The AMD Hits Keep Coming! ASUS TUF A15 Gaming Laptop Review

by birtanpublished on November 26, 2020

so the last AMD notebook that I remember checking out was the asus rog g14 it was a spectacular machine that had excellent performance because it was one of the first laptops to hit the market with an eight-course 16 third processor from AMD the Rison 9 cpu it had a really unique design excellent battery life the performance really did put some of the intel notebooks to shame and the price was also a steal considering what you were getting it honestly was an awesome laptop by the way if you're interested in my full review you can check it out right over here now what I have in front

Of me is the Asus tough 815 it's a slightly more affordable option than the G 14 but what's really interesting is the specs between the two are pretty similar but this laptop does cut corners and build quality i/o and a few other things on paper when you compare this to the G 14 really the only difference is a CPU and GPU well sorta so you're getting an 8 core 16 thread Rison 7 4800 H that has a higher TDP than the horizon 940 900 HS on the G 14 also the base and boost frequencies are lower on the rise in seven CPU the GPU on the top notebook is in RTX 2016 on

Max Q versus max Q variant on the G 14 the rest the specs are basically the same however the price difference is pretty significant this top laptop is 250 dollars cheaper than the G 14 which is actually a lot the starting price of this laptop is $700 and for that you get a risin 5 CPU a gigabytes of RAM and a gtx 1650 you can configure it up to the specs that I have on my sample right over here but watch out for a few SKUs that asus is offering some of them have a smaller battery along with a dedicated two and a half inch hard drive bay so with that out of the way let's get into

The physical aspects of this laptop then get into performance compared to the G 14 and find out if it's worth getting over some of the other options that are currently in the market starting with exterior impressions and I'm just going to say that I'm in love with this sleek sandstone matte grey finish asus is calling it fortress grey it's an Lumina lid with plastic bits on the inside so it doesn't feel as premium as a g14 but it is a day and night difference compared to the GFI what did to you that I checked out last year from

Asus which was also an AMD based notebook they're also offering a bonfire black design which also looks cool but I personally like the gray you just get this utilitarian vibe but when you look at this thing especially with that tough logo engraved on the center along with some other design cues that just complete that stealth look I really like it the webcam is located at the top with a small bump on the lid the nice thing about this is that allows you to easily open the laptop with just one hand nice touch racers the hinge unfortunately wobbles a lot so

Definitely watch out for that when you have this on your lap typing up something it does get quite distracting I was also surprised by the fact that this hardly showed any fingerprints so that's definitely a bonus there is a bit of flex on the lid particularly in the center and I expected that because this ain't a unibody design that would cost you more money things do take an interesting turn around when you open that lid because this interior space just does not reflect the low profile look from the outside it just screams gamer II and I'm not a fan of it

I think Asus was trying too hard to compensate for the plastic materials being used here by going with a brushed texture I actually prefer these sandstone finish on the rog gfld you in fact the interior looks way better on that versus the stuff laptop you're getting a full-size keyboard with our G fonts on the key caps the arrow keys are miniscule compared to the rest so it might be a problem for people with larger hands the keys themselves feel good they do have a bit of travel distance but feel a bit mushy I'm not

Sure if it's due to the plastic body but it's certainly not as good as a g14 the Oise keys are translucent which is kind of unique because you can see the switches underneath but it just kills the consistency I assume gamers appreciate this set Federation RGB lighting has made its way into the keyboard the elimination with the Oise keys do look a bit weird especially when compared to the rest of the keyboard it's bright enough to get you through those night gaming sessions honestly I just wished if they were all the same but let me know in the comments down

Below do you guys prefer having a separated wast key layout versus the other way around I'm curious to know the trackpad is surprisingly really good for the price point it is a smooth plastic finish which really helps navigating through Windows easily it's actually better than the arrow series on gigabyte laptops which was surprising to me it's not a glass surface like what you'll find on more expensive premium notebooks out there but it gets a job done it also has support for Windows precision drivers which is nice and something that this notebook reminded me

Of is just how amazing dedicated primary left and right buttons where we're slow he's trying to see integrated ones but this has dedicated buttons and they're awesome I mean just take a listen for yourself I can just do this all day I would totally do this all day if that was my job I would do it though that would be pretty boring but I would still do it so this is the webcam test on the top 15 the video quality is obviously not the greatest but the microphone sounds pretty good you will notice a lot of compression with my voice but it does a pretty good job isolating the

Background noise so that's nice the speakers are bottom facing but Asus pulled a really smart move by adding cutouts on the side resulting in twice the sound output compared to previous generations and I've got to say these sound pretty amazing the bass is deep because the sound bounces back to the chassis especially when you have it laid out flat on a desk the highs are nice and detailed but they do tend to become harsh sometimes but for casual or general listening purposes this thing will exceed your

Expectations it's actually better than my played 15 port selection is decent but there are a few questionable choices most of them are on the left-hand side starting with power in LAN port HDMI 2.0 to USB 3.0 chin one type a ports a type c 3.2 gen 2 that also supports DisplayPort 1.4 with g-sync and an audio jack switching over to the right you get a single USB 2 port that's right I don't know why I'm not sure if it's even legal to ship notebooks in 2020 with a USB 2 port also keep in mind that those two type-a ports on the left-hand side are five gigabits per second versus

Tingler's per second which is the updated spec I mean I guess this is an area where Asus had to cut corners so it is what it is we ought to display it's a 15.6 inch IPS level with 144 Hertz that also supports adaptive sync unfortunately it isn't the most color accurate screen because it only covers 64% srgb 48 percent Adobe RGB and 47 percent DCI p3 so if you're a content creator or a photographer you should probably stay away from this notebook the viewing angles are nice and there is good contrast I didn't experience any back beat on my sample

And the screen only gets his brightest 300 nits so other visibility will be a bit challenging but with that being said the gaming experience on the top a 15 was absolutely amazing and that's thanks to the 144 Hertz refresh rate if you're a hardcore gamer you wouldn't necessarily prioritize color accuracy what really matters is that you get a smooth stutter free experience and this thing delivers upgrading is super easy on this laptop all you have to do to get inside is use a Phillips head screwdriver to undo the custom pop open screws and bam you've got easy access to

Two RAM slots supported maximum capacity is 32 gigabytes the nvme SSD is right over here and there is an additional m2 slot for expansion which is very thoughtful of Asus to include the SSD that comes with this notebook is not the fastest that I've seen but interestingly enough it edges of the G 14 perhaps the most exciting feature of this tough notebook is the battery life because it just blew all of our minds away it is absolutely insane Mike dmitri and myself we were just in awe looking at the numbers because it just it's magical you see a Souza's crammed a 90 watt hour

Battery inside this thing and as we all know the power efficiency that comes with AMD Zenta architecture is an engineering marvel so on our light load test this laptop last should be longest among our other gaming laptops including the G 14 I mean more than 10 hours of light use is ultra low category which is just nuts switching over to our heavy load test running real bench on a loop this just surpassed our expectations finally let's get into the meat and potatoes of this video performance and I think you're in here for surprise now just like every of the notebook we did

Test the top a 15 with its built-in performance enabled and as we ran our synthetic tests to set a baseline we noticed that the risin 740 800 H was noticeably faster than the risin nine 4900 HS on the g 14 it was pretty clear on a multi-core test like Cinebench r15 and r20 it also goes to show how far behind intel is even with their eight cores sixteen thread offerings meanwhile single core saw both AMD based systems tied and as usual this is an area where Intel takes the edge but before again to real-world tests I do wanna explain

Something really quickly like we saw in our temperature and frequencies over time along with Cinebench results the a 15s thicker body basically allowed us to cram in a really really good cooling solution that means the risin 740 800 H is able to consistently hit higher frequencies in multi-core loads than the 4900 HS in these efforts g 14 basically that should mean it'll gain a performance advantage by sacrificing weight and size versus g 14 in most cases but not every time now in order to see how this noble behaves when it comes to clock speeds let's look at Maya

Render using every core at 100% over the course of 10 minutes as you can see temperatures climb up to around 88 degrees Celsius before falling off a cliff and stabilizing over 70 degrees why is this happening well you can see some hints as we add clock speeds to this so basically it looks like this 4,800 H boosts high for the first two minutes and 30 seconds of the test at 3.6 gigahertz but then aim these algorithms step things down to 3.1 gigahertz that's still a really respectable clock speed but it didn't change no matter how much cooling we

Throw at it this is probably because it reached a power threshold moving on to gaming and here's where things get really interesting since do maternal puts in multi-core but not full core load on the CPU the power limit gets avoided so temperatures are able to remain pretty high this is also because the GPU is working at full load so every internal components get impacted unlike the Maya test this situation means a gradual decrease in clock speeds rather than them falling off a cliff for this game it translates to about three point three

Five gigahertz has a constant after 10 minutes or so which is pretty respectable as for GPU temperatures well they were really kept below invidious throttling thresholds throughout the test this also goes to show how good Asus is cooling assembly is and moving on to the actual clock speeds those leveled out at about fifteen fifty megahertz which is actually well above invidious stated boost clock of twelve hundred megahertz for this graphics card what that means is that there's thermal Headroom that's being taken advantage of allowing the RT X 2060 to hit higher

Than these spec frequencies so let's jump into the real-world tests and yeah man this rise in seven CPU just loves to flex its muscles it's honestly not funny at this point Zen's capabilities with its increased IPC and blistering fast multi-core performance ace this blender test in record time the same story goes with DaVinci Resolve the higher TDP on this price and seven CPU does allow to maintain higher clock speeds for longer which results in faster exports versus DG 14 I also want to mention that this is a very GPU focused render so the r-tx 2060 is at a disadvantage versus the

R-tx 20 70s and the 20 80s the Intel machines we have come with it's also why the a 15s non max-q version takes the edge in the AMD vs. AMD comparison switching over to premiere with the new update leveraging Nvidia and AMD GPUs export times have become faster so now the AMD systems are really competitive but Intel takes the edge here and the reason for that is pretty interesting even though the new premier update leverages GPU horsepower it doesn't use both the discrete in video card and Indies integrated graphics alongside one another meanwhile

On the Intel system it still uses Quick Sync and the discrete card to boost performance even further if you use handbrake for transcoding this Rison CPU is fast will certainly faster than Intel by a longshot and wrapping things up with our compression test using WinRAR it lines up with our expectations basically the CPU is super impressive guys and it can keep up with anything and everything you throw at it whether if it's compiling code rendering you name it gaming also favored be tough No when compared to the g14 as you can see with Tomb Raider Far Cry 5 Rainbow six

Siege and overwatch be sustained high clock speeds on the CPU along with the non max-q r-tx 2060 pushed out frame rates that were much higher than the g 14 at 1080p set to the high settings but let's also not forget the g 14 is significantly smaller than a tough notebook and is thinner too so the frame rates that it yields are also respectable it'll be certainly interesting to see where things fall if or when amy notebooks are even paired with higher end GPUs but for now they deliver an awesome combination of 1080p performance with really good pricing now

Moving on a bit I decided to also test the performance with Asus turbo mode enabled and the increase was very minimal over the standard performance mode versus the epic amount of noise it produced honestly I just stick to the standard mode and not even venture into turbo because it just sounds like a jet fan surface temps are okay under heavy gaming sessions the only area you need to watch out for is the top right hand side because it does become a hot spot and that might be an issue if you're gaming for longer sessions with an external mouse so I think it's time to

Conclude my thoughts on the tough a-15 gaming laptop and guys I've got to give it to Asus for delivering a really fast machine for $1200 the performance is absolutely amazing it just puts some of the most expensive offerings from Intel to shame when it comes to CPU intensive workloads that rise in seven CPU it's a loss to flex man is fast it's that's the only thing I can say it actually is faster than the Rison 940 900 HS on the G 14 but that's also because Asus was able to cram in a really good cooling solution and also you are of course sacrificing on the weight and size

Compared to that laptop now when it comes to gaming it's certainly not the fastest machine out there especially when it compared to notebooks with higher-end GPUs that RT X 2016 does come at a disadvantage but it still gets job done at 1080p for the most part I just really wish to see higher-end GPU is paired with AMD CPUs I'm not even sure if that's gonna happen anytime soon but if it does that would make history I really like the exterior design of the a-15 as I mentioned earlier it looks utilitarian which obviously

Goes along with tough branding but the interior design man it just kills me it looks gay Murray it doesn't really it doesn't really align with the exterior design of this laptop and if you're willing to get over that that's okay you can definitely pick this up it's a great option you are compromising a few things like build quality because for the most part it is a plastic chassis except for the lid the hinge is not quite strong it does wobble a lot and the display is not color accurate so if that's something that you value you should probably look elsewhere though given that this is

Geared towards gamers if you look it from that perspective this thing delivers because of that 144 Hertz refresh rate finally the i/o it's not up to spec you're not getting the fastest USB 3.0 gen to the fact that it has a USB 2 port these are certainly some things to keep in mind and finally I should mention that this does not have a Wi-Fi 6 modules so it really depends on how you value that as well but overall for the price I'm impressed I'm seriously impressed I think the performance is what is the most exciting thing about beta a 15 it's the fastest

Machine that we've ever encountered compared to the Intel offerings that we have which is kind of awesome so on that note thank you so much for watching let us know what you think of the a-15 from Asus and if you're shopping around for a laptop within this price range would you consider this let me know in the comments down below I'm you bear with hurricane axe that gets much watching stay safe my friends and spend responsibly because that's more important right I'll see you guys in the next one

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