The Asus TUF505DU-EB74 is an entry-level gaming laptop built for those who want to get into gaming but don’t want to spend a fortune. It delivers solid multitasking power, a decent battery life, plenty of ports, a comfortable keyboard, vivid display all for an affordable price. It certainly makes it to our top list of mid-range gaming laptops.
- Great build quality
- Affordable price
- Impressive 120Hz display
- Ample number of ports
- Great day-to-day and gaming performance
- Modest battery life
- Average speakers
Finding a good gaming laptop can be a daunting task considering the various options and configurations available. The gaming laptop scene is filled with options such as the Dell Alienware, HP Omen, Acer Predator and even the ROG series by Asus. Some of these companies make premium gaming laptops which some users cannot afford, so budget gaming options are very much appreciated.
Enter the Asus TUF505DU-EB74 laptop, a great mid-range gaming laptop revamped from the TUF FX504 line from last year. Asus improved a few aspects on this laptop, such as size, design, keyboard, screen, and performance. However, even with all those changes, Asus made sure to maintain the ‘budget’ aspect of the laptop without compromising on performance. Inside it is armed with an AMD Ryzen 7 CPU and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti graphics card. In this review, we find out how the Asus TUF stacks up against its rivals and where it falls short of the mark.
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Asus TUF505DU-EB74 Specs
|Processor||AMD Ryzen 7 3750H processor|
|Display||15.6-inch Full HD IPS 120HZ refresh rate|
|RAM||16GB DDR4 RAM|
|Storage||256GB PCIe NVMe SSD|
|Graphics Card||Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB graphics (base: 1455MHz, Boost: 1590MHz, TDP: 80W)|
|Operating System||Windows 10 Home|
|Dimensions||14.17 x 10.31 x 1.02 inches|
Design and Features
The design and aesthetics of the Asus TUF505DU-EB74 follow the familiar TUF gaming aesthetics but with a few changes here and there. The surface is made of matte finish plastic with an aluminum look replicated. Our unit came in cold steel with Gunmetal grey but you can also get Stealth black. Overall, the chassis is sleek given Asus scaled back the bulky design of the FX504.
What changed from the predecessor is that this unit is MIL-STD-810G rated. That means it can withstand extreme conditions and accidental knocks. Also, new to this model is the trapezoidal cut out on the lid that directs dust and debris out. According to Asus, it’s called the “anti-dust tunnels” and what it does is ensure the heatsinks and fans don’t get clogged.
As such the laptop runs cool even under heavy workloads. Speaking of cooling, there is a shortcut that lets users switch to Turbo on the tap of a key. That aside, compared to its predecessor, the Asus TUF505DU is a whopping 24 mm narrower and 100 grams lighter. At 14.17 x 10.31 x 1.02 inches and 4.85 pounds, it’s a few millimeters thicker than the Acer Predator Helios 300 (14.23 x 10.01 x 0.9 inches, 5.07 pounds). In terms of weight, it’s slightly heavier than the Acer Nitro 5 Spin (4.9 pounds, 15 x 10.2 x 0.7-inches). The Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming (15.2 x 10.8 x 1 inch), however, tips the scales at a meaty 6 pounds.
One of the stand out features, and certainly one that hardly goes unnoticed is the 15.6-inch display. To start, the display is Full HD (1920 x 1080) and uses an In-Plane Switching IPS panel which translates to crystal clear viewing and great viewing angles. If you’re one to game with a crowd peering over your shoulder and sidelines, the IPS guarantees the images remain of similar quality from whichever angle viewed. We also appreciated Asus making the bezels thin. At 6.5 mm on both the left and right bezel, this laptop’s display is considerably thinner than most gaming laptops.
Further still, the screen is anti-glare which I thought was a nice touch to prevent a good viewing experience in dimly lit rooms. It’s also brightly lit so together with the antiglare ensure little to no reflection. One last final touch Asus blessed this display with is the 120Hz refresh rate. Considering most laptops offer 60Hz, this is such a good addon for this laptop. It helps produce better motion on fast-paced games and video which is beneficial while gaming(reduces juddery shots and images).
There are more than enough ports on the Asus TUF 505DU. On the right side of the keyboard, you’ll find a USB 2.0 port, an SD card reader, a headset jack, a secure lock slot and buttons for power and volume. Meanwhile, the left side holds s pair of USB 3.0 ports, USB Type-C port, a full HDMI and a DC jack. We appreciate Asus including a futuristic USB Type-C port for fast data transfers and generally keeping the laptop valid for the next few three years. Other connectivity options available include an ExoAmp antenna and 2×2 MU-MIMO wireless tech.
Powering the core of this baby is an AMD Ryzen 7 3750H Processor, a fairly new CPU unveiled earlier this year at CES 2019. The AMD Ryzen 7 was aimed at the mid-range gaming market and not for the enthusiast space. This 35W AMD CPU was set to compete directly against the 45W Core i5-7700HQ and Core i5-8300H processors. As of writing this article, Asus is among the first manufacturers offering this new processors series almost 6 months after its unveiling.
At base clock speed, the AMD Ryzen 7 3750H operates at 2.3GHz and 4.0 GHz on Turbo. In real application, it was fast enough for common range workloads and since it supports hyper-threading, the system felt smooth and responsive. That means the Asus TUF505DU is powerful enough for most common office and internet applications.
Thanks to the four cores, the system is great for demanding applications and games. To be precise, the AMD Ryzen 7 3750H is faster in situations that need light processing such as exporting videos from a video editing program or maybe some CPU-heavy games. It handles light computing tasks such as web browsing and MS. Office without breaking a sweat.
Memory and storage
A larger RAM enables greater and faster multitasking potential which means with 16GB memory, the HP Pavilion is a swift and efficient multitasker. It should be capable of running demanding applications and games. Overall, while more RAM doesn’t make your processor faster, it does make it harder for it to get bogged down. You should be able to run word processing, checking emails, browsing the internet, and playing Solitaire and other AAA titles (Fallout 4, Witcher 3, and DOOM). If you want to game heavily, you can always upgrade the memory to as far as 32GB.
The extra 1TB mechanical storage option is also great as it allows you to install more data, games, multimedia, and music. However, One wrinkle issue we had to raise is the slow speed of the hard drive. With a 5400RPM speed drive, retrieval of data is slow and so is booting and loading of software. To speed up that retrieval process, it would be wise to install an SSD. The Solid-state drive storage is speedy meaning you won’t have to wait long for the system to boot.
Video output is handled by the Nvidia GeForce RTX 1660 Ti card, one of the best and affordable graphics cards in the Nvidia Turing lineup. The Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti is like all other Turing architecture (TU116 chip) but is exceptional for hitting the sweet spot for price and performance. Unlike its counterparts (the faster RTX 2000 cards), the 1660 Ti cuts out Ray Tracing and Tensor cores, that power the RTX and Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) technologies, from the equation.
Nonetheless, even without the sacrificed features, it rises out as a great performing card that’s made even better thanks to its budget price tag. Compared to its predecessor Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060, the GTX 1660 Ti card offers up to’ 1.5X faster performance which is remarkable for gaming and intensively graphics workloads. That’s all thanks to its support for VR and architectural enhancements such as higher clock speeds, and more shader cores, than last year’s GTX 1060 (6GB) GPU.
In gaming performance, what has changed a lot as a result of the RTX 1660 Ti card is that games are now much more crystal and mirror-like. Don’t expect that much of a leap in every game, only for those that have updated their graphics to be compatible with the RTX series cards. What is sure though is that if you’re coming from an older PC, you’re in for a big treat.
On real world gaming, it offers some of the best graphics performance per dollar, and while also maintaining a conservative power consumption. The card can be counted on to maintain 60 frames per second gameplay or more. First up, on Shadow of the Tomb Raider, the GTX 1660 Ti delivers impressive 87 fps on average at 1080p. Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey played at 1080 (Very High Quality) yields 68fps, while the Resident Evil 2 resulted in 108 fps on average at 1080p settings.
Here are some other gameplay results.
|At 1920 x 1080||Ultra||High||Medium||Low|
|Battlefield V||67.61 fps||72.84 fps||82 fps||92 fps|
|Battlefield 1 DX11||97.56 fps||102. 60 fps||114 fps||122 fps|
|Far Cry new Dawn||55 fps||62 fps||64 fps||71 fps|
|Fortnite||105 fps||128 fps||145 fps||159 fps|
Keyboard and Trackpad
The keyboard is just as impressive as the design with a black and red colored layout. The keys are chiclet-style and has RGB backlighting, which can also be controlled through the software utility. Moreover, the if you’re a gamer, the WASD keyboard keys are wrapped in red lines so as to sort of highlight them. And as, yes they do stand out quite frankly. Some other features you’ll notice are the air vents that occupy the top base of the keyboard. And also the TUF Gaming logo on the bottom right side, just inches below the keyboard.
In my experience writing, I’ve found most laptops come with a 4.2 x 3-inch touchpad, with a few veering off but only with a few inches difference. The touchpad on the Asus TUF505DU isn’t any different in terms of size. It is spacious enough such that your fingers touch the edges as you navigate on web pages and documents. Thankfully, the trackpad is also responsive and Windows gestures work smoothly. I could easily make three-finger swipe and four-finger press fast to get through to recently opened apps and summon Action Center.
Out Final Take
Just to summarize, the TUF505DU-EB74 is powered by an AMD 7 3750H processor and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti at the helm of graphics. That coupled with a 16GB memory and plenty of storage make a formidable laptop with pleasant gaming experience. While we didn’t appreciate the low hard drive storage speed, (5400 RPM), you do get plenty of other great features packaged in this laptop. That includes a discrete graphics card, plenty of ports, great design, and a full HD display with a refresh rate of 120 Hz.
Basically, it has everything you might need. It’s lightweight, portable and offers more than a couple of features for your use. The Asus TUF is not only suitable for gamers, students and entrepreneurs also can opt for this laptop. Designers who often use photoshop and illustrators will find a strong and competent machine capable of muscling through their tasks.
All these hardware combined results in a great laptop capable of handling through any task you throw at it, and still offer great images/ video while at it. Bottom line, if you can overlook its few mistakes, then it the Asus TUF505DU-EB74 should offer a satisfying gaming experience and for an affordable price. It certainly makes it to our Editor’s Choice list for budget mid-range gaming laptops.
Buy the Asus TUF505DU-EB74 at Amazon