A 15-inch screen may not be enough gaming display among serious games, but there’s a lot going behind the Asus N56VJ-DH71for both casual and serious gamers looking for a good value laptop with a decent gaming muscle that won’t disappoint. Its 15.6-inch display has no less than full HD resolution at 1920 x 1080, giving it a higher pixel density than similar resolutions at a higher screen size. But in contrast with other widescreen format at 16:9, this one has a 16:10 aspect ratio. Currently discounted at Amazon at 5% off from its $999 MSRP, this Asus provides the casual gamer with enough muscle to play some of the most demanding games at low to medium game setting while taking advantage of its high resolution.
THE Asus N56VJ-DH71 Review, Benchmarks and Comparisons
- Processor: Quad core Intel Core i7-3630QM clocked at 2.4 GHz;
- Memory: 8 GB DDR3 expandable to 16 GB (max) at 1,066MHz on 2 SODIMM Sockets;
- Hard Drive: 1 TB SATA running at 5400 rpm ;
- Display: 15.6 in LED backlit with full HD resolution1920 x 1080 ;
- Graphics Processor: NVIDIA GeForce GT 635M with 2GB DDR3 video RAM;
- Optical Drive: Dual Layer DVD/CD Writer/Reader;
- Camera: 2.0 megapixel HD camera;
- Speakers: Premium Bang & Olufsen ICEpower;
- Wireless data connectivity: WiFi 802.11 b/g/n connectivity and (1) Bluetooth 4.0;
- Wired data connectivity: (1) HDMI, (2) USB 2.0, (2) USB 3.0, (1) VGA port/MiniD-Sub 15-pin, (1) headphone, and (1) Mic ports;
- Others: 3-in-1 Card reader for SO, MS and MMC;
- Bundled OS: 64-bit Windows Home Premium edition.
With a slim 1.2 inch profile on a 5lb body, this Asus N56VJ can be considered among the slimmest and lightest among gaming laptops which are generally heavy and bulky, as most high end power laptops are. The 15.6-inch LED backlit TFT TN (Twisted Nematic) screen sports a full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution which gives it’s a significantly higher pixel density than most 15-inch laptops in the market which often offer only 1366 x 768 resolution, though still considered HD since you can display a HD movies but scaled down to a 720p resolution. Aspect ratio is 16:10 which gives it a slight edge in terms of screen real estate over the 16:9 aspect ratios now increasingly used in most 15.4 and 15.6-inch laptops. Gaming and multimedia files is served generously with a 1 TB SATA hard disk drive running at 5,400 rpm which is starting to be typical in mid to high performing laptops. You can always upgrade to a higher capacity if you think you need more at purchase time. A 3rd generation Intel Core i7-3630QM at 2.4GHz powers the laptop with an 8GB DDR3 memory on two SODIMM sockets to maximize its dual memory channel performance. This is upgradable to 16GB but you will need to replace the two 4GB memory modules with two 8GB modules. Its graphics engine is the Nvidia GeForce GT 650M with its own 2GB of video memory may be 10% less powerful than the GT 650M, but it certainly gets most if not all the demanding games running at medium to high settings.
Released and marketed in the early autumn of 2012, the Asus N56VJ-DH71 is powered by Intel’s 3rd generation i7-3630QM clocked at 2.4GHz supported by an 8GB DDR3 system RAM. Fig 1 below shows the performance of the 3730QM relative to other quad core engines used in laptops. It is clearly in the top 30 fastest quad cores in the market and certainly one of the fastest for the Asus N56VJ-DH71 price point. Table 1: Overall real world gaming performance
The Graphics Engine
The NVIDIA GeForce GT 635M is a mid-range graphics engine with 144 pipes and a core speed of 675MHz to 753MHz. As indicated Table 2, it occupies the low-mid position in the NVidia GeForce GT 600 M series Table 2: Overall real world gaming performance
The card is basically a rebranding of the older GeForce GT 555M with a slightly enhanced Fermi architecture based on the GD114 and GF116 chips introduced in 2011. The GT 635M sits on the top 5 of Class 3 graphic cards for 2013 and Table 3 shows its relative power compared with other graphics cards used in several laptops used for gaming. Class 3 means that the graphics card can play current demanding games seamlessly at low to medium game settings and medium HD resolution but can play moderately demanding games at higher setting without a problem. In addition, Table 3 shows its place That gives the Asus N56VJ-DH71 a reasonable value for casual gamers but will rarely disappoint serious ones. As the test specimen Asus N56VJ-DH71 exhibited, the card has a gaming performance that is slightly below the muscle exhibited by the Kepler-based GT 640M and its maximum ability is dependent on the card version as shown in Table 2 which also shows its position in the NVidia GeForce GT 500M series. The card supports GDDR5 video RAM which is sure to maximize its gaming throughput but the Asus N56VJ test specimen here uses DDR3 video RAM on a 128-bit memory bus. As such, most currently released games can play at a slightly lower 1366 x 768 screen resolution but at medium to high game settings while games like Battlefield 3, Hitman: Absolution and Borderlands 2 can play only at low game settings. Table 3: Overall real world gaming performance Click here to read more
Table 4 shows the gaming performance of the Asus N56VJ-DH71 based on measured frame rates that always define what it means to have a rewarding gaming experience for both the casual and serious gamer. Not all of the demanding games will play seamlessly on the laptop which uses a class 3 graphics card, and while majority will play seamless at low to medium game settings, the full HD resolution may have to be lowered to 1366 x 768 and some to non-HD resolution in order to achieve a seamless video play. But a few recently released games will have no problem playing at high game setting at the full HD resolution. Table 4: Gaming scores in fps for some select game titles
Like nearly all laptops, using the quirky touchpad is really not meant for gaming and you would be better off with an external mouse. Good thing it comes with 4 USB ports, two of which support the older version 2.0 which is just fine to connect a USB mouse. The Bang & Olufsen speakers look great on paper but you still get the typical laptop sound that remains wanting in bass department if you are used to your desktop Hi-Fi sound system. It does get loud without annoying distortion. But as with gamers, this is a shortcoming that can easily be overcome with a decent pair of headphones or external powered sound systems. The unit tested became noticeably warm after half an hour of continuous gaming and effective heat dissipation is certainly not one of its best designed feature. Again, laptop gamers are known to use some form of cooling system under over which to put the laptop to bring the heat down. Lastly, once the fan kicks in, it can be a bit annoying in a quiet environment so it is best to use the headphone when using its multimedia features. Serious gamers are known to prefer using solid state drives to further speed up the screen re-draws when going to higher gaming levels without having to fetch data from the hard drive from time to time. Unfortunately, this laptop does not have a second HDD bay to mount a second drive and you may want to upgrade to a hybrid drive that has caching features or go for an exclusive but expensive 512GB solid state drive instead.
For the casual gamer, the Asus N76VJ-Dh71 does a competent job as a multimedia and gaming laptop. Just don’t expect it to be best in either area. But that is not the expectation of anyone shelling out less than a thousand dollars for a laptop, and you shouldn’t, unless you’re getting a flagship laptop that is a more than a year old and heavily discounted. Serous gamers who don’t mind using the laptop as a filler to their unoccupied moments waiting in a bus station or airport will not be disappointed if they can be happy playing their favorite games at reduced resolution and low to medium game settings. Click here to buy the N56JV at the best price available
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