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Asus ROG G703GX Review

Asus ROG G703GX Review

Asus ROG G703GX review Asus G703GX review Asus ROG G703 review Asus G703 review Asus gaming laptop review Asus ROG gaming laptop review Asus ROG laptop review 01The Asus ROG G703GX is a record-breaking laptop in several ways. It’s one of the heaviest notebooks in the world, for starters, and its $3,999/£4,100 price makes it one of the most expensive gaming portables on the planet. It’s also the first time we’ve seen an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 inside a notebook. Is this behemoth the best option for replacing your desktop? Read our Asus ROG G703GX review to find out!

Asus ROG G703GX Review – Design

The ROG G703GX is an absolute unit. It weighs 4.7kg and it’s 51mm thick – which makes it the largest laptop we’ve ever reviewed. It’s even a couple of millimetres thicker than the original G703, which we saw in January 2018.

It’s hard to understate just how huge this machine is. Those dimensions – and its 425mm width – mean that you’re going to need a large, sturdy backpack to lug this laptop around. It wouldn’t do any harm to hit the gym and work on your shoulders, either.

The significant dimensions are paired with eye-catching looks. The lid is made of light, brushed aluminium and has a huge ROG logo filled with RGB LEDs. More light metal houses the power button, and the material arcs around the keyboard with dramatic angles. Matte black aluminium surrounds most of the keyboard.

Asus ROG G703GX review Asus G703GX review Asus ROG G703 review Asus G703 review Asus gaming laptop review Asus ROG gaming laptop review Asus ROG laptop review 09The looks are the same as the original G703 – and the finishing touches are the same, too. The hinge has a line of burnt orange metal that shows off the Republic of Gamers logo, and more orange material highlights the ports at the back, between two huge air vents.

Unsurprisingly, the beefy G703GX has fantastic build quality. There’s no give in any metal, and the screen barely flexes. We’ve got no qualms about lugging this laptop to LAN parties and gaming events.

And, despite the strength, a base panel can be removed to grant access to a pair of free memory slots, all of the SSDs and the hard disk.

Connectivity is excellent. On the left- and right-hand sides there are three USB 3.1 ports and a Type-C connector. There’s an SD card slot, a Gigabit Ethernet port and two audio jacks. Impressively, the rear serves up an HDMI 2.0 port and two mini-DisplayPort 1.4 outputs – ideal for VR and 4K output.

However, the G703GX’s outlandish design hasn’t changed since the first generation of this machine – and that could be a problem. Most gaming laptops with newer designs tend to be darker and subtler – they use darker metal, for instance, and don’t have colourful accented sections.

While it’s true that more recent high-end gaming laptops do add visual interest with more RGB LEDs, at least those can be turned off.

The ROG’s dimensions leave it feeling dated, too. The G703GX may have high-end components, but other machines with the same core specification tend to be slimmer and lighter. It’s entirely normal to find RTX 2080 laptops with 17.3in screens that weigh less than 3kg and are less than 30mm thick.

Asus ROG G703GX Review – Components

Asus ROG G703GX review Asus G703GX review Asus ROG G703 review Asus G703 review Asus gaming laptop review Asus ROG gaming laptop review Asus ROG laptop review 13The RTX 2080 is one of the more formidable chips from Nvidia’s latest range of Turing cards. And, instead of opting for a mobile or a downclocked version of the chip in this laptop, Asus has deployed proper desktop hardware.

The RTX 2080 has 2,944 of Nvidia’s latest graphics cores, and 8GB of GDDR6 memory. Impressively, the card runs in the machine’s Turbo mode by default, which improves the base clock from 1,515MHz to 1,700MHz and the boost pace from 1,710MHz to 1,880MHz.

The Asus Armoury Crate utility can be used to choose different performance modes if Turbo isn’t your thing. Opting for the Balanced mode runs the GPU at a more reasonable 1,575MHz. There are Silent and Windows modes, too, that further reduce the clock speeds.

The processor is similarly beefy. The Core i9-8950HK is one of the most powerful mobile CPUs that Intel makes. It uses the current Coffee Lake architecture, and it has six cores that can address twelve threads. It runs at a solid 2.9GHz, and it hits a monster Turbo peak of 4.8GHz.

Asus ROG G703GX review Asus G703GX review Asus ROG G703 review Asus G703 review Asus gaming laptop review Asus ROG gaming laptop review Asus ROG laptop review 11And, because of that HK designation, it’s also one of the only mobile Intel CPUs that can be overclocked.

By default, in the G703GX’s Turbo mode, all of the chip’s cores are overclocked to 4.8GHz – rather than the two cores that would run at that speed in its normal configuration. In Balanced mode the chip has a more modest 4.4GHz overclock, and in Windows mode it’s a tad slower. In Silent mode it drops down to a modest 2GHz in order to ease the strain on the G703GX’s cooling hardware.

Asus has included a mighty array of storage in this expensive machine. The G703GX has three 512GB Intel 760p SSDs arranged in RAID 0 to create a 1.39TB boot drive.

Elsewhere, the G703GX has fantastic hardware. There’s 32GB of DDR4 memory clocked to a reasonable 2,666MHz. There’s 802.11ac wireless, Gigabit Ethernet and Bluetooth 5.0.

The Ultimate Guide to Intel Coffee Lake – including the Core i7-8700K

Asus ROG G703GX Review – Ergonomics

Asus ROG G703GX review Asus G703GX review Asus ROG G703 review Asus G703 review Asus gaming laptop review Asus ROG gaming laptop review Asus ROG laptop review 03The  laptop in our Asus ROG G703GX review has exceptional build quality, which means that the keyboard’s buttons are able to hammer down into a rock-solid base panel.

The Asus has a scrabble-tile keyboard, like most gaming laptops. However, the buttons do have 2.5mm of travel, which is almost a millimetre more than most gaming notebooks offer.

The solid base and decent amount of travel ensures that the keys are fast, consistent and quiet – all good attributes for gaming. Therefore, the buttons are easily good enough for esports, casual gaming and for hammering out documents.

The layout is fine, too. The WASD buttons are highlighted, and the numberpad and cursor keys are separated from the rest of the buttons. You also get a row of extra buttons above the keyboard to handle media, open Asus software launch gaming apps.

However, the buttons are a little softer than proper mechanical hardware. It doesn’t feel like they’re hammering down into the solid base panel when the keys bottom out – it feels like they’re hitting a blanket instead.

The trackpad has a similar problem. The pad is great, but the buttons push down too much and their clicking action is slow and soft. It’s nowhere near as good as a USB mouse, so that’s what we’d use instead.

The keyboard’s RGB LEDs are controlled using the Asus Aura app. You can choose loads of different affects for the entire keyboard, sync the lighting to other Asus hardware, or opt for per-key customisation. It’s a good app, even if there’s nothing particularly new here.

Want to know more about AMD Ryzen processors? Check out our in-depth guide right here.

Asus ROG G703GX Review – Gaming Performance

Asus ROG G703GX review Asus G703GX review Asus ROG G703 review Asus G703 review Asus gaming laptop review Asus ROG gaming laptop review Asus ROG laptop review 12 1080p GamingThe RTX 2080 played any game at 1080p when running in its default Turbo overclocked mode. Its weakest minimum was a score of 105fps in Fallout 4, and its average 1080p framerates ran from 130fps to 200fps.

They’re stellar scores. They mean that you’ll be able to play any game on this laptop, from esports titles to the most demanding single-player titles. And, importantly, those triple-figure framerates mean that you’ll also be able to run any game at a high enough speed to get the most out of the Nvidia G-Sync screen.

You’ll also be able to output to VR headsets and to high-resolution panels and still get decent framerates.

These scores easily beat the GTX 1070, and they also outpace the RTX 2070 by a significant margin.

Dropping down to Balanced mode, where the GPU has a slightly weaker overclock, didn’t cause a huge drop in performance. With this option selected the G703GX’s original Shadow of Mordor average of 200fps dropped to 189fps.

The other two performance modes, unsurprisingly, caused bigger drops. In Windows mode that Shadow of Mordor result dropped to 134fps, and the Asus ran at 118fps in its Silent mode.

Theoretical tests show off the RTX 2080’s speed while also indicating that performance is still solid in other modes of operation. The G703GX’s 3D Mark Fire Strike score of 22,598 is on par with many desktop PCs – only machines with the RTX 2080 Ti are routinely quicker.

The Asus scored 6,588 in the Fire Strike Ultra benchmark and when running in Turbo mode. That score dropped to 6,251 in Balanced mode, 6,205 in Windows mode and 5,916 in Silent mode.

It’s clear that the G703GX’s performance modes don’t have a huge amount of impact on games. Turbo mode will deliver the best speeds, of course, but opting for any of the other three options will still leave games playable – just perhaps not at speeds appropriate for G-Sync.

The RTX 2080 can handle Ray-Tracing, too. When running Battlefield V at 1080p and at Ultra settings the Asus ran at a solid 105fps. With Ray-Tracing activated that figure dropped to 68fps. That’s slower, sure, but it’s still playable.

Click here for all of our in-depth graphics card reviews – including the RTX 2080 Ti, RTX 2080, RTX 2070 and RTX 2060!

Asus ROG G703GX Review – Application Performance

Asus ROG G703GX review Asus G703GX review Asus ROG G703 review Asus G703 review Asus gaming laptop review Asus ROG gaming laptop review Asus ROG laptop review 12 application benchmarksThe Core i9-8950HK included in our Asus ROG G703GX review is a fearsome bit of silicon. In the Geekbench test and with the chip running at its default Turbo mode, it returned single- and multi-core results of 5,736 and 25,789 points. Those scores are no different from the speeds we regularly record from desktop PCs with overclocked Core i7 and AMD Ryzen parts.

The Core i9 chip recorded a CPU score of 1,337cb in Cinebench. That’s another good result – far better than many laptops, and therefore on par with lots of desktops.

While the G703GX’s various performance modes didn’t have a huge impact on gaming tests, they’re far more noticeable in CPU benchmarks.

Using the Balanced mode dropped the CPU speed from 4.8GHz to 4.4GHz and dropped the Geekbench scores to 4,035 and 15,876 points. The G703GX returned similar scores in Windows mode. In Silent mode, the G703GX’s results dropped to 2,728 and 12,541.

The huge CPU power means that the Asus will be able to handle virtually any task. Day-to-day web browsing and Office tools will be no problem, for instance, and the G703GX won’t bottleneck any games. It’ll run content creation tools for photo and video, and it’ll stream games too.

The triple-SSD storage array is fantastic. The three drives combine to deliver sequential read and write speeds of 6,832MB/s and 4,484MB/s. Those figures are many times faster than most conventional SSDs and NVMe drives can manage. They help keep the Asus feeling snappy, with games and applications that always load incredibly quickly.

Don’t expect much from the battery. We only got around an hour of gaming from this machine. Therefore, if you want to play games on this system, you’ll need to plug in.

Check out our expert verdict on the best PCs for gaming, work and the home

Asus ROG G703GX Review – Thermal Performance

Asus ROG G703GX review Asus G703GX review Asus ROG G703 review Asus G703 review Asus gaming laptop review Asus ROG gaming laptop review Asus ROG laptop review 08There is a huge amount of power for games and applications available inside this machine – but the high-end components and older chassis design do have some downsides.

The biggest issue – aside from the price – is the G703GX’s thermal performance.

In its default Turbo mode, the G703GX is the loudest laptop that we’ve ever reviewed. During normal gameplay and productivity situations the Asus produced a huge noise – enough to prove distracting from several rooms away. It’s a fearsome amount of volume, and it modulated between several different tones – all of which were equally loud.

The G703GX’s speakers couldn’t drown out the noise. A headset probably wouldn’t do it either, and the person next to you won’t be happy.

You can’t push these components to their limits without making a prohibitive amount of noise. Using Balanced mode only cut the noise down a little, so the Asus was still louder than almost all of the other gaming laptops on the market. It’s another step down in Windows mode, but the noise is still noticeable, and still on a par with more modest machines.

The Silent mode is genuinely quiet, at least, but performance is hugely cut back to achieve that – and that seems counter-productive in a machine with this much grunt.

Click here for our huge guide on 4K monitors – from finding the best features to picking the right panel!

Asus ROG G703GX Review – Screen and Sound

The machine in our Asus ROG G703GX review has a 1080p screen. Initially that sounds low when this machine’s internals are considered – and when the 17.3in diagonal is considered too.

Asus ROG G703GX review Asus G703GX review Asus ROG G703 review Asus G703 review Asus gaming laptop review Asus ROG gaming laptop review Asus ROG laptop review 07However, it does make sense. Having a 1080p resolution spread across a 17.3in screen creates enough sharpness for any kind of game – and for watching movies and handling work, too.

The 1080p resolution also makes sense when you consider that the G703GX has Nvidia G-Sync with a peak refresh rate of 144Hz. The RTX 2080 is a fast graphics card, but it needs to play games at more than 100fps to get the most out of G-Sync – and it’ll only do that in today’s trickiest titles at 1080p. It wouldn’t be able to hack it at a higher resolution.

The G703GX has a good screen specification – and good benchmarks too. Its brightness level of 312cd/m2 is fine for any situation, and the black level of 0.25cd/m2 is solid. The resulting contrast ratio of 1,248:1 is very good – high enough to deliver punchy visuals, vibrant colours and deep dark areas.

The average Delta E of 2.7 is fine. However, the colour temperature of 7,745K is a bit chilly, which means that the panel lacks a bit of warmth. However, it won’t ruin any gameplay. In a similar vein, the screen rendered 84.9% of the sRGB colour gamut – a bit lower than many other laptops, and only an average result – but not a figure that’ll prove ruinous in day-to-day use.

The quality levels are decent, and the panel delivers smooth gameplay thanks to its 144Hz G-Sync. It has a 3ms response time, too, which is good for a gaming laptop and will sate everyone bar the most demanding twitch players. The screen is just as good as anything else on any other gaming laptop.

Asus ROG G703GX review Asus G703GX review Asus ROG G703 review Asus G703 review Asus gaming laptop review Asus ROG gaming laptop review Asus ROG laptop review 02The speakers are merely mediocre. They have loads of volume and bass, but the deeper noises overwhelm other sounds – so higher-pitched noise isn’t particularly loud. We’d always use a headset for serious gaming.

Need more news on the latest kit? Click here to check out the latest headlines.

Asus ROG G703GX Review – Conclusion

The Asus ROG G703GX review shows that this machine is a monster. However, its stonking performance is undermined by significant issues.

Let’s look at the good points first. The RTX 2080 is fast enough to handle every gaming task – and the Core i9 CPU will handle every productivity task too. The 32GB of memory and triple-SSD raid array deliver huge speed and versatility in all sorts of applications.

The screen offers good quality, the machine is built like a tank, and the keyboard is good enough for all but the most demanding gamers.

The bad points, though, are seriously bad. The G703GX is heavier and thicker than anything else on the market, and it’s louder than everything else we’ve tested – to the point where the noise will stop you wanting to use this machine for gaming. The keyboard isn’t as good as mechanical hardware, and battery life is expectedly poor.

Asus ROG G703GX review Asus G703GX review Asus ROG G703 review Asus G703 review Asus gaming laptop review Asus ROG gaming laptop review Asus ROG laptop review 10And then there’s the cost. The Asus ROG G703GX will set you back £4,100 in the UK and $3,999 in the US. That’s a vast amount of money.

And, while that cash does get you the Core i9 CPU, the 32GB of memory, the triple-SSD array and everything else, none of those components are transformative for gaming. Indeed, you could buy an RTX 2080 laptop for less than £3,000 or $3,000 and you’ll get broadly the same experience in a slimmer, quieter design. You won’t get loads of memory, three SSDs or a Core i9 CPU, but you probably won’t notice that they’re absent either.

The Asus ROG G703GX is powerful and imposing, but that’s not enough to make us spend so much money – especially when this machine gets so much wrong. Unless you’re committed to having the beefiest components in absolutely every department, there’s no reason to buy a laptop like this.

The machine in our Asus ROG G703GX review costs £4,100 in the UK and $3,999 in the USDiscuss our Asus ROG G703GX review on our Facebook and Twitter pages. And, if you need some more inspiration after reading our Asus ROG G703GX review, check out our guide to our favourite laptops or go deep with our ultimate guide to 4K monitors – covering the technology, the terms and our top recommendations!

The Good

  • Formidable gaming speed
  • Fast Core i9 CPU
  • Loads of memory and storage
  • Bombproof build quality
  • Decent screen and keyboard

The Bad

  • Ear-piercing noise levels
  • Prohibitively expensive
  • Bulky, heavy design
  • Poor battery life

The Specs

CPU: 2.9GHz Intel Core i9-8950HK
Memory: 32GB 2,666MHz DDR4
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 8GB
Screen: 17.3in 1,920 x 1,080 144Hz Nvidia G-Sync
Dimensions: 425 x 319 x 51mm (WxDxH)
Weight: 4.7kg
Connectivity: Gigabit Ethernet, dual-band 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 5.0
Ports 3 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C, 2 x audio jack, HDMI, 2 x Mini-DisplayPort, SD card reader
Hard disk: 1.39TB Intel 7660p RAID 0 NVMe SSDs
Warranty: 2yr RTB

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Asus ROG G703GX

About Author

Mike Jennings

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