Display: 8/10

The display is sharp and bright, but it has issues with black levels.
The display is sharp and bright, but it has issues with black levels.

As expected of a 4K display, it’s extremely sharp. As expected of Microsoft, Windows still doesn’t know what true resolution scaling is.

Ignoring Windows’ issues for now, I found the display to be comfortably bright and very nice in most usage scenarios. I wasn’t too happy with the black levels on the screen however. I found that some details in darker areas simply vanished and more critical testing showed that black levels on the devices are quite bad. White levels were fine though.

Banding was very much in control and gamma at full brightness was around 1.2. This is not the most accurate of displays, but only the more finicky users will complain.

Performance: 6.5/10

3DMarkIceStormExtreme before Asus software uninstall Tech2 720
Performance score before uninstalling Asus software

Before we talk about the performance metrics, I’d like to draw everyone’s attention to the handful of Asus-branded apps that are installed on the laptop by default. There’s an app for managing audio, one for performance profiles, one for the USB charger and more.

3DMarkIceStormExtreme after Asus software uninstall Tech2 720
Performance score after uninstalling Asus software

They’re almost all unnecessary. The audio software does the same thing that an equaliser does, which might have some use in certain scenarios, but the program that manages performance profiles is worse than useless.

At the time I started testing, I was surprised to see performance figures that were about 50 percent of what I’d seen on the Asus G501V and Dell Inspiron 7559. All three laptops have identical specifications. A little further digging led to the discovery that the CPU was being severely throttled (despite a performance profile that should have prevented that) under load. Tweaking profiles and Power Management settings had no effect.

Gaming Benchmarks Asus G551VW
Average frames per second recorded at 720p and high preset

Finally, unable to figure out what the issue was, I uninstalled all of Asus’ bloatware and voila! Performance numbers shot back up to the expected range and the CPU wasn’t so severely throttled anymore. There was still some thermal throttling taking place, but it was well within acceptable limits.

synthetic benchmarks Asus G551VW

As you can see from the results, the Asus G551V consistently outperforms the Dell Inspiron 15 7559 at higher settings and performs on par with the Asus G501V. The Dell’s excellent cooling mechanism ensured a very high Metro: Last Light score, but the Dell’s underclocked GPU cost it dearly elsewhere.

The Asus G501V had severe thermal issues and seemed intent on roasting my legs (base temperatures reached 49 degrees Celsius) whenever I placed it on my lap. It could also manage high performance only in bursts. Considering these issues, the Asus G551V is the winner in my book.

Crystal Disk Mark

Read and write speeds on the SSD were 421MB/s and 122MB/s respectively. These are much lower than what you’d get on an NVMe SSD as on the Asus G501VW, but it’s still way better than a hard disk. Too bad it’s only 128GB though.

Asus ROG G551VW USB charging
Left: Charging an iPhone over the designated charging port. Right: Charging an iPhone over a regular USB port

The designated USB charging port delivered exactly what was promised. The charge current varied from around 1000mA to 1200mA, which is just about the same charge you’d get from a normal wall charger.

Publish date: August 5, 2016 10:00 am| Modified date: August 5, 2016 10:03 am

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