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ASUS' new ZenBook Pro 16X OLED places its memory right next to the CPU for better performance

By Kenny Yeo - on 7 Feb 2023, 10:53am

ASUS' new ZenBook Pro 16X OLED places its memory right next to the CPU for better performance

The ASUS ZenBook Pro 16X OLED (Image source: ASUS)

One of the more interesting notebooks that was announced by ASUS at CES 2023 was the ZenBook Pro 16X OLED, a high-end notebook targeted at content creators.

It's noteworthy not just because of its auto-tilting keyboard but also because of its unique chip design called ASUS Supernova System-on-Module (SoM). More on this later.

@hwztech The @ASUS ZenBook Pro 16X OLED boasts several internal upgrades for 2023, including a custom designed module housing the CPU and memory modules in close proximity to run faster than sm anything in the market. This is one powerful and robust notebook for creators. #asus #rog #creator #gaming #rtx4080 #6speakers #harmonkardon #dolbyvision ♬ Love You So - The King Khan & BBQ Show

First things first, this notebook has a 16-inch OLED touchscreen display with a 3.2K resolution and 120Hz refresh rate. It covers 100% of the DCI-P3 colour space and is Pantone-validated. It's also protected by Corning Gorilla Glass.

Power comes from an Intel Core i9-13905H processor with up to 32GB of memory and 2TB of PCIe 4.0 x4 SSD storage. Graphics processing is handled by NVIDIA's powerful GeForce RTX 4080 GPU.

See how close the memory chips are to the CPU.

What's unique about the processor, however, is ASUS' Supernova System-on-Module design which essentially positions the memory chips closer to the processor. If this sounds somewhat familiar, it's because one of the reasons for the success of Apple's M-series chips is that the memory is integrated directly into the SoC containing the processor.

ASUS and Intel are, in some ways, trying to replicate that and there are numerous benefits to doing so. Because the memory is closer, the entire module is 38% smaller. This reduces heat and allows the cooling to work more effectively. In combination with the curved vapour chamber cooling system and liquid metal thermal compound, ASUS claims a reduction of up to 7°C in operating temperatures.

The closer position also improves performance. The memory can be overclocked, in this instance, to a whopping 7,500MHz. This has a profound impact on performance, particularly in memory-intensive benchmarks.

(Image source: ASUS)

According to ASUS, when compared with a similar notebook without the SoM design, 3D rendering speed with the Supernova SoM design can be up to 100% faster while video editing speeds see a more modest boost of around 15%.

Connectivity is beefy with two USB-C Thunderbolt 4 ports, a single USB-A USB 3.2 Gen 2 port, a full-size HDMI 2.1 port, and an SD Express 7.0 card reader.


Availability and pricing

ASUS has yet to confirm local availability and pricing, but we will be sure to update the article once we hear from them.

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