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Signal2Noise
01-28-2012, 04:57 PM
Greetings everyone. This is my first post on RoG, having joined after purchasing my first Asus laptop. I'm also a frequent forum member @ NotebookReview in case my username seems familiar. I have posted the below comments on NBR as well. I have a strong computer and gaming background so hopefully I can contribute in these forums on an ongoing basis as well.

(You can also goto TL;DR section below)

Hey everyone, I decided it was time to replace my 5 year old Dell XPS M1530 laptop and ended up getting my first "gaming" notebook. Even though I have bought and used Asus-branded parts I never used or bought a complete system by them until now. It was a toss up between the Asus and Alienware M17X and decided on the G74SX due to a cheaper pricepoint and the fact I could buy it locally from my favorite computer store. Besides, i read more negative user reviews about the Alienware which helped the decision making process. I've had the G74SX for one week as of today and am already planning a couple of upgrades. I also have a couple of questions about this particular notebook model.

I am planning on upgrading one of the hard drives to an SSD which I don't think will pose any problems. I am also going to switch out the internal Atheros Wi-Fi card which does not support 5GHz band. I've already ordered an Intel Centrino 6230 card since it has the BlueTooth feature as well. In the meantime i am using a Linksys AE2500 USB wi-fi antenna that can access my 5GHz band. According to what I've read the wi-fi card is easily replaceable. However the manual that comes with DH71 specifically states that the wi-fi card is NOT upgradable. I don't have the new card yet but I opened up the bottom access cover that conceals the RAM and HDDs. Off to one side the network card can be seen, slightly tucked under the plastic notebook frame. The two antenna connections are accessible and a single screw seems to hold the card in place. To me it looks like the card can be easily removed despite what the manual describes. Can any other DH71 owners verify this?

Another annoying issue I've come across is the touchpad. The software configuration does not seem to hold any settings I opt for. I prefer to use a mouse and set it so the touchpad is disabled when a mouse is detected. After maybe 10 or 15 minutes the touchpad reactivates and the only way I can turn it off is unplug/replug the mouse. I also tried disabling the touchpad in the BIOS but doing so also disabled the keyboard when the system booted into Windows! All the drivers are up to date but I will try uninstalling/reinstalling them based on a recommendation on the RoG forum. Anyone else aware of this issue?

Other than that the laptop seems to be a good performer.

TL;DR

Sorry for the long thread. The condensed version is here:

1. Atheros Wi-Fi sucks. Can I replace it with Intel 6230?

2. Touchpad settings don't stick. Won't stay disabled when mouse plugged in. Thoughts?

3. Good gaming machine. Plays SWTOR smoothly, cool, and quiet on High settings.

Cheers!

rozwell911
01-28-2012, 05:03 PM
1) I have heard of many people upgrading theirs, I know i will upgrade mine, but i have a DH73, not a D71 so i am unaware of any differences.

2) I have the same problem. I noticed that on mine, it reactivates when i swtich programs (IE Games, like going from BF3 to SWTOR). I find that the simple fix is to unplug the external mouse and plug it back it after you start a new program. Works for me every time.....I have been debating about just removing the drivers all together since i do not use it at all.

3) It has played every game i have with no problems.

PILGRIM
01-28-2012, 06:03 PM
Welcome Signal2Noise.

There's always a room for everyone (newbies like many of us and the more experienced ones-
like you and the others) in these forums. I'm sure your particular experiences and input would
contribute a lot for the collective members' growth.

1. Against all odds, I'm still using the stock Atheros Wi-Fi with updated driver, for the simple
reasons that my modem's bandwidth isn't that fast, and Atheros has stabilized and doesn't
interfere with my other computer usage since the driver update.

And to answer your question: Yes, many opted to swap their wi-fi with either the Intel 6230 or 6300
for the reason that's opposite to what I mentioned about the Atheros.

2. I have the Sentelic 9.1.7.7 but i usually disable (fn+f9) it when gaming or typing with my wireless mouse.

3. Indeed.


@rozwell911 : The notable differences are the DH73 comes with the matte and 3D screen, while the
DH71 normally comes with the glossy screen.

Signal2Noise
01-28-2012, 08:29 PM
Thanks for the replies!

I have used the fn+f9 combo but it still doesn't hold. I'll also double-check the driver version because for some reason I'm thinking I have 9.1.3.5 or something.

dstrakele
01-28-2012, 09:22 PM
You might try the version 9.1.7.7 Sentelic driver. I've seen one post where the user reported it resolved his disabling with USB mouse issue.

Signal2Noise
01-30-2012, 04:57 AM
Confirmed! Ver. 9.1.7.7 seems to have fixed the touchpad issue. I did originally have 9.1.3.5 installed per the Asus dowload page.

Thanks for the help and suggestions.