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ASUS ROG G752: How much difference a GTX 1060 makes

ASUS G752
ASUS G752

ASUS G752

ASUS G752

The last time this goliath of a laptop came across my desk, it was a pre-Pascal GPU world. That meant that while it still packed the highest mobile GPU at the time, it was still, theoretically anyway, a way off meeting the overall performance of the new cards.

Fast forward to 2017 and with 10-series GPUs now the norm for gaming laptops of all shapes and sizes, the G752 is back. It's still big and it still looks crazy, but the key improvement under the hood is the graphics. Is the newest refresh a significant improvement over the previous incarnation?

That's what we're here to find out.

ASUS G752 specs

  • Display:
    • 17.3-inch 75Hz Full HD IPS display with G-Sync
    • 1920x1080 resolution
  • Processor:
    • Intel Core i7-6700HQ 2.6GHz processor
    • 16GB RAM
    • NVIDIA GTX 1060 6GB graphics
  • Storage
    • 256GB NVMe SSD
    • SD card slot
    • USB-C 3.1, USB 3.0, Ethernet, HDMI
    • DVD-RW optical drive

Design and hardware

To look at the G752 is entirely the same as last year's model. That's to say it's very large, very wild and quite the statement maker. It's far from portable, and you're going to need a pretty cavernous gear bag to carry it around. That is, if you're happy lugging around the best part of 10lbs worth of PC.

And, as before, with that size and heft comes impeccable build quality: the G752 is built like a tank. It's less of a laptop and more of a complete desktop PC replacement that you just so happen to be able to move around with you.

The port selection is as it was before, that is to say you get all of them. USB 3.0, USB-C 3.1, HDMI, miniDP, Ethernet, SD card, headphone and mic input and more USB 3.0 tells the tale of what you'll find adorning the sides of the G752. Oh, and there's still an optical drive.

There are still the massive bezels around the 17.3-inch display. That display is still 'only' 1080p but it once again comes with NVIDIA G-Sync, which is probably more enticing to gamers on the go than a high resolution screen. With a refresh rate of 75Hz you'll be getting some fast action on the G752 as well.

So, basically, this is the same exact laptop as we previously reviewed with all the same good and bad points about its hardware. It's built superbly well, but it's also the size of a small country and as thick as you'd like a good steak to be.

It's what's underneath that counts here. That would be the 6GB NVIDIA GTX 1060 GPU. And the "VR Ready" sticker that comes along with it, because this time around the G752 is 100%, properly capable of driving a VR headset like the Oculus Rift.

Performance: GTX 1060 making a difference

ASUS G752

ASUS G752

Since the meat of the refreshed G752 is the same as before, some areas of performance will be almost completely identical. Starting first with the synthetic benchmarks, and where we have comparable data from the previous, GTX 980M version you'll find that included for comparison.

CrystalDiskMark (higher is better)

DeviceReadWrite
ASUS G752 10602,431 MB/s1,042 MB/s
ASUS G752 980M2,159 MB/s1,236 MB/s
Razer Blade Pro2,571 MB/s2,467 MB/s
Razer Blade (960 EVO)2,079 MB/s1,809 MB/s
MacBook Pro 13 (2016)1,549 MB/s1,621 MB/s
Spectre x360 5121,332 MB/s589 MB/s
Surface Studio 1TB1,327 MB/s512 MB/s
XPS 13 (9360) 2561,287 MB/s794 MB/s
Surface Book 1TB1,018 MB/s967 MB/

The older model G752 already had a really good NVMe SSD drive in as standard, and the refreshed model is no different. Read speeds are terrific, besting even the Samsung 960 Evo inside a Razer Blade in this test, while read speeds are a little lower than the drive in last year's G752. But overall, it's a fantastic drive.

Geekbench 4.0 benchmarks (Higher is better)

DeviceSingle CoreMulti Core
ASUS G752 10603,42310,353
ASUS Strix GL7023,4219,388
Alienware Aurora R54,32813,735
Surface Studio 980M4,41413,738
Surface Studio 965M4,20013,323
Razer Blade Pro3,66012,325
Razer Blade 143,77412,638

Geekbench 4.0 CUDA (higher is better)

DeviceScore
ASUS G752 1060142,494
Razer Blade Pro GTX 1080193,311
Razer Blade 14 GTX 1060139,603
Surface Studio GTX 980M85,580
Surface Book GTX 965M63,029
Surface Studio GTX 965M53,685
ASUS Strix GL702 1060137,098

The G752 was tested using Geekbench 3, so the data hasn't been compared here. On processor scoring the G752 is behind similar processors in the Razer Blade laptops, but still comfortably ahead of the i5 in ASUS' Strix machine.

Looking at compute scores for Cuda and naturally the GTX 1060 fares strongly. It's a little better than the Razer Blade with the same GPU, and while we didn't have results for the GTX 980M in the older model, the Surface Studio with the same GPU comes out significantly behind.

3DMark (Time Spy)

DeviceScoreComparison
ASUS G752 10603564Better than 28% of all results
Razer Blade Pro 10805591Better than 71% of all results
Surface Studio 980M2862Better than 16% of all results
Surface Studio 965M1531Better than 7% of all results

3DMark (Fire Strike)

DeviceScore
ASUS G752 10609,328
ASUS G752 980M7,858
ASUS Strix GL702 10608,546

Running the 3DMark suite of graphical benchmarks, and you get another good feel for the performance of the GTX 1060. It's a lot stronger in the Time Spy DX12 test than a GTX 980M, as we'd expect. On Fire Strike there's a big gap to the older G752 with the GTX 980M, and a smaller lead over ASUS' Strix laptop with the same GPU.

Away from benchmarks and into actual game performance, and we've tested this version of the G752 against some of the same titles as its predecessor. Here's what we're looking at.

Games

Game980M1060
Gears of War: Ultimate Edition (High)67 FPS74.5 FPS
Dirt Rally (Ultra)64.47 FPS74.78 FPS

In addition, on Rise of the Tomb Raider's highest graphics settings with DX12 on, the 1060 version scored 69 FPS average. Compare that to the older Tomb Raider game on the GTX 980M version also scoring 69 FPS, but is an older title.

What is clear though, is that the GTX 1060 is worth a decent increase in FPS at the highest graphical settings, hitting 60 FPS and above with ease. It's also a lot quieter during load than the GTX 980M and the laptop doesn't get as hot overall.

The bottom line

ASUS G752

ASUS G752

This isn't so much a full review, because most of the laptop is exactly the same as the 2016 version I reviewed. That does mean we can get a fairly solid feel for how much of a difference the new generation graphics makes over its mobile predecessor, and the verdict is all positive.

The recommendation at the end of the last review was that the G752 is a fine purchase, but hold out for the 10 series refresh. That still stands true if you're interested in one of these large and excessive notebooks. It's quieter, has a decent amount more graphical oomph and will stand you in better stead as a replacement for a desktop gaming rig. The GTX 1060, while a great GPU for laptops, is perhaps not the one I'd have like to see here, if only because of the gargantuan size.

When Razer has squeezed a GTX 1080 into something smaller, I'd like to see ASUS go bananas and do the same here. But, the G752 still offers a solid value proposition, with an attractive asking price for all that hardware. You will need to invest in another hard drive or SSD immediately though, because a single 256GB drive won't go very far when you install a couple of games.

Pros

  • Built like a tank
  • Easily upgradeable
  • GTX 1060 is a worthy upgrade over previous GPU

Cons

  • It's massive
  • It's heavy
  • Optical drive adds thickness where it doesn't need to be

Should you buy one, though? The gaming laptop space has advanced pretty quickly thanks to NVIDIA, and the overall conclusion in that regards is a little different this time around. If you really want one, there's no reason you shouldn't get one. But the killer is this. When other manufacturers, even ASUS itself, are putting out much less bulky laptops with equivalent hardware inside, it's tough to say you absolutely should buy this one.

If you're looking for an ASUS 17-incher, the Strix GL702 is the one to go for, mostly because you can carry it around without worrying about back pain. That doesn't stop the G752 from being a truly impressive gaming laptop, because it is, it's just not the one to get if you want a laptop.

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Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently you'll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming, and you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

13 Comments
  • You should stick to reviewing dinky ultrabooks and 2-in-1s.  If you have a bias against optical drives (which are normal), why review a device that you know has one before unboxing it?  The fact is that the optical drive is a part of this device and should be judged based on if it works or not and how well it works (or not).  Complaining about the added thickness is like complaining that family-size cars (Impala, Avalon, Genesis, 750) with large trunks are too long.  It has a deep trunk, naturally it will be a longer car.  Does it do what it's makers say it will do and does that add value to users who want that product?  The same applies to this laptop size and form factor.  You know the dimensions, parts, and the weight before you open the box.  Does the product do what it should and does it add value for likely users of it?
  •   Wow, so out of the whole review, you're going to focus on two small comments about the optical drive, one offhand remark in the main text ("Oh, and there's still an optical drive.") and a bullet point in the cons. Which really is just a continuation of the other two "cons"- it's a big and heavy, and the optical drive compounds that.  Now this isn't a real surprise for this category but maybe unexpected for the more mainstream reader this site normally targets. It's also not like he said not to buy it because of the optical drive.  And having an optical drive could also well be a con for a more serious gamer who has no need for one.  Seriously, what percentage of the gaming market actually plays a game or even installs from an optical drive regularly vs getting games from Steam, GOG, etc?  Are there ways that space and cost could be better used - bigger battery? higher end components and/or better cooling? Lighter, less expensive, easier to lug around unit by just making it smaller? And then just use an external optical drive if it's ever needed?    
  • Was the rest of your comment an underhanded advertisement for the Alienware 17, ASUS ROG Strix GL702 (GL702VM), ASUS ROG G701VI/ROG G701VO, etc.?  Because those are just a few equivalent (or superior) gaming laptop options that confirm your bias that already come without an optical drive but have larger batteries (but still have terrible battery life).
    "Now this isn't a real surprise for this category but maybe unexpected for the more mainstream reader this site normally targets"
    Why review something that, to the reviewer, has an undesirable part which amounts to a laptop makeup that has nothing to do with the audience that the reviewer is writing to other than to reinforce and further project the reviewer's preferential bias against optical drives?
    "And having an optical drive could also well be a con for a more serious gamer who has no need for one. "
    In that instance, there are other options just as capable and in a similar form factor as the G752 model that do not have an optical drive.
    "Seriously, what percentage of the gaming market actually plays a game or even installs from an optical drive regularly vs getting games from Steam, GOG, etc?"
    Argumentum ad populum.  The percentage of either has nothing to do with what is at stake.  Complaining about a thick, heavy laptop partly owing to it having an optical drive amongst a sea of options that do not have an optical drive is frivilous and shortsighted; the G752 is targeted at gamers that do use the optical drive for gaming and other activities (watching videos, listening to music, data storage, etc.).  As irrelevant as your questions are, I am in that percentage who never uses Steam, GOG or any web-based game acquisition silo to play games.  I am someone who the G752 is targeted at.
    "Are there ways that space and cost could be better used - bigger battery? higher end components and/or better cooling? Lighter, less expensive, easier to lug around unit by just making it smaller? And then just use an external optical drive if it's ever needed?"
    If these are your biases, a few examples that encompass the desires you have in a gaming laptop like the G752 are already available in the opening comment mentioned above. A laptop model should be reviewed on its merits and its shortcomings (e.g. faulty keyboard, terrible mouse surface, poor color gamut, etc.), not through the gauge of one's own preferential biases.  Optical drives add little to the cost of laptops and cost as much as (and even less than) the difference between the existing battery and a larger capacity battery (which is still useless in a gaming laptop of this proportion and TDP) that would use the space that the optical drive is currently occupying. If you want this size laptop without the thickness and optical drive, then take comfort in knowing that OEMs have been make more gaming laptops without optical drives than gaming laptops that include optical drives.  Complaining that this particular model does not fit your bias because it includes an optical drive goes to diminish the audiences' needs that it's targeted to meet and does nothing to take away the options that are available to you and others who want no optical drive.  Just like there is an audience for more ultrabook-esque gaming laptops, there is also an audience for gaming laptops with optical drives regardless of the battery life.  The percentage of either is irrelevant.  It's about having options in single laptop models in the laptop segment.
  • Still don't have a clue what your rants are really about.  This isn't an assessment of a gaming laptop for a particular niche (niche within a niche) but an assessment about the laptop relative to current market and uses.  For the vast majority of people who are interested in this category of device (gaming laptops), it's worth knowing that this particular model a) has an optical drive, which b) contributes to it's bulk.  For someone who wants an optical drive like yourself, that's also valuable information. For others it's a negative.  However, at no point did he slam the laptop or state "Don't buy this." Every reviewer is going to come at a product from their own biases, but this review doesn't purport to have some "buy/don't buy" rating system.  Rather it provides information and an assessment from the reviewer's perspective.  If you are a person who wants an optical drive (and you'll know if you do) then those cons that are listed don't apply to you. So there are no cons for that segment and it's a great choice it appears.  And if you're someone whose views align with Richard's then you'll probably look at other options.  It's not like someone is going to look at this review and say to themselves, "Gosh I really wanted a laptop with an optical drive, but Richard Devine thinks it makes them too bulky so I'm going to get one without one instead."  So why does this offend you so much? (Edit:  Fixed some wording and punctuation.)
  • Cut the crap.   The reviewer's biased list of cons is an indictment of desktop replacements, despite his repeated acknowledgment of it being just that; the G752 is a desktop replacement - it's going to be massive, it's going to be heavy, and it's supposed to have an optical drive.  It's going to replace or substitute for proper a desktop tower, for f*ck's sake, but the reviewer decides to ding it for being itself based on ideology that is native to non-desktop replacement form factors.  Dinging it for each point of being what it's supposed to be goes beyond just having a bias.  Reviewers like this (Levine isn't the only one at fault) have an agenda slanted towards favoring thinner, lighter devices to the diminishment of anything else.  That has no place in a review of a form factor (desktop replacement laptop) that clearly isn't going to be thinner and lighter.  How dare a desktop replacement form factor be equipped, weigh, and look like a desktop replacement, amirite?  /s   Desktop replacement laptop reviews should be done in a way that actually scrutinizes the quality, design and collective performance of the parts that make it a desktop replacement, not the mere presence of those parts.  As a desktop replacement, the G752's optical drive should be judged based on its quality and performance, not its mere presence.  It's a desktop replacement    
    "This isn't an assessment of a gaming laptop for a particular niche (niche within a niche) but an assessment about the laptop relative to current market and uses."
    What you are describing is not an assessement of the product.  It's a market-driven critique of hardware that doesn't fit the reviewer's confirmation bias that has nothing to do with the merits of the hardware product itself.  Conflating the two is fallacious and endorses market-driven groupthink as being an acceptable way to review a device, regardles of what "niche" audience it targets.  Calling it a "niche" product as if desktop replacement laptops are a foreign concept to computing only goes to prolong that fallacious messaging.  
    "It's not like someone is going to look at this review and say to themselves, "Gosh I really wanted a laptop with an optical drive, but Richard Devine thinks it makes them too bulky so I'm going to get one without one instead."  So why does this offend you so much?"
    You're condescendingly making this about being offended where offense was not taken.  My "rant" is about the glaringly fallacious messaging (even if only a blip, to you, in the review) being projected where it's not warranted.   In closing, I was (and will always be) in support of ultrabooks (and the 2-in-1 like) being an option in the market when people were still calling them (and netbooks) niche devices that will only dilute the consist of single model options for "power" users.  While the dilution of focus has only accelerated and is increasingly pushing out options for "power" users, that should not poison the basis on which devices like desktop replacements are reviewed.
  • Let me ask you a question:  If the review listed the presence of an optical drive as a pro, rather than a con, would you be here posting long winded diatribes out of principal since that assessment wouldn't fairly take into account people who don't want a built in optical drive and the associated tradeoffs and who would see it as a con? (And you know, nowadays even some desktops don't have optical drives. Not to mention that once upon a time, no desktops had optical drives.)
  • "If the review listed the presence of an optical drive as a pro, rather than a con, would you be here posting long winded diatribes out of principal since that assessment wouldn't fairly take into account people who don't want a built in optical drive and the associated tradeoffs and who would see it as a con?"
      I don't address hypotheticals.  Is that succinct enough for you? My "diatriabe" isn't about the presence or absence of an optical drive, and whether that should be a pro or con in some people's opinions.  Keep up: whether a laptop has an optical drive or not, the G752 being reviewed does have one.  In terms of this review, the principle is about extirpating fallacious, slanted messaging that ignores and further diminishes the purpose of parts common to most desktops in which the audience for the G752 would be interested.  My statements aren't against people who have a preferential bias against optical drives but against biased reviewing methodology.  Unless optical drives all of a sudden create cancer in anyone that get near them, optical drives serve a useful purpose and benefit to the G752's target audience.  
    "And you know, nowadays even some desktops don't have optical drives. Not to mention that once upon a time, no desktops had optical drives."
    That has nothing to do with the likely audience for the G752 and other desktop replacement laptops that are targeted at users that want an optical drive.  The desktop replacement laptop category is going to include parts that are common to the desktop (except for desktop class CPUs and GPUs), not just desktops from "once upon a time" or the underequipped kind that Apple would like to promote as being innovative "nowadays".
  • Wait, so the desktop replacement category contains the parts common to the desktop, except for desktop class CPUs and GPUs? So the desktop replacement category doesn't have the most important benefit of desktops? But it absolutely has to have an optical drive, even though that can be easily added when needed though a small portable USB drive, whereas you can't do the same with GPUs and CPUs? Who decided on that definition?
  • "But it absolutely has to have an optical drive, even though that can be easily added when needed though a small portable USB drive, whereas you can't do the same with GPUs and CPUs? Who decided on that definition?"
    The fusion of the "niche" audience and the OEMs that make laptop products that derive from the desktop to replace it "decided on that definition".  But that's not what any of my original commented was about, is it?  So do you really want to continue burrowing your rabbit hole that has nothing to do with the fulcrum of the real issue that I clearly addressed to the reviewer that you have done nothing here to answer other than to add your own irrelevant pontificating on the joys of external parts?  
    "Wait, so the desktop replacement category contains the parts common to the desktop, except for desktop class CPUs and GPUs?  So the desktop replacement category doesn't have the most important benefit of desktops?"
    There are plenty of desktop replacement laptop options available (for what you call a "niche" category LOL) with desktop class CPUs and GPUs that require even larger bodies than the G752, for example, the Origin EON17-SLX, Velocity Micro Signature 17, Eurocom Sky X9E2, etc.; These options require desktop-level power supply capacities (330W-600W) which obviously don't sell to the reviewer's confirmation bias, which, again, is the issue here.  Are you aware of the desktop replacement laptop landscape or even educated in basic computer engineering?  Most desktop class CPUs and GPUs are too large, have too high a TDP, and generate too much heat for most laptop form factors to dissipate properly.
  • Just so I understand.  You believe in rigid absolutely defined categories of products that people's choices neatly slide into without weighing pros or cons.  So referring to an inherent feature in a particular category is never valid and is "fallacious messaging". (Your words.)  Of course, then an inherent feature can also never be considered a pro because it's a defining feature of the category; it's just a checkbox to be considered part of the category.  So really any assessment beyond "for people who like this sort of thing, this is the sort of thing these people would like" is "fallacious messaging". If for example, a phone review site reviewed the Lumia 950 say, and listed "limited app ecosystem" as a con, that would be "fallacious messaging".  It's in the category of "smartphone running Windows 10 Mobile", and that's just the way things are on that platform.  Evaluating the app ecosystem as part of a broader "smartphone" category clearly is erroneous at best and dishonest at worst from this perspective. I mean, that could be the case, or it could be more likely that you just skimmed the article and saw your favorite legacy device listed as a con, and being a hot button topic to you, deeply offended you.  Because clearly, if something is listed as a con, that must mean the author is judging it as an absolutely bad feature that must be stripped out of all laptops.  And you have to strike back against that.  Think of "what is at stake". (Again, your words.)  Curious, though.  The concluding sentence of the article is "That doesn't stop the G752 from being a truly impressive gaming laptop, because it is, it's just not the one to get if you want a laptop." That sounds like what you've been saying.  That this particular laptop is not targeted to someone who is more interested in portability, and there are better choices for that.  It's like the author clearly stated the context of his evaulation. In case you haven't noticed, though.  Neither the author nor anyone else cares about your or my thoughts here.  I'm sure they rightly consider us a couple of fools at this point.  I just responded to you because I was curious to find out if you were merely a troll or a true believer in your "cause".  At this point, you have me convinced that you are a true believer.  (So if you're actually a troll, great job!)
  • " Just so I understand.  You believe in rigid absolutely defined categories of products that people's choices neatly slide into without weighing pros or cons.  So referring to an inherent feature in a particular category is never valid and is "fallacious messaging". (Your words.) "
      You're making a clear disinformationist mal-characterization of "my words", so f*** you for that.  My response to this article was never about some "rigid absolutely defined categories" as I clearly gave examples of thinner, lighter desktop replacement laptops that do not have optical drives as well as those that have even thicker bodies than the G752 with desktop class CPUs and GPUs.  The desktop replacement category is not a "rigged absolutely defined category" any more than the desktop category itself is.  But that's not and never was the issue.  If all you're up to responding for is to twist people's words, go screw yourself. Referring to a feature is valid when not accompanied with biased judgment where its not warranted and the  feature's presence is eschewed despite the target audience.  The benefit to the target audience should be the focus, not the biases of the reviewer.  This G752 is not a new product type in this category and the optical drive it has (with the needed thickness) is not a hindrance to its target audience - the audience expects those parts and have always bought these products regardless of the physical dimensions. Let me reiterate, if I haven't made clear enough yet, that I do not define the desktop replacement laptop (DRL) category, as it is not a rigged one to be clearly defined as evidenced by the somewhat thinner and lighter DRLs, the thicker and heavier DRLs with optical drives, the Alienware 17-like DRLs without optical drives, and the even more massive desktop-class-parts-equipped Origin/Eurocom/Clevo/Gigabit/Velocity Micro DRLs of the world.  That's quite diverse for a "niche" category that you seem to claim I believe is "riggedly defined."  The DRL category (and any category) is defined by the audience and how the OEM's meet that audience.  As you can see by now (hopefully), it's a diverse category, moreso than even the ultrabook category, which is actually more riggedly defined than the DRL category.  
    " "That doesn't stop the G752 from being a truly impressive gaming laptop, because it is, it's just not the one to get if you want a laptop." That sounds like what you've been saying.  That this particular laptop is not targeted to someone who is more interested in portability, and there are better choices for that.  It's like the author clearly stated the context of his evaulation. "
    I don't have and did not review the laptop, so no, that's not what I've been saying.  Re-skim my comments, since you clearly didn't read them.  Are you really having this much trouble keeping up? I've repeatedly been saying that (for the part of the review that I addressed the reviewer about) that the reviewer took biased shots at a common benefit to the target audience of this product that is going to come with the dimensions it has.  
    " In case you haven't noticed, though.  Neither the author nor anyone else cares about your or my thoughts here.  I'm sure they rightly consider us a couple of fools at this point.  I just responded to you because I was curious to find out if you were merely a troll or a true believer in your "cause".  At this point, you have me convinced that you are a true believer.  (So if you're actually a troll, great job!) "
    I am no believer and have no cause here.  I read the entire review twice and the only ostensibly objective cognition that the reviewer showed only manifested in biased cheap shots that the reviewer injected where they weren't warranted and have no place in critiquing parts and dimensions that are germane to the expectations of the diverse desktop replacement laptop category.  On the other hand, you are clearly trolling in trying to dilute my issue with the review into something it's not. Good riddance.
  • *rigid *rigid​ *rigid *rigid *rigid​ *rigid *rigid​ *rigid *rigid​
  • Edit: meant to post this as a reply.