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Review of the Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 (2023)


Asus has come out of the gate swinging with the ROG Strix Scar 17 (2023), and it needed to. Premium gaming laptops are a dime a dozen these days, so bringing something to the table that represents both good value, while simultaneously outclassing the competition, and standing out from the crowd is hugely important. Thankfully, it’s a very impressive machine even with its few flaws, and one of the best Asus gaming laptops available right now.

The model of the ROG Strix Scar 17 I have for this review, the G733PY edition, clocks in at an incredible retail price of $3,700, (£3,500). That is a lot of cash to part with for a gaming laptop, even if it is a strong contender for a spot on our best gaming laptop guide, but you’re more than rewarded when it comes to spec compensation. It’s got some serious punch behind it. But then, given the price, it really ought to.

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The back of the Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 (2023) laptop, showcasing the ROG logo

The ROG Strix Scar 17 (2023) is a beautifully crafted 17-inch gaming laptop, complete with some stunning design decisions. The screen is housed in a super thin aluminum housing. You’ll also find cooling vents, elegantly built into the unit, both underneath and along the bottom of that panel. There’s a soft-touch finish around the keypad and mousepad, and the integrated RGB light bar is surprisingly classy. This is certainly true at night, on a desk, where it’ll really pop.

Other pleasing elements are the little detailed touches here and there. The illuminated ROG logo, the branding embellishments under the hood; it’s just a beautiful thing to use. It does fall a little flat in the keyboard department. Although it has per-key RGB lighting, it does feel like any other laptop keyboard, rather than anything special. There’s no official mention of what these switches are, but they are rated to 20 million presses at the very least, so there’s that, but if you’re looking for a laptop with a satisfying mechanical press, you might want to look elsewhere.

General I/O is fairly substantial as well. For the money you get two USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type -A ports, another two USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C ports, 2.5G Ethernet, HDMI 2.1, and an audio jack as well. It also has a built-in webcam, limited to 720p (not particularly surprising given the size of the unit), and it has fairly adequate speakers all-in-all.

The underside of the Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 (2023), featuring the ROG motto of 'For Those Who Dare'

Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 (2023) specs

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The big selling point for the ROG Strix Scar 17 is undoubtedly its specs. At the heart of this G773PY model is an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 GPU and AMD Ryzen 9 7945HX processor. These are top-tier components in each of their categories, delivering incredible performance at 1440p or even via 4K if you hook the laptop up to a gaming monitor.

Here are the Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 (2023) specs:

CPU AMD Ryzen 9 7945HX
GPU Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090
RAM 32GB (2x16GB) DDR5, 5,400MHz
Display 17-inch, 2560×1440, 240Hz, IPS
Storage 2TB PCIe Gen 4 NVMe
Connectivity HDMI 2.1 (x1)
USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C (x1)
USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C (DP. Alt) (x1)
USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A (x2)
2.5G Ethernet (x1)
3.5mm combo audio jack (x1)
Battery 90WHr

Rounding things off is 32GB of dual-channel DDR5 RAM, clocked at 5,400MHz, 2TB of PCIe Gen 4 NVMe storage, and a 90WHr battery. Given how stacked its internals are, it’s all the more impressive that Asus managed to keep this device so slim (2.34cm), making it easy to chuck this thing in a backpack.

Fantastic as its GPU and CPU combination is, the ROG Strix Scar 17’s screen is just as awesome. Asus has primed this unit with a phenomenally crisp, 17-inch 2560×1440 IPS panel, with a 240 Hz refresh rate, and a custom color-calibrated display profile as well, and it is utterly gorgeous. Its rich, vibrant, and warm colors impressed me so much in fact, that I actually preferred watching video content on this laptop instead of my $2,000 Samsung TV. These qualities, naturally, extend to gaming as well, making for a joyous experience, even outside of demanding benchmarks. Phantom Liberty, in particular, was just so good on this thing.

I also did some testing using UFOtest, to check for slow response time and ghosting. Thankfully, it performed just as impressively as it did for image quality. There’s simply no noticeable ghosting on this thing, making for a snappy gaming response as well as a genuinely beautiful visual experience.

The keyboard of the Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 (2023)

Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 (2023) performance

VIDEO: 2023 Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 Review - AMD Ryzen HX & RTX 4090
MobileTechReview

Let’s face it though, important as a high-quality screen is in a laptop that costs just shy of $3,700, the thing that matters the most is performance, and oh boy is this machine capable.

Aside from definitely not taking the ROG Strix Scar 17 on one hell of a road trip through Norway (sorry Asus), I also thoroughly tested it in a number of synthetic and real-world benchmarks too. Overall, it’s an interesting mix of results.

First up gaming performance, across the board, was incredibly impressive. At 1440p in Total War Warhammer III on the Ultra profile, on average the ROG Strix Scar 17 managed 111fps. Given the nature of that game to be very CPU intensive, with vast numbers of units on-screen at any one time, that’s an impressive figure.

Likewise, Cyberpunk 2077 and F1 2022 also performed admirably given the cooling limitations we have at play here. Although it may look low on that Cyberpunk figure (42 fps at 1440p), you have to bear in mind that this was tested without any DLSS assistance, using the RT Ultra preset. Enable DLSS frame insertion, however, and it easily starts pumping out figures in the low 70s, well above that 60fps sweet spot. And that’s without any AI antialiasing assistance. Tune this for actual gameplay, instead of the grueling, GPU-destroying benchmarks we do here at PCGamesN and you’ll likely see that figure skyrocket well into the triple-digit arena.

The one area that let the whole affair down was general battery life. We run PCMark 10’s Modern Office and Gaming battery-life benchmarks for this, and those clocked in at 4 hours and 9 minutes for Office, and 1 hour, 23 minutes for Gaming. The latter is pretty much what we’d expect from a laptop of this design, but it’s the Office metric that’s a little bit surprising.

What’s more, in real-world usage I found the Scar 17 would generally last around the two-hour mark for either content streaming or working in Google Docs, or with a browser open. It’s worth noting that this is a review sample, and these units are typically hammered by journalists perhaps more aggressively than they would be at home, but it’s still disappointing, particularly given how Nvidia’s Optimus GPU switching is at play here (switching between iGPU and the RTX 4090, dependent on workload).

Again though, this is an RTX 4090 laptop, with a top-tier AMD CPU that’s effectively akin to one of team red’s best gaming CPUs on desktop, but with the TDP dialed down. Although that might be great for gaming, there’s definitely an argument to be had for staying with Intel for mobile use, particularly given how its current architecture (with its Efficient cores and Performance cores) can better optimize for these kinds of desktop and office situations. That’s not a slight on Asus or AMD, just food for thought. Sometimes sacrificing a few in-game frames may be warranted if it means an extra 30 minutes of game-time or an hour or two on desktop.

The Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 (2023) gaming laptop

Is the Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 (2023) worth it?

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The Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 is, without a doubt, a phenomenal piece of technology and design, let down in only a few areas. The internal hardware is top-tier. If you’re after one of the best gaming experiences you can get on a laptop of this size, the Strix Scar 17 is one of the best laptops out there.

That said, it’s not perfect. The battery life leaves a lot to be desired, and although a lot of this can be chalked up to the fact it’s using the best Ryzen CPU and Nvidia GPU you can get right now, certainly in this form factor, it’s just overall a little disappointing given the cost of the device. That’s compounded by the fact that to retain the form factor and travel compatibility, you can’t really increase the battery size any further either.

One final negative, I didn’t mention earlier, is the memory situation as well. It has 32GB of DDR5, which is plenty, but that’s clocking in at the fairly entry-level speed of just 4,800 MHz (2021 levels of rapidity). At this point in time, there are plenty of DDR5 SODIMM solutions clocking upwards of 6,000 MHz and beyond. Having faster memory speed here (even if it would be yet another battery concern) could potentially bring up those minimum and average frame rates, particularly in less demanding titles, such as Counter-strike 2 and other eSports titles.

All that aside, for the price, and plugged in, the Strix Scar 17 2023 edition is an absolute monster, and if you set the cash down for it, you’ll be more than happy with the result.

Our Verdict

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OWNorDisown

The Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 2023 edition is an incredibly well-crafted gaming laptop, complete with some of the best hardware money can buy. The screen is crisp, and overall performance in-game is beyond impressive. That said, battery life needs work, and we have to question whether moving from Intel to AMD was the right call.

Pros

  • Impressive performance
  • Beautiful screen
  • Solid build quality

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Lackluster keyboard
  • Underwhelming battery life

Sources


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