Feature Articles

Can budget gaming notebooks deliver the experience you need?

By Team GameAxis - 15 Jul 2018

Setting the stage

Note: This article was first published on 31st May 2018.

What's the deal with affordable gaming notebooks?

Gaming has historically been an expensive hobby. Putting aside the cost of the games themselves, the hardware required can be prohibitive in cost (not that it has deterred most gamers). This is especially so for quality PC gaming, where a serviceable gaming notebook used to set one back S$3,000 or more. These days, however, more and more ‘affordable gaming’ notebooks are hitting the market.

This phenomenon can be explained, in part, by the advances in technology. NVIDIA's GeForce 10 series of graphics processors have been pushing the envelope when it comes to graphical processing prowess. These days, most mid-range GPUs can offer performance levels on par with last generation’s high-end models, with the notebook models almost matching their desktop counterparts. This is taken further with advancements such as NVIDIA's Max-Q technology, paving the road for reasonably-sized machines with respectable gaming chops.

There’s also a rising trend within gaming itself, where certain publishers are shifting from more graphically-focused games like Far Cry and Tomb Raider to multiplayer genres such as online battle arenas and battle royale-style games. In fact, two of the most popular games right now are Fortnite and PlayerUnknowns Battlegrounds. These battle royale games lean towards optimization to please the masses than focus on outright ultra high fidelity graphics in order to get as many players as possible.


Are they any good? Are you getting shortchanged?

The question, however, still remains: Can budget gaming notebooks deliver the performance you need? To explore this further we’ve used the ASUS TUF Gaming FX504, a gaming notebook that's retailing at S$1,598 and S$1,798 respectively. It’s one of the newest and most affordable of its class, suiting our needs to answer this pertinent question.

Our test unit is the S$1,798 variant and it packed a hexa-core Intel Core i7-8750HQ (2.2GHz) processor and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics chip. The FX504 also comes with a 1TB 5400RPM SATA HDD and a 256GB SATA M.2 SSD.

Looking bold. Can it also deliver the smooth gameplay you need to conquer virtual realms? Let's find out.

Benchmarks to determine gaming experience

It’s time to get down and dirty and see how a notebook within the ‘affordable gaming’ range holds up to the more popular online multiplayer games. To do that, we'll be testing the ASUS TUF Gaming FX504 notebook with the following games:-

  • PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds
  • Fortnite
  • Overwatch
  • Heroes of the Storm
  • Hearthstone
  • Gwent
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider

In this article, we'll be focusing on game experience and recommended game settings you can use to optimize games for a better gameplay on these budget gaming notebooks at their native screen resolution - which is usually Full HD (1,920 x 1,080 pixels) resolution just like on the FX504.

Head over to the next page for our rundown and findings.

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