Asus G74SX Vs. G73SW Comparison

Both the 3D and non-3D versions of the brand new 17-inch Asus Republic of Gamers G74SX is now available from several retailers. None of the laptops are exactly cheap, but they come with a fair amount of capable hardware to match the price tag.At this writing you can find a G74SX-A1 for slightly less than $1,700 while the 3D-enabled G74SX-3DE costs at least $200 more. The G73SW will be phased out and discontinued, but will still be available for a while longer. And longer still in refurbished/used condition of course.

It is quite difficult to tell the new G74SX apart from the current G73SW at first glance, but there are some cosmetic differences between the two. While the overall “stealth bomber”-inspired design is still there, the keyboard in the new laptop is now flush with the chassis and the numpad has been separated from the rest of the keys. The buttons and LEDs have also moved around a bit and the single-bar mouse button on the G73 is now divided into two parts for the G74.

G74SW vs G73SW keyboards

Which layout you prefer is a matter of personal taste; arguably the G74SX is a bit more sophisticated than its predecessor. Having the keys more distinctly separated also appears to be a usability advantage compared to the tightly spaced keys on the G73, but that’s just a guess based on the looks of it. On the whole, though, the design is mostly similar, which is fine–the 17-inch Republic of Gamers laptop stands out from other gaming laptops by NOT being adorned with LED lights and fancy design choices all over. One exception is the LED-backlit keyboard that is a standard feature on both models.

G74SXThe difference on the inside is not that large either, actually, although Asus have made a couple of noteworthy changes. The main difference is that the Nvidia GeForce GTX 460M has been replaced by a GTX 560M. These two GPUs have a lot in common: 192 CUDA cores, DX11 capability, a 192-bit memory bus and 40nm silicon, but the core and shader clocks are higher in the GTX 560M–775MHz/1550MHz vs. 675MHz/1350MHz in the 460M. There’s also more video RAM in the newer GPU–3GB vs. 1.5GB of GDDR5. Interestingly, there is no mention of Nvidia’s Optimus technology anywhere, so it is apparently absent.

Very little has changed for the core hardware platform compared to the previous model. The processor is a 2nd-generation Core (Sandy Bridge) variant from Intel running at 2GHz (2.9Ghz with Turbo Boost) on the HM65 chipset. This part is identical between the G74 and G73 laptops. The G73SW-A1 was/is equipped with 8GB of 1333MHz DDR3 RAM, while the G74SX-A1 ships with 12GB of the same RAM variety (maximum RAM for both models is 16GB/4 slots).

Both laptops also come with dual hard drives, but not in RAID 0. The G74SX is equipped with two 750GB 7,200rpm drives for a total 1.5TB of storage space, while the setup in the G73SW-A1 is two 500GB hybrid drives (Seagate Momentus), so although the amount of storage space has grown, the speed is likely reduced in some situations with the larger drive.

In conclusion, it is very hard for existing owners of a G73SW to justify an upgrade to the new G74SX unless you want a 3D version in the form of the G74SX-3DE. First-time buyers of a 17-inch Republic of Gamers laptop can however enjoy a decent boost in gaming performance thanks to the higher stock clock speeds in the GTX 560M GPU. A tempting alternative to both the G74 and the G73 laptops is the new EON 17-S from Origin PC, which is roughly the same size but has an option for the considerably faster GTX 485M graphics card.

Comparison Table

G73SW-A1 G74SX-A1
Processor Core i7 2630QM Core i7 2630QM
Chipset Intel HM65 Intel HM65
GPU Nvidia GTX 460M 1.5GB GDDR5 Nvidia GTX 560M 3GB GDDR5
Display 17.3″ 1920×1080 17.3″ 1920×1080
RAM (Max) 8GB DDR3 1333MHz (16GB) 12GB DDR3 1333MHz (16GB)
HDD 2x500GB 7,200rpm (Hybrid) 2x750GB 7,200rpm
Optical Blu-ray Combo Blu-ray Combo
Dimensions 16.6 x 12.8 x 2.3 inches 16.5 x 12.8 x 2.4 inches
Weight 9.4 lbs 8 lbs
[pcu id=45] [pcu id=43]

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16 Comments
  1. The G53sx looks like a good laptop,it has the old stealthbomber design and the specs are simillar to the ones of the g74sx. About the EON 17-s it’s close to the g74sx in terms of specs, the g74 may be bigger but I have more faith in it’s cooling. The price is close but one mustn’t forget that the gtx485 add 550$,and the processor is a i5 not an i7. :/

  2. Yes, Asus’ design on the ROG series is definitely a hit. The G53sx has basically the same specs except for the dual drive setup, so that’s a really powerful 15-inch machine. The closest competitor is probably MSI’s GT683, but in all likelihood the cooling is better in the Asus.

    The EON 17 looks awesome in comparison to all the other single GPU laptops out there if you get the 485M upgrade, it’s too bad that it’s so pricey.

  3. The g53sx is 128bit and not 192bit like the g74sx do there will probably be a difference in performance,I don’t know at what point. Good,top graphic cards on laptops are really pricey and don’t fit many laptops, I don’t know if they overheat or have issues, I’ve heard the best radeon card have some problem, this may be true for the 485 too. And usually better graphic need better cooling, but there are exceptions, so who knows.

  4. I had no idea that the 560M is 128-bit in the g53sx, thanks a lot for that info! Now that I had a look at the specs page it does say “up to” 192-bit. (http://www.geforce.com/#/Hardware/GPUs/geforce-gtx-560m/specifications) That’s an important detail and sort of misleading since most people only look at the model name and basic specs (I did, for example). The lower memory bandwidth just might negate the higher clocks benefit, which is just about the only update in the 560M vs the 460M. 😐

  5. And there are rumors about the new high-end mobile geforce graphic, the successor of the gtx485m, the gtx580m. I haven’t heard about the specs, it will be the fastest mobile graphic card on the market and the priciest probably, some say 500 like the 485 while some other say around 900. :/ It will offer good performance for sure ( I’ve heard it will be like the GTX560Ti for desktop.) But as they say in spidergeek, with great performance comes with great heat and energy consumption. (yeah I made that up but still) So I don’t know if I should buy a good video card for my future notebook or stick with the 560m…

  6. Yes, the GTX 580M will almost certainly be out soon, hopefully it will be a bigger update than the one from GTX 460M to 560M, which is rather mediocre (and virtually useless if the memory bus is scaled down). Like you said in Spidergeek 😀 the heat and power draw will probably be no less than the 485M and imagine stacking two in SLI… Time to bring the water cooling!

  7. The price will be sky-high! In SLI it will cost 1.2K MINIMUM ( I’m being generous here) and all this heat and power sucking could ruin a laptop, just the heat will slaughter the batterie. Is it worth to pay so much to have something like this? A guy is paying 5K for a laptop with 2 580M, 12Go of Ram, the best intel processor for laptop. This laptop will overheat as fuck! And probably break down soon, plus it will probably get obsolete after some time( this 5K will lower pretty fast in the industry to became something worth 1.5K at some point as it always happens.) The 560M might be a small step from the 460M but for the same price I think it’s the best choice for my first laptop, compared to an High-end monster card. :/

  8. Any SLI configuration with the fastest cards are reserved for really large laptops, and yes, they will certainly be very expensive, generate LOTS of heat and have abysmal battery life. But they can charge that much just because it’s the “fastest”, and some folks (who can hopefully afford it) will always want the fastest regardless of the other issues. Personally I’m a sucker for smaller gaming machines up to 15″, and a 460M/560M can play any game at 1080p just fine, so I can certainly agree with you on that.

  9. I’ll probably get me a G74sx-A1, since I can’t carry my desktop and my video card is getting old (ATI Radeon X800 😛 lol )I have around .5 Go of ram etc. So anything will be an upgrade compared to what I have, the old desktop will be enough for my mother so everyone is happy.

  10. Sounds like a good choice, the G-series laptops have an excellent track record so far and the G74SX will probably be no different. And moving from an X800 you’ll certainly see some improvements! I’ve also been dumping old gear on family members. There’s a desktop ATI 9800 XT and an Nvidia 8800 GTS out there still 🙂

  11. Hi Berg. Are you sure the G73SW came with a RAID0 configuration? Was it a hardware RAID using the Intel MATRIX or a software one using the Win7 Ultimate RAID utility?
    I ordered it with RAID0 and they say it’s impossible and it says the same in other reviews on the WEB. It would help me a lot to get a confirmation from you…
    Thanks

  12. Hi comodh, I’m glad you brought it up because this part was wrong. After double checking I can see that there’s no RAID 0 in either of them. This is really embarrassing and I’ll correct this part promptly. Thanks

  13. Thanks Berg. I’m currently researching whether a RAID 0 can be established on my ASUS G73SW or not. There are positive indications – Intel’s “Intel Rapid Storage Technology driver” can be downloaded from the official G73SW page, and at http://notebook.mynoxil.com/notebook_2510_ver_ASUS_G73SW-91024V.html the model is offered with RAID 0. I would be grateful if you could confirm it’s possible and point to the installation procedure 🙂 Thanks again
    Moshe

  14. Hmm, that’s a bit odd. It should not say RAID 0 unless it’s a different motherboard which seems unlikely. I don’t know of a way to enable software RAID with Intel’s RST driver, but it is (supposedly, haven’t tried) possible to do it with the “dynamic disk” feature in Windows 7 Pro/Ultimate. Instructions here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc731274.aspx

    It feels like a somewhat shaky solution though. A far better option IMO would be to get an SSD and use as a system drive, which could easily outperform software RAID anyway, and keep one HDD for storage.

  15. I’ve been considering purchasing an Asus G series gaming laptop and have read some pretty negative reviews regarding issues with DOA laptops, power plug issues, and some other seemingly hardware related issues.

    How common are these problems really?

  16. Yes, apparently quite a few people have experienced problems, particularly with the ‘SW’ models. Hopefully the problems have been ironed out on the newer ones. I personally own a G53SX that runs like clockwork, although that’s just one sample obviously. But the user reviews on Amazon for example, are also more positive in general about the ‘SX’ line.

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