Battery Life: No Optimus Makes Me Sad

If there’s one major area where the G74SX falls short, it’s battery life. With no form of switchable graphics, battery life is roughly on par with what we saw from the previous G73 series of notebooks. Alienware uses switchable graphics for their M18x and M17x HD 6970M, and Optimus for the M17x with GTX 580M; both deliver much better mobility off the mains. The Toshiba Qosmio X775 likewise uses Optimus with a paltry 48Wh battery, and even with the battery capacity handicap it still puts up respectable numbers.

Battery Life - Idle

Battery Life - Internet

Battery Life - H.264 Playback

Relative Battery Life - Idle

Relative Battery Life - Internet

Relative Battery Life - H.264

Perhaps the GTX 560M uses a bit more power than the GTX 460M, or maybe the slight change in battery design (and capacity) plays a role. More likely is that the 16GB of memory is also using a bit more power. Whatever the case, battery life is down incrementally relative to the G73SW in all of our tests. You can just squeak past 2.5 hours of H.264 playback or Internet surfing, and around 3.5 hours of idle battery life, but you’ll definitely want to carry the power brick with you whenever you plan on going mobile for more than 90 minutes.

It’s in the relative battery capacity that the Qosmio really shows what Optimus can provide, although to be fair it doesn’t have as much RAM (or SO-DIMMs) to power. Relative battery life is slightly more than double what the G74SX can manage in the idle and Internet tests, and 68% higher in the H.264 result. You do get the “peace of mind” of always using the discrete graphics, no matter the task, but is that enough to sway people to give up battery life? I’m not sure how many feel that way, but I know I’d rather have Optimus and deal with a few idiosyncrasies now and then.

Gaming Performance: Good for 1080p Gaming Temperatures, Noise, and LCD Analysis
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  • 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!
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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. ;)
    Reply
  • 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)
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply

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