I was skeptical about the ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition when I first got my test unit from AMD. While the frame rates delivered by the Radeon RX 6800M were respectable, it didn’t decisively outperform comparable systems with Intel and Nvidia components. I assumed this gaming laptop would be fairly middle of the road, without a lot of standout features to set it apart from the rest.
Then Asus gave me the prize.
Well, the price range. Asus says the Strix G15 Advantage Edition will cost $1,549.99 to $1,699.99. Considering that a regular Strix G15 with specs close to my test unit (an eight-core Ryzen 9 5900HX, 16GB of RAM and a 300Hz 1080p display, albeit with 1TB of storage) and an Nvidia RTX 3070 GPU is listed on $1,799.99I’m assuming my configuration will be close to the top of that range.
Either way, a Strix for $1,699.99 is a great value. This model delivers better performance and battery life than I would expect from all kinds of gaming laptops that cost hundreds of dollars more. Given the flashy and decidedly enthusiastic aesthetic of the Strix, I think it makes a little less sense as a value purchase than something like the Zephyrus G15. But if you’re looking for a bold and ostentatious gaming laptop that’s way above its price range, you’re probably in the target audience.
This Strix is one of the first laptops announced with AMD’s new RX 6000M series mobile GPUs, and the first I’ve had the pleasure of testing. Given the price of the RTX 3070 model, it’s clear that this is the card that Asus expects the 6800M to pack a punch with.
For some raw results, the Strix G15 hit an average of 252 fps CS:GO, running the benchmark full of dust storms and fire explosions with no hitches in sight. The system achieved an average of 87 fps Horizon Zero Dawn, and 77 fps on Reddead Redemption 2. It set up 69 fps Shadow of the Tomb Raider Rai with ray tracing on ultra and 94fps with ray tracing off. (All games were run at native resolution at the highest possible settings). Basically, you should be able to run pretty much any game you want at playable frame rates.
The results here show that the RX 6800M underperforms (but comparable to) a high-clocked RTX 3070, but outperforms expectations for a low-clocked RTX 3070 on most titles. It’s an upgrade over previous Nvidia chips. years and beats Asus’ 2020 ROG Strix Scar 15 with an RTX 2070 Super in every game. We haven’t been able to rate the 3080 model of the Scar yet, but the frame rates other reviews have reported are better than, but not worlds away from what I see here – and the scar is almost $1,000 more. It’s also not far from what we would expect from the Zephyrus G15 with a 100W RTX 3080 on some titles (and even better on some), so since Asus has listed the 3080 Zephyrus on $1,999 and the RTX 3070 model featured at: $1,849.99 (although both models have a QHD display rather than 300Hz 1080p storage and more) the Strix is a better deal, based on performance alone.
Games also looked great on the 300Hz FHD display. Asus says there will also be an option for a 165Hz QHD display; both have a response time of 3 ms. While I haven’t been able to test that model yet, in my configuration the panel is less color-accurate and fainter than the QHD display on the Zephyrus G15, peaking at 291 nits in my testing and 100 percent of the sRGB color gamut, 76 percent of the Adobe RGB gamut and 78 percent of the DCI-P3 gamut. So if you prefer popping colors or plan on playing outside, you’ll probably want the QHD display. My setup is better for people who want every last frame they can get – on a title like CS:GO, you will see more frames on the 300Hz screen than on the 165Hz screen.
Some of this performance can be attributed to Asus’ cooling, which has done a good job here. The Strix G15 features a vapor chamber cooling system with new 84-blade “Arc Flow” fans that should increase the airflow of previous Strix generations by 5 percent. The system works: it generally kept the CPU below 80 degrees Celsius with occasional spikes into the high 80s. The temperatures on the keyboard and palm rests also remained comfortable.
There are a few different cooling profiles and fans were quite audible on the Turbo profile during both gaming and productivity work. If you’re really adventurous, you can set a manual profile with all the power limits and maximum fan speeds, and you’ll hear fan noise like you’ve never heard before. (Admittedly, this didn’t do much to improve frame rates, but it was fun to try.) I never heard fans on the Silent profile, even when I put my ear to the deck. The underside of the chassis got a little warm on my lap on Silent, though it was bearable.
The G15’s speakers are also plenty loud enough that you shouldn’t have a problem hearing your game’s audio over the fans. Bass and percussion were quite audible, which I rarely hear about gaming laptop speakers. The Strix also comes preloaded with Dolby Access software, which lets you switch between profiles for games, movies, music, and speech. The music profile brings vocals to the fore, but I actually preferred the game and movie profiles for my Spotify repertoire because they made the bass stronger.
The speakers and microphone support two-way AI noise cancellation. You can toggle this feature on and off and play with its intensity in Asus’ Armory Crate software. The microphones, of course, had no trouble picking up my voice with and without the feature on. That said, the Strix G15 wouldn’t be a good choice if you’re going to be doing a lot of video calling, because – as is often the case with many ROG products these days – it doesn’t have a webcam.
But where the Strix G15 really benefits is the battery gaming experience. I only have an hour of gaming on a single charge, which is a pretty short lifespan. However, the Strix ran Red Dead Redemption 2 with playable speeds all the time, almost the hour between 30fps and 40fps, dropping to the high 20s around 12 percent, and staying there until it died. I would recommend this laptop to people who want to game on battery rather than others with more juice because of the large amount of actual playable time you get.
Battery life was very solid overall. I averaged about two and a half hours on last year’s Strix Scar 15, and while I expected this AMD machine to last longer, I was shocked at how much more juice it had. With the Strix G15 as my daily work driver on the Silent profile with a brightness of about 200 nits, I averaged nine hours and 16 minutes of continuous work and entertainment. That makes it one of the most durable gaming laptops I’ve ever tested. It beats what I averaged on the Zephyrus G15 with the same workload – and I’ve sung praise for that device all year round for its efficiency. It’s especially impressive because the Strix G15 powers a bunch of RGB LEDs (though it also has a lower-resolution display).
The 280W adapter also finishes the Strix G15 pretty quickly; the device reached 60 percent in 38 minutes in addition to light Chrome usage. The brick is quite hefty, but the Strix also supports 100W Type-C charging.
Elsewhere, the chassis has the bold and flashy look typical of the Strix line. An RGB light bar runs under the front of the deck and the keyboard has RGB lighting per key. My device came with a bright red plate to the left of the otherwise black hinge, which you can swap out for other colored front plates if red isn’t your speed. It won’t be the aesthetic for everyone, but it sure is a look.
RGB aside, the chassis feels well made and quite sturdy. The lid is aluminum and the palm rests have a smooth, comfortable texture with an unobtrusive pattern of the letters R, O and G.
Port selection is ok, but could be better. There is one USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port (not Thunderbolt, as this is an AMD machine), an HDMI port (2.0b, instead of 2.1), three USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, an RJ45 LAN port, and a 3.5mm combo audio jack. The right side is portless, but some ports are on the back (including the power connector).
ROG keyboards are some of my favorite to get, and this one is no exception — it’s comfortable with quite a bit of travel. There are handy dedicated keys for volume, microphone clipping, fan profile switching, and Armory Crate raise. The W, A, S and D keys are translucent white (unlike the rest of the caps, which are black), so you can see the switches underneath. I imagine this will be a controversial choice, although I personally like the look. The space bar on my device beeped very occasionally, but that’s my only complaint.
The glass touchpad is smooth and roomy — it’s 85 percent larger than previous Strix touchpads, according to Asus. I had no problems with palm rejection (which was a relief since my right palm often rested on the edge). It sometimes thought I was zooming when I wanted to scroll, but I take that over a jumpy cursor.
All in all, the Strix G15 Advantage Edition is an attractive package. There are nitpickers, sure. But in the price range Asus offers, it’s hard to see them as deal breakers.
The question is whether you are in the target demographic. For example, if you love the flashy lights of the Strix but want the absolute best performance you can get, you might be better off paying more for the Strix Scar 15. If you’re looking for an RGB look that’s more subtle and more sophisticated, with a more practical port selection, you may find Alienware’s M15 R4 more attractive. And if you want an excellent AMD system with an all-day battery, but don’t need that much power, you can get all sorts of options, like Lenovo’s Legion 5 or Asus’ Zephyrus G14, at lower prices.
But if you’re specifically looking for this kind of bold design, in a full AMD system, priced under $2000, and willing to give up a webcam and some modern ports, the Strix G15 Advantage Edition is probably the one. the best you can do. Go much cheaper and you’ll be entering a field where you’ll see significant compromises in performance. The Strix is more of a niche buy than the lighter and more subtle Zephyrus, but many good laptops are. If it’s your thing, go for it.
Photography by Monica Chin / The Verge