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HomeTechAsus ROG Strix Scar 17 review: sure, this one is good, too

Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 review: sure, this one is good, too


Last week, I wrote about the ROG Strix Scar X3D: a massive, very expensive gaming laptop with off-the-charts benchmark scores. The X3D is a very interesting product in terms of what it represents for the laptop sphere, but it’s not something you’ll necessarily see a lot of people rushing to buy.

Today, instead, we are talking about the ROG Strix Scar 17, without X3D in the title. This Scar does not use AMD’s sophisticated 3D V-Cache technology. But it does have a couple of surprisingly powerful chips inside: AMD’s Ryzen 9 7945HX and Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 4090. It’s slightly less powerful, and at $3,499.99, compared to $3,699.99 for the top-end Scar X3D, slightly More affordable.

Other than the chip architecture, the Strix Scar 17 is basically identical to the Scar X3D. It has the same 17-inch QHD display, per-key RGB keyboard, somewhat grainy FHD webcam, and a whopping 6.6-pound chassis. Given that similarity, as well as the fact that $200 isn’t much when you’re already shelling out over $3,000, I imagine many gamers will prefer to wait for the X3D model to hit stores (which is supposed to be late September). , based on the last time I bugged Asus about it). Still, if you don’t want to wait that long or find you have $3,700 left fair Just beyond what you can afford, the regular Scar 17 will still deliver an exceptional gaming experience that stands a cut above the rest of the field.

First, let’s talk about the bigger issue here: how well the thing can play.

How we rate and review products

gaming performance

Even at a native resolution of 2560 x 1440 with ray tracing maxed out, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a game that gives the Scar 17 any problems.

The laptop blew the 100fps ceiling out of the water in Red Dead Redemption 2, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and Cyberpunk 2077. While that performance isn’t quite as incredible as we saw on the X3D model, it’s no slouch. In red dead, the difference between the 7945HX and 7945HX3D was reduced to 10 frames per second, a few percentage points. The difference was slightly larger in The Shadow of the Tomb Raider but it’s still not big enough to materially impact the game. In all cases, images were smooth and bright, with no visible glitches or crashes. Of course, these numbers were also well above what we saw on MSI’s Titan GT77 HX, a much more expensive RTX 4090 machine powered by Intel’s flagship Core i9. AMD is clearly ahead in the premium performance space.

Your eyes don’t deceive you: there are no ports on the right side.

The Scar 17 has advanced Optimus, which automatically switches between GPU modes depending on the task at hand.

I also got to see how well the Strix did in two of today’s most popular games, Baldur’s Gate 3 and Star Wars Jedi survivor. There are no problems in either case. The device simply barely exceed the 60 fps threshold in jedi survivor with settings maxed out and ray tracing on, but it got it done. That game is a particularly demanding example of standard ray tracing and rendering, so I was impressed with how well it worked here.

Please note that these fans, if you put them in Turbo mode, roar. They are so loud that you will need burst game audio or bring a decent headset so you can hear music and dialogue comfortably. Even when the Strix was idle and not running any games, he could hear his fans working from the other room. Of course, you can use silent mode for general use, although the keyboard did get a bit warm during those periods.

The webcam is nothing special (and doesn’t support Windows Hello).

In terms of battery life, I averaged about three hours of general use with the screen at 200 nits. I’m guessing people will mostly use this on their desks, due to the fact that it’s six and a half pounds, but, you know. Just in case you were wondering. (The 330W charger took about 45 minutes to charge the device to 60 percent.)

That’s going to be most of what you need to know about the Scar 17, especially if you’ve already read my review of the X3D model. In case you haven’t, here are some other things to mention.

the chassis

  • Stands out. This isn’t one of those sleek, respectable-looking gaming laptops with a low-key, modern vibe (for example, the Razer Blade 16 or Alienware x17). From top to bottom, this is an old-school gaming rig: a bold, colorful chassis that’s sure to turn heads wherever it goes. There’s a per-key RGB keyboard and a bright RGB light strip on the bottom and an illuminated ROG logo on the lid. This laptop screams “gamer.”
  • Is big. 6.6 pounds and almost an inch thick. Is big. I didn’t enjoy the moments when I had to carry this with one hand, and carrying it in my backpack along with books and other things made me very unhappy. I wouldn’t buy this expecting you to take it too far from your house. This is especially true because the 330W charger, while it does the job well, is gigantic.
  • The ports are a bit… one-sided.. They are literally spread out on the left side and back, with nothing left on the right. I don’t love this kind of arrangement because it might be inconvenient for some people whose monitor and outlet setup favor right-sided connectivity. Also, I don’t love having to reach behind me to plug in a lot of things (I have short arms, sue me), although I admit that others prefer it. However, it’s hard to complain about the selection itself. You get two USB-A on the left and two USB-C (USB4 compatible), one HDMI, one Ethernet, and one power port on the back.
  • I am a fan of this keyboard.. Every time I review a ROG laptop, I talk about its keyboard. This Strix is ​​no exception. The aforementioned RGB is fancy (and customizable to your heart’s content). The number pad on the right hand side is useful if you need it. There are dedicated keys for adjusting volume and fan speed, toggling the microphone, and opening Asus’ Armory Crate software, and I wish more laptops had little buttons like this because I no longer have to reach over giant keyboards to toggle. volume (looking at you, LG Gram). But most importantly, it has an incredibly springy feel and an exceptionally comfortable texture. Yo fly on this thing.

There is no port to be seen here.

the perspective

Such a large and expensive device, with this poor battery life and flashy looks, won’t be the right choice for everyone (or, let’s be honest, most people). All kinds of lines, like Lenovo’s Legion Pro, offer devices that are better built, more affordable, and more convenient to carry.

The Scar 17 basically has one thing going for it: it offers the best gaming performance you can get. (And, to be fair, for over $3,000, that should be an expectation.) It’s dwarfed by its X3D counterpart when it comes to raw frame rates, but it still beats just about every other gaming laptop we’ve tested. of the water. I’m comfortable saying that it probably offers better value for money than the X3D model, although that’s probably not a factor that matters much for people buying an RTX 4090.

Together, the Strix Scar 17 and Strix Scar X3D send a pretty clear message to the gaming world: AMD is way ahead. And if you are between the two, either of them will be useful to you.

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