Stellar battery life
300Hz refresh rate
Great non-ray tracing performance
CPU runs hot
Disappointing ray tracing
These new mobile GPUs, which include the RX 6800M, RX 6700M, and RX 6600M, are built on the same RDNA2 architecture as AMD’s 6000-series desktop GPUs. That architecture allows those cards to generally output higher frame rates in non-ray traced games compared to Nvidia’s RTX 30-series GPUs. (Or equal to, but that does vary by game.) AMD’s previous generation of discrete laptop graphics cards were fine, but these newest ones inject some needed competition into the gaming laptop space.
Moreover, the RX 6800M in this ROG Strix G15 is paired with an AMD processor, and the two combined can take full advantage of AMD’s Smart Access Memory (SAM)—a special feature that when enabled increases framerates in certain games, sometimes by as much as 20 fps. But this Asus ROG Strix doesn’t just get it right with its hardware configuration; Its battery lasts for nearly nine hours on a single charge (a borderline impossible-to-find feature for any gaming laptop), it has ports for days, and the RGB lighting is actually not as garish-looking or obnoxious as some other gaming laptops.
About the Asus ROG Strix G15 AMD Advantage Edition
- Processor: AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX
- Memory: 16GB 3200Mhz (Up to 32GB 3200Mhz available)
- Storage: 512GB NVMe M.2 SSD (Dual M.2 SSD slots with up to 1TB in Raid 0 also available)
- Display: 15.6-inch IPS FHD 1080p 300Hz 100% sRGB with FreeSync Premium (a QHD 1440p 165Hz 100% PCI-P3 with FreeSync Premium is also available)
- Ports: 3x USB3.2 Gen1 Type-A; 1x USB3.2 Gen2 Type-C; 1x 3.5mm audio combo jack; Ethernet; 1x HDMI 2.0b
- Graphics: AMD Radeon RX 6800M
- Wireless: Wi-Fi 6
- Battery: 90Whr
- Weight: 6.61 pounds
- Dimensions: 10.22 x 13.94 x 1.07 inches
- Warranty: 12-month limited hardware warranty on parts and service
The ROG Strix G15 AMD Advantage Edition should start around $1,650 as configured here, per AMD’s recommendation. It has a bit more flair than other Strix models, mainly a red accent stripe along the back of the unit. If you want to knock some dollars off that price, the Strix has different configuration options for less powerful processors and graphics cards.
What We Like
An AMD CPU and GPU together is a chef’s kiss
AMD led the way with implementing SAM on its desktop processors and graphics cards, so it makes sense it would enable the feature on its laptop components too. The name itself (Smart Access Memory) is a very AMD-way of saying Resizable BAR, which is what the PCI-Express feature is actually called. Nvidia and Intel use the standard term, and both do the same thing.
When enabled, the feature allows the CPU and GPU to talk directly to one another, which saves on processing time since information doesn’t need to go through the RAM first. Games load faster, and output higher frame rates. Nvidia and Intel were the first to use the feature on gaming laptops, but AMD has the most robust implementation of it, with a wider range of compatible games than what Nvidia/Intel currently offer.
That said, you don’t need to turn on SAM to get outstanding performance from Asus’ ROG Strix G15 AMD Advantage Edition. The Ryzen 9 5900HX and Radeon RX 6800M take care of all the work. Graphically demanding games like Control and Metro Exodus output 96 fps and 76 fps, respectively, at 1080p on ultra graphics settings (or the high preset in Control’s case) with the laptop in Turbo mode. Shadow of the Tomb Raider cranked out 105 fps, Total War: Warhammer II 75 fps, and Far Cry 5 89 fps, all at the highest graphical settings at the same resolution. “Lighter” games like Overwatch can reach up to 159 fps, but if you want to take full advantage of this Strix’s 300Hz display, turn down the graphics settings.
Compared to a gaming laptop with a 10th-gen Intel Core i7 and an Nvidia RTX 3070, this Ryzen 9 5900HX and RX 6800M combo is admittedly in an interesting spot; Basically, a gaming desktop with an AMD/AMD combo wins, but an Nvidia/Intel combo wins in mobile. Shadow of the Tomb Raider is one of those games that performs the best in a desktop AMD/AMD combo, but in the laptop world likes an Nvidia/Intel combo better. However, there are some games, like Metro Exodus, which have equal performance with either configuration on both desktop and mobile, but that seems to be only the more graphically demanding games.
What’s more, since the RTX 3070 mobile version is the most direct competitor to the RX 6800M, there’s a chance the performance gap could widen between the two with new Intel 11th-gen gaming CPUs coming out soon for laptops.
Are you getting a bad deal with this laptop? Absolutely not. For the price tag and all the other features, the Asus ROG Strix G15 AMD Advantage Edition is still a great value. If you’re someone who shrugs your shoulders at a small difference in frame rates, the unexpected lower performance shouldn’t be a big deal. And we haven’t even talked about battery life yet...
Long battery life for a gaming laptop
If you’re fine with lugging a six-and-a-half pound laptop to the local coffee shop (and don’t mind the inevitable stares at your sports car-like gaming laptop), this ROG Strix G15 has enough battery life to last your entire workday: nine hours compared to something like the Razer Blade 15, which nets a little over seven. That’s nine hours of watching videos, emails, browsing the internet, and filling out spreadsheets. You can confidently leave the bulky, AC charging cable at home.
Don’t expect to game on battery power, though. With performance mode on, you’ll easily drain the battery of roughly 65-70% of life within 45 minutes. Laptop makers may not have perfected PC gaming on battery power, but this one carries enough of a charge to compete with the MSI Prestige 14 Evo, or any other non-gaming laptop that’s Intel Evo certified to have a battery life over 10 hours.
Of course this battery lasts a few hours shy of those laptops, but this Strix shouts loud and clear: gaming laptops with long battery lives can exist. You’ll need to set your screen brightness to 200 nits, turn on silent mode, and set the battery saver mode to kick in when there’s 10% juice left, but that goes for extending any battery charge. If this is your only laptop and you need to make it through a long flight or an entire day of college classes, it can manage.
Thermals are true to AMD’s claims
One of the big things AMD touted in its Computex keynote is how this system keeps its chassis temperature so cool. Without getting into the weeds about the thermal compound or new fan design, Asus’ ROG Strix G15 AMD Advantage Edition is supposed to have a maximum chassis temperature of 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit), which is cold for a gaming laptop.
Aside from the odd spot around the edges of the chassis that briefly rose up to 43 Celsius (109.4 Fahrenheit), the entire keyboard area never got warmer than 40.3 Celsius, even after hours of gaming. It felt a little warmer than the average body temperature, but not by much.
What We Don’t Like
But the CPU still runs hot
The internal thermals are a different story, however. While the CPU temperature averaged around 70 Celsius while gaming, the processor easily peaked at 95 Celsius, which is not great. That maximum temperature is within the thermal threshold AMD set for the Ryzen 9 5900HX, but anytime a hardware component runs that hot there’s a risk of damage.
It’s not damage you’ll see right away, but over a longer period of time that amount of heat could decrease performance and shorten the lifespan of the CPU.
Out of the box, the keyboard is a morphing kaleidoscope of colors. The low profile keys and clear WASD keys enhance the beauty of it, and with the outer RGB lighting strip synced with the keyboard, it feels like a Siren’s call across a dimly lit or dark room. But pressing down on those keys feels a little mushy for a high-end gaming laptop.
They snap back up quickly, and they’re super quiet, but pressing them down feels similar to the ROG Zephyrus G14—responsive enough, but more of a membrane feel than a mechanical feel, and not the best if you play competitive esports. If you’re not picky about keyboards, then this might not even be an issue to you, but for how striking and well-designed this laptop is, the keyboard feels like either an oversight or a cost-saving decision.
Ray tracing is still disappointing
If running against the eye-popping neon backdrop of Night City in Cyberpunk 2077 is your thing, this is not the laptop you’re looking for. While AMD’s desktop 6000-series GPUs don’t have the best performance when it comes to realistic lighting effects, especially compared to Nvidia’s GPUs, the RX 6800M is worse.
In this ROG Strix, the RX 6800M nets 40 fps in Control with ray tracing on high at 1080p and 56 fps in Metro Exodus, compared to 55 and 77 fps the desktop version can get in each of those games, respectively. In Cyberpunk 2077, the desktop GPU gets 29 fps while the mobile version gets 21. All mobile GPUs have compromised performance, so naturally we’re not at the point of desktop-class ray tracing yet.
AMD did announce it’s AI resolution upscaler would be available June 22 (FidelityFX Super Resolution). While it will boost frame rates with ray tracing either off or on, it’s not clear how well it will compete with Nvidia’s DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling) which does the same thing: upscale the graphics from a lower resolution to a higher one with AI, while sharpening the image at the same time so the graphics card can output a higher frame rate.
AMD says its tech will be, on average, twice as fast compared to native 4K gaming, but we’ll have to test that to find out.
Should You Buy It?
Yes, it’s one of the best gaming laptops money can buy right now
The Asus ROG Strix G15 AMD Advantage Edition is a wonderful gaming desktop replacement with incredible battery life if you need to work on the go. It’s lightweight enough and small enough that transporting it won’t be a big hassle, especially since you can leave the charging cord behind, but it has more than enough power under the chassis to handle any game you throw at it—as long as ray tracing isn’t enabled.
Many upcoming Nvidia/Intel combo competitors aren’t on shelves yet, but if you want a gaming laptop now with a higher resolution or better ray tracing capabilities, the Razer Blade 15 base model has the better RTX 3070 and a QHD display, albeit with a lower refresh rate of 165Hz. But that laptop starts at $2,199.99 which is obviously more expensive than the $1,650 ROG Strix G15 AMD Advantage Edition...not to mention this laptop also comes with a QHD option. MSI’s GS66 Stealth, with a 10th-gen Intel Core i9 and an RTX 2080 Super, is a better alternative in terms of price and performance even though you’d be getting last-gen parts.
But the appeal with an all-AMD system is the overall value. It’s a highly adaptable laptop with a fast screen for esports, nine hours of battery life if you need it for work tasks, and high-end components for playing the latest, graphically demanding games. Ray tracing and other cons aside, the Asus ROG Strix G15 AMD Advantage Edition is an amazing first showing from both AMD and Asus, and I expect this laptop will lead the push for AMD to nab a greater share of the gaming laptop market. As for consumers, this ROG Strix G15 deserves a thorough and honest consideration the next time you’re shopping for a gaming laptop. It’s that outstanding.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
Meet the tester
Senior Editor, Electronics@JLNwrites
Joanna specializes in anything and everything PC gaming, and loves nerding out over graphics cards, processors, and chip architecture. Formerly: Gizmodo, PC Gamer, Maximum PC.
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