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

    Recently, we managed to get our palms 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’s notable as a result of this laptop computer combines AMD’s Ryzen 9 5900HS processor with an Nvidia RTX 3070 Mobile GPU, a mixture which means this machine sells out extraordinarily rapidly.

    Make no mistake, the RTX 3070 in this yr’s AMD-powered Zephyrus is a distinct step up. Last yr, for those who needed an RTX 3000 collection GPU in a laptop computer, you needed to accept an Intel CPU to go together with it.

    Overview

    Specs at a look: Asus ROG Zephyrus G15 GA503, as examined
    OS Windows 10 Home
    CPU 3.0GHz 8-core AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS (4.5GHz enhance)
    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
    Display 1440p WQHD, non-glare, 165Hz, adaptive sync
    Connectivity
    • 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 digital camera
    Price as examined $1,800 at Best Buy

    This yr’s Ryzen-powered Asus ROG Zephyrus G15 is nearly everything we would want in a gaming laptop computer. Beastly CPU? Check. Beastly GPU? Check. Full-size wired LAN port? Check. Loud audio system? Absolutely. 1440p show with excessive refresh? Yes. 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.

    Unfortunately, this yr’s Zephyrus G15 shares the identical Achilles’ heel as final yr’s Ryzen-powered G14: there is no webcam.

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

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

    Internals and upgrades

    Getting into the Zephyrus G15 is comparatively straightforward. There aren’t any particular person compartment panels; your entire again plate lifts off after eradicating 10 seen screws and three hidden ones. (The screws in the middle of the panel are the “hidden” ones, hid below sticky rubber caps for some motive.)

    Note that the decrease proper screw is a captive design—though you may pressure it to, it isn’t supposed to truly come out of the again plate fully. The thought is that after eradicating the primary 12 screws fully, you need to use the unscrewed-but-still-inserted thirteenth as leverage to pop the panel unfastened in that nook. We’d nonetheless suggest a spudger and a few persistence for those who want to take away the panel with out harm, whether or not or not you utilize the captive screw to start.

    Once you are into the G15, everything’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’ll discover the one 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 proper of the primary M.2, and the Intel AX201 Wi-Fi is socketed slightly below that.

    The solely considerably bitter be aware 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. Still, you are successfully caught in single-channel mode for 24GiB of that, since it isn’t potential to improve each banks evenly.

    Performance—multi-threaded CPU

    The Ryzen 9 5900HS in 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—typically our favourite one-size-fits-all CPU check—the 5900HS solely improves on final yr’s 4900HS (discovered in the 2020 ROG Zephyrus G14) barely, however they each ship roughly double the efficiency of their closest rivals.

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

    Performance—single threaded CPU

    Single threaded efficiency testing is extra of a combined bag. The struggle right here is fully between the Ryzen 9 5900HS in 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 very slender victory going to Tiger Lake. Passmark exhibits us the identical scenario, however with Ryzen 9 the just-barely-victor. Geekbench 5 grants the Tiger Lake i7 a extra noticeable victory.

    As regular, 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 exams themselves mannequin a fairly unusual workflow.

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

    Performance—storage

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

    Jim Salter

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

    CrystalDiskMark testing undoubtedly 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.

    This is a critically quick SSD, which contributes strongly to the general impression the ROG G15 laptop computer offers a new person. It’s not simply a narrowly-focused FPS monster, it feels extraordinarily quick in basic use circumstances as effectively.

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