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  #11 (permalink)  
Old August 26, 2011, 09:37 AM
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I have been waiting for what feels like forever to upgrade my aging p7811fx. I started looking at the G73's when they first came out with AMD/ATI graphics, and had some issues with it that kept me from buying it. Then the JW variant came out, and that addressed some of my complaints, but surfaced a few more such as wanting Sandy Bridge. Asus then put out the SW variant which gave Sandy Bridge, but then I complained about how I didn't like the keyboard layout.

Now with the G74, Asus seems to have covered all previous complaints I have had. But, now I want Optimus. Whenever I have mentioned or commented on a story and asked why they didn't include the feature, there is always the person who will say "why would you even consider battery life on a gaming laptop?". Well, that's easy.. I don't use my laptop only for gaming. In fact, I maybe game about 20-25% of the time. So why should I have to suffer with terrible battery life the other 75-80% of the time? "Build a cheap desktop" you say? I have a great desktop. I want a laptop that I can play games with when I want to, without having to lug around a monitor, keyboard, mouse, etc.

So my decision to require Optimus made me look at other laptops. Namely, the Alienware m17x line. And while looking there I realized that I only buy a laptop every 3-4 years, so I should make sure to get something that will last longer than a 560m. So I am looking at the 580m or the 6990m, the latter of which doesn't support Optimus.

So here is where I am currently stuck..

-I can settle for the 560m in the g74 if they release an updated variant with Optimus enabled.
-I can configure an m17x with a 580m and spend a lot more money.
-I can configure an m17x with a 6990m and not have Optimus.

But here are a couple questions..

-Does the 580m even support Optimus in the m17x? I have read that it will as long as I don't configure it with the 120hz 3D screen. Can anyone confirm this?
-Does AMD/ATI have some sort of Optimus equivalent that I am not aware of? I just want to use the gpu built in on Sandy Bridge cpu's while I am not gaming to save battery life, and have it change between the two gpu's without needing to restart the computer. preferably automatically.
-Can Optimus be enabled by the end user on the g74? Custom firmware or something?
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old August 27, 2011, 06:29 AM
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The GTX 580M has Optimus support but some manufacturers have chosen not to implement it.

Yes AMD has a form of Optimus-like feature but it is not marketed all that well. It is called PowerXPress.

Optimus and PowerXpress cannot be enabled on notebooks that do not originally support it.
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  #13 (permalink)  
Old August 28, 2011, 12:16 PM
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thanks for the info. i hope that you can get some m17x's in for review and comparison. i'd really love to see a comparison between the m17x with the 580m and m17x with a 6990m.. as well as this g74sx against an m17x with a 560m. that's asking a lot tho. 3 different configurations of m17x in for review..? lol
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  #14 (permalink)  
Old August 31, 2011, 07:15 PM
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I just got a hold of a G74SX-A1 unit and I have to say there are a few things I really like about it and 1 thing I don't.

Pros:
New keyboard layout is awesome and lots of room and space
Aluminum surround around the keys again very nice feature
Redesigned vents are really nice
Touchpad is a lot nicer
Split Touchpad buttons another bonus.

Cons:
No longer have a light under the screen or if it did couldn't find a way to turn it on
No longer have a light button to adjust the various light settings
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  #15 (permalink)  
Old August 31, 2011, 08:57 PM
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Light? As in a physical light?
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  #16 (permalink)  
Old September 1, 2011, 07:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SKYMTL View Post
Light? As in a physical light?
Yup the G73s I've played with had a soft blue light under the screen when it was opened.
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  #17 (permalink)  
Old September 1, 2011, 08:20 AM
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Ah. I prefer a backlit keyboard myself...
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old September 1, 2011, 08:22 AM
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Quote:
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Ah. I prefer a backlit keyboard myself...
Yes and it had that too. And they had a button top left of the keyboard that would cycle through the lights on or off.
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old September 5, 2011, 09:23 PM
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Great review. I'd say I love this laptop, but I'm disappointed in a few things.
1. The screen. Come on Asus, put a matte/anti-reflective coating on the screen. Glossy screens suck.
2. The number pad. I love the full size arrow buttons, but they really should have worried less about appearance and balance, and more about functionality. Don't shrink the zero key, shrink the shift key instead. I don't know how hard it would be to adapt to not using my thumb for the zero key, like on all other number pads. This change was stupid/great at the same time. Just move the arrow keys to the left and you fix the problem.
3. Idle noise. Can it be lowered? Yes it can - with OPTIMUS!
4. Blue-ray drive in most of the configurations. Who gives a frick? Put the $100 to a 128GB SSD+750GB hard drive option instead.
5. Stickers. Please stop putting them on boxed laptops. Let the retailer put them on the demo model and keep the rest of them looking clean.
6. Enable Optimus. HC should have added 'for some frickin unexplainable reason' to the end of their sentence about why Asus isn't using it.

I am impressed with the low noise while under load. The keyboard sounds good, and hopefully HC just got a lemon with the stuck key.

Now I have to figure out if I go with MSI and their different but possibly larger number of flaws or a Dell XPS 17 that comes with a suckier 555 gpu, or possibly wait for Asus to switch to Matte screens ( my biggest complaint ).

Great review. But I wish you had more video card options (like a 550 or 555 gpu) to compare it to.

The other notebook review site downgraded the G74 (vs G73) from a 'very good' to a good 'good' because of some of these issues with the G74.

Fix them all ASAP Asus and you'll sell a lot more of these.

Last edited by deeps6x; September 5, 2011 at 09:27 PM. Reason: Forgot one thing
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  #20 (permalink)  
Old September 5, 2011, 09:29 PM
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Yeah, we're working on getting more laptops pronto. Hopefully we'll have the new MSI X460 by mid month and and ASUS U36 in the next few days.

As for the idle noise, it isn't extreme but I can understand how it could be distracting. But it CAN be lowered by going into the ASUS 4Gear advanced options I believe.
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