ASUS Zephyrus G15 (2021) Tested In 12 Games!

The new ASUS Zephyrus G15 gaming laptop has received a lot of hype lately, so it’s time to put it to the test and see just how well it performs in games. I’ve tested 12 titles at both 1440p and 1080p resolutions as well as compared this against other gaming laptops to see how it stacks up. The specs in my G15 are on the higher end of what’s available, including Ryzen 9 5900HS and Nvidia RTX 3080 graphics with a 1440p 165Hz screen, and this is why I’ve tested 1440p too.

Now the Nvidia software notes that the RTX 3080 graphics in my model has a maximum power limit of 100 watts. However, most of the time in a GPU only stress test mine sat at around 90 and then with the CPU also under stress test it was around 75 watts, but the specific power limit will vary based on dynamic boost.

The ASUS Armoury crate software lets you set performance modes. I’ve done all testing in manual mode with the fans set to full speed and the CPU power limit sliders set to maximum, and manual mode also applies the following overclocks to the GPU by default. Unfortunately it is not possible to disable optimus to get a speed boost, but it does have resizable BAR support. So with all of that in mind, we’ll start out by looking at how 12 different games run on the G15 at all setting levels at both 1440p and 1080p resolutions, then afterwards I’ll show you how the G15 compares against other gaming laptops, followed by screen response time.

Cyberpunk 2077 was tested in little China with the street kid life path.

I’ve got the 1440p results shown by the red bars, and the 1080p results shown by the purple bars above, as well as all setting presets on the left with lowest down the bottom and highest up top. This is a resource heavy game, and 1440p was able to run at around 60 FPS with medium settings, while 1080p could still manage this in all but the highest ray traced ultra preset. Red Dead Redemption 2 was tested with the games benchmark. Even 1440p with the highest ultra setting preset was averaging above 60 FPS, which honestly is a great result from a laptop even at 1080p, so excellent performance here from the RTX 3080 graphics.

There’s not too much of a difference between 1440p and 1080p here, and given 1440p is 80 FPS even with high settings I probably wouldn’t bother with 1080p. Control was tested with and without ray tracing, let’s start with ray tracing off. This time there was a larger difference between the two resolutions. Despite this, 1440p with max settings wasn’t too far below 60 FPS, while medium was higher than this even for the 1% lows, which from my experience is enough for this game. If you’re someone that prefers higher FPS though, well 1080p is an option too, offering a 66% higher frame rate with the high preset. With ray tracing set to high 1080p was still able to average close to 60 FPS even with the high setting preset, 1440p on the other hand wasn’t doing so great comparatively, but that’s why we’ve got DLSS.

With DLSS enabled 1440p was now above 60 FPS even with the high setting preset with ray tracing set to high too. You could easily play the game like this, but again higher FPS was possible with 1080p if that’s your preference. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla was tested with the game’s benchmark. 1440p was still right on 60 FPS even with the very high setting preset. 1080p was of course offering an improvement, but there’s not too much extra to gain here compared to many other titles tested, do I’d be leaning towards the crisper 1440p option.

Microsoft Flight Simulator was tested in the Sydney landing challenge, and it’s a similar deal here, with an even smaller difference between the two resolutions, so might as well just stick to 1440p for that sharper image unless you’re going to benefit from an extra 5 FPS or so. 60 FPS was only possible in this specific test with 1080p low settings, but this will of course vary based on where you’re flying.

Watch Dogs Legion was tested with the games benchmark. Like Valhalla, 60 FPS with 1440p very high settings was possible in this test, with only minor improvements to frame rate with lower setting levels. The frame rates at 1440p look pretty good here, so I’d probably play with 1440p high settings. Battlefield V was tested in campaign mode. This is an older game now compared to the previous titles covered, which is probably why the frame rates are a fair bit higher comparatively. No problems running through the game at 1440p ultra settings here, even the 1% low was close to 60 FPS. Shadow of the Tomb Raider was tested with the games benchmark tool, and this one is in a similar basket of being an older title. Easily 60 FPS with max settings with the highest setting preset on 1440p, so some nice looking results here, but I’ll use this title to compare with other laptops soon.

Fortnite was tested with the replay feature. This is more of an esports title compared to the others, so much higher frame rates are expected. Medium settings at 1440p was able to reach a higher frame rate than the 165Hz refresh rate of the display, though epic settings at 1080p was close to this too. CS:GO is another esports title, either resolution at any setting level could reach average frame rates higher than the display’s refresh rate. This is a game where being able to disable optimus can offer a big performance gain, but unfortunately that’s not a feature that the G15 offers. Rainbow Six Siege also hits fairly high frame rates without issue. I’m not sure why the 1% lows at low and medium settings at 1440p were lower than the higher settings, but it’s not much of a difference. Anyway even max settings at 1440p can hit higher average FPS than the screen’s refresh rate. The Witcher 3 is an older game that I still test so that you can compare with my older videos.

More than 100 FPS was still possible even with 1440p ultra settings, so again no issues running this one at all, though low settings could push this closer to the 1440p screen’s refresh rate. Now let’s find out just how well the new 2021 model of the ASUS Zephyrus G15 compares against other gaming laptops, but use these results as a rough guide only, as they were tested at different times with different drivers. I’ve tested Battlefield 5 in campaign mode at ultra settings, and the G15 is highlighted in red. Compared to others, the performance isn’t terrible or anything, but I was expecting better from RTX 3080 graphics. It seems to be performing between 2070 Super and 2080 Super Max-Q options, probably a result of the GPU power limit.

As mentioned earlier, although it notes a 100 watt maximum I was seeing more like 90 watts, but this will of course depend on the workload and different games work differently. To be fair a higher end GPU like this may do better at 1440p, but unfortunately as we’ve only just recently gotten 1440p models this year I don’t have much other data to compare with yet. Shadow of the Tomb Raider was tested with the games benchmark tool with the highest setting preset.

The G15 was in a similar position when compared to the same selection of laptops. It’s reaching the same 98 FPS as the XMG Pro 17 just below it, the only other RTX 3080 gaming laptop that I’ve tested so far, though that one technically has higher power limit range and double the VRAM, granted there’s a CPU difference there with that one being Intel while the G15 is Ryzen based. Far Cry 5 was also tested with the games benchmark tool at max settings. This test tends to depend a bit more on processor performance compared to the last two games, but again the G15 is in the same position when compared with these other laptops. There’s nothing particularly remarkable to note here, the 1% lows are lower compared to all machines above despite the 8 core Ryzen processor, granted this is a lower powered HS chip so perhaps that’s a factor. I’ll check out power limits, thermals, and everything else in the upcoming full review video, so make sure you’re subscribed for that one. Now let’s check out the screen response time.

The G15 gives us the option of enabling or disabling panel overdrive through the ASUS Armoury Crate software, and this affects response time. Here’s how things look with panel overdrive enabled, which is the default. We’re looking at a 4.25ms average grey-to-grey response time, however there was some overshoot and undershoot to some transitions, but this is typical with overdrive modes. Even the longest transition time was below the 6.06ms target we’re after for transitions to occur within the refresh window. Here’s how things look if we instead manually turn overdrive mode off, the response time lowers to 7.23ms, but there’s no overshoot or undershoot now. There are links in the description if you need an explanation on these numbers. This is how both of these results compare against other gaming laptops. The overdrive enabled result is one of the best I’ve recorded ever, but also the best I’ve seen from these new 1440p 165Hz panels so far.

The gaming performance from this higher end G15 was pretty decent considering we could play pretty much all games at 1440p with good settings, but at the same time, I was expecting a little better from the RTX 3080 graphics. Some of this would of course simply be down to the lower power limits that are required to have this hardware in 2cm thin laptop like this, but also the inability of disabling optimus is also going to reduce performance. To be fair, using optimus does allow it to take advantage of FreeSync, but it still would be nice to have the option of disabling optimus if you did want that extra performance. There’s a lot more to test with the G15, so make sure you’re subscribed for the upcoming full review video. The plan is to have that cover pretty much basically everything, so make sure you let me know down in the comments what else you want to see covered.

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