Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 GU603 review (GU603HR – Core i9-11900H, RTX 3070, QHD+ 16:10 screen)

58 Comments

  1. Bobby

    June 9, 2021 at 5:00 pm

    Can the battery be disabled to prevent wear down when plugged in? I noticed the Lenovo legion 5 pro has this toggle in their vantage software and I thought it was pretty cool.

    • Andrei Girbea

      June 9, 2021 at 5:11 pm

      I don't think that's an option here

    • Kurt

      June 9, 2021 at 7:19 pm

      I believe so. My Asus ROG Flow X13 had a 80% battery charge limit function in the built in "MyASUS" app on Windows Store. While I had the laptop, I would set it to toggle when the battery charged to 95%, so it wouldn't over charge. I'm sure the same feature is available on all ROG series laptops.

      • Andrei Girbea

        June 9, 2021 at 7:32 pm

        That is indeed available in the MyAsus app, but it's not really what Bobby asked.

  2. Satyajith J

    June 10, 2021 at 5:29 am

    Does M16 have an option to switch between colour spaces for the display ad it says it's a 100% DCI-p3 and 100% sRGB panel?
    The display profiles in the armoury crate in M15(100% AdobeRGB and sRGB) were something like default, cinema, sport etc. There was only one colour profile(not named accordingly) installed which I guess was AdobeRGB and its parameters were tweaked by armoury crate's various display profile settings. As a result, the colours on the display looked more saturated and popped out even when they were not supposed to be. Will you check if they have repeated the same with M16 display and inform Asus of it? I spoke to Asus about it and was not offered any solution, I will be glad if you will let me know of any workaround there is to solve this issue.

  3. Christian

    June 10, 2021 at 5:42 am

    Thanks for the review Andrei!

    Wondering if they had to get rid of stock and that's why they used this weird chassis.
    To me, there is no logical explanation to let hot air blow directly at a beautiful QHD screen….

    Did you also receive the S17?

    • Andrei Girbea

      June 10, 2021 at 6:35 am

      The G15.M16 are brand new 2021 designs, so for some reason they just decided this case design is best suited for these products.

      S17 review is coming around the end of June.

      • Mul

        June 10, 2021 at 7:22 am

        Any news regarding S17 pricing?

      • Andrei Girbea

        June 10, 2021 at 7:25 am

        not yet. will ask for more info for the review

  4. Tim

    June 10, 2021 at 4:55 pm

    Do temperatures on the panel differ if you push the hinge all the way down so that the laptop is flat (so 180 degrees) and put it in a laptop stand or something?

    So it'd be flat like this, but in a laptop stand for cooling purposes

    • Tim

      June 10, 2021 at 4:57 pm

      Also, did you end up talking about covering up/disconnecting the status LEDs? I didn't see that further down in the review.

      • Andrei Girbea

        June 10, 2021 at 5:02 pm

        I forgot, thanks, will update. I haven't found a way to disconnect them, as they're covered by the motherboard. So what I'd suggest is perhaps a black permanent marker to cover them up?

    • Andrei Girbea

      June 10, 2021 at 5:00 pm

      That should prevent the hot air from going into the screen, but I find it inconvenient for sure.

      • Tim

        June 10, 2021 at 5:05 pm

        If you end up testing screen temperatures for the laptop lying flat on a table and the laptop lying flat in an elevated laptop stand, please update!

      • Andrei Girbea

        June 10, 2021 at 5:07 pm

        Sry, no time for it, I need to move onto other laptops. chassis temps should be the same, and screen temps should be fine, probably around 30s on the panel?

      • Tim

        June 10, 2021 at 5:09 pm

        Oh and do you think battery life would be better on the lower spec 3060 version?

        https://www.bestbuy.com/site/asus-rog-16-wqxga-165hz-gaming-laptop-intel-core-i9-16gb-memory-nvidia-rtx3060-1tb-ssd-off-black/6464203.p?skuId=6464203&intl=nosplash

        Also has the same i9 processor, but a 3060 instead.

      • Andrei Girbea

        June 10, 2021 at 5:20 pm

        The GPU should not impact the battery life, they're the same power. Also, I'd say my battery life findings are rather shorter than expected, I think ASUS will most likely improve on that with future software updates.

  5. dada

    June 10, 2021 at 6:31 pm

    Comparing the G15 to M16 is not really a apples to apples comparison, since the G15 has a AMD 5xxxH which is more efficient than Intel 11xxxH TDPs aside. I would like to see a comparison to the Gigabyte Aero 15 OLED which I am considering at a similar price point except the webcam is on the bottom (ala Dell XPS old school).

    my 2 cents

  6. Tim

    June 11, 2021 at 4:33 am

    Could you ask Asus how many nits the 16-inch WUXGA (1920 x 1200) 16:10 display can reach? I know they claimed 500 nits for the 2560 x 1600 display but there's not much info about the 1920 x 1200 screen found in lower skus (e.x GU603HM-DS72-CA.)

  7. Mark

    June 11, 2021 at 5:22 am

    Did you notice any coil whine on this unit? Whether during idling, light load, heavy load, etc

  8. Lakshay Kakkar

    June 11, 2021 at 5:54 am

    Please enable XTU Support in the BIOS for the upcoming Zephyrus S17 review. We really want to see the full extent of Tiger Lake's potential once undervolted. I also came to know that these 11th Gen processors are partially overclockable once XTU interface is enabled, people posted many GP66 benchmarks wherein CPU was just reaching 90W with the undervolt and overclock dialed in and scoring really high, and S17 should be easily handle that as well. So it would be great if you can include it as well in your testing as a bonus. Really appreciate the in-depth coverage as always from your side, keep up the good work :)

  9. Andrei

    June 11, 2021 at 10:01 am

    Your review proves the inherent inefficiency of Intel chips. My Legion 5 Pro Ryzen 5800H with a 140 W Max P 3070, 32 GB RAM, 2 TB SSD and similar QHD screen can easily reach 7 h of battery life doing light productivity tasks. I have personally tested battery endurance and got the above result. Don't forget the Legion 5 Pro has just a 80Wh battery! What a beast the M16 would have been with Ryzen 5800H or similar Ryzen chips.

    • Anthony

      July 6, 2021 at 1:23 pm

      Interesting point. Yes, the Ryzen would have been more power efficient for sure – but the intel does have better performance, at the sacrifice of battery. So you have to make a choice. between better power management (Ryzen) or better performance (Intel) The fact that the M16 with a 3070 beat out a G15 (Ryzen) with a 3080 in most tests is for me the real interesting part of this review. Intel have a lot of catching up with power management, and AMD really is closing the gap on performance. I did order an M16 (I'm in the UK, so got the i9 3070 version), but in a few years, I can easily see myself jumping ship to AMD if they keep going as they are.

  10. Adam

    June 15, 2021 at 7:09 am

    Any battery drain during gaming while plugged in? (using the 240w ac adapter)

    • Andrei Girbea

      June 28, 2021 at 11:06 am

      Not that I remember, but I haven't specifically looked into it

  11. Gamer01

    June 15, 2021 at 2:37 pm

    This review is amazing!
    I was a bit scared by the fan noise, but I'm willing to sacrifice performances to play at <40db using the Silent profile. Do you think in that case it would be possible to power up the notebook with a thunderbird 4 100W charger?

    • Andrei Girbea

      June 28, 2021 at 11:07 am

      I haven't tried it on the M16, but did try it on the G15 and the 100W USB-C charger didn't get consistent results. I'll try to further look into it, but I no longer have a 100W charger around at this point

  12. Dibbla

    June 16, 2021 at 4:54 am

    I'm really worried about hot air going into the screen.
    Given the shape of it, do u think it is possible to 3d print tiny fin/panel to prevent such case?

    • Andrei Girbea

      June 28, 2021 at 11:08 am

      And where would you put that and how would you be able to close the laptop?

  13. TimA

    June 29, 2021 at 4:52 am

    What is the frame-rate range for this Adaptive Sync display?

  14. Scott

    July 1, 2021 at 5:43 pm

    Do you think the G15 (3070) and the M16 (3060) would perform almost identically while playing games? Having trouble choosing between the two given the fact that they have the same price where i live at 1.850k. Which would you choose?

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 1, 2021 at 5:55 pm

      Tough call between these two configs. They should be close in games at the same resolution, unless you're looking at RT games, where the 3070 is going to win. However, keep in mind the M16 is 16:10 so it needs to drive ~10% more pixels, so we should realistically expect the 3070 G15 to score higher in most games, but I'd say within 10% of the M16.

      • Scott

        July 1, 2021 at 6:13 pm

        From my understanding, the G15 (3070) will have better battery and maybe less worry regarding the temps slamming the monitor due to the bezel, and quieter fans. The M16 (3060) has a better screen, webcam, similar performance, better I/O due to thunderbolt 4. Quite hard for me to make a choice.

      • Andrei Girbea

        July 1, 2021 at 6:30 pm

        yep, that's a very good summary of the two. Also RGB keyboard on the M16 with softer feeling keycaps and arguably better feedback, and different finishing for the interior, more rubbery feeling. Feels nicer to me, but also smudges easier, especially since it's black.

  15. Kurt

    July 5, 2021 at 7:18 pm

    Is there a cheaper model with i7, QHD, and less storage?

    Considering that many 3060 laptops are around $1,100 US, $1,850 seems a little steep.

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 6, 2021 at 9:27 am

      COnfigurations vary between regions, but I'd reckon more affordable variants will be available at some point. Not sure if with the QHD screen, though. In all fairness, this is a fairly pricey laptop, but in line with other premium models in its class. Those 1100 3060 laptops are not the same craftsmanship and features, though.

      • Jake

        July 10, 2021 at 2:42 am

        “However, this title properly supports Dyn Boost 2.0 and power shiting”

        Had a chuckle at that typo lol. Thank you for the review, can’t wait to get my hands on this.

      • Andrei Girbea

        July 12, 2021 at 9:52 am

        Thanks :P

  16. billy

    July 13, 2021 at 1:21 pm

    is the m16 with i7 1180h 3060 is better than the g15 r9 5900hs 3060? the price is exactly the same in my regioin

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 13, 2021 at 4:57 pm

      better for what? Gaming performance should be better, workloads performance varies from app to app, and everyday efficiency is where the G15 wins. I'd favor the m16 if they're the same price

  17. Jim

    July 17, 2021 at 9:04 pm

    Any word on an i7/3070 pairing release date for this laptop for the U.S.? If you go to the website you'll be able to see this combo for the M16.

    Also, would having an i7 instead of the i9 improve cooling, lessen the heat that blows to the bottom of the scree and/or improve battery life? I would be more than ok with those trade-offs.

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 18, 2021 at 9:50 am

      no word on the configurations available in the US. Also not sure they'll have an i7 + 3070 there.

      As per the other question, I'm currently comparing the i7 to the i9 in the Zephyrus S17 chassis and the conclusions would also apply here. I wouldn't expect major differences though for combined loads, because the CPU already runs at somewhere between 15-45w in this case, and most of the heat is accounted by the GPU. So even if there will be differences, I'd expect them to be minor.

  18. LP

    July 19, 2021 at 5:44 pm

    Hey! Thanks for the review, very insightful as always :)

    I am looking for a laptop for creative uses (Adobe, Blender, etc) and this seems like a good option for me. Given that I'm probably going to have access to a charging port most of the time would this be a competitive option against G15, razer blade (which also have annoying RAM configs if I'm not mistaken) etc? I was considering the legion 7 but I think that's a bit too bulky for me and I don't think it's worth the performance boost if I've understood the numbers correctly.

    You also mentioned that the fans are loud but the internals run cool. Would it be viable to run the fans a bit lower in manual mode and allow the components to creep closer to 90deg?

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 19, 2021 at 8:09 pm

      This should be a good choice with the mix of good specs and the DCIP3 QHD screen.

      As per your second question, yes, you could use the Performance profile or set things up in the Manual profile. However, I wouldn't push things that far as to keep the components above 85 C in sustained loads, electronics and this sort of heat won't play well together long term. Nonetheless, this would really depend on the kind of work you'll be doing. The system would only be pushed when you run the renders, but not while you edit your projects, etc.

      • thanhlocgp

        July 23, 2021 at 1:13 pm

        Asus can push power to 80W for M16 laptop, but when M16 react to 80W, they drop to 70W instantly and can not hold at 80W. At this time, the temperature is stable at 85 86 degree C, 85-86 degC stable at 70W is very good with me.
        But sometime M16 can boost to 80W (94degC) but they never hold it too long at that.

      • Andrei Girbea

        July 26, 2021 at 3:59 pm

        In which game/app? and are we talking the Turbo profile? That's not what happened on my laptop. Check the logs for details.

    • Cezary

      August 17, 2021 at 11:17 am

      Hi man, have you made your mind up yet? I'm also in the same boat as you and considering this M16 as well as the MSI Creator z16… and no idea what to do lol

      • Cezary

        August 17, 2021 at 2:44 pm

        @Andrei Girbea

        A question, do you think It would be difficult to clean this laptop, due to thousands of little holes and dots where the dust could be siting (on the back cover) ?

      • Andrei Girbea

        August 17, 2021 at 2:51 pm

        Dust is going to get in, but you can open it up from time to time and blow it out some canned air. The fans have dust channels that prevent the particles from sticking to the blades, so I don't think the dust getting inside will impact the performance long-term, at least not more than with other laptops.

  19. Anton

    July 29, 2021 at 10:29 pm

    Hello! Thank you for your great and detailed review!

    I was also worried about the temperature on the screen, but after you posted this, not more so much.

    Still two questions I want to ask you:

    What do you think, how far goes this speaker vents, down to the motherboard, or is there a protection layer between?
    My former asus could survive coffee on the keyboard, by accident off course and if you turn it fast enough around. Not very nice using I know.

    The second question, can you connect a full size rtx 3090 via thunderbolt with this system, for example together with monitor?

    Thank you again! Best regards!

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 30, 2021 at 10:51 am

      there is a protection membrane, but there's no way to tell whether it could survive liquid going in or not. Better be careful about that, it's a matter of luck.
      As per the 2nd question, yes, Tb4 external eGPUs are supported

  20. Karanvir Mehmi

    September 15, 2021 at 2:59 pm

    What is the lowest RPM of the fan(s)? I saw in the armoury crate that you can set the fan speed by yourself but it does not show the RPM.

  21. Maciek

    September 21, 2021 at 9:58 pm

    dunno why there is i do about excellent speakers
    . my unit clearly.dont have any bass and sound like 2010 laptop. came that out of the box even updating all through windows update or my asus and still same. Dolby only worse everything tbh. any idea why? my unit is broken qc failed?

    • Andrei Girbea

      September 22, 2021 at 9:40 am

      maybe it's broken, or maybe you're expectations from a set of laptop speakers are not right?

      • Maciek

        September 22, 2021 at 1:04 pm

        I dunno know. in comparison to a 2016 strix laptop they sound worst. everywhere I read review claim it sound amazing but for me it's meh. I dunno how 6 speakers should sound like but sound is flat. no bass. middles are muffed

      • Andrei Girbea

        September 22, 2021 at 1:18 pm

        sounds like something's wrong with your unit. There have been reports of Zephryus G15 models shipping with blown speakers (do a search on youtube), maybe it's the same case here.

  22. Arpit

    October 11, 2021 at 10:30 am

    I bought this and I am really happy with this laptop. I went for i9 + RTX 3060.

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