I’ve been using the Zephyrus G14 (2020) since July 2020 almost exclusively on Linux, and here’s my experience.
I’ll start the list with the things that don’t work, mainly because that list is so short.
- Fingerprint reader
- Several small issues with nvidia hybrid graphics mode
That’s it. The fingerprint reader is a Goodix 521d, which uses encrypted protocols from what I’ve heard and Goodix aren’t willing to do anything Linux related.
For the rest of the issues, it’s Nvidia related, as usual. When in hybrid mode (Vega GPU as primary, Nvidia as secondary), the USB-c display output doesn’t work, and the GPU doesn’t turn off fully, so it perpetually draws 3-5w. Considering that the rest of the laptop only uses 7w at idle, that’s quite a hit.
The biggest help in getting this laptop to work is
asusctl and the related DKMS modules. This allows for custom fan curves and performance profiles (
acpi_call modules), keyboard backlighting (
hid-asus-rog module), and switching GPU modes. The GPU switcher is especially useful, and I tend to switch between
integrated (Vega only; 10-11hr battery) and
nvidia (Nvidia as primary GPU, for gaming and multiple external displays).
Update 2021: The 5.11+ kernels include the necessary patches, so DKMS modules are no longer needed. I am also using Wayland now, because the latest 470 drivers have XWayland support, and since Wayland supports GPU hotplug, I can now turn the GPU on and off for good battery & high performance without restart my session. This is done by switching between
asusctl graphics modes integrated (full battery life) and compute (GPU attaches to Wayland automatically).
Ok, to the things that are working in general:
- Keyboard backlight
- Good battery (without the nvidia GPU randomly turning on)
- Fn keys, and the 4 extra media keys (except mic mute, currently wayland only)
- High performance gaming with Nvidia, both native games and with proton
- 120hz screen w/ freesync functionality
- Custom fan curves, including completely silent operation
- Sleep mode, hibernate, etc all working
- Up to 3 external displays (1 HDMI, 2 USB-c)
- Battery charge limit (works in sleep mode, it’s a feature of the charge controller)
- And, the most interesting thing, GPU Passthrough to a Windows 10 VM.
The last point there was a bet I was willing to take when purchasing this laptop. Turns out, it works pretty well. I’ve been using it for games and high performance applications that don’t work well or not at all in proton/wine, including, but not limited to, Cyberpunk 2077, Watch Dogs Legion, Autodesk Inventor 2020, and the Adobe apps.