Thread: Vicious's G50V-A1 Review
7th August 2008, 05:51 PM #1
Vicious's G50V-A1 Review
Let me start by saying I am proud to be one of the first owners. I was hands on with the unit the day after its release. Ken at GenTechPC always takes care of his customers and I am a repeat customer with them due to the great service and prices.
G50V-A1 Specs as configured
Motherboard PM45 Montevina
2x2gb DDR2 800
Centrino 2 T9400 2.53ghz
Vista Home Premium 64bit
2x 250gb Western Digital HDD's
Intel Wifi 5100
15.4" WSXGA+ (1680x1050)
Introduction & Reason for Buying
I am moving from the Asus C90S to the G50V. I was very interested in the M50 model for a long time, great build and packed full of great things like the large hard drive, 4gb ram, and super competitive cost. The newest revision the M50Vm really had my attention but it was hard to justify an "upgrade" from the 8600gt and e6600 of the C90S to the 9600GS of the M50. So in comes the news of the G50 with the dual hard drives, overclocking features, and the 9700GT for a similar cost and I knew I had found a great match for what I wanted and needed.
The G50 is a 15" form factor notebook that is quite clearly targeted for gaming. It looks and feels like a gaming machine. However it really makes a good multimedia machine or photo/video editing notebook. This is in large part to the good quality screen and the fast cpu backed up by dual hard drives. You have lots of space for everything and the option for Raid 0/1 really makes this a unique notebook. I will have more on Raid later.
As mentioned above I got mine from GentechPC. You can find a forum user named GenTechPC here and his real name is Ken, the greatest guy you will every have the pleasure of talking too when it comes to customer service. They are based out of California and seem to always be very competitively priced.
There website is: http://gentechpc.com/
Well I was really on edge about the looks of the notebook from the photo's we had on the internet. I like that smooth sleek look of the M50 where it fits in just about everywhere since its neutral in looks. I am not so much all for the flashy lights and things to be found on the gaming notebooks these days. However as time passed and we got more photos I felt that it was not too bad. The lights can be turned off via software so thats not a big deal, the orange body of the notebook is a color that makes it really stand out but not in a bad way. The looks grow on your and overall out of all the gaming notebooks from Asus this is the one that looks best in my opinion. I had my professional boss at work tell me what a cool new laptop I have when they saw it so thats good to hear, and I had it infront of the whole company at a meeting and nobody was giving me googoo eyes. The palm rest area kind looks carbon fiberish and matches my G7 mouse perfectly. The lid has a texture look to it and then there is the gloss black to put it all together. This thing is most definitely a finger print scanner :P so make use of the microfiber cloth that comes with it on a regular basis as dust and finger prints show rather easy on that super high gloss black finish, but lucky the palm rest area and keyboard keys all seem to have found a way to hide wear since they are textured to an extent so I think that over the life of the product it will stay looking better than most laptops.
The first thing to notice when I took it out of the box is... "wow its kinda big" I was spoiled somewhat by the c90s, its a compact machine for sure so this one felt kind of big at first since its noticeably wider, but its not as deep. Its a far cry from the size of a 17" laptop so its sitting at a good medium. That extra size was put to great use as they have a full numeric keypad something the c90 did not have and of course the more powerful gpu & dual hdd's.
Getting hands on with it. I noticed its light, its very light for what it is so its easy to "lug around" The screen when turned on was of outstanding quality with a glossy finish, in windows the only flaw I found in my monitor test is I have minor backlight bleed tho so thats one con against the panel on my unit. Update: the bleed seems to have lessened ether the use of the monitor has had it self correct or I am thinking it may be due to the fact I uninstalled the splendid software that makes the screen colors change to different settings.
Here is the unit pictures. The fist set was taken by hand so they are sort of blurry, the 2nd set of them I used my tripod so they came out great.
The Main Box:
Inside that box is the notebook's box and the bookbag:
The notebook box on the table:
Inside of the notebook box is the unit very well held in place with restraints, and another box with all of your "goodies":
You get the drivers disk, a software disk for the dvd burner, 2 system restore disks, cable management ties, a great mouse (mx518), a few quickstart manuals, warranty card (2 year warranty)
The first shots of the notebook:
Close up for the specs tag:
The stickers on the other side:
Now here is the full unit gallery, nice high res pictures to hold you guys over. The quarter is there for scale, scale is very important when providing pictures as otherwise you have no idea how big/small what your looking at really is.
Top of the unit closed:
Ok about the unit and its usability.
Keyboard & Touchpad:
The keyboard is very close to a fullsize desktop keyboard I can type very fast and well on it already within one day of ownership. The key feedback is awesome and very similar to that of my high end desktop keyboard. I can not notice any "missing keystrokes" that some other Asus models have been reported to have.
One thing thats interesting is that the control key for the left side is all the way to the left, most often I think the function key is there. I prefer it to be the way it is on the G50 honestly but I am still used to the C90 layout so it will take time to hit it without looking (the function key)
I think it was not so smart to give the C & V keys a combo global key setup for Function + V and Function + C. Hiting that will turn on the camera. I have not done it since day one because the key swap but if you accidentally do it because your trying to copy/paste something it would be annoying to turn on the camera instead.
More on keyboard quirks. 2 other things I would like to mention. Being that this is a gaming notebook, often in games you use the arrow keys. So I think its odd that the arrow keys are rather small on this unit. Totally usable and again something you will adjust to over time just it strikes me as odd. The last thing is the numeric keypad on the right. I love the fact that its there because I use my laptop at work every day and I do alot of data entry so I use the keypad. However the layout is not standard, the enter/+ keys are not on the right but rather above the numbers. That also means the "/" key is not above the 8 like I am used to for entering dates. So this really limits the usability of the keypad in my opinion. You would have to retrain yourself totally to use it for fast spreadsheet data entry if you have to use anything other than just the number keys. Still its better than not having one at all like most 15" laptops so beggars cant be choosers.
The touchpad. Now this is the first thing that I noticed is realllly nice. Its so easy to scroll with it, and its big so you can easily do a full screen drag with one stroke rather than having to pick up your finger and keep doing it in small motions. If your really stuck with no mouse this is a really good thing for when your trying to drag and drop files. Still the 2nd most important thing about the touchpad is the buttons and I don't like them. Its one big metal ring that goes around the touchpad and it has a slit cut into it so you can press it down. The press is firm and responsive but I would much rather have had individual buttons that press in instead of having the cover act as a button.
Screen Quality & Benchmarks:
Asus is know for having great screens on there laptops. This is another reason why I was not happy with the early model M50's they did not offer the 1680x1050 resolution at first that the G50 defaults with. The panel on the C90S was the best laptop panel I have ever seen in my life so when I was in very high hopes that this was the same panel. Well its not the same panel but quality wise it seems on par. One major exception. I had no bleed on my C90S, none at all. When I had the full black vista startup screen I noticed I have some bleed on the bottom of my screen. You can not see it on any color except black and for some odd reason it seems much less now than it did at first (maybe I am getting used to it?) but as a video editor, a photoshoper, and somebody who was already spoiled by a perfect screen this is a big con for me. I do actually benchmark screens thats how important it is for me.
Here are some of the more important benchmarks like gradient tests and dead pixel tests. I cant show you response time tests in a photo but response time seems good.
Update: My Backlight bleed has gone down, its unknown to me if its due to the use of the monitor but I also guess it may be due to uninstalling the spendid software that messes with your screen settings.
All white (no dead pixels)
All black (notice the bleed)
Here is a modified shot with a long shutter speed of like 4 or 5 seconds to enhance the bleed, this looks worse than it does in person but the photo above looks better, so its sort of between the two:
Gradient tests, there is no banding at all on the screen, if you see some in the photo's thats due to .jpg artifacting reducing the quality of the photo
So the unit comes with 2 of the 250gb Western Digital hard drives, the stock default setup for them is non raid each with a full size single partition. Here is the performance and temperatures of the hard drives:
Now since the chipset offers a hardware level raid configuration and you have 2 hard driver you can run a raid 0 or raid 1 setup on this notebook.
I setup the notebook for raid 0 to test it out and here is the new performance result:
Let me say that these temps are super cool for a laptop with 2 drives in it and there is no heat under my hands like I was used to with the C90S. Only while transferring files from my desktop several gigs worth at once did I feel any heat.
A quick thing about raid. Do not be fooled by my tests above. Raid 0 will always give 2x speed in a benchmark but in real world use due to the nature of how it works it can be more like a single drive, it also doubles the chance of losing data since the data is split between 2 drives. If one fails you lose half the data and thus its unusable. Raid 1 is just the opposite, you have a mirror of the data on both drives. You will not gain any speed, and you will lose half you hard drive space, but you have piece of mind knowing your data is safe and if you lose a hard drive you will not lose your data. This could be very important for some people and a good reason to want this notebook.
Here is the stock non-raid Vista WEI score (stolen from Kens review):
Here is the updated Vista score with Raid 0:
The optical drive works well but its rather loud, the rotation of a disk is near silent I just burned a cd and it made almost no noise however when the optical laser is docking or moving or what ever it does its loud and it sounds like a robot trying to talk to you. This is very noticeable at boot up when the computer accesses all the devices and it happens when you open the "my computer" in windows too. Dont be confused and think its the Hard Drives as its not they are super silent drives.
Speakers & Audio:
Altec Lansing, like the M50. They sound super great and clear but lack bass. They go loud but honestly not as loud as I expected them too.
At this point I have spent over a week with the bluetooth and tested it with all of my devices. My personal evaluation of the bluetooth is not the greatest. It works 100% and it seems to support all of the bluetooth protocols and infact it may be better than the old bluetooth card in my old laptop in one important way so let me explain.
So to start with the good or the bad? Well lets get the bad out of the way. I have a pair of Plantronics Pulsar 590's they are a very great pair of bluetooth headphones, and I have a Motorola HS815 cell phone headset (earpiece) so those are the devices I primarily used to test with.
The first test was well connecting the devices, this part was pretty easy, just put your device in pairing mode and from the bluetooth control panel select "add a new wireless device" and it did the rest. So no problems here. Where I had a problem tho is disconnecting the device.... There is no "connect/disconnect" buttons on the software that this card uses. I guess its the Microsoft BT Stack and the card itself is a Broadcom card. So that means to disconnect a device you have to use the wireless control panel and turn off your bluetooth completely and that sucks if you want to turn off only one device, or you have to turn off the device itself. In 99% of most cases thats not a bad thing as you would turn the device off anyways if you do not intend to use it any longer to save its batteries. Its worth noting that under the advanced options under "audio" you can disconnect from a device but only for audio devices.
The next test was range, I am almost certain that the range of this card is not as good as the one that was in the C90S I previously owned. I used to be able to go from one corner of my house to the next with the C90S running my headphones and jam out with almost no interruptions at all. The G50V about 3/4 down my hallway it loses signal completely. Also a neat little trick I used to use before I got the headphones is using my cell phone earpiece as headphones. I used to turn my laptop on in the back office at work and listen to music while working at the front desk. To any guest it would look like I have my cell phone connected for calls, but in reality I was streaming music to it. With the C90S I could be up front with full signal and go almost as far as to where breakfast is setup with very little break up. The G50V I cant make it even close to breakfast without the loss of signal. So I do not know weather the flaw is the card itself or the antenna that its connected to. I also do not know if the C90S was just better than the norm or if this model falls short but the range is less. For the normal person this is not a big deal as you probably would use a mouse/keyboard, or headphones while using the unit so range is not an issue, but if your like me and like to jam out with headphones and want the 30ft or so your supposed to get it may be an issue.
Last test was quality. Quality seemed to be the same on the Plantronics, I connected them and was treated to some audio bliss listening to music with so much more bass and quality (and volume) than the stock speakers can give you. I can not recommend the Pulsars enough they have been great to me, and they are travel friendly too! (Just remembered I even reviewed them HERE)Now the Motorola how ever if memory serves me right it sounded better on the C90S. It never sounded great on ether unit as its a headset designed for phone use, that means the BT protocol it uses is the low quality mono voice for audio out and then the mono in for voice (recording). Its not meant to be used as a headphone but it can as I have done it. The quality was horrible on the G50V while only bad on the C90S if memory serves right. However since it has been a long time and I did not do a side by side test this could be my mind playing tricks on me. I have not used this thing for music since I got the Plantroincs so its hard to think of its quality as being as good.
On a final note, if you did not see me rant in another G50V thread the first thing I tried is to use my Wiimote on the G50V and it failed. I was and still am so disappointed in this. If you did not know the Nintendo Wii uses bluetooth for the controllers and they can be used on a PC. You can do SOOOOO much with these controllers. I have wrote custom scripts for them to do anything from play Super Nintendo games, to controlling Winamp. All of the functions can be used, the IR pointer, rolling, tilt, shake, acceleration, sound, leds. You can get a feel for it in my guide/thread that I wrote HERE
Well anyways the Wiimote will bind with this card fine, but the computer will not send or receive information back and forth with it. I have not gotten it to work with another bluetooth stack yet as bluesoliei will not install for me but another version may work (I hope) this is also the main item that has issues with no "disconnect" button in the software the controller is on when its blinded and off when its not. So the only way to turn it off is to uninstall the device from the bluetooth software (or you can hold the power button on the controller for 5 seconds as a secret but that sucks if your Wii is around because then it will bind with the wii and turn it on)
Oh! almost forgot that one little bit of "good" news. I noticed that the way this card/software works is it likes to auto bind. I used the Pulsars a few sittings and instead of going thru the process of connecting to them like normal, they were already connected and in use when it detected them as being turned on. So I guess thats why it has no connect/disconnect feature as its supposed to be all automatic. This could be a good thing for the people that use a mouse or keyboard because no hassles for you. Just turn on the laptop and your devices and your ready to go.
So Final Bluetooth Evaluation is a 7/10 it works as needed, but points off for the range and not working with the wiimote also wish it had a better interface for the software.
Update!: Wanted to let everybody know the hardware is great for the bluetooth its the drivers that suck. I have updated my bluetooth stack to Bluesoleil and it works great now! Really cool interface and it works with my wiimote! However bluesoleil is not free its like $30 and I have not bought it yet (using trial version) so I would not get it unless using the wiimote is really important too you since otherwise I have gained no real functionaity. I think it also improved the sound quality of my cellphone earpiece too.
I have not done my own tests yet just like the above test, have not had the time yet but its been said that about 2 hours on the 6 cell battery with power save mode on.
I have done test to see how much power the laptop uses in watts under various circumstances. This is even better than a battery life test in my opinion as you can see what uses more power and then take that knowledge and maximize your battery life. Also it lets you know just how well the power save feature and other things help with battery life.
I use a device called the Kill-o-Watt and it simply plugs into your A/C wall outlet and then the laptop plugs into the device. I removed the battery for these tests so there is no room for error with the battery supplying any power. I was very surprised by these results and will point out the things that got me off guard after the test results.
Idle Windows - 40w Max Bright
Idle Windows - 34w Lowest Bright
100% Cpu Load - 54w Normal Mode
100% Cpu Load - 56w Turbo Extreme
Crysis Benchmark Max - 83max 80 average
Media Player w/ Visual - 50w for like 10 seconds then drops and stays at 41w
Interent Surfing - Jumped to like 44 when loading a page then went all the way down to 33w and stays there (my guess is because no vista background aero
stuff so drops to 2d video mode)
Power Save Mode Internet Surfing - Jumped to like 37 and then dropped to 27 after like 10 seconds and stays there.
Power Save Windows Idle - 24w
First of all let me say wow! this thing is good on power, I came from a c90s which could go well into the 120w area when under max load in a game, its easy to see why the battery life is as good as it is with these numbers. Still I was very surprised by a few of the tests.
The first thing to notice is the difference just dimming your screen can make from 40 to 34watts of power under normal operation thats a big difference, so if your stuck away from a power source this is the first thing you may want to do.
The next thing I noticed was just how little the difference was for overclocking the cpu. I used wprime to put both cores at a full 100% load and the difference from the stock mode 2.5ghz and the turbo extreme 2.8ghz mode was only about 2w max.
The next interesting thing you would never know without a detailed test like this is the spikes in power, when opening a music file in windows media player power draw went up to about 51w and would stay there for about 10 seconds, then suddenly it would drop back down to the 40 area. I guess its working something in the background, loading stuff into the ram, starting the hard drive, not sure exactly but just a neat thing to know.
Even more interesting than the spike in power from a media file is what happened when I went web surfing, Opening firefox full screen the power draw went up when I opened a web page to 44w only 4w higher than desktop idle but then after about 10 seconds passed it went DOWN to 33w below that of the desktop idle! My guess is that Vista Aero desktop uses some power on the video card I know it uses the "low 3dmode" on your video card, but with firefox full screen it probably droped the video card into 2d mode and thus you would actually get more battery life web surfing than just sitting on your desktop, crazy huh?
Gaming nearly doubles the power draw, Crysis is probably one of the most demanding games I can think of so thats what I used and it went up to 80w average so that would cut your battery in half compared to normal use.
The last thing is Power Save mode, in the mid 20's thats a pretty good gain since we were looking at 40w before in standard mode. Power save mode is a combo of a few things, it dimms the screen, it closes the vista side bar, and not sure what else it does but it works. It also sort of backs up my theory about the internet surfing. The idle spec for desktop was lower in power save than it was for internet surfing and one of the biggest changes was that there was no vista side bar in power save mode.
Raid Setup & System Recovery:
So if you decide you would like to take advantage of the raid options the system offers there is some work involved. Raid 0 will combine the two hard drives together as one and divide data between them, while raid 1 will make the 2nd hard drive become a mirror of the first and copy all of your data. So raid 0 for "speed/performance" raid 1 for for data safety.
The motherboard has a built in hardware raid, and thats the best kind to have. Still tho you are going to have to completely wipe out the system and re-install windows to set one up. Restoring the system is pretty fast and very easy and also has a benefit of not installing all the bloatware it only installs windows, so you can choose if you want to install all the extra applications or not. Here are the steps on how to do this.
Setup Raid Step 1
> When the system boots press the "F2" key to enter the bios.
> In the bios navigate with the arrow keys and find the "SATA Mode" highlight it and press "Enter"
> For the hard drive type change it from "enhanced" to "raid" using the "+" key
> Press "F10" to save and exit the bios
> When the system reboots press "F2" again to go into the bios, and very quickly for about 2 or 3 seconds you will see the intel storage matrix screen come up prompting you to press "Control + I" to setup raid.
> Be ready and press "Control + I" to enter the intel storage matrix when it tells you too.
> Now inside the manager just follow the steps to create a new raid volume. Dont worry about partitions or anything like that just make a single full size raid volume of the type you wish to use.
So if you find yourself in need of a fresh install of windows due to some bad luck or if you just did the above and setup Raid you will need to install windows again to get a fresh new start. Doing this is very easy and you only need 2 disks.
> Insert the System recovery disk#1
> When the System is booting press the "esc" key to bring up the boot device selection screen, choose the dvd-rom drive to boot from the recovery disk
> Setup will continue automatically and the first thing you will have to manually do is choose the type of recovery you want to do. There are 3 options so I will briefly describe each.
Option 1: Do a full disk recovery with 1 partition - This is going to wipe everything on the system and give you a new windows installation with a single large partition. If you dont know what partitions are think of it as "virtual hard drives" it allows a single hard drive to act as if it were more than one. For more details I recommend you google it.
Option 2: Do a recovery on the first partition only - This option would act the same as the first if you only have one partition and with a stock machine you will only have one, but what is important to understand about this is that after you have created a windows setup with more than one partition in the future next time you recover you can use this to install windows again and NOT LOSE ANY DATA that is on the 2nd partition or higher. I am so glad they have this option as I think many recovery disks do not give this to you.
Option 3: Do a full disk recovery with 2 partitions - Aha! Here it is, how much more user friendly can it get? This is going to do the same thing as option#1 it will wipe the entire disk and all partitions but now when it installs windows it will create 2 partitions for you. The first will have windows and the 2nd will be blank for data. In fact the partitions will be named "Win64" and "Data".
What I Strongly Recommend you do if your just setting up the first time is to use Option#3 and get a new system with 2 partitions. When recovery is complete you will always install all of your game and programs to the C: (Win64) but keep all of your pictures, files, music, anything thats data and not installed into windows itself on the D: (Data Drive) you are doing yourself a huge favor for future preparation here. Because if and when you find yourself having to recover again in the future you can use Option#2 next time for a fresh windows install on the C: and all of your files on the D: will not be erased. That is the power of partitions and why any computer smart person will make use of them. This wont really apply to you so much if you did not use raid since there are two hard drives already you can always put your data on the second hard drive and not worry about partitions, but take this information to heart for any machine you have with only one hard drive.
> After choosing the recovery type it will do it thing without you up until a certain point and it will ask you to insert the drivers disk. Put the drivers disk in and press "enter" to continue. Note that it doesn't seem to actually install any of the drivers it may have asked me for this for Raid drivers or something. It also never asked me for recovery disk 2... so I have yet to know what its used for.
> Thats it your done installing Windows! It does all the work for you, but your now in a bare bone, clean install of windows. No applications, no bloatware, and... no drivers, so we need to now use the drivers disk to install everything.
> Run the drivers disk and install every important application and driver on the list, then choose what extra programs you would like. The entire process is automated but takes awhile. It actually takes longer to install the drivers than it did windows.
Personal Note: I am using the stock VGA drivers that are on the disk but I am looking for 3rd party drivers right now that work with the system from laptopvideo2go that may improve performance and offer more resolution options, right now 1200x800 is not a option with the default drivers and thats the most important gaming resolution so we need a fix.
Personal Note: From a factory system with all the bloatware I would uninstall the office trail and the norton trial right away.
Personal Note: On a new system I like to turn of UAC, just go into the control panel in windows and go to users. You will see the option to turn UAC on or off. Turning it off will make you alway in "run as administrator" mode and also no more pop ups asking for permission to run files. Do this at your own risk.
Personal Note: Applications that are not needed, if you like to be as bloatware free as possible you do not need the smart logon, the data security, the copy protection, the wireless console, and a few other things depending on preference.
Updating Video Drivers!:
The system comes with the driver set 175.80 while not very old they are not very new. If your unfamiliar with how laptop video card drivers work, pretty much you get drivers upon release, and maybe once every birthday they will give you a new driver set. If you game on your desktop your aware that nearly bi-weekly there are new drivers out for your card to keep up with all the fixes and performance enhancements needed for new games. If you try to install those drivers on your laptop the install will fail.
Well lucky for us there is a nice comunity called laptopvideo2go and they take the time to modify the drivers so that they can be used on a laptop, most of the time its little more than changing the .inf file to give the installer permission to work on your system. Since each laptop does sometimes have its own unique specific tweaks in the drivers that came with the laptop its possible that not all drivers will work correctly so its a risk, but a risk in such a way that you need to worry about damage, just would have to change back to the old drivers.
The newest drivers can be found in the forums section located here: http://www.laptopvideo2go.com/forum/...p?showforum=88
I just decided to grab the very newest drivers on there the 177.79 and I have to say so far it has worked very well.
To install the new drivers:
> first download both the driver file and the modified .inf from the laptopvideo2go page.
> next run the driver file and it will extract it to a location of your choice
> go into the folder you extracted the drivers to and over write the old .inf file with the new one you downloaded.
> next you need to uninstall the drivers currently on the computer, just go into the windows add/remove programs in the control panel and select nvidia drivers, for me it gave me two selections one for drivers and one for something else, just choose display drivers only.
> you will have to reboot after uninstalling the old drivers
> when the system is back up, go into your folder that you extracted the new drivers and locate the setup.exe file and then run it.
> drivers will install and your done!
Here is the difference this can make -
Original 175.80 drivers 3dmark06 1280x1024
New 177.79 3dmark06 1280x1024
Original 175.80 drivers 3dmark08 Vantage Performance Settings
New 177.79 3dmark08 Vantage Performance Settings
As you can see the difference is quite noticeable, and besides any performance increases often there are fixes to any problems current games may present so I highly suggest you update your drivers. Also the stock drivers were very lacking in resolution settings including the all important 1280x800 setting, the new ones have it enabled and the ability to create custom resolutions.
Benchmarks and Gaming:
I am redoing this section right now with the new 177.79 drivers.
These were taken at the 2.8ghz Turbo Extreme setting for the cpu and the updated 177.79 drivers (to get these read the section above)
Oh yes let me talk about direct console really fast.
Its a piece of software that will let you configure your oled readout to tell you different things like cpu usage, ram usage, battery life, custom notes. It also controls the behavior of the leds on the back of the lid. The third and most important to me is the turbogear mode.
Stock the cpu runs at ~2.5ghz but when you put the notebook in turbo extreme mode your at ~2.8ghz thats a nice little boost!
To show the difference and just how cool the cpu runs here is some wprime tests.
First stock cpu mode:
That was just at 31 seconds in normal mode.
Now Turbo Extreme:
Down to 28 seconds! Thats believe it or not a big difference in wprime and as you can see I have all the cpu info for you there on cpu-z and the temps with coretemp.
So the normal benchmarks:
First up is Battlefield 2142
A small "mini guide" to help you guys out. BF2142 did not support wide screen originally however in the most recent 1.50 patch they finally added offical support for it. So you must update to 1.50 and THEN you have to manually enable widescreen.
> right click your shortcut for BF2142 and in the target line add "+widescreen 1" without the quotes it should look like this:
With that done you can play widescreen now.
So BF2142, the G50 simply has no problems with it I did my first set of tests with 1280x800 and totally maxed out
Here are the settings:
As you can see in the following screen shots the game was running in the 60-70fps area
With the FPS so high I then decided to see what the system could do with it COMPLETELY maxed out 1680x1050 all high settings, the FPS droped to about the 40-50's and the lowest I saw was in the low 30's so as you can see in the next few screen shots you can play BF2142 Maxed Out no problems on the G50.
Call of Duty 4
As you can see maxed out with 2x AA it runs about 30fps average so its totally playable, but the odd event now and then dropped me into the 20's and I didnt go deep in the game so maybe anther stage or area could be harder to render. If thats the case I think just dropping the 2x AA would get you the green for good framerates but since this is maxed out you still have a lot of room to play with the settings to get better frame rates without loss of much visual quality.
Devil May Cry 4
Settings: Maxed out with 16xQAA
Even tho it failed with a D on the benchmark, thats not a real truth, the game ran very well maxed out it almost never went below 30fps and it stayed very fluid. Thing is that this is maxed out with 16xQAA! so there is no reason to have an insane setting like 16x for AA, thus I redid the test with a more modest 4x AA and got this.
If your a fps hog, turning off AA gives almost always more than 60fps at all times.
This is what I would play with DX9 all medium with high objects and it runs really good in game seems to be in the high 30's low 40's most of the time. The benchmark gave me just over 30fps average. Crysis we all know is very poorly optimized so if I have time I would like to retest this with some custom configs later on to see if performance can go up.
Warcraft 3 The Frozen Throne
I can very easily say that Warcraft III can be completly maxed out and almost never drop below a full 60fps. I am willing to bet when the time comes that Starcraft 2 will run super good too.
FEAR is butter, I think updating the drivers had a good impact on this one because I remember seeing some lower "low frames" before but now the game hardly drops below 30fps on the benchmark with it entirely maxed out with 4x AA, this game would be very enjoyable to play on the G50V.
Team Fortress 2
This game runs so smooth its not even funny you can definitly raise the settings higher than my test. I would have tried higher settings and taken more screen shots but every single time I got in game and hit F10 for fraps to take a screen shot it would kill the program.... So I guess F10 closes the game or something and it got rather annoying fast restarting the game and connecting to a game on a wifi network.
Just like TF2 it runs the usual 1280x800 res maxed out settings with ease leaving room for a higher resolution if desired or higher AA.
Runs great at the usual 1280x800 all maxed out seems to be in mid to high 30's at almost all occasions so it runs very smooth.
Still to be added: UT3 & World of Warcraft at a future date.
> Lots of power in a small package
> Windows Vista 64bit included
> Good screen (mine has a minor backlight bleed but no other user has reported to have it and Gentech already said they would help me with this)
> Dual hard drivers with hardware level raid support (raid 0 or 1)
> Actually very decent battery life for a gaming laptop 2 hours on a 6 cell
> Express gate is a nifty and cool tool for fast access to web or chat
> Has overclocking for up to 2.8ghz for the cpu just at the press of a button.
> The newest and best Montevina platform with the 1066mhz fsb Centrino 2 Cpu'
> Full DDR2 800mhz ram support.
> OLED display is nifty comes in handy to know how much ram/cpu power a game uses.
> Includes backpack & mouse to save you from having to get your own. (MX518!)
> Its a dust & fingerprint magnet
> Its larger than your normal 15" but still smaller than the normal 17"
> 9700gt its good but you feel it could just be better I think the performance has something to do with its memory buss hopefully overclocking and further raise its potential, its definitely in the upper mid range section rather than the high end section, but this is not a very expensive laptop all considering so I feel the price is right.
> Looks, just my opinion but I prefer neutral looking laptops to the gaming look. I like the G50 and its looks compared to the vast majority of gaming notebooks but I still prefer the plain jane look of say the M50.
> No media touchpad, not really a con for me but I know some people kinda of expected it you can still use the arrow keys for quick media access. If you really wanna be cool look up my thread on how to use the wiimote with your laptop and have full media control from across the room with jus the tilt/shake of a wiimote!
> Intel Wifi 5100 instead of the new top dog the 5300 which could have been a nice upgrade.
I seriously tried to make the cons list as long as the pro's but I cant there really is not much bad to say about this model, its quite pleasing and well rounded. It should make anybody happy unless they are used to the $3000 SLI type laptops with more gaming power, but you can own 2 of these for that price.
The G50V series was a very worthy successor to the G1S, the computer world has several segments to capture. There are budget minded word processor guys all the way up to the more money than sense $3000+ 17" SLI nuclear powered brick guys. I fall somewhere in the middle and I think the vast majority does as well. So happens the G50 falls right there in the middle $1600 for a good amount of gaming power in a great running notebook with all the bells and whistles.
It has the best mobile cpu type out there, is part of the first notebooks to actually run DDR2 800mhz ram at full speed, offers overclocking, dual hard drives + raid, support for a 9cell battery, comes with a great 2 year warranty. I mean what more do you really want? I have installed every game I own on here almost and still have tons of HDD space left, put like 10 movies on here and 500 mp3's. So now I have everything my desktop gave me on the go.
I simply have not found a competing product to compare it to, you can find some laptops like the infamous gateway that have a better video card but you lose everything else, much of the build quality is sacrificed and all of the good stuff I just mentioned is not there. Its just not worth it. I can say I feel good about my purchase decision and will try to become a G50 master just as I was a C90S master to help guide other owners with the best tweaks, mods, and assistance that can be offered for the notebook and will stay ontop of any problems we may happen to find as time passes. Any and all notebooks have there flaws but the g50 so far seems to have few to none.
7th August 2008, 06:08 PM #2
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- Jul 2008
- Quietly rocking my M15x to sleep.
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Re: Vicious's G50V-A1 Review
Wow.. awesome review!! (since it is done now..hehe).. thank you so much. Makes me happy to know I made a great decision in ordering this laptop!
Last edited by Bubbamel; 10th August 2008 at 08:22 PM.
7th August 2008, 06:14 PM #3
Re: Vicious's G50V-A1 Review
cool review Vicious!ASUS U36JC-A1 w/ Intel 6300 wifi || G.Skill 256GB SSD
Dell Latitude E6400 (company laptop) w/ Intel P8600 || 160GB HDD || 4GB Ram || Nvidia Quadro 160M
Canon 5DMKII || 24-70mm f/2.8L || 70-200mm f/2.8L IS VII|| 100mm 2.8L Macro || 430EX II
7th August 2008, 06:14 PM #4
Re: Vicious's G50V-A1 Review
This is not even half the review by far. I simply just cant do more today kids to watch and need sleep. If tonight is not hell at work I will revise this more.
I plan to put more info on raid, and explane how to set it up. Explane some of the different aps that come isntalled on the system and what they do. Explane express gate (and how to install it on raid as I have to do this)
I will have benchmarks for Devil May Cry 4, CoD4, Crysis, Grid, F.E.A.R., Cinebench, Lightsmark, Max temp readings for the gpu, and hopefully instructions on how to overclock the gpu and estimated safe max overclocks.
I need to figure out how to create a custome 1200x800 res setting as the system lacks it by default and exlane how to do that. Instructions on what bloatware to remove. Give my final thoughts on the system and a good pros/cons readout.
7th August 2008, 06:15 PM #5
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Re: Vicious's G50V-A1 Review
this is an extremely good review bro i think you're the first person on the whole net to review this laptop so i give you a thumbs up! The top of this pc is actually better then the one at best buy, i just noticed that it has that spakling stuff the best buy one doesnt have anything like that its just plain glossy, once again nice review and congrats on the new notebook!
7th August 2008, 06:16 PM #6
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- Cambridge, MA
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Re: Vicious's G50V-A1 Review
Wow, this is already quite informative. Can't wait to hear more! Thanks for the pictures with the quarter on them - gave me a more realistic sense of the size of this beast.
1) Does the lid pick up fingerprints and scratches easily?
2) Are the stickers on the palm rest easy to peel off?G50V-A2
Previously: M4400 (Returned), Inspiron 9100
7th August 2008, 06:19 PM #7
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Re: Vicious's G50V-A1 Review
wow amazing review. cant wait till i get some money( which is in forever)
7th August 2008, 06:25 PM #8
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Re: Vicious's G50V-A1 Review
Thanks for the review. Anyway Ive decided it already to buy this but you have just comfirmed me in this decision Thanks.
7th August 2008, 06:34 PM #9
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- Montgomery, TEXAS
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Re: Vicious's G50V-A1 Review
What is that Gold Port to the left of the firewire port?
7th August 2008, 06:35 PM #10
Re: Vicious's G50V-A1 Review
2.) Yes every single sticker came right off for me except just one of the small ones, it left like 2 small pieces behind that I was able to take off with my fingernail. If you had any trouble tho just get some rubbing alcohol or something. over half of the stickers have like this metal back of sorts so that they can not tear or leave pieces behind when peeled off.