Gaming

ASUS TUF Gaming FX505 Hands-on: Still needs an upgrade

Neither basic nor great

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After playing with the TUF Gaming FX705, I have another ASUS gaming laptop. This one is aimed at those who are looking for a gaming machine on a budget. Gaming and budget don’t go always hand in hand, but this particular model can make them work together.

What I have here is the TUF Gaming FX505DY. It’s practically a smaller version of the previous TUF Gaming laptop I have, plus it’s running on pure AMD power.


I’ll not make this long, so let’s get right to it.

It has a plastic body with a distinct design

Similar to other TUF Gaming laptops

The vents face backwards

The heat is directed away from the user

All the ports are on the left

(L-R) Power, Ethernet, HDMI, 3x USB, headphone jack

There’s virtually nothing on the right side

To give space for your gaming mouse

It sports a 15.6-inch IPS-level 120Hz display…

It’s a non-glare panel

… with slim bezels

One of the laptop’s highlighted features

Still, the webcam stays on top

Quality is just okay

The keyboard has a three-stage red backlight

Budget means no RGB

Decent-looking for its price

The looks of the FX505 is not much different from its bigger cousin, the FX705. Also, the overall aesthetic is pretty much copied from the ROG line of premium gaming notebooks. Design-wise, the FX505 is not lacking; it’s certainly a gaming notebook when you see it.

The FX505 borrows the keyboard design of other new gaming laptops from ASUS, which is good. The layout is ideal for games, although the keys feel a bit mushy. As for the trackpad, it’s okay. It uses Windows Precision and it’s responsive to every gestures.

No one would suspect that this is a budget gaming machine. The slim bezels of the 15.6-inch Full HD display make the FX505 truly modern-looking. Gone are the day of fat bezels, even on a budget laptop. It does have a pretty big chin, but I prefer to trade that for slimmer side bezels. This also means that the FX505 is smaller than conventional 15-inch notebooks out there.

Not only that, the 120Hz refresh rate of the panel adds greater value to the FX505. I wasn’t expecting a high refresh rate on budget gaming laptops, so having it is really a treat. Everything on the screen is smooth and buttery. I am writing this article on the FX505 and it’s always fun to see scrolling smoother than my everyday laptop.

While the added features are welcome, ASUS still has keep the FX505 within budget. The laptop’s plastic body feels hollow, but ASUS says this laptop has passed US military-grade tests, so I’ll just have to take their word for it when it comes to durability.

Upgrade the memory, ASAP!

Let’s get to the specs. The TUF Gaming FX505DY (that’s the specific model name) is powered by the new AMD Ryzen 5-3550H processor with Radeon RX560X discrete graphics. Ryzen chips already have a capable GPU on their own, but nothing beats having a dedicated one. Unfortunately, ASUS is selling this particular with 4GB of DDR4 memory. That’s part of the cost-cutting methods, and it’s a bottleneck.

The processor and the GPU are more than capable to run most games in medium to high settings nicely, but the available system memory couldn’t keep up. 4GB of memory might be enough to let me use the FX505 for browsing, watching videos, typing, and other stuff, but it ruins the gaming experience.

I am no hardcore gamer, so my go-to game is often Cities Skylines. Guess what? I wasn’t able to even load my cloud save on Steam. The loading screen for the game always stops midway.

Of course, I tested other games. I’m glad to report that both battle royale games — CS:GO and Fortnite — run above 60fps on high settings. But, that’s not without hiccups. Due to the limited 4GB RAM, even though the GPU can handle the titles well, you can’t escape the lag. Maybe games that don’t have open-world maps won’t be as affected, but I can’t say for sure.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

No doubt that the TUF Gaming FX505 (specifically FX505DY) is a good option in its range. It might even be the best one considering the features it offers and its price tag. For just PhP 39,995, you can already grab a decent starter gaming laptop that has a 120Hz display, slim bezels, and ROG-esque design.

The display alone is a great selling point, but the 4GB RAM will never do it justice. I wish I could test out more games on the laptop, but I couldn’t even run my staple titles without any hiccups. The low memory is simply a pain and it limits the capabilities of the laptop.

Out of the box, this variant of the FX505 is not totally ready for gaming. If you’re getting one of these, make sure to buy some extra RAM. An additional 4GB stick doesn’t cost much; it’s even cheaper than fancy gaming mice out there.

SEE ALSO: ASUS TUF Gaming FX705 Review: Another big-screen option

Gaming

Nintendo planning to launch more affordable Switch this year

Coming sooner than expected

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A report by Nikkei claims that a smaller and more affordable Nintendo Switch is indeed coming this year — during fall to be exact.

This backs up The Wall Street Journal‘s source that says two models are on the way: a pro model and a lite variant. While the former is expected to push better graphics and offer a larger screen, the latter looks to be more compact at the expense of losing the vibration feature.


Fortunately, both should still have TV compatibility for a larger screen to play on. The bigger takeaway, however, is that this lite version might not launch at the same time as the higher-end model, which might be saved for another event this year or next.

It’s possible that Nintendo is discretely making noise for its next batch of handheld consoles after the slew of info we received about Sony’s next-gen PS5 a couple of days ago. Microsoft also made its disc-less Xbox One S official the other day.

These announcements seem timely, with the three major players possibly feeling some heat from Google and Apple, both of which have announced their own push into the gaming realm with cloud gaming solutions and an exclusive app store, respectively.

Via: The Verge

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Gaming

Sony PlayStation 5: Everything we know so far

It’s more than just a mere upgrade

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After months of speculation, the time has come for Sony to drop its plans on its latest console. In an exclusive interview with Wired, Sony’s lead system architect Mark Cerny revealed initial details on the upcoming PlayStation 5. Here’s what we know so far:

The new PlayStation console will house a better CPU and GPU to meet the demands of long-time gamers on the system. The CPU will be based on the third generation of AMD’s Ryzen line, with eight cores of its new Zen 2 architecture. It promises to bring better performance and 3D audio capabilities, as well.


Meanwhile, the GPU will be a custom variant of AMD’s Radeon Navi, and will come with ray tracing! Apart from better overall visuals, the GPU now opens support for 8K graphics. To date, no gaming console has ventured into including ray-tracing technologies into their GPUs so it will be interesting to see how Sony will do it.

With games requiring more space to run smoothly and flawlessly, the new PlayStation provides a solution with an upgrade. This time, the PlayStation 5 will come with a solid state drive (SSD) that promises better and faster loading times. Cerny demonstrated the power of the SSD by playing Spider-Man through a PlayStation 4 against a developer’s kit-version for the new console. The results: web-slinging across New York City in under a second for the SSD.

Unfortunately, the PlayStation 5 won’t be available this year and Sony has yet to confirm a release date. The company isn’t expected to make that announcement any time soon since they pulled out of E3 2019. For now, all we can do is simply wait for new details to surface.

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Gaming

Microsoft’s next Xbox does not have a disc slot

All digital!

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Image source: WinFuture

For the past two to three decades, video gaming has always been associated with compact discs. From then to now, video game stores are lined with cases and cases of discs. Sadly, times are changing. For quite a while now, PC gaming has almost completely moved to digital distribution. Now, video game discs belong exclusively to console gaming. However, the compact disc’s last sanctuary is slowly coming to an end.

Recently, a leak has revealed Microsoft’s latest project — a disc-less Xbox One. Supplemented by detailed renders, the Xbox One S All Digital does not include a tray for discs. Instead, the upcoming console will rely solely on digital downloads and subscriptions. Unfortunately, the leak does not include any other hardware specifications. However, the leaked box art indicates the inclusion of pre-installed games like Minecraft, Sea of Thieves, and Forza Horizon 3. The leak also hints at 4K support and 1TB of internal storage.


Finally, the leak included the device’s release details. The Xbox One S All Digital will retail for EUR 229.99 starting May 7 in Europe.

Albeit strongly supported, the leak still carries a slight bit of uncertainty. Microsoft has not officially announced the device. However, given the industry’s current trajectory, an all-digital console sounds like a logical choice. Google has even announced streaming service Stadia. Unfortunately, the industry’s trajectory does not bode well for the traditional compact discs of old. Say goodbye to scratched disc problems; say hello to more slow internet woes.

SEE ALSO: Microsoft built prototypes of Xbox controllers for mobile

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