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ASUS Zephyrus G15 Review: AMD’s Ryzen 9 5900HS on the Prowl

ASUS’ Zephyrus lineup is one of my favorite notebook offerings. Featuring the Ryzen 5000 processors in a 14″ and 15″ form factor, I’ll be reviewing the G15 today. Packing the Ryzen 9 5900HS under the hood alongside the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti, this 15 incher notebook is almost identical to its 14-inch sibling. As usual, we’ll be looking at the CPU and GPU performance including content creation, gaming, and encoding/compression. We’ll be comparing the 5900HS to its successor (R9 6900HX) and Intel’s Core i7-12700H across multiple workloads.

Specifications

AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS + NVIDIA RTX 3050 Ti Gaming Benchmarks

I had a small subset of gaming benchmarks to compare the Zephyrus G15, Alienware X17, and the Strix G17 but here they are:

As you can see, the Alder Lake-H processor is well ahead of AMD’s Rembrandt in gaming workloads courtesy of the Golden Cove cores and their high single-threaded performance. We’re looking at a delta of 20-25%, not considering the GPU’s thermal conditions and clock speeds.

And now, a glance at the gaming performance of the Zephyrus G15 separately. As you can see, the RTX 3050 Ti chokes in newer titles such as Assassins’ Creed: Valhalla, Metro Exodus, and Hitman 3 (even at 1080p high). While this “gaming” notebook does well in eSports games, more intensive Open-World RPGs don’t fare too well.

AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS vs 6900HX vs Intel Core i7-12700H CPU Benchmarks

Starting off with PCMark 10, the Ryzen 9 5900HS is a step up from its Zen 2 predecessors but falls short of the recently launched Rembrandt and Alder Lake parts. The 5900HS is 10% faster than the 4800H in content creation, 20% in productivity, and less than 15% in lightly threaded workloads.

AC Power

Meanwhile, the Core i7-12700H on the Alienware X17 and the Ryzen 9 6900HX on the Strix G17 both come out to be nearly 30% faster in content creation. Productivity and essentials are much closer affairs with deltas of under 10% between the Zephyrus G15 and the Alienware X17 despite a huge price gap.

On battery, the benchmarks go all bizarre. The Intel Core i7-12700H on the Alienware X17 doesn’t lose much performance when unplugged unlike the Ryzen powered systems. The Ryzen 7 4800H actually comes out ahead of the 5900HS in lightly threaded tests but falls far behind in heavily threaded workloads vis-à-vis rendering/editing. Interestingly, the Ryzen 9 6900HX lags behind both its older siblings in productivity and essentials.

Cinebench turns out as expected with the Ryzen 9 5900HX ending up somewhere in the middle. The Core i7-12700H leads the charts followed by the Ryzen 9 6900HX and the 5900HS. The additional E-cores really come into play here.

Now, over to 7-zip. The thread count really factors in here. The Alienware with its 12700K comes in first, followed shortly by the Zephyrus and its Ryzen 9 5900HS. The G14 (4900HS) is a good deal slower than its successor in this instance when it comes to decompression. Compression is a whole other story. The 14-core Alder Lake part leads supremely with a speed of over 75MB/s.

We’ll wrap up the review with browser benches: WebXPRT 3 and Speedometer 2.0.

The G15 (Ryzen 9 5900HS) and Alienware (i7-12700H) battle it out in WebXPRT with the latter edging past in the end. Speedometer favors the Core i7-12700H, leading the Ryzen 9s by nearly 30%.

Conclusion

The ASUS Zephyrus G15 (2021) is a solid gaming notebook but on its way out. The 2022 variant packing the 6900HX is notably faster and more efficient while the Core i7-12700H is in another league altogether. AMD’s all set to launch its next-gen Dragon Range notebooks in less than six months, boasting up to 16-cores and substantially higher single-threaded performance (+10% IPC and 5GHz+ clocks). So, unless you’re looking for a budget $1,000 gaming laptop or a workstation, I’d recommend opting for a newer variant.

ASUS Zephyrus G15 (2021)

CPU Performance - 80%
Gaming Performance - 70%
Display - 80%
Form Factor - 75%
Battery - 80%

77%

Value for Money

The ASUS Zephyrus G15 (2021) is a solid gaming notebook but on its way out. The 2022 variant packing the 6900HX is notably faster and more efficient while the Core i7-12700H is in another league altogether. AMD's all set to launch its next-gen Dragon Range notebooks in less than six months, boasting up to 16-cores and substantially higher single-threaded performance (+10% IPC and 5GHz+ clocks). So, unless you're looking for a budget $1,000 gaming laptop or a workstation, I'd recommend opting for a newer variant.

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Areej

Computer hardware enthusiast, PC gamer, and almost an engineer. Former co-founder of Techquila (2017-2019), a fairly successful tech outlet. Been working on Hardware Times since 2019, an outlet dedicated to computer hardware and its applications.
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