ASUS ROG Strix GL503VD Benchmarked
On this review, we are taking a good look at the ASUS ROG Strix GL503VD. A gaming notebook with an Intel Core i7-7700HQ and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 inside.
The ASUS ROG Strix GL503VD might not be the most powerful gaming notebook but it got a good configuration at 69995 Pesos MSRP ($1099 INT MSRP). That includes an AH-IPS panel with a 72% NTSC color range, plus a combination of 128GB M.2 SSD and a 1TB HDD.
Other features includes an RGB lit keyboard, dual 3W side firing speakers and loads of game centric softwares on top of an aluminum shell with a mirror finished LED lit ROG logo. Learn more from the official product page and get it at Amazon.
|ASUS ROG Strix GL503V|
|CPU||Intel Core i7-7700HQ|
|CHIPSET||Intel Sunrise Point HM175|
|MEMORY||8GB DDR4 2400MHz SO-DIMM|
|GRAPHICS||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 4GB, Intel HD Graphics 630|
|DISPLAY PANEL||15.6″ 1080P Panel @ 60Hz, AH-IPS (LG Philips LP156WF6-SPB6)|
|DISPLAY OUTPUT||HDMI 2.0, MiniDP|
|WEBCAM||720P @ 30FPS|
|INPUT DEVICE||Backlight Keyboard, Touchpad|
|AUDIO SOLUTION||Realtek ALC295, 2x 3.5W Speaker|
|LAN||Gigabit Ethernet with GameFirst IV|
|WLAN||Intel 802.11ac, Bluetooth v4.1 LE|
|STORAGE||128GB M.2 SATA SSD + 1TB 5400RPM SATA HDD|
|I/O PORTS||1x USB 3.1 (Type-C), 4x USB 3.0 (Type-A), 1x RJ45, 1x SD, 1x Audio Combo Jack|
|COOLING||Dual 12V Fan + Heatpipe (Shared)|
|BATTERY / POWER||65Whr, 150W Power Adapter|
|OPERATING SYSTEM||Microsoft Windows 10 64-bit|
The ASUS ROG Strix GL503VD with the specifications above will set you at around the 69995 Pesos mark. Would be nicer if they included another stick of 8GB SO-DIMM inside.
PACKAGING AND ACCESSORIES:
The ASUS ROG Strix GL503VD comes inside a nice suite case like packaging. It is rather huge for a 15.6 incher notebook with a good padding inside. This things weighs in at around 3 kilograms.
There’s no cloth cover but you’de get an ASUS ROG Harrier GT300 gaming mouse as a part of the deal. It is a nice replacement for the usual niceties we expected from gaming notebooks. A slim 150W brick is also included.
Paper works includes a warranty guide and a quick start guide for the bundled gaming mouse. ASUS also told us that there’s an ROG bag for every official purchase of the notebook.
DESIGN, LAYOUT AND CONNECTIVITY:
The ASUS ROG Strix GL503VD sports a middle ground design between elegance and gaming inspired elements. The brushed-metal cover is a nice touch over the plastic shell which is I must say, doesn’t feel cheap at all. Good, since this is a 2.3 kilogram notebook.
At 23mm thick, the ASUS ROG Strix GL503VD is still within the realms of easy to stow devices. Cooling wise, the GL503VD got two exhaust ports backed-up by a shared dual heat-pipe design and two slim internal fans.
The right side of the notebook features two USB 3.0 ports together with an SD card reader and a USB 3.1 Type-C port (Gen1). A Kensington lock is also located on this area.
The left side on the other hand had most of the I/O ports. This is expected for a well designed gaming notebook. While I don’t hate the combo jack, ASUS should’ve thrown in a splitter.
The underside of the GL503VD features a large perforated area to aid cooling.
MAINTENANCE AND COMPONENTS:
Maintaining and or upgrading is easy with the GL503VD. You just have to work with a single screw to remove the hatch. However, you cannot access the pre-installed SO-DIMM using this method. To do so, you are required to remove the underside.
There’s also a DIP switch near the screw hole of the hatch. Dunno what it is for. We need manuals, ASUS!
ASUS utilizes the LG Philips LP156WF6-SPB6 panel for the ROG Strix GL503VD. It’s a 15.6 inch 1080P AH-IPS panel with a refresh rate of 60Hz. The display panel surface features an anti-glare coating.
The panel is not G-SYNC capable but as an AH-IPS, it is pleasing enough to the eyes. Response time is rated at around ~25ms though. Not sure if that’s GtG values.
The ASUS ROG Strix GL503VD sports a full layout keyboard with scissor switch keys. Key spacings are excellent which is not what I expected for a notebook of this size. Travel distance is around ~2mm and lighting is per-key, courtesy of the ASUS Aura RGB.
The bundled ASUS ROG Harrier GT300 gaming mouse is an icing to the cake. It is a medium sized mouse with a rather safe design. I’d say the design is somewhat similar to the Logitech G603 but with a lower profile. Perfect for clawing and finger gripping.
Like any other ASUS notebooks we’ve tested, the ASUS ROG Strix GL503VD comes with bloat load of applications. Feel free to remove the McAfee, GiftBox, ISS Manager and the Live Update.
Keepers here are the ROG Gaming Center, the Sonic Radar, Sonic Studio and the GameFirst.
TEST SETUP AND METHODOLOGY:
The system performance shall be evaluated by various benchmarking tools and applications. We are testing this system with the high-performance settings enabled at the OS, with the default UEFI configuration. Background processes such as anti-viruses and third-party applications are disabled as well. Outlined below are the applications and benchmark tools for reference:
CPU AND MEMORY PERFORMANCE:
- Super PI – 32M Calculation
- wPrime – 1024M Calculation
- AIDA64 Extreme Edition – Memory Benchmark
- GIMP – 7 MB worth of image processing
- HandBrake – 150 MB MP4 to H.264 video encoding
- WinRAR – Compression speed
- Overwatch – Ultra Settings | V-SYNC off
- Battlefield 4 – Ultra Settings | V-SYNC off
- DIRT: Rally – Ultra Settings | V-SYNC off
- Project CARS – Maximum Settings | V-SYNC off
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Ultra Settings | V-SYNC off
- The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Ultra Settings | HairWorks off | V-SYNC off
- AS SSD – Storage performance
- RightMark Audio Analyzer – Audio performance
- AIDA64 Extreme Edition – Temperature, Power, Noise
- NetIO-GUI – Network Performance
TEMPERATURE, POWER AND NOISE:
System power consumption is evaluated during idle and a 15-minute load via the AIDA64 System Stability Test. Power readings are recorded with a watt-meter.
The AIDA64 System Stability Test is also used to evaluate the system thermals. Readings are taken with AIDA64 and is cross-referenced with HWiNFO.
System noise level is also evaluated during idle and a 15-minute load via AIDA64’s Stress Test. The noise measurement is taken by a sound level meter.
The GL503VD got the best power output we’ve seen on the list of notebooks we’ve tested. Temperatures for both the CPU and GPU however are not the best with similar figures from the other notebooks tested. Acoustics on the other hand is the best though it isn’t particularly quiet at load.
The System battery life is evaluated via the Wh/W formula with readings taken from our power consumption test. This is to ensure a leveled result across the systems.
Battery life is more than decent with ~247 minutes of run time at minimal workloads.
CPU AND MEMORY PERFORMANCE:
Super PI is a single-threaded program that calculates pi to a specified number of digits after the decimal point. It is a widely used benchmark and stress test within the industry.
WPrime is a multi-threaded program that calculates a set number of square roots for estimating functions.
The AIDA64 Memory Benchmark measure the maximum achievable data transfer bandwidth of the memory. That includes the Read, Write, Copy and Latency performance.
Based on our benchmarks, the GL503VD had a competitive computational performance. Not the best but not the worst either.
GIMP or GNU Image Manipulation Program, is a free and open-source image editing tool. A 7 MB worth of images is be processed and converted to gauge the system performance.
HandBrake is a free video encoding tool that supports a wide variety of media codecs. A 150MB worth MP4 video is converted using the H.264 codec to gauge the system performance.
WinRAR is a file archive utility that can create, view and unpack numerous archive file formats. The software’s built in benchmark tool is utilized to gauge the system performance.
Productivity performance is excellent though it could use another SO-DIMM to make up for its lower compression score. An 8GB 2400MHz DDR4 in single channel could only get this far.
Overwatch is Blizzard Entertainment’s critically acclaimed First Person Shooter. The game runs on a custom engine utilizing the DirectX 11 API.
Battlefield 4 is Electronic Art’s popular First Person Shooter, running on the Frostbite 3 game engine developed by DICE. It utilizes the DirectX 11 and the Mantle API.
DIRT: Rally is CODEMASTER’s take on the rally racing game genre. It utilizes the EGO game engine with support for the DirectX 11 API.
Project CARS is Slightly Mad Studios’ latest simulation racing game, running on the Madness game engine utilizing DirectX 11 support.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is Bethesda’s critically acclaimed Action Adventure RPG. Skyrim utilizes the Creation Engine with DirectX 10 support.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is CDProjekt RED’s award-winning Action Adventure RPG. The Witcher 3 utilizes the REDengine 3 with DirectX 11 support.
Gaming results are just what I expected for a gaming notebook with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 inside. The desktop part is still faster, but this one is not that bad at all.
AS SSD is a storage benchmarking software widely used throughout the industry. The scoring system is then used to evaluate the system.
The GL503VD features your typical SATAIII interface SSD.
The RightMark Audio Analyzer (RMAA) is a tool designed to test the quality of audio devices. We used a sampling rate of 24-bit at 48000Hz for the loopback test. We are essentially testing the noise level of the audio solution.
Good results here from RMAA. As for the speakers, they are loud but the left 3W one rattles like it’s going to die any time soon. I asked ASUS about this and it seem that the issue is restricted on our sample alone.
The NetIO-GUI is a good application to test any network’s performance. The LAN round trip time is our concern here, checking out latency anomalies if there are any. The client and server are connected on the network via Cat5 cables using a 100Mbps router.
LAN round trip time will get you an average of 1ms, while wireless will get you around 5ms of latency.
WRAPPING IT UP:
The ASUS ROG Strix GL503VD enabled us to take a deep look at the performance of the Intel Core i7-7700HQ and the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050. That said, the notebook excels at raw processing which is just expected with its 8 thread CPU. Gaming on the other hand, the GL503VD will require you to play with the settings if you want to achieve butter smooth visuals at 1080P. Going 720P with the settings we used will also net you better results.
Pricing is set at 69995 Pesos which is acceptable for an Intel Core i7-7700HQ equipped gaming notebook. Let us not forget that this one also got a 128GB SSD on top of a 1TB HDD. Gaming oriented features are no slouch either. We have an RGB lit keyboard, an aggressive LED lit ROG logo and the best softwares for the job that ASUS could offer. The bundled ASUS ROG Harrier GT300 is also worth mentioning. That mouse is wicked good even for competitive use.
Key areas to improve upon are emission noise and thermals. The cooling solution is just not enough to offer a cooler and quieter operation under full load. Still, it is not the hottest we’ve seen so there’s that for peace of mind.
The ASUS ROG Strix GL503VD might not be the fastest gaming notebook out there with emphasis on processing performance over gaming. That being said, it is still capable enough to handle AAA titles. A gaming notebook for those who prioritizes budget and CPU performance over heightened visuals.