Believe it or not it’s been ten years since the ASUS Republic of Gamers brand was formed. In that time the brand has been doing their best to be at the forefront of PC gaming innovation. The ASUS ROG G752, the first of its kind to include thermal cooling, is a prime example of ASUS’ committment to innovation. Being innovative is one thing, making innovation work is another. Have the ASUS ROG brand succeeded with the G752? Let’s find out…
With a price tag starting at NZD $3,599 the G752 definitely falls into the high end category and has the specs to back up that up. Hiding beneath the eye catching Armour Titanium and Plasma Copper colour scheme is an Intel Core i7-6700HQ Processor running on Windows 10 and supported by 16GB RAM, a 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD a blu-ray writer and depending on configuration, either an nVIDIA GeFore GTX 970M or GTX 980M. Our review unit was the G752VY so it came with the GTX 980M with 4GB GDDR5 VRAM. In anyone’s language that is a pretty powerful set of hardward hiding away inside the laptop. Both the G752VT and G752VY have an 17.3 inch anti-glare FHD IPS LED backlit screen that runs with nVIDIA G-Sync.
I’ve mentioned the design already but it’s worth mentioning again. The Armour Titanium has a nice burshed metal effect to it and Plasma Copper finishes it off nicely. ASUS design philosophy over the past year or so has been centered around fighter aircraft and the G752 again has that sleek fighter plane feel to it. With that 17 inch screen it is a big device, make no mistake about that. The form factor is made bigger with the inclusion of the thermal cooling unit that is built into the back of the device. The Thermal Cooling unit does add to the bulk at the rear but with the grills covered with that Plasma Copper finish it does make for one classy looking laptop. Weight wise the G752 comes in at a tick over 4KG which is one heavy machine! At that weight you wouldn’t want to be carrying it too far and picking it up with two hands is highly recommended. Although with everything inside this machine and the thermal cooling unit it was always going to equate to a heavy device so you’ve got to be willing to compromise.
Make that compromise and you’ve got your hands on a high performing beast of a laptop. We’ve mentioned in other review how good the Intel Skylake processor is but I’ll make that point again. The extra threading that comes form Intel’s skylake processor gives any machine that has one inside run just that wee bit faster and slightly more stable. Skylake also delivers a wee bit of a boost to battery life as well. We all know that gaming laptops eat the battery life like Shane Warne eats pies but with Skylake you’ll get a bit more game time without needing to reach for your charger.
Take that skylake processor, through in the 16GB of DDR4 RAM and throw in the GTX 980M and it’s literally game on! When I got this beast to review the timing was perfect. I had just received early review code for Dark Souls 3 so what better test for this machine then throwing on Dark Souls 3 to look for performance flaws. In the hours that I pumped into Dark Souls 3 on the G752, I’d like to say I found performance flaws from the laptop in-game but there really were none to find. Dark Souls 3 ran at Max Settings with no problem at all. Full HD graphics on max setting delivered a smooth 58-60 FPS with veritable ease. Don’t believe us, then check out some in game footage of Dark Souls 3 running on the G752.
Using one game to test with would be folly of course so we also gave ARK Survival Evolved, Just Cause 3 and Shadow of Mordor a bit of a hiding on the G752. ARK Survival Evolved gave it the biggest test, running with High Settings got 60FPS. Just Cause 3 and Shadow of Mordor both were able to get 60FPS on Max/Ultra. If you’re sitting down for a decent gaming session and just want the laptop resting on your legs then this is where the thermal cooling is really noticeable. There is hardly any heat that comes off the machine! You’ll just have to trust me on this one or try it for yourself, the thermal cooling makes a big difference to heat output and is pretty darn quiet as well! It’s the first laptop I’ve been able to rest on my legs for a prolonged perid of time without thinking my legs were about to catch fire. Keeping the laptop cool also puts much less strain on the internals, meaning that you will be able to get maximum performance from the GPU without needing to be worried that you are going to burn it out after a while.
So the in-game performance was flawless, but that’s not to say that the G752 is not without flaws. There is every chance it was just the review unit we had and the fact that it gets wipped after each time a reviewer uses it but there were some things that just didn’t work properly. For me the biggest problem was that the 1TB HDD was not accessible. It was sitting right there in the BIOS but once the machine was running normally it was not detectable which meant I was limited to installing games to the 256GB SSD, not ideal when a game file can easily take up 50GB. The second anomaly was using GeForce Experience, at first it wouldn’t work at all. The fix for this was reasonably simple. ASUS have installed their own game optimising suite but it doesn’t like running with GeForce Experience. GeForce Experience is the superior product so uninstall the ASUS software and GeForce Experience will start working. Once I got GeForce Experience working there was one other issue, for the life of me, ShadowPlay couldn’t be turned on. NO matter how many times I tried or uninstalled/reinstalled trying to turn on ShadowPlay crashed the program. As I said early it’s highly likely it is just an issue with passing the unit around reviewers and wiping it each time, possibly a file got corrupted along the way so I just struggle to believe a retail version of the G752 would have the same issues.
The backlit keyboard is solid and feels good to use. It features that all important anti-ghosting so you’ll get accurate keystrokes even with simultaneous touches. I’m not a massive user of a laptop keyboard other than for typing, if I’m gaming I opt for plugging in a Mechanical Keyboard and Mouse, plus the headset of course. That brings me to my next topic for discussion, connectivity. The G752 is overflowing with connectivity options. There’s the microphone and audio jacks, HDMI, LAN port, an SD Card reader, a thunderbolt port, 3 x USB 3.0 ports and even an USB Type C port. Unless you are using some peripheral that feels the need to be different and have its own proprietary connection, then there is next to nothing you can’t plug in to this machine. To go with all those ports you’ve of course also got Wifi 802.11 ac and 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac support and built in bluetooth.
The ASUS ROG G752 is not for the faint hearted. The hefty price tag will be a step too far for some but like anything you do get what you pay for. The G752 may cost a pretty penny but PC gamers willing to put down the coin are going to be rewarded with a machine that provides plenty of power and delivers excellent performance, even when playing the most graphics intensive games. I started off by raising the question, has the ASUS innovation worked? Well the asnwer to that is a resounding YES. The built in thermal cooling compliments the impressive specs and helps deliver a near flawless in-game experience that gets the best out of games.