Performance and Benchmarks
The ASUS G73JW-A1 comes equipped with an Intel Core i7 processor, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460M graphics, 8GB of system memory, and two 500GB 7200RPM hard drives. From the start this system has the cards stacked in its favor when it comes to gaming and overall system performance. In our tests the notebook could handle everything we could throw at it.
As a multimedia rig the ASUS G73JW had no trouble at all playing 720P and 1080P videos. In fact you could play two or three HD movies simultaneously if you could find space to show them on multiple video outputs. Streaming HD Flash from sites such as YouTube barely made the system break a sweat. If you plan on only using this system to watch movies-the screen is really nice, but come on-the only word that comes to mind is overkill.
System benchmarks showed very good performance, coming in very close to what the previous ATI 5870 equipped G73JH produced. Both video cards gave similar performance levels in synthetic benchmarks, but the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460M seemed to fall behind slightly in our Left 4 Dead 2 tests. In the previous review we measured an average framerate of 117FPS at 1920×1080 resolution with the detail settings high, but with the GTX 460M it only managed 87FPS average. That is still a good number but it is a significant drop compared to the previous configuration of the ASUS G73 series. The G73JW also came up short in PCMark05, which is very strange considering this configuration has a slightly faster processor.
Wprime processor comparison results (lower scores mean better performance):
PCMark05 measures overall system performance (higher scores mean better performance):
PCMark Vantage measures overall system performance (higher scores mean better performance):
3DMark06 measures overall graphics performance for gaming (higher scores mean better performance):
Heat and Noise
One of the key features of the ASUS G73-series gaming notebook is its impressive cooling system. As we mentioned in the design section, the cooling exhausts dominate the back of the notebook, with two huge vents exiting left and right. In our tests we found this cooling system to work extremely well even under continuous stress. With both the CPU and GPU under stress all touch areas of the G73JW stayed reasonable cool, with a peak of 95F. We did measure a hotspot of 108F, but it was right on the upper edge near one of the exhaust vents. It was located on a slant and up and away from where it would be if it was resting on your lap.
During this period under stress, the system fans moved a great deal of air without creating a ton of noise. We measured the fan noise level to be 47dB at a distance of 12-inches. Under a full GPU and CPU load with Rthdribl and wPrime running for 10 minutes the CPU stabilized at 70C and the GPU stayed at 66C. Once the loads were removed the CPU cooled down to 42C and the GPU dropped to 43C.
When it comes to battery life, gaming notebooks are never known to give earth shattering results. Big screens, combined with a highend CPU and GPU means short battery life even with a high capacity battery. It is nice to say were were pleasantly surprised by the new ASUS G73JW in our battery tests though. With the screen brightness reduced to 70%, wireless active and refreshing a webpage every 60 seconds, and Windows 7 on a balanced profile we squeezed out 2 hours and 48 minutes before the system went into hibernation.
The ASUS G73JW is a formidable gaming system powered by the new NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460M graphics card. Gamers looking for high performance, good build quality, and excellent comfort will enjoy the G73-series notebook. The design takes a bit to get used to, but it really helps with keeping internal and external components cool under stress. Build quality was very good with great materials quality and very strong components. The only flex we found anywhere on the chassis was on the left side of the keyboard above the optical drive, and even that was pretty mild. Overall if you are in the market for a new gaming system you should really consider the G73-series notebook from ASUS, coming in both ATI and NVIDIA configurations.
- Great build quality
- Very functional design
- Excellent display
- Limited multitouch features
- No onboard RAID
- Not as fast as G73JH