This is our detailed review of the mid-2019 update of the Asus ROG G703GX gaming and performance notebook, in a higher specced configuration with a 9th gen Intel Core i9-9980HK unlocked processor, a 200W implementation of the Nvidia RTX 2080 graphics chip and 64 GB of RAM storage.
This is one of the few remaining desktop-replacement computers that haven’t adhered to the current portability and miniaturization trends. On the contrary, the G703GX is massive and heavy and sturdily built, but makes no compromise when it comes to performance, thermals and IO, while also offering a large battery, a 144 Hz screen with dual GSync/Optimus modes and capable quad-speakers.
The ROG G703GX is also one of the most powerful notebooks on the market right now, as one of the few A-tier implementations of the eight-core i9 processor and the 200W RTX graphics, and it’s able to deliver on the performance those components are actually capable off. You do need two power bricks to power it out, though, which add to the total weight, but if performance in a laptop form-factor is what you’re looking for and you’re willing to spend $3500+ for it, this is pretty much your best bet right now. And yes, there are barebones built on 9th gen desktop-grade components that can stand next to it in terms of CPU power, but as far as I know, those only get a 150W RTX 2080, so fall a little behind in the graphics department.
Down below we’ve gathered our impressions on all this laptop’s strong points and quirks, so make sure to go through this lengthy review if you’re planning on buying one of these ROG G703 behemoths, and don’t hesitate to get in touch in the comments section at the end if you have any feedback or questions.
The specs sheet as reviewed
|Asus ROG G703GX|
|Screen||17.3 inch, 1920 x 1080 px resolution, IPS, 144 Hz, matte, Optimus/GSync, AU Optronics AUO409D panel|
|Processor||Intel Coffee Lake-R Core i9-9980HK, eight-core|
|Video||Intel UHD 630 and overclocked Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 6GB 200W (GeForce 430.64)|
|Memory||64 GB DDR4 2666 MHz (4x 16 GB DIMMs)|
|Storage||2x 512 GB SSDs in Raid0 (M.2 80 mm NVMe – Intel 760p SSDPEKKW512GB) + 512 GB Samsung PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ NVMe SSD + 1 TB HHD (2.5″ bay – Seagate ST1000XL015)|
|Connectivity||Intel 9560 AC 2×2 WiFi with Bluetooth 5.0, Realtek RTL8125 2.5 GbE LAN|
|Ports||3x USB-A 3.1 gen2, 1x USB-C with Thunderbolt 3, HDMI 2.0a, miniDP 1.4, LAN, SD card-reader, headphone/mic, Kensington Lock|
|Battery||96 Wh, 2x 280 W power adapters|
|Size||425 mm or 16.73” (w) x 319 mm or 12.56” (d) x 51 mm or 2.01” (h)|
|Weight||4.39 kg (9.68 lb), .98 kg (2.16 lbs) for each power brick, EU version|
|Extras||per key lit RGB keyboard with NumPad, 2x 2W and 2x 4.5W speakers, HD webcam|
Our review unit is a pre-production sample offered by Asus for the purpose of this review, but it performed just as you should expect from the final retail models.
Retail configurations will get different amounts of memory and storage, but for the most part, you’ll get two different ROG G703GX versions with 9th gen hardware, both with the 200W RTX 2080 graphics: a top-speed configuration with the 8-Core i9-9880HK processor, and a lower-tier variant with the 6-Core i7-9750H CPU.
Design and exterior
Let’s start with the obvious: the ROG G703 is a big and heavy laptop and makes no effort to follow the recent trends of thinner profiles, reduced weight or slim bezels. On the contrary, this is everything but the opposite, and that offers the space to integrate the hardware, the IO and the required thermal module to keep that power-hungry hardware in check.
Nonetheless, this is not the kind the of laptop you’ll want to carry around every day, as it weighs 6.5 kilos once you add up the two power bricks, twice the total weight of the more portable 17-inch alternatives.
Personally, I can accept the bulk, knowing the kind of laptop this is, but I have a really hard time accepting that tall front profile which presses on my wrists with daily use, and I wish Asus would at least redesign that part and somehow twists it down and make it friendlier. In fact, the G703 hasn’t been redesigned in a few generations, and it’s showing its age. Smooth and textured plastics are still used for the interior, and brushed aluminum for the outside, all mixed into a carefully crafted bundle, as well as into one of the sturdiest chassis on the market.
For what is worth, Asus offers a more modern design with similar capabilities in the ROG Mothership, and that’s something you might want to look at (and we’ll further analyze in a future review as well), as its Surface-like tablet design with a detachable keyboard makes it more practical on a desk than the cumbersome G703, although you do have to consider that its form factor makes it totally unusable on the lap.
As far as practicality goes, there’s not much to complain aside from that tall profile and the fact that the screen only leans back to about 130 degrees, albeit that’s enough for desk use. Two strong hinges keep the strongly made display in place and still allow to adjust it with a single hand, grippy rubber feet keep the massive body anchored on the desk, up-firing speakers deliver good quality sound from beneath that thick-bezel matte IPS screen, the status LEDs have been pushed onto the front lip, out of the line of sight, and the IO is lined on the left edge and on the back, keeping cables out of a mouse’s way.
Of course, when it comes to the IO, this laptop gets every important connector, from multiple USB-A gen2 slots to Thunderbolt 3, HDMI 2.0, LAN and a card reader.
All in all, while I do find it difficult to use such a laptop, having been used to ultraportables for so long now, I completely understand why those of you primarily interested in performance might favor a no-compromise solution as this ROG G703 over a more compact alternative.
Keyboard and trackpad
The keyboard Asus uses on the ROG G Series lineups hasn’t changed much over the years, and it’s one of the better on the market, as long as you’re OK with stiff and deep-travel keys. I for one am not, as I’m used to shallower and softer implementations, that’s why both my typing speed and my accuracy struggles with this kind of keyboards, but given enough time, I could adjust to it in the end.
My biggest nit with the typing experience on this laptop still comes back to that tall front profile that I just find so uncomfortable, unless I keep this on a large table with a lot of arm support. I’d say something at least 70 cm deep would be required to make this usable for me.
All in all, while it is not something I personally favor, the G703 gets a keyboard that should suite those interested in this kind of a device: old school users coming from older laptops with strong feedback and a deep-stroke. There’s very little not to like about the layout, this is also a quiet typer that won’t draw attention in silent environments and the keys are backlit, with per-key control over the multiple-intensity RGB LED illumination and various effects and sync options in the Aura subsection of the Armoury Crate. Due to the keys’ height, a fair bit of light creeps out from beneath the keycaps, though.
For mouse, Asus sticks with a spacious plastic touchpad with Elan hardware and Precision software, an implementation that just reliably works all the time. You can’t click on the surface, but you can tap on it without causing any rattling, and large and smooth physical click buttons are implemented beneath, which again, just work.
The ROG G703 lacks any sort of biometric login options, which comes to no surprise, knowing how those are missing from the vast majority of Asus’s newer designs as well.
Asus equips the ROG G703 with a 17-inch 144 Hz/3 ms matte IPS screen, with FHD resolution, and it’s the AU Optronics AOU409D panel also available on most of the other 17-inch Asus laptops, including the ROG GL704 Scar and the entry-level TUF FX705.
This is a very good option for gaming, especially since GSync is also supported here, but it’s otherwise just slightly above average in terms of brightness, contrast, and color-coverage, thus creators in need of a color-accurate screen will have to hook up an external monitor. A wider gamut panel would have been nice, but there is none that also meets the frequency and response times demanded by gamers these days.
One could also argue that a higher resolution panel would have played well with the kind of hardware inside this computer, and I agree to some point, but again, the options for good-quality WQHD or UHD high-refresh panels are still fairly limited.
Anyway, here’s what we got on this implementation, according to our Sypder4 sensor:
- Panel Hardware ID: AU Optronics AUO409D (B173HAN04.0);
- Coverage: 97% sRGB, 68% NTSC, 74% AdobeRGB;
- Measured gamma: 2.2;
- Max brightness in the middle of the screen: 256 cd/m2 on power;
- Contrast at max brightness: 830:1;
- White point: 7800 K;
- Black on max brightness: 0.31 cd/m2;
- PWM: No;
- Response time: 3 ms advertised, ~11 ms BTW.
Our sample came rather poorly calibrated out of the box, with a severely skewed White point, thus you might want to use this calibrated color profile to balance things out.
On the other hand, our sample got almost no light bleeding and fairly uniform brightness distribution. Color uniformity was a highly problematic in the lower left corner, though, and while that’s not something you would be able to distinguish with the naked eye, it’s another argument in favor of switching to a better external monitor for color accurate work.
Hardware and performance
Our test model is a highly specced configuration of the Asus ROG G703GX, with the Core i9-9980HK processor, 64 GB of DRR4 2666 MHz RAM (4x DIMMs), triple NVMe SSDs and an extra HDD for mass-storage, as well as an overclocked version of the RTX 2080 Nvidia GPU, with a TDP of 200W.
The CPU and GPU are similar to what Asus offers in retail and what you can buy for yourselves, although the SSD and RAM configurations might vary. The storage and two of the RAM slots are easily accessible on the laptop’s belly, hidden away behind an access door. The other two memory slots are hidden behind the motherboard and require complete disassembly to get to, something you might also want to do if you plan to repaste the laptop.
You could, however, consider buying this from a third-party seller that can do the repasting for you, most of them offer this at a correct price, and this way you won’t mess with the warranty. This might not be an option for you if you’re not in the US, where most of these shops are located, but in all fairness, repasting might not be even needed.
The ROG G703GX is one of the few gaming laptops with a 200W RTX 2080 on the market, as competitors are also offering a 200W BIOS for devices like the Alienware m15 or the MSI GT76 Titan. Asus also pairs it with the brand-new 8-core 16-thread unlocked Coffee Lake-R Core i9-9980HK processor, which it automatically overclocks, so the end result is probably the most powerful laptop on the market, at the time of this article.
That comes with a few drawbacks, though, and one of the most important is the noise development. Asus provides three different power modes for this laptop, which you can use to juggle between performance, thermals, and noise:
- Silent – CPU limited at 45 W and 4.2x multiplier, GPU limited at 140 W, fans only ramp up to about 40-43 dB in games;
- Balanced – CPU limited at 90 W and 4.2x multiplier, GPU limited at 140 W;
- Turbo – CPU limited at 200 W and 4.7x multiplier, GPU limited at 200 W, fans ramp up to 55-56 dB in games.
The CPU is the important update of this generation, and it’s an unlocked and highly configurable implementation, which allows Asus to hit it with the power modes explained above. Its performance in demanding loads varies between modes, and we test it by running Cinebench R15 for 10+ times in a loop, with 2-3 seconds delay between each run.
The Silent profile sets a TDP limit of only 45 W and 6-core multiplier of 42x, which simulates what a very basic implementation of this processor would return: Clock speeds of only 2.7 GHz (Power Limit Throttled), temperatures of around 60 degrees Celsius and scores of 1300+ points.
Next, the Balanced profile pushes the TDP limit to 90W and keeps the 42x multiplier. The CPU is still Power Limit Throttled at about 3.8 GHz, with temperatures of 70 degrees Celsius and scores of 1700+ points.
Finally, switching on Turbo mode sets a 47x multiplier, removes the TDP limits and allows the CPU to unleash in all its greatness. Thermal Throttling kicks-in in this case, though, as some of the Cores reach temperatures of 98-100 degrees Celsius, and as a result the CPU dials back to about 4.6 GHz, a TDP of around 180W and scores of 1940+ points.
Next, we proceeded to see if undervolting can remove the thermal limitation, and our sample performed stably at -120 mV, which is enough to ensure constant 4.7 GHz speeds in the Cinebench loop test, with temperatures of only 85 degrees, a TDP of 150+ W and scores of 2020+ points.
We’re not stopping here, though, as this is an unlocked processor and the results above suggest there’s room for further tweaking.
It’s not much though, as dialing the multiplier to 49x only allowed our sample to stably complete the Cinebench loop test at -80 mV, which still results in high temperatures and Thermal Throttling kicking in after several runs. These settings return scores of 2070+ points, with an average CPU Clock of 4.85 GHz, but some of the Core hit temperatures of 96-98-100 degrees.
We also pushed for 5.0 GHz on this sample, but it was only stable at -50 mV with some serious Thermal Throttling that pushed results back in the 2000+ range, so pretty much the same as on the 4.7 GHz undervolted profile, but with higher temperatures and noisier fans.
That’s why, given the small gains provided by these further overclocked profiles, we decided to actually dial back to the -120 mV undervolted Turbo profile with the 47x multiplier, which we’ve further used for the rest of our tests as part of the Tweaked profile. This also involved further overclocking the GPU with the Asus GPU Tweak utility, which ran stably at +160 MHz Core and +1000 MHz Memory.
Let’s touch on some out-of-the-box benchmark results first, though, on Turbo mode with default settings.
- 3DMark 11: 29806 (Graphics – 38325, Physics – 18010);
- 3DMark 13 – Fire Strike: 22607 (Graphics – 26241, Physics – 24926);
- 3DMark 13 – Time Spy: 10377 (Graphics – 10356, CPU – 10502);
- 3DMark 13 – Port Royal: 6074;
- Uniengine Superposition – 1080p Extreme: 6739;
- GeekBench 3.4.2 32-bit: Single-Core: 4196 Multi-core: 23108;
- GeekBench 4.1.1 64-bit: Single-Core: 5972 Multi-core: 33024;
- CineBench R15 (best run): CPU 2019 cb, CPU Single Core 205 cb;
- CineBench R20 (best run): CPU 4548 cb;
- x264 HD Benchmark 4.0 32-bit: Pass 1 – 216.65 fps, Pass 2 – 79.23 fps.
And here’s what we got on that Tweaked profile, with the CPU on Turbo, 47x multiplier, -120 mV and the GPU further overclocked at +160 MHz Core/+1000 Mhz Memory.
- 3DMark 11: 29976 (Graphics – 38848, Physics – 17936);
- 3DMark 13 – Fire Strike: 23507 (Graphics – 27148, Physics – 24671);
- 3DMark 13 – Time Spy: 10954 (Graphics – 11017, CPU – 10611);
- 3DMark 13 – Port Royal: 6256;
- Uniengine Superposition – 1080p Extreme: 6939;
- PCMark 10: 6929 (Essentials – 10600, Productivity – 9560, Digital Content Creation – 8911);
- PassMark: Rating: 7554, CPU mark: 20525, 3D Graphics Mark: 13614;
- GeekBench 3.4.2 32-bit: Single-Core: 5256 Multi-core: 23848;
- GeekBench 4 64-bit: Single-Core: 5981, Multi-core: 33521;
- CineBench R15 (best run): CPU 2034 cb, CPU Single Core 205 cb;
- CineBench R20 (best run): CPU 4861 cb;
- x264 HD Benchmark 4.0 32-bit: Pass 1 – 260.62 fps, Pass 2 – 118.22 fps.
- x264 HD Benchmark 5.0.1 64-bit: Pass 1 – 175.36 fps, Pass 2 – 43.41 fps.
As expected, the gains in CPU cores are only noticeable in those tests that simulate a 100% all-core load, like Cinebench, as the others are not taxing enough to thermally limit its performance in the default settings. Overclocking the GPU does translate in 5-7% gains in Graphics scores, as it allows the GPU to run at slightly higher clocks. Power Throttling most likely limits the GPU in this case, and further tweaking might be possible by undervolting the GPU, but we didn’t get the time to pursue this on our sample.
It’s also important to add that the Tweaked profile also leads to a 5-7 degrees Celsius drop in CPU temperatures, with little effect on the GPU, as you can see in the following 3DMark logs, as well as down below, in the gaming performance section.
With that out of the way, let’s look at some gaming results. We ran a couple of games representative for DX11, DX12 and Vulkan architectures, both on the Standard (Turbo and Silent) and the Tweaked profile. Here’s what we got on this sample:
|FHD Standard Silent||FHD Standard Turbo||FHD Tweaked|
|Battlefield V (DX 12, Ultra Preset, Ray-Tracing OFF)||112-132 fps||124-150 fps||132-158 fps|
|Battlefield V (DX 12, Ultra Preset, Ray-Tracing ON, DLSS OFF)||58-72 fps||68-92 fps||74-96 fps|
|Far Cry 5 (DX 11, Ultra Preset, SMAA)||106 fps||122 fps||130 fps|
|Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor (DX 11, Ultra Preset)||210 fps||223 fps||234 fps|
|Rise of Tomb Raider (DX 12, Very High Preset, FXAA)||91 fps||102 fps||107 fps|
|Shadow of Tomb Raider (DX 12, Highest Preset, TAA)||102 fps||114 fps||122 fps|
|The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (DX 11, Ultra Preset, Hairworks On 4)||102-120 fps||112-132 fps||122-144 fps|
- Battlefield V, The Witcher 3 – recorded with Fraps/in-game FPS counter in campaign mode;
- Far Cry 5, Middle Earth, Tomb Raider games – recorded with the in-game benchmarking tools.
It’s also worth adding that 4K gaming is where this implementation will actually shine, as one of the very few laptops capable of delivering a proper experience at that resolution. We don’t have a 4K monitor in our office at the moment, so we didn’t get to test the performance in this case.
Anyway, the HWinfo logs below show the CPU and GPU speeds and temperatures in Farcry 5, Battlefield V and Witcher 3 on the Turbo profile, which keeps the fans running at about 5000 rpm (their max capacity) and about 55-56 dB at head level on our review unit.
Undervolting the CPU helps slightly lower the temperatures in Witcher, as well as the noise levels, as shown below.
If that’s still too loud, you can switch to the Silent profile, which lowers the noise levels to only about 40-42 dB, but with a 15-20% drop in performance and an increase in both internal and outer case thermals (see the next section), that’s why I’d only suggest going this route with older or less-demanding titles.
On the other hand, if noise does not bother you (because you cover that up with proper headphones) and you’d rather further improve the performance, here’s what happens when running the same games on the Tweaked profile, with the undervolted CPU and overclocked GPU.
Lastly, here’s what happens when unplugging the laptop: both the CPU and GPU clock down aggressively, so there’s pretty much no chance to play games on this laptop, at least based on our experience with this sample. You can opt to run games with a single power-brick plugged-in, just in case you’re traveling and don’t want to carry both, and while that doesn’t sacrifice on performance, it causes the battery to run out in about two hours.
If you don’t want to dig through the logs, this is what we got in Witcher 3:
- Standard, Turbo profile (Turbo Mode, default CPU/GPU, fans on Auto – 5000+ rpm, 55-56 dB): CPU: ~4.7 GHz,79 C; GPU: ~1.8 GHz, 77 C;
- Undervolted, Turbo profile (Turbo Mode, -120 mV CPU, default GPU, fans on Auto – 4800+ rpm, 52-53 dB): CPU: ~4.7 GHz, 70 C; GPU: ~1.85 GHz, 75 C;
- Standard, Silent profile (Turbo Mode, fans on Auto – 2300+ rpm, 40-42 dB): CPU: ~3.7 GHz, 85 C; GPU: ~1.45 GHz, 90 C;
- Tweaked profile (Turbo Mode, -120 mV undervolted CPU, GPU, +160 MHz Clock/ +1000 MHz Memory, fans on Auto – 5000+ rpm, 55-56 dB): CPU: ~4.7 GHz, 74 C; GPU: ~1.88 GHz, 76 C.
There are a few conclusion we can draw based on these gaming results:
- running the laptop on Silent thermally throttles both the CPU and GPU to performance levels of a regular i7 6-core processor and pretty much a full-power RTX 2070 graphics chip, but with very quiet fans;
- undervolting the CPU helps improve both thermals and the performance;
- further overclocking the GPU doesn’t rip many benefits in real-life gaming, as the chip barely reaches higher clocks than on the undervolted profile, most likely due to Power throttling kicking in, just as suggested by the synthetic benchmark results. GPU Tweak does not allow GPU undervolting, but the MSI Afterburner app does and that’s something you might want to look into if you’re not satisfied with the performance this notebook provides by default.
All in all, Asus does an excellent job at squeezing excellent results from the i9-9880HK and RTX 2080 chips on the Turbo Mode settings, and the only tweak I’d suggest to most buyers is undervolting the CPU at -100 to -120 mV, which is just a matter of moving a slider in XTU and helps the thermals, noise development, and the performance, to a slight extent. Further tweaking is possible, if that’s something you’re interested in, but don’t expect spectacular gains.
Emissions (noise, heat), Connectivity and speakers
The ROG GX703 gets a complex thermal module, with two high-capacity fans and a complex system of heatpipes and thermal plates. Getting to it requires to remove the entire back panel, which is a bit tricky and we didn’t do it on this review unit, so we don’t have a detailed picture of the thermal module to share with you, just some we found online.
What’s more important is that the implementation does an excellent job at keeping the power-hungry CPU and GPU at bay on the Turbo profile, as well as keeping the exterior cool and comfortable to touch during long gaming sessions. Yes, the acoustics are sacrificed in the process, but that was expected on such a laptop and a pair of proper headphones would easily cover up that noise.
You can restrain the noise by opting for the Balanced and Silent power modes, and the fans run at only 40-42 dB on the Silent profile, but that comes with a drop in performance and a significant increase in case temperatures (in the high 40s, with the WASD keys averaging 36-38 degrees Celsius and the arrow keys in the low 30s), so that could be something you might opt for from time to time, perhaps when playing in places where noisier fans would otherwise bother those around you.
The GPU fan switches off with daily use, and while the CPU fan remains active at around 1500 rpm even on the Silent mode, it’s very quiet (36-38 dB) and you’ll only hear it in quiet environments. We did get a fair bit of electronic creaking on our sample, which was actually louder and more annoying than the fans, so make sure to listen for such noises on your sample, which are a matter of luck (or better said, bad luck) with today’s computers.
I do have to mention that better fan control would be appreciated on ROG laptops, mostly the ability to create a versatile fan-curve based on temperature brackets. That’s not available as of right now, but I’ve been told it will be available with a future software update of Armoury Crate, although I wasn’t given an exact time-frame for its availability.
*Daily Use – streaming Netflix on Edge for 30 minutes, fans on Auto (36-38 dB)
*Load Silent – playing Far Cry 5 for 30 minutes, Tweaked Silent Profile, fans on Auto (40-42 dB)
*Load Turbo – playing Far Cry 5 for 30 minutes, Tweaked Turbo profile, fans on Auto (55-56 dB)
For connectivity, there’s an Intel 9560 2×2 Wireless AC implementation inside this laptop, with Bluetooth 5.0, as well as 2.5 GbE Lan through a Realtek module. We’ve mostly used our sample on wireless, and it performed flawlessly both near the router and at 30+ feet away, with obstacles in between. It’s worth noting that other implementations were able to reach higher speeds with our setup.
As far as the speakers go, there are actually four of them on this laptop, 2x 2W smaller ones beneath the screen, firing at you, and 2x 4.5 W subwoofers on the bottom, mostly in charge of the lows. As a result, these are much louder than the average laptop speakers, with volumes of up to 90 dB at head-level, and also sound richer, although there’s still some lacking in the bass department, with lows reproduced from around 60 Hz. We’re definitely not complaining, though, as these are some of the better laptop speakers on the market and perfectly fine for movies and music. With games, you’ll still want to turn to the ES90 Hi-Fi DAC powering the audio jack, to cover up those fans with some proper isolating headphones.
There’s also an HD webcam on the ROG G703, placed at the top of the screen and flanked by microphones, but the image quality is washed out and grainy.
There’s a 96 Wh battery inside this laptop, as well as Optimus to switch off the Nvidia GPU when not required, in order to preserve battery life. The screen also automatically switches to 60 Hz when unplugging the laptop, and these tweaks combined lead to some decent battery life, as long as you keep the laptop on the Silent profile, the most efficient of them all. You might not want to, sometimes, as this mode aggressively clocks down the CPU to the point where multitasking becomes sluggish.
Here’s what we got on our sample, with the screen set at 30%, roughly 120-nits of brightness.
- 18 W (~5+ h of use) – text editing in Google Drive in Edge, Silent Power Profile, screen at 30%, Wi-Fi ON;
- 17.5 W (~5 h 30 min of use) – 1080p Youtube fullscreen in Edge, Silent Power Profile, screen at 30%, Wi-Fi ON;
- 17 W (~5 h 30 min of use) – 1080p Netflix fullscreen video in Edge, Silent Power Profile, screen at 30%, Wi-Fi ON;
- 25 W (~4 h of use) – browsing in Edge, Balanced Power Profile, screen at 30%, Wi-Fi ON.
The GX703 gets two 280W power bricks, each weighing around 2 kilos, and you’ll need both to run games and other demanding loads, or just one to power the laptop with everyday use. This laptop doesn’t charge via USB-C.
Price and availability
The ROG GX703 is listed by stores in some regions in the configuration reviewed here, but it’s scheduled for delivery from mid-June.
You’ll have to pay around 3700 USD or 4000 EUR for the ROG G703GX-XB96K configuration with the i9-9880HK processor, the RTX 2080 200W graphics, 32 GB of RAM and 2x 512 GB SSD in Raid0, or you can opt for the already available to ship lower-end ROG G703GX-XB76 model, with the Core i7-9750H processor, similar graphics and a single 512 GB SSD, available for around $3000. Both include a ROG Gladius II optical mouse, a ROG mousepad and few extra freebies.
Older versions of this laptop with the 6-core i9-8950HK CPU and RTX 2080 graphics are also available, but the i9-9880HK variant is the only one with an 8-C0re/16-Thread processor.
Follow this link for updated prices and configurations at the time you’re reading the article.
All in all, the mid-2019 update of the ROG G703 is one of the most powerful notebooks on the market. It delivers excellent performance from the 8-Core unlocked Core i9 processor and a 200W variant of the RTX 2080 graphics chip, and the implemented power profiles allow users to joggle with performance, thermals, and noise-levels according to their needs, without requiring much further tweaking.
The notebook also checks many of the other boxes you’d expect from a 2019 gaming device: a matte IPS 144 Hz screen, a full-size keyboard with N-key rollover and per-key RGB control, a complete set of ports and quad-speakers, all placed into a sturdily made chassis, one that Asus have been using on this lineup for a few years now, and we know that it ages well and can take a beating.
On the other hand, the G703 is showing its age, both in terms of design, but especially in terms of heft. This is massive, thick and heavy, and you also have to consider that it comes with two power bricks you’ll have to grab along in your luggage.
So when we draw the line, you’ll have to carefully consider how much the performance and the thermal comfort and flexibility matter for you on a laptop. If their your top priority, then you’ll hardly find something better suited to your needs, although there are some other options to look at, like the smaller Alienware Area 51m, the unusually designed Acer Predator Helios 700, or the Core i9 K series powered MSI GT75 Titan and updated GT76 Titan.
Then again, if you’re willing to accept 10-25% poorer results in games, as well as hotter surfaces while playing those games, perhaps one of the more compact 17-inch alternatives with an RTX 2080 Max-Q chip and a regular 9th gen i7 processor might be for you, and I’d primarily look at the Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX701 and the updated Razer Blade Pro as such alternatives.
That wraps up our review of the Asus ROG G703GX, but don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any feedback, questions or anything to add, we’d love to hear your thoughts on this monster, or perhaps the other similar alternatives that we haven’t considered.