Asus ROG Flow x13 Ryzen 5900HS – The Surface Book Killer!
I like two and one laptops with dedicated gpus. Usually this is the domain of 15 inch models such as the yoga 9i, with a 1650 ti max q, which is only 10 percent faster than the 1650 mux q in the much smaller asus flow x13, even stepping down to a 14 inch two and one would Give you a quad core cpu and something like the mx250, like i had in my asus zenbook flip 14., now other 13 inch, two and one laptops will again have an intel, 4 core cpu and usually have intel xe graphics. Now there is the 13.5 inch surface book 3 with the same gtx 1650 max q, but has a pokey 4 core cpu and no thunderbolt port for an egpu plus it’s 200 more expensive. Now there are two cpu options: the standard model has the ryzen 9 5900 hs, which has 8 cores 16 threads and a base clock of 3 gigahertz and a single core boost of 4.6. Now the supernova edition has a slightly faster 5980 hs, which has the same base clock but boosts up to 4.8 gigahertz. Now both chips have a 35 watt tdp. Now my unit costs 1500, which is a pretty decent price really, but it is 2 800 with the xg mobile external gpu. Now that is quite a bit of money, so we need to see how that egp performs now, since this is the first 8 core cpu, i am aware of in a 13 inch windows laptop.
I think it makes sense to show how fast it is in geekbench, 5. Its single core score of 1477 is faster than the i9 10 980 hk, and its multi core score of 7847 is just behind the desktop 9900k. In my 17 inch clivo, the 13 inch apple macbook pro offers similar performance, but intel is nowhere to be seen in this space. It does even better in cinebench r23, which is a much longer running test than geekbench 5. again beating the i9 10 980 hk. Now i show you the score from the asus zephyrus g15, which also has the 5900 hs, and that was 15 faster, but that is a much bigger laptop but does show you the potential of the chip. Asus gives you four power modes. You have silent, which is ideal for non productivity work. The fans actually only spin up when the cpu reaches 55 degrees celsius, but even then they are quiet. Barely heard over ambient next is performance, which gives you a good balance between performance and noise levels. Turbo mode gives a you know a little bit more performance and even under load. The fans are only about 45 decibels. Now, manual mode allows you to increase the power to the cpu and also overclock the gpu, and i settled with 140h and x140 megahertz on the core and an extra 180 megahertz on the memory. It also allows you to either choose one of three fan profiles or even actually create one of your own.
Now at 90 fan speed, we were still at around about 45 decibels. In my handbrake test, manual mode was 7 faster than turbo mode. The 5900 hs using 46 watts and both were at about 85 degrees in blender. The 5900 hs was 15 faster than the 4900 hs. That was using the 2020 g14, so that is a nice upgrade. The fans have 84 blades, which is much much more than what asus used previously, and they are also thinner which actually providing about 50 more airflow than they did back in 2017. Now the fans still have the anti dust tunnels to help keep them clean. Also, the cpu has liquid metal applied at the factory. Whilst you have regular paste on the 1650 max q, there are two shared heat pipes with two heatsinks for the gpu, and you have one for the cpu with a total of 156 pins. Now the underside, like the rest of the chassis, is made out of magnesium alloy and, like the lid, it has a rib surface. Cool air is brought in via two vents over the fans and you can see actually some cool air being brought in through the keyboard. You know over the cpu area, the hottest the chassis air temperature i got was about 42 degrees and the underside just felt warm to the touch so it’ll be perfectly comfortable on your lap. The 62 watt hour battery lasted me about seven and a half hours streaming.
Youtube at 25 brightness, which is about 57 nits peak brightness, has a satisfactory 311 knits, with a good contrast of 1320 to 1.. Now the panel is a glossy 1920 by 1200 120 hertz with touch and pen support and to protect the digitizer layer. They use corning gorilla glass. The colours were very good perfect for watching movies and its 16 to 10 aspect ratio, helped with video editing and working on excel sheets. Due to the extra vertical real estate. The sharp panel had 95 of srgb and 72 percent of adobe rgb color gamut backlight bleed was also non existent. My actually, your only complaint would be its response time. It must be on the low side because it had much more ghosting than my 120 hertz tn panel panel used on my cleavo, but it is a freesync display with a range of 48 to 120 hertz. So you will see no tearing as long as your frame rate is within that range and, unlike most other rgb laptops, there is a webcam up at the top of the panel, so like most laptops these days, 720p webcam. But it is included. This is good versus and it’s up top and i don’t like the colors. They look very good and it looks fairly sharp and also the microphone does a good job. Now i’ve got a furnace, blasting uh behind me and it actually, you know, i think it does. A good job of drowning that out.
This is what’s like when you’re typing and let’s say turn off the lights and have a look at low light performance. All right, so moderate light, yeah that’s what the camera just struggle. You know if you don’t do dancing on the webcam, so it’s a struggle now the touchscreen is very responsive, but there is quite a bit of screen wobble. This is because the hinges are not very stiff. I suspect, if you carry the laptop from room to room, you know, one could expect that the screen will wobble downwards. In some markets, asus will include a digital pen that uses windows pen protocol that’s the same as what the surface pen uses. Now palm rejection works. Fine and pen responsive was very good now the pen doesn’t attach to the laptop. Nor is there an internal storage garage like you’d, probably see on the yoga 9 series, but i do believe asus offers a case with an integrated pen loop. The included asus pen does feel good in the hand, and i particularly like that its buttons were erased, making it easier to feel them in the dark. Of course. In addition to tablet and laptop mode, you can use tent mode, which is a good way to touch the screen with no screen wobble. There is one usb type: a board and two usb c ports, but there’s no sd card slot. There is an hdmi 2.0 b that connects directly to the internal vegas gpu.
So if you want a game on an external monitor, make sure to use the usbc port now, the reason why asus did this was to allow business users to attach to a projector and still have good battery life. Now it is good to see that the power button is on the side. I hate it when two and one laptops have the power button integrated into the keyboard, because you cannot press it whilst you’re in tablet mode and also the power button, has an integrated fingerprint reader in it, and it works great much better than the one. On the g15, now on the left, we have the xg mobile port that is protected by a rubber cover. Now i did find it strange that this curved rubber cover does not it’s not attached so i’m sure at one point, you’ll probably lose it now. This port uses pc express 3.0 x 8 interface, which provides 64 gigabits per second of bandwidth. Now 10 of that is reserved for the usb link, which allows the xg mobile to be used as a multi port hub with 4 usb 3.2 type, a ports, an sd card reader and gigabit ethernet. Now the remaining 54 gigabits per second is still 35 more bandwidth than what you would see with thunderbolt 4.. Now the xg mobile contains 150 watt rtx 3080 and has its own 280 watt power adapter. So it also powers the flow x13. Now this means that if you are traveling, you don’t need to take the 100 watt usb c power, brick with you.
The xg mobile is quite small at 208 millimeters by 155 millimeters and only 29 millimeters thick. So it’s, like a book really and with the flow x13, it has a combined weight of only 5.1 pounds. As soon as i get the xg mobile, i will test it against the thunderbolt 4 solution, so make sure you subscribe for that. It has two 1 watt speakers that offer 5.1 virtual surround sound via dolby atmos software. Now they are ok, not loud to be fair and i would recommend using headphones, but it did pass my audio latency test so for a mobile music laptop. It is good. The keyboard deck also has a pattern on it and a small rog symbol, but to be fair, it’s, a massive fingerprint magnet you’ll always be wiping it clean. So perhaps it makes sense to buy a skin like what’s offered by my buddy at m2 skins, and that should help you keep it clean. Now the keys have 1.7 millimeters of travel, which is good for such a small laptop. Now backlight is it’s white only, but if you press the ora key, you will alternate between static breathing and strobing patterns and above these keys, and you have volume disabling the mic and a key for opening the armory crate software. In addition to being able to change the power profiles, you can look at the system, temperatures the fan, speeds and also the clock rates, and you can also actually change the the default.
The panel to 60 hertz, whilst it’s on battery to save battery life, and you can also switch the igpu mode now. This allows you to choose igpu where the dedicated gpu is not pinged at all, so it’s the best for extending battery life. You can also have igpu off, and this uses the dedicated gpu all of the time, even when on battery, and i use this mode for my gaming tests and auto mode lets the laptop choose, what mode to use when it’s plugged in but on battery the nvidia Gpu is hidden now, although the flow x13 doesn’t have a mug switch, it is good that they bake this into their software. So let’s take a look at some gaming. Now i tested all my games at the native resolution of 1920×1200 using turbo mode. Here is shadow of the tomb raider using high settings, you’ll notice that the thermals are great and the 1650 max q copes fairly well. Higher settings is a bit of a struggle but dropping to high or lower. You should have a good gaming experience here is rainbow six siege at ultra settings. Now these ryzen cpus perform great at such low wattage, meaning we are only seeing about 70 degrees, whilst the 1650 max q is using 38 watts and is in the high 60s. I think you will agree that this is good for such a small chassis and it does beg the question. If this chassis can cool a 38 watt 1650, could it cool a regular 50 watt 1650, as you can see, frame rates are good with minimums at 73.
Fps now, if there’s any game that can make the the flow x13 run hot and that would be far cry new dawn here, i’m using normal settings, which is basically medium, the cpu is at 73 degrees and the game was very playable. Now i measured the frame rates using the inbuilt benchmark tool and it constantly gave a very low minimum, which you know i used. To be honest, i did not notice. Whilst i was playing it in game, metro exodus was tested using the inbuilt benchmark and you will need to drop to a medium settings to get a decent frame rate in time spy. There wasn’t much difference between turbo and manual modes, but expect about an eight percent gain over performance mode. Now i wouldn’t advise silent mode for gaming. Now the cpu is in yellow and the gpu is in red. The thermals are good across the board. We see the same situation in fire strike which is less demanding than time spy and in fact, turbo mode is 14 percent faster than performance mode and knowing it can thermally handle turbo mode that’s. The setting i would use from day to day, unless i wanted to save you, know, battery life. In that case, i would switch to silent mode. So what do i think of the asus rog flow x13? Well, to be honest, there is a lot to like about it and, if you’re in the market for a small two on one laptop with pen support that has cpu power, you know similar to most desktops out there again.
I can handle gaming to medium to high settings, and this is certainly one to consider. It is cheaper than the 13 and a half inch surface book 3 and you get a much better cpu and the option to add the xg mobile, which the surface boot cannot do. I also like the 16 to 10 aspect ratio. It’S much appreciated. I would have liked to have seen an sd card reader, but at least they do include a webcam at the top. Thermals are also pretty good, and for those that want a quiet system, you know you can’t, beat it silent mode works very well. Now i did actually only have the one issue, and it is something that the zeus will address. I am sure of it. I found that when in manual mode and the laptop is put to sleep, the fans, you know spin all of the time when it’s connected to the ac power source. Now, if you unplug the cable switching into a battery, this did solve this. Now. If you do find my video useful consider subscribing because asus did say they will send me an xg mobile soon, and i can’t wait to test that.