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G750JM or N750JK as a development/multimedia/casual gaming laptop?

Level 7
Hi all, I'm in the market (i.e. ready to buy this weekend/Monday) for a new laptop and my short list currently consists of the G750JM-BSI7N24 and N750JK-DB71-CA but I have some questions and concerns based on what I've read online. Hopefully as the experts you guys can give me some good advice.

This is a bit long, but after reading many reviews over the years I'd rather be as up front about my needs and questions as possible, so as not to waste your time dragging everything out. 🙂

Background: I'm looking for a beast laptop to replace my 9 year old Dell Inspiron e1505. It's been a solid "mule" laptop but has become quite slow over the years, and I've upgraded it as much as I can (4gb and an SSD) and limped it along until I can't anymore. My primary need is the ability to develop on Windows using Visual Studio and ideally a few Windows/*nix VMs as needed. I want to run multiple instances of Visual Studio as well as fire up SQL Server/IIS/etc locally/VM.

I have a beast desktop machine at work, 32gb RAM and SSD so I want to replicate that kind of experience as much as possible at home, in a laptop form. I would also like to have a laptop that will last at least a good 4-5 years without becoming a dirt-slow piece of crap. Since I haven't gamed in ten years that isn't as much of a concern, but to be honest I wouldn't mind being able to casually play some modern games just to have fun again. 🙂 But that's not a dealbreaker -- my primary need is for a fast/powerful home development environment to hone my skills in prep for a career change.

With the two laptops I'm looking at, the main differences I can see are that the N750JK comes preinstalled with 16gb RAM vs 8gb on the G750JM, but the G750JM can be expanded to 32gb while the N750JK is already maxed out. The N750JK also comes with a 7200rpm 1TB drive vs the 5400rpm drive in the G750JM, and has 4gb VRAM vs 2gb on the G750JM, but I've read the 860 on the G750JM with DDR5 is better than the 850 with DDR3 on the N750JK even though it is 2gb less. If I get the G750JM I would quickly pick up 16gb RAM from Crucial to up it to 24gb, and either use my existing Crucial MX100 from my current laptop or buy a new MX200. The N750JK can also handle Bluray which is nice but wasn't even on my radar when looking, so meh.

Overall Question: Given the above info, and my specific questions below, is there any compelling reason I should buy the N750JK instead of the G750JM? My impression of the two is that the G750JM is "the one" (its been sitting in my shopping cart for a couple nights now lol) but I'm concerned about the size/weight but even moreso about the windows/driver issues mentioned below, and yet I don't like the 16gb limit of the N750JK. 😞 Price is not a factor, they will cost me almost exactly the same.

My main concerns below really are regarding the windows/driver issues and concerns about maintenance, i.e. I want to not have to spend days dealing with bizarre driver/OS compatibility problems, I want to get work done.

Specific questions:

1. Compare/contrast. Has anyone else used the G750JM for development? If so how does it work out for you? Pros/cons? What about the N750JK? How does the N750JK fare in gaming/multimedia tasks (video editing/etc) compared to the G750JM?

2. Weight. I will use this on my lap 80% of the time. (on a "lap desk" type of padded desk) Putting a 4lb weight on my current Dell to simulate the G750JM weight, its pretty darn heavy and was quite uncomfortable. Are there any good lap desk/table supports that can reliably hold the size/weight of this laptop while sitting on a couch? I have one of those Furinno laptop stands but I don't know if it will support the G750JM, it isn't clear from the dimensions if it will hang too far off the back. I'm willing to buy something else that will support the laptop and keep the weight off my legs as much as possible.

It looks like the N750JK is about 2.5lb lighter, which is only about 1lb heavier than my Dell, so that's a pro on the N750JK. But if I can get a solid support that negates the benefit.

3. Windows compatibility/upgradeability. I've read the G750JM is not compatible with Windows 7, and is not "geniune" Windows 8 product either. What about Windows 10? I can currently get free copies of Windows 7 from my work (home use type program) and wanted to install it on the laptop, but apparently it won't work? Not sure if they have Windows 8 available for us, but they may have Windows 10 in the next year. Will there be any issue with me either upgrading the OEM Windows 8 to Windows 10 immediately upon getting the laptop, or just doing a clean install of Windows 10 if/when I have that license available?

4. Drivers. Given that these laptops apparently have *very* specific driver needs, and that I haven't had experience maintaining any personal device remotely as powerful or picky as this one before, what do I need to know going in re: maintaining the OS? What logistics/infrastructure do I need to have in place to properly keep this device running optimally? (i.e. should I have 2 thumb drives with redundant Backtracker images, another drive with clone images if I want to refresh my OS back to baseline, what software is best to use, etc)

Cost is less important to me than ensuring I have what I need readily available. I've shoestringed and duct taped our current home setup for a decade, it's time for a change.

5. Configuration/Restoration. What is the "best" way to take an OOB laptop with OEM installs and make it quickly recoverable using the setup I want? Is Backtracker enough, or will that simply wipe me to factory and eliminate all of my installed software/data? Will I still need to get it setup the way I want and then create a clone image that I can restore from in order to get back to my desired configuration baseline? (presumably that's the case, so I would do both, but I don't know Backtracker's capabilities) Note: I'm 100% willing to build on top of the OEM configuration if that is the most stable approach requiring the least manual maintenance.

6. Fans/Heat. How loud are the fans under normal use and under load? My wife and I both usually sit on a couch or at a table working on laptops and I don't want to have fans whining or blowdry her hair while I'm writing code or watching Netflix. 🙂

Also how does the N750JK fare against the G750JM regarding heat? I've read the N750s have a problem with heat spikes that causes them to throttle performance pretty hard, vs the G750JM which apparently just laughs at heat. Is that really the case, and if so is the extra 2.5lb worth it to eliminate that performance hit?

7. Anything else I should consider?

Thanks in advance guys! Any advice much appreciated!

Level 7
If you want your laptop to last 4 or 5 years dont buy asus.If your lucky you will get through the first year without any type of hardware failure.I have nothing against asus infact i have a graphic card and motherboard installed in my desktop that work like they are supose to.I just wanna warn you and save you alot of trouble and time dont buy asus laptops do some research you will see what i mean.Maybe give msi a try i dont have any experience with that brand but it cant be worse then the laptops asus makes.Maybe im just unlucky but when i google or search this forum there seem to be alot of people with similar problems.

Level 9
I'm in year 2 of my JM with NO PROBLEMS. Stock ram with an ssd.
It's heavy, so travel with the power brick in checked baggage.
It also runs very cool. I have cooked 2 Dells and an HP with less horsepower.
Did I mention it's cool?

Level 7
Your in year 2, that means your laptop is still in warranty damn ! Im looking for people who have their asus g750 for more then 2 years without any problems.Because and i think there is some truth to it people only post here to complain about their problems and never mention the good.

Level 9
I didn't realize I was still under warranty. I just checked, and you're right! Groovy.

Level 11
Hi, I've been using G750JZ for about a year now, which is in the same line of gaming laptops from Asus as the one you're trying to buy. G750JM with exception of better graphics (880M). Here where I live the newer series, which is G751 (not the newest) has better graphics (970M) better processor ( 4710HQ) and it costs the same, so I would advise you to check the series as they may be priced same or just a bit higher for essentially a great upgrade.

So far I had 0 issues besides the HDD which died and even that I believe it was my fold as I was not really treating it correctly but now I own 2 SSD's anyway and everything is great again. Besides that I had no issues again and I am not the only one. You'll probably see a lot more issues regarding the laptops from Asus here than positive things but that's only because you usually don't comment if you don't have any issues here anyway so that is to be understandable and should not scare you or change you way of mind, not that I would mind if you bought something else, just to clarify.

Now on to the questions and if you have some more feel free to ask and I'll answer the best I can 😉

1) I am using my laptop for everything. Gaming, video editing, programming, audio editing, photo editing, you name it I probably did it. I had no issues performing any of the tasks that would affect my experience as far the contrast goes. I do have some screen bleeding but that is due to the quality of LCD panel, which is to be expected but other than that the screen is great.

2) I wouldn't know about the "lap desks" as you named them since I never used one. I am currently a college student and I move a lot for the reasons of getting home and going back to the college. After a while you get used to the weight, I carry mine in a backpack I got with the laptop (Some countries get even headset and mouses but I did not have that option) and it's also quite high quality one. Sorry for not being helpful here but besides telling you that the weight is worth it since it is cooled quite well I have nothing to say here.

3) I wouldn't know about that specific laptop not being compatible with Windows 7 but mine, which is again same line just different laptop (Again, they're essentially all the same besides the graphics), has no problems running Windows 10 and Windows 8.1, which I used before. I never used Windows 7 since I bought laptop without the OS and installed Windows 8.1.

4) I do not think that is true. There is not a single driver on my laptop that had to be installed using "very" specific needs. With Windows 10 everything gets installed automatically anyway and using that I had no issues what so ever. I did had to install the FN function drivers, since that is laptop specific but other than that nothing else I believe. Even the mouse drivers got installed automatically with functions optimized for Windows 10 and what not so really again no problems at all.

5) I cannot answer that as I honestly never used any program regarding what you asked. I usually always do clean install whenever I install new operating system and if I do need some files that are not already backed up on the cloud I put them on my USB and then just copy them back on.

6) If your fans are clean and if the thermal compound is well applied you won't hear them unless you're doing some actual work. Even when you are doing something like editing some videos or like having 20 tabs opened in Chrome at once they are quite silent, active but silent. By fans I should say CPU fan since GPU fan won't turn on at all unless you're using it, which is when you're playing games or using it to render something. As for heavy editing or gaming they do get loud but not really that loud. You can still hear everything just fine and what not so unless you'll be rendering or playing games all the time you should do just fine with the sound 😉

7) Well you said you're going to give it SSD(s) that is really the best thing you can do. In my case, my laptop boots in 7 seconds and turns off in the same time and then I can use it for what ever I want to. I would maybe recommend getting a custom thermal compound repasting done as mine and many others (Probably the only bad thing I can say about this laptop and Asus) was pretty horrible. It was smeared all over the graphics card and looked as it was applied by a brush, the CPU one was fine thought.

Other than that I have nothing else to advise you and again if you have some questions feel free to ask and I'll try to be as helpful as I can.

P.S: The temperatures are indeed quite low on these Asus Rog series. When they came out they had the lowest temperature out of all gaming laptop brands, which includes Alienware, MSI, Clevo, Origin and what not. When gaming in really demanding games (Because that is pretty much the only time you'll see high temperatures or when rendering a video) the highest CPU get is about 80°C and GPU about 85°C with expection of some games that are REALLY demanding like The Witcher 3 about 88°C sometimes 90°C. Still with everything in mind it runs cool indeed.

Asus Rog G750JZ
Screen: 1920x1080 17.3'
CPU: Intel® Core™ i7-4700HQ (3.4Ghz @ -70mV)
GPU: GeForce GTX 880M 4GB (OC +125Mhz Core, +600Mhz Memory @ 1.062V)
RAM: Samsung 32GB 1600MHz
Storage #1: Samsung Evo 840 250GB
Storage #2: Samsung Evo 850 500GB
Storage #3: Seagate Barracuda 2TB
Storage #4: Samsung Evo 128GB MicroSD