I ended up returning the Asus G14. There were a number of things that weren’t apparent at first or didn’t seem to be an issue that, after talking to friends and listening to other reviews, made me decide to try something else. Unfortunately, for the smaller size gaming laptop segment, there isn’t a whole lot of choices. At the end, I decided on the HP Omen 15 2020 edition.
The HP seems at first glance of the specs to be a little bit of a step down. From a Ryzen 9 on the Asus to a Ryzen 7 on the HP. The video card is lower number, 2060 vs 1660Ti. So, at first, one might be a little disappointed going from one to the other and thinking that he ended up settling. Spoiler: The results don’t = settling.
Starting off with the beginning. The processor HP decided to go with on this machine was the higher wattage version Ryzen. 45W TDP vs 35W on the Ryzen 9. Asus had decided to use the “HS” processor due to a couple of reasons. One was cooling. Having a lower power chip would allow their cooling system to work better as there was less heat to remove. The other reason was battery life. Gaming systems are obviously not really bought for their battery life, but for the times you do want to skip down to Starbucks and just surf or watch some media, additional battery life is nice. Clock speeds are pretty close with the Ryzen 7 ranging from 2.9Ghz-4.2Ghz, and the Ryzen 9 working between 3.0Ghz and 4.3Ghz. The only other difference (besides the TDP) is the iGPU which is a Vega 7 on the 4800H and a Vega 8 on the Ryzen 9. This is not that big of a deal on a gaming laptop, in my opinion, since you will be using the discrete graphics the majority of the time.
Both laptops came with 16GB DDR4-3200Mhz RAM. But the Omen is able to upgrade a bit higher due to the larger case size. Unlike the Asus which had 8GB soldered onboard, the HP had both chips available for replacement, and currently I have 64GB in the laptop.
On the subject of video cards, the Asus came with a RTX 2060 Max-Q graphics. Again, this is a lower powered graphics option due to heat and power. The drawback of this is a lower performance. The HP on the other hand, comes with a full powered mobile variant of the GTX1660Ti. Both having 6GB of DDR6 RAM. Now because this is the full powered mobile edition, it ends up with scores roughly about the same or even in some cases higher than the RTX2060. In addition to that, the RTX2060 is not powerful enough to really use ray-tracing effectively, so that isn’t really a value add for it. The RTX2060 is using 65W of power vs the 1660Ti’s 80W. The former has a few more shader units (1929 vs 1536) and sits at a bit lower clock speed (975MHz vs 1455MHz). All these ends equaling that the 1660Ti is averaged out to be 9% faster than the RTX2060.
The cooling solution on the HP has been redesigned for the Omen 15 2020 edition. This resulted in much lower processor and GPU temps than I saw on the Asus. This should promote longevity in the life of the laptop and allows you to even overclock if you so desire (yes, you actually can overclock laptops).
The display is decent, at 300 nits and a bit brighter than on the Asus. The color space is a little worse at only 72% NSTC and only 87.3% of the sRGB gamut and response time was a little high at 13ms. The Asus on the other hand had a little slower refresh rate at only 120Hz vs 144Hz. But it covered 100% of the sRGB gamut. Response time was equally mediocre at 14-21ms.
Speakers are ok on each of them, but you definitely will be reaching for your headphones for better sound and pickup.
Storage duties on the HPs are quite a bit better than the Asus was. The HP employs an SK Hynix that topped out at 3450MB/s Read and 2507MB/s write.
The case is made out of hard plastic and is doesn’t show fingerprints that much which is definitely a plus. It definitely is a bit heftier and larger than the Asus but not overly so – especially compared to some of the 17″ monsters out there. The keyboard has a good feel to it and the touchpad is nice and responsive. The keyboard backlight is a lot brighter and easier to read. You can also setup zones of color as you can see in my pictures.
Now to the meat. I’ll start with Cinebench R20.
Interestingly enough, it scored a bit higher on this over the Ryzen 9 4900HS. 4331 vs 4194. I was able to easily overclock it and achieved around 4600 before I got scared and chickened out.
Moving on to SSD speed. To be mentioned this is a much better and higher performing SSD than the Intel 660p that was included from Asus.
Overall disk performance is very snappy and well performing. Moving on to PCMark10
Performed well but dropped a bit under the Asus’s score of 5654. Moving to TimeSpy now.
The HP once again takes the lead over the Asus score of 5962. I also ran Shadow of the Tomb Raider demo. The HP was able to achieve 84 FPS average beating the Asus’s 78.
I also benchmarked the machine using the SkyDiver test. The HP came in at 33,332 score to the Asus’s 33,001.
I was also asked by a Reddit user to perform a latency test on the machine as he uses it for audio. The results of that test using LatencyMon:
As mentioned in the beginning, there were a few things about the Asus that I didn’t believe would be good for long life. Due to that and I ended up getting this machine on sale at Best Buy for even a better deal ($1100 USD), I ended up purchasing this HP. I have now had the machine for a number of months and am still completely happy with it. Would I be happier if it had a 2070 or 80 in it? Of course, but for the level of gaming I typically do, this works great and the battery life is decent enough. (averaged about 6 hours for movie play at ½ brightness)
Recommended and Approved Long Term. (Owned and Paid off )