ASUS Zephyrus G15 review: AMD’s Ryzen 9 5900HS on the lookout

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ASUS’ Zephyrus line is one of my favorite laptop offerings. Featuring Ryzen 5000 processors in a 14″ and 15″ form factor, I will be reviewing the G15 today. Packing of Ryzen 9 5900HS under the hood next to the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050Ti, this 15-inch laptop is nearly identical to its 14-inch sibling. As usual, we’ll be looking at CPU and GPU performance, including content creation, gaming, and encoding/compression. We will compare the 5900HS to its successor (R9 6900HX) and Intel’s Core i7-12700H on several workloads.

Features

AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS + NVIDIA RTX 3050 Ti Gaming Benchmarks

I had a small subset of gaming benchmarks to compare the Zephyrus G15, Alienware X17 and Strix G17 but here they are:

As you can see, the Alder Lake-H processor is way ahead of AMD’s Rembrandt in gaming workloads thanks to Golden Cove cores and their high single-threaded performance. We’re looking at a 20-25% delta, regardless of thermal conditions and GPU clock speeds.

And now, a look at the gaming performance of the Zephyrus G15 separately. As you can see, the RTX 3050 Ti chokes in new titles like Assassins’ Creed: Valhalla, Metro Exodus and Hitman 3 (even at 1080p high). While this “gaming” notebook works well in eSports games, more intensive Open-World RPGs don’t fare too well.

AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS vs 6900HX vs Intel Core i7-12700H CPU Benchmarks

Starting with PCMark 10, the Ryzen 9 5900HS is a step up from its Zen 2 predecessors but falls short of the recently launched Rembrandt and Alder Lake parts. The 5900HS is 10% faster than the 4800H in content creation, 20% in productivity, and less than 15% in lightly threaded workloads.

AC power

Meanwhile, the Core i7-12700H on the Alienware X17 and the Ryzen 9 6900HX on the Strix G17 both turn out to be almost 30% faster in content creation. Productivity and essentials are much closer affairs with sub-10% deltas between the Zephyrus G15 and Alienware X17 despite a huge price gap.

On drums, the benchmarks all get weird. The Alienware X17’s Intel Core i7-12700H doesn’t lose much performance when unplugged unlike Ryzen-powered systems. The The Ryzen 7 4800H is actually ahead of the 5900HS in lightly threaded tests, but lags far behind in heavily threaded rendering/editing workloads. Interestingly, the Ryzen 9 6900HX lags behind its older siblings in terms of productivity and essentials.

Cinebench turns out as expected with the Ryzen 9 5900HX ending up somewhere in the middle. The Core i7-12700H leads the charts, followed by the Ryzen 9 6900HX and 5900HS. The extra E-cores really come into play here.

Now for 7-zip. Thread count really matters here. The Alienware with its 12700K comes out on top, followed shortly by the Zephyrus and its Ryzen 9 5900HS. The G14 (4900HS) is much slower than its successor in this case when it comes to decompression. Compression is a whole different story. The 14-core Alder Lake part leads the way with over 75MB/s speed.

We will end the review with browser benches: WebXPRT 3 and Speedometer 2.0.

The G15 (Ryzen 9 5900HS) and Alienware (i7-12700H) go head-to-head in WebXPRT, with the latter eventually overtaking. The speedometer favors the Core i7-12700H, beating the Ryzen 9 by almost 30%.

Conclusion

The ASUS Zephyrus G15 (2021) is a solid but dying gaming laptop. The 2022 variant containing the 6900HX is significantly faster and more efficient while the Core i7-12700H is in a whole different league. AMD is ready to launch its next-gen Dragon Range laptops in less than six months, offering up to 16 cores and significantly higher single-threaded performance (+10% IPC and 5GHz+ clocks). So unless you’re looking for a $1,000 gaming laptop or workstation, I’d recommend going for a newer variant.

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