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ASUS ROG Strix GL702ZC review: Better for content creators than gamers

By Koh Wanzi - 8 Dec 2017
Launch SRP: S$2698

Performance benchmarks

Test Setup and Performance

The ROG Strix GL702ZC will find itself going up against laptops equipped with Intel processors and NVIDIA graphics, most notably the Intel Core i7-7700HQ and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB.

To give you a better idea of how this AMD-powered notebook compares against NVIDIA’s product stack, I’ve included laptops powered by the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti to GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q.

You can expect the Radeon RX 580 to sit somewhere between the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 and 1070 Max-Q, and the results show as much.  

Here’s a list of the notebooks used:

  • ASUS ROG Strix GL702ZC
  • Gigabyte Sabre 15
  • Aftershock PRIME-15
  • MSI GS63VR 7RG Stealth Pro

Test notebooks compared
  ASUS ROG Strix GL702ZC Gigabyte Sabre 15 Aftershock PRIME-15 Max-Q MSI GS63VR 7RG Stealth Pro
  ASUS ROG Strix GL702ZC Gigabyte Sabre 15 Aftershock PRIME-15 Max-Q MSI GS63VR 7RG Stealth Pro
Launch SRP
  • From S$2698
  • From S$1799
  • From S$3799
Processor and Chipset
  • AMD Ryzen 7 1700 (3.0GHz, 16MB L3 cache)
  • Intel Core i7-7700HQ (2.80GHz, 6MB L3 cache)
  • Intel Core i7-7700HQ (2.8GHz, 6MB L3 cache)
  • Intel Core i7-7700HQ (2.8GHz, 6MB L3 cache)
Operating System
  • Windows 10 Home 64-bit
  • Windows 10 Home 64-bit
  • Windows 10 Home (64-bit)
  • Windows 10 Home (64-bit)
System Memory
  • 16GB DDR4 2,400MHz RAM
  • 16GB DDR4 2,400MHz RAM
  • 16GB DDR4 2,400MHz RAM
  • 16GB DDR4 2,400MHz RAM
Video & Display
  • 17.3-inch 1,920 x 1,080-pixel IPS display
  • AMD Radeon RX 580 4GB
  • 15.6-inch 1,920 x 1,080 IPS display
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
  • 15.6-inch 1,920 x 1,080-pixel 120Hz display
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 8GB Max-Q
  • 15.6-inch 1,920 x 1,080-pixel 120Hz display
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 8GB Max-Q
Storage
  • SanDisk 256GB M.2 SSD
  • Seagate 1TB 5,400RPM HDD
  • 128GB M.2 SATA SSD
  • 1TB 7,200RPM HDD
  • Samsung 960 EVO 250GB SSD
  • Seagate FireCuda SSHD 1TB
  • 256GB PCIe SSD
  • 1TB HDD
Optical Drive
  • None
  • None
  • None
  • None
Connectivity
  • Realtek 8822BE Wireless LAN 802.11ac PCIe NIC
  • Realtek PCIe GBE Family Controller
  • Bluetooth 4.2
  • 1x1 Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3168
  • Realtek PCIe GBE Family Controller
  • Bluetooth 4.2
  • Wireless 802.11ac/b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 4.2
  • Wireless 802.11ac/b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 4.1
Audio
  • ASUS Sonic Studio
  • Creative Sound Blaster Cinema 3
  • Built-in stereo speakers
  • Built-in stereo speakers
I/O Ports
  • 1x Microphone-in/Headphone-out jack
  • 1x Type C USB3.1 (GEN2)
  • 3x Type A USB 3.1 TYPE C port(s)
  • 1x RJ45 LAN Jack for LAN insert
  • 1x HDMI
  • 1x mini Display Port
  • 1x SD card reader
  • 2x USB 3.0 Type-A
  • 1x USB 3.1 Type-C
  • 1x USB 2.0
  • 1x RJ-45
  • 2x Mini DisplayPort
  • 1x HDMI 1.4
  • 1x 6-in-1 SD card reader
  • 2x USB 3.1 Gen 2 port (Type-C)
  • 3x USB 3.0 ports (USB3.1 Gen1, 1 x powered USB port, AC/DC)
  • 2x Mini Display port 1.3
  • 1x HDMITM output port (with HDCP)
  • 1x 2-in-1 Audio jack (Headphone / S/PDIF Optical output)
  • 1x Microphone jack
  • 1x RJ-45 LAN port
  • 1x USB 3.1 (Gen 2) Type-C
  • 3x USB 3.1 (Gen 1)
  • 1x USB 2.0
  • 1x Mini DisplayPort
  • 1x HDMI
  • 1x Mic-in
  • 1x Headphone-out (HiFi / SPDIF)
  • 1x RJ-45 LAN port
  • 1x SD (XC/HC) card reader
Battery Type
  • 76Wh
  • 47Wh
  • 55Wh
  • 51Wh
Dimensions
  • 415 x 280 x 32mm
  • 378 x 267 x 26.9mm
  • 380 x 249 x 18.6mm
  • 380 x 249 x 17.7 mm
Weight
  • 3.2kg
  • 2.5kg
  • 1.9kg
  • 1.8kg
Miscellaneous
  • RGB illumination
  • RGB illumination

All the laptops were put through the following benchmarks:

  • PCMark 10
  • 3DMark
  • VRMark
  • Ashes of the Singularity
  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
  • Tom Clancy’s The Division

We used the 3DMark Fire Strike Extreme Stress Test for temperature measurements, and the battery life benchmark in PCMark 8 Home to test the battery (PCMark 10 doesn’t yet come with a built-in battery benchmark).

 

PCMark 10 Extended

PCMark 10 Extended assesses the performance of systems in a variety of workloads, including basic computing tasks, productivity applications, digital content creation, and gaming. Compared to PCMark 8, it also adds in new test metrics, such as app startup times, which quantifies how long it takes to launch a variety of real-world apps, and a rendering and visualization workload to simulate professional graphics and engineering applications. In addition, existing workloads have been updated to reflect modern usage.

Despite its 8-core CPU, the ROG Strix GL702ZC fell right in the middle of the pack. In fact, the MSI laptop took the lead in terms of overall scores, largely thanks to the stronger gaming performance afforded by its NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q GPU.

PCMark 10 may not be the best way to bring out the multi-threaded prowess of the Ryzen 7 1700, but it does show that many applications today still don’t benefit from that many threads.

 

3DMark

3DMark looks explicitly at gaming performance, and it puts systems through a range of graphics and computational performance tests at different resolutions, starting at 1080p and going all the way up to 4K.

Unfortunately, the Ryzen 7 1700 and Radeon RX 580 4GB combination don’t seem very potent in terms of graphics performance either, where it was just over seven per cent slower than the Aftershock PRIME-15 and its GeForce GTX 1060 6GB.

The gap narrowed in the more CPU-intensive Time Spy benchmark, but the fact remains that most games today are still primarily GPU-bound.  

 

VRMark

Futuremark’s VRMark benchmark is designed to assess a PC’s ability to handle high-performance headsets like the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. If a PC passes the Orange Room test, it is ready for the latter two systems. The second graph shows how the VRMark score translates into FPS, where 109FPS is the passing mark.

The good news is that the ROG Strix laptop held its ground here, although it was still slightly behind the Aftershock and MSI notebooks.


 

Ashes of the Singularity

Note: The Gigabyte Sabre 15 won’t run the game in DirectX 12 mode, which is why there aren’t any figures for it in the relevant graph.

Ashes of the Singularity is a demanding real-time strategy game that puts thousands of units on screen, and it’s capable of pushing even the most powerful GPUs. However, it’s also rather limited by the CPU at lower resolutions and settings, a rare instance of a CPU-bound game.

The ASUS laptop did rather poorly here, and the Aftershock PRIME-15 was a whopping 64 per cent faster at High settings (DirectX 11). The latter also outdid the MSI GS63VR 7RG by around 19 per cent, despite the MSI laptop having a more powerful GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q GPU.

Previous testing has shown that Ashes of the Singularity appears to heavily favor the use of dual-channel memory, which the Aftershock is equipped with, so this partly accounts for the disparity. On the other hand, both the ASUS and MSI laptops are equipped with single-channel memory, which has half the bandwidth as a dual-channel configuration.

However, it’s important to note that this is an outlier of sorts, and most games don’t show any significant benefit from moving over to dual-channel memory, even if it is better in theory.

But once you turn up the settings and shift toward a more GPU-limiting scenario, this bias toward dual-channel memory isn’t as prevalent. For instance, the MSI notebook took the lead over the Aftershock at Crazy settings.

That said, the ASUS ROG Strix GL702ZC still lagged behind, and the Aftershock PRIME-15 was still 39 per cent faster.

 

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Mankind Divided is one of the most demanding titles to run today, and it’s capable of pushing even the most powerful of cards.

The ROG Strix GL702ZC did better here, tying the Aftershock PRIME-15 and its GeForce GTX 1060 6GB for the most part in DirectX 11, and outstripping it in DirectX 12. The ASUS laptop was 25 per cent quicker than the Aftershock at High settings in DirectX 12, and it also managed to inch ahead of the MSI notebook.

AMD’s hardware is clearly better at taking advantage of DirectX 12 than the Intel/NVIDIA combination in the case, and it helps make up for the shortcomings in DirectX 11.

 

Tom Clancy’s The Division

The Division isn’t as demanding to run as Ashes of the Singularity or Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, but its Snowdrop engine can still stress cards with the use of dynamic lighting and the like.

The ASUS and Aftershock laptops were once again effectively tied, and at this point in time, it’s difficult to say that the ROG Strix notebook has any significant advantage over an equivalent GeForce GTX 1060 6GB laptop in terms of gaming performance.


7.5
  • Design 7.5
  • Features 8
  • Performance 8
  • Value 7.5
  • Mobility 5
The Good
Excellent multi-threaded performance thanks to desktop Ryzen 7 1700 CPU
Great speakers and display
Decent gaming performance
The Bad
Very poor battery life
Thick and heavy design
Noisy fans
Cooling system does not seem to be adequate
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