HWM (Malaysia) - - TEST - By John Law

Gam­ing note­books are a touchy sub­ject that many man­u­fac­tur­ers have strug­gled to get right. While the con­cept of hav­ing a portable pow­er­house is dar­ling, find­ing a bal­ance for all as­pects of the de­vice is a tricky busi­ness. So far, we've man­aged to boil down th­ese de­vices into two cat­e­gories: Com­pact but game ready, and clunky but pow­er­ful. ASUS's ROG G501J falls into the former cat­e­gory.

If we're to be hon­est, when­ever we hear about ASUS's ROG (Re­pub­lic of Gamers) note­books, our first thought of their de­vices would be that they fall into the clunky and pow­er­ful cat­e­gory. There are some dis­crep­an­cies that we need to point out. Firstly, the ROG G501J was ac­tu­ally re­leased months be­fore the avail­abil­ity of In­tel's new ‘Sky­lake' pro­ces­sors. With that said, this gam­ing note­book is pack­ing an In­tel Core i7-4720HQ CPU, so it's by no means a slouch either. Pro­ces­sor aside, we're ac­tu­ally glad that ASUS made the de­ci­sion to fit this gam­ing note­book with a GeForce GTX 960M dis­crete graph­ics from NVIDIA.

If there's one thing that we be­lieve stands out on this gam­ing note­book, it's the 4K Matte IPS panel that's at­tached to it, and not ex­actly in a good way. It's one thing to ac­tu­ally be play­ing your games in Ul­tra HD res­o­lu­tion on a note­book, but it's a com­pletely dif­fer­ent story if you're try­ing to game on a sin­gle dis­crete GPU that's more suited for MOBA and other games ti­tles that aren't as graph­i­cally de­mand­ing.

That brings us to per­for­mance. The ROG G501J per­formed as we ex­pected on our 3DMark bench­mark, and gave us some hit-or-miss sce­nar­ios with some of our game ti­tles. On 3DMark, the ROG G501J scored 1,001 on Fire Strike Ul­tra, 1,968 on Fire Strike Ex­treme, and 3,896 on the ba­sic Fire Strike. On Unig­ine Heaven, we could see that the sys­tem was strug­gling even try­ing to main­tain an av­er­age fram­er­ate of even 10 fps on 4K res­o­lu­tion, but once we brought it down to Full HD, it showed a marked im­prove­ment in its fram­er­ates.

The same story can be told for our real-world bench­marks. We used MGS V: The Phan­tom Pain, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and Hit­man: Ab­so­lu­tion, and set them to the sec­ond high­est graph­ics set­tings that each game would al­low.

On The Phan­tom Pain and Wild Hunt, both games strug­gled to run at fram­er­ates above the 10 fps mark on 4K, but once we brought down the res­o­lu­tion to Full HD, we were see­ing av­er­age fram­er­ates around at least 30 fps for both ti­tles. Sur­pris­ingly, Hit­man: Ab­so­lu­tion was able to run at an av­er­age frame rate of 32 fps on 4K res­o­lu­tion, and we didn't even have to lower the screen res­o­lu­tion down to Full HD.



While it does play games in 4K res­o­lu­tions, you’re not go­ing to get high fram­er­ates with graph­i­cally-de­mand­ing ti­tles.


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