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ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX502GW (Core i7-9750H, RTX 2070) Laptop Review

Powerful yet slim. Ultrathin gaming laptops are currently on trend with the likes of Gigabyte, MSI and Razer leading the way. ASUS has now updated its GX502 series accordingly, but can its thin chassis handle a Core i7-9750H and a GeForce RTX 2070? Read on to find out.
Florian Glaser, 👁 Florian Glaser (translated by Alex Alderson), 🇩🇪 🇮🇹 ...
Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX502GW

ASUS’ gaming portfolio is becoming confusing. The Zephyrus series alone, which the company gears towards mobility, now has countless models vying for attention, including the GX531 and the GX701, both of which ASUS equips with RTX 2080 Max-Q GPUs.

Now the company has released a refreshed GX502, which comes with non-Max-Q RTX 20 series GPUs, to further confuse things. ASUS sells the GX502 with either the GeForce RTX 2060 or GeForce RTX 2070, but currently offers a single CPU option, the Core i7-9750H.

Our UK review unit, which ASUS calls the GX502GW, comes with a GeForce RTX 2070 along with 32 GB of DDR4 RAM and two 512 GB SSDs in a RAID configuration. Disappointingly, ASUS has soldered half the RAM to the motherboard, so you can only run the system in dual-channel mode if you stick with 32 GB RAM. The decision seems a strange one because a second SO-DIMM slot would not have taken up much additional room, and ASUS will need to replace a whole motherboard if the soldered RAM fails for whatever reason. The omission of a 2.5-inch drive bay makes sense though. SSDs offer much faster transfer speeds than 2.5-inch drives and have smaller footprints, although they still cost more per GB. The GX502 also has a 15.6-inch Full HD display, with ASUS offering a choice between 144 Hz and 240 Hz panels. Both versions are Nvidia Optimus and G-Sync capable, which makes the GX502GW one of the few laptops that supports both technologies. More on that later.

We have chosen to compare the GX502GW against other slim 15.6-inch gaming laptops equipped with Turing GPUs. Our comparison devices will include the Acer Predator Triton 500, the Gigabyte Aero 15-X9 and the Razer Blade 15.

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Asus Zephyrus S GX502GW (ROG Zephyrus S GX502 Series)
Processor
Intel Core i7-9750H 6 x 2.6 - 4.5 GHz, Coffee Lake-H
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Mobile - 8192 MB, Core: 1215 MHz, Memory: 7000 MHz, GDDR6, ForceWare 419.71, Optimus
Memory
32768 MB 
, 16 GB soldered & 16 GB DDR4-2666 SO-DIMM. All SO-DIMM slots occupied
Display
15.60 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 141 PPI, AU Optronics B156HAN08.2 (AUO82ED), IPS, Full HD, 144 Hz, G-Sync, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel HM370
Storage
2x Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8 (RAID 0), 1024 GB 
, 2 x M.2 2280 drive bays
Soundcard
Realtek ALC294 @ Intel Cannon Point PCH - cAVS (Audio, Voice, Speech)
Connections
2 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 2 USB 3.1 Gen2, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: Dedicated headphone and microphone ports
Networking
Realtek PCIe GBE Family Controller (10/100/1000/2500/5000MBit/s), Intel Wireless-AC 9560 (a/b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5), Bluetooth 5.0
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 19 x 360 x 252 ( = 0.75 x 14.17 x 9.92 in)
Battery
76 Wh Lithium-Ion, 4 cells
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: External, no built-in camera
Additional features
Speakers: 2.0, Keyboard: Chiclet RGB, Keyboard Light: yes, 230 W power supply, 3D sculpture for crafting, various manufacturer tools, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
2.064 kg ( = 72.81 oz / 4.55 pounds), Power Supply: 632 g ( = 22.29 oz / 1.39 pounds)
Price
2600 EUR
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

The GX502 is one of the most stylish gaming laptops currently on the market, in our opinion. Its thin display bezels help make the device feel modern. Many OEMs like Gigabyte equip their gaming laptops with thin bezels too, but few look as understated as the GX502 does. The design of devices like the Aero 15-X9 and Razer Blade 15 still make them look like gaming laptops, whether that be the former’s notification LEDs and angular design or the latter’s imposing Razer logo. By contrast, the GX502 looks rather plain except for its brushed aluminium display lid. ASUS has still included an RGB backlit keyboard and ROG logo though.

Our review unit is well-built too. ASUS has equipped the device with a plastic bottom cover, but it has opted for a wafer-thin rubber coating instead for the palm rest.

ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX502GW
ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX502GW
ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX502GW
ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX502GW
ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX502GW
ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX502GW
ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX502GW
ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX502GW
ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX502GW
ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX502GW
ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX502GW
ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX502GW
ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX502GW
ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX502GW
ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX502GW

Visually, the best thing about the GX502 is its compact design. Our review unit is 19 mm thick, which is slightly thicker than our comparison devices. This measurement only applies to when the display is closed though because ASUS has engineered the bottom cover to rise when the lid is open. The intention behind this is to improve airflow and reduce internal temperatures, which should then help minimise thermal throttling. ASUS uses this style of bottom plate in its other Zephyrus laptops too.

The GX502 weighs 2.1 kg, which is coincidentally the same weight as all our comparison devices. Overall, our review unit has a smaller footprint than its predecessor and the Acer Predator Triton 500. The Aero 15-X9 is a touch smaller than the GX502, while the Razer Blade 15 is our only comparison device that is noticeably smaller the ASUS.

Size Comparison

360 mm / 14.2 inch 252 mm / 9.92 inch 19 mm / 0.748 inch 2.1 kg4.55 lbs359 mm / 14.1 inch 255 mm / 10 inch 18 mm / 0.709 inch 2.1 kg4.73 lbs360 mm / 14.2 inch 268 mm / 10.6 inch 15.75 mm / 0.62 inch 2.1 kg4.63 lbs356 mm / 14 inch 250 mm / 9.84 inch 18.9 mm / 0.744 inch 2.1 kg4.67 lbs355 mm / 14 inch 235 mm / 9.25 inch 17.8 mm / 0.701 inch 2.1 kg4.63 lbs
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Connectivity

I/O

The GX502 has plenty of ports, but there are two notable omissions that we wish ASUS had included. We like that the company has included an HDMI 2.0 port along with dedicated headphone and microphone jacks while having an RJ45 LAN port is always useful. ASUS has also equipped the device with three USB ports, two of which are Type-A with the other being Type-C. The latter supports DisplayPort too, but it seems rather cheap of ASUS not to have included a Thunderbolt 3 port. Likewise, the lack of a card reader, even a microSD one, seems like an odd decision.

ASUS has not helped matters with the distribution of the ports that it has included either. The company has positioned the ventilation grilles on the sides of the device, which is not necessarily a bad thing. However, these sit quite a distance from the edge of the device, which effectively forces all the ports closer to the front edge of the chassis. Correspondingly, you may find it difficult to use an external mouse with your right hand, especially a wired one, if you also have other USB devices plugged into the GX502.

Left-hand side: ventilation grille, power connector, RJ45 LAN, HDMI 2.0, USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-A, microphone jack, headphone jack
Left-hand side: ventilation grille, power connector, RJ45 LAN, HDMI 2.0, USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-A, microphone jack, headphone jack
Right-hand side: USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C, 2 x USB 3.0 Type-A, ventilation grille, Kensington lock slot
Right-hand side: USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C, 2 x USB 3.0 Type-A, ventilation grille, Kensington lock slot

Communication

Our review unit has the popular Intel Wireless-AC 9560 onboard, which handles Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. The one in our device averaged around 680 Mb/s in iperf3 Client tests, which we conducted with the GX502GW positioned approximately one metre away from our reference Linksys EA8500 router.

Networking
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Average of class Gaming
  (496 - 1645, n=159, last 2 years)
1161 MBit/s ∼100% +70%
Acer Predator Triton 500
Killer Wireless-AC 1550i Wireless Network Adapter (9560NGW)
683 MBit/s ∼59% 0%
Asus Zephyrus S GX502GW
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
683 MBit/s ∼59%
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
Killer Wireless-AC 1550i Wireless Network Adapter (9560NGW)
680 MBit/s ∼59% 0%
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
655 MBit/s ∼56% -4%
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GX
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
644 MBit/s ∼55% -6%
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Average of class Gaming
  (90 - 1743, n=159, last 2 years)
1226 MBit/s ∼100% +80%
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
684 MBit/s ∼56% +1%
Asus Zephyrus S GX502GW
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
680 MBit/s ∼55%
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
Killer Wireless-AC 1550i Wireless Network Adapter (9560NGW)
678 MBit/s ∼55% 0%
Acer Predator Triton 500
Killer Wireless-AC 1550i Wireless Network Adapter (9560NGW)
671 MBit/s ∼55% -1%
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GX
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
661 MBit/s ∼54% -3%

Software

ASUS continues to preinstall its laptops with several in-house tools, the most important of which it calls Armory Crate. The program contains endless options for tweaking and monitoring your system, of which we have included screenshots below. There are also several profiles that affect CPU and GPU performance along with fan curves.

Interestingly, Armory Crate contains an option to switch between G-Sync and Optimus. Nvidia developed the former to limit image tearing in games, while the latter allows systems to switch between dedicated and integrated GPUs to reduce power consumption. It is rare to see an OEM include support for both though. We left our review unit on Optimus mode and set to the balanced power profile during our tests, for reference.

Armoury Crate
Armoury Crate
Armoury Crate
Armoury Crate
Armoury Crate
Armoury Crate

Accessories

Our review unit arrived with just a power supply and a 3D model. ASUS includes an external camera in some regions, seeing as the GX502GW does not have one. GeForce RTX 2070-powered models, like our test device, have a 230 W charger that measures 16.5 x 7.5 x 3 cm and weighs approximately 0.6 kg. ASUS includes a smaller capacity charger with GeForce RTX 2060 models.

Maintenance

Accessing the internal components of the GX502 is not as easy as it looks. You would be forgiven for thinking that removing the moving bottom panel would allow you to access something, but all that it reveals is the bottom of the fans and part of the hinge assembly. Unfortunately, you must remove the whole bottom cover to access any internal components.

Warranty

The GX502GW comes with 24 months manufacturer’s warranty. Please see our Guarantees, Return Policies & Warranties FAQ for country-specific information.

Input Devices

Keyboard

The CPU and GPU in the GX502 do not need hefty cooling solutions like the ones in the GX531 do, so ASUS has designed the device with a conventional keyboard and trackpad layout. The keys are RGB backlit, while its pressure points and strokes should satisfy most people. ASUS has placed four half-sized keys in a row above the Function keys, which should make it easier to adjust certain settings while gaming.

The company has also made some interesting layout decisions, which are likely to divide opinions. We would have liked larger arrows keys, for example, while the lack of a number pad will likely annoy some people. The keys have pale lettering too, which can make them difficult to read in bright lighting. Switching on the RGB backlighting does not help that much either, as the Function key numbers are not backlit. ASUS offers numerous backlight configurations though if that is any consolation.

A look at the keyboard and trackpad…
A look at the keyboard and trackpad…
…and with RGB backlighting enabled
…and with RGB backlighting enabled

Trackpad

ASUS has equipped the GX502 with a 10.5 x 7.5 cm trackpad, which has become a standard size for 15-inch laptops. The precision and finish of the one in our review unit is decent for a Windows laptop, but other gaming laptops have better trackpads, like the Razer Blade 15. We experienced no issues with performing multi-finger gestures like scrolling and zooming during our tests either.

The trackpad is well-built too and hardly gives way even when subjected to intense pressure. Part of the reason for this is the rigidity of the case though. ASUS has also done a good job of positioning the trackpad. It sits far away from the spacebar, so you should not find yourself accidentally activating it while gaming with the keyboard and an external mouse.

Display

The GX502 comes with an X-Rite Pantone-certified display. ASUS now factory calibrates each model for better colour reproduction out of the box, which is something that Gigabyte has been doing with its Aero 15 series for a few years.

270
cd/m²
284
cd/m²
258
cd/m²
278
cd/m²
286
cd/m²
272
cd/m²
272
cd/m²
285
cd/m²
273
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
AU Optronics B156HAN08.2 (AUO82ED)
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 286 cd/m² (Nits) Average: 275.3 cd/m² Minimum: 15 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 90 %
Center on Battery: 286 cd/m²
Contrast: 773:1 (Black: 0.37 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 2.19 | 0.59-29.43 Ø5.5, calibrated: 2.27
ΔE Greyscale 2.2 | 0.64-98 Ø5.7
91% sRGB (Argyll 1.6.3 3D)
59% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 1.6.3 3D)
65.95% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 2.2.0 3D)
91.02% sRGB (Argyll 2.2.0 3D)
64.92% Display P3 (Argyll 2.2.0 3D)
Gamma: 2.41
Asus Zephyrus S GX502GW
AU Optronics B156HAN08.2 (AUO82ED), IPS, 1920x1080
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GX
AU Optronics B156HAN08.2, IPS, 1920x1080
Acer Predator Triton 500
AU Optronics B156HAN08.2 (AUO82ED), IPS, 1920x1080
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
LG Philips LGD05C0, IPS, 1920x1080
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
LGD05C0, IPS, 1920x1080
Display
1%
0%
2%
-1%
Display P3 Coverage
64.92
65.58
1%
64.23
-1%
65.29
1%
63.52
-2%
sRGB Coverage
91.02
92.18
1%
92.57
2%
94.89
4%
93.05
2%
AdobeRGB 1998 Coverage
65.95
66.91
1%
65.69
0%
66.34
1%
64.53
-2%
Response Times
-3%
-19%
-83%
-92%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
7.2 ?(3.8, 3.4)
7 ?(3.6, 3.4)
3%
8 ?(4, 4)
-11%
16.8 ?(9.2, 7.6)
-133%
16.4 ?(8.8, 7.6)
-128%
Response Time Black / White *
8.8 ?(4.4, 4.4)
9.6 ?(4.4, 5.2)
-9%
11.2 ?(6, 5.2)
-27%
11.6 ?(7.2, 4.4)
-32%
13.6 ?(8.4, 5.2)
-55%
PWM Frequency
Screen
-3%
-24%
-2%
12%
Brightness middle
286
323.6
13%
304
6%
314.7
10%
250
-13%
Brightness
275
315
15%
299
9%
312
13%
235
-15%
Brightness Distribution
90
91
1%
89
-1%
90
0%
85
-6%
Black Level *
0.37
0.29
22%
0.27
27%
0.38
-3%
0.29
22%
Contrast
773
1116
44%
1126
46%
828
7%
862
12%
Colorchecker dE 2000 *
2.19
3.31
-51%
4.66
-113%
2.56
-17%
1.46
33%
Colorchecker dE 2000 max. *
4.4
5.74
-30%
9.65
-119%
4.89
-11%
2.47
44%
Colorchecker dE 2000 calibrated *
2.27
2.73
-20%
1.72
24%
1.71
25%
Greyscale dE 2000 *
2.2
2.9
-32%
5.53
-151%
3.4
-55%
1.27
42%
Gamma
2.41 91%
2.29 96%
2.5 88%
2.3 96%
2.4 92%
CCT
6405 101%
6765 96%
8028 81%
6435 101%
6749 96%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
59
59.7
1%
60
2%
60.7
3%
60
2%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
91
91.8
1%
93
2%
94.6
4%
93
2%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-2% / -2%
-14% / -19%
-28% / -11%
-27% / -4%

* ... smaller is better

Correspondingly, our review unit has excellent colour accuracy. CalMAN reports that all DeltaE deviations are lower than the ideal value of 3 and that the display achieves 91% sRGB and 59% AdobeRGB colour-space coverages. The display has slightly lower colour-space coverages than most of our comparison devices, but it achieved respectable values, nonetheless.

CalMAN: Grayscale
CalMAN: Grayscale
CalMAN: Colour Saturation
CalMAN: Colour Saturation
CalMAN: ColorChecker
CalMAN: ColorChecker
CalMAN: Grayscale - calibrated
CalMAN: Grayscale - calibrated
CalMAN: Colour Saturation - calibrated
CalMAN: Colour Saturation - calibrated
CalMAN: ColorChecker - calibrated
CalMAN: ColorChecker - calibrated

The panel in our review unit also achieves lower than 10 ms response times, something which should please most gamers. These, combined with G-Sync support and the 144 Hz refresh rate, make games look buttery smooth. Moreover, the IPS panel gives the GX502 excellent viewing angles, so you should be able to see the screen from practically any angle without getting distracted by brightness or colour distortions.

91% sRGB colour-space coverage
91% sRGB colour-space coverage
59% AdobeRGB colour-space coverage
59% AdobeRGB colour-space coverage

It is not all good news for the display though. Our review unit has a comparatively high 0.37 cd/m² black value and a mediocre 275 cd/m² average maximum brightness, which results in a disappointingly low 770:1 contrast ratio. Curiously, ASUS has equipped the device with the AU Optronics (B156HAN08.2) panel, which we have seen get considerably brighter in other laptops that we have reviewed. Perhaps our review unit has a panel from a bad batch, but we hope that ASUS has not limited its maximum brightness with software. The display does not suffer from any noticeable backlight bleeding, at least.

Using the ROG Zephyrus S GX502GW with sunlight shining on its display
Using the ROG Zephyrus S GX502GW with sunlight shining on its display
Sub-pixel array
Sub-pixel array
Viewing angles
Viewing angles

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
8.8 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 4.4 ms rise
↘ 4.4 ms fall
The screen shows fast response rates in our tests and should be suited for gaming.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 11 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (23.8 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
7.2 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 3.8 ms rise
↘ 3.4 ms fall
The screen shows very fast response rates in our tests and should be very well suited for fast-paced gaming.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 8 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (37.6 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM not detected

In comparison: 52 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 21061 (minimum: 5 - maximum: 3846000) Hz was measured.

Performance

The GX502 is a high-end gaming laptop regardless of the version that you buy. Its hexa-core CPU and raytracing-capable GPU will be future-proofed for several years as will its NVMe SSD RAID and 32 GB of RAM.

CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
HWiNFO
GPU-Z
AS SSD Benchmark
CrystalDiskMark
LatencyMon

Processor

The Core i7-9750H is based on Intel’s Coffee Lake architecture and succeeds the popular Core i7-8750H. Both CPUs have six cores and support Intel Hyper-Threading, which allows them to execute up to 12 threads simultaneously.

CPU clock speed behaviour during a Cinebench R15 Single 64Bit benchmark
CPU clock speed behaviour during a Cinebench R15 Single 64Bit benchmark
CPU clock speed behaviour during a Cinebench R15 Multi 64Bit benchmark
CPU clock speed behaviour during a Cinebench R15 Multi 64Bit benchmark
System information during a Unigine Heaven 4.0 benchmark
System information during a Unigine Heaven 4.0 benchmark

Intel has upped the L3 cache to 12 MB from 9 MB in the Core i7-8750H, along with increasing the base and Turbo Boost clock speeds by 400 MHz and 500 MHz, respectively. Our review unit cannot utilise the CPU’s theoretical maximum clock speeds though and instead fluctuates between 4.0 and 4.2 GHz in single-core benchmarks. Worse still, it can only average around 3.2 GHz in multi-core benchmarks. The CPU briefly achieves its peak clock speeds in the latter, before throttling back as it exhausts its turbo, which reduces performance by approximately 10%.

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Asus Zephyrus S GX502GW Intel Core i7-9750H, Intel Core i7-9750H: Ø1040 (1017.76-1182)
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GX Intel Core i7-8750H, Intel Core i7-8750H: Ø1072 (986.63-1110.9)
Acer Predator Triton 500 Intel Core i7-8750H, Intel Core i7-8750H: Ø980 (961.82-1019.05)

Correspondingly, the GX502GW outscores our Core i7-8750H-powered comparison devices by between 2% and 18% in Cinebench R15 Multi 64Bit if we run the benchmark once. However, running the benchmark on a loop causes the system to throttle below its predecessor, which is disappointing. This lacklustre CPU performance should not affect frame rates while gaming though, because the GX502GW does not throttle to extreme levels.

Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Average of class Gaming
  (108 - 254, n=195, last 2 years)
204 Points ∼100% +15%
Asus Zephyrus S GX502GW
Intel Core i7-9750H
177 Points ∼87%
Acer Predator Triton 500
Intel Core i7-8750H
176 Points ∼86% -1%
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
Intel Core i7-8750H
174 Points ∼85% -2%
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GX
Intel Core i7-8750H
168 Points ∼82% -5%
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
Intel Core i7-8750H
166 Points ∼81% -6%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Average of class Gaming
  (536 - 2804, n=206, last 2 years)
1624 Points ∼100% +37%
Asus Zephyrus S GX502GW
Intel Core i7-9750H
1182 Points ∼73%
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
Intel Core i7-8750H
1156 Points ∼71% -2%
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GX
Intel Core i7-8750H
1122 Points ∼69% -5%
Acer Predator Triton 500
Intel Core i7-8750H
1019 Points ∼63% -14%
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
Intel Core i7-8750H
999 Points ∼62% -15%
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
177 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
1182 Points
Help

System Performance

The system performance of the GX502GW matches our expectations of a high-end gaming laptop. Our review unit scored 5,654 points overall in PCMark 10, which puts it second place in our comparison table. Only the Predator Triton 500 with its more-powerful GPU scores higher than the GX502GW here.

PCMark 10 - Score
Average of class Gaming
  (3952 - 7884, n=172, last 2 years)
6165 Points ∼100% +9%
Acer Predator Triton 500
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, i7-8750H, 2x WDC PC SN720 SDAPNTW-256G-1014 (RAID 0)
5883 Points ∼95% +4%
Asus Zephyrus S GX502GW
GeForce RTX 2070 Mobile, i7-9750H, 2x Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8 (RAID 0)
5654 Points ∼92%
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GX
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, i7-8750H, Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8
5492 Points ∼89% -3%
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, i7-8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
5416 Points ∼88% -4%
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, i7-8750H, Intel SSD 760p SSDPEKKW010T8
5353 Points ∼87% -5%

Storage Devices

ASUS has equipped our review unit with two Intel SSD 660p drives, which it runs in RAID 0. The drives have no problem with meeting our expectations for NVMe PCIe SSDs, although they only achieved 10% quicker transfer speeds overall in CrystalDiskMark than the Samsung PM981 in the Razer Blade 15.

The Intel SSD 660p is no match for the PM981 though, as comparisons between the GX531GX and the Razer Blade 15 bear out. You must also replace one of the drives if you ever need to expand beyond 1 TB of storage. Regardless, the two drives should be fast and large enough for most people.

Asus Zephyrus S GX502GW
2x Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8 (RAID 0)
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GX
Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8
Acer Predator Triton 500
2x WDC PC SN720 SDAPNTW-256G-1014 (RAID 0)
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
Intel SSD 760p SSDPEKKW010T8
CrystalDiskMark 5.2 / 6
-29%
7%
-10%
-11%
Write 4K
97.04
93.92
-3%
93.6
-4%
93.88
-3%
97.13
0%
Read 4K
49.58
46.29
-7%
38.82
-22%
40.56
-18%
53.66
8%
Write Seq
1838
974.3
-47%
2455
34%
1468
-20%
1526
-17%
Read Seq
2421
1425
-41%
2107
-13%
1540
-36%
2020
-17%
Write 4K Q32T1
326.9
259.4
-21%
298.7
-9%
293.5
-10%
285.6
-13%
Read 4K Q32T1
372.9
296.5
-20%
338.7
-9%
346
-7%
321.8
-14%
Write Seq Q32T1
1894
976.7
-48%
2902
53%
1941
2%
1533
-19%
Read Seq Q32T1
2828
1666
-41%
3536
25%
3266
15%
2351
-17%
2x Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8 (RAID 0)
CDM 5/6 Read Seq Q32T1: 2828 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write Seq Q32T1: 1894 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K Q32T1: 372.9 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K Q32T1: 326.9 MB/s
CDM 5 Read Seq: 2421 MB/s
CDM 5 Write Seq: 1838 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K: 49.58 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K: 97.04 MB/s

Graphics Card

ASUS sells the GX502 with either a GeForce RTX 2060 or GeForce RTX 2070. The latter not only has 384 more shader units but also has 2 GB more VRAM.

3DMark 11 Performance
18686 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
30754 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
16290 points
3DMark Time Spy Score
6890 points
Help

The GeForce RTX 2070 also operates at higher clock speeds than its smaller sibling. While Nvidia officially lists the GPU’s boost clock at 1,440 MHz, it can utilise a GPU boost, which functions like Intel Turbo Boost, to achieve up to 1,920 MHz in benchmarks like the GPU-Z render test. The GPU drops back to around 1,500 MHz in The Witcher 3 and the Unigine Heaven 4.0 benchmark, but this is still slightly above its official boost clock. Overall, the GX502GW performed impressively well in our hour-long loop of The Witcher 3, which we ran in 1080p at maximum graphics. Frame rates fluctuated between 63 and 76 FPS during this test, which should result in smooth-looking gameplay to most people’s eyes.

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