ASUS ROG Strix G15 advantage evaluation: all AMD and A-OK

Computer information 12/08/2021 78

AMD finally did it. After years of influence in the notebook computer market—first with its value-oriented APU, and then its powerful Ryzen 4000 and 5000 CPUs—the company finally has everything it needs to compete with NVIDIA and Intel. The last piece of the puzzle is its Radeon RX 6000M graphics card, which provides AMD with GPU horsepower that competes with NVIDIA's latest RTX hardware. Now, you can get a powerful gaming laptop with both AMD CPU and graphics card, which NVIDIA and Intel can’t provide yet. Most importantly, AMD's hardware is generally lower in cost, which helps to reduce the cost of gaming laptops across the board.

Gallery: ASUS ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition | 11 Photos

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Gallery: ASUS ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition | 11 Photos

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The ASUS ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition is one such laptop. On the surface, it looks like just another blinged-out gaming machine. Dig a bit deeper, though, and it's practically revolutionary. Its Radeon 6800M GPU goes toe-to-toe with NVIDIA's RTX 3080 (at least, as long as you're not using ray tracing). And with an estimated price between$1,550 and $1,700, it'll be hundreds less than comparable systems running Intel and NVIDIA hardware. At last, there's real competition among gaming notebooks.

ASUS

ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition

86SCOREEngadget86Critics - Not yet scoredN/AUsers - Not yet scoredN/AASUS ROG Strix G15 advantage evaluation: all AMD and A-OK

Pros

Genuinely fast performance Affordable price range Speedy 300Hz screen

Cons

No webcam Second-rate keyboard Slower ray tracing compared to NVIDIA

I'll admit, I didn't expect much from the Strix G15 Advantage at first. We tend to focus our gaming laptop coverage on more unique machines like its thinner cousin, the Zephyrus G15, or more elaborate devices like the Zephyrus Duo and Alienware Area 51m. The Strix, in comparison, is fairly generic. Its design is both too flashy and a bit uninspired. There are prominent LEDs that advertise the fact that you are a gamer alongside the front, but the bottom of the case is made out of cheap plastic. And at 5 pounds, it's heavier than most 15-inch gaming notebooks.

I became more intrigued once I saw what AMD's Radeon 6800M could do when Voltroned together a Ryzen 9 5900HX CPU. In most of our benchmarks, including PCMark 10, TimeSpy Extreme and Cinebench, the Strix G15 scored higher than the Zephyrus G15, which was running a (slightly slower) Ryzen 5900HS and NVIDIA's RTX 3080. Just like with AMD's recent Radeon desktop GPUs, there are some instances where NVIDIA's hardware still comes ahead, like the Geekbench 5 Compute benchmark.

None

PCMark 10

3DMark (TimeSpy Extreme)

Geekbench 5

ATTO (top reads/writes)

ASUS ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition (AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX, AMD Radeon RX 6800M)

6,992

5,189

1,457/7,691

2.8 GB/s / 1.5 GB/s

ASUS Zephyrus G15 (AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS, NVIDIA RTX 3080 Max-Q)

6,881

4,530

1,426/7,267

3.3 GB/s / 2.85 GB/s

MSI GS66 Stealth (2021, Intel i7-10870H, NVIDIA RTX 3080 Max-Q)

5,369

4,538

1,247/6,505

3.1 GB/s / 2.9 GB/s

ASUS Zephyrus Duo 15 (Intel i9-10980HK, NVIDIA RTX 2080 Super Max-Q)

5,616

3,680

1,365/8,055

3 GB/s / 3.24 GB/s

ASUS Zephyrus G14 (AMD Ryzen 9 4900HS, NVIDIA RTX 2060 Max-Q)

5,436

2,725

1,189/7,705

1.7 GB/s / 1.67 GB/s

AMD also still lags behind NVIDIA when it comes to ray tracing, which could be a deal-breaker if you want to see games like Control at their best. Without ray tracing, it hit between 85fps and 105fps. That’s impressive, but I missed seeing the realistic reflections and improved lighting that ray tracing delivered. When I turned ray tracing to medium, it crawled to around 45 fps. On the RTX 3080-powered Zephyrus G15, I hit up to 75fps in Control with medium ray tracing enabled. And I squeezed out more performance when I flipped on NVIDIA’s DLSS technology.

Still, if you can live without ray tracing, you’ll find a lot to love about the Strix G15’s capabilities. In Overwatch, I hovered around 175fps and 200fps with maxed out graphics in 1080p. That's comparable to what I've seen on the RTX 3080, and it's more than enough to keep up with a hectic firefight.

Reducing the graphics of Overwatch to a medium level allowed me to surpass 300fps and take full advantage of the 300Hz 1080p screen of the Strix G15. At least in theory, the higher the refresh rate, the smoother the gameplay. Personally, I don’t see a huge difference beyond 120hz, but I bet that if I spend a few hours in Overwatch or Modern Warfare like a budding e-sports player, my feelings will be It's different. AMD's FreeSync technology also makes those huge frame rates look smooth. Without FreeSync (or NVIDIA's alternative GSYNC technology), the screen will tear more.

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