ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 GA401

I always take with me … “Cyberpunk” and GTA / Laptops and PCs


In the 2020 Conclusions: Gaming Laptops article, I listed the ROG Zephyrus G14, equipped with an 8-core Ryzen 4000 and a mobile version of the GeForce RTX 2060, as the most interesting gaming laptop that went on sale last year. There were several reasons for this. Firstly, AMD notebook chips have been quite successful – the “red” ones have successfully burst into the gaming mobile PC market. Secondly, with a mass of only 1.6-1.7 kg, ASUS engineers managed to make a device that does not overheat and does not make noise. So, when the Russian representative office of the Taiwanese company invited me to get acquainted with the new version of the “fourteenth”, I didn’t have to think long.

ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 GA401

ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 GA401

⇡ # Technical characteristics, equipment and software

You can get acquainted with all versions of ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 presented in the Russian market here, but the table below lists the main characteristics of the new item.

ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 GA401 (2021)
Main display 14 “, 1920 × 1080, IPS, 144 Hz
14 “, 2560 × 1440, IPS, 120 Hz
CPU AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS
AMD Ryzen 7 5800HS
Video card NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 6GB 80W
RAM Up to 32 GB, DDR4-3200
Installing drives 1 × M.2 PCI Express x4 3.0 / SATA 6Gb / s Mode
Interfaces 2 × USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-A
2 × USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C
1 × 3.5mm mini jack
1 × HDMI
Built-in rechargeable battery 76 Wh
External power supply 180 and 100 watts
Dimensions (edit) 324 × 220 × 20 mm
Laptop weight 1.7 kg
Operating system Windows 10 Home
Windows 10 Pro
Warranty 2 years
Price in Russia according to “Yandex.Market” 177,000 rubles for a test model

The most advanced modification of this laptop came to us for the test, because the test version has a mobile GeForce RTX 3060 and an 8-core Ryzen 9 5900HS. ASUS points out on its website that the maximum power consumption of NVIDIA GPUs in this case can reach 80 W – this parameter most often determines the graphics performance of a laptop with RTX 30 graphics. In addition, the laptop uses a terabyte SSD and 32 GB of DDR4-3200 RAM. … And also our version of the ROG Zephyrus G14 (labeled GA401QM-K2100T) is equipped with a WQHD display, and for such an assembly in Moscow retail they ask 177,000 rubles.

All compact “Marshmallows” based on the AMD platform are equipped with Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200 wireless module, which supports IEEE 802.11b / g / n / ac / ax standards with 2.4 and 5 GHz and 2.4 Gbps bandwidth / s, as well as Bluetooth 5.1.

Interestingly, the laptop comes with two power supplies at once. The computer supports USB Power Delivery 3.0 technology, so you can use a compact 100W power source in the field – it weighs only 250 grams. The main power supply unit with a power of 180 W weighs a little more than 500 grams along with all the cables.

⇡ # Appearance and input devices

Externally, the updated ROG Zephyrus G14 hasn’t changed in any way. Last year we tested a white (Moonlight White) version of the laptop, this time a gray laptop (Eclipse Gray) came to our office. The laptop case is still made of magnesium-aluminum alloy – which is why the laptop weighs so little.

Versions with the AniMe Matrix display have not gone anywhere – yes, the laptop, due to its use, turns out to be a little thicker (by 2 mm) and heavier (by 100 g). Let me remind you that the laptop cover has 6536 holes, the diameter of which is selected in such a way as to transmit the required amount of light from 1215 miniature LEDs. The AniMe Matrix display is capable of displaying custom pictures, animations, visualization of the music being played, and system notifications (battery charge, incoming mail messages, sleep mode). You can also have a virtual pet from the ROG universe.

The AniMe Matrix is, of course, pampering, but I guess young people will really appreciate this display. Those who do not need such a screen on the lid should choose the version with a prismatic film that shimmers in different colors at different angles.

There is no webcam on the laptop case (it is included in the package too), so the top frame turned out to be quite thin too. As a result, the 14-inch screen occupies 85% of the lid area.

The laptop received very tight ErgoLift hinges – the lid, albeit hard, but possible to open with one hand. The maximum opening angle is 140 degrees. When you open the lid, the base rises a few degrees – this trick provides more comfort for the user and creates additional space for air circulation in the area of ​​the bottom of the case.

And yes, the “Zephyr” cooler throws heated air directly onto the display lid.

The set of interfaces of the updated G14 has not changed. On the left you will find a power supply connector, HDMI-out, 3.5 mm mini-jack and USB 3.2 Gen2 C-type combined with a mini-DisplayPort. It also supports USB Power Delivery 3.0 and G-SYNC technology (this function requires a monitor with a G-SYNC module or at least with G-SYNC Compatible certification). On the right, the laptop has two USB 3.2 Gen1 A-type and another USB 3.2 Gen2 C-type.

The keyboard, of course, hasn’t changed either. The travel of the buttons is 1.8 mm – pressing each button on the keyboard is processed independently of the others. I like the large and comfortable Enter, Shift, Tab and Backspace. Moving Print Screen to the bottom of the keyboard will take some getting used to – but hardly a long time. As well as the partial absence of PgUp, PgDn, Home and End – these commands are now settled on the “arrows” and are called using the function key.

There is no RGB backlighting, but I really didn’t want to, to be honest. But the white three-level backlighting on the dark gray keys looks very good both day and night. Hopefully the problem of poorly readable characters on the white keys of the ROG Zephyrus G14 has been resolved.

⇡ # Internal structure and upgrade possibilities

The laptop is easy to disassemble, with one of the screws, when you unscrew it, slightly lifts the bottom panel, so you don’t have to pry it with anything.

The cooler of the new ROG Zephyrus G14 has not changed – it still has four long copper heatpipes. The heated air is dissipated by four rather large copper radiators, each of which received 201 fins. Attached to them are a pair of tangential fans, each equipped with 84 blades.

Under the sole of the CPU is a layer of liquid metal Thermal Grizzly – an integral part of all ROG laptops of the last two generations.

The layout of the ROG Zephyrus G14’s removable and non-removable elements hasn’t changed either. The laptop is still equipped with only one M.2 port, which supports the installation of a 2280 SSD. In our case, a terabyte SK Hynix HFM001TD3JX013N drive is used – this storage device will not have to be changed for a long time (if at all).

We do not have to change the memory in the laptop, since there is a maximum of 32 GB. Moreover, half of the volume is soldered to the PCB, and the second part is installed in the SO-DIMM slot. In the younger versions of the “fourteenth”, the amount of soldered memory is 8 GB.

⇡ # Testing methodology

The gaming laptop testing methodology places an even greater emphasis on gaming. Measurement of the performance of laptops was carried out using various software.

Games (Full HD and WQHD resolution):

  • World of Tanks EnCore RT. DirectX 11. Benchmark. Ultra mode, RT – off.
  • Counter Strike: Global Offensive. DirectX 9. FPS Benchmark card. Multi-core processing – incl. Maximum quality.
  • The Witcher III: Wild Hunt. DirectX 11. Novigrad and environs. Maximum quality.
  • GTA V. DirectX 11. Built-in benchmark. Maximum quality, FXAA + 2x MSAA, advanced quality settings – on, 16x AF, image resolution scaling – off.
  • PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. DirectX 11. Training mode. Ultra mode.
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider. DirectX 12. Built-in benchmark. Maximum quality, DXR – off, TAA.
  • Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. DirectX 12. Built-in benchmark. “Highest” mode.
  • Battlefield V. DirectX 12. The Last Tiger Mission. Ultra mode, TAA, DXR – off.
  • Red Dead Redemption 2. Vulkan. Built-in benchmark. Maximum quality (advanced settings – off), TAA.
  • Gears 5. DirectX 12. Built-in benchmark. Ultra mode.
  • Metro: Exodus. DirectX 12. Built-in benchmark. Ultra mode.
  • Horizon Zero Dawn. DirectX 12. Built-in benchmark. Top quality, TAA.
  • Death Stranding. DirectX 12. Prologue. Maximum quality.
  • A Total War Saga: TROY. DirectX 11. Built-in benchmark. Max mode, 4x AA (Ultra HD – no AA).
  • DOOM Eternal. Vulkan. Beginning of the game. Ultra mode.
  • Watch Dogs: Legion. DirectX 12. Built-in benchmark. Maximum quality, TAA, DXR – off, DLSS – off.
  • Cyberpunk 2077. DirectX 12. A trip in the city. Impressive quality mode, DXR – off, DLSS – off.

Game performance was measured using the well-known CapFrameX program. It allows you to get the render time of each frame. The use of the 99th percentile instead of the minimum number of frames per second is due to the desire to cleanse the results of random performance fluctuations that were triggered by reasons not directly related to the operation of the main components of the platform.

Testing the laptop in games and applications was carried out with the activation of the fastest mode suitable for these tasks.

Applications:

  • Corona 1.3. Testing the rendering speed using the renderer of the same name. This measures the build speed of a standard BTR scene used to measure performance.
  • Blender 2.91.2. Determining the speed of the final rendering in one of the popular free software packages for creating 3D graphics. The time taken to build the final pavillon_barcelona_v1.2 model from Blender Benchmark is measured.
  • x265 HD Benchmark. Testing the speed of video transcoding to H.265 / HEVC format. The tables and graphs show the average integer value obtained after five test runs.
  • CINEBENCH R23. Measuring the speed of photorealistic 3D rendering in the animation package CINEMA 4D, CPU test. The tables and graphs show the average integer value obtained after five test runs.
  • Adobe Premiere Pro 2020. Rendering the project in 4K resolution.
  • Topaz Video Enhance AI v1.2.3. Performance testing in an AI-based program to improve video detail. The test uses the original video at a resolution of 1280 × 720, which is enlarged by 150% using the Artemis-HQ model: P, HQ, MC.

Complex benchmarks:

  • Futuremark PCMARK10 Professional Edition 2.1.2177. Testing in Essentials scenarios (the typical work of the average user: running applications, surfing the Internet, video conferencing), Productivity (office work with a word processor and spreadsheets), Digital Content Creation (digital content creation: photo editing, nonlinear video editing, rendering and 3D rendering -models).
  • 3DMark Professional Edition 2.11.6846. Testing in Time Spy and Fire Strike scenes.
  • Unigine Superposition Benchmark. Tested in 1080p Extreme mode.

Testing the laptop in resource-intensive applications was carried out in the default mode, without any adjustments to the parameters of the CPU and cooler.

Display testing is performed using the X-Rite i1Display Pro colorimeter and the DisplayCAL 3 application.

The battery life of the laptop was tested in two modes. The first load option – web surfing – involves the alternate opening and closing of tabs on the sites 3DNews.ru, Computeruniverse.ru and Unsplash.com with an interval of 30 seconds. For this test, we use the Google Chrome browser that was current at the time of testing. In the second mode, video of the .mkv format and Full HD resolution is played in the built-in Windows player with the repeat function activated. In all cases, the same display brightness was set at 200 cd / m22and also turned off the keyboard backlight (if any) and sound.

In games and other applications, the results of the following laptops are considered:

Test participants
Model Screen CPU RAM Graphic arts Storage device Battery
MSI GE66 Raider (2021) 15.6“, 1920 × 1080 Intel Core i7-10870H, 8/16 cores / threads, 2.2 (5.0) GHz, 45 W 16 GB, DDR4-3200, two channels NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop 8GB GDDR6 SSD, 512 GB 99.9 Wh
ASUS Zephyrus G15 15.6“, 2560 × 1440 AMD Ryzen 7 5800HS, 8/16 cores / threads, 2.8 (4.4) GHz, 35 W 16 GB, DDR4-3200, two channels NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop 8GB GDDR6 SSD, 1 TB 90 Wh
GIGABYTE AORUS 15G KC 15.6“, 1920 × 1080 Intel Core i7-10870H, 8/16 cores / threads, 2.2 (5.0) GHz, 45 W 16 GB, DDR4-3200, two channels NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Laptop 6GB GDDR6 SSD, 512 GB 99 Wh
ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 GA401 (2021) 14“, 2560 × 1440 AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS, 8/16 cores / threads, 3 (4.6) GHz, 35 W 32GB DDR4-3200 Dual Channel NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Laptop 6GB GDDR6 SSD, 1 TB 76 Wh

⇡ # Display and sound

On sale you will find versions of the ROG Zephyrus G14 with both Full HD-screen and WQHD. The test model is equipped with an IPS-matrix TL140BDXP01-0, about which Google does not know a thing. We only know that this WQHD display is 100% DCI-P3 compliant, supports Adaptive-Sync technology and has a vertical frequency of 120 Hz.

According to our tests, this is a laptop with a very good display. It may not suit professional photographers and people working with graphics and video, but for games and watching movies, the screen is just excellent.

ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 GA401 (2021) (matrix – TL140BDXP01-0)
Minimum brightness 16 cd / m22
Maximum brightness 337 cd / m22
Colorful temperature 7100 K
Contrast 1019: 1
SRGB color space 100 %
Color gamut Adobe RGB 84%
Gray scale deviation: average (maximum) 2.29 (3.36)
Extended Test Deviation: Average (Maximum) 1.69 (3.34)
Viewing angles correspond to the declared
Glow effect is present
PWM not seen at all brightness levels

The sound in the ROG Zephyrus G14 has not changed after a year. I will characterize its quality as excellent – with the amendment that we are dealing with a compact and thin 14-inch laptop, of course. The speakers have a decent volume headroom, but the most pleasant surprise was the presence of a good, dense bass.

⇡ # Efficiency of the cooling system

As we previously found out, the ROG Zephyrus G14 has a very high-quality cooling system for such a compact laptop. In addition, it is known that the previous version of the laptop was relatively cold and quiet. But the stuffing of the model has now completely changed.

Summary data on the operation and configuration of the laptop
Laptop operating mode Turbo Performance
Declared GPU frequency (Boost) and memory speed 1382 MHz, 12.2 Gbps 1282 MHz, 12 Gbps
Cyberpunk 2077 Real GPU Frequency: Min, Max, Average 1462 MHz 1320 MHz
1867 MHz 1770 MHz
1779 MHz 1635 MHz
Maximum noise level 44.5 dBA 41.5 dBA
Average power consumption: GPU, CPU 73 watts 72 watts
13 watts 13 watts
GPU Temperature: Medium, Maximum 76 ° C 79 ° C
78 ° C 80 ° C
CPU Temperature: Medium, Maximum 73 ° C 77 ° C
86 ° C 92 ° C
Performance
3DMark Time Spy, points 7766 7245
3DMark Fire Strike, points 17060 15772
Unigine Superposition, 1080p Extreme, points 4631 4423

The updated “fourteenth” began to work louder – in the “Turbo” mode it can be safely called noisy, and I want to play in a headset. In Performance mode, the laptop is noticeably quieter, but as we can see, it is also slower – in the graphics benchmarks, the difference is 4-8%.

But the main components of “Zephyrus” clearly do not overheat – I did not find critical temperatures in games. The same graphics works within the indicated limits stated by the manufacturer, although the promised 80 W, judging by the HWiNFO 64, does not last very long – after two hours of load, the average power consumption of the GPU was 72 W.

Feels like the inclusion of Performance mode makes the laptop noticeably quieter. Only now, a decrease in decibels is accompanied not only by a decrease in the frequency of chips, but also by an increase in their temperature. But overall, the ROG Zephyrus G14 cooler does its job perfectly.

As I said, the chassis is assembled in such a way that heated air is thrown directly onto the display lid. At the same time, the upper part of the keyboard is also noticeably heated. However, such heating does not interfere with playing and typing text.

Interestingly, in Turbo mode, the laptop processor, so to speak, works with noticeable acceleration. The average power consumption of the Ryzen 9 5900HS was 68 watts, which is almost double what is stated in the chip’s data sheet. Yes, the 8-core Zen 3 running at an average frequency of 4.2 GHz is a pretty powerful solution – however, you will see for yourself in the next section of the article.

CPU temperatures in this mode may scare someone, but I quite often find that laptop manufacturers literally squeeze the maximum out of cooling systems and PC components. Well, it means that they are confident in the stability of their products in such conditions and with such settings.

Laptop Cooling System Performance in Adobe Premiere Pro 2020
Turbo
CPU frequency Average 4.2 GHz
CPU temperature Maximum 96 ° C
Average 94 ° C
Noise level Maximum 46 dBA
CPU power consumption Average 68 watts
Time to complete a test task (less is better) 787 s

⇡ # Laptop performance

Мы уже тестировали ноутбуки с графикой GeForce RTX 3060 — например, модель GIGABYTE AORUS 15G KC, в которой максимальное энергопотребление GPU ограничено 105 Вт. В теории это означает, что тестовый экземпляр ROG Zephyrus G14 будет работать медленнее в играх и рабочих приложениях.

Действительно, в игровых бенчмарках модель с более мощной GeForce RTX 3060 оказывается быстрее на 2-4 %. Разница — крохотная, и обусловлена она не только параметрами GPU, но и различиями в других компонентах системы. Так, мы видим, что в процессорных подтестах 3DMARK 8-ядерный Ryzen 9 5900HS стабильно опережает 8-ядерный же Core i7-10870H.

Естественно, в играх мы можем увидеть другую картину. Большинство геймерских лэптопов все еще используют разрешение Full HD, в котором (даже несмотря на то, что мобильные чипы Ampere серьезно уступают настольным) игры в ряде случаев демонстрируют процессорозависимость. Это наглядно видно по результатам в таблице ниже. Плюс серьезное влияние на FPS оказывает функция Dynamic Boost 2.0, которая подстраивает потребление и частоты под конфигурацию лэптопа и возможности его системы охлаждения. Все это приводит к тому, что сравнивать в разных лэптопах графику, что называется, лоб в лоб нет смысла — теперь есть смысл говорить только о производительности ноутбука в играх в целом.

Не будем забывать, что ROG Zephyrus G14 оснащен WQHD-матрицей, и в большинстве случаев быстродействия этого лэптопа оказывается вполне достаточно, чтобы комфортно играть в современные игры в таком разрешении.

Результаты тестирования в играх, FPS (больше — лучше)
Full HD WQHD
AVG 1% MIN AVG 1% MIN
World of Tanks 157 104 104 71
CS: GO 265 76 192 48
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds 134 94 95 73
The Witcher III: Wild Hunt 86 58 62 42
GTA V 80 59 64 45
Shadow of the Tomb Raider 83 66 60 46
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla 53 37 39 29
Red Dead Redemption 2 58 48 46 39
Gears 5 80 58 58 43
Metro: Exodus fifty 29 40 24
Death Stranding 102 86 76 66
A Total War Saga: TROY 59 46 42 32
DOOM Eternal 118 71 89 48
Horizon Zero Dawn 72 55 59 48
Watch Dogs: Legion 47 34 33 25
Battlefield V 84 53 64 45
Cyberpunk 2077 49 34 thirty 24

А теперь давайте сравним ROG Zephyrus G14 с недавно протестированным ROG Zephyrus G15 GA503. В герое обзора установлен Ryzen 9 5900HS, который в Adobe Premiere Pro 2020 работает на средней частоте 4,2 ГГц. В более крупном «Зефирусе» применена модель Ryzen 7 5800HS — тоже 8-ядерная, но с частотой на 200 МГц ниже. И мы видим, что ROG Zephyrus G14 стабильно оказывается быстрее. Плюс в некоторых случаях разница в производительности связана еще и с разным объемом оперативной памяти.

Как обычно, напоследок приводим результаты тестирования ноутбука в комплексном бенчмарке PCMARK10, который симулирует типичную нагрузку компьютера дома. В основном речь идет о выполнении нересурсоемких однопоточных задач. Здесь ROG Zephyrus G14 оказался быстрее модели GIGABYTE на 363 балла, или 6 %.

Не забываем, что в ряде тестов (таких как архивирование, работа с графикой и фото- и видеоконтентом, взаимодействие с браузерами, а также офисными приложениями) важную роль играет накопитель ноутбука.

⇡#Автономная работа ноутбука

В лэптопе используется литий-ионная батарея на 76 Вт⋅ч. ROG Zephyrus G14 прошлого поколения обладал просто великолепной автономностью. Новинка рекорд предка не побила, но продемонстрировала схожие результаты. Так что обновленный «Зефирус» — это отличный вариант для тех, кому нужна мощная система под рукой везде и всегда.

А еще лэптоп поддерживает функцию ускоренной зарядки — в выключенном состоянии, используя комплектный блок питания мощностью 180 Вт, можно зарядить аккумулятор с 0 до 50 % всего за полчаса.

Время автономной работы, яркость экрана 200 кд/м2
Веб 10 ч 16 мин
Просмотр видео 10 ч 8 мин

⇡#Выводы

Стал ли обновленный ROG Zephyrus G14 лучше? Определенно! Во-первых, ноутбук заметно прибавил в быстродействии. Да, при этом он стал и заметно громче, но важно понимать, что «Зефирус» прошлого поколения оснащался, например, процессором, работающим с гораздо меньшей мощностью. А здесь инженеры ASUS выжимают из 8-ядерного Zen 3 практически весь максимум.

Во-вторых, ROG Zephyrus G14 сохранил множество достоинств предыдущей версии. Мы уже выяснили, что корпус и функциональность лэптопа не изменились. Ноутбук все так же оснащается качественным дисплеем и обладает отличным звуком. Наконец, ROG Zephyrus G14 очень долго работает от одного заряда аккумулятора, а те, кому такой живучести не хватит, всегда могут взять с собой компактный БП или же любой другой зарядник, поддерживающий USB Power Delivery 3.0.

При этом придирки к ROG Zephyrus G14 остались прежними. Как и раньше, хотелось бы получить возможность более гибкого апгрейда модели — посредством установки второго SSD, например. И хотелось бы получить внешнюю веб-камеру бесплатно, не приобретая ее отдельно.

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