This is our detailed article of the Asus ROG Strix G15, in the higher-end G512LV configuration with an Intel Core i7 processor and Nvidia RTX 2060 graphics, in the updated and overclocked 115W variant.
Right now, the Strix G15 is the most affordable ROG series in Asus’s 2020 lineup. It also shares most of its traits with the higher tier ROG Strix Scar family that we’ve already reviewed here on the site, but with a few compromises in the IO, choice of materials, and surprisingly, screen quality (on this early review unit, and that could differ on the retail versions available in your region).
We’ve spent a couple of weeks with both the 15 and the 17-inch ROG Strix versions. This article gathers all our thoughts and impressions on the 15-inch G15 model, with the solid traits and its quirks, while the 17-inch model will be detailed in a separate article.
The specs sheet as reviewed
||ASUS ROG Strix G15 G512LV
||15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 px resolution, IPS, 144Hz, matte, Panda LM156LF-2F01 panel
||Intel Comet Lake Core i7-10875H, 8C/16T (i7-10750H option also available)
||Intel UHD and Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 6GB (115W, Overclocked, GeForce 451.67), with Optimus
||16 GB DDR4 3200 MHz (2x DIMMs)
||1 TB PCIe SSD in RAID0 (2x 512 GB Intel 660p), 3x M.2 slots, with RAID 0/1 support
||WiFi 6 (Intel AX201) 2×2 with Bluetooth 5.0, Gigabit LAN (Realtek RTL8168/8111)
||3x USB-A 3.2 gen1, 1x USB-C gen2 with video&data, HDMI 2.0b, LAN, headphone&mic, Kensington Lock
||66 Wh, 230 W power adapter
||360 mm or 14.17” (w) x 275 mm or 10.82” (d) x 25.8 mm or 1” (h)
||2.32 kg (5.1 lb), .79 kg (1.74 lbs) power brick and cables, EU version
||4-zone RGB backlit keyboard with NumPad, bottom stereo speakers, no included webcam
Asus offers the Strix G15 in a couple of different configurations, with Core i5 to i7 processors, various amounts of RAM and storage, and various Nvidia graphics chips, from the GTX 1650Ti and up to an RTX 2070 Super on the highest-specced models. They also offer either a choice of 144 Hz, 240, or 300 Hz screens, which we’ll talk about in a bit.
While our review unit is the G512LV variant, most of our findings apply to all the other variants of this laptop.
Design and exterior
Unlike the ROG Strix Scar series, the ROG Strix notebooks are entirely made out of plastic. Good quality plastic, but still, plastic, so don’t feel as nice to the touch as some of the other choices. These laptops are sturdily built though, with a rock-solid main chassis and only some give in the lid, so nothing to complain on that front.
Asus offers the ROG Strix G15 in a couple of different color schemes, and what we have here is the Glacier Blue model, the lighter variant. This does an excellent job at hiding smudges, but at the same time gets something I resent on modern laptops: a silver keyboard with white writing. The other two variants, Original Black and Electro Punk, both get a darker color scheme and a black keyboard.
All options get an RGB lightbar around the entire front and laterals, which looks quite cool and can be controlled and switched off from the Aura Creator software. That’s not the most intuitive piece of software, but it works.
Build aside, the ROG Strix inherits its design lines of the previous Strix models from 2019. That makes them slightly larger than the average 15-incher available these days, with that hump on the back that helps with cooling the laptop and incorporates part of the IO, and the massive and strong hinges that keep the screen in place as set-up and allow single-handed adjustments, but also limit the lean-back angle to about 145 degrees.
The spacious interior with a centered keyboard, the grippy rubber feet on the bottom, the speakers that fire through tiny cuts on the sides, and the friendly lips and corners are some of this series’ other particularities. At the same time, the narrow rubber feet allow for little ventilation underneath the laptop, and the peculiar thermal design obstructs the fans from easily grabbing fresh air, with that closed back panel on top of them. That’s the same design Asus use on the ROG Scar lineup, and we’ll explain its drawbacks in a following section.
Furthermore, the ROG Strix also groups the IO weirdly, with all the USB-slots cramped on the left side, no ports on the right, and the other connectors on the back. I appreciate this part, as the PSU and video outputs are back there and keep the sides clutter-free, even if you’ll still see the cables through that cut in the screen’s chin. Speaking off, this laptop gets small bezels around the sides and top, but a fairly hefty chin, and doesn’t include a webcam or any sort of biometrics, much like the entire 2020 ROG lineup. It also lacks Thunderbolt 3 support or a card-reader, features creators might miss on what could otherwise be a versatile work/play computer.
Keyboard and trackpad
The keyboard looks and feels similar to the one implemented on the higher tier ROG Strix Scar lineup, and this sort of minimalist centered layout is rather unique in the mid-range 15-inch segment these days, where most of the competition offers a more complex keyboard with a Numpad Section.
This G15 doesn’t include a NumPad section, something I for one don’t mind, but could be a deal-breaker for some. It’s still highly functional and I appreciate the extra column of dedicated function keys at the right and the media/power controls at the top-left. Not a big fan of the tiny arrows, though, but I could get used to them.
As far as the typing experience goes, I’d expect most of you to get along well with this keyboard. It proved fast, accurate, and reliable during my time with the test unit, so nothing to complain about here.
However, you might struggle to find the right key on this implementation if you’re not an experienced touch typer, due to the limited legibility of the silver keys on this Glacier Blue version, especially if you opt for a brighter illumination color. That’s not going to be a problem with the darker color options, which get black keys. The keyboard implements 4-zone RGB lighting on this device, and the LEDs are bright and uniform at the highest setting, with little light creeping from beneath the keycaps despite their fairly deep stroke.
For mouse, Asus went with their standard plastic touchpad with dedicated click buttons. It’s a sturdy and reliable implementation that works well with everyday use, and the click buttons are smooth and quiet. They do feel a bit cheap to the touch, though, and the whole touchpad is rather on the small side and cramped.
As for biometrics, there aren’t any on this laptop.
Asus offers three different screen options for this ROG Strix 15 G512 series, all matte, non-touch and 15.6-inches in diagonal:
- 144 Hz with ~60% sRGB coverage, sub-300-nits brightness and fairly slow response times;
- 240 Hz 3ms panel with 100% sRGB coverage and ~300 nits of brightness;
- 300 Hz 3ms panel with 100% sRGB coverage and 300+ nits of brightness.
We got the 144 Hz option on our test unit, which I would have expected on the lower-tier G512LU (with 1650Ti graphics) and G512LI (With 1660Ti graphics) configurations, but also equips the 2060 G512LV model in most areas. In fact, this is the same screen Asus offers on the more affordable TUF A15 lineup.
This is not an awful screen, but at the same time is not a good match for a 1200+ USD/EUR laptop in 2020. Sure the 144 Hz refresh might sound enticing for gamers, but this is not one of those fast 144Hz screens and the slower response (around 33 ms GTG according to NBC) translates in ghosting in the faster-paced games. On top of that, this is merely a 60% sRGB panel, so the colors and images look washed out, and it’s also not very bright either, at sub 300-nits maximum brightness, so will struggle in brighter environments.
On the plus side, this panel proved uniform in our tests and offered good blacks and contrast levels, decent viewing angles, as well as little to no light bleeding around the edges.
Here’s what we got in our tests, with a X-Rite i1 Display Pro sensor:
- Panel HardwareID: Panda LM156LF-2F01;
- Coverage: 59.1% sRGB, 40.9% AdobeRGB, 42.0% DCI P3;
- Measured gamma: 2.12;
- Max brightness in the middle of the screen: 281.90 cd/m2 on power;
- Min brightness in the middle of the screen: 15.22 cd/m2 on power;
- Contrast at max brightness: 1301:1;
- White point: 7200 K;
- Black on max brightness: 0.21 cd/m2;
- PWM: No.
- Response: ~33ms GtG (source).
Now, if you’re coming from an older laptop with a TN screen, this will be an upgrade, but at the same time you’ll definitely get nicer options in this segment these days and Asus should have implemented one of those faster 144 Hz 100% sRGB panels on this series.
As it is, you’re forced to go with the 240 Hz screen option for improved colors, slightly higher brightness, and much faster response times. That’s an excellent panel, but since it might not be an option on the lower-tier configurations, it might not be within your budget on this G512.
As for the 300 Hz screen option, that’s only available for some of the LW and LWS configurations with 2070/2070 Super graphics, and the same panel available on the ROG Scar 15.
Hardware and performance
Our test model is a mid-specced version of the Asus ROG Strix G15, in the G512LV configuration with an Intel Core i7-10875H 8Core processor, 32 GB of DDR4 3200 MHz RAM, 1 TB of storage in RAID0, and dual graphics: the Nvidia RTX 2060 dGPU and the Intel UHD within the Intel platform. An i7-10705H processor is also available as a more affordable option for this laptop, and we’ll cover it as well down below.
Before we proceed, keep in mind that our review unit is an early-production model with the software available as of mid-August 2020 (BIOS 310, Armoury Crate 188.8.131.52, GeForce Game Ready 446.14 drivers). Based on our findings and experience with these platforms, little can change with future software updates, so our results are mostly what you’ll get with the retail models.
Spec-wise, the 2020 Strix G15 gets 10th gen Intel Comet Lake processors, either the 8Core i7-10875H, the 6Core i7-10750H, or the 4Core i5-10300H. Our review unit gets the 8Core i7, but we’ve also reviewed the more widespread 6Core i7 on the 17-inch ROG Strix G17, and included our findings below.
For the GPU, what we have here is the Nvidia 2060 in the updated 2020-edition 115W implementation, but with variable TDP and frequency limits between the several performance modes available in Armoury Crate:
- Silent – prioritizes lower fan-noise and reduces CPU/GPU speeds and power – GPU is limited at 55-75W between titles;
- Performance – balanced profile with stock CPU/GPU settings – GPU runs at 115W and stock frequencies;
- Turbo – High-Performance profile with increased CPU power allocation and overclocked GPU (115W, +100 MHz Core/+120 MHz Memory).
- Manual – same as Turbo, but allows to manually create fan curves for the CPU and GPU based on temperature thresholds, as well as further overclock the GPU.
The updated Intel platform also supports 3200 MHz DDR4 memory. Our configuration gets 32 GB of RAM in dual-channel, and there are two DIMMs available inside. As for the storage, our unit gets two Intel 660p SSDs in Raid0.
Getting to the components is relatively simple, you just need to remove the back panel held in place by a few Philips screws, all visible around the sides. However, the back is attached to the main-laptop with two ribbons that power the LED strips, so careful not to sever the connections. Inside you’ll get access to the thermal module, battery, speakers, wifi chip, and the three SSD slots. There’s no 2.5″ storage bay on this laptop.
This ROG Strix G15 is not just a performance laptop, it can also handle everyday multitasking, browsing, and video, while running quietly and coolly on the Silent profile. Here’s what to expect:
Nonetheless, you’re most likely going to run more demanding applications on this sort of a laptop. On to those, we’ll start by testing the CPU’s performance in taxing loads, and we do that by running Cinebench R15 for 15+ times in a loop, with 2-3 seconds delay between each run.
On stock Turbo settings, the i7-10875H processor stabilizes at 87+W after a few runs, which translates in frequencies of 3.7+ GHz, temperatures of 85+ C, and scores of 1650+ points. This is the most powerful implementation of this i7 processor tested so far.
Undervolting support is disabled by default, but you can undervolt it in the BIOS, down to -80 mV. We reran the tests on this Turbo UV profile, and it allowed the CPU to run at 4.1+ GHz and similar 87+W of power, which translated in scores of around 1800 points.
Dropping over to the default Performance profile limits the CPU at 77W, with quieter fans, while the Silent profile further limits the processor at 35+ W. Finally, on battery, the power is limited at only 25W in the Performance mode (Turbo is disabled in this case). Details below.
As mentioned already, most ROG Strix G15 configurations ship with the i7-10750H processor, and here’s how that CPU performs in this same test (results based on the Strix G17, which is identical to this one, just in a larger chassis). Once more, this is the fastest i7-10750H implementation we’ve tested so far.
To put these results in perspective, down below I’ve added a few other 8Core laptops available right now, both from Intel and AMD. The 8Core i7 in this Strix G15 performs well and outmatches the other implementations of this processor, due to the high power supplied to the CPU in this notebook. However, the i9 in the Scar 15 beats the i7, and so does the 8Core AMD Ryzen 4800Hs in the Asus TUF A15 and Lenovo Legion 5, both at lower power.
Next, we’ve further verified our findings with the longer Cinebench R20 loop test and the gruesome Prime 95. With Prime, the i7 CPU kicks in hard at almost 120W for about 20-30 seconds, and then drops and stabilizes at 87W.
We also ran our combined CPU+GPU stress tests on this notebook, on the default Turbo profile.
3DMark stress runs the same test for 20 times in a loop and looks for performance variation and degradation over time, and this unit passed it without a problem. Luxmark 3.1 fully loads both the CPU and GPU at the same time. The GPU constantly runs at around 115W in this test, and the CPU quickly stabilizes at around 50W. However, both run at high temperatures in the 85+ for the GPU and 90+ for the CPU.
Next, we ran the entire suite of tests and benchmarks, on the stock Turbo profile in Armoury Crate.
- 3DMark 13 – Fire Strike: 16266 (Graphics – 17968, Physics – 20237, Combined – 8115);
- 3DMark 13 – Port Royal: 3783;
- 3DMark 13 – Time Spy: 7031 (Graphics – 6668, CPU – 10177);
- AIDA64 Memory test: Write: 43919 MB/s, Read: 48042 MB/s, Latency: 57.9 ns;
- Uniengine Superposition – 1080p Medium: 12884;
- Uniengine Superposition – 1080p Extreme: 4036;
- Handbrake 1.3.1 (4K to 1080p encode): 40.68 average fps;
- PassMark: Rating: 7208 (CPU mark: 20388, 3D Graphics Mark: 11608, Disk Mark: 16599);
- PCMark 10: 5340 (Essentials – 9418, Productivity – 8296, Digital Content Creation – 5292);
- GeekBench 4.4.2 64-bit: Single-Core: 5861, Multi-core: 32849;
- GeekBench 5.0.1 64-bit: Single-Core: 1270, Multi-core: 8491;
- CineBench R15 (best run): CPU 1833 cb, CPU Single Core 197 cb;
- CineBench R20 (best run): CPU 3933 cb, CPU Single Core 467 cb;
- x264 HD Benchmark 4.0 32-bit: Pass 1 – 238.35 fps, Pass 2 – 106.42 fps;
- x265 HD Benchmark 64-bit: 34.88 s.
For comparison, expect roughly 15-20% reduced performance on the more widespread 6Core i7-10750H model in CPU-heavy workloads, but also slight gains in the GPU scores, partially thanks to the better thermals of the 6Core processor, that runs at slightly lower power than the 8Core i7. These results below are based on our findings from the ROG Strix G17 G712LV review.
- 3DMark 13 – Fire Strike: 16266 (Graphics – 18189, Physics – 17336, Combined – 8628);
- 3DMark 13 – Time Spy: 6936 (Graphics – 6918, CPU – 7043);
- Handbrake 1.3.1 (4K to 1080p encode): 33.68 average fps;
- PCMark 10: 5159 (Essentials – 9346, Productivity – 8317, Digital Content Creation – 4795);
- GeekBench 5.0.1 64-bit: Single-Core: 1238, Multi-core: 6332;
- CineBench R15 (best run): CPU 1362 cb, CPU Single Core 195 cb;
- CineBench R20 (best run): CPU 3199 cb, CPU Single Core 467 cb;
- x265 HD Benchmark 64-bit: 42.12 s.
Getting back to our Strix G15 i7-10875H configuration, we also ran some tests on the Silent profile, if you’re interested in running demanding loads at low noise levels (<40 dB).
- 3DMark 13 – Fire Strike: 14713 (Graphics – 16560, Physics – 16695, Combined – 7230);
- 3DMark 13 – Time Spy: 6447 (Graphics – 6229, CPU – 8049);
- Uniengine Superposition – 1080p Extreme: 3682;
- Handbrake 1.3.1 (4K to 1080p encode): 32.31 average fps;
- PCMark 10: 4161 (Essentials – 7824, Productivity – 6580, Digital Content Creation – 3798);
- GeekBench 5.0.1 64-bit: Single-Core: 966, Multi-core: 6840;
- CineBench R15 (best run): CPU 1370 cb, CPU Single Core 151 cb;
- CineBench R20 (best run): CPU 3241 cb, CPU Single Core 363 cb;
- x265 HD Benchmark 64-bit: 47.60 s.
We’re looking at a roughly 10-20% decrease in CPU and GPU performance compared to the Turbo profile, but significantly reduced noise levels as well: up to 39 dB at head level, versus up to 47-48 dB on Turbo.
Finally, we reran some of the tests on the -80mV Undervolted Turbo profile, which resulted in a small 2-5% increase in CPU benchmarks, but a slight decrease in some of the GPU scores.
- 3DMark 13 – Fire Strike: 16210 (Graphics – 17606, Physics – 20519, Combined – 8491);
- 3DMark 13 – Time Spy: 7073 (Graphics – 6712, CPU – 10187);
- Handbrake 1.3.1 (4K to 1080p encode): 41.89 average fps;
- PCMark 10: 5276 (Essentials – 9386, Productivity – 8154, Digital Content Creation – 5209);
- GeekBench 5.0.1 64-bit: Single-Core: 1259, Multi-core: 8462;
- CineBench R15 (best run): CPU 1824 cb, CPU Single Core 199 cb;
- CineBench R20 (best run): CPU 4344 cb, CPU Single Core 442 cb;
- x265 HD Benchmark 64-bit: 35.58 s.
As far as the GPU goes, it is already overclocked on the Turbo profile (+1oo MHz Core, +120 MHz Memory), so we didn’t pursue further tweaking in our tests. Don’t expect much in terms of further overclocking, but undervolting should help on this implementation.
Finally, we also ran some Workstation related loads on this i7-10875H configuration, on the Turbo and Silent profiles:
- Blender 2.82 – BMW Car scene- CPU Compute: 4m 21s (Silent), 3m 26s (Turbo), 3m 15s (Turbo UV);
- Blender 2.82 – BMW Car scene- GPU Compute: 1m 28s (CUDA), 45s (Optix);
- Blender 2.82 – Classroom scene – CPU Compute: 14m 9s (Silent), 11m 12s (Turbo), 10m 24s (Turbo UV);
- Blender 2.82 – Classroom scene – GPU Compute: 5m 10s (CUDA), 2m 50s (Optix);
- Luxmark 3.1 – Luxball HDR – OpenCL CPUs + GPUs score: 20936 (Turbo);
- SPECviewerf 13 – 3DSMax: 146.92 (Turbo);
- SPECviewerf 13 – Catia: 103.41 (Turbo);
- SPECviewerf 13 – Creo: 151.68 (Turbo);
- SPECviewerf 13 – Energy: 15.8 (Turbo);
- SPECviewerf 13 – Maya: 179.77 (Turbo);
- SPECviewerf 13 – Medical: 47.44 (Turbo);
- SPECviewerf 13 – Showcase: 76.14 (Turbo);
- SPECviewerf 13 – SNX: 15.71 (Turbo);
- SPECviewerf 13 – SW: 79.4 (Turbo).
Now, as far as gaming goes on this laptop, we ran a couple of DX11, DX12, and Vulkan titles on the default Turbo/Performance/Silent modes, on FHD (on the laptop’s display) and QHD (on external monitor) resolutions. Here’s what we got:
|Core i7-10875H + RTX 2060 115W
||FHD Turbo UV
||QHD Turbo, external
|Battlefield V (DX 12, Ultra Preset, Ray-Tracing OFF)
||106 fps (91 fps – 1% low)
||107 fps (88 fps – 1% low)
||100 fps (86 fps – 1% low)
||73 fps (58 fps – 1% low)
||83 fps (64 fps – 1% low)
|Battlefield V (DX 12, Ultra Preset, Ray-Tracing ON, DLSS OFF)
||56 fps (45 fps – 1% low)
||53 fps (44 fps – 1% low)
||44 fps (33 fps – 1% low)
|Far Cry 5 (DX 11, Ultra Preset, SMAA)
||96 fps (64 fps – 1% low)
||97 fps (81 fps – 1% low)
||91 fps (59 fps – 1% low)
||83 fps (58 fps – 1% low)
||66 fps (50 fps – 1% low)
|Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor (DX 11, Ultra Preset)
||131 fps (94 fps – 1% low)
||129 fps (87 fps – 1% low)
||123 fps (87 fps – 1% low)
||111 fps (79 fps – 1% low)
||91 fps (70 fps – 1% low)
|Red Dead Redemption 2 (DX 12, Ultra Optimized, TAA)
||71 fps (57 fps – 1% low)
||71 fps (56 fps – 1% low)
||66 fps (54 fps – 1% low)
||56 fps (32 fps – 1% low)
||53 fps (43 fps – 1% low)
|Rise of Tomb Raider (DX 12, Very High Preset, FXAA)
||96 fps (52 fps – 1% low)
||100 fps (62 fps – 1% low)
||92 fps (54 fps – 1% low)
||82 fps (34 fps – 1% low)
||72 fps (43 fps – 1% low)
|Shadow of Tomb Raider (DX 12, Highest Preset, TAA)
||81 fps (59 fps – 1% low)
||82 fps (59 fps – 1% low)
||79 fps (59 fps – 1% low)
||68 fps (45 fps – 1% low)
||54 fps (40 fps – 1% low)
|Strange Brigade (Vulkan, Ultra Preset)
||121 fps (94 fps – 1% low)
||122 fps (92 fps – 1% low)
||117 fps (89 fps – 1% low)
||102 fps (79 fps – 1% low)
||90 fps ( 73 fps – 1% low)
|The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (DX 11, Ultra Preset, Hairworks On 4)
||86 fps (64 fps – 1% low)
||91 fps (68 fps – 1% low)
||81 fps (59 fps – 1% low)
||73 fps (54 fps – 1% low)
||64 fps (48 fps – 1% low)
- Battlefield V, The Witcher 3 – recorded with Fraps/in-game FPS counter in campaign mode;
- Far Cry 5, Middle Earth, Strange Brigade, Red Dead Redemption 2, Tomb Raider games – recorded with the included Benchmark utilities;
- Red Dead Redemption 2 Optimized profile based on these settings.
The HWinfo logs below show the CPU and GPU speeds and temperatures in Farcry 5, Battlefield 5, and Witcher 3 on the stock Turbo profile.
Both the CPU and GPU run hot, with the fans spinning at 47-48 dB at head-level. The CPU stabilizes at 90-95 C between the tested titles, with the GPU averaging 80+ degrees C and up to 85 C in some cases.
Undervolting the CPU makes no real difference over the gaming performance or temperatures, as it allows the CPU to run at slightly higher clocks, but the same kind of high temperatures, with almost no impact over the GPU.
Raising up the laptop from the desk by as little as an inch doesn’t help very much either on this laptop, and that’s rather surprising, as it does help on the ROG Scar 15/17 or the ROG Strix G17 that we’ve tested. On this unit, though, it merely allows the components to run 1-3 degrees cooler, with a greater impact on the Performance and Silent modes.
Important: Before you carry on with the next part of this review, don’t forget that we’re dealing with a pre-release sample here and not a final retail unit of the Strix G15, thus take our findings with a grain of salt. However, based on my experience with a handful of other Asus products built on a similar chassis, I don’t expect much to change on those retails units. Nonetheless, I’ll upgrade this section if we get to retest a retail model as well.
What I consider to be a design flaw on the ROG Strix/Scar lineup is noticeable on this unit as well. The very slim rubber feet and the minuscule amount of space underneath the laptop do not allow the fans to take in much air to properly cool the components while the laptop sits on the desk. Furthermore, the fans’ intakes are completely covered by the bottom panel, as Asus tries to draw in most of the air from the top, through the keyboard and those grills in the back hump, and only channel air over the heatpipes through the existing cuts in the underbelly, but not straight into the fans.
Based on the results and the fact that no other OEM use this approach on their performance notebooks, this might not be the ideal thermal design on this sort of power-needy configuration. At 90+ C on the CPU and 80+ C on the GPU, this ROG Strix G15 model is one of the hottest running notebooks in its class, and while that doesn’t impact the performance on our test unit, it could have an impact over the long-term reliability and eventually on the performance, once the thermal paste ages and the fans and radiators fill up with dust over time.
Back to our review unit, switching the laptop over to the Performance profiles tames down the fans to about 43-44 dB, with a slight performance decrease and little impact over the temperatures. The GPU runs at base clocks on this profile, and the CPU runs at lower power than on Turbo, but that’s compensated by the slower spinning fans. Raising the laptop from the desk makes a bigger difference in this case.
Switching over to the Silent profile further limits both the CPU and the GPU, and lowers the fans’ noise to 38-39 dB at head-level, but with significant framerates hit of 20-30% over the Turbo profile. The components run much cooler on this profile, so this could arguably be the better Gaming profile on this laptop, if you’re willing to prioritize reduced noise-levels, lower temperatures, and increased longevity over performance. But are you?
Finally, we tested the laptop’s performance while connected to an external monitor, and gathered the results below. We ran our tests with the laptop sitting on the desk, and the lid open. Running games with the lid closed is not a viable option here, due to the implemented thermal design.
In conclusion, this ROG Strix G15 performs excellently in CPU heavy tasks and very well in combined demanding loads, but the components inside run hot with these kinds of activities. I’m not seeing any throttling or impact over the performance, but I do worry about the system’s long term performance and reliability. Thermals should not be an issue if you decide to opt for one of the lower-tier configurations with the 4/6Core processors and the less power-demanding GPUs, but the 115W versions of the 2060 and 2070 chips are a tough match for this product.
Noise, Heat, Connectivity, speakers, and others
The thermal module in this Strix G15 is identical to the one implemented on the 2020 ROG Scar 15, with two high-capacity fans and an ample array of heatpipes and thermal plates, with a single radiator for the CPU and two for the GPU side. Asus also apply liquid-metal thermal compound on the CPU from the factory on their entire 2020 ROG lineup.
Nonetheless, as explained above, this complex thermal module barely copes with the power-hungry 8Core i7 processor and 115W GPU, both components running at high temperatures in the 90+ for the CPU and 80+ for the GPU on this test unit.
Despite that, little of this heat spreads onto the exterior chassis. The laptop hits temperatures in the very high 40s in the hottest parts of the interior, but the WASD and arrow regions rest in the high-30s to low-40s, so perfectly comfortable for longer gaming sessions. We’re running all our tests in a controlled environment, with the AC set on 24 C. As a side note, the Scar 15 ran cooler in our tests, but also noisier, so there’s a chance the retail Strix G15 units might also run cooler/noisier than this test unit.
Our units ramped up to about 47-48 dB at head-level in games, and both fans remained active all the time, even with light use, but they spun quietly on Silent and were only noticeable in a quiet room. I did notice some electric noises on this sample, just like on the ROG Scar 15 tested a while ago. This can be a random issue with modern laptops, so make sure to listen for them on your brand new laptop and return the computer if not up to your standards.
Here’s a round-up of our fan-noise measurements:
- Turbo – 47-48 dB with games, 47-48 dB with Cinebench loop test;
- Performance – 43-44 dB with games, 43-44 dB with Cinebench loop test;
- Silent – 38-39 dB with games, 38-39 dB with Cinebench loop test, 33-37 dB with Daily use.
And here’s what we measured in terms of chassis temperatures.
*Daily Use – streaming Netflix in EDGE for 30 minutes, Silent Profile, fans at 33-37 dB
*Gaming – Turbo – playing Far Cry 5 for 30 minutes, Turbo Profile, fans at 47-48 dB
*Gaming – Performance – playing Far Cry 5 for 30 minutes, Turbo Profile, fans at 43-44 dB
*Gaming – Silent – playing Far Cry 5 for 30 minutes, Turbo Profile, fans at 38-39 dB
For connectivity, there’s Wireless 6 and Bluetooth 5 through an Intel AX201 chip on this unit, as well as Gigabit Lan. Our unit performed well both near the router and at 30+ feet away with obstacles in between, without drops or other issues.
As far as the speakers go, there’s a set of them firing through narrow cuts on the lateral sides, and they’re quite good. We measured high volumes of 82-84 dB at head-level, and the sound comes out clean and fairly rich for a gaming laptop, although still somewhat lacking in the lows.
As for the camera, there’s isn’t any on this laptop, but you do get a pair of microphones at the bottom of the screen for occasional calls. An external FHD webcam might be bundled in some regions.
There’s only a 66Wh battery inside this ROG Strix G15, so it comes to no surprise that it’s not going to last for very long on a charge, even with Optimus.
Asus made sure that the screen automatically switches over to 60 Hz when unplugging the laptop, and that helps. On top of that, I’d also suggest switching off the light bar and the keyboard’s illumination when looking to maximize runtimes, as we did in our tests.
Here’s what we got on our unit, with the screen’s brightness set at around 120-nits (70%):
- 13 W (~4-5 of use) – text editing in Google Drive, Silent Mode, screen at 70%, Wi-Fi ON;
- 12.5 W (~5+ h of use) – 1080p fullscreen video on Youtube in Edge, Silent Mode, screen at 70%, Wi-Fi ON;
- 11 W (~5-6 h of use) – Netflix fullscreen in Edge, Silent Mode, screen at 70%, Wi-Fi ON;
- 18 W (~3-4 h of use) – browsing in Edge, Performance Mode, screen at 70%, Wi-Fi ON;
- 70 W (~50 min of use) – Gaming – Witcher 3, Performance Mode, screen at 70%, Wi-Fi ON, no fps limit.
Asus pairs this configuration of the Strix G15 laptop with a mid-sized 230W power-brick, which weighs .79 kilos with the included cables in this EU version. More compact 150/180W bricks are available on other models, and you’ll have to bring them along with you all the time, as USB-C charging is not an option here.
Price and availability
The 2020 ROG Strix G15 is available in stores in most areas of the world at the time of this article, but it’s listed in so many different configurations that it’s hard to gather all of them in this section.
The RTX 2060 G512LV model tested here, but with the Core i7-10750H processor, 16 GB of RAM, and 512 GB of SSD storage, goes for around 1300 USD in the US, 1400 EUR in Germany and 1300 GBP in the UK. That’s for the 144 Hz screen option though, with the washed-out colors and the slow response, and you’ll have to pay extra for the 240 Hz panel. Oh, and make sure you get dual-channel RAM on this, it makes a big difference in games.
Follow this link for updated configurations and prices in your region at the time you’re reading this article.
This Strix G15 G512 is the most affordable ROG notebook of this 2020 generation and that alone makes it an option for many of you looking for a versatile, robust, and powerful work/gaming notebook.
While available in a multitude of configurations, the better value is in the GTX 1660 and RTX 2060 configurations, with either the 6Core or the 8Core processor, based on your needs. If gaming is your top priority, stick with the 6Core i7 and get the 2060 GPU, while if you’re primarily after a work computer for demanding multi-threaded loads, the 8Core is worth paying extra for, especially in this laptop, which offers the fastest implementation of these 10th gen Intel chips that we’ve tested so far.
Specs aside, the Strix G15 is also a well-built laptop with good inputs, a fair selection of ports, punchy audio, and a beefy thermal solution inherited from the higher-tier and more expensive ROG lineups. Despite that, though, the internal components run hot on this tested power-hungry configuration, something you should consider in your decision, even if the external stays cool and we haven’t noticed any performance limitations in any of our tests.
Furthermore, potential buyers might also not be that fond of this laptop’s all-plastic build, the lack of a card reader, Thunderbolt 3 support, camera or biometrics, or its only middling battery life.
However, my biggest gripe with this Striz G15 is the fact that Asus only offers a poor quality 144 Hz screen option on most of the available 1660Ti/2060 configurations, with washed-out colors and slow response times. Sure, higher-quality panels are also available, but since there’s no way to manually configure an Asus laptop in most regions, you’re left at the vendors’ mercy, and they mostly configure the 240 Hz screen on the more expensive 2070+ variants. Thus, there’s a good chance your options are either to accept that 144 Hz screen, or go with another brand. And while the offer differs between regions, I for one just can’t accept this lousy Panda panel in a 1300++ laptop, not when the competition offers a faster option with 100% sRGB color coverage at the same price, or less. The screen is just too important for me to sacrifice on.
On top of all these, the Strix G15 doesn’t have the price on its side in its class, and that alone should at least put some of the other options out there on your map, such as the Acer Predator Helios 300, the HP Omen or the Lenovo Legion 5, the latter two available in either Intel or AMD Ryzen variants. Just be careful when looking at those 2060 configurations, there’s the newer and more competent 115W version in this Strix G15, and you might only get last year’s 80-90W implementation on some of the others.
Update: Our review of the updated 2022 ROG Strix G15 generation is available over here.
With that in mind, we’ll wrap up this review of the Asus ROG Strix G15 G512LV here, but I’d love to hear what you think about this notebook, so get in touch down below with your feedback or questions.
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