3D laptops: Asus G74sx vs. Toshiba Qosmio X775

We test these two high-end laptops to see how they work in all dimensions.

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Performance testing

Thanks to its extra memory, the Asus achieved a 2,043.3 on PassMark's PerformanceTest 7.0 benchmark, well ahead of the Toshiba's 1,727.7 score. These are systems that have roughly twice the performance potential of the typical notebook, which tend to score between 800 and 900 on the same test.

On the CineBench 11.5 processor tests, it was a virtual tie. The Asus' processor and graphics scores of 39.9 and 4.9 were slightly ahead of the Toshiba's 39.8 and 4.8; these differences are unlikely to be seen in actual use.

3D Laptops: Performance test results

Asus G74SX Toshiba Qosmio X775

PassMark

PerformanceTest 7.0
2,043.3 1,722.7
CineBench GPU 39.9 39.8
Cinebench CPU 4.9 4.8
Battery Life (hr.:min.) 1:46 1:25
Higher numbers are better

Despite having a pair of fans each, when the gaming got intense, the Toshiba system ran very hot, hitting 146 degrees F at its exhaust outlet on the left side. The Asus system kept its cool, never rising above 100 degrees F.

Incidentally, the Asus offers four system settings that let you choose the best compromise between performance and battery life; I did all my testing with the Asus set to the highest performance level.

The Asus' 5,400 milliamp-hour (mAh) battery ran for 1 hour and 46 minutes, 22 minutes longer than the Toshiba's 3,300 mAh power pack. In other words, make sure you do your gaming or video watching near an outlet.

Conclusions

Overall, there are three things that give me pause as far as these 3D notebooks go.

First, so far, 3D is a Windows-only show, with Linux and Macs stuck in a 2D flat world.

Second, watching too much 3D action can make you feel queasy and cause headaches -- I found that an hour and a half was my limit with either of these 3D powerhouses.

Finally, there's price. At $1,900 for the Toshiba and $1,950 for the Asus, these are two of the most expensive portable systems available at the moment. Either of them costs the equivalent of four basic notebooks -- but there are few systems that can match the configurations and abilities of these gamers.

If none of these factors bother you, then both of these 3D notebooks can kick the butts of lesser notebooks when it comes to 2D and 3D gaming. They will appeal to slightly different audiences, however.

The Asus G74sx has the better configuration, with more RAM, storage space and video memory, and did better on our performance tests. It also comes with a two-year warranty versus one year of coverage for the Toshiba Qosmio X775.

However, the system is much bigger and heavier -- so large that, unless you're into weight training, the notebook's only travel will be from the family room to the kitchen or a bedroom. In fact, unless you need to move your gaming computer around the house, at that point you might be better off with a desktop.

On the other hand, the Toshiba Qosmio X775 is a less radical departure from mainstream mobile computing, with a case that's smaller and lighter as well as great audio. It still performed like a champ.

So in the final analysis, I'd consider the Qosmio X775 to be the winner by a hair. Although it is still gargantuan compared to most notebooks, it is the smaller of the two and still has the processing and graphics power to blast aliens, race down highways and soar to new gaming heights.

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