After looking closely at the updated MacBook Pro MD311LL/A and the new ASUS G74SX-AH71, we have to rate the ASUS the king of the gaming laptops while the MacBook is a nice upgrade to an existing line.
Looking at the basic, the ASUS G74SX-AH71 comes out on top starting with memory. Where the MacBook computer offers a maximum of 8 GB of memory, as well as the use of Intel’s Multi-Threading technology, the ASUS offers access to up to 16 GB of memory as well as to the same Multi-Threading technology.
In the video arena, the ASUS comes about ahead as it offers the latest Nvidia GTX 560 M chipset with 3 GB of independent video memory, although the MacBook does a good job with video by offering the latest AMD Radeon HDG770 video chipset, but only 1 GB of dedicated video RAM. Granted the Apple video memory is GDDR5, but still the ASUS comes to the field ready to play, while the Apple arrives sort of ready to play both in the video arena and the standard arena by implementing Intel’s 3000 chipset as part of its system software.
Then there’s the matter of heating. Both laptops are state-of-the-art and use the latest quad-core Intel I7 processor. Each also uses Intel’s Multi-Threading technology so that each of the processors can actually run two tasks at the same time, allowing multi-tasking. And, since these are Intel devices one can assume both have access to not only Direct X 11, but also direct access to the available memory.
What happens here, though, is that a lot of heat is generated and while the Apple does use a single piece of aluminum as the case for the MacBook, it does tend to run warmer than the ASUS. The ASUS case, which has been designed to have at least a five-degree tilt for comfort – what they don’t tell you is that the tilt also helps airflow, but that’s thermodynamics for you – as well as a specialized method of drawing in cooling air so that the processor is cooled and the air is then shunted away from the keyboard and you out specialized vents to make the ASUS a much cooler-running machine, despite the fact that it does have twice the memory and a high-speed gaming-oriented video chipset.
Finally, the ASUS keyboard is almost full-sized and features a desktop-style numeric keypad as well as specialized palm rests and a high-definition gaming-optimized display. (Both displays run at high-definition levels of 1920 by 1080, by the way, although the ASUS is optimized.)
Don’t get us wrong, for lightweight gaming work, the Apple MacBook is fine, but if you are into heavy-duty gaming, then the ASUS should be the choice.