Earlier this year I was able to do a quick test of the stereo 3D performance of the 17-inch Asus G73JW ROG 3D gaming laptop and recently I’ve had the chance to do a quick test of the smaller 15.6-inch Asus G53SX 3D gaming laptop. The unit I’ve got for testing has tuned out to be with GeForce GTX 460M video card and the currently available on the market version of this laptop comes with the slightly faster and newer GTX 560M. Also have in mind that not all versions of Asus G53SX come with a 3D display and 3D Vision active shutter glasses, there are versions with 2D only Full HD displays, so be careful not to mistake them. Also have in mind the fact that the Asus G53SX 3D gaming laptop comes bundled with 3D Vision and not the latest 3D Vision 2 active shutter glasses and that the 3D display built into this laptop does not support 3D Lightboost technology, so if you are looking for these features in a 3D gaming laptop you should wait a bit more. I was interested in this laptop mostly in order to be able to compare it to the bigger 17-inch model that I’ve tested earlier and to see if the combination of components that Asus have put in this model is more suitable for a 3D gaming solution. Of course measuring the performance in stereoscopic 3D mode as well as the levels of crosstalk/ghosting that the 120Hz display of the laptop produces in stereo 3D mode was another thing that I was very interested in. But let us do things step by step, first going through the basic specifications of the laptop, as I’ve already mentioned the model I’ve got was with a GTX 460M video card and I was expecting i to be with a GTX 560M. The difference is not that big with the newer video card just being slightly faster and all other components are pretty much the same, so you can just expect slightly faster performance with a GTX 560M. Have in mind that the Asus G53SX 3D laptop is not a new model from Asus, it has been available on the market for a while, but I was just able to get a test unit just now.
Basic specifications of Asus G53SX 3D laptop:
- 15.6″ 16:9 HD 3D (1366×768 120Hz) LED Backlight
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460M 1.5GB GDDR5 VRAM
- Intel Core i7-2630QM Processor (6M Cache, 2.00 GHz, Quad core)
- 8GB (2x 4GB) DDR3 1333 MHz SDRAM Memory
- 500G + 500G 7200R SSH SATA HDD
- 4x Blu-Ray Optical Drive
- Windows 7 64-bit Operating System
- 8 cells, 5200 mAh Battery
- Others: Integrated 802.11 b/g/n, Built-in Bluetooth V2.1+EDR, 10/100/1000 Base T, 4-in-1 card reader ( SD/ MS/ MS Pro/ MS Duo/ MMC), 1x USB 3.0 port, 3x USB 2.0 ports, 1x HDMI
- Size (WxHxD): 39.1×29.7×3.0~6.0 kg
- Weigth: 3.92 kg
Note that this laptop does not rely on Nvidia’s Optimus technology and thus you should not have any possible issues in trying to use the HDMI port of the laptop to connect it to an external 3D monitor (supporting 3D over HDMI 1.4!) or especially 3D HDTV that uses HDMI 1.4 interface with the help of the 3DTV Play software. Also note that you have a Blu-ray optical drive, so you’d be able to directly play Blu-ray 3D movies on the laptop and the overall specifications of the laptop are quite good for a mobile gaming computer. I want to stress especially on the resolution of the LCD display, here it is 1366×768 pixels and not Full HD 1920×1080 and that is actually a good thing and you will see why when I go to the game performance testing later on.
A quick look at the color accuracy of the display of the Asus laptop, quite high brightness of 260 cd/m2, something that is to be expected form a good 3D-capable laptop as in 3D mode the brightness level gets reduced and “shared” in between both eyes of the user. And typical as with most high brightness displays the accuracy of the color reproduction is not that good with the factory settings, not that it matters that much, after all this is a gaming product and not something that you’d use for tasks where colors matter…
You can of course do a color calibration to improve the color accuracy, at the cost of some of the brightness, but since this does not affect the performance or brightness levels in stereo 3D mode it might be worth it. As in stereo 3D mode the brightness level gets maxed out by default and games are rarely designed with perfect color accuracy in mind anyway. The important thing is that calibration with a colorimeter can give you much better color reproduction out of this 3D display should you need it for something.
I’m moving on to the extreme crosstalk test photos with black and white to see how bad the things with ghosting in stereo 3D mode might look in the worst case scenarios, although you probably won’t see them using the laptop normally. As expected there is some crosstalk, not that much with the black, but more apparent with the white test image. And comparing the performance of the Asus G73JW Full HD 3D display to the one of the Asus G53SX the performance is a bit worse here, on the smaller screen. This however was not unexpected from the more affordable and smaller size Asus 3D gaming laptop and from a display used on a 3D-capable mobile computer for that matter, but lets us see how things look in some real world tests for crosstalk/ghosting.
The test with the sailboats 3D video shows that the situation with actual 3D content is actually quite Ok, you can see that there are just some faint shadows “leaking” to the other eye around the sails of the boats. Again slightly more crosstalk as compared to the performance of the 3D display of the Asus G73JW laptop, but much less than what you could see in the extreme crosstalk test photos.
Moving to the testing with the game Tomb Raider: Underworld, there is some crosstalk again… as expected. Again slightly more than shown by the Asus G73JW laptop, but still not bad and the level of crosstalk can easily be tolerated if you lower a bit the depth level as for the needs of the tests I have it set pretty high in order for the level of crosstalk to be easier to see. I can say that the level of the crosstalk/ghosting in stereo 3D mode on the Asus G53SX is pretty much as what I have expected, it did not surprise me either good or bad, but you it wouldn’t hurt if it was better.
The performance in stereo 3D mode of the display of the Asus G53SX 3D gaming laptop is not yet at the level offered by my personal favorite in terms of S3D performance and what is still the best mobile 3D display that I’ve tested so far with the Sony VAIO F series 3D multimedia laptop. However Sony’s solution is intended for 3D multimedia use and is not that suitable for gaming and especially for gaming in stereoscopic 3D mode, so apparently you cannot have the best of everything in a single product yet. Not to mention that Sony’s laptop is bigger and more expensive as well, not to mention that the company is not present on the market for mobile computers for gamers at all. The Japanese company only offers mainstream, multimedia and business laptops and the gaming is apparently focused at the consoles and not on the PC market.
Now let me turn your attention back on the GPU and the screen size and resolution that the Asus G53SX 3D gaming laptop comes with as this is very important. I’ve already said that the model I’ve received for testing is equipped with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 460M video card with 1.5GB GDDR5 video memory and that the currently available on the market version of the laptop is the same, but with the newer GTX 560M video controller. The GTX 560M is an updated version of the GTX 460M with the same number of stream processors (192), but higher operating frequency of the GPU and more video memory, so you can expect to get something up to about 20% higher performance (in the best case) with 560M as compared to GT 460M. And while the extra performance is always nice to have you can see from the benchmarks below that even the version with 460M is doing quite well in terms of average framerate achieved even in stereo 3D mode, let alone in non-stereoscopic 3D mode. This however is thanks to the 1366×768 resolution display as if the laptop was equipped with a Full HD 3D monitor you’d have to sacrifice extra details and effects in games in order to get good performance in a lot of more demanding and newer games. But let us see some average framerates from a few more recent and demanding games, so that you know what you can expect:
- High settings, not the max Ultra
2D: 45 fps
3D: – no 3D support yet, expected with upcoming patch
Call of Duty – Black Ops
- Max details, no AA
2D: 49 fps
3D: 26 fps
- Gamer system specs
2D: 53 fps
3D: 44 fps
- High details (not ultra where available), no AA
2D: 73 fps
3D: 37 fps
Duke Nukem Forever
- Мax details, no АА
2D: 55 fps
3D: 31 fps
The Asus G53SX 3D gaming laptop is an interesting and nice solution for gamers looking for more affordable stereo 3D-capable mobile product that offers a good combination of features, performs well and is a more affordable choice. The combination between the lower resolution and the GTX 460M/560M video card is apparently great for a 3D gaming laptop with a display size of 15.6-inch, so Asus have done a great job with this model. So have this in mind the next time when choosing a laptop for gaming in stereo 3D, and don’t go for a Full HD display if it is not backed up with a more powerful and higher-end graphics card. That is of course if you want to have a good experience while playing games in stereo 3D mode, but if it is only for gaming in stereo 3D mode and the mobility is not of high priority then you might as well consider getting a more powerful desktop PC for stereoscopic 3D gaming. The level of crosstalk in stereo 3D mode could’ve been less for a better 3D experience, but is still acceptable and will probably not bother most people that much, apart from the most capricious ones.