C 2018
Notebookcheck

Asus ROG Chimera G703GI (i9 8950HK, GTX 1080, Full HD) Laptop Review

Florian Glaser, 👁 Florian Glaser, Felicitas Krohn (translated by Ariana Brodsky), 06/10/2018

Like a shot of adrenaline. Asus' new ROG Chimera G703GI is currently one of the fastest gaming laptops on the market. Thanks to its Core i9-8950HK and overclockable GeForce GTX 1080, even the most demanding games run fluidly. G-Sync and a 144 Hz monitor round out the package.

Asus ROG Chimera G703GI

Our test device's predecessor, which we reviewed at the beginning of 2018, was equipped with a quad-core CPU from Intel's Kaby Lake series (Core i7-7820HK). But the brand-new top model in the ROG Chimera G703 line has something better up its sleeve: The most powerful hexa-core laptop CPU on the market, the Core i9-8950HK. Those looking to save a little money will also be satisfied with the less expensive edition, which has a very fast Core i7-8750H at its command. In both cases, the laptop does the game graphics justice with a matte IPS Full HD screen that supports 144 Hz and Nvidia's G-Sync technology (Optimus is not present).

The amount of RAM and storage space depends on the model. In contrast to the versions available in Germany, which offer a maximum of 32 GB RAM and two SSDs, our test device is outfitted with 64 GB RAM and three solid state drives. This hardly has any impact on the benchmark results and our overall rating, however.

Asus Chimera G703GI (G703 Series)
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop) - 8192 MB, Core: 1682 MHz, Memory: 2578 MHz, GDDR5X, ForceWare 388.92
Memory
65536 MB 
, 4x 16 GB SO-DIMM DDR4-2666, dual-channel, all slots occupied
Display
17.3 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 127 PPI, B173HAN03.2 (AUO329D), IPS, Full HD, G-Sync, 144 Hz, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel HM370
Storage
2x Intel 760p 512 GB + 1x Samsung SM961 512 GB (RAID), 1431 GB 
, + Seagate FireCuda ST2000LX001, hybrid hard drive, 2 TB @5400 rpm; bays: 3x M.2 type 2280 & 1x 2.5-inch
Soundcard
Realtek ALC295 @ Intel Cannon Lake PCH
Connections
4 USB 3.1 Gen2, 1 Thunderbolt, 1 HDMI, 2 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: 1x headphone, 1x microphone, Card Reader: SD,SDHC,SDXC,MMC
Networking
Realtek PCIe GBE Family Controller (10/100/1000MBit), Intel Wireless-AC 9560 (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 5.0
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 51 x 425 x 319 ( = 2.01 x 16.73 x 12.56 in)
Battery
71 Wh Lithium-Ion, 8 cells
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: HD
Additional features
Speakers: 2.0, Keyboard: chiclet RGB, Keyboard Light: yes, 2x 280-watt power supply, sticker, key fob, various manufacturer's tools, McAfee Security trial, XSplit Gamecaster trial, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
4.72 kg ( = 166.49 oz / 10.41 pounds), Power Supply: 1.67 kg ( = 58.91 oz / 3.68 pounds)
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Because Asus made almost no changes to the case, we will not cover the case, connections or input devices in detail. For more information on these subjects, please see our review of the old G703.

One small but important difference, however, is located on the back of the laptop. While the Kaby Lake variant only needed one power connection (330-watt power supply), Asus' Coffee Lake version comes with two 280-watt power supplies. Together they weigh a hulking 1.67 kg (3.68 lbs) and can be a little bothersome in practice. On a positive note, all of the USB ports now support the modern 3.1 Gen 2 standard.

The G703GI's competition consists of other 17-inch hexa-core gaming laptops with GeForce GTX 1080 cards, including the Aorus X9 DT, the MSI GT75 8RG and the Schenker XMG Ultra 17. These laptops appear in our tables as comparison devices.

Note: The optional overclocking (Turbo Gear Mode "Extreme" in the Gaming Center) was only activated for our tests under load. The idle tests were carried out in "Standard" mode. Due to the intense level of noise generated by the fan when set to maximum (Fan Overboost "Overboost"), this should not be considered a legitimate option. The setting was turned on when we received the device, but we deactivated it for our tests. We used the "Balanced" mode instead.

Size Comparison

SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Aorus X9 DT
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
202 MB/s ∼100% +2%
Asus Chimera G703GI
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
198 MB/s ∼98%
Schenker XMG Ultra 17
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
187 MB/s ∼93% -6%
Asus G703
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
182 MB/s ∼90% -8%
Average of class Gaming
  (11.7 - 202, n=200)
89.9 MB/s ∼45% -55%
MSI GT75 8RG-090 Titan
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
80 MB/s ∼40% -60%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Asus Chimera G703GI
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
246 MB/s ∼100%
Aorus X9 DT
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
241 MB/s ∼98% -2%
Asus G703
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
240 MB/s ∼98% -2%
Schenker XMG Ultra 17
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
208 MB/s ∼85% -15%
Average of class Gaming
  (13.4 - 257, n=198)
109 MB/s ∼44% -56%
MSI GT75 8RG-090 Titan
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
87 MB/s ∼35% -65%

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Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Schenker XMG Ultra 17
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
689 MBit/s ∼100% +1%
MSI GT75 8RG-090 Titan
Killer Wireless-AC 1550 Wireless Network Adapter
686 MBit/s ∼100% +1%
Asus G703
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
681 MBit/s ∼99% 0%
Asus Chimera G703GI
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
681 MBit/s ∼99%
Aorus X9 DT
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
639 MBit/s ∼93% -6%
Average of class Gaming
  (141 - 702, n=169)
594 MBit/s ∼86% -13%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Asus Chimera G703GI
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
690 MBit/s ∼100%
MSI GT75 8RG-090 Titan
Killer Wireless-AC 1550 Wireless Network Adapter
681 MBit/s ∼99% -1%
Aorus X9 DT
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
601 MBit/s ∼87% -13%
Schenker XMG Ultra 17
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
596 MBit/s ∼86% -14%
Average of class Gaming
  (213 - 697, n=169)
530 MBit/s ∼77% -23%
Asus G703
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
506 MBit/s ∼73% -27%

Display

Although their labels look nearly identical, Asus did in fact choose a somewhat different panel for the company's new G703 (AUO B173HAN03.2 instead of the AUO B173HAN03.0).

281
cd/m²
281
cd/m²
269
cd/m²
301
cd/m²
285
cd/m²
284
cd/m²
272
cd/m²
247
cd/m²
254
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 301 cd/m² Average: 274.9 cd/m² Minimum: 32 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 82 %
Center on Battery: 285 cd/m²
Contrast: 1295:1 (Black: 0.22 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 3.18 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.3, calibrated: 1.73
ΔE Greyscale 2.93 | 0.64-98 Ø6.5
93% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 60% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.45
Asus Chimera G703GI
B173HAN03.2 (AUO329D), IPS, 1920x1080
Asus G703
AUO B173HAN03.0 (AUO309D), IPS, 1920x1080
MSI GT75 8RG-090 Titan
CMN N173HHE-G32 (CMN1747), TN, 1920x1080
Aorus X9 DT
AUO B173HAN03.0 (AUO309D), IPS, 1920x1080
Schenker XMG Ultra 17
AU Optronics B173ZAN01.0 (AUO109B), IPS, 3840x2160
Response Times
-90%
12%
-100%
-359%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
6.4 (3.4, 3)
17.6 (8.4, 9.2)
-175%
8 (4.4, 3.6)
-25%
18.4 (9.2, 9.2)
-188%
44 (22.8, 21.2)
-588%
Response Time Black / White *
10.8 (6, 4.8)
11.2 (6, 5.2)
-4%
5.6 (3.8, 1.8)
48%
12 (6.8, 5.2)
-11%
24.8 (11.6, 13.2)
-130%
PWM Frequency
26000 (19)
Screen
-15%
9%
15%
-1%
Brightness middle
285
274
-4%
240
-16%
280
-2%
332
16%
Brightness
275
268
-3%
248
-10%
262
-5%
313
14%
Brightness Distribution
82
80
-2%
83
1%
86
5%
88
7%
Black Level *
0.22
0.29
-32%
0.22
-0%
0.22
-0%
0.28
-27%
Contrast
1295
945
-27%
1091
-16%
1273
-2%
1186
-8%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
3.18
3.99
-25%
2.14
33%
1.78
44%
3.86
-21%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
5.99
7.33
-22%
5.04
16%
3.91
35%
5.88
2%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
1.73
1.79
-3%
1.54
11%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
2.93
4.14
-41%
1.62
45%
0.74
75%
4.33
-48%
Gamma
2.45 90%
2.58 85%
2.28 96%
2.43 91%
2.41 91%
CCT
7165 91%
7352 88%
6846 95%
6494 100%
6595 99%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
60
60
0%
77
28%
60
0%
88
47%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
93
92
-1%
100
8%
92
-1%
100
8%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-53% / -26%
11% / 9%
-43% / -4%
-180% / -61%

* ... smaller is better

The change of displays is definitely a positive one, given that both the reaction time and the contrast have improved. Where the predecessor only managed a ratio of around 950:1, the Coffee Lake model reaches 1300:1 – a superb result. The display's brightness (average 275 cd/m²) and black value (0.22 cd/m²) are also quite respectable, though the G703 could stand to glow more brightly outdoors.

CalMAN: grayscale
CalMAN: grayscale
CalMAN: color saturation
CalMAN: color saturation
CalMAN: ColorChecker
CalMAN: ColorChecker
CalMAN: grayscale (calibrated)
CalMAN: grayscale (calibrated)
CalMAN: color saturation (calibrated)
CalMAN: color saturation (calibrated)
CalMAN: ColorChecker (calibrated)
CalMAN: ColorChecker (calibrated)

In the realm of color accuracy, the 17-inch screen earns the right to gloat. DeltaE 2000 values of 2.93 (grayscale) and 3.18 (ColorChecker) fall within the ideal range. Most buyers are unlikely to notice the slight blue cast, and it can be eliminated with calibration.

Asus ROG G703GI vs. sRGB (93%)
Asus ROG G703GI vs. sRGB (93%)
subpixel grid
subpixel grid
Asus ROG G703GI vs. AdobeRGB (60%)
Asus ROG G703GI vs. AdobeRGB (60%)

The panel's brightness distribution proves to be a bigger issue. Our test device exhibits halation along the edges of the screen—a circumstance unbefitting of a laptop in this price range, at least at this intensity. Unfortunately, this problem affects numerous high-end laptops. There is hardly anything to criticize when it comes to color-space coverage: 90% sRGB and 60% Adobe RGB are more than sufficient for a gaming laptop.

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
10.8 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 6 ms rise
↘ 4.8 ms fall
The screen shows good response rates in our tests, but may be too slow for competitive gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 7 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (25.7 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
6.4 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 3.4 ms rise
↘ 3 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 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 3 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (41.1 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: 53 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 8689 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Performance

Before we take a look at the laptop's performance, here are a few screenshots from various tools that demonstrate the capacities of the components.

CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
HWiNFO
GPU-Z
latencies

Processor

Maximum power at a luxury price: That sums up the G703's top model. While the Core i7-8750H—with "only" 9 MB of L3 cache and speeds of between 2.2 and 4.1 GHz—is somewhat attractive in terms of its price, the sinfully expensive Core i9-8950HK gleams with its gigantic 12 MB of L3 cache and 2.9 to 4.8 GHz clock speed. Because both chips are hexa-cores that can process 12 threads in parallel using Hyper-Threading, the surcharge will only be worthwhile for a tiny fraction of users.

single-core rendering
single-core rendering
multi-core rendering
multi-core rendering
GPU load
GPU load

Even so, Intel deserves great respect for the Core i9-8950HK's performance. With 1312 vs. 932 points, the new G703 races ahead of the predecessor's Core i7-7820HK (8 MB L3 cache, 2.9 to 3.9 GHz, overclocked in factory default to 4.3 GHz) by a margin of just over 40% in the Cinebench R15 multi-core test.

Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Asus Chimera G703GI
Intel Core i9-8950HK
206 Points ∼100%
MSI GT75 8RG-090 Titan
Intel Core i9-8950HK
205 Points ∼100% 0%
Schenker XMG Ultra 17
Intel Core i7-8700
190 Points ∼92% -8%
Asus G703
Intel Core i7-7820HK
185 Points ∼90% -10%
Aorus X9 DT
Intel Core i9-8950HK
185 Points ∼90% -10%
Average of class Gaming
  (79 - 207, n=407)
151 Points ∼73% -27%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Aorus X9 DT
Intel Core i9-8950HK
1388 Points ∼100% +6%
MSI GT75 8RG-090 Titan
Intel Core i9-8950HK
1378 Points ∼99% +5%
Asus Chimera G703GI
Intel Core i9-8950HK
1312 Points ∼95%
Schenker XMG Ultra 17
Intel Core i7-8700
1167 Points ∼84% -11%
Asus G703
Intel Core i7-7820HK
932 Points ∼67% -29%
Average of class Gaming
  (196 - 1408, n=408)
738 Points ∼53% -44%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit
Asus Chimera G703GI
Intel Core i9-8950HK
2.34 Points ∼100%
MSI GT75 8RG-090 Titan
Intel Core i9-8950HK
2.33 Points ∼100% 0%
Schenker XMG Ultra 17
Intel Core i7-8700
2.18 Points ∼93% -7%
Aorus X9 DT
Intel Core i9-8950HK
2.1 Points ∼90% -10%
Asus G703
Intel Core i7-7820HK
2.09 Points ∼89% -11%
Average of class Gaming
  (0.71 - 2.34, n=403)
1.676 Points ∼72% -28%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Asus Chimera G703GI
Intel Core i9-8950HK
15.14 Points ∼100%
Aorus X9 DT
Intel Core i9-8950HK
15.13 Points ∼100% 0%
MSI GT75 8RG-090 Titan
Intel Core i9-8950HK
15.05 Points ∼99% -1%
Schenker XMG Ultra 17
Intel Core i7-8700
12.9 Points ∼85% -15%
Asus G703
Intel Core i7-7820HK
10.33 Points ∼68% -32%
Average of class Gaming
  (1.13 - 15.8, n=504)
7.21 Points ∼48% -52%

Unfortunately, the hexa-core CPU cannot maintain its full turbo over longer periods. In our Cinebench loop, the performance dropped by about 15% from the second run onward. Even in the first run, the Core i9-8950HK's clock speed fluctuated between 2.9 and 4.8 GHz, whereby it reached an average of 4.3 GHz. It is worth mentioning that most of the Coffee Lake laptops we have reviewed to this point have not been able to maintain their turbo's full potency—though the loss is not always so substantial.

0102030405060708090100110120130140150160170180190200210220230240250260270280290300310320330340350360370380390400410420430440450460470480490500510520530540550560570580590600610620630640650660670680690700710720730740750760770780790800810820830840850860870880890900910920930940950960970980990100010101020103010401050106010701080109011001110112011301140115011601170118011901200121012201230124012501260127012801290130013101320Tooltip
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64 Bit
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
2.34 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
15.14 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
206 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
1312 Points
Help

System Performance

Speaking of potency: The 17-inch laptop offers outstanding system performance. In both PCMark 10 and PCMark 8, our test configuration takes first place among the comparison devices. No wonder, given that the G703GI has the most RAM and the largest number of solid state drives.

PCMark 10 - Score
Asus Chimera G703GI
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 8950HK, 2x Intel 760p 512 GB + 1x Samsung SM961 512 GB (RAID)
6607 Points ∼100%
MSI GT75 8RG-090 Titan
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 8950HK, 2x Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP (RAID 0)
6558 Points ∼99% -1%
Aorus X9 DT
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 8950HK, Transcend TS1TMTE850
6387 Points ∼97% -3%
Schenker XMG Ultra 17
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 8700, Samsung SSD 960 Evo 500GB m.2 NVMe
5976 Points ∼90% -10%
Asus G703
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK, 2x Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP NVMe (RAID 0)
5035 Points ∼76% -24%
Average of class Gaming
  (2603 - 6620, n=109)
4924 Points ∼75% -25%
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Asus Chimera G703GI
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 8950HK, 2x Intel 760p 512 GB + 1x Samsung SM961 512 GB (RAID)
6281 Points ∼100%
Aorus X9 DT
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 8950HK, Transcend TS1TMTE850
6055 Points ∼96% -4%
Asus G703
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK, 2x Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP NVMe (RAID 0)
6016 Points ∼96% -4%
MSI GT75 8RG-090 Titan
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 8950HK, 2x Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP (RAID 0)
5801 Points ∼92% -8%
Average of class Gaming
  (2484 - 6515, n=304)
4912 Points ∼78% -22%
Schenker XMG Ultra 17
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 8700, Samsung SSD 960 Evo 500GB m.2 NVMe
4849 Points ∼77% -23%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Asus Chimera G703GI
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 8950HK, 2x Intel 760p 512 GB + 1x Samsung SM961 512 GB (RAID)
6093 Points ∼100%
Asus G703
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK, 2x Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP NVMe (RAID 0)
5944 Points ∼98% -2%
Aorus X9 DT
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 8950HK, Transcend TS1TMTE850
5859 Points ∼96% -4%
MSI GT75 8RG-090 Titan
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 8950HK, 2x Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP (RAID 0)
5720 Points ∼94% -6%
Schenker XMG Ultra 17
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 8700, Samsung SSD 960 Evo 500GB m.2 NVMe
4865 Points ∼80% -20%
Average of class Gaming
  (2554 - 6093, n=322)
4214 Points ∼69% -31%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
6093 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
6281 points
Help

Storage Devices

In the realm of mass storage, our test model certainly has the right to boast. Three NVMe drives in RAID 0 mode (2x Intel + 1x Samsung) work together to achieve a superb level of performance, the likes of which we have never seen before. Whether reading or writing: In the AS SSD benchmark's sequential test, at over 4000 MB/s, the G703 brings out the big guns. To compare: The predecessor's SSD duo is about 40% slower in the sequential tests.

SSDs
SSDs
SSDs
SSDs
SSHD
SSHD
SSHD
SSHD

Nor did Asus make any compromises when it comes to storage space. 3x 512 GB should be plenty, even for large game and film collections. But as if that were not enough: As secondary mass storage, the manufacturer also tucked a 2 TB Seagate SSHD under the hood. Adding up the capacity of each drive, we arrive at a luxuriant 3.5 TB. The German series models are only endowed with a maximum of 2.5 TB (2 TB Hybrid + 2x 256 GB SSD).

Asus Chimera G703GI
2x Intel 760p 512 GB + 1x Samsung SM961 512 GB (RAID)
Asus G703
2x Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP NVMe (RAID 0)
MSI GT75 8RG-090 Titan
2x Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP (RAID 0)
Aorus X9 DT
Transcend TS1TMTE850
Schenker XMG Ultra 17
Samsung SSD 960 Evo 500GB m.2 NVMe
AS SSD
-20%
-28%
-57%
-24%
Score Total
4843
3962
-18%
4066
-16%
2145
-56%
4173
-14%
Score Write
1855
1519
-18%
1553
-16%
916
-51%
1615
-13%
Score Read
1999
1633
-18%
1691
-15%
828
-59%
1716
-14%
4K Write
141.26
148.44
5%
97.68
-31%
98.92
-30%
139.47
-1%
4K Read
57.4
47.61
-17%
38.37
-33%
22.23
-61%
43.65
-24%
Seq Write
4110.47
2556.32
-38%
2196.29
-47%
1018.64
-75%
1771.22
-57%
Seq Read
4885.76
3177.06
-35%
3058.28
-37%
1517.93
-69%
2532.5
-48%
2x Intel 760p 512 GB + 1x Samsung SM961 512 GB (RAID)
CDM 5/6 Read Seq Q32T1: 8905 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write Seq Q32T1: 4316 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K Q32T1: 424.9 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K Q32T1: 383.2 MB/s
CDM 5 Read Seq: 5325 MB/s
CDM 5 Write Seq: 4049 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K: 57.33 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K: 130.2 MB/s

Graphics Card

The front runner from Nvidia's Pascal generation serves as the laptop's graphics card. The GeForce GTX 1080 is designed for passionate gamers who want to enjoy modern titles at maximum settings. The DirectX 12 model already performs impressively in the benchmark show-jumping course.

3DMark - 1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Aorus X9 DT
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
22240 Points ∼100% +2%
Asus G703
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
22160 Points ∼100% +1%
Asus Chimera G703GI
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
21849 Points ∼98%
MSI GT75 8RG-090 Titan
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
21422 Points ∼96% -2%
Schenker XMG Ultra 17
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
21104 Points ∼95% -3%
Average of class Gaming
  (385 - 40636, n=436)
10245 Points ∼46% -53%
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
Asus Chimera G703GI
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
29696 Points ∼100%
Asus G703
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
29109 Points ∼98% -2%
MSI GT75 8RG-090 Titan
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
28918 Points ∼97% -3%
Schenker XMG Ultra 17
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
28621 Points ∼96% -4%
Aorus X9 DT
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
27966 Points ∼94% -6%
Average of class Gaming
  (513 - 50983, n=509)
11830 Points ∼40% -60%

In order to coax every last ounce of performance out of the system, in Turbo Gear Mode Extreme the GPU is overclocked by exactly 100 MHz, jumping from the standard 1582 MHz up to 1682 MHz. However, this increase in speed does not always show up in the benchmark results. While the G703 rushes past the competition in 3DMark 11, in the 3DMark 13 Fire Strike test we see no difference compared to laptops with non-overclocked GeForce GTX 1080s.

3DMark 11 Performance
23488 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
214443 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
38913 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
18999 points
Help

We ran the heavyweight RPG The Witcher 3 for around an hour to test how the 17-inch laptop manages under sustained graphics load. Thanks to its automatic GPU boost—inspired by Intel's Turbo Boost—in 3D mode the GTX 1080 climbs high above its baseline. An average of 1898 MHz is an excellent result and ultimately points to the G703's efficient cooling system.

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The Witcher 3 ultra

Gaming Performance

Because Asus chose to restrict the display to a Full HD panel with 1920x1080 pixels, the GeForce GTX 1080 rarely reaches its limits. The IPS screen's 144 Hz is not always fully utilized at maximum settings, but at (very) high details the number often exceeds 100 fps—as examples like The Witcher 3 and Far Cry 5 prove. 

The Witcher 3 - 1920x1080 Ultra Graphics & Postprocessing (HBAO+)
Asus G703
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK
77.9 fps ∼100% +2%
Aorus X9 DT
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 8950HK
77.4 fps ∼99% +1%
MSI GT75 8RG-090 Titan
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 8950HK
76.8 fps ∼99% 0%
Asus Chimera G703GI
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 8950HK
76.7 fps ∼98%
Schenker XMG Ultra 17
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 8700
75.6 fps ∼97% -1%
Average of class Gaming
  (12.6 - 115, n=211)
44.9 fps ∼58% -41%

The G703 would also be able to run many games smoothly at 2560x1440 pixels (i.e. on a WQHD display). Things only start to get shaky for the GTX 1080 in the 4K range, as they do for every current graphics card—whether for laptops or desktop PCs. Once a CPU has a certain number of cores and/or threads at its command, it no longer plays a definitive role in determining performance power. As a result, the Core i7-8750H is also perfectly suitable for avid gamers.

low med. high ultra
The Witcher 3 (2015) 14576.7fps
Far Cry 5 (2018) 113103fps

Emissions

Although the 17-inch laptop is often substantially more sedate when the maximum fan setting is turned off, even in balanced mode, the system cannot be described as quiet.

True, the fans and the HDD sometimes deactivate completely in idle mode, leaving the G703 more or less silent (unfortunately, there is a component that whistles/whirs if one listens closely). But presumably harmless tasks such as booting, starting up programs, or running updates and installations often cause the fans to increase their speed significantly. This could be irritating to many users. In idle mode we measured an average sound pressure level of around 34 dB, putting our test device more or less on par with the MSI GT75 8RG here.

sound pressure level idle
sound pressure level idle
sound pressure level load
sound pressure level load
sound pressure level speakers
sound pressure level speakers

Under load, the high-end laptop's behavior is noticeably more pleasant than those of its competitors. While the MSI GT75 8RG and the Aorus X9 DT reach a disruptively loud 57 dB (max. 61-62 dB @stress test) in The Witcher 3, the ROG Chimera goes about its work at 51 dB (53 dB @stress test). Even at this lower noise level, gamers who are sensitive to bothersome sounds will still be better off with a headset here.

Noise Level

Idle
30 / 34 / 42 dB(A)
HDD
31 dB(A)
Load
53 / 53 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Audix TM1, Arta (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 29 dB(A)
Asus Chimera G703GI
8950HK, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
Asus G703
7820HK, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
MSI GT75 8RG-090 Titan
8950HK, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
Aorus X9 DT
8950HK, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
Schenker XMG Ultra 17
8700, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
Average of class Gaming
 
Noise
0%
-1%
-8%
-2%
8%
off / environment *
29
30
-3%
30
-3%
30
-3%
30
-3%
29.5 (27.7 - 32, n=216)
-2%
Idle Minimum *
30
35
-17%
32
-7%
36
-20%
34
-13%
31.6 (28 - 41.7, n=637)
-5%
Idle Average *
34
36
-6%
34
-0%
37
-9%
35
-3%
32.8 (28 - 46.6, n=637)
4%
Idle Maximum *
42
38
10%
37
12%
43
-2%
40
5%
34.7 (28 - 50.4, n=637)
17%
Load Average *
53
46
13%
43
19%
50
6%
45
15%
40.4 (30.3 - 58, n=638)
24%
Witcher 3 ultra *
51
48
6%
57
-12%
57
-12%
52
-2%
Load Maximum *
53
54
-2%
62
-17%
61
-15%
60
-13%
47.7 (38.9 - 64, n=638)
10%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

From our perspective, the laptop's temperatures are unremarkable. As is true of most devices, the case remains pleasantly cool in idle mode. Under load, the rear third of the device—where the fans are located—warms up the most. A maximum of 50 °C (122 °F) on both the top and bottom of the machine is not the best result we have seen, but it is acceptable for a high-end system. The palm rest always remains cool, which prevents longer gaming sessions from becoming agonizing.

stress test
stress test
full load top (Optris PI 640)
full load top (Optris PI 640)
full load bottom (Optris PI 640)
full load bottom (Optris PI 640)

In 3D mode, the components get considerably hotter. After 60 minutes under full load with the tools Furmark and Prime95, the GeForce GTX 1080 warmed to around 80 °C (176 °F). The Core i9-8950HK first heated to almost 100 °C (212 °F) but proceeded to lower its clock frequency from 4.8 to 3.0 GHz due to the high temperatures.

Max. Load
 42 °C
108 F
44 °C
111 F
50 °C
122 F
 
 41 °C
106 F
42 °C
108 F
40 °C
104 F
 
 29 °C
84 F
30 °C
86 F
29 °C
84 F
 
Maximum: 50 °C = 122 F
Average: 38.6 °C = 101 F
50 °C
122 F
45 °C
113 F
48 °C
118 F
49 °C
120 F
42 °C
108 F
47 °C
117 F
30 °C
86 F
33 °C
91 F
35 °C
95 F
Maximum: 50 °C = 122 F
Average: 42.1 °C = 108 F
Power Supply (max.)  53 °C = 127 F | Room Temperature 24 °C = 75 F | Voltcraft IR-900
Asus Chimera G703GI
8950HK, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
Asus G703
7820HK, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
MSI GT75 8RG-090 Titan
8950HK, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
Aorus X9 DT
8950HK, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
Schenker XMG Ultra 17
8700, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
Average of class Gaming
 
Heat
-2%
9%
8%
6%
5%
Maximum Upper Side *
50
55
-10%
47
6%
43
14%
41
18%
45.5 (28 - 68.8, n=602)
9%
Maximum Bottom *
50
54
-8%
53
-6%
55
-10%
48
4%
49.1 (25.9 - 78, n=600)
2%
Idle Upper Side *
32
29
9%
26
19%
27
16%
30
6%
30.8 (21.6 - 46.8, n=553)
4%
Idle Bottom *
33
32
3%
27
18%
29
12%
35
-6%
31.6 (21.1 - 50.3, n=551)
4%

* ... smaller is better

Speakers

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2033.735.52531.229.73129.929.94027.229.25025316326.140.3802451.910023.557.812524.261.816022.866.220025.166.625022.569.431520.373.840019.274.850018.477.363017.878.280017.477.8100017.880.4125017.580.2160017.277.7200017.277250017.477.7315017.377.1400017.576.7500017.272.8630017.269.4800017.467.91000017.365.41250017.258.3160001752.4SPL29.888.8N1.382.3median 17.5median 73.8Delta1.76.143.442.537.237.3303835.538.427.136.327.338.327.247.328.253.225.154.322.464.223.370.42273.920.676.718.877.919.372.318.363.717.866.918.371.817.681.217.184.417.285.917.183.717.179.517.272.717.180.61779.417.177.117.170.717.26516.966.429.892.71.394.7median 17.6median 72.71.96.5hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseAsus Chimera G703GIMSI GT75 8RG-090 Titan
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
Asus Chimera G703GI audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (89 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 7.9% lower than median
(+) | bass is linear (6.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 4.1% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (2.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 4.3% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (3.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (11.3% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 14% of all tested devices in this class were better, 4% similar, 82% worse
» The best had a delta of 6%, average was 17%, worst was 37%
Compared to all devices tested
» 5% of all tested devices were better, 2% similar, 93% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

MSI GT75 8RG-090 Titan audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (94 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 9% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (8.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 6.8% higher than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (8.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 5.5% higher than median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (8% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (12.7% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 21% of all tested devices in this class were better, 7% similar, 72% worse
» The best had a delta of 6%, average was 17%, worst was 37%
Compared to all devices tested
» 8% of all tested devices were better, 2% similar, 89% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Energy Management

As to be expected, the G703GI needs a lot of energy. The combination of powerful hardware and a lack of graphics-switching causes the device to use a considerable amount of energy even in idle mode, though 29-46 watts is reminiscent of the competition.

But the G703GI really gets down to business under load. At 156 to 314 watts, the 17-inch laptop is one of the hungriest devices on the market. However, we still cannot understand why the computer needs two 280-watt power supplies. According to our measurements, a 330-watt model or a 180-watt duo would have been enough.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.4 / 0.6 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 29 / 37 / 46 Watt
Load midlight 156 / 314 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Asus Chimera G703GI
8950HK, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
Asus G703
7820HK, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
MSI GT75 8RG-090 Titan
8950HK, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
Aorus X9 DT
8950HK, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
Schenker XMG Ultra 17
8700, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
Average of class Gaming
 
Power Consumption
10%
-1%
5%
5%
35%
Idle Minimum *
29
26
10%
31
-7%
28
3%
32
-10%
20.3 (3.9 - 113, n=597)
30%
Idle Average *
37
30
19%
35
5%
37
-0%
38
-3%
25.9 (6.8 - 119, n=597)
30%
Idle Maximum *
46
37
20%
45
2%
40
13%
45
2%
30.9 (8.3 - 122, n=597)
33%
Load Average *
156
123
21%
130
17%
109
30%
96
38%
105 (14.1 - 319, n=588)
33%
Load Maximum *
314
341
-9%
374
-19%
353
-12%
331
-5%
166 (21.9 - 590, n=587)
47%
Witcher 3 ultra *
252
257
-2%
268
-6%
256
-2%
237
6%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

Because the ROG Chimera was designed as a desktop replacement, long battery life was not on the list of priorities. As a result, it is entirely unsurprising that the 17-inch laptop quickly runs out of steam without its power supply. Even at minimum display brightness, the device shuts off after 3 hours in idle mode. Around 2 hours for surfing the Internet over Wi-Fi at medium brightness is nothing to boast about either. If the brightness is set to maximum and the system is confronted with 3D applications, the 71 Wh battery does not even last 60 minutes.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
2h 49min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
2h 10min
Load (maximum brightness)
0h 51min
Asus Chimera G703GI
8950HK, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 71 Wh
Asus G703
7820HK, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 71 Wh
MSI GT75 8RG-090 Titan
8950HK, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 75 Wh
Aorus X9 DT
8950HK, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 94.24 Wh
Schenker XMG Ultra 17
8700, GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 82 Wh
Average of class Gaming
 
Battery Runtime
13%
29%
49%
14%
80%
Reader / Idle
169
200
18%
225
33%
252
49%
164
-3%
328 (39 - 1174, n=586)
94%
WiFi v1.3
130
151
16%
190
46%
142
9%
250 (78 - 622, n=262)
92%
Load
51
54
6%
63
24%
77
51%
70
37%
78.6 (18 - 202, n=554)
54%
H.264
143
174
148
244 (88 - 506, n=121)

Pros

+ optional overclocking
+ good input devices
+ excellent performance
+ RGB backlighting
+ practical tools
+ Thunderbolt 3
+ 144 Hz panel
+ great audio
+ SSD RAID
+ G-Sync

Cons

- noisy
- high power consumption
- limited maintenance options
- short battery life
- screen bleeding
- heavy

Verdict

ROG Chimera G703GI, test device courtesy of Asus Germany
ROG Chimera G703GI, test device courtesy of Asus Germany

Like its predecessor, the new Coffee Lake edition of the Asus ROG Chimera G703 is one of the best high-end laptops for avid gamers.

If we factor out its heavy weight and thick build, the case has a lot of strengths. The attraction of the 17-inch powerhouse lies not only with its quick and contrast-rich 144 Hz display with stable viewing angles and G-Sync support, but it is also with its modern connections (Thunderbolt 3) and good input devices.

In the realm of performance, there is simply nothing to criticize. In the device's native resolution, the hexa-core CPU and GeForce GTX 1080 run every game on the market at a fluid frame rate. The laptop does make a lot of noise under load, but other competitors like the MSI GT75 8RG and Aorus X9 DT get even louder in 3D mode.

All aspects considered together, the computer scores just enough for a rating of "Very Good". In our Gaming Top 10, the G703 once again snatches a leading position.

Asus Chimera G703GI - 06/07/2018 v6
Florian Glaser

Chassis
82 / 98 → 83%
Keyboard
89%
Pointing Device
86%
Connectivity
71 / 81 → 87%
Weight
41 / 10-66 → 55%
Battery
64%
Display
88%
Games Performance
100%
Application Performance
100%
Temperature
84 / 95 → 88%
Noise
59 / 90 → 65%
Audio
88%
Average
79%
88%
Gaming - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Asus ROG Chimera G703GI (i9 8950HK, GTX 1080, Full HD) Laptop Review
Florian Glaser, 2018-06-10 (Update: 2018-06-10)