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Asus Caught Being Malicious - Zephyrus G15 has fan vents blocked by black paper. Reason Unknown

So recently, a few youtube channels and people on Reddit have taken to repasting their Zephyrus G15 models and have stumbled upon something very peculiar. The fan cut-outs for airflow are blocked by black paper for seemingly no reason. Asus have failed to give adequate reasoning as to why those covers exist as removing them yields a universal improvement to the laptop. Thermals go down by 5-10*C on both CPU and GPU and clockspeeds go up.

 

SPECULATION: The current hypothesis I've read here and on several other forums is that this is yet another bribe from Intel to make the mobile Ryzen 4000 look hot and bad. But that sounds a bit far fetched to me. While Intel have done VERY shady (and illegal things) in the past, we need more evidence to corroborate any such claims. Currently, it remains as Asus' retarded decision. But it's peculiar that this black paper has only appeared on the Zephyrus G15 and the older Ryzen 3750H-based GA502. The Zephyrus M and other Zephyrus models have all had open fan ventilation. This is the primary piece of evidence people have used to give credence to the Intel theory.

I welcome thoughts and opinions. @genexis_x and @LukeSavenije will have a fun time with this one I bet ;)
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:x~

 

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On the one hand, it's much more spicy drama to believe that Asus is being bribed. On the other hand, Asus wants to make good products that do well in reviews, so this would be some serious self sabotage, as all the other Ryzen powered laptops, from their competitors, that are not being blocked are gonna look like better products, as opposed to giving AMD a bad look.

 

Also

6 minutes ago, 5x5 said:

But it's peculiar that this black paper has only appeared on the Zephyrus G15 and the older Ryzen 3750H-based GA502. The Zephyrus M and other Zephyrus models have all had open fan ventilation.

How many zephyrus models have Ryzen CPUs? Is it only these two?

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Was there an Intel logo on the paper? :D 

 

Would Asus risk their own reputation for the sake of money when they already make so much? Another question to raise is ...does Asus even care about their reputation as long they make money? ....I think maybe not.. 😛 

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1 minute ago, Fasauceome said:

On the one hand, it's much more spicy drama to believe that Asus is being bribed. On the other hand, Asus wants to make good products that do well in reviews, so this would be some serious self sabotage, as all the other Ryzen powered laptops, from their competitors, that are not being blocked are gonna look like better products, as opposed to giving AMD a bad look.

 

Also

How many zephyrus models have Ryzen CPUs? Is it only these two?

So far these are the only Zephyrus models alongside the G14. Total is 3

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1 minute ago, aDoomGuy said:

Was there an Intel logo on the paper? :D 

 

Would Asus risk their own reputation for the sake of money when they already make so much? Another question to raise is ...does Asus even care about their reputation as long they make money? ....I think maybe not.. 😛 

We have no concrete information but we can just remember 2004-2005 when Dell were being paid 1 million per month by Intel to avoid Athlon 64 x2 sooo...imagine 10 million per month.

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Just now, 5x5 said:

We have no concrete information but we can just remember 2004-2005 when Dell were being paid 1 million per month by Intel to avoid Athlon 64 x2 sooo...imagine 10 million per month.

Hehe yeah.

 

I don't remember how much Asus makes these days, I saw some figures and they were massive but I don't remember... But one thing is for sure.... Asus sure like them cash.

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1 minute ago, aDoomGuy said:

Hehe yeah.

 

I don't remember how much Asus makes these days, I saw some figures and they were massive but I don't remember... But one thing is for sure.... Asus sure like them cash.

I'm just confused to be honest. This is actual self-sabotage from Asus. And severe self sabotage at that.

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1 minute ago, 5x5 said:

I'm just confused to be honest. This is actual self-sabotage from Asus. And severe self sabotage at that.

Asus sometimes are extremely incompetent. I wouldn't be too surprised if this was a result of that but at the same time they don't care too much about their reputation so maybe...

 

Could it be a unhappy worker? 😛 

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If it's only being done to AMD chipped units then go figure.
Intel is in a bad way right now and edging closer to desperate - Anything they could do to hurt AMD I woudn't put beyond them at all, esp with their already proven history of shady dealings and scummy stuff.

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1 minute ago, aDoomGuy said:

Asus sometimes are extremely incompetent. I wouldn't be too surprised if this was a result of that but at the same time they don't care too much about their reputation so maybe...

 

Could it be a unhappy worker? 😛 

Unhappy worker can't machine, design and authorize these metal clips and paper parts for production, though.

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1 minute ago, 5x5 said:

Unhappy worker can't machine, design and authorize these metal clips and paper parts for production, though.

Hmmm.... You're probably right... Hmmmmm... Intel is one shady company lol. Maybe even more so than a AMD fanboy give them credit for.. :P 

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1 minute ago, aDoomGuy said:

Hmmm.... You're probably right... Hmmmmm... Intel is one shady company lol. Maybe even more so than a AMD fanboy give them credit for.. :P 

This is just bizaire at the moment. We need more information and a half decent sound explanation but so far it's not looking good. I mean, this is the difference that would push the G15 from good to exemplary

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Like com'on people.

 

Want to know the 99.999% likely reason? Noise. Baffling the air intake reduces noise. Second most likely reasoning would be that restricting the intake reduces the chance some idiot puts their finger or bedding into it. Yes proper meshes exist, but stuff like this is almost always a patch job when they find a critical flaw in the system design. Like perhaps the older Zephyrus designs had a number of customer complaints about fan issues. Fan gets closed off in next revision.

 

A 5-10C drop, while sounding big, is pretty darn small actually in the context of laptop cooling issues.

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3 minutes ago, Curufinwe_wins said:

Like com'on people.

 

Want to know the 99.999% likely reason? Noise. Baffling the air intake reduces noise. Second most likely reasoning would be that restricting the intake reduces the chance some idiot puts their finger or bedding into it. Yes proper meshes exist, but stuff like this is almost always a patch job when they find a critical flaw in the system design. Like perhaps the older Zephyrus designs had a number of customer complaints about fan issues. Fan gets closed off in next revision.

 

A 5-10C drop, while sounding big, is pretty darn small actually in the context of laptop cooling issues.

10C is a LOT for a laptop - that's the difference between running at 3.7 and 4.1 under load.

 

 

Also fan noise was only on complaint on the Zephyrus M which didn't have any fan blocking. In fact, Asus purposefully open the laptop fans on all high end Zephyrus models so that more air can be moved. It's the hallmark of the series. This is a massive shift in tone without any logical comment when pressed about it

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5 minutes ago, Curufinwe_wins said:

Like com'on people.

 

Want to know the 99.999% likely reason? Noise. Baffling the air intake reduces noise. Second most likely reasoning would be that restricting the intake reduces the chance some idiot puts their finger or bedding into it. Yes proper meshes exist, but stuff like this is almost always a patch job when they find a critical flaw in the system design. Like perhaps the older Zephyrus designs had a number of customer complaints about fan issues. Fan gets closed off in next revision.

 

A 5-10C drop, while sounding big, is pretty darn small actually in the context of laptop cooling issues.

Highly doubt it is a noise thing, Asus has done some dumb shit but they aren't *that* dumb, and the fact that they only did it on Ryzen-based laptops doesn't support this theory.

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36 minutes ago, 5x5 said:

The fan cut-outs for airflow are blocked by black paper

Are they blocked, though?

Is the paper air permeable?

 

More generally:
 

Does having the paper reduce dust intake?

Does the paper reduce noise that is otherwise extremely loud?

Is this a manufacturing mistake only in some units? (i.e. Paper installed to transport partially completed machine from one place to the next, and forgot to remove it)
Could this have been a workflow mistake by factory workers?

Could Asus be nerfing their own product line(s) without Intel's involvement?

Could these units have been intercepted and modified without Asus knowledge?

 

There are many things that could explain this. Let's give Asus a chance to explain themselves before jumping to conclusions and trying to cancel Intel/Asus.

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9 minutes ago, 5x5 said:

10C is a LOT for a laptop - that's the difference between running at 3.7 and 4.1 under load.

 

 

Also fan noise was only on complaint on the Zephyrus M which didn't have any fan blocking. In fact, Asus purposefully open the laptop fans on all high end Zephyrus models so that more air can be moved. It's the hallmark of the series. This is a massive shift in tone without any logical comment when pressed about it

No. 10C is not a lot for a laptop. A lot of a laptop is having a design that increases in temp by 30C when you sit it on a soft surface. A lot is the difference between an Apple design that instantly thermal throttles on ramp up to 105C before turning up the fans and a laptop with anything approaching a respectable cooling design.

 

Wow, so you are saying that a common complaint of the series only exists on a system for which this (wrongly or rightly) addresses? It's almost as if that is direct evidence for that fix being a thing. High end Zephyrus is not the G14/15. The design of a high end laptop is often quite differently optimized than the design of midrange/normal laptops. In fact, that midrange/normal laptop regime is a completely common area to see cooling systems that try to be more quiet than performance. We can list tons of those from all over.  (2060 laptops are not high end or anything like high end).

8 minutes ago, kelvinhall05 said:

Highly doubt it is a noise thing, Asus has done some dumb shit but they aren't *that* dumb, and the fact that they only did it on Ryzen-based laptops doesn't support this theory.

Yes. They are that dumb. And it isn't even that dumb. Has anyone gotten a hold of the same (and current) chassis from intel to compare? Or is this completely an apples to oranges situation that fanboys are being fanboys about? 

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It could be a last minute fix for laptop to pass EMI tests and be allowed to be sold in certain countries .. electric radiation that could affect radios and various devices.  It could be to shape the air flow across some components better, it could be the holes were too big and water could get into laptop too easily.

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9 minutes ago, mariushm said:

It could be a last minute fix for laptop to pass EMI tests and be allowed to be sold in certain countries .. electric radiation that could affect radios and various devices.  It could be to shape the air flow across some components better, it could be the holes were too big and water could get into laptop too easily.

I totally forgot about EMI. Also a good possible explanation. 

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If I had to guess it has to be for chassis temps.  In the second video she said that it was to keep the keyboard cool, and that makes sense to me.  There are quite strict rules on laptop chassis temps since you can get burned when parts you touch exceed ~45C (source).  I've seen lots of laptops that will have the power and cooling to have the CPU run fast but it will have to be throttled down because parts of the chassis was getting too hot.  Chances are the high end models don't need this because they will have some sort of sheeting internally to prevent the keyboard from getting too hot, but this can be rather expensive so this janky solution for budget laptops was used.

 

image.png

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28 minutes ago, Curufinwe_wins said:

No. 10C is not a lot for a laptop. A lot of a laptop is having a design that increases in temp by 30C when you sit it on a soft surface. A lot is the difference between an Apple design that instantly thermal throttles on ramp up to 105C before turning up the fans and a laptop with anything approaching a respectable cooling design.

 

Wow, so you are saying that a common complaint of the series only exists on a system for which this (wrongly or rightly) addresses? It's almost as if that is direct evidence for that fix being a thing. High end Zephyrus is not the G14/15. The design of a high end laptop is often quite differently optimized than the design of midrange/normal laptops. In fact, that midrange/normal laptop regime is a completely common area to see cooling systems that try to be more quiet than performance. We can list tons of those from all over.  (2060 laptops are not high end or anything like high end).

Yes. They are that dumb. And it isn't even that dumb. Has anyone gotten a hold of the same (and current) chassis from intel to compare? Or is this completely an apples to oranges situation that fanboys are being fanboys about? 

10*C is indeed massive on laptops and in this case is the difference between throttling and no throttling. The laptop manual clearly states it was designed to operate on a desk so having those intakes be blocked is absurd.

The complaint is only common on one Zephyrus model - a model which never got refreshed with black paper and every Zephyrus after it save for the GA502 has not had black paper blocking intakes. And according to testing the black paper makes the laptop LOUDER as the fans have to work harder to move air through the chassis. The entire noise argument falls apart.

 

Just now, AlexTheGreatish said:

If I had to guess it has to be for chassis temps.  In the second video she said that it was to keep the keyboard cool, and that makes sense to me.  There are quite strict rules on laptop chassis temps since you can get burned when parts you touch exceed ~45C (source).  I've seen lots of laptops that will have the power and cooling to have the CPU run fast but it will have to be throttled down because parts of the chassis was getting too hot.  Chances are the high end models don't need this because they will have some sort of sheeting internally to prevent the keyboard from getting too hot, but this can be rather expensive so this janky solution for budget laptops was used.

 

image.png

From the looks of it surface thermals also improved, though. The black paper is on the bottom area, not the keyboard side so the keyboard argument is odd since it doesn't actually make any logical sense to block the bottom panel when the keyboard deck is getting hot. It also doesn't block the area underneath the heat-generating components but the area under the fans which is usually a cool spot and thus the argument further falls apart. If Asus were trying to direct air towards the intakes under the CPU/GPU then surely they could have done a better job and not even put the cut-outs under the fans to begin with. Since as it stands, the laptop is chocked for air and removing the paper results in a universal decrease in temps across the entire device.

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26 minutes ago, mariushm said:

It could be a last minute fix for laptop to pass EMI tests and be allowed to be sold in certain countries .. electric radiation that could affect radios and various devices.  It could be to shape the air flow across some components better, it could be the holes were too big and water could get into laptop too easily.

There are laptops with much larger cut-outs, though - water isn't a concern here especially since the other cut-outs on the device are identical in size and not covered. As for airflow, then why are the fans separated from the other cut-outs and not guided with built in air channels like on other Lenovo laptops, for example? Also, I can't understand Asus' comments since removing the black paper reduces chassis temps as well as component temps.

EDIT: Not to mention Asus have sold laptops with 65*C chassis temps before (I actually own one - the GL502VT)

EDIT 2: The GL502VT has 2 revisions - both called the GL502VM - they ran even hotter. No black paper on those.

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