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Based on benchmarks, ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 with AMD 8-core Ryzen 9 4900HS is a gamechanger

Move over Intel Core i9 as AMD's latest processor lands in a rather tiny 14-inch gaming laptop with RTX graphics. Here are our first results.

Asus Rog Zephyrus G14 Gaming
(Image: © Daniel Rubino/Windows Central)

ASUS has a new 14-inch gaming laptop coming out dubbed the ROG Zephyrus G14. It does quite a lot of firsts, including offering in some models an LED matrix panel. But the real story is this is one of the first gaming laptops that utilize AMD's latest Ryzen 4000 Mobile processors, specifically the R7-4800HS and the just-announced R9-4900HS.

I've been using the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 with that Ryzen R9 paired with an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q processor, a combination that could make it one of the best gaming laptops. While my full review of this laptop is coming in a few days, so far, I'm quite impressed with the performance and overall experience.

Here are some quick thoughts and early benchmarks to see how the Ryzen R9 compared to Intel's i9-9980HK found in the Dell XPS 15 (7590).

AMD ROG Zephyrus G14: Design and specifications

Asus Rog Zephyrus G14 Lid Side

Source: Daniel Rubino/Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino/Windows Central)

I think from the outside, the ROG Zephyrus G14 is incredible looking. It's clean, minimal, and that cover with 6,536 precise perforations looks excellent. Some models will have a somewhat gimmicky LED that lets you put messages on that cover. I also dig the little metal corner tag with the Republic of Gamers on it.

The laptop is quite thin and light at just 1.6 kg (3.52 lbs). I personally find 14-inch laptops the ideal size, and this one proves the point. This laptop is solid, with no flex and clean edges.

CategoryTKTK
OSWindows 10 Pro
Display14-inches
1080p at 60Hz or 120Hz
1440p at 60Hz
ProcessorAMD Ryzen 5 4600HS
AMD Ryzen 7 4800HS
AMD Ryzen 9 4900HS
SecurityFingerprint (single sign-on), power button
GraphicsNVIDIA GTX 1650
NVIDIA GTX 1650Ti
NVIDIA GTX 1660Ti Max-Q
NVIDIA RTX 2060 Max-Q
MemoryUp to 32GB DDR4 3200MHz
StorageUp to 1TB PCIe 3.0 SSD
SecurityBuilt in fingerprint scanner
WirelessWi-Fi 6
Ports1 x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 PD
1 x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2
2 x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1
1 x HDMI 2.0b
1 x 3.5mm headset jack
Audio2x 2.5W speakers with Smart AMP technology
Dolby Atmos
Weight1.6 kg (3.52 lbs)

Opening it up and things get a little esoteric. ASUS sees the target audience for this laptop as between ages 15 and 25 with a more "trendy and edgy" taste for aesthetics. It's not my style as it's all a bit like a fighter jet. That said, it all works and feels great. Once I started gaming, I wasn't bothered by the looks.

The keyboard is quite good too, and the trackpad is excellent.

This laptop is the first ROG edition to have ASUS's ErgoLift design. When you open the lid, it lifts the back of the computer off the table to let more air circulation in (and improve the audio). With the side effect of slightly-angled typing, I adore this feature.

AMD ROG Zephyrus G14 audio is…good?!

Asus Rog Zephyrus G14 Bottom

Source: Daniel Rubino/Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino/Windows Central)

Companies like Acer and ASUS usually come at the bottom of my lists of laptops with great audio. Color me surprised to see the ROG Zephyrus G14 with an admirable sound profile.

Sure, you get Dolby Atmos, which is excellent, but it's the two top-firing tweeters and two woofers (beneath) that drive the audio. It gets loud and has resonance (thanks to the ErgoLift).

AMD ROG Zephyrus G14 benchmarks: AMD Ryzen 4900HS crushes

Asus Rog Zephyrus G14 Hero

Source: Daniel Rubino/Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino/Windows Central)

I lampooned Microsoft's usage of the Ryzen 3000-series in the Surface Laptop 3 15-inch. It is merely an OK processor that is hugely overshadowed by Intel's 10th Gen series. That's why a lot is riding on AMD's Ryzen 4000 Mobile series.

I recently spent time with AMD learning about these new chips that make use of 7nm fin field-effect transistor (FinFET) fabrication technology. Performance, battery life, and all those cores could let AMD beat Intel this generation (and if not, certainly the next).

ProcessorCores/ThreadsBase/Boost (GHz)CacheGraphicsTDP
Ryzen 9 4900H8/163.3 (up to 4.4)12MBRadeon45W
Ryzen 9 4900HS8/163.0 (up to 4.3)12MBRadeon35W

The Ryzen 4900HS was only announced two weeks ago. It's AMD's answer to Intel's Core i9-9980HK, which has been ridiculed a bit in tech media. That Core i9 is quite fast, turbo-clocking up to 5.0 GHz, but sustained speeds and thermal constraints often make it only suitable for short bursts. Indeed, because of these limitations, it's rare to find the Core i9 in a proper gaming laptop instead of something like the XPS 15, which is more productivity-based.

The Ryzen 4900HS has some interesting properties. It's an eight-core (16 thread), 7nm monster, but it only uses 35 watts of power instead of the usual 45 watts found in Intel's line (and even AMD's other Ryzen 9 4900H).

ProcessorCores/ThreadsBase/Boost (GHz)CacheGraphicsTDP
Core i9-9980HK8/162.4 (up to 5.0)16MBIntel UHD45W
Ryzen 9 4900HS8/163.0 (up to 4.3)12MBRadeon35W

The Ryzen 4900HS bursts to 4.3GHz and has a 12MB cache. Compared to the new AMD Ryzen 7 4800H/HS series, it has a slightly faster CPU clock by 100Hz and a speedier GPU clock of 1,750 MHz (vs. 1,600 for the Ryzen 7) with an extra graphics core.

So, how does the Ryzen 9, when paired with an RTX 2060 (Max-Q), actually perform? I'm glad you asked.

CPU

Geekbench 5.0 Benchmarks (Higher is better)

DeviceCPUSingle coreMulti core
ASUS ROG ZEPHYRUS G14Ryzen 4900HS1,2217,982
Dell XPS 15 7590Core i9-9980HK1,1767,624
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme (Gen 2)i7-9850H1,1604,168
Dynabook Portégé X30-Fi7-8665U1,2363,473
Dynabook Tecra X50-Fi7-8665U1,2413,043
Dell Inspiron 13 7390 2-in-1i7-8565U1,1112,965
Lenovo ThinkPad P53Xeon E-2276M1,2376,152
Surface Laptop 3 13.5Core i5-1035G71,1774,413
Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 7390Core i7-1065G71,2093,571
Surface Laptop 3 15Ryzen 57692,720

PCMark

PCMark 10

DeviceScore
ASUS ROG ZEPHYRUS G145,707
Dell XPS 15 75905,521
HP ENVY 32 AIO5,292
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme (Gen 2)4,915
Dynabook Portégé X30-F3,881
Dynabook Tecra X50-F4,128
Dell Inspiron 13 7390 2-in-13,764
Lenovo ThinkPad P535,668
Surface Laptop 3 15 (AMD)4,006
Dell Precision 35413,906

3DMark

Time Spy

DeviceGPUScore
ASUS ROG ZEPHYRUS G14RTX 2060 Max-Q6,224
HP ENVY 32 AIORTX 2060 Max-Q5,664
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme (Gen 2)GTX 1650 Max-Q3,190
Lenovo ThinkPad P53Quadro RTX 50006,760
Lenovo Legion Y740 15RTX 2070 Max-Q6,406
Lenovo Legion Y740 17RTX 2080 Max-Q7,128

3DMark

Fire Strike

DeviceGPUScore
ASUS ROG ZEPHYRUS G14RTX 2060 Max-Q14,709
HP ENVY 32 AIORTX 2060 Max-Q13,163
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme (Gen 2)GTX 1650 Max-Q7,198
Dell XPS 15 (7590)GTX 1650 Max-Q7,763
Lenovo ThinkPad P53Quadro RTX 500016,367
Lenovo Legion Y740 15RTX 2070 Max-Q14,669
Lenovo Legion Y740 17RTX 2080 Max-Q16,303
Razer Blade 15GTX 107013,560

Cinebench

Cinebench (R20) (Higher is better)

DeviceCPURange
ASUS ROG ZEPHYRUS G14Ryzen 4900HS4,197 to 4,390
Dell XPS 15 (7590)Core i9-9980HK3,174 to 3,283
HP ENVY 32 AIOCore i7-97002,906 to 3,073
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme (Gen 2)Core i7-9850H1,730 to 2,495
Dynabook Portégé X30-FCore i7-8665U1,242 to 1,313
Lenovo ThinkPad P53Xeon E-2276M2,686 to 2,701
Surface Laptop 3 13.5Core i5-1035G41,584 to 1,606
Surface Laptop 3 15Core i7-1065G71,703 to 1,745

Running Cinebench four times in a row, the scores show the following ranges. Typically, the results drop on successive runs due to thermal constraints on the processor.

SSD

CrystalDiskMark (Higher is better)

DeviceReadWrite
ASUS ROG ZEPHYRUS G141,907 MB/s1,751 MB/s
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme (Gen 2)3,416 MB/s3,016 MB/s
Dynabook Portégé X30-F529 MB/s348 MB/s
Dynabook Tecra X50-F3,400 MB/s1,952 MB/s
Lenovo ThinkPad P533,567.23 MB/s2,813.25 MB/s
Lenovo ThinkPad P523,120 MB/s1,551.5 MB/s
Dell XPS 15 75903,000 MB/s2,796 MB/s
MSI PS63 Modern3,300 MB/s1,875 MB/s

.

The Ryzen 9 4900HS does fantastically well. On Cinebench (R20), the Ryzen 9 4900HS trounces everything in its path (4,390) making it easily one of the most powerful laptop processors around besting the Core i9-9880HK in the XPS 15 (3,283).

On Fire Strike when you combine the Ryzen 9 4900HS with the RTX 2060 Max-Q (14,709), you get a system that beats Lenovo's Legion Y740 15 with an RTX 2070 Max-Q (14,669). The ROG Zephyrus G14 (14,709) even easily beats the HP ENVY 32 all-in-one desktop PC with its 65-watt Core i7-9700 and RTX 2060 Max-Q GPU (13,163).

Source: Daniel Rubino/Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino/Windows Central)

Regarding system stability, the Ryzen 9 held up under load. On 3DMark's Time Spy Stress Test, the ROG Zephyrus G14 earned a passing grade, with 97.7 percent.

Turning to more real-world tests, I played Destiny 2 on a mix of high and highest for full HD graphics. The 120Hz display and CPU/GPU combo were able to average around 75 frames-per-second. Of course, the more significant limiter here is the RTX 2060 Max Q GPU rather than the CPU per se.

Finally, for fans and cooling, there's not a lot to say. ASUS gives beneficial profiles, including silent, performance, and turbo, that balance the system's power with fan noise. Silent is reasonably quiet and ideal for when using the ROG Zephyrus G14 as an average laptop for work or web (the fans still whir a bit, but it's okay). Performance pushes higher towards gaming, and turbo anything goes, including wildly loud fans (all the performance tests here were done under turbo).

And yeah, on the turbo, don't expect to use the ROG Zephyrus G14 in your lap. The bottom of the PC hit a scorching 123 degrees Fahrenheit (51 degrees Celsius). The good news is I was impressed with how quickly it could cool down. Once CPU demand paused, those fans rapidly dissipated heat within 5 to 10 seconds. That means you can stop and exit a game, and by the time you close the lid, the ROG Zephyrus G14 is cool enough for your bad (and those fans cut off too).

AMD ROG Zephyrus G14 more to come

Asus Rog Zephyrus G14 Ryzen

Source: Daniel Rubino/Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino/Windows Central)

The ROG Zephyrus G14 starts at around $1,750, and it should be hitting various markets in the coming weeks. Pre-orders briefly went live last week in Europe.

I've been quite surprised by this laptop even if it has no webcam (yeah, that's right). I really like the size and feel of it. Though the keyboard deck is a little corny, I also recognize I'm far from the target demographic, so that's fine.

My first impression of that AMD Ryzen 9 4900HS though, is exceptionally favorable. It's clear AMD has done a lot in the mobile space for 2020. How battery life holds up on the gaming laptop in the coming days will be very interesting (resume speeds are excellent).

For those more curious about ultra-thin laptops, I'll be getting my hands on some of those new Ryzen 4000 U-Series in the coming weeks. Seeing how they compare to Intel's 10th Gen Comet Lake and Ice Lake will be fascinating.

Daniel Rubino
Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

9 Comments
  • Hot damn that's one hell of a laptop! way to go AMD!
  • Linus Tech Tips said they got 10-hour battery life on this. If so, and given all the power that this has, holy smokes, this is a serious winner for AMD! Looking forward to reading the official WC review to see how much battery life you guys got out of it.
  • "Linus Tech Tips said they got 10-hour battery life on this. "
    I'm very skeptical of that and don't believe that is true at all. Maybe half that. Idle power consumption seems to be still high with AMD.
  • That's why I am waiting on your review. They said they got it at 50% brightness and just doing light office work. Other sites have mentioned more or less similar results, but WC is one of the few that I find authoritative.
  • Where is windows central review video of this laptop?
  • Now this is competition! I hope that Surface Book, Laptop and Studio will have AMD chips with their next release. Surface Studio despite of its price, the performance is okay but not impressive for workstation. This AMD CPUs will give boosts where they can be really used for heavier workloads like video editing and 3D graphics. I wonder how this will fit for Surface Book though, maybe a slight underclock to keep the cooling. Or they release a Laptop Pro meant for mobile workstation.
  • Hell no, no more expensive 😣 gaming laptop, stadia and other cloud gaming works smoothly, the future of gaming is bright
  • Having a laptop like this that is light, portable and a gaming powerhouse is a MILLION times better than relying on some shoddy game streaming service. I just see greater value in buying and owning your own games than having them tied to some proprietary cloud service.
  • Having a laptop like this that is light, portable and a gaming powerhouse is a MILLION times better than relying on some shoddy game streaming service. I just see greater value in buying and owning your own games than having them tied to some proprietary cloud service.