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[In-Depth Comparison] ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 GU603 vs ROG Zephyrus G15 GA503 – the similarities between the two are more than the differences

Today we have two laptops which are the pinnacle of ASUS’s creativity and engineering ingenuity. Two solidly built devices, with the proper performance to back that up. The ROG Zephyrus M16 GU603 brings a 16-inch display with a slightly altered aspect ratio, which is becoming a popular trend in the creator segment, while the Zephyrus G15 bets on a tried and tested 15.6-inch display.

Whatever of these you decide to pick, you will be satisfied with the design, build quality, and performance, as the Zephyrus lineup not only brings the performance but also offers great designs, which will for sure capture the attention of your peers.

Today we are giving you an in-depth comparison between the ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 GU603 and the ROG Zephyrus G15 GA503.

ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 GU603: Full Specs / In-depth Review

ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15 GA503: Full Specs / In-depth Review

ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 GU603 configurations:

ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15 GA503 configurations:

Contents


Unboxing experience

Being flagship laptops from ASUS, they come in large boxes, with plenty of reading material inside. Interestingly enough, you get two chargers, one of which is slimmer and would be taken while traveling, while the other one should be used as your main charger.

ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 GU603

ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15 GA503


Design and construction

The M16, despite its 16-inch form factor, manages to come in under 2.00 kg and 20.0 mm, in terms of weight and height. The G15 is also very portable, coming with the same weight of 1.90 kg and a 19,9 mm profile. The design of the laptops is identical, with a boxy overall shape, that uses sharp edges and rounded corners. The lids are flat, with a prismatic film and dot array. The lids also feature a ROG badge placed in the bottom left corner. The laptops also use ASUS’s ErgoLift technology, which lifts up the base of the laptop. That does two things, give the consumer a more comfortable angle for typing, while also improving the cooling, giving the fans on the bottom more room to breathe.

The laptops are not 100% the same though, as the M16 uses metal for its lid and plastic for everywhere else, while the G15 gets the full metal treatment. However, both the M16 and the G15 are rigid and sturdy enough, thanks to a honeycomb pattern on the inside.

ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 GU603

ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15 GA503


Keyboard and touchpad

Both laptops use the same keyboard unit, which has relatively small keycaps, but long key travel and clicky feedback, which is ideal for both gaming and typing. The units also lack a NumPad, which might be important for some people. Also, we really think that they could have spread the keyboard further along the sides, as there is definitely a lot of spare space on the base.

The touchpads are also the same. They come in a large size, a glass cover, and decent gliding and tracking. While they lack physical buttons, we appreciate that more and more gaming laptops using larger touchpads, as it can definitely improve the overall user experience.

ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 GU603

ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15 GA503


Ports

The Zephyrus M16 has a total of two USB Type-A 3.2 ports (one Gen. 1 and one Gen. 2), two USB Type-C 3.2 (Gen. 2) ports, one of which also has Thunderbolt 4 support, an HDMI connector, a MicroSD card reader, an Ethernet port, and a 3.5 mm audio jack.

As for the Zephyrus G15, it has the same number of USB Type-A and Type-C ports, with the sole difference being that it doesn’t have Thunderbolt support. Furthermore, it also brings HDMI and Ethernet connectors, a 3.5 mm audio jack, and a MicroSD card slot.

ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 GU603

ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15 GA503


Spec sheet


Disassembly, upgrade options

Both laptops are gaming to the core, with a red motherboard, which can be accessed by removing 10 Phillips-head screws on the M16 and 13 Phillips-head screws on the G15. The devices also come with half of their RAM soldered, with there being only one SODIMM slot for future expansion. In terms of storage, there are two SSD slots for both laptops.

ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 GU603

ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15 GA503


Display quality

Both laptops offer two display options, with the sole difference being the size and resolution. The M16 gets 16-inch panels, with either FHD+ or QHD+ resolution, while the G15 uses two 15.6-inch panels with either Full HD or QHD resolution. The FHD and FHD+ panels come with a 144Hz refresh rate, while the rest increase the refresh rate to 165Hz.

The M16 laptop that we had came with the 165Hz QHD+ option. It had a 16:10 aspect ratio, hence the increased resolution, a pixel density of 189 PPI, a pitch of 0.13 x 0.13 mm, and a Retina distance of 46cm or 18 inches. Going over to the G15, our unit came with the 165Hz QHD option. It has a slightly lower pixel density of 188 PPI while keeping the same pitch and Retina distance.

ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 GU603

ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15 GA503

Both displays have excellent viewing angles. We offer images at 45° to evaluate image quality.

ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 GU603

ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15 GA503

The Zephyrus M16’s display has a max brightness of 510 nits in the middle of the screen, 488 nits as an average for the entire display area, and a maximum deviation of 12%. The panel performs quite well from a uniformity perspective, while also having a decent contrast ratio of 1200:1.

The Zephyrus G15 has a lower max brightness of 340 nits in the middle of the screen, 312 nits as an average for the entire area of the panel, and a deviation of 13%. The panel performs slightly worse from a uniformity perspective but is still good. The contract ratio is higher – 1350:1.

ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 GU603

ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15 GA503


Color coverage

To make sure we are on the same page, we would like to give you a little introduction to the sRGB color gamut and the Adobe RGB. To start, there’s the CIE 1976 Uniform Chromaticity Diagram that represents the visible specter of colors by the human eye, giving you a better perception of the color gamut coverage and the color accuracy.

Inside the black triangle, you will see the standard color gamut (sRGB) that is being used by millions of people on HDTV and on the web. As for the Adobe RGB, this is used in professional cameras, monitors, etc for printing. Basically, colors inside the black triangle are used by everyone and this is the essential part of the color quality and color accuracy of a mainstream notebook.

Still, we’ve included other color spaces like the famous DCI-P3 standard used by movie studios, as well as the digital UHD Rec.2020 standard. Rec.2020, however, is still a thing of the future and it’s difficult for today’s displays to cover that well. We’ve also included the so-called Michael Pointer gamut, or Pointer’s gamut, which represents the colors that naturally occur around us every day.

The yellow dotted line shows the color coverage of both the ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 GU603 and the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15 GA503.

Both laptops cover the sRGB gamut entirely, with the M16 also covering the DCI-P3 gamut fully.

ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 GU603

ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15 GA503


Color accuracy

We tested the accuracy of the display with 24 commonly used colors like light and dark human skin, blue sky, green grass, orange, etc. You can check out the results at factory condition and also, with the “Design and Gaming” profile.

Below you can check the results from the test of both laptops, with both the factory settings (left) and with our “Design and Gaming” profile applied (right).

ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 GU603

ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15 GA503


Response time (Gaming capabilities)

We test the reaction time of the pixels with the usual “black-to-white” and “white-to-black” methods from 10% to 90% and vice versa.

Both laptops had a very fast response time, which was below 10 ms. However, the Zephyrus M16 had a faster Fall + Rise time of 8.0 ms.

ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 GU603

ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15 GA503


Health Impact / PWM (Blue light)

PWM – Screen flickering

Pulse-width modulation (PWM) is an easy way to control monitor brightness. When you lower the brightness, the light intensity of the backlight is not lowered, but instead turned off and on by the electronics with a frequency indistinguishable to the human eye. In these light impulses, the light/no-light time ratio varies, while brightness remains unchanged, which is harmful to your eyes. You can read more about that in our dedicated article on PWM.

In terms of flickering both panels show no usage of PWM across any brightness levels.


Blue light emissions

Installing our Health-Guard profile not only eliminates PWM but also reduces the harmful Blue Light emissions while keeping the colors of the screen perceptually accurate. If you’re not familiar with the Blue light, the TL;DR version is – emissions that negatively affect your eyes, skin, and your whole body. You can find more information about that in our dedicated article on Blue Light.

Buy our profiles

Here at LaptopMedia, we create a set of custom-tailored profiles for every notebook we review. They boost the productivity of display and reduce negative effects such as blue light emissions and PWM. You can read more about them here.

ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 GU603 16.0″ WQXGA IPS AUO B160QAN02.Q (AUOC199): Buy our profiles

ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15 GA503 16.0″ QHD IPS Innolux N156KME-GNA (CMN152A): Buy our profiles

Sound

Both notebooks employ the same number of speakers as well as the same speaker positioning. There are a total of six speakers, with two on the front, surrounding the keyboard, as well as four on the bottom, which face opposite directions, thus minimizing vibrations, which is pretty smart on their end. In terms of sound quality, both setups show no deviations across the entire frequency range, while delivering clear and loud audio.

ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 GU603

ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15 GA503


Battery

The way we conduct our battery tests is with the Windows Better performance setting turned on, screen brightness adjusted to 120 nits, and all other programs turned off except for the one we are testing the notebook with. The notebooks are each equipped with 90Wh battery packs. Both laptops deliver really similar battery life in the web browsing test, with the batteries lasting for around 13 hours. As for our video playback tests, here the G15 had a 27% longer battery life, which calculates to around 2 hours more.

In order to simulate real-life conditions, we used our own script for automatic web browsing through over 70 websites.

For every test like this, we use the same video in HD.


Performance

The laptops use hardware from different brands, with the M16 relying on Intel for its processors and NVIDIA for its graphics. The laptop is available with the Tiger Lake-based Core i7-11800H and the Core i9-11900H for its CPU and either the RTX 3050 Ti (75W), the RTX 3060 (95W), or the RTX 3070 (100W) for its GPU. Switching to the G15, it only offers the Ryzen 9 5900HS, while providing a larger GPU selection, which consists of the RTX 3060 (95W), RTX 3070 (100W), and the RTX 3080 (100W).

CPU benchmarks

Here we tested the Core i7-11800H and the Ryzen 9 5900HS, with the Intel CPU coming out on top in both the 3D Rendering and 2D Rendering benchmark with Photoshop, with leads of 3% and 0.4 seconds, respectively.

Results are from the Cinebench 20 CPU test (the higher the score, the better)

Results are from our Photoshop benchmark test (the lower the score, the better)


GPU benchmarks

Here we tested the 100W versions of the RTX 3070 and the RTX 3080. The GPUs were essentially even in the 3DMark Fire Strike benchmark, while the RTX 3070 came out on top in the Unigine Heaven 4.0 test, scoring 9% higher. At last, we have the Unigine Superposition benchmark, in which the RTX 3080 performed 8% better.


Gaming tests

ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 GU603

ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15 GA503

Far Cry 5Full HD, Normal (Check settings)Full HD, High (Check settings)Full HD, Ultra (Check settings)
ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 GU603 – RTX 3070 (100W)123 fps113 fps108 fps
ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15 GA503 – RTX 3080 (100W)123 fps118 fps (+4%)112 fps (+4%)

rise-of-the-tomb-raider

Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016)Full HD, Medium (Check settings)Full HD, Very High (Check settings)Full HD, MAX (Check settings)
ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 GU603 – RTX 3070 (100W)132 fps98 fps69 fps
ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15 GA503 – RTX 3080 (100W)150 fps (+14%)106 fps (+8%)77 fps (+12%)

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon WildlandsFull HD, High (Check settings)Full HD, Very High (Check settings)Full HD, Ultra (Check settings)
ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 GU603 – RTX 3070 (100W)108 fps (+1%)95 fps65 fps
ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15 GA503 – RTX 3080 (100W)107 fps95 fps66 fps (+2%)

Shadow of the Tomb Raider (2018)Full HD, Medium (Check settings)Full HD, High (Check settings)Full HD, Highest (Check settings)
ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 GU603 – RTX 3070 (100W)100 fps94 fps78 fps
ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15 GA503 – RTX 3080 (100W)119 fps (+19%)116 fps (+23%)88 fps (+13%)

Temperatures and comfort

Both laptops use the same cooling setup, which consists of a total of six heat pipes. Three of them are shared between the CPU and GPU, with each of them getting one separate heat pipe. The last one is there to cool down the VRAM and VRM modules. The heat pipes are then connected to four heat spreaders and two fans.


Max CPU load

In this test we use 100% on the CPU cores, monitoring their frequencies and chip temperature. The first column shows a computer’s reaction to a short load (2-10 seconds), the second column simulates a serious task (between 15 and 30 seconds), and the third column is a good indicator of how good the laptop is for long loads such as video rendering.

Intel Core i7-11800H (45W TDP)0:02 – 0:10 sec0:15 – 0:30 sec10:00 – 15:00 min
ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 GU6033.87 GHz (B+68%) @ 95°C @ 106W3.90 GHz (B+70%) @ 95°C @ 109W3.58 GHz (B+56%) @ 86°C @ 80W

The Core i7’s temperature spikes in the first few seconds of the test, quickly reaching 95°C, while the clock speed was close to 4.00 GHz. In the last minutes of the test, the temperature went down by 9°C, while the clock speed hovered at 3.58 GHz.

AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS (35W TDP)0:02 – 0:10 sec0:15 – 0:30 sec10:00 – 15:00 min
ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15 GA5033.57 GHz (B+19%) @ 69°C3.54 GHz (B+18%) @ 71°C3.57 GHz (B+19%) @ 79°C

The Ryzen 7 maintained a stable clock speed of around 3.57 GHz, which is around 18% higher than the base clock speed, throughout the entirety of the test, while the temperature spiked in the later stage, reaching 79°C.

Real-life gaming

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 2 min)GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 30 min)
ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 GU6031545 MHz @ 75°C @ 100W1520 MHz @ 81°C @ 100W

In the GPU field, the RTX 3070 maintained decent clock speeds and temperatures, with 81°C being the highest temperature that we observed.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 2 min)GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 30 min)
ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15 GA5031474 MHz @ 75°C @ 100W1475 MHz @ 74°C @ 99W

The RTX 3080 capped at a frequency of 1475 MHz while running at 74°C.

Gaming comfort

In terms of gaming comfort, the Zephyrus G15 had a lower outside temperature, although not by much, as the difference was only around 2°C.

ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 GU603

ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15 GA503


Verdict

These laptops are awfully similar, which is to be expected as they are not only from the same manufacturer but also from the same Zephyrus family. Starting from the design, the notebooks are virtually identical, featuring the same shape and design features. The notebooks also share the exact same weight and profile, despite using different form factors. The only difference between them is that the M16 uses plastic and aluminum for its design, while the G15 is entirely made from metal.

The laptops also share the same keyboard and I/O. Obviously, the Zephyrus G15 lacks Thunderbolt support, due to it being equipped with an AMD processor. The displays that the notebooks use are different, however, with the M16 being more oriented towards creators, having a 16:10 aspect ratio and higher color coverage.

In terms of audio, both devices perform really well, with their front-firing setups, which are also clear from deviations across the entire frequency spectrum. As for the battery life, the laptops are each equipped with a 90Wh battery unit, which lasts longer on the G15, especially when it came to our video playback test.

Performance-wise, the Core i7-11800H and the Ryzen 7 5900HS were pretty evenly matched, but the Core i7 came out on top. As for the graphics, in the benchmark tests, the RTX 3070 came out on top in several synthetic benchmarks, but the RTX 3080 was better in our real-life gaming benchmarks.

At last, we have the cooling and comfort. Both laptops use the same cooling setup, which allows the processors to reach good clock speeds while keeping the temperatures on the lower end. The Zephyrus G15 does also has a lower outside temperature, but the difference is only around 2°C, which can be neglected, as the keyboard already reaches nearly 49°C.

If you want a light and powerful gaming laptop, both options that we have here will do just fine. Picking the M16 means sacrificing the option of an RTX 3080, at the expense of a better screen and Thunderbolt support. On the other hand, the G15 offers longer battery life in certain conditions, while also giving you access to an RTX 3080.

Why choose ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 GU603?

  • + The RTX 3070 matches the RTX 3080 in some areas
  • + Fully covers the DCI-P3 color gamut
  • + Has a 16:10 display, while keeping the same dimensions

Why choose ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15 GA503?

  • + Slightly more affordable
  • + Runs cooler
  • + Offers an RTX 3080

ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 GU603: Full Specs / In-depth Review

ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15 GA503: Full Specs / In-depth Review

All ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 GU603 configurations:

All ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15 GA503 configurations: