Asus' G51J: Affordable Core i7 Mobile Gaming?

Test Settings

In order to gauge the CPU performance improvements of Intel's Core i7 mobile technology, we compared Asus’ G51J to MSI’s similarly-priced, Core 2 Quad-based GT725-212US. To gauge the limits of Core i7 mobile technology, we also compared Eurocom’s ultra-expensive, desktop CPU-based D900F Panther.

Graphics Notebook Performance Details
ModelAsus G51JEurocom D900F PantherMSI GT725-212US
CPUIntel Core i7-720QM
1.60 GHz-2.80 GHz, Quad Cores
DMI 2.5GT/s, 6.0MB L3 Cache
Intel Core i7 Extreme 965
3.20 GHz-3.46 GHz, Quad Cores
QPI 6.4GT/s, 8.0MB L3 Cache
Intel Core 2 Quad Q9000
2.00 GHz, Quad Cores
FSB-1066, 6.0MB L2 Cache
ChipsetIntel PM55 Express PCHIntel X58/ICH10RIntel PM45/ICH9M
RAM4.0GB DDR3-1066 CAS 76.0GB DDR3-1066 CAS 74.0GB DDR2-800 CAS 6
GraphicsNvidia GeForce GTX 260M 1.0GB
500 MHz GPU, GDDR3-1800
Nvidia GeForce GTX 280M 1.0GB
580 MHz GPU, GDDR3-1900
ATI Radeon HD 4850 512MB
500 MHz GPU, GDDR3-1700
HDDSeagate ST9320423AS (non-RAID)
320GB, 7,200 RPM, 16MB Cache
2x Seagate ST9500420AS RAID 0
500GB, 7,200 RPM, 16MB Cache
WD Scorpio Black WD3200BEKT
32GB, 7,200 RPM, 16MB Cache
SoundIntegrated HD AudioIntegrated HD AudioIntegrated HD Audio
Wired LANIntegrated Gigabit LANIntegrated Gigabit LANIntegrated Gigabit LAN
Wireless LANIntel WiFi Link 1000 802.11nIntel WiFi Link 5300 802.11nAtheros AR928X 802.11n
OpticalH-L Data GT30N DVD-RAM
8x DVD±R, 6x DVD±RW, 5x DVD-RAM
Panasonic UJ-130 BD-ROM DVD±RW
2x BD-ROM, 8x DVD±R, 4x DVD±RW
Optiarc BC-5500S BD-ROM DVD±RW
2x BD-ROM, 8x DVD±R, 4x DVD±RW

Encouraged by performance parity in our Benchmarking/OS Comparison and discouraged that Asus’ drivers will only execute under the latest Windows version, we compared all systems with as-delivered software.

Benchmark Configuration
3D Games
CrysisPatch 1.2.1, DirectX 10, 64-bit executable, benchmark tool
Test Set 1: High Quality, No AA
Test Set 2: Very High Quality, No AA
Far Cry 2DirectX 10, in-game benchmark
Test Set 1: Very High Quality, No AA
Test Set 2: Ultra High Quality, 4x AA
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Clear SkyAverage of 4 segments "A-Tested Object"
Test Set 1: High Preset, DirectX 10, EFDL, no MSAA
Test Set 2: High Preset, DirectX 10, EFDL, 4xMSAA
World In ConflictPatch 1009, DirectX 10, timedemo
Test 1: Very High Details, No AA / No AF
Test 2: Very High Details 4x AA / 16x AF
Audio/Video Encoding
iTunes 8Version: (x64)
Audio CD ("Terminator II" SE), 53 min. to default format AAC
Lame MP3Version: 3.98 64-bit (07-04-2008)
Audio CD "Terminator 2" SE, 53 min. .wav to MP3
TMPG 4.6Version:
"Terminator 2" SE DVD (5 Minutes) at 720x576 (PAL) 16:9
DivX 6.8.5Insane Quality, Enhanced multithreading, SSE4, Quarter-pixel search
Xvid 1.2.1Display encoding status = off
MainConcept Reference 1.6.1MPEG2 to MPEG2 (H.264), MainConcept H.264/AVC Codec, 28 sec HDTV 1920x1080 (MPEG2), Audio: MPEG2 (44.1 kHz, 2 Channel, 16-Bit, 224Kb/s), Mode: PAL (25 FPS)
Autodesk 3ds Max 2009Version: 11.0, Rendering Dragon Image at 1920x1080 (HDTV)
Grisoft AVG Anti-Virus 8.5Version: 8.5.287, Virus database 2094, Benchmark: Scan 334MB Folder of ZIP/RAR compressed files
WinRAR 3.90 x64Version 3.90 beta 2, WinZIP Command line Version 3.0, Compression = Best, Dictionary = 4,096 KB, Benchmark: THG-Workload (334 MB)
WinZip 12Version 12.0, Compression = Best, Benchmark: THG-Workload (139MB)
3DMark VantageVersion: 1.0.1, 3DMark score
PCMark VantageVersion: 1.00, System, Memory, Hard Disk Drive benchmarks, Windows Media Player
SiSoftware Sandra 2009 SP3Version 2009.4.15.92, CPU Test = CPU Arithmetic / Multimedia, Memory Test = Bandwidth Benchmark
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  • vulmer
    Can't wait to see what Asus comes up with next!
  • liquidsnake718
    Wow, Asus seems to be churrning out good gaming laptops... Not bad for the price of $1500. The other i7 msi gaming laptop seemed like a good price but with mobile nvidia 280m is too costly and the gtx260m isnt all that bad i guess but at$1600plus.... the 4850m Ati gpu is supposed to be closer to its actual full pc part thus making it a sure bet for gpu power on a small laptop.... Interesting stuff we are seeing... Now we can wait 6more months for larrabee to come out for the laptop mobile market....
  • lashabane
    We almost got there in 2004 with ATI's Radeon 9600 XT-based Mobility Radeon 9700.

    Was it only that long ago? It feels like forever.
  • danwat1234
    "With a single intake vent, G51J users should pay special attention to leg position when using the unit as a laptop."

    That circular 'vent' does not go through. It is not used for cooling, it is only aesthetic.

    The intake vents are those slits around the RAM , the 2 hard drives bays and around the video card. Thus leg position is NOT important. The cooling system is very good.
  • danwat1234
    Does this laptop not support RAID like it's predecessors?
  • scook9
    the cooling is NOT good, and these are known for running VERY hot

    That said, the Asus G51 series is by far the most common gaming oriented laptop as its performance is stellar for the price

    A better cooled system would be the Alienware M15x or the Clevo W860CU (both also 15"). Clevo also offers a comparable 17", the W870CU

    Good cooling means that each heat producing thing has its own fan and set of fins/heatpipes (which takes a larger notebook)
  • El_Capitan - Clevo D900F = $1759
    Microcenter i7 920 = $200
    250GB 7200 RPM = $65

    Total = $2024
  • danwat1234
    scook9Good cooling means that each heat producing thing has its own fan and set of fins/heatpipes (which takes a larger notebook)

    So, then does this notebook have good cooling for it's size? It is having to dissipate quite a bit of power when both the CPU (45 watts TDP) and GPU (75 watts) have their pipelines full. Yes it can run hot internally, but the underside of the case stays out of roasting-balls and/or pubic hair range because the motherboard is screwed into the laptop from the underside of the keyboard instead being attached to the bottom of the case.

    I do agree that a second fan would be an awesome improvement, or have the one replaced with one that can move more air.

    I would venture that few laptops can dissipate that much heat as well as this one of this size. One that may have better cooling would be the HP envy 15, and some of the exotic laptops.. imo
  • danwat1234
    Hey everyone! Look at the first picture on page 3. Do you see the battery slider to the right of the battery? When that slider is open (so battery in unlocked from that end), it uncovers red plastic, as shown in that pic.

    This slider I suspect is NOT spring loaded but the left slider IS.
    I have the G50VT (predecessor), and this is the case with mine and often the battery has been dislodged in my computer case as I walk from class to class, cutting power to the RAM when in sleep mode.. I ended up taping my battery in with scotch tape! Worked like a charm.
    I venture the guess that this issue has not been fixed.
  • tortnotes
    danwat1234, that's not a design defect, it's a feature. If both switches were spring loaded it'd be a lot harder to remove the battery.
    My HP laptop is built the same way, and it hasn't caused any major problems... just be careful how you carry it!
  • Anonymous
    @danwat1234 if both latches were spring-loaded, you'd need three hands to remove the battery!

    That said, those latches do look pretty weak, so you do have a point.

    Scotch-taping the battery down the way you did is also overkill - taping the latches into their locked positions would have sufficed.
  • Crashman
    OK guys, here's the deal:

    1.) The "Fake" intake is the real main intake. If it's blocked, there's enough space between the fan and the hole to draw air from other places such as the slits over the RAM.
    2.) The bottom doesn't get hot, but you can almost roast vienna sausages from the side outlet.
    3.) In the photo, the battery is unclipped on one side. It is a design feature to make battery removal easier. It did not affect testing.
  • micky_lund
    the real thing is desktops are still better for gaming...who agrees with the article and me there?
  • coolkev99
    Anyone know if this thing is much faster for games than the Asus G51Vx-X3A?? Seems like the X3A is a better deal at $1300.
  • Intel_Hydralisk
    danwat1234"With a single intake vent, G51J users should pay special attention to leg position when using the unit as a laptop." WRONG!!!That circular 'vent' does not go through. It is not used for cooling, it is only aesthetic. The intake vents are those slits around the RAM , the 2 hard drives bays and around the video card. Thus leg position is NOT important. The cooling system is very good.

    I will back up this post as well. I have an Asus laptop with the same cooler design. If you actually take it apart, you're realize that the giant circular 'intake' at the bottom doesn't actually go through anything. I'll admit, it's a little misleading when your laptop has a giant circular grill looking thing at the bottom lined with mesh and it ends up pretty much doing nothing.
  • falchard
    Lets see where the FAIL happens in this laptop:
    Nvidia GeForce GTX 260M 1.0GB
    Six-cell 11.1V 4800mAh
    15.6" LED Backlit 1080p (1920x1080)

    For $1500, you might as well spend the $100 for the MSI model. However, MSI, ASUS, and Eurocom represent some of the best companies in laptops. Its league all its own.
  • one-shot
    I can't see any reason to not buy the MSI over the ASUS laptop. My reasons are also the same as the above post. For a little more money, you get a larger screen and more powerful GPU. Sure, then ASUS has a better CPU, but GPU is more important in this case.
  • Computer_Lots
    Wouldn't it make more sense to test game performance at each laptop's native screen res? That's how the games would look best and how most of us would set them up anyway so it seems it would be a more realistic comparison.
    The Asus would be 1920x1080.
    The Eurocom would be 1900x1200.
    The MSI would be 1680x1050.
  • eagle07
    so why is the HP envy not on this list... corei7 ati 4830...