The ASUS TUF FX504 is more of a budget friendly gaming laptop compared to many others I’ve featured on the channel recently, so let’s check it out and find out if it’s one you should consider buying.
Let’s start with the specs of this unit. There’s an Intel i7-8750H CPU here which has 6 cores and can turbo up to 4.1GHz in single core workloads, but it’s also available with the 8300H. In my unit there’s 16GB of DDR4 memory running at 2,666MHz in single channel, but the two slots can support up to 32GB.
For storage there’s a 256GB SATA SSD in the single M.2 slot, but it also supports NVMe storage, while the single 2.5 inch drive bay is populated with a 1TB 5,400RPM SSHD. For the graphics there’s an Nvidia 1050Ti 4GB, although it’s also available with a 1050, and this powers the 15.
6 inch 1080p 60Hz AHVA panel, but it’s also available with a TN option, and we’ll see how this performs soon in the benchmarks. For the network connectivity there’s a gigabit ethernet port, support for 802.
11ac WiFi and Bluetooth version 4.0 The lid and the interior are both a brushed black plastic with this red pattern out towards the corners, matching the red keyboard and logo on the lid, although it seems to be available in a few different designs.
The dimensions of the laptop are 38.4cm in width, 26.2cm in depth, and 2.5cm in height, so fairly average for a 15 inch laptop. The weight is listed as 2.3kg on the ASUS website which is basically what mine weighed.
With the 120 watt power brick and cable for charging, the total weight increases to 2.8kg, so still not too heavy. As mentioned the screen is a 15.6 inch 60Hz 1080p AHVA panel. I found the viewing angles to be good, images are still perfectly clear even on sharp angles.
It’s an AHVA panel and advertised as “IPS-Level” as it basically looks like IPS. The screen doesn’t get too bright, at 100% brightness I measured it at 266 nits, perfectly fine indoors though.
I’ve also measured the current colour gamut using the Spyder 5 Pro, and my results returned 63% of sRGB, 45% of NTSC and 47% of AdobeRGB, so perfectly fine for gaming and about on par with other laptops in the same price range that I’ve tested, but you might want to look elsewhere if you do work that requires colour accuracy.
I’ve performed my usual backlight bleed test on the display, which involves having the laptop show a black screen in a dark room to help emphasize any bleeding. I then take a long exposure photo to display any bleed, so this is a worst case scenario test.
There’s some minor imperfections that the camera was able to pick up, however to my eyes I wasn’t able to see anything, even in a dark room it looked good to me, but this will vary between laptops.
While moving the display there was a bit of flex, the hinges are out on the far ends and they’re a little small but overall it was fairly sturdy considering the plastic construction. It can also be opened easily with one finger, demonstrating a fairly even weight distribution as the battery is up the front.
Above the display in the center is a 720p camera. The camera’s not great, quite blurry and grainy even with some good lighting. The microphone sounds alright, however even though the fan is basically silent there’s still some internal noise picked up.
The chiclet keyboard has red backlighting with three levels of brightness, but the sides are red plastic so it still looks red even with the lighting turned off. The WASD keys are also clearly marked out.
I really liked typing with the keyboard, the spacing between keys seemed good and there’s 1.8mm of travel distance. I feel like the arrow keys could have been a bit bigger instead of having the extra long right control key though.
The key presses felt a little clicky, here’s how they sound to try and give you an idea. While pushing down hard on the keyboard there was only a bit of flex, no issues at all while actually typing though.
The touchpad uses precision drivers and overall worked quite well, no issues there. Moving onto the I/O on the left there’s the power input, gigabit ethernet port, HDMI 1.4 port, one USB 2.0 Type-A port, two USB 3.
0 Type-A ports, and a 3.5mm audio combo jack. There’s nothing going on over on the right other than a kensington lock slot up towards the back. The speakers are found towards the front on either side of the laptop, they sound alright for laptop speakers, not really any bass but still mostly clear at higher volumes.
On the back there are a couple of air exhaust vents towards the corners and nothing at all on the front. The status LEDs are found inside at the top of the base just below the screen along with what appear to be some air vents.
Up on the black brushed plastic lid there’s a red ASUS logo with a mirrored finish in the center with these red patterns coming in from the corners which match the ones on the interior. Fingerprints show up easily on the brushed finish and were a little difficult to wipe away once dirt gets into the grooves.
Underneath there’s some rubber feet which do a good job of preventing the laptop from sliding around while in use as well as some air intakes towards the back. The laptop can be opened up easily with a phillips head screwdriver.
After removing the panel we get easy access to the WiFi card, two memory slots, and the single M.2 slot and 2.5” drive bay. Powering the laptop is a 3 cell 48 Watt hour battery, and with a full charge and just watching YouTube videos with the screen on half brightness, keyboard lighting off and background apps disabled, I was able to use it for 5 hours and 16 minutes, a pretty good result.
The laptop was using the Intel integrated graphics in this test thanks to Nvidia Optimus. While playing the Witcher 3 with medium settings and Nvidia’s battery boost set to 30 FPS the battery lasted for 1 hour and 13 minutes, however it was averaging around 20 FPS in this game so the battery didn’t seem to be enough for this title, less demanding games might go a bit better but ideally you’ll want to play while plugged in.
Overall the battery life was pretty decent considering the size of the battery. Additionally while gaming for a couple of hours for my thermal tests the battery was slowly discharging and was at 85% even though it was plugged in the whole time, indicating that there wasn’t enough power being provided from the 120w brick, more on that shortly.
Thermal testing was completed with an ambient room temperature of 18 degrees celcius, it’s getting cold here as winter has just started, so expect warmer temperatures in a warmer environment. Also remember that the CPU and GPU share heatpipes, so a change in temperature of one component may affect the other.
At idle both the CPU and GPU were quite warm considering the fans were still audible. While gaming with default fan speeds shown in dark blue the temperatures don’t get too hot, I was nowhere near thermal throttling.
When we max out the fans the temperatures improve a bit as shown in green, and undervolting the CPU with a -0.130v offset in yellow didn’t really change anything. The stress tests were done running both Aida64 and the Heaven benchmark at the same time to make use of both the CPU and GPU, and again the temperatures aren’t too high.
Overall the temperatures seem pretty good, but I think this is a symptom of power limit throttling which is preventing us from reaching full performance, which we can see in the average clock speeds. Keep in mind that the 8750H CPU should be able to reach 3.
9GHz on all cores, but I wasn’t able to get this in any of my tests, even with the -0.130v undervolt applied as shown in the yellow and purple bars, it does help a little, but power limit throttling was still present during all tests.
Initially I couldn’t pin this performance loss down as there were no resources fully in use and no thermal throttling taking place. I even tried reinstalling Windows fresh but no change. The best explanation I have is the constant CPU power limit throttling that was taking place, in Intel XTU it never went above 25W TDP even while undervolted, and changing the power settings didn’t affect this at all.
The undervolting did seem to help a bit with performance, but the power limit throttling was still consistent. I’m thinking it might be set in the BIOS or firmware, I did look through the BIOS settings and there was nothing I could change and the latest 310 version was in use.
As mentioned earlier the battery was discharging slowly when gaming while plugged in, combined with the 120 watt power brick I’m thinking there just may not be enough power, which would explain why there appears to be some kind of limit in place.
I’m not sure if this would be an issue with the 8300H model, as that would in theory use less power with two less cores. I did see a review on notebookcheck where they noted low temperatures with the 8300H FX504 sitting at 2.
3GHz under stress test, but they just noted that it was strange and didn’t say if it was power limit throttling, but it sounds like the same symptoms I had here. Someone did leave a comment noting a 25W power limit though, so I don’t think this is just me.
These are the clock speeds I got while just running CPU only stress tests without any GPU load. Undervolting helped a little but we’re still pretty far off from the expected 3.9GHz all core turbo speed of the 8750H CPU due to the power limit throttling, I was hoping it might not be an issue with a CPU only load but this was not the case, it just seems to be arbitrarily limited to that 25 watt TDP.
As for the external temperatures where you’ll actually be putting your hands, at idle the body of the laptop is sitting in the high 30s, so still cool but warmer than I expected, but I guess not too surprising considering the warm idle temperatures of the CPU and graphics though.
While gaming the center of the keyboard rises up to around 50 degrees and it was fairly warm to the touch, interestingly the sides including the WASD keys were quite a lot cooler in comparison. With the CPU and GPU stress test and stock fans the center is still in the low 50s, and drops down into the high 40s with the fans maxed out.
As for the fan noise produced by the laptop, I’ll let you have a listen to some of these tests. At idle the fan was just audible, and while gaming with the default balanced fan profile it wasn’t too loud either, around the same level as the stress tests.
Running the fans with the overboost mode to max them out increases the overall system noise a bit though, although it wasn’t much louder than most 1060 laptops I’ve tested with default fans. I’ll also note that there was a tiny bit of coil whine in my unit, although once the fans kick in I couldn’t notice it all.
Finally let’s take a look at some benchmarks, we’ll first cover some real world gaming benchmarks followed by tests with various benchmarking tools. All tests were run at 1080p with the latest Nvidia drivers and Windows updates to date installed with V-Sync disabled.
Starting out with Fortnite it played really well at medium or low settings, I noticed a lot of dips even while just moving around any higher, which is reflected by the 1% lows. It’s important to keep in mind that this game is hard to benchmark as frame rates will vary based on what’s going on in game and what other players are doing.
Overwatch was tested playing with the bots, and the average frame rates are quite high but again the 1% lows do drop quite a lot. I was experiencing some stuttering at all setting levels, and this got much worse at the higher settings making it feel unplayable, not too bad at lower settings though but not ideal.
CS:GO is going alright in terms of averages in this test, but as usual the 1% lows aren’t great due to the smokes in the benchmark test. PUBG was tested using the replay feature, it played alright on the lower settings but as usual this game gives us pretty low 1% lows compared to the averages, but of course take the results with a grain of salt, as like Fortnite it will depend on what’s going on in the game, so the results can vary quite a lot.
I’ve tested Farcry 5 with the built in benchmark, and the results aren’t too great, still playable at lower settings though. Assassin’s Creed Origins was also tested with the built in benchmark and the results were similar, with many average frame rates around 40 FPS or so.
Dota 2 was tested using a fairly intensive replay, so this should be a worst case scenario, realistically you’ll probably get better results than this while actually playing, and even in this intensive test the averages are looking pretty good for this game.
Rainbow Six Siege was tested with the built in benchmark and the averages are above the refresh rate of the display even at ultra settings, and although the 1% lows are a bit behind they’re still quite high so the dips weren’t too bad or noticeable.
Testing Battlefield 1 in the first campaign mission felt a little stuttery at ultra and high settings at times but ran quite well at medium or low. The witcher 3 doesn’t really need a high frame rate to play, but it was quite stuttery at ultra settings as shown by the low 1% lows, it played well enough at all other setting levels though.
Rise of the tomb raider was tested with the built in benchmark, and we’re able to average above the refresh rate of the display at the lower setting levels. Ghost recon is a resource intensive game, and was again tested with the built in benchmark.
You’ll probably want to play this at low settings to get a good experience. Watchdogs 2 is another resource intensive game, but is another that I personally think doesn’t need a high frame rate to play.
Despite this however, the game was stuttering at all setting levels which is sort of reflected by the poor 1% lows, for the most part it wasn’t playable at any setting level. DOOM was tested using vulkan, and even at max settings we were averaging above the refresh rate of the display, but again there was some stuttering during game play.
I’ve got a couple more games covered in the dedicated gaming benchmark video if you’re interested. Now onto the benchmarking tools, I’ve tested Heaven, Valley, and Superposition from Unigine, as well as Firestrike, Timespy, and VRMark from 3DMark, just pause the video if you want a detailed look at these results.
The results were alright, the 1050Ti is still a decent option for many less demanding games, although I still recommend the 1060 if you want to play all modern games at 1080p 60 FPS with decent settings, it depends on what games you plan on playing and settings you’ll be using.
As mentioned in the benchmarks I did notice quite a bit of stuttering in a few of the games, which seems to be due to the CPU power limit throttling I discussed earlier. Despite many average frame rates being above what the 1050 would give us the dips made some games like Watchdogs 2 for instance really difficult to play.
As for overclocking, the 8750H CPU can’t be overclocked, but I was able to increase the GPU core clock of the 1050Ti by 200MHz using MSI Afterburner, and these are the average clock speeds from running the Heaven benchmark at stock and while overclocked for 30 minutes each.
With both CPU undervolting and GPU overclocking applied we get a little boost in games. We’re getting a few extra frames per second at the higher levels in PUBG, but overall it didn’t seem to help much here and interestingly the results were consistently lower at lower settings.
I’ve just quickly got some CPU benchmarks here, and due to the CPU power limit throttling that was taking place we didn’t get the best results, typically most other laptops with the 8750H that I’ve tested have been able to get above 1,200 in Cinebench once undervolted, but that just wasn’t possible here.
In Crystal Disk Mark the 256GB M.2 SATA SSD was getting over 500MB/s in sequential reads and around 480MB/s in sequential writes, but the single M.2 slot also supports NVMe storage if you want to upgrade.
The 1TB 5,400RPM SSHD was going quite well, over 150MB/s on the reads and around 130MB/s on the writes. As for the price here in Australia it comes in at around $1800 AUD, in the US I couldn’t actually find pricing for the 8750H model with these exact specs, with half the RAM it’s available at $899 USD or instead with the 8300H CPU for the same price, so I’d guess it would be a little more than that, I’ll update the video description once I’m able to find it for sale somewhere.
So what did you guys think of the FX504 gaming laptop from the ASUS TUF series? If it wasn’t for the CPU power limit throttling I’d be saying that this is a great gaming laptop for the price range, but unfortunately that limitation does seem to affect many of the games tested, not all of them as it likely depends on how many resources the game in question requires.
I’m not sure if this could be fixed in the future either, sure they could probably change the power limit in an update, but as we were discharging battery under full load while plugged in with the limit in place it may not be feasible, it seems like the limit exists for a reason.
Otherwise the laptop had pretty good battery life considering the smaller battery size, and had decent build quality for a plastic laptop. Let me know what you guys thought down in the comments, and leave a like to let me know if you found the review useful.
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