ASUS G703GI Test Specs and Battery life Review

ASUS G703GI GTX 1080 Test and Battery life Review. The ASUS G703 gaming laptop is a thick and powerful machine featuring some serious specs making it a good desktop replacement. In this review I’ll cover pretty much everything, including overclocking, gaming performance, thermals and more to help you decide if it’s worth buying for the price.

ASUS G703GI Specs

Let’s start with the specs, for the CPU I’ve got the Intel i9-8950HK, GTX 1080 graphics, and 64GB of memory running in dual channel. There are three 512GB M.2 NVMe SSDs in a RAID 0 array, along with a 2TB SSHD. It’s also got a 17.3” 1080p 144Hz screen, and gigabit ethernet, WiFi version 5 and Bluetooth version 5.

The lid is has a brushed silver finish and appears to be plastic, with a bronze plastic finish on the back. The interior is a black rubberised material, and all edges were smooth with no sharp corners.

ASUS G703GI Dimensions
ASUS G703GI Dimensions

The dimensions of the laptop are 42.5cm in width, 31.9cm in depth, and about 5.1cm in height, so fairly large, not too surprising considering the specs, however this is larger than the more powerful 9900K laptop I recently covered. The weight of the laptop is listed at 4.7KG, which is about what I found mine to weigh.

My scales only go up to 5KG, so I’ve measured the two power bricks separately, and this adds another 1.4kG, so all up we’re dealing with over 6KG or 13 pounds. As mentioned the screen is 17.3 inches, although it’s only available with a 1080p resolution.

Given the powerful hardware inside it may have been better paired with a 1440p screen, but as a desktop replacement perhaps they’re assuming you’ll just be attaching a larger monitor anyway. The IPS-Level screen has a 144Hz refresh rate and a 3ms GTG response time along with Nvidia’s G-Sync.

I’ve measured the current colour gamut using the Spyder 5 Pro, and my results returned 97% of sRGB, 68% of NTSC and 74% of AdobeRGB, so decent results for a gaming laptop. At 100% brightness I measured the panel at 308 nits in the center, and with a 840:1 contrast ratio, so about average brightness for a gaming laptop.

the current colour gamut using the Spyder 5 Pro
the current colour gamut using the Spyder 5 Pro

I’ve taken a long exposure photo in a dark room as a worst case backlight bleed test and there was some minor bleed here, although I never actually noticed this during normal use, though this will vary between laptop and panel. There was minimal screen flex as it’s fairly thick along with fairly large hinges out towards the corners which also help with stability. As a result of the heavy weight there’s no problems at all opening it up with one finger.

Most of the weight is up towards the back due to the cooling, but it was stable using it on my lap, though not really ideal due to the weight. Above the display in the center is the camera. The 720p camera looks pretty bad, but the microphone sounds alright, although it does pick up its own fan noise even at idle. I found the chiclet keyboard good to type with, it’s got 2.3mm of key travel and I didn’t have any problems using it. It’s got per key RGB backlighting which can be controlled through the Aura Core software and there are a few built in effects.

Here’s how typing on the keyboard sounds to give you an idea of what to expect. Above the keyboard towards the left there are dedicated buttons for volume, microphone mute, Aura software for customizing lighting, buttons to open XSplit and the ROG gaming center software, which lets you monitor the system. There was almost no keyboard flex at all even while pushing down hard, it was extremely solid.

The touchpad was smooth to the touch and uses precision drivers. The touchpad itself doesn’t click down, but it’s got physically separate left and right click buttons, though I did have trouble using the left click sometimes, not sure if that was just my review unit, otherwise it worked well.

Fingerprints and dirt show up fairly easily on the interior, but as a smooth surface they’re easy to wipe off. On the left there’s an air exhaust vent, gigabit ethernet port, USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C port with Thunderbolt 3 support, a USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-A port and 3.5mm headphone and microphone jacks.

ASUS G703GI Ports
ASUS G703GI Ports

On the right there’s a full sized SD card slot, two more USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-A ports, air exhaust vent and Kensington lock right at the back. On the back there are two large air exhaust vents towards the corners, along with the two power inputs, mini DisplayPort 1.4 and HDMI 2.0 outputs.

The front is plastic with the speakers towards the front left and right corners. There’s also a couple more underneath the screen on the left and right sides.

Overall I thought they sounded very good for a laptop, clear at high volumes and they can get quite loud, there was some nice bass too. Speaking of sounds, by default it’s also got this sound that plays on boot like many other ASUS laptops.

Thankfully you can disable this either through the ROG gaming center or BIOS. On the back of the brushed silver lid there’s an ASUS logo towards the side with RGB lighting, I wasn’t able to customize it but it did change to match my keyboard effect. Underneath there’s not actually that many air vents.

The first panel can be removed by simply removing one screw with a Phillips head screwdriver, and this provides access to the three M.2 slots, the single 2.5 inch drive bay, and two of the four memory slots. By removing the rest of the panel we get access to the WiFi card and battery, the other two memory slots are on the other side of the motherboard.

ASUS G703GI Battery life

Powering the laptop is a 71 Watt hour battery, and with a full charge and just watching YouTube videos with the screen on half brightness, keyboard lighting off and background apps disabled, I was able to use it for 2 hours and 16 minutes.

Not great, but not unexpected considering the powerful hardware and the fact that it was using the GTX 1080 graphics the whole time, no Nvidia Optimus here, however the newer RTX model does have the option of swapping to Intel graphics to save power.

ASUS G703GI
ASUS G703GI

While playing the Witcher 3 with medium settings and Nvidia’s battery boost set to 30 FPS the battery lasted for 48 minutes, and the frame rate didn’t drop at any point. The two power bricks are meant to be 280 watts each, however one of mine was 260, but you only really need that much power if you’re gaming, you can get by just browsing the web with one.

Thermal testing was completed with an ambient room temperature of 25 degrees Celsius, so expect different temperatures in different environments. Also keep in mind there are heatpipes shared between processor and graphics, so a change in one component may affect the other. I’ve tested with both balanced and overboost modes.

Balanced mode is basically with stock settings, while Overboost mode would max out the fans and overclock the graphics by 100MHz on the core. It was also overclocked to 4.8GHz on all cores out of the box, up from the default 4.3GHz all core turbo speed of the i9-8950HK.

ASUS G703GI Temperatures

Starting at the bottom of the graph, at idle the temperatures were fairly warm, although the fan was almost silent. The gaming tests were done with Watch Dogs 2, as I find it to use a good combination of CPU and GPU. Going from balanced to overboost mode we can see a 6 degree improvement on both processor and graphics as this boosts the fan speed.

With the power limit of the CPU boosted from the stock 45 watts and undervolted by -0.1 volts we were seeing much hotter temperatures, mainly on the CPU, but we’ll see how performance improved in terms of clock speed in the next graph. The stress tests were done by running Aida64 and the Heaven benchmark at the same time in order to attempt to fully utilize both the processor and graphics.

ASUS G703GI Temperatures
ASUS G703GI Temperatures

The lowest most stress test result at stock was power limit throttling at the 45 watt TDP, but also had occasional thermal throttling at 94 degrees Celsius. Once overboost mode is enabled and we boost the power limits, the CPU was constantly thermal throttling at 98 degrees Celsius when under these high levels of load, even with the fans maxed out or -0.1v undervolt applied.

At the top of the graph I’ve added the Thermaltake Massive 20 cooling pad, which didn’t really help with temperatures. These are the average clock speeds for the same tests just shown. Up the top we can see that with the cooling pad in use we do get the best performance.

Although the CPU was still thermal throttling, it was throttling less due to the extra cooling, getting 200MHz higher CPU clock speeds on all 6 cores. This is actually quite impressive, yes it’s running hot, but this is also very nice performance for a laptop. The 8950HK has an all core turbo speed of 4.3GHz on all 6 cores, so to be able to go beyond this even under this worst case stress test is a decent result.

 

Otherwise in general we can see higher clock speeds with overboost mode enabled, as this increases the fan speed which addresses the thermal throttling that was taking place in most tests. These are the clock speeds I got while just running CPU only stress tests without any GPU load, and we’re seeing higher clockspeeds now as there’s less heat in the system without the graphics contributing.

With the undervolt applied it was possible to get 4GHz on all 6 cores under stress test, not bad considering your typical 8750H tops out at 3.9GHz. By boosting the power limit and undervolting together it was possible to reach 4.6GHz on all 6 cores, not bad at all.

Here are the temperatures for the same tests, and we can see that as soon as we boost the default 45 Watt TDP we’re running into thermal throttling at 98 degrees Celsius, even under a CPU only workload, but as we just saw we are getting some nice performance. To demonstrate how this translates into performance I’ve got some Cinebench CPU benchmarks here, with the i7-8750H down the bottom for comparison.

ASUS G703GI Cinebench CPU
ASUS G703GI Cinebench CPU

The single core result with the i9 doesn’t change as we only see throttling under multicore stress test – power limit throttling prior to boosting the power limit, followed by thermal throttling with the power limit increased. Here are the GPU only clock speeds while under a graphical only stress test, and with a 150MHz core overclock applied on average there was a 140MHz 2improvement under this workload.

With the overclock applied the temperature rose a couple of degrees, and I never saw any thermal throttling on the graphics, but we’ll see how this helped improve gaming performance a bit later. As for the external temperatures where you’ll actually be putting your hands, at idle it was in the low 30s.

While gaming and under stress test it got to the mid 40s in the center, honestly not too bad considering the temperatures inside, although we can see a fair bit of hot air coming out from the right directly onto your mouse hand if you’re right handed. As for the fan noise produced by the laptop I’ll let you have a listen to some of these tests. At idle it was fairly quiet but still audible.

While gaming and under stress test with balanced mode it was about the same as most other gaming laptops I’ve tested, and then with overboost mode enabled it was very loud.

ASUS G703GI benchmarks

Finally let’s take a look at some gaming benchmarks, I’ve tested these games with overboost mode enabled, so the fan was maxed out and the graphics had a slight overclock.

Additionally the CPU was also overclocked to 4.8GHz on all cores out of the box, however without manually boosting the power limit or applying undervolting, as we saw before this won’t actually help much.

Battlefield 5 was tested in campaign mode and not in multiplayer mode, as it’s easier to consistently reproduce the test run. Even with ultra settings I was able to average almost 100 FPS with above 60 for the 1% low, it was running perfectly fine.

ASUS G703GI Battlefield 5
ASUS G703GI Battlefield 5

Fortnite was tested with the replay feature, and even with epic settings I was able to average above 150 FPS and well over 100 FPS for the 1% low, so it was running very nicely with absolutely no issues at all, not surprising as it’s a well optimized game. It was a similar deal with Overwatch, which was tested playing in the practice range.

Low, medium and high settings were basically constantly hitting the frame cap of 300, and even maxed out at epic settings almost 200 FPS averages were possible.

ASUS G703GI Overwatch

Shadow of the Tomb Raider was tested with the built in benchmark, and this test was getting very high results for a laptop, around 150 FPS averages with lowest settings, and just under 90 even with highest settings.

PUBG was tested using the replay feature, and once again very nice frame rates, even for this somewhat suboptimally optimized game, with over 100 FPS possible in this test with ultra settings, and over 130 possible with medium settings or below.

CS:GO was tested using the Ulletical FPS benchmark, and with all settings maxed out the test was still getting almost 300 FPS, with just under 400 possible with all settings at minimum and a 1% low above 100 FPS, again very nice results for a laptop.

Rainbow Six Siege was tested with the built in benchmark, and given this runs well on lower end hardware it’s no surprise to see that even with ultra settings the 1% low is near the 144Hz refresh rate of the screen with over 200 FPS averages.

Far Cry 5 was also tested with the built in benchmark, and the results were very nice for this test, with over 100 FPS average possible at ultra settings, and up to 130 with low settings if for some reason that’s not enough for you.

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey was another that was tested with the built in benchmark, and I found it playable even with ultra settings as you don’t need a super high frame rate for this one, although higher was definitely possible with lower settings.

Watch Dogs 2 is a demanding game, but it doesn’t need a high frame rate to play. I can play it just fine with a solid 30 FPS, but even ultra settings were averaging over 70 FPS with 50 for the 1% low, so no problems at all here with max settings.

The Witcher 3 played very nicely even with ultra settings, despite the 50 FPS 1% low the 100 average still felt smooth enough, though of course better results are possible with lower settings.

As expected these crazy specs are giving us very nice results in games, really high frame rates at 1080p and from other tests I’ve done I’d expect the same from 1440p too. There is a newer version of the G703 with RTX 2080 graphics as well, check the card in the top right if you want to see how the laptop 2080 compares with the GTX 1080.

Now for the benchmarking tools, I’ve tested Heaven. As we saw earlier we’ve got the option of overclocking the graphics and CPU and boosting the power limit and undervolting the CPU to increase performance, so let’s see how this actually helps in gaming.

Far Cry 5 was retested using the built in benchmark at 1080p, with the manual overclocks shown by the purple bars. There was a fair improvement to the 1% low in all but ultra settings with the manual settings, up to 10% with low settings for instance, and then a 3.6% improvement to average FPS at ultra.

ASUS G703GI Far Cry 5 was retested
ASUS G703GI Far Cry 5 was retested

There’s not too much of a difference as we’re only running at 1080p, and the “stock” results already have some overclocks applied due to the nature of overboost mode, but we can get a small boost with the manual tweaks. I’ve used Crystal Disk Mark to test the storage.

The three M.2 NVMe drives in RAID 0 array are getting crazy high performance, I don’t think I’ve ever had results like this in a laptop before. The 2TB 5,400RPM SSHD is performing about as expected, while the SD slot is performing very well, almost able to max out my card.

ASUS G703GI price

For updated pricing check the links in the description, as prices will change over time. In the US it seems to go for around $2700 USD but with half the memory and less storage, while here in Australia it goes for around $5000 AUD, again for half the memory and less storage, so it’s definitely not cheap, not too surprising considering the specs for a desktop replacement machine.

So what do you guys think about the ASUS G703 gaming laptop? It’s definitely not for everyone, at this size and weight it’s more of a desktop replacement, especially considering the high end specs inside. As a result of all that power the battery life isn’t great as I expected, and two power bricks are needed further reducing portability.

It also gets fairly hot if we start boosting the CPU performance, however the performance we’re able to get is quite impressive. It should be capable of playing any current game with high settings at 1080p and 1440p no problem. Let me know what you guys thought about the ASUS G703 gaming laptop down in the comments, and leave a like to let me know if you found the review useful.

Jarrod Farncomb

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