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  • james.jwb - Wednesday, November 03, 2010 - link

    Asus Asus Asus, could we please have a few different laptops maybe? Reply
  • hybrid2d4x4 - Wednesday, November 03, 2010 - link

    Actually, I wouldn't mind one more Asus review in the near future that I think was hinted at about a month ago in the 13" MBP as a windows laptop article- the UL80JT (or UL30) with the 330UM cpu. I'd really like to see how the battery life from the new CULVs compares to the old and vs the regular voltage core 2010 ones in a machine built by people that know how to integrate/tune the hardware for good battery life. I hope that that's still on the way... Reply
  • MikeMurphy - Wednesday, November 03, 2010 - link

    Asus has stalled in a big way. We have too many choices of laptops all with similar problems.

    It seems like you either have 1366x768 resolution, or you have a laptop that looks like it should be in orbit.

    Asus should be taking some pointers from the Vaio Z specs.
    Reply
  • Penti - Wednesday, November 03, 2010 - link

    ASUS should also pickup a business lineup.

    They have a Vaio style premium line though. Like the N-series. What they lack is high-res screens.

    Sony has lots of models, what Asus needs is a better commitment to making laptops.
    Reply
  • moep - Wednesday, November 03, 2010 - link

    I’m looking for a new gaming laptop right now and all I really care about is maximum performance.

    Judging by your review, the G73JH with the updated 740QM should be faster in most games and it is a lot cheaper over here to boot, so I could throw in a small SSD as a boot drive at no additional cost.

    Did you notice an improvement in build quality on the JW overall?

    Right now I really don’t see a reason to go with the updated models, unless Nvidia releases a new driver that suddenly gives the 460M a 20% performance boost.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, November 03, 2010 - link

    As far as I can tell, build quality is identical. If they're the same price, I could go either way, but if you can get the JH for substantially less money and the only difference is the GPU and lack of USB3, there's no reason to pay more for the JW. I figure USB3 is worth about $40, so the US pricing right now is fine, but if the difference were more like $100+ then go with the cheaper model. Reply
  • Aikouka - Wednesday, November 03, 2010 - link

    One thing to consider is that there are a few different variations of the JH model, although last I looked, I only saw the A2 around. The thing is, I have a friend with the A1 version, and he had a hell of a time trying to find a drive caddy for the second drive bay, since the A1 only came with 1 HDD and therefore only one caddy. The A2 has 2 HDDs by default (similar to the JW) and should have two caddies.

    Since the user was talking about throwing a SSD into the laptop, I think he'd really want to make sure he got an A2 so he wouldn't have to worry about finding a caddy. Although, finding a caddy might also be significantly easier now... since I don't actually own the laptop, I'm not 100% sure :P.
    Reply
  • TheTechnophile - Thursday, November 04, 2010 - link

    There have been a few issues with the JHs. The problems always come out after the "newness" of a system has faded away. You can check out the Xotic PC forums as a good place to get info on these systems.
    In particular some of the problems which the JH has, but apparently the JW does not are:
    GSOD (BIOS update seemed to have fixed this.... I think.)
    Missing keystrokes ( a particularly problematic one with the JH)
    Although good tempsin the JH, the JW is MUCH cooler, thereby increasing component life.
    On both of them, one of the things that make me cringe is that they use double-sided sticky tape to attach the keyboard. The keyboard is also comprised of a thin aluminium backing, extremely easy, if not impossible not to, bend and crease when removing to get into the machine.
    I think the JW has learned from some of the mistakes of the JH. Both are good machines, but go check out what really has been happening with them. Remember there are alot of people over there who love the machine...no matter how many problems it gives them.
    Reply
  • TheTechnophile - Thursday, November 04, 2010 - link

    Sorry...also forgot. They updated the backlit keyboard app as well. Now it comes on before Windows starts. Previously you had to wait to get into Windows before the application could launch to turn on backlighting. Just another nice touch they added, and learned, to the JW. Reply
  • Quizzical - Wednesday, November 03, 2010 - link

    5 GHz memory? You sure about that? No desktop parts have hit that clock speed, even. Laptop parts tend to be clocked slower. Nvidia has been arbitrarily multiplying GDDR5 clock speeds by 2 to try to cover up the embarrassingly slow clock speeds that their GDDR5 memory controller is stuck at, so that's probably what they did here.

    The multiply by 2 bit makes some sense for double data rate memory, but none at all for quad data rate. Maybe they thought it would be more obvious what they were doing if they multiplied by 4.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, November 03, 2010 - link

    Sorry, you're correct. It's 60GB/s bandwidth and a 192-bit interface, which means the GDDR5 is running at 625MHz and not 1250, or an effective speed of 2.5GHz. I've updated the table. Reply
  • radium69 - Wednesday, November 03, 2010 - link

    Hey anand,
    I just bought a MSI GX740 and suggest you review this model aswell!
    The build quality is sturdy and the frame is put together nicely.

    Specs:
    MSI GX740
    Intel Core i5 460M
    2x 2GB DDR 1066
    500GB 7200RPM HDD
    ATi Radeon 5870M

    Comes with a carrying bag and mouse aswell.
    Cost: 1100 euro

    (This is a Dutch version, your versions in the US are cheaper and better equipped!)
    You might want to give it a look, I'm sure you won't be dissapointed.
    Also the battery life is great with it's 9 cell battery (83Wh)

    The asus costs well over 1600 Euro here, so if you compare them the MSI is really budget friendly, without breaking the bank, and sacraficing performance!

    Regards,
    Kevin
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, November 03, 2010 - link

    How's the keyboard feel? I tested the GX640 a while back, and everything was fine other than the horrible keyboard. I would be surprised if the GX740 is much better, but it does have an HD 5870 in there IIRC, and the price is definitely attractive. Reply
  • radium69 - Wednesday, November 03, 2010 - link

    The keyboard feels well made! I'm typing from it right now, it might not be as good as the Asus. But I think it is really easy to get used to.

    My desktop PC has a G15 though, and allthough the G15 gives more feedback, I think this MSI keyboard is pretty solid. You should definitely give it a try.

    The only little minus is that the function key is on the CTRL spot. But getting used to that is fairly easy.

    I think it is also light and very portable for a 17"

    Hope to see it in future benchmarks!
    I bought the i5 for its lower TDP and better battery life.
    It can certainly hold it's ground compared to other laptops.

    I can tell that the GX660 (new one 15") Is really gimmicky looking. But the GX740 feels more smooth and has a professional look and feel to it.

    MSI even ships a mouse and carrying bag with it. So that saves you another 50 dollars or so.

    Hope to see it soon on here!
    There is a lot of good stuff on it and it works flawlessy so far.
    Definitely a laptop to review!

    Regards,
    Kevin
    Reply
  • Aikouka - Wednesday, November 03, 2010 - link

    I'm looking at the laptop on NewEgg and one thing that may make for an odd review is...

    "Resolution 1680 x 1050"

    You'd probably only be able to test it at 1600x900 then since I don't think you guys even benchmark at 1680x1050 anymore... especially since a lot of laptops aren't even 16x10 anymore! :P Unfortunately, only showing 1600x900 wouldn't do much for people looking for performance at its actual settings, but I guess there could just be a table with the 1680x1050 results if there are no other laptops to compare it to at that resolution.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, November 03, 2010 - link

    We test at 1600x900 because it's becoming more common than 1680x1050, but we'd also throw in the native resolution benchmarks (and we'd hook up to an external LCD for 1080p tests as well). I guess all we really need is for MSI to send us a GX740. :-) Reply
  • Aikouka - Wednesday, November 03, 2010 - link

    Ahh good call on the external monitor. I guess I wasn't thinking outside the box... or should I say "case"? ;)

    I certainly find no fault in not testing at 1680x1050 anymore as it isn't very common now that a lot of monitors (external or built into laptops) are running at a 16x9 resolution.

    The MSI laptop did look pretty decent spec-wise though, but the one thing I've always liked about the ASUS is the fact that it has two HDD bays. I don't recall the MSI laptop having that.

    The laptops that have actually disappointed me the most lately have been the newer Dell XPS models... they just seem to still not be centered around... well... good choices. I bought one of the older Dell XPS M1530s back in the day and I still really like the laptop (even with the slow GeForce M8800GT). What disappoints me, is that the 17" XPS, even with the fastest graphics card offering available, does not have a 1080p display option, or at least did not when I tried to configure one. The 15" actually had the 1080p option available, but does not have the fastest GPU as an option... bummer.
    Reply
  • StrangerGuy - Wednesday, November 03, 2010 - link

    A gaming laptop that already struggles with today's games at its native resolution? I don't even want to imagine how it's going to run future DX11 games. Reply
  • whatthehey - Wednesday, November 03, 2010 - link

    It's all relative. HP and Dell sell "gaming" desktops with 5470 and GT 220 cards, which would be slower than the G73. If your goal is to get a gaming laptop that can max out every game, you better have a lot of money for something like the X7200 or else reset your expectations. Traditionally, gaming laptops have never been capable of maxing out game settings on the latest titles, especially when even desktops need two higher clocked GPUs to manage that. If you look at other gaming laptops (i.e. Clevo models with either HD 5870 or GTX 480M) and how much they cost, the G73Jh/Jw is still an awesome bargain, and it's not quite the eyesore of Clevo notebooks! That's my take anyway. Reply
  • Sufo - Wednesday, November 03, 2010 - link

    Heh, it's all good - apart from the odd title scattered here and there in 2011, you won't be seeing many of those "future DX11 games" till 2012. PC gaming has plateaued until the next round of consoles. Reply
  • semo - Wednesday, November 03, 2010 - link

    When did this site start specializing in laptop reviews?

    You know you can't buy these in most places and anandtech is very much an international website.

    Also, if you are going to be reviewing laptops, you should know that these high powered machines end up killing themselves in very short time. I would want to know what kind of support these devices get (again this is very location specific), are tear down manuals easy to come by, is it easy to replace parts (e.g. are external ports located on removable PCBs or part of the mobo). My recommendation is to always to buy directly from the manufacturer and get the longest possible warranty. Controversial advice, I know, but if you have come across as many bricked laptops as me, you would know where I'm coming from
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, November 03, 2010 - link

    ASUS has a two-year global warranty, which is better than most. As for the quantity of laptop reviews, first the laptop market has now surpassed desktops in total sales, and second there are many variations on laptops. Sure, they all have a chassis, keyboard, touchpad, LCD, speakers, etc. but there's essentially no upgrading. That means we're not just looking at performance but features, build quality, the display, etc. all in one review so even two "identical" notebooks from different manufacturers need reviewing. So, we now have myself, Dustin, and Vivek doing laptop reviews and we can turn out quite a few in a month. Some will like it, others will prefer something else, but we're not taking away from other reviews just to do these. Reply
  • Aikouka - Wednesday, November 03, 2010 - link

    I think that it's nice to see laptop reviews.

    With the mobile-centric society that we have these days, people are looking to take something at least comparable to their desktop while they're on the road. I know it was quite nice when I went from an old Turion-based HP laptop to my Dell M1530... it could actually do similar things as my home-built desktop without suffering from terrible frame rates! I didn't mind so much that it wasn't as fast, but that it could still perform well enough.

    What I do like is that you don't necessarily focus on laptops like that Clevo GeForce 480 SLI laptop, but rather laptops that are modestly priced and can serve as "desktop complements" rather than "desktop replacements".
    Reply
  • sanjeev - Wednesday, November 03, 2010 - link

    "...It’s a good panel with an extremely high contrast ration"

    ?
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, November 03, 2010 - link

    You have no idea how many times I type "ration" instead of "ratio"! I usually catch it but it slipped through this time. All those other words have hardwired my brain to type "-tion" I guess. Reply
  • tech6 - Wednesday, November 03, 2010 - link

    Nice review but what is it with Asus and those cryptic laptop model names that nobody can remember?

    Also - there are other manufacturers of laptops, so an occasional review of a non-Asus laptop would also be welcome.
    Reply
  • freespace303 - Wednesday, November 03, 2010 - link

    Any chance you'll be reviewing the Envy 17 3d this thoroughly when it comes out? Or is HP still being stubborn? Reply
  • roninmagik1 - Wednesday, November 03, 2010 - link

    where is the dell xps review?? that's what we are all waiting for!!! =) Reply
  • barnett25 - Wednesday, November 03, 2010 - link

    I second that! Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, November 03, 2010 - link

    Coming real soon. :-D Reply
  • mhorn - Wednesday, November 03, 2010 - link

    Great article. Are there any plans to do a review of the G53JW that just came out since it's a smaller version of the G73JW but what looks to be a big upgrade over the G51JX? Reply
  • Kaihekoa - Wednesday, November 03, 2010 - link

    What's with all the laptop articles? There's one every few days which lately is much more often than desktop hardware. There are a dozen different components to a desktop with dozens of suppliers - how about some reviews on cases, power supplies, coolers, displays, etc. I barely visit Anandtech anymore because i seems like the only time I see a hardware review is for a major release from AMD/Intel/Nvidia/ATI. Reply
  • trengoloid - Wednesday, November 03, 2010 - link

    the g73jw Price 1,745.03 compare to g73jw-xa1 for the price of $1,449.00 it's $300 cheaper than the g73jw and the only difference between the two is the blueray disk and 250gig and 1 year warranty and bag and mouse but remember you can upgrade the
    g73jw-xa1 for a better spec than the g73jw like buy a bag and mouse for just $50 and buy a hdd 1.5 gig for just &78 and external blueray drive for $90so you get the external blue ray and the built in super dvd drive. there's a lot of upgrade you can do for the price of $300 :)
    Reply
  • Wolfpup - Wednesday, November 03, 2010 - link

    It's 1120 cores, and the performance does suffer from it. If they do a mobile part, I'd expect it to be chopped down too-probably less than 800 cores. Either way I wouldn't expect it to be better than today's AMD part. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, November 03, 2010 - link

    Oops... corrected. I got the 5770 core count mixed up with the 6870 and somehow thought they were both 800. I've edited the final paragraph to correct the information, but ultimately the percentages are still what matters. The Northern Islands GPUs improve shader core efficiency at the same power envelope, so one NI core is worth more than one Evergreen core. Anyway, the point is that I'm not really satisfied with mobile GPU performance, at least not at the top-end.

    We're at less than half of what the top desktop parts can do for both AMD and NVIDIA, and I want something more than that. 5870 has 1600 cores at 850MHz and 153.6GB/s of bandwidth while Mobile 5870 has 800 cores at 700MHz with 64GB/s of bandwidth. 480 has 480 cores at 1401MHz (700MHz for the non-shader stuff) with 177.4GB/s, but 480M has 352 cores at 850MHz (425MHz non-shader) and only 76.8GB/s. That means the best single AMD mobile GPU has roughly 41% of the computational power and bandwidth; the best single NVIDIA mobile GPU has 43-45% of the computational power and bandwidth.

    Yes, they also use under half the power, but Intel manages to make a mobile CPU that has about 65% of the performance of its desktop counterpart and uses less than half the power. That's the bar I want to see mobile GPUs reach: two-thirds the performance, less than half the power. Binning already gets a lot of that, so a few tweaks and refinements ought to get the rest. :-)
    Reply
  • trengoloid - Wednesday, November 03, 2010 - link

    the g73jw Price 1,745.03 compare to g73jw-xa1 for the price of $1,449.00 it's $300 cheaper than the g73jw and the only difference between the two is the blueray disk and 250gig and 1 year warranty and bag and mouse but remember you can upgrade the
    g73jw-xa1 for a better spec than the g73jw like buy a bag and mouse for just $50 and buy a hdd 1.5 gig for just &78 and external blueray drive for $90so you get the external blue ray and the built in super dvd drive. there's a lot of upgrade you can do for the price of $300 :)
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, November 03, 2010 - link

    Just to clarify a few things that you're glossing over:

    The mouse in the G73Jw is far nicer than a cheap $20 optical... it uses the new HP Voodoo gaming mouse, only with a different coating (to match the G73 "stealth" coating). Best price you can find for this sort of mouse is around $40-$50.

    As for the bag, even a rather generic backpack is going to cost at least $30, and I'd probably value this one at $40 or more.

    The single 750GB HDD looks like it's the Seagate ST9750420AS (about $120), compared to two 500GB Seagate drives ($66 each), so that's a wash really but I suppose it makes adding an SSD easier (if you can find a caddy). FWIW, the only perfect fit for the caddy right now appears to be [l=this one]http://www.asusparts.eu/product_info.php?cPath=676...[/l]. Yup, that's almost $40 for a stupid little metal tray!

    Then there's the Blu-ray/DVDR combo drive. Those go for $140, not $90 (unless you just want Blu-ray and DVD reading, with no recording capabilities or you buy a refurbished/used drive).

    Add all that up and the difference in price for the mouse, backpack, and BD-Combo alone is at least $220, or $260 if you count the cost of a drive caddy.

    We're then left with the final item you neglected to mention: the 1-year versus 2-year warranty. I can easily see the extra year of warranty being worth $100.

    So in summary, the XA1 isn't "better" and there's no "truth" behind this (thanks for the double post by the way); it's simply another option where you get exactly what you pay for. The A1 comes with all the extras for $300 more, or you can get the stripped down model with $350 less of "stuff".
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, November 03, 2010 - link

    Hmmm... links no longer work? Let's try again, as maybe I had the format wrong. [l=http://www.asusparts.eu/product_info.php?cPath=676...]HDD caddy[/l] Reply
  • XiZeL - Wednesday, November 03, 2010 - link

    ohh cmon asus 60gig sandforce SSD's are so cheap now why put in 2 hard drives when you could put an SSD for system and other for storage. Reply
  • gc_ - Wednesday, November 03, 2010 - link

    Here's a couple errors, please correct me if not:

    1. Table caption on first page (!)
    actual: "ASUS G73Jh-A2 Specifications"
    expect: ASUS G73JW-A1 Specifications

    2. Battery life on fourth page
    "Idle battery life improves by 49%, Internet battery life is up 26%, and x264 playback is UP 41%."

    But the graphs and numbers tell a different story: x264 playback is DOWN 27.5%:
    ASUS G73JH (i7-720QM + HD5870) (75wh): 80m
    ASUS G73JW (i7-740QM + 460M) (85wh): 58m
    (a difference in x264 decode hardware perhaps?)
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, November 03, 2010 - link

    Sorry, there was an error in the graphs based on old copy/paste/edit data. (The same goes for the table title, of course.) I've updated the x264 battery life result with the correct value of 113 minutes. 58 minutes is actually how long the G73Jw lasted looping 3DMark06, but performance as mentioned is 1/3 of what it gets on AC. Thanks for the corrections. :-) Reply
  • jchoate - Thursday, November 04, 2010 - link

    Can anyone tell me if this model supports the option of RAID1? Reply
  • sazwqa - Thursday, November 04, 2010 - link

    As I read further, I can see that for ASUS G73JW-XA1 and ASUS G73JW-A1 use the same chasis. So is it safe to assume that it would be easy to add secondary HDD to ASUS G73JW-XA1 (the cheaper model).

    Does anybody has any ideas around this?
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, November 05, 2010 - link

    If you want the HDD "properly" installed, you need the HDD caddy, which you can only buy from here right now:
    http://www.asusparts.eu/product_info.php?cPath=676...

    It's about $40, which is really steep for a piece of thin metal, so you could either roll your own, or jury-rig something, or just let an SSD sit inside and hope it's not heavy enough to get disconnected. :-\
    Reply
  • rom0n - Friday, November 05, 2010 - link

    The 740QM doesn't have a Intel graphics core as far as I know. It's built on 45nm nehalem. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, November 05, 2010 - link

    Where do you see any suggestion that this has Optimus? What I *want* is quad-core with Optimus, which is why I'm waiting to see Sandy Bridge. Reply
  • kawatwo - Sunday, November 07, 2010 - link

    I'm kind of glad my old G71 only has 1440 x 900 since the GPU will work at native res longer. I am curious how some of these hi-res panels scale too lower res for the day when you really need to go form 1080p to a lower res to still be playable. I still love my G71. It has been bulletproof from day one. Hinge is still tight, etc. I did have to order one of those 40 dollar second HD cages though all the way from Europe :) Not being able to order parts directly from the Asus US web site is kind of ridiculous. Just waiting for SSD prices to come down a little more now so I can stuff one in here. Seems like Asus could put caddy in when they build the thing but other than that I am an Asus fan. Reply
  • Matrices - Sunday, November 07, 2010 - link

    I think you could stuff the bay with appropriately sized cardboard or adhesive foam pads (without peeling it) and still come out alright. Reply
  • AlucardX - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    i agree, if it's a gaming laptop why would i want 1080p when i'll hardly ever be able to run a game at native res without putting the settings way down. Reply
  • mcklevin - Tuesday, November 09, 2010 - link

    Is there any way to keep the video card running on full when running only from the battery? Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, November 12, 2010 - link

    Not that I know of. I set the system for maximum performance, turned off and GPU power saving features I could see, and the result was still less than GT 335M performance when on battery. Reply
  • Sadaiyappan - Wednesday, November 10, 2010 - link

    Can you explain in detail all the graphics settings you used for that Dirt 2 test? I have an MSI GX660R-060US but I am not getting the scores that the MSI GX640 got. Reply
  • Luke2.0 - Thursday, December 09, 2010 - link

    Hi there,
    The spec table shows 8-cell 75wh, but the battery charts all shows G73jw used a 85wh.
    Which one is correct?
    And after clearing this, perhaps you could re-verify the better battery life: is it due to the stronger battery (85wh against 75wh) or G73jw being a MUCH more efficient system?
    Thanks.
    Reply

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