Home Tech The Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 runs through AAA games (and its own battery)

The Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 runs through AAA games (and its own battery)

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The Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 runs through AAA games (and its own battery)

The Mini LED screen is the main differentiator between last year’s Strix Scar 18 model. Both can be upgraded to the RTX 4090 and both come with 32GB of DDR5 RAM (although the 2024 model is slightly faster). The 2024 model has a slightly newer 14th Gen Intel Core i9-14900HX processor. Based on the specs alone, I might be tempted to suggest looking at last year’s on-sale model, but the local dimming Mini LED display is such a great upgrade that it makes the newer machine stand out.

A powerful engine

It’s hard to find a more equipped gaming laptop, and the ROG Strix Scar 18 performs like the beast it is. The Intel Core i9-14900HX is one of best gaming laptop processors in raw power, and the Nvidia RTX 4090 laptop GPU is a powerhouse.

In star field, I consistently hit 60fps even in high-density, poorly optimized areas like New Atlantis, and regularly hovered between 80 and 90fps in less demanding areas. Cyberpunk 2077 It hits an even more impressive 90 fps during combat. supervision 2(a team-based online shooter designed to be less graphically demanding) stayed close to 240 fps even in wild, chaotic team fights.

That’s all when the laptop is plugged into the charger. Raw power is not just a metaphor; The more you push a GPU, the more electricity it consumes and generates more heat. Even start games like star field either Cyberpunk 2077 it made the laptop fans audibly come to life. If I had the machine on my lap, it immediately felt warm, but not entirely warm, to the touch. I would recommend using a lap desk with a hard surface to keep the laptop away from your legs and maintain airflow.

However, when not connected to the charger, performance (understandably) drops. star field and cyberpunk It approached 60 to 90 fps, which was still more than playable. However, games that demand high frame rates for competitive gameplay, such as supervision 2, were a little more challenging. I reduced the frame rate as low as I could, down to 60 fps and at 1,920 x 1,080 resolution, which would be more than enough for most other games. Still, it was simply too choppy to play with my usual heroes, and I only got through two or three games before the battery was low enough that I didn’t think I could survive another match.

This is typical for gaming laptops with this much power. Asus quotes the ROG Strix Scar 18’s battery life at around 5.6 hours for normal work, and gaming uses a batch more power than Slack and Excel. Combined with how powerful the processor and GPU are, you should really expect to do a lot of gaming only when you’re near a power outlet. If you want to play light games like stardew valleyThis machine is over the top and you can meet those needs for a few thousand dollars less.

LED Overload

There are a couple of minor issues that I would be remiss not to address. Asus still hasn’t shed the Edgy Gamer aesthetic, and it shows with the excessive amount of RGB LEDs. There are the usual LEDs on each key on the keyboard, which is nice, plus an LED strip wrapped around the front edge of the laptop, a second strip on the back just behind the screen hinge, and backlighting LED inside the logo on the keyboard. back of the screen. While plugged in and charging but not in use, the LEDs animate with a red sweeping motion every few seconds. It was a distraction and a nuisance.

Microsoft has also made it a little more annoying to figure out how to turn off lighting effects (for now). Typically, controlling the integrated LEDs meant playing with each company’s proprietary RGB LED controller app. Microsoft recently added tools directly in Windows to control lighting, making things simpler for consumers and manufacturers. As manufacturers add more support for new tools, dynamic lighting features should help make things a little more consistent.

However, until that happens, things are a little worse. In the Asus Armory Crate app, there’s a tab for Aura Sync (Asus’ proprietary lighting control system), with a link that takes you to the Windows Settings app. But some functions, such as the sleep mode LEDs, are still controlled by the Armory Crate app under a different section. It took me a while to find the right controls and get everything working the way I wanted.

The Asus Strix Scar 18 is an incredible gaming laptop that packs a ton of raw power with a price and bulky frame to match. If you already have a gaming laptop with something better than an RTX 2080 (or equivalent), you won’t need to upgrade unless you’ve started playing much more demanding games. However, if you’re looking for a gaming laptop that will last you several years without feeling its age (with a display so vivid it rivals most TVs, plus plenty of ports for connecting to external hardware), the ROG Strix Scar 18 is fine. it’s worth it.

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