Monday, May 4th 2020

ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15 Now Available

Much of the fanfare surrounding AMD's high-end Ryzen 7 and Ryzen 9 "Renoir" mobile processors were captured by the 14-inch ROG Zephyrus G14 notebook, and now ASUS got around to shipping its bigger (albeit lesser endowed) sibling, the Zephyrus G15 (variant: GA502IU). This gaming notebook features a 15.6-inch 144 Hz Full HD IPS display. Under the hood are an AMD Ryzen 7 4800HS (35 W) 8-core/16-thread processors, 16 GB of memory, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti graphics, and a 1 TB NVMe SSD. Connectivity includes 802.11ax WLAN, Bluetooth 5, 1 GbE wired Ethernet, and a USB 3.2 gen 2 type-C with power-delivery compliance. It is now selling for USD $1,299.
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18 Comments on ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15 Now Available

#1
Chrispy_
....and still no Renoir U-series laptops, despite them "launching" on January 6th with expected availability late Feb or early March depending on which manufacturer you believed. It's a tissue-paper launch that makes a mockery out of the normal paper-launch that we're sadly accustomed to in this industry.

I mentioned this in the last Renoir news ten days ago. People claimed these laptops were available and someone spotted a 4500U for next-day shipping which was then bought. No sign of it. No update to the thread. Still not a single U-series review on the web. Still no 3D benchmarks of any of these so-called U-series chips. If this is a launch then I'm a flying lemur.

COME ON! Renoir at 15W is the single most important consumer product from AMD in a decade. Laptops outsell desktops, and lower power laptops outsell the higher-end models like this with higher TDP H-series and dGPUs. I am not exaggerating when I say that Renoir at 15W is filling the single largest market segment in all of computing and Intel has held the crown solidly literally forever. That's right, AMD has never done it and the only time they've come close was with Raven Ridge and the Zen+ refresh (Picasso) which were great, but horribly limited at 15W. I've had one and I've bought more and they really are 20W+ to reach a fraction of their potential and give near linear gains up to about 30W.

Renoir promises to beat Intel at 15W and offer Vega graphics for actual, valid gaming in an affordable and portable package. To say it's overdue is an understatement! :p
Posted on Reply
#2
Nephilim666
Wait, so the 14" version offers a 1440p panel option but the 15" is 1080p only?
Posted on Reply
#3
dyonoctis
Nephilim666
Wait, so the 14" version offers a 1440p panel option but the 15" is 1080p only?
The G15 appears to be lower in their product segment. The G14 get a pantone validated screen no matter what, when the G15 only get that certification with the 240hz screen. And you also lose the finger print reader. Asus is just weird sometimes.
Posted on Reply
#4
watzupken
dyonoctis
The G15 appears to be lower in their product segment. The G14 get a pantone validated screen no matter what, when the G15 only get that certification with the 240hz screen. And you also lose the finger print reader. Asus is just weird sometimes.
I am not sure if it is an Asus problem or is it because they are obligated to deliberately gimp laptops with AMD processors in there. I think as soon as more PC manufacturers start releasing their Renoir products, we should be be able to see if this is a wider problem.
Posted on Reply
#5
Mats
Chrispy_
....and still no Renoir U-series laptops,
There are 23 H, 28 HS and 25 U models (SKU) available here in europe on this site.
geizhals.eu/?cat=nb&xf=14265_U~6763_Ryzen+4000


My guess on why we don't see more non-gaming Renoir reviews is that gaming computers are selling pretty good now, like statistics have shown.
On the other hand, maybe ultrabooks with long battery time aren't that interesting atm because few people needs a new highly portable laptop right now when so many stays at home.
The laptop reviewers have to focus on what's popular for now.
Posted on Reply
#6
holyprof
Chrispy_
...
COME ON! Renoir at 15W is the single most important consumer product from AMD in a decade. Laptops outsell desktops, and lower power laptops outsell the higher-end models like this with higher TDP H-series and dGPUs. I am not exaggerating when I say that Renoir at 15W is filling the single largest market segment in all of computing and Intel has held the crown solidly literally forever. That's right, AMD has never done it and the only time they've come close was with Raven Ridge and the Zen+ refresh (Picasso) which were great, but horribly limited at 15W. I've had one and I've bought more and they really are 20W+ to reach a fraction of their potential and give near linear gains up to about 30W.

Renoir promises to beat Intel at 15W and offer Vega graphics for actual, valid gaming in an affordable and portable package. To say it's overdue is an understatement! :p
100% agree with you. I'm starting to develop back problems from carrying my laptop to work and back. Although I'm an Intel fan (speaking of laptop CPUs), I would totally buy a thin 15" laptop with U-series Ryzen CPU and intergrated Vega graphics.
Posted on Reply
#7
Firedrops
Mats
There are 23 H, 28 HS and 25 U models (SKU) available here in europe on this site.
geizhals.eu/?cat=nb&xf=14265_U~6763_Ryzen+4000


My guess on why we don't see more non-gaming Renoir reviews is that gaming computers are selling pretty good now, like statistics have shown.
On the other hand, maybe ultrabooks with long battery time aren't that interesting atm because few people needs a new highly portable laptop right now when so many stays at home.
The laptop reviewers have to focus on what's popular for now.
clicked in a few, none are available/in stock. some say availability may 2020, so i guess we'll check back in a month.
Posted on Reply
#8
jonup
Chrispy_
....and still no Renoir U-series laptops, despite them "launching" on January 6th with expected availability late Feb or early March depending on which manufacturer you believed. It's a tissue-paper launch that makes a mockery out of the normal paper-launch that we're sadly accustomed to in this industry.

I mentioned this in the last Renoir news ten days ago. People claimed these laptops were available and someone spotted a 4500U for next-day shipping which was then bought. No sign of it. No update to the thread. Still not a single U-series review on the web. Still no 3D benchmarks of any of these so-called U-series chips. If this is a launch then I'm a flying lemur.

COME ON! Renoir at 15W is the single most important consumer product from AMD in a decade. Laptops outsell desktops, and lower power laptops outsell the higher-end models like this with higher TDP H-series and dGPUs. I am not exaggerating when I say that Renoir at 15W is filling the single largest market segment in all of computing and Intel has held the crown solidly literally forever. That's right, AMD has never done it and the only time they've come close was with Raven Ridge and the Zen+ refresh (Picasso) which were great, but horribly limited at 15W. I've had one and I've bought more and they really are 20W+ to reach a fraction of their potential and give near linear gains up to about 30W.

Renoir promises to beat Intel at 15W and offer Vega graphics for actual, valid gaming in an affordable and portable package. To say it's overdue is an understatement! :p
Your wish is coming true:
www.anandtech.com/show/15762/the-acer-swift-3-sf314-review-swift-gets-swifter-with-ryzen-4000
Posted on Reply
#9
Chrispy_
jonup
Your wish is coming true:
www.anandtech.com/show/15762/the-acer-swift-3-sf314-review-swift-gets-swifter-with-ryzen-4000
Yay! \o/
Oh wait, Boo! That's underwhelming AF....

I guess lack of LPDDR4X is still a big problem. IGPs have always been bottlenecked by memory bandwidth.

I still have hopes for a 4800U with an extra Vega CU, LPDDR4X and higher-clocks.
Mats
There are 23 H, 28 HS and 25 U models (SKU) available here in europe on this site.
geizhals.eu/?cat=nb&xf=14265_U~6763_Ryzen+4000
Thanks, but exactly like last time, they're all pre-orders. These are not available to the general public yet; I clicked on the first five and the soonest was "shipping in June".
Posted on Reply
#10
Mats
Chrispy_
I still have hopes for a 4800U with an extra Vega CU, LPDDR4X and higher-clocks.
That won't happen AFAIK, AMD already explained that they removed one CU because it was fast and efficient enough compared to last generation.
Chrispy_
I clicked on the first five and the soonest was "shipping in June".
Yup, and the next one is in stock.

You won't find what you're looking for, I'm pretty sure about that. Just to find dual RAM slots is next to impossible, even on Intel, compared to just two years ago. Non-gaming, that is.

You have to check "In stock".
geizhals.eu/?cat=nb&xf=14265_U~6763_Ryzen+4000&asuch=&bpmin=&bpmax=&v=l&hloc=at&hloc=de&hloc=pl&hloc=uk&hloc=eu&plz=&dist=&mail=&sort=p&bl1_id=1000

The die seems to have 8 CU's, tho.
www.techpowerup.com/264801/amd-renoir-die-shot-pictured
Posted on Reply
#11
Chrispy_
Mats
That won't happen AFAIK, AMD already explained that they removed one CU because it was fast and efficient enough compared to last generation.
They removed three CUs actually - there are 11 CU on Raven Ridge and Picasso (2700U, 3700U for expample) and one of them is disabled to improve yields, which is why those processors are called Vega 10. The only product that is 'uncut' is the 3780U in the Surface laptop, which takes the top binned Picasso dies to give us a very exclusive, low-volume part with Vega 11 graphics.

You can easily count 11 distinct CU rows in this image of an R5 2500U (Vega 8) from en.wikichip:

Mats
The die seems to have 8 CU's, tho.
www.techpowerup.com/264801/amd-renoir-die-shot-pictured
Yeah - that die shot clearly shows 4000-series Vega8 is the top bin, lowest-yield part with no CUs to spare for yield reasons. That's a little disappointing but you can see how the IGP in the previous chips dominated the design. Those 11CUs took up precious silicon and power consumption that could be used for L3 cache or more cores, instead.

I guess I'll have to wait a while for a 4000-series review with Vega8 and LPDDR4X. Early leaks put the GPU performance at about 50% faster than my 2700U running a 22W STAPM profile with dual-channel RAM, and if I can get that sort of performance increase whilst running at 15W for all-day battery (and maybe more than the measly 2h of casual gaming my own laptop can deliver), I'll be a happy chap.
Posted on Reply
#12
Mats
Chrispy_
They removed three CUs actually - there are 11 CU on Raven Ridge and Picasso (2700U, 3700U for expample) and one of them is disabled to improve yields, which is why those processors are called Vega 10.
You're right, I forgot that.

Maybe we'll see more dual slot laptops in upcoming models, there are more models with that from the Ryzen 3000 series than I thought.
geizhals.eu/?cat=nb&v=l&hloc=at&hloc=de&hloc=pl&hloc=uk&hloc=eu&sort=p&bl1_id=1000&xf=12826_2~14265_U~6763_Ryzen+3000

Wait, is LPDDR4X a soldered only kind of thing? Can't find any modules for sale and I have no clue about it in general.
Posted on Reply
#13
Chrispy_
Mats
You're right, I forgot that.

Maybe we'll see more dual slot laptops in upcoming models, there are more models with that from the Ryzen 3000 series than I thought.
geizhals.eu/?cat=nb&v=l&hloc=at&hloc=de&hloc=pl&hloc=uk&hloc=eu&sort=p&bl1_id=1000&xf=12826_2~14265_U~6763_Ryzen+3000

Wait, is LPDDR4X a soldered only kind of thing? Can't find any modules for sale and I have no clue about it in general.
Yes, LPDDR4 is sold as BGA chips to OEMs to put into laptops and phones - probably because the driving force behind lower-power memory (the LP in LPDDR4) is compactness and power efficiency;

User-replaceable SoDIMM slots are neither compact, nor as efficient since the slot itself lengthens traces and increases resistance which wastes power as heat.

In a desktop it's negligible space or extra power draw. In a thin laptop that spends much of it's power-on time at near idle 1-2W loads, that tiny extra resistance is no longer negligible and the extra thickness of a dedicated PCB for the RAM and extra height of a SoDIMM slot hurt the manufacturers striving to make their laptop/tablet thinner and sexier than the competition.
Posted on Reply
#14
Mats
I see, so you don't want slots. Makes sense now, thanks.
Posted on Reply
#15
Chrispy_
Mats
I see, so you don't want slots. Makes sense now, thanks.
I want slots. I want to upgrade the RAM and have options.
The manufacturers are making life easier for themselves at our expense. Not only does soldered memory make it easier to build a thinner, lighter product, it also:
  • reduces manufacturing costs and eliminates the manual labour of inserting SoDIMMs at the factory
  • simplifies their product stack by forcibly removing configuration options.
  • simplifies their BIOS design. The BIOS no longer needs compatibility with hundreds of different configurations, just the 8GB and 16GB configurations as soldered options
  • eliminates the cost and time of validation for QVL lists.
We lose, they gain. All we get in return is products that are thinner and I think most people stopped caring about laptop thinness a while ago. In my option we're at the point of "too thin" with terrible ultra-short travel keyboards like on the Macbook, flexy and creaking chassis from many vendors, and fragile devices that are ruined on their first accidental drop etc. I would gladly take an ultrabook that was 1mm thicker if it meant better battery life and more robust feel.

But I digress - pursuit of 'thin' is an argument that has been raging for a decade and it's off-topic here :)
Posted on Reply
#16
Mats
I still have hopes for a 4800U with an extra Vega CU, LPDDR4X and higher-clocks.
I want slots.
Make up your mind? :D

Fans that runs all the time is what I hate the most with these too thin laptops, and they're not really quiet either.
Posted on Reply
#17
Chrispy_
Mats
Make up your mind? :D

Fans that runs all the time is what I hate the most with these too thin laptops, and they're not really quiet either.
It is normal to wish for things that cannot be! :)
Posted on Reply
#18
Mats
Chrispy_
It is normal to wish for things that cannot be! :)
Yup, especially if you want to get disappointed.. ;)
Posted on Reply
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