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Asus ROG gaming laptops have always delivered awesome performance in our reviews, and the Strix Scar 17 is no exception. I tested this new model on some of the most popular games out there and I’m pleased to report that it’s as impressive as far as gaming laptops go.

For starters, it packs an AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080, making it one of the best choices for those who want gaming on the go with ray tracing. While these are obviously mobile versions of their desktop counterparts and thus have certain limits, they still delivered a solid gaming experience.

Before we get into the performance test, let’s go over the basic specs and package contents.

The Laptop Specs

Model Variant: Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 G733QS-HG153TS
Processor: AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX with Radeon Graphics @ 3.30 GHz
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 16GB GDDR6
RAM: 32GB DDR4 3200mHz (x2 16GB RAM Dual Channel)
SSD: 1TB + 1TB M.2 NvME PCIe in Raid 0 config.
Screen Size: 17-in. FHD, 300Hz
OS: Windows 10 Home Single Language 64-bit

Ports:

Left side: USB Ports (x2), 3.5mm headphone jack
Right side: ROG Keystone slot
Rear: Charger port, LAN Cable, HDMI, USB-C port, USB slot

Out of the Box

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ROG laptops have traditionally been sold as a bundle with accessories to get you gaming right off the bat and on the go. While the added peripherals can jack up the price, the trade-off is you get warranty coverage along with things like a high-performance gaming mouse and an ROG-branded backpack,

As for this particular review unit, here’s what I found out of the box:

– ROG Chakram Core Gaming Mouse
– ROG Delta RGB Quad-DAC Gaming Headset (Gold Plated USB-C) with extra earcups and detachable microphone
– ROG Backpack
– ROG Keystone attachment
– Main power brick and cables
– Travel power brick with cables
– Extra vent plates for the laptop
– USB-C to USB adapter cable
– Micro-USB to USB cable

While the mouse and backpack were pretty much expected, The extra vent plates, earcups and USB cables were an unexpected surprise. It’s nice to have additional parts to customize your laptop’s looks aside from just tuning the RGB.

Before we go over the attachments, let’s take a look at the Strix Scar 17 itself.

The GAMING Laptop

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One thing I like about these gaming laptops is that all the ports are organized on the left side and rear end. This means less cables in the way during use.

To start, we have two USB ports and a 3.5mm headphone jack on the left. The rear end has the power cable jack, LAN cable, HDMI, USB-C ports, and the 3rd USB slot. Finally, the right side has a slot where you can insert the ROG Keystone into it.

Another notable design feature is the 4 vents on the laptop’s side. 2 on the rear, and 1 each on the left and right side. While this does bring down the number of left-hand USB ports to 2, it also adds another vent for dispersing the heat. Considering this baby packs an RTX 3080. it’s better to have as much outlets as possible.

As for the overall appearance, this baby is as slick as ever. Aside from the 4 vents on the sides, the area below the underbelly is also vented, which is handy especially when you have a cooling fan pad for extra air circulation. It even has its own set of stylized rubber stops to keep the laptop stable.

The RGB lighting is pretty stylish as well. It’s nice to have the ROG logo light up in different colors, but this time, there’s a small area under the lid that also has a small strip that lights up too.

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Speaking of the ROG Keystone, this is a small red trapezoid-shaped attachment. For the unfamiliar, this acts like a recovery drive where you can save your account details and settings. Another nifty function is that it doubles as a shadow drive and a security key to lock/unlock your Windows account.

There’s different vent plates this time around for the laptop. There’s silver, grey and a metallic option where you can swap to your liking. Simply slide off the plate, lift it off and slap in a new one.

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The main charger’s power block is thinner and lighter this time around, which I appreciated. It does run hotter though, probably because the RTX card draws a considerable amount of power.

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The travel charger however, is a compact square reminiscent of Macbook charger bricks. Thankfully the plugs aren’t on the brick itself, because there’s a port for a charging wire and plug. I personally prefer this setup compared to Mac-style square brick plugs because they can hog outlet space, can only be mounted on wall sockets with enough room, and can get knocked off easily by a stray foot.

The ROG Chakram Core Gaming Mouse

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The ROG Chakram Core Gaming Mouse has a sleek look with its extra buttons and a detachable plate. What’s nice about this model is that it has a side-mounted joystick-like attachment for added control options. It’s also got a 16,000 dpi optical sensor for added precision.

The ROG Delta RGB Quad-DAC Gaming Headset

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The ROG Delta RGB Quad-DAC Gaming Headset was arguably one of the best things I liked over the other attachments. Sure it’s got the extra earcups, RBG lighting and a gold-plated USB-C cable (which fits nicely into the laptop’s rear port), but having a detachable microphone is a nice option, especially when you’re just doing singleplayer and not talking to anyone.

There’s an on/off switch for the RGB, and a convenient volume control that you can access on the left earcup.

The sound quality was awesome to behold here. Though out of curiosity, I tried using conventional earbud headphones via the laptop’s own 3.5mm jack. Surprisingly, the audio was pretty loud, that I barely had to go above the single digit volume values during gaming.

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For added compatibility, there’s extra cables: a USB-C to USB connector where you can plug the headphones in, and a USB to micro-USB connector for older devices you want to plug into the laptop.

The ROG Backpack

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As per ROG tradition, there’s also a branded backpack that you can use to carry your gaming gear in. There’s no RGB on this one, but it’s big enough to carry everything in the box.

Benchmarking and First Impressions

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The meat of this review is all about the laptop’s performance. Before anything else, of course, I had to do some initial configurations and benchmarking.

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The 300hz display is impressive enough, but I had to calibrate the screen’s color balance, gamma, and brightness just because it’s been a habit of mine to configure the picture settings. It’s always nice to do this in order to fine tune the LED screen to your tastes.

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From the cold boot, the ROG Strix Scar 17’s internal temperatures registered at 65oC (149oF) for the Ryzen 9 processor, and 49oC (120.2oF) for the RTX 3080 graphics card, according to the CPUID HWMonitor data.

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Checking in with the Armory Crate, The initial voltages showed 875mV for the CPU, and 750mV for the GPU, with a TGP of 115W.

Opening the NVIDIA Control Panel, I saw that the Max GPU Power registered at 130W. While this particular RTX 3080 wasn’t at the maximum 150W variant, it’s still nice to know that the power is still on the higher end.

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CPU-Z data also showed that this laptop packs Dual Channel RAM right off the box. It uses two 16GB DDR4 RAM chips, both at 3200mHz. I’ve always thought that ROG laptops show their real potential with upgraded RAM, but it’s nice to see that this one has both slots used from the get-go.

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Initial benchmarking results from Cinebench yielded a score of 5103 with 1 minute and 8 seconds for the time it took to complete the test.

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Another impressive feature here is that the laptop has 1TB each for both SSDs. Retail units would be set in Raid 0 configuration, essentially making these twin drives work like a single one. For the most part, this saves you the trouble of spending for upgrades later on.

It’s also worth noting that this new line of Strix laptops have no HDD slot. An interesting choice, but then again, having twin SSDs is a nice touch.

Games Tested

Now for the main event. We can’t have a proper test without having ray tracing-compatible games, which is why our roster for this review includes titles like RE: Village and Cyberpunk 2077 for starters. One thing to note here is that with the ray tracing on and at high settings, the temps had a tendency to shoot up to 101oC. So in the interest of preventing long-term damage to the internals, I’ve had to make certain adjustments to the graphics settings. You can see these tweaks done in the recorded videos below too.

Disclaimer:

1. All games were tested in a room temperature of 36oC (96.8oF), since these are normal conditions for countries/regions with a tropical climate. Given that, the laptop’s internal temperatures will definitely be higher than they would be as opposed to playing in an airconditioned room.

2. The status of the cooling compound in the laptop is unknown, so I can’t vouch how well it can affect the cooling.

3. The Armory Crate is set to “Turbo” for all games, so there may be overclocking involved.

Resident Evil Village

With all the hype surrounding Lady Dimitrescu, Resident Evil: Village was definitely first on the list. Without being (seduced) distracted by Kikuko Inoue’s fantastic Japanese dub for the iconic vampire mommy, it was pretty nice to have my hands on another RE title after so long.

I did notice that the temps and framerates both spiked in cutscenes. In the scene where the vampire sisters drag Ethan to see Lady D, the FPS shot up to the high 80’s and the temps were in the range of 89 to 91oC. The settings were later adjusted at medium in order to balance the thermals and performance in the middle of the game. Thankfully the FPS was at a near-consistent 60 and thermals were within the low to mid 80’s range.

Despite the fact that I had to adjust the graphics to compensate for the thermals, the ray tracing was pretty decent here. I could see the lights reflected on the floor’s marble tiles, the graphics were as sharp as it can be even on the mid-range settings and the overall performance of the game was satisfactory.

Cyberpunk 2077

Despite the bugs, Cyberpunk 2077 is still one of the immersive games I’ve played. The stealth, shooting and story aspects kept me hooked for hours at a time.

As for running it on the Strix Scar, it was interesting to note that despite keeping the graphics and ray-tracing on medium settings, the temps were still at the high 80’s to mid 90’s. I did set the color, mirror and detail quality to high at least, in order to maintain some acceptable quality on the graphics. At the very least, I was pleased to see that the reflections and lighting were decently rendered on objects. Though for some reason, I couldn’t see the player character reflected on surfaces at all. This was probably due to some bugs in the game.

The FPS however, was all over the place, in a good way. While the frames weren’t locked to 60, I would notice at times that the values would spike to 70 during firefights. Not exactly a bad thing, but I do wish I tweaked the settings a bit more to find a better balance between graphics and thermals.

Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition

Another choice for testing was Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition. The game had so many dark places to crawl through that it felt like I could use this as a test to see how well the lighting works with the RTX card.

Upon playing, I could see that the lighting in dark areas were rendered pretty well. It was satisfying to see the contrast between dark corridors illuminated by lamps and torches. The only hitch, as usual, was that setting the graphics settings on “high” could cause the thermals to fluctuate wildly from the mid 80’s to 97oC. Framerates on the other hand, could go past 60 at times, and stick to the 100’s during cutscenes.

Control Ultimate Edition

Control is one of the best games to benchmark ray tracing with. I’ve tested this previously with the ROG Zephyrus S, and was excited to see how it will work with a 30 series GPU this time.

Surprisingly, the FPS could go up to the 90’s at the tutorial combat stages and at 240 during cutscenes. The thermals remained within the mid 80’s to the mid 90’s range on medium settings as well. As for the reflections of the character on glass? They were as detailed as I could expect.

Genshin Impact

Of course we had to test Genshin Impact, after all, it’s one of the more popular games today. It runs beautifully on this laptop with the FPS being a near consistent 60, while the thermals stayed within the 77oC to 84oC range after adjusting the graphics.

Final Verdict

While the thermals are definitely an issue, the performance was something that this laptop delivered and then some. Granted, I was playing in tropical condition temperatures with nothing but an electric fan, cooling pad, and a water vapor air condenser to regulate the temperature. Despite that, I’m pretty satisfied with how this laptop performed. The superior performance is always a given, but this time, I’m glad to see that it includes awesome graphics as only the RTX 30 series can give.

This ranks an 8.5 out of 10 on the list.

The Good

– The laptop comes with a complete package out of the box (mouse, headset, 2 chargers, and a backpack) so you can start gaming ASAP.
– RAM is already 32GB right off the bat, allowing you to have Google Chrome, OBS, Discord, or other streaming apps open while gaming.
– Lots of customization options (vent plates, extra earcups etc.).
– Excellent audio quality.

The Catch

– Thermals can shoot up to 101oC when ray tracing is on and graphics settings are high.
– The Strix line of laptops have no webcam, but that’s no problem because streamers/gamers would buy higher-quality models anyway.

In conclusion, it’s nice to see that the laptop packs high capacity RAM and SSD’s from the start. That way, you won’t have to go through the trouble of buying future upgrades. Though of course, this drives the cost up a notch, it’s an investment worth making.

The Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 is priced in the Philippines at an SRP of PHP 199,995, and if you’re looking where to buy it, you can place your order at the official Asus ROG Store!

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