Asus G73SW Sandy Bridge Gaming Notebook Review

PCMark & 3DMark Tests

To start things off, we fired up Futuremark's system performance benchmark, PCMark Vantage. This synthetic benchmark suite simulates a range of real-world scenarios and workloads, stressing various system subsets in the process. Everything you'd want to do with your PC -- watching HD movies, music compression, image editing, gaming, and so forth -- is represented here, and most of the tests are multi-threaded, making this a good indicator of all-around performance.

Futuremark PCMark Vantage
Simulated Application Performance

The G73SW's PCMark Vantage score reflects the upgraded hardware compared to the last generation G73Jh-A1 notebook. What's interesting to note here is that the G73Jh-A1 is actually equipped with a stronger GPU in the AMD Mobility Radeon HD 5870 compared to the G73SW's Nvidia GeForce GTX 460M, but PCMark Vantage takes into consideration the  system as a whole, not just the graphics chip. The Sandy Bridge platform combined with hybrid hard drives results in a better than 21 percent performance boost in PCMark Vantage.

Futuremark 3DMark Vantage
Simulated Gaming Performance

Next we switched gears to Futuremark's 3DMark Vantage benchmark, which focuses squarely on gaming performance. Some of the technologies in 3DMark Vantage are only available with DirectX 10, making this a better barometer of modern gaming prowess than the the older 3Mark06 benchmark. And unlike previous versions, 3DMark Vantage puts a bit more emphasis on the CPU rather than focusing almost entirely on the GPU(s).


The big surprise here is that the G73SW managed to outpace the G73Jh-A1 in 3DMark Vantage, even though the latter sports a beefier GPU. It's a big win for the G73SW and should put gamers' minds at ease knowing that not only can this new system keep up with the one it's replacing, but the sum of its parts adds up to an all around superior mobile gaming rig.

Futuremark 3DMark11
Synthetic DirectX Gaming

Futuremark 3DMark11

The latest version of Futuremark's synthetic 3D gaming benchmark, 3DMark11, is specifically bound to Windows Vista and 7-based systems because it uses the advanced visual technologies that are only available with DirectX 11, which isn't available on previous versions of Windows.  3DMark11 isn't simply a port of 3DMark Vantage to DirectX 11, though.  With this latest version of the benchmark, Futuremark has incorporated four new graphics tests, a physics tests, and a new combined test.  We tested the graphics cards here with 3DMark11's Extreme preset option, which uses a resolution of 1920x1080 with 4x anti-aliasing and 16x anisotropic filtering.

Futuremark doesn't pull any punches with the Extreme setting in 3DMark 11, a punishing benchmark only suitable for high end gaming PCs. The G73SW's score, while low, is right where it should be for a single, mobile GPU.

The Performance preset dials things down a notch, but more importantly, it gives us a wider range of systems with which to compare. Next to the MSI GT680R, the G73SW posts a slightly stronger score, which could be due to updated drivers. Compared to the previous generation G73Jh-A1, however, the G73SW's slightly downgraded GPU is exposed, at least in terms of DX11 gaming.

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