ASUS ROG Zephyrus GX501 Review : Asus geforce gtx 1080 Gaming Laptop (asus gx501 )? It’s been more than a year since the moment when NVIDIA introduced mobile versions of GeForce GTX 1070 and GeForce GTX 1080 graphics cards, and now laptops with this graphics are perceived as something ordinary. But it is with the advent of these solutions that the line between desktop and laptop graphics has finally blurred. Henceforth and – I want to believe – for ever and ever game gaming laptops in almost nothing will be inferior to desktop PCs. However trite this phrase may sound, but progress does not stand still – after the laptops were able to match the desktop PCs, it’s time to surprise. And NVIDIA together with leading notebook manufacturers presented the Max-Q design, which allows using the top mobile GPU in the most delicate game solutions. The pioneer was ASUS ROG ZEPHYRUS (GX501).
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The Max-Q platform is the joint creativity of NVIDIA and notebook manufacturers. For more than a year the technology of crystal production has been sharpened, and now the “green” can offer its partners the flagship GPU with a seriously reduced TDP level. Strictly speaking, this is the idea of Max-Q: NVIDIA provided selected chips and software (GeForce Experience with optimisation for more than 400 games), and laptop manufacturers have developed the design of the chassis, motherboard and cooling system, so that at a thickness of no more than 18 mm all the components of the system did not overheat and did not make much noise. It is known that, in addition to ASUS, similar laptops will release Acer, Clevo and MSI. According to NVIDIA, laptops, developed on the basis of Max-Q technology, have some of the best acoustic characteristics among modern gaming laptops with a maximum noise level of 40 dB. However, I will check this point below.
As a result, “green” managed to create a graphics accelerator GeForce GTX 1080 with a TDP level of 90-110 W. To achieve this result, two things have allowed: a serious reduction in the frequency of the GPU and the supply voltage. According to the technical specifications, the base frequency of GeForce GTX 1080 in Max-Q design can take values from 1101 to 1290 MHz, but due to GPU Boost 3.0 technology the frequency in games varies in the range from 1278 to 1468 MHz. The above are the screenshots of the GPU-Z of the three versions of the GeForce GTX 1080: the desktop video card Founders Edition with TDP 180 W, the “full” mobile version and the Max-Q version of ASUS ROG ZEPHYRUS.
It is obvious that the GPU GeForce GTX 1080 in the Max-Q design will be slower than the analogs working at higher frequencies. It seemed suspicious to me also that NVIDIA compares the new product not with the mobile version of the GeForce GTX 1070, but with the GeForce GTX 1060. Also in the Ultra HD resolution, in which 6 GB of video memory is often not enough. In such conditions, the Max-Q version of GeForce GTX 1080 is faster than its opponent on average by 70%. The number is certainly beautiful, but maybe NVIDIA “strangled” the flagship GPU so much that it will lose not only the ordinary version of the GeForce GTX 1080, but also the notebook version of the GeForce GTX 1070? Let’s check.
Specifications, package and software
Several modifications of ASUS ROG ZEPHYRUS were on sale. All possible options are shown in the table below. ASUS ROG Zephyrus GX501 Review : Asus geforce gtx 1080 Gaming Laptop (asus gx501 )
|ASUS ROG ZEPHYRUS (GX501)|
|Display||15.6 ”, 1920 × 1080, IPS, 120 Hz, NVIDIA G-SYNC|
|CPU||Intel Core i5-7300HQ, 4/4 core / stream, 2.5 (3.5) GHz, 45 W|
|Intel Core i7-7700HQ, 4/8 core / threads, 2.8 (3.8) GHz, 45 watts|
|Graphic arts||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080, 8 GB GDDR5X|
|NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070, 8 GB GDDR5|
|RAM||Up to 24GB, DDR4-2400, 2 channels|
|Storage device||SSD, 256/512/1000 GB, PCI Express x4 3.0|
|Interfaces||4 × USB 3.0 Type-A|
1 × 3.5mm mini jack speaker / microphone
1 × HDMI
1 × USB 3.1 Type-C (Thunderbolt 3)
|Built-in battery||4 cells, 50 W • h|
|External power supply||230 W|
|Dimensions||379 × 262 × 17.9 mm|
|operating system||Windows 10 x64 Home or Pro|
|Price in the US according to newegg.com||$ 2,700 for the model with Core i7-7700HQ, 16 GB DDR4-2400, GeForce GTX 1080 and 512 GB SSD|
The ROG ZEPHYRUS includes a Core i7-7700HQ processor, 24 GB of DDR4-2400 memory, a Max-Q version of the GeForce GTX 1080 and a solid-state drive with a capacity of 1 TB. A little later, there will be other versions. The modification of the GX501VI-XS71 with the Core i7-7700HQ, the GeForce GTX 1070, 16 GB of RAM and the 256 GB SSD is estimated at $ 2,300. I got the most balanced version of the ROG ZEPHYRUS – with the Core i7-7700HQ, 16 GB of RAM , 512 GB SSD and GeForce GTX 1080. In the US, it is sold for 2,700 dollars.
The laptop is equipped with the wireless module Intel Wireless-AC 8265, which supports IEEE 802.11b / g / n / ac standards with a frequency of 2.4 and 5 GHz and a maximum bandwidth of 867 Mbps and Bluetooth 4.2.
In addition to the device itself, I found a rubber wrist rest, a wired ROG STRIX IMPACT mouse, a USB-to-RJ-45 adapter and a Phillips screwdriver for partial disassembly of the laptop. And also together with ROG ZEPHYRUS an external power supply unit with the power of 230 W and weight of about 600 grams is supplied.
As always, along with the operating system Windows 10 on the laptop pre-installed many proprietary utilities ASUS ROG, which are activated with the same name button.
“Zephyrka”, as journalists are affectionately called, outwardly I really liked. For models like the ROG G752VSK and the ROG Strix GL553VE, it is noticeable that ASUS designers prefer rounded, streamlined shapes, and therefore ROG ZEPHYRUS definitely stands out against their background. If it were not for the presence of the ROG logo, and also for the non-use of a cover of unusual shape, then this laptop could easily be confused with some kind of ultrabook – so rigorous and not pretentiously the device looks. The lid itself is made of grinded aluminum, which has become so popular with ASUS employees.
The thickness of the laptop reaches 18 mm, and this is one of the thinnest gaming laptops to date. However, due to the 15.6-inch screen, the device does not seem ultra-compact, like, for example, 13.3-inch ultrabooks. Proof of this is the mass of the device – 2.2 kg without taking into account the power supply. Many 15.6-inch laptops with mobile graphics level GeForce GTX 1060 and GeForce GTX 1070 weigh a little more – 2.4-2.6 kg. In general, it turned out to be funny: in a recent review of the ROG Strix GL502VM, I called this model one of the thinnest notebooks with powerful discrete graphics, but after the release of the ROG ZEPHYRUS 23.5 mm in thickness, it does not seem anything unusual. ASUS ROG Zephyrus GX501 Review : Asus geforce gtx 1080 Gaming Laptop (asus gx501 )
The ROG ZEPHYRUS cover is approximately 130 degrees open. The hinges of the laptop are tight, they clearly fix the screen and do not allow it to hang out during games or typing. I note the most interesting design feature of the laptop: when the lid is lifted, the main part of the laptop rises at the same time. As a result, slits are formed on the sides of the laptop, with which the cooling fans further suck in the air. Already heated air leaves the body through the grilles on the back of the laptop.
At the same time, at a slight angle, the keyboard is raised, printing becomes a bit more convenient. Not without a certain amount of decoration – the ventilation slots ROG ZEPHYRUS are equipped with red illumination.
Unfortunately, I did not have the opportunity to test the laptop for a long time, but I want to know if the slots of the laptop will get overwhelmed with a lot of dust.
For obvious reasons, ROG ZEPHYRUS has lost large ports, in particular, the network connector RJ-45. On the left side are the connector for the power supply, HDMI-out, two USB 3.0 A-type and a combined 3.5-mm mini-jack for the headset. On the right side of the laptop are two more USB 3.0 A-type, Thunderbolt 3, combined with USB 3.1 Type-C, and a slot for the Kensington lock. I have no questions about the layout and the number of ports, they are quite sufficient here.
The ROG ZEPHYRUS keyboard is located as close to the user as possible, and the touchpad has taken its place in the lower right corner. This arrangement of the buttons can not be called quite a curiosity, for example, the MSI GT83VR Titan SLI notebook keyboard is designed in a similar way . Yes, and Acer with its Aspire R7 also experimented in this direction. However, the unusual location of the keyboard ROG ZEPHYRUS – it’s not vypendrezh and not an attempt to make an extraordinary device even more extraordinary. This is a design move, because the matte plastic area above the keyboard is also part of the cooling system. If you look closely, you can see the perforation on it. Unfortunately, the grill is quickly clogged with dust, so the appearance of “Zephyr” will fade with time.
It’s quite difficult to evaluate the quality of the keyboard. The ROG ZEPHYRUS uses a scissor mechanism with a 1.4 mm stroke. The system recognizes up to 30 simultaneous clicks – and this is the standard option for clever ASUS laptops. Yes, the stroke of the buttons is small, and the pressure is rather tight. Imposes its imprint location. Personally, I was not comfortable playing with a wrist rest, and carrying a “rubber product” weighing about 300 grams is not very convenient with me. In addition, the keyboard lost some important (for me) keys – no Print Screen, Sys Rq, Pause / Break and Scroll Lock. Num Lock is implemented on the touchpad in the form of a touch panel.
The keyboard is equipped with a three-level backlight. The color and type of glow are set in the ROG Aura Core program, which is activated when the ROG soft key is pressed. The user is available several modes: the same illumination of all buttons and highlighting with the allocation of a different color blocks WASD or QWER.
The touchpad of ROG ZEPHYRUS is present only because it should be at any laptop. It is small, but with support for multi-touch gestures of Windows and handwriting, as it is now accepted. Buttons are pressed very easily, but there is a slight backlash. It is clear that gamers in 99.9% of cases will use a more convenient mouse in games (especially as it comes bundled). Nevertheless, you can play a game or two in Gwent using the touchpad.
On the webcam in ROG ZEPHYRUS saved – there is a module with a resolution of 720p and a frequency of 30 Hz. It produces quite mediocre image quality in a room under artificial lighting and satisfactory – on a clear sunny day.
8 GB of RAM is already uninstalled on the motherboard. There is only one SO-DIMM slot, in which, in our case, Samsung’s 8-gigabyte module is installed. RAM operates at an effective frequency of 2400 MHz when typing timings 17-17-17-39. The board has two M.2 ports. The first is Wi-Fi / Bluetooth-module Intel Wireless-AC 8265, the second – a solid-state drive Samsung MZVKW512HMJP 512 GB. I think that in the next three or four years nothing will change in this configuration. Unless in time, if you decide to disassemble the laptop, you can “finish” the array of RAM to the maximum, that is, up to 24 GB, and also install a more capacious SSD. For a large collection of games 512 GB is still not enough.
Since the laptop has one of the most productive graphics solutions, it makes sense to use only the maximum or close to them the graphics quality settings. The full list of games and options used for testing is given in the table below.
|Graphics settings in games|
|1920 × 1080|
|1||“The Witcher-3: Wild Hunt”, Novigrad and surroundings||DirectX 11||Max. quality||AA|
|2||Ghost Recon Wildlands, built-in benchmark||Max. quality||SMAA + FXAA|
|3||GTA V, built-in benchmark||Max. quality||4 × MSAA + FXAA|
|4||Rise of the Tomb Raider, Soviet base||Max. quality||SMAA|
|5||Watch_Dogs 2, city and surroundings||Ultra, HBAO +||Temporarily smooth 2 × MSAA|
|6th||Fallout 4, Commonwealth||Max. quality, high-resolution textures, splinters from bullets off.||TAA|
|7th||Total War: WARHAMMER, built-in benchmark||Max. quality||4 × MSAA|
|8||Battlefield 1, the mission “With all my strength”||DirectX 12||Ultra||TAA|
|9||Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, complex “Utulek”||Max. quality||2 × MSAA|
|10||Sid Meier’s Civilization VI, built-in benchmark||Ultra||4 × MSAA|
Performance in games was determined using the well-known program FRAPS. With its help, we get the rendering time of each frame. Then, using the FRAFS Bench Viewer utility, not only the average FPS, but also the 99th percentile is calculated. The use of the 99th percentile instead of the minimum frames per second is due to the desire to clear the results of random bursts of performance that were caused not by the causes directly related to the work of the main components of the platform.
Measurement of processor and memory performance was carried out using the following software: ASUS ROG Zephyrus GX501 Review : Asus geforce gtx 1080 Gaming Laptop (asus gx501 )?
- Corona 1.3 . Test rendering speed with the help of the same rendering. The speed of building a standard BTR scene used to measure performance is measured.
- WinRAR 5.40 . Archiving a folder of 11 GB with different data in RAR5 format and with the maximum compression ratio.
- Blender 2.76 . Determine the speed of the final rendering in one of the popular free packages for creating three-dimensional graphics. The duration of construction of the final model from Blender Cycles Benchmark rev4 is measured.
- x265 HD Benchmark . Testing the speed of video transcoding to the perspective format H.265 / HEVC.
- CINEBENCH R15 . Measuring the speed of photorealistic 3D rendering in the animation package CINEMA 4D, CPU test.
The display is tested using the X-Rite i1Display Pro colorimeter and the HCFR application.
The battery life of the laptop is tested in three modes. The first version of the load – web surfing – involves the sequential opening and closing of tabs of 3DNews.ru, Computeruniverse.ru and Unsplash.com with an interval of 30 seconds. This test uses the Google Chrome browser with the “Block third-party sites and cookies” and “Do not allow sites to save data” options. In the second mode, x265 (HEVC) video is played in the standard Windows 10 player with the activated repeat function. The third type of load is the launch of the Unigine Heaven benchmark on the maximum graphics quality settings in full-screen mode. In all three cases, the same display brightness was set at 190 cd / m 2 .
Display and sound
Comrades ASUS engineers, thank you for not installing the TN + Film matrix in ROG ZEPHYRUS, but preferring the IPS screen, moreover with a 120 Hz sweep frequency. The matt display used in the notebook AUO AUO42ED has a decent contrast ratio of 906: 1 for IPS technology and 323 cd / m 2 for a high luminance level of white . The minimum level of brightness is 33 cd / m 2 , so it is convenient to use the laptop at any time of the day: in bright sunlight, in semi-darkness or under artificial illumination.
Color temperature AUO AUO42ED is kept slightly above the standard 6500 K, while the stability of the shades of gray is above average. Gamma 2.05 is slightly below the reference value of 2.2.
The manufacturer claims that the matrix used in the laptop fully complies with the sRGB standard, but in fact there is a slight shift in color coverage relative to the default borders, which are associated with inaccuracies in the color reproduction of individual tones. Thus, the average deviation of DeltaE on a gray scale is 2.2, with a maximum value of 5.57. The average difference in the ColorChecker24 test was 4.3 with a maximum deviation of 10, that is, the display calibration was performed at a level above the average. Perhaps the ROG ZEPHYRUS screen does not suit professional artists and photographers, but for a gamer desktop of this quality, the image is enough.
Finally, the AUO AUO42ED has excellent viewing angles, but there is still a Glow effect. It is particularly noticeable on a black field. Also I did not reveal the PWM matrix in all brightness ranges, well, or it is so small that it is simply not noticeable. In general, ROG ZEPHYRUS uses not an ideal, but a good display.
GeForce GTX 1080 in Max-Q design should fit neatly between the “original” GeForce GTX 1080 for notebooks and GeForce GTX 1070. In all three cases, 8 GB of video memory is used. Unfortunately, I have not tested the GeForce GTX 1080 laptops using the new method, so ASUS ROG ZEPHYRUS compares this time to the MSI GT73VR 7RE Titan SLI (with the second GeForce GTX 1070 disabled, of course). To the level of productivity of “Zephyr” there are no complaints.
The power of the GeForce GTX 1080 in Max-Q design is enough to play any modern AAA projects at the maximum graphics quality settings in Full HD resolution. Therefore, ASUS engineers did everything right: IPS-matrix with this resolution and frequency of 120 Hz fits perfectly into the concept of this gaming device. When NVIDIA introduced mobile versions of GeForce GTX 1070 and GeForce GTX 1080, which are almost in no way inferior to analogs used in desktop PCs – it was a real revolution, as for the first time in history, notebook graphics stood on one step with the desktop.
Now we are witnessing the evolution of “green” products: for the first time a laptop with a thickness of only 18 mm was equipped with such a powerful GPU! For me, the appearance of the Max-Q design has become a very welcome event – gaming laptops have long ceased to look like thick “coffins” with an opening lid.
ASUS ROG Zephyrus GX501 Review : Asus geforce gtx 1080 Gaming Laptop (asus gx501 )
ASUS ROG Zephyrus GX501 Review
ASUS ROG Zephyrus GX501 Review : Asus geforce gtx 1080 Gaming Laptop (asus gx501 ). Intel Core i7-7700HQ 2.8 GHz Processor (Turbo up to 3.8GHz) and GeForce GTX 1080 8GB with Max-Q design. Windows 10 Pro. High refresh rate 120Hz wide view Full-HD display with NVIDIA G-SYNC technology
Fast SSD and RAM: featuring 512GB