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Review Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 Review: AMD Ryzen 9 4900HS Tested

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moinmoin

Platinum Member
Jun 1, 2017
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With Lenovo Legion 5 the trend continues that the Intel version of the laptop gets stronger versions of Nvidia dGPUs and less options like for screen refresh rate than the AMD counterpart. The AMD version scores near double the battery life though according to the spec sheet. (via Computerbase)

I wonder when Nvidia is going to step in to avoid its high end mobile dGPUs being associated with all the (both performance and battery life wise) worse laptop versions across the board. This can't be in Nvidia's interest as it only invites a stronger return of AMD's dGPUs in the now leading laptops at some point.
 

inf64

Diamond Member
Mar 11, 2011
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Nice, we have a winner then ;)
Icelake is about ~10% faster than Zen2 (desktop version). It's not a massive advantage but it's not small either. The clear upper hand is AVX512 stuff but that is super niche and basically irrelevant for 99% of the market. Once Zen3 arrives AMD will again have IPC advantage (even Vs TGL), albeit a smaller one.
 

Topweasel

Diamond Member
Oct 19, 2000
5,339
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With Lenovo Legion 5 the trend continues that the Intel version of the laptop gets stronger versions of Nvidia dGPUs and less options like for screen refresh rate than the AMD counterpart. The AMD version scores near double the battery life though according to the spec sheet. (via Computerbase)

I wonder when Nvidia is going to step in to avoid its high end mobile dGPUs being associated with all the (both performance and battery life wise) worse laptop versions across the board. This can't be in Nvidia's interest as it only invites a stronger return of AMD's dGPUs in the now leading laptops at some point.
It is if they can lock down AMD as not appearing to be a true performance manufacturer, AMD's success in gaming laptops gives them a larger mouth in the arena and more ears listening. We haven't really seen any implementation of mobile Navi, would a watered down 5700 with its 7nm usage put screws to the 2060 and 2070 when you have a low power cap? Not sure personally needs a lot of power to get competitive on the desktop. But could it be more efficient on the low end, does Nvidia possibly have a higher peak efficiency, where AMD has a lower but can push it higher to catch up? May never know because Intel and Nvidia have kept people from even thinking about AMD. Hell Nvidia as part of that big Nvidia experience thing they got in hot water for was actually trying to ban people from using an AMD CPU in anything "Gaming" and that they should be limited to Nvidia video cards and Intel CPU's. Going as far to basically buy rights for intents and purposes to product lines like RoG (Asus was one of the companies to create a line specifically for AMD under this policy).

Point I may have gone a little off topic for it is that if Nvidia can keep AMD out of Gaming even at the cost of a few frames then its a win. Where AMD stumbles here though, is that Intel is limited by thermals and not Silicon too much. Where AMD for the most part is silicon limited, which means that Intel only needs one extreme cooling solution on a laptop (supersized 5 fan solution desktop replacement 12lb beast) to ratchet things up to stay ahead here. For the most part a 4900h and a 9900 are a wash performance wise anyways, so its not a hard accomplishment to keep a crown here. As long as Intel has the best performing Laptop CPU "Halo", Nvidia loses no cred on the performance of their GPU's, best mGPU's for best CPU's. Who cares if any where down the line a laptop might see better performance with AMD CPU, the options aren't there because people aren't taking a chance. The G14 is the best case scenario that AMD can come up with in this setup. They get a near thin and light laptop that punches like 3 weight classes above its belt even with a slimmed 2060, well built, and well priced.
 

coercitiv

Diamond Member
Jan 24, 2014
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With Lenovo Legion 5 the trend continues that the Intel version of the laptop gets stronger versions of Nvidia dGPUs
I had imagined the real cringe inducing info would find it's way on the forums since yesterday... I guess it falls on me to deliver the critical blow.

ASUSTeK COMPUTER INC. UX434IQ
  • AMD R7 4700U
  • 16GB LPDDR4x 4266MHz
  • GeForce MX350
Source
 

moinmoin

Platinum Member
Jun 1, 2017
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The G14 is the best case scenario that AMD can come up with in this setup.
What makes you think it's "the best case scenario"? And how is an ASUS product something "AMD can come up"?

The published battery life numbers already show a huge gap between versions with Ryzen Mobile 4000 and those with Intel chips. We will see how CPU performance fares, but since those are thermally limited it will be hard to flip the situation there with such a huge gap in power usage.

I had imagined the real cringe inducing info would find it's way on the forums since yesterday... I guess it falls on me to deliver the critical blow.

ASUSTeK COMPUTER INC. UX434IQ
  • AMD R7 4700U
  • 16GB LPDDR4x 4266MHz
  • GeForce MX350
Source
Completely inane combination indeed.

If the laptop's cheap maybe there is a way to just cut off the MX350 on the board so it doesn't use any power. The thermal headroom gained for the CPU/iGPU that way should be nice.
 

RetroZombie

Senior member
Nov 5, 2019
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With Lenovo Legion 5 the trend continues that the Intel version of the laptop gets stronger versions of Nvidia dGPUs and less options like for screen refresh rate than the AMD counterpart.

I wonder when Nvidia is going to step in to avoid its high end mobile dGPUs being associated with all the (both performance and battery life wise) worse laptop versions across the board.
This actually benefits amd, the cpu shines more instead of the competitor component.

And it's also easier for them to come up with some rdna/rdna2 part superior to the current RTX2060 maxq in the future.
Not sure if amd is doing this intentionally or oems is screwing up, what ever it is i think it will be good for them in the next laptops refresh.

And you are right not sure how is nvidia interests in all this, or are they the ones screwing amd and not the oems?
 

Topweasel

Diamond Member
Oct 19, 2000
5,339
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What makes you think it's "the best case scenario"? And how is an ASUS product something "AMD can come up"?

The published battery life numbers already show a huge gap between versions with Ryzen Mobile 4000 and those with Intel chips. We will see how CPU performance fares, but since those are thermally limited it will be hard to flip the situation there with such a huge gap in power usage.
A.) Can come up with is design wins. Laptops have a whole lot more vendor involvement then a Desktop. B.) To get something as effective as the G14, AMD had to work with Asus on developing the requirements AMD wanted to see when using these "special" chips. Gave Asus a half year exclusivity in using them. All while actually working tightly with Asus for the overall design of the G14. As far as power is concerned the 2080 for example is a chip where power budgets are developed around it. 2070 a little less so but is primarily just for less priced variations of lines that also support the 2080. In the end nothing AMD proves about power efficiency matters in this space and Nvidia can set parameters in their help integrating requiring Intel products with certain lines to promote top end performance. They don't have to worry about looking worse using Intel cpu's under the HK if they don't allow AMD in the playground. The HK CPU's and their high silicon limit means they can always have a laptop out there that shows that AMD isn't the gaming solution.

AMD can pound the sand on effciancy all they want, hell they can even go over the reason on why everything but the top top top laptops theirs might perform better. But the fight on Desktop Replacement gaming laptops is a losing fight and mostly a wash down to the mid sized gaming 15 inchers. Which is why the G14 is a big win, near thin and light, better than a lot of 15inch gaming laptops twice its weight and thickness. It's a good stand to take this gen while they mop the floor on true thin and lights and ultrabooks. Mean time AMD can use this time to prep their customers on using the 5k APU's in something beefier. If intel isn't on 7nm by then its not going to be something they can hide with bigger better cooling.
 

Topweasel

Diamond Member
Oct 19, 2000
5,339
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And you are right not sure how is nvidia interests in all this, or are they the ones screwing amd and not the oems?
It's a good question. What I heard one of the main reason why we aren't seeing anything better than the 2060 Max-Q is the top that Nvidia was offering to integrators using an AMD cpu. Don't know if that is true and it could be all on the OEM's. I know Gigabyte isn't because most of their stack are basic refreshes and no new chasis solutions. But the Asus one I think tells the story. They weren't against new chasis and they tend to have a million offers of a million configs. But AMD all at the bottom of the stack.
 
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uzzi38

Golden Member
Oct 16, 2019
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I had imagined the real cringe inducing info would find it's way on the forums since yesterday... I guess it falls on me to deliver the critical blow.

ASUSTeK COMPUTER INC. UX434IQ
  • AMD R7 4700U
  • 16GB LPDDR4x 4266MHz
  • GeForce MX350
Source
You think that's insane? Look at this Ice Lake device:


Intel Core i7-1065G7
8GB DDR4-2400 (4GB Onboard + 4GB SO-DIMM)
Nvidia GeForce MX110 2GB GDDR5

And this is the cooling setup:

1587279236882.png

So yeah, just remember, there's always one that's worse.
 

guachi

Senior member
Nov 16, 2010
761
415
136
Pre-ordered this laptop from Best Buy and it arrived on the 15th.

Having to link an account with MS to even get the thing to work was incredibly irritating.

The only other issue is that, in default mode, the fans are a bit loud. I don't think it's loud in an absolute sense but it's higher pitched than you'd get with larger fans so it's more noticeable.

And it doesn't have an SD card reader.

Overall I think it's a fantastic laptop for the money. It's not quite Ultrabook small but it's close enough.
 

uzzi38

Golden Member
Oct 16, 2019
1,362
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Pre-ordered this laptop from Best Buy and it arrived on the 15th.

Having to link an account with MS to even get the thing to work was incredibly irritating.

The only other issue is that, in default mode, the fans are a bit loud. I don't think it's loud in an absolute sense but it's higher pitched than you'd get with larger fans so it's more noticeable.

And it doesn't have an SD card reader.

Overall I think it's a fantastic laptop for the money. It's not quite Ultrabook small but it's close enough.
How's the display for you? I've heard mixed things, one guy I know said he saw ghosting, another said he didn't.

You see anything like that?
 

coercitiv

Diamond Member
Jan 24, 2014
4,157
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Having to link an account with MS to even get the thing to work was incredibly irritating.
You should still be able to do it without linking the account, either through less visible options or just by cutting internet access of the device. (I did a fresh Win 10 install on a laptop about 3 weeks ago)

Moreover, even after linking the account, one can still unlink in Settings / Accounts.
 

Abwx

Diamond Member
Apr 2, 2011
9,145
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Icelake is about ~10% faster than Zen2 (desktop version). It's not a massive advantage but it's not small either. The clear upper hand is AVX512 stuff but that is super niche and basically irrelevant for 99% of the market. Once Zen3 arrives AMD will again have IPC advantage (even Vs TGL), albeit a smaller one.

ST IPC advantage is useless if perf/watt is so bad that it end being at the same level as Picasso or SKL in this metric, and in MT it doesnt have better IPC at all while perf/watt is abyssimal, FTR a shrinked SKL would be more competitive if we except the GPU...

As it is AMD has more to fear from the current economic turmoil than from a CPU wich is a marketing gimmick more than anything else.
 

moinmoin

Platinum Member
Jun 1, 2017
2,286
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AMD can pound the sand on effciancy all they want
Is AMD doing that though? All I see is AMD letting the spec sheets talk, and those do talk loudly once one compares them.

The Lenovo Legion 5 I was talking about, and you responding to, was about 4600H/4800H (no S for special AMD involvement) against 10300H/10750H/10875H. Battery life according to the spec sheet: 12.5h with 60Wh/13.5h with 80Wh versus 6.8h with 60Wh/7.7h with 80Wh.
 
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guachi

Senior member
Nov 16, 2010
761
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How's the display for you? I've heard mixed things, one guy I know said he saw ghosting, another said he didn't.

You see anything like that?
My wife is primarily using it to play WoW with me and she's not said anything. The Asus replaced an HP Ultrabook and she said the Asus has a better screen.

For $1450 it's great and I suspect a version with the 4600 will be the best deal, like the 3600 is.
 

Topweasel

Diamond Member
Oct 19, 2000
5,339
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Is AMD doing that though? All I see is AMD letting the spec sheets talk, and those do talk loudly once one compares them.

The Lenovo Legion 5 I was talking about, and you responding to, was about 4600H/4800H (no S for special AMD involvement) against 10300H/10750H/10875H. Battery life according to the spec sheet: 12.5h with 60Wh/13.5h with 80Wh versus 6.8h with 60Wh/7.7h with 80Wh.
Well keep in mind how the discussion has bounced around. My original comment to you was in regards to your question about Nvidia stepping in because anything short of the HK cpu's would in theory be handicapped by using an Intel solution and therefore make their products look weaker then they are. So my point was that I don't think Nvidia cares and as long as 1 product shows their potential their interest would be in limiting AMD's avenues into mobile gaming even with just their CPU's.

As for OEM systems they don't have to pound the sand with us (though it might help if they did). If they can sell their efficiancy vs. perf to the OEM's, they can go to them and be like hey, you can use a thinner or lighter, or smaller battery, get better perf, and last longer. Companies willing to create a new laptop platform (specially someone like Lenevo who has to use a lot less dev partners compared to most laptop companies), can and will jump on it. I still think the pinnacle of what we are going to see gaming from AMD this gen will be closer to the G14.
 

Zepp

Member
May 18, 2019
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Pre-ordered this laptop from Best Buy and it arrived on the 15th.

Having to link an account with MS to even get the thing to work was incredibly irritating.
I installed win 10 fresh a few weeks ago on a new laptop. If you do not connect to your wireless during the setup, once it gets to the part to login with MS account, you can choose create new, but it will not have internet access so it will give the option to make a local account instead.
 
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Topweasel

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Oct 19, 2000
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I installed win 10 fresh a few weeks ago on a new laptop. If you do not connect to your wireless during the setup, once it gets to the part to login with MS account, you can choose create new, but it will not have internet access so it will give the option to make a local account instead.
Honestly, its my first step on a personal laptop or one for friends. Get it in, update to latest major release, do a wipe and reload.
 

Thunder 57

Golden Member
Aug 19, 2007
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I installed win 10 fresh a few weeks ago on a new laptop. If you do not connect to your wireless during the setup, once it gets to the part to login with MS account, you can choose create new, but it will not have internet access so it will give the option to make a local account instead.
I was just setting up a laptop this week for a family member and forgot about that nonsense. It got to the point where it wanted an MS account. I turned off the laptop and router, turned the laptop on and was able to make a local account. Turned the router back on and all was good. It even remembered the wireless network when it got to the desktop.
 

moinmoin

Platinum Member
Jun 1, 2017
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Look like Lenovo is starting to offer Renoir based laptops in IdeaPad 5 (15). There are mixed messages (it's not clear which configurations are single or dual channel, and all seem to be limited to 15W) but I think the configurability (all Renoir U models) as well as the fair prices between the choices are notable (like being able to save money by choosing Free DOS instead Windows). (via Computerbase)

UK: https://www.lenovo.com/gb/en/laptops/ideapad/s-series/IdeaPad-5-15ARE05/p/81YQCTO1WWENGB0/customize
Germany: https://www.lenovo.com/de/de/laptops/ideapad/s-series/IdeaPad-5-15ARE05/p/81YQCTO1WWDEDE0/customize

On the US store there's just one model without any configurability: https://www.lenovo.com/us/en/laptops/ideapad/ideapad-500-series/IdeaPad-5-15ARE05/p/88IPS501393

I'd expect it to come or be available in other regions as well.
 
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