Optimized Quiet gaming at 35 dBA on the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 2024

Optimized Quiet gaming at 35 dBA on the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 2024
By Andrei Girbea, last updated on April 26, 2024

As you’re probably aware, Asus offer a handful of power profiles for their ROG gaming laptops, with one of them being called Silent and emphasizing on keeping the fans quiet at sub 35 dBA at head-level.

Thing is, this Silent profile is hit and miss between the Asus ROG devices that I’ve used over the years, and it particularly didn’t do well on the Zephyrus G14 GA403 that I’ve recently tested.

I would be especially interesting in this sort of a low-noise profile on a computer like the G14, that’s mostly a compact all-purpose device, and less so a gaming machine. Hence, I expect potential buyers to only game on it as a side, in their spare time, and favor low-noise as much as possible.

Now, I’ve already shown you that this 14-inch laptop is a solid gamer in both the 4060 and 4070 configurations, delivering 60+ fps  framerates even at 2.8K resolution with Ultra settings in most modern titles. But that’s on Turbo, which is loud at 48 dBA.

The default Silent mode, however, performed erratically and didn’t quite do justice to this configuration and chassis.

Hence, I played with the settings in Manual Mode in the Armoury Crate app and put up together an Optimized Silent mode that still keeps the fans quiet at sub 35 dBA, but offers better gaming performance and a much more consistent gaming experience.

So, here are the settings. We’re going to get a little geeky here, but bare with me, you can easily reproduce these settings yourselves based on the explanations and the pictures included further down:

  • the CPU, GPU and System fans are set at 40% rpm for temperatures over 60 C.
  • for the CPU, I’m liming the SPL power to 15W, in order to force as much power as possible into the GPU. The total combined power in this mode is thermally constrained, as you’ll see in a bit, but we’re still looking to get the most possible TGP for the graphics chip, since that’s the most important factor when it comes to gaming framerates.
  • for the GPU, I’ve set a Temperature limit of 80 degrees Celsius, which means the system will adjust power and frequencies in such way that this limit is not surpassed. You might argue that 80C is quite a low limit, and you could perhaps set it higher at 82-84C, but I chose a setting that I consider safer for long-term use.

I must note that this mode is not optimal for daily use and general multitasking, because of the aggressive CPU limitation that prevents it from running at high clocks. If you plan to use something similar for daily use, do not limit the SPL and FPPT CPU power settings in this way, or the laptop is going to feel sluggish and slow. These settings are meant for gaming only, as they’re designed to maximize GPU power.

Of course, these CPU settings will also impact loading times for games, which are going to take longer than on other profiles. But overall, these settings yield better framerates and 1% lows than using a 20-25W power allocation instead. Nonetheless, feel feel to play with the settings yourselves.

silent optimized settings

With that in mind, we ran our standard gaming tests on this Optimized Silent profile with the above-detailed settings, with both the laptop flat on the desk and with it placed on a passive stand that lifts the bottom off the desk in order to favor better airflow of fresh air into the fans. As shown in our full-review of this Zephyrus G14, this greatly impacts thermals on this chassis on all profiles, and especially so in this quieter and thermally limited profile.

So first, here are the results, compared to the default Silent, Performance and Turbo modes offered in Armoury Crate. I’ve only ran this test on the RTX 4070 configuration of the G14, but I expect you’d yield similar results on the 4060 model as well.

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14,
Ryzen 9 8945HS +
RTX 4070 Laptop 60-85W
QHD+ Silent Optimized,
Ultimate dGPU,
on desk
QHD+ Silent Optimized,
Ultimate dGPU,
raised
QHD+ Turbo,
Ultimate dGPU,
on desk
QHD+ Performance,
Ultimate dGPU,
on desk
QHD+ Silent,
Ultimate dGPU,
on desk
Cyberpunk 2077
(DX 12, Ultra Preset, RTX OFF)
46 fps (37 fps – 1% low) 50 fps (38 fps – 1% low) 54 fps (37 fps – 1% low) 48 fps (36 fps – 1% low) 32 fps (26 fps – 1% low)
Horizon Forbidden West
(DX 12, Very High Preset, TAA, FG)
62 fps (48 fps – 1% low) 68 fps (50 fps – 1% low) 74 fps (52 fps – 1% low) 70 fps (52 fps – 1% low) 50 fps (35 fps – 1% low)
Far Cry 6
(DX 12, Ultra Preset, TAA)
69 fps (48 fps – 1% low) 73 fps (48 fps – 1% low) 77 fps (48 fps – 1% low) 72 fps (47 fps – 1% low) 52 fps (40 fps – 1% low)
Red Dead Redemption 2
(DX 12, Ultra Optimized, TAA)
66 fps (42 fps – 1% low) 70 fps (44 fps – 1% low) 79 fps (44 fps – 1% low) 73 fps (42 fps – 1% low) 46 fps (26 fps – 1% low)
Resident Evil 4
(DX 12, Prioritize Graphics, TAA)
64 fps (42 fps – 1% low) 70 fps (44 fps – 1% low) 78 fps (44 fps – 1% low) 72 fps (42 fps – 1% low) 42 fps (32 fps – 1% low)
Shadow of Tomb Raider
(DX 12, Highest Preset, TAA)
81 fps (70 fps – 1% low) 85 fps (74 fps – 1% low) 91 fps (70 fps – 1% low) 84 fps (66 fps – 1% low) 32 fps (14 fps – 1% low)
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (v4.04)
(DX 12, Ultra Preset, TAAU)
78 fps (50 fps – 1% low) 86 fps (52 fps – 1% low) 96 fps (58 fps – 1% low) 85 fps (50 fps – 1% low) 24 fps (16 fps – 1% low)

So, the default Silent mode sets an aggressive limit to the CPU and GPU, at 25W – CPU and 35W – GPU. That results in low temperatures, but with limited framerates in most games, and even an unplayable experience in some titles, such as Shadow of Tomb Raider and Witcher 3.

Here are some logs with this default Silent mode, with the laptop on the desk.

In comparison, the Optimized Profile allows for framerates within only 10-15% of the Turbo mode with the laptop placed on the stand, and about 70-75% of the Turbo mode performance with the laptop flat on the desk. And that’s because of that GPU thermal limit.

With the laptop on the desk, the cooling module struggles in this mode that limits the rpms to only about 40% of their speeds, in order to keep than noise under 35 dBA. That’s why, the GPU only runs at 50-55W of TGP power with the laptop on the desk, but at 65-70W of power with it placed on the stand, and that difference has a big impact over the gaming framerates.

And here are some logs for this Optimized Silent profile, with the laptop flat on the desk.

And with the laptop on a stand.

The GPU temperatures are pinned at 80C in both cases, but the overall internal temperatures over the other components and the chassis temperatures are a little lower when having this G14 on the stand.

As far as chassis temperatures go, those are slightly higher on the Optimized Silent mode than on the regular Silent mode, but still at sub-40s around the arrows keys and the WASD keys, with a warmer middle of the chassis and a 50+ C hotspot above the keyboard. The default Silent mode runs a quieter at 32-33 dBA, while this manual mode is set at 35 dBA.

Here’s the thermal reading for the default Silent mode, but for some reason I forgot to take a reading of this Optimized mode. Will try to update this at some point.

temps zephyrusg14 gaming silent

Anyway, I’d argue you should use a stand with this laptop for extensive gaming/work sessions on any power profile. But that’s especially important when aiming to maximize performance and minimize noise in this quiet mode.

Long story short, these settings allow for 60+ framerates on QHD resolution with Ultra graphics details in most tested titles, with the exception of Cyberpunk. And that’s excellent for a portable 14-inch device while keeping fans barely audible at sub 35 dBA.

Of course, you can further tweak these settings based on your need, by adjusting the GPU temperatures limit or fan-levels. Perhaps you can accept 38-40 dBA, which is going to push the performance of this Silent-ish profile within 5-10% of the Turbo mode. With higher CPU/GPU temperatures, of course, but still within acceptable limits as long as you place this on a stand to help with cooling. My aim, however, was the 35 dBA limit.

Anyway, that’s about it for this article. Let me know of your thoughts and feedback down below. And go ahead and read our other articles on the 2024 Zephyrus G14 series if interested in getting on of these, such as:

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Author at Ultrabookreview.com
Article by: Andrei Girbea
Andrei Girbea is a Writer and Editor-in-Chief here at Ultrabookreview.com. I write about mobile technology, laptops and computers in general. I've been doing it for more than 15 years now. I'm a techie with a Bachelor's in Computer Engineering. I mostly write reviews and thorough guides here on the site, with some occasional columns and first-impression articles.

5 Comments

  1. LyntonB

    May 1, 2024 at 6:48 pm

    Interesting. Aren't many older games like total war and fallout cpu limited, low/single threads so I wonder if maximising gpu at cpu expense will get what you're targeting here. Picky point perhaps

    • Andrei Girbea

      May 1, 2024 at 6:54 pm

      Maybe. But there's still plenty going to the CPU even at 15W. One could play with the settings and figure out if a 20W limit would yield better results, but in the games that I've tested, the 15W CPU setting worked best

  2. Victor

    May 22, 2024 at 5:50 am

    A real shame you have to do all this just for acceptable quiet mode performance with a laptop like this. Glad I waited on reviews before rushing on this one as I liked the design. I'm trying to determine what 2023/2024 laptops offer the most impressive fan-noise to performance ratio in quiet mode. Or perhaps a machine that has a a balanced mode quiet enough to perform as balanced mode but still be quiet! Most impressive I've seen thus far is the Alienware M16 R1 but now that its discontinued prices are unreasonable and discounts are non-existent.

    • Andrei Girbea

      May 22, 2024 at 11:06 am

      This is a portable design, don't forget that. Most of the full-size laptops have competitive Quiet modes, and that Alienware is one of the largest with the beefiest cooling modules, hence it makes sense it does well on Silent.

      • Victor

        May 23, 2024 at 1:18 am

        I see where you're saying but my point of reference right now is the 2023 Ryzen Legion 14-inch slim model. It's obviously not as thin as this machine but it's def not what you'd call a beefy laptop. That machine has a really decent quiet mode, and it only has a 4060. Maybe I'm underestimating the performance of this machine's quiet mode, but I just expected more.
        Reason I'm returning the Legion is because I want something with upgradable Ram. I only play RTS games but 2025 seems to be bringing more demanding RTS games to the table so a 4070/upgradable ram might be a better fit for me.

        AW M16 R1 is def a beefy machine won't argue with you there and the silent mode isn't as silent as some other competitors (longtime reader here) Best Buy had a special on this machine this time last year for $1400.00 for the 4070 edition. I missed that boat. I wish I liked the M16 R2 version more both in design and performance but that's a different conversation!

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