ASUS Zephyrus S Thermal Testing
The ASUS Zephyrus S is a thin gaming laptopwith some nice specs, but how hot does it get and is there any throttling? In this videoI’ll perform some detailed thermal testing and find out how overclocking and undervoltingcan help improve performance and temperatures.
In my configuration here I’ve got the Inteli7-8750H CPU with Nvidia GTX 1060 graphics, so expect different results with the 1070Max-Q version.
Thermal testing was completed with an ambientroom temperature of 22 degrees Celsius, so expect warmer temperatures in a warmer environment.
Also keep in mind there are heatpipes shared between processor and graphics, so a changein one component may affect the other.
Like other ASUS laptops, this one also letsyou pick between silent, balanced, and turbo modes.
These are built in profiles that increaseperformance at the cost of boosting fan speed and CPU TDP, and I’ve done my testing withall three.
Starting at the bottom of the graph, at idlethe temperatures are fairly cool with silent mode, shown by the light blue bars.
The gamingtests were done with Watch Dogs 2, as I find that to use a good combination of CPU andGPU.
Continuing up in the green bar with balanced mode the temperatures are fine.
Once turbomode is enabled the CPU temperatures increase by 5 degrees Celsius as the power limit increaseallows it to perform better and run hotter as a result, shown by the yellow bar.
Oncethe CPU is undervolted by -0.
150v the temperatures drop back a little, both on the CPU and graphics,shown by the orange and red bars.
The stress tests were done by running Aida64and the Heaven benchmark at the same time in order to attempt to fully utilize boththe processor and graphics.
Moving up in the graph and continuing with the dark red barwith balanced mode we’re still getting around the same temperatures.
Again with turbo modeenabled the temperature on the CPU rises as it’s able to run at higher speeds, whichwe’ll see in the next graph, and then a pretty similar story with the -0.
150v CPUundervolt applied in purple and dark blue at the top.
These are the average clock speeds for thesame tests just shown.
Again starting down the bottom we can see that the CPU undervoltraises the average CPU clock speed by around 400MHz.
We also see an improvement to thegraphics clock speed every time turbo mode is used, as it applies a 100MHz overclock,but as we saw in the last graph this didn’t really affect GPU temperatures.
Even in balancedmode with the CPU undervolt, shown in orange, we can get better CPU performance comparedto using turbo mode, and then full performance with the turbo profile and undervolt combined,shown in red.
It was a similar story with the stress tests, although slightly more powerlimit throttling in this worst case scenario prevented us reaching the full 3.
9GHz allcore turbo speed of the i7-8750H.
These are the clock speeds I got while justrunning CPU only stress tests without any GPU load.
As mentioned, there are three builtin profiles on the laptop called silent, balanced, and turbo.
With the Aida64 stress test running,I was actually getting lower clock speeds with the undervolt applied with the silentprofile.
With the balanced profile there was still power limit throttling with this stresstest, but with the undervolt applied in red we were able to get full performance.
Evenwith the turbo profile we still weren’t quite able to get full CPU performance, shownin purple, until we apply the undervolt, shown at the top in dark blue.
To demonstrate how this translates into performanceI’ve got some Cinebench CPU benchmarks here, with the older 7th gen i7-7700HQ just downthe bottom for comparison.
The results are close to what we saw with the CPU only clockspeeds just shown, and interestingly in silent mode single core performance does appear tobe negatively affected.
Full performance in multicore seems possible with both turbo modeenabled with the CPU undervolted.
Here are the GPU only clock speeds while undera graphical only stress test, at stock with the balanced profile, and then with the 100MHzoverclock from the turbo profile in green, and then with a manual 200MHz overclock shownin red.
So how does this performance boost actuallytranslate into games? I’ve tested with the exact same Windows, Nvidia and game updatesinstalled, the only changes were the ones listed here.
Far Cry 5 was tested using the built in benchmark,the average frame rates at ultra settings were 3.
6% better compared to stock speeds,and a 3.
9% improvement to 1% low, so we are able to get a little performance boost fromthis, though results will of course vary between games.
As for the external temperatures where you’llactually be putting your hands, at idle it was in the low 30s.
With the stress testsrunning the keyboard area was alright, getting to the high 30s, and then into the 50s upthe back, and then similar results while gaming, which is perfectly fine as you won’t beputting your hands up the back anyway.
As for the fan noise produced by the laptop,I’ll let you have a listen to some of these tests.
At idle with the silent profile enabled thefan was quiet but still audible.
While gaming and under stress test it was about the same,and around the same volume as most other gaming laptops I’ve tested, and then fairly loudwith turbo mode enabled and the fans maxed out.
Overall the performance was pretty good foran 8th gen i7-8750H laptop, even in these worst case scenarios the temperatures didn’treally get that high, low 80s at the worst.
While under a combined CPU and GPU stresstest the CPU would not pass a 35 Watt TDP, but turbo mode would increase this to 45 Watts.
As this is the lower specced version of theZephyrus S the results shown here aren’t worst case, I’d expect the 1070 Max-Q topossibly be a little warmer, but from what we’ve seen here it does appear to have thermalheadroom available.
These differences in performance shown aren’thard and fast rules, there are different factors which will vary results, primarily the temperatureof the room you’re running in, application of thermal paste, and even the specific hardwarewhich comes down to the silicon lottery.
You may not be able to undervolt or overclockyour hardware the same as me, it depends on the chip and its specific power requirements,so don’t just blindly copy my settings and do some testing to find out where your stablepoint is for best results.
While you could improve the temperatures byswapping out the thermal paste, that’s not something I can test in a review unit.
IfI go ahead and remove the stock thermal paste and replace my own, I can't put the old pasteback, so the next reviewer would experience something different from what you'd actuallysee with the product and unknowingly report incorrect information due to what I’ve done.
Undervolting and raising the fan speed onthe other hand aren’t physically intrusive, and as we've seen it did improve temperaturesand gaming performance a little in this particular unit with no downside once you’ve got astable undervolt.
Let me know how much of a performance boostyou’ve found by undervolting your hardware and what you thought of the improvements here,and don’t forget to subscribe for the full review of the ASUS Zephyrus S gaming laptop,as well as future tech videos like this one.
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