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ASUS TUF FX505 Gaming Laptop Review

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ASUS TUF FX505 Gaming Laptop Review

The new ASUS TUF FX505 is more of a budget friendly gaming laptop compared to many others I’ve featured on the channel lately, so let’s check it out and find out if it’s one you should consider buying.

Starting with the specs my unit has a 6 core Intel i7-8750H CPU, however it’s also available with the quad core i5-8300H. I’ve got 16GB of memory running at DDR4-2666 in single channel as that’s how it came, but it supports up to 32GB in dual channel.

For the storage it’s got a single M.2 slot with PCIe Gen3 support, as well as a single 2.5 inch drive bay, and my unit has a 128GB M.2 SSD and 1TB hard drive, but it’s available with different storage options.

For the graphics there’s an Nvidia GTX 1060, although it’s also available with the 1050Ti or 1050 instead. This powers the 15.6” 1080p 60Hz AHVA panel, but it’s available with a faster 144Hz panel too.

For network connectivity there’s a gigabit ethernet port, support for 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth version 5.0. The FX505 has a black plastic lid with a brushed texture and grooves cut out towards the corners.

This matches the interior, and we can see that the laptop has a black and red theme. It comes in three different designs, gold steel, red matter which I’ve got here, and red fusion. Despite being entirely plastic the build quality felt pretty nice, and no sharp corners or edges found anywhere.

The dimensions of the laptop are 36cm in width, 26.2cm in depth, and just under 2.7cm in height, so a little smaller than many other 15 inch laptops due to the thin bezel which generally means a smaller footprint overall.

The weight is listed as 2.2KG on the ASUS website, and I found mine to weigh around this. With the 180 watt power brick and cable included the total weight increases to just under 2.8KG. It’s got a BOE 15.

6” 1080p 60Hz IPS-level panel, no G-Sync here and ASUS don’t list the response time. No issues with viewing angles, colours were still perfectly clear for me on any angle. The bezels are also 6.5mm thin, a nice improvement from the thicker ones in the FX504 and FX503 models.

I’ve measured the current colour gamut using the Spyder 5 Pro, and my results returned 95% of sRGB, 69% of NTSC and 73% of AdobeRGB, so not bad for a gaming laptop. At 100% brightness I measured the panel at 326 nits in the center, and with a 730:1 contrast ratio, so again fairly decent for a gaming laptop, overall I thought it looked pretty good, but expect different results with the 144Hz panel.

I’ve taken a long exposure photo in a dark room as a worst case backlight bleed test, and there was some noticeable bleed showing from the corners which I could occasionally notice while gaming during darker scenes, however this will vary between laptops.

There was quite a lot of screen flex while intentionally moving it, perhaps due to the somewhat thin plastic lid. Despite this though, it still felt stable when opening due to the hinges found out towards the far left and right corners.

It can also be easily opened up with one finger, demonstrating a fairly even weight distribution as we’ve got the battery towards the front. Despite the thinner bezel, the 720p camera is placed above the top of the screen.

The camera seems about average, still grainy with decent lighting, and the microphone sounds ok, but you’ll be able to judge both for yourself. The chiclet keyboard was great to type with and has a 1.

8mm travel distance. ASUS note that the keyboard uses zoned RGB lighting, but that the RGB backlit keyboard may not be available in some models. I guess I’ve got such a model here, because I’ve only got red lighting which can be adjusted between 3 brightness levels or turned off completely.

Here’s how the keys sound to type with to try and give you an idea of what to expect. There was a little keyboard flex while pushing down hard, but I never found this to be a problem during normal use and overall it was quite solid considering the plastic build.

Above the keyboard in the center there appears to be some air vents to help cool the internals. The power button is towards the right hand side, along with the status LEDs, which can still be seen even with the lid closed.

Fingerprints show up very easily, especially on the touch pad but they were easy to wipe away although I expected this to be more difficult considering the grooved brushed texture. The touchpad was smooth to the touch and worked well, it clicks down when you push, you can right click anywhere with two fingers or otherwise use the left and right click buttons down the bottom.

Moving onto the I/O, on the left there’s the power input, gigabit ethernet port, HDMI 2.0 output, USB 2.0 Type-A port, two USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A ports, 3.5mm audio combo jack and left speaker towards the front.

On the right there’s the right speaker, air exhaust vent and Kensington lock. This means that plugging things into the laptop won’t get in the way of the mouse, assuming you’re right handed of course, but you will get some warm air under load.

The two 2 watt speakers are found on either side towards the front, and they sound alright for laptop speakers, clear at high volumes but minimal bass. The front is just smooth plastic, while the back has air exhaust vents in the left and right corners.

On the back of the black brushed plastic lid there’s a red ASUS logo in the center with a mirrored finish, and there are some grooves cut out towards the corners. Underneath is pretty clean looking, with air vents towards the back and four rubber feet in the corners, which did a good job at preventing movement while in use.

It was pretty easy to open up using a Philips head screwdriver, and once inside we get easy access to the single M.2 slot on the left, the battery, two memory slots, and single 2.5 inch drive bay. Powering the laptop is a 4 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 4 hours and 36 minutes, a fair result for this test.

It was able to swap over to Intel integrated graphics which helped improve battery, 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 an hour and 10 minutes, and it was able to sustain 30 FPS the entire time without dipping towards the end.

Overall the battery seemed alright, not amazing but better than many other laptops I’ve tested on the channel. Thermal testing was completed with an ambient room temperature of 22 degrees Celsius, so expect warmer temperatures in a warmer environment.

Also keep in mind there are heatpipes shared between processor and graphics, so a change in one component may affect the other. Like other ASUS laptops, this one also lets you pick between silent, balanced, and overboost modes.

These are built in profiles that increase performance at the cost of boosting fan speed and CPU TDP, and I’ve done my testing with all three. Starting at the bottom of the graph, at idle the temperatures are fairly cool with silent mode, shown by the light blue bars.

The gaming tests were done with Watch Dogs 2, as I find that to use a good combination of CPU and GPU. Starting in the green bar with balanced mode we’re seeing the hottest temperatures while gaming, and the temperatures drop down by around 5 degrees Celsius with overboost mode applied, as this maxes out the fans, shown by the yellow bar.

With balanced mode and a -0.150v undervolt applied to the CPU, shown in the orange bar, the temperatures are a fair bit better, and when combining the undervolt with the faster fan speeds in overboost mode, shown in red, we’re actually getting fairly cool temperatures.

The stress tests were done by running Aida64 and the Heaven benchmark at the same time in order to attempt to fully utilize both the processor and graphics. Moving up in the graph and continuing with the dark red bar with balanced mode there was a 35 watt limit on the TDP, so power limit throttling was taking place with the CPU on 90 degrees.

With overboost mode enabled in pink, the active TDP rose to 45 watts, there was still power limit throttling but also thermal throttling now, despite the increased fan speed, as the TDP boost is adding more heat.

In the purple bar with balanced mode and the CPU undervolted there was no difference in temperature, but we’ll see the performance differences in the next graph. The dark blue bar shows overboost mode with the CPU undervolt applied, and there was still thermal throttling here.

For the first time I’ve also tested using a cooling pad, shown by the black bar up the top, and I was only seeing a very minor change. These are the average clock speeds for the same tests just shown.

Again starting down the bottom, we can see that with overboost mode enabled in yellow the CPU clock speed rises up as the TDP gets boosted. Interestingly with my undervolt applied the clock speed dropped down a bit, I’m suspecting because it may not have been getting enough power, although I did try lower undervolts and the result didn’t really change, and this didn’t seem to be an issue with the stress tests.

Moving up to the stress tests we can see that with overboost mode and the CPU undervolt applied we’re extremely close to the full 3.9GHz all core turbo speed of the 8750H, an impressive result under a combined CPU and GPU stress test, and again no real difference with the cooling pad shown in black.

These are the clock speeds I got while just running CPU only stress tests without any GPU load. As mentioned, there are three built in profiles on the laptop called silent, balanced, and overboost. With the Aida64 stress test running, I found these profiles to limit the CPU to 33 watts in silent, 38 watts in balanced, and then the full 45 Watt TDP in overboost mode.

We’re only able to reach the full 3.9GHz turbo boost speed on all cores under stress test with overboost mode while undervolted, as shown in the top red bar. To demonstrate how this translates into performance I’ve got some Cinebench CPU benchmarks here, with the older 7th gen i7-7700HQ just down the bottom for comparison.

With the silent profile the laptop is quieter, but as shown this restricts performance, though interestingly while undervolted in silent mode we can get better performance than overboost mode without undervolting which runs much louder.

With a combination of overboost mode and undervolting we can get the full performance of the i7-8750H, otherwise this was not possible prior to undervolting in my unit. Here are the GPU only clock speeds while under a graphical only stress test both at stock and with a 200MHz GPU core overclock applied, although on average in this test we’re seeing a 150MHz boost due to power limitations on the graphics, and I wasn’t able to modify this with MSI’s Afterburner.

It’s worth noting that the problems I reported in the FX504 review do not appear to be present here, game performance was going alright without stuttering issues, and the power limits on the CPU were not restricted to a 25 Watt TDP which was great to see.

As for the external temperatures where you’ll actually be putting your hands, at idle 15 minutes after completing stress tests it was around 30 degrees, though up to 40 near the center. While gaming the center gets to around 50 degrees Celsius, but the rest is quite cool in comparison, and then a similar result was seen with the CPU and GPU stress tests running.

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 still audible even with the silent profile enabled. While gaming and under stress test it was about the same, and around the same volume as most other gaming laptops I’ve tested, and then just a little louder with overboost mode and the fans maxed out.

Finally let’s take a look at some gaming benchmarks, all games were run at 1080p with the latest Windows updates and these Nvidia drivers. ASUS’s overboost mode was also enabled to give us full performance of the i7 CPU.

Fortnite was tested with the replay feature, and even at epic settings we’re still able to average above 70 FPS, and over 100 FPS with low settings, it was playing fairly smoothly at all setting levels.

Overwatch was tested playing in the practice range, and again at all setting levels the frame rates are quite high, averaging above 100 FPS at epic with a 1% low above the refresh rate of the panel in my unit.

Battlefield 5 was tested in campaign mode and not in multiplayer mode, as it’s easier to consistently reproduce the test run. I didn’t have any issues playing at any setting level, although it was noticeably smoother at medium or below.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider was tested with the built in benchmark, and the results are a bit lower than I expected, probably due to the single channel memory, but still some decent frame rates at the lower levels.

PUBG was tested using the replay feature, and although this is a less optimized game it was still playable at pretty much any setting level, though again not as high frame rates as we usually see with the 1060 and 8750H, again probably due to the single channel memory.

CS:GO was tested using the Ulletical benchmark, and as usual the frame rates at all settings were fairly high. Rainbow Six Siege was tested with the built in benchmark, and this test pretty much always results in high frame rates and this was no exception, over 100 FPS averages regardless of the settings in use.

Far Cry 5 was also tested with the built in benchmark, and the results are alright for this test, still able to average above 60 FPS at ultra settings. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey was another that was tested with the built in benchmark, and the frame rates seem alright given that I don’t think you necessarily need high FPS to enjoy the game, but nothing amazing.

Dota 2 was tested using a fairly intensive replay, so this should be a worst case scenario, these results are not the same as actually playing the game which would result in higher performance. I use this test as it’s reproducible, and easy to compare with my other videos.

Watch Dogs 2 is a demanding game, but as it doesn’t seem to need a high frame rate to play I have no trouble playing at ultra settings, anything above 30 FPS as long as the 1% low isn’t too terrible runs fine for me.

I’ve got some more games covered in the dedicated gaming benchmark video if you’re interested, just check the card in the top right hand corner. Now for 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.

Overall the results seem little low, most likely owing to the fact that the laptop came with single channel. As it’s not yet for sale I’m not sure if it will sell more commonly in a single or dual channel configuration, but expect more performance with dual channel.

Otherwise, we were still seeing fairly good results across all games with good settings. As we saw earlier we’ve got the option of overclocking the graphics, so let’s see how this actually helps improve gaming performance.

The exact same Windows updates, game updates and Nvidia drivers were installed so there shouldn’t be any changes other than these CPU undervolting and graphics overclocking changes. Far Cry 5 was retested using the built in benchmark, the average frame rates at ultra settings were 5.

9% better compared to stock speeds, although the changes to the 1% low seemed to vary based on the settings. With the combination of graphics overclocking and CPU undervolting we are able to get a little extra performance.

As for storage, in Crystal Disk Mark the 128GB PCIe SSD is giving us pretty nice read speeds, but then nothing special when it comes to the writes, while the 1TB 5,400RPM SSHD is a bit slower than I would have expected, but not too bad.

For updated pricing check the links in the description, as prices will change over time. At the time of recording, the FX505 is still in the process of launching, so I haven’t been able to find any prices for these exact specs just yet.

Here in Australia the 1050Ti model is around $2000 AUD, while in the US it’s around $1100 USD, but again I will update the links in the description when I can. So what do you guys think about the ASUS TUF FX505 gaming laptop? Despite not currently having the price overall it seems like a pretty decent gaming laptop, I’m really glad that the power limit issues I noted in my FX504 review are no longer present.

Although it’s got great hardware, the GTX 1060 and i7-8750H, we seem to be missing performance by having single channel memory. I suspect you’ll also be able to buy it with dual channel memory too, otherwise you’ve always got the option of upgrading the memory later, I would have loved to tested in dual channel but I can only work with what I’m sent.

It had a bit more screen flex and backlight bleed than I would have liked, but otherwise the screen did look nice, battery life was fair, the keyboard and touchpad were good to use, and the laptop felt fairly solid considering the plastic build.

Let me know what you guys thought about the ASUS TUF FX505 gaming laptop down in the comments, and leave a like to let me know if you found the review useful. Thanks for watching, and don’t forget to subscribe for future tech videos like this one.

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