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ASUS FX502VM vs Lenovo Legion Y720 – a fierce GTX 1060 battle in the mid-range class

It’s time for another comparison. Today we are going to take a look on two mid-rangers. On one side of the ring, we find the Lenovo Legion Y720 – Lenovo’s refined gaming machine and on the other the ASUS FX502VM – a notebook that should have carried the ROG branding.

How do they stack up to each other? Is there a difference in performance due to the different versions of the graphics card? Which one is the best? Let’s find out.

 

Lenovo Legion Y720: Full review / Check price

ASUS FX502VM: Full review / Check price

Contents

Design and construction

Construction is fairly identical on both models. You get an aluminum lid and a plastic body. The FX502VM is slimmer and lighter measuring at 24.5 mm (0.96″) and 2.515 kg (5.54 lbs) while the Y720 is just a bit thicker at 25.8 mm (1.01″) but considerably heavier – 3.094 kg (6.82 lbs).

Both lids are made from brushed aluminum and as expected they are fingerprint magnets. The lid of the FX502VM bends under pressure but not enough to produce the ripple effect on the LCD screen. The lid of the Y720 feels more stable. The hinges of the FX502VM provide a smooth and easy opening with only one hand while the centered hinge of the Y720 is far more tightened and requires both hands to lift the lid up. In terms of design, the FX502VM is not branded as a ROG device thus is lacks any interesting looks like bright orange colors and logos. On the other hand, the Y720 looks pretty aggressive with its big exhaust vents, red ornaments, and Y logo on the lid.

The sides of the devices are home to all the connectivity options you can ask for. The FX502VM features three USB 3.0 ports, HDMI, RJ-45, mini DisplayPort, SD card reader. They are evenly distributed on both sides so this won’t pose a problem. The Y720 has all these ports with the addition of a single USB Type-C port that supports Thunderbolt 3. This is an important feature as Thunderbolt 3 provides very high-speed data transfer and the ability to connect 4K external monitors and external GPUs.

Display

Overall both displays are disappointing. They would be suitable for a budget device but not for a mid-range notebook. However, Y720’s screen (which is the same as in the Y520) has some advantages over this of the FX502VM. Y720 is equipped with an IPS display manufactured by LG model number LP156WF6-SPK3 while the FX502VM has a TN panel from AU Optronics with model number B156HTN03.8. Both have Full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution (142 ppi) and a 0.18 x 0.18 mm pixel pitch.

Viewing angles on the Y720 are excellent as expected from an IPS display. Meanwhile, the TN panel of the FX502VM provides narrow viewing angles. The IPS display of the Y720 is considerably brighter with a maximum of 311 cd/m2 in the middle of the screen compared to 233 cd/m2 on the FX502VM. Color temperature on both models is a bit higher than the optimal 6500K and colors appear a bit colder than usual. The contrast ratio on the FX502VM pretty low – 310:1 while on the Y720 we get a decent value of 820:1.

Color reproduction is poor on both models. They can reproduce just half (51%) of the colors from the sRGB color space. This is insufficient for a good multimedia or gaming experience. It also makes the screens not suitable for color sensitive work. The average dE (lower is better) on the FX502VM is 6.6 while it’s 9.4 on the Y720 before calibration. With our custom-tailored Office & Web Design profile, you can lower the average dE to 4.3 and 3.1 respectively.

The FX502VM has one very pleasant surprise – it does not use PWM to regulate the screen brightness thus making it safe for long hours of work. On the other hand, the Y720 uses PWM but with very high frequency (21.6 kHz) which significantly reduces the negative effect. Our Health-Guard profile can eliminate the PWM and also reduce the amounts of the harmful Blue Light emissions.

Our display profiles

Here at LaptopMedia, we create a set of custom-tailored profiles for every notebook we review. They boost the productivity of display and reduce negative effects such as blue light emissions and PWM. You can read more about them here.

Buy our profiles from here:

ASUS FX502VMProfiles

Lenovo Legion Y720: Profiles

Specs sheet comparison

Our review unit of the FX502VM came with the older 6th gen Intel Core i7-6700HQ but now you can find the model with the Intel Core i7-7700HQ from the latest Kaby Lake generation. The Y720 also comes with the Intel Core i7-7700HQ. However, as you will see the difference in the CPUs does not affect the performance much.

More information about Intel Core i7-7700HQ and its position in our Top CPU Ranking you can find HERE.

Both models are equipped with the Pascal-based NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060, however, the FX502VM features the 3 GB version while the Y720 – the 6 GB version. We will check the performance further down in the review.

More information about NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 and its position in our Top GPU Ranking you can find HERE.

 

Lenovo Legion Y720ASUS FX502VM
CPUIntel Core i7-7700HQ (4-core, 2.80 -3.80 GHz, 6MB cache)Intel Core i7-6700HQ (4-core, 2.60 -3.50 GHz, 6MB cache)
RAM8GB (1x 8096MB) – DDR4, 2400 MHz8GB (1x 8096MB) – DDR4, 2133MHz
GPUNVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (6GB GDDR5)NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (3GB GDDR5)
HDD/SSD1TB HDD (5400 rpm)1TB HDD (5400 rpm)
Display15.6-inch Full HD (1920×1080) IPS, matte15.6-inch Full HD (1920×1080) TN, matte
Features
  • 3x USB 3.0
  • 1x USB 3.1 Type-C (Thunderbolt 3 support)
  • mini DisplayPort
  • SD card reader
  • 3.5 mm combo audio jack
  • HDMI
  • RJ-45
  •  keyboard backlight
  • 3x USB 3.0
  • mini DisplayPort
  • 2x 3.5 mm audio jack
  • RJ-45
  • HDMI
  • memory card reader
  • keyboard backlight
Battery60 Wh64Wh
Profile thickness25.8 mm (1.01″)24.5 mm (0.96″)
Weight3.094 kg (6.82 lbs)2.515 kg (5.54 lbs)
PriceCheck priceCheck price

Battery

Both models have rather big batteries – 60 Wh on the Y720 and 64 Wh on the FX502VM and very similar components so battery life is expected to be very similar too. This is true to some extent. The Y720 appears to add about one more hour to the web browsing and video playback tests and about half an hour to the gaming test. However, the newer models of the FX502VM that are equipped with a Kaby Lake processor could have a bit better battery life.

In our web browsing test, the FX502VM scored 269 minutes (4 hours and 29 minutes) while the Y720 managed 350 minutes (5 hours and 50 minutes). Similar scenario in Video playback – 210 minutes (3 hours and 30 minutes) for the FX502VM and 284 minutes (4 hours and 44 minutes) for the Y720. And finally, in our gaming test the FX502VM lasted for 88 minutes (1 hour and 28 minutes) while the Y720 did better with 113 minutes (1 hour and 53 minutes).

Performance

Although the FX502VM is equipped with the 3 GB version of the GTX 1060 rather than the 6 GB one found on the Y720 and the older i7-6700HQ CPU (in our review unit), performance is just as good as the Y720. In some cases, the Y720 could give you an extra frame or two but nothing substantial.

GTA-V-benchmarks

Grand Theft Auto V (GTA 5) – Y720Full HD, Medium (Check settings)Full HD, Max (Check settings)
Average FPS107 fps37 fps

 

Grand Theft Auto V (GTA 5) – FX502VMFull HD, Medium (Check settings)Full HD, Max (Check settings)
Average FPS94 fps37 fps

 

rise-of-the-tomb-raider

Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) – Y720Full HD, Medium (Check settings)Full HD, Max (Check settings)
Average FPS85 fps 29 fps

 

Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) – FX502VMFull HD, Medium (Check settings)Full HD, Max (Check settings)
Average FPS89 fps29 fps

Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) – Y720Full HD, Medium (Check settings)Full HD, Max (Check settings)
Average FPS 88 fps 18 fps

 

Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) – FX502VMFull HD, Medium (Check settings)Full HD, Max (Check settings)
Average FPS 84 fps18 fps

Temperatures

For our temperatures tests, we start off with 100% CPU load for an hour. The FX502VM did well, keeping temperatures around 80 °C and clock speeds at 3.1 GHz which is in the Turbo range. They Y720 also performed well but rather strange – it kept a clock speed of 3.4 GHz for about ten minutes and then it dropped to 2.7 GHz which is 100 MHz below the base clock. However, the temperatures were really low at around 60 °C. Our best guess is that there are some unfixed issues with this engineering sample that we reviewed.

When we added the GPU stress test to the scene things got interesting. Apparently, the cooling design of the FX502VM is not very good because the CPU reached dangerously high temperatures while the GPU’s frequency slowly decreased. This resulted as a system shut down to prevent damage. On the other hand, the Y720 did surprisingly well (we say surprisingly because older Y-models and the Y520 experience some thermal throttling). The CPU clock did not change and the temperature rose to the usual 80-85 °C. The GPU was running at 1455 MHz at 81 °C which is a bit hot but no thermal throttling occurred.

Surface temperatures on both models are kept rather low. Some areas near the exhaust vents get to around 45 °C but the palm rest area stays cool at around and less than 30 °C.

Verdict

Overall two good devices that have their ups and downs. Unfortunately, both models do not provide us with a high-quality display which we would like to start seeing in mid-range notebooks. However, the performance is great. Battery life is about average – slightly better on the Y720 though. The Y720 also has a stable cooling system, not like the FX502VM which did not survive our stress test, however, in a real-life scenario you won’t actually notice that. Build quality is rather good, we can’t say anything negative. Overall, we could give the crown to the Lenovo Legion Y720 but the ASUS FX502VM costs less and is more portable. If it wasn’t for the sub-par display quality, both models would be very solid all-rounders. If color reproduction and accuracy isn’t important for you, they can be still be considered as good all-rounders.

You can see how the Y720 hold up to the Y520 and to the Acer Aspire V 15 Nitro Black Edition (VN7-593G). The FX502VM has also been compared to the Acer Aspire V 15 Nitro Black Edition (VN7-593G).

Lenovo Legion Y720: Full review / Check price

ASUS FX502VM: Full review / Check price



Why choose Lenovo Legion Y720?

  • USB Type-C with Thunderbolt 3 support
  • more reliable cooling system
  • overall better display quality
  • slightly better battery life




Why choose ASUS FX502VM?

  • The display does not use PWM
  • thinner and lighter
  • more affordable