Product Listing

ASUS ROG G501 - 4K gaming in a slim and light package

By Kenny Yeo - 5 Aug 2015
Launch SRP: S$2898

Performance Benchmarking

Performance Benchmarking

We have tested the ASUS ROG G501 using our usual suite of benchmarking utilities and games. For comparison, we will be including results from other 15-inch machines such as the Aftershock W15 and SM-15. And to see how the GeForce GTX 960M fares against the heavy hitters, we have included results of the ASUS ROG G751 and Gigabyte P35X V3, which are equipped with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M and GTX 980M respectively.

Here is the list of benchmarks and games used for testing:

  • PC Mark 8
  • 3D Mark 2013
  • Tomb Raider
  • Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor

And here are how the notebooks stack up against each other.

Test Notebooks Compared
  ASUS ROG G501 (512GB PCIe SSD) HP Omen Aftershock W-15 ASUS ROG G751JT Gigabyte P35X V3
  ASUS ROG G501 (512GB PCIe SSD) HP Omen Aftershock W-15 ASUS ROG G751JT Gigabyte P35X V3
Processor and Chipset
  • Intel HM87 Express
  • Intel Core i7-4720HQ (2.6GHz, 6MB L3 cache)
  • Intel Core i7-4710HQ (2.5Ghz, 6MB cache)
  • Intel HM87
  • Intel i7-4790K (4GHz, 8MB cache)
  • Intel Z97 Express
  • Intel I7-4710HQ (2.5GHz)
  • Intel HM87
  • Intel i7-4710HQ (2.5GHz)
  • Intel HM87
Operating System
  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows 8.1 64 bit
  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows 8.1
System Memory
  • 16GB DDR3L-1600MHz
  • 8GB DDR3L
  • 8GB DDR3L
  • 8GB DDR3L
  • 16GB DDR3L
Video & Display
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M 4GB GDDR5
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M with 2GB GDDR5
  • 15.6 inch Full HD IPS touchscreen
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
  • 15.6 inch QFHD (3640 x 2160) Glossy PLS
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
  • 17.3-inch Full HD Matte IPS
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
  • 15.6 inch WQHD+(2880 x 1620) LCD
Storage
  • 512GB PCIe-based SSD
  • 128GB SSD
  • 128GB SSD
  • 1TB HDD
  • 8GB Hybrid HDD + 1TB HDD
  • 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD
Optical Drive
  • None
  • Blu-ray writer
  • DVD Super Multi
Connectivity
  • Intel Wireless-AC 7260 (2x2)
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • Killer 1525 AC WiFi + Bluetooth
  • Integrated 802.11 a/c
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • Gigabit LAN
  • Integrated 802.11ac/b/g/n
  • Bluetooth V4.0
  • Gigabit LAN
Audio
  • 2 x stereo speakers
  • SonicMaster Premium
  • ROG AudioWizard
  • 2 x internal speakers
  • Beats Audio
  • 2 x 2W internal speakers
  • Sound Blaster X-Fi MB3
  • ANSPTM 3D sound technology (headphone output only)
  • Built-in speakers
  • Built-in subwoofer
  • MaxxAudio support
  • 2x 1.5 Watt speakers
  • 1x Woofer speaker
  • Dolby Digital Plus Home Theater
I/O Ports
  • 3 x USB 3.0 ports
  • 1 x SD card reader
  • 1 x 3.5mm audio jack
  • 4 x USB 3.0
  • 1 x HDMI
  • 1 x mini-DisplayPort
  • 1 x headphone jack
  • 1 x microphone jack
  • 1 x SD card reader
  • 3 x USB 3.0
  • 1 x USB 3.0 (powered, AC/DC)
  • 1 x USB 3.0/eSATA combo port
  • 1 x HDMI output
  • 2 x DisplayPort (1.2)
  • 1 x headphone jack
  • 1 x microphone jack
  • 1 x S/PDIF output
  • 1 x Ethernet port
  • 1 x SD card reader
  • 4 x USB 3.0
  • 1 x Thunderbolt
  • 1 x HDMI
  • 1 x VGA port/Mini D-sub
  • 1 x Headphone jack
  • 1 x Microphone jack
  • 1 x S/PDIF output jack
  • 1 x Ethernet
  • 1 x SD card reader
  • 2 x USB(3.0)
  • 2 x USB(2.0)
  • 1 x HDMI
  • 1 x mini DisplayPort
  • 1 x D-sub
  • 1 x Mic-in
  • 1 x Earphone-out (SPDIF)
  • 1 x Ethernet
  • 1 x SD Card Reader
  • 1 x DC-in Jack
Battery Type
  • 60Wh battery
  • 58Wh (4 Cells, Fixed)
  • 82WH (Removable, 8 cell)
  • 88 Wh (8 Cells, fixed)
  • 75.81Wh (Li-Polymer, fixed)
Dimensions
  • 383 x 255 x 20.6mm
  • 382.9 x 245.7 x 19.9 mm
  • 386 x 262 x 7 ~ 35.7 mm
  • 416 x 318 x 20 ~53 mm
  • 385 x 270 x 20.9 mm
Weight
  • 2.06kg
  • 2.12 kg
  • 3.4KG
  • 4.8 kg (with battery)
  • 2.3KG (with battery)
Miscellaneous
  • Kensington Lock

 

PCMark 8

Despite having a slightly quicker processor than the HP Omen, the ASUS ROG G501’s scores on PCMark 8 is best described as erratic, especially on the “Work” scenario where it managed just 3315 points - some 27% behind the HP Omen. Then again, the Gigabyte P35X V3 also had problems with this particular scenario and its specifications are also very similar to the HP Omen. On a whole, the ASUS ROG G501 consistently trailed the HP Omen and this should not be the case. If it’s any consolation, PCMark 8 is only a synthetic benchmark.

 

3D Mark 2013 

Again, despite the faster clocked GeForce GTX 960M mobile GPU in the ASUS ROG G501, it was not convincingly quicker than the HP Omen. The ASUS ROG G501’s scores were also slightly behind that of the Aftershock SM-15 - by around 4% - which is also powered by an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M mobile GPU. The top performing machines here were the Aftershock W-15, thanks to its powerful desktop-class CPU and GeForce GTX 980M mobile GPU; and also the Aorus X5, no doubt because of its twin GeForce GTX 965M mobile GPUs in SLI. 

 

Tomb Raider

On to real world game benchmarks and the ASUS ROG G501 could not post a convincing win over the HP Omen. Their frame rates on Tomb Raider were very comparable, with the HP machine taking a 6% lead on “Normal” settings and the the ASUS machine taking a 7% lead on “High” settings. Scores between the ASUS ROG G501 and the similarly equipped Aftershock SM-15 were also very close.

However, the important thing to note here is the gulf in performance between the GeForce GTX 960M and the GeForce GTX 970M. The ASUS ROG G751, which is powered by the latter, was over twice as quick on “Normal” and a whopping 85% faster on “High”.

Finally, looking at 4K gaming performance, it is clear that the GeForce GTX 960M is not quite up to snuff. At 4K resolution, the ASUS ROG G501 managed just 23.4fps on “Normal”. The GeForce GTX 980M in the Aftershock W-15, however, was more than capable, posting well above 30fps on both settings levels.

 

Shadow of Mordor

On Shadow of Mordor, the ASUS ROG G501 posted significant leads over the HP Omen and was about 11% quicker overall across the two settings. However, the ROG G501 trailed the Aftershock SM-15 by around 9%. Again, the gulf in performance between the GeForce GTX 960M and the GeForce GTX 970M is clear to see. Overall, the ASUS ROG G751 was around 80% faster than the ROG G501.

Expectedly, given the intensity of Shadow of Mordor, 4K gaming performance of the ROG G501 was dismal as it managed just around 11fps. It wasn’t much better for the Aftershock W-15 and its GeForce GTX 980M and it barely managed 31fps on “High” settings.

 

Temperature

The ASUS ROG G501 features ASUS’ Hyper Cool technology which includes dual independent fans and copper heatsinks for better cooling performance. The idea is to quickly draw heat away from the keyboard area (where the CPU and GPU typically reside) so that gamers can play more comfortably.

In our tests, we found that the ROG G501’s GPU-Z temperature was on the high side. At 79 degrees Celsius, this means that the ROG G501 is over 12% warmer than the 15-inch HP Omen and Aftershock SM-15. Even so, the ROG G501 recorded the lowest surface temperatures on average, but then the other two competing 15-inch notebooks were only just very slightly warmer. The Gigabyte P35X V3 recorded the highest temperatures as it crams a high performance GeForce GTX 980M mobile GPU into a chassis that's only about 21mm thick.

 

Battery Life & Power Consumption

The ASUS ROG G501’s battery life was 233 minutes, which is very nearly 4 hours and impressive for a gaming notebook. Even the second placed Gigabyte P35X V3 was nearly an hour behind. The reason for the ROG G501’s amazing battery life can be attributed to the size of its battery, which is a whopping 96Wh - even greater than that of the ASUS ROG G751 which is a larger 17-inch notebook.

Diving deeper, we can see that its power consumption was measured at 24.72W, which is over 30% better than the HP Omen, but over 9% more than the Aftershock SM-15.

 

Portability Index

Our Portability Index factors in battery life, weight and volume so you can see which notebook is the most worthwhile to carry around. And bearing in mind the ASUS ROG G501’s slim dimensions, manageable weight and long battery, is it any wonder that it scored the highest amongst all the gaming notebooks? Its ratio of 0.889 is over twice as good as the HP Omen and Aftershock SM-15, and only the thin and light Gigabyte P35X V3 came close to challenging it.

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7.5
  • Design 8.5
  • Features 8
  • Performance 7.5
  • Value 7
  • Mobility 9
The Good
Decent overall performance
Large PCIe-based SSD, generous amount of RAM
Slim and light
Sharp 4K display
Very long battery life (for a gaming notebook)
The Bad
GeForce GTX 960M inadequate for 4K gaming
Display lacks contrast
No Ethernet port (requires bundled adapter)
Keyboard is mushy and no macro keys
Little to distinguish it from the ZenBook UX501
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