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Saturday, June 15, 2024

Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 evaluation: positive, this one is nice, too

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Final week, I wrote concerning the ROG Strix Scar X3D: a huge, very costly gaming laptop computer with off-the-charts benchmark scores. The X3D is a really thrilling product by way of what it represents for the laptop computer sphere however not one thing I essentially see a complete bunch of individuals speeding to buy.

At this time, we’re as a substitute discussing the ROG Strix Scar 17 — no X3D within the title. This Scar doesn’t use AMD’s fancy 3D V-Cache technology. However it does have an astonishingly highly effective pair of chips inside: AMD’s Ryzen 9 7945HX and Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 4090. It’s barely much less highly effective and, with a value of $3,499.99, in comparison with the high-end Scar X3D’s $3,699.99, barely extra inexpensive.

Other than the chip structure, the Strix Scar 17 is mainly equivalent to the Scar X3D. It’s acquired the identical 17-inch QHD display screen, per-key RGB keyboard, considerably grainy FHD webcam, and big 6.6-pound chassis. Provided that similarity, in addition to the truth that $200 isn’t all that a lot while you’re already paying upwards of three grand, I think about that many players might desire to attend for the X3D mannequin to hit cabinets (which is meant to occur in late September, per the final time I bugged Asus about it). Nonetheless, for those who don’t wish to wait that lengthy otherwise you discover $3,700 to be simply a bit past what you possibly can afford, the common Scar 17 will nonetheless ship an distinctive gaming expertise that’s fairly far above the remainder of the sector.

First, let’s discuss crucial matter right here: how effectively the factor can sport.

Gaming efficiency

Even at native 2560 x 1440 decision with ray tracing to the max, you’ll be hard-pressed to discover a sport that provides the Scar 17 any issues.

The laptop computer left the 100fps ceiling out of the water on Purple {Dead} Redemption 2, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and Cyberpunk 2077. Whereas that efficiency isn’t fairly as unbelievable as we noticed from the X3D mannequin, it isn’t too far behind. On Purple {Dead}, the distinction between the 7945HX and the 7945HX3D got here all the way down to 10-ish frames per second — a number of share factors. The distinction was a bit greater in Shadow of the Tomb Raider however nonetheless not giant sufficient to materially influence the gameplay. In all {cases}, pictures have been easy and shiny with out seen glitches or hangups. In fact, these numbers have been additionally effectively above those who we noticed from MSI’s Titan GT77 HX, a way more costly RTX 4090 machine powered by Intel’s flagship Core i9. AMD is clearly forward within the premium efficiency area.

Your eyes don’t deceive you: there aren’t any ports on the suitable facet.

The Scar 17 has Superior Optimus, which switches between GPU modes robotically relying on the duty you’re doing.

I additionally needed to see how effectively the Strix did on two of at this time’s hottest video games, Baldur’s Gate 3 and Star Wars Jedi Survivor. No issues in both case. The machine did simply barely recover from the 60fps threshold in Jedi Survivor with settings maxed and ray tracing on, however it did make it. That sport is a very demanding instance of ray tracing and normal rendering, so I used to be impressed to see how effectively it ran right here.

Observe that these followers, for those who put them in Turbo mode, will roar. They’re so loud that you’ll both must blast the sport audio or be carrying some respectable headphones to be able to comfortably hear music and dialogue. Even when the Strix was idle and never operating any video games, I may hear its followers at work from the opposite room. You possibly can, in fact, use Silent Mode for normal use, although the keyboard did get a bit toasty throughout these durations.

The webcam is nothing particular (and doesn’t assist Home windows Howdy).

By way of battery life, I averaged round three hours of normal use with the display screen at 200 nits. I assume people will principally be utilizing this factor on their desks, owing to the truth that it’s six and a half kilos, however, you already know. Simply in case you have been questioning. (The 330W charger took round 45 minutes to cost the machine to 60 p.c.)

That’s going to be most of what it is advisable know concerning the Scar 17, particularly for those who’ve already learn my evaluation of the X3D mannequin. In case you haven’t, listed below are a number of different issues to name out.

The chassis

  • It stands out. This isn’t a type of modern, respectable-looking gaming laptops with an understated fashionable vibe (say, Razer Blade 16 or Alienware x17). From high to backside, that is an old-school gaming rig — a flashy and colourful chassis that can flip heads wherever it goes. There’s a per-key RGB keyboard and a shiny RGB lightstrip alongside the underside and a light-up ROG emblem on the lid. This laptop computer screams “gamer.”
  • It’s huge. 6.6 kilos and virtually a full inch thick. It’s giant. I didn’t benefit from the occasions once I needed to carry this with one hand, and carrying it in my backpack alongside books and different issues made me very sad. I might not purchase this anticipating you’ll be bringing it too removed from your home. That’s very true as a result of the 330W charger, whereas good at its job, is gigantic.
  • The ports are a bit of… one-sided. Actually, they’re distributed throughout the left facet and the again, with nothing on the suitable. I don’t love this kind of association as a result of it could inconvenience some people whose monitor and outlet setup favors right-hand connectivity. Additionally, I simply don’t love having to achieve across the again to plug numerous issues in (I’ve brief little arms, sue me), although I acknowledge that others desire it. It’s arduous to complain concerning the choice itself, although. You get two USB-A on the left and two USB-C (supporting USB4), an HDMI, an ethernet, and an influence port on the again.
  • I’m a fanatic about this keyboard. Each time I evaluation an ROG laptop computer, I gush about its keyboard. This Strix is not any exception. The aforementioned RGB is neat (and customizable to your coronary heart’s content material). The quantity pad on the suitable facet is useful for those who want it. There are devoted keys for adjusting quantity and fan pace, toggling the microphone, and pulling up Asus’ Armory Crate software program, and I want extra laptops had little buttons like this as a result of I’m very over having to stretch my hand throughout big keyboards to toggle quantity ( you, LG Gram). However most significantly, it has an extremely bouncy really feel and a uniquely comfy texture. I fly on this factor.

Right here there’s nary a port to be seen.

The outlook

A tool this massive and costly, with this little battery life and this flashy a glance isn’t going to be the suitable alternative for everybody (or, let’s be trustworthy — most individuals). All types of strains, reminiscent of Lenovo’s Legion Professional, supply units which are each higher constructed, extra inexpensive, and extra sensible to hold.

The Scar 17 has mainly one factor going for it: It affords among the greatest gaming efficiency you will get. (And, to be truthful, for effectively over $3,000, that ought to be an expectation.) It’s overshadowed by its X3D counterpart with regards to the uncooked body charges, however it’s nonetheless blasting just about each different gaming laptop computer we’ve ever examined out of the water. I’m comfy saying it most likely affords higher bang in your buck than the X3D mannequin does, although that’s doubtless not an element that issues a lot to people who find themselves searching for an RTX 4090.

Collectively, the Strix Scar 17 and the Strix Scar X3D ship a fairly clear message to the gaming world: AMD may be very far forward. And for those who’re between the 2, both ought to serve you effectively.

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