Review: The Asus G751JY-DB72 is one heck of a gaming laptop – ExtremeTech
We’ve already covered the Asus G751JY-DB72 laptop indirectly, when we reviewed mobile G-Sync and its impact on frame rates and visual quality earlier this fall. But after spending some time with this laptop, we wanted to do a more thorough review. The G751JY-DB72 isn’t perfect, and its base model has been on the market for well over a year, but don’t let that fool you — this system offers a better price/performance ratio than many more expensive systems that shipped in the past six months.
Specs and availability
Asus manufacturers a number of laptops under the G751JY brand, so there are some specific attributes to be aware of if you’re interested in buying one. The particular model we’ve tested has gotten a bit tough to find at retail, and the price can vary significantly depending on whether or not you want the 2014 model (which shipped with 16GB of RAM but without G-Sync support) or the updated 2015 version, which had G-Sync.
The specifications on the model we tested were:
- Intel Core i7-4720HQ CPU (2.6GHz base, 3.6GHz Turbo)
- 24GB of DDR3L RAM
- 128GB SSD w/1TB HDD for additional storage
- Nvidia GTX 980M (4GB of RAM)
- 17.3-inch, 1920×1080 display (G-Sync enabled)
The handful of DB72’s showing up for sale are priced around $2,000 for the G-Sync model and a 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD, which is still quite expensive. One alternative, based on the same form factor and chassis, is the G751JY-WH71. It’s identical to the DB72, but uses a DVD-ROM instead of Blu-ray, has “just” 16GB of RAM and a smaller 128GB SSD + 1TB HDD. The price, meanwhile, drops to $1,569.
If you want a powerhouse mobile gaming system, that $1,569 price tag for a GTX 980M and a G-Sync panel is very hard to beat. Even Asus’ refreshed G752 Series doesn’t come close. The G752VL-DH71 is a $1,499 system but only offers a GTX 965M, while the $2,000 G752VT-DH74 tops out with a GTX 970M. Both are capable GPUs, but neither is as nice as the GTX 980M.
The major difference between the two product families is that the older G751JY laptops are based on mobile Haswell, while the G752 series is based on Skylake. In this case, however, the differences are minuscule — the newer Skylake processor has a faster system bus, support for up to 64GB of RAM, and a 45W TDP instead of the 47W TDP on the older Haswell part. Skylake is slightly more efficient than Haswell, but the older CPU has a 3.6GHz maximum clock, 100MHz faster than its newer cousin.
If I had to pick which component I’d rather have to guarantee gaming performance and system longevity, it would be the GTX 980M over a Skylake CPU, hands down. The 17-inch 1920×1080 display has good viewing angles, contrast, and no ghosting issues.
For all that I like this system, it’s not a lightweight. It’s 12.5 inches long, 16.4 inches wide, and 1.7 inches tall when closed. It weighs a shade under 8.4 lbs, which puts it in “transportable” territory. You can carry it from Point A to B, but you’ll be getting an arm workout while you do.
Performance and throttling
We don’t do a lot of laptop reviews at ExtremeTech, which makes it difficult to publish much in the way of objective benchmarks. What I can do, however, is discuss whether or not the Asus G751JY family throttles — and I’d argue that in the long run, that’s the arguably more-important metric.
If you’ve ever looked at the specs on a high-end laptop and wondered how boutique manufacturers managed to stuff high-wattage CPUs and GPUs into chassis that are still a fraction the size of a modern desktop without running into thermal problems, the short answer is this: They don’t.
Throttling behavior varies between product generations, laptop designs, and system-level power consumption. There’s no “good” versus “bad” vendor list, and the same chassis may run perfectly with one set of components from Vendor A, but throttle badly with more powerful components with Vendor B. In my experience as a laptop reviewer, most vendors tolerate throttling in at least some workloads because they don’t want to lose sales to their competitors. Boutique customers, by their very nature, tend to demand top-end performance — if they don’t see the right components on the shelf, they’ll look for other companies that offer them. Whether those components actually perform at peak speed is a different question.
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