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ASUS G51Vx 15″ Gaming Notebook
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by Rob Williams on October 3, 2009 in Mobile

To purchase a quality gaming notebook just a few years ago would have set you back at least $2,000. The situation is far better today, and it’s proven with ASUS’ G51Vx, coming in at $999. It comes complete with NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 260M graphics card, a great feature-set and plays most of today’s games at max detail settings with ease.

Performance, Gaming

Before we tackle the results, let’s quickly review our basic notebook testing methodology. The first step in preparing the notebook is to completely wipe the factory OS and install our own (Vista Home Premium 64-bit). This is to prevent pre-installed applications from skewing our performance results. We then use the included DVD-ROM to install all of the necessary drivers. Also, Windows Search Indexing and a few other Windows services are manually disabled, to further help with producing accurate and repeatable results.

Once the machine is prepared for benchmarking, it’s shut down and set on a flat surface with plenty of room for airflow until it’s completely cooled down. Once benchmarking gets underway, the machine is boot and left to sit idle at the Windows desktop for five minutes, at which point testing begins. Each test is run through twice, with a reboot taking place in between each run.

To test notebooks out through some common usage scenarios, we use PCMark Vantage to do a full run through our machine to see where it excels, and also a couple of real-world applications, such as Adobe Lightroom, TMPGEnc Xpress, dBpoweramp and 3ds Max 2009. Each benchmark we use is run twice over (with a reboot in between) to assure that what we saw the first time is accurate. Our temperature tests are captured with the help of a temperature gun.

Test
ASUS N50Vn
ASUS W90
ASUS G51Vx
PCMark Vantage
PCMark
Memories
TV and Movies
Gaming
Music
Communication
Productivity
Hard Drive

3772
2583
2704
3260
3618
3470
3396
3018

4647
3884
3886
4067
4275
3844
4172
4088

3686
2903
2673
3762
3087
3663
3812
4019
HD Tune Pro 3.5
Minimum
Average
Maximum
Burst
CPU Usage
29.0 MB/
49.2 MB/s
63.7 MB/s
98.3 MB/s
1.3%
42.5 MB/s
65.7 MB/s
82.0 MB/s
72.2 MB/s
1.4
%
42.6 MB/s
67.5 MB/s
84.9 MB/s
72.3 MB/s
2.7
%
Adobe Lightroom 2
100 10MP RAW to JPEG
238.664 s 211.57 s 290.43 s
TMPGEnc Xpress 4.6
720p Recode
407 s 385 s 525 s
dBpoweramp
Convert 100 FLAC to MP3
597 s 354 s 674 s
3DS Max 2009
Dog Render
389 s 420 s 478 s
Sandra 2009
Bandwidth Int
Bandwidth Float
Memory Latency
5478 MB/s
5472 MB/s
106 ns
4657 MB/s
4652 MB/s
106 ns
5309 MB/s
5309 MB/s
108 ns
Temperatures
Main Exhaust Before Boot
Main Exhaust 5 Minutes Idle
Main Exhaust 30 Minutes Stress
30 Minutes Touchpad Center
30 Minutes Center of Keyboard
Bottom of LCD
22.2 °C (72.0 °F)
26.3 °C (79.3 °F)
38.8 °C (101.8 °F)
29.7 °C (85.5 °F)
28.7 °C (83.7 °F)
31.9 °C (89.4 °F)
24.9 °C (76.8 °F)
30.1 °C (86.2 °F)
67.3 °C (153.14 °F)
30.9 °C (87.6 °F)
36.4 °C (97.5 °F)
42.2 °C (108.0 °F)
26.4 °C (79.5 °F)
34.1 °C (93.4 °F)
40.6 °C (105.1 °F)
27.3 °C (81.1 °F)
30.3 °C (86.5 °F)
26.3 °C (79.34 °F)

Compared to a few ASUS notebooks we’ve reviewed in the past few months, the G51Vx offers ample performance overall. The N50Vn offers a CPU about 20% faster, while the W90 is a quad-core, so it will beat out any other notebook we’ve ever tested (we hope to review more quad-core notebooks in the near-future). From a temperatures perspective, the G51Vx by no means got too hot after a long period of time, even when stressing the CPU. Note that these temperatures don’t include stressing of the GPU as I wanted the results to be comparable. Adding a GPU stress will increase the exhaust temperature to about 45°C.

Gaming Performance

Of course, the moment you’ve been waiting for. Below are screenshots from various games we loaded up on the notebook, with the basic setting configuration listed below each one. Rather than deliver Min/Avg/Max FPS reports, for our notebook reviews we instead just take a screenshot of the game with FRAPS, and you can see what our frames-per-second performance was at that exact moment during the gameplay.


Batman Arkham Asylum – 1366×768, Max Detail, 4xAA

Bionic Commando – 1366×768, Max Detail, 4xAA

Call of Duty: World at War – 1366×768, Max Detail, 4xAA

Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood – 1366×768, Max Detail, 4xAA

Crysis Warhead – 1366×768, Mainstream Detail, 0xAA

F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin – 1366×768, Max Detail, 4xAA

FUEL – 1366×768, Max Detail, 4xAA

GRID – 1366×768, Max Detail, 4xAA

GTA IV – 1366×768, Low Texture, Medium Other Details, 0xAA

Resident Evil 5 – 1280×720, Max Detail, 4xAA

For the most part, I was quite happy with the gaming performance that the GTX 260M delivered, and it was about on par with what I expected to see. The vast majority of today’s games will run at max detail settings just fine, and some can even use anti-aliasing. The exceptions are of course Crysis Warhead and GTA IV (which as far as games are concerned, is a total glutton for system resources). The former is actually rather worthless here… even at low detail settings, it’s too sluggish.

Page List:
Top

1. Introduction
2. Specifications, Software
3. Performance, Gaming
4. Final Thoughts