Notebookcheck

Asus ZenBook Pro UX501VW Notebook Review

Allen Ngo, 02/03/2016

Skylake all-rounder. The popular UX501 series gets Skylake, DDR4, USB Type-C with Thunderbolt 2.0, and a few other minor changes. Is this a vast improvement over last year's Haswell model?

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The Asus UX501 series has proven to be quite popular as a jack-of-all-trades solution that's powerful enough for gaming yet thin and light enough to take between classes. It and its ROG G501 twin are indeed some of the thinnest 15.6-inch notebooks around with the GTX 960M GPU.

The latest refresh is the UX501VW with Skylake and USB Type-C as two of its most major upgrades. Otherwise, the chassis, input devices, and hardware are almost exactly the same. We recommend checking out our previous reviews on the UX501 for more pictures and comments on build quality and features.

Asus ZenBook Pro UX501VW-DS71T
Processor
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M - 2048 MB, Core: 1097 MHz, Memory: 5010 MHz, 353.84, Optimus
Memory
24472 MB 
, DDR4-2132, 1063.8 MHz, 15-15-15-36, Dual-Channel (8 GB integrated)
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 3840x2160 pixel, 10-point capacitive, IPS, ID: LGD04D4, Name: LP156UD1-SPB1, glossy: yes
Mainboard
Intel HM170 (Skylake PCH-H)
Storage
Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e, 512 GB 
Soundcard
Intel Skylake PCH-H High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
3 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 USB 3.1 Gen2, 1 Thunderbolt, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm combo audio, Card Reader: 2-in-1 card reader ( SD/ SDXC), Brightness Sensor
Networking
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1525 Wireless Network Adapter (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.0
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 22 x 385 x 255 ( = 0.87 x 15.16 x 10.04 in)
Battery
96 Wh Lithium-Polymer
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: 1.2 MP
Primary Camera: 1.2 MPix
Additional features
Speakers: Stereo Bang & Olufsen ICEpower, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, USB 2.0 to RJ45 adapter, Cable tie, Killer Network Manager, Gaming Assistant, , 12 Months Warranty
Weight
2.29 kg ( = 80.78 oz / 5.05 pounds), Power Supply: 420 g ( = 14.82 oz / 0.93 pounds)
Price
1500 USD

 

Case

It's been just over six months since we first checked out the original UX501JW. While the chassis and design are still one of the best aspects of the notebook, the recently released Dell XPS 15 2016 is even smaller, thinner (22 mm vs. 17 mm), and lighter (2.3 kg vs 2.1 kg) whilst carrying the same Core i7 CPU, GTX 960M GPU, and 4K UHD option. This ultimately makes the UX501 less attractive than it was when it launched if size and weight are top concerns. Still, the Asus is thinner and lighter than Lenovo's latest 15.6-inch Ideapad Y700 and the Acer Aspire V15 Nitro.

Connectivity

February 9, 2016 correction: Asus has corrected its page to reflect Thunderbolt 3 support instead of Thunderbolt 2.

Like many other higher-end gaming notebooks these days, the UX501VW includes USB Type-C Gen. 2 with Thunderbolt 3 support. Asus has elected to remove the mDP port as found on the original UX501JW to cut down on costs. There are no Ethernet ports or Kensington Locks, which may upset a subset of users.

Front: No connectivity
Front: No connectivity
Right: 3.5 mm audio, SD reader, 2x USB 3.0
Right: 3.5 mm audio, SD reader, 2x USB 3.0
Rear: No connectivity
Rear: No connectivity
Left: AC adapter, USB 3.0, HDMI-out, USB Type-C Gen. 2
Left: AC adapter, USB 3.0, HDMI-out, USB Type-C Gen. 2

Communication

WLAN and Bluetooth 4.0 are provided by a Killer 1525 wireless-ac NGFF module outfitted by Computer Upgrade King. The dual-band 2x2 card supports theoretical transfer rates of up to 867 Mbps. We experienced no connectivity or dropout issues when connected to a standard home network. GPS and WWAN are not supported on this series.

Accessories

Included extras are a cable tie, cleaning cloth, carrying case, and USB-to-RJ45 (Fast Ethernet) adapter. Missing is the mDP-to-VGA adapter that was included with the UX501JW since the UX501VW has dropped the port altogether. Users are instead encouraged to purchase optional USB Type-C adapters and docking stations if needed.

Maintenance

The bottom panel requires both Torx and Philips screwdrivers to remove. Motherboard components are otherwise nearly identical to the UX501JW save for the relocated M.2 slot, the removal of the mSATA PCIe slot in favor of M.2 WLAN, and the changed speakers.

CUKUSA provides a detailed guide to the disassembly of the ZenBook UX501 series.

Warranty

CUKUSA offers 36 months of diagnostic support and warranty on all components that the shop may have modified or upgraded. Otherwise, the standard 12-month manufacturer warranty from Asus applies.

UX501VW-DS71T
UX501VW-DS71T
UX501JW-DS71T
UX501JW-DS71T

Display

The UX501VW includes a 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) touchscreen like its older brother, but now with a different LP156UD1-SPB1 panel from LG Philips instead of the Samsung SDC434B. This leads to different color accuracy results as shown in our measurements below. Asus is also sticking to the RGBW pixel grid to provide more accurate colors at the cost of some contrast, similar to the recent Lenovo Yoga 900 Ultrabook. Nonetheless, black levels are deeper compared to last year's model.

Backlight brightness is worse than before in return at an average of about 250 nits compared to 300 nits on our previous unit. This is still more than sufficient for indoor use, but is dimmer than many of its competitors. There is some minor backlight bleeding around each of the four corners as well that only become noticeable if viewing movies with black bars and at high brightness settings.

It's also worth noting that the screen is under a thicker layer of glass than on other touchscreen notebooks, so colors and texts do not "pop" as strongly as they would on thinner displays due to the larger overlying glass.

Minor Backlight bleeding around all corners
Minor Backlight bleeding around all corners
RGBW subpixel array
RGBW subpixel array
267.9
cd/m²
258.6
cd/m²
257.1
cd/m²
245.5
cd/m²
252.9
cd/m²
237.5
cd/m²
246.2
cd/m²
242.2
cd/m²
244.2
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro Basic 2
Maximum: 267.9 cd/m² Average: 250.2 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 89 %
Center on Battery: 252.9 cd/m²
Contrast: 852:1 (Black: 0.297 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 5.22 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 6.74 | - Ø
89.7% sRGB (Argyll) 58.4% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll)
Gamma: 2.45
Asus ZenBook Pro UX501VW-DS71T
15.6, 3840x2160
Asus Zenbook Pro UX501JW-FI218H
15.6, 3840x2160
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
15.6, 1920x1080
Dell XPS 15-9550 i7
15.6, 3840x2160
MSI GS60-6QE4K16H21
15.6, 3840x2160
Acer Aspire VN7-591G-727P
15.6, 3840x2160
Response Times
0%
9%
-32%
6%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
43.2
43.2
-0%
40.8
6%
58
-34%
40
7%
Response Time Black / White *
27.2
27.2
-0%
24
12%
35
-29%
26
4%
PWM Frequency
58.14
1316
Screen
-30%
-15%
14%
-25%
9%
Brightness
250
307
23%
242
-3%
344
38%
197
-21%
325
30%
Brightness Distribution
89
87
-2%
88
-1%
90
1%
78
-12%
90
1%
Black Level *
0.297
0.79
-166%
0.277
7%
0.38
-28%
0.49
-65%
0.37
-25%
Contrast
852
382
-55%
934
10%
950
12%
433
-49%
870
2%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
5.22
5.4
-3%
8.1
-55%
5.34
-2%
7.8
-49%
3.77
28%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
6.74
5.99
11%
7.23
-7%
4.84
28%
5.23
22%
5.36
20%
Gamma
2.45 98%
2.32 103%
1.99 121%
2.21 109%
3.05 79%
2.39 100%
CCT
6026 108%
6670 97%
6567 99%
7395 88%
6693 97%
7163 91%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
58.4
45
-23%
36.5
-37%
89
52%
50
-14%
61
4%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
89.7
71
-21%
57.2
-36%
100
11%
80
-11%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-15% / -24%
-3% / -10%
-9% / 5%
-10% / -19%
9% / 9%

* ... smaller is better

Gamut is wider this time around at about 58 percent and 89 percent of the AdobeRGB and sRGB standards, respectively. This is already better than most gaming notebooks, though the newer Dell XPS 15 UHD model has it beat by an even wider margin by covering 89 percent of AdobeRGB and all of sRGB.

vs. sRGB
vs. sRGB
vs. AdobeRGB
vs. AdobeRGB
vs. Dell Precision 5510
vs. Dell Precision 5510
vs. Dell XPS 15 2016 FHD
vs. Dell XPS 15 2016 FHD
Discussion

Further display measurements with an X-Rite spectrophotometer reveal just average grayscale with generally good colors. A quick calibration will improve both dramatically and we certainly recommend it to get the most out of the display. Colors still grow increasingly less accurate at higher saturation levels due to imperfect sRGB coverage.

Grayscale pre-calibration
Grayscale pre-calibration
Saturation Sweeps pre-calibration
Saturation Sweeps pre-calibration
ColorChecker pre-calibration
ColorChecker pre-calibration
Grayscale post calibration
Grayscale post calibration
Saturation Sweeps post calibration
Saturation Sweeps post calibration
ColorChecker post calibration
ColorChecker post calibration

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
27.2 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 7.6 ms rise
↘ 19.6 ms fall
The screen shows relatively slow response rates in our tests and may be too slow for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 53 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (27.9 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
43.2 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 18 ms rise
↘ 25.2 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 250 (maximum) ms. » 55 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (43.3 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: 58 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 495 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 10420) Hz was measured.

While viewing angles are more than sufficient due to the underlying IPS panel, the backlight is not powerful enough to overcome the reflective touchscreen and glare when under sunlight. Outdoor usability is average at best when on maximum display brightness.

Outdoors under direct sunlight
Outdoors under direct sunlight
Reflections are virtually unavoidable
Reflections are virtually unavoidable
Wide IPS viewing angles
Wide IPS viewing angles

Performance

Turbo Boost up to 3.5 GHz depending on system load
Turbo Boost up to 3.5 GHz depending on system load

The jump from the UX501JW to the UX501VW includes a CPU upgrade from the i7-4720HQ to the i7-6700HQ. RAM gets an upgrade from DDR3 to DDR4 with 8 GB still soldered onto the board and a single SODIMM slot for expansion. Our test unit is equipped with the maximum capacity possible at 24 GB.

The GTX 960M GPU is otherwise identical to the previous generation. If idling, the CPU and Nvidia GPU will operate at just 800 MHz and 135 MHz, respectively, to conserve power. The integrated HD 530 GPU is available via Optimus for further power savings when the dGPU is not needed.

Processor

As seen on other notebooks with the Core i7-6700HQ, the move from a Core i7-4700HQ or i7-4720HQ brings very little to the CPU performance front. The lower-than-expected single-thread score of 113 points in CineBench R15 suggests poorer Turbo Boost potential out of the UX501VW when under extreme benchmark stress. In other words, the system is unable to hold its theoretical 3.5 GHz maximum clock rate long enough to complete all CineBench tests. Users can expect just single digit percentage boosts over the UX501JW in this regard, which is unsurprising as Skylake focuses more heavily on performance-per-Watt and the integrated GPU rather than on improving raw CPU power.

More benchmarks and comparisons on the Core i7-6700HQ can be found on our dedicated CPU page.

CineBench R10 32-bit
CineBench R10 32-bit
CineBench R11.5 64-bit
CineBench R11.5 64-bit
CineBench R15
CineBench R15
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Asus ZenBook Pro UX501VW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
113 Points ∼61%
Eurocom Sky DLX7
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700K, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
177 Points ∼96% +57%
Lenovo ThinkPad P70
Quadro M3000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN512HCJH
153 Points ∼83% +35%
MSI GE62 2QC-468XPL
GeForce GTX 960M, 5700HQ, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
144 Points ∼78% +27%
Asus UX501JW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Samsung SSD SM951 512 GB MZHPV512HDGL
137 Points ∼74% +21%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Asus ZenBook Pro UX501VW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
656 Points ∼42%
Eurocom Sky DLX7
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700K, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
878 Points ∼57% +34%
Lenovo ThinkPad P70
Quadro M3000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN512HCJH
699 Points ∼45% +7%
MSI GE62 2QC-468XPL
GeForce GTX 960M, 5700HQ, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
719 Points ∼46% +10%
Asus UX501JW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Samsung SSD SM951 512 GB MZHPV512HDGL
579 Points ∼37% -12%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Asus ZenBook Pro UX501VW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
1.64 Points ∼6%
Eurocom Sky DLX7
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700K, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
1.97 Points ∼7% +20%
Lenovo ThinkPad P70
Quadro M3000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN512HCJH
1.7 Points ∼6% +4%
MSI GE62 2QC-468XPL
GeForce GTX 960M, 5700HQ, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
1.68 Points ∼6% +2%
Asus UX501JW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Samsung SSD SM951 512 GB MZHPV512HDGL
1.54 Points ∼6% -6%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Asus ZenBook Pro UX501VW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
7.43 Points ∼10%
Eurocom Sky DLX7
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700K, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
9.7 Points ∼13% +31%
Lenovo ThinkPad P70
Quadro M3000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN512HCJH
7.63 Points ∼11% +3%
MSI GE62 2QC-468XPL
GeForce GTX 960M, 5700HQ, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
7.96 Points ∼11% +7%
Asus UX501JW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Samsung SSD SM951 512 GB MZHPV512HDGL
6.44 Points ∼9% -13%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Single 32Bit (sort by value)
Asus ZenBook Pro UX501VW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
5462 Points ∼78%
Eurocom Sky DLX7
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700K, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
6604 Points ∼94% +21%
Lenovo ThinkPad P70
Quadro M3000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN512HCJH
5429 Points ∼77% -1%
MSI GE62 2QC-468XPL
GeForce GTX 960M, 5700HQ, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
5567 Points ∼79% +2%
Asus UX501JW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Samsung SSD SM951 512 GB MZHPV512HDGL
5040 Points ∼72% -8%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit (sort by value)
Asus ZenBook Pro UX501VW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
20326 Points ∼58%
Eurocom Sky DLX7
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700K, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
26040 Points ∼75% +28%
Lenovo ThinkPad P70
Quadro M3000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN512HCJH
20682 Points ∼59% +2%
MSI GE62 2QC-468XPL
GeForce GTX 960M, 5700HQ, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
21681 Points ∼62% +7%
Asus UX501JW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Samsung SSD SM951 512 GB MZHPV512HDGL
18263 Points ∼53% -10%
Super Pi Mod 1.5 XS 32M - --- (sort by value)
Asus ZenBook Pro UX501VW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
560.841 Seconds * ∼2%
Eurocom Sky DLX7
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700K, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
463.766 Seconds * ∼2% +17%
Lenovo ThinkPad P70
Quadro M3000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN512HCJH
561 Seconds * ∼2% -0%
MSI GE62 2QC-468XPL
GeForce GTX 960M, 5700HQ, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
573.691 Seconds * ∼3% -2%
Asus UX501JW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Samsung SSD SM951 512 GB MZHPV512HDGL
570 Seconds * ∼3% -2%
wPrime 2.0x - 1024m (sort by value)
Asus ZenBook Pro UX501VW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
234.722 s * ∼3%
Eurocom Sky DLX7
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700K, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
178.009 s * ∼2% +24%
Lenovo ThinkPad P70
Quadro M3000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN512HCJH
230.77 s * ∼3% +2%
MSI GE62 2QC-468XPL
GeForce GTX 960M, 5700HQ, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
206.294 s * ∼2% +12%
Asus UX501JW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Samsung SSD SM951 512 GB MZHPV512HDGL
271.517 s * ∼3% -16%

* ... smaller is better

Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
6674
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
20326
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
5462
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
38.16 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
7.43 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.64 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.6 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
38.7 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
656 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
113 Points
Help

System Performance

Results from PCMark 7 and PCMark 8 are in the same ballpark as other notebooks sporting the GTX 960M GPU. Perhaps notably, the 15.6-inch Lenovo Y700 consistently edges out the UX501VW despite it using the slower SATA III SSD. In particular, we've shown that the Y700 runs at just slightly faster clock speeds than our Asus when under Prime95 and Unigine Heaven stress.

Subjectively, we experienced no uncharacteristic software or hardware issues during our time with the notebook. The operating system responded fluidly and without any hitches.

PCMark 7
PCMark 7
PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Creative Accelerated
PCMark 8 Creative Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 7 - Score (sort by value)
Asus ZenBook Pro UX501VW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
5323 Points ∼66%
Asus UX501JW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Samsung SSD SM951 512 GB MZHPV512HDGL
6087 Points ∼76% +14%
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung MZNLN128HCGR-000L2
5918 Points ∼74% +11%
Acer Aspire VN7-591G-727P
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
5804 Points ∼72% +9%
Dell XPS 15-9550 i7
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
5480 Points ∼68% +3%
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Asus ZenBook Pro UX501VW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
3867 Points ∼63%
Asus UX501JW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Samsung SSD SM951 512 GB MZHPV512HDGL
3944 Points ∼64% +2%
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung MZNLN128HCGR-000L2
5011 Points ∼82% +30%
Acer Aspire VN7-591G-727P
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
3601 Points ∼59% -7%
Dell XPS 15-9550 i7
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
3950 Points ∼65% +2%
Creative Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Asus ZenBook Pro UX501VW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
4357 Points ∼51%
Asus UX501JW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Samsung SSD SM951 512 GB MZHPV512HDGL
4195 Points ∼49% -4%
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung MZNLN128HCGR-000L2
4790 Points ∼56% +10%
Acer Aspire VN7-591G-727P
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
4201 Points ∼49% -4%
Dell XPS 15-9550 i7
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
4358 Points ∼51% 0%
Home Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Asus ZenBook Pro UX501VW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
3077 Points ∼54%
Asus UX501JW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Samsung SSD SM951 512 GB MZHPV512HDGL
3064 Points ∼54% 0%
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung MZNLN128HCGR-000L2
3845 Points ∼68% +25%
Acer Aspire VN7-591G-727P
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
3019 Points ∼53% -2%
Dell XPS 15-9550 i7
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
3121 Points ∼55% +1%
PCMark 7 Score
5323 points
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3077 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
4357 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
3867 points
Help

Storage Devices

Single M.2 slot for storage
Single M.2 slot for storage

The move from a PCIe x4 controller on the original UX501JW to the growing NVMe controller on the UX501VW has increased read and write speeds across the board. NVMe SSDs are still uncommon on multimedia notebooks and are mostly found on high-end gaming machines including the MSI GT72S, ROG G752, and some Aorus notebooks. Thus, our Asus easily outclasses many of its competitors in raw transfer rates.

The only downside in this category is the notebook's lack of any secondary storage options. Our U.S. SKU is equipped with a physically larger 96 Wh internal battery compared to the smaller 60 Wh module in the European SKU. This smaller module gives just enough room for Asus to fit in a 2.5-inch SATA III bay for additional storage at the cost of battery life. This particular SKU is not available in all regions and we recommend that users choose wisely since relying on a sole M.2 SSD for gaming and multimedia can become very costly down the road.

See our growing benchmarks list of HDDs and SSDs for more data and comparisons.

CDM
CDM
AS SSD
AS SSD
PCMark 8 Storage
PCMark 8 Storage
Asus ZenBook Pro UX501VW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
Asus UX501JW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Samsung SSD SM951 512 GB MZHPV512HDGL
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung MZNLN128HCGR-000L2
Dell XPS 15-9550 i7
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
MSI GS60 6QE-046XPL
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
Acer Aspire VN7-591G-727P
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
AS SSD
-13%
-63%
-13%
-62%
-89%
Copy Game MB/s
684.12
903.76
32%
301.99
-56%
785.18
15%
384.55
-44%
Copy Program MB/s
452.02
476.49
5%
159.08
-65%
318.41
-30%
260.77
-42%
Copy ISO MB/s
1205.98
820
-32%
295.56
-75%
715.9
-41%
473.22
-61%
Score Total
2588
2296
-11%
883
-66%
2410
-7%
929
-64%
813
-69%
Score Write
619
556
-10%
251
-59%
694
12%
331
-47%
159
-74%
Score Read
1312
1157
-12%
421
-68%
1166
-11%
394
-70%
431
-67%
Access Time Write *
0.034
0.04
-18%
0.039
-15%
0.036
-6%
0.037
-9%
0.066
-94%
Access Time Read *
0.037
0.052
-41%
0.094
-154%
0.053
-43%
0.096
-159%
0.182
-392%
4K-64 Write
361.74
351.6
-3%
142.32
-61%
532.03
47%
197.86
-45%
59.72
-83%
4K-64 Read
1074.5
976.75
-9%
337.49
-69%
974.79
-9%
322.37
-70%
362.93
-66%
4K Write
107.82
93.02
-14%
93.97
-13%
105.64
-2%
89.8
-17%
53.94
-50%
4K Read
43.59
39.75
-9%
34.29
-21%
34.63
-21%
21.34
-51%
17.88
-59%
Seq Write
1498.44
1111.69
-26%
150.96
-90%
562.19
-62%
429.96
-71%
454.4
-70%
Seq Read
1943.8
1401.56
-28%
491.97
-75%
1568.69
-19%
504.75
-74%
505.87
-74%

* ... smaller is better

Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
Transfer Rate Minimum: 810.1 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 1137.8 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 1120.8 MB/s
Access Time: 0 ms
Burst Rate: 288.8 MB/s
CPU Usage: 2.4 %

GPU Performance

The GTX 960M performs exactly where we expect it to be in synthetic benchmarks. Its 3DMark Fire Strike Standard Graphics score is roughly 30 percent ahead of the GTX 950M and 40 percent below the GTX 970M. The larger discrepancy between the GTX 960M and GTX 970M has prompted Nvidia to launch the GTX 965M to close the gap between them. Note that the Lenovo Y700 is outperforming our UX501JW by just a couple of percentage points in most categories while the older UX501JW is just a few percentage points behind.

3DMark 11
3DMark 11
Ice Storm Extreme
Ice Storm Extreme
Cloud Gate
Cloud Gate
Fire Strike
Fire Strike
Fire Strike Extreme
Fire Strike Extreme
Fire Strike Ultra
Fire Strike Ultra
3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance Combined (sort by value)
Asus ZenBook Pro UX501VW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
5439 Points ∼47%
Asus GX700
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL (RAID 0)
10880 Points ∼94% +100%
MSI GT72S 6QE-071PL
GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK, 2x Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ128G8NU (RAID 0)
9064 Points ∼78% +67%
Aorus X3 Plus v5
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
8099 Points ∼70% +49%
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung MZNLN128HCGR-000L2
5541 Points ∼48% +2%
Asus UX501JW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Samsung SSD SM951 512 GB MZHPV512HDGL
5230 Points ∼45% -4%
HP Pavilion 15-ak003ng
GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ, Samsung CM871 MZNLF128HCHP
3508 Points ∼30% -36%
1280x720 Performance GPU (sort by value)
Asus ZenBook Pro UX501VW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
5220 Points ∼10%
Asus GX700
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL (RAID 0)
17864 Points ∼35% +242%
MSI GT72S 6QE-071PL
GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK, 2x Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ128G8NU (RAID 0)
12501 Points ∼25% +139%
Aorus X3 Plus v5
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
9615 Points ∼19% +84%
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung MZNLN128HCGR-000L2
5322 Points ∼10% +2%
Asus UX501JW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Samsung SSD SM951 512 GB MZHPV512HDGL
5095 Points ∼10% -2%
HP Pavilion 15-ak003ng
GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ, Samsung CM871 MZNLF128HCHP
4453 Points ∼9% -15%
1280x720 Performance (sort by value)
Asus ZenBook Pro UX501VW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
5562 Points ∼22%
Asus GX700
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL (RAID 0)
15462 Points ∼61% +178%
MSI GT72S 6QE-071PL
GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK, 2x Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ128G8NU (RAID 0)
11490 Points ∼45% +107%
Aorus X3 Plus v5
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
9297 Points ∼37% +67%
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung MZNLN128HCGR-000L2
5678 Points ∼22% +2%
Asus UX501JW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Samsung SSD SM951 512 GB MZHPV512HDGL
5342 Points ∼21% -4%
HP Pavilion 15-ak003ng
GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ, Samsung CM871 MZNLF128HCHP
4644 Points ∼18% -17%
3DMark
3840x2160 Fire Strike Ultra Combined (sort by value)
Asus ZenBook Pro UX501VW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
477 Points ∼10%
Asus GX700
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL (RAID 0)
1605 Points ∼34% +236%
Aorus X3 Plus v5
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
858 Points ∼18% +80%
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung MZNLN128HCGR-000L2
510 Points ∼11% +7%
3840x2160 Fire Strike Ultra Graphics (sort by value)
Asus ZenBook Pro UX501VW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
644 Points ∼6%
Asus GX700
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL (RAID 0)
3172 Points ∼31% +393%
Aorus X3 Plus v5
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
1622 Points ∼16% +152%
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung MZNLN128HCGR-000L2
995 Points ∼10% +55%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Combined (sort by value)
Asus ZenBook Pro UX501VW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
1678 Points ∼21%
Asus GX700
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL (RAID 0)
5094 Points ∼65% +204%
MSI GT72S 6QE-071PL
GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK, 2x Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ128G8NU (RAID 0)
3652 Points ∼46% +118%
Aorus X3 Plus v5
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
2737 Points ∼35% +63%
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung MZNLN128HCGR-000L2
1654 Points ∼21% -1%
Asus UX501JW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Samsung SSD SM951 512 GB MZHPV512HDGL
1694 Points ∼22% +1%
HP Pavilion 15-ak003ng
GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ, Samsung CM871 MZNLF128HCHP
978 Points ∼12% -42%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics (sort by value)
Asus ZenBook Pro UX501VW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
4290 Points ∼11%
Asus GX700
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL (RAID 0)
13382 Points ∼34% +212%
MSI GT72S 6QE-071PL
GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK, 2x Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ128G8NU (RAID 0)
9653 Points ∼25% +125%
Aorus X3 Plus v5
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
7335 Points ∼19% +71%
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung MZNLN128HCGR-000L2
4361 Points ∼11% +2%
Asus UX501JW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Samsung SSD SM951 512 GB MZHPV512HDGL
4063 Points ∼10% -5%
HP Pavilion 15-ak003ng
GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ, Samsung CM871 MZNLF128HCHP
3068 Points ∼8% -28%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Score (sort by value)
Asus ZenBook Pro UX501VW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
3998 Points ∼17%
Asus GX700
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL (RAID 0)
11440 Points ∼49% +186%
MSI GT72S 6QE-071PL
GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK, 2x Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ128G8NU (RAID 0)
8353 Points ∼36% +109%
Aorus X3 Plus v5
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
6489 Points ∼28% +62%
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung MZNLN128HCGR-000L2
4036 Points ∼17% +1%
Asus UX501JW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Samsung SSD SM951 512 GB MZHPV512HDGL
3801 Points ∼16% -5%
HP Pavilion 15-ak003ng
GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ, Samsung CM871 MZNLF128HCHP
2761 Points ∼12% -31%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Score (sort by value)
Asus ZenBook Pro UX501VW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
16208 Points ∼46%
Asus GX700
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL (RAID 0)
30430 Points ∼87% +88%
MSI GT72S 6QE-071PL
GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK, 2x Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ128G8NU (RAID 0)
23858 Points ∼68% +47%
Aorus X3 Plus v5
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
20458 Points ∼58% +26%
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung MZNLN128HCGR-000L2
17554 Points ∼50% +8%
Asus UX501JW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Samsung SSD SM951 512 GB MZHPV512HDGL
13410 Points ∼38% -17%
HP Pavilion 15-ak003ng
GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ, Samsung CM871 MZNLF128HCHP
14471 Points ∼41% -11%
3DMark 11 Performance
5562 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
44471 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
16208 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
3998 points
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme Score
2011 points
Help

Gaming Performance

Gaming on the native resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels is hard enough for a GTX 970M let alone the weaker GTX 960M. Users will need to tone down graphical settings to the Low-Medium range for playable frame rates. Otherwise, the GPU is able to handle most games on 1080p with High settings while newer and more demanding titles may need to be set to Medium to prevent dips below 30 FPS.

See our dedicated GPU page for more benchmarks and comparisons on the GTX 960M.

Fallout 4
1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:T AF:16x (sort by value)
Asus ZenBook Pro UX501VW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
23.8 fps ∼18%
Asus G752VY-RH71
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB m.2 NVMe
68.1 fps ∼52% +186%
Gigabyte P34W v5
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB m.2 NVMe
43.3 fps ∼33% +82%
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung MZNLN128HCGR-000L2
24.6 fps ∼19% +3%
Lenovo Y700-15ACZ
Radeon R9 M385X, FX-8800P, WDC Slim WD10SPCX-24HWST1
19.3 fps ∼15% -19%
HP Pavilion 15-ak003ng
GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ, Samsung CM871 MZNLF128HCHP
18.8 fps ∼14% -21%
1920x1080 High Preset AA:T AF:16x (sort by value)
Asus ZenBook Pro UX501VW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
29.7 fps ∼20%
Asus G752VY-RH71
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB m.2 NVMe
79.5 fps ∼53% +168%
Gigabyte P34W v5
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB m.2 NVMe
53.6 fps ∼36% +80%
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung MZNLN128HCGR-000L2
31.8 fps ∼21% +7%
Lenovo Y700-15ACZ
Radeon R9 M385X, FX-8800P, WDC Slim WD10SPCX-24HWST1
23.3 fps ∼16% -22%
HP Pavilion 15-ak003ng
GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ, Samsung CM871 MZNLF128HCHP
23.1 fps ∼15% -22%
Sleeping Dogs
1920x1080 Extreme Preset AA:Extreme (sort by value)
Asus ZenBook Pro UX501VW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
22.6 fps ∼21%
Asus G752VY-RH71
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB m.2 NVMe
62.8 fps ∼58% +178%
Gigabyte P34W v5
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB m.2 NVMe
46 fps ∼42% +104%
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung MZNLN128HCGR-000L2
24.3 fps ∼22% +8%
1366x768 High Preset AA:High (sort by value)
Asus ZenBook Pro UX501VW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
84 fps ∼41%
Asus G752VY-RH71
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB m.2 NVMe
146.7 fps ∼72% +75%
Gigabyte P34W v5
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB m.2 NVMe
128.6 fps ∼63% +53%
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung MZNLN128HCGR-000L2
92.8 fps ∼46% +10%
Guild Wars 2
1920x1080 All Maximum / On AA:FX (sort by value)
Asus ZenBook Pro UX501VW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
26.6 fps ∼34%
Asus G752VY-RH71
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB m.2 NVMe
56.4 fps ∼72% +112%
Gigabyte P34W v5
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB m.2 NVMe
49 fps ∼63% +84%
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung MZNLN128HCGR-000L2
33.1 fps ∼42% +24%
1366x768 Best Appearance Preset AA:FX (sort by value)
Asus ZenBook Pro UX501VW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
53.3 fps ∼58%
Asus G752VY-RH71
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB m.2 NVMe
64.9 fps ∼71% +22%
Gigabyte P34W v5
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB m.2 NVMe
59.3 fps ∼65% +11%
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung MZNLN128HCGR-000L2
58.6 fps ∼64% +10%
Tomb Raider
1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:FX AF:16x (sort by value)
Asus ZenBook Pro UX501VW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
50.3 fps ∼18%
Asus G752VY-RH71
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB m.2 NVMe
123.6 fps ∼45% +146%
Gigabyte P34W v5
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB m.2 NVMe
87.4 fps ∼32% +74%
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung MZNLN128HCGR-000L2
53.7 fps ∼19% +7%
Lenovo Y700-15ACZ
Radeon R9 M385X, FX-8800P, WDC Slim WD10SPCX-24HWST1
43.5 fps ∼16% -14%
HP Pavilion 15-ak003ng
GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ, Samsung CM871 MZNLF128HCHP
32.3 fps ∼12% -36%
1366x768 High Preset AA:FX AF:8x (sort by value)
Asus ZenBook Pro UX501VW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
112 fps ∼22%
Asus G752VY-RH71
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB m.2 NVMe
264 fps ∼52% +136%
Gigabyte P34W v5
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB m.2 NVMe
183.8 fps ∼36% +64%
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung MZNLN128HCGR-000L2
116.2 fps ∼23% +4%
Lenovo Y700-15ACZ
Radeon R9 M385X, FX-8800P, WDC Slim WD10SPCX-24HWST1 (1280x720)
98 fps ∼19% -12%
HP Pavilion 15-ak003ng
GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ, Samsung CM871 MZNLF128HCHP
66.5 fps ∼13% -41%
StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm
1920x1080 Ultra / Extreme AA:on (sort by value)
Asus ZenBook Pro UX501VW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
77.7 fps ∼44%
Gigabyte P34W v5
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB m.2 NVMe
97.8 fps ∼56% +26%
1366x768 High AA:on (sort by value)
Asus ZenBook Pro UX501VW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
149.5 fps ∼87%
Gigabyte P34W v5
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB m.2 NVMe
159.5 fps ∼93% +7%
BioShock Infinite
1920x1080 Ultra Preset, DX11 (DDOF) (sort by value)
Asus ZenBook Pro UX501VW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
45.5 fps ∼23%
Asus G752VY-RH71
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB m.2 NVMe
94.9 fps ∼49% +109%
Gigabyte P34W v5
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB m.2 NVMe
71.4 fps ∼37% +57%
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung MZNLN128HCGR-000L2
46.5 fps ∼24% +2%
Lenovo Y700-15ACZ
Radeon R9 M385X, FX-8800P, WDC Slim WD10SPCX-24HWST1
32.4 fps ∼17% -29%
1366x768 High Preset (sort by value)
Asus ZenBook Pro UX501VW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
111.3 fps ∼38%
Asus G752VY-RH71
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB m.2 NVMe
175.8 fps ∼60% +58%
Gigabyte P34W v5
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB m.2 NVMe
150.7 fps ∼52% +35%
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung MZNLN128HCGR-000L2
122.5 fps ∼42% +10%
Lenovo Y700-15ACZ
Radeon R9 M385X, FX-8800P, WDC Slim WD10SPCX-24HWST1 (1280x720)
75.1 fps ∼26% -33%
Metro: Last Light
1920x1080 Very High (DX11) AF:16x (sort by value)
Asus ZenBook Pro UX501VW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
26.6 fps ∼19%
Asus G752VY-RH71
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB m.2 NVMe
74.1 fps ∼53% +179%
Gigabyte P34W v5
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB m.2 NVMe
54 fps ∼39% +103%
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung MZNLN128HCGR-000L2
31.7 fps ∼23% +19%
Lenovo Y700-15ACZ
Radeon R9 M385X, FX-8800P, WDC Slim WD10SPCX-24HWST1
21.7 fps ∼16% -18%
1366x768 High (DX11) AF:16x (sort by value)
Asus ZenBook Pro UX501VW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
55 fps ∼34%
Asus G752VY-RH71
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB m.2 NVMe
123.1 fps ∼77% +124%
Gigabyte P34W v5
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB m.2 NVMe
95.1 fps ∼59% +73%
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung MZNLN128HCGR-000L2
60.7 fps ∼38% +10%
Lenovo Y700-15ACZ
Radeon R9 M385X, FX-8800P, WDC Slim WD10SPCX-24HWST1 (1280x720)
34.7 fps ∼22% -37%
Thief
1920x1080 Very High Preset AA:FXAA & High SS AF:8x (sort by value)
Asus G752VY-RH71
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB m.2 NVMe
67.9 fps ∼57%
Gigabyte P34W v5
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB m.2 NVMe
48.7 fps ∼41%
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung MZNLN128HCGR-000L2
28.2 fps ∼24%
Lenovo Y700-15ACZ
Radeon R9 M385X, FX-8800P, WDC Slim WD10SPCX-24HWST1
19.2 fps ∼16%
1366x768 High Preset AA:FXAA & Low SS AF:4x (sort by value)
Asus G752VY-RH71
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB m.2 NVMe
107.6 fps ∼82%
Gigabyte P34W v5
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB m.2 NVMe
86.5 fps ∼66%
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung MZNLN128HCGR-000L2
56 fps ∼43%
Lenovo Y700-15ACZ
Radeon R9 M385X, FX-8800P, WDC Slim WD10SPCX-24HWST1
22.8 fps ∼17%
Batman: Arkham Knight
1920x1080 High / On AA:SM AF:16x (sort by value)
Asus G752VY-RH71
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB m.2 NVMe
55 fps ∼47%
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung MZNLN128HCGR-000L2
24 fps ∼21%
HP Pavilion 15-ak003ng
GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ, Samsung CM871 MZNLF128HCHP
16 fps ∼14%
1920x1080 High / On (Interactive Smoke & Paper Debris Off) AA:SM AF:8x (sort by value)
Asus ZenBook Pro UX501VW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
30 fps ∼21%
Asus G752VY-RH71
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB m.2 NVMe
80 fps ∼56% +167%
Gigabyte P34W v5
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB m.2 NVMe
74 fps ∼52% +147%
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung MZNLN128HCGR-000L2
34 fps ∼24% +13%
Lenovo Y700-15ACZ
Radeon R9 M385X, FX-8800P, WDC Slim WD10SPCX-24HWST1
24 fps ∼17% -20%
HP Pavilion 15-ak003ng
GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ, Samsung CM871 MZNLF128HCHP
23 fps ∼16% -23%
Metal Gear Solid V
1920x1080 Extra High / On (sort by value)
Asus ZenBook Pro UX501VW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
31.8 fps ∼53%
Asus G752VY-RH71
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB m.2 NVMe
60 fps ∼100% +89%
Gigabyte P34W v5
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB m.2 NVMe
59.9 fps ∼100% +88%
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung MZNLN128HCGR-000L2
39.8 fps ∼66% +25%
Lenovo Y700-15ACZ
Radeon R9 M385X, FX-8800P, WDC Slim WD10SPCX-24HWST1
25.2 fps ∼42% -21%
1920x1080 High / On (sort by value)
Asus ZenBook Pro UX501VW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
42.9 fps ∼72%
Asus G752VY-RH71
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB m.2 NVMe
60 fps ∼100% +40%
Gigabyte P34W v5
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB m.2 NVMe
60 fps ∼100% +40%
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung MZNLN128HCGR-000L2
59.3 fps ∼99% +38%
Lenovo Y700-15ACZ
Radeon R9 M385X, FX-8800P, WDC Slim WD10SPCX-24HWST1
41.4 fps ∼69% -3%
low med. high ultra
Sleeping Dogs (2012) 141.78422.6fps
Guild Wars 2 (2012) 53.326.6fps
Tomb Raider (2013) 163.411250.3fps
StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm (2013) 162.7149.577.7fps
BioShock Infinite (2013) 118.2111.345.5fps
Metro: Last Light (2013) 92.95526.6fps
Batman: Arkham Knight (2015) 5930fps
Metal Gear Solid V (2015) 59.942.931.8fps
Fallout 4 (2015) 55.829.723.8fps

Stress Test

The UX501VW will settle at 2.9 GHz when subjected to Prime95 stress, which is 200 MHz slower than its rated maximum for all active cores. Consequently, its CPU benchmark scores are slightly lower than many other gaming notebooks sporting the same i7-6700HQ CPU. CPU and GPU clock rates fall even further when running both Prime95 and FurMark simultaneously with core temperatures leveling off in the 80 C range.

Running Unigine Heaven shows consistent Boost for both the CPU and GPU with core temperatures leveling off in the mid 70 C range. Of particular note here is that the GPU core will settle at around 1137 MHz compared to 1189 MHz on the Lenovo Y700. This gives the Lenovo a thin edge over our Asus in synthetic benchmarks, though any actual frame rate advantages in gaming are unnoticeable.

Running on battery will reduce both CPU and GPU performance. A 3DMark 11 run on batteries returns Physics and Graphics scores of 7453 points and 3446 points, respectively, compared to 8464 points and 5220 points when connected to mains.

Prime95 stress
Prime95 stress
FurMark stress
FurMark stress
Prime95+FurMark stress
Prime95+FurMark stress
Unigine Heaven stress
Unigine Heaven stress
Stable Clock Rates and Temperatures Under Stress
CPU Clock (GHz) GPU Clock (MHz) Average CPU Temperature (C) Average GPU Temperature (C)
Prime95 Stress 2.9 -- 78 - 81 --
FurMark Stress -- 967 -- 79
Prime95 + FurMark Stress 2.7 405 81 - 83 76
Unigine Heaven Stress 3.1+ 1137 70 - 72 76 - 78

Emissions

System Noise

Both the CPU and GPU share the same two fans and overlying heat pipes. When idling or during very low loads, the twin fans are completely inactive. Running on the Balanced profile will occasionally start the fans, though still at a very quiet 30 dB(A).

Running Unigine Heaven will bump fan noise to just under 42 dB(A) with a maximum of 43.9 dB(A) under the most extreme of processing conditions. The system is overall above average for a gaming notebook regarding fan noise. Competing notebooks tend to be louder both during low loads and gaming loads.

Dual 50 mm fans
Dual 50 mm fans
Fan noise (White: Background idle, Red: System idle, Blue: Unigine Heaven, Green: Prime95+FurMark)
Fan noise (White: Background idle, Red: System idle, Blue: Unigine Heaven, Green: Prime95+FurMark)
Asus ZenBook Pro UX501VW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
Dell XPS 15-9550 i7
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung MZNLN128HCGR-000L2
Acer Aspire VN7-591G-727P
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
MSI GS60 6QE-002US
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZHPV128 m.2 PCI-e
HP Pavilion 15-ak003ng
GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ, Samsung CM871 MZNLF128HCHP
Noise
-9%
-5%
-6%
-13%
-16%
Idle Minimum *
28.9
31.4
-9%
30.4
-5%
30
-4%
35.2
-22%
34
-18%
Idle Average *
28.9
32.5
-12%
30.5
-6%
32.2
-11%
35.3
-22%
35
-21%
Idle Maximum *
30.2
33.6
-11%
33.3
-10%
35
-16%
35.5
-18%
36
-19%
Load Average *
41.8
45.2
-8%
41.4
1%
41.7
-0%
40.4
3%
44
-5%
Load Maximum *
43.9
46
-5%
47
-7%
42.6
3%
47.2
-8%
51
-16%

* ... smaller is better

Noise Level

Idle
28.9 / 28.9 / 30.2 dB(A)
Load
41.8 / 43.9 dB(A)
 
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   BK Precision 732A (15 cm distance)

Temperature

The symmetrically placed processors and cooling system naturally give way to symmetric temperature development. The warmest spot is down the center rear of the device whereas the front corners and palm rests remain cool in comparison. Overall temperatures are not significantly cooler than on the original UX501 when under extreme stress and are generally flat during low loads. The keyboard keys never become too warm for use.

When compared to other notebooks, the thicker Lenovo is cooler on average while the thinner and smaller Dell XPS 15 is much warmer under the same stress conditions. In general, surface temperatures are never uncomfortable on the UX501VW despite the thin form factor.

Maximum load (Front)
Maximum load (Front)
Maximum load (Bottom)
Maximum load (Bottom)
Max. Load
 42.4 °C44.2 °C36.7 °C 
 31.3 °C33.4 °C28.4 °C 
 31.1 °C28.9 °C29.1 °C 
Maximum: 44.2 °C
Average: 33.9 °C
44.3 °C48 °C43.8 °C
37.8 °C43.2 °C38.6 °C
32.1 °C36.1 °C33.4 °C
Maximum: 48 °C
Average: 39.7 °C
Power Supply (max.)  51.8 °C | Room Temperature 19 °C | FLIR One

Speakers

(Pink: Pink noise, Gray: White noise)
(Pink: Pink noise, Gray: White noise)

The internal stereo speakers lack sufficient bass for an immersive experience as shown by our sound measurements where lower frequencies are almost entirely absent. Maximum volume is also noticeably softer than on larger gaming notebooks. To its credit, the Bang&Olufsen speakers don't exhibit static or distortions at higher volume settings. Earphones are recommended for longer sessions and especially for gaming to better drown out the inevitable fan noise.

Battery Life

At almost 6.5 hours of WLAN runtime, the UX501VW is able to outlast its older UX501JW counterpart by one to two hours. This is especially longer than the 60 Wh UX501JW model where we clocked in at under three hours in comparison. Runtimes for the Lenovo Y700 and Dell XPS 15 clock in shorter than the Asus as well.

Charging from empty to full will take just over two hours with the provided AC adapter.

Maximum runtime (Reader's Test)
Maximum runtime (Reader's Test)
Minimum runtime (Classic Test)
Minimum runtime (Classic Test)
WLAN runtime
WLAN runtime
Asus ZenBook Pro UX501VW-DS71T
96 Wh
Asus UX501JW-DS71T
96 Wh
Asus Zenbook Pro UX501JW-FI218H
60 Wh
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
60 Wh
Dell XPS 15-9550 i7
84 Wh
Acer Aspire VN7-591G-727P
52 Wh
MSI GS60-6QE4K16H21
47 Wh
Battery Runtime
-6%
-58%
-14%
-11%
-58%
-59%
Reader / Idle
689
361
-48%
617
-10%
528
-23%
216
-69%
213
-69%
Load
117
190
62%
88
-25%
125
7%
58
-50%
61
-48%
WiFi
WiFi v1.3
379
263
-31%
159
-58%
353
-7%
309
-18%
166
-56%
157
-59%
Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
11h 29min
WiFi Surfing v1.3
6h 19min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 57min

Pro

+ fast display response times; No PWM
+ higher contrast
+ balanced multimedia, word processing, and gaming performance
+ idling fans under low loads
+ DDR4, USB Type-C w/ Thunderbolt 3, NVMe SSD
+ long battery life
+ wide color gamut
+ thin and sleek design

Cons

- no substantial CPU performance boost from previous generation
- dimmer display brightness; minor backlight bleeding
- no auxiliary or Macro keys
- higher battery capacity at the cost of secondary storage
- mDP port removed
- pricey

Verdict

In review: Asus ZenBook Pro UX501VW-DS71T. Test model provided by Computer Upgrade King.
In review: Asus ZenBook Pro UX501VW-DS71T. Test model provided by Computer Upgrade King.

Aside from specification differences (Skylake, DDR4, USB Type-C, NVMe, etc.) between the UX501VW and UX501JW, the latest revision brings longer battery life and even a few updates to the display with higher contrast and deeper colors. Maximum brightness is dimmer for one reason or another, though this shouldn't be an issue for indoor use. 

In general, users should be expecting essentially the same performance level out of the UX501VW as from the UX501JW.

The Dell XPS 15 9550 is an excellent alternative to the UX501VW with similar specifications given the $1500 price range. It's much more portable than our Asus whilst providing the same graphical power for games, albeit with higher surface temperatures, shorter battery life, and generally noisier fans. If cost is a concern, users can still opt for the older UX501JW without worrying about major performance downgrades when gaming.

Asus ZenBook Pro UX501VW-DS71T - 02/22/2016 v5
Allen Ngo

Chassis
80 / 98 → 82%
Keyboard
85%
Pointing Device
81%
Connectivity
61 / 81 → 75%
Weight
62 / 67 → 89%
Battery
88%
Display
79%
Games Performance
82 / 85 → 97%
Application Performance
88 / 92 → 95%
Temperature
89%
Noise
87 / 95 → 92%
Audio
50%
Camera
63 / 85 → 74%
Average
77%
84%
Multimedia - Weighted Average

Pricecompare

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Asus ZenBook Pro UX501VW Notebook Review
Allen Ngo, 2016-02- 3 (Update: 2016-02-10)