Back to Article

  • scottjames_12 - Thursday, October 06, 2011 - link

    I'd be interested to know what you think of the MSI GT780DXR? Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, October 06, 2011 - link

    I'm trying to get one, so stay tuned. It looks better than the GT680R (GT683DXR), so maybe it will impress. We'll see if they send one (after the GeForce LAN party, where Ryan will see them). Reply
  • JojoKracko - Thursday, October 06, 2011 - link

    No kidding. This is what I was expecting when I read Asus was updating the G74. It should have received a Matte Screen and the GTX570M.

    And if they were going to tweak the keyboard again, they should have fixed their cursor key positioning error. Move the cursor keys left and give the larger num pad zero key back. Nobody needs a triple or quad wide shift key on the keyboard, but anyone who used the number pad uses their thumb for the zero key - oops, can't do that any more cuz we like to fcuk stuff up!
  • JojoKracko - Saturday, October 15, 2011 - link

    Indeed. Better GPU, better CPU in some options. Definitely better screen - because it is an anti-reflective MATTE FINISH.

    Oh, and don't make excuses for IPS panels not being put in $1500+ laptops. Shame the manufacturers for not doing so instead.
  • jigglywiggly - Thursday, October 06, 2011 - link

    Too big for weak specs you can get in a np8130 15in. Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Thursday, October 06, 2011 - link

    And all you have to do is sacrifice a drive bay and a usable keyboard!

    Thanks, I'll stick with the G74 or Alienware M17x. ;)
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, October 06, 2011 - link

    Don't forget that maximum noise on this was just 37dB; the 15.6" Clevo laptops with similar specs can hit 45dB under full load! Reply
  • bennyg - Thursday, October 06, 2011 - link

    I don't think anyone forking $1.5-2k on a gaming lappy is going to be listening to the onboard speakers, and any good pair of headphones either cancels or drowns out outside noise.

    Personally the noise doesn't bother me, I'd rather noisy, than toasty-and-dead-in-2-years.

    Though, thankyou Asus and everyone else bar Toshiba (but theirs has a horrible LCD) for making my decision that bit easier for not including Optimus. I had no probs opting for a P150HM with 580M. Would have been a 6990M but for ATI's crappy driver GUI and functionality... as much as I thoroughly dislike Nvidia for their renaming antics they do have the better package.

    The keyboard is a pain, but I'm really noticing just how great the backlit keyboard of my G51J was. That had a squished numpad as well and I grew to be fine with that. As you would when you spend FAR too long in front of the thing (workstation by day, plaything by night)
  • Iketh - Thursday, October 06, 2011 - link

    When I'm working on my laptop, I'm usually not wearing headphones. I bet I'm not alone in this department. And yes, I put a load on mine when I work, not just when gaming.

    Also, you're implying the Clevo moves more air with that noise. I'm betting the Asus moves considerably more air than the Clevo, and it's hard to think otherwise if you've even taken a peek at Asus' cooling in their G series.
  • Wolfpup - Friday, October 07, 2011 - link

    Yeah, at home I never use headphones, and I want the system as quiet as possible regardless of what I'm doing. 37 versus 45db is a pretty big gap.

    I'm tired of the "just crank it up!" argument for things that are too loud.

    That's the same ridiculous thing I heard from people back before you could install games to the Xbox's hard drive, and that optical drive was so loud you couldn't think. "Just crank it up!" is not an actual solution to that problem.
  • plonkplink - Thursday, October 06, 2011 - link

    I'll just skip this review since:
    1. it has a squinty letterbox screen (16:9).
    2. it's an octodecillion times uglier than the saxxy Toshiba Qosmio.
    3. Just as someone said: "beep blueray;that is all.". :)
  • Dustin Sklavos - Thursday, October 06, 2011 - link

    2 and 3 are reasonable enough...

    1, though. Yeah...good luck with that. The industry made the shift. None of us are happy about it, but we can either sit in the corner and sulk about the lost 120 pixels of vertical real estate or be happy that mobile graphics are fast enough to drive the rest of it.
  • JojoKracko - Thursday, October 06, 2011 - link

    I have to agree with 1. By going to a 17 inch laptop, you've already decided to accept a larger size / heavier / more expensive laptop so that negates all of the manufacturer's flimsy excuses for using a 16x9 display over a 16x10 version. Total BS IMHO how the industry got away with screwing everyone with this aspect ratio change. 16x10 is better for every single use on your computer - except one - watching movies. And really, how many of you would prefer to watch a movie on your laptop instead of on your widescreen TV?

    2. I personally prefer the G74. Call me crazy. Better textures.
    3. As I would watch movies on my TV, I agree. Beep Blueray!

    I'd add 4. Beep more than 8 GB of ram on laptops and more than 1.5 GB on the video cards in general. Useless, wasteful marketing gimmicks. Lower the price by the same amount instead. It is already crazy how fast a 2 grand laptop loses its value.
    5. Matte AR Screen for fricks sake ASUS!!!!!
    6. MATTE SCREEN - it is worth repeating until they realize they could take ALL of MSI's business with this one change.
  • seapeople - Friday, October 07, 2011 - link

    Stop saying this.

    1920x1200 is better than 1920x1080 because it has more pixels, not because of the aspect ratio.

    I actually prefer more screen width than height... I always run into problems with width when I'm trying to look at multiple applications on the screen at once rather than height.

    If you're really going to argue that it's the aspect ratio, then tell me what you would like better: 1600x900 or 1440x900?
  • erple2 - Sunday, October 09, 2011 - link

    Until applications become more horizontally focused, the more vertical pixels become important.

    It's not that I prefer 1440x900 over 1600x900, it's for a given number of horizontal pixels, I'd MUCH rather have more vertical pixels - so I'd prefer 1600x1000 over 1600x900 every time.

    As long as the menubars, tabs, close buttons etc are all aligned vertically, I'll still say that I want more vertical pixels for a given horizontal pixel count.

    I wouldn't mind having a 2133x1200 res screen (16x9 with 1200 vertical pixels), but nobody makes them.

    Even on my 1080p laptop, I feel as though it's vertically cramped. Then again, I'm used to using 1920x1200 screens on my desktop for work and play.
  • Wolfpup - Friday, October 07, 2011 - link

    16:9 is today's normal aspect ratio, and it's not "squinty", the resolution and screen size work pretty well for a notebook.

    "Ugly" is subjective, but I like the G74's utilitarianness. I find Toshiba and Dell's systems much uglier, though that's bottom on my list for why I buy a system regardless.

    And I have no idea what "beep blueray" means. At first I thought you thought this didn't have it, which it does. Now I'm thinking you DON'T want it for some unknown reason...well, you don't have to use it, or can buy a cheaper G74 model without it.
  • JojoKracko - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    Beep Bluray just means that it is unnecessary for most of us. Especially the versions with the bluray burner. Realistically, how many buyers of the G74 do so because it has a bluray burner? Half of 1 percent? If that? It is a useless marketing gimmick. Just like moving from 8-16 GB of ram (again, might help 1/2 of 1% of us), or 3GB of video card ram vs 1.5 GB. Even the GTX570M is slower than an old desktop 460GTX and that card can't max out it's 1GB of ram. 3GB is a joke, and 30 bucks that should have been spent on something useful - like a taller screen, better cooling, a bump to the next level of cpu, a bump to the GTX570M, etc. Same goes for the extra $40 for bluray player, or extra $100 for bluray burner. Marketing BS. Doesn't help the majority of you. Demand to be able to pay for what you need.

    Comment here or even better, write letters to Asus.

    Oh, best use of the extra cash? MATTE F'ing SCREENS!!! This reflective crap should have been banned a decade ago.
  • piroroadkill - Thursday, October 06, 2011 - link

    16GB RAM is useless for the vast majority of people.

    Give me an IPS 1920x1200 screen and 8GB RAM instead, and it would be almost perfect.
  • piroroadkill - Thursday, October 06, 2011 - link

    Perfect.. spec wise, I mean. Reply
  • JojoKracko - Thursday, October 06, 2011 - link

    True Dat! 1900 x 1200 IPS panel. Extra $75. Well worth the expense. Heck, double or triple it and I'd still pay it for these two features.

    MATTE SCREEN also. They did it with their top of the line 3D version and it was far superior to the glossy crap screen you get with this 'update' version - IMHO.
  • seapeople - Friday, October 07, 2011 - link

    Don't say things like that, because soon we'll be hearing from the "I have 32GB of RAM and it's not enough for my super duper special application load" crowd. Reply
  • JojoKracko - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    He is saying 8GB because the 16GB is useless for the rest of the computer's specs. It is just a waste. Cheap marketing poop. Reply
  • DanNeely - Thursday, October 06, 2011 - link

    The table at the start of the review indicates a HannStar panel, the LCD page says it's a Chimei Innolux. Reply
  • Joehettinger - Thursday, October 06, 2011 - link

    I have a G73, and slapped a WD 128 GB SSD in it, the only problem I had was the lack of brackets and the weak chip-set limited me to 150 Mb transfers from the drive. It's good to see that they upgraded the chip-set so that the SSD can run at full speed.

    Also, the little rubber foot pads came off the first week or two. Anyone else have that problem? Did ASUS come up with a better way to mount the foot pads.

    I'm also voting for the 16:10, I would love to have more vertical space.

    And finally, A USB 3.0 port ... Outstanding!
  • andrewcooke - Thursday, October 06, 2011 - link

    is there any site that provides a simple overview of the different asus models and their specs? the asus site is a real mess and doesn't explain anything unless you look in detail at each model. thanks. Reply
  • Wolfpup - Friday, October 07, 2011 - link

    Not that I know of, but there's not that much variation. Basically the biggest change is the Best Buy model "only" has a 128-bit memory interface for the video RAM rather than the 192-bit interface on the other models (but it's also cheapest).

    Besides that you've got some variation in whether there's 1 or 2 drives (and thus a second drive bracket and cable), Blu Ray, and apperently this A2 model "only" has 1.5GB video RAM instead of 3GB like on most. (The ones with 2GB you know have a 128-bit memory interface because 192-bit ends up needing either 1.5 or 3GB to do that.)

    Obviously Blu Ray is a must have, and I wanted the kit for the second hard drive, so the A1 model worked well for me, though frankly even the Best Buy model's a good deal, relative to a lot of other systems.
  • andrewcooke - Sunday, October 09, 2011 - link

    hey, thanks for the reply, but i didn't mean just for this model, but for all asus laptops. i live outside the usa so need to select from info on the net (and then quickly buy something when i travel there). cheers. Reply
  • JojoKracko - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    Search for G74 pdf

    I came across a pdf once that listed all of the specs for the many, many world wide variations of G74s. I think it was some Montreal computer shop, but it was in English.
  • Death666Angel - Thursday, October 06, 2011 - link

    If I were in the market for such a notebook (read: desktop replacement with gaming capabilities), this would probably be it. Nicely balanced components, good looks, priced adequately. Reply
  • Paedric - Thursday, October 06, 2011 - link

    I'm the owner of an original g73jh with an amd 5870, and there are several long term issue with.

    First, amd drivers cause screens of death, asus recommend the stock drivers.
    That'd be fine if the latest version wasn't nearly 2 years old.

    A common issue is the thermal paste of the gpu.
    After some time, it needs to be changed, otherwise the gpu idles at about 80C and get as hot as 110C, before the system shuts down.

    I don't know if the g series is still having those issues since it's not the same gpu anymore, but it has kinda ruined an awsome laptop for me.
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, October 06, 2011 - link

    AMD's mobile GPUs tend to hit higher temperatures on the high-end in my experience, so that may be part of the equation. Obviously, we don't get to keep these systems long-term, so unfortunately I can't say how any of these will hold up after six months or a year of use. On the plus side, if you do change your thermal paste out, you can use something better that won't need to be replaced a second time. Reply
  • Coup27 - Thursday, October 06, 2011 - link

    Am I the only one who is confused by the single USB3 port? I am assuming they used a controller such as NEC which supports two ports, so why did they only use 1? Reply
  • Wolfpup - Friday, October 07, 2011 - link

    Yeah, no Intel chipsets support USB 3.0 until next year (I guess it's finally coming next year).

    Can't remember what chip it uses, but it's worked fine for me (the port is blue, so you can tell the difference).

    I'd guess maybe it's harder to wire it up to two ports, or maybe they didn't want to reduce the available ports to only 2 if you're not using Windows 7 (or don't have the drivers installed).

    Like the port doesn't work until you get the drivers on there (hopefully Windows 8, or whatever they call 6.2 will just support it out of the box).

    I've got a Tripp Lite USB 3.0 hub which seems to work well, and my two external USB 3.0 drives (that I happened to already have) hooked in to that.

    I love USB 3.0 so far! I mean 2.0 gets the job done for me, but of course maxes out around 25MB/s-ish, while the same drive under 3.0 seemed to be averaging 95MB/s-ish (and sometimes even higher), which is not something I'll complain about!
  • hrbngr - Thursday, October 06, 2011 - link


    I have read you mentioning your RSI issues in several articles. The MS keyboard is a nice option, but you really owe it to yourself to try out a kinesis ergo keyboard:

    It has a USB connection and comes w/a foot pedal that is usually programmed to be the shift key, it only needs a separate numeric keypad--the built in one is kind of clunky--if you use that a lot. I'm not sure I could live w/out mine. Individual key wells and a focus on using both thumbs for the shift/alt/control/tab keys vs using your pinky really work--and I didn't take as long to get used to it as I thought I would.

    Great laptop review as btw. However I think that I will wait for the next gen chipset as the on-board video seems to be a substantial upgrade, and when used in Optimus mode, would be good for most all work but heavy gaming.
  • 666 - Thursday, October 06, 2011 - link

    Those horrendously overpriced weird keyboardlike things are not selling that well, are they? Perhaps it's the color? :) Reply
  • hrbngr - Friday, October 07, 2011 - link


    I suppose the white color is a little off-putting, but I did buy the black usb model! :-) They are very overpriced, but there is no other keyboard on the market that come close to it in terms of comfort--especially through the use off the foot pedal for the "shift" key.
  • Wolfpup - Friday, October 07, 2011 - link

    And I really like it. I agree with everything in the review except the (continued) obsession with switchable graphics. A big factor in my purchase of the G74 over other models is that it DOESN'T use switchable graphics. No driver weirdness. No reduced performance. If I'm buying something mid range or high end and it's got a GPU, I want to use the GPU. Power gating and whatnot to get power levels down further would be fine, but I'm not compromising on compatibility or performance to get some extra battery life, even if I used the battery, which I never have on a notebook.

    I find the G74 very portable too, though the bag they included didn't fit it well, and most don't. Targus' "XL" bag works pretty well, and is pretty decent build quality (if not LL Bean quality).

    I've found everything in the review (save for the Optimus stuff...) to be dead on. The performance is great. The keyboard's remarkable for a notebook. (And I love finally having a numberpad!) Physically it SEEMS similar to my Macbook Air keyboard, but the buttons on the Air are much more "mushy" and don't have as much travel as the G74 keyboard does.

    The cooling's awesome, the noise level is awesome, just as the review says. The screen's great by notebook standards too-looks great, great viewing angles and contrast, etc.). I normally leave it on minimum brightness (and half the time use a 24" external monitor) but I love having the headroom to crank it up if I need to!

    Obviously I'd have loved a GTX 570 or 580, but the 560 is getting it done for me, and probably will for a long time, so...that's fine. Mine (the A1 model) comes with 3GB instead of 1.5GB, though I guess that doesn't affect performance today? Hurray for Windows and good hardware...I was running Modern Warfare 2 on my external screen, while leaving Outlook 2010 running on my internal display, all just working flawlessly!

    RAM access seems super easy compared with any other notebook I've seen (there's a bit more space than normal, and of course 4 DIMM slots). My only complaint with access is I wish the cable for the second hard drive had a better mechanism attaching it to the motherboard. If you swap drives as I did, I wouldn't disconnect the cable from the board, just disconnect it from the drive. Otherwise that all went smoothly.

    My A1 shipped with two Seagate Momentus 7200/16MB drives, and I stuck a 300GB Intel 320 in as the main drive, which has been a great combo. I stuck Steam stuff on the second drive, as well as all my shows from my Tivo, etc., while most of my programs are on the first drive. (The Seagate Momentus XT is a nice compromise if you don't want to spend a crazy amount on an SSD as the boot drive...honestly to me there feels like a bigger gap between normal drives and the Momentus XT than between the XT and the $550ish I spend on my SSD isn't REALLY worth it, I just wanted to do it!)

    Anyway, so far my G74's just been a pleasure to use. Normal drivers installed with no hacks or weirdness. Nothing's gone wrong. All the hardware's nice, and fast, etc.
  • aguilpa1 - Friday, October 07, 2011 - link

    This thing is huge and uses the same tired old 560, so sad. I don't see how this is news or can be considered an update. Reply
  • Siorus - Friday, October 07, 2011 - link

    Jarred, have they fixed the throttling issue that they've had since the G73 came out yet?

    I bought a G73 for work a few months ago, because I needed a mobile CAD workstation RIGHT (bleep)ING YESTERDAY and that was the closest I could get locally. 2630QM or a 2720QM or something, and a GTX460m. While setting it up, I found that if you run furmark and prime95 at the same time, the CPU throttles down to 800MHz and stays there. It's not a heat issue; temperatures stay well under control (60s-70s*C); I did some googling and found people reporting performance problems in games because of it.

    So I ran out and bought a G74 since the guy that needed it was going on a trip and he needed a machine the next day (it's great when people don't tell you these things until the last minute). The G74 (same CPU, 560m) has the same exact issue.

    I guess some HP laptop had the same problem and HP released a BIOS update to fix it. As far as I know, ASUS has not yet seen fit to actually fix or stop selling a fundamentally broken machine.

    I'm frankly disgusted with the whole episode; I've used ASUS boards almost exclusively both at work and at home for years (since the demise of Abit), and unless this is addressed, I, for one, will never buy another ASUS product again.
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, October 08, 2011 - link

    I just spent the last couple of hours trying to replicate the throttling issue, without using Furmark. I have been unable to do so. With Furmark however, running any heavily threaded load at the same time will result in almost immediate throttling of the CPU clock, as you mention.

    The problem I have here is that Furmark is a well-known "power virus". Both AMD and NVIDIA have already essentially prevented it from running at maximum load to the point where it will ruin hardware (or at least they have tried). I have not found any other graphics program (without including Furmark derivatives like MSI Kombustor) that will generate a similar load on a GPU. As such, it's difficult for me to ding a laptop for throttling while running what is essentially a load that you cannot replicate without using a synthetic utility.

    If you can give me some real-world scenario where throttling results (e.g. running a particular game), I'll be happy to look into it. But it needs to be an actual game (or game + heavily threaded application load). I'll put a note on the power/temp page at least warning of the throttling potential, but until I can replicate it elsewhere I won't lose any sleep over Furmark.
  • Siorus - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    Unfortunately it doesn't look like I'm going to have time to play around with either system at work anytime soon, so all I can do is relay the information I found when I was trying to deal with it a few months ago.

    GTA4, GRID, Starcraft 2, WoW and Left 4 Dead 2 are all affected, according to this thread on notebookreview:

    And I understand your position on Furmark; there's no arguing that it's a "power virus" so to speak. That said, my personal opinion is that the power supply and cooling systems on these graphics cards should be designed with the absolute worst-case scenario in mind. Limiting board power to keep the card from smoking itself is ridiculous; it's taking the cheap way out rather than beefing up the power supply and the heatsink.

    At the risk of going off on a rant (I'll try to keep it short), I see it as symptomatic of a cultural shift; it's evident in plenty of other consumer devices. For instance, I've got a Pioneer SX-1980 stereo receiver. Made in 1978. Linear power supply; the transformer is a toroid around the size of a 50 pack of DVDs; the filter caps are the size of beer cans. It weighs almost 100lbs, and it's rated for 275 watts per channel into 8 ohms. That's continuous power, with both channels driven. The most powerful stereo receiver Pioneer ever made. It will happily put out its rated 550w, 24hrs a day, 7 days a week, from now until the caps dry out or whatever. Almost all modern multichannel receivers will not do that; they are often rated with only 1 channel driven, and "continuous" power quite frequently means for a duration of a handful of seconds or less. A lot of people would consider the SX-1980 to be "overbuilt"; it's not-it's just built to do what the box says it will do, which has become something of an alien concept.

    But nobody cares because they don't want to spend any money. People would rather pay $200 for a receiver-or a graphics card-than $300 or $400 for one that's built properly. *shrug*
  • chinedooo - Saturday, October 08, 2011 - link

    ATI does graphics switching so much better than Nvidia. With my dv6t i have the option of using dynamic switching like optimus which switches automatically based on the application, or fixed switching which i switch manually, and it also switches when the laptop is running off battery. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, October 08, 2011 - link

    And the flickering on manual switching is awesome, plus the regular driver updates from AMD... wait, you don't those, do you? I did a whole article on comparing Optimus and AMD Dynamic Switchable; it's not even a close competition:
  • darklu - Sunday, October 09, 2011 - link

    where is the excellent gt780r by msi in your test?
    the msi is better than g74 because he had an 570m ^^

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now