The ASUS Zephyrus Duo 15 is a unique gaming laptop with two screens, but just how well does it actually perform in games?
I’ve tested 21 titles at all settings and compared it against some other laptops to find out. I’ve got the highest specs available in the Duo 15, but it is also available with lower tier hardware options too.
The ASUS Armoury crate software lets you select between different performance modes. I’ve used manual mode as it boosts the fans higher than turbo and applies a small GPU overclock. The software also lets you disable optimus for G-Sync which will give us a performance boost. By default, Max-Q Dynamic Boost is enabled, meaning the GPU should be able to boost higher when the CPU doesn’t need the power, and I saw it average 100 watts under stress test.
We’ll only be covering gaming performance in this review. We’ll start out by going through all 21 games at all setting levels, then afterwards we’ll see how other laptops compare. Red Dead Redemption 2 was tested using the game’s built in benchmark tool, we’re not quite able to reach 60 FPS at ultra settings, but only the best and thicker machines seem to be able to manage that, still fair results for this heavier test though. Battlefield 5 was tested in campaign mode, and the result at ultra settings were one of the best I’ve ever seen from this game on a laptop, but we’ll see how the Duo 15 and others compare in this title and more soon. Control was tested with and without RTX enabled. I’ve got the results with RTX off in purple, RTX on in the green bars which was actually still somewhat playable, then RTX on with DLSS enabled as shown by the red bars, which was running much better while also looking good. Shadow of the Tomb Raider was tested with the built in benchmark, again some of the best results I’ve seen from any laptop here, this is another game I’ll use to compare with other laptops shortly. Apex Legends was tested with either all settings at maximum, or all settings on the lowest possible values, as it doesn’t have predefined setting presets. It was playing very well even with everything at maximum, while minimum would get pretty good use out of the 300Hz screen. Call of Duty Modern Warfare was tested in campaign mode with either max or min settings for the same reason, and although there was less of a difference between the levels here, there’s still no problems playing with maximum settings. Fortnite was tested with the replay feature, and medium settings were averaging above 300 FPS, so great for the 300Hz screen, while low was able to hit this even for the 1% low. Meanwhile, it was still running smoothly at max settings, with above 100 FPS for the 1% low. PUBG was also tested using the replay feature, and even max settings was running well, a great match up for a 144Hz screen and above 100 for the 1% low again. CS:GO was tested with the ulletical FPS benchmark, and this game sees big improvements with optimus disabled compared to other laptops that are stuck with it. Dota 2 wasn’t much different compared to far lower specced laptops, though at higher setting levels it’s still above 200 FPS which is something many others don’t seem able to achieve. Overwatch is another less demanding game and was tested in the practice range, no issues hitting the 300 FPS frame cap at high settings, while even epic was above 200. Rainbow Six Siege was tested with the built in benchmark using Vulkan, there wasn’t much difference in average FPS between high and ultra settings, and although 250 FPS would still be good with the 300Hz screen, low settings gets us all the way there. Metro Exodus was tested using the built in benchmark, most parts of the game perform a fair bit better than this, so don’t take these results as a good indication of what to expect throughout the entire game, it’s more of a worst case. The Division 2 was also tested with the built in benchmark. Ultra settings was just below 100 FPS, but we could more than double this with low settings. Monster Hunter World was tested running through the main town, and I had no issues with the highest setting preset, it felt quite smooth with a solid 60 FPS for even the 1% low. Borderlands 3 was tested using the game’s built in benchmark, again quite good results, max settings was easily above 60 FPS which is good for this test, while medium was able to reach about 100 FPS. Ghost Recon Breakpoint was also tested with the benchmark tool, again excellent results compared to other laptops tested, above 70 FPS at ultimate is quite uncommon and is down to the 2080 Super with higher wattage for a Max-Q variant. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is another that was tested with the games benchmark, and the results were decent here, it’s challenging to score above 60 FPS at max settings on laptop hardware. Far Cry New Dawn was also tested with the games benchmark, and the results were excellent here, 100 FPS at max settings is a nice result and likely thanks to the i9 processor with liquid metal. The Witcher 3 was doing well at ultra settings, though it was possible to get a nice boost just going down one level to high settings, granted you don’t really need to, above 100 FPS is plenty for this one I think. F1 2019 generally sees similar behaviour, and although the average frame rate at max was quite high, the 1% low seemed a fair bit lower comparatively.
Now let’s take a look at how the ASUS Zephyrus Duo 15 with these specs compares against other laptops, use these results as a rough guide only, as they were tested at different times with different drivers.
In Battlefield 5 I’ve got the Zephyrus highlighted in red. It’s giving one of the best results I’ve seen in this game, only coming in behind the much higher wattage 2080 Super Max-P in the MSI GE75, though the difference isn’t too major in a practical sense, and the 1% low was actually better with the Duo 15.
These are the results from Far Cry 5 with ultra settings in the built-in benchmark. This time the Duo 15 was performing the best out of this selection of laptops, it would only get beaten by much thicker machines with the 9900K, so another good result.
In Shadow of the Tomb Raider the Duo 15 is again doing much better compared to other laptops. It’s interesting that it’s beating the higher wattage 150 watt 2080 Super in the GE75 just below it, though the Duo 15 does have faster memory and the option of disabling optimus.
Overall the performance from the Duo 15 with this hardware is quite impressive. The i9 processor has liquid metal cooling, this is the first Intel 10th gen laptop I’ve tested that can run the memory at DDR4-3200, and the 2080 Super GPU is able to boost up to 100 watts in GPU heavy workloads due to Nvidia’s new Max-Q dynamic boost, and these things combined are giving good results in terms of frame rate in games.
I’ve tested one game with and without dynamic boost just to get an idea of the difference it makes. With it enabled, the default, the 2080 Super Max-Q would run up to 100 watts in a GPU only load, and with it off, it would run up to 90 watts which seems to be more standard for a 2080 Super Max-Q. Anyway it was giving a little boost at the higher setting levels which are typically more GPU heavy, but nothing game changing.
The 300Hz screen was useful in esports titles, and as we saw, high enough FPS could be reached in many games, granted with lower setting levels. This is in part due to the option of disabling optimus, which is required to use G-Sync, and this offers a performance boost as the integrated graphics is no longer a bottleneck. Here are the screen response time results for the 1080p 300Hz screen in my unit. By default, ASUS have overdrive enabled through the Armoury Crate software, and this gives us a 3.8 ms grey-to-grey response time. When we compare this against other laptops that I’ve tested so far, it’s one of the better results. ASUS also gives us the option to disable overdrive, which will increase the response time a bit to 7.2ms however it does remove the overshoot and undershoot in some transitions.
ASUS Zephyrus Duo 15 on BestBuy
Let me know what you thought of the gaming performance from the Zephyrus Duo 15 down in the comments