ASUS TUF Gaming FX505 Review – Budget Gaming
The ASUS TUF Gaming FX505 is an (affordable) beast of a machine. Designed for longevity and durability, the FX505 boasts some impressive specs underneath a sleek gunmetal metallic chassis.
Now, I use the adjective ‘impressive’ only because I’m an exclusive Apple user in my personal life. This means I’ve never known the joys of playing DOOM 2016 on Ultra settings; or realising Fornite with an uncapped frame rate.
In many ways, the FX505 can handle almost anything you throw at it; with the results looking
This said the FX505 is certainly not the be-all-and-end-all of gaming laptops. ASUS has been pretty clear that this rig is an entry-level product; intended as a budget-conscious choice for casual players who want to play the latest releases without spending too much.
ASUS TUF Gaming FX505 Review
For all intents and purposes, the FX505 is the evolution of the FX504. While both sport a strikingly similar chassis, considerable upgrades have been made underneath the hood.
The most notable of which is the FX504’s Intel-based processor getting swapped out for the newer AMD Ryzen 7 mobile processor. Meanwhile, the previous NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 graphics card is replaced with a GTX 1600 series card; well, that is aside from the lower-spec FX505DD model, which houses the GTX1050 with 3GB GDDR5 of Virtual RAM.
The FX505 comes in three different flavours; the aforementioned FX505DD; the FX505DT; and finally, the FX505DU. Interestingly, the FX505DT can be fitted out different processors and memory; so take care when shopping around.
I spent a week testing the top-of-the-line FX505DU, which boasts the following specifications:
Processor: AMD Ryzen 7 3750H with Radeon Vega Mobile Gfx
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660Ti with 6GB GDDDR6 Virtual RAM
Memory: 16GB DDR4 2666 MHz up to 32GB
Storage: 512GB M.2 NVME SSD
Display: 15.6″ Non-glare FHD (1920 x 1080) with 120Hz Refresh Rate
Dimensions: 36.4(W) x 26.2(D) x 26.8(H) cm
The specs make for a considerable powerful laptop, one that should handle almost every AAA release for the foreseeable future.
ASUS TUF Gaming FX505 – Benchmark Testing
All benchmark testing was performed with ultra/max settings and in 1080p; the maximum resolution setting for the FX505. Games looked crisp and clear on the FHD panel thanks to the 120Hz refresh rate; with my wife commenting, “wow, those are some impressive graphics”. Well, she wasn’t wrong, as the FX505 manages to make even Star Wars: The Old Republic look reasonably impressive on ultra settings.
Actually, every game I tested looked incredible at their maximum setting; but with some compromises.
I put both Forza Horizon 4 and Rise of the Tomb Raider through their paces. And as you can see from their individual results the FX505 handled them reasonably well. Rise of the Tomb Raider was certainly the better-performing game, though that came at the price of having to switch off its ray tracing feature; a feature those looking to buy the FX505 probably won’t shed a tear over.
While Forza Horizon 4 also achieved some impressive numbers during its own testing, this was only possible by locking the game at 60fps. Increasing the frame rate maximum to 120 yielded far more damning numbers; a maximum of 34 and a minimum of 22, yikes!
But at the end of the day, the FX505 is a product marketed towards a more casual audience; the console/casual gamer looking to jump into the world of PC gaming. For those who are already series enthusiasts, ASUS has you covered with its Republic of Gamers (ROG) line-up.
ASUS TUF Gaming FX505 – General Performance
Aside from Forza Horizon 4 and Rise of the Tomb Raider, I tested a few other titles as well. DOOM 2016 was one such game that ran buttery-smooth at an average of 74fps, as did Fornite.
Despite being quite GPU-demanding, Hitman 2 also ran incredibly smooth with its graphical settings bumped up all the way. I cleared the first mission without any hiccup or noticeable frame rate drop.
The beautiful visuals and high-level of graphical fidelity saw me become truly immersed in Agent 47’s world; immersion that was broken once the FX505’s fans started up.
No matter which game I was playing or testing, the FX505’s fans always, without fail, would begin to whirl so fast I swear it was gearing up to launch me into space. Of course, I was pushing the rig to its extreme whilst gaming, so I suppose it’s a given that the FX505 would make considerable noise as it worked overtime to cool the CPU and GPU.
Integrated software allows you to set different performance modes, dictating how much the FX505 throttles various components. The aptly named ‘Turbo’ mode pushes the CPU and GPU at the expense of cooling and power saving; whilst ‘Silent’ mode allocates more resources to maintaining and controlling fan noise.
Regardless of whatever performance mode you choose, the FX505 handles everyday tasks with exceptional ease. Opening multiple windows (browsers, applications, etc.) and working across them is lightning fast and I never detected even the hint of slowdown.
This said, however, I experienced slight slowdown with more intensive programs running such as Steam or the Epic Games Launcher. The machine also slowed down quite considerably when launching game clients, as well.
ASUS TUF Gaming FX505 – Design & Build
With its 15.6″ display, the FX505 looks considerably bigger than other similar sized laptops. Perhaps this is because I’m used to working on a 15″ MacBook Pro, which lacks an integrated number pad.
Despite this, however, the FX505 still looks sleek and compact for its size. The side of the chassis tightly hugs the keyboard, thereby reducing its width to a comfortable 36.4cm. The slim form factor is further reinforced through the 6.5mm slim bezel design, which, again, hugs the edges of the 120Hz refresh rate panel.
The main chassis has a certain lightweight bulk to it when lifted. Weighing just north of 2kg, the FX505 feels both durable and powerful in your hands. When walking down to my local café with the rig in-hand, I didn’t feel as if I was being weighed down or encumbered by its size.
For office workers looking to integrate work and gaming into one laptop, the FX505 boasts an attractive look and feel. The backside of the screen features a tasteful ASUS logo with some nice visual accents for good measure.
The Gunmetal Grey colouring makes it suitable for use in an office environment, while the RGB keyboard allows you to fit in with your gaming ilk.
Perhaps the biggest selling point of the FX505 is that it meets military-grade
ASUS also boasts that the FX505’s military-grade build makes it capable of bouncing back from those accidental drops from your desk; though I was unwilling to test this particular feature out with our review unit.
ASUS TUF Gaming FX505 – Connectivity
In addition to some attractive vent design, the FX505 features a myriad of connectivity ports. This includes 2x USB 3.0 Gen 1 and 1x USB 2.0 ports; HDMI 2.0 port; RJ-45 jack; 3.5mm headphone and microphone combo jack; and 1x Kensington lock.
Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity is also available, should you wish to connect any of your exists Bluetooth devices. There’s also an integrated 720p Webcam situated above the screen; a notable omission from some of ASUS’ ROG products.
The 802.11ac 2×2 WiFi connection was rock solid, allowing me to download massive game files quickly. Granted, I do enjoy a reasonable fast NBN connection, though no matter where I was in my apartment the FX505 managed to pick up a strong signal.
For audiophiles, the FX505 also features DTS X technology that brings 7.1-channel virtual surround sound to standard headphones. This is a nice boost in audio clarity compared to the integrated speakers, which are something to be desired; though I haven’t come across a laptop with speakers that can match my Bose QuietComfort wireless headphones.
ASUS TUF Gaming FX505 – RGB Keyboard & Trackpad
Like any gaming laptop worth its salt, the FX505 features RGB backlighting for that truly immersive experience. ASUS has gone one better, however, by including Aura Sync technology. This allows you to sync compatible games and music streaming software with the RGB keyboard.
You can also customise RGB colours using the integrated Armoury Crate software, which also lets you tweak performance (as mentioned earlier), monitor system performance and create gaming profiles.
As for the keyboard design itself, ASUS has gone with a fairly standard desktop configuration, meaning all function keys and shortcuts are exactly where you need them to be. There’s also a fully integrated number pad for those who spend considerable time in Microsoft Excel.
The one noticeable difference between the FX505 and a standard keyboard is the highlighted WASD keys, which stand out thanks to their transparent white design.
Speaking of the keys, each one is gently curved to make long typing sessions (such as writing this review) an absolute dream. Keystrokes ring with a soft tap and boast a quick response time, which is a dream for people who type quickly such as myself. ASUS claims the keyboard features a lifespan of 20 million presses, which, for obvious reasons, I wasn’t able to put to the test.
While I can’t fault the keyboard, I do fault the trackpad/mousepad. The keyboard feels proportional to the size of the rig, as in its positioning is centred, the trackpad is placed off-centre. This made playing games solely on the rig itself without a separate mouse incredibly awkward.
I find most PC trackpads feel flimsy and almost entirely unresponsive, and sadly the FX505 is no different. The trackpad feels unintuitive to use due to its placement; while distinguishing between left and right is somewhat difficult. While a small visual cue denotes left from right, I would have prefered to see a more intuitive design. Perhaps one that allows user to more easily discern where to click.
ASUS TUF Gaming FX505 – Battery Life
Like most gaming laptops, the FX505 is destined to a life tethered to its AC adapter. The average battery life span I managed to achieve whilst gaming was just north of one hour; the game I tested this with was Star Wars: The Old Republic with its settings jacked up to ultra.
Less intensive tasks such as surfing the web or working across any myriad of office-based programs will yield a longer battery life; roughly 2 to 2 and a half hours. Even this is fairly subpar by my expectations of a working laptop intended for office use.
While I acknowledge the TUF Gaming line is not specifically marketed for office use, I think this is an area of consideration for its intended audience.
The battery life situation with the FX505 is slightly disappointing. Of course, I did decidedly put the machine through its paces and tested games whilst the machine
ASUS TUF Gaming FX505 – Final Verdict
Starting from $999AUD, the ASUS TUF Gaming FX505 is an attractive entry point for wannabe PC gamers. The model I tested – the FX505DU – retails for $1666AUD. This will net you a gaming laptop with enough horsepower to run Forza Horizon 4 and Rise of the Tomb Raider at ultra settings.
Of course, such visual fidelity does come at the cost of turning off one or two graphical settings in order to maintain a high frame rate. For those looking for a gaming laptop that will let you enjoy uncapped frame rates without compromise, there’s always the ASUS ROG G703.
However, if you’re somebody like me who wants a straightforward gaming laptop at a reasonable price, the FX505 is definitely for you.
The ASUS TUF Gaming FX505 was provided to PowerUp! by ASUS Australia for the purpose of this review.
Product Name: ASUS TUF Gaming FX505DU
Product Description: Gaming Laptop
Gaming and performance
Design and build
Display and audio
Battery and cooling