ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15 GA503 review (2021 RTX 3080 & 3070 models, QHD screens)

56 Comments

  1. Adam

    March 8, 2021 at 4:01 pm

    Hi

    Can you add to the article some screenshots showing a comparison of 1080p with QHD at different scaling (100%, 125%, 150%)? As it seems that QHD at 150% should be still a higher resolution than 1080p at 125%.

    • Andrei Girbea

      March 8, 2021 at 4:15 pm

      Good idea, I'll try to do that later today.

  2. ZODD

    March 8, 2021 at 11:57 pm

    The extreme fan noise is a bit disappointing, sure all gaming laptops can run on the louder side but this is to extreme.
    Wonder if a laptop cooler would help with this issue.

    • Andrei Girbea

      March 9, 2021 at 10:37 am

      i wouldn't go as far as extreme at 44 dB on performance and 48+ dB on Turbo. a cooling pad would help if you're also willing to play with eh fan settings in Manual mode. I'd reckon 42 dB should be achievable with OK temperatures

  3. Bobby

    March 9, 2021 at 4:12 am

    44 degrees seems very hot for the temperature during daily use. I can't work out why it's so hot. Maybe the laptop transfers heat from the components to the outside panel to help dissipate it? I guess you can't really use this laptop on your lap for normal daily use sadly. And no webcam. WHY? This laptop isn't targeted just at gamers. It would have made for a great daily driver but they had to ruin it. Poor contrast ratio on the panel is also a bit disappointing. Otherwise this would be the perfect laptop. Great display (apart from the contrast ratio), great keyboard, trackpad, speakers, battery life and performance. Only apple mbp 16 and dell xps 15 have managed to do this but the xps has weak gpu's. Great review btw!

  4. cass

    March 9, 2021 at 4:28 am

    Did either of you notice any issues with coil whine? I've had issues on my both my original unit and a replacement, so I'm wondering if it's really worth chasing down a unit that doesn't have this.

    • Andrei Girbea

      March 9, 2021 at 10:47 am

      No coil whine on mine, or any sort of other electronic noises. Unfortunately this is a random issue these days on modern laptops, I'd probably keep asking for replacements if everything else is right for you about this laptop

  5. Mul

    March 9, 2021 at 6:46 pm

    Any luck with adding scaling screenshots?

    • Andrei Girbea

      March 10, 2021 at 11:42 am

      Not yet, on it now. Sry for the delay. Will put them in the screen section in about 1-2 hours.

    • Andrei Girbea

      March 10, 2021 at 2:48 pm

      Hey, I've added the screenshots in the Screen section.

  6. Dylan

    March 9, 2021 at 11:45 pm

    Would love to see results after 3080 bios flash to unlock higher power.

  7. Jorge

    March 10, 2021 at 7:41 am

    You can also significantly lower the temperatures by using Manuel Mode and lowering the wattage of the CPU to 20 Watts. This has less of a performance impact than just disabling boost since the CPU will still boost just less often since it can't sustain the boost with the lower power limit. CPU will still boost to max frequency.

    • Andrei Girbea

      March 10, 2021 at 11:41 am

      Thanks, I'll give it a try.

      Followed your advice and yes, this seems to work well and provides a good balance of performance, temps and noise levels. I've updated the results in the performance section.

  8. Zarko D.

    March 10, 2021 at 12:54 pm

    As always great Review and a really cool device!

    Any news on when Reviews on the new G14 will be up? I guess I would sacrifice some GPU-performance for the more compact form-factor.

    • Andrei Girbea

      March 10, 2021 at 2:48 pm

      Not in the works for now. I'll ask about a review sample, hasn't been a priority so far

  9. Dave

    March 12, 2021 at 2:56 am

    Great review, thank you again!
    I was wondering if you would know if the G15 has a TPM chip? I wasn't able to find any relevant info on ASUS's website.

  10. Rizzo

    March 12, 2021 at 5:34 pm

    It’s ADAPTIVE Sync, not Active Sync.

    Nice review. When will you be reviewing the Asus G14?

  11. Daniel

    March 20, 2021 at 10:29 pm

    Any update on the Quest 2 compatibility issue with the 3070 model?
    Waiting for some more information on that is really the only thing keeping me from jumping on this.

    • Andrei Girbea

      March 21, 2021 at 3:43 pm

      Daniel, here's Derek's reply: "I never got it to reliably work with all games. Closest I got was by disabling the iGPU in device manager and rebooting. This worked, but some games like Alyx were still glitchy and unplayable"

  12. Damian

    March 22, 2021 at 1:32 am

    Ordered the 3070 model from Best Buy, will this 2nd drive and 16gb replacement for the 8gb work?

    https://amzn.to/3sdK4Mw

    https://amzn.to/391EDsD

    • Andrei Girbea

      March 22, 2021 at 10:58 am

      both should work, but I'm not entirely sure about the memory stick. You'll have to just try it out. Keep in mind that the Best Buy model comes with 8 GB on board and an extra 8 GB stick. You'll have to take that out and put this instead, but you'll still only get 16 GB working in dual-channel, not the whole 24. Upgrading the RAM might not be worth it imo.

  13. Damian

    March 22, 2021 at 3:42 pm

    As a gamer 16 gb is fine, but as a Designer and Videographer more ram should be good for Adobe Suite dual channel or not.

  14. wertzius

    March 22, 2021 at 4:59 pm

    Hey Andre, excellent review as always.

    It seems that unlike Ryzen 4000 models the Ryzen 5000 models support the boost mode "efficient aggressive" maybe you could try what it does. It should lead to less boosting and lower temps. Ryzen 4000 models just deactivate boosting at all in this mode.

    • Andrei Girbea

      March 22, 2021 at 5:24 pm

      Hi. I haven't tried that setting and right now we no longer have any of the two samples around. Will give it a try on the next AMD laptop that I get my hands on.

  15. Mafa

    April 1, 2021 at 5:38 pm

    Just out of curiosity, what do you all do with the sample laptops you receive? Is that classified information?

  16. Quersy

    April 2, 2021 at 11:13 pm

    I would like to ask about the gaming possible on just the USB charger, in Silent mode. It seems the GPU+CPU wattage is limited to 80W or so on silent so the 100W USB charger might be enough to prevent it from losing charge. If so then that’s a great laptop for sneaking some games in the office. Low performance, but you don’t have to carry the power brick and that’s a significant weight.

    • Andrei Girbea

      April 3, 2021 at 3:00 am

      I gave it a try with the 100W USB-C brick but the performance wasn't as expected and the battery kept discharging quite rapidly. They might be able to fix things with BIOS updates, but O no longer have this around to further test it

  17. Dave N

    April 4, 2021 at 9:56 pm

    How does it work outdoors? Is the screen bright enough and has no reflections? Thanks :)

    • Andrei Girbea

      April 5, 2021 at 10:34 am

      the screen is matte and 350+ nits, so can be used outdoors, but not in direct sunlight.

  18. CICARITO

    April 5, 2021 at 8:11 pm

    Sorry to bother you, but will there be a review for the G14 as it looks to me more value for money worth than G15?

    • Andrei Girbea

      April 5, 2021 at 8:42 pm

      Yes, but I'm still waiting for a review unit, so it will still take a while before we'll have the article ready.

  19. CICARITO

    April 5, 2021 at 8:51 pm

    Thanks for the reply and I am looking forward for reviews as you guys are doing a fantastic job and checking every aspect thoroughly

  20. B Robi

    April 9, 2021 at 1:27 am

    Do you think the G15 could run MSFS 2020 at high settings?

    Cheers

    • Andrei Girbea

      April 9, 2021 at 10:22 am

      I don't include MSF 2020 as part of my testing routine, but I know it's very demanding. Should run fine on the G15, search for performance numbers on Youtube, someone ought to have tested it

  21. brian

    April 10, 2021 at 5:38 am

    thank you.

  22. Anondarrk

    April 25, 2021 at 4:34 pm

    The 3080 model is now available on BestBuy for $2000. Worth the upgrade over 3070?

    • Andrei Girbea

      April 26, 2021 at 11:54 am

      up to you. you'll find the performance differences explained in the article.

  23. yoyo5678

    April 28, 2021 at 5:45 pm

    Does it have MUX ??

    I just order this laptop and wonder what to do first: bios update,windows updates, 2nd ssd installation and many more – how do I check that everything is okey and working?

  24. Tov

    July 6, 2021 at 10:10 am

    In my country the mid-range Zep G15 with Ryzen 7-5800HS/16GB(1dim)/1TB M.2 SSD/GeForce RTX3080 8GB/15.6"WQHD is around 2100usd after discount. Is it a good value compare to the more expensive 5900hs or cheaper 3070?

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 6, 2021 at 1:29 pm

      the Ryzen 7 is perfectly fine here imo. How much cheaper is the 3070, though? As shown in the article, the 3080 is roughly 5-15% extra performance compare to the 3070, and normally the 3070 is better value for the money

      • Tov

        July 6, 2021 at 11:02 pm

        Actually, the problem is no 3070 option here. The 5800HS is 2199 while the 5900HS is 2499 before discount both with 3080. So I hesitate because I have to pay premium for that extra 5% performance. I can save money by going with A15 3070(1440USD) but after read your review it has too many weakness though.

      • Andrei Girbea

        July 7, 2021 at 9:39 am

        Ah, I see. Don't get the 5900HS then. A15 is a different kind of product, I'd rather look at something like a Strix G15 or Lenovo legion 5 Pro instead if you're OK with a full-size design and not a portable kind like this Zephyrus

  25. Peter

    July 20, 2021 at 10:31 pm

    I'm considering which version of this laptop to buy, and you recommend the ones with the lower performance.
    Do you think the 3080 version is not that worth it given the price point, or just in general?
    There's a new model coming out in my region at the end of july, with the all-powered up insides, but a 144Hz FHD monitor, priced at the same point as the R9/3070 QHD version. This is still only £100 more expensive than the version with R7 and 3070.

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 21, 2021 at 8:55 am

      In general, the 3080 offers little extra performance over a 3070 in this kind of thinner laptops. The tests speak for themselves, up to you.

      I'd also be careful about that 144 Hz FHD screen, it could be one of the lower-end quality panels with slower response times and washed-out colors that Asus have been using on their past G15 generation. If you decide on this, get it from a place that allows returns, in case the screen is not up to your liking

  26. Michael

    July 26, 2021 at 2:03 pm

    I'm currently tossing up between the blade 14 and this for a laptop to both game and run engineering simulations on. In Austria, the blade 14 goes for 2399 euros with a 3070 and the g15 with 3070 is 100 euro more at Mediamarkt (2499) but they have a store I can actually visit if something goes wrong.

    The benefits of the blade 14 as far as I can tell is that it has a webcam, better overall build quality and its 100 euros cheaper.

    The g15 with 3070 has stronger battery life and the option to upgrade storage beyond 1 terabyte in the future and I can upgrade 1 stick of ram for a total of 24 or 40 gb but losing dual channel support (not well versed in the impacts of this though).

    Both seem to have similar performance, have good displays but suffer from quality control issues.

    For administrative work and notetaking, I already own a surface pro 2017 with webcam so this is more of a pseudo-desktop replacement. Unfortunately due to my location and the ETAs for many different products, I feel that these are the two best options I have available for my budget. Furthermore the Lenovo options would have been perfect if it wasn't for their delayed delivery and issues with NVENC.

    Any advice in choosing between my two options would be appreciated as it feels a bit like I'm rolling dice either way.

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 26, 2021 at 3:58 pm

      You should ask yourself if a 14-inch screen is big enough for you, and also if the battery life that the RB14 offers is sufficient for you. If yes, get the RB14, it's a nicer laptop and a better design imo.

      Also, that G15 at 2500 sounds expensive! I would have expected it to go for around 2000 or so.

      • Michael

        July 26, 2021 at 4:49 pm

        Thanks for the heads up, yeah the prices are really funky here as far as I've been seeing.

        I'm wondering how the 3080 version of the G15 stacks up. At Mediamarkt its 2700 for the G15 with 3080 with 32GB of RAM. For running FEA and CFD simulations, the extra RAM does sound really nice, especially in terms of futureproofing despite the underpowered 3080.

      • Andrei Girbea

        July 26, 2021 at 5:00 pm

        The 3080 is not much over the 3070 in rasterization, but might be a plus in specific workloads. it's still the 8 GB up to 100W version, though. The 32 GB dual-channel are nice to have, and I'm still pissed Asus only offer that on their 3080 models (on all their 2021 Zephyrus models)

  27. Saber

    August 17, 2021 at 3:58 am

    Hi nice review , do you suggestion to get the 3060rtx model or the 3070 worth upgrade ?

    Im really have two option to choice between this and the asus zephyrus m16 with rtx 3060 and intel i7 11800h , for my next 5 to 6 years laptop

    • Andrei Girbea

      August 17, 2021 at 9:28 am

      What do you need it for?

      If same price and screen, I'd lean towards the 3070 G15.

      • Saber

        August 17, 2021 at 10:03 am

        Hi thanks for your replay , the asus zephyrus m16 screen as you know its diffrent , here in my country both the m16 and g15 same price , they come both with 3060rtx and the g15 got the ryzen 9 5900h and the m16 got the intel i7 11800 and there is another m16 that come with i9 11900h, also for the g15 there is another too that come with 3070rtx

        Regarding the price the g15 and m16 3060rtx for both is same price exactly

        The m16 that come with 3060 and i9 11900h its just 150usd more

        Thr g15 that come with 3079rtx but same processor ryzen 9 5900h its 350usd more

        Im not hardcore gamer on pc/laptop i do play sometimes but i already own a ps5 so my gaming time on there but im using the laptop for multi processing vmware systems , multi tasking and work so performance and quality is important becouse this will be my toy for the next 5 years at least and i dont want to regret my choice thats why i ask :(, the m16 looking nice but worry about the heat etc , money no problem between those choices but the g15 that comes with 3070 its little high price , btw i never own an amd device before

      • Andrei Girbea

        August 17, 2021 at 10:15 am

        OK, I misunderstood your initial msg.

        r9 5900H and i7-11800H should be very similar in performance, but the Ryzen 9 is more efficient, so the G15 will last longer on battery. The only thing that should sway you one way or the other would be if some of your work software would benefit from one platform's abilities or the other (for example, Quick Sync with Intel). If not, you should be fine with both.

        That aside, I prefer the 16:10 screen of the M16, with the drawback being that the heat blows straight into the panel, while on the G15 it's soaked up by the plastic bezel. However, based on our tests, the screen did not heat up as badly as I was expecting on the M16, so I don't think this should make a big difference in your decision.

        All these being said, I'd probably get the i7 M16 for the 16:10 screen and the matte black design, which I personally prefer. Both are good choices though.

  28. Max

    October 23, 2021 at 10:48 pm

    Hello ! Great reviews, read it all, i’m going to buy the 32Gb / 3080 version, because for my work i need the 32Gb and i love the portability.
    But Yea the ratio cost / performance is quite bad for the 3080. But i don’t found any other ligh weight 32gb laptop / 3080, do you have one in mind ?

  29. lee

    November 22, 2021 at 6:18 am

    Anyone know where can get the rubber replacement for the screen for ergolift purpose?

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