Notebookcheck

Asus ROG Strix GL502VS Notebook Review

Sven Kloevekorn (translated by Andreas Osthoff), 08/26/2016

Let the games begin. Asus sent us one of the first 15-inch notebooks with the extremely fast Pascal GPU GeForce GTX 1070. The informed reader expects big performance gains and is not disappointed. The manufacturer focuses on continuity for the other aspects of the system, which is usually the correct decision.

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For the original German review, see here.

Besides Alienware, Schenker, and MSI, Asus is one of the most important players in the gaming segment with the futuristically looking ROG-series, which is specifically designed for gamers. We actually just reviewed the two Maxwell based predecessors Asus ROG Strix GL502VT (GTX 970M) and GL502VY (GTX 980M) in June and July, respectively. These 15-inch notebooks are still relatively portable and managed good scores of 82 and 83 percent in our reviews.

Our test model today is one of two Strix GL502 SKUs, more precisely the GL502VS. The other model has the designation GL502VM and is equipped with the significantly slower Pascal GPU GTX 1060. It is, however, 6.6 mm (~0.3 in) thinner as well as 100 grams (~3.5 oz) lighter in return, and is – contrary to the VS model – equipped with a Thunderbolt 3 port. Nvidia's Optimus technology, which saves power, was supported by the old GL502VT, but not the new models. They do support G-Sync though, which was formerly only the case for the GL502VY (no Optimus).

The Asus ROG Strix GL502VS is based on the 45-watt CPU Intel Core i7-6700HQ, which is a very popular choice for gaming notebooks. It is based on Intel's current Skylake architecture, has four native cores and supports Hyperthreading. The CPU is supported by 32 GB DDR4-RAM (dual-channel), and the video memory of the GTX 1070 (laptop) is quite future-proof at 8 GB GDDR5 as well. Storage space is provided by a SanDisk SSD with 256 GB in combination with a (pretty quick) conventional 1 TB hard drive. The IPS screen has 1920x1080 pixels and promises wide viewing angles. Besides the essential ports, the GL502VS also sports USB 3.1 Gen2, DisplayPort as well as HDMI 2.0 (!). Wireless connections (including the latest standards) are handled by an AC-module from Intel.

We use modern gaming notebooks from the formerly mentioned manufacturers and from our Top 10 Ranking as comparison devices. The two predecessors are obviously included in the tables as well. The rivals are:

Asus Strix GL502VS-FY032T (Strix GL502VS Series)
Processor
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop) - 8192 MB, Core: 1443 MHz, Memory: 4000 MHz, GDDR5, ForceWare 372.53, No Optimus
Memory
32768 MB 
, DDR4, 2133 MHz, Dual-Channel, both slots in use
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1920x1080 pixel 141 PPI, LG Philips LP156WF6-SPB6 (LGD046F), IPS, Full HD, G-Sync, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel HM170 (Skylake PCH-H)
Storage
SanDisk SD8SNAT256G1002, 256 GB 
, m.2-SSD + HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630, 1000 GB @ 7200 rpm, 2,5-Zoll-HDD
Soundcard
Realtek ALC255 @ Intel Sunrise Point PCH - High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
3 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 USB 3.1 Gen2, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: combined 3.5 mm stereo jack, Card Reader: SD/SDHC/SDXC, Brightness Sensor
Networking
Realtek RTL8168/8111 Gigabit-LAN (10/100/1000MBit), Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260 (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.1
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 30 x 390 x 266 ( = 1.18 x 15.35 x 10.47 in)
Battery
62 Wh Lithium-Ion, 4 cells
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: HD (1280 x 720P @ 30fps)
Additional features
Speakers: stereo (3 W), Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, cable tie, ROG Gaming Center, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
2.6 kg ( = 91.71 oz / 5.73 pounds), Power Supply: 570 g ( = 20.11 oz / 1.26 pounds)
Price
2000 EUR

 

Case

Since the chassis was not changed compared to the mentioned predecessors, we will keep it short in this section and focus on some additions and the quality evaluation. Both the aluminum lid and the plastic cover of the base unit have a brushed metal finish, which is very susceptible to fingerprints and not easy to clean. The thin lid does not leave a very sturdy impression despite the aluminum, but pressure on the other hand is not a big problem. You can easily open the lid with one hand and sudden movements will only result in minimal bouncing.

The build quality of our test model is flawless and can therefore meet the high price tag. There are no protruding edges or uneven gaps. The base will just slightly bend when you twist it. That the overall case does not appear to be very sturdy is a result of creaking sounds you can hear when the lid is open and you lift the system at the rear of the base unit. The latter can also be pushed in at some points.

Asus ROG Strix GL502VS
Asus ROG Strix GL502VS
Asus ROG Strix GL502VS
Asus ROG Strix GL502VS
Asus ROG Strix GL502VS
Asus ROG Strix GL502VS
Asus ROG Strix GL502VS Maintenance

Length and width of the GL502VS are identical to the predecessor, but the new model is now 6.6 millimeters (~0.3 in) thicker compared to the GL502VT. The Schenker XMG P506 with the GTX 980M is similar in this regard, but about 200 grams (~0.4 lb) heavier. Another 100 grams (~0.2 lb) heavier is the MSI GT62VR and it is also thicker at 40 mm (~1.6 in), but the length and the width are on par with the new Strix. The monster among the 15-inch systems in this comparison is the Acer Predator 15 with an unusual depth of 300 mm (~11.8 in) and it also weighs almost 1 kg (~2.2 lb) more than the test model.

Size Comparison

Connectivity

Asus includes all modern ports, and the only thing you could miss is the Thunderbolt 3 port, which is reserved for the GL502VM. In return, you get DisplayPort and HDMI 2.0 to drive external 4K monitors at 60 Hz. besides three common USB 3.0 ports. There is also a USB Type-C with support for USB 3.1 Gen2 (SuperSpeed+) and a maximum transfer rate of 10 Gbps. Not perfect for the target group: The audio port is a combined jack, so conventional headsets cannot be attached.

Asus managed to keep the front areas free of ports, so users of an external mouse should not have problems with colliding cables or attached peripherals. Very wide USB thumb drives or cables could block each other, but we did not have any issues.

Left side: AC power, Ethernet (fold-out), DisplayPort, HDMI 2.0, USB 3.0, USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C
Left side: AC power, Ethernet (fold-out), DisplayPort, HDMI 2.0, USB 3.0, USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C
Right side: Audio in/out, 2x USB 3.0, SD-card, Kensington
Right side: Audio in/out, 2x USB 3.0, SD-card, Kensington

SD Card Reader

You can expect transfer rates between 60 and 90 MB/s (JPG copy test) from modern notebooks, and all the comparison devices are within this range. Only the brand-new MSI GT62VR is much faster and reaches an impressive 190 MB/s when it copies a 1 GB file.

SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
MSI GT62VR-6RE16H21
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
140 MB/s ∼100% +89%
Acer Predator 15 G9-592-7925
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
78 MB/s ∼56% +5%
Schenker XMG P506 PRO
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
76 MB/s ∼54% +3%
Asus Strix GL502VS-FY032T
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
74 MB/s ∼53%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
MSI GT62VR-6RE16H21
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
190 MB/s ∼100% +126%
Acer Predator 15 G9-592-7925
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
88 MB/s ∼46% +5%
Schenker XMG P506 PRO
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
86 MB/s ∼45% +2%
Asus Strix GL502VS-FY032T
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
84 MB/s ∼44%

Communication

Gamers often avoid WLAN and use wired LAN connections, so the foldout Gigabit Ethernet port is basically crucial. The wireless capabilities are still very good since Asus equipped the test model with the current Dual-Band Wireless-AC 8260 (MIMO 2x2) from Intel. The maximum transfer rate in AC mode, which is only available in the wider and less crowded 5 GHz band, is up to 867 Mbps.

Under perfect conditions (1m/3 ft from the router), we determined very good 648 Mbps (receive) and 468 Mbps (send), respectively. Our standardized WLAN test is still rather new, so we can only compare the results with the MSI, which manages a 19% higher send rate. Intel's Wireless Display is also available, just like Bluetooth 4.1. It seems that some SKUs are equipped with the module Azwave/Lite-on 802.11bgn Wi-Fi + Bluetooth 4.0.

Networking
iperf Server (receive) TCP 1 m
Asus Strix GL502VS-FY032T
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260
648 MBit/s ∼100%
MSI GT62VR-6RE16H21
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1435 Wireless Network Adapter
630 MBit/s ∼97% -3%
iperf Client (transmit) TCP 1 m
MSI GT62VR-6RE16H21
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1435 Wireless Network Adapter
559 MBit/s ∼100% +19%
Asus Strix GL502VS-FY032T
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260
468 MBit/s ∼84%

Accessories

Maybe we should finally stop expecting noteworthy accessories for gaming notebooks. Asus only puts the usual cable ties in the box besides the power adapter and the service brochures. You can see an overview about numerous additional accessories for the ROG notebooks here.

Maintenance

Considering the increased cooling requirements, gaming systems move a lot of air around and dust should be removed from time to time. Similar to the predecessors, Ten screws must be removed from the bottom panel before you can access the internals. This includes the fans and all other important components, although both the CPU and GPU are soldered.

The memory slots deserve criticism since there are only two of them. Still, we do not expect 32 GB RAM to be the limiting factor anytime soon before the whole system is outdated. This should still take a couple of years when you consider the enormous performance and the modern features.

Warranty

Asus grants a two-year manufacturer's warranty and there do not seem to be any extensions.

Input Devices

Keyboard

Most of the keys have a slightly concave shape and all of them have a non-slip surface. They are black and follow the overall design with orange lettering, but contrast is lacking when the three-stage red illumination is activated. Our review sample features a French layout, so we cannot say much in this respect. Macro keys are missing, but you get some auxiliary keys to launch the ROG Gaming Center, for example. It seems Asus wants to keep the smaller number pad, which is tricky to use for bigger hands. As always, this does result in a small point deduction in this section.

Similar to the majority of gaming notebooks, the keys have about 1.5 mm travel. We would not call the pressure point crisp, but it is easy to feel and conveniently far away from the rather soft sprung stroke. While many smaller keys are quiet, some of the bigger keys clatter a bit, which limits the usability in noise-sensitive environments. The keyboard, which is identical to the predecessors, is very stable and leaves a solid impression. We liked it and managed comparatively high typing speeds.

Touchpad

The mouse replacement is a ClickPad with integrated buttons, but they are not visibly separated. The pad is slightly depressed and sufficiently sized, but does not accept inputs in the peripheral areas. We had some issues with the smooth surface. The feedback is a bit soft, but the main problem is (especially in the summer) the gliding capabilities. Moist fingers will often stutter, but there are no problems with dry fingers. Precision and response are – similar to the predecessors – very good, and even fast movements are captured correctly.

The two mouse buttons offer good audible and tactile feedback thanks to the firm pressure point. Gestures are recognized with up to three fingers and can be adjusted in the Windows settings, but we did not find a dedicated driver panel offering additional settings.

Input devices (test model with French keyboard layout)
Input devices (test model with French keyboard layout)

Display

The Full HD display is based on IPS technology and has a matte surface. Its maximum luminance is sufficient for outdoor environments. The measured brightness distribution is acceptable. Besides the high luminance, the good contrast (984:1) also benefits from the low black value. We can measure 0.35 cd/m² for the Asus Strix.

The color deviations ex-works are actually not that bad for an IPS screen at around 4.5, while the ideal value would be smaller 3 (DeltaE). A calibration did not really improve the ColorChecker results, while the grayscale improved to an excellent value of 0.87 (average). We did not notice a color cast ex-works, but the GL502VS is still not a good choice for serious picture editing. Even the small sRGB color space is only covered by 83 percent.

We could not notice PWM, but the slow response times might be a problem for professional gamers. The results are still common for an IPS screen.

290
cd/m²
291
cd/m²
277
cd/m²
310
cd/m²
315
cd/m²
296
cd/m²
279
cd/m²
282
cd/m²
269
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 315 cd/m² Average: 289.9 cd/m² Minimum: 35 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 85 %
Center on Battery: 315 cd/m²
Contrast: 984:1 (Black: 0.32 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 4.88 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 4.17 | - Ø
83% sRGB (Argyll) 55% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll)
Gamma: 2.53
Asus Strix GL502VS-FY032T
LG Philips LP156WF6-SPB6 (LGD046F), , 1920x1080, 15.6
MSI GT62VR-6RE16H21
LG Philips LP156WF6 (LGD046F), , 1920x1080, 15.6
Acer Predator 15 G9-592-7925
LG Philips LP156WF6-SPP1 (LGD04D5), , 1920x1080, 15.6
Schenker XMG P506 PRO
LG Philips LP156WF6 (LGD046F), , 1920x1080, 15.6
Asus Strix GL502VT-DS74
1920x1080, 15.6
Asus Strix GL502VY-DS71
1920x1080, 15.6
Response Times
8%
-9%
-3%
-65%
3%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
38
34
11%
43
-13%
37
3%
56.4
-48%
32
16%
Response Time Black / White *
23
22
4%
24
-4%
25
-9%
41.6
-81%
25.6
-11%
PWM Frequency
201.6
Screen
10%
-1%
5%
-8%
6%
Brightness
290
278
-4%
287
-1%
293
1%
282
-3%
327
13%
Brightness Distribution
85
88
4%
91
7%
87
2%
86
1%
88
4%
Black Level *
0.32
0.27
16%
0.36
-13%
0.32
-0%
0.347
-8%
0.348
-9%
Contrast
984
1011
3%
839
-15%
975
-1%
855
-13%
998
1%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
4.88
3.67
25%
4.93
-1%
4.45
9%
5.24
-7%
4.53
7%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
4.17
2.73
35%
3.47
17%
3.05
27%
6.76
-62%
2.84
32%
Gamma
2.53 95%
2.49 96%
2.16 111%
2.58 93%
2.24 107%
2.05 117%
CCT
6683 97%
7029 92%
6622 98%
6495 100%
8467 77%
6664 98%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
55
55
0%
54
-2%
55
0%
62.8
14%
54.7
-1%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
83
84
1%
82
-1%
84
1%
98.1
18%
84.1
1%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
9% / 10%
-5% / -3%
1% / 3%
-37% / -19%
5% / 5%

* ... smaller is better

CalMAN: Grayscale
CalMAN: Grayscale
CalMAN: Grayscale (calibrated)
CalMAN: Grayscale (calibrated)
CalMAN: Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN: Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN: Saturation Sweeps (calibrated)
CalMAN: Saturation Sweeps (calibrated)
CalMAN: ColorChecker
CalMAN: ColorChecker
CalMAN: ColorChecker (calibrated)
CalMAN: ColorChecker (calibrated)
Asus GL502VS vs. sRGB (83%)
Asus GL502VS vs. sRGB (83%)
Asus GL502VS vs. AdobeRGB (55%)
Asus GL502VS vs. AdobeRGB (55%)

Even though the notebook was definitely designed to be used indoors, you can also use it pretty well outdoors. It should not be a problem to find a spot where you can see the display content without any big limitations, even on sunny days. The screen is only overpowered by direct sunlight.

Subpixel-array
Subpixel-array
Viewing angles
Viewing angles

IPS panels like the one in the test model promise much wider viewing angles compared to TN screens. You still have to expect a brightness and contrast drop the wider the angle gets. If you view the screen from above, for example, there can be slight color deviations, but our pictures exaggerate the problem a bit. Overall, the performance is average for an IPS panel.

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
23 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 5 ms rise
↘ 18 ms fall
The screen shows good response rates in our tests, but may be too slow for competitive gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 20 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (27.3 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
38 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 16 ms rise
↘ 22 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 33 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (44.3 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM not detected

In comparison: 60 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 875 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 30860) Hz was measured.

Performance

A notebook that can handle even the most demanding games without any problems is also powerful enough for any other usage scenario. Similar to the sibling GL502VM (GTX 1060), the GL502VS supports G-Sync and is VR-ready.

Processor

It is not surprising to see the Skylake processor Intel Core i7-6700HQ in numerous high-end gaming systems. The majority of GPU demanding titles often benefits from four physical cores, which can execute up to eight tasks simultaneously thanks to Hyperthreading. They have a nominal clock of 2.6 GHz and can reach up to 3.5 GHz (4 cores: 3.1 GHz, 2 cores: 3.3 GHz) via Turbo Boost. The chip in our review unit delivers the expected Cinebench R15 results. Only the slightly higher clocked and tunable i7-6820HK of the Schenker XMG P506 Pro is a bit faster.

If the notebook is powered by a modern high-end GPU like the GTX 1070, you should expect an FPS limitation even in higher settings when you only use a dual-core with Hyperthreading. Skylake supports DDR4-RAM for the first time, and Asus uses it to increase the performance. Notebooks with such a quad-core need bigger cases due to the higher TDP of 45 watts, and the limit should be 15.6 or 14-inch models. CPUs like the i7-6700HQ have absolutely no problems even with the most demanding games, so you do not have to worry about other applications, either.

Single-core Rendering
Single-core Rendering
Multi-core Rendering
Multi-core Rendering
CPU & GPU load
CPU & GPU load
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Schenker XMG P506 PRO
Intel Core i7-6820HK
150 Points ∼77% +2%
Asus Strix GL502VS-FY032T
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
147 Points ∼76%
Asus Strix GL502VT-DS74
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
145 Points ∼75% -1%
Asus Strix GL502VY-DS71
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
145 Points ∼75% -1%
MSI GT62VR-6RE16H21
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
143 Points ∼74% -3%
Acer Predator 15 G9-592-7925
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
142 Points ∼73% -3%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Schenker XMG P506 PRO
Intel Core i7-6820HK
707 Points ∼38% +5%
Asus Strix GL502VY-DS71
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
677 Points ∼36% 0%
Acer Predator 15 G9-592-7925
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
676 Points ∼36% 0%
Asus Strix GL502VS-FY032T
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
676 Points ∼36%
MSI GT62VR-6RE16H21
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
673 Points ∼36% 0%
Asus Strix GL502VT-DS74
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
670 Points ∼36% -1%
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.56 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
7.3 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
676 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
147 Points
Help

System Performance

The Strix GL502VS is one of the fastest notebooks in our database. There are numerous devices with higher scores, but the performance advantage in PCMark 8 (Home) is rarely more than 10%. Even better is the brand-new Asus G752VS-XB78K, which is also equipped with a GTX 1070. Still, +20% should not have a big impact in practice, because the system already feels very fast, and it is hard to imagine another improvement considering the smooth handling even with excessive multi-tasking as well as fast application and OS launches.

PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Asus Strix GL502VS-FY032T
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SNAT256G1002
5011 Points ∼77%
MSI GT62VR-6RE16H21
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NY
4924 Points ∼76% -2%
Asus Strix GL502VY-DS71
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122
4766 Points ∼73% -5%
Asus Strix GL502VT-DS74
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Lite-On CV1-8B128
4716 Points ∼72% -6%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Asus Strix GL502VS-FY032T
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SNAT256G1002
4651 Points ∼78%
MSI GT62VR-6RE16H21
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NY
4541 Points ∼76% -2%
Asus Strix GL502VY-DS71
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122
4413 Points ∼74% -5%
Asus Strix GL502VT-DS74
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Lite-On CV1-8B128
3700 Points ∼62% -20%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
4651 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
5011 points
Help

Storage Devices

If you want to criticize a bit on a high level, you could say that the M.2-SSD from SanDisk is only attached via SATA-III and is therefore not one of the fastest models. Sequential read transfer rates are limited to around 500 MB/s by the interface, so loading times of bigger gaming files can be slightly longer compared to the fast NVMe-SSD in the Schenker system.

The 4K read results, which are important for application launches, are pretty slow where we would have expected at least 20 MB/s. The SSDs from the rivals are generally faster in many of all tests, but you will have a hard time to notice that in practice. The excellent PCMark results speak for themselves.

AS SSD
AS SSD
CrystalDiskMark 3.0 SSD
CrystalDiskMark 3.0 SSD
CrystalDiskMark 3.0 HDD
CrystalDiskMark 3.0 HDD
Asus Strix GL502VS-FY032T
SanDisk SD8SNAT256G1002
MSI GT62VR-6RE16H21
Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NY
Acer Predator 15 G9-592-7925
Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN512HCJH
Schenker XMG P506 PRO
Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB m.2 NVMe
Asus Strix GL502VT-DS74
Lite-On CV1-8B128
Asus Strix GL502VY-DS71
SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
38%
48%
222%
7%
26%
Write 4k QD32
256.3
162.2
-37%
329.1
28%
418.5
63%
182.1
-29%
263.1
3%
Read 4k QD32
149.4
350.3
134%
358.6
140%
687.1
360%
312.6
109%
347.8
133%
Write 4k
75.74
98.84
30%
92.53
22%
173
128%
77.18
2%
50.19
-34%
Read 4k
21.44
21.86
2%
32.46
51%
54.63
155%
30.04
40%
26.43
23%
Write 512
287.8
471.2
64%
422.3
47%
731.6
154%
182.6
-37%
400
39%
Read 512
294.8
444.7
51%
415.9
41%
971.8
230%
318.6
8%
281.1
-5%
Write Seq
312.4
485.5
55%
455.3
46%
1331
326%
184.1
-41%
454.8
46%
Read Seq
485.4
523
8%
509.8
5%
2249
363%
494.5
2%
496.8
2%
SanDisk SD8SNAT256G1002
Sequential Read: 485.4 MB/s
Sequential Write: 312.4 MB/s
512K Read: 294.8 MB/s
512K Write: 287.8 MB/s
4K Read: 21.44 MB/s
4K Write: 75.74 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 149.4 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 256.3 MB/s

GPU Performance

Clocks Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070
Clocks Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070

Brand-new, very fast, efficient, and expensive; these are the keywords that come to mind for the new Pascal GPUs from Nvidia. The GeForce GTX 1070 is obviously the highlight of the GL502VS. The recently announced GPU has 8 GB GDDR5-VRAM and a 256-bit memory interface for longer legs down the road.

The chip should not have performance problems anytime soon, either; the performance reserves are just too big. GPU-Z shows a nominal clock of 1443 MHz. The slightly higher clocked desktop version of the GTX 1070 has 1920 shaders, while the mobile version gets 2048. Compared to the direct predecessor GeForce GTX 970M, the 3D performance was more than doubled, while the power consumption is just slightly higher. Nvidia really did a good job. The times when hardcore gamers only used desktop PCs should finally be over with Pascal. More information about the new GPU architecture is available in our dedicated article.

The picture below shows the ROG Gaming Center, which can also be operated via an Android app. You can see system information, CPU and GPU clocks, create gaming profiles, adjust the color scheme of the display and clean up the memory. You can also activate/deactivate touchpad, Windows key and the dedicated ROG key. Finally, there are some useful shortcuts at the bottom left for the ROG Audio Wizard, for example.

We used the Unigine Heaven benchmark to observe the clocks of the GPU. The lowest core clock was 1582 MHz, the highest 1771 MHz. These two extreme values are limited to very brief moments, and the clock was usually fluctuating around 1620 MHz with a maximum temperature of 83 °C (181.4 °F). The performance is heavily limited on battery power. The overall 3DMark 11 score dropped from 15,822 to just 6753 without a socket (-57%).

3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
MSI GT62VR-6RE16H21
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-6700HQ
22195 Points ∼44% +1%
Asus Strix GL502VS-FY032T
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-6700HQ
22022 Points ∼43%
Schenker XMG P506 PRO
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, Intel Core i7-6820HK
12517 Points ∼25% -43%
Asus Strix GL502VY-DS71
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, Intel Core i7-6700HQ
12472 Points ∼24% -43%
Acer Predator 15 G9-592-7925
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M, Intel Core i7-6700HQ
9845 Points ∼19% -55%
Asus Strix GL502VT-DS74
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M, Intel Core i7-6700HQ
9824 Points ∼19% -55%
3DMark - 1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
MSI GT62VR-6RE16H21
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-6700HQ
17066 Points ∼44% +3%
Asus Strix GL502VS-FY032T
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-6700HQ
16525 Points ∼42%
Schenker XMG P506 PRO
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, Intel Core i7-6820HK
9671 Points ∼25% -41%
Asus Strix GL502VY-DS71
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, Intel Core i7-6700HQ
9608 Points ∼24% -42%
Acer Predator 15 G9-592-7925
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M, Intel Core i7-6700HQ
7624 Points ∼19% -54%
Asus Strix GL502VT-DS74
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M, Intel Core i7-6700HQ
7321 Points ∼19% -56%
3DMark 11 Performance
15822 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
22943 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
12909 points
Help

Gaming Performance

One of the few titles where the Maxwell predecessors GTX 970M and GTX 980 struggled at the highest settings was the great looking, but very demanding, Assassin's Creed Syndicate. Even such a title is no problem for the GTX 1070.

Compared to rivals with the GeForce GTX 980M, the GL502VS manages 70 and 80 percent higher scores in the two 3DMarks. The modern and great looking Rise of the Tomb Raider (Very High) runs 61 percent faster, and Doom (Ultra) even 123 percent faster. There is currently no new game that would not run smoothly on the Strix with the highest settings and activated picture improvements like anti-aliasing and ambient occlusion (SSAO, HBAO+). The MSI GT62VR notebook, which is also equipped with the GTX 1070, is sometimes a bit faster and sometimes slower. We did use the driver version 372.53 for our tests.

Rise of the Tomb Raider
1920x1080 Very High Preset AA:FX AF:16x
Asus Strix GL502VS-FY032T
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SNAT256G1002
88.7 fps ∼100%
MSI GT62VR-6RE16H21
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NY
84.6 fps ∼95% -5%
Asus Strix GL502VY-DS71
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122
55 fps ∼62% -38%
Asus Strix GL502VT-DS74
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Lite-On CV1-8B128
42.8 fps ∼48% -52%
1920x1080 High Preset AA:FX AF:4x
Asus Strix GL502VS-FY032T
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SNAT256G1002
104 fps ∼100%
MSI GT62VR-6RE16H21
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NY
102 fps ∼98% -2%
Asus Strix GL502VY-DS71
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122
59.6 fps ∼57% -43%
Asus Strix GL502VT-DS74
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Lite-On CV1-8B128
48.5 fps ∼47% -53%
Battlefield 4 - 1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:4x MS
MSI GT62VR-6RE16H21
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NY
138 fps ∼100% +4%
Asus Strix GL502VS-FY032T
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SNAT256G1002
132.7 fps ∼96%
The Witcher 3
1920x1080 Ultra Graphics & Postprocessing (HBAO+)
MSI GT62VR-6RE16H21
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NY
58 fps ∼100% +5%
Asus Strix GL502VS-FY032T
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SNAT256G1002
55.2 fps ∼95%
1920x1080 High Graphics & Postprocessing (Nvidia HairWorks Off)
MSI GT62VR-6RE16H21
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NY
103 fps ∼100% +1%
Asus Strix GL502VS-FY032T
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SNAT256G1002
102.4 fps ∼99%
Doom
1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:SM
Asus Strix GL502VS-FY032T
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SNAT256G1002
125.1 fps ∼100%
MSI GT62VR-6RE16H21
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NY
117 fps ∼94% -6%
Asus Strix GL502VY-DS71
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122
56 fps ∼45% -55%
1920x1080 High Preset AA:FX
Asus Strix GL502VS-FY032T
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SNAT256G1002
130.1 fps ∼100%
MSI GT62VR-6RE16H21
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NY
123 fps ∼95% -5%
Asus Strix GL502VY-DS71
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122
57 fps ∼44% -56%
Mirror's Edge Catalyst
1920x1080 Ultra Preset AF:16x
MSI GT62VR-6RE16H21
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NY
92.4 fps ∼100% 0%
Asus Strix GL502VS-FY032T
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SNAT256G1002
92 fps ∼100%
1920x1080 High Preset AF:16x
MSI GT62VR-6RE16H21
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NY
101 fps ∼100% +1%
Asus Strix GL502VS-FY032T
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SNAT256G1002
99.6 fps ∼99%
low med. high ultra
Battlefield 4 (2013) 192.2132.7fps
The Witcher 3 (2015) 165.9102.455.2fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 10488.7fps
Doom (2016) 130.1125.1fps
Mirror's Edge Catalyst (2016) 99.692fps
Discussion

Emissions

System Noise

We did include a picture of the opened chassis in the gallery above, where you can see that the cooling system did not really change. Similar to the GL502VT, for instance, we once again get two 50-mm fans, which are connected to the CPU, GPU, and VRAM via copper heat pipes.

We collected our subjective impression in a quiet single office with the running PC. While the CPU fan is never deactivated, it is hard to hear from a typical distance of about half a meter (~1.5 ft) while idling. The base fan speed is sufficient for office applications or web browsing. Short peak load, which is typical for these scenarios, is handled by the passive cooling capabilities, so there is no annoying pulsating. These passive cooling capabilities are also supported by our stress test (Prime95 + FurMark), where the fans slowly started to increase their speed seamlessly after a delay. They did keep spinning for a while after the test.      

It gets pretty loud when the two fans reach their maximum speed. Besides a distinct murmur, we also heard a high-pitched sound, but it was not dominating. It could be annoying for younger users in particular. We did not reach the stress test volume when we played The Witcher 3, but the GL502VS is still not a quiet device during gaming by any means. We recommend the use of headphones. It is, however, subjective whether the noise is annoying (stress test) or tolerable (games).

System noise idle
System noise idle
System noise load
System noise load
Speaker measurements
Speaker measurements

Noise Level

Idle
32 / 33 / 34 dB(A)
Load
39 / 51 dB(A)
 
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Audix TM1, Arta (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 30 dB(A)

Temperature

You have to expect up to 47 °C (116.6 °F) at the bottom of the system if you want to play 3D games with the notebook on your lap, which is not very comfortable. The coolest area at the top is the palm rest, which does not surpass 32 °C (89.6 °F) in any situation. We did not have any problems with the surface temperatures in practice.

Our stress test screenshot shows that the processor clock leveled off at 2.8 GHz under sustained load, and there can be slight changes in both directions from time to time. Intel specifies the base clock of the Core i7-6700HQ with 2.6 GHz and a maximum Turbo of 3.1 GHz for 4 cores, so there is no throttling even in this impractical stress test scenario, but the utilization is not perfect, either. A core temperature of 92 °C (197.6 °F) is still within the specification.

Maximum load top (Optris PI 640)
Maximum load top (Optris PI 640)
Maximum load bottom (Optris PI 640)
Maximum load bottom (Optris PI 640)
Clocks stress test Prime95 + FurMark
Clocks stress test Prime95 + FurMark
Battery power: Clocks stress test Prime95 + FurMark
Battery power: Clocks stress test Prime95 + FurMark
Max. Load
 48 °C46.3 °C46.1 °C 
 35.9 °C46.2 °C40 °C 
 29.4 °C30.6 °C29 °C 
Maximum: 48 °C
Average: 39.1 °C
46.1 °C44.4 °C46.8 °C
37.3 °C39.3 °C38.1 °C
32.2 °C30.8 °C26.7 °C
Maximum: 46.8 °C
Average: 38 °C
Power Supply (max.)  45.5 °C | Room Temperature 22 °C | Voltcraft IR-900

Speakers

The speakers are located at the left and right side of the palm rest and have enough power to fill small and medium-sized rooms with sound. There are no distortions or volume fluctuations even when you crank it up. Even though you cannot speak about real bass due to the limited volume, they are fairly well emulated via psychoacoustic effects. The sound system manages to create a certain dynamic and even a hint of a spatial effect ex-works. The sound puts emphasis on the medium tones, but it is generally well balanced and appears rich as well as natural. The differentiation suffers a bit when you listen to metal music with many low-frequency instruments and drums, but the result is not completely blurred. The solid impression of the 2.0 system (for a notebook) is supported when you play games.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2039.943.12535.734.63130.530.64035.3365032.334.26334.733.18032.83310029.930.312525.933.616022.842.720023.656.525023.559.531520.859.740019.264.150019.465.363018.763.880018.363.3100018.264.8125018.663.3160018.963.4200017.863.6250017.364.5315017.163400017.164.1500017.269.7630017.368.7800017.160.51000017.255.41250017.151.41600017.249.7SPL30.376.9N1.441median 18.3Asus Strix GL502VS-FY032Tmedian 63.3Delta2.86.141.64638.439.828.231.130.836.431.234.927.934.928.338.327.134.723.340.323.643.221.15421.156.120.259.219.164.319.46518.366.919.365.718.367.219.966.619.469.51874.217.665.417.567.217.363.517.458.817.353.117.357.817.255.717.258.317.151.130.479.11.442.1median 18.3MSI GT62VR-6RE16H21median 59.21.66.4hearing rangehide median Pink Noise
Asus Strix GL502VS-FY032T audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (77 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 16.2% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (11.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 0.7% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (3.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 3.5% away from median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (7.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (14.8% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 34% of all tested devices in this class were better, 7% similar, 59% worse
» The best had a delta of 10%, average was 17%, worst was 29%
Compared to all devices tested
» 14% of all tested devices were better, 4% similar, 82% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 22%, worst was 48%

MSI GT62VR-6RE16H21 audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (79 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 11.3% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (11.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 8.3% higher than median
(+) | mids are linear (5.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 4.3% away from median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (11% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (18.4% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 59% of all tested devices in this class were better, 7% similar, 34% worse
» The best had a delta of 10%, average was 17%, worst was 29%
Compared to all devices tested
» 32% of all tested devices were better, 5% similar, 63% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 22%, worst was 48%

Frequency Comparison (Checkboxes select/deselectable!)
Graph 1: Pink Noise 100% Vol.; Graph 2: Audio off

Energy Management

Power Consumption

We start by comparing the power consumption of the test model with its predecessor Asus Strix GL502VY, which reaches very similar values with the GTX 980M. The only noticeable difference is in the average load measurement, which is important for gaming, where the new GL502VS consumes almost 50% less power than the VY. Notebooks with the GTX 970M are more frugal in general, but the average load value of the Asus is once again a bit lower. The predecessor GL502VT benefits from Nvidia's Optimus technology in the idle measurements. We can still say that the test model is agreeably frugal considering the massively improved 3D performance.

Asus Strix GL502VS-FY032T
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ
MSI GT62VR-6RE16H21
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ
Acer Predator 15 G9-592-7925
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
Schenker XMG P506 PRO
GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK
Asus Strix GL502VT-DS74
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
Asus Strix GL502VY-DS71
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ
Power Consumption
-9%
19%
4%
25%
-4%
Idle Minimum *
20
20
-0%
12
40%
15
25%
11.1
44%
20.6
-3%
Idle Average *
24
26
-8%
16
33%
20
17%
14.1
41%
22.1
8%
Idle Maximum *
29
32
-10%
22
24%
27
7%
18.4
37%
22.5
22%
Load Average *
86
100
-16%
96
-12%
98
-14%
96.5
-12%
130.6
-52%
Load Maximum *
183
202
-10%
166
9%
210
-15%
159.5
13%
177.2
3%

* ... smaller is better

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.6 / 1.4 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 20 / 24 / 29 Watt
Load midlight 86 / 183 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy

Battery Runtime

Because of the performance drop on battery power, it is not very likely that demanding games will be played without the power adapter. We therefore focus on the realistic WLAN test at an adjusted luminance (how we test). The resulting runtime suffers heavily from the lack of Nvidia's Optimus graphics switching, which would use the CPU graphics Intel HD Graphics 530 for simple 2D applications. Without Optimus, the GTX 1070 handles them and is obviously not as power efficient as the integrated adapter.

Notebooks with the GeForce GTX 970M and Optimus support last much longer. The MSI GT62VR (75 Wh) has a bigger battery capacity than the review unit at 62 Wh and can use this advantage to manage longer runtimes.

Asus Strix GL502VS-FY032T
62 Wh
MSI GT62VR-6RE16H21
75.24 Wh
Acer Predator 15 G9-592-7925
 Wh
Schenker XMG P506 PRO
60 Wh
Asus Strix GL502VT-DS74
64 Wh
Asus Strix GL502VY-DS71
64 Wh
Battery Runtime
26%
143%
36%
82%
-5%
WiFi
WiFi v1.3
196
246
26%
476
143%
267
36%
356
82%
187
-5%
Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
4h 03min
WiFi Surfing v1.3
3h 16min
Load (maximum brightness)
0h 58min

Pro

+ comprehensive and modern port selection
+ pretty frugal for the performance
+ excellent maintainability
+ nice and well-built chassis
+ very good 3D performance
+ decent multimedia speakers
+ generally good input devices
+ high-contrast IPS display
+ decent WLAN performance
+ additional 1-TB HDD
+ 8 GB GDDR5-VRAM
+ 32 GB DDR4-RAM
+ comparatively light

Cons

- response times might be too slow for ambitious gamers
- creaking sounds from the rear of the chassis under pressure
- gliding capabilities of the touchpad not perfect
- no accessories despite the high price
- rather mediocre SSD performance
- only 2 RAM slots
- very loud under maximum load

Verdict

In review: Asus ROG Strix GL502VS. Test model courtesy of Asus Taiwan.
In review: Asus ROG Strix GL502VS. Test model courtesy of Asus Taiwan.

Asus' new ROG Strix GL502VS left a convincing impression in general. One main aspect is the enormous performance of the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070. Gamers that are not too noise-sensitive should be very happy with the device.

We already mentioned in the teaser that there are also some drawbacks. The creaking chassis could leave a better impression, but the test model is from one of the first batches, so newer models could be better in this respect. We are not perfectly happy with the gliding capabilities of the touchpad and the limited color gamut of the otherwise very good IPS display, either. The response times of the screen might be too slow for some gamers as well. The perfect visibility of the keys was sacrificed for the design. Unusual, but not really important with 32 GB DDR4-RAM: There are only two SODIMM slots. 15-inch devices with this kind of performance cannot be cooled without any noise and the rivals might not be quieter, either – but it was often still a bit too loud in our opinion.

There is much more on the positive side of things: The comparatively lightweight case looks nice and should meet the design expectations of ROG customers. Asus also deserves praise for the generous and modern port selection. Nobody will criticize the comprehensive maintainability. The performance is on the expected level as well, so the technical specifications are okay. The good impression is rounded off with a good keyboard and a mostly convincing display. We can therefore recommend the system with the mentioned limitations.

Asus Strix GL502VS-FY032T - 08/21/2016 v5.1
Sven Kloevekorn

Chassis
80 / 98 → 82%
Keyboard
84%
Pointing Device
75%
Connectivity
64 / 81 → 79%
Weight
59 / 66 → 88%
Battery
71%
Display
86%
Games Performance
97%
Application Performance
93%
Temperature
85 / 95 → 89%
Noise
74 / 90 → 82%
Audio
70%
Camera
55 / 85 → 65%
Average
76%
85%
Gaming - Weighted Average

Pricecompare

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Asus ROG Strix GL502VS Notebook Review
Sven Kloevekorn, 2016-08-26 (Update: 2016-08-30)