ASUS G73-BST6 Review

ASUS G73-BST6 Review

Jun 13, 2011

This is my review of the ASUS G73SW laptop (Best Buy edition…), which I’ve seen flamed and discussed over a few forum sites. I’m not here to sell you the product, I’m here to give an honest answer to those who are interested from purchasing the ASUS G73 from Best Buy. The Comp USA/ Tiger Direct versions are much different.

Asthetics

G73 is probably one of the nicest looking laptops in town. While it doesn’t stand out with color or shininess, it appeals to a gamer with its matte, rubbery finish. Due to its rubbery like casing, it is pretty hard to scratch and is easily cleaned of any dust. The wrist pad is very comfortable and the touchpad is roomy, well placed, and very responsive. (I actually went 7-1 in CSS with the touchpad one night).
While it is big, the rugged edges make the G73 very pleasing to look at, and hold. It weighs about 8lbs. but anybody buying a gaming laptop should already know that they are investing in a heavy laptop, especially if it is 17″.
One of the great things about the ASUS G73 is the fact that it only has one compartment for the HDD and RAM, so both are accessed by unscrewing a couple screws and taking off just one access door. The BAD thing about the G73 is that if you want to expand to 16GB of RAM you have to pretty much disassemble the laptop to get to the other 2 RAM slots.
G73
G73
G73
G73

Heat

The ASUS G73 does not burn your lap like your average laptop. These laptops boast an awesome cooling design with the heatsinks almost being totally seperate from the rest of the laptop, pushing air out the back, and virtually none on your legs. Also, during heavy gaming, the fans are still nearly silent and pushing air very well.
[B]Basics[/B]
This laptop is a very powerful laptop nonetheless.  It boasts an Intel® Core™ i7-2630QM processor which contains 4 cores, 2 threads per core @ 2.0Ghz up to 2.93Ghz TurboBoost. The processors is a multitasking mammoth and can hold its ground against my i5 quad core due to its 2 threads per core technology.
Along with the powerful processor comes the controversial GTX460m. This is a much different, watered down version than the GTX460m you see at CompUSA.  The BST6 460m is only 1GB vs 1.5GB on the other G73’s, and has a 128bit bus while the 1.5GB holds a 192bit bus.  This makes a great difference in gaming, but don’t count out the 1GB version. It is still plenty to [I]almost[/I] emulate the desktop experience of a gaming PC.
On top of that, this G73 comes with 8GB of DDR3 RAM, as well as a 7200RPM 750GB hard drive, and room for a second one. The battery is a standard 6 cell, but I will talk about that later.
The screen is bright and mighty. The G73 has a 17″ LCD glossy display, which can create a glare at times, and can go up to 1600 x 900. The keyboard is very, very comfortable and is backlit by white LED’s. Comes with a standard DVDRW drive, unlike the CompUSA ones that come with Blu-Ray drives.
The speakers are one thing to complain about. They pop if the sound has too much bass, but usually only in songs. I have yet to hear the speaker crackle during gaming. However, this is easily fixed by wearing headphones.
[IMG]http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p54/kfootballkid/REVIEW/WP_000220.jpg[/IMG]

Battery Life

The battery life on this G73 is actually quite surprising. While you won’t get far with gaming on the battery alone, it does provide between 3-4 hours on a full charge (entertainment mode/quiet office/battery saving) of regular use. By this I mean, surfing the web, writing a paper, listening to music, video chat, etc.  On high performance, the battery life dips down to about 2 hours and 10 minutes, since it allows the CPU to go full speed whenever it needs to/ wants to and turbo boost up to 2.93Ghz. To anybody that has owned a laptop before, you will know that gaming on just battery will give you mediocre performance. You need to have the laptop plugged in, in order to get good results.
GAMING
Well this is the part that actually matters to us on OCN.  I will be conducting benchies on a few games:
Battlefield Bad Company 2Dirt 3Counter Strike SourceNeed For Speed Shift 2

Counter Strike: Source
Obviously, this is an old game. But it is still widely popular and many people (such as myself) are happy if their computer can run CSS lol.
CSS
CSS
CSS
180.69FPS^that’s what we all expect coming from CSS, moving on to the big boys.

Dirt 3
I had the game just auto configure my hardware and it gave me the following specs:
DIRT
As well as 1600 x 900 and standard 8xCSAA
DIRT
CSS
Here is the run, with everything maxed:
DIRT
DIRT

We see the 128bit bandwith take a huge hit when AA was maxed, as well as everything that was possible set to Ultra High.

Battlefield Bad Company 2

This game is pretty CPU heavy, so as long as you don’t go all out on AA and AF you should be fine. Here are my results with the following settings:

BF
BFg

Still a great looking game!At this point, i was getting 31FPS just looking around, once I hopped in the tank and started destroying stuff, I dipped down to 25 (still playable though).

BF
BF

Need for Speed Shift 2

This game is actually pretty demanding as well. The night time races give more stress due to the different lighting from the cars’ headlights. My FPS during this Daytime run was about 35FPS, while at night it dipped to about 31FPS. FPS Also takes a hit once you go inside the cockpit. I don’t know if this is due to higher texture resolution on the inside of the car, or just bad coding.

SHIFT
SHIFT
SHIFT
SHIFT
SHIFT

Conclusion
In conclusion, yes you do get ripped off in a way since Best Buy watered down the GPU and took out a Blu Ray drive. However that shouldn’t deter you from a G73 at BB if you are buying from there. We bought it from there due to the fact that we got a credit line there enough for the G73. If you have a choice whether to buy it from CompUSA or BB, get it at CompUSA. You’ll shell out 200-300 more but you get better hardware in the long run.
This laptop is a GREAT laptop despite what I just said. It allows me to take my gaming to my friends house for LANs, or to school to play some Dirt 3 during my 1 hour breaks in between classes.  The battery life is good enough to drag this beast around with you to school, and the dollar to performance ratio is still pretty good. I definitely recommend this laptop, heck, this entire series of laptops to any gamer.