Last year October, we have reviewed the ASUS TUF Gaming FX505 gaming laptop. That was the time when the Taiwanese company restructured its TUF Gaming series as their mainstream gaming series with military-grade durability. The laptop itself has earned our positive comment due to its reasonable price per performance ratio.
This time, while we are still practically holding the same laptop chassis from last year, the internals, however, is a completely different beast. Boasting the AMD’s mobile Ryzen CPU – Ryzen 7 3750H as well as the new GTX 1660 Ti graphics, we shall put the laptop through our paces and see how does it perform against its Intel-equipped brother.
As we reported previously, there are a couple of SKUs available for the FX505 and FX705. The Malaysian spec for this particular model (FX505D-UBQ099T) has the following specs:
- AMD Ryzen 7 3750H (4 cores 8 threads)
- AMD Radeon RX Vega 10 + NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB GDDR6
- 8GB DDR4-2666
- 512GB PCIe x4 NVMe SSD
- 15.6-inch 1080p FHD IPS 60Hz
- Stealth Black design
MIL-STD-810G Military-Grade Build Quality
Since the FX505 chassis is still relatively new in the market, there’s no reason for ASUS to use another chassis just because they have AMD chip in it. That being said, you can expect the same durable build quality for the laptop. For the Malaysian model, the difference between the Intel and AMD variant is its colour. Intel variant comes with 2 colour choices – Steel Gold and Red Matter, meanwhile, AMD variant only comes in Stealth Black.
The single zone RGB keyboard has the same layout as the ROG Strix series laptops. The transparent WASD key immediately reminds me of the ROG Strix SCAR II. The keyboard has standard key travel and it feels pleasant to type on.
Those who are fond of RGB lightings would be happy to know the keyboard backlit can be customised through the ASUS Armory Crate application.
My only complaint about the keyboard is the unnecessarily long Right CTRL. I would rather move the arrow cluster slightly to the left and make sure the Numpad’s 0 key is a proper standard horizontal long key.
The touchpad uses Windows Precision Driver so it tracks finger gestures with ease. While nothing beats glass surface, at least this one has a smooth matte surface for a relatively positive experience. The embedded clicking mechanism, on the other hand, is rather disappointing.
Minor details like the laptop status indicator LED are cleverly placed at the top of the keyboard panel, which can be seen even if the lid is closed.
Ports & Connectivities
On the left:
- Charging port
- Gigabit LAN
- USB-A 2.0
- 2x USB-A 3.1
- 3.5mm audio combo port
No ports on the right side. That means not to worry about your mouse movements getting tangled with the cables. The speakers are side-mounted and they sounded flat at best.
Back to 120Hz & 60Hz Display
We have bad news here. The top two SKU of the Intel variant FX505 actually comes with a 144Hz display to go along with the GTX 1060 and GTX 1050 Ti respectively. The AMD variant, however, will only be getting a 120Hz display for its highest spec model and 60Hz display for the rest.
I understand the reason behind such decisions – to balance between the price tag and performance, especially when the FX505’s target consumer group are rather sensitive to the price. While having a higher spec display is always a good thing, however, it will just be a waste if the GPU is not capable of fully utilising its capabilities. Hence, ASUS has decided to step back a bit on the display and went for a reasonable 120Hz & 60Hz display depending on which GPU it is running.
Our review unit is an Indonesian stock which ASUS Indonesia is pairing the GTX 1660 Ti with a 120Hz display. However, Malaysian variant FX505D with GTX 1660 Ti will only be getting the standard 1080p Full HD IPS 60Hz display. The 120Hz display is reserved for the top of the line SKU with RTX 2060.
The FX505D’s AMD Ryzen 7 3750H if compared directly to the Intel Core i7-8750H which reviewed in the FX505, this quad-core Ryzen is actually slower between the two. But wait for a second, this model is considerably cheaper than the one we previously reviewed.
So, by comparing to similar priced Intel model, we will be looking at FX505G-MBQ202T:
- Intel Core i5-8300H
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX1060 6GB
- 4GB DDR4
- 128GB PCIe SSD + 1TB 7200rpm HDD
- FHD WV 200nits 60Hz
So AMD’s mobile CPU still needs some work in order to meet the demand from users who require heavy CPU workloads such as graphics and renderings. If you’re getting this laptop for gaming, then you shouldn’t be too worried about the CPU as the GPU should be the one you’re looking at.
In terms of storage, ASUS has generously thrown in 512GB PCIe x2 NVMe SSD for every SKU and leave an empty SATA 2.5″ drive bay so users can either upgrade to another SSD or HDD. We actually have a mixed response in regards to this decision. Some argued that 512GB is too much for the primary drive and the lack of 1TB HDD is not ideal for games and multimedia files storage. I personally stand with ASUS’s decision because users now will have the right to purchase their own secondary storage. Be it a traditional HDD or SSD.
Moving on to gaming and boy we’re looking at somewhere around 10% improvement from the GTX 1060 which makes it a great contender against the well-aged GTX 1070.
The thermal performance of the FX505D is impressive. While we know that ASUS has tried to improve the thermal performance by adding an extra exhaust and heatsink, the previous model with Intel Core i7-8750H still manage to push the boundary by hitting 99-degree Celcius in more than half of our benchmark tests. This time, the AMD chip manages to reverse the common misconception where AMD chips are hot with reasonably great thermal numbers.
The laptop automatically switches between the integrated graphics (AMD Radeon RX Vega 10) and the dedicated graphics (NVIDIA GTX 1660 Ti) to balance between performance and battery life.
We manage to get close to 5 hours of run time for normal usages such as web browsing, social media and YouTubing. If you’re gaming on battery, expect less than 90 minutes of low-performance gaming session.
We have said before the ASUS TUF Gaming FX505 is one of the best value gaming laptop in the market because of their excellent price per performance ratio. This time, the lower price point for the AMD variant FX505D combined with the new GTX 16 series graphics is once again, making this an excellent choice for those who are looking for an affordable gaming laptop.
- Excellent build quality
- NanoEdge display
- Well controlled fan noise in normal operations
- Excellent cooling performance
- Great gaming performance
- Good battery life (normal usage scenarios)
- Value for money
- Average quality IPS panel, not the most colour accurate
- Loud fan noise during high load & gaming
- Ryzen 7 3750H hardly go against the i5-8300H