Almost everything we’d want in a gaming laptop—the Asus ROG Zephyrus G15

Not too long ago, we managed to get our arms on an Asus ROG Zephyrus G15 laptop computer. We needed to do it identical to anyone else does, by discovering one and shopping for it retail. That is notable as a result of this laptop computer combines AMD’s Ryzen 9 5900HS processor with an Nvidia RTX 3070 Cellular GPU, a mixture meaning this system sells out extraordinarily shortly.

Make no mistake, the RTX 3070 on this yr’s AMD-powered Zephyrus is a definite step up. Last year, when you needed an RTX 3000 sequence GPU in a laptop computer, you needed to accept an Intel CPU to go along with it.


Specs at a look: Asus ROG Zephyrus G15 GA503, as examined
OS Home windows 10 Residence
CPU 3.0GHz 8-core AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS (4.5GHz increase)
RAM 16GiB DDR4-3200
GPU AMD Radeon 8 core / Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 MaxQ
SSD SK Hynix M.2 NVMe PCIe3.0 1TB
Battery ASUStek 90Wh
Show 1440p WQHD, non-glare, 165Hz, adaptive sync
  • two USB-A ports
  • two USB-C ports
  • 3.5mm telephone/mic combo jack
  • DC energy jack
  • full-size HDMI out
  • RJ-45 wired Ethernet
  • micro SD reader
  • Kensington lock slot
  • no digicam
Worth as examined $1,800 at Best Buy

This yr’s Ryzen-powered Asus ROG Zephyrus G15 is nearly all the pieces we would need in a gaming laptop computer. Beastly CPU? Test. Beastly GPU? Test. Full-size wired LAN port? Test. Loud audio system? Completely. 1440p show with excessive refresh? Sure. Even the storage on this laptop computer—a mannequin of SK Hynix NVMe SSD we would by no means seen earlier than—is blistering quick.

Sadly, this yr’s Zephyrus G15 shares the identical Achilles’ heel as final yr’s Ryzen-powered G14: there isn’t any webcam.

This puzzling omission feels nearly like any individual at Asus misplaced a wager. Not solely do sport streamers ceaselessly need a cam view, we’re a yr and alter into a world pandemic with near-universal want for day by day teleconferencing. So, why Asus… why?

Apart from that, this can be a nice general-purpose laptop computer in addition to a gaming-specific beast. Even its followers have been significantly better behaved than final yr’s G14, and this setup remained near-inaudible all through all the pieces however Time Spy testing.

Internals and upgrades

Moving into the Zephyrus G15 is comparatively straightforward. There are not any particular person compartment panels; the complete again plate lifts off after eradicating 10 seen screws and three hidden ones. (The screws within the heart of the panel are the “hidden” ones, hid underneath sticky rubber caps for some cause.)

Word that the decrease proper screw is a captive design—though you may pressure it to, it is not supposed to truly come out of the again plate solely. The thought is that after eradicating the primary 12 screws solely, you should use the unscrewed-but-still-inserted thirteenth as leverage to pop the panel free in that nook. We would nonetheless advocate a spudger and a few endurance if you wish to take away the panel with out harm, whether or not or not you employ the captive screw to start.

When you’re into the G15, all the pieces’s straightforward to search out and work with—there’s none of this foolish “take away the keyboard to entry the Wi-Fi” enterprise. You may discover the only DIMM slot (initially populated with an 8GiB Samsung DIMM, on our system) simply left of heart. The C: drive, an SK Hynix 1TB M.2 NVMe drive, is simply above and to the left of the DIMM slot. A second, unpopulated M.2 NVMe slot is off to the correct of the primary M.2, and the Intel AX201 Wi-Fi is socketed slightly below that.

The one considerably bitter word right here is that single DIMM slot—8GiB of the laptop computer’s base 16GiB is soldered to the board. This limits how far you may improve the RAM. The guide says it solely goes to 24GiB, however we obtained it to 40GiB with out issues utilizing a 32GiB HyperX DIMM. Nonetheless, you are successfully caught in single-channel mode for 24GiB of that, since it is not potential to improve each banks evenly.

Efficiency—multi-threaded CPU

The Ryzen 9 5900HS within the Zephyrus G15—to utterly nobody’s shock—wipes the ground with each competitor in multi-threaded testing, together with the unusually Intel-friendly Geekbench 5.

In Cinebench R20—usually our favourite one-size-fits-all CPU check—the 5900HS solely improves on final yr’s 4900HS (discovered within the 2020 ROG Zephyrus G14) barely, however they each ship roughly double the efficiency of their closest rivals.

Passmark reveals an infinite increase to the 5900HS which did not present up in Cinebench R20. Lastly, the 5900HS will get a modest however noticeable victory over Tiger Like i7-1185G7, our earlier Geekbench 5 champion within the laptop computer house.

Efficiency—single threaded CPU

Single threaded efficiency testing is extra of a blended bag. The battle right here is solely between the Ryzen 9 5900HS within the ROG G15 and the Tiger Lake i7-1185G7 working flat-out at 28W TDP.

In Cinebench R20, the Tiger Lake i7 and the Ryzen 9 5900HS are neck and neck, with a really slim victory going to Tiger Lake. Passmark reveals us the identical state of affairs, however with Ryzen 9 the just-barely-victor. Geekbench 5 grants the Tiger Lake i7 a extra noticeable victory.

As ordinary, we warning readers to not get too enthusiastic about single-threaded numbers—the margins listed here are a lot narrower than in multi-threaded testing, and the assessments themselves mannequin a reasonably unusual workflow.

It is far more frequent to bottleneck on a single thread in a multi-threaded workload than to have a really single-threaded workload working standalone. Additionally, these numbers don’t reveal “per thread efficiency in a multi-threaded workload;” they check true single threaded efficiency with all different cores idle or very near-idle.


Enlarge / The SK Hynix SSD within the G15 flexes severe storage muscle in CrystalDiskMark testing, almost doubling competing drives’ efficiency in massive writes.

Jim Salter

We weren’t certain what to anticipate from the SK Hynix NVMe SSD within the G15—that is not a reputation you see usually within the client SSD house, and the precise mannequin appears to be new to the Zephyrus G15 as effectively.

CrystalDiskMark testing positively put our minds comfy; the SK Hynix drive outperformed not solely the Kingston Design-in drive from the Minisforum U850, but additionally the WD Black 2TB and WD SN730 512GB (not pictured) from this spring’s gaming-focused Ars System Guide.

It is a critically quick SSD, which contributes strongly to the general impression the ROG G15 laptop computer offers a brand new person. It isn’t only a narrowly-focused FPS monster, it feels extraordinarily quick normally use instances as effectively.

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