The ASUS ROG G501 is a super slim gaming laptop from ASUS that’s only 20.6 mm thin and tips the scales at only 2.06 kg, excellent design choices for a portable gaming option. Weighing about as much as a standard business laptop, the sleek black exterior belies the gaming capabilities this machine packs.
Processor – Intel® Core™ i7 4720HQ Processor
Operating System – Windows 10
Chipset – Intel® HM87 Express Chipset
Memory – 16GB DDR3L 1600 MHz SDRAM, (Single socket for expansion)
Display – 15.6″ 16:9 IPS UHD (3840 x 2160)
Graphic – NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 960M with 4G GDDR5 VRAM
Storage – PCIE x 4 512G
Card Reader 2 -in-1 card reader ( SD/ SDXC)
Looking at the specs, a processor refresh might be in order as the i7 4720HQ is a Haswell 4th Gen processor, as compared to current market Broadwell and Skylake processors availability. Nonetheless, performance across Intel last couple of generations is marginal. Similar to the last ASUS gaming laptop I reviewed, running on batteries will greatly impact performance. 3DMark CPU and GPU scores at least half as compared to whether on wall plug.
The 16GB of RAM and PCIEx SSD means I/O and memory performance is robust. Games load quickly on this machine. The one area lacking is the usage of the Nvidia GTX 960M and pairing it with the 4K display.
The 4K IPS 15.6″ display is gorgeous, which is both a boon and bane unfortunately. While sharp and offering vivid colours and generous viewing angles, the requirement to churn out 4K pixels per frame requires intense graphical power, which unfortunately, the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M mobile GPU isn’t powerful enough to cope.
I tried dropping the resolution to 1920 x 1080 and performance improved. However, the challenge is that scaling seems problematic on Windows 10 and some games switched to a windowed mode, which isn’t a great way to play.
But there are still positive points. It is now discounted to around the ~2K region, and it is still a great performing laptop with solid all round performance. The chassis design is sleek and simple, and not as loud as other gaming laptops, which allows it to be more versatile in use. Overall, battery life is decent (as far as gaming laptops go) and I felt that fan noise and thermal performance was also pretty good.