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spectroplasm
10-07-2011, 08:38 PM
Hello everyone,

This is my first time posting on the ROG forum. I have been doing some research on which G74SX to buy. my budget for a laptop is $15k. Plus maybe ~$250 extras like RAM, HDD, backpack(a must!).

My main problem is that I don't live in the states, so the decision to buy the right model is very crucial to me. So far I have seen on two sites three different models, and frankly I don't know which to pick up, I can't afford to ship back a laptop in case it's not the right type.

Can anyone provide me will enough information to know which is the best of these three? and if possible please tell me also which backpack will fit this thing?

The first G74SX I have found is on newegg. here is the link:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834230100
model: ASUS G74 Series G74SX-XN1
the price is: $1,299.99
2630QM CPU and no blueray drive from what I see in the descriptions


The second and third model G74SX were found on Tigerdirect here are the links:
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=637440&CatId=4938

model: ASUS G74 Series G74SX-XT1
the price is: $1,499.99
2630QM CPU with blueray drive/super multi burner


http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1219120&CatId=2511
model: ASUS G74SX-TH71
2670QM CPU with blueray drive (not a burner?)

All three has 3Gb GTX560M a 500Gb HDD and 12Gigs of RAM

but I don't know if:
- the ribbon cable for the second HDD is included
- Why is the 2670QM lower priced? could it be that it's really got no burner?
- Newegg is the cheapest but what is the difference between XN1 & XT1??
- which model backpack will fit
- maximum HDD capacity (per bay) supported. I prefer capacity over speed because my work load demands heaps full of storage.

My main reason for wanting this computer is not primarily for gaming but for CG ART, I am buying it as a desktop replacement (aging core 2 Quad Q6700). I'm constantly on the move with my work and I can't bear lugging a desktop PC with me always. I've been saving my money for ages to get this laptop and I want to make sure I get the right one. I don't have enough for the 3DE or A1 models. Thanks in advance

Yahooligan
10-08-2011, 01:26 AM
For a CPU comparison, check this out. http://ark.intel.com/compare/52219,53469

The 2630QM actually supports up to 16GB, so the biggest difference I can see is simply the clock speed.

- The cable for the 2nd HDD is included, it's in the box.
- The 2670QM is cheaper because they're offering $50 off, otherwise it would be more.
- The difference between the XT1 and XN1 is the BluRay drive. It's not a BluRay burner. It's a BluRay/DVD/CD player and DVD/CD burner only.
- Backpacks are discussed in other threads here, search and you will find. :) I have a SwissGear that barely fits my G74
- The max capacity per bay is whatever the largest 2.5" drive out there is, currently it's 1TB.

spectroplasm
10-08-2011, 05:21 AM
Woot! thanks very much for the prompt reply :)

so if one bay handles 1Tb then I can knock 2 1Tb's in there without worrying about incompatibilities?

I've been doing the math last night about the extra's like mouse and backpack, I stumbled on a link to an G74SX-A1 model that seems to be cheaper (when counting the fact that I get 1.5Tb storage, mouse and backpack in the package). it's priced at $1,589.99 from thenerds.net (http://www.thenerds.net/ASUS.Asus_G74SX_A1_173_LED_Notebook_Core_i7_i7_263 0QM_2_GHz_Black.G74SXA1.html?sect=wiki#details)

I've been patient about buying this baby, I might have to hold out another two months to rack up enough greens to finally get it.

I'm open to suggestions, so if anyone has a better plan on how to get similar A1 results in price, please by all means post them here. :)

thanks again Yahooligan for clearing up the XT1~XN1 features for me.

spectroplasm
10-17-2011, 05:53 PM
Hello everyone, it's me again. I have decided to go with the G74SX-A1 version. Will be buying from amazon.com as most of the upgrades for the laptop are visible there: I'll be upgrading the RAM to 16gigs, and buying a 1Tb drive that I would like to put in the ODB (optical disk bay) via an adapter, I do a lot of 3D modeling and renders in my work so I need all the drive space I can lay my hands on for the output images and video edits.
So the question is what is the measure of the ODD converter that will work with the G74SX-A1? is it the 9.5mm version (http://www.amazon.com/SATA-caddy-9-5mm-Universal-DVD-ROM/dp/B004Y8SGXW/ref=wl_it_dp_o_npd?ie=UTF8&coliid=I365NZ20ANLDS8&colid=1BNU1GLHYEBZR) or the 12.7mm version (http://www.amazon.com/12-7mm-Universal-DVD-ROM-SATA-caddy/dp/B004Y8SGEG/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pd_T1?ie=UTF8&coliid=I1G6UU3XGBBVJ5&colid=1BNU1GLHYEBZR) or neither? also if I am to go with this ODD converter where might I find an external USB adapter that will work with my Optical drive? as I would like it working eve if I swap it out for a HDD.

honestly I can't wait to get this laptop. I've been saving for months. I don't mind the problems people states about it, all I can think of is that if anyone is to buy a laptop of this caliber they should already be prepared (mind and body) to put some real love into it, and by that I mean coping with the updates and the workarounds, not to mention the needed technical skill to remedy before complaining. In my years of owning a MAC then transitioning to PC I actually love how the PC tests you to keep it healthy, I get tremendous satisfaction from getting something into working order. :)

BrodyBoy
10-17-2011, 07:43 PM
Hello everyone, it's me again. I have decided to go with the G74SX-A1 version.
Good choice. :)


I don't mind the problems people states about it, all I can think of is that if anyone is to buy a laptop of this caliber they should already be prepared (mind and body) to put some real love into it, and by that I mean coping with the updates and the workarounds, not to mention the needed technical skill to remedy before complaining. Are you serious?? You really think people spending that much money on a computer should EXPECT it to be a fixer-upper?? You really think they should EXPECT to be diagnosing complex hardware and software issues? They should EXPECT to have to take apart their brand new computer and do repairs in the first few weeks? EXPECT to probably scuttle their warranty in the process? Wow.

I think most people would consider "a laptop of this caliber" (i.e., in this price range) a high-end or even TOTL model. In fact, that's exactly the way Asus markets it...as their ROG flagship.

I honestly don't know anybody who would equate "high-end" with "fixer-upper" or think buying "high-end" presumes the technical expertise to do one's own repairs. (That's a little like expecting a Lexus or Mercedes buyer to know how to rebuild the transmission. ;))

spectroplasm
10-17-2011, 07:54 PM
lol, I didn't mean the fixer upper, what I meant was that these types of laptops aren't the fire and forget type. If you're in the extreme gaming thing or in a serious market where you are constantly wanting more our of a product, you'd more than be prepared to get your hands dirty. I for one sure aint going to use it as is out of the box, it's what makes each user's PC unique, by the way you treat it and customize it.

I'll make an example of cars since you made the Lexus Mercedes example. I think MAC computer's are like luxury sports cars, were you pay the bill and drive the unit as is, expecting it to perform as it is stated. whereas ROG and PC are more like race bred track racers, where everything is custom tailored by the "driver" (user), on a race track you can *hit happens like a piston breakdown or a misfire, but since you're in the league already you should be prepared for these type of things, when it goes well nothing can stop it, and you want more power, when it doesn't you troubleshoot. :) that's what I meant

JRd1st
10-17-2011, 08:22 PM
Maintaining and tweaking are one thing, that's fine. But the darn thing should work as advertised out of the box. There should be no reason to search for wifi drivers or touchpad drivers, especially outside the notebook manufacturer's support page, for MONTHS. At most, maybe a new graphics driver or sound card driver to keep up with a game that was released after the notebook was manufactured.

spectroplasm
10-17-2011, 08:31 PM
Agreed on the constant search for drivers thing, though I don't know if it's just me or others feel like I do, I use a lot of linux with my desktop PCs and I can assure you finding drivers are a royal pain in the patted bottom, I've grown accustomed to tweaking and merging various sources together to get things working under slackware, if you've got an ATI card it's even more trouble as AMD/ATI don't play nice. But ya they aren't like cars :)

JRd1st
10-17-2011, 08:51 PM
Well, after a clean install of Win7 Home Premium and all new drivers you'll most likely love your G74SX-A1, especially if you plan to use it as a desktop replacement that's portable if you want it to be.

I added a dock, mouse, keyboard, monitor, speakers etc, and it's at least as good as my Core I7 desktop, and it's a lot quieter, too.

fostert
10-17-2011, 09:56 PM
The 2670QM model from Tiger only has a 1600x900 screen, whereas the version with the 2630QM is full HD (1920x1080). IMHO the extra 200 MHz is not worth the gimped screen. Make sure whichever one you go with has the HD screen if you do alot of modelling.

Also, be wary that the tweakability of these laptops in the BIOS is essentially none-existent. If you're into overclocking or undervolting for longer battery life, cooler running, etc, then it can't be done on the G74SX thru BIOS.

:)


For a CPU comparison, check this out. http://ark.intel.com/compare/52219,53469

The 2630QM actually supports up to 16GB, so the biggest difference I can see is simply the clock speed.

- The cable for the 2nd HDD is included, it's in the box.
- The 2670QM is cheaper because they're offering $50 off, otherwise it would be more.
- The difference between the XT1 and XN1 is the BluRay drive. It's not a BluRay burner. It's a BluRay/DVD/CD player and DVD/CD burner only.
- Backpacks are discussed in other threads here, search and you will find. :) I have a SwissGear that barely fits my G74
- The max capacity per bay is whatever the largest 2.5" drive out there is, currently it's 1TB.

Yahooligan
10-18-2011, 12:06 AM
The 2670QM model from Tiger only has a 1600x900 screen, whereas the version with the 2630QM is full HD (1920x1080). IMHO the extra 200 MHz is not worth the gimped screen. Make sure whichever one you go with has the HD screen if you do alot of modelling.


That's correct and also a recent development that wasn't known when this thread started. Thanks for updating. :)



Also, be wary that the tweakability of these laptops in the BIOS is essentially none-existent. If you're into overclocking or undervolting for longer battery life, cooler running, etc, then it can't be done on the G74SX thru BIOS.

:)

On the flip side, being a 17" laptop the display panel is likely to be one of the biggest battery suckers. I don't think people expect long battery life out of a gaming laptop, and the G74SX does get reasonable battery life to comparable laptops. As for overclocking or better cooling, I've yet to encounter a situation where the i7 was the bottleneck or where cooling was insufficient.

So sure, the BIOS may be limited in what you can do but on the other hand I currently don't see any need to tweak anything for performance or cooling. It would be similar to saying a Lamborghini has no tuning options...if a stock Lambo isn't good enough, well...I don't know what to tell you. :D

spectroplasm
10-18-2011, 04:12 AM
Thank you all for the precious info on the laptop it is much appreciated. the battery life wont be a problem as I'm never away from an outlet for more than 2 hours. the only reason why I need a portable desktop replacement is when I need to head over to the client for a presentation of the WIP or going to our various offices to reecolt data and work schedules.

I'm still wondering about converting my Optical drive bay into housing a HDD. but from what I said in the links earlier I don't know the form factor of the opictal Disk drive bay, maybe Chastity might help? here are the links to the universal converters I found

9.5mm = is here (http://www.amazon.com/SATA-caddy-9-5mm-Universal-DVD-ROM/dp/B004Y8SGXW/ref=wl_it_dp_o_npd?ie=UTF8&coliid=I365NZ20ANLDS8&colid=1BNU1GLHYEBZR)
12.7mm = is here (http://www.amazon.com/12-7mm-Universal-DVD-ROM-SATA-caddy/dp/B004Y8SGEG/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pd_T1?ie=UTF8&coliid=I1G6UU3XGBBVJ5&colid=1BNU1GLHYEBZR)

Chastity@ASUS
10-18-2011, 04:09 PM
12.7 iirc

spectroplasm
10-18-2011, 05:48 PM
12.7 iirc

Thank you very much Chastity, will order me one of these :)

BrodyBoy
10-18-2011, 07:29 PM
Does anyone know offhand if particular configurations use Sentelic touchpads and others use Synaptics? Or whether it's all just a mix'n'match with whatever the assembler happens to grab off the shelf, like it is with HDDs and memory modules?

JRd1st
10-18-2011, 07:35 PM
well, I do know that some G74's have the synaptic and some the sentelic.

BrodyBoy
10-18-2011, 11:55 PM
Apparently, as Chastity has mentioned that. But I'm just wondering if they are used interchangeably during assembly. I can't imagine why they would spec one over the other for certain configurations, so I'm curious if there's any rhyme or reason to how owners end up with either one.

Asus seems to use different parts all the time.....except for those damn Atheros cards! Of all the manufacurers to be loyal to......:rolleyes:

spectroplasm
10-19-2011, 07:04 AM
from what I can say about the interchangeability of part during assembly is that, parts come and go and not all manufacturers have a stable stock. I would guess that since SENTELIC and SYNAPTIC are very identical to each other ASUS opted to get a batch of both.

The Atheros cards I don't know why they tend to be so faulty with these laptops but I can say that I have a toshiba lappy an Acer lappy and both have the Atheros cards and both aren't faulty at all. My guess would be that the IRQ management isn't up to par on the ASUS machines, OR there is heavy sharing of IRQ on the machine, hence a driver and bios update tend to fix the issue (assigning different IRQ number to each device), while it may seem funny to think it has to do with IRQ, trust me latency is brought from IRQ, as a device gets interrupted more often when it can't find resources which can explain why the latency in the latency checker is so high for some people. Back in the DOS days this was very common, where you had to manually set an IRQ for a device, and I remember having tough trouble getting my creative cards to work whereas my GUS max always worked, due to better drivers and the ability to silence or share an IRQ and DMA number.

These Atheros cards are good though, they are one of the few that can do packet injection which helps is security tests and network protection. Waiting to get my G74 then if ever it's got the dreaded atheros problem I'll swap it with the ones inside the toshiba or Acer and test to see if it's the batch lot that was bad or the cards themselves don't work right once inside the G74SX, which will further put my guess on the right track that there might be a problem with resource sharing and management on the laptop, which can be fixed via driver fixes or bios updates.

BrodyBoy
10-19-2011, 09:18 AM
It's not just the G74. The Atheros cards in at least some other Asus models have also been less-than-great performers.

The interesting thing to me about implementing different touchpad brands in the same laptop model, if that's what they've done, is that there's no "standard" TP interface. Different brands/models use different kinds of cabling & ways of interfacing with the touchpad buttons and the motherbaord, so they aren't typically interchangeable the same way that so many other hardware components are (HDDs, WLAN cards, RAM modules, ODDs, etc.).

JRd1st
10-19-2011, 10:48 AM
The main problem with the Atheros cards wasn't the card, it was the driver. The 9.2.1.432 driver in Chastity's driver thread fixes the latency.

I replaced it to get more range and speed.

spectroplasm
10-21-2011, 09:49 PM
I'm certain this problem lies within the IRQ interrupts. I've made a silly test yesterday with my Toshiba C650D laptop. it's got an Atheros 9285 and a Synaptics trackpad, close to what the Asus G74 has, I've manually overrode the drivers and made it so that the PC has no control over the resources of these two devices, I've assigned them both 0x0000000C IRQ12. restarted the laptop, upon boot until desktop all was smooth sailing. Later in the day around 1 o'clock PM while surfing the web the mouse started to dance, the pointer was squirming all over the place starting from the center then wiggling about to hide itself up the top right corner, when I touched the trackpad it would then hop around, Latency check gave 3829us. and not only that but the laptop's fans were on constant highs. The Atheros wifi card on the other hand was even worse, dropouts were very frequent while the mouse was acting up, DPC latency check peaked out at 6145us. When I reverted all drivers changes I had made, everything sprang back to normal.

Conclusion of what I'm trying to say? I have solid thoughts that the Asus is suffering from the same thing, it's not a hardware fault but a buggy driver, as I have had this toshiba laptop for over a year. JRd1st's sparked my idea to deliberately bug the drivers on my shiba. The drivers versions I have on the toshiba are:

Synaptics touchpad: 15.0.8.1 released 3/10/2010
Atheros AR9285: 8.0.0.225 released 9/21/2009

I'm still waiting to get my Asus G74sx lappy for testing.

JRd1st
10-21-2011, 10:03 PM
You think the drivers are making the TP go crazy?

Now I'm wondering if the rubberized case is the problem. lol

spectroplasm
10-21-2011, 10:15 PM
ya I'm thinking the drivers are allocating resources correctly, I'd like to mod drivers from other laptops to test on the g74, I've read the other thread where the W key gave the user the need to dance the rumba. the rubberized case could play part of what gave him that shock but I can't confirm on that, but if this is the case it isn't the first one from a laptop. Macbook pros are "pros" at shocking their users, my sister has the 13" model and she wont use the keyboard nor touchpad from countless shocks. Non properly earthed outlets are the main reasons why the lappy's give electrical shocks to their users.

dstrakele
10-21-2011, 10:49 PM
Interesting ideas and tests, spectroplasm... I decided to test the Selentic driver fspad_win764.sys with Driver Verifier. I don't experience the erratic behavior, but I wanted to see if I could detect any memory leaks. This is what I've got after about 3 hours of monitoring. The Pool Allocations have steadily increased. I'm unsure if "Trims" represents allocations that have been freed (need to do more research). It might be interesting to see if erratic cursor behavior is also tied to problems detected by Driver Verifier.

3621

spectroplasm
10-21-2011, 11:07 PM
possibly yes, erratic behavior is mostly due to drivers before being a hardware problem. An example of this is creative sb live and audigy cards. the original drivers from the original maker creative isn't as good as the kx audio (open source) drivers. the original gave tons of latency compared to the non official ones.

My guess with why there are so many posts on the forums about the wifi and the touchpads are because of drivers used. It isn't necessarily true that the "latest" version drivers yield best results. Flagship products always have bugs, Asus' ROG laptop isn't any different. I'm more than certain that in the coming months a driver or a bios release will resolve this issue. Drivers will get better, like how the ATK resolved the copied numkeys issue, we need to be patient for these things to cool down as it's just hot out of the oven. :)