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Performance Impressions: ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 notebook is a game changer for AMD

By Aaron Yip - 5 Jul 2020

Test Setup and Performance

Test Setup and Performance

For my comparisons, I have opted to refer to past notebooks that we had reviewed before. These are:

  • Aftershock Forge 15 Pro
  • Gigabyte Aero 15 OLED XA
  • Acer Predator Triton 500
  • ASUS ROG Strix Scar III GL531GW

Admittedly, choosing the notebooks to stack up against the ROG Zephyrus G14 was challenging not least because we do not have any recent AMD-powered notebooks that we can use as a baseline to compare it with. So, I have picked these four gaming notebooks to not only check how the GeForce RTX 2060 in the Zephyrus G14 stacks up against its 2070 Max-Q variant brethren, but to also provide an indicator of how the AMD Ryzen 9 4900HS, with a base clock of 3.0GHz (max boost clock up to 4.3GHz) match up to Intel-based gaming notebooks using H-series performance processors.

Test notebooks compared
  ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 GA401V Aftershock Forge 15 Pro Gigabyte Aero 15 OLED XA Acer Predator Triton 500 ASUS ROG Strix Scar III GL531GW
  ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 GA401V Aftershock Forge 15 Pro Gigabyte Aero 15 OLED XA Acer Predator Triton 500 ASUS ROG Strix Scar III GL531GW
Launch SRP
  • From S$
  • From S$2080
  • From S$3799
  • From S$3198
  • From S$3598
Processor and Chipset
  • AMD Ryzen 9 4900HS (3.0GHz)
  • Intel Core i7-9750H (2.6GHz, 12MB L3 cache)
  • Intel Core i7-9750H (2.6GHz, 12MB L3 cache)
  • Intel Core i7-9750H (2.6GHz, 12MB L3 cache)
  • Intel Core i7-9750H (2.6GHz, 12MB L3 cache)
Operating System
  • Windows 10 Pro
  • Windows 10
  • Windows 10
  • Windows 10
  • Windows 10
System Memory
  • 16GB DDR4-3200 single-channel RAM
  • 16GB DDR4-2666 dual-channel RAM
  • 16GB DDR4-2666 dual-channel RAM
  • 16GB DDR4-2666 dual-channel RAM
  • 16GB DDR4-2666 single-channel RAM
Video & Display
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060
  • 15.6-inch 1,920 x 1,080-pixel 144Hz AHVA display
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
  • 15.6-inch 3,840 x 2,160-pixel AMOLED display
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
  • 15.6-inch 1,920 x 1,080-pixel 144Hz IPS display
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070
  • 15.6-inch 1,920 x 1,080-pixel 240Hz IPS-type display
Storage
  • Intel M.2 NVMe PCIe 1TB
  • 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
  • Intel 760p 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
  • 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
  • Intel 660p 1TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
Optical Drive
  • None
  • None
  • None
  • None
  • None
Connectivity
  • Intel Wi-Fi 6 with Gig+ performance (802.11ax)
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Intel Wireless-AC 9560
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Killer Ethernet E2600
  • Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650 Wireless Network Adapter
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Killer E3000 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet Controller
  • Killer Wireless-AC 1550i Wireless Network Adapter
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Intel Wireless-AC 9560
  • Realtek PCIe GbE Family Controller
  • Bluetooth 5.0
Audio
  • 2 x 2.5W speakers with Smart AMP technology
  • 2 x 0.7W tweeter, Array Microphones
  • With Dolby Atmos technology
  • Built-in stereo speakers
  • Built-in stereo speakers
  • Built-in stereo speakers
  • Built-in stereo speakers
I/O Ports
  • 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C with DisplayPort 1.4 and Power Delivery
  • 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C
  • 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A
  • 1 x HDMI 2.0b
  • 1 x 3.5mm headphone and microphone combo jack
  • 1 x Kensington lock
  • 1x USB 2.0 port
  • 1x USB 3.0 (USB 3.1 Gen 1) port
  • 1x USB 3.1 Gen 2 port (Type A)
  • 1x DisplayPort 1.3 over USB 3.1 Gen 2 (Type-C)
  • 1x Mini Display 1.2 port
  • 1x HDMI 2.0 output port (with HDCP)
  • 1x 2-in-1 Audio Jack (Headphone / Microphone)
  • 1x Microphone jack
  • 1x RJ-45 LAN port
  • 3x USB 3.1 (Gen1) Type-A
  • 1x Thunderbolt 3
  • 1x HDMI 2.0
  • 1x DP 1.4 & USB3.1 (USB Type-C)
  • 1x 3.5mm Headphone/Microphone Combo Jack
  • 1x UHS-II SD Card Reader
  • 1x DC-in Jack
  • 1x RJ-45
  • 3x USB 3.1 (Gen 1) Type-A
  • 1x Thunderbolt 3
  • 1x HDMI 2.0
  • 1x Mini DisplayPort 1.4
  • 3x USB 3.1 (Gen 1) Type-A
  • 1x USB 3.1 (Gen 2) Type-C
  • 1x HDMI 2.0b
  • 1x RJ-45
Battery Type
  • 76Wh
  • 47Wh
  • 94.24Wh
  • 84Wh
  • 66Wh
Dimensions
  • 324 x 222 x 19.9mm
  • 361 x 258 x 27.9mm
  • 356 x 250 x 20mm
  • 358.5 x 255 x 17.9mm
  • 360 x 275 x 24.9mm
Weight
  • 1.7kg
  • 2.2 kg
  • 2kg
  • 2kg
  • 2.57kg

These are the games and benchmarks that I ran on the Zephyrus G14:

  • PCMark 10
  • 3DMark
  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
  • Metro Exodus
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider
  • Tom Clancy's The Division 2

 

For daily work productivities

PCMark 10 is a synthetic benchmark that evaluates systems based on workloads that can be categorized into four distinct groups, comprising Essentials, Productivity, Digital Content Creation, and Gaming. This includes tests such as app start-up times, web browsing, word processing and spreadsheets, photo and video editing, and rendering and visualization tasks. Finally, gaming performance is evaluated using the Fire Strike benchmark. 

ASUS has been known to produce top notch gaming products, but their continued insistence in using single-channel memory as opposed to dual-channel (as with almost all of their competitors) for their notebooks is a handicap to performance – as seen in the results below where we had previously compared how the ROG Strix Scar III GL531GW would have performed if it was running on dual-channel memory (2x8GB). The results above are quite clear for both productivity or gaming - dual-channel memory does have a positive impact on performance. ASUS’ reason for this, was to give consumers a spare DIMM slot for when they wish to upgrade their ROG notebooks’ memory count to 32GB (2x16GB), but the downside here also meant that their notebooks do not perform to its full potential out of the box.

 

What about games performance?

That the Zephyrus G14 lags behind the rest of the notebooks here is not unexpected, as its RTX 2060 is slower than the superior RTX 2070s but not that far off from the Aftershock Forge 15 Pro, which also uses the same RTX 2060 chip. But the interesting observation here is how, if a CPU bound game like Shadow of the Tomb Raider is optimised for Ryzen processors, that the Zephyrus G14 can come close to – if not outperform – the Intel notebooks.

So, the question is this. Will the ROG Zephyrus G14 perform even better if it had been crammed with two 8GB of memory instead of one 16GB? Very much so, especially in games that are CPU bound – like Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 and Shadow of the Tomb Raider. These are really impressive results.

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