But in game performance, the Asus G751 turned in ever-so-slightly higher frame rates, helped perhaps by having additional system RAM (24GB vs. 16GB). In the challenging Metro: Last Light test, at high settings and 1,920x1,080 resolution, the Asus ran at 46.7 frames per second while the Origin PC with the 980M card ran at 43.8fps. A similar system with last year's 880M card ran at only 27.4fps. BioShock Infinite showed us a similar spread in performance.
More interesting are the scores when plugging the system into an external 4K monitor. Our 28-inch Monoprice display allowed us to run various gaming benchmarks at 3,840x2,160 resolution, and the results were especially impressive when you consider a laptop with a mobile GPU is driving them. Running modern games at high detail settings at 4K resolution isn't really going to fly, but BioShock Infinite ran at 4K at medium settings at 47.9 frames per second, making it more than playable (at 1,920x1,080 with the same medium settings, it ran at 167fps). Thief, another recent game that's a little more challenging to run hit 29.8fps at medium settings and 4K resolution, jumping to 59.9fps when running the same settings at 1080p.
Just make sure that when you're jumping between game settings and resolutions to find the optimal experience, you keep everything plugged in. Do we really need to repeat the mantra that long battery life and gaming laptops do not go hand-in-hand? Even doing something simple, such as playing a high-definition video file in our video-playback battery-drain test, the G751 ran for only 3:14, and much less when playing games at high detail settings and resolutions. Nvidia is promoting the idea of tuning game performance for better battery life (by capping the frame rate and detail settings) through its GeForce Experience software app, and we're currently testing that.
The game performance from the Asus G751 should please anyone who wants a premium gaming experience without trading up to a massive desktop tower. Especially playing at 1080p resolution, this system, or really any laptop with a current-gen GPU, is going to outperform the big living-room game consoles from Microsoft and Sony by a large margin. Of course, this particular laptop costs more than buying 10 Xbox Ones.
We've tested Nvidia 980M laptops that cost more, but so far none that cost less. It's not a particularly portable PC, nor one that's especially well-suited for office work or other nongaming tasks, but if high-end PC gaming is your primary goal, this Asus is one of the first to handle 4K resolutions.
Origin Eon17-S (GeForce 980M)
Windows 8.1 (64.bit); 3.1GHz Intel Core i7-4940MX; 16GB DDR3 SDRAM 1600MHz; 8192MB Nvidia GeForce GTX 980M; RAID 0 (2) 120GB SSD, 1TB 5,400rpm HDD
Lenovo Y50 Touch
Windows 8.1 (64-bit); 2.4GHz Intel Core i7 4700HQ; 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 1600MHz; 4GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 860; 1TB + 8GB SSHD
Origin Eon17-S (GeForce 880M)
Windows 8.1 (64.bit); 3.1GHz Intel Core i7-4940MX; 16GB DDR3 SDRAM 1600MHz; 8192MB Nvidia GeForce GTX 880M; RAID 0 (2) 120GB SSD, 750GB 7,200rpm HDD
Windows 8.1 (64.bit); 2.5GHz Intel Core i7-4710HQ; 24GB DDR3 SDRAM 1600MHz; 4GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 980M; 256GB SSD, 1TB 7,200rpm HDD
Razer Blade Pro
Windows 8.1 (64.bit); 2.4GHz Intel Core i7-4700HQ; 16GB DDR3 SDRAM 1600MHz; 4GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 860M; 256GB SSD
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