The Asus TUF Gaming FX505 series of gaming laptops has just been launched in Malaysia, and it’s priced pretty competitively. It’s also one of very few gaming laptops that pairs an AMD CPU with an Nvidia GPU, and if you’re looking for a reasonably powerful gaming machine without breaking the bank, you should really look at this one.
I spent a few weeks testing out the GTX 1660 Ti variant of the FX505 extensively, and overall, it’s a good gaming laptop that offers great value for money. That being said, it is not perfect, so let’s see in which area this laptop excels…and where it underperforms.
What It Is
There are as many as five different variants of the FX505 in Malaysia, but the one we have here is arguably the most interesting one. It comes with an AMD Ryzen 7-3750H processor paired with 8GB of DDR4 2666MHz RAM, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GPU, 512GB of PCIe NVMe SSD, and a 15.6-inch 1080p IPS display.
That last hardware is quite interesting, to say the least. See, the FX505 I’m reviewing here comes with a 120Hz panel, but the consumer version of the very same GTX 1660 Ti model only gets a 60Hz screen. If you want a 120Hz display, you’ll have to opt for the top of the range RTX 2060 variant.
Nonetheless, pairing the GTX 1660 Ti model with a 60Hz display does lower its price quite a bit: it retails at only RM4,399. The RTX 2060 variant, on the other hand, costs more at RM5,199. Now, you may think the RTX 2060 would be the better option to get higher performance and a faster display, but that’s not the whole picture – I’ll explain in the next section.
Connectivity wise, the FX505 is pretty alright. It has an HDMI 2.0 output, two USB 3.1 and one USB 2.0 Type-A ports, an RJ45 port, as well as a 3.5mm audio jack.
The Good Stuff
Gaming laptops in this price range don’t typically offer the kind of gaming performance you can get out of the FX505, and that really is its best selling point. If you’re concerned the Ryzen 7-3750H can’t keep up with the GPU, worry not: it can definitely deliver.
Well, judge for yourself with the gaming benchmarks below.
|Games (Maxed Out Settings @ 1080p)||Average FPS|
|Witcher 3 (HairWorks disabled)||54.12|
Previously, this level of gaming performance is usually reserved for gaming laptops that cost a lot more than the FX505. In fact, it is very close to the Acer Predator Triton 500‘s gaming performance, and that laptop comes with an RTX 2060 GPU. While RTX 2060 is still slightly more powerful, the GTX 1660 Ti comes very close to it.
In the display department, the 15.6-inch 1080p IPS screen is quite good. Now, I can’t say for sure how the 60Hz panel in the consumer model is like (for obvious reasons), but as far as this 120Hz screen is concerned, it’s definitely above average.
The dynamic range could be better, but the brightness is good, it has great viewing angles, and the high refresh rate makes it an enjoyable display to work and game on. Plus, the slim bezels also give the laptop a sleek, modern-looking design.
One area where the FX505 really surprised me is its battery life. On average, I was getting about six hours of usage out of this laptop – that’s impressive for a gaming laptop. Of course, I set the power plan to battery saver, and the display was dimmed to a comfortable level to get this kind of battery life. Nonetheless, it’s certainly power-efficient.
Input devices of the FX505 are above average too. The keyboard has good amount of travel, the keys are tactile, and the backlight effects are good, even though it only supports single-zone RGB lighting. As for the touchpad, it’s accurate enough for everyday use, thanks to the Windows Precision drivers.
The Bad Stuff
Considering the affordable price point of the FX505, some things have to be sacrificed, and the most obvious one is build material and quality. The laptop’s exterior is made completely out of plastic, right down to the palm rest area, bottom chassis, and even the lid.
Now, it’s worth noting that the review unit I have here actually has a metal lid, but the consumer version will come with a plastic lid instead. It’s not all bad news, of course. Despite its all-plastic construction, it feels robust enough. On top of that, it is also MIL-STD 810G certified.
Another area where the FX505 could do better is software. Throughout my time with the laptop, I got numerous pop-ups from McAfee. Granted, I could easily uninstall it, but it’s still an issue worth pointing out; it negatively impacts the user experience. Besides that, the keyboard shortcut to adjust the brightness level doesn’t work sometimes, which can get quite frustrating.
Thermal performance of the FX505 could be better too. In extended gaming sessions, the GPU got up to 83°C, while the CPU is toastier, heating up to 89°C. These temperatures are still okay for a gaming laptop, but I definitely expect better numbers from a laptop as thick as the FX505.
Is It Worth It?
Personally, I highly recommend the FX505 with the GTX 1660 Ti for one simple reason: it offers the best performance for your money. For RM4,399, it performs very closely to the higher-end RTX 2060 model, which costs RM800 more. For those who are shopping on a budget, that amount of saving could be well worth it.
But if you absolutely want RTX-specific features and a 120Hz screen, the RTX 2060 model isn’t a bad buy either. RM5,199 for an RTX 2060 laptop with the FX505’s feature set is really quite good.
Again, for those who want the absolute best gaming performance for the money, look no further than the GTX 1660 Ti model. It’s only slightly slower than the RTX 2060, and even if its 60Hz display isn’t quite as impressive as the 120Hz screen found on the higher-end model, some consumers may not care at all about the higher refresh rate.
At the end of the day, which variant to get will depend on each individual’s personal preferences. And to answer the question: the Asus TUF Gaming FX505 gaming laptop is definitely worth it.