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MSI GS75 vs. Asus Zephyrus S GX701: 10 percent performance difference from the same RTX 2080 Max-Q GPU

MSI GS75 vs. Asus Zephyrus S GX701: 10 percent performance difference from the same RTX 2080 Max-Q GPU
MSI GS75 vs. Asus Zephyrus S GX701: 10 percent performance difference from the same RTX 2080 Max-Q GPU
For better gaming performance, the Asus Zephyrus S GX701 should be your top option over the MSI GS75. For everything else outside of gaming, however, the MSI has a fairly long list of advantages that shouldn't be ignored.

MSI and Asus are the two biggest OEMs to beat when it comes to gaming laptops. Last we checked, the two Taiwanese manufacturers account for roughly half of all gaming laptops sold worldwide.

The two laptops we're comparing here today are the 17.3-inch MSI GS75 and Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX. Both systems carry the same Core i7-8750H CPU and RTX 2080 Max-Q GPU but they are otherwise very different in almost every other aspect. We describe the major performance differences below to help those who may be on the fence between these superthin models.

MSI GS75 8SGAsus Zephyrus S GX701GX
CPUCore i7-8750HCore i7-8750H
GPUGeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q (735 MHz)GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q (990 MHz)
Display17.3-inch, 144 Hz, 1080p, CMN175C, Optimus, no G-Sync17.3-inch, 144 Hz, 1080p, AUO409D, G-Sync, Optimus
RAM32 GB DDR4-2666 (2x SODIMM)24 GB DDR4-2666 (8 GB soldered, 1x SODIMM)
Storage3x M.2 2280 2x M.2 2280 
Battery80.25 Wh76 Wh
Ports3x USB Type-A, 2x USB Type-C Gen. 2 (1x Thunderbolt 3), HDMI 2.0, RJ-45, 3.5 microphone, 3.5 mm earphones 3x USB Type-A, 2x USB Type-C (1x Gen. 2), HDMI 2.0, 3.5 mm combo audio
Dimensions19 x 396 x 259 mm19 x 399 x 272 mm
Weight2.28 kg2.64 kg

Case

The MSI system is both lighter (2.3 kg vs. 2.6 kg) and with a slightly smaller footprint (1025 cm2 vs. 1085 cm2). Both models, however, are the same thickness at 19 mm. We find the base of the Asus to be less flexible than on the MSI.

CPU Performance 

The CPU in the Asus performs about 11 percent faster than the same CPU in the MSI according to CineBench R15 Multi-Thread. In other words, the Asus is able to maintain faster core clock rates than the MSI. Asus holds the performance lead even after accounting for throttling as shown by our CineBench R15 loop test below.

GPU Performance

Asus scores yet another point in terms of GPU performance. 3DMark benchmarks show the Asus outperforming the MSI by 8 to 12 percent despite both systems having the same GPU. A peek at their GPU-Z data shows the MSI GPU running slower than on the Asus (1095 MHz vs. 1230 MHz).

Display

While the two systems share fast response times, a native 1080p resolution, 144 Hz refresh rate, and high contrast ratio, the MSI display is brighter and with more accurate colors out of the box.

Asus supports G-Sync with no Optimus while the MSI supports Optimus with no G-Sync.

(April 9, 2019 correction: The GX701 includes both Optimus and G-Sync. Since both cannot be active together, however, one must be toggled off in order to use the other.)

Fan Noise

Both systems are very close when it comes to system noise. We find that the MSI is more susceptible to fan pulsing depending on the power profile while the Asus is able to remain quieter for longer when running low-medium loads. When gaming, however, the Asus runs slightly louder at the 49 to 51 dB(A) range compared to 47 to 48 dB(A) on the MSI. CPU and GPU temperatures are otherwise nearly the same between them at 79 C and 73 C, respectively, when gaming.

Power Consumption

This is definitely something Asus should improve upon in the future. Simply idling on desktop draws anywhere between 19 W to 30 W on the Asus compared to 13 W to 23 W on the MSI. Power consumption is slightly higher on the Asus when gaming as well, but this is at least partly attributed to the faster CPU and GPU performance.

Battery Life

The larger battery and generally lower power consumption give MSI the edge in runtime. We're able to record almost 5.5 hours of real-world WLAN use compared to under 4 hours on the Asus.

Verdict

It's a tough call between the MSI GS75 and Asus GX701. While the latter provides the better gaming experience because of its faster performance and G-Sync-enabled display, the former includes many more "jack of all trades" advantages that owners will appreciate. The GS75 is brighter, lighter, and longer-lasting with more connectivity features including Thunderbolt 3. As a result, the Asus GX701GX can feel rather barebones in this direct comparison. You'll be giving up a lot of features for that extra ounce of gaming power.

The MSI GS75 and Asus Zephyrus S GX701 can be found online for $2800 USD and $3300 USD, respectively, each with GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q graphics. See our dedicated reviews on the MSI and Asus laptops for more detailed information on each.

MSI GS75 8SGAsus Zephyrus S GX701GX
Advantages

+ Brighter and more color accurate display
+ Thunderbolt 3, RJ-45, MicroSD reader
+ Slightly quieter when gaming
+ 2x SODIMM, 3x M.2 slots
+ Lighter and smaller
+ Longer battery life
+ Optimus

+ Roughly 10 percent faster CPU and GPU performance
+ More rigid base
+ G-Sync w/ Optimus mode manual switch

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Size Comparison

399 mm / 15.7 inch 272 mm / 10.7 inch 19 mm / 0.748 inch 2.6 kg5.81 lbs396 mm / 15.6 inch 259 mm / 10.2 inch 19 mm / 0.748 inch 2.3 kg5.02 lbs
010203040506070809010011012013014015016017018019020021022023024025026027028029030031032033034035036037038039040041042043044045046047048049050051052053054055056057058059060061062063064065066067068069070071072073074075076077078079080081082083084085086087088089090091092093094095096097098099010001010102010301040105010601070108010901100111011201130114011501160117011801190120012101220Tooltip
MSI GS75 8SG Stealth Intel Core i7-8750H, Intel Core i7-8750H: Ø1017 (1007.38-1101.08)
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX Intel Core i7-8750H, Intel Core i7-8750H: Ø1112 (1090.93-1218.55)
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
MSI GS75 8SG Stealth
Intel Core i7-8750H
175 Points ∼100%
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
Intel Core i7-8750H
170 Points ∼97%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
Intel Core i7-8750H
1218 Points ∼100%
MSI GS75 8SG Stealth
Intel Core i7-8750H
1101 Points ∼90%
PCMark 10
Digital Content Creation
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB1T0HALR
7102 Points ∼100%
MSI GS75 8SG Stealth
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H, 2x Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ (RAID 0)
6938 Points ∼98%
Productivity
MSI GS75 8SG Stealth
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H, 2x Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ (RAID 0)
7462 Points ∼100%
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB1T0HALR
7352 Points ∼99%
Essentials
MSI GS75 8SG Stealth
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H, 2x Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ (RAID 0)
9233 Points ∼100%
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB1T0HALR
9111 Points ∼99%
Score
MSI GS75 8SG Stealth
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H, 2x Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ (RAID 0)
5605 Points ∼100%
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB1T0HALR
5596 Points ∼100%
3DMark
2560x1440 Time Spy Graphics
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
8512 Points ∼100%
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
  (6464 - 8844, n=15)
7837 Points ∼92%
MSI GS75 8SG Stealth
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
7587 Points ∼89%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
21515 Points ∼100%
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
  (18048 - 23032, n=15)
20540 Points ∼95%
MSI GS75 8SG Stealth
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
19875 Points ∼92%
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
29453 Points ∼100%
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
  (23386 - 30910, n=16)
27578 Points ∼94%
MSI GS75 8SG Stealth
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
26449 Points ∼90%
MSI GS75 8SG Stealth
N173HCE-G33 (CMN175C), IPS, 1920x1080
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
B173HAN04.0 (AUO409D), IPS, 1920x1080
Response Times
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
7.6 (3.8, 3.8)
7.2 (3.6, 3.6)
Response Time Black / White *
9.6 (5.2, 4.4)
9.6 (4.4, 5.2)
PWM Frequency
25510 (17)
Screen
Brightness middle
355
288
Brightness
327
287
Brightness Distribution
85
91
Black Level *
0.26
0.2
Contrast
1365
1440
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
1.54
2.33
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
3
5.34
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
0.77
2.47
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
2.19
1.19
Gamma
2.42 91%
2.41 91%
CCT
6893 94%
6710 97%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
61
57
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
95
88
Total Average (Program / Settings)

* ... smaller is better

MSI GS75 8SG Stealth
2x Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ (RAID 0)
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB1T0HALR
CrystalDiskMark 5.2 / 6
Write 4K
86.34
92.39
Read 4K
39.45
39.59
Write Seq
2862
1221
Read Seq
2896
1005
Write 4K Q32T1
304.6
292.5
Read 4K Q32T1
350.2
330.8
Write Seq Q32T1
3440
2385
Read Seq Q32T1
3537
3339
MSI GS75 8SG Stealth
8750H, GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
8750H, GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
Noise
off / environment *
30
29
Idle Minimum *
31
29
Idle Average *
32
32
Idle Maximum *
41
33
Load Average *
47
47
Witcher 3 ultra *
47
49
Load Maximum *
48
51

* ... smaller is better

MSI GS75 8SG Stealth
8750H, GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 80.25 Wh
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
8750H, GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 76 Wh
Battery Runtime
Reader / Idle
464
298
WiFi v1.3
316
230
Load
54
52
MSI GS75 8SG Stealth
8750H, GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
8750H, GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
Power Consumption
Idle Minimum *
13
19
Idle Average *
17
22
Idle Maximum *
23
30
Load Average *
90
104
Load Maximum *
215
203
Witcher 3 ultra *
147
167

* ... smaller is better

MSI GS75 8SG when gaming (top)
MSI GS75 8SG when gaming (top)
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX when gaming (top)
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX when gaming (top)
MSI GS75 8SG when gaming (bottom)
MSI GS75 8SG when gaming (bottom)
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX when gaming (bottom)
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX when gaming (bottom)
MSI GS75 8SG when running Witcher 3
MSI GS75 8SG when running Witcher 3
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX when running Witcher 3
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX when running Witcher 3
MSI GS75 8SG
MSI GS75 8SG
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX
MSI GS75 8SG HWiNFO
MSI GS75 8SG HWiNFO
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX HWiNFO
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX HWiNFO
MSI GS75 8SG GPU-Z
MSI GS75 8SG GPU-Z
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX GPU-Z
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX GPU-Z
MSI GS75 8SG AC adapter
MSI GS75 8SG AC adapter
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX AC adapter
Asus Zephyrus S GX701GX AC adapter
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 04 > MSI GS75 vs. Asus Zephyrus S GX701: 10 percent performance difference from the same RTX 2080 Max-Q GPU
Allen Ngo, 2019-04- 9 (Update: 2019-04- 9)
Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - US Editor in Chief
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.