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Asus ROG Zephyrus M GU502GU Andrei Girbea Rating: 4.25 out of 5

Asus ROG Zephyrus M GU502 review (GU502GU model – i7-9750H, GTX 1660Ti)

54 Comments

  1. Igor

    June 14, 2019 at 8:03 pm

    Hello! Thank you for review! What will you choose gu502 1660ti vs msi gs65 stealth 1660ti?

    • Andrei Girbea

      June 18, 2019 at 10:59 am

      Both have their pros and cons, but the GU502 is stronger built, so that's the one I'd get IF Thunderbolt 3 would not be a must.

      • Igor

        June 18, 2019 at 9:47 pm

        Thanks for the answer! Why is everyone talking about Thunderbolt 3? What cases do you want to use it in? Connecting an external video card is pointless, where else?

        • Andrei Girbea

          June 19, 2019 at 9:15 am

          pretty much connecting a dGPU, everything else (video, charging, transfer) is possible via the available USB-C port

  2. Stefan Simov

    June 15, 2019 at 4:14 am

    Was really surprised to read that there is only a $100 difference to the RTX 2060 S model. Although I also highly prefer not to have the AAS, as it overcomplicates things (LED inside the AAS, and the possibility of dust getting inside there), if it offers better cooling with more heatpipes, it's not an easy choice to make. A further $100~$200 cut to the price would be great.

    Looking forward to the Glacier Blue versions as well! They seem to have struck gold with the color choice there.

  3. Sandy

    June 15, 2019 at 10:18 am

    Great review as always. Yes, I agree that it's expensive, and in my country with that price you can get an RTX-powered laptop.

    Please review the new budget Asus ROG Strix G G531. It looks good on paper, and comes with attractive price (at least in Malaysia and Thailand). I'm curious about your view on it. Thank you.

  4. Jauquin Thomas

    July 7, 2019 at 10:45 pm

    How easy is it to tear down and repaste the laptop? Anything I know before attempting to repaste?

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 8, 2019 at 9:47 am

      Not complicated as long as you know what you're doing, the screws are visible once you remove the thermal tape pieces. there's a warranty sticker on one of the screws, so I'm sure you know that repasting voids warranty.

  5. Jasper

    July 15, 2019 at 8:23 pm

    My TimeSpy score is weirdly low on my GU502, it's only getting around 5800 and mines even a 2060 model. I only have it undervolted to -50mv. Do you know what may be the problem? Thanks!

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 15, 2019 at 8:27 pm

      what are the CPU and Graphics subscores?

      • Jasper

        July 15, 2019 at 8:31 pm

        The GPU scored 6116 and the CPU scored 4455.

        • Andrei Girbea

          July 15, 2019 at 8:36 pm

          Looks like the CPU is the issue.
          Are you running the laptop on Turbo?
          Try to run the Cinebench loop test explained in this article and see if you get the same speeds in the Hwinfo log. You can also look at the 3Dmark monitoring numbers and compare the findings to ours, perhaps your CPU heats up very fast and clocks down more aggressively than the one on our unit.

          • Jasper

            July 15, 2019 at 8:39 pm

            I'll try to run the Cinebench test and see. As for the temperature, it only slightly get past 80C and the max clockspeed is 3,990 MHz.

          • Andrei Girbea

            July 15, 2019 at 9:41 pm

            It should score higher than that. Can you confirm you have the latest drivers from the Asus website and you're running on Turbo from Armoury Crate?
            The CPU clocks down for some reason, again, you can check our its behavior with HWinfo >> Sensors and then click on the Core ) frequency >> Show graph and compare to ours in the review.

          • Jasper

            July 15, 2019 at 8:50 pm

            I've run Cinebench for about five times, and the average score was about 1125, which is lower than the score you tested.

      • Carlos

        July 31, 2019 at 4:51 pm

        Are you running in dual or single channel mode? In my case, I got lower scores in Time Spy as happened to you, but I was running on single channel. I ordered a Samsung 16GB RAM module and once I have it, I will rerun the benchmark. I can tell you the new results then, if you are interested.

        • Andrei Girbea

          July 31, 2019 at 5:05 pm

          Dual, that's explained in the article. You should get better with dual, gaming is especially influenced by having dual-channel memory, but also some of the GPU results

          • Carlos

            July 31, 2019 at 5:28 pm

            Sorry Andrei, that answer was meant for Jasper. I tried to edit the comment but I couldn’t. I guess then that Jasper is running on single channel mode.

          • Andrei Girbea

            July 31, 2019 at 5:57 pm

            Oh, OK, sry there's no editing option right now.

        • Jasper

          August 3, 2019 at 7:06 pm

          Hi Carlos, my laptop did indeed run in single-channel mode, and I forgot the laptop in this review is running in dual-channel mode. But now I've purchased a 16GB ram for my laptop and now the performance is closer with the laptop in this review.

  6. hai

    July 25, 2019 at 12:55 pm

    Can I use 2 SSD PCIe x4 for this laptop? I mean that I will remove existed SSD and place 2 others PCIe x4 SSD

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 25, 2019 at 1:55 pm

      that's a good question, I'm not sure the two slots are both x4 capable at the same time.

      • hai

        July 25, 2019 at 6:10 pm

        It will be a stupid thing that this laptop support raid 0 for 2 SSD PCIe x2
        I wonder why asus give this laptop a SSD with PCIe x2

  7. Carlos

    July 31, 2019 at 5:24 pm

    Hi Andrei! Really good review, it helped me to choose this model over others. Thanks for this!

    I’ve got a little concern: let’s suppose that this laptop had Thunderbolt 3. Imagine that in 5 years some of the newest games don’t run well on the internal 1660ti, and I want to buy one of the newest graphic cards and connect it through TB3 to my laptop. My thought is that if we are running the GPU outside the laptop, then we wouldn’t have any CPU thermal or power throttling, so that could help to the CPU to stay at 4GHz or more indefinitely; thus, I would have maximum performance at CPU and GPU levels. Does this make sense? Would I have any kind of throttling in this scenario? This is just curiosity, because I’ve already bought the laptop, knowing in advance that it lacks on TB3. Cheers!

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 31, 2019 at 6:04 pm

      It makes sense, yes, the only thing to consider is the potential bottleneck limitations of using a TB3 external enclosure. Even now a dGPU won't perform as well in such a TB3 enclosure as let's say on a desktop, and down the line, the difference might increase with this newer chips. What I mean is that an RTX 3080/4080 or whatever they'll call it might be eventually bottlenecked by a nowadays TB3 connection.

      That being said, though, if this would have TB3 support, you'd still have the ability to hook up an RTX 2070 sometime in the future and get better performance than the internal 1660 can provide, for most-likely a pretty competitive price point at that time.

      USB 4 is supposed to come out in the next year or so, which is basically a faster TB3, and it Intel actually decides to support it on-chip, than future laptops might have better support for dGPUs.

  8. Beni

    August 3, 2019 at 7:52 pm

    Hi andrei, i love your review for the zephyrus m and g and actually i bought the zephyrus m after i read your review, overall from design and performance it is really satisfying but the bad sides of this laptop are
    1. The noise of the fan when i run it turbo , it even make me difficult to hear voice chat from discord , any trick to make it a little bit quiter?
    2. The heat , although i run it turbo , still reach 80°c or hotter even when i only use it for watching youtube it gets to 45°c~53°c. Is there a way to increase the cooling system performance?

    Sorry for my english, english isn't my main language

    • Andrei Girbea

      August 4, 2019 at 8:53 pm

      Hi Beni. Then fans are very noisy on Turbo and there's nothing you can do about that.

      As for the CPU temperatures, first, you should undervolt the CPU, perhaps your unit is stable at more than -50 mV. Then, you can also try something else: limit the CPU's Turbo with Throttlestop. Let's say you limit it to 3.0 GHz, that should still be good enough not to affect performance, and help with temperatures. It might also allow the GPU to run at higher clocks, so the experience might be even better this way.

      About that noise, though, the only tweaks I can think of would be to run the laptop on Balanced and try these tricks mentioned above.

      • Beni

        August 5, 2019 at 3:58 am

        Thank you very much for the advise

        But is it safe for the CPU to run at 75°~80°C ?

        • Andrei Girbea

          August 5, 2019 at 9:07 am

          Yes, those are very good temps for an i7 inside such a thin profile.

  9. Glenn B

    August 6, 2019 at 2:17 pm

    MSI P65 GTX 1660Ti or ROG Zephyrus M GU502GU??

    • Andrei Girbea

      August 6, 2019 at 2:42 pm

      The P65 is pretty much a GS65 with a different design (and possibly different screen, based on configuration). Personally, I'd go with a Zephyrus for the better build and more affordable price for the same config, but the GS65 comes close.

  10. Rick

    August 10, 2019 at 1:30 pm

    question sir. I just had my zephyrus m, and just a newbie in gaming laptop, i want to upgrade my ssd and ram. What specs and brand do you recommend? I play my games in high settings.

    • Andrei Girbea

      August 12, 2019 at 9:48 am

      See the Hwinfo pics in the article, it shows the RAM and SSD used on our test unit.

  11. Robin

    August 12, 2019 at 9:25 am

    Hello Andrei, first and foremost thank you for this great review it really helps to get to know more in depth the capabilities of the laptop. I'm about to buy a gaming laptop for both heavy tasks but mainly gaming and I have to admit that I'm still wondering which laptop will suits my needs best between the Zephyrus M GU502GU and the higher spected Zephyrus S GX502GW. For me ray tracing isn't something I'm going to use however the g-sync option is something that I would love to see however is it such a big difference between a non g-sync panel such as the M GU502GU? That's my only concern and I hope you might be able to help me up with this? Basically is there any tearing that could potentially happen on the M GU502GU?
    FYI the games I'll mostly be playing would be WoW, LoL, Overwatch and probably more demanding fps.

    • Andrei Girbea

      August 12, 2019 at 9:52 am

      What's the price difference between the two? If it's very small, I'd get the GX502, for the GSync support and better thermals thanks to the AAS system.

      As for GSync, it makes the gaming experience smoother, but the truth is it's smooth on a normal 144 Hz screen as well. Perhaps you can find more videos on Youtube, or somehow got to a store and experience a 144 Hz monitor with GSync on and GSync off.

      • Robin

        August 12, 2019 at 2:02 pm

        So far only the GU502 is available at €1699 for the 8Go Ram and at €1995 for 16Go Ram. The GX502 is expected to be at €2600 with the RTX 2070. Pricing of these machine's is a bit odd here in France at the moment.
        Is there any major difference between the two regarding fan noise?

        • Andrei Girbea

          August 13, 2019 at 10:53 am

          Not really, but the 2070 variant gets a more complex thermal module

  12. Haikal

    September 9, 2019 at 6:42 am

    Hi Andrei, thanks for the complete review, I want to buy this laptop for motion graphic, 3d work and light gaming like Dota, how good this laptop in rendering? or can you suggest other laptops have similar form factors and prices?

    • Andrei Girbea

      September 9, 2019 at 9:47 am

      This should do. Other options are the Acer Predator Triton, MSI GS65 Stealth and Razer Blade 15.

  13. José fonte

    September 11, 2019 at 11:03 pm

    HI Andrei, great review and I hope you help with a situation.
    I'm about to get in mech. eng. in college and I need a laptop both for portability and for performance; my head is battling around two models, the acer predator triton 500 (rtx2060 |1699$) and this one(1799$). I believe this 2 are the best options for me, but there's things that I really value and both models have their pros and cons.
    Can you help me chose the best because this is a big investment for me and I don't want to regret my purchase in the future. what's the best all-arounder? does the price difference matter? Which's the best for work/portability and performance?
    Thanks in advance :)

    • Andrei Girbea

      September 12, 2019 at 9:24 am

      Does the GU502 come with 16 GB of RAM or more? If only 16, you'll most likely have to buy another 16 GB of DIMM to get dual-channel memory. so that's something to consider.

      That being said, I think the Zephyrus is a better-balanced product: better made, better thermals, better keyboard. It also looks better imo. The Triton, on the other hand, is more affordable and offers better specs. It still performs very well based on our review unit, so could be a good option as well

      I don't think I can make the call for you. As I said, I prefer the Zephyrus, but it's in the end up to what matters for you. You'll find in-depth reviews for both products here on the site, those will greatly help.

  14. Eric

    September 12, 2019 at 10:30 pm

    I recently purchased the Zephyrus M GU502 on sale for $1,549 and I just noticed that the Zephyrus S GX502 is on sale for $2,149. I'm still within the window to return my laptop, but do you think it's worth the $600 difference to upgrade to the GX502? Graphic horsepower isn't my highest priority, but I like the idea of the AAS cooling, G-Sync and Optimus.

    • Andrei Girbea

      September 13, 2019 at 10:58 am

      That's a big difference, I don't think it's worth it unless you'll actually need that 2070 over the 1660. Those other aspects should come as secondary perks, imo, but that's within your budget and they matter to you, then go ahead and swap for the GX502.

      • Eric

        September 16, 2019 at 7:21 pm

        Just to clarify, this is the RTX 2060 model that I picked up for $1,549. Considering the price is almost 40% higher, I'm guessing the performance is no where near 40% better.

        • Andrei Girbea

          September 17, 2019 at 11:26 am

          It's definitely not. WE have other RTX 2070 laptops here that you can use as a reference.

  15. Bern

    September 17, 2019 at 11:31 am

    I want to upgrade storage on this laptop, but how many ssd slot available in this laptop? Can i add 512GB adata nvme sx8200? Thanks 4 the answer

  16. Jason

    September 18, 2019 at 1:49 pm

    HI there,

    I have gotten a GU502, and it seem to that there is some overheating issue with the laptop, however the local asus service center insisted it's normal.

    Running on 2060 on daily usage the idling temperature sit arounds 60-70 degree be it on turbo/balance.Sometime it can also hit 80+ degree with just chrome at the background.
    when i am playing dota 2 (Not running on Ultra with 60FPS) the temperature is consistently sitting at >85 degree and hitting 90+.

    • Andrei Girbea

      September 18, 2019 at 2:48 pm

      You can check our temperatures in the review, for comparison. With normal use, the 2060 shouldn't even be active.

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