vt seems to hit a sweet spot.

    And, honestly, for non-portable gaming, save yourself $600 and get a console.
    Reply
  • zorxd - Tuesday, December 15, 2009 - link

    the UL30A is much more interesting Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, December 15, 2009 - link

    Someone asked me to run DXVA Checker on the G210M to see what it says. Here are the results for the interested:

    NVIDIA GeForce G210M
    ModeMPEG2_IDCT: DXVA2, NV12, 720x480 / 1280x720 / 1920x1080
    ModeMPEG2_VLD: DXVA2, NV12, 720x480 / 1280x720 / 1920x1080
    ModeMPEG2_A: DXVA1, NV12, 720x480 / 1280x720 / 1920x1080
    ModeMPEG2_C: DXVA1, NV12, 720x480 / 1280x720 / 1920x1080
    ModeVC1_VLD: DXVA2, NV12, 720x480 / 1280x720 / 1920x1080
    ModeVC1_IDCT: DXVA1/2, NV12, 720x480 / 1280x720 / 1920x1080
    ModeWMV9_IDCT: DXVA1/2, NV12, 720x480 / 1280x720 / 1920x1080
    ModeH264_VLD_FGT: DXVA2, NV12, 720x480 / 1280x720 / 1920x1080
    ModeH264_VLD_NoFGT: DXVA2, NV12, 720x480 / 1280x720 / 1920x1080
    9947EC6F-689B-11DC-A320-0019DBBC4184: DXVA2, NV12, 720x480 / 1280x720 / 1920x1080
    B194EB52-19A0-41F0-B754-CC244AC1CB20: DXVA2, X8R8G8B8, 720x480 / 1280x720 / 1920x1080

    For the record, DXVA Checker fails to get any useful information when using the GMA 4500MHD.
    Reply
  • tpurves - Tuesday, December 15, 2009 - link

    14" monitor and only 768 vertical pixels? what the hell is up with that?

    my WXGA 12" laptop has 800 vertical pixels and would still be usable with even slightly higher DPI if it was possible.

    What is the point of carrying around the extra pounds and inches of a 14" screen if you have fewer useful pixels if you are not doing at least better than wxga.

    I already think wxga at 13" (like on macbooks) is a waste of space.

    A 14" should be at least 1440x900 (or the HD aspect-ratio equivalent) or what's the point of hauling that much computer and screen around?
    Reply
  • iamezza - Wednesday, December 16, 2009 - link

    One business I installed a new PC at a while back complained they couldn't read the new 19" screen. Once I showed them how to change the resolution they changed the res to 800x600. Reply
  • iamezza - Wednesday, December 16, 2009 - link

    One business I installed a new PC at a while back complained they couldn't read the new 19" screen. Once I showed them how to change the resolution they changed the res to 800x600. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, December 15, 2009 - link

    Ah, youth... ;-)

    Do you know how many 40+ people I've had COMPLAIN to me when I set a laptop to the native resolution? There are competing views on LCD resolutions. Older users with less than perfect eyesight prefer larger pixels, in which case the 1366x768 14" LCD is a good compromise. Younger enthusiasts often prefer crazy pixel pitch like 1600x900 in a 14" LCD.

    Heck, I did some work for a dentist building PCs and gave the receptionists 22" 1680x1050 displays. Guess what they run them at: 1280x800! Ugh.... Anything higher than that and they complain that it's too hard to read.

    For reference:
    1366x768 14" is .227 pixel pitch
    1280x1024 14" is .217 pitch
    1440x900 at 14" is .209
    1600x900 at 14" is .194

    Personally, I'm good to about .200 pixel pitch, but older folks will often want more like a .250 pitch. On desktops, 1920x1200 on a 27" LCD is fine (.300), on a 24" it's "okay" (.270), and native resolution on 30" requires me to use magnification or set a higher DPI in windows (.252).

    Of course, I'd also be happier with 16:10 aspect ratio displays on laptops instead of 16:9 (or possibly even 4:3, though that's debatable). First, though, give me a contrast ratio that doesn't suck.
    Reply
  • fabarati - Tuesday, December 15, 2009 - link

    1440x900 is quite nice on a 14" screen. I'd even like a higher resolution.

    But the displays used on old Asus 14" laptops (I've had a A8Js and i presently use a F8Sa) leave a lot to be desired. Though you should know that, as you tested the A8Js a few years back.

    On the other hand, you do get used to it. It's only when you see better displays (like my brothers SR Macbook pro or our old FSC Amilo 1437g - not to speak of the very nice S-IPS displays at my summer job) that you feel dissapointed.
    Reply
  • pkkevin - Tuesday, December 15, 2009 - link

    I second that, I remember my dad always adjusting his native 1360*768 13.3 inch laptop to a resolution of 800X600... it is all distorted and blurry to me, but he like it that way just so he can see clearly.

    Great review by the way, Great informations.

    Reply
  • darwinosx - Tuesday, December 15, 2009 - link

    What a hunk of plastic junk. The current laptop i7 is a joke as is the cheap plasticky Asus. Editors choice? You have got to be kidding me. Reply
  • The0ne - Tuesday, December 15, 2009 - link

    I really have to say that most of you speaking about quality have little to no clue what you're actually referring to or talking about. I've worked in various engineering discipline to know that most of the "opinions" of this subject matter is in fact a personal one.

    At least do some research and/or go out and TOUCH the materials before making such comments. There's Walmart and Best Buy almost everywhere so it shouldn't be too difficult.

    Yes, I realize that ingrained perceptions are very difficult to overcome but man, so people are just dense.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, December 15, 2009 - link

    Which of course is posted by a Mac fanboy. Thanks, darwinOSX for being so open to other options.

    Would I prefer a nicer aluminum body? Sure I would! But that would also increase costs substantially. I would rather have a better LCD first, then a better construction. At that point we're looking at $1000, just like the aluminum MacBook, but it would still have substantially faster graphics and better battery life when you want it. Anyway, that's why the UL80Vt is a Silver and not a Gold.

    As it stands, I have looked at dozens of laptops during the past year and these are both far better than competing models (i.e. similar pricing). We've praised MacBooks plenty, and they still have a place for anyone buying a laptop. If you don't want to run OS X, though, Apple has little to offer. "DUAL BOOT! And get 30% less battery life under Windows because we don't think anyone should even consider something other than OS X!" Thanks but no thanks.
    Reply
  • darwinosx - Tuesday, December 15, 2009 - link

    I'll take the MacBook in a heartbeat over this. I've seen the aluminum MacBook at $1049 at MacConnection and the plastic Macbook at $849. No contest over this cheapo Asus. Reply
  • whatthehey - Tuesday, December 15, 2009 - link

    Thanks for that; now go blow more smoke up Jobs' arse and leave the real discussion to people that can think.

    Calling this a cheapo Asus to try and make you Mac look better is pathetic. What makes it cheap, other than a plastic body? Most laptops are plastic shells, and this is still $40 less than the plastic MacBook while offering superior battery life and gaming performance. Plus I wouldn't have to put up with OS X and its quirks. Anand may love that stuff but I'd just as soon stick with Windows. No contest over glorified Apple.
    Reply
  • KutterMax - Tuesday, December 15, 2009 - link

    Congratz to ASUS for the UL80Vt which looks to be a very nice portable machine that still has some pretty reasonable gaming performance coupled with great battery life.

    ASUS has made some great computers. I picked up a "Lamborghini" a few years back and still really like it. However the very short battery life and heft did not make it the best travel companion.

    I recently picked up a new Sony Z-series with a 2.8GHz processer, a couple extended batteries, and built-in Bluray. Granted it wasn't cheap, but the laptop is pretty slick. Sony allow put a great display on it and Blurays look outstanding. Importantly - it plays Torchlight great...
    Reply
  • Basilisk - Tuesday, December 15, 2009 - link

    "... if you're talking a difference of 10W to 14W, that's a 40% increase in power requirements - or 40% less battery life."

    I believe the correct statement is "29% less run-time":
    RT = Wh / w ; RT reduction = 100% * (1-10w/14w) = 28.6%

    By analogy, your metrics would suggest a 100% loss in run time (= zero time) if the draw was 20 watts, whereas its actually a 50% reduction.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, December 15, 2009 - link

    Sorry... was being lazy when I wrote that. It would mean the lower power gets 40% more battery life, but as you point out the higher power draw is 29% less battery life. Reply
  • Wolfpup - Tuesday, December 15, 2009 - link

    Notebookreview's forums have reported major stability issues with that specific model:
    http://forum.notebookreview.com/showthread.php?t=4...">http://forum.notebookreview.com/showthread.php?t=4...

    That's really uncommon for Asus laptops, but seems to be the norm for this model, so...I take it the review unit didn't have those issues?

    I run Folding @ Home on both my CPU and GPU when I'm not gaming or watching Blu Rays, so one way or another my hardware's always getting hit hard...need it to be 100% stable.

    Also, regarding Vista or 7 losing power settings, I've never had that happen, though I always use "always on" and always do a clean install of the OS (I wasn't running much Asus software on my N80nv on Vista, and didn't install any under 7).
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, December 15, 2009 - link

    I didn't have any stability issues with the G51J during testing. That said, I highly caution against running Folding@Home (SMP or GPU) on a laptop. I used to do that and found that it seemed to cause serious problems after 6 months or so... that it just pushed the hardware beyond where it was intended. I sometimes wonder if all the "failing NVIDIA mobile GPUs" isn't somehow related to a lot of people running such apps, but that's probably oversimplified.

    In short, while I respect what the Folding teams are doing, I've determined that intentionally stressing hardware is a good way to make it fail sooner rather than later -- even if the hardware was once "100% stable". The benefit to me personally doesn't outweigh the cost... and if you're running a "folding farm" with desktops, your costs can very easily scale into the realm of $100+ per month for power, let alone hardware. :|
    Reply
  • Wolfpup - Tuesday, December 15, 2009 - link

    Thanks for the info! Glad to hear it was stable.

    I guess my N80 is a guiness pig for Folding then. If it does fail, that'll force me to upgrade :-D
    Reply
  • Glock24 - Tuesday, December 15, 2009 - link

    I'm currently frustrated because I want to buy a new laptop, but it seems every manufacturer only ordered 1366x768 screens, be it for 12", 14", 15.6", or even 16" or 17" laptops.

    I was seriously considering an Asus N81Vp, and the only screen available is.... you guessed it, 1366x768. My current laptop, an Asus F8Va has a 14.1" 1440x900 screen, so you may understand my disappointment.

    I think manufacturers are trying to squeeze every penny they can putting those cheap 16:9 screens on every laptop. They do not realize we, the consumers, also use our laptops to work and not just to watch movies.

    1366x768 is ok for a netbook, not for a real laptop.
    Reply
  • strikeback03 - Tuesday, December 15, 2009 - link

    Seriously. The UL50 (15.6" version) sounds like a laptop I would consider, but not with anything less than a 1680x1050 screen and a decent contrast ratio.

    On a side note, has anyone had trouble with Win7 blanking their screen but not actually turning it off? On both my desktop and laptop after the "turn screen off after" time has elapsed, the screen will flick off then back on, and stay on but blank. Any way to fix this?
    Reply
  • yacoub - Tuesday, December 15, 2009 - link

    Looking forward to a review of the new ASUS EeePC Seashell 1201N-PU17-BK. That's an interesting one - dual-core, ION, 12" display, etc. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, December 15, 2009 - link

    I'm curious to see how it works as well. I'm thinking CULV + 9400M would have accomplished much the same thing, but perhaps not. Stay tuned.... Reply
  • yacoub - Tuesday, December 15, 2009 - link

    Here's hoping it comes with a quality display! ;) Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, December 16, 2009 - link

    One word: NOPE!

    Okay, more than one word: When you boot up a laptop for the first time and the black background of the Windows loading screen looks more like dark gray, you know the contrast ratio is crap. Bleh.
    Reply
  • Ditiris - Tuesday, December 15, 2009 - link

    I finally switched my HTPC over to Windows 7 and noticed that it had a mind of its own with regard to power settings.

    power settings, change plan settings, change advanced power settings, expand Sleep and Allow wake timers, Disable any that are there

    That fixed all my issues, even though I didn't have any sleep/wake timers, but disabling the ability seems to be important.

    I haven't had any issues with my Vista machines (FWIW I'm using High Performance and I specifically went into the Advanced screen and disabled all sleep options).
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, December 15, 2009 - link

    The wake events are already disabled, unfortunately. Some laptops exhibit the problem less than others (driver related perhaps), but my best guess is that somewhere there's a rogue line of code that gets invoked on occasion. I've actually fooled around hacking the registry on my personal laptop in order to keep the problem from reoccurring, but that was neither fun nor recommended for the faint of heart! Reply
  • mczak - Tuesday, December 15, 2009 - link

    Again I have to wonder what the point of the OC CULV chip is. There's a ~10W difference (at full cpu load) between OC and non-OC, which means it is almost certainly also overvolted, but more importantly, that difference is larger than the TDP difference between CULV parts and (slightly faster) LV parts.
    Looks to me like using a LV part instead of OC CULV would be both a bit faster plus actually offer slightly more battery life (unless, of course, you use stock setting of the CULV).
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, December 15, 2009 - link

    It's pretty much giving users the ability to run with long battery life and when desired get better performance. If it were an on-the-fly setting, it would be a lot better. Anyway, even overclocked the SU7300 in the UL80Vt idles at what appears to be 2W, where something like the P8600 appears to idle at close to twice that (4-5W). It would be interesting to see some of the LV CPUs in a similar system, certainly... SL9600 anyone? Or maybe ASUS should grab an SL9380 and enable the same Turbo33 functionality. 1.8GHz stock and 2.4GHz overclocked. That would be the equivalent of P8600 (with 6MB cache) but hopefully allow lower power at idle. Reply
  • kagey - Tuesday, December 15, 2009 - link

    BTW - Nice reviews!

    I may have missed this so slap me if I did but It would be helpful including some sort of standard about these two in the evaluation of a laptop. I feel these two points are just as important as performance and battery life.
    Both are subjective but should be able to be measured while web surfing, gaming, and full load.

    Noise factor of the fans. I hate it when you start doing something on the laptop and all of sudden the fans kick in and sound like a jet taking off. It would be nice if you could come up with some standards in the way of noise.

    Heat - the palm rest when typing, touchpad / mouse area, underneath i.e. (keeping your legs nice and warm - yeah I know not the most optimal position for a laptop), and exhaust areas.

    Thanks for listening.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, December 15, 2009 - link

    I didn't mention either, but I did think about them during the review process. For the record, the UL80Vt is very quiet and cool running. When the fans kick up to higher speeds, it still remains a lot quieter than most laptops... maybe around 37-40 dB max, and it doesn't happen unless you put a heavy load (100% CPU or running games) on the system.

    The G51J gets louder, but it's not as bad as the W870CU. For most tasks it will stay under ~35dB, but gaming will bump it up to around 39-41dB. Heat was not an issue on the G51J in my experience; the palm rest gets warm, perhaps up to 90F, and the bottom is the same except for the top-right corner (directly under the CPU/GPU "circle") which gets over 100F for sure.
    Reply
  • Wesleyrpg - Tuesday, December 15, 2009 - link

    hey guys, love the asus g51j, had one for a few days myself!

    only problem is the mic on my one makes me sound like im in a subway (tried all the settings i could think of!).....have you guys had a chance to test your mic on livemessenger/ventrilo???
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, December 15, 2009 - link

    Sorry... I didn't think to test the mic. Built-in mics range from passable to lousy, so any time I use a mic I use a headset. Reply
  • Devo2007 - Tuesday, December 15, 2009 - link

    I commented on the first article that seemed to have an odd layout (conclusion on the first page, etc.) so it's only fair that I chime in with an update. This one was much better! I liked getting the introduction, then an overall opinion on the next page. Kudos for also providing a quick link to view the technical details of the laptop as well. Reply
  • Visual - Tuesday, December 15, 2009 - link

    Not having both laptops at least on the same page if not the same graph for the performance benchmarks was a weird choice though. I realize they are in completely different leagues, but still an easier comparison between the two would have been nice. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, December 15, 2009 - link

    The games are all run at completely different settings (for obvious reasons). 3DMark06/Vantage also run at 1280x768 on the lower spec laptops, unless you connect an external LCD. Since they all run at that setting I've kept the results. I thought about combining everything, but I've got two sets of spreadsheets with results: one has the high-end stuff and the other has low-end options. Putting together all the charts already takes forever and a day, and combining them all would potentially increase the time and just make the charts more confusing. (I'm still not sure I did the right thing on the last few charts where I combined results.) Reply
  • davepermen - Tuesday, December 15, 2009 - link

    my powerplans never mess up. never did on vista, never do on win7. but i never install specific powerplan-tools, just a clean os install, and then let it be (and reconfig the power plan, like the password-after-standby and such).

    so far, i haven't encountered your issue on all the machines i've tested.

    weird.
    Reply
  • iamezza - Wednesday, December 16, 2009 - link

    It has happened to me fairly often since I did a clean install of 7 on my Desktop PC. Password on resume, hard drive timeout and monitor timeout are the ones that get reset for me. Reply
  • cerebro - Tuesday, December 15, 2009 - link

    Just put SetPower on it (google it). It lets you configure the power settings based on time of day and takes into account whether the machine is plugged in or not. It uses scheduled tasks so it doesn't consume resources other than when it is switching plans for you. Reply
  • aos007 - Tuesday, December 15, 2009 - link

    I have on the other hand ran into them quite often, especially on my laptop. I have the opposite problem - the damn thing just won't stay asleep and often I wake up finding it's on even though the lid is closed. And if it's not plugged in, you can imagine what kind of charge is left in it. I was getting it in Vista and I'd say it's probably even worse in Windows 7. I am guessing it has something to do with Microsoft's implementation of DLNA, I mean access to multimedia libraries and streaming. Microsoft specifically talks about devices needing to be able to wake up remotely when queried. That's all fine and dandy and even desired in a desktop but a laptop should really be a special case. Especially once the lid is closed. Reply
  • The0ne - Tuesday, December 15, 2009 - link

    I have issues too, with and without clean installs. Sleep sometimes doesn't even trigger. Screen goes blank, screensaver, even though I turned it off. Very strange behaviors in Windows 7. This is for laptops though and I have not encounter anything with deskstops. There are other various strange little quirks in Windows 7 as well.

    Most annoying thing is the windows explorer restarting itself. I think I figured out what's been causing this problem and have since accidentally fixed it. Its was one of the codecs with the k-lite codec full package that was screwing things up. Bastard. None of the tricks via Google worked for me except for this.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, December 15, 2009 - link

    I'm guessing that it's possibly linked to the OEM software. Still, I'm 99% positive I had it happen with the Clevo W870CU and a clean install of Vista. I know on an Acer system I uninstalled every piece of software that was loading at startup, along with removing/disabling some services, and it STILL happened. Gah! I also don't like how many OEMs limit your setting on the critical battery percentage to 5%... I had to manually hack that on the G51J to make it 1%.

    At any rate, it was something I've encountered enough during the past couple of years that I finally wanted to mention it. ASUS on the UL80Vt is particularly annoying if you use the button on the keyboard (the ExpressGate "power" button) to switch between plans, as it will jack with all sorts of settings. To my knowledge, there's no way to edit the defaults that it sets on most of the plans (i.e. the Power4Gear Battery Life option will turn on "auto-hide taskbar" every time you activate it).
    Reply
  • fokka - Wednesday, December 16, 2009 - link

    you say you adjust the critical battery percentage to 1%. while on a battery test thats perfectly ok, i heard (tomshardware) and painfully experienced that discharging a battery to zero is very bad for the cells.

    one time vista didnt shut down in time and the battery lost about 20% of its capacity.

    however, it would be great, if you guys made a battery guide/test and scientifically research the dos and donts of batteries. these little chemical friends are the cornerstone of our digital and mobile lifestyle, it scares me, how little proven knowledge exists on this topic.
    Reply
  • Ditiris - Tuesday, December 15, 2009 - link

    This is AT. The first thing you should do is a clean install since your readers aren't going to keep all the OEM crapware on the machine.

    I'd also say to make sure you're using the Advanced settings in both Vista and WIndows 7, and with Windows 7 you need to disable any sleep/wake timers.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, December 15, 2009 - link

    All the OEM software (other than useful utilities) gets removed/disabled, but doing a clean install every time has its own set of pitfalls. I try to review laptops as the users will get them, and a clean install every time is a bit much. Regardless, this has happened on clean builds as well, so the bloatware you refer to may aggravate the situation somewhat but it's not the root cause.

    As for the Advanced settings, obviously I've gone in there when I discuss things such as prompt for password being reset (to "Yes"). The odd thing is that it's only a subset of settings that get reset. The min/max CPU percentages stick, WiFi power settings stick, and so do most of the settings in the "middle" of the advanced power options. It's the first few settings and the last couple that seem to revert on a regular basis. The UL80Vt for example reverts once or twice a day -- one of the worst offenders in my experience.
    Reply
  • Diosjenin - Tuesday, December 15, 2009 - link

    I've had it happen fairly often on both Vista and 7, after perfectly clean installs, with no third-party power software. Do not require password on wake creeps back up every so often, as does do not enter sleep mode on lid close if on AC power, even though I've repeatedly disabled them both. Reply
  • danwat1234 - Thursday, August 14, 2014 - link

    The Asus G50VT-X6, the predecessor to the G51J is very sexy. Very speedy with a cheap X9100 CPU you can buy on Ebay. Put in an SSD, buy a few extra genuine 9 cell batteries on Ebay and stick them in the fridge so you'll have a good batteries for the next 7+ years and your good.

    It does run hot but that's ok. It is a part of it's personality. I am waiting until Per core x86 performance of the latest mobile chips are over twice the speed (work done) of my existing laptop. I think I'll wait until 11nm skymont.

    In regards to longevity, I've been crunching on the 9800gs video card and the CPU for years and years with Seti@Home nearly 24/7 with no failures. This thing is reliable. I have burnt out quite a few AC adapters though. DC jack is solid. Running at 85-90C on the GPU most of the time and it really doesn't care.
    Reply

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