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Review: G51JX-A1 Review

 Posted - 4/14/2010 3:40:17 AM  - Show Profile  Edit Message

zzzmaverickzzz
User
30 Contributions

Hi Peter,
After all I decided and purchaced Cooler Master U2 off this site
Link
That's exactly what I needed and think will do the best job if both fans located verticaly on the left side where all hit is producing,
80 mm fans will blow cool streem in exact location where they need. It's cheap,light and think best choice for task I need
Link
There is another cooler but it's only selling in US & very expensive but certanly very powerfull and nice, have a look
Link
After I got it will do the test and let you know
Thanks man

Last Edited By - zzzmaverickzzz on 4/14/2010 3:42:47 AM

 Posted - 4/14/2010 8:19:36 AM  - Show Profile  Edit Message

Monty04
User
2 Contributions

Thanks for your reply, Peter.  Your detailed response and endorsement of this machine is enough to convince me to purchase it.  I'll probably stick with the A1 since there are too many unknowns about the X5.  I have to say though that I'm less than impressed with Asus customer support.  After waiting a week and a half for a answer, here is their response to me on the A1 versus X5 differences:


Dear Valued Customer,

Thank you for contacting ASUS Customer Service.

There aren't many differences between these two models. Please get the detials from the vendor.


For more information feel free to refer to our self-help pages by clicking the links below:

Troubleshooting - http://support.asus.com/troubleshooting/troubleshooting.aspx?SLanguage=en-us

FAQ - http://support.asus.com/faq/faq.aspx?SLanguage=en-us

Live Support ? http://asuswiki.asus.com/usaSupport/index.php?title=Main_Page


If you continue to experience issues in the future, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Best Regards,
JC
ASUS Customer Service


 Posted - 4/14/2010 10:31:07 AM  - Show Profile  Edit Message

Nokuma
User
19 Contributions

My lappy has some dead pixels D:. BUT.... the service center said i can REPLACE THE LCD MYSELF under WARRANTY!

Maybe i can fix the light too that doesnt light up i.e. the horizontal strip.
Oh, and only one Mini-PCI-e port  Peter. Heres the Email.

Dear Valued Customer,

Thank you for contacting ASUS Customer Service.
Only one Mini PCI-E port on your notebook,if you want to replace the LCD by yourself, please contact our service center for LCD replacement if it is available.
Original model in your notebook is :
LCD TFT 15.6' FHD GLARE (LED) 18G241560020
Sorry for the inconvenience.
Please fill-out the online form to request an order.
http://vip.asus.com/eservice/usa_rmaserv.aspx

Fill out this form before calling.

Please provide your Product S/N and the service number when you call in.
The telephone number is 1-888-678-3688 or 510-739-3777 option 2 then 3 for Notebook Technical Support. Monday thru Friday 7:30 AM to 6 PM Pst.


If you continue to experience issues in the future, please do not
hesitate to contact us.

Best Regards,
Lathan
ASUS Customer Service

Last Edited By - nokuma on 4/14/2010 10:32:22 AM

 Posted - 4/14/2010 12:33:36 PM  - Show Profile  Edit Message

PJPeter
Site Administrator
2019 Contributions

Hey Maverick,

Ok that Cooler Master U2 is quite cool - pun intended - it coming with the two removable fans, I think I may look at getting one myself because of that and leaving the fans off unless I'm gaming. Being able to position the fans is a definite plus. It's good to see they are removable and adjustable so easily. The only thing I'm not sure about is the angle, it looks like it would be pretty steep and I'm so used to having the notebook flat - will have to think about it some more and maybe try out some other one. Would definitely like it if it ran cooler while playing Mass Effect 2, and having the fans underneath would be more efficient than the one USB fan I have above now. Not too expensive either. All in all, looks good.

My one question though is, can you change the polarity on the fans? Are they designed as is to blow air into the vents or suck air out or can you switch which by reversing the power (since the feet only grip the pad one way)?

Hey Monty,

Yep - ASUS support can be good for some things, but if you're only at the first tier they really don' know very much and they aren't paid to think (or spell apparently) so much as just give the simplest reply and pass the buck when they don't know. They're info isn't very good anyway, they were telling me the G51JX should have the light up horizontal bar - but as I found out later, only the first run actually has an LED there since the Lid was redesigned for it not to light up. I'd suspect any answer they gave you anyway since they probably never have seen either a JX-A1 or JX-X3 (the closest they had was one J model to work between the whole CS Team all the times I've talked to them).

If you have major issues though, you can get past that first line and get some results - that's how they have released the new 205 and now even newer T53 BIOS to solve the BSOD/freezing issues.

Hey Nokuma,

It's interesting tat your reply was much more informative than what Monty got - since it's an RMA they had to actually work on it and not just do a quick glance and pass the buck. Good to know the LCD ID just in case for future - thanks. It can sometimes be a challenge to find that info, depending on the exact model. Too bad about the Mini PCI-E ports, but I thought there was only one - but I didn't want to confirm it without actually opening up and examining the entire mobo.

How long has it been since you got the laptop? Usually the Zero Bright Pixel Policy lasts only for 30 days - but I never had to use it since both my ASUS laptop/netbooks since they brought in the ZBP have been pixel perfect from the start. You being able to do it yourself is great - they should also send along some kind of manual as well, if it's digital and you can post it that'd be great .

Just be careful - the service center is probably happy they don't have to do the work, but it could be tricky and take some time. Does this mean though at the end of the day you'll have the extra LCD as well? That'd be cool, then you could re-insert if the new one fades, gets scratched or dies sometime after the warranty period expires. I'd just make sure to test the LCD fully when you get it (and the one you have now as well) to make sure what levels of back light bleed through, contrast, etc... are just as good on the new as on the old (if not better).

PJPeter

P.S. For reference, if you want to change the case lighting here's a shot from one of the manuals for the G50V - it used the old style lighting (no LEDs) but the connector bar and procedure are quite similar:


Last Edited By - PJPeter on 4/14/2010 12:52:30 PM

 Posted - 4/14/2010 1:09:35 PM  - Show Profile  Edit Message

Nokuma
User
19 Contributions

Hey Peter, its been about thirty days, but im going to see if they cant just send me one for free. If they do, i'll be taking pictures and have a guide on how to disassemble the g51jx. Its not much different. I work on televisions (LCDs, Plasma, and LED.) There really isnt much of a difference except for the backlight inverter maybe. Should be almost exactly the same.  I also plan on adding Blue LEDs to the keyboard towards to the bottom to have more of a 'two tone' effect. I'll also elaborate on how to replace that.

 Posted - 4/14/2010 1:15:46 PM  - Show Profile  Edit Message

PJPeter
Site Administrator
2019 Contributions

Whoa definitely sounds cool .

When I worked at ATi I was taking apart laptops every second day, changing to different resolution panels, changing the motherboard or GPU and so on to test all the different system configurations and reproduce different issues. I never really did it to mod things and make them cooler, but your ideas definitely do sound good .

Looking forward to hearing how it goes - make sure they know you are asking for the screen under the ZBD policy and they have to replace it if it's under 30 days certainly.

Let us know how it goes,

PJPeter


 Posted - 4/15/2010 1:03:52 PM  - Show Profile  Edit Message

zzzmaverickzzz
User
30 Contributions

Hi Peter,
today seller contacted me saing they run out of stock for that cooler, i went on all uk sites who selling them - you won't beleive -same day -they were all out of stock and doesn't know about availability.so got refund and bought it off ebay from honk kong today. as soon as i get it - let you know, i'm not sure but think it's blowing but not hovering(sucking).if you still interested here is the

Link
thanks man


 Posted - 4/15/2010 1:37:50 PM  - Show Profile  Edit Message

MrKuenning
User
9 Contributions

Hey, new here.
I enjoyed your review.

I am curious what your thoughts about the x3 are.

Link

Its only $1,080 on amazon right now, and the only difference I can tell are the i5 CPU and the 4GB RAM.

$1000 seems like a great price for a machine of those stats.
I was looking for a WUXGA on a 15" notebook with a dedicated video card for under $1000.  And this was such a sweet deal I am very serious about buying it.

Three concerns I have...

1.  I can not find anything about it online.  The A1 is everywhere, has reviews everywhere is sold everywhere, has tons of youtube videos...  the X3  seems to be a quiet amazon exclusive.

2. While this deal seems almost too good to be true, I have found countless people complaining about BSOD's is this still an issue?  Are the complaints outdated?  Has ASUS released a Firmware patch?

I have read this entire thread and a lot of the thread on notebookreview.com and I haven't seen any resolution.
http://forum.notebookreview.com/showthread.php?t=446366

3. I have seen alot of people claim the HDMI doesn't work or causes crashes.  Have you tested the HDMI at all?  This is an important feature to me.

Thanks for your time and energy on this project.

Brady

UPDATE: I noticed that ASUS just released a BIOS update 206, have you tested this? Does it fix BSOD or HDMI problems?

Last Edited By - MrKuenning on 4/15/2010 7:10:08 PM

 Posted - 4/15/2010 11:58:20 PM  - Show Profile  Edit Message

PJPeter
Site Administrator
2019 Contributions

Hey Maverick,

Thanks for that update - let me know how it goes with that, checking the stats it says the fans are only 15dB - that's not bad at all if true - though with dB it's always important to know how far away the reading was taken, something they do not mention in that statement.

The only other thing is that it says "accommodates up to 15.4 inch laptops" - that makes me a bit weary since the G51JX is already a pretty wide laptop at 15.6" and the actual footprint is even wider than this due to the 16:9 aspect ratio. I'm sure the laptop will fit on top, it's just whether you can get the fan over enough for it to be lined up with the intake exactly. It looks like the fan attachment surface ends about 1 inch away from the edges on all sides - so it might need to be on a bit crooked to do what we need... Probably won't be an issue - but it's worth keeping in mind.

Either way, if you do go through with the order, please do let us know when how well it works and how loud it is when you get it .

Hey MrKuenning,

Welcome to the forum and Thanks for that update - I did get a message from ASUS earlier today telling me about the 206 update, and I'll be upgrading to it shortly - here's hoping it does fix the issue

All these new BIOS versions are supposed to fix these BSODs, so we'll see. From what I've read all the G60/51/J/JX units can experience these BSODs, but as with throttling, the G51JX-A1 may be affected more because of its more powerful CPU.

I talked about the X3 a fair bit in some other places - the main differences are that it does not come with the Mouse and Backpack, has the i5 Processor and only 4GB of RAM (with only 2 slots, as opposed to the 4 in the A1 - so 8GB max as opposed to 16GB, respectively). The slots are placed in such a way that it is not possible to put an HDD in the bay - the single slots are in the same position as the dual slots in the A1, but half as high. It does have the same GTS360M GPU - as for Bluetooth - Amazon says it has it, so it should - I think it was the G60JX that lacked it and possibly one of the other X models. You'd want to confirm all this though with the reseller to be sure, and if anything is different from what they say then you can get 10% back (from Amazon anyway), or make a return or exchange based on that with no fees in most places since in that case it isn't what you ordered.

On another forum I'm the guy who was reporting the HDMI issues btw - I hadn't heard anyone else say it before me, though they might have - when I said it though some people did agree with me. So I'll keep testing and see if this new BIOS helps .

Thanks and I hope that helps,

PJPeter

Last Edited By - PJPeter on 4/16/2010 12:05:58 AM

 Posted - 4/16/2010 2:38:24 AM  - Show Profile  Edit Message

MrKuenning
User
9 Contributions

Thanks for your update.  So the X3 has only 2 RAM slots.  Does that mean it has a second HDD bay then?  Or are you saying the chips are located in two places on the MB with a single chip in each place.  That seems like a waste of space.

So do you get frequent BSODs?  Hardware issues?  Does the system seem buggy?

I have owned some pricey Alienware laptops in the past but I set out to find a $700 laptop and stumbled upon a sweet deal for only a few hundred more.  Do you think going from i5 to i7 (a $80 difference) and adding 2GB of ram ($54) justifies the $400+ price difference?

According to this page Link
The Core i7 720M can only handle 8GB of RAM

UPDATE:  Amazon is claiming that the A1 has a "2.8GHz Intel Core i7-720QM Processor" Link Isn't it a 1.6ghz?

UPDATE 2: Just pinged ASUS support site and there is a BIOS 207 listed.

Last Edited By - MrKuenning on 4/16/2010 3:00:36 AM

 Posted - 4/17/2010 7:31:01 PM  - Show Profile  Edit Message

PJPeter
Site Administrator
2019 Contributions

Cool - 207 for the JX? I know the J had that - I've been so busy I never even got around to installing 206! T53 has been stable since that first crash, but it may be that I never re-activated the HDMI display since the last BSOD (though I've had it attached the whole time).

Unfortunately, as I mentioned - there is no second HDD - sorry. It may be that the way the mobo was designed it allows for better passthrough by having the two separate RAM slots - I think they may be paired based on the opposite slots, though I can't be sure - but either way, the space is occupied.

There is also a $30 mouse and a $40 backpack to add into the equation - as first shown by my pictures, the RAM in the A1 series has been DDR1333 as opposed to the advertised 1066 - I don't know what the X3 is getting, or if the A1 is still being shipped with the free in box upgrade. So it's more RAM, 2 more RAM slots, and the more powerful and higher range (though more power consuming) CPU. Also note, since it's an i7 it's Quad Core and not Dual Core, and it has full Turbo Boost support (the i5 has this as well). It's interesting, the i7 mobile chips are listed as part of the "Intel® Pentium® Mobile Processor" family while the i5 mobile is listed as "Intel® Pentium® 4 Processor" family on the Intel website.

The G51J can only handle 8GB because of the 2 slots, and the X3 only has the 2 slots - but I don't think there is a limit on the G51JX-A1 like that. You can physically install 16GB into the system - the processor not being able to address that - seems a bit silly, will have to look into it. I think I heard someone bought a 4GB RAM module somewhere, so they would have 10 GB - but I can't be sure, it may have been a rumour. Will check - thanks for pointing that out . Note though that you can upgrade the processor if you want to, though I don't think it's necessary.

The 720QM can, via Turbo Boost, reach 2.8GBz on a single core - and I got readings of 3.06 GHz in my tests when I had Extreme Turbo enabled, as mentioned previously in the thread.

The system is pretty solid for me. I have only been running Windows 7, but I know some were using XP and most of the drivers are available. I won't say it's perfect of course, but it's been pretty good. We figured out how to un-throttle it (Something some Dell and other OEM systems still are dealing with) and we have most of the BSODs fixed - here's hoping it can only get better from here .

Thanks,

PJPeter

Update: I don't see 207 listed for the G51JX or the G60JX on the ASUS International Support website - do you know exactly where you saw it? Sometimes the national sites have more than the international one. Right now the international just has the 206 version.

Intel lists on their website other i7-720QM laptops that have 16GB maximum memory - it seems quite odd. I wonder if it's a typo or just a statement that when they posted the processor specs last year, 8GB was the highest they had tested the CPU with maybe. So far I can't find anything that gives that limit on the 720QM besides that one page...

Last Edited By - PJPeter on 4/17/2010 7:42:04 PM

 Posted - 4/17/2010 8:28:44 PM  - Show Profile  Edit Message

MrKuenning
User
9 Contributions

Thanks for your reply.  I went on ASUS support yesterday, and they had 205 and 207 listed.  I went back today and they seemed to have changed it to 206.  Must have been a typo.

Wish I could find some shots of the x3 inside.  I find it odd that Amazon has the A1 listed as 2.8ghz and 2 DDR slots.  Think I could get a 10% refund for that?

"Model: G51JX-A1
    * 2.8GHz Intel Core i7-720QM Processor
    * 6GB DDR3 1066MHz DRAM, 2 slots, 8GB Max"

So you got a BSOD when you first hooked up HDMI and you haven't had issues or unplugged it since then?  I use HDMI often and swtch between clone and extended screen often.  A BSOD when I need to hook up to a TV would not be great.

Do you have plans to try the 206 BIOS?

Kinda off subject but have you seen the nVidia Optimus Technology
Auto Switching On-board and Dedicated GPU.  Watch this video.
Link

Also, what is with the totally different views of this forum.
Link
Link


 Posted - 4/17/2010 8:53:36 PM  - Show Profile  Edit Message

PJPeter
Site Administrator
2019 Contributions

- it's a long story, but which of the forum views do you prefer? Please do let me know .

As mentioned before, 2.8GHz is the Turbo Boost, yes it's a mistake since 1.6GHz over 4 cores is the standard speed, but it can become a single Turbo Boosted 2.8GHz core if utilizing it as such would be the fastest.

The 1066 to 1333 is a free upgrade from ASUS, possibly because 1333 became cheaper - but they may switch back to 1066 any time and you might get that if you ordered a A1 today (I haven't heard recent reports either way myself). Asking for a refund because the description said you'd get good and you got top of the line - umm, might work since the description is different, but the box says the same. They may tell you to take it up with ASUS, since ASUS labeled the box and sealed it before sending it to Amazon and on the box it will say 1066.

I have not used the HDMI monitor since the last BSOD and that might be why I haven't had a crash yet - I have had BSODs without it being active, but in between each time I had it plugged in and active - while now it's just been plugged in only since the last BSOD. I have enabled it now, will see how it goes.

I was and am planning to try 206 if I get another BSOD - I was going to use 207 instead when you said it was available, but since it isn't now,  I'll stick with 206 instead. Downloaded it, planning to install it soon.

Thanks for the optimus video - I know the tech and considered getting it, but the resolution and systems are too small for me and though the GPU is dedicated, it's not top of the line like the G51J's GTX260M or the G51JX's GTS360M. It definitely beats regular integrated though - I like my N10J with the switchable graphics, but you have to reboot to switch which is a real pain - optimus though makes it actually work well . I hope my next laptop/netbook will use that tech, but it's still not quite up to what I need it for now.

I have seen pics of the inside of an X3 - I just can't find them right now - sorry about that. I can confirm though that the RAM slots were in the same positions, but only 1 tall - but no pic at the moment to prove it to you with your own eyes, sorry.

PJPeter


 Posted - 4/17/2010 9:05:25 PM  - Show Profile  Edit Message

MrKuenning
User
9 Contributions

I like the wide screen blue one better. But possibly because that is the way I found the site and read the first 6 pages of this thread as.  I assume you like that view yourself as its how you linked to your site. :-)

I am very close to buying it, but the BSOD sorta hold me back. I am in IT, and I repair computers all day everyday.  But I don't want to purchase a computer that is plagued with blue screens from the factory.

What sorts of errors do you get from your BSOD?  Do you think they are memory errors GPU errors?  Driver errors?  Does it happen when you are copying files, or when you push the system with a heavy game?

Do you think its software or hardware caused?   Like is it something that was but together wrong and will never go away?  Or is it just a GPU driver that needs to be more compatible?

-Thanks


 Posted - 4/18/2010 1:57:22 AM  - Show Profile  Edit Message

PJPeter
Site Administrator
2019 Contributions

Some people were getting it from playing certain games - I spent 20 hours trying to repo that and wasn't able to.

The only time I've gotten BSODs consistently is when using the computer with HDMI connected - and it's happened about 4 times in 2.5 months now. Otherwise I had about 4 other random BSOD/freezes/crashes, one of which might have been because of over/underclocking.

It could in part be the GPU drivers, which have been updated, as well as the BIOS which we know has been updated and also some people report the sound drivers are incorrect when first installed, and that you should get them off the CD or download them from the ASUS update service instead.

A lot of people are reporting the problems are fixed now. Some of them don't even come up if you do a fresh Windows 7 install and install the correct drivers manually.

Other than that I've had a pretty good time with it. We've passed the first generation of GPU/BIOS drivers now and the chipset, sound and other bugs have been worked out from what I've seen - I have no complaints about it really. The only thing is that it gets a little hot, but a mod like maverick did and perhaps that cooler her suggested should help remedy that

About the wide blue forum display, I do like it - but it's from a previous website I built which was just the forums. It doesn't really match the rest of the site in terms of style and also makes it difficult to incorporate the side bar, but I do like how it looks even if it doesn't match the style of the rest of the site. Will have to see if I can reconcile it. When I built this site originally I decided to do it in a fairly universal resolution so that it could be viewable easily down to 1280x1024 and then add a widescreen/variable display version when I was finished with the rest of the site.

However, there is always some new feature I think of, or that people request, or a small bug here or there to fix and it just kept getting pushed further and further back - but I think I'll adapt the site to that shortly so that not just the forums have that widescreen format. It definitely helps in that people can post wider images and most people can see them without any strange effects which don't happen in IE but do happen in Firefox and some other more standard compliant browsers.

Ah the fun of programming a multiplatform and multibrowser application .

Thanks for your feedback ,

PJPeter

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