It doesn't have to run Intel to have significant gaming chops. Asus' machine can justifiably be described as a beast, even though it's not priced like one. Typically this sort of performance will run you closer to the R60,000 mark so the price tag, while hefty, isn't too horrifying.
In this golden age of ready-made technology for the layman – where touchscreens make internet access a doddle and a smart TV negates the need for a set-top box – there’s something comforting about a gaming-focused laptop that (to paraphrase Michael Caine) “blows the bloody doors off”.
The ROG Strix G17 series is made up of serious gaming machines aimed at serious gamers. Sure, you could do your tax returns on them, but that’s not why these beasts were created. And they are beasts. Both inside and out, this range of gaming laptops will satisfy your gaming needs and then some. The series is comprised of some of the most powerful gaming-focused laptops currently available on the market.
Hey, good looking
The G713 may be the top of the food chain in this jungle – at least in this series. Right out of the box it looks intimidating, even if its outside design is a little minimalist – matte surface meets pocked surface but they both feel the same to the touch.
It’s also a rather weighty character – at nearly 3kgs, this isn’t a laptop you can sling in a shoulder bag and hoof around unless you’re a regular at the gym. That said, it is lighter than some of its nearest and dearest competition.
Open this monster up and it lights up with colour, myriad LED lights shimmering on the keyboard, which looks fantastic in a darkened room. The lights dancing under the impressive 17” screen also compliment the glow of the runner board lights, which if we’re being honest, looks like the sort of illumination you’d find on the underside of a car in a Fast & Furious movie.
The keyboard feels great to use and the track pad is pretty massive, exacting, smooth to the touch and makes a satisfying click when pressed – that having been said, you’re probably going to go for a control pad or a decent gaming mouse if you’re prepared to drop the requisite cash on this machine.
It looks pretty. But looks can be deceiving.
Under the hood
Not in this case, though; the ROG Strix G17 G713 packs a lot of punch, as you’d expect from the latest in this line.
On top of 16GB RAM and 1TB of storage space, the machine is running a AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX Processor and visuals are handled by NVIDA’s GeForce RTX 3070 8GB GDDR6 graphics card. This last item is probably of great interest to prospective buyers, because this generation of laptops are the only rigs one can currently buy with the card installed locally – good luck finding it somewhere else.
What this means for the layman is that that this is a machine that can run pretty much any game without a hitch.
If you want to get into the real nitty-gritty of how this machine is operating and what sort of weight it’s pulling, you have pre-installed software to do so in the form of the Armoury Crate, which is mapped to a hotkey at the top of keyboard. Not only does is supply you with performance information and specs , it allows you to toggle everything from the fans to the lighting on the keyboard, configure hotkeys, organise your games library and more.
We’d love to have played around with all of the features given that one of the first options that pops up is the ability to play around with the fan modes, but some were disabled on the review unit we were sent. We were able to run benchmarks on two settings, Performance and Silent, the latter making a slight noise and the latter being… well, silent.
High Performance at a slight decibel
Speaking of benchmarks, running Unigine Heaven on Custom presets and Ultra setting, you’re looking at an impressive 138.2 FPS. Giving it a run-through on the likes of Doom: Eternal and Rainbow Six: Siege (no, we thought it best not to try Cyberpunk 2077), the frame-rate is as smooth as butter – no frame-tearing, no staggering, no glitching – and the sound quality through a Turtle Beach gaming headset is superb. The heat it gave off while running these games was fairly similar throughout and while the fans did kick up a noise in Performance setting, they weren’t anything much to distract – my cat barely acknowledged them.
Asus ROG Strix G17 G713 Verdict
For the monstrous amount of gaming rig you’re getting with the ROG Strix G17 G713, and the fact that its RAM and storage are upgradeable should the fancy take you in the coming months, the only niggle you may have is the price point, which is an RRP of R48,000 (for this model, at least – these models start at an RRP of R37,000).
In short, this is one of the best and most powerful gaming laptops you can buy at the minute, which is fitting, given that it costs quite the pretty penny. But then, you really are getting what you pay for…