We reviewed and selected the Best Gaming Laptops for Runescape 3 in terms of Gaming Performance, Display Quality, Price, Portability and more.
Above you can see the Ranking with the results and below you will find additional info about Runescape and the in-depth reports of each Gaming Laptop.
Guide: Runescape in 2020
The MMORPG RuneScape was first released in 2001. The special retro version, ‘Old School’, which is based on RuneScape from 17 years ago, continues to grow.
Our Leya has been wondering why this is so and has been following in the footsteps of the MMORPG.
RuneScape is one of the oldest MMORPGs in the world and was created by British developer Jagex. For many players aged between 25 and 35, the cheerful game was the first point of contact with an MMORPG.
It was released back in 2001 as a free browser game and has been set in the pseudo-medieval fantasy world of Gielinor ever since.
Since the closure of Classic RuneScape, there are now two versions of the game:
- RuneScape 3: This is the ‘normal’ version, which will receive regular graphical revisions and will also be enhanced with gameplay changes.
- Old School RuneScape: This version is based on the 17-year-old RuneScape from the early days and was released in 2013 at the request of fans. The game still has the old graphics, which we would probably describe as ugly from today’s perspective. The old, bulky mechanics of the MMORPG classic can also be found here.
Runescape still has a great Player Community
Retro version has more players: For years now, there have been a number of forum posts asking why Old School RuneScape is still being played so actively. In fact, many fans have even gone so far as to favour the old version over the ‘normal’ RuneScape 3.
Around 60,000 concurrent players in 2020: Old School Runescape manages to gather an average of 50,000 to 60,000 concurrent players daily. Since its release in 2013, there has even been a strong upward trend, as the blue line in the chart below shows.
Popular on Twitch: Even on Twitch nobody seems to mind the pixelated graphics and old gameplay. The Twitch page on oldschool RuneScape has 179,304 followers with 9,707 viewers. The eSports PvP mode ‘Deadman’, which takes place in Seasons, is particularly popular.
Why? Looking at Old School RuneScape from the outside, the question of why is inevitable. Why should so many players prefer this old school MMORPG when there are other, more modern, pretty alternatives like World of Warcraft, The Elder Scrolls Online or even a modern day RuneScape.
That was the question I was trying to answer by attending Runefest 2019, a huge fan festival where players and developers celebrate their game together. This year, Runefest had to move for the first time, and was held in a larger event hall than before because so many fans attended – another sign of growth.
Ranking First: Razer Blade Stealth 13 Ultrabook
- Best Gaming Performance for Runescape & 4K Gaming
- Good battery life & Low Weight
- Bright display
Razer has long been known for its excellent workmanship and beautiful designs. However, one can argue about whether the first version of the stealth notebook really looked good.
We like the latest version, on the other hand, very much in terms of design. The matt black unibody case is milled from one block of aluminum and the surface is anodized. However, the monochrome, discreet Razer logo is found on the upper side.
Many regret that it is no longer illuminated in RGB as in the predecessor. We prefer it to be unlit, but almost better, as this saves the battery and makes the stealth really “inconspicuous”. Thus, the gaming notebook can be used as a work tool without hesitation and brought to business meetings, for example.
Otherwise, little can be said about the simple design. On the sides you’ll find the connection ports as usual, but more about that later. On the bottom there are two openings for the separate fans and two rubber strips, which give the stealth a good grip.
The rear strip is a few millimeters thicker and thus lifts the Stealth a bit. When opened, the revised keyboard can be seen surrounded by two loudspeaker openings and the enlarged glass touchpad. Fortunately, the display’s edges were kept very narrow. This was probably the biggest criticism of the predecessor in terms of design.
The Razer device not only looks good, the workmanship also leaves nothing to be desired. As the case is milled from one block, there are no excessive gaps; nothing wobbles or creaks around. Apple’s MacBook is often used as a benchmark in terms of design and workmanship, but Razer is in no way inferior to Apple.
Tastatur, Touchpad and Display
The keyboard layout has been reworked a bit compared to the predecessor – to some annoyance. As a result, many users complained about an unthought-out key layout. For example, the right shift key is located directly next to the arrow keys and is just as large, which often confuses users.
Also, the arrow keys are not supposed to have the optimal size, so a differentiation between the different keys is too difficult. In our case we didn’t have any major problems with the keyboard, whereby the shift key was actually placed suboptimally.
But that’s not a knockout criterion, because you get used to it over time and the initial problems don’t exist anymore.
The keys themselves have an amazingly pleasant pressure point. The stroke length is longer than in Apple’s MacBook keys, which have almost no stroke length, but also not too long – the golden mean, so to speak.
The feeling of pressure is also okay for these flat keys, and overall it’s easy to type on the keyboard. A plus point is of course the background illumination, Razer of course uses the in-house chroma lighting.
However, the RGB lighting is divided into zones and doesn’t offer illumination of individual keys anymore. The Microsoft Precision touchpad made of glass has been slightly enlarged in comparison to its predecessor. It is also covered with a matt finish and feels very high-quality.
Our test model comes along with a matt IPS display, which resolves in Full-HD. It covers 100% of the sRGB color space and is 13.3 inches tall. Meanwhile, the frame measures about 4.9 mm at its narrowest point.
The Razer Blade Stealth is available in a total of three versions. The first two have the same display and only differ in the dedicated GeForce MX150, which is not built into the base model. Furthermore, the base model only has 8 GB RAM.
The third configuration also has the MX150, but is equipped with a 4K display and touch function instead of the matte FullHD display. This version is probably the most visually appealing, and the notebook looks a bit more noble, especially through the glass.
However, the high resolution reduces the battery life and the display is covered with glass, which causes annoying reflections especially when used outside. Moreover, you have to ask yourself if the high resolution on a 13 inch device makes sense at all.
Already the FullHD panel of our test sample looks razor sharp, which is why a further increase of the resolution shouldn’t bring any added value for most applications.
Just as it should be for an Ultrabook for Runescape, the Stealth also contains solid hardware. The core is the Intel Core i7-8565U with four cores and Hyper-Threading.
The basic clock rate is a rather moderate 1.8 GHz, under boost the Intel processor of the 8th generation clocks up to a proud 4.6 GHz. The CPU has 16 GB LPDDR3 2133 MHz memory, which is unfortunately soldered.
A replacement by more performant RAM or increase is thus already times (as good as) impossible.
For the first time in Stealth, a dedicated graphics card, the GeForce MX150 with 4 GB GDDR5 VRAM, is now optionally installed.
With this, most games like Runescape should run at least on medium or very high details, this is especially true for games of older caliber. We’ll clarify later whether this equipment is worth the price. But we’d like to make a small comparison beforehand.
The Zenbook Pro 14 from Asus, which we recently reviewed, comes with the same processor and plays in the same class as the Stealth, apart from the somewhat larger display format.
However, the Zenbook has a better RAM, a twice as large SSD and a stronger Nvidia GTX 1050 Max-Q with 4 GB GDDR5. Thus, Asus has the upper hand on the hardware side, even if at a slightly higher weight.
Let’s talk about connectivity. There are a total of two USB 3.1 ports (type A), one on the left and one on the right. On the right side there is also a Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) port with 4 PCI Express lanes, which functions as the primary power supply.
On the left side there is a USB 3.1 port (type C), which can also be used as a power supply, and a 3.5mm headphone/microphone combo port. Further display connections like HDMI or DisplayPort have been omitted, which is probably also due to the flat design.
That’s a pity, as external monitors or the like can only be connected via Thunderbolt/USB-Type-C. The 720p webcam consists of the Windows Hello infrared camera, with which the notebook can be unlocked with the face.
In practice, the biggest advantage of stealth comes directly to light: portability. The Razer Blade Stealth 13 weighs approximately 2.88 lbs in our test configuration.
Thus, it doesn’t belong to the lightest Ultrabooks for Runescape, which already start at around 1.00 to 2.65 lbs. Nevertheless, it is not only quite light but also compact, which makes it a very mobile companion on the go.
In terms of performance, you shouldn’t expect too much from such a device according to experience. After all, we are dealing with a fairly flat and light Ultrabook for Runescape. Even if it is marketed as a “gaming” Ultrabook: it can’t even begin to replace a desktop PC.
Titles like Fortnite or Overwatch could be played pleasantly fluidly in medium settings and FullHD resolution with about 60 FPS. But the MX150 quickly reaches its limits with AAA titles like Assassins Creed: Odyssey or Battlefield 5. The 4 GB VRAM may still be sufficient for casual gamers, but the card’s raw performance is simply too low for everything else and that’s what ultimately matters in a gaming notebook.
There are absolutely no complaints when surfing the web or using office programs every day. Stealth runs smoothly and smoothly at all times. Even more complex programs such as Adobe Photoshop or InDesign usually run smoothly.
Video editing and rendering work in Adobe Premiere Pro still lifts the Stealth, although it can sometimes reach its performance limits here and there. Additionally, it has to be said that the full performance is not available with battery operation.
Only if one connects the 65 watt power supply there is enough power for gaming or for complex calculation work. For comparison: Our test device achieved 1258 and 696 points in the 3DMark Time Spy and Cinebench R15 benchmarks in mains mode, respectively, but only 1103 and 525 points in battery mode.
Razer states a battery life of up to 13 hours for the base model. However, this gets by without a graphic card and the manufacturer’s specifications should also be treated with caution.
We arrive at about six to seven hours in normal use, i.e. web surfing or watching videos, in our test model. The display brightness and whether or not you need a brightly lit keyboard are also important here.
If you turn off the backlight and go into energy savings mode, you’ll also get a full 8 hours with a bit of luck. However, this is still far from the up to 13 hours, as Razer states.
Razer has given its Stealth series a successful update, which has been improved especially in design and performance. Depending on the configuration, you now get a dedicated MX150, which is sufficient at least when gaming on the power supply, if you can make some compromises regarding resolution and level of detail.
Externally, the device is very well designed, the simple and timeless design makes the Stealth look less like a gaming notebook, but makes it even suitable for business meetings.
The pretty chroma-illumination of the keyboard additionally rounds off the whole package, that’s why the Razer Blade Stealth 13 Ultrabook is ranking First on the Best Gaming Laptops for Runescape.
Ranking Second: Asus TUF Gaming Laptop FX504
- Great Gaming performance for beginners
- Best Price
- Good keyboard & good touchpad
- Low processor power during rendering
Over the past weeks and months, ASUS has turned almost its entire notebook portfolio upside down and adapted the well-known gaming brands from the graphics card and motherboard segment for the notebook segment.
This not only creates unity within the product classes, but also streamlines the selection. While the Zephyrus devices appeal to those who are looking for a compact but powerful workhorse and gaming device, the ROG G703 is rather intended as a desktop replacement for Runescape gamers looking for the highest performance.
Below that, the Strix series with the SCAR and Hero models is specifically designed for first-person shooters and MOBA players.
In addition, there is the “The Ultimate Force” gaming series, which is already known from the manufacturer’s mainboard division and has been optimized above all for stability and an especially long durability and is located in the lower to medium price segment.
ASUS goes back to the basics and does without the typical and expensive Runescape gamer features like an RGB lighting system, a metal case or an SSD RAID as well as overclocking high-end processors with open multiplier.
The ASUS TUF Gaming FX504 is available in two different basic versions, which mainly differ within the graphic card, because here there is either the GeForce GTX 1050 or its faster Ti offshoots, which are equipped with 2 or 4 GB video memory.
The GeForce GTX 1060 as the third GPU has unfortunately been dropped in comparison to the previous generation. The buyer has the choice between an Intel Core i5-8300H or an Intel Core i7-8750H processor and puts up to 32 GB of DDR4 RAM at its side.
On the mass storage side there is a combination of a fast SSD and SSHD or HDD. Modern connections like Type C or Thunderbolt 3 are omitted in favor of the price.
The display always measures 15.6 inches in its diagonal and offers a maximum of Full HD resolution. All this is packed in a relatively compact plastic case without much frills.
For our test, ASUS supplied us with the TUF Gaming FX504G for Runescape, thus the model with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050, but with Intel Core i7-8750H and 16 GB RAM.
The operating system is pre-installed on a 128 GB SSD with PCI Express connection, the game collection, with Runescape, finds its place on a 1 TB SSHD. The display is a Full-HD panel with 60 Hz and TN technology. Our test configuration is currently priced at $800.
While the expensive devices usually rely on a mix of plastic and aluminum or even on a full metal case when it comes to the choice of material, the ASUS TUF Gaming FX504 for Runescape is completely made of plastic.
This doesn’t do any harm to the stability, though, as the manufacturing quality is on a high level, as one is used to from ASUS. The case doesn’t give in even under stronger pressure.
Only the screen lid can be minimally dented. The 15 incher can be opened with one hand without any problems, but both hinges are very torsionally stiff and hardly wobble at all.
ASUS has decided on a futuristic layout for the design. Both the top case’s area as well as the display lid have a brushed aluminum look, and a blood-red shimmering ASUS logo sits in the center of the display lid.
The deep red color is also available at the edges or in the keyboard area. Some creases on the screen lid provide a bit of variety, and the recess in the back where the display is separated from the top case is reminiscent of the Zephyrus devices, which means that ASUS remains true to its current design line.
By the way, we kept the Black-Matter version, which comes along with a rather plain exterior, as the Premium Steel model has a few more corners and edges and can also attract attention with a blood-red illuminated manufacturer logo on the display lid. The Fusion and Ed-Matter versions offer even more of the red design elements, especially in the wrist-rest area.
Due to the choice of materials, the ASUS TUF Gaming FX504 for Runescape is relatively light with a weight of around 5.3 lbs and slim for its class with an overall height of only about 24.2 mm.
Overall, the 15 incher brings it to dimensions of 384 x 262 x 24.2 mm and thus ranks well above ultra-compact gaming notebooks like the in-house Zephyrus or the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin and the Gigabyte Aero 15X v8.
The look of brushed aluminum is also available on both sides of the touchpad. The red-black color scheme continues around the keyboard and touchpad.
Although ASUS does without RGB lighting for price reasons, the keyboard is still backlit and lights up red when in use – this fits perfectly with the design structure of the ASUS TUF Gaming FX504 for Runescape.
The WASD keys, which are important for Runescape gamers, are highlighted in color. The chiclet keys are usually 15 x 15 mm in size and placed at a distance of 3 mm. Very praiseworthy: Despite the small 15.6 inch alignment, there is a separate number pad, whereby the keys here turn out a bit smaller.
Keyboard, Touchpad and Ports
Despite its comparatively low price, the TUF series from ASUS generally stands for high-quality components and a long service life. In the keyboard sector, ASUS promises at least 20 million keystrokes.
Particularly slim caps with an overall height of only 0.25 mm are used, which enable a short stroke of 1.8 mm. Nevertheless, the feedback is crisp, even if somewhat loud.
The touchpad is sufficiently large at 105 x 75 mm and doesn’t need separate mouse keys thanks to the click pad. These can be executed directly in the touchpad, whereby ASUS emphasizes this optically. However, the touchpad’s clicking is a bit spongy and smooth-running.
In return, the precision is very good, but decreases a bit towards the corners and edges. Multitouch gestures are understood without any problems and are quickly implemented.
Thus, the ASUS TUF Gaming FX504 for Runescape doesn’t afford a flaw in the keyboard and mouse pad despite its comparatively low price of under $900.
On the connectivity side, however, ASUS has eliminated one or two modern interfaces. On the right side of the device, our test device offers a Gigabit Ethernet interface, an HDMI output, as well as three USB interfaces according to type A, of which one still corresponds to the older and slower 2.0 standard, though.
The other two work with USB 3.1 Gen1 speed. A headset can be connected via the single 3.5 mm jack socket. Two of these jacks as separate inputs and outputs would have been more practical. Otherwise, only the connection for the external power supply is found on this side.
On the opposite side there is only a Kensington lock for theft protection. You’ll look for further connections in vain. ASUS doesn’t only do without modern connections like USB Type C or even Thunderbolt 3, but has also left out the SD card reader. AC-WiFi and Bluetooth are still integrated for wireless connectivity.
There aren’t any other connections even on the back, but instead there are some ventilation slots for cooling and a cutout between the display lid and top case, which is already known from the Zephyrus devices.
The LEDs there inform about the battery status even when the display is closed. During operation the small LEDs also show the load of SSD and SSHD/HDD as well as the possibly activated airplane mode.
Ventilation slots for cooling the hardware are only found in the back area, whereas many other gaming notebooks use the side panels to either draw in fresh air or to transport the waste heat back outside.
In order to prevent the cooling performance from deteriorating over the years due to dirt and dust deposits, the ASUS TUF Gaming FX504 for Runescape has two air tunnels, through which the dirt is automatically transported outside. This is to emphasize the system stability and durability according to the TUF series’ ideas.
Two separate cooling chambers with their own radial fans and a total of two copper heatpipes take care of cooling the graphic card and processor. Using the FN and function keys, the two rotors can be brought to their full speed with just one click.
Compared to the predecessor, there is unfortunately no maintenance flap on the rear side. Those who want to replace or upgrade work and mass storage in the future have to remove the complete substructure, which is done by loosening a total of ten screws.
The ASUS TUF Gaming FX504 for Runescape is powered stationary via an external power supply with an output power of 120 W. A 48 Wh battery is permanently installed for on the road.
A look at the case shows that the ASUS TUF Gaming FX504 doesn’t have to make any concessions in the manufacturing quality despite the comparatively low price. We’ll now take a closer look at the hardware’s performance and how the cooling turns out.
The ASUS TUF Gaming FX504 for Runescape is optionally available with Intel Core i5-8300H or Core i7-8750H, both of which are from the current Coffee Lake H generation, which Intel only brought into the notebook half a year ago. In our test configuration, ASUS decided on the more potent Core i7 model.
This has six computing cores and thus offers 50% more computing cores in comparison to the Kaby-Lake predecessor, which provides a significant performance boost, especially in multi-core loaded environments.
The Intel Core i7-8750H gets down to work with a basic clock rate of 2.2 GHz and can reach clock rates of up to 4.1 GHz depending on temperature and load in turbo, whereby the maximum clock rate can’t be reached when all six cores are loaded.
Compared to the Intel Core i7-7700HQ, which brings it up to 2.8 to 3.8 GHz, this is 600 MHz less, or 300 MHz more. Nevertheless, the new Coffee Lake H processor still sorts itself into the 45 W TDP class and proves to be very energy efficient.
Otherwise, there is a 9 MB L3 cache, while the two buffers in the first and second row have a capacity of 1.5 MB and a data and instruction cache of 32 KB each.
Despite the slim cooling, there aren’t any temperature problems, as our following tests will show. The Intel Core i7-8750H still works with 2.4 GHz in the worst case scenario and thus slightly above the base rate specified by Intel.
ASUS has opted for a middle course in terms of RAM. Although 2.666 MHz fast memory is used and thus provides the memory controller from Coffee Lake H with the recommended clock rate, only one single module is used in our test sample, whereby ASUS does without the fast dual channel mode.
This makes a later upgrade easier, but also means a loss of performance. While many models with a Coffee Lake H processor achieve a memory bandwidth of around 25 to 30 GB/s, the ASUS TUF Gaming FX504 for Runescape only reaches 13.27 GB/s and thus falls considerably behind.
The Intel Core i7-8750H increases significantly compared to its Kaby Lake predecessor, but falls behind compared to similarly equipped gaming notebooks with Coffee Lake H. In both Cinebench benchmarks it only achieves 10.86 and 1,089 points in the multi-core preset.
Other devices are faster with about 12 respectively 1,150 points. In the single-core preset, however, the device is again on par with the competition with 1.96 and 171 points respectively. All in all, the ASUS TUF Gaming FX504 brings the compression test from 7-Zip to a good 28,542 MIPS.
Despite the comparatively low price of the device, ASUS has not cut back on mass storage and continues to use a fast M.2 SSD with PCI Express connection. It achieves 1,505.2 and 469.2 MB/s for reading and writing respectively, but falls back somewhat compared to the expensive devices.
The performance is still more than sufficient for everyday use. The SSHD is less fast. The Seagate FireCuda only achieves average read and write rates of 77.9 to 74.4 MB/s and thus even falls behind a conventional magnetic storage hard disk. A 128 GB SSD and a 2.5 inch drive with a capacity of 1 TB are built into our test device.
On the graphics accelerator side, ASUS only leaves customers the choice between an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 and the faster Ti version.
The FX503 predecessor was also available with a faster GeForce GTX 1060, and our test device relies on the slowest solution, whereby 4 GB are put aside, which should be the minimum for today’s game titles, like Runescape and graphic hits. However, both graphics chips are also available with half the video memory.
As already the first three mobile Pascal graphic cards, the GeForce GTX 1050 and GeForce GTX 1050 Ti are based on their desktop counterparts and shouldn’t be inferior to them in terms of performance.
Both are based on the approximately 3.3 billion transistors strong GP107-GPU, which is less complex and thus saves a little power consumption and simplifies cooling. While most Pascal chips are manufactured in 16 nm at TSMC, NVIDIA has its GP107 built in 14 nm at Samsung.
The GeForce GTX 1050 has two graphics processing clusters available, but compared to the larger GP106 chip of the GeForce GTX 1060, it has been trimmed down to only four streaming multiprocessors, leaving only 640 shader units.
The faster Ti version has five shader clusters with a total of 768 units. As before, eight texture units are coupled to each of these shader clusters, which means that 48 TMUs are available to both offshoots.
At least on paper, the mobile offshoots thus correspond to the desktop models. The only differences are in the clock rates.
Whilst the GeForce GTX 1050 gets down to work in the desktop with a base and boost clock rate of 1.354, respectively at least 1.455 MHz, it’s even at least 1.493 MHz in the notebook variant in boost, whereby the mobile chip offers slightly higher frequencies. In practice, our test device even reaches clock rates of 1.721 MHz and thus outperforms the desktop model.
There are no differences between the two models in terms of memory expansion. Here, both variants rely on a 2 or 4 GB GDDR5 video memory, which is connected via a 128 bit wide interface and starts working at a speed of 1,752 MHz.
Thus, a memory bandwidth of up to 112 GB/s can theoretically be achieved. Praiseworthy: Even though both chips are available with only 2 GB VRAM, our test device relies on double the amount of memory, which is more future-proof.
If you want to play without worries with the ASUS TUF Gaming FX504, you’ll have to reduce your demands, because a majority of our gaming benchmarks don’t run at least 60 fps on the native Full-HD display. Only “Wolfenstein 2” and “Grand Theft Auto V” and Runescape can be played smoothly with the maximum settings in this resolution with about 60 to 65 FPS.
All other titles such as “The Witcher 3”, “Assassin’s Creed: Origins”, “Call of Duty: WWII” or “Project Cars 2” usually only run at 33 frames per second. This may still be playable in parts, but as a rule you should reduce the detail level to get higher values.
The Ti version of the GeForce GTX 1050 would have been a bit faster, better would have been the GeForce GTX 1060. However, it can’t be configured any more in the current TUF generation. It remains withheld from the more expensive models of the Republic of Gamers series.
The ASUS TUF Gaming FX504 for Runescape provides sufficient gaming performance for older game titles as Runescape and most eSports games.
The battery life leaves a mixed picture. On the one hand, the endurance in office mode with 417 minutes and thus almost seven hours is impressive, but on the other hand 68 minutes and thus just over an hour in gaming mode is far too little.
The good figures in office mode are due to the fact that the ASUS TUF Gaming FX504 has Optimus technology, in which the dedicated graphics solution is automatically switched to the economical CPU graphics when not in use, which significantly reduces the power consumption.
Under load, the comparatively low capacity 48 Wh battery makes itself felt, apart from the increased energy hunger of the CPU and graphic card. Other manufacturers usually use 60 Wh power supplies, in more expensive devices it can even be over 90 Wh. A more powerful battery would have suited the TUF device quite well.
The battery is fully charged again after about one and a half hours. The test device then allows itself between 8.8 W in idle and 101.7 W in gaming mode. Under absolute full load, the hunger for electricity increases only insignificantly to 109.5 W. Thus, the device is within the specifications of the included 120 W power supply.
ASUS did not save on the display. Our test device relies on a 15.6 inch panel with TN technology and a native resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels. While the latter is quite reasonable in terms of hardware.
Our test device achieves a contrast ratio of 317:1 and is thus even above the given rates. With a brightness of 247 cd/m², the ASUS TUF Gaming FX504 is suitable for outdoor use. The illumination is about good with 86.6%.
If you’re looking for a potent gaming notebook that changes hands for under under $900, you won’t get the top of the line gaming performance, but the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 is sufficient for current game titles, but due to the comparatively low frame rates, you have to reduce the graphics quality here for the next generation of games. The TUF series for Runescape is still fast enough for Runescape and older game titles.
The temperatures are right, the volume is acceptable, even if not really quiet – at least under load. Also the keyboard and touchpad, as well as the everyday performance with PCI Express SSD can be quite pleasing.
All in all, the ASUS TUF Gaming FX504 is an entry-level device for narrow purses, who still want to get some good Gaming performance, which is why it’s ranking second on the Best Gaming Laptops for Runescape. Also the ASUS TUF Gaming FX504 won our ‘Best Price Category’, due to its low price.
Ranking Third: Gigabyte AERO 15
- Good Gaming performance for Runescape
- OLED display with 4K resolution
- Excellent colors
- SSD could have more Storage
According to its own statement, Gigabyte is the only manufacturer that uses Microsoft’s Azure-AI in a notebook: The artificial intelligence is supposed to improve speed and battery life locally or via cloud.
In combination with a 4K OLED panel, eight CPU cores and Geforce Super Graphics for creative people, this sounded so interesting that we had the Taiwanese send us a sample of the current Aero 15.
The laptop for Runescape is a studio device because it meets the requirements of Nvidia. This includes the appropriate graphic drivers, at least 16 GByte RAM and a calibrated display.
The Aero 15 doesn’t look like a typical gaming notebook either, but is kept simple – only the decorative element and the white illuminated lettering look a bit aggressive. Less nice: We leave fingerprints on the lid.
With 356 x 250 x 20 mm at 4.62 lbs, the Aero 15 turns out a bit less compact than, say, a Razer Blade 15 (2020). In return, Gigabyte has a keyboard with full-size arrow keys and above all a number pad. We welcome this as an exclusive equipment detail in everyday work life, as it’s missing in other flat 15 incher models.
The typing feel with a rather soft pressure point is decent, but doesn’t keep up with a Thinkpad. Gigabyte has preset a two-stage white illumination; if you want, you can configure RGB colors for each key. The Precision clickpad works perfectly, the Windows Hello fingerprint sensor in the upper left corner doesn’t disturb.
The 720 webcam sits under the display and centres behind the power button, which is why participants in a video conference see us from a frog’s eye view. After all, we can simply turn off the camera with a sluggish aperture.
On the left side of the Aero 15 there is an HDMI 2.0b and a mini display port 1.4, plus a USB 3.2 Gen1 Type A socket (5 GBit/s), a 3.5 mm audio jack and an RJ-45 for Gigabit Ethernet from Realtek (Killer E2600).
On the right, we find the power connector, a USB C port for Thunderbolt 3 (internal PCIe Gen3 x4), a UHS-II card reader with half depth and two more USB 3.2 Gen1 Type A sockets. These are positioned far forward, as on the left, and may therefore interfere when a mouse is used.
For the display, Gigabyte relies on an IPS model with 1080p resolution and 144 Hz or on a 4K OLED panel from Samsung: This has a fine resolution of 3,840 x 2,160 pixels and has been Pantone calibrated, the corresponding ICC colour profile is set by default.
We measured a coverage of 93 percent in the Adobe RGB color space and 99 percent in the DCI-P3 color space; the contrast ratio is typically OLED towards infinity.
The maximum average brightness with a white desktop background is 402 cd/m², which is why the device is also certified for DisplayHDR 400 True Black. Unfortunately, the panel is somewhat reflective, so that we can only work with it indoors or in low sunlight.
In the Aero 15, Gigabyte uses various graphics units, whereby a Geforce RTX 2060 (Refresh) is soldered at a minimum, as such a model is the minimum requirement for a studio laptop for Runescape.
Our test sample, on the other hand, is equipped with a snappy Geforce RTX 2070 Super Max-Q, optionally there is also an even faster Geforce RTX 2080 Super Max-Q.
The Geforce RTX 2070 Super Max-Q is suitable for 1080p- and in many titles even for 4K-gaming. On the other hand, meanwhile all kinds of applications support the hardware integrated in the Turing graphics units to accelerate certain workloads:
The RT cores take over the intersection check for raytracing and the Tensor cores perform inferencing, i.e. the local execution of an already trained neural network.
An example for raytracing is Blender, which runs on the CPU or on the GPU. With a Geforce RTX, the Cuda path and thus the shader units are used or Nvidia’s Optix framework, which integrates the RT cores. In the classroom demo scene, this reduces the render time from 764 seconds (CPU) to 205 seconds (Cuda) to 123 seconds (Optix).
Otoy’s Octane renderer has an RTX 2019 benchmark that will soon be updated to Octane 2020.1. Per Cuda path we measure 173 points, with Optix the score rises to 575 points – with the same image quality. Other renderers with RT-Core support are Adobe’s Dimension, Luxion’s Keyshot and Glare Technologies’ Indigo.
For the Tensor-Cores, there are no dedicated comparison options yet. They are used in Blackmagic’s Davinci Resolve and accelerate color grading, a zoom and upscaling function (Superscale 2x/4x) and a speedwarp function for slow-motion material. They are also used in Adobe’s Lightroom CC Classic (Enhance Details) and in Adobe’s Premiere Pro (Auto Reframe).
Gigabyte incorporates Intel’s current processors, the Comet Lake H, and combines them with DDR4-3200 memory in two SO-DIMM slots. Our sample uses an eight-core Core i7-10875H, which is set to a permanent thermal power dissipation (PL1) of 52 watts – for a short time (PL2) it may even consume 107 watts for 56 seconds.
Those who want can also configure the chip to 38 watts, 45 watts, 58 watts or 62 watts. We have summarized the effects on render benchmarks in a table; especially the highest PL1 increases the performance significantly.
Apart from the Control Center, where we regulate the fan control – Quiet makes the device silent in idle – the pre-installed Azure AI is worth a look. Gigabyte says it is the only manufacturer that works together with Microsoft in this area.
The artificial intelligence either runs locally (Edge) or shares data via server connection (Azure Cloud). The software should recognize which application is running and adjust the power targets of processor and Geforce graphics.
This only works in network mode, but there it works perfectly: Instead of 254 seconds, Blender only needs 230 seconds and the Cinbench R20 score increases from 3,406 points to 3,614 points.
Of course, we could also simply adjust the power target and fan control ourselves, but this is done automatically via Azure AI in favor of a lower operating noise of the two 80 mm fans and less heat development.
The Aero 15 for Runescape also comes with a Killer AX1650 (Intel AX200) for Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) with 2×2 antenna configuration and Bluetooth 5.
The laptop for Runescape is easy to open, so we can access the two SO-DIMM memories and the two M.2280 SSD slots. In our device there is an Optane Memory H10, which combines 3D-Xpoint (32 GByte) with flash memory (512 GByte).
If we work a lot with small data and a low command queue depth, the SSD is convincing – in contrast, the write rate drops to under 100 MByte/s for large data transfers, which is especially annoying with videos.
Nevertheless: A faster Intel 760p or a Samsung SSD is installed in the models with RTX 2060/2080. The battery generally has a high 94 watt hours, which is enough for 6:17 hours in the Powermark’s productivity test. Let’s get to the laptop’s résumé.
The Aero 15 for Runescape is a pretty unique studio laptop for Runescape: We like the combination of the 4K OLED panel and the keyboard with number pad, plus the powerful hardware with eight CPU cores and Geforce RTX 2070 Super.
We also find the fast SD card reader, as well as the Thunderbolt 3 port including USB 3.2 Gen2, to be useful features for a notebook aimed at creative people. Instead of the Intel chip we would have liked to see a faster and more efficient Ryzen chip, but the Aero 15 for Runescape is an upgrade of the previous model and not a new development.
On the other hand, we are a bit disappointed with the SSD, as the Optane Memory H10 is the wrong model for a notebook on which we regularly copy large video project data. At least there is a second M.2 slot, where we can mount a suitable SSD with a high permanent write rate.
The Microsoft Azure-AI proved to be quite useful in the test, as the software automatically raises the power targets of processor and graphics when we render in Blender, for example.
This way we get (almost) maximum performance, but don’t have to manually adjust the settings for CPU/GPU and the fans themselves. If you’re looking for a slim 15.6-inch device, you should definitely take a closer look at the Aero 15.