Asus - Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX532GW


Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX532GW: a high-end laptop for gamers with GeForce RTX 2070

Aprox. 2349€

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While it was already available in black and red, the ROG Zephyrus S GX532 returns in a more consensual dress. The opportunity for us to take stock of a laptop for players that brings together the best of Asus' know-how.

Our review


Let's start by recalling that the Zephyrus range was born at the same time as the Nvidia Max-Q GPUs. It is distinguished by a unique chassis which opens from the rear when the screen is deployed, to ensure better circulation of air flows.

This GX532 GW model is characterized by a very high-end configuration: Core i7 H series, GeForce RTX 2070 non Max-Q, 16 GB of RAM memory, and a G-Sync compatible IPS screen and capable of going up to a refresh rate 240 Hz. Enough to satisfy the most demanding players, if the graphics performance follows, of course.


Whether black or gray, it is clear that the Zephyrus remains a magnificent model. The back of the magnesium alloy screen has a beautiful brushed finish, slightly enhanced by a backlit ROG logo. The part of the chassis that supports the keyboard is made of the same material, but benefits from an anodized treatment. And in addition to being beautiful, this Zephyrus S GX532 exudes robustness: the screen does not deform under handling, while the part that brings together all of the electronics retains good rigidity, despite the presence of a mobile base.

All this gives a coherent and elegant whole, which also has the good taste of not retaining fingerprints.

Armed with this new design, the Zephyrus S GX532 undoubtedly aspired to attract a wider clientele, perhaps more professional. However, it does not have a Windows Hello compatible recognition system, nor does it have a webcam. You also have to settle for a Wi-Fi 802.11ac and Bluetooth 5.0 chip. Finally, Asus ignores the SD card reader and the Thunderbolt 3. Some will find that these are details, but on such an expensive machine, the details are precisely very important.

The input elements have been treated, whether in terms of comfort or functionality. The backlit N-key rollover keyboard has good typing quality, with fairly clear feedback and a good compromise on the pressure to be exerted until activation. The touchpad is positioned to never annoy typing. The recognition of movements is precise. Asus has also integrated many shortcuts on its keyboard that prove very useful in everyday life: access to the Armory Crate management software, the possibility of switching the operation of the laptop to one of the 4 available profiles, or changing the lighting keyboard (variation of RGB effects and intensity, until extinction if necessary).

So far everything seems to indicate that we are facing a quality product, but our first requests unfortunately show some imperfections. In its default operating mode (Balanced mode), the Zephyrus S GX532 is very noisy, in CPU load, but especially in game. On Assassin's Creed Odyssey, the ventilation generates a noise nuisance of 52 dB. This nuisance can go up to 55 dB if we switch to Turbo mode (OC of the CPU and GPU). This is a lot and, for the example, it is enough to partially cover the sound environment of a game that would go through the speakers. Of course, the GX532 has an operating profile dedicated to sensitive ears. Unfortunately, the latter is faulty, victim in our opinion of an abnormal regulation of the GPU temperature: each time the latter reaches the 80 ° C threshold, the system slashes the CPU and GPU frequencies while waiting for the temperature to drop to 67 -68 ° C. We believe that this is a targeted bug and not a general failure of the cooling system. Indeed, the Armory Crate software allowed us to recreate a mode which could be akin to a Silent mode, and which is perfectly effective: we then descended to much more moderate noise pollution (41 dB), for a loss of 10-20% performance compared to Balanced mode.

Another thing suggests to us that the cooling system is generally efficient: the temperature of the components and the chassis. If we put aside the problems of the Silent mode, the whole is perfectly mastered: the CPU in charge finds a point of stabilization around 94 ° C, while the GPU works around 83 ° C. This heat is then evacuated by the 4 vents arranged around the chassis (2 at the rear, 1 on each edge), so that it remains below 51 ° C (above the keyboard). This may seem like a lot, but it is standard for a gaming machine, with two notable elements to the credit of Asus: on the one hand, our repository is rather based on i7-9750H / RTX 2060 couples, while our GX532 ships an RTX 2070. On the other hand, thanks to its open chassis, the temperature at the base of the device is very low, around 33 ° C. A fairly rare phenomenon.

Finally, a word on the accessibility of the components. Removing the base from the chassis requires a little more patience and skill than usual, after which, little surprise, in addition to the two M.2 connectors reserved for storage, there is only one So-DIMM slot, empty. Extremely rare on a gaming machine, part of the RAM is soldered, and a location is left free to allow a possible hardware update. A point which, as you will see, will cost Zephyrus dearly in the next two chapters of this test which will deal with CPU and GPU performance.


The i7-9750H processor (6 cores / 12 threads) associated with 16 GB of RAM memory in single channel mode can operate according to three profiles: the Balanced mode, the default one, varies the processor frequency between 3275 and 4000 MHz, depending on the number of hearts requested. Silent mode, when operating properly, has a narrower operating range, between 2,600 and 3,200 MHz. Finally, the Turbo mode lets go of the horses and oscillates the CPU between 3,500 and 4,000 MHz.

If we compare these figures to those of competing machines, the Zephyrus S GX 532 should be placed at the top of the basket. But it is not. With a performance index of 90, it rather joins the back of the pack, all because of a limited memory bandwidth. In practice, the user will probably not see the difference: the PC remains responsive to all daily tasks. But we would say that the solution proposed by Asus is a bit wobbly. The prospect of evolution (the transition to 32 GB of RAM) will not be of interest before long, while the solution of 16 GB on two channels (8 GB soldered + 8 GB on bar) would have offered better performance.


Operating profiles also influence the speed of the GPU. By default, the latter finds a stabilization interval around 1,550 MHz. If you go down on a silent mode, the frequency loses on average 300 MHz (except the bug mentioned above). If on the contrary, we go up to Turbo mode, these are 50 MHz which are added to the counter. These are fairly standard values which should once again allow our GX 532 to rise to the firmament of our database. Except that no… Squeezed by a limited memory bandwidth, performance does not take off and our RTX 2070 obtains an index of 115 points, a value that we generally obtain with the RTX 2060.

And another argument will strengthen our disappointment: the management of G-Sync. Indeed, this Nvidia technology is not compatible with another technology specific to laptops: Optimus. Usually, manufacturers choose one or the other, depending on their customers, but Asus wanted to keep both. Going through the Armory Crate software, and with a restart, you can therefore activate Optimus or G-Sync. Unfortunately, in Optimus mode, in-game performance drops dramatically (-25% on average; index 93). Note that we looked for an explanation for this phenomenon, without success. We are still awaiting a response from Asus technical teams on the issue.

Let's do the math: we have a GPU that is not operating at what it should be. G-Sync technology whose integration is problematic. It starts to do a lot for a machine of this caliber. Admittedly, the performance rating reaches 4 stars, which is very correct in absolute terms. But a laptop with RTX 2070 should have received 5 stars without any difficulty.

Mobility / Autonomy

Considering the concerns encountered on the G-Sync / Optimus switchover, we measured the autonomy of the GX532 in these two configurations. In G-Sync, the device only lasted 2 hours, while it lasted 6 hours 06 minutes in Optimus mode.

All these malfunctions therefore require somewhat painful compromises, especially since the design of the machine, thin and light (19 mm for 2 kg), allows easy transport in any backpack. Note that, gaming machine requires, the 230 W charger still weighs its weight (almost 600 g).


With a Pantone calibrated IPS panel, G-Sync compatible and capable of displaying a Full HD image at a refresh rate of 240 Hz, we did not think we had anything to complain about in this paragraph, apart from excellent figures. Once again, we were wrong. Yes, the calibration is impeccable (Delta E average: 1.3) and G-Sync compatibility is an undeniable asset in play.

However, the maximum contrast and brightness values (1016: 1 and 228 cd / m² respectively) are rather in the lower range of our database. And clearly, we would have preferred that Asus opted for a higher general image quality, rather than betting on a refresh rate which will only be very partially exploited, in the logic of the performance problems we encountered.


It will not be the audio part that will end on a positive note. Regarding the headphone jack, we simply did not succeed in obtaining usable measurements. An observation that a simple helmet experience on the head allows to refine: the output delivers a very strong power, but without any control behind. There is distortion at high volume (> 75%), and audio artifacts regularly spoil the experience at the launch of a track or on a fast forward.

As for the speakers, without the treatments applicable by the Sonic Studio software, their rendering is aggressive and very tight around the midrange and high midrange, which clearly does not serve the generous power they can deploy. A quick tour of the management software helps to balance all of this, but not without some side effects. In particular, the low frequencies gain in presence and volume rendering, but the improvements generate in the process a general imprecision and a kind of vibratory effect, which the particular design of the chassis must undoubtedly amplify, because of its mobile elements and its opening on the back. Overall, and like the arguments previously developed, all of this can be improved.


Here we are bored to rate this Zephyrus S GX532 laptop. On paper, he could easily have joined the elite in our ranking. But now, Asus has accumulated questionable technical choices and a haphazard implementation. And on a tariff placement also raised, it is quite unforgivable. Between software management problems (failing G-Sync / Optimus and faulty Silent mode), the limitations of the memory system, the underused RTX 2070, the absence of Wi-Fi 6, and the refresh rate of 240 Hz which seems to be there only to enhance the data sheet, difficult to advise you this PC as is. Note however that we remain in contact with Asus with regard to the various software concerns mentioned, and if these should be resolved quickly, we will undoubtedly have to revise our judgment upwards.