ASUS ROG Strix GL502VS vs Acer Predator 15 (G9-593) – choosing from the best

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Today we want to provide you with a detailed comparison of two great gaming notebooks. Both models were released at the end of last year and were one of the first to incorporate the latest NVIDIA Pascal generation of graphics cards. Speaking of which both models are equipped with the powerful NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070.

On one side of the ring, we have the elegant ASUS ROG Strix GL502VS and on the other side – the mighty Acer Predator 15 (G9-593). In terms of specs, both notebooks are nearly identical so it will be a ferocious fight but in the end, one of them will take the crown or who knows – maybe where one falls short the other will compensate and vice versa. Stick around and find out.

Design and construction

ASUS ROG Strix GL502VS offers a design worthy for a premium gaming notebook. The overall build feels solid and stable. The lid catches the eye with its LED-illuminated ROG logo and two stripes in the middle that are in contrast to the black brushed aluminum. The lid itself is easily bendable but no ripples occur on the LCD panel so that’s not a problem. The hinges are sturdy but you can open the laptop using one hand nonetheless. We are not particularly happy with the fact that the bottom piece is made from plastic but we guess that ASUS had to cut corners somewhere (it’s better in the construction than in performance).

Acer Predator 15 (G9-593) is a bit of a different story. While GL502VS have more of an elegant design the Predator 15 is looking aggressive (proper for the name) with its huge main exhaust vents on the rear side. This model is also built to last as the lid consists out of 40% fiberglass – a strong yet lightweight material used in elevator spools which hold their steel wire ropes. However, despite the fiberglass the device weights 3742 g (8.25 lbs) which is quite heavy for a 15-incher.

Moving on to the interior, the Strix GL502VS disappoints a little bit because again it uses plastic instead of aluminum as in the bottom piece. Plastic materials reduce the spread of heat along the keyboard tray which might lead to higher surface temperatures in certain areas. The keyboard isn’t anything special but at least there is a good LED backlight and the WASD keys are highlighted in bright orange that lights up in the dark. We are missing the media control buttons and the touchpad isn’t the best either.

The interior of the Predator 15 is definitely more pleasing. The WASD and Arrow keys are highlighted as well as the power button over the keyboard and the six special buttons on the left. Speaking of which- you get five keys (1-5) and one labeled with a capital “P”. They can be assigned to different actions from the Predator Sense software. Every button can have up to three tasks assigned depending on the color they are glowing in (you can change the color with the “P” button).

Display

Both models come with a 15-inch IPS panel with Full HD resolution (1920 x 1080p). This means that both models have a pixel density of 142 ppi and pixel become indistinguishable when viewing from more than 60 cm. Both panels are manufactured by LG Phillips (LP156WF6-SPB6 on the ASUS and LP156WF6-SPP1 on the Acer).

Both models have great viewing angles and are quite bright – maximum brightness of 324 cd/m2 in the middle of the screen for the Strix GL502VS and 343 cd/m2 for the Predator 15. The stock contrast ratio is also very similar in both models and also good – 1020:1 and 1000:1 for the ASUS and Acer respectively. There is a difference in the color temperature. GL502VS offers a temperature of 6770K which is very close to the optimal 6500K while the Predator 15 is a bit off with its 7500K (colors will appear colder).

Color reproduction in both models is almost identical. The Strix GL502VS covers 90% of the sRGB color space while Predator 15’s range is 89% (sRGB/ITU-R BT.709 ). In other words, the screen can reproduce almost every color used in Internet and HDTV.  Unfortunately, both models use Pulse-Width Modulation for all brightness levels below 100%. However, the frequency used is very high – 21.2 kHz in the ASUS ROG and 20 kHz in the Acer Predator. This means that the negative effect is severely reduced but users with more sensitive eyes might feel some of the negative effects after long hours of on-screen time. Our Health-Guard profile can fix this issue.

To sum things up we can say that both panels are great and you won’t make a mistake if you go for either of them but if we have to pick a winner we would probably go for the ASUS because of the slightly higher frequency PWM.

Specs sheet

Both models feature the same components so we can expect a similar performance when gaming. We will check this in the “Performance” section. They both use the Intel Core i7-6700HQ which is a four core Hyper-Threaded CPU from the Skylake generation. The chip’s consumption is 45 Watts, and its maximum operating temperature is 100 degrees Celsius.

The graphics card is also the same. As we already mention in the introductory these two notebooks are one of the first to bring the new Pascal generation to the market. The chip inside them is the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 with 8GB of GDDR5 video memory

ASUS ROG Strix GL502VS Acer Predator 15 (G9-593)
CPU Intel Core i7-6700HQ (4-core, 2.60 -3.50 GHz, 6MB cache) Intel Core i7-6700HQ (4-core, 2.60 -3.50 GHz, 6MB cache)
RAM 8GB RAM – DDR4, 2133 MHz up to 64GB (4x 16384MB) – DDR4, 2133MHz
GPU NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (8GB GDDR5) NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (8GB GDDR5)
HDD/SSD 256GB M.2 SATA SSD + Free 2.5-inch HDD/SSD slot 2x M.2 SSD + HDD
Display 15.6-inch – 1920×1080 (Full HD) IPS, matte 15.6-inch Full HD IPS, matte + G-Sync
Features
  • 3x USB 3.0
  • 1x USB 3.1 Type-C (supports Thunderbolt 3)
  • Ethernet LAN port
  • mini DisplayPort
  • SD/MMC card reader
  • 3.5 mm combo audio jack
  • HDMI 2.0
  • RJ-45
  • Kensington Lock security port
  • Built-in microphones with ambient noise reduction
  • ICEpower loudspeakers
  • 4x USB 3.0
  • 1x USB 3.1 Type-C
  • LED keyboard backlight with different zones
  • Webcam
  • 5 programmable macro keys
  •  3.5 mm combo audio jack
  • RJ-45
  • DisplayPort
  • HDMI 2.0
  • memory card reader
  • 2x built-in loudspeakers + subwoofer
Battery 64 Wh / 4240 mAh Li-Polymer battery 88.8Wh / 6000 mAh Li-Polymer battery
Profile thickness 30 mm (1.18″) 29.9 mm
Weight 2.6 kg (5.73 lbs) 3.74 kg (8.25 lbs)
Price Check price Check price

Battery

Both models feature identical components so they should perform similarly in our battery test. However, the Acer Predator 15 has a bigger battery – 88.8Wh compared to the 64 Wh one of the ASUS GL502VS. This plays a major role in the end result and it’s clear that the Acer performs way better.

In the Web browsing test that simulates real life by automatically browse through over 70 websites, the Predator managed to squeeze 276 minutes (4 hours and 36 minutes) out of the battery. This is not a great result but it’s considerably better than the GL502VS which managed 223 minutes (3 hours and 43 minutes). In the video playback test, the case is similar – 257 minutes (4 hours and 17 minutes) vs 197 minutes (3 hours and 17 minutes) for the Acer and the ASUS respectively. And finally, in the most important battery test for a gaming laptop (that’s gaming of course) the Predator scored 113 minutes (1 hour and 53 minutes) while the GL502VS managed just 78 minutes (1 hour and 18 minutes).

We can clearly see that the bigger battery provides anywhere from half an hour to an hour of additional on-screen time in every scenario.

Performance

We already mentioned that both laptops are equipped with the same hardware so we can expect similar performance and our gaming test prove this statement. However, the Acer Predator 15 seems to be hitting higher framerates in most cases.

cs-go-benchmarks

CS:GO – ASUS Full HD, Low (Check settings) Full HD, Medium (Check settings) Full HD, Max (Check settings)
Average FPS 255 fps (+7%) 242 fps (+4%) 222 fps (+9%)
CS:GO -Acer Full HD, Low (Check settings) Full HD, Medium (Check settings) Full HD, Max (Check settings)
Average FPS 239 fps 233 fps 203 fps

f1-2015-game

F1 2015 – ASUS Full HD, Low (Check settings) Full HD, Medium (Check settings) Full HD, Max (Check settings)
Average FPS 123 fps 108 fps 104 fps
F1 2015 – Acer Full HD, Low (Check settings) Full HD, Medium (Check settings) Full HD, Max (Check settings)
Average FPS 137 fps (+11%) 116 fps (+7%) 113 fps (+9%)

GTA-V-benchmarks

Grand Theft Auto V (GTA 5) – ASUS Full HD, Low (Check settings) Full HD, Medium (Check settings) Full HD, Max (Check settings)
Average FPS 143 fps 103 fps 52 fps
Grand Theft Auto V (GTA 5) – Acer Full HD, Low (Check settings) Full HD, Medium (Check settings) Full HD, Max (Check settings)
Average FPS 147 fps (+3%) 108 fps (+5%) 52 fps

rise-of-the-tomb-raider

Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) – ASUS Full HD, Low (Check settings) Full HD, Medium (Check settings) Full HD, Max (Check settings)
Average FPS 143 fps 111 fps 53 fps (+2%)
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) – Acer Full HD, Low (Check settings) Full HD, Medium (Check settings) Full HD, Max (Check settings)
Average FPS 155 fps (+8%) 127 fps (+14%) 52 fps

hitman-2016

HITMAN (2016) – ASUS Full HD, Low (Check settings) Full HD, Medium (Check settings) Full HD, Max (Check settings)
Average FPS 90 fps 81 fps 38 fps
HITMAN (2016) – Acer Full HD, Low (Check settings) Full HD, Medium (Check settings) Full HD, Max (Check settings)
Average FPS 115 fps (+28%) 89 fps (+10%) 38 fps

 

Temperatures

If you have read one of our reviews before you would know how we conduct our temperature tests. First, we put 100% load on the CPU for about an hour to see how the cooling system handles it and then we add 100% GPU load to further stress things up.

After an hour of 100% CPU load, the ROG Strix GL502VS managed to keep temperatures fairly cool (~75 °C) and the clock speeds at 3.1  GHz (Turbo Boost frequency). After we turned on the GPU stress test as well things changed a bit – the CPU temperatures rose to 97 °C while the GPU was running at 86 °C. The clock of the CPU decreased to 2.7 GHz which is the base frequency and the GPU ran at 1645 MHz for a while but then slowly slowed down the tempo to 1450 – 1550 MHz. These results aren’t bad. However, the surface temperature was higher than what we are used to seeing with some areas reaching 47 °C. Note that this is after a two-hour stress test and a normal gaming session won’t push things so far.

Similar results were observed when testing the Acer Predator 15. One hour after the initiation of the CPU test the temperatures were 55-56 °C for two of the cores and 80-85 °C for the other two and the Turbo frequency of 3.1 GHz was kept. One hour later after the GPU test ran for a while core temperature rose to 72/73/93/96 °C and the frequency went down to 2.9 GHz. The graphics card was running at 1240 MHz and around 70 °C. Surface temperatures were similar to the GL502VS. We should take a moment to talk about the additional fan called FrostCore which can be swapped with the DVD optical drive. Unfortunately, it didn’t do anything.

Verdict

Both models are great. They have lots of connectivity options, excellent performance, lots of features and good thermal control. Acer Predator 15 (G9-593) takes the lead with its aggressive design, customizable keys, and longer battery life. However, all these goodies come at a certain price – the Predator is quite heavy – 3.74 kg (8.25 lbs) and bulky and it also costs a bit more. We would recommend the Acer Predator 15 (G9-593) but if you aren’t that serious into gaming the ASUS ROG Strix GL502VS might be the better choice for you.

(laptopmedia.com, https://goo.gl/q8xryn)

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