2022 Asus Zephyrus G14 – USB-C power and external monitor – follow-up review

2022 Asus Zephyrus G14 – USB-C power and external monitor – follow-up review
By Andrei Girbea , last updated on March 1, 2022

This article is a follow-up of our 2022 ROG Zephyrus G14 review, where we’re going to check out the laptop’s performance and overall behavior on USB-C power and when connected to an external monitor, with or without the lid closed.

USB-C power performance is relevant in case you don’t want to carry around the bulky and heavy (.73 kg – 1.6 lbs) included charger when traveling or during your daily commute to work/school. In this case, you can plug in the laptop via the USB-C port, and we’re going to explain what to expect from the computer in this case.

External monitor performance should also be interesting to some of you, in the eventuality that you want to use the laptop as a dock, connected to external peripherals and external screens. We’re going to analyze two situations, when you’re keeping the laptop open and sitting on the desk with or without the main display switched on, as well as the case when you’ll close the lid and put the notebook in a vertical stand.

These aside, if you’re interested in the 2022 Zephyrus G14, you’ll find our in-depth analysis in the detailed review, as well details on what to expect in terms of performance with the AMD Rzyen 9 6000 processor, the Radeon RX 6800S graphics chip, or the RDNA2-based Radeon 680M iGPU, in these dedicated separate articles (to be updated).

Zephyrus G14 on USB-C power

For this test, I’ve plugged in the laptop via the 135W USB-C charger that comes with the MacBook Pro, as that’s what I had around at this point. I do like how this white charger pairs with the white version of the laptop.

It would be interesting to follow up with a deeper look at the USB-C behavior on a compact 100W GAN charger or the Asus proprietary ROG 100W charger, but I didn’t have any of these available at the time of the article – I’ll update if I get to retest.

According to the specs, the 2022 Zephyrus G14 supports USB-C power delivery at up to 100W. The Turbo profile is not available on USB-C PD – PowerDelivery, so Performance is the fastest available profile. That means the CPU and GPU will not run at their maximum potential on USB-C power, which shouldn’t be a surprise.

Furthermore, Asus designed their laptops to be able to work at higher than 100W power-use on the PD mode, in order to provide higher performance than what a 100W hard-limit would impose, even if that means the battery will slowly discharge in the process.

That’s especially the case on the Performance mode, in which case the battery discharges by up to 50% per hour in sustained CPU+GPU loads, and less so on the more power-limited Silent mode, as in this case you’re only losing up to 25% of the capacity per hour. The battery drains out only with sustained combined loads, and not with CPU-only loads or everyday multitasking.

With that in mind, let’s firstly go over a series of performance tests on the Performance PD mode vs the Performance and Turbo modes with the laptop plugged-in via the included 240W charger.

We start by testing the CPU’s sustained multi-core performance by running the Cinebench R15 test for 15+ times in a loop, with a 1-2 seconds delay between each run.

On USB-C power, the Ryzen 9 6900HS processor stabilizes at ~35W of sustained power, with temperatures in the low 80s, quiet fans at up to 35dB at head level, and scores of ~1850 points.

On the plugged-in Performance mode, the CPU stabilizes at 50W, temperatures in the low-80s, and scores of ~2050 points, with the fans spinning at 40 dB. On Turbo, it stabilizes ~75-80W of sustained power, with temperatures of 95-97 C, scores of ~2350 points, and fan noise of 48 dB.

That means the sustained CPU performance on USB-C is about 10% lower than on the plugged-in Performance mode, as a result of the processor running at lower power. That laptop does run quieter, though.

Compared to the Turbo mode, the G14 on PD Performance ends up ~25% slower in this test, but is also a much more enjoyable experience in terms of noise and heat.

I’ll also add that the battery does not discharge at all in this CPU-only sustained test. All this info is detailed in the HWInfo stress log down below.

Next, here are some synthetic benchmarks:

Performance,
USB-C PD
Performance,
main charger
Turbo,
main charger
3DMark- Time Spy 18809 (G – 21492, P – 22946) 20250 (G – 22433, P – 24591) 23935 (G – 27416, P – 25270)
3DMark- Fire Strike 7146 (G – 6899, CPU – 8967) 7501 (G – 7219, CPU – 9635) 9221 (G – 9057, CPU – 10279)
CineBench R15 – multi, single 1983 cb, 254 cb. 2404 cb, 255 cb
CineBench R20 – multi, single 4437 cb, 604 cb 4816 cb, 599 cb 5649 cb, 615 cb
CineBench R23 – multi, single 11462 pts, 1546 pts 14720 pts, 1576 pts
PCMark10 7336 (E – 10508, P – 9511, DC – 10721) 7496 (E – 10729, P – 9595, DC – 11102)
Uniengine Superposition,
1080p Medium
4220 4465 5122
Uniengine Superposition,
1080p Extreme
14049 14982 16735
x265 Benchmark 31.22 26.35

On PD USB-C power, the system’s overall performance drops by roughly 3-10% in comparison to the plugged-in Performance mode.

At the same time, compared to the Turbo plugged-on mode, the PD performance drops by somewhere between 10-25% in the CPU tests and 15-30% in the GPU tests.

Moving further, let’s dive into some real-life workloads such as Blender and the multitude of apps included in the SPECviewperf 2020 suite of tests, such as 3DSMax, Maya, SNX, or Solidworks. I didn’t get to run the Puget Adobe tests on PD power.

Performance, USB-C PD Turbo, main charger
Blender – BMW CPU 3m 35s 2m 56s
Blender – Classroom CPU 9m 11s 7m 39s
SPECvieperf 2020 – 3DSMax 67.92 76.35
SPECvieperf 2020 – Catia 43.37 50.73
SPECvieperf 2020 – Creo 73.18 79.37
SPECvieperf 2020 – Energy 22.09 27.79
SPECvieperf 2020 – Maya 229.77 299.15
SPECvieperf 2020 – Medical 34.29 37.21
SPECvieperf 2020 – SNX 71.2 77.64
SPECvieperf 2020 – Solidworks 116.04 135.81

Much like in the synthetic benchmarks, we’re looking at a ~20% drop in CPU performance and 15-25% in the combined loads that require both CPU and GPU processing power, versus the max-performance Turbo profile with the laptop plugged into the wall via the main charger.

Next, let’s look into some games. For these tests, we switched the laptop’s MUX on the discrete GPU mode

AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS
+ Radeon RX 6800S 80-105W
QHD+ Turbo QHD+ Perf USB-C QHD+ Perf FHD+ Perf USB-C FHD+ Perf FHD+ Silent USB-C FHD+ Silent
Far Cry 5
(DX 11, Ultra Preset, SMAA)
88 fps (67 fps – 1% low) 72 fps (62 fps – 1% low) 74 fps (63 fps – 1% low) 95 fps (72 fps – 1% low) 97 fps (70 fps – 1% low) 82 fps (62 fps – 1% low) 91 fps (69 fps – 1% low)
Shadow of Tomb Raider
(DX 12, Highest Preset, TAA)
70 fps (53 fps – 1% low) 55 fps (45 fps – 1% low) 55 fps (42 fps – 1% low) 84 fps (71 fps – 1% low) 85 fps (68 fps – 1% low) 56 fps (41 fps – 1% low) 50 fps (36 fps – 1% low)
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
(DX 11, Ultra Preset, Hairworks On 4)
73 fps (58 fps – 1% low) 53 fps (42 fps – 1% low) 58 fps (46 fps – 1% low) 83 fps (63 fps – 1% low) 84 fps (57 fps – 1% low) 57 fps (44 fps – 1% low) 62 fps (46 fps – 1% low)

The framerates that the system is capable of are almost identical on the Performance modes on either USB-C or main-charger power.

However, that’s only possible because the combined system power jumps over 100W on PD, and this causes the battery to discharge at a rate of between 30 to 50% per hour. That means you should realistically expect 2-3 hours of gaming runtimes on USB-C power, on the Performance mode.

The battery is going to discharge on the Silent profile as well, but at a much slower pace, which should offer 4-6 hours of game time. The framerates take a dip compared to the other profiles, as the GPU is more aggressively power-limited on this mode, but you’re still getting playable framerates at FHD+ resolution in most titles, even with Ultra settings. Lowering the graphics to Medium would ensure 60+ fps even in recent titles, with hours of runtime, good temperatures, and quiet fans.

Here are some gaming logs to go through, on both Performance and Silent USB-C modes.

Zephyrus G14 on an external monitor, via USB-C DP

This next section goes over our findings when connecting an external monitor to the Zephyrus G14 via one of the USB-C ports.

There are two USB-C ports on this laptop, and they differ in functionality: the one on the left is connected to the AMD Radeon 680M iGPU, while the one on the right is connected to the Radeon RX 6800S dedicated GPU.

Choosing to hook up an external monitor via the iGPU port (left side) means that the laptop is not going to wake up the main dGPU with everyday use, and that allows for minimally lower internal component temperatures than when connecting through the dGPU (right side) and having the dGPU always active.

This makes an even greater difference if you’re running the laptop on battery while connected to the external monitor.

In our tests, we ran a Youtube video on an external screen connected via USB-C. Hooked into the left USB-C port, the laptop draws about 9W of power per hour and will last 8+ hours on a charge, while when connected through the right USB-C port, the power draw jumps to 22W per hour and limits the battery life to only 3+ hours with the same task. This is a major difference.

When it comes to running more demanding loads and having the laptop plugged in via the main charger, there shouldn’t be any noticeable differences when connecting an external monitor via either of the USB-C ports.

I was expecting a difference with games, as I was assuming that outputting straight from the dGPU-connected USB-C port would impact our findings in a positive way. It didn’t, as you can see down below.

AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS
+ Radeon RX 6800S 80-105W
FHD+ Turbo FHD+ Turbo External,
USB-C dGPU connection
FHD+ Turbo External,
USB-C iGPU connection
Far Cry 5
(DX 11, Ultra Preset, SMAA)
101 fps (76 fps – 1% low) 99 fps (77 fps – 1% low) 102 fps (77 fps – 1% low)
Shadow of Tomb Raider
(DX 12, Highest Preset, TAA)
105 fps (78 fps – 1% low) 107 fps (78 fps – 1% low) 106 fps (76 fps – 1% low)
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
(DX 11, Ultra Preset, Hairworks On 4)
104 fps (75 fps – 1% low) 107 fps (83 fps – 1% low) 105 fps (79 fps – 1% low)

I also haven’t noticed any major differences in frequencies or temperatures when outputting games via either of the two ports, on Turbo mode.

For these logs, the Zephyrus G14 sits on the desk, with the lid open and the main display switched off.

I was also looking forward to testing the behavior and performance of the laptop with the lid closed, on Turbo.

Thing is, for some reason the laptop goes straight into hibernation mode after only a few minutes of starting the test, so I’d reckon the thermal module cannot properly cope with the heat with the lid closed at the higher power settings available on Turbo, even if the laptop is placed vertically and the intake fans on the bottom are completely unobstructed. This has changed with the latest BIOS 308 update, but mostly because that BIOS limits the combined CPU+GPU power for the Turbo mode, limiting the performance. Future software tweaks should be able to address this behavior and hopefully, allow for Turbo use with the lid closed.

At this point, I only managed to get this to work with the lid closed and the laptop in a vertical position on the Performance mode, in which case the temperatures are looking good, but the performance is also limited, as explained in our review.

One final aspect to mention here is that once Asus/AMD release the update that will add USB4 support for the USB-C port on the left side (with the iGPU connection), I expect you to be able to power the Zephyrus G14 exclusively via USB-C from a compatible monitor with PowerDelivery support, without having to even hook up the main charger in. But that’s a topic for another article, when USB4 will be eventually available.

That’s about it on this follow-up to our main review of the 2022 Zephyrus G14 GA402. I’m waiting for your feedback and questions down below, so get in touch.

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Andrei Girbea, Editor-in-Chief of Ultrabookreview.com. I've been covering mobile computers since the 2000s and you'll mostly find reviews and thorough guides written by me here on the site.

17 Comments

  1. Ethan

    March 5, 2022 at 11:39 pm

    Any idea if the USB4 port will be Thunderbolt 3 compatible?

    • Andrei Girbea

      March 6, 2022 at 2:05 pm

      Thunderbolt is an Intel proprietary technology, so I don't think it will be TB compatible, from what I understand. Are you asking if you can connect a TB3 accessory, or can you be more specific?

    • John Z

      March 6, 2022 at 9:13 pm

      It's a Ryzen CPU so I don't think so

    • Andrew

      March 8, 2022 at 5:11 pm

      As far as I understand thunderbolt 3 was opened as a basis for usb4, so yes. Thunderbolt 4 will remain Intel proprietary.

  2. Nelson

    March 15, 2022 at 8:18 am

    Does the discharge of the battery while gaming on usb c performance leads to battery degradation? I saw someone doing tests on the g14 2021 saying that doing this leads to battery degradation

    • Andrei Girbea

      March 15, 2022 at 11:12 am

      It does discharge, as explained in the article. I don't think that would lead to battery wear, although I understand the argument to some extent and perhaps there might be situations where constant discharging/charging might happen. What you can do to mitigate this is set the battery on Balanced or Maximum Life Span mode in the myAsus app, which won't charge the battery past 80% or 60% respectively. This way the battery won't charge at the near top, where it is most likely for wear to happen

      Thing is, the laptop is not designed to play games and demanding tasks on USB-C. That's what the main charger is. If you must game on USB-C, I'd recommend the Silent profile where the battery doesn't discharge as aggressively. USB-C is meant for multitasking and daily use for the situations when you don't want to bring along your main charger.

  3. aaiio

    March 16, 2022 at 9:59 pm

    Hi,

    I have question regarding 2022 Zephyrus and USB-C.

    1) Is it possible to setup PC so on USB-C charger it does NOT use battery? I know it would lead to lower performance, but just to have 'lover performance in favor of battery lifespan' ?

    2) In previous Zephyrus I read that USB-C charging used some different circuit for battery charging that could lead to lowering battery timespan if Zephyrus is always connected to USB-C charger. Does 2022 model have same issue ?

    • Andrei Girbea

      March 17, 2022 at 10:31 am

      1. You can use the laptop on the Silent mode. There's no way to do exactly what you want, that's not how USB-C charging is designed to work
      2. I don't know about that.
      3. The screen brightness bug will be fixed. also, only a small number of retail units are affected, so yours might not.

  4. Richard

    March 22, 2022 at 7:04 pm

    So just to confirm here…it appears that the 2022 model is capable of powering itself via USB-C PD? I think this is what aaiio was wondering.

    To clarify: on the 2020 and 2021 G14, if you are plugged in via USB-C the laptop runs off of battery power and the USB-C plug will recharge the battery. This results in your battery going from 100% (or whatever your charge limit is set to) down a couple points to 95%-97%, then charging back to 100%. This happens while the laptop is sitting idle – it is NOT dependent on power.

    So you could be consuming 10W, plugged into a 100W USB-C PD charge and still see battery drain and recharge (thus degrading the battery).

    Can you confirm that this behavior is absent in the 2022 model? Thanks!!!

    • Andrei Girbea

      March 22, 2022 at 7:21 pm

      Interesting, I wasn't aware that's how the 2020 G14 worked on USB-C. Right now I no longer have this 2022 model around to specifically look into this aspect, but as far as I can tell, the laptop is properly powered by the USB-C charger and the battery does not discharge with everyday use and light multitasking. However, I haven't specifically looked into any variations in the 100-95% levels as you're describing, so take my reply with a grain of salt.

      This does discharge with demanding loads/games on the Performance mode, because the system is designed to draw more power than the USB-C charger can provide with these loads.

      I'll further look into this once I get to do a follow-up of the original review with the BIOS/Software updates available in the meantime, in a few weeks. I should have a more clear answer by then.

      • Richard

        March 22, 2022 at 10:42 pm

        Many in the community would appreciate it! No one seems to have an answer for this (and the '20 and '21 model specs were cagey about it). It's a pretty crummy trade-off for those of us wanting portable productivity.

  5. Nelson

    March 27, 2022 at 1:31 am

    Did you try if the g14 2022 charges with usb-c on an empty battery? G14 2020 had this flaw, that made you carry the barrel AC adapter anyway.

    • Andrei Girbea

      March 28, 2022 at 11:25 am

      Interesting. I haven't tried that.

    • Derek Sullivan

      April 8, 2022 at 1:48 am

      I just tested mine. I completely discharged the battery playing a game. Turned it back on again with 2% and let it die again. Tried to turn it on again and it wouldn't power. So it was dead at this point.

      I then plugged in my USB-C adapter and it gave me the amber charging light. I powered it on after 10 seconds and it "powered up" but nothing happened so I powered down. After 30 seconds I tried again and it worked fine. It's charging normally right now. Hope this is what you wanted to hear. :)

      • Nelson

        April 11, 2022 at 4:12 am

        Amazing thanks! What was the specs of the charger?

        Also do you get random discharge and recharge when at limit? When 100% goes down to 97% down and up to 100% and this killed my battery, again and again. Does yours does that?

        Another user describes this problem:

        on the 2020 and 2021 G14, if you are plugged in via USB-C the laptop runs off of battery power and the USB-C plug will recharge the battery. This results in your battery going from 100% (or whatever your charge limit is set to) down a couple points to 95%-97%, then charging back to 100%. This happens while the laptop is sitting idle – it is NOT dependent on power.

  6. Seijaku

    April 26, 2022 at 7:13 am

    Do you have the chance to try this notebook with a usb-c display port / power delivery dock like the dell d-15 or the lenovo thinkpad docking (gen2 or gen4 with tb4)?

    • Andrei Girbea

      April 26, 2022 at 12:27 pm

      I don't have such docks around. I'd reckon those should work, though, within the transfer limit of the USB 3.2 interface. Perhaps others can pitch in with their findings on this aspect

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