Gaming has bled into every aspect of our lives of late what with services like Stadia making the case for picking cheap and cheerful over costly and cumbersome when it comes to hardware.
While game streaming is slowly becoming a reality, one might find themselves hesitantly considering an upgrade. Do you still need a beefy PC for gaming if streaming is a reality?
Here in South Africa, game streaming is something that is still very far away so what you really need is a cheap notebook that will serve you while ISPs, government and other stakeholders sort themselves out.
And what luck that we have the ASUS FX505G TUF Gaming notebook in for review. Let’s crack it open and see whether it warrants consideration for your next upgrade.
Our FX505G came equipped with an Intel Core i7-8750H processor (running at a 2.2GHz base clock) as well as 8GB of 2666MHz DDR4 memory.
While that RAM seems low, it is, but thankfully you are able to add some more memory when you need it at up to 32GB. Speaking of which, the internals of the notebook are easily accessible with a Philips head screwdriver.
The GPU in the FX505G is an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 with 4GB of memory to draw from.
The notebook is available in a variety of configurations and you can fit up to a GeForce GTX 1060 6GB GPU in the notebook if you need a bit more grunt when it comes to gaming.
For storage we had a 240GB SSD and a 1TB HDD which is par for the course when it comes to gaming notebooks these days. The inclusion of a beefy storage HDD earns ASUS marks here especially because this is an affordable machine.
Overall the specs are decent but we would have liked to see just a bit more RAM in this notebook for reasons we’ll get to shortly.
Where this notebook flourishes is esport and indie titles. Games such as Frostpunk, Slay the Spire and Into the Breach all run wonderfully on this machine but, as we mentioned, more demanding games will require you to tweak the settings slightly.
For the aforementioned games that weren’t as demanding as other titles we easily hit 60FPS without breaking a sweat.
Things were a bit different once we stepped into triple-A territory however.
Destiny 2 required we drop settings to low before we were able to hit 60FPS though that having been said, if you can deal with 24 – 30FPS you can run games at medium to high settings.
The Division 2 nearly broke the PC. Kidding. At low preset we were able to hit a solid 30FPS in The Division 2 at medium settings though the experience was marred by dropped frames and screen-tearing.
The fans in this notebook work hard but only when required and they appear to do their job as we never noticed performance dips when the fans ramp up.
The FX505G sports a 2 526mAh battery which is rather decent actually.
When simply streaming movies from Netflix or doing some work on battery power alone you can expect around eight to nine hours of battery life.
However, should you wish to do some gaming on the move things take a turn downwards.
While playing Hearthstone on battery power we were able to get just three hours of life from the notebook before it went dead and demanded a recharge. This isn’t bad but is definitely something to consider should your intention be playing games in some exotic location.
Weighing in at 2.2KG, this notebook is rather hefty and given it’s a 15inch notebook with a full keyboard, it’s pretty big as well.
There is a degree of flex in the monitor lid but it’s very minor. What is concerning however is the bezel around the display which feels a bit loose.
That having been said we’re inclined to say this is as a result of review units being beaten as they make their way from publication to publication. As such this won’t factor into our final score as elsewhere the FX505G is a solid piece of work.
The keyboard is a chiclet-style affair and while keyboards in notebooks have undoubtedly improved, this one hasn’t. It lacks any sort of tactile feel to the keys which meant we had to look down at the keyboard more than we’re used to.
Other noteable features include RGB lighting and a bevy of ports including two USB 3.0, one USB 2.0, HDMI, LAN and a combo headphone and microphone jack.
Overall the FX505G is decent and that’s just fine.
While graphics performance won’t have your jaw-dropping you are able to play games and do some work. Really, what more do you want to do with your notebook?
Yes, we know it’s not hitting 4K 60FPS at Ultra settings but for R16 000, what did you expect?
Battery life is in-line with other notebooks, performance is about what you would expect from these specifications and the build-quality won’t leave you wanting.
Our only real concern is the bezel around the monitor but as we mentioned this is likely due to the nature of review units.
For this reason we’re giving the ASUS FX505G a recommendation. If you want an affordable gaming notebook this is worthy of your consideration.
Just plug your own keyboard in.