The rest of the G60J’s internals are no less impressive, led by an Intel mobile Core i7 quad-core processor. The 720QM might be the ‘slowest’ i7 model out there, running at a relatively pedestrian 1.6GHz, but thanks to its 6MB cache and architectural enhancements – not to mention the ability to turbo-clock all the way up to 2.8GHz on a single core – it’s more than capable of beating most Core 2 CPUs (as we saw in the Novatech X70 CA Pro review where it left a 3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Extreme X9100 in the dust).
This is backed by 4GB of 1,066MHz DDR3 RAM, which is pretty much standard across desktops and laptops these days and will be fully utilised by a 64-bit version of Windows.
Anything but standard is this laptop’s permanent storage though, as you get a full terabyte (1TB) of hard drive space courtesy of twin 500GB drives running at a speedy 7,200rpm. To have this configuration as standard is fairly rare and certainly appreciated. Asus doesn’t skimp on wireless connectivity either, as you not only get the Wi-Fi N almost ubiquitous on high-end laptops but also Bluetooth 2.1 plus EDR, an option that’s often left out to cut costs.
So far it’s all very impressive but the single most important element of any gaming laptop are its graphics, and this is the one area where the G60J disappoints ever so slightly. Instead of the nVidia GeForce GTX 280M we would expect to find on such a well-specified mobile gaming machine, we have a GTX 260M running the show instead (and this would appear to be the highest card offered on any Asus gaming laptop in the UK).
This means you get 112 processing cores instead of the GTX 280M’s 118 and a 100MHz decrease in core clockspeed, though with everything else (including memory speed and bandwidth) the same there shouldn’t be too much performance difference.
Indeed, even at 1,366 x 768 Crysis only ran at a just about playable 25fps average on High Detail. To be fair to the G60J though, Crysis is still one of the most demanding games out there, and Call of Duty 4 ran at a silky-smooth 75fps average with everything turned up to maximum. To put this card’s performance into context with the graphical prowess of most mainstream laptops (which use Intel’s integrated graphics), in TrackMania Nations Forever where the latter manage about 16fps at best, the GTX 260 returned a figure of 148fps!
Overall then the G60J will play most titles at medium if not high detail levels on its screen’s relatively low native resolution. As we’ve often said though, if you get the chance to go for a configuration with a much slower (even a lowly Core 2 Duo) processor yet better graphics setup then you should, unless you intend to do a lot of CPU-intensive tasks like video encoding.