Dell G3 15 vs. Asus TUF FX504: Budget Gaming Laptop Face-Off

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The Dell G3 15 Gaming and the Asus TUF Gaming FX504 are two of the most affordable gaming laptops around right now. The base configurations of both machines have an 8th Gen Intel i5 processor and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 GPU, but the G3 15 starts at $749, compared with $699 for the Asus TUF.

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The G3 15 and the TUF have similar specs, but there can be only one victor. I went hands-on with both machines, and here's how they stack up.

  Dell G3 15 Gaming Asus TUF Gaming FX504
Starting Price $749.99 $699.99
Intel Processors 8th Gen Core i5, Core i7 8th Gen Core i5, Core i7
GPU GTX 1050, 1050 Ti, 1060 GTX 1050, 1050 Ti, 1060
Colors Recon Blue, Licorice Black, Alpine White Black Matter, Red Matter, Fusion, Premium Steel
Display 15.6 inches (1920 x 1080) 60 Hz 15.6 inches (1920 x 1080) 60 Hz, 120 Hz
RAM 8GB, 16GB 8GB, 16GB
Drives 126GB SSD + 1TB 5,400-rpm HDD, 512GB SSD 1TB SSHD, 126GB SSD + 1TB 5,400-rpm HDD
Ports SD card slot, Noble lock, HDMI 2.0, one USB 2.0, RJ45, headphone/mic, two USB 3.1 Two USB 3.0, HDMI, Kensington lock, Ethernet, headphone/mic, one USB 2.0
Battery Life 6:37 3:57
Keyboard Travel 1.2 mm 1.4 mm
Bluetooth 5.0 4.0
Size 14.96 x 10.16 x 0.89 inches 15.1 x 10.3 x 1 inches
Weight 5.18 pounds 5.14 pounds

Design

The Dell G3 15 Gaming sports a minimal matte exterior without any of the typical gaming aesthetics. It does, however, have a colorful interior adorned with elegant, baby-blue accents. Unfortunately, the display has rather thick bezels.

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The Asus TUF Gaming FX504, on the other hand, presents a sleek, faux-aluminum exterior combined with red accents that give it a nice cyber aesthetic. The interior has a similar design, and even though it has even chunkier bezels, the sliced corners give it more of an appeal. Additionally, the brushed texture is satisfying to touch and the cutout on the lid is just sexy.

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There's very minimal difference in the two laptops' size and weight, but technically, the G3 15 is thinner, at 0.89 inches (compared to 1 inch for the TUF Gaming), and the TUF Gaming FX504 is slightly lighter, at 5.14 pounds (compared to 5.18 pounds for the G3 15).

Winner: Asus TUF Gaming FX504.

Display

Both of these budget gaming laptops cut corners when it comes to the display. The Dell G3 15 Gaming and the Asus TUF Gaming FX504 have 15.6-inch 1920 x 1080 screens, but the TUF has a higher, 120-Hz refresh rate.

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On our tests, the G3 15's screen covered 61 percent of the sRGB color gamut and averaged 231 nits of brightness, while the TUF produced 66 percent and hit 220 nits. The G3 15's panel is technically more color accurate, with a Delta-E of 0.3 compared with the TUF's 0.4 (lower is better).

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Despite the similar numbers, I was surprised to find a significant difference between the two panels while I watched the newest trailer for Skyscraper. As Dwayne Johnson was counting down for an epic jump on the side of a flaming building at night, I noticed that the TUF's screen was bright enough to reveal his clothes and surroundings. However, his skin color and bruises were washed out.

MORE: Highest Resolution Screens

In the same scene, the G3 15 produced a more vivid image, as Johnson's skin and gray beard looked crisp and colorful. However, the panel was too dark for me to make out anything aside from parts of his face.

Winner: Asus TUF Gaming FX504.

Keyboard

Due to their 1.2 millimeters of travel, the Dell G3 15 Gaming's keys aren't the most satisfying to type on, but the keyboard does have a very soft palm rest. The Asus TUF Gaming FX504's keyboard has better travel (1.4 mm), as well as more bounce, thanks to the strong 76 grams of force needed to actuate the keys, which is better than the G3 15's 71 grams.

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The G3 15 presents a neat, blue keyboard, but it's ultimately marred by its harsh blue backlighting. I prefer the TUF's red, italicized font with crimson backlighting, which was easier on the eyes than the G3 15. I'm also a fan of its stylish spacebar and directional pad.

I took the 10fastfingers.com typing test on both computers and produced 57 words per minute on the G3 15 and 59 wpm on the TUF, both of which fall slightly under my 60-wpm average.

Winner: Asus TUF Gaming FX504.

Gaming, Graphics and VR

Thanks to its Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti GPU with 4GB of VRAM, the Dell G3 15 Gaming had a clear advantage over the Asus TUF Gaming FX504 and its GTX 1050 with 2GB of VRAM. For example, G3 15 scored 159,006 on the synthetic 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited benchmark, compared with the TUF's 147,174.

asus tuf gaming fx504 series 001When we ran gaming benchmarks, the Dell performed better. On Hitman's ultra 1080p benchmark, the G3 15 hit 45 frames per second, and the TUF lagged behind at 35 fps. But both frame rates are playable.

On the Grand Theft Auto V benchmark, the G3 15 delivered 33 fps, while the TUF fell short of our 30-fps playability threshold, hitting only 24 fps.

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Both the G3 15 and the TUF missed the 30-fps threshold while running Rise of the Tomb Raider on very high at 1080p. The G3 15, however, ran it better, at 24 fps, as opposed to the TUF's 16 fps.

MORE: Best Graphics Performance

As expected, neither the G3 15 nor the TUF fared well on the SteamVR Performance test, with a 3.5 out of 11 and 2.7 out of 11, respectively. However, the G3 15 can theoretically be used with an Oculus Rift, thanks to the company's Asynchronous Spacewarp technology.

Winner: Dell G3 15 Gaming.

Performance

Both the Dell G3 15 Gaming and the Asus TUF Gaming FX504 are outfitted with 8th Gen 2.3-GHz Intel Core i5-8300H processors. On the Geekbench 4 overall performance test, the G3 15 scored 13,227, sliding past the TUF's 12,038. The G3 15 was also faster on our Excel test, matching 65,000 names and addresses in 54 seconds. The TUF took 1 minute and 13 seconds.

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The TUF did significantly better on the HandBrake test, transcoding a 4K video to 1080p in 11 minutes and 15 seconds. The G3 15 was a couple of minutes behind that, at 13:16. Because the TUF lacks an SSD, it copied data at a rate of 95 megabytes per second with its 1TB SSHD, while the G3 15 and its 126GB SSD copied at faster rate of 121 MBps.

Winner: Dell G3 15 Gaming.

Battery Life

The Dell G3 15 Gaming survived 6 hours and 37 minutes on our battery test, which involves continuously surfing the web over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness. The Asus TUF Gaming FX504 didn't last nearly as long, tapping out at 3:57, which is respectable for gaming systems but still below the 4:52 average.

Winner: Dell G3 15 Gaming.

Value and Configurations

The Asus TUF Gaming FX504 starts at $699 and gives you an 8th Gen i5-8300H CPU and a GTX 1050 GPU with 2GB of VRAM, but we'd recommend bumping up to at least the $799 configuration, which upgrades you to a GTX 1050 Ti. The $999 model comes with a GTX 1060 and adds a 128GB NVMe SSD and 1TB HDD. Finally, the $1,299 model will net you a Core i7, 16GB of RAM and the 120-Hz display.

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The Dell G3 15 Gaming's base model costs $749 and also has a Core i5-8300H processor, but with a GTX 1050 GPU with 4GB of VRAM. The $849 config gets you a GTX 1050 Ti GPU and adds a 128GB SSD. The best version of the G3 15 offers an 8th Gen i7 processor and a GTX 1060 Max-Q GPU with 6GB of VRAM, which will run you $1,049.

Winner: Dell G3 15 Gaming.

Overall Winner

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Although the Asus TUF Gaming FX504 took the design and comfort rounds, the Dell G3 15 Gaming proved more powerful in this face-off.

  Dell G3 15 Gaming Asus TUF Gaming FX504
Design   X
Display   X
Keyboard   X
Gaming, Graphics and VR X  
Performance X  
Battery Life X  
Value & Configs X  
Total 4 3

If you care more about how a laptop looks than how it runs games, you're safe getting the Asus TUF Gaming FX504, especially because of its superior typing experience and optional 120-Hz display. However, the G3 15 has much better battery life. Ultimately, the Dell's higher frame rates is what tossed the TUF off the board.

Credit: Laptop Mag

 

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1 comment
  • edit1754 Says:

    And remember the ASUS TUF display on the 60Hz version is likely a low quality TN panel, much worse than the one in the Dell, rather than better.

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