Asus ROG Zephyrus M GU502 overview (GU502GU mannequin – i7-9750H, GTX 1660Ti)
We’ve talked concerning the mid-2019 lineup of Asus ROG Zephyrus gaming ultraportables in a number of earlier articles, and on this one, we’ll additional take an in-depth take a look at the Zephyrus M GU502 subseries.
The Zephyrus M sits simply beneath the top-tier Zephyrus S variations and above the way more inexpensive Zephyrus G, as a compact and light-weight gaming machine with trendy specs and options. It’s lighter and sturdier constructed than the S fashions and barely extra inexpensive as effectively, nevertheless it lacks GSync and the AAS cooling system, and is barely obtainable with mid-tier Nvidia Turing graphics, both the GTX 1660Ti or the RTX 2060 chips.
Our take a look at unit is the Zephyrus M GU502GU that’s already obtainable in most areas on the time of this text, with the Core i7-7950H processor, Nvidia GTX 1660Ti graphics and a FHD 144 Hz display. That’s a effectively balanced mid-tier configuration, however with a beginning worth of $1799 on the time of this submit, this isn’t as aggressive because the GX502, particularly for the reason that RTX 2060 90W variant of the GX502 is simply $100 further.
Costs will alter sooner or later, although, so it’s finest to take a look at this laptop computer’s capabilities and flaws, which we’ll analyze within the overview beneath, after which issue within the pricing and the competitors, earlier than deciding if that is the best unit for you or not.
The specs sheet as reviewed
|Asus ROG Zephyrus M GU502GU|
|Display screen||15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 px decision, IPS, 144 HZ, matte, AU Optronics AUO82ED panel|
|Processor||Intel Espresso Lake-R Core i7-9750H, six-core|
|Video||Intel UHD 630 and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660Ti 6GB 80W (GeForce 430.86)|
|Reminiscence||32 GB DDR4 2666 MHz (16 GB soldered, 1x DIMMs)|
|Storage||512 GB SSD (M.2 80 mm PCIe x2 – Intel 660p SSDPEKNW512G8) + 1 further M.2 80 mm slot|
|Connectivity||Intel 9560 AC 2×2 WiFi with Bluetooth 5.zero, Realtek RTL8168/8111 Gigabit LAN|
|Ports||3x USB-A Three.1, 1x USB-C gen 2 with DP and charging, HDMI 2.0b, LAN, headphone/mic, Kensington Lock|
|Battery||76 Wh, 230 W energy adapter, 65W USB-C adapter included in some areas|
|Dimension||360 mm or 14.17” (w) x 252 mm or 9.92” (d) x 18.9 mm or .74” (h)|
|Weight||1.91 kg (Four.21 lb), .80 kg (1.76 lbs) energy brick and cables, EU model|
|Extras||RGB backlit keyboard with per-key management, 2x backside stereo audio system, FHD exterior webcam|
Our overview unit is a pre-production pattern provided by Asus for the aim of this overview, nevertheless it carried out simply as you need to count on from the ultimate retail fashions.
Retail configurations would possibly get completely different quantities of reminiscence and storage, however for probably the most half you’ll get two completely different GU502 variations, the GU502GU reviewed right here, with the GTX 1660Ti 80W GPU, and the GU502GV, with the RTX 2060 90W GPU, each largely obtainable with 16 GB of RAM and the 144 Hz show.
Design and exterior
We’ve talked about this lineup’s design and building particularities in our overview of the GX502, so we’re not going to get that in-depth about it right here anymore, for the reason that GU502 is just about equivalent to the GX502, with a single vital distinction: it not will get the AAS system beneath.
The AAS (Energetic Aerodynamic System) consists of the underside flap that lifts up the laptop computer to be able to guarantee further room for the recent air to be sucked in, thus enhance cooling. Usually, not having this technique would possibly look like a major downgrade, as cooling is extraordinarily vital whenever you cram highly effective inside such a skinny pocket book, however in actuality, it’s not.
In case you’ll take a look at the image beneath that compares the GX502 and the GU502, you’ll see that the GU502 is already designed with a slight downwards dealing with angle and taller rubber ft on the again, to make sure there’s nonetheless sufficient house for cooling, so the one distinction is in the truth that the underside of the GU502 will get perceivably hotter to the contact with demanding hundreds, whereas the GX502 will really feel cooler since you’re not truly getting in contact with the a part of the chassis that’s proper subsequent to the parts, as that’s hidden behind the flap.
That apart, the GU502 is definitely a sturdier gadget for on-the-go use, with out the magnesium flap, and eliminates a transferring half that would probably break in time. It’s additionally a tag lighter in consequence, at only one.9 kilos, and cleaner, because it ditches the RGB LEDs hidden behind the flap on the GX502 fashions.
All in all, the GU502 is, for my part, the extra sensible and probably extra dependable design of the 2, and I desire this less complicated backside building over the AAS system.
The 2 lineups are in any other case equivalent in design and building, with the identical sturdy magnesium shell and laborious plastic underbelly that really feel nice to the contact and do an incredible job at concealing fingerprints, the identical brushed aluminum lid-cover, the identical proscribing hinge mechanism that solely permits the display to lean again to about 120-130 levels, and the identical lights and branding parts. These embrace an always-on crimson energy button, standing LEDs positioned simply beneath the display, and a crimson panel-lit ROG emblem on the lid, which can’t be managed or turned off, because it’s tied to the panel’s illumination.
I also needs to add that I’d advise putting this laptop computer inside a protecting sleep when carrying it in your backpack, because the lid isn’t as strongly crafted as the principle chassis. You also needs to watch out if you happen to put on a watch with a metallic band, the black coating on the magnesium inside can dent pretty simply, revealing the true-silver colour of the alloy beneath. In truth, I’ve managed to by chance dent this unit with my watch, as you’ll see within the second image from the gallery simply above.
So far as the IO goes, the Zephyrus M GU502 is as soon as extra equivalent to the GX502 lineup, with many of the ports lined up on the left edge, however no Thunderbolt Three help or card-reader.
Keyboard and trackpad
The keyboard is one other side shared between the Zephyrus M and S lineups, with a fairly good structure and fast, pleasant suggestions.
The primary deck consists of correctly spaced and sized 15 x 15 mm keys, barely smaller operate keys on the high and relatively small arrows, however a minimum of these are effectively spaced from the keys round. There’s additionally an additional column of Perform keys on the proper, once more spaced out from the principle deck, in addition to some multimedia keys on the high that permit to shortly alter the quantity, management the microphone and launch Armoury Crate, options avid gamers wish to have at their fingertips.
The keycaps are softly coated and cozy to the touch, and typing on this keyboard felt fast and dependable, as soon as I acquired used to the suggestions, which is analogous to most ultraportables on the market, so relatively acquainted for me. It would take some time to get used to if you happen to’re coming from an older laptop computer or a deeper-stroke keyboard, although, so your expertise would possibly differ from mine.
That is additionally a really quiet typer, with many of the domes being imperceptible in a traditional surroundings, nevertheless the house key squeaks and it would draw consideration within the quietest of locations, like in a library.
The keys are individually lit, with brilliant LEDs beneath every keycap and little or no gentle creeping from beneath. Illumination for the F1 to F12 writing on the operate keys is lacking, although, as solely the secondary features gentle up (see the images beneath for particulars), and that may get actually annoying when seeking to hit a browser shortcut at nighttime.
The illumination is managed in Asus’s Aura subsection of Armoury Crate, which permits choosing just a few completely different results. The software program remains to be not as detailed as those on the Razer or Lenovo laptops, nevertheless it consists of Eight completely different lighting results, sync with exterior appropriate peripherals and sure video games, permitting you to make use of lightning to spotlight completely different features that you just would possibly discover helpful, like your well being and mana bar, or maybe emphasize the generally used combos. I nonetheless discover that largely a gimmick, however hey, I’m not a gamer, so don’t thoughts me if you happen to really feel in any other case.
I also needs to add that swiping your fingers over the clickpad instantly prompts the illumination, simply because it ought to, and Asus additionally applied a helpful CapsLock indicator inside the CapsLock key.
Higher management over the general lighting system could be good, although, together with management over the sunshine within the energy button and the ROG emblem on the lid, if that had been RGB lit. So far as I do know, Asus is conscious of this and dealing on an up to date Aura Sync app that ought to be obtainable typically in an indefinite future.
Simply beneath the keyboard, centered on the main-chassis, sits an averagely sized clickpad with a clean plastic floor, Elan , and Precision drivers. It performs effectively with on a regular basis use, faucets and gestures, however you would possibly wish to enhance the sensitivity from the settings, I discovered it a bit gradual out-of-the-box. I haven’t seen any sluggishness, stuttering, skipping or different points throughout my time with the laptop computer, however be certain that to offer yours a correct take a look at, Asus have had points with Elan touchpads prior to now.
The clicks are built-in inside the floor they usually’re clicky, but in addition relatively clunky and loud. The floor nonetheless rattles when tapped firmer on the underside half, however lower than on the GX502 pattern we’ve examined prior to now, which suggests a level of QC randomness.
These apart, I’ll additionally add that there are not any biometrics on the 2019 Zephyrus M GU502, similar to on the opposite fashions. Again once I acquired to ask Asus’s officers about this, I used to be informed they’re engaged on implementing a finger sensor on future generations, however they couldn’t get one thing good-enough this time round. So far as IR cameras go, that’s very low on folks’s record of preferences in accordance with their research, they usually didn’t even hassle with it. In truth, they completely ditched the webcam on this laptop computer anyway, choosing an included exterior digicam as an alternative.
In response to the official specs, Asus provides the Zephyrus M GU502 with both a 144 Hz/Three ms or a 240 Hz/3ms panel, each matte 15.6-inch IPS FHD screens. Nevertheless, many of the obtainable configurations ship with the 144 Hz panel, the one we acquired on our overview unit, leaving the 240 Hz display primarily for the Zephyrus S lineup.
The 144Hz choice is the favored AU Optronics AUO82ED (B156HAN08.2) that’s obtainable on many different gaming ultraportables on the market, fairly good for every day use so long as you retain it indoors, and a very good choice for gaming, because of the brief response occasions and excessive refresh fee. We have now seen varied implementations of this panel, although, with brightness starting from 250 to 300 nits and completely different black/distinction ranges, so there’s almost certainly a QC variation on this as effectively.
In truth, the panel on this explicit overview unit turned to be dimmer and poorer calibrated than the identical precise panel on the GX502 mannequin we’ve examined some time in the past, and I’m fairly positive that’s related to the pre-production method of this unit. Therefore, I’m not going to incorporate the findings in right here, as a result of they’re skewed and never what you’ll get with the retails items, primarily based on my expertise with this explicit panel on a number of different implementations reviewed prior to now, however I’ll paste the traits of the identical panel examined on the GX502 configuration as an alternative:
- Panel ID: AU Optronics AUO82ED (B156HAN08.2);
- Protection: 97% sRGB, 70% NTSC, 75% AdobeRGB;
- Measured gamma: 2.2;
- Max brightness in the midst of the display: 273 cd/m2 on energy;
- Distinction at max brightness: 680:1;
- White level: 6300 Okay;
- Black on max brightness: zero.40 cd/m2;
- PWM: No;
- Response time: Three ms marketed, ~11 ms BTW.
I may also add that Asus ships the panel with a Pantone certification, so it ought to be pretty effectively calibrated out of the field. Mild bleeding and uniformity shouldn’t be a difficulty both, and PWM isn’t used for brightness modulation.
That apart, you need to know that not like the Zephyrus S GX502 sequence, the Zephyrus M doesn’t supply a twin GSync/Optimus mode and so far as I’ve been informed, because it lacks the bodily MUX change required to route picture through both the dGPU or the iGPU. Consequently, it solely helps Optimus, which disables the Nvidia GPU when not wanted to be able to save battery life. GSync ought to nonetheless be doable on appropriate exterior screens through USB-C >> DP adaptors, however I haven’t appeared into this. GSync through HDMI >> HDMI isn’t supported, as you most likely know by now. We’ll additional contact on this matter in a distinct article, proper now I don’t have the required USB-C >> DP cable to correctly take a look at this out.
It’s additionally value mentioning that the system robotically lowers the display’s refresh fee to 60 Hz when unplugging the laptop computer, and resets it again to 144 Hz when plugging it again in, to additional save up battery. You possibly can dig by the settings to set it at 144 Hz on battery, within the eventuality you don’t wish to surrender on the smoothness of a high-refresh display even with every day use, however you’d must manually do it each time after which manually set it again to 144 Hz, so I wouldn’t hassle.
Our take a look at mannequin is a mid-range configuration of the Asus ROG Zephyrus M GU502GU, with the Core i7-9750H processor, 32 GB of DRR4 2666 MHz RAM (16 GB soldered, and an additional 16 GB DIMM), a single Intel 660p M.2 PCIe SSD and twin graphics, with the 80W model of the Nvidia GTX 1660Ti graphics chip alongside the Intel UHD 630 chip inside the Intel CPU.
It value noting that the included SSD will almost certainly differ from area to area, however the Intel 660p on our pattern is a relatively gradual QLC SSD, and just about all the opposite laptops on this class ship with sooner drives. Don’t overlook our unit is a pre-release pattern, so remaining retail items would possibly truly ship with one thing else, however be certain that to examine the SSD’s efficiency if you happen to plan to maintain that drive that comes preinstalled.
Attending to the parts is simpler on this Zephyrus M than on the S fashions, as there’s not that AAS system to take away. The laptop computer opens from beneath and also you’ll must take away the screws that preserve the underside panel in place to be able to get inside. All these screws are seen, and inside you’ll discover the one RAM slot, the 2 SSD slots, the battery, audio system and the advanced thermal module.
Earlier than we proceed to speak about our overview unit’s habits and efficiency you need to know that it’s a pre-production mannequin, however with mature drivers from Nvidia (GeForce 430.86), thus it performs in our opinion consistent with what you need to count on from the retail fashions, that’s why we put this by our commonplace set of checks and revealed the outcomes beneath.
Whereas the ROG Zephyrus M remains to be primarily marketed as a gaming ultraportable, I take into account that standing is usually reserved for the GX line with the beefier graphics, whereas that is largely a well-balanced allrounder that may deal with mundane use, intensive work duties and gaming on the finish of the workday.
We’ll get to gaming down beneath, however first, you need to know that this handles on a regular basis chores easily, whereas operating coolly and quietly. The followers by no means stuff utterly off, not even on the Silent mode in Armoury Crate, however spin slowly (at about 34-38 dB in accordance with out metter, and 25-28 dB in accordance with the studying in Armoury Crate), so that you’re not going to listen to them in a traditional surroundings, however you continue to will in a quiet room. Nonetheless, right here’s what to anticipate when it comes to efficiency and CPU/GPU thermals with shopping, text-editing, and video streaming.
Again after we examined the GX502 we talked about there’s an Edge bug that plagues ROG laptops and retains calling on the dGPU, with an impression on battery life. The log above showcases that the bug remains to be current, so that you would possibly wish to use one other browser (ideally not Chrome, although, if you happen to care about battery life).
On to extra demanding duties, we’ll begin by testing the CPU’s efficiency in 100% hundreds, and we try this by operating Cinebench R15 for 10+ occasions in a loop, with 2-Three seconds delay between every run, with the laptop computer on the Most Efficiency Energy profile. Most implementations of the i7-9750H CPU return high-scores for the primary Cinebench runs, after which settle somewhat decrease because the CPU heats-up and might not preserve its most Turbo speeds for various seconds.
Asus’s ROG laptops get three commonplace energy profiles: Turbo, Balanced and Silent, and we’ve examined our pattern on Balanced and Turbo, since Silence caps the efficiency and favors low noise ranges as an alternative.
The Balanced profile units a TDP restrict of 45 W, which simulates what an ordinary implementation of this processor would usually return: Clock speeds of three.Three+ GHz, 45W+ TDP, temperatures of round 75-76 levels Celsius and scores of 1100+ factors.
The Turbo mode ups the TDP restrict and favors improved efficiency. On this mode, the ninth gen i7 CPU performs higher than most traditional implementations, settling for speeds of three.Eight-Four.zero GHz, a TDP of 62+ W, temperatures of round 80-84 levels Celsius, in addition to scores of 1230+ factors. Energy Restrict Throttling remains to be the limiting issue right here, and never Thermal Throttling.
It’s value noting that the CPU runs somewhat hotter and returns marginally decrease scores on the GU502 in comparison with the GX502 beforehand examined, however that may effectively be because of the regular variation between processors or the completely different thermal answer, as we’ll clarify in an additional part.
Subsequent, we proceed to additional tweak the CPU by undervolting it. Asus tends to already bake in an undervolt on these Zephyrus lineups, which explains the stable out-of-the-box efficiency on Turbo and leaves little room for additional tweaking. Similar to on the GX502 and GX531, we had been solely in a position to decrease the CPU’s voltage by an additional -50mV earlier than it grew to become unstable. That was nonetheless sufficient to alleviate the PL Throttling and get secure Four.zero GHz frequencies in the course of the Cinebench loop take a look at, with temperatures of 80+ levels Celsius and a TDP of 62+ W, returning scores of 1260+ factors, which is just about the utmost efficiency you’ll be able to count on from the i7-9750H processor.
The efficiency is restricted on battery, although, because the CPU is capped at solely 18 W on the Balanced mode (Turbo isn’t obtainable on battery), which interprets in clock speeds of two.Three+ GHz, scores of 700+ factors and temperatures beneath 60 levels Celsius. That’s completely superb for on a regular basis use, however don’t count on to run demanding chores whereas unplugged.
Subsequent, we’ve included a set of benchmarks, for these of you curious about numbers. We ran a few of them on the default Turbo profile first, with out-of-the-box settings. Right here’s what we acquired:
- 3DMark 11: 17305 (Graphics – 19626, Physics – 13091);
- 3DMark 13 – Hearth Strike: 13314 (Graphics – 14827, Physics – 16859);
- 3DMark 13 – Time Spy: 5829 (Graphics – 5667, CPU – 6959);
- Uniengine Superposition – 1080p Excessive: 3081;
- GeekBench Four.1.1 64-bit: Single-Core: 5209 Multi-core: 23845;
- CineBench R15 (finest run): CPU 1277 cb, CPU Single Core 177 cb;
- CineBench R20 (finest run): CPU 2975 cb;
- x264 HD Benchmark Four.zero 32-bit: Go 1 – 215.95 fps, Go 2 – 79.34 fps.
We additionally ran just a few extra checks on what we’ll additional name the OC profile, with the CPU undervolted at -50 mV, Turbo Mode and the GPU overclocked within the Asus GPU Tweak II app at +200 MHz Core and + 1000 MHz reminiscence, with the followers nonetheless on Auto.
Right here’s what we acquired on this case:
- 3DMark 11: 18150 (Graphics – 21080, Physics – 13155);
- 3DMark 13 – Hearth Strike: 13840 (Graphics – 15452, Physics – 16733);
- 3DMark 13 – Time Spy: 6063 (Graphics – 5954, CPU – 6769);
- Uniengine Superposition – 1080p Excessive: 3211;
- PCMark 10: 5495 (Necessities – 9129, Productiveness – 7423, Digital Content material Creation – 6646);
- PassMark: Score: 6117, CPU mark: 15037, 3D Graphics Mark: 10082;
- GeekBench Four 64-bit: Single-Core: 5222 Multi-core: 23999;
- CineBench R15 (finest run): CPU 1278 cb, CPU Single Core 177 cb;
- CineBench R20 (finest run): CPU 3035 cb;
- x264 HD Benchmark Four.zero 32-bit: Go 1 – 218.12 fps, Go 2 – 79.42 fps.
The OC profile results in little or no beneficial properties in CPU efficiency, for the reason that efficiency is already hyped-up on the usual Turbo profile. The GPU scores do enhance by Three-6%, because of the +200 MHz frequency enhance, which applies to each Base and Turbo clock speeds, nevertheless it’s vital to notice that the GPU doesn’t solely advantage of this enhance in checks and real-life gaming, almost certainly resulting from Energy/Thermal Restrict Throttling kicking in on the GPU degree. We haven’t appeared into this matter, however additional tweaking ought to be doable with a slight GPU undervolt, doable with apps like MSI Afterburner.
It’s additionally vital so as to add that the OC profile doesn’t have a major impression in CPU/GPU temperatures in demanding hundreds, with solely a small down-variation for the CPU and a small up variation for the GPU, as you’ll be able to see within the following 3DMark logs, in addition to down beneath, within the gaming efficiency part.
With that out of the way in which, let’s take a look at some gaming outcomes. We ran a few video games consultant for DX11 and DX12 architectures, each on the Commonplace Turbo profile, in addition to on the OC Turbo, Balanced and Silent profiles, to be able to see what you’ll be able to count on when it comes to fps and temperatures if you happen to resolve to sacrifice on efficiency and thermals for decrease noise ranges, on the Balanced and particularly the Silent profiles.
Right here’s what we acquired on this pattern:
|FHD Turbo||FHD Balanced OC||FHD Silent OC||FHD Turbo OC|
|Battlefield V (DX 12, Extremely Preset, Ray-Tracing OFF)||74–88 fps||74-90 fps||70-84* fps||76-92 fps|
|Far Cry 5 (DX 11, Extremely Preset, SMAA)||82 fps||82 fps||76* fps||83 fps|
|Center Earth: Shadow of Mordor (DX 11, Extremely Preset)||141 fps||140 fps||132* fps||141 fps|
|Rise of Tomb Raider (DX 12, Very Excessive Preset, FXAA)||75 fps||75 fps||68* fps||75 fps|
|Shadow of Tomb Raider (DX 12, Highest Preset, TAA)||67 fps||67 fps||61* fps||68 fps|
|The Witcher Three: Wild Hunt (DX 11, Extremely Preset, Hairworks On Four)||64–92 fps||58–84 fps||52-78* fps||68-96 fps|
- Battlefield V, The Witcher Three – recorded with Fraps/in-game FPS counter in marketing campaign mode;
- Far Cry 5, Center Earth, Tomb Raider video games – recorded with the included Benchmark utilities.
We additionally ran the identical titles on an exterior 4K monitor, hooked as much as the laptop computer through the HDMI 2.zero port. It is a new part of our evaluations and is sponsored by Acer, who equipped us with their Nitro XV273Okay 4K 144 Hz gaming monitor (observe this hyperlink for extra particulars).
|4K Turbo OC|
|Battlefield V (DX 12, Extremely Preset, Ray-Tracing OFF)||24-32 fps|
|Battlefield V (DX 12, Medium Preset, Ray-Tracing OFF)||36-46 fps|
|Far Cry 5 (DX 11, Extremely Preset, SMAA)||31 fps|
|Far Cry 5 (DX 11, Regular Preset, SMAA)||36 fps|
|Center Earth: Shadow of Mordor (DX 11, Extremely Preset)||51 fps|
|Center Earth: Shadow of Mordor (DX 11, Extremely Preset)||60 fps|
|Rise of Tomb Raider (DX 12, Very Excessive Preset, FXAA)||35 fps|
|Rise of Tomb Raider (DX 12, Medium Preset, FXAA)||44 fps|
|Shadow of Tomb Raider (DX 12, Highest Preset, TAA)||23 fps|
|Shadow of Tomb Raider (DX 12, Medium Preset, SMAA)||32 fps|
|The Witcher Three: Wild Hunt (DX 11, Extremely Preset, Hairworks Excessive – Four)||34-42 fps|
|The Witcher Three: Wild Hunt (DX 11, Medium Preset, Hairworks Low – zero)||50-62 fps|
The HWinfo logs beneath present the CPU and GPU speeds and temperatures in Farcry 5, Battlefield V and Witcher Three on the default Turbo FHD profile, with the followers on Auto, which retains them operating at 6400+ rpm and about 52-53 dB at head degree in accordance with our reader, or 52 dB in accordance with the studying in Armoury Crate.
Right here’s what occurs when switching to the OC Turbo profile. The followers’ habits stays the identical, at 6400+ rpm and 52-53 dB at head-level.
If that’s too loud, you’ll be able to change to the Balanced OC profile, by which case the followers drop to 46-47 dB. That comes with a ~10% lower in efficiency and a 5-10% enhance in temperatures, particularly on the GPU degree, which must clock down in consequence.
If that’s nonetheless too loud, you’ll be able to decide to run video games on the Silent mode, which lowers the noise ranges to solely about 38-40 dB, however with a major drop in efficiency and a rise in each inner and outer case thermals.
In truth, Gaming on Silent is almost certainly not an choice on this laptop computer, as a result of the expertise varies between intervals or playable fps counts and intervals when the fps drop to 20-30. That occurs as quickly because the GPU hits 80 levels C, and the efficiency kicks again up for a couple of minutes as soon as it cools beneath 70 C, as proven within the logs.
Gaming on battery can also be not an choice, as each the CPU and GPU throttle to low frequencies on this case.
Lastly, I ought to add that gaming whereas plugged into an exterior monitor does translate in a slight drop in CPU/GPU temperatures, however just about the identical efficiency.
Additionally, limiting the CPU’s Turbo Clock has an impression over temperatures, noise and efficiency, and it would simply be the neatest approach to recreation on this laptop computer if you happen to’re not utilizing headphones. Right here’s what occurs with the CPU restricted at 2.6 GHz, on Balanced and on the Turbo OC profiles. Don’t overlook that you just would possibly have the ability to squeeze even higher efficiency if you happen to undervolt the GPU.
Anyway, if you happen to don’t wish to dig by the logs, that is what we acquired in Witcher Three:
- Default, Turbo (Turbo Mode, followers on Auto – 6400+ rpm, 52-53 dB): CPU: ~Four.zero GHz, 85 C; GPU: ~1.67 GHz, 75 C;
- OC profile, Turbo (-50 mV undervolted CPU, GPU +200 MHz Clock/ +1000 MHz Reminiscence, followers on Auto – 6400+ rpm, 52-53 dB): CPU: ~Four.zero GHz, 82 C; GPU: ~1.74 GHz, 72 C.
- OC profile, Balanced (-50 mV undervolted CPU, GPU +200 MHz Clock/ +1000 MHz Reminiscence, followers on Auto – 5300+ rpm, 46-47 dB): CPU: ~Three.96 GHz, 83 C; GPU: ~1.6 GHz, 78 C.
- OC profile, Balanced with restricted CPU (-50 mV undervolted CPU, GPU +200 MHz Clock/ +1000 MHz Reminiscence, followers on Auto – 5300+ rpm, 46-47 dB): CPU: ~2.6 GHz, 72 C; GPU: ~1.76 GHz, 73 C.
- OC profile, Turbo with restricted CPU (-50 mV undervolted CPU, GPU +200 MHz Clock/ +1000 MHz Reminiscence, followers on Auto – 6400+ rpm, 52-53 dB): CPU: ~2.6 GHz, 68 C; GPU: ~1.64 GHz, 69 C.
- OC profile, Silent (-50 mV undervolted CPU, GPU +200 MHz Clock/ +1000 MHz Reminiscence, followers on Auto – 4000+ rpm, 38-40 dB): CPU: ~Three.45 GHz, 81 C; GPU: ~1.43 GHz, 75 C.
For some bizarre purpose, the Balanced OC profile with the restricted CPU returned the most effective efficiency on this pattern, mixed with the most effective stability of thermals and acoustics, and that’s what I’d advocate choosing on this laptop computer, until operating CPU intensive video games that would profit from the next clocked processor.
My reference for 1660 Ti gaming efficiency inside a 15-inch chassis remains to be the MSI GL63, with its beefy cooling answer. In comparison with that one, the Zephyrus M GU502 runs hotter, however solely inside 5-Eight levels C at CPU/GPU degree, in addition to inside 5-10% of its most efficiency, which is unquestionably impressing for an ultraportable chassis. It’s additionally value noting that the thermal implementation leaves some further room for improved efficiency on the 90W RTX 2060 configurations, though outer case temperatures rise to uncomfortable ranges with gaming on this implementation, and can almost certainly rise even increased with the 2060.
Emissions (noise, warmth), Connectivity and audio system
The Zephryus M GU502 will get a posh thermal module, with two high-capacity followers and an array of heatpipes and thermal plates.
This does job at holding the CPU and GPU at bay, regardless of the laptop computer’s small form-factor and skinny profile. The followers do get loud when the pocket book runs on Turbo, at as much as 52-53 dB at head-level, so that you’ll want headphones to cowl them up. On this profile, the laptop computer’s exterior additionally reaches pretty excessive temperatures, particularly on the underside. On the within, the higher half reaches temperatures within the excessive 40s, the WASD keys hit a most of 41-42 levels Celsius, and the arrow keys 35-37 levels, so general this GU502 truly runs somewhat hotter than the RTX 2070 bundled GX502 we’ve reviewed earlier.
And that’s as a result of it doesn’t get the very same thermal module, however one with some thinner heatpipes on the GPU aspect, which truly appear to make a distinction ultimately, regardless of the wattage distinction. Down beneath there’s the cooling on the GX502, for comparability.
You possibly can restrict the noise by choosing the Balanced mode (to 46-47 dB), and though and the followers run at solely 38-40 dB on the Silent profile, the gaming expertise is inconsistent and most titles gained’t run correctly on this mode.
The followers are additionally lively with every day use, even on the Silent mode, so this laptop computer isn’t utterly silent, however at 34-38 dB (or 25-30 dB in accordance with Armoury Crate), you’ll solely hear them in quiet environments.
I do have to say that higher fan management could be appreciated on ROG laptops, largely the flexibility to create a flexible fan-curve primarily based on temperature brackets. That’s not obtainable as of proper now, however I’ve been informed it is going to be obtainable with a future software program replace of Armoury Crate.
*Each day Use – streaming Netflix on Edge for 30 minutes, followers on Auto (34-38 dB)
*Load default Turbo – enjoying Far Cry 5 for 30 minutes, Default Turbo profile, followers on Auto (52-53 dB)
*Load OC Balanced restricted CPU – enjoying Far Cry 5 for 30 minutes, Balanced Profile with OC GPU and CPU restricted at 2.6 GHz, followers on Auto (46-47 dB)
*Load OC Turbo – enjoying Far Cry 5 for 30 minutes, OC Turbo profile, followers on Auto (52-53 dB)
For connectivity, there’s an Intel 9560 2×2 Wi-fi AC implementation inside this laptop computer, with Bluetooth 5.zero, in addition to Gigabit Lan by a Realtek module. We’ve largely used our pattern on wi-fi, and it carried out effectively each close to the router and at 30+ ft away, with obstacles in between. Nevertheless, for some purpose, this pattern didn’t attain the identical speeds because the GX502, which is another fault I attribute to the pre-production standing of our unit, as the 2 share the identical Wi-Fi chip and a pair of×2 inner design.
So far as the audio system go, there’s a set of them firing by cuts on the lateral sides of the underbelly, they usually’re about common. We measured most volumes of on solely round 73-74 dB, with none distortions, with middling sound high quality and pretty missing lows, noticeable from round 100 Hz. Similar to on the GX502, we couldn’t get the Audio Wizard app put in on our overview unit, and that may enhance volumes and even perhaps high quality by a good bit on the ultimate merchandise. It’s additionally value mentioning that it’s simple to cowl and impede these audio system when utilizing the pc on the lap, resulting from their positioning on the underbelly.
There’s no inner webcam on the Zephyrus M GU502, as an alternative, Asus bundles an exterior FHD webcam as an alternative, which provides higher picture high quality. You do get a pair of microphones simply beneath the display.
The Zephyrus M will get the identical 76 Wh from the up to date Zephyrus S. It’s nonetheless smaller than you’ll get with just about all of the premium ultraportables, nevertheless it’s inside 10% of most options, so it could actually ship first rate battery life, particularly with Optimus and that trick that switches the display to 60 Hz whereas on battery.
Right here’s what we acquired on our pattern, with the display set at 30%, roughly 120-nits of brightness.
- 16.Four W (~Four h 30 min of use) – textual content enhancing in Google Drive in Firefox, Silent Energy Profile, display at 30%, Wi-Fi ON;
- 16 W (~Four h 30 min of use) – 1080p Youtube fullscreen in Edge, Silent Energy Profile, display at 30%, Wi-Fi ON;
- 14.6 W (~5 h of use) – 1080p Netflix fullscreen video in Edge, Silent Energy Profile, display at 30%, Wi-Fi ON;
- 23 W (~Three h 30 min of use) – shopping in Edge, Balanced Energy Profile, display at 30%, Wi-Fi ON;
- 50 W (~1 h 20 min of use) – Gaming – Shadow of Mordor, Balanced Energy Profile, display at 30%, Wi-Fi ON.
Asus pairs this configuration with a 230 Wh energy brick. It’s averagely sized and weighs round 1.76 lbs (.Eight kg) for the European model, together with cables. A full battery cost takes about 2 hours.
This laptop computer additionally prices through USB-C although, at as much as 65 W, and I’ve been informed Asus will bundle a secondary USB-C charger within the retail packages, in some areas. So far as I can inform, although, the retail items obtainable within the US and Europe on the time of this submit don’t get this further charger, please right me if I’m flawed. Don’t count on to play video games on USB-C, however that may can help you run every day actions simply superb, or refill the laptop computer whereas touring, with out having to hold that 1.76 lbs foremost charger with you.
Worth and availability
The Asus ROG Zephyrus M GU502 is already available in shops in some areas, however largely within the GU502GU variant reviewed right here, with the Intel Core i7-9750H processor, Nvidia GTX 1660Ti 80 W GPU, 16 GB of RAM, a 512 GB SSD and the 144Hz display, with an MSRP of $1799 within the US and as little as 1600 EUR in Europe. The European pricing is aggressive, however the laptop computer is barely listed by only a few outlets, and that may show incorrect.
A better finish Zephyrus M GU502GV model with RTX 2060 graphics may additionally be provided down the road, however I’d count on its availability to be restricted, as it could compete with the higher-tier GX502GV.
As a heads-up, Asus bundles this with some peripherals on most markets (mouse, mouse-pad, and so forth), however on the similar time almost certainly features a gradual SSD that you just would possibly wish to improve. On high of that, on condition that the 16 GB of RAM is soldered on the motherboard, you’ll have to purchase one other 16 GB DIMM to be able to get dual-channel reminiscence, which makes a giant distinction in most video games.
Comply with this hyperlink for up to date costs and configurations on the time you’re studying the article.
Vs the Competitors
Whereas that’s a subject we’ll largely cowl in one other article, let’s shortly contact on the competitors right here as effectively.
This isn’t a kind of bang-for-the-buck laptops. You’ll discover many equally specced gadgets for lots much less, from the Acer Nitro 7 and Predator Helios 300 to the Lenovo Legion Y740 and the Dell Gaming G7, with out even contemplating the Clevo-based choices on the market, and also you’ll discover better-specced choices for a similar sort of cash, with RTX 2060 and even 2070 graphics, just like the ROG Strix Scar II or the HP Gaming 15.
With the Zephyrus M GU502, you’re paying a premium for the ultraportable form-factor and the superb magnesium chassis. In truth, you’re truly paying the next premium than with the GX502, because the 2060 variant of the Zephyrus S GX502 sells for $1899 and consists of GSync and the AAS cooling. That apart, I’m unsure whether or not the 2060 variant will get the identical thermal module we’ve seen on the RTX 2070 model, but when it does, that’s another reason to get the GX502 as an alternative.
In truth, I count on the Zephyrus M GU502GU to drop in worth shortly, because it’s simply costly for a 1660Ti configuration.
That’s why the GU502 faces problem largely from RTX 2060 primarily based gadgets, just like the extra inexpensive Acer Predator Triton 500, or the marginally dearer MSI GS65 Stealth Skinny and Razer Blade 15, every with their professionals and cons, as you’ll discover from our evaluations.
That is additionally a worthy and succesful different for the all-rounder kings of the 15-inch section, the Dell XPS 15 and the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Excessive, which it matches when it comes to construct, outmatches when it comes to efficiency, however sadly trails behind them within the IO, battery life and display high quality departments. The 300-nits AUO panel is simply not as versatile as the upper brightness, increased decision and even the OLED panel choices obtainable on the XPS and ThinkPad.
On that observe, the Zephyrus M GU502 is a superb multi-purpose laptop computer, and whereas costly proper now, it ought to enhance in worth within the months to return because it will get discounted.
Asus put collectively excellently crafted and largely sensible pocket book, typer and a stable performer as soon as tweaked, able to operating quietly and cooly with on a regular basis use, or quick with demanding hundreds and video games. I’m solely score it at Four.25 although, as I nonetheless consider there’s higher worth for a gamer within the RTX 2060 variant of the Zephyrus S GX502, in addition to fairly just a few quirks that may steer these eager about a reliable all-rounder in direction of one thing else.
Amongst these, there’s the truth that the display isn’t brilliant sufficient for out of doors use, which you would possibly want in an all-rounder, and likewise doesn’t lean again previous 120-130 levels, the battery life and audio system should not spectacular by any means, and the IO lacks Thunderbolt Three or a card reader.
High quality management is one other regarding side that has plagued Asus laptops prior to now, that’s why I might advise you to solely get this from respected shops that correctly deal with returns and potential RMAs, and don’t be upset if you happen to do find yourself with quirky product that you just’ll must ship again, simply remember that it could actually occur.
We’ll wrap up our overview of the Zephyrus M GU502GU right here, however the feedback part down beneath awaits your suggestions, questions, and impressions, and I’d love to listen to what you consider this laptop computer and its general worth.