ASUS TUF FX505 (Ryzen 7) review: Tolerable trade-offs

ASUS TUF FX505
  • ASUS TUF FX505
  • ASUS TUF FX505
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5

Pros

  • Great performance
  • Affordable price

Cons

  • Bulky form-factor
  • Doesn't have a fully-fledged RTX card inside it

Bottom Line

If you’re looking to nab yourself a gaming laptop on a budget and have room on your desk to spare, the ASUS TUF FX505 makes a compelling enough case for itself.

Would you buy this?

  • Price

    $ 1,699.00 (AUD)

Should I buy the ASUS TUF FX505 (2019)?

 If you’re looking to nab yourself a gaming laptop on a budget and have room on your desk to spare, the ASUS TUF FX505 makes a compelling enough case for itself. 

That case isn’t without caveat or compromise but assuming you’re as willing to put up with a laptop this large and noisy in exchange for the ability to play games as you were ten years ago, the trade-off here is ultimately tolerable. 

If your standards have changed since then or you have your sights set on something more capable when it to ray tracing, you might be better served looking at something more expensive. However, if you’re looking for a relatively affordable gaming laptop that can play it all, the ASUS TUF FX505 is going to fit the bill. 

Price when reviewed

In Australia, recommended retail pricing for the ASUS TUF FX505 starts at AU$1699.

ASUS TUF FX505 (2019) full review

Price

In Australia, you can buy the ASUS TUF FX505 for an RRP of AU$1699. You can find it through the following:

Design - Look, Feel and Features 

In a world of thinner, lighter and more powerful gaming laptops, the ASUS TUF FX505 comes across as almost antiquated. It’s big and bulky in a way that most modern gaming laptops aren’t. Of course, there’s a catch to this. 

The ASUS TUF FX505 is also cheap in a way that most gaming laptops aren’t.  

Credit: ASUS

I don’t know if I’d go so far as to call it outright affordable but it's certainly more so than most of the competition. What’s more, armed with a Ryzen 7 processor, 16GB of RAM and Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 2060, the specs here are more than just modest. 

The ASUS TUF FX505 might not look pretty but it’s built to get the job done. 

Of course, as important as those qualities, the mileage you’re going to get out of the FX505 is ultimately going to be subject to the hard limits on portability here. At 2.2kgs, it’s admittedly quite heavy to carry around and in terms of dimensions, this thing is borderline spacious compared to something sleek (and more expensive) like Razer’s Blade laptops. 

Funnily enough, ASUS are actually leaning into that bulkiness through their marketing for the product. The company claims the laptop meets MIL-STD 810G standards (though this in of itself might not be as impressive as it sounds due to the variable ways in which that standard is enforced) and that it’s built to withstand and perform in extremely high or low temperatures. Basically, if you want to take this thing with you on a hike and play games during a blizzard - you might be able to make that absurdity into a reality. 

Credit: ASUS

Under heavy load the dual-fan system inside the TUF FX505 makes itself known but, even then, I wouldn’t say it was particularly loud. If I was wearing headphones, I’d struggle to hear it. There are absolutely louder gaming laptops out there. The FX505 sits on the right side of tolerable in that regard. 

The one callout here that doesn’t feel pulled from a mid-2000s-era gaming laptops are the thin bezels. This feels more like a byproduct of economies of scale than anything else - but it’s still something. 

As for ports, the ASUS TUF FX505 is equipped with:

  •  1 x COMBO audio jack

  • 1 x Type-A USB2.0

  • 2 x Type-A USB 3.2 (Gen 1)

  • 1 x RJ45 LAN jack

  • 1 x HDMI

Performance - Specs, Benchmarks and Battery Life

Specs

  • Processor:  AMD Ryzen 7 3750H

  • Operating System:  Windows 10 Home

  • RAM:  16GB

  • Storage:  512GB PCIe Gen3 SSD M.2

  • Graphics:  NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660Ti GDDR5 6GB 

  • MicroSD slot:  No

  • Display:   15.6-inch LED-backlit FHD 144Hz Anti-Glare Panel with 72% NTSC 

  • Battery:  48wHr 

  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi (802.11 ac), Bluetooth 5

  • Front-Facing Camera: HD 720p CMOS module

  • Weight: 2.2kg

Benchmarks

In terms of benchmarks, the ASUS TUF FX505 landed within the lower half of the gaming notebooks we compared it. However, that’s not to say it performed badly. When it came to 3D Mark’s core suite of tests, it outperformed HP’s Omen 15 and ASUS’ own Strix Hero II - which is pretty impressive to see from what is ostensibly a budget gaming notebook. 

Credit: Fergus Halliday | IDG
Credit: Fergus Halliday | IDG
Credit: Fergus Halliday | IDG

That trend almost continued into the ray-tracing arena. Here, the GTX 1660 Ti inside the ASUS FX505 saw it slack behind the rest of the crowd. You can do ray-tracing with this hardware but it’s not advised - and for good reason. If that’s something you’re interested in, you’re probably going to want to spend more on something that’s better equipped to deliver it. 

Credit: Fergus Halliday | IDG

Benchmark scores: 

  • PC Mark (Work 2.0): 3709

  • TimeSpy: 5055

  • Firestrike: 11173

  • FireStrike Ultra: 2986

  • Port Royal: 1409

  • VRMark Orange: 5566

  • VRMark Blue: 1647  

  • Red Dead Redemption 2: 15FPS minimum, 60FPS maximum, 40FPS average

  • Total War: Three Kingdoms, Battle: 64.9FPS

  • Total War: Three Kingdoms, Campaign: 51.1FPS

  • Total War: Three Kingdoms, Dynasty: 68.3FPS

Battery Life

When subjected to the usual Battery Eater testing tool, which gauges the minimum battery life of a given notebook PC, the ASUS TUF FX505 lasted for 1 hours and 45 minutes. This isn’t particularly great but it’s not too far from the norm for gaming laptops. 

The Bottom Line

The ASUS TUF FX505 might try to pass its bulky shape and dated design off as rugged but the reality is that this is an old school gaming laptop in ways both good and bad. That being said, for those looking to save money, that’s not necessarily going to be a dealbreaker.

Ultimately, the TUF FX505 is as much a testament to how much performance and power you can fit into an affordable gaming laptop nowadays as it is a throwback to the uncomfortable compromise that gaming laptops used to embody. 

You may still have to pay extra to get a gaming laptop that’s truly portable but getting one that can run even the most demanding PC games and make use of Nvidia’s ray-tracing tech? That’s now easier than ever.

Credit: ASUS

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