20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Power to the people!
, June 7, 2012
This review is from: ASUS N56VZ-DS71 15.6-Inch Laptop (Black) (Personal Computers)
I just got this speed monster yesterday via Amazon from J&Rs. What can I say about the speed...it's fast...VERY fast. Anybody wavering on the edge over to go i7 3rd gen over a 2nd gen I say just do it. The extra $$$ is well spent IMO. I see somebody else has just added a full list of specs which until now was not listed on here. The ES model doesn't have a Blu-Ray ROM and I think comes with only 4Gb DDR3-1333 RAM and 1366x768 res screen but is available for about $200 less. So if you're on a tight budget that might be a better choice. But do yourself a favor and get to see the beautiful 1920x1080 screen on this one beforehand. It is really that nice and I believe it's an IPS screen. No dark patches and a wide viewing angle.
As with the previous reviewer the Hitachi 5400rpm HDD supplied is completely out of place in this system. After verifying everything worked I swapped it out with my 2yr old Intel 80GB X-25M SSD. WOW - now it becomes a totally different animal. Running Cinebench 11.5 the results are CPU test 6.25 and GPU 3D animation test was 43.03fps! That outperforms an earlier i7 960 chip running at 3.2Ghz. Cinebench claims 2.3Ghz for this (though maybe faster with Turbo Boost running). Boot time is now about 21 seconds from cold boot to Win 7 desktop screen.
While I don't do much gaming, this notebook can perform as one. Mostly it will be used for everyday web browsing, email etc. and photo/HD video editing. It handles my Sony a77 24MP images like they were 15yr old 500k GIFs LOL Instant. No waiting. Photoshop v7.0 opens up the fastest I've ever seen. I haven't yet installed Sony Vegas Pro 8 but I expect it to be quick too. A word on the graphics performance. The 3rd gen i7 Ivy bridge series now has an on-die Intel video chip included. So there are 2 graphics chips, this one and the 2Gb nVidia 650M. The Intel is used for run-of-the-mill performance applications and the 650M kicks in when needed. This is supposed to save battery power. Having not run any tests yet on that I can't comment. The battery is a 6 cell 5200mAh one.
One bad thing is the manual Asus supplied on the utilities CD/DVD. Nowhere does it mention the command to access the BIOS on cold boot. After some trial and error, I found it's the delete key. Why that isn't mentioned I don't know? Every other computer I've had over the years does (and I've had quite a few). One more thing to mention. On the supplied Win 7 HP install, you have to run the utility disk to get the Blu-Ray drive to read anything. Why that wasn't done as part of the factory install again I don't know? Despite the physical size which is typical for a 15.6", the weight is only 6lbs making it quite easy to carry. Most of the "gamer" spec notebooks seem to be heavier. The supplied subwoofer is a nice touch as it adds a bit extra bass end for the sound. Not quite Hi-Fi quality but better than the more usual tinny notebook sound.
If you have a spare $1200 lying around and are looking for a decent notebook or like me, a desktop replacement (be gone 4yr old Q6700 tower!) which won't break the bank yet reward with high performance, I'd say look no further. I did also consider an MSI GE60 at first but those are in limited supply it seems and marginally more expensive. 4 stars given, knocking one off for the lousy 5400rpm HDD.
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