The Intel Core i9-11900H and the 11th Gen Intel Core mobile launched last year on numerous flagship gaming models from different brands and among them is the ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 GU603 which we reviewed very positively. This year, ASUS and Intel launch new gaming laptop models featuring the latest Intel 12th generation mobile processors. On our slate is the Latest ROG Zephyrus M16 sporting the 12th Gen Intel Core i7-12700H processor and Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti.
INTEL 12th GENERATION MOBILE PROCESSORS
Following the successful release of Intel 12th Generation processors for desktops, Intel now continues its tempo with the release of 12th Generation Mobile processors particularly the H-series processors which are geared for high-performance tasks such as gaming and productivity. Like its desktop counterpart, Intel 12th Gen Mobile processors feature performance Hybrid Architecture with the implementation of P-cores and E-cores inside a single silicon. Intel’s Thread Directors allow efficient task allocation of P-cores and E-cores resulting in maximizing performance regardless of workload without sacrificing power efficiency as the 12th Gen H-series CPUs have a max TDP of 45W.
Laptops featuring Intel 12th Generation Mobile Processors also support DDR5 or LPDDR5 memory enabling these laptops to tackle high bandwidth tasks such as video editing, 3d modeling, and rendering with ease. DDR4 memory support is also available for Intel 12th Gen, lowering the overall cost for entry-level budget models. Like its desktop counterpart, Intel 12th Gen Core series processors come with PCIE Gen 5 support, Thunderbolt 4, and WiFi 6E for robust connectivity.
12th Gen Intel Core H-series processors launched with 8 SKUs in Core i5, i7, and i9 configurations. The Flagship Intel Core i9-12900H and its overclockable counterpart feature 6 Performance cores and 8 Efficient Cores totaling at 20 processor threads. Despite its mobile form factor, the mobile Core i9 processors are able to clock at 5Ghz via Intel Turbo Boost Max technology. The mobile Core i7 series feature three models with either a 6P+8E or 6P+4E core configuration to fit different use cases. Lastly, Intel Core i5 mobile CPUs come with either a 4P+4E or 4P+4E setup for mainstream and on-the-go performance.
ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 Configurations
Like the previous ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16, the latest Zephyrus M16 12th Gen Intel Gaming Laptop comes in three configurations with either the Intel Core i7 12700H or flagship Intel Core i9 12900H processor. The base variant retails for Php 139,9995 that is powered by an I7 12700H CPU, RTX 3060 GPU, 16GB DDR5 RAM, and 1TB PCIe SSD. The middle variant priced at 169,995 upgrades the processor and GPU to the i9-12900H and RTX 3070 Ti as well as double the amount of DDR5 Memory. The max configuration bumps the GPU to an RTX 3080 Ti and doubles the SSD storage for Php 60,000 more. The unit we have for review is the GU603ZW-K8029WS which sports the flagship Intel Core i9 12900H and RTX 3070 Ti.
The ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 uses the exact same packaging as last year’s model. Its two-tone ROG Zephyrus G14-esque style packaging never fails to make it feel premium coupled with the luxurious RGB accents.
Contents of the packaging are as follows:
- ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 Gaming laptop
- 300W Power Adapter
- 100W Type-C Power Adapter
- ROG Chakram Core Gaming Mouse
- Warranty Card
- User Manual
Like the previous model, the lid has the signature ROG two-tone color separation with the other half sporting a perforated-like texture. Its design is similar to the iconic G14 but with an iridescent film instead of the Anime Matrix LED display. The iridescent film reflects a reflective RGB lighting that makes the M16 laptop feel more premium.
One significant change I noticed on the 12th Gen model is the rubber feet underneath the M16. The rubber strip on the top side of the back cover is the tallest I’ve ever seen on a laptop. The taller than standard rubber feet allow better airflow resulting in better cooling without making the overall chassis size larger.
The ASUS Zephyrus M16 has a hinge similar to the ASUS Zenbook line that elevates the keyboard deck when the laptop is opened. The hinge not only improves the overall ergonomics but also helps the tall rubber feet in terms of cooling as the elevated bottom allows more airflow thanks to the large gap between the laptop and the surface.
Port selection on the Zephyrus M16 is quite generous. The left side has the most number of ports with an HDMI 2.1 port, Ethernet port, USB 3.2 Type-A, two USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C ports, one of which supports Thunderbolt 4 and the other has support for Power Delivery and DisplayPort over USB. The right side has another USB 3.2 Type-A port and a UHS-II rated card reader. That said, the location of the charging port still hasn’t changed which
Despite the identical look to the previous iteration, the 2022 Zephyrus M16’s keyboard actually has some improvements. Tactile feedback feels more solid and key wobble is significantly reduced. It is a keyboard that’s not just for gaming but for productivity as well with its signature ROG layout that has evenly spaced keys with no exaggerated button sizes. The dedicated volume keys and mute button located in the upper left are extremely useful and the ROG Button lets you open the ROG Armory Crate to quickly tweak the Zephyrus M16’s performance setting.
As mentioned in the previous review, the touchpad on the ROG Zephyrus M16 2022 puts productivity and ultrabook laptops to shame with its wide footprint. Its size makes it appealing to use without a mouse for non-gaming sessions. The trackpad is also positioned off-center leaning towards the left to avoid accidental touches when your left hand is resting on the WASD area when gaming. Overall, the Zephyrus M16 trackpad remains to be one of the best trackpads among gaming laptops, so much so that it even beats other ultrabooks that are primed for productivity.
ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 Display and Camera
The WQXGA 2560 x 1600p 16:10 Display is simply stunning to look at even when you’re not gaming. Its tall 16:10 enables the Zephyrus M16 to do more productivity-related tasks thanks to the extra space paired with the powerful Intel Core 12th Gen processors. What makes the display even taller is the Zenbook-style hinge that hides the supposed chin-bezel resulting in a whopping 94% screen-to-body ratio which is on the rare side for gaming laptops. The 165Hz refresh rate eliminates the need to purchase a dedicated gaming monitor to enjoy the high framerates rendered by the Core i9 12900H and RTX 3070 Ti.
The large high resolution, high refresh rate display on the ROG Zephyrus M16 is backed with superb color quality with a 100% sRGB, 88% AdobeRGB, and 99% DCI-P3 ratings based on our SpyderX Pro Display Analysis. To cut it short, the display is color accurate enough to do professional-grade photo and video editing.
The display is also bright with a peak brightness rating of 473.9 nits beating most gaming laptops and ultrabooks which mostly sport peak brightness levels around 300-400 nits.
If you’re a long-time fan of the ROG Zephyrus line, the camera on the M16 can either be toted as an upgrade or a downgrade. The previous Zephyrus gaming laptops had better camera quality due to the dedicated GC21 webcam as part of the package. Recent ROG Zephyrus laptops such as the M16 2022 have a built-in webcam that obviously has lower image quality but at least users don’t have to carry around the GC21 and dedicated a USB port on a laptop to use it. One thing I would’ve liked in this implementation is the inclusion of a physical shutter for privacy purposes like the ones found on Vivobook and Zenbook laptops.
ASUS ARMORY SOFTWARE
The ASUS Armory Crate serves as an all-in-one hub to access ASUS ROG-exclusive features, adjust AuraSync RGB lighting, update essential drivers, and tweak performance-related settings on the ROG Zephyrus M16 2022. Armory Crate has gone a long way from individual versions for peripherals, PC components, and laptops to a clean, user-friendly interface software suite that has all you need to personalize your own device.
Benchmark Setup and Methodology
We benchmarked the ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 together with its different power settings found in the ASUS Armoury Crate – Silent, Performance, and Turbo. The main purpose of benchmarking power profiles will show how aggressive or conservative the manufacturer is in terms of thermal management. These profiles will affect the CPU and GPUs’ boosting behavior in terms of duration and max clock speed which will translate to higher scores and stable framerates.
The latest build of Windows 11, WHQL certified drivers are used for our benchmarks. We use CapFrameX 1.6.8 and RTTS 7.3.3 as our FPS capture and analysis tool for our gaming benchmarks. Readings such as temperatures and power consumption are recorded using HWInfo64. Other relevant software is used for cross-checking and error analysis.
ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 Synthetic Benchmarks
SuperPI is a single-threaded benchmark application that lets the CPU calculate Pi(π) to the nth digit. In this benchmark, we selected the Pi calculation to 32M, the highest available for the app.
Geekbench is a multi-platform benchmark that’s used to gauge CPU performance and compare them across Windows, Mac, and Mobile. Geekbench 5 is the latest version and doesn’t rely on memory as much compared to the previous Geekbench 4, making it a great tool to measure both single-core and multi-core CPU performance.
CINEBENCH R20 & R23
Maxon’s Cinebench benchmark is one of the most iconic benchmark applications used by reviewers and enthusiasts. The latest Cinebench R20 uses the latest rendering architectures, including Intel’s Embree ray tracing technology and other advanced features from AMD and Intel that allow users to render the same scene on the same hard. Cinebench R20 uses a larger and more complex testing scene than Cinebench R20 by about 8x computational power and requires 4x the memory.
V-Ray Benchmark is a stand-alone version of V-Ray developed by Chaos Group. It is designed to test the CPU and GPU by rendering sample scenes at a fixed amount of time. V-Ray is a plug-in mostly utilized by 3D computer graphics software applications mainly for industrial design, product design, architecture, film, and video game production. V-Ray is not limited to 64-threads as it supports multi and mega-threading.
Blender is a widely used, free, open-source 3D creation suite. It supports the whole 3D pipeline process from modeling, rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, and even motion tracking. Blender has become a standard for CPU benchmarks with the BMW27 and Classroom scene most used. This prompted the company to release Blender Open Data Benchmark in 2018, a benchmark-specific version that allows users to run a preset benchmark and share the results online similar to 3D Mark.
Corona Renderer is an unbiased photorealistic render available for Autodesk 3Ds Max, Maxon Cinema 4D, and as a stand-alone application. Its popularity, similar to Blender, led Chaos Group to develop a benchmark version of the app which runs using Corona Renderer 1.3. Workstation systems, especially CPUs, can utilize Corona Benchmark as up to 72 threads can be used in the benchmark, making it very suitable for CPUs with various price segments.
Developed by Noriyuki Miyazaki, CrystalDiskMark is a free benchmark tool that is being used by thousands of experts. This tool measures SSD’s sequential read and writes speeds. That means how fast files can be read from and written to the drive, usually measured in MB/s.
Despite having a more powerful processor and graphics card, ASUS used a slower SSD on the ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 2022 compared to the previous iteration. The previous version had a Samsung PM9A1 SSD rated at 7,000 MB/s read while the M16 2022 variant has a Micron 3400 SSD installed with a rated read speed of only 6,600 MB/s. The 400MB/s difference is definitely not noticeable especially since they’re both at the higher end of the PCIe Gen4 spectrum but it would’ve been nice to see the same or higher SSD on the M16 2022, especially that the laptop gains a great boost of performance thanks to the 12th Gen CPU and RTX 30 Ti graphics.
ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 2022 Gaming Benchmarks – Power Plan Settings
We used CapFrameX Capture and Analysis Tool v1.6.6 to capture framerates for our benchmark run. We are using the latest Nvidia Game Ready 512.15 Notebook driver for our benchmarks of the ASUS Zephyrus M16 2022. HWInfo64 and AIDA64 are both used to measure CPU and GPU temperatures. Games are benchmarked at the Zephyrus M16’s native 2560x1600p resolution.
COUNTER-STRIKE: GLOBAL OFFENSIVE
Counter-Strike Strike: Global Offensive aka CSGO is a 10-year old first-person shooter title that’s still widely popular despite its old Source Engine. CS:GO is a great game to test out CPU performance as the game is heavily CPU-dependent like any other FPS title. Our CS:GO benchmark process uses ULLETICAL’s FPS Benchmark workshop mod to measure the hardware’s performance.
Most gamers play at least one of the following free-to-play titles: League of Legends, CS: GO, Dota 2, and/or Fortnite. Dota 2 is a good representation of the F2P titles as it is the most demanding game in the spectrum. The benchmark will give you an idea of the graphic card’s relative performance on other lesser demanding titles. Our benchmark sequence is based on a replay of OG vs. Liquid in the TI9 grand finals from the team fight that happened from 28:30 to 29:30.
Far Cry 5 & Far Cry 6
FarCry 5 is an FPS game published by Ubisoft and uses the Dunia engine. It heavily relies on and takes advantage of DirectX 11 to render a realistic environment that makes it taxing to both the CPU and GPU. Far Cry 6 is the latest installment in the franchise which utilizes DirectX 12 to run the virtual world of Yara.
Rainbow Six Seige is one of the few popular AAA games that’s still popular in 2021 due to its competitive gameplay mechanics. R6S uses the AnvilNext game engine, which the game’s publisher, Ubisoft, developed. As of writing, Rainbow Six Siege is currently the most popular Tom Clancy title beating out Wildlands, Breakpoint, and even Division 2.
Cyberpunk 2077 is arguably the most hyped game of 2020. Developed by CD Projekt Red, the dystopian open-world, action-adventure RPG sports is one of the most demanding titles to date. Cyberpunk 2077 also supports three Ray Tracing settings as well as DLSS which makes the game a great tool to measure Ray tracing performance for both AMD and Nvidia graphics cards.
Shadow of The Tomb Raider
Shadow of The Tomb Raider or SOTR is the latest installment of the Lara Croft Tomb Raider franchise. Developed by Square Enix, SOTR uses the Foundation engine and is further enhanced by Eidos Montreal. SOTR is also one of the first games to come out with Ray Tracing and DLSS support.
Metro Exodus is the third Metro game trilogy based on Dmitry Glukhovsky’s novels. The game is a first-person shooter with survival horror and stealth elements. The post-apocalyptic game uses 4A Engine by 4A games. Released last 2019, Metro Exodus remains to be one of the most graphically pleasing and demanding games that’s popular to date.
Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is the latest franchise installment from Ubisoft. It’s by far the most popular and stable Assassin’s Creed title since AC IV: Black Flag. It uses the AnvilNext 2.0 game engine, an updated version of Rainbow Six Siege’s game engine, and uses the DirectX 12 API.
F1 2020 is the official video game of the 2020 Formula 1 and Formula 2 championships developed by Codemasters. F1 2020 is the twelfth installment in the franchise and uses the Ego Engine 3.0. F1 2020 is a good representation of racing games thanks to its realistic graphics and fairly demanding spec requirements.
HORIZON ZERO DAWN
Horizon Zero Dawn is one of the most popular console-port RPG developed by Guerilla Games and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment. Horizon Zero Dawn is a multi-award-winning action RPG, and its popularity resulted in an exclusive Complete Edition game bundle on Steam.
ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 Temps and Battery Life
Max recorded CPU temperatures on the Intel Core i9 12900H peaked at 99°C and 77°C on the Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti. The results on different fan profiles are identical to the 2021 variant sporting the Intel Core i9 11900H and less powerful RTX 3070 non-Ti. Intel has done a great job with the processor’s thermal output considering the implementation of the P and E-cores not to mention that the processor is also paired with a much more powerful GPU compared to last year’s model.
Battery life with the new Intel 12th Generation processor is simply impressive. Gone are the days when gaming laptops lasted on average less than 4 hours on battery due to the immense power draw of high-performance CPUs and dedicated GPUs. Surprisingly, the ROG Zephyrus M16 2022 lasted 7 hours on its turbo profile but falls short to only 4 hours on its performance profile. Seven hours of battery life for a laptop of this caliber is astonishing considering the power that’s packed within. The Zephyrus M16 2022’s battery life trumps all of the gaming laptops we’ve reviewed to date and even some notebooks that have a lower power processor and a larger battery capacity. That said, the efficiency brought upon by the 10-nanometer 12th Gen Intel architecture addresses the age-old problems of gaming laptops and enables laptops equipped with 12th Gen Intel Core processors to be an on-the-go portable powerhouse most especially the Zephyrus M16 as it comes with a light-weight USB Type-C charger.
Coming from the 2021 ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16, most of the love-hate relationship in terms of performance has turned to full-on awe thanks to the latest Intel Core 12th Generation mobile processors and the pairing of a much stronger GPU. While the previous M16 barely yielded over 60 FPS on Max settings at 1600p resolution, the ROG Zephyrus M16 2022 manages without a sweat with some games hitting over the 100 FPS mark, maximizing the 165Hz refresh rate. Of course, one could always hook up a 1080p 165Hz monitor to hit the 165 FPS target but getting a monitor with the same color accuracy found on the Zephyrus M16’s display will cost you more than Php 15,000.
The ASUS ROG Zephyrus line, particularly the Zephyrus M16 GU603 continues to improve in performance, build quality, and usability. What was previously a premium thin-and-light gaming laptop for a specific niche grew to a portable powerhouse that transcends beyond gaming thanks to its professional 16:10 16-inch display, a well-rounded keyboard, robust connectivity and superb battery life. The upgrade to 12th Gen Intel CPUs removed the Zephyrus M16’s restraints that have been tormenting gaming laptops for years. The power efficiency brought upon by the utilization of the P and E-cores in gaming laptops removes the most important advantage of ultrabooks as the 12900H in the form of the Zephyrus M16 yields over 7 hours of battery life. That said, if you’ve previously held back in getting a gaming laptop due to their poor battery life despite their dominance in performance then worry no more as the Zephyrus line and the new Intel 12th Generation Mobile CPUs bring the best of both worlds in terms of performance and efficiency. The ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 specifically the Intel Core i9-12900H paired with either Ti-class graphics card is a great choice for consumers looking for desktop-class performance for either gaming or productivity without sacrificing portability and battery efficiency.
WHERE TO BUY THE ROG ZEPHYRUS M16 2022
The ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 2022 featuring the latest Intel 12th Gen Mobile processors are available at Intel-partner retailers listed below:
For other gaming laptops sporting the latest Intel 12th Generation mobile processors, check out Intel Philippines’ Facebook page for more updates.