ASUS ROG Zephyrus GX501: First Benchmarks

by John Nieves  June 28, 2017

How well does ASUS’ ultra-thin gaming notebook perform on benchmarks?

Around a month ago ASUS launched their ultra-thing ROG Zephyrus, possibly the thinnest gaming notebook in the world that has an NVIDIA GTX 1080 graphics card. While we’ve already done our quick reviews with the thing while in ASUS’ home country of Taiwan, we weren’t able to measure the notebook’s performance in any tangible way.

Well, we’re happy to report that we’re now able to give you raw results from several performance benchmarks that we did with the Zephyrus, using 3DMark and several of Unigine’s benchmark tools, including the newly released Superposition benchmark.

Before we start, know that the ROG Zephyrus GX501 review unit that was lent to us is still an engineering unit, and not a retail sample. ASUS may well be able to tweak the software on their final, retail device when it hits the market.

It’s also important to note that NVIDIA’s Max-Q design technology that allowed ASUS to cram a GTX 1080 graphics card into the Zephyrus’ ultra-thin frame comes with a bunch of caveats. The GTX 1080 inside the Zephyrus uses less power than a typical desktop version: a desktop GTX 1080 consumes around 150 watts of power, while the Max-Q version will consume around 90 to 110 watts. Less power consumed means better power consumption and less heat produced overall.

That reduced power load also means that a Max-Q GTX 1080 will have lower base and boost clocks compared to the desktop version, ranging from 1,101MHz to 1,290MHz and boost clocks of 1,278MHz to 1,468MHz, respectively.

The short version is that while Max-Q GTX 1080’s have the roughly the same silicone as the desktop version (2,560 CUDA Cores, 8GB of GDDR5X, and a 256-bit wide memory interface) it consumes less power but has a lower clock overall. That’ll affect gaming performance down the line, so there’s definitely still a trade-off to the design.

Quickly recapping the rest of the specs, the ROG Zephyrus came to us configured with Intel’s Core i7-7700HQ processor, 24GB of RAM, 1TB of M.2 SSD, 15.6-inch full HD display with NVIDIA’s G-Sync tech and Windows 10 Pro.

With that out of the way, let’s check out the benchmarks:

As you can see, the ROG Zephyrus manages to post high numbers in all of our benchmarks so far. Despite being a hair thicker than the latest MacBook, the ROG Zephyrus delivers desktop-grade performance. We’re about to finish our full review within the week along with our gaming benchmarks, so stay tuned till then.

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