N56VZ-DH71/RH71 Owners Lounge - N56VZ w/Windows 8

Discussion in 'ASUS Reviews and Owners' Lounges' started by CCz_Cataphract, Oct 18, 2012.

  1. CCz_Cataphract

    CCz_Cataphract Notebook Deity

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    My Windows 8 N56VZ has arrived :)

    Setting it up now - excited though to give it a try :)

    P1050402.jpg

    First Impressions

    It was interesting, it took me right into the Windows 8 settings from the BIOS screen without any sort of transition - the 'turning circle' effect started from there.

    The touchpad feels very different from my previous N56VZ - that was a model built in May that I purchased a couple of weeks ago and returned two days ago as defective - it could be just my model, but it is much harder to press and just about impossible to press down on in the upper 1/3. Taps work from anywhere of course. The trackpad is properly depressed into the case.

    Besides that it looks and feels pretty much the same on the outside as the Windows 7 model (N56VZ-DS71 for example).

    It's very fast - it feels like I already installed the OS on my SSD. It's like a clean install - if there is as much bloatware as on the previous model, I don't feel it at all - the system is very responsive right out of the box. Also, the trackpad is well behaved, with the previous, it was jumping around all over the place whenever I typed - with this one, I can type easily without any problems or misclicks.

    The subwoofer is making all sorts of noises, with the system still muted, it's growling continuously now that I've plugged it in. I'll have to investigate if there is some fix besides unplugging it when not in use (my previous N56VZ had an issue with the subwoofer making noise when there was activity, this one is doing it all the time, idle or active). It gets louder when there is on screen activity, such as tiles updating, windows loading, etc..

    On my second boot, I found the subwoofer noise would start 12 seconds after hitting the button to turn on the system (there is no noise while in the BIOS screen, for example) - It took about 42 seconds to get to the Login screen (all with the default hardware). Third boot was much faster - just 14 seconds to login screen. Fourth boot and after, we're down to 10 seconds. This is all with the 7200rpm HDD - I didn't have speeds like that on Windows 7 even with my Vertex4 SSD - looking forward to upgrading to that again when I can (when I can download and install Windows 8 to it via USB and be sure I can grab all the drivers I have installed on this thing).

    P4GearHybrid is now simpler than ever it seems to me - just two options - Performance or Battery Saving, nothing in between.

    Looking forward to playing around with it more and will post some benches and impressions if people are interested.

    Operating System Windows 8 64-bit
    Processor Intel Core i7-3630QM (2.4GHz)
    Chipset Intel® HM76 Express
    Memory 8GB DDR3 1600 MHz SDRAM, 2 x SO-DIMM socket for expansion up to 8 GB SDRAM
    Display 15.6" FHD 1920x1080 Wide View Angle LED Backlight
    Graphics NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 650M with 2GB DDR3 VRAM

    Storage 750GB 7200 RPM (ST9750420AS)
    Optical Drive Blu-Ray DVD Combo
    Card Reader 3 -in-1 card reader ( SD/ MS/ MS Pro/ MMC)

    Camera HD camera
    Wireless LAN 802.11 b/g/n - ATHEROS AR9485WB-EG
    Ethernet 10/100/1000
    Bluetooth Bluetooth 4.0

    Interface 1 x Microphone-in jack
    1 x Headphone-out jack
    1 x VGA port/Mini D-sub 15-pin for external monitor
    4 x USB 3.0 port(s)
    1 x RJ45 LAN Jack for LAN insert
    1 x HDMI
    1 x SPIDIF speaker out
    Audio Built-in Speakers And Microphone

    Battery 6 Cell 5200 (5 Hours)
    Power Adapter 120W AC adapter

    Dimensions 38.0 x 25.5 x 2.73 ~3.40 cm
    Weight 2.7 kg (with 6 cell battery)

    Default Bios version 211
    Default nVidia Driver version 305.46

    Benchmarks (Previous model is just my own (now returned) N56VZ-DS71)

    HyperPi - 1M 19.232s average on 8 cores (vs. 19.399s on previous model)
    HyperPi - 1M 11.908s average on 1 core (vs. 12.910s on previous model)

    3DMark11 - P2402 w/new 306.97 drivers - P2347 with 305.46 (vs. P2323 on previous model)

    Peter
     
  2. Silverfern

    Silverfern Notebook Deity

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    i was really considering a n56 for my new laptop, because i have owned a few asus laptops and they are very durable, but the DDR3 650m was a complete turn off. also the laptop is really hard to maintain
     
  3. CCz_Cataphract

    CCz_Cataphract Notebook Deity

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    Interesting, I'm curious to know, what do you mean by "the laptop is really hard to maintain"?

    Thanks,
    Peter
     
  4. Silverfern

    Silverfern Notebook Deity

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    there isnt a way to easily access the inside of the computer, i,e, a cover that can be easily unscrewed. to open up the n56 you would have to practically strip it down to the otherboard. I open my laptop up to repaste/upgrade etc. Also the CPU and GPU are soldered on to the board, so no future upgrade is possible

    edit: CPU may be upgradeble, but GPU is not for sure
     
  5. Kourosh

    Kourosh Notebook Enthusiast

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    Looking forward to following this thread. It was a good idea to start a new one. (I would like to upgrade my DH71 (Scratch that -- DS71) to Win 8 around the turn of the year.)

    Personally, I like the multiple power4gear settings. Performance = gaming. Entertainment = at home. Quiet Office = at library. Battery Mode = on plane, train, or somewhere I need max battery life.

    A curiousity not particular to the N56: I wonder if people will tend to use Start8 or similar ( Start8 for Windows® 8 - Bringing back the Windows Start menu ).

    This isn't that bad for most purposes: http://cdn.mikesquarter.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/bottom.jpg
     
  6. CCz_Cataphract

    CCz_Cataphract Notebook Deity

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    Agreed - I haven't opened mine up yet, but I expect it to be the same. The bottom is actually a bit cleaner than the Win7 model - no license key or other random stickers down there, practically just one that says "Windows 8", the serial # and the support #.

    The only thing I'd worry about is not being able to clean out the dust, but it appears that spaying some compressed air in the vents is enough so I'm not too worried - someday maybe I'll upgrade the CPU but most likely not - by the time I'd want/need to, I'd probably want/need a new laptop (I know, I'm boring :p). This one is close enough to top of the line for me that I'm hoping it'll last a good long while for my purposes :).

    Thank you, I think you probably have a DS71 - the DH is the model that comes with Windows 8 preinstalled (and the slightly faster CPU and 7200rpm HDD). I'll try to take a better pic sometime - I just wanted to grab a quick one to have something for now :).

    I hear you about the multiple P4G settings, I was surprised to see the change. I often would use High Performance, Quiet Office and Battery Saving in different situations - we still have 2 for battery and 2 for AC, but it's not as it was before. There is also no widget anymore (at least not by default).

    I like the idea of Start8 - if it was free it would already be installed on my system right now after you pointed it out. I keep automatically going to use the Start Menu for so many different things - but I did add the Run command right away and at least that gives me some of the functionality free and easy - I may Start8 soon, but for now I'm good. This is my first experience with Win8 (I downloaded a beta but never had time to install it) so I'm giving it a chance. Have to admit having the manual in the box for all the gestures, corner info, etc.. was useful - it was included in all of English, Spanish and French. Kind of wish there was a Win8 install DVD, but I can set it up on my USB stick or SD card and that should work fine - there is still a Drivers CD, so maybe I actually will try re-installing on my SSD before Windows 8 is released using those drivers, since I don't think many of them are online yet until the release.

    Thanks,
    Peter
     
  7. Silverfern

    Silverfern Notebook Deity

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    also the mSATA slot on the n56 is hidden somewhere, not sure where :S i like to clean out the fan and repaste the CPU/GPU every 4 or 5 month
     
  8. CCz_Cataphract

    CCz_Cataphract Notebook Deity

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    I hear you on the repaste, though with the 2+1 year warranty (since I used Visa) I won't be doing it for some time. Where did you get the idea the N56 had an MSATA slot? The Y580 does, but I don't think the N56 does... I certainly wish it did though and I'd be happy to be corrected.

    Thanks,
    Peter
     
  9. Silverfern

    Silverfern Notebook Deity

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    i am quite sure the N56 does, its just hidden, i think you would have to lift off the motherboard to find it. When you mention warranty, do you mean you send it to asus to get the repaste done? when i got my laptop i repasted right away because the manufacturers does a bad job most of the time since they have so many laptops to go through. also i dont like to ship my laptop back to manufacturer to have repasting done because its pain in bum, takes forever to ship and i have to worry about damage during shipping

    edit: it might not have msata, but i am sure i saw a pic of the motherboard somewhere and it did have it.
     
  10. CCz_Cataphract

    CCz_Cataphract Notebook Deity

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    I hear you about it sometimes being a lousy job - but I like having the warranty for that and the other components of the laptop, and almost always you have to void the warranty to do the repaste - that's why I typically would wait until the warranty had expired to do it, but now the warranties are so long the laptop is practically past it's usable life until it's expired so I don't know. If it is especially bad and the system is running too hot or noisy then it could be eligible for warranty coverage and you could get them to redo it - but for me I'm referring to anything with the notebook.

    The nice thing for me is that I live a 12 minute or so drive away from the ASUS Service Center for all of Canada, so I can just drop it off and pick it up from there if it does need servicing (in the past I was able to get it done right away during my lunch hour, I don't know if that's still possible, but even this week I was able to take it in and test other subwoofers on my N56VZ-DS71 so the service is available and they were happy to help).

    I thought maybe you were referring to some variants of the mobo having the slot - I'd be shocked though if no one has picked up on that by now and the fact there are no models that take advantage of it - I'd think it would be in their interest to market it in some cases or else they have it built in such a way it cannot be used or is not included for this series (even if the solder points otherwise exist).

    Thanks,
    Peter
     
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