Asus G74SX-A2 - Core i7-2630QM 2GHz - 17.3-inch TFT review: Asus G74SX-A2 - Core i7-2630QM 2GHz - 17.3-inch TFT

Big gaming laptops are, if not rare, then at least not terribly common these days. Most of the 2011 models use one of Intel's quad-core Core i7 CPUs--in this case it's the 2GHz Core i7-2630QM. More than enough for gaming, HD video, multitasking, or whatever else you want to throw at it, this is undoubtedly more laptop power than most people will need.

The system performed very well in our benchmark tests, falling behind an overclocked (and much more expensive) Origin system, and landing in the same ballpark as other 2011 quad-core gaming laptops from Toshiba and Dell.

The Nvidia GeForce 560M GPU is part of the top tier of that company's current line of mobile parts, but the newer 570 and 580 GPUs are more powerful. In our very challenging Metro 2033 test, at full 1,920x1,080-pixel resolution, the game ran at 20.3 frames per second. Street Fighter IV, a more mainstream test, ran at 59.7fps. Anecdotally, playing Skyrim at the same resolution, with all graphics settings at either high or ultra, the game was usually smooth and playable (and obviously looked a lot better than the console version).

Juice box
Asus G74SX-A2 Avg watts/hour
Off (60%) 0.86
Sleep (10%) 2
Idle (25%) 23.54
Load (05%) 69.82
Raw kWh number 128.95
Annual power consumption cost $14.64

Annual power consumption cost
Dell XPS 17 3D
$9.50 
Asus G74SX-A2
$14.64 
Origin EON17-S
$18.08 

A big desktop replacement laptop isn't designed to spend a lot of time on the road, so it would be unfair to judge its battery life too harshly. That said, the G74SX did reasonably well in our video playback battery drain test, lasting 2 hours and 27 minutes. The Origin EON17 ran for 2 hours, 19 minutes in the same test, while the Dell XPS 17 3D ran for 3 hours and 6 minutes.

Asus gives its higher-end systems better-than-average coverage: a two-year parts-and-labor warranty that includes one year of Asus' accidental damage coverage, which protects you against damage from fire, electrical surges, drops, and spills. You'll find the typical online help--FAQ and troubleshooting pages, driver downloads, and user forums--on the Asus support Web site, but it's not nearly as easy to navigate and search as the support sites of more mainstream PC makers.

The $2,000 configuration of the Asus G74SX feels a bit too expensive to us, but the less-pricey $1,500 version could be a solid gaming choice, especially as Asus has a good rep for gaming laptops. True high-end gamers will want something a bit more boutique, and showoffs may gravitate toward Alienware's glowing alien-head logos and blinking lights.

Multimedia multitasking test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Adobe Photoshop CS3 image-processing test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Apple iTunes encoding test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Metro 2033 (in fps)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
1,366x768, High, DX11, AAA, 4X AF  
1,920x1,080, High, DX11, 4X AA, 16X AF  
Origin EON17-S
49 
39 
Asus G74SX-A2
24.7 
20.3 

Video playback battery drain test (in minutes)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Find out more about how we test laptops.

System configurations:

Asus G74SX-A2
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) w/ SP1; 2GHz Intel Core i7-2630QM; 16GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 3GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 560M; HDD No. 1: 160GB Intel SSD + HDD No. 2: 750GB Seagate 7,200rpm

Origin EON17-S
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) w/ SP1; 2.5GHz Intel Core i7-2920XM; 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,600MHz; 2GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 580M; HDD No. 1: 500GB Seagate 7,200rpm + HDD No. 2: C300-CTFDDAC128MAG 128GB SSD

Acer Aspire Ethos 8951G-9600
Windows 7 Ultimate (64-bit); 2GHz Intel Core i7-2630QM; 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 1GB Nvidia GeForce 555M; 750GB Seagate 5,400rpm

Toshiba Qosmio X775-3DV78
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) w/ SP1; 2GHz Intel Core i7-2630QM; 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 1.5GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 560M; HDD No. 1: 500GB Seagate 7,200rpm + HDD No. 2: 750GB Toshiba 5,400rpm

Dell XPS 17 3D
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) w/ SP1; 2GHz Intel Core i7-2630QM; 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 3GB Nvidia GeForce GT 555M; 500GB Seagate 7,200rpm

What you'll pay

Pricing is currently unavailable.

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Where to Buy

Asus G74SX-A2 - Core i7-2630QM 2GHz - 17.3-inch TFT

Part Number: G74SX-A2

MSRP: $2,099.00

See manufacturer website for availability.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Resolution 1920 x 1080 ( Full HD )
  • Operating System Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Edition
  • Installed Size 16 GB
  • Color black
  • Weight 9.5 lbs
  • Optical Drive DVD-Writer / BD-ROM
  • Graphics Processor NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560M - 3 GB GDDR5 SDRAM
  • CPU Intel Core i7 (2nd Gen) 2630QM / 2 GHz
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