After the challenging battle between the American Dell Inspiron 7559 and the Beijing Lenovo Y700, again it is time for us to enter the arena and witness the clash between two models belonging to one of the most popular gaming lines on the market – the ASUS ROG. The first “gladiator” is the ROG G551, and you can see why we chose it to compete against the ROG GL552 in the lines to follow.
The two mobile devices of the ROG (Republic of Gamers) line got an update and we can now see a GeForce GTX 960M in the first model (G551) which is considerably more powerful than the GTX 950M. On the other hand, the ROG GL552 can now be purchased in configuration with a Skylake processor and the same GPU that we mentioned above. We are about to see to what extent these upgrades have affected the performance of the laptops!
Design and construction
Despite the fact that both devices belong to the same family, the differences in design and construction are significant. We believe that their similar pricing has its positive and negative sides. An advantage for the customers (especially those who spend hours in the world of virtual reality – these are gaming laptops after all) is the rich choice of models and configurations, part of you favorite line – Republic of Gamers.
Unfortunately, some of the models successors of premium quality series, lose exactly this trait for the sake of better performance. Perhaps this is due to the fact that customers tend to focus on performance, which is evolving in a rapid manner, while the difference between mobile and desktop performance is being reduced. Let us now have a look at the characteristic features of the present opponents.
The ASUS ROG G551 is one of the best ROG models, owing to its performance and quality. The lid is made of brushed aluminum, reinforcing the device, and the ASUS gaming logo is also present (it glows when the laptop is on). The rest of the G551 construction is entirely plastic and attracts fingerprints quite a bit. We can describe the interior as simplistic, with only the “Republic of Gamers” inscription in the part above the keyboard, which has somewhat faint but noticeable red backlighting.
If you take a look at the GL552 interior, you won’t notice that much of a difference. Again you can find the “Republic of Gamers” inscription, sitting alone between the two speakers in both devices. Nonetheless, here ASUS adds aggressiveness with the unconventional lines in the upper part of the keyboard, as well as with the brighter backlighting (when compared to the ROG G551). Plastic is the material used in the GL552 which is a bit disappointing in a device of this rank, especially when compared to the G551’s aluminum lid. What is more, annoying fingerprints are also part of the experience with this device. Apart from the plastic used in the lid, there is an added panel which resembles aluminum and enhances the aggresiveness of the model (compared to the lonely ROG logo in the G551).
We can thus conclude that if you are after a more extravagant and outstanding design, we recommend the newer model – GL552. However, if you are after quality and style, then the G551 is a tad better when it comes to durability. Both models are characterized by the same weight, with the G551 construction being a bit thinner – whether this will be a problem for the cooling system, we shall see in the lines to come. Another advantage of the ROG GL552 that can be noted is the presence of the new USB ports, including one USB 3.1 Type-C port (although there aren’t that many compatible devices with it yet).
ASUS ROG G551: Detailed info about design and construction
ASUS ROG GL552: Detailed info about design and construction
Display comparison is surely interesting, since both devices belong to the same ROG family and the same manufacturer. Both laptops feature a 15-inch 1920 x 1080 Full HD, IPS matte display. To make things more interesting, we can say that both panels are made by LG – and here is where similarities end. Let’s see how each of them performs.
We start with ASUS ROG G551 (the exact model is LP156WF4-SPH1). As we said earlier, it is an IPS panel, meaning that it offers comfortable viewing angles, but there is more to it. Considering the fact that gaming is in the focus of the device, the sRGB coverage is normal – 81%. Of course, we can’t recommend this device to those of you who will deal with photo or video editing. Another good news we ought to mention is the lack of PWM across all brightness levels, which is a huge leap for this new model, as the previous one did use PWM.
The ASUS ROG GL552 features the LG LP156WF6-SPB5 panel, meaning that the screens of the two laptops are not entirely identical. As it is the case with the G551, the viewing angles here are comfortable, the brightness deviation is only 8% and 12% in the G551 – both normal. We should also mention that better color accuracy is observed in the GL552, as well as wider sRGB coverage – 91% vs 81% (ROG GL552). It is with disappointment that we found presence of PWM across all brightness levels, but the negative effect can be reduced by a 20.6kHz frequency.
We can conclude that the ASUS ROG GL552 wider sRGB coverage plus the unhealthy PWM, which is not to be found in the ROG G551 – in this way, we leave the choice between the two in your hands.
ASUS ROG G551: Detailed display tests
ASUS ROG GL552: Detailed display tests
Both laptops use high-end Intel Core i7 processors. In the ROG G551 we find a fourth generation Intel Core i7-4720HQ. It offers 4 physical cores and, as most Intel chips, supports the Hyper-Threading technology, emulating a virtual core for each phyisical one. The chip’s base frequency is 2.6GHz, which can be increased up to 3.6GHz, thanks to Intel’s Turbo Boost technology.
The Intel Core i7-6700HQ offers absoltely the same functions with the only differences being the consumption and frequency. Since it is every user’s desire to have a device with longer battery life, energy dependence is in the focus of the new Skylake chips. Namely this has caused the reduction in consumption to 45 Watts (compared to ROG 551’s 47 Watts). Also, the frequency is 100MHz lower than that of the previous chip – from 2.6GHz up to 3.5GHz. You will soon find out how this affects performance and battery life.
More info about the chips and their position in our Top Laptop CPU Ranking, you can find here.
Both models feature the same NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M GPU. It has 2GB GDDR5 own memory which is sufficient for the two configurations, providing enjoyment in the world of virtual reality with medium or high settings. This will be confirmed in our “Performance” section, where we have prepared several gaming tests, so that you may be sure about the GPU performance.
More info about this GPU model and its position in our Top Laptop Graphics Ranking, you can find here.
|–||ASUS ROG G551||ASUS ROG GL552|
|CPU||Intel Core i7-4720HQ (4-core, 2.60 – 3.60 Ghz, 6MB cache)||Intel Core i7-6700HQ (4-core, 2.60 -3.50 GHz, 6MB cache)|
|RAM||8GB (1x 8192MB) – DDR3, 1600 MHz||8GB (1x 8192MB) – DDR4, 2133MHz|
|GPU||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M (2GB GDDR5)||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M (2GB GDDR5)|
|HDD/SSD||1TB HDD (7200rpm)||1TB HDD (7200 rpm)|
|Display||15.6-inch (39.62 cm) – 1920×1080 (Full HD), IPS matte||15.6-inch (39.62 cm) – 1920×1080 (Full HD), IPS|
|Optical drive||DVD drive||DVD drive|
|Connectivity||LAN 10/100/1000 Mbps, Wi-Fi 802.11a/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0||LAN 10/100/1000 Mbps, Wi-Fi 802.11a/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0|
|Battery||6-cell 5000 mAh (52Wh), Li-Po||47Wh (4050 mAh), 4-cell|
|Profile thickness||32.2 mm||34.75 mm|
|Weight||2.6 kg||2.6 kg|
|Price||Check price||Check price|
As we said above, users need two things – performance and good battery, which can last for as long as possible after a single charge. After we investigated the hardware of the laptops, we can bet that the ROG GL552 will do better in this test. However, after we took the battery specs into consideration, we grew hesitant, as the ROG G551 offers a 6-cell, 56Wh battery, whereas its opponent – a 4-cell, 47Wh battery.
As per our tradition we used the same test – Wi-Fi and power saver turned on, and screen brightness set to 120cd/m2. Despite our initial doubts, the results speak for themselves – the ROG GL552 did great, outperforming the G551 in the Web browsing battery test with two hours (6 hours and 40 minutes – final result). In the gaming test we “played” Metro 2034: Last Light for 2 hours without needing to charge the device, whereas the G551 lasted for 64 minutes. We believe that there is no need for a conclusion, as the tests clearly showed the absolute winner – ROG GL552.
The main question here is whether the consumption, “draining the life” out of the G551 is justified and the performance is enough, so as to make the comparison between the two machines possible. Since the GPUs are the same and the CPUs similar, the only thing we are left with is to test them out.
After you take a look at the results, you will probably notice that some games are not present or are changed. Yes, this is so, because the ROG G551 is “old school”, and yet you can get the idea of its performance from the games that coincide – the difference between the two machines is not very big. Perhaps, if you update the G551 drivers it will be one step ahead of the GL552, but there is no chance of confirming this officially. In the links below you can see what we registered in our tests with several popular games.
ASUS ROG G551: Gaming tests
ASUS ROG GL552: Gaming tests
Comfort has always been important, especially with gaming laptops – they are expected to be as cool as possible on the outside, while providing enough performance on the inside after long hours of playing games, without any lag caused by temperature rise. In contrast to the previous comparison (Inspiron 7559 vs Lenovo Y700), the present models have only one cooling vent, fortunately placed on the left in both devices (no hot air coming to your hand, when using a mouse).
As always, we start with a 100% stress test of the CPU. Both laptops did great, and the GL552 used its maximum frequency throughout the entire test, while the G551 remained at 3.2GHz, which is 200MHz lower than its maximum but still sufficient. After adding GPU load, the components became hotter as it was expected. Nonetheless, neither of the chips fell to or below its base frequency – which is a plus. In the images below, you can find the cooling diagrams, and we can say that the ROG G551 was a tad cooler than its opponent.
After we registered temperatures around 90 degrees Celsius, you may wonder about the temperatures of the interior – the most valued object for your comfort. You won’t be disappointed, especially after we mention that the hottest point was 41 degrees and was located in the upper left part – expected, considering the location of the cooling system – these are the GL552 results. Slightly different is the situation with the ROG G551. Unfortunately, ASUS have added a sensor that lowers the GPU performance, when the temperatures go above 74 degrees – you should bear this in mind. Still, the outer part remained cool after our 100% load of both chips and the maximum registered temperature was 41.7 degrees (close to the Space key). The armrest areas did not heat up, which is good news.
Our comparison is about to finish with the most important part – the conclusion. Both machines proved their gaming essence a part of the Republic of Gamers line, showing very good results in our temperature tests, as well as with some heavy games such as GTA V. We were pleasantly impressed by the ASUS ROG G551 after we learned that the updated version of the model uses no PWM – quite important for those of you who plan to spend a lot of time in front of the screen. Also, it did great in our temperature tests, with its interior relatively cool, and its build quality is a bit better than that of its ROG opponent
On the other hand, the ROG GL552 offers better quality display with more accurate and saturated colors. We are sorry to note that the model uses PWM, although the negative impact can be reduced thanks to the higher frequency of 20.6kHz. The appearance of the laptop is changed and offers beautiful and “sharp” gaming design (when compared to the G551). Also, the battery is updated and the difference between the two models was 2 hours – not an insignificant result. To all these we add a USB Type-C port that is yet to be popularized on the market. With this said, we leave the choice in your hands.
- better build quality
- lack of PWM at almost all brightness levels
- better cooling system
- better gaming design
- better color accuracy
- longer battery life