ASUS G74-SX-A1 Gaming Notebook Review

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PCMark & 3DMark Tests

We'll start our benchmark testing with 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 G74SX-A1 gave a middling score in PCMark. Although it was ahead of two systems with lesser CPUs, it lagged just behind two other systems with slightly older but more powerful GPUs. The score is particularly disappointing as it fell just short of the Asus G73SW; though they’re in the same lineage, the G74SX-A1 represents the newer notebooks in the series.

Next, we'll take a look at Futuremark's 3DMark Vantage benchmark, which focuses on gaming performance. Unlike previous versions, 3DMark Vantage puts a bit more emphasis on the CPU rather than just focusing almost entirely on the GPU(s).

Futuremark 3DMark Vantage
Simluated Gaming Performance

In this test, the G74SX-A1 fared much better, easily outpacing most of the pack and nearly matching the MSI GT683R. In a benchmark that emphasizes more current graphics rendering effects, we’d expect the G74SX-A1’s newer GeForce GTX 560M GPU to show its muscle.

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 3DMark11
Synthetic DirectX Gaming

Click to enlarge

Because 3DMark11 is so new, we're still building our reference bank to use in comparing systems. Here, you can see that the G74SX-A1 achieved a very respectable score with the Extreme preset option.

The G74SX-A1 bested all the other reference systems in 3DMark11 on the Performance Preset. Because this benchmark includes a physics test, graphics tests, and a combined test, this score really shows the one-two punch of this notebook’s CPU and GPU.

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