ASUS has recently gone through an exercise to bring the TUF series to more people here in India and the ASUS TUF Gaming FX504 brings the power of a 6-core CPU along with the power of the GTX 1050 Ti without burning a hole in your pocket. We also have the MSI GF63 8RD, which is is the top variant among MSI’s latest gaming laptops in India. Let us put both of these through the grind and see which one emerges the winner.
The ASUS TUF FX504 is powered by the Intel Core i7-8750H and an NVIDIA GTX 1050 Ti but without the additional price increment. We were quite surprised to see a newer and better CPU being included for no additional cost and were quite intrigued to see how the competition would match the offering.
As part of the rebooted TUF branding initiative, ASUS has made quite a few visual changes to make the TUF lineup appear premium and classy. This includes the diagonal cuts over a brushed metal texture that we see on the top surface with the ASUS branding right in the centre. The underside has a few similar markings along with roughly one half the area occupied by intake vents. The laptop is easily serviceable once the 11 screws are removed. There are four rubberised feet to give the ASUS TUF FX504 some traction as well.
There are two units of cooling fans with two heat pipes, one of which is slightly wider and shared between both devices. The GPU, also has two heatpipes running over it due to to the clearly higher TDP. The chassis has plenty of open spaces that lie unused. Since the unit comes with a single 8 GB DIMM installed, you can easily add another another one when you need an upgrade.
Coming to the MSI Notebook, If you did not know about the MSI GF63 8RD’s gaming credentials, you would perhaps be fooled into thinking that this laptop is an office notebook. This understated and sophisticated look is something most gaming laptops want but don’t have, and full marks to MSI for that. No over the top design inserts, no bright LED lights to go with that and no large stickers adorn the laptop. The GF63 8RD is very light at just 1.86kg and is also thin at just 21.7mm thick. The easy size hasn’t come with lowered build quality it feels like a top notch notebook, and it sure feels very well put together.
The ASUS TUF FX504 uses an 128 GB NVMe SSD from Kingston which is just about enough to house the boot drive and perhaps a couple of other software. As for the hard drive, we see ASUS is using the Seagate FireCuda 1 TB SSHD which works performs better than the traditional HDDs.
To help performance further, the MSI GF63 8RD has a very fast 128GB solid state drive for the Windows installation—this really improves app load times. There is 1TB hard drive to go with that, for all your data storage needs.
The screen is one of the biggest draws of the ASUS TUF FX504 because it sports a 120 Hz panel in a price range where 60 Hz is the norm. We’ve seen some of the other manufacturers offer 120 Hz panels in this range but they’re rare at the moment. And the crisp colors and jitter-free rendering does make the screen a delight to see and game with
What you get with the MSI GF63 8RD is a 15.6-inch Full HD IPS screen. The very clear advantages of an in-plane switching (IPS) panel are that you see great colours, you also get good viewing angles and contrast that makes the visuals look great. This is one of the few laptops we have seen in the recent past that doesn’t have a reflective screen, and that makes viewing this even more comfortable even if there are irritating overhead lighting fixtures that would otherwise reflect back into your eyes off the screen. Helps in Long hours of gaming that run full nights without straining the eyes.
The ASUS TUF FX504 has the obvious advantage of having the newer 6-core Core i7-8750H CPU which easily tops the previous gen quad-core 7700HQ. That along with the GTX 1050 Ti is bound to allow higher FPS in titles which would have been bottle necked by the CPU. This would apply to very few games and our tests show the same. Synthetic benchmarks show a remarkable increase in scores with 3D Mark Fire Strike scoring 7068 and TimeSpy getting 2556 points. On the CPU front, we see a score of 105.36 in Cinebench with the Intel Core i7-8750H as compared to 92.86 that we’ve managed in a similar configuration with the Intel Core i7-7700HQ
Coming to the MSI GF63 8RD, it runs the newest generation Intel Core i7 processor, paired with 8GB RAM. While we can perhaps say that this variant (this is the highest spec variant among the troika including two options of the GF63 8RC) could have really pressed home the advantage with the newest Intel Core i9 processor, which would have really helped grab the headlines too. However, considering the price tag, we would perhaps not hold it against MSI for trying to keep costs in check. Nevertheless, the Core i7 processor, the 8750H to be precise, is a top-notch processor in terms of performance. There really is no task that will slow it down.
While the MSI GF63 8RD is slim and can double as a business and gaming laptop, in a pure gaming shootout, that is not a great factor. The ASUS TUF FX504 has everything going for it as a pure gaming device. The ASUS notebook does not stutter, runs cool, display is great and the performance is top-notch. All in all, this is a win for the ASUS TUF FX504 on pure gaming muscle.