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Pros: looks nice, moderately sized, lightning fast, discrete graphics, high-end mobile CPU, only 1 RAM slot used
Cons: only one heat exhaust, DVD drive (waste of space), 5,400RPM HDD, 8GB RAM, bloatware
Other Thoughts: The construction of this laptop is brushed metal and plastic. It seems very well constructed and very modern. After opening this I immediately replaced the 5400RPM HDD to a PNY 240GB SSD. The biggest issue when upgrading: the laptop has no product key on the bottom for Windows 10. However, there are recovery/backup tools you can use, or there are tools to see your product key. For a recovery you will likely require at least 33.5GB of space on an external/thumb drive. I used Macrium Reflect (freeware), but the downside was I lost the recovery partition (not necessary, so I created a recovery image to store elsewhere after the swap). There is a panel on the bottom that can be opened by removing two screws, then sliding the cover off. Doing this will expose the HDD, ram, and Wi-Fi card. The HDD is in a caddy, held down by three screws, then four more holding the drive into the caddy. Only one of the two ram slots is in use. The WASD keys all have a red rim to make them easier to identify, and the keyboard is backlit (as well as the ROG logo on the lid). The power button is where the end key is on most keyboards, and leaves the only option for end key being fn+1. The sound is decent, nothing mind-blowing. The screen is exactly as expected for a 15.6 FHD (no UHD/4k).
Battery Life: Was determined without changing any power settings, and streaming video from my media server.
50% - 3 hours 5 minutes
10% - 4 hours 53 minutes
0% - 5 hours 19 minutes
Charge Time: While in use
100% - 2 hours 15 minutes
Without making any changes, the laptop will determine which GPU needs to be used at any given time. I have not seen any issues with this when gaming or otherwise. The only time I needed to manually select the GPU was to run a PassMark for this review. However, you can manually select the GPU in the Nvidia settings through the system tray. There is a bunch of bloatware from Asus, which can all be uninstalled and does not take long at all. Excessive heat has not been a factor, and the only time I even noticed it heating up was when I accidentally covered the heatsink.
Left - 2 USB 3.0 ports, 1 ethernet, 1 HDMI, 1 Mini Display Port
Right - USB 3.0 port, lock slot, DVD-RAM drive
PassMark 7.0 Scores (w/ssd & 12GB RAM):
Overall: w/integrated graphics - 2,814.6
Overall: w/GTX 960M - 3,448.3
CPU Mark: 10,161.9
The original HDD is an HGST 5K1000-1000 (1TB 5,400RPM). You can search Hitachi Travelstar 5K1000 for more information on the drive. If you have any spare DDR3-1600 sticks laying around you can install them (I had an extra 4gb, thus the 12gb total). Eventually, I will be replacing the DVD drive with a HDD SATA Adapter for additional space, but for now its fine.
Pros: Decently fast, worked well for me.
Cons: None.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: Good for an OLD mid-range card, will play most games (not in the highest settings).
Cons: Horrible CrossFireX support. Does not require a CrossFire Bridge, but until an AMD software/driver update in mid-2012 would not CrossFire properly.READ FULL REVIEW