ROG Strix GL702ZC takes 16 Ryzen threads on the move

The world of gaming laptops has been dominated by Intel CPUs and Nvidia graphics the last few product cycles, even as AMD's Ryzen 7 processors have proven themselves as worthy in the desktop space. We previously wrote about a laptop that would bring the silicon underdog's eight-core mainstream desktop chip into the mobile space, and that machine is now shipping. The Asus ROG Strix GL702ZC-WB74 packs a desktop Ryzen 7 1700 CPU and a Radeon RX 580 graphics card into a 17" chassis.

That eight-core, 16-thread Ryzen 7 1700 can boost up to 3.7 GHz in this notebook, though we suspect that the thermal constraints of a portable will limit the ability to run at full boost clock for long. The CPU is paired with 16 GB of DDR4 memory and an AMD Radeon RX 580 with 4 GB of its own memory.

Bits and bytes are stored more permanently on a 256 GB M.2 SSD and a 1 TB 2.5" spinning platter hard drive. The display has been downgraded somewhat since the first time Asus showed off its Ryzen laptop, though. The initially-reported UHD option appears to be off the table, replaced by two 1920×1080 versions with either a 60 Hz or a 120 Hz refresh rate. The adaptive-refresh-rate technology will work when compatible external monitors are attached to the machine's mini-DisplayPort and HDMI jacks, too.

One might expect a laptop built around a full-fat desktop chip to be generously-sized, and that's the case with this particular machine. The GL702ZC measures 16.2" wide, 10.8" deep, and 1.34" thick (41.2 cm x 27.5 cm x 3.4 cm). The notebook tips the scales at 7.1 lbs (3.2 kg) and comes with a 280-W power adapter to charge the four-cell 76 Wh battery. Asus didn't mention battery life, but we imagine it won't be quite as good as that of laptops with Intel Core i7 H-series processors and GeForce GTX 1060 graphics. On the bright side, the Strix might last longer between charges than something like Eurocom's desktop Core i7-powered Sky X9E3.

The beefy machine's sides are adorned with plenty of external connectors. The display outputs are joined by a Gigabit Ethernet port, three USB Type-A ports, and a USB Type-C connector. The Strix also has 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity.

The ROG Strix GL702ZC-WB74 is available now from Best Buy for $1500. We expect the machine to hit the shelves of e-tailers like Amazon and Newegg  soon. The manufacturer offers one-year warranty coverage.

Comments closed
    • ronch
    • 2 years ago

    I’m all for Ryzen but using it in a laptop specifically for gaming doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense. I’d go for a quad core Ryzen or maybe Raven Ridge. However, folks who want to have a workstation on the go might want this, and the RX 580 allows for some decent gaming in the hotel room after a big day.

    • Kretschmer
    • 2 years ago

    An R7 1700 seems massively questionable running in a thermally-constrained laptop. It’s not like an R7 1700 is good for gaming to begin with, and any throttling will hurt that even more.

    You could say that a mobile 4GB 580 won’t likely be CPU bound, in which case I’d still recommend some sort of 8th-gen i5. The i5 8400 is stronger on games and requires less power to do so.

    I guess someone let the MOAR COARS marketers into the design room? Or they want to appeal to vendor fetishists?

    • Chrispy_
    • 2 years ago

    I’m actually curious about the laptop RX 580.

    I’ve seen that they’re typically clocked at just 1077 MHz, but given that I managed to get total board power of a cherry-picked RX480 down to under 100W (925mv undervolt) whilst still running at 1200MHz, I’d wager that the MXM variety will be also cherry-picked and probably running at 900mv, max.

    I wonder what the TDP for the mobile RX 580 is. If it’s under 75W that’s pretty impressive, and just makes the extra 20% performance of the 180W desktop part all the more riduculous and stupid.

    • Growler
    • 2 years ago

    This could be just the thing for the buffalo on the go. Just because the herd is moving, doesn’t mean you have to give up your favorite games.

    • NoOne ButMe
    • 2 years ago

    Don’t get why they didn’t “splurge” the extra, what, $50? for 8GB version.

    Otherwise, I think bit worse in gaming if you’re not ‘multitasking’ quite a bit compared to Intel.

    At $1500 it does avoid most laptops with desktop Intel CPUs, and is a tad to close to 1070 laptops.

    $1400 w/ 8GB cards, would be decent, $1300 with 128GB+4GB card would be okay also.

      • Zizy
      • 2 years ago

      There are too few games where 8GB is worth it (at FHD).
      As for price, well, obviously it is a bit high, but there isn’t too much competition here so it can be – you are looking at extremely few laptops with as good or better CPU and those cost more anyway. GPU is understandable. Vega 56 is more expensive and likely too power hungry to fit. 1070 would be much better for the same power consumption, but that costs more, especially if you also consider extra $$$ for the gsync screen.

        • NoOne ButMe
        • 2 years ago

        external monitors, multidisplay, etc.

        Granted, from a business side it means either longer upgrade cycle (more lifespan) or lower margin. And maybe less total $ sales, as higher price == few sold.

      • IGTrading
      • 2 years ago

      Can you imagine that some bozos already “reviewed” this laptop with a Single Channel memory configuration and complained that it lacks Thunderbolt and the battery doesn’t last “long enough” ??!

      Really ?! In a DTR notebook you complain about battery ?!

      You test it with a 5400 RPM HDD, despite having the option to install a PCIe SSD ?!

      Single Channel despite having the 2nd DIMM available ?!

      Oh the amount of crap we must put up with when it comes to any AMD build …. 🙁

    • Mr Bill
    • 2 years ago

    My my, this is a tasty unit. The feature list is great and the key backlighting looks superior to the steel series in my MSI laptop.

    • mudcore
    • 2 years ago

    Two things stood out on the spec sheet to me though. 32GB RAM limit? Only 2x SO-DIMM slots in a 7.1lb laptop? Also spec sheet shows 1x 2.5″ and 1x M.2 as the storage options… I hope there’s an extra M.2 slot in that chassis.

    To me this seems like a pretty poor package from a gaming perspective. You’re not going to make the maximum use out of the CPU and RX580 is OK performance but not so hot efficiency wise. If I were looking to spend $1500 on a gaming laptop I’d much rather an Intel/Nvidia setup.

    Now from a development perspective and maxing out the CPU its a bargain but those limitations I mentioned first are huge. Limited expansion for the size is a buzz kill.

      • Chrispy_
      • 2 years ago

      I’m not sure what you’re talking about. The desktop Ryzen is more power-efficient than the equivalent Intel that would go in this sort of laptop.

      I agree that Pascal offers more performance/Watt than Polaris, but I doubt the difference is as much for the mobile versions as it is for the desktop equivalents, simply because AMD in their infinite wisdom decided to overclock and overvolt the snot out of Polaris, which is dumb because its efficiency sweet spot is somewhere at about 15% lower voltage and clockspeed.

      Power use = voltage squared * clockspeed, so that higher default voltage hurts much more than you’d think.

        • mudcore
        • 2 years ago

        $1500 to spend on a gaming laptop. Are you going to buy the one with a….

        Intel Core i7 7700HQ + GTX 1060

        or…

        Ryzen 7 1700 + RX 580

        My guess is these laptops are pretty close in overall gaming performance. However the Intel laptop is likely to weigh 2.5-3lbs less (before even considering the difference in power brick size) and get longer overall battery life.

        This is my point. If your use case is gaming there are (much) better overall options. By accommodating the desktop CPU you’re getting a much, much larger overall package but because your use case is games you’re not making the most out of it. This is a poor combo/use case in my opinion.

        On the other end, if you do have a use case for all 8 cores in the CPU you’re probably disappointed with a 32GB RAM limitation and the downright poor storage options being specified.

        Here’s a review of it: [url<]https://www.notebookcheck.net/Asus-ROG-Strix-GL702ZC-Ryzen-7-1700-Radeon-RX-580-Laptop-Review.247548.0.html[/url<] As you can see the gaming performance for this laptop isn't any better than the 7700HQ+GTX1060 combo I mentioned. It has tremendous multithreading CPU potential but that doesn't matter much for gaming and as I said the use cases where you'd maximize that are hurt by the product limitations. Oh and I hope customers like the 1h 30m battery life. But hey, if gaming focused buyers are happy to pay the same price for something that weighs a ton more, is a lot thicker, but doesn't perform any better in games then all the power to them. I'm fine stating the facts; its a poor choice for that use case.

          • Chrispy_
          • 2 years ago

          Oh, you’ve moved the goalposts but I see what you mean, and yeah, if I had $1500 for a gaming laptop I’d not waste the budget on an overkill desktop processor when the 1060 or 580 is the obvious bottleneck.

          But I think you’re misunderstanding the market and product here. There are some people who want desktop CPU performance in a laptop, so these products exist. Just google 7700K laptop or 8700K laptop. The fact that Coffee Lake i7 laptops exist is bonkers but that’s currently the only way to get a 6-core Intel laptop. These desktop-replacement laptops are hardly new – this has been a thing for almost a decade.

          Me? I’d be hoping I could squeeze either a G-Sync panel or a GTX 1070 into the budget freed up by the ridiculous choice of desktop processor.

            • mudcore
            • 2 years ago

            First, I have not moved the goal posts. I have made two consistent sets of criticisms against this product based on two perspective. If I haven’t made that obvious sorry, but I have been consistent.

            One being the perspective of the gamer. i.e. the comparison I presented above of this laptop versus the i7 7700HQ + GTX1060 configuration.

            The other is from the perspective of a workstation i.e. workloads that would benefit from the Ryzen 7. There I have pointed out it has limitations that limit its appeal in those markets. These include only having two SO-DIMM slots for a maximum of only 32GB of RAM. Next is storage, this is a 7.1lb laptop with only a single M.2 slot releasing in the tail of 2017. That’s not awesome and the 2.5″ bay is also only run of the mill. I’d say there’s something to be said about not having a professional GPU option too but that’s a lesser issue.

            I haven’t denied the power of the CPU for the money or even the size. I’ve criticized this products specific shortcomings when viewed from multiple perspectives. If you’re a gamer this is a bad choice. If you’re doing stuff to make use of the Ryzen 7 you have to be aware of the memory and storage limitations and make sure those don’t impact your intended workloads.

            • Chrispy_
            • 2 years ago

            I didn’t for one minute think that your original post would be comparing desktop chips to mobile chips.

            If that was the case then I’m mistaken but that means you don’t understand the target demographic for these laptops. No matter how dumb it sounds to you or me, there are gamers willing to do anything to get more than a mobile quad core variant, and that’s the niche this product fills. If you’re not looking at that niche then of course this is a silly product for the reasons we’ve both mentioned and agree on.

            • mudcore
            • 2 years ago

            You repeat the same “you don’t understand the market” but can’t explain which “market” I’m getting wrong. You are dumb if you think gamers are going to settle for an RX580 just because they “must” have the desktop Ryzen, this isn’t a market that actually exists, just one you made up in a bad attempt to save face.

            • farmpuma
            • 2 years ago

            You made your opinion perfectly and verbosely clear in your first post, repeating it two more times does not make it any more valid. In my opinion gamers come in all stripes of the rainbow.

            “You are dumb if you think gamers are blah blah blah” comes quite close to a personal attack which are not generally tolerated here. /Just my opinion

    • YukaKun
    • 2 years ago

    The only flag I would raise are the SO-DIMMs in it. Ryzen can be quite the hog without proper RAM tunning. I’m wondering if those would pose a problem here.

    Cheers!

    • techguy
    • 2 years ago

    “That eight-core, 16-thread Ryzen 7 1700 can boost up to 3.7 GHz in this notebook, though we suspect that the thermal constraints of a portable will limit the ability to run at full boost clock for long.”

    Given Ryzen 7 1700’s 65W TDP, I don’t think this challenge is insurmountable.

      • Chrispy_
      • 2 years ago

      Plenty of companies will drop a 95W desktop i7 into a laptop.

      Ryzen 7 may use more than 65W at peak but it’s still no worse than a desktop i7.

        • DPete27
        • 2 years ago

        [url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xbLO5bB0Tk<]Okay[/url<]

          • Chrispy_
          • 2 years ago

          What part of that do you not believe? I can provide links if you want and I promise not to use lmgtfy.

    • BurntMyBacon
    • 2 years ago

    Most of this seems pretty decent, but the display downgrade is a bit disappointing. To be fair, 1080p isn’t bad (particularly with the paired graphics). However, a 60Hz refresh rate makes the FreeSync support less than convincing. It is an IPS, so I’d expect something similar to some of their past models (which wasn’t bad).

    I do wonder about the thermals and noise, but it shouldn’t really take that much of a back off to keep things under control.

      • tsk
      • 2 years ago

      Asus lists it as a 120Hz freesync display.
      [url<]https://www.asus.com/Laptops/ROG-Strix-GL702ZC/specifications/[/url<]

        • morphine
        • 2 years ago

        Thanks for the heads-up on that. The monitor specs in the page got updated since the article went up. We’ve tweaked the piece accordingly.

        • Anonymous Coward
        • 2 years ago

        Seems like 1080p at 120hz with FreeSync is just right for this product.

      • morphine
      • 2 years ago

      Note that the article got updated in the meantime (since Asus updated the specs sheets). There’s a 120 Hz option.

      • IGTrading
      • 2 years ago

      AMD thermals are impressively good when compared to ASUS’ own Aorus X7 v7 (7820HK, GTX 1070) .

      The Ryzen model never gets above 51 degrees Celsius while the Intel model reaches more than 60 degrees. (surface temperature)

      If we talk hot spots, the AMD Ryzen never goes beyond 90 degrees (under the specified maximum of 95 degrees) .

      The Intel model fares much worse, the CPU easily reaches above 98 degrees.

    • tsk
    • 2 years ago

    Socketed CPU is gonna provide a nice upgrade path, too bad you can’t upgrade the GPU.

      • chuckula
      • 2 years ago

      If you are talking about putting in some future Zen+ type part, just remember that the firmware needs to support it too. Also, it’s unclear as to how easy it would be to access the chip and replace it.

        • tsk
        • 2 years ago

        Hopefully Asus would update it, the chip shouldn’t be too hard to change.
        [url<]https://cdn.ultrabookreview.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/internals-general-2.jpg[/url<]

    • chuckula
    • 2 years ago

    Rajachip?

    We don’t need no stinkin’ Rajachip!

      • Anonymous Coward
      • 2 years ago

      I’ll bet this has a more favorable price/performance ratio.

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