Not too long ago, we managed to get our arms on an Asus ROG Zephyrus G15 laptop computer. We needed to do it similar 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 machine sells out extraordinarily shortly.

Make no mistake, the RTX 3070 on this 12 months’s AMD-powered Zephyrus is a definite step up. Final 12 months, should you wished an RTX 3000 sequence GPU in a laptop computer, you needed to accept an Intel CPU to go along with it.

Overview

Specs at a look: Asus ROG Zephyrus G15 GA503, as examined
OS Home windows 10 Dwelling
CPU 3.0GHz 8-core AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS (4.5GHz enhance)
RAM 16GiB DDR4-3200
GPU AMD Radeon 8 core / Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 MaxQ
SSD SK Hynix M.2 NVMe PCIe3.0 1TB
Battery ASUStek 90Wh
Show 1440p WQHD, non-glare, 165Hz, adaptive sync
Connectivity
  • two USB-A ports
  • two USB-C ports
  • 3.5mm cellphone/mic combo jack
  • DC energy jack
  • full-size HDMI out
  • RJ-45 wired Ethernet
  • micro SD reader
  • Kensington lock slot
  • no digital camera
Value as examined $1,800 at Greatest Purchase

This 12 months’s Ryzen-powered Asus ROG Zephyrus G15 is nearly every thing we might need in a gaming laptop computer. Beastly CPU? Examine. Beastly GPU? Examine. Full-size wired LAN port? Examine. 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 might by no means seen earlier than—is blistering quick.

Sadly, this 12 months’s Zephyrus G15 shares the identical Achilles’ heel as final 12 months’s Ryzen-powered G14: there is not any webcam.

This puzzling omission feels virtually like someone at Asus misplaced a guess. Not solely do recreation streamers ceaselessly desire a cam view, we’re a 12 months 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 12 months’s G14, and this setup remained near-inaudible all through every thing however Time Spy testing.

Internals and upgrades

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

Notice that the decrease proper screw is a captive design—though you may power it to, it is not supposed to really come out of the again plate completely. The concept is that after eradicating the primary 12 screws completely, you should utilize the unscrewed-but-still-inserted thirteenth as leverage to pop the panel free in that nook. We might nonetheless advocate a spudger and a few persistence if you wish to take away the panel with out injury, whether or not or not you utilize the captive screw to start.

When you’re into the G15, every thing’s straightforward to seek out and work with—there’s none of this foolish “take away the keyboard to entry the Wi-Fi” enterprise. You will discover the only DIMM slot (initially populated with an 8GiB Samsung DIMM, on our system) simply left of middle. 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 suitable 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 acquired 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 attainable to improve each banks evenly.

Efficiency—multi-threaded CPU

The Ryzen 9 5900HS within the Zephyrus G15—to completely 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 12 months’s 4900HS (discovered within the 2020 ROG Zephyrus G14) barely, however they each ship roughly double the efficiency of their closest rivals.

Passmark exhibits an infinite enhance 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 area.

Efficiency—single threaded CPU

Single threaded efficiency testing is extra of a combined bag. The struggle right here is completely between the Ryzen 9 5900HS within the ROG G15 and the Tiger Lake i7-1185G7 operating 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 exhibits 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 standard, we warning readers to not get too enthusiastic about single-threaded numbers—the margins listed below are a lot narrower than in multi-threaded testing, and the assessments themselves mannequin a reasonably unusual workflow.

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

Efficiency—storage

The SK Hynix SSD in the G15 flexes serious storage muscle in CrystalDiskMark testing, nearly doubling competing drives' performance in large writes.
Enlarge / The SK Hynix SSD within the G15 flexes severe storage muscle in CrystalDiskMark testing, almost doubling competing drives’ efficiency in giant writes.

Jim Salter

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

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

It is a severely quick SSD, which contributes strongly to the general impression the ROG G15 laptop computer offers a brand new consumer. It is not only a narrowly-focused FPS monster, it feels extraordinarily quick normally use instances as nicely.

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