Let’s see if the ASUS TUF FX505DU in 2020 performs any better than when I originally tested it 10 months ago after the latest driver, BIOS and game updates to see if it’s still worth it?
I did a review last year where I showed how the FX505DU performed in 20 different games, but that’s with an older BIOS, older Windows updates, older game updates and older Nvidia drivers. We’ll compare some games with those tested last year and see if these updates have changed performance over time. I’ve also added in some newer game titles that weren’t out back then.
The configuration I’ve got has a Ryzen 7 3750H CPU, 80 watt Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti graphics, 16gb of memory in dual channel and a 1080p 120Hz screen. Battlefield V was tested in campaign mode going through the same part of the game for each test. I’ve got the old results from June 2019 shown in the red bars, and the new updated results in the purple bars. At most setting levels, the updated results are a little ahead in terms of average FPS, though at ultra it was only 1.7% faster. Red Dead Redemption 2 was tested using the game’s built in benchmark tool, and it wasn’t out the last time I tested this laptop so there’s no data to compare it with. Even the lowest setting preset wasn’t able to average 60 FPS, however low and medium were still pretty playable. Control was another game that was released after my initial review of the FX505DU, and it was playing alright with the medium setting preset and able to average above 60 FPS. Shadow of the Tomb Raider was tested with the games benchmark tool, and there was a 5% higher average FPS with the highest setting preset, however the results were actually slightly worse in the new tests between medium and lowest settings. The Apex results need a bit of explanation. I tested the fresh results in Season 4 and the old results in Season 1 with different maps, so the results aren’t directly comparable. Additionally, Nvidia released improved drivers for this game after my original test which greatly boosted overall performance, as we can see at max settings there’s a big difference as this game has gotten much better over time in terms of FPS. Like Apex, the Fortnite results aren’t really directly comparable, as the 2020 results were tested with chapter 2 which wasn’t out when I originally tested the TUF, so completely different map. Interestingly the new results were better at low and medium, but then worse at high and epic. Overwatch is another less demanding game and was tested in the practice range, so the exact same test run through the game. The results were very close together at max settings, but as we step down the average FPS from last year was better. Call of Duty Modern Warfare was tested in campaign mode, and is another game that wasn’t available in June last year. Even with all settings maxed out it was still possible to reach 60 FPS averages with this laptop. CS:GO was tested using the Ulletical FPS benchmark, the 1% low results were similar, however the average FPS was 5.5% ahead with everything maxed out with the updated test. Like we saw in some of the other games though, this flips around at lower settings where last year's results were looking a little better. Dota 2 was tested playing in the middle lane, and this time there were great improvements to be had with all the updates in place. The fresh 2020 results were 10% faster when it came to average FPS at max settings. Rainbow Six Siege was tested with the built in benchmark, however they recently updated the game to support Vulkan, which I’ve generally found to perform a bit better than Direct X 11, which is what I tested with last year. That said though, the Vulkan results were a fair bit lower this year. I didn’t retest DX11, so not sure if the difference here is vulkan specific. Borderlands 3 was also tested using the game’s built in benchmark, and was another game that wasn’t available to test when I originally covered the TUF. Medium settings and below were needed in order to maintain above 60 FPS in this test. Ghost Recon Breakpoint was tested with the game’s benchmark too, and was another that wasn’t available the last time I tested out this laptop. Very high settings was just able to hit 60 FPS in this test, so not too bad. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey was tested with the built in benchmark, and this was another game that saw lower performance with all the newer updates in place. Far Cry New Dawn was also tested with the games benchmark, and again lower results were present with the updated system regardless of the setting preset used. The Witcher 3 was tested going through the same section of the game on both machines, and once more the newer updated TUF laptop was performing worse when compared to last year’s results.
Alright so out of the 16 games tested this year, I also tested 11 of them last year, and this graph shows how the results compare. On average, the newer 2020 performance was 2% faster in terms of average FPS at the highest setting preset, however it’s definitely being held up by the massive Apex improvement. Without that, there’s actually around a -2% change, so if we don’t include Apex then in general performance is now slightly worse. That said, there don’t appear to be major changes on average, however it really does depend on the specific game. Some titles saw improvements, while others got a bit worse.
It’s hard to pin down exact causes without doing a ton more testing to try out every different BIOS, Nvidia update, and Windows update that’s come out since, I’m sure many differences are also down to game updates, and without testing along the way that’s not even something I can attempt.
In the end the ASUS TUF FX505DU is still offering acceptable performance in modern games, it can handle these newer titles with fair frame rates just one or two settings below max in even higher demanding games, so is it still worth buying in 2020? I’d argue probably not. Today it can be picked up for $900 to 1000 USD on Amazon, however an i7 gaming laptop with the same GPU will perform around 21% faster at max settings, or 34% faster at minimum settings. Given the Acer Helios 300 is around $1100 USD, that’s 10% to 22% more money which sounds fair to me, if you can justify the extra money of course.
That said, given Ryzen 4000 is coming out and those CPUs are a massive improvement over the 3750H in this machine, I’d personally look towards a newer model if I was buying today just due to that. This TUF gaming laptop has been refreshed with the TUF FX506 or A15, and I’ll have some reviews on these in the future once they’re available in my country, let me know if you think the FX505DU is still worth it's going into 2020 down in the comments.