700$ Alternatives for the Asus TUF FX505-DT for university and light gaming

Discussion in 'Which Laptop should I buy?' started by JetMike, Aug 26, 2020.

  1. JetMike


    Aug 26, 2020
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    [TL;DR I'm looking for a computer for uni classes and gaming and my target computer (Asus TUF Gaming FX505DT) is currently out of stock/inflated. Answers to any of my 6 questions would be greatly appreciated.]

    So I have been doing research to buy a new laptop for several weeks now, and had settled somewhat clearly on what I wanted. I mainly do my classwork on my computer, but add to that some programming for data analysis and some gaming (Civ VI, StarCraft, Minecraft, Cities Skylines), so for my 700$ budget, I eventually decided on the Asus TUF Gaming FX505DT as my main option (AMD Ryzen 5 processor, NVIDIA GTX 1650, 8 GB RAM, 256 SSD). I would have it as my main home and work computer and believe it can handle most daily work succesfully as well as provide decent gaming quality.

    Some of the features that convinced me over similar-priced products were the general good value for money of the machine, the display (120Hz ISP), the quality of the keyboard and the advertised durability of the product.

    Problem is, the laptop is currently not stocked or being overpriced (~750$ on what should be a 650$ machine on those specs, same increase for the higher spec versions) and I'm not sure if I should consider some alternatives.

    Firstly, I was also considering the Acer Nitro 5 and the MSI GF63, but the reason they were just barely beat for their equivalent priced specs is that their displays are inferior, the Nitro 5's design I find slightly unnatractive and the MSI's keyboard is not backlit.

    Secondly, I was also considering some good non-gaming-optimized alternatives at that price-range, such as the Asus ZenBook 14, the Lenovo IdeaPad 5 and the Acer Swift 3, but the lack of discrete graphics cards of the last two, and the somewhat inferior MX350 of the ZenBook made me go for the gaming optimized ones, though I might be overestimating my GPU needs, seeing as I usually play less demanding games (though that could change at some point).

    Lastly, I could wait and save up money for the Lenovo Legion 5 or HP Omen 15, or upgrade the specs of the TUF or Nitro to 16+ GB RAM and better storage, but my thinking was that at the 700$ range my needs would be sufficiently covered.

    None of my reasons for choosing Asus over the rest are dealbreakers, and I'm open to suggestions.

    I've put a lot of research into it, but I'm still relatively new to all this and would greatly appreciate the input of more knowledgeable people, if you could answer any (or all) of the following questions:

    1. Is there any reason for going for the Nitro 5 or GF63 despite the reasons I listed that made me opt for the Asus? I know the MSI's Intel i5 is often a deciding factor for the higher clock speed and marginally better performance, but I believe the Ryzen 5 would serve me just fine. Maybe I'm wrong.

    2. Should I be aiming for the non-gaming laptops instead? The Zenbook 14, IdeaPad 5 and Swift 3 all have significantly better battery lives, better designs and most crucially, better specs and features (except for GPUs, of course). Maybe I'm overestimating the use I will get out of a GTX graphics card, 120 Hz monitor, beefy thermals and RGB keyboard, maybe I'm not a hardcore enough gamer to warrant investing so much into the gaming aspect for the games I tend to play.

    3. Is there anything I could get from the Legion 5 and Omen 15 that would warrant waiting? Better performance, obviously, but I'm not too fussy about insane framerates or ultra-settings gaming. It's unlikely that I'll go for them unless I find some crazy sale.

    4. Is it better to get 16 GB RAM and 512 GB SSD right off the bat? I was planning on getting the 8 GB/256 GB specs and later purchasing extra memory and storage. I also think it's cheaper to manually upgrade, but maybe I'm wrong. 8 GB should be enough for me, right?

    5. Should I just wait for the FX505DT to come back down in price (or buy it as is)? It's not the perfect computer, but I did eventually grow to like what it offers and was frustrated to find that it's mostly out of stock/overpriced. Maybe it's still worth it? I'm in no hurry, I still have an old VivoBook that while extremely slow, gets the job done just fine, for now.

    6. For these six computers I'm considering, how long can I expect them to last? This is the most important one to me. This will be my primary computer and I plan on keeping it for a long time. As long as possible, actually. Upgrades and maintenance aside, how well can I expect to hold up some years from now?. I understand and accept that I won't be triple-A gaming or anything in 3-5 years's time, but I also don't want to have a planned-obsolescence-computer that I will need to change by then.
    Thanks in advance for any help you can give and super sorry for the long post. Buying a new laptop is stressful (though exciting) and I tend to overthink.
    JetMike, Aug 26, 2020
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