ASUS TUF Gaming FX505DY Review
ASUS launched its newest TUF Gaming laptop powered by an AMD Ryzen processor, called the TUF Gaming FX505DY, in the Philippines last month. I already made a hands-on and first impression of this model, but now, we’re taking it for a full spin. Check out my full review below to know how it fared.
Design and Construction
This laptop maintains the same design of the TUF Gaming series which comprises of a dark silver color with the red ASUS logo and the same color for its accents. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the Silver-colored variant covered with an aluminum material which looks more premium than the polycarbonate-covered Red Matter. In any case, the FX505DY still shouts the standard “Gaming” laptop impression.
Lifting the lid with one hand is possible and relatively easy, indicating strong and stable hinges: the screen flexes but only a little which means that it has a sturdy and durable build.
Looking at the display, we got the 15.6-inch IPS-level screen with 120Hz refresh rate variant which is excellent. The laptop has slim top and side bezels which seems more pleasing than the usual gaming laptops with thick ones. Above is a 720p webcam while below it is another logo of ASUS.
Looking at the left, we have all the input and output ports of the device. The FX505DY has a 3.5mm audio port, USB Type-A 2.0 port, two USB 3.1 (Gen 1) ports, RJ-45 for LAN connections, HDMI 2.0, and a loudspeaker.
You won’t find anything on the right side aside from the Kensington lock and the other loudspeaker. Just like with my initial impressions, this type of port placement looks clean, but my main issue here is that it is too cluttered on one side.
At the back, you’ll see two exhaust vents on each side. I like this design more than gaming laptops with only a single vent, which is frustrating for me since I love playing a lot of games. After all, more vents mean better airflow.
Moving on to the main body, the entirety of it is made up of brushed aluminum material. Keyboard flex is decent which means that it is well-built and sturdy.
Its red-backlit chiclet keyboard has a standard key layout for a 15.6-inch laptop. I compared the keypress tactility of the FX505DY to the ASUS FX502 laptop, and it turns out that the former is less clicky and tactile as compared with the latter. You’ll also notice that the W, A, S, D buttons have a transparent or red outlined design, this indicates that the gaming laptop is inclined to gamers who are into FPS games such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege, Apex Legends, and the like.
Overall, the FX505DY is relatively light for a gaming laptop as I can carry it with only one arm. It also feels solid, sturdy, and premium.
Display and Multimedia
Moving on to the screen, the FX505DY comes with a 15.6-inch IPS-level panel (still a TN though) with a resolution of 1920 x 1080. What’s nice is that it comes with a 120Hz refresh rate and AMD Radeon FreeSync, which is great if you’re into playing fast-paced games and in stabilizing game visuals in general.
The side bezels are relatively thin for a gaming laptop, but its bottom bezel is a little too thick to my liking. Viewing angles are pretty impressive for an IPS-level panel; I rarely experienced color warping looking at it from the top, bottom, and sides. [insert display description here – color accuracy, etc.]
Budget gaming laptops aren’t known for having superb audio, and the FX505DY is no exception. The speakers aren’t that loud, and sounds feel like its bouncing around a tin can. Mids and Highs are present but underwhelming, and lows are non-existent. The poor audio quality may be due to the side-mounted downward firing speakers. The open space between the speakers and the surface are too wide that sounds aren’t able to bounce back. Hence, the tin can sounding effect I experienced.
However, there is an upside to the device’s audio, and that’s thanks to the included support for DTS Headphone X. This software automatically enhances audio quality when using earphones or headphones, it even allows for virtual 7.1 surround sound feels. Testing it out resulted in a rather enjoyable experience, a far cry from the pain of listening to the loudspeakers. I highly, and I mean HIGHLY, recommend that as much as possible use earphones or headphones for your audio needs with the FX505DY
OS, Apps, and Storage
The TUF Gaming laptop runs on the Window 10 Home operating system which is standard nowadays. Among the pre-installed apps are the following: Armoury Crate, DTS Headphone:X v1, McAfee LiveSafe, ASUS GiftBox, AMD Display Optimizations, and Dolby Access (for headphones). It seems that this laptop does not have a built-in AMD Radeon Software, so we downloaded it directly on their website to be able to switch GPUs.
As for the storage, the FX505DY uses a Seagate 5400rpm 1TB Hard drive which is quite slow. I’ll discuss more on its performance in a bit.
Performance, Benchmarks, and Thermals
As mentioned earlier, powering the FX505DY is an AMD combo — the AMD Ryzen 5 3550H and the AMD Radeon RX 560X. Having a red team configuration is a first for the young TUF Gaming series of ASUS.
Once again, we are given a measly amount of RAM with just 4GB, which will surely bottleneck the performance of the entire machine. Especially, if we’re talking about gaming as 4GB is no longer enough for most modern titles. Another problem you may face while using this device is the slow hard drive. Granted we have the average adequate capacity at 1GB, the speed of the drive itself is 5400rpm. Not that in general, the higher the rpm of a mechanical hard drive the faster it can process and load data.
The slow speed became even more evident during my benchmark of the device as it only garnered read and write speeds of 91.90 MB/s and 57.93 MB/s, respectively. This kind of performance is what you can expect from a 5400rpm hard drive. We tested a few games as well as other synthetic benchmarks at the highest settings it can manage.
Before I proceed though, I’d like to note that some of the benchmarks failed and that the review unit itself is experiencing some technical issues. These issues include erratic Disk usage; in some instances, it bounces from 0-5% usage to 100 in a second which resulted in sluggish overall performance, even at just basic browsing and operations. In any case, here are the scores I got from the benchmarks.
Upon playing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive at the highest settings, the FPS plays around 70-80, but due to the lack of RAM and erratic disk usage, it drops to around 5-10 at random intervals.
Overall, the AMD pair is comparable to the performance of the 8th gen i5 Intel CPU and Nvidia GTX 1050. If only there were no RAM and HDD bottlenecks, then it would’ve been possible to see the full potential of the Ryzen 5 3550H and Radeon RX560X. Performance levels though are somewhat expected of its price range, which is not so bad. Sadly, I wasn’t able to test it properly due to the issues I mentioned.
As previously mentioned in my hands-on, I liked the thermal design of the FX505DY. This result is because we have two separate dedicated exhausts for the CPU and GPU, that blows hot air out the back. Even though the Ryzen 5 3550H and Radeon RX560X doesn’t require much cooling, it’s still better to have dedicated exhausts for both than just a single one. The fans for both CPU and GPU reaches up to 6000 RPM which you can hear clearly due to its loudness.
I did our usual thermal benchmarking by subjecting the machine to the Prime 95 and FurMark CPU and GPU stress tests. Again, these are synthetic tests that do not reflect real-world usage. The CPU reaches up to 75°C which is quite low while the GPU only reached up to 67°C
I tested the FX505DY’s battery performance in our video loop test (1080p movie, 50% brightness, 50% sounds, airplane mode, earphones) and it yielded 5 Hours and 28 Minutes of playback time. This kind of battery life is common to gaming laptops so don’t expect much in this aspect.
Do note that this type of test is not indicative of real-world battery performance, and not to expect to get a lot out of the battery when it comes to gaming on the go.
As much as I wanted to give my full insight into the ASUS TUF Gaming FX505DY, but due to certain constraints like its Hard Drive issues, I cannot do so. Nevertheless, the gaming laptop’s design is premium while I also like its slim side bezels. It also has a high refresh rate panel that I love since I am into first-person shooter games and it is uncommon to get one at this price range.
The laptop’s price is at PHP 39,995 which is a good value for people who are looking for a capable budget-oriented gaming device with a high refresh rate. However, I suggest that you upgrade its RAM to at least 8GB and an additional SSD for faster and more efficient performance.
ASUS TUF Gaming FX505DY specs
- 15.6-inch (16:9) LED-backlit FHD (1920×1080) 120Hz Anti-Glare IPS-level Panel with 45% NTSC
- AMD Ryzen 5 3550H Processor
- AMD Radeon RX 560X
- 4GB DDR4 2666Mhz RAM
- 1TB 2.5 HDD + M.2 Slot
- Windows 10 Pro/Home
- Red backlit keyboard
- Wi-Fi Integrated 802.11ac
- Bluetooth 4.2
- Built-in 2 W Stereo Speakers with Array Microphone
- 1 x COMBO audio jack
- 1 x Type-A USB2.0
- 2 x Type-A USB 3.1 (Gen 1)
- 1 x RJ45 LAN Jack for LAN insert
- 1 x HDMI, HDMI support 2.0
- HD 720p CMOS WebCam
- 360.4 x 262 x 25.8 ~26.8 mm
- 2.2 kg
- Red Matter
What I liked:
- 120Hz refresh rate
- Slim side bezels
- Two exhaust vents
- Good thermals
What I didn’t:
- Bad audio quality
- Slow hard disk
- Low base RAM
- Cluttered port placements
- Side-mounted down-firing speakers