With every incarnation of Next-Gen mobile GPU releases there is always a high-end selection from each major manufacturer vying for the title of “World’s Fastest Laptop”, “Ultimate Portable Gaming Notebook” or similar, and Asus is no stranger for aiming for this accolade. Their Republic Of Gamers (or “ROG” as more commonly known) series is specifically designed towards this area, and has put out regular revisions of its G-Series laptops since the launch of the G70 in 2008. Fast forward to 2014 and we have the G751 series, aimed the highest point in the market in terms of price and performance, using the latest Intel Haswell CPU and the Nvidia GTX 980m GPU based on the new Maxwell architecture.
There was a point in time where most manufacturers could get away with purchasing the latest Clevo OEM motherboard and cramming it with the latest hardware and then shipping it out – though Asus was one of the few at the time to take thermals into account and actually create a custom cooling solution that helped gamers get the most out of their the high-end hardware. Add some aggressive looking “Stealth Fighter” design choices and you have the ROG series in a nutshell.
As an owner of gaming laptops over the years including the Asus G73 back in the day, I have high hopes going into this review that Asus have delivered a monster of a machine capable of gaming till my eyes go square. After briefly looking over the hardware specifications I am looking forward to pushing the G751 to its limits, while hopefully being met with a tremendous gaming experience that will keep me glued to my seat over the New Year. As a laptop pushing the £2000 boundary, this represents a significant investment and therefore we have high expectations going into this review.
- Name: Asus G751JY-T7051H
- CPU: Intel Core i7-4860HQ @ 2.4GHz (up to 3.4GHz Turboboost)
- RAM: 32GB 1600MHz DDR3 1.35w (8GB*4)
- SSD: 512GB PCIE SSD
- HDD: 1TB 7200RPM
- GPU:NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M 4GB
- LAN:10/100/1000/Gigabits Base T
- WLAN: Integrated 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Built-in Bluetooth™ V4.0
- Monitor: 3″1920 x 1080 Anti-glare LED backlit
- Keyboard: Chiclet Red blacklit Asus ROG branded
- I/O: 4x USB3.0, 1x HDMI, 1x VGA, 1x Thunderbolt, SD Reader, Mic-in, Headphone-out, line-in, line-out, 1x 1Gb LAN, FHD Webcam
- ODD: BD-RW (6x)
- Battery: 8-Cell 6000mAh 88w/h
- OS: Windows 8.1
- Dimensions: 41.6 x 31.8 x 5.3 cm
- Weight: 8kg with battery (10.6lb)
- Warranty: 2 year Global Warranty, can be extended to 3 for an extra £65
- Price: £1999.99 Inc VAT
Packaging & Accessories
The notebook box provides a decent amount of protection to the laptop inside, and both the machine itself and accessories have an extra layer of protection in that they are inside in thin foam bags. Having said that though for a laptop of this value, it would have been nice if it had been shipped inside a padded box for extra protection, in the same way the PC Specialist Cosmos 2 was packed.
The box is well designed, with carry handle and angled sides reminiscent of the laptop’s aggressively edged design. Upon lifting the lid of the box you are greeted with the line “In Search of Incredible” on the inner lid, and the system itself wrapped inside its afore-mentioned sleeve. The power supply is located in a compartment to the right of the system, and the accessories are stored in a compartment that is revealed under the laptop once it has been lifted from the box.
Included is a power supply, UK 3 pin plug with kettle connection to the power supply, an Asus branded cable tidy wrap, manual, quick start guide, warranty card and cleaning cloth.
A Closer Look
The G751 carries the “Stealth Fighter” styling that has been the theme of previous generations of ROG laptops, though this time it seems that there has been more attention paid towards giving a premium material experience. Features such as the brushed aluminium back, glowing logo, and actual laptop feet (rather than just being rubber blocks like previous incarnations that often fell off in time) show that careful improvements in tweaking the aesthetics, as well as functionality. Above the monitor is an HD webcam and mic.
The back looks fantastic, sporting a backlit ROG logo and plenty of brushed aluminium. The red fins are painted metallic red, and you can just begin to see the dual copper heatsinks behind them.
To the left we have a Kensington Lock, 2x USB 3.0, Blu-ray Drive and SD-card reader
And on the right there is the standard audio ports, 2x USB 3.0, Thunderbolt, HDMI, Ethernet, VGA and Power
The chiclet is well spaced out, responsive and pleasant to type on. The touchpad is nothing short of gigantic, with 2 buttons for left and right-click, and the touchpad supporting a customisable set of multi-touch gestures.
In front of the touchpad overlapping the edge of the laptop is a selection of LED’s for various system indications such as flight mode, power, HDD usage, battery and Numlock
The keyboard has some interesting features such as dedicated Steam Key, a “Stream” key which launches Nvidias Streaming software, and a ROG logo in replace of Numlock on the number pad. When pressed this launches a gaming profile console and various system stats. Other touches include a trio of Macro customisable “M” keys, and the WASD keys have had their edges etched, which look great in the flesh.
The left and right speakers are cunningly placed behind the monitor, meaning that the sound from them points forwards rather than upwards as you would normally expect.
Flipping the laptop over reveals a large grill with visible subwoofer behind it. The feet of the case have been attached to the bottom of the case and are not designed to be removed to access the innards of the system, which is a fairly common method for hiding screw holes.
On the topic of screw holes, it appears that all of them except one have been covered in round sections of rubber, with the centre screw being covered by a triangular section of rubber which is used to access the “User Service Bay” via a single screw.
Unscrewing this single screw and prying gently removes the Service Bay cover, revealing the 2 hard drive bays and 2 of the 4 SODIMM slots.
The leftmost Hard Drive bay also has a PCIE port for connecting M.2 SSDs, though this means you cannot use 2 typical SATA SSD’s in RAID if you choose to opt for an M.2. Lower spec models can include traditional SATA hard drives instead (or if you decide to go opt for RAID).
The secondary SATA hard drive bay, our model has a 1TB drive fitted as standard.
Only 2 of the 4 SO-DIMM DDR3 slots are available via the Service Bay
To test each system or notebook, we want to stress every component to check stability and performance, giving us an idea as to why those particular components were picked for this particular system or notebook. We use a wide variety of software applications to gain the broadest spectrum of results for comparing multiple aspects of performance
- Acoustic dBA meter
- AC “Killawatt” power meter
- 3DMark 11
- AIDA64 Engineer
- Cinebench R11.5
- Cinebench R15
- Passmark PerformanceTest 8.0
- PCMark 8
- Super PI
- Unigine Heaven 4.0
- Unigine Valley 1.0
- Bioshock Infinite
- Metro Last Light
- Tomb Raider
System Performance – PCMark 8
The PCMark 8 Home benchmark includes workloads that reflect common tasks for a typical home user. These workloads have low computational requirements making PCMark 8 Home suitable for testing the performance of low-cost tablets, notebooks and desktops. Home includes workloads for web browsing, writing, gaming, photo editing, and video chat. The results are combined to give a PCMark 8 Home score for your system. Download here.
3DMark and 3DMark11
The new 3DMark includes everything you need to benchmark your hardware. With three all new tests you can bench everything from smartphones and tablets, to notebooks and home PCs, to the latest high-end, multi-GPU gaming desktops. Download here.
3DMark 11 is a DirectX 11 video card benchmark test for Windows that is designed to measure your PC’s gaming performance. 3DMark 11 makes extensive use of DirectX 11 features including tessellation, compute shaders and multi-threading. Download here.
Unigine Heaven and Valley
Heaven Benchmark with its current version 4.0 is a GPU-intensive benchmark that hammers graphics cards to the limits. This powerful tool can be effectively used to determine the stability of a GPU under extremely stressful conditions, as well as check the cooling system’s potential under maximum heat output. It provides completely unbiased results and generates true in-game rendering workloads across all platforms, such as Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. Download here.
Valley Benchmark is a new GPU stress-testing tool from the developers of the very popular and highly acclaimed Heaven Benchmark. The forest-covered valley surrounded by vast mountains amazes with its scale from a bird’s-eye view and is extremely detailed down to every leaf and flower petal. This non-synthetic benchmark powered by the state-of-the art UNIGINE Engine showcases a comprehensive set of cutting-edge graphics technologies with a dynamic environment and fully interactive modes available to the end user. Download here.
Bioshock Infinite, Metro Last Light and Tomb Raider
BioShock Infinite is the third and last game in the BioShock series. It is a first-person shooter video game developed by Irrational Games and published by 2K Games. BioShock Infinite supports dynamic shadows, post-processing, light shafts, ambient occlusion, object level of detail, Diffusion Depth of Detail, FOV adjustment controls and other advanced DirectX 11 features.
Metro Last Light
Metro: Last Light (formerly Metro 2034) is a first-person shooter and horror video game developed by Ukrainian studio 4A Games and published by Deep Silver for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. It was released in May 2013. The game is set in a post-apocalyptic world and features a mixture of action-oriented and stealth gameplay. Metro: Last Light features technology which boasts new lighting effects and improved physics claimed to set a new graphical benchmark on the PC and consoles.
In Tomb Raider, the player is confronted with a much younger Lara Croft who is shipwrecked and finds herself stranded on a mysterious island rife with danger, both natural and human. Tomb Raider is a demanding game offering up ultra quality textures, full DirectX 11 support, SSAA, FXAA, MSAA and AMD TressFX technology.
CPU Performance – Cinebench and SuperPi
Cinebench R11.5 and R15
Cinebench is a widely respected benchmark for testing the performance of x86 CPUs. The program allows you to test single and multi-threaded performance as well as GPU performance by rendering with Open GL. Download here.
Super PI is a single threaded benchmark that calculates pi to a specific number of digits. Super PI is a single threaded benchmark ideal for testing pure, single threaded x87 floating point performance and while most of the computing market has shifted towards multithreaded applications and more modern instruction sets, Super PI still remains quite indicative of CPU capability in specific applications such as computer gaming. Download here.
AIDA64 Engineer is a streamlined Windows diagnostic and benchmarking software for engineers. It has unique capabilities to assess the performance of the processor, system memory, and disk drives. AIDA64 is compatible with all current 32-bit and 64-bit Microsoft Windows operating systems, including Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012. Memory and cache benchmarks are available to analyze system RAM bandwidth and latency. Download here.
SSD, HDD and USB 3.0 Performance
AIDA64 Engineer is a streamlined Windows diagnostic and benchmarking software for engineers. It has unique capabilities to assess the performance of the processor, system memory, and disk drives. AIDA64 Disk Benchmark determines the data transfer speed of hard disk drives, solid-state drives, optical drives, and flash memory based devices. Download here.
CrystalDiskMark is a portable storage drive benchmark utility that enables you to measure sequential and random read/write speeds on different block size data. CrystalDiskMark will work with any storage drives including hard drives, SSDs and USB flash drives. Download here.
Passmark Performance Test 8.0
The PassMark Advanced Network Test (which is part of PerformanceTest) is designed to test the data transfer rate between two computers both of which must be running PerformanceTest. One of the computers must act as the server and will sit waiting for a connection. The other computer acts as a client. It connects to the server machine and sends data to it for the duration of the test. You can download a trial version of PerformanceTest fromhere.
For this test we use the ASUS RT-AC68U wireless AC gigabit router and pump data from the test system or notebook through the ASUS router into our Intel Gigabit enabled test system. We connect to the ASUS router with a Cat6 cable when testing ethernet and wirelessly when testing WiFi performance.
Noise, Power Consumption and Temperatures
The amount of noise produced by any computer is a vital consideration for most buyers, even gamers don’t really want a noisy PC because less noise is always better. We use an acoustic dBA meter held 2 feet behind our test system at idle and under load to get the idle and load noise levels for the system. For idle we allow the system to sit at the Windows desktop, for load we let Unigine Heaven 4.0 and Prime95 to loop together – we take the acoustic measurements 5 minutes into both of these scenarios.
To test power consumption we measure the total system power draw during idle and load scenarios. For idle we allow the system to sit at the Windows desktop, for load we let Unigine Heaven 4.0 and Prime95 to loop together – we take the power measurements from the “Killawatt” AC power meter 5 minutes into both of these scenarios at the same point.
To test thermal performance we measure average CPU and GPU core temperatures during idle and load scenarios. For idle we allow the system to sit at the Windows desktop, for load we let Unigine Heaven 4.0 and Prime95 to loop together – we take the temperature measurements from within CPUID HWMonitor 5 minutes into both of these scenarios at the same point. For load we take the average of the maximum temperatures, for idle we take the average of the minimum temperatures.
Powermark is designed for professional testing labs. More than 500 leading hardware review sites use Powermark to measure battery life. Powermark delivers accurate results from realistic productivity and entertainment scenarios yet is easy to install and simple to use. Custom settings and command line options are included should you need them. Find out more here.
For a penny under £2000 at Overclockers UK you certainly do get a lot of hardware for your money, especially when compared against the likes of Alienware. The G751JY offers a viable option for those seeking the most powerful components on the market in a price range that sits under the “elite laptop” 2k price bracket.
For those who would like this calibre of hardware but could live with slightly lower specs, the Asus G751JY-DH71 offers an Intel Core i7-4710HQ 2.5GHz, 24GB RAM, GTX 980, 1TB HDD + 256GB SSD for £1599.99. This still offers a huge spec and perhaps even better value for money than our review version, depending on whether you think the extra 8GB stick of ram and the PCIE SSD upgrade is worth the extra £300. One thing is for sure, for an investment such as this, spending the extra £65 for a warranty extension to 3 years is a no brainer for peace of mind if you are planning on keeping your G751 for a long period of time regardless of which model you decide on.
The G751JY is like a sequel to an action movie promising to bigger, badder and better than its predecessor though not without its own flaws. In this case the aim of providing the user with a portable powerhouse designed solely with gaming in mind means that the odd questionable design choice such as the ROG numlock key, and Stream key placement have made it to the final product, and although this may be helpful for gamers they will serve almost no use and perhaps a minor irritation in everyday use when not being used for gaming purposes.
In terms of bundled software with the exception of Office and Antivirus trials, there isn’t actually a huge amount of software that would instantly jump out at me as needing instantly removed or performance hindering bloatware. There are some default windows 8 apps preinstalled which can be removed in seconds and a few offerings from Asus (such as Asus Webstorage) which can easily be removed, but aren’t really intrusive. Speaking of offerings from Asus, the rather excellent Asus Turbomaster squeezes an extra 5% overclock out the GTX 980, while the advanced cooling solution makes this un-noticeable to the end-user in terms of thermals.
With regards to build quality the G751 feels solid and reliable, with the only suspect area of the chassis being a slight give in the keyboard when heavily pressed, though under normal use this is not an issue. The backlit keys can be set to time-out, fading off after a set time period. This can be handy for when watching TV shows or movies and saves you having to manually turn the keyboard lights off. Acoustically speaking the sound quality is crisp and powerful thanks to the woofer; though it is not ground-breaking. There have been complaints of a sound imbalance on the ROG forums apparently due to speaker placement, though I personally did not experience this with my sample.
This is a laptop that can be strongly recommended for anyone looking for nothing short of a mobile gaming workhorse. The FHD IPS screen is crisp and vibrant and ticks all of the boxes for a good gaming panel, and can be further customised using the bundled “Splendid Technology” tool to manage colour profiles. The custom cooling solution means that you can game for literally hours on end without worrying about overheating or it becoming uncomfortable on your lap due to heat. Indeed, you will sooner feel the weight of the laptop on your legs becoming apparent than you would your legs getting boiled; which is so common amongst gaming laptops. Asus have been unashamedly bullish here, seemingly ignoring factors such as weight and battery capacity and instead relying on the act of gaming to sell itself. The result is an incredible gaming experience even at the highest graphical settings, though even with Nvidia Battery Boost enabled be sure not to stray too far from an outlet.
- 5% Overclock on already extremely fast GTX 980
- 2. PCIE HDD is blisteringly fast
- “User Service Bay” for upgrading parts without affecting warranty
- Aggressive aesthetic design, improved on previous generations
- Competitive pricing for top end hardware
- Support for 3 screens via Displayport 1.2 and HDMI 1.4 together.
- Macro keys come in handy
- Very good cooling, even when gaming for prolonged periods
- Battery is non-removable (not accessible via the “User Service Bay”)
- Livestream and Steam keys are in a silly place, easy to press them instead of Esc meaning you occasionally get alt-tabbed out of game until you get used to it.
- Poor battery life due to 6000mAh battery.
- Very heavy
- Only 2 of 4 RAM slots are accessible for upgrades
- Lighting could easily have been RGB instead of just red
- No optional extras (Headset / Mouse / Backpack)
“The ASUS G751JY could be named as one of the most powerful single GPU gaming notebooks on the market, and should be carefully considered by those seeking a portable powerhouse for their gaming needs.”