ASUS Zephyrus S (GX701) Thermal Testing, Overclocking and Undervolting
Ill be. Taking a detailed look at thermals overclocking and seeing how much we can improve performance by undervolting and boosting fan, speed. Ive got the GX701GX model of the 17 inch Zephyrus S here, which means theres an Intel: i7 8750H CPU and 90 watt Nvidia RTX 2080 Max Q. Graphics. Its also available with 2070 or 2060 graphics, too, so expect different results with those configurations.. The ASUS Zephyrus laptops have a unique cooling solution. When you open the lid, the base of the laptop rises up to allow air to exhaust. The keyboard and touchpad are found towards the front of the laptop as the whole. Second half of the chassis are the intake fans.. There are also heatpipes shared between the processor and graphics, so a change in temperature of one will affect the other.. Before we look at the temperatures, I need to mention that the The ASUS Armoury Crate software provides three different modes: silent, balanced and turbo.. Silent basically lowers the TDP of the CPU to save power and reduce fan. Noise. Balanced is essentially stock settings, while turbo mode overclocks, the GPU core by 100MHz and GPU memory by 124MHz.. Additionally, while under a combined CPU and GPU workload, the CPU TDP is limited to 40 watts in balanced mode and boosted to 45 watts with turbo mode and turbo mode also increases the fan. Speed to help with cooling as raising the TDP will generally increase heat along with performance.. Thermal testing was done in an ambient room.
Temperature of 24 degrees Celsius so expect different results in different environments. Ive tested idle down the bottom, with the silent profile and the temperatures were fairly cool.. Gaming was tested by playing Watch Dogs 2, as I find it to use a good combination of processor and graphics.. The stress test results are from running the Aida64 CPU stress test and Heaven benchmark at the same time, to fully load the system.. We can see that every time turbo mode is enabled the temperatures drop down, and this is because of the increased fan speed associated with this mode.. The CPU temperatures are a little on the warmer side. However, I did not encounter thermal throttling just power limit throttling., A 0.07v undervolt was applied to the CPU, where listed by UV. Like other ASUS Zephyrus laptops, Ive tested, I couldnt go much lower without problems.. These are the average clock speeds for the same tests just shown.. We can see the GPU clock, speeds rise. Any time turbo mode is enabled, as the previously mentioned. Overclock gets. Applied.. The CPU clock speeds also rise, as well as the CPU TDP gets boosted, while undervolting helps further.. These results are actually pretty good, especially from such a thin machine, while gaming with both turbo mode enabled and the CPU undervolting, I could hit the full 3.9GHz all core turbo speed of the i7 8750H CPU and then only just below this at the top of the Graph with the worst case scenario stress test running.
. These are the clock speeds I got while just running CPU only stress tests without any GPU load.. With the Aida64 stress test running, it was possible to hit the 3.9GHz all core turbo speed of the i7, either with turbo mode or with balanced mode combined with a CPU undervolt.. Likewise, here are the temperatures from the same tests just shown where the undervolt in the balanced and turbo profiles lowers the temperatures by a few degrees. To demonstrate how this translates into performance. Ive got some Cinebench CPU benchmarks, here. Theres, no difference to the single core results. As this isnt enough load to cause any throttling. The results, otherwise closely match the CPU. Only clock speeds just shown. Before. Here are the GPU, only clock speeds, while under a graphical, only stress test with the balanced and turbo modes, as well as the improvements seen by applying a manual 150MHz overclock to the GPU core with MSI Afterburner. Although it wasnt much above what the turbo profile provided. Here are the temperatures from these same tests, balanced mode, saw hotter temperatures, despite the performance being lower as the fans dont spin up as fast compared to turbo mode.. So how does this performance boost actually translate into games? Ive tested with the exact same Windows, Nvidia and game updates installed? The only changes were the ones listed. Here. Far Cry 5 was tested using the built in benchmark at 1080p.. At ultra settings. There was no change to average frame rate, but an improvement to 1 low, while the other setting levels saw the opposite.
Either way. The boost was fairly minimal, which I think is because the graphics were already overclocked thanks to turbo mode. So I suspect, most of the improvement here is probably from our slight CPU undervolt, which I think is good, as you can easily get excellent performance out of the box.. As for the external temperatures, where youll actually be putting your hands at idle, with the silent profile enabled, the keyboard was around 30 degrees celsius and a bit warmer up the back.. While gaming, the keyboard was still fairly cool in the mid 30s, while the back gets much hotter in comparison as thats, where the heat generating components, are. Same story with the stress tests running, it does get up to the high 50s up the back and is quite Hot to the touch, but you shouldnt be putting your hands back there anyway, so thats fine., While gaming on battery power, the keyboard does warm up a bit as the battery thats being discharged is right, underneath.. As for the fan noise produced by the laptop Ill, let you have a listen to some of these tests. At idle. It was quiet, although the fan was still audible., While gaming in balanced mode its a little quieter than most other laptops, Ive tested at stock, then same results with the stress test going in balanced mode.. Finally, with turbo mode, it does get a bit louder, though still around average compared with many others. Overall, I think the Zephyrus design is doing a good job here.
I wasnt seeing thermal throttling even under combined CPU and GPU workloads, despite the fans being quieter than many other laptops. Ive tested.. The CPU can still get fairly warm under these worst case loads, but, as we saw using the higher fan, speed in turbo mode and applying an undervolt kept it going smoothly.. The unique cooling design does, however, mean that you wont be able to run the laptop with the lid closed while docked, though so worth keeping in mind. If you planned on doing that. The 230 watt power brick also seemed to be adequate. I didnt see performance loss or the battery drain under heavy loads while plugged into the power.. These differences in performance shown arent hard and fast rules. There are different factors which will vary results, primarily the temperature of the room, youre running in application of thermal paste, and even the specific hardware which comes down to the silicon lottery.. You may not be able to undervolt or overclock your hardware the same as me. It depends on the chip and its specific power requirements, so dont just blindly copy my settings and do some testing to find out where your stable point is for best results.. For example, my i7 only got a 0.07v undervolt before becoming unstable, Ive had other laptops. That would easily take 0.15v no problem.. It may be possible to further improve temperatures by swapping the thermal paste. However, as this is a review unit that I have to send back Im not able to change the paste, otherwise, the next reviewer will unknowingly report different results.
Due to what Ive, done. Undervolting and raising the fan, speed is much easier for most people to do and as we've seen, it did improve performance in the ASUS GX701.. I didnt bother trying to use my cooling pad here, as the base of the laptop has no air intakes like a normal one, so it wouldnt help as much..