The ASUS Zephyrus G15 Ryzen 9 5900HS (2021) Review: The Most Eye-Catching Laptop of the Year

Everyone was taken aback by the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 gaming laptop’s sleek design and powerful technologies. We noted in our review from last year that it is a really well-balanced laptop, one that performs admirably while still looking good. Due to, well, 2020 and all of its madness, I was unable to check out the ROG Zephyrus G15, the G14’s sibling.

However, now that I’ve been using the new 2021 Zephyrus G15, I must say that I’m rather taken with it. The ROG Zephyrus G15 essentially builds on everything that was great about the ROG Zephyrus G14. As a result, you end up with a really clean laptop that is optimised to deliver some pretty incredible speed.

At Rs 1,37,990, the real question is whether the ROG Zephyrus G15 can compete with the dozens of RTX 30-series laptops presently flying off the market. Let us investigate more in this in-depth investigation.

ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15 Specifications

According to ASUS, the ROG Zephyrus G15 will be available in two configurations in India. Choose from the AMD Ryzen 7 5800HS and AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS processors. The Zephyrus G15 is available with an Nvidia RTX 3060 or RTX 3070 GPU, both of which have an 80W TDP. Apart from that, both computers have nearly identical characteristics.

  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 7 5800HS or AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS, 3.3 GHz (Turbo up to 4.8 GHz, 8 cores)
  • Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 graphics with 8GB GDDR6 memory (80W TGP + 20W Dynamic Boost) or Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 graphics with 6GB GDDR6 memory (80W TGP + 20W Dynamic Boost).
  • DDR4 3200MHz RAM up to 48GB (Dual channel)
  • 2* PCIE SSD M.2 512GB/1TB Storage Slots
  • QHD (2560×1440) IPS 165Hz, 100 percent DCI-P3 compliance, 300nits, 3ms Pantone certification, Adaptive sync

ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15 performance

The evaluation model that I received has an AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS CPU and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 GPU. With eight cores, sixteen threads, and sixteen megabytes of L3 cache, the Ryzen 9 5900HS is a true beast of a CPU.

The 5900HS runs at a base clock speed of 3.3GHz and can turbo up to 4.6GHz under stress. This is the same CPU that was used in our recent evaluation of the ROG Flow x13.

The 35W Ryzen 9 5900HS will operate at frequencies ranging from 3.5Ghz to 4.0Ghz in single-core mode. When all cores are active, the clock rate stabilises at around 4.0Ghz.

In Cinebench R20, the Zephyrus G15 earned 563 points in the single-core test and 5106 points in the multi-core test. It outperformed laptops powered by Intel’s Comet Lake CPU in this scenario.

The Zephyrus G15 outperformed the competition with 6927 points in PCMark 10’s modern office test. It is obvious that a fast CPU has a considerable influence on overall system performance. I compared the G15’s PCMark 10 result to that of the Flow x13 and Zephyrus G14 from last year’s Ryzen 9 4900HS test.

On further benchmarks I ran on the G15 for the internal scoring sheet, I was able to acquire comparable results. In general, I feel that the Ryzen 9 5900HS CPU is an excellent choice for this laptop, surpassing the competition by up to 10% in CPU-intensive tests.

Capabilities in Gaming

To begin with, my ROG Zephyrus G15 review model is equipped with an RTX 3060 GPU and an 80W TDP. The laptop is also available with an RTX 3070 graphics card, however ASUS does not provide any other configurations.

It’s worth mentioning that the RTX 3060 can be configured with a TDP of up to 115W on laptops. ASUS picked a far inferior CPU with an 80W TDP, and I anticipated a comparable negative performance impact. Given the rate at which recent AAA titles utilise memory, the 6GB VRAM may be insufficient.

At 1080p, the Zephyrus G15 achieved 8028 points in the TimeSpy test from 3DMark and 18019 points in the FireStrike test from 3DMark. As you can see, both results are comparable to those obtained by the ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 equipped with the RTX 3080 GPU. These are really reliable data, and I can attest that I had a comparable performance when gaming.

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card is capable of processing games at the laptop’s native resolution of 1440p. Shadow of the Tomb Raider performed with a frame rate of around 70 frames per second at 1440p resolution on the maximum graphical settings.

Apex Legends also ran at a maximum frame rate of roughly 120 frames per second at 1440p with the top settings. Contemporary AAA titles, such as Red Dead Redemption 2, may also be played in 1440p with the maximum graphical settings.

While 1440p gaming is certainly viable with this GPU, contemporary AAA titles will require you to drop the graphical settings in order to get higher frame rates. The following is a frame rate graph demonstrating how games function at 1080p on the Zephyrus G15 laptop –

Even after several hours of gaming, I noted that the GPU was not underpowered as a result of heat throttling or anything like. The RTX 3060 laptop GPU operated at an average clock speed of roughly 1,500Mhz, with no signs of thermal throttling or performance degradation.

I also put the 1TB M.2 NVMe SSD to the test to see how well it performed in comparison to the rest of the gear. CrystalDiskMark showed a maximum read speed of 3580 megabytes per second and a maximum write speed of 2843 megabytes per second.

That is exactly what I expected from a PCIe Gen 3.0 disc, and it should result in quicker boot speeds and programme loading times.

ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15 Creative Workload Evaluation

The ROG Zephyrus G15 features one of the greatest laptop displays available, with exceptional colour accuracy. And, with such strong specs, I believe this laptop may be a dream for video makers who are unwilling to spend a fortune on a complicated setup.

To determine this laptop’s ability to manage creative workloads, I used Adobe Lightroom and Premiere to check if it could handle picture and video processing.

I was able to export batches of 50, 100, and 500 RAW images shot on a Nikon D850 in around 119, 237, and 1098 seconds, respectively, using Lightroom. It’s roughly comparable to the results I obtained on the ROG Flow x13 laptop, as they share the same CPU.

I was able to export a 5-minute 4K project in 279 seconds using Adobe Premiere, which is not bad. Clearly, the Ryzen 9 5900HS and RTX 3060 GPU combination can assist you in completing even the most difficult rendering tasks.

Thermals ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15

The Zephyrus G14 suffered from significant heating difficulties last year, making it impossible to recommend the laptop. I’m curious if the G15 will have the same concerns, particularly now that we’re looking at the Ryzen 9 5900HS and RTX 3060 GPU. To be honest, the laptop manages thermals admirably, so there’s no reason to be concerned.

I measured a maximum CPU temperature of 95°C, however it was generally between 75°C and 80°C. These values were taken while I was running stress tests, therefore I’d estimate that the CPU would typically stay around 70°C while executing some CPU-intensive chores.

With regards to the GPU temperature, I was able to record a maximum of 84.6°C. Even at maximum settings, the GPU remained consistently between 50°C and 80°C, which is very average for gaming laptops.

The nice aspect is that neither the CPU nor the GPU experienced heat throttling. I noticed no speed degradation even when I ran the benchmarks consecutively.

Even under maximum load, the laptop’s casing temperature will remain between 50°C and 55°C. The region around the WASD keys was roughly 45°C, while the keyboard deck reached a high temperature of about 35°C. This enables you to utilise the laptop’s keyboard comfortably for gaming.

Display ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15

The era of 1440p gaming laptops is here, and ASUS has decided to join the fray. As with the ROG Strix Scar 15, the Zephyrus G15 features a 15.6-inch 1440p display with a maximum refresh rate of 165Hz and a reaction time of 3ms.

1440p displays are substantially more crisp than 1080p displays, and ASUS took it a step further by including a faster refresh rate and a colour calibrated screen.

I measured a peak luminance level of 290cd/m2 and a black luminance level of just 0.3cd/m2. Additionally, the panel achieved a contrast ratio of 966:1, which is rather good for an IPS display.

The display is undoubtedly biassed toward blue, as I was able to record an average colour adjusted temperature of 7133.

Additionally, it covers 98.4 percent of the DCI-P3 colour space and 146.6 percent of the sRGB colour space, which is rather impressive. What I enjoyed most about this display is that it came calibrated, unlike the Strix Scar 15 or the Flow x13 that we previously evaluated.

In our ColourChecker analysis, I noticed that the display had an average DeltaE value of 3.2 and a maximum DeltaE value of 6.2.

These figures are significantly higher than those obtained previously with the Flow x13 and ROG Strix Scar 15. Except for a few shades of blue, I didn’t notice any particular colours shifting significantly across the gamut.

While manual colour calibration could improve it further, I believe the display is already well-suited for color-sensitive work. And with 16GB of RAM and an RTX 3060 GPU, content creators will undoubtedly benefit from this.

Battery Life ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15

Inside the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15 is a 90Whr battery that is charged through a standard barrel charger. The desire to purchase a gaming laptop with a long battery life is often dismissed as wishful thinking, but the Zephyrus G15 demonstrates differently.

The Zephyrus G15 lasted 6 hours and 20 minutes at max brightness on PCMark 10’s battery life test, which we run on virtually all laptops that come here for testing. That’s around 370 minutes of usage, which is not awful at all.

How does this translate into practical application? To be honest, I was able to use the G15 for a whole day of work without charging it once.

You may do this by setting the brightness to around 200 nits rather than the maximum and utilising Windows’ Battery performance option in favour of the battery. For day-to-day usage cases when the GPU is not required, I also advocate switching to the iGPU to improve battery life.

Having said that, the Zephyrus G15 is capable of handling a regular workday for me, which entails writing and researching for my reviews, viewing YouTube videos and Twitch broadcasts, and listening to music via Bluetooth headphones.

Additionally, you may charge the laptop for around 30 minutes to regain half of its energy. It goes without saying that you should not run games or any 3D-related chores on battery power, as this will result in a significant decrease in 3D performance. Overall, I’m impressed with the Zephyrus G15 gaming laptop’s battery life.

ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15 Keyboard, Trackpad, and I/O

I needed some time to adjust to the keyboard on the Zephyrus G15. I fault the arrangement for it, since I needed to adjust my wrist appropriately on the deck in order to strike the centre keys. Although this is mostly owing to the big touchpad, this is hardly a deal-breaker.

The keys themselves are rather decent, and with 1.7mm of key travel and quiet keys, the typing experience is quite pleasant. However, the keys are a little mushy, and you may not enjoy it if you’re used to a keyboard with crisp, clicky keys.

I appreciate the top-mounted volume controls and the three-stage adjustable backlight. Additionally, don’t forget about the fingerprint scanner integrated inside the power button.

As I noted previously, the trackpad is enormous. I’m delighted ASUS opted for a larger chassis in order to allow a larger trackpad.

This was one of the most vexing issues I encountered with ROG Flow x13. Apart from its size, the trackpad impressed me with its smooth and gliding-friendly surface. Without a question, this is one of the greatest trackpads I’ve ever encountered on a Windows laptop.

Coming from the ROG Flow x13 laptop without an eGPU, I was pleasantly surprised by the Zephyrus G15 laptop’s port count.

It features two USB Type-A ports and two USB Type-C connectors (Gen 3.2 each), all of which enable Power Delivery at 100 watts and DisplayPort. Additionally, an RJ45 connector, an audio jack, an HDMI 2.0 output, a Kensington lock slot, and a microSD card reader are included.

ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15 Design & Build Quality

The Zephyrus G15 is a visual treat, even more so in its white variant, which I had the opportunity to evaluate. ASUS has been producing some nice laptops recently, and this one ranks high on my list of attractive computers.

It features a slim design, measuring only 19.9mm in length. Although it is not a thin and light laptop, it weighs just 1.9Kgs, making it lighter than other gaming laptops on the market with equivalent functionality.

The Zephyrus G15’s body is constructed from a magnesium and aluminium alloy, and the chassis is quite strong. Additionally, it has ASUS’ Ergolift design, which elevates the laptop’s body slightly when the lid is fully opened.

The laptop’s lid features over 8,000 small holes and thin strips of prismatic film behind them. I’d say that depending on how the light hits it, it forms a fascinating rainbow stripes pattern. Over be honest, I prefer this to the Dot Matrix display they introduced last year with the Zephyrus G14.

Additionally, the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15 features six speakers: two front-firing tweeters and a pair of force-cancelling woofers hidden behind the palm rest.

They sound fantastic, which is unsurprising. The audio quality is excellent, with a strong bottom and pounding percussion. Additionally, Dolby Access enables you to choose between many equalisers. I don’t frequently get to say this, but the Zephyrus G15 offers one of the greatest audio experiences available on a laptop.

Verdict

To be honest, if you’ve read everything I’ve said on the laptop, you’ve probably already guessed my conclusion. ASUS has gone to great pains to make the Zephyrus G15 one of the best gaming laptops on the market, and there is honestly very nothing to criticise.

My experience with this laptop has been nothing short of great, and I see no reason to suggest it. Yes, the laptop misses a camera and a faster display, such as the 240Hz options we’ve been seeing.

However, if you don’t mind using the integrated external camera and the 165Hz display, you need look no farther.

The Ryzen 9 5900HS processor and RTX 3060 GPU work in tandem to deliver exceptional performance, and the laptop also outperforms competitors in terms of battery life and build quality. The ROG Zephyrus G15 is a superb gaming laptop, and I anticipate it will appear on a few of our year’s best recommended lists.

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