Notebookcheck

Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX701GX (i7-8750H, RTX 2080 Max-Q) Laptop Review

Florian Glaser, 👁 Florian Glaser (translated by Stanislav Kokhanyuk), 02/28/2019

Thin and powerful. Asus released the 17-inch version of its high-end gaming laptop known as the GX531 shortly after Nvidia launched its Turing-based GPUs. Despite its slimness, the ROG Zephyrus S GX701 is extremely capable and is supposed to strike fear into the hearts of the competitors. Read our review to find out if it succeeds at this.

Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX701GX

There are three different models on Asus’s website. While the GX701GV features “only” an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060, the GX701GW comes with an RTX 2070. And then there is finally our review device that has a GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q. Our review device is designated as the GX701GX and costs about 3200 Euros ($3634). It has a Core i7-8750H and a G-Sync-enabled, 144-Hz Full HD display with a Pantone certification. 

The maximum amount of RAM is limited to 24 GB, 8 GB of which is soldered to the motherboard. We reckon that this is not a particularly good decision. The same goes for the fact that the GX701 only features one M.2 slot. The biggest competitors of the ROG Zephyrus S are other slim gaming notebooks with Turing-based GPUs such as the Razer Blade 15, the Gigabyte Aero 15 and the Acer Predator Triton 500. We included the above-mentioned devices in our review for comparison purposes.

Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX (Zephyrus S GX701 Series)
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q - 8192 MB, Core: 990 MHz, Memory: 6000 MHz, GDDR6, ForceWare 418.81, Optimus
Memory
24576 MB 
, 16 GB of SO-DIMM 2666 MHz DDR4 RAM + 8 GB of soldered-in RAM, all slots occupied, 24 GB of RAM max.
Display
17.3 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 127 PPI, B173HAN04.0 (AUO409D), IPS, Full HD, 144 Hz, G-Sync, Pantone-certified, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel HM370
Storage
Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB1T0HALR, 1024 GB 
, NVMe. two slots; form-factor: M2.2280
Soundcard
Realtek ALC294 @ Intel Cannon Point PCH - cAVS (Audio, Voice, Speech)
Connections
3 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 2 USB 3.1 Gen2, 1 Thunderbolt, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: 3.5-mm combined audio jack
Networking
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 399 x 272 ( = 0.75 x 15.71 x 10.71 in)
Battery
76 Wh Lithium-Ion, 4 cells
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit
Additional features
Speakers: 2x 2.5-watt, Keyboard: RGB, Keyboard Light: yes, 230-watt power adapter, external Full HD webcam , Armoury Crate, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
2.636 kg ( = 92.98 oz / 5.81 pounds), Power Supply: 622 g ( = 21.94 oz / 1.37 pounds)
Price
3200 EUR
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

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Case

The GX701 strongly resembles its 15-inch sibling, which is known as the GX531. In addition to the unusually placed input devices, the 17-inch successor inherits the innovative cooling system. To improve air circulation, both devices have a moving back cover, which cracks open a little when you open the display lid, thereby increasing the overall thickness of the device (1.9 cm/0.02 in) by a few millimeters.

The drawback of this mechanism is subpar rigidity. While the GX701 is extremely rigid when the display lid is closed, the case exhibits a whole lot more flex at several points when the display lid is open. This did not bother us in practice and only the parts of the chassis near the screen seem to be affected.

Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX701GX
Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX701GX
Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX701GX
Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX701GX
Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX701GX
Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX701GX
Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX701GX
Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX701GX
Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX701GX
Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX701GX
Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX701GX
Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX701GX

The case is very well built. The display lid, which is made of brushed metal, is just as impressive as the chassis, which is adorned with a copper stripe running along the edges. The fan grills at the back have the same color as the stripe that we mentioned in the previous sentence. 

Asus could have spent some more time improving the hinges. For one thing, the opening angle is not particularly wide, and for another, the display lid closes on its own at certain angles. The GX701 scores some major points for its small dimensions. Thanks to the very thin display bezels, the notebook has a footprint of only 39.9 x 27.2 cm (15.7 x 10.7 in). This is small for a 17-inch laptop. For instance, the recently reviewed and very heavy G703GX has a footprint of 42.5 x 31.9 cm (16.7 x 12.6 in).

Size Comparison

399 mm / 15.7 inch 273 mm / 10.7 inch 26.4 mm / 1.039 inch 2.9 kg6.37 lbs397 mm / 15.6 inch 269 mm / 10.6 inch 27.5 mm / 1.083 inch 2.6 kg5.83 lbs399 mm / 15.7 inch 272 mm / 10.7 inch 19 mm / 0.748 inch 2.6 kg5.81 lbs359 mm / 14.1 inch 255 mm / 10 inch 18 mm / 0.709 inch 2.1 kg4.73 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

Connectivity

Ports

The selection of ports leaves a mixed impression. It is quite praiseworthy that the GX701 features five USB ports, three of which operate at 3.1 Gen2 speeds. However, it is a bit of a shame that the notebook does not have an SD card reader, RJ45 Gigabit LAN port and a Thunderbolt 3 port. This drawback is barely offset by an HDMI 2.0 video output (DisplayPort 1.4 via USB-C), the headphone jack and the Kensington Security Slot. 

We are also not particularly happy with the positioning of the ports. Because both sides feature heat sinks, the ports are located very close to the wrist rest, which means that when you are using wired external mice, the wires are bound to get in the way.

Left side: power socket, HDMI 2.0 port, USB-A 3.1 Gen2 port, USB-C 3.1 Gen2 port with support for DisplayPort 1.4, 3.5-mm headphone jack
Left side: power socket, HDMI 2.0 port, USB-A 3.1 Gen2 port, USB-C 3.1 Gen2 port with support for DisplayPort 1.4, 3.5-mm headphone jack
Right side: two USB-A 3.0 ports, USB-C 3.0 port, Kensington Lock
Right side: two USB-A 3.0 ports, USB-C 3.0 port, Kensington Lock

Communication

When it comes to Wi-Fi performance, the GX701 shines. The manufacturer uses a lightning-fast Killer Wireless-AC 1550i Wi-Fi adapter, which performs just as well as the Intel Wireless-AC 9560. This Wi-Fi module is very close to the 700 Mb/s mark both when sending and receiving data (when it is one meter (~3 ft) away from our reference-grade router Linksys EA8500).

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
684 MBit/s ∼100% +1%
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
679 MBit/s ∼99%
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
Killer Wireless-AC 1550i Wireless Network Adapter (9560NGW)
678 MBit/s ∼99% 0%
MSI GE75 8SG Raider
Killer Wireless-AC 1550i Wireless Network Adapter (9560NGW)
674 MBit/s ∼99% -1%
Acer Predator Triton 500
Killer Wireless-AC 1550i Wireless Network Adapter (9560NGW)
671 MBit/s ∼98% -1%
Average of class Gaming
  (141 - 1380, n=283)
614 MBit/s ∼90% -10%
Asus ROG Strix Scar II GL704GW
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
598 MBit/s ∼87% -12%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Acer Predator Triton 500
Killer Wireless-AC 1550i Wireless Network Adapter (9560NGW)
683 MBit/s ∼100% +6%
MSI GE75 8SG Raider
Killer Wireless-AC 1550i Wireless Network Adapter (9560NGW)
683 MBit/s ∼100% +6%
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
Killer Wireless-AC 1550i Wireless Network Adapter (9560NGW)
680 MBit/s ∼100% +5%
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
655 MBit/s ∼96% +1%
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
647 MBit/s ∼95%
Average of class Gaming
  (144 - 1160, n=283)
566 MBit/s ∼83% -13%
Asus ROG Strix Scar II GL704GW
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
356 MBit/s ∼52% -45%

Software

As per usual, users get a pretty nice software package from Asus. Here, the utility called “Armoury Crate” takes center stage. You can change dozens of settings through this app. The first tab is of most interest. Here, you can see the memory utilization and the fan speed. This tab also allows you to choose between a number of different power modes such as “Silent”, “Balanced” and “Turbo”. For our review, we picked the “Windows” mode, which uses the system’s power plan and is supposed to ensure a good balance between performance and system noise. 

Important: You can choose between two GPU modes in “Armoury Crate”, namely Optimus (this technology enables automatic switching between a dedicated and an integrated graphics adapter) and G-Sync (anti-screen tearing technology). We would recommend the latter mode for gaming because Optimus seems to reduce the frame rate (see news). For traveling, though, the former mode is more appropriate. 

Armoury Crate
Armoury Crate
Armoury Crate
Armoury Crate
Sonic Studio
Game Visual

Accessories

The box contains a 230-watt power adapter and (in certain regions) a small removable Full HD webcam, which can be placed either on a desk with the help of a small stand or on top of the display lid. The device itself does not feature a webcam, which is a pretty bold move on Asus’s part.

Maintenance

The maintenance options are very limited. Once you remove the four Torx screws keeping the bottom cover in place, you will only have access to the fans. In order to get to other internal components such as the CPU, GPU, RAM and the SSD, you will have to take the entire chassis apart, which is certain to scare off a whole lot of laymen. Here, Asus should take a lesson from the Razer Blade 15 and the Gigabyte Aero 15.

Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX701GX

Warranty

The Asus notebook has a 24-month warranty. 

Input Devices

Keyboard

The keyboard is just okay. It is nothing to get excited about. It does not provide a lot of feedback. When compared to other gaming notebooks, the actuation point does not feel clear and the keys feel mushy. Moreover, the travel distance is relatively short. The layout is also not something you would want to write home about. The small arrow keys in particular are not fit for gaming.

We docked a few more points because of the fact that the numbers of the function keys are not backlit. Other than that, we really liked the per-key RGB backlight. However, we wish it were more uniform. Positive: users can adjust the volume of the system with the help of a practical wheel, which is located above the keyboard.

RGB lighting
RGB lighting
Keyboard-numpad combo
Keyboard-numpad combo

Touchpad

The Touchpad can only be seen as a stop-gap solution. Because of its small width, you will sometimes have to reset your fingers while moving the cursor across the screen. Thanks to the smooth surface, moving fingers over the pad is easy. The Touchpad is not very accurate. It is also not suited for gestures. The main feature of the Touchpad is the built-in numeric pad, which can be enabled/disabled with the help of a special key. There is some room for improvement when it comes to the mouse buttons. Unlike the keyboard, these buttons make a very loud, clacky sound. 

Display

The 17.3-inch Full HD display impresses in almost all aspects.

300
cd/m²
287
cd/m²
282
cd/m²
299
cd/m²
288
cd/m²
293
cd/m²
286
cd/m²
274
cd/m²
276
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
B173HAN04.0 (AUO409D)
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 300 cd/m² Average: 287.2 cd/m² Minimum: 16 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 91 %
Center on Battery: 288 cd/m²
Contrast: 1440:1 (Black: 0.2 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 2.33 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6, calibrated: 2.47
ΔE Greyscale 1.19 | 0.64-98 Ø6.2
88% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 57% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.41
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
B173HAN04.0 (AUO409D), IPS, 1920x1080, 17.3
Acer Predator Triton 500
AU Optronics B156HAN08.2 (AUO82ED), IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
LG Philips LGD05C0, IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
LGD05C0, IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
MSI GE75 8SG Raider
CMN N173HCE-G33 (CMN175C), AHVA, 1920x1080, 17.3
Asus ROG Strix Scar II GL704GW
B173HAN04.0 (AUO409D), AHVA, 1920x1080, 17.3
Response Times
-14%
-77%
-85%
-4%
-81%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
7.2 (3.6, 3.6)
8 (4, 4)
-11%
16.8 (9.2, 7.6)
-133%
16.4 (8.8, 7.6)
-128%
8 (4, 4)
-11%
17.6 (8.4, 9.2)
-144%
Response Time Black / White *
9.6 (4.4, 5.2)
11.2 (6, 5.2)
-17%
11.6 (7.2, 4.4)
-21%
13.6 (8.4, 5.2)
-42%
9.2 (4.8, 4.4)
4%
11.2 (6.8, 4.4)
-17%
PWM Frequency
26040 (17)
Screen
-50%
-23%
-3%
-12%
-16%
Brightness middle
288
304
6%
314.7
9%
250
-13%
363
26%
295
2%
Brightness
287
299
4%
312
9%
235
-18%
342
19%
291
1%
Brightness Distribution
91
89
-2%
90
-1%
85
-7%
86
-5%
96
5%
Black Level *
0.2
0.27
-35%
0.38
-90%
0.29
-45%
0.27
-35%
0.24
-20%
Contrast
1440
1126
-22%
828
-42%
862
-40%
1344
-7%
1229
-15%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
2.33
4.66
-100%
2.56
-10%
1.46
37%
2.29
2%
3.2
-37%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
5.34
9.65
-81%
4.89
8%
2.47
54%
4.54
15%
6.64
-24%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
2.47
1.72
30%
1.71
31%
2.45
1%
2.52
-2%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
1.19
5.53
-365%
3.4
-186%
1.27
-7%
3.02
-154%
2.16
-82%
Gamma
2.41 91%
2.5 88%
2.3 96%
2.4 92%
2.38 92%
2.46 89%
CCT
6710 97%
8028 81%
6435 101%
6749 96%
7048 92%
6872 95%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
57
60
5%
60.7
6%
60
5%
58
2%
57
0%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
88
93
6%
94.6
8%
93
6%
91
3%
87
-1%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-32% / -45%
-50% / -32%
-44% / -17%
-8% / -11%
-49% / -26%

* ... smaller is better

If you take the mediocre brightness (about 290 cd/m²) out of the picture, the built-in IPS panel looks very impressive. Both the black value of 0.2 cd/m² and the contrast ratio of over 1400:1 are quite respectable. The color space coverage of 88% for sRGB and 57% for AdobeRGB should be good enough for most users.

CalMAN: Grayscale
CalMAN: Grayscale
CalMAN: saturation
CalMAN: saturation
CalMAN: colors
CalMAN: colors
CalMAN: Grayscale (after calibration)
CalMAN: Grayscale (after calibration)
CalMAN: saturation (after calibration)
CalMAN: saturation (after calibration)
CalMAN: colors (after calibration)
CalMAN: colors (after calibration)

The crowning glory of the display is its color accuracy. Just like the Gigabyte Aero 15, the GX701 offers an X-Rite Pantone certification. This is why the screen displays colors very accurately and does not need to be calibrated.

Asus GX701GX vs. sRGB (88%)
Asus GX701GX vs. sRGB (88%)
Asus GX701GX vs. AdobeRGB (57%)
Asus GX701GX vs. AdobeRGB (57%)

The package is rounded off by fast response times and wide viewing angles. It takes the 144 Hz display less than 10 ms to switch from black to white and from gray to gray. This is good for an IPS panel. In combination with Nvidia’s G-Sync technology, the GX701 provides a very smooth presentation, when playing video games.

The light is behind the notebook
The light is behind the notebook
Pixel arrangement
Pixel arrangement
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
9.6 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 4.4 ms rise
↘ 5.2 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. » 8 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (24.8 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
7.2 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 3.6 ms rise
↘ 3.6 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. » 5 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (39.5 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: 51 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9331 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Performance

Both the hexa-core CPU and the GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q ensure that the laptop will not become obsolete for a long time. 24 GB of RAM, which our English review device features (in Germany, 16 GB is the maximum), should also be more than enough for most users in the coming years. The 1 TB SSD is really spacious.

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

Processor

Intel’s well-liked Core i7-8750H serves as the central processing unit. The Coffee Lake-based processor is used in the vast majority of gaming notebooks and can perform almost any task without breaking a sweat.

Single-core performance
Single-core performance
Multi-core performance
Multi-core performance
GPU utilization
GPU utilization

Thanks to Intel’s Turbo Boost Technology, the base clock rate of 2.2 GHz is boosted considerably under load. While in single-core applications the CPU operates at up to 4.1 GHz, under full load it runs at up to 3.9 GHz. 

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Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX Intel Core i7-8750H, Intel Core i7-8750H: Ø1112 (1090.93-1218.55)
Asus ROG Strix Scar II GL704GW Intel Core i7-8750H, Intel Core i7-8750H: Ø1187 (1126.76-1226.54)
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9 Intel Core i7-8750H, Intel Core i7-8750H: Ø1095 (1087.31-1156.25)
Acer Predator Triton 500 Intel Core i7-8750H, Intel Core i7-8750H: Ø980 (961.82-1019.05)
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q Intel Core i7-8750H, Intel Core i7-8750H: Ø922 (913.2-999)
MSI GE75 8SG Raider Intel Core i7-8750H, Intel Core i7-8750H: Ø938 (913.12-1068.63)
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.94 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
13.5 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
170 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
1218 Points
Help

Most laptops can maintain their maximum boost clocks only over a short period of time. In the Cinebench loop, the clock rate fell down to 3.2 GHz after the second benchmark run, which equates to a performance drop of 10%. Here, the GX701 performs about as well as the Gigabyte Aero 15 X9. Both the Acer Triton 500 and the Razer Blade 15 in particular show that things could be much worse, because their clock rates sink much further. Asus’s own and much thicker Strix GL704 does best in the Cinebench loop.

Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
MSI GE75 8SG Raider
Intel Core i7-8750H
176.28 Points ∼100% +4%
Acer Predator Triton 500
Intel Core i7-8750H
176 Points ∼100% +4%
Asus ROG Strix Scar II GL704GW
Intel Core i7-8750H
174 Points ∼99% +2%
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
Intel Core i7-8750H
174 Points ∼99% +2%
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
Intel Core i7-8750H
170 Points ∼96%
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
Intel Core i7-8750H
166 Points ∼94% -2%
Average of class Gaming
  (77 - 215, n=535)
157 Points ∼89% -8%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
Intel Core i7-8750H
1218 Points ∼100%
Asus ROG Strix Scar II GL704GW
Intel Core i7-8750H
1204 Points ∼99% -1%
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
Intel Core i7-8750H
1156 Points ∼95% -5%
MSI GE75 8SG Raider
Intel Core i7-8750H
1068.63 (min: 913.12, max: 1068.63) Points ∼88% -12%
Acer Predator Triton 500
Intel Core i7-8750H
1019 Points ∼84% -16%
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
Intel Core i7-8750H
999 Points ∼82% -18%
Average of class Gaming
  (196 - 2022, n=538)
841 Points ∼69% -31%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit
Acer Predator Triton 500
Intel Core i7-8750H
1.98 Points ∼100% +2%
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
Intel Core i7-8750H
1.94 Points ∼98%
Average of class Gaming
  (0.71 - 2.43, n=423)
1.692 Points ∼85% -13%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
Intel Core i7-8750H
13.5 Points ∼100%
Acer Predator Triton 500
Intel Core i7-8750H
10.98 Points ∼81% -19%
Average of class Gaming
  (1.13 - 22.3, n=524)
7.45 Points ∼55% -45%

System Performance

The system performance can give the competition a run for its money. In PCMark 10, the GX701GX takes second place in our comparison chart. With 5596 points, the 17.3-inch laptop takes a spot in-between the Acer Predator Triton 500 and the Asus GL704GW. Because the OS is installed on an SSD, Windows boots up very fast and operates very smoothly.

PCMark 10 - Score
Acer Predator Triton 500
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H, 2x WDC PC SN720 SDAPNTW-256G-1014 (RAID 0)
5883 Points ∼100% +5%
MSI GE75 8SG Raider
GeForce RTX 2080 (Laptop), 8750H, Kingston RBUSNS8154P3512GJ
5816 Points ∼99% +4%
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB1T0HALR
5596 Points ∼95%
Asus ROG Strix Scar II GL704GW
GeForce RTX 2070 (Laptop), 8750H, Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8
5555 Points ∼94% -1%
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
5416 Points ∼92% -3%
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H, Intel SSD 760p SSDPEKKW010T8
5353 Points ∼91% -4%
Average of class Gaming
  (2603 - 7511, n=231)
5250 Points ∼89% -6%

Storage Devices

As was previously mentioned, the GX701 does not offer a 2.5-inch drive bay (the space that would otherwise be occupied by the drive bay was used to increase the battery capacity). Instead, the Asus laptop has one M.2-2280 slot. Our review model features an NVMe SSD from Samsung, which is known as the PM981 (MZVLB1T0HALR). The 1 TB SSD performs as well as other PCIe-based storage devices, that is to say, it performs incredibly well. However, the Predator Triton 500 does even better in the storage benchmarks because of its RAID 0 setup.

Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB1T0HALR
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
MSI GE75 8SG Raider
Kingston RBUSNS8154P3512GJ
Asus ROG Strix Scar II GL704GW
Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8
CrystalDiskMark 5.2 / 6
30%
8%
12%
-24%
-6%
Write 4K
92.39
93.6
1%
93.88
2%
97.13
5%
73.4
-21%

73.39
-21%

99.64
8%
Read 4K
39.59
38.82
-2%
40.56
2%
53.66
36%
31.97
-19%

31.93
-19%

48.99
24%
Write Seq
1221
2455
101%
1468
20%
1526
25%
882.44
-28%
972.1
-20%
Read Seq
1005
2107
110%
1540
53%
2020
101%
921.73
-8%
1515
51%
Write 4K Q32T1
292.5
298.7
2%
293.5
0%
285.6
-2%
310.09
6%

297.07
2%

280.62
-4%
Read 4K Q32T1
330.8
338.7
2%
346
5%
321.8
-3%
327.52
-1%

325.47
-2%

327.79
-1%
Write Seq Q32T1
2385
2902
22%
1941
-19%
1533
-36%
1006.9
-58%

928.8
-61%

969.7
-59%
Read Seq Q32T1
3339
3536
6%
3266
-2%
2351
-30%
1610.8
-52%

1607.1
-52%

1756.7
-47%
Write 4K Q8T8
624.5
Read 4K Q8T8
817.93
Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB1T0HALR
CDM 5/6 Read Seq Q32T1: 3339 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write Seq Q32T1: 2385 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K Q32T1: 330.8 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K Q32T1: 292.5 MB/s
CDM 5 Read Seq: 1005 MB/s
CDM 5 Write Seq: 1221 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K: 39.59 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K: 92.39 MB/s

Graphics Card

Looking at the brand-new graphics card is especially exciting. With the new Turing generation, Nvidia focuses on the very promising technology known as ray tracing. However, there are currently no games out there that truly support all functionality of the Turing GPUs. Asus chose the second most powerful Turing-based GPU (GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q) for the GX701. The “Max-Q” bit indicates that this GPU comes with lower power consumption at the expense of performance. This is the most powerful GPU that is suited for compact devices.

3DMark
2560x1440 Port Royal Graphics
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
4655 Points ∼100%
Average of class Gaming
  (1097 - 5942, n=67)
3968 Points ∼85% -15%
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
3679 Points ∼79% -21%
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
3557 Points ∼76% -24%
2560x1440 Time Spy Graphics
MSI GE75 8SG Raider
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 (Laptop)
9816 Points ∼100% +15%
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
8512 Points ∼87%
Asus ROG Strix Scar II GL704GW
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 (Laptop)
7431 Points ∼76% -13%
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
6728 Points ∼69% -21%
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
6562 Points ∼67% -23%
Average of class Gaming
  (368 - 13013, n=173)
5780 Points ∼59% -32%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
MSI GE75 8SG Raider
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 (Laptop)
25203 Points ∼100% +17%
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
21515 Points ∼85%
Asus ROG Strix Scar II GL704GW
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 (Laptop)
19236 Points ∼76% -11%
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
18153 Points ∼72% -16%
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
17598 Points ∼70% -18%
Average of class Gaming
  (385 - 40636, n=561)
11547 Points ∼46% -46%
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
MSI GE75 8SG Raider
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 (Laptop)
33741 Points ∼100% +15%
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
29453 Points ∼87%
Acer Predator Triton 500
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
28083 Points ∼83% -5%
Asus ROG Strix Scar II GL704GW
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 (Laptop)
24172 Points ∼72% -18%
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
22723 Points ∼67% -23%
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
22089 Points ∼65% -25%
Average of class Gaming
  (513 - 50983, n=636)
13686 Points ∼41% -54%

The fact that Asus does not reduce the TDP any further is quite praiseworthy. While the RTX 2080 Max-Q in the Acer Triton 500 and the MSI GS75 (review is coming soon) is clocked only at 735 to 1095 MHz, this same GPU in the Asus GX701GX 990 runs at up to 1230 MHz. This is not as good as the standard RTX 2080 (1380 – 1590 MHz), but the Asus notebook still enjoys a performance advantage. According to our 3D benchmarks (see news), the Asus laptop is about 10% faster than the competition. The Triton 500 and the GS75 cannot even provide enough of a performance boost to distinguish themselves from the supposedly less powerful laptops with an RTX 2070. The RTX 2080 Max-Q in the GX701GX is about 30% faster than the RTX 2070.

3DMark 11 Performance
21874 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
161739 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
37830 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
18147 points
3DMark Time Spy Score
8098 points
Help

The 17-inch notebook does very well in our 60-minute gaming test with the Witcher 3. Because the GPU operates most of the time at its highest core clocks, the GPU achieves better results than what the spec sheet would suggest. Here, the RTX 2080 Max-Q ran at an average clock speed of 1455 MHz. The CPU operated at 3.9 GHz, which is also a very respectable result.

05101520253035404550556065707580859095100105Tooltip
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB1T0HALR; The Witcher 3: Ø80.8 (71-85)
MSI GE75 8SG Raider GeForce RTX 2080 (Laptop), 8750H, Kingston RBUSNS8154P3512GJ; The Witcher 3: Ø92.5 (80-98)
Acer Predator Triton 500 GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H, 2x WDC PC SN720 SDAPNTW-256G-1014 (RAID 0); The Witcher 3: Ø76.1 (70-81)
Asus ROG Strix Scar II GL704GW GeForce RTX 2070 (Laptop), 8750H, Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8; The Witcher 3: Ø70.1 (61-75)
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ; The Witcher 3: Ø62.2 (57-70)
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9 GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H, Intel SSD 760p SSDPEKKW010T8; The Witcher 3: Ø51.3 (44-61)

Gaming Performance

We ran a lot of gaming benchmarks to see how the various TDP ratings of the RTX 2080 Max-Q affect the performance. You can go to our GPU benchmarks page to see how the ROG Zephyrus S stacks up against the Acer Triton 500 and other competitors.

The Witcher 3
1920x1080 Ultra Graphics & Postprocessing (HBAO+)
MSI GE75 8SG Raider
GeForce RTX 2080 (Laptop), 8750H
92.1 fps ∼100% +13%
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
81.7 (min: 68) fps ∼89%
Acer Predator Triton 500
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
76.5 (min: 63) fps ∼83% -6%
Asus ROG Strix Scar II GL704GW
GeForce RTX 2070 (Laptop), 8750H
71.8 fps ∼78% -12%
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H
68.9 fps ∼75% -16%
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H
58.3 (min: 48) fps ∼63% -29%
Average of class Gaming
  (12.6 - 115, n=331)
50.5 fps ∼55% -38%
1920x1080 High Graphics & Postprocessing (Nvidia HairWorks Off)
MSI GE75 8SG Raider
GeForce RTX 2080 (Laptop), 8750H
162 fps ∼100% +7%
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
151 (min: 123) fps ∼93%
Acer Predator Triton 500
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
136 (min: 104) fps ∼84% -10%
Asus ROG Strix Scar II GL704GW
GeForce RTX 2070 (Laptop), 8750H
133.6 fps ∼82% -12%
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H
130.1 fps ∼80% -14%
Average of class Gaming
  (11.1 - 194, n=284)
88.6 fps ∼55% -41%
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H
86.5 fps ∼53% -43%

The RTX 2080 Max-Q can run all the latest video games at Full HD resolution on the highest settings. Because it often achieves above 60 FPS, the 144 Hz panel is well utilized. The high-end GPU also does not run into any problems with an external QHD display (2560x1440). However, the RTX 2080 Max-Q reaches its limits at 4K resolution (3840x2160). Here, several extremely demanding titles such as Kingdom Come Deliverance, Monster Hunter World and Assassin‘s Creed Odyssey struggle to hit playable frame rates.

low med. high ultraQHD4K
The Witcher 3 (2015) 151 81.7 57.6 fps
Rainbow Six Siege (2015) 230 217 98.2 fps
The Division (2016) 127 100 51.7 fps
Doom (2016) 134 129 79.3 fps
Overwatch (2016) 292 196 111 fps
Mirror's Edge Catalyst (2016) 135 123 50.2 fps
Deus Ex Mankind Divided (2016) 107 63.5 40.6 fps
Battlefield 1 (2016) 146 134 65 fps
Dishonored 2 (2016) 109 94 61.1 fps
Resident Evil 7 (2017) 360 220 182 65.1 fps
For Honor (2017) 171 164 131 57.2 fps
Ghost Recon Wildlands (2017) 105 98.2 58 42 fps
Prey (2017) 142 141 139 69.5 fps
Rocket League (2017) 248 218 112 fps
Dirt 4 (2017) 225 150 102 fps
Playerunknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) (2017) 207 175 139 51.5 fps
Middle-earth: Shadow of War (2017) 157 125 99 44 fps
ELEX (2017) 117 115 99 68.1 35.7 fps
Assassin´s Creed Origins (2017) 82 80 69 61 39 fps
Need for Speed Payback (2017) 127 120 115 95.6 54.3 fps
Star Wars Battlefront 2 (2017) 145 131 117 80.9 42.7 fps
Fortnite (2018) 143 138 136 105 50.4 fps
Final Fantasy XV Benchmark (2018) 106 81.4 35.9 fps
Kingdom Come: Deliverance (2018) 115 89.5 68.4 50.2 27.5 fps
Far Cry 5 (2018) 109 106 100 79 44 fps
The Crew 2 (2018) 60 60 60 60 39.9 fps
Monster Hunter World (2018) 123 111 90.9 58.4 29.7 fps
F1 2018 (2018) 169 130 102 87 56 fps
Shadow of the Tomb Raider (2018) 84 82 78 61 37 fps
FIFA 19 (2018) 271 254 248 237 188 fps
Assassin´s Creed Odyssey (2018) 87 76 59 48 32 fps
Call of Duty Black Ops 4 (2018) 151 138 131 91.4 41.6 fps
Hitman 2 (2018) 78.8 70.9 69.1 66 fps
Battlefield V (2018) 143 130 122 98.2 57.8 fps
Farming Simulator 19 (2018) 161 141 131 113 fps
Darksiders III (2018) 130 121 112 82.6 42.7 fps
Just Cause 4 (2018) 137 103 101 69.9 39.9 fps

Emissions

System Noise

The GX701GX receives some criticism for its mediocre fan control. When idle, the 17-inch notebook is very quiet or silent most of the time. However, under load, the device becomes uncomfortably loud. Instead of controlling the RPM dynamically, the fans go between 35 and 47 dB(A) in 3DMark 06.

Fan noise at idle
Fan noise at idle
Fan noise under load
Fan noise under load
Speakers
Speakers

49 dB(A) in the gaming test with the Witcher 3 and 51 dB(A) in the stress test are not very good values for a Max-Q notebook. Besides, Nvidia provides specific guidelines as to how loud Max-Q notebooks can get. According to Asus, a software update that addresses these fan control issues as well as the excessive fan noise is coming soon. However, this update is not going to fix the occasional coil whine.

Noise Level

Idle
29 / 32 / 33 dB(A)
Load
47 / 51 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 Zephyrus S GX701GX
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
Acer Predator Triton 500
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H
Gigabyte Aero 15-X9
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H
MSI GE75 8SG Raider
GeForce RTX 2080 (Laptop), 8750H
Asus ROG Strix Scar II GL704GW
GeForce RTX 2070 (Laptop), 8750H
Average of class Gaming
 
Noise
2%
10%
-0%
-7%
-4%
0%
off / environment *
29
29
-0%
28.8
1%
30
-3%
30
-3%
29
-0%
29.4 (27.7 - 32, n=334)
-1%
Idle Minimum *
29
30
-3%
28.8
1%
32
-10%
30
-3%
29
-0%
31.4 (28 - 42, n=757)
-8%
Idle Average *
32
32
-0%
28.8
10%
34
-6%
34
-6%
32
-0%
32.6 (28 - 46.6, n=757)
-2%
Idle Maximum *
33
34
-3%
29.4
11%
36
-9%
37
-12%
40
-21%
34.6 (28 - 52, n=757)
-5%
Load Average *
47
44
6%
35.7
24%
42
11%
52
-11%
46
2%
40.8 (30.1 - 58, n=758)
13%
Witcher 3 ultra *
49
46
6%
42.5
13%
44
10%
53
-8%
51
-4%
Load Maximum *
51
47
8%
45
12%
48
6%
54
-6%
52
-2%
48.2 (38.9 - 64.1, n=758)
5%

* ... smaller is better