So lets check it out in this detailed review and see what its got for us., Starting with the specs Ive got the highest spec config available. So Intel i7. 9750H CPU Nvidia, RTX, 2070 graphics and thats, the full 2070, no Max Q, here 32gb of memory in dual channel: a 15.6 1080p 144Hz screen with G Sync and a 1TB RAID 0 array. For network connectivity, its got gigabit, ethernet, 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 5.. There are different configurations available, though, including with RTX 2060 graphics. You can find examples and updated prices linked in the description.. The GX502 is available in both glacier blue this sort or white light blue. We saw at Computex or brushed black, which is what Ive got here.. The black metal lid has a brushed finish.. The interior is matte black with an almost rubberised feeling texture with a subtle sparkle. Almost glitter look Im not exactly sure what it is its mostly smooth, but a little textured feeling.. Overall, the build quality of the magnesium alloy chassis felt great and there were no sharp corners or edges anywhere. ASUS list. The weight of the laptop at 2kg and mine was around this. With the 230 watt power, brick and cables for charging included. The total weight rises to 2.8kg. The dimensions of the GX502 are 36cm in width 25.2cm in depth and under 1.9cm in height with the lid closed. So definitely, on the smaller side for a 15 inch machine with these powerful specs inside.

, The height will raise when you open the lid. As this raises the back up to improve air flow, but well look at thermals later.. These smaller dimensions allow the screen to have thin bezels with a 81 screen to body ratio. I measured them at 9mm.. The 15.6 1080p 144Hz IPS Level screen has a 3ms response time and G Sync. Weve got the option to manually swap between using Optimus or the Nvidia GPU. Only it just needs a reboot.. Its also available with a 240Hz option so expect different results with that panel. Ive, measured the colour gamut using the Spyder 5 Pro and got 97 of sRGB 66 of NTSC and 72 of AdobeRGB. At 100 brightness. I measured the panel at 289 nits in the center and with an 7501 contrast ratio, so alright results for a gaming laptop.. The ASUS Armoury Crate software, which is their control panel, allows you to enable or disable panel overdrive, which is required for the 3ms response. Time and although I couldnt personally see the difference, it was clearer when playing back in slow motion. Backlight bleed was fine. However, this will vary between laptop and panel.. There was some screen flex as the lid is on the thinner side, but the metal build and hinges being out towards the corners aided with stability.. It was easy to open up with one finger demonstrating an even weight distribution, and it felt fine sitting on my lap with the bonus of not having to worry about my legs blocking air ventilation.

. The GX502 doesnt actually have a camera built in and, unlike the more expensive GX701 there wasnt one included in the box., Although theres no camera, it does still have a microphone and heres. What that sounds. Like. The keyboard has per key RGB backlighting, the F keys. Dont get fully lit up and, while the rest of the keys do have secondary functions, illuminated, they were a little dimmer compared to the main key function. Typing went alright. Sometimes I felt like I had to push a little harder than Im used to, though heres. How typing sounds to give you an idea of what to expect.. I didnt like the smaller arrow keys, but these can also be used with the function key to adjust keyboard brightness between three levels or cycle through effects.. If you want to customize individual keys, you need to install the Aura Creator. Software from the Microsoft store., The software is reviewed, pretty poorly on the store and when initially opening it failed to detect the keyboard. ASUS left a comment saying to fix it. You need to download and install ROGLiveService from the product support page, so not sure why they couldnt just either include this with the machine or with the Aura Creator. Download.. Even after manually installing this I still couldnt get it to work.. You can still swap between basic effects in Armoury Crate, but individual key customization needs more work to get going than it should.. Just above the keyboard, weve got extra buttons to change volume, mute microphone and a shortcut to open the Armoury Crate software.

. There was a bit of keyboard flex while pushing down hard but honestly not as much as youd expect, considering the back of the machine is propped up no issues at all during normal use.. The precision touchpad worked very well its smooth to the touch and has the usual gestures. Im, not sure why I liked using it so much. It just felt accurate and easy to use. Fingerprints were sort of hidden on the interior ASUS list it as a soft touch. Paint that repels fingerprints with a subtle sparkle – and I found it wasnt perfectly smooth. However, it was still easy to clean and it did kind of hide dirt. On the left from the back theres, a an air exhaust vent power input, gigabit, ethernet, HDMI, 2.0b output, USB 3.2 Gen2 Type, A port and 3.5mm mic and headphone jacks. On the right from The front theres a USB 3.2 Gen2 Type C port with DisplayPort 1.4 support no Thunderbolt in this machine, though two USB 3.2 Gen1 Type, A ports, air exhaust vent and Kensington lock. On the back are air exhaust vents towards the corners and then nothing at all. On the front. Underneath its all flat, there are no air intake vents here due to the hinge mechanism that pushes the back up when the lid is opened. Theres. Also, some RGB lighting underneath here, which is controlled with the keyboard. On the brushed metal, lid, the ROG logo lights up red while the laptop is powered on and I wasnt able to customize this.

. The back of the lid is cut out down the bottom, which lets you see the status LEDs with the lid closed, and this is also meant to help air get into the vents above the keyboard.. The two speakers are found towards the front left and right corners and they sounded pretty good for a laptop above average, and they got loud enough while playing music, though a bit muffled at higher volumes and the latencymon results. Didnt look ideal., Speaking of sounds. It plays this one by default on boot.. Fortunately, you can disable this either through the Armoury, Crate software or the BIOS. To get inside. We first need to take out 8 phillips head screws from the base.. Next, there are 4 more screws in the metal plate. That gets pushed down when the lid is opened. Under here we can see the two fans that pull in air and then there are 5 more screws under the panel to remove. The screw down the front right. Doesnt fully come out of the bottom panel either., Once inside, weve got the battery down the bottom WiFi card, soldered to the board two M.2 slots under the silver heat shields and single memory slot., As we can see theres just the one SODIMM memory slot on the Motherboard, this is because the GX502 comes with 16gb soldered to the motherboard. So if you see it for sale with 16gb, that means its running in single channel and will be slower.

. Mine has a 16gb stick installed for 32gb total. However, others claim you can install a 32gb stick for up to 48gb memory. Powering the laptop is a 76 watt hour, battery. Ive tested it with the screen brightness at 50 background apps, disabled and all keyboard lighting off., As we have the option of disabling Nvidia Optimus And only using the Nvidia graphics, Ive tested watching YouTube with both configurations and with Optimus enabled battery life lasts twice as long., While playing the Witcher 3 with medium settings and Nvidias battery boost set to 30 FPS. The battery lasted for an hour and 6 minutes. However, with 6 charge left the frame rate dipped and it was no longer playable after an hour., Its also possible to charge the laptop over the Type C port too, and this means you can charge off of a USB battery if it can provide enough power., ASUS Separately, sell a 65 watt Type C adapter. However, I found my Pixel 3 charger was enough to prevent the battery draining while watching YouTube videos.. Interestingly, when you take the power out and swap to battery, the screen will flash black for a second, and this is because its swapping from a 144Hz refresh rate to 60Hz., You can manually swap back, but this should help improve battery life and considering. Even if you are playing games on battery its unlikely youll get high enough FPS to need the higher refresh rate anyway.. The 230 watt power, brick that ASUS includes with the GX502 appears to be adequate for these specs.

I wasnt seeing any drain during my testing.. Its also worth noting you cant use turbo mode on battery power more on that soon. Lets move onto the thermal testing.. Just to recap, the Zephyrus design is known for raising the back of the machine up when you open the lid to assist with air flow.. As a result, the bottom of the machine is completely flat with no air intakes, so I havent bothered testing with my usual cooling pad., Underneath the metal flap that gets pushed down are the two fans and air seems to be brought in from this gap and also In through the keyboard, and just above it through these holes. Air is then exhausted from the vents on the back left and right corners, as well as on the back of the machine. Inside weve got a few heatpipes with a couple shared between the processor and graphics.. The ASUS Armory Crate software allows you to change between three different modes: silent performance and turbo and Ive tested all three out here.. Basically, these modes adjust maximum fan, speed, CPU power limits and control GPU overclocking, as defined here.. You can also easily swap between these three modes by holding the function key and pressing F5. The key with the fan icon.. All testing was also performed with Optimus disabled, so were only using the Nvidia graphics. Thermal testing was completed in an ambient room. Temperature of 21 degrees Celsius so expect different results in different environments.

At idle. Both the CPU and GPU were on the cooler side, no issues there. The rest of the results are from combined CPU and GPU workloads and are meant to represent worst case scenarios, as I ran them for extended periods of time.. The gaming results towards the upper half of the graph were tested by playing Watch Dogs 2, as I find it to use a good combination of processor and graphics.. The stress test results shown on the lower half of the graph are from running the Aida64 CPU stress test, with only the stress, CPU option checked and the Heaven GPU benchmark at max settings. At the same time, to fully load the system. Ive only tested silent mode with the stress tests and the temperatures are the lowest out of all results, as this is restricting the power limits harshly, which well see soon. With performance mode, enabled things start to heat up And then, with turbo mode we see the increased fan. Speed reduce the GPU temperatures, though there was never any GPU thermal throttling taking place.. There was, however, intermittent CPU thermal throttling happening.. The CPU temperature actually rises slightly in turbo mode and was now constantly thermal throttling at 95 degrees, and this was despite the increase to fan speed as power limits are increased. Undervolting. The CPU made no change in terms of thermals. However, I was only able to apply a small undervolt.. This is something Ive noticed with other Zephyrus machines that Ive tested.

They all cant be undervolted much and Im, not sure why maybe ASUS are able to buy binned, Intel chips that already use less power for their thinner machines. I dont know.. These are the average clock speeds for the same tests, just shown. Check out that super low GPU clock speed in silent mode while under stress test.. This is why I didnt bother testing silent mode in gaming, the game just wasnt playable in this mode. For me, but well see some FPS benchmarks later. When we step up from performance mode to turbo mode were seeing a boost to GPU clock speeds as turbo mode overclocks, the graphics., The CPU clock, speed also rises, as this raises the CPU power limit too, although, as We just saw the next limit was thermal throttling.. The small CPU undervolt did help reduce the throttling and improved the clock speed. However, this is still below the full 4GHz. All core turbo boost speed of the i7 9750H by around 500MHz.. These are the average TDP values reported by hardware info during these same tests.. This explains why the silent profile was useless for gaming. Look how hard its capping the GPU power.. This is just an average, though, while playing it dipped below this making games extremely stuttery. In all other modes. It was able to hit its 115 watt limit without issue, as shown by the green bars. In performance mode. The CPU power limit raises from a 28 watt PL1 in silent mode to 30 watts, which was the limitation in both stress test and while gaming, as shown by our average of 30 watts during the testing.

. Although turbo mode boosts PL1 to 45, watts were not actually able to hit above 35 watts due to thermal limits being reached in these workloads.. These are the average CPU clock speeds, while under a CPU, only workload so with no GPU load contributing to the thermals were seeing better results with the full 4GHz turbo boost, speed being hit at stock simply with turbo mode enabled., It might seem counterintuitive, but as we Get higher performance, the temperatures actually go down, and this is because the fan speed increases as we step up from silent through to turbo mode.. Looking at the power limits, I noticed that, while under a CPU, only workload PL1 was being set to 70 watts in turbo mode, which explains why, prior to undervolting its higher than the 45 watt limit, I mentioned previously, while under combined CPU and GPU stress test.. These are the power limits for the cpu, while under combined cpu and gpu stress test, and when under cpu only load., We can see that with the GPU idle, the CPU is given a higher power limit, meaning CPU only workloads will perform much better. To demonstrate how This translates into performance. Ive got some Cinebench CPU benchmarks., While under turbo mode the results were actually pretty decent for a 9750H above average. In any case, thanks to those higher CPU, only power limits on offer.. As for the external temperatures, where youll actually be putting your hands at idle, it was around the normal 30 degrees Celsius.

, While gaming or under stress test with performance mode. It was getting quite warm mid, 50s in the center and low 60s right up the back. Some of the keys right up the back were quite hot to the touch., With turbo mode enabled and the fans now faster. It was a bit cooler now still quite hot right up the back, though you probably wont be touching there that often, and the left and right sides were noticeably cooler as this is where air is pulled in.. As for the fan noise produced by the laptop Ill, let you have a listen to some of these tests. At idle in silent mode, the fan was still audible.. With the stress tests running with silent mode, we can see the machine is still fairly quiet. However, as we saw earlier, this mode wasnt too useful for gaming. Performance mode was significantly louder comparatively and a little above the average, while turbo mode takes it louder. Still. Overall, the ASUS GX502 gaming laptop runs hot.. This honestly wasnt that unexpected its on the thinner side and theyve crammed a max p RTX 2070 GPU inside rather than the usual max q. We usually see in this sort of form factor., Despite this, though, as well see in the gaming benchmarks, its still offering very impressive performance.. Unfortunately, there wasnt much that could be done to improve performance as there arent any air intake vents underneath the machine it wasnt possible to use a cooling pad, and I was only able to add a fairly small undervolt compared to what most other machines will accept.

. This is something that Ive experienced with all Zephyrus laptops that Ive tested. Next lets take a look at some gaming benchmarks: Ive tested these with turbo mode, enabled and optimus disabled for best performance and well test with some different performance modes. Later. Battlefield 5 was tested in campaign mode and Ive got the results with RTX on shown by the green bars and RTX off shown by the purple bars.. These are some of the highest RTX on results, Ive gotten from this game and was actually usable even at higher settings. However, for a game like this generally, the higher FPS with RTX off will be preferable and I was able to average above 100 FPS, even at ultra. Apex Legends was tested with either all settings at maximum or all settings on the lowest possible values, as it doesnt Have predefined setting presets. A recent Nvidia driver update boosted performance of this game and even at max settings, it was running extremely well with over 100 FPS for the 1 low maxed out. Shadow of the Tomb Raider was tested with the built in benchmark and again. These are some of the best results Ive ever seen from a gaming laptop of this size, but well see how other laptops compare in this game. Soon. Far Cry. New Dawn was also tested with the built in benchmark, and the results were quite good here, though, realistically not too different compared to many other machines. Just a few FPS here and there ahead likely due to that RTX 2070, namely at ultra settings.

Fortnite, was tested with the replay feature and as a less demanding game. Even at epic settings, the average frame rate was near the refresh rate of the display, with still over 100 FPS being hit for the 1 low. Absolutely no issues at all running this game. Well. CSGO was tested using the Ulletical FPS benchmark, and this game is one Ive found to really benefit from the option of disabling Optimus., Combined with the good specs and even max settings. Isnt far behind 300 FPS. Rainbow Six Siege was tested with the built in benchmark. Theres, not really much to say again. Very good results were being seen even with a 100 render scale in this test. PUBG was tested using the replay feature, and I was seeing excellent results for this game.. Even high settings was averaging above 150 FPS and the ultra results are noticeably above the usual 100 or so I typically see from other lower specced machines. Assassins. Creed Odyssey was tested with the built in benchmark and seems to be a CPU heavy test and, as a result, lower settings werent too different from most other machines. However, the superior GPU power is putting it ahead of most others at higher settings.. The Division 2 was also tested with the built in benchmark and just for comparison. More midrange options like the Acer Nitro 5 with 1660 Ti, get lower results for their average FPS at ultra settings than what the 1 low here is so again.

Excellent performance in this test. Dota 2 was tested playing in the middle lane and while the results are higher than most other laptops, Ive tested, I doubt most people would be able to notice a difference between 150 and 190 FPS anyway, but in any case great results. Again, here. Watch Dogs 2 is a resource heavy game. However, even at ultra settings its still well above 60, FPS plenty for a game that I can play just fine with a stable 30 FPS.. The Witcher 3 was playing well even with ultra settings and was only just a little behind a 100 FPS average, which I honestly think is plenty for this game, though you could get much higher if you really want at lower settings., If youre after more gaming benchmarks Check the card in the top right corner, where Ive tested 20 games in total. Lets also take a look at how this config of the ASUS Zephyrus S GX502, compares with other laptops, use these results as a rough guide only as they were tested at different times With different drivers. In Battlefield, 5 Ive got the GX502 highlighted in red near similarly specced machines.. The results were extremely impressive. Not only was this one of the best performing machines in terms of average FPS Ive ever tested, but the 1 low was miles ahead of the competition in this test.. These are the results from Far Cry 5, with ultra settings in the built in benchmark.

. Again, the results are very impressive, putting it in at third place in terms of average FPS and 1 low results, though the gap between the GX502 and first place was extremely narrow, theres, no practical difference between the average frame rates.. These are the results from Shadow of the Tomb raider, with the built in benchmark at highest settings.. In this test, the GX502 was scoring the highest average frame rate out of the machines tested, an extremely impressive result for a machine of just 1.9cm thick.. Overall, the ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX502GW gaming laptop, is performing extremely well., Its the thinnest machine Ive ever tested with a full blown RTX 2070 inside theres, no Max Q. Here – and this is despite the thermal throttling identified earlier – that really doesnt seem to be an issue, as were still getting excellent performance., As we saw earlier, weve got the option of using silent performance and turbo mode as well as undervolting, so lets see how these changes Actually affect game. Performance. Battlefield 5 was tested in Campaign mode at ultra settings., With silent mode enabled down the bottom. We can see that poor performance I mentioned earlier, while the average FPS was still above 60. The dips were terrible, making it barely playable.. We then see slightly improved performance as we step up through the other options.. Far Cry 5 was tested with the built in benchmark at ultra settings.. In this test, the silent profile didnt seem to make as big of a difference.

Otherwise, again, the frame rates improve as we raise up the settings. Shadow of the Tomb Raider was tested with the built in benchmark at highest settings.. The additional CPU undervolt made no difference to average FPS in this test and, like the other games performance mode, wasnt too far behind, while silent mode was further back still above 60 FPS for the averages, but as weve seen averages arent the full story.. Now, for the benchmarking tools, Ive tested, Heaven Valley and Superposition from Unigine, as well as Firestrike, Timespy, Port Royal and VRMark from 3DMark just pause. The video, if you want a detailed look at these results. Ive, used Crystal Disk Mark to test the storage and the 1TB RAID 0 array made up of two NVMe M.2 SSDs was performing alright, though not that impressive, considering we could get these speeds with some single Drives outside of RAID., I did find it interesting that there are two M.2 slots in this smaller 15 machine. Considering the larger 17 GX701 only managed to fit one. For updated pricing check the links in the description as prices will change over time. At the time of recording in the US, its going for 2400 USD while the RTX 2060 version is 500 less. Here in Australia. The 2070 model starts at 3400 AUD, however thats with single channel memory., With all of that in mind, lets conclude by covering the good and bad aspects of the ASUS Zephyrus S GX502 gaming laptop.

. Overall, this laptop is providing extremely impressive gaming performance, considering its size and weight.. As a result, it does run on the hotter side, even with the fan at full speed, which does get quite loud, which is to be expected. However, as weve seen, it does run very well. As to whether or not this would be a problem. Long term it's very difficult to say. There wasnt much that can be done to improve thermals undervolting, usually doesnt go too well with Zephyrus laptops, at least based on the ones Ive tested and the flat base means no cooling. Pad. Repasting could be worth a shot, but thats, not something. I can test here. Im, not a fan of the soldered memory to the motherboard, but at least its 16gb. I suppose they have done 8gb in the past. You can still do 32gb in dual channel, which should be plenty for most people, and two M.2 slots was also nice to have.. The screen looked pretty good and it was nice to have G Sync with the option of swapping between Optimus enabled or disabled user choice. Is always the best option? In my opinion. Battery life was on the lower side, considering the size of the battery. However, you do at least have the option of Type C charging, which was a nice bonus, though unfortunately theres no Thunderbolt here something Id expect at this price. Point. Speaking of things, ASUS didnt include theres no built in camera, so youll have to use an external camera.

If you need one., Otherwise, I wasnt a fan of the smaller arrow keys and the user experience to try and get the software working for individual key backlighting was far more involved than it should be to make it work.. In the end, though, purely in terms of raw gaming performance, the GX502 is offering impressive results ahead of most other machines that Ive tested.. Let me know what you thought about the ASUS Zephyrus S, gaming laptop down in the comments and, if youre new to the channel, consider getting subscribed for future laptop reviews and tech.