Friday, July 19, 2024
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Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 review (2023 G733PY model


This is my detailed review of the Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 series, the most powerful AMD-based Republic of Gamers laptop available as of 2023.

Most of the 2023 ROG models are Intel-based this year, with Nvidia RTX graphics, and only two Strix models are built on the latest AMD Dragon Range HX hardware platform (also paired with Nvidia RTX graphics). There are reasons for it, but we’re not going to get into it in this article, we’ll just accept the fact.

And the fact is the Scar 17 G733P series is the top AMD ROG model for this generation, with the Ryzen 9 7945HX + RTX 4090 175W configuration that we’re discussing in this review.

Now, the AMD Dragon Range HX Ryzen 9 is pretty much the most powerful mobile platform available today when it comes to multi-threaded performance, but not in single-threaded loads. Thing is, few real-life applications are capable of properly handling a 16C/32T platform, so even the slight performance advantage of the Ryzen 9 in synthetic benchmarks only translates in a handful of real-life loads, as you’ll see down below.

Furthermore, this ROG Scar 17 series is pretty much a refinement of the 2022 ROG Scar 17 Special Edition model, with slight exterior changes and a similar internal design and cooling module. That means this series is only available with 16:9 displays and 2022-generation panels, and doesn’t quite match the power design of the Scar 16/Scar 18 2023 updates, which are newer models with the tri-fan tri-radiator cooling module.

With that in mind, down below I’ve gathered my thoughts and impressions on this 2023 Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 series, with a close look at all the details that you should be aware of as a potential buyer.

Specs sheet as reviewed – Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 G733

2023 ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 G733PY
Display 17.3-inch, 16:9, non-touch, matte,
QHD+ 2560 x 1440 px, IPS, 240 Hz 3ms, 350-nits, 100% DCI-P3
Processor AMD Dragon Range HX, Ryzen 9 7945HX, 16C/32T
Video Radeon 610M + Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 Laptop 16GB (up to 175W with Dynamic Boost),
overclocked at 2090MHz on Turbo mode, 

with MUX, Advanced Optimus, GSync
Memory 32 GB DDR5-4800 RAM – up to 64 GB (2x DIMMs)
Storage 2TB SSD (Samsung PM9A1 drive) – 2x M.2 PCI 4.0 x4 slots
Connectivity WiFi 6E (Mediatek MT7922) 2×2 with Bluetooth 5.2, 2.5Gigabit LAN
Ports Back: power, 2.5G Lan, 2x USB-C gen2 (with video, data, power), HDMI 2.1 FRL
Left: 2x USB-A 3.2 gen1, audio jack
Right: no ports
Battery 90Wh, 330 W power adapter, USB-C charging up to 100W
Size 395 mm or 15.55” (w) x 282 mm or 11.10″ (d) x 23.4 – 28.3 mm or .92″ – 1.11″ (h)
Weight 2.94 kg (6.48 lbs) + 1.12 kg (2.47 lbs) main power brick and cables, EU version
Extras rubber-dome per-key RGB backlit keyboard with NumPad, HD camera, dual speakers, vapor-chamber cooling module

This Scar 17 G733PY (R9 + RTX 4090) is the top-specced configuration available with the 2023 ROG Scar 17 series, the other one being the Scar 17 G737PZ (R9 + RTX 4080).

Mid-tier and lower-tier specs (AMD + 4050 to 4070 GPUs) are not available for the 2023 Scar lineup, but are offered on the ROG Strix G17 G713P series discussed here. We’ll also cover those models in future reviews.

Design and construction

As mentioned earlier, the 2023 ROG Strix Scar 17 is a refresh and hardware update of the 2023 ROG Scar 17 Special Edition chassis.

Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 review

Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 review

That means this is a 17-inch full-size laptop, sitting in between the current Scar 16 and Scar 18 2023 models in terms of size and weight. At 2.95 kilos + 1.12 kilos for the charger, though, this is not a portable design by any means.

In fact, to better understand what we’re talking about, here’s how this Scar 17 looks next to the Scar 16 16-inch model, and how the Strix G17 looks next to the Strix G18 18-inch chassis (the Strix G and the Scar models are identical designs, just different colors).

 

Otherwise, this is a standard ROG Scar design, with a black metal lid and a black plastic soft interior, the kind that feels alright to the touch, but smudges easily. Here’s how my unit looks after about 1 week of use.

smuedges

The top-right corner of the interior chassis is no longer translucent on this 2023 model, but instead, the entire deck is a unified finish, with just a design accent going across, diagonally. The same design cent is also inscribed on the metal lid.

The ergonomics are hit-and-miss with this chassis.

On one side, the rubber feet keep this well anchored in place on a desk, the hinges are smooth and strong, and the front lips and corners are dulled and friendly on the wrists.

That aside, most of the IO is conveniently placed on the rear of the chassis, which means cables won’t be in the way with daily use. There’s nothing on the left side, though, where Asus gave up on that useless KeyStone implemented on the past models.

At the same time, there are still no card reader on this design, no lock, and no biometrics. There’s at least a camera at the top of the display, but it’s HD quality, so not great.

Speaking of, this laptop comes with a 17.3-inch 16:9 display and that means there’s a chunky bezel underneath the panel, as well as that cut in the bezel that lets you see the cables behind it, which I know some of you don’t like.

These aside, there are a few other aspects to mention here. The screen only leans back to about 130 degrees and always-on status LEDs are placed just under the display, in the line of sight. Plus, there’s also an always-on light in the power key, all annoying when using the laptop at night, in a dim room. Somehow, though, Asus managed to implement even bigger and more annoying status LEDs on the new Scar 16/18 generations, so I guess this Scar 17 is “better” in comparison.

And then there’s the RGB and the ROG logo on the lid. I like the RGB lightbar that goes over the front lip and around the corners, which is completely customizable in the software.

However, Asus decided to also put a panel-lit ROG logo on the lid, instead of the simpler non-lit logo on the 2022 ROG models, and I just don’t understand why they did it. I mean, fine, if you want to put an RGB logo that I can control and disable if needed, I’m OK with it, but a panel-lit logo that’s always on is just unacceptable and might even disqualify this laptop for very strict professional environments.

Keyboard and trackpad

The keyboard and touchpad are identical to the ones implemented on the 2022 ROG Scar 17 model, with a pretty standard rubber-dome ROG implementation with per-key RGB lighting.

keyboard touchpad

The layout is fairly standard, with properly sized and spaced main keys, a slightly smaller NumPad section, and the extra media keys in the top-left corner. The arrows are short on this design, but I still find them perfectly usable and I appreciate how they’re slightly spaced out from everything else. In comparison, the 2023 Scar 16/18 models implement full-size arrow keys, but squeezed in between the other keys around.

As far as the typing experience goes, to me, this is an alright keyboard with good feedback and smoothly finished keycaps.

The keys are also RGB backlit, with per-key control and various effects selectable in Armoury Crate and Aura Creator app. The LEDs are bright enough and uniform, with some light creeping from underneath the keycaps, but not noticeably or annoyingly.

However, the F1-F12 writing on the top keys is still not lit, making them difficult to figure out in the dark. I sure wish Asus would address this quirk that still plagues many lineups that implement this exact keyboard design.

For mouse, there’s a mid-sized glass clickpad that works well with daily chores. It’s smooth to the touch and accurate, but I still find the physical clicks to be rather clunky, and I noticed that the surface rattles with firmer taps. So tap it gently.

As for biometrics, there are still none on this 2023 ROG Strix Scar 17 series.

Screen

As mentioned earlier, the 2023 ROG Scar 17 implements a 17.3-inch 16:9 2560x 1440 px display with a matte non-touch finish.

It’s only available with a single panel choice, which is alright for general use by today’s standards, as long as you keep the laptop indoors and don’t expect a good HDR experience. That’s because this only goes up to around 350-nits, so is not as bright as the Nebula IPS panels offered with most other 2023 ROG Strix models, and surely no competition for the mini LED Nebula HDR option on the Scar 16.

Furthermore, blacks and contrast aren’t as good on this panel either, but the gaming-related abilities are top-notch, with 240Hz refresh, fast response times, and GSync support. This is also properly suited for any creative work, with good uniformity and 100% DCI-P3 color coverage.

Here’s what we got in our tests, with an X-Rite i1 Display Pro sensor:

  • Panel HardwareID: BOE BOE0A69 (NE173QHM-NZ2);
  • Coverage: 99.9% sRGB, 85.0% AdobeRGB, 99.2% DCI-P3;
  • Measured gamma: 2.08;
  • Max brightness in the middle of the screen: 342.12 cd/m2 on power;
  • Min brightness in the middle of the screen: 18.16 cd/m2 on power;
  • Contrast at max brightness: 1046:1;
  • White point: 6400 K;
  • Black on max brightness: 0.32 cd/m2;
  • PWM: No.

The panel comes well calibrated out of the box, yet you can further improve the Gamma and White Point with a calibration run.

Once calibrated, our sample proved uniform in brightness and color volume. I did notice some light bleeding around the edges on our unit, but within acceptable realms – make sure to carefully check this out on your device, though, as light bleeding varies between each unit and can get quite bad on these panels.

Hardware and performance

Our test model is the top-specced configuration of the 2023 Asus ROG Strix Scar 17, code name G733PY, built on an AMD Ryzen 9 7945HX processor, 32 GB of DDR5-4800 memory in dual channel, 2 TB of fast SSD storage, and dual graphics: the Nvidia RTX 4090 16GB dGPU and the AMD Radeon 610M chip integrated within the Ryzen processor.

Before we proceed, keep in mind that our review unit was sent over by Asus and it runs on the software available as of early-April 2023 (BIOS 311, Armoury Crate 5.4.10, GeForce 531.41 drivers). At this point, this is a fairly mature software package, but some aspects might still change with later updates.

Spec-wise, this 2023 Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 is built on the latest AMD and Nvidia hardware available to date.

The Ryzen 9 7945HX is the top-tier mobile processor in the 2023 Ryzen 7000 Dragon Range platform, built on a Zen4 architecture and with 16 Cores and 32 Threads. Dragon Range is a high-performance mobile platform with full-power cores and threads, and not a hybrid design in the same way Intel offers with their latest mobile platforms. That means the performance in sustained loads is excellent on this hardware, but the efficiency on battery power is not quite what you’d expect from an AMD device, at least based on prior experience with AMD laptop implementations.

For the GPU, the 2023 Scar 17 is available with top-tier RTX 4000 chips. What we have on this sample is the RTX 4090 Laptop dGPU running at up to 175W with Dynamic Boost, and configurations with RTX 4080 12GB graphics are also available. Lower-tier RTX chips are not offered with the Scar 17 series, but are available on the ROG Strix G17 G713P lineup, which we’ll review in a separate article.

There’s also an advanced MUX on this design, for uncompromised gaming performance, with support for Nvidia’s Advanced Optimus technology and GSync on the main display.

For RAM, the laptop comes with two DIMMs, and supports up to 64 GB of DDR5 memory. Our unit is a 32 GB DDR5-4800 configuration. It would be interesting to see the effect of faster DDR5 memory on this AMD platform, but that’s not something we’ll cover in this article.

For storage, there are two M.2 2280 SSD slots inside, and our unit came with a premium-tier 2 TB Samsung PM9A1 drive.

Getting inside to the components is a fairly simple task. For that, you need to take out the bottom D-panel, held in place by a few Philips screws. There’s a pop-up screw in the right corner that will help you in the process, and allow you to work your way around the device with a plastic prying tool.

Be careful, though, this is the same design as on prior 2021/2022 Strix models that integrates the lightbar into the d-Panel, so don’t pull too hard on the cover or you’ll sever the ribbon connection between the motherboard and the lightbar. Now, if that’s happens it’s not ging to be the end of the world, you’ll just have to reslot the ribbons into their connectors, which is as basic as it gets.

Inside you get unrestrained access to the RAM slot, the SSD slots, the WiFi module, battery, speakers, and thermal module. This variant implements a Vapor Chamber cooling module, the same previously offered with the 2023 ROG Strix Scar 17 SE series. In fact, the internal design is similar between the two, which means there’s a fair bit of unused space inside the chassis, even though these AMD configurations are only available in 17-inch variants. Putting that extra space to some good use, perhaps for a larger battery or bigger speakers, would have been appreciated.

internals

Specs aside, Asus offer their standard power profiles in the Armoury Crate control app: Silent, Performance, Turbo, and Manual, with various power settings and fan profiles between them, summarized in the following table.

Silent Balanced Extreme Performance Extreme + Cooler Boost
CPU only, PL1/PL2 TDP 65/65W 90/90W 100/125W  100/125W
GPU only, max TGP 55W 160W 175W 175W
Crossload
Max GPU TDP + GPU TGP
85W,  30 + 55W 185W, 35 + 150W 230W, 55 + 175W 240W, 65 + 175W
Noise at head-level, tested ~35 dBA ~40 dBA ~48 dBA ~48 dBA, max fans

Aside from these main power profiles, there are also some GPU options to choose from: Ultimate (dGPU only, requires a restart when selected), Standard (enables Advanced Optimus), Optimized (enables regular Optimus), and Eco (regular Optimus, but disables the dGPU). I mostly kept the laptop on Standard for daily use and tests, and opted for Ultimate for gaming.

Before we jump to the performance section, here’s how this laptop handles everyday use and multitasking on the Silent profile, unplugged from the wall. For what is worth, the fans spin slowly and quietly (sub 25DbA) on this Silent mode with casual use, but they only idle with the lightest of loads, as otherwise browsing or daily multitasking activities push the CPU over the 60 degrees C limit and wake up both fans.

Performance and benchmarks

On to more demanding loads, we start by testing the CPU’s performance by running the Cinebench R15 test for 15+ times in a loop, with a 1-2 seconds delay between each run.

The AMD Ryzen 9 processor stabilizes at ~115W of sustained power on the Turbo setting, with the laptop flat on the desk, with temperatures of around 95-98 C and scores of around 5500 points. The fans spin at ~47-48 dB at head level in this mode.

The CPU runs at 125W for a loop or two, but then a minimal amount of thermal limiting kicks in.

That’s shown when running the same test with the back of the laptop bumped up from the desk. In this case, the CPU stabilizes at around 120W, with minimally higher clocks and the same sort of high temperatures, as well as nearly the same scores.

There’s also the option of using the Manual profile and bumping the fans to 100% rpms, while still having the back bumped off the desk. This translates into pretty much similar noise levels as on Turbo on this unit (~48 dBA) and no impact on the performance.

Switching over to the Performance profile translates in the CPU stabilizing at a little over 90W and still very high temperatures in the mid-90s, with the fans spinning quieter at ~40 dB at head-level. That’s with the laptop on the desk. Bumping the back up in this Performance mode doesn’t change the sustained power and overall performance, but allows for a very slight drop in CPU temperatures.

On the Silent profile, the CPU stabilizes around 65W, with barely audible fans (sub 35 dB) and temperatures in the mid-80s C. The R9-7945HX still scores around 4500 points in this mode, about 80% of the Turbo performance.

Finally, the CPU runs erratically on battery power, on the Performance mode, fluctuating between 35 and 70W of power, with variable scores in this test. Details below.

cinebench1 rog scar17

Overall, the AMD Ryzen 9 7945HX processor in this ROG Scar 17 is the fastest mobile platform we’ve tested so far. And it performed mostly the same in the mid-tier ROG Strix G17 design as well.

In comparison, the Intel Core i9-13980HX implemented in competing products is about 10-15% slower on default settings, and comes up to withing 7-8% if undervolted in the Scar 18, while running at significantly higher power than the AMD processor.

Furthermore, this 2023 AMD Dragon Range processor is about 2.1x the performance of the Ryzen 9 6900HX CPU, the fastest mobile platform AMD offered in the past. That’s a huge leap in performance, but let’s not forget the 7945HX is also 2x the number of Cores/Threads compared to the Ryzen 9 6900HX.

cinebench2 rog scar17

We then went ahead and further verified our findings with the more taxing Cinebench R23 loop test and Blender – Classroom, which resulted in roughly similar findings to what we explained above (~115W limit for Turbo, 92W for Performance, 65W for Silent).

We also ran the 3DMark CPU test on the Turbo profile.

Finally, we ran our combined CPU+GPU stress tests on this notebook. 3DMark stress runs the same test for 20 times in a loop and looks for performance variation and degradation over time. This review unit fails the test by a small margin when kept flat on the desk, but passes it when we bump up the back in order to improve the airflow of fresh air into the fans. We’ll further discuss why this happens in the Gaming section.

Next, we ran the entire suite of tests and benchmarks, on the Turbo profile with the GPU set on the Standard mode (MUX on Advanced Optimus), and with the screen set at the native QHD resolution.

Here’s what we got:

  • 3DMark 13 –CPU profile: max – 14283, 16 – 13710, 8 – 7800, 4 – 4217, 2 – 2163, 1 – 1048;
  • 3DMark 13 – Fire Strike (DX11): 42293 (Graphics – 51260, Physics – 39906, Combined – 19033);
  • 3DMark 13 – Port Royal (RTX): 14105;
  • 3DMark 13 – Time Spy (DX12): 19771 (Graphics – 22168, CPU – 12260);
  • 3DMark 13 – Speed Way (DX12 Ultimate): 5737;
  • Uniengine Superposition – 1080p Extreme: 12796;
  • Uniengine Superposition – 1080p Medium: 32847;
  • Handbrake 1.3.3 (4K to 1080p encode): 74.57 average fps;
  • Handbrake 1.6.1 (4K to 1080p encode): 100.20 average fps;
  • PassMark 10: Rating: 6077 (CPU: 59987, 3D Graphics: 27596, Memory: 2457, Disk Mark: 20980);
  • PCMark 10: 7757 (Essentials – 11426, Productivity – 10880, Digital Content Creation – 10188);
  • GeekBench 5.5.1 64-bit: Multi-core: 18790, Single-Core: 2109;
  • CineBench R15 (best run): CPU 5660 cb, CPU Single Core 296 cb;
  • CineBench R20 (best run): CPU 13607 cb, CPU Single Core 719 cb;
  • CineBench R23: CPU 34837 cb (best single run), CPU 33670 cb (10 min run), CPU Single Core 1934 cb;
  • x265 HD Benchmark 64-bit: 16.25 s.

And here are some workstation benchmarks, on the same Turbo profile:

  • Blender 3.01 – BMW scene – CPU Compute: 1m 10s ;
  • Blender 3.01 – BMW scene – GPU Compute: 9.79s (CUDA), 5.93s (Optix);
  • Blender 3.01 – Classroom scene – CPU Compute: 2m 30s;
  • Blender 3.01 – Classroom scene – GPU Compute: 9.58s (CUDA), 5.29s (Optix);
  • Blender 3.41 – BMW scene – CPU Compute: 1m 09s;
  • Blender 3.41 – BMW scene – GPU Compute: 18.07s (CUDA), 8.71 (Optix);
  • Blender 3.41 – Classroom scene – CPU Compute: 2m 32s;
  • Blender 3.41 – Classroom scene – GPU Compute: 16.93s (CUDA), 9.59s (Optix);
  • PugetBench – DaVinci Resolve: 2107 points;
  • SPECviewperf 2020 – 3DSMax: 184.38;
  • SPECviewperf 2020 – Catia: 103.76;
  • SPECviewperf 2020 – Creo: 114.56;
  • SPECviewperf 2020 – Energy: 77.50;
  • SPECviewperf 2020 – Maya: 391.90;
  • SPECviewperf 2020 – Medical: 60.95;
  • SPECviewperf 2020 – SNX: 33.02;
  • SPECviewperf 2020 – SW: 434.34.
  • V-Ray Benchmark: 26257 – CPU, 2675 – CUDA, 3614 – RTX.

This is one of the fastest laptop we’ve tested so far.

I’m comparing this to the i9-13980HX + RTX 4090 175W configurations of the ROG Scar 18 and the MSI Titan GT77, which this ROG Scar 17 beats in some of the multi-threaded synthetic CPU loads and even in some of the GPU tests.

The multi-core CPU results are no surprise, while the single-core CPU tests are still won by the Intel HX hardware across the board, by a 5-10% margin. As for the GPU results, you should keep in mind that we tested those Intel platforms earlier in the year, with more immature software, and in general, the performance of the RTX 4090 in these three devices should be more or less the same, and even at a slight advantage for the Titan, thanks to its ability to keep the GPU at lower temperatures under load (while also running much louder than the ROGs).

When it comes to real-life use, the Intel configurations score a fair bit higher in workloads such as Maya or even Solidworks, while the AMD platform has a notable edge in Blender and other loads that can fully utilize its 16C/32T design. There aren’t many of those, though.

So that means that while the AMD Ryzen 9 7945HX platform has an advantage in Cores/Threads over the Intel Core HX options of the 2023 generation and runs at lower power at full loads, there are still some high-tier Intel-based designs that can outmatch this Scar 17 in actual use. Especially since very few programs can fully utilize a 16C/32T platform.

Ryzen 9 HX (Dragon Range) + RTX 4090, 4080, 4070 performance

Asus offer AMD-based ROG laptops in a multitude of options, and here’s what to expect of the 4070, 4080, and 4090 configurations based on our previous tests.

Down below I’ve included the R9 + 4090 and R9 + 4070 ROG configurations, as well as an Intel i9 + RTX 4080 175W implementation, for a slight idea of what to expect from the 4080 chip in terms of performance (even if some real-life performance scores will differ on the AMD + 4080 implementation).

R9-7945HX + 4090 175W
2023 ROG Strix Scar 17
i9-13900H + 4080 175W
2023 MSI Raider GE78
R9-7945HX + 4070 140W
2023 ROG Strix G17
3DMark – Fire Strike 42293 (G – 51260, P – 39906, C – 19033) 32319 (G – 40644, P – 40477, C – 11386) 28488 (G – 30337, P– 39285, C – 15121)
3DMark – Port Royal 14105 12004 7363
3DMark – Time Spy 19771 (Graphics – 22168, CPU – 12260) 18446 (Graphics – 19126, CPU – 15353) 12497 (Graphics – 12377, CPU – 13225)
Uniengine Superposition – 1080p Extreme 12796 11715 6935
CineBench R23 (best run) 34837 cb – multi core,
1934 cb – single core
32544 cb – multi core,
2081 cb – single core
34976 cb – multi core,
1925 cb – single core
Blender 3.01 – Classroom scene – CPU Compute 2m 30s 3m 08s 2m 28s
Blender 3.01 – Classroom scene – GPU Compute 9.58s (CUDA), 5.29s (Optix) 25.16s (CUDA), 15.57s (Optix) 35.92s (CUDA), 20.96s (Optix)
SPECviewperf 2020 – 3DSMax: 184.38 194.99 100.08
SPECviewperf 2020 – Catia: 103.76 99.79 63.84
SPECviewperf 2020 – Maya: 434.34 493.24 367.83

Turbo Mode vs. Performance, Silent

Let’s touch on the Performance and Silent profiles offered in Armoury Crate.

Those Turbo-mode results are mind-blowing, but the laptop runs at ~48 dBA on the Turbo profile, which is not as loud as on most other high-performance devices, but still pretty loud. So if you’re willing to sacrifice the performance to some extent to keep the fans even quieter, the Performance and Silent profiles should be of interest.

Here’s how this 2023 ROG Scar 17 performs on the Performance profile, which limits the fans to around 40 dB at head level.

  • 3DMark 13 – Fire Strike: 39681 (Graphics – 50605, Physics – 33541, Combined – 16927);
  • 3DMark 13 – Time Spy: 18796 (Graphics – 20903, CPU – 11963);
  • Uniengine Superposition – 1080p Extreme: 12448;
  • CineBench R20 (best run): CPU 12713 cb, CPU Single Core 739 CB;
  • Blender 3.41 – Classroom scene – CPU Compute: 2m 45s.

Both the CPU and the GPU run at about 90% of their performance on the Turbo profile, despite running at lower power. That’s impressive, but keep in mind that the internal components heat up a fair bit on this profile. We’ll touch on this further down, in the Gaming section.

You can also opt for the Silent profile, in which case the fans won’t go over 35 dB. Here’s what we got in this case:

  • 3DMark 13 – Fire Strike: 19906 (Graphics – 21704, Physics – 33214, Combined – 8959);
  • 3DMark 13 – Time Spy: 5448 (Graphics – 4969, CPU – 12027);
  • Uniengine Superposition – 1080p Extreme: 4364;
  • CineBench R20 (best run): CPU 11327 cb, CPU Single Core 714 CB;
  • Blender 3.41 – Classroom scene – CPU Compute: 3m 33s.

In this case, the CPU runs at about 70-80% if its capabilities on Turbo, but the GPU is aggressively power capped and performs at about 30-40% of what it can do at full power. The CPU still runs rather hot, but GPU temperatures, on the other hand, are no longer a concern on this mode.

Gaming performance

Let’s see how this ROG Strix Scar 17 handles modern games, as the most powerful AMD + Nvidia RTX platform in the 2023 ROG lineup.

We tested a couple of different types of games on the various available profiles at QHD and FHD resolution, all with the MUX set on the Ultimate GPU mode. Keep in mind this laptop comes with a 16:9 display, and not the 16:10 models available on most of the Intel-based 2023 options. That means this Scar 17 has to push around 10% fewer pixels than many of the Intel + RTX 4000 configurations that we’ve tested.

Here are the results:

Ryzen 9 7945HX +
RTX 4090 Laptop 150-175W
QHD Turbo,
dGPU, on desk
QHD Performance,
dGPU, on desk
FHD Turbo,
dGPU, on desk
FHD Silent,
dGPU, on desk
Cyberpunk 2077
(DX 12, Ultra Preset, RTX OFF)
108 fps (77 fps – 1% low) 98 fps (71 fps – 1% low) 143 fps (107 fps – 1% low) 105 fps (67 fps – 1% low)
Doom Eternal
(Vulkan, Ultra Preset)
378 fps (68 fps – 1% low) 365 fps (75 fps – 1% low) 498 fps (52 fps – 1% low) 122 fps (21 fps – 1% low)
Far Cry 6
(DX 12, Ultra Preset, TAA)
109 fps (82 fps – 1% low) 106 fps (77 fps – 1% low) 108 fps (81 fps – 1% low) 102 fps (76 fps – 1% low)
Far Cry 5
(DX 11, Ultra Preset, SMAA)
138 fps (97 fps – 1% low) 133 fps (92 fps – 1% low) 142 fps (80 fps – 1% low) 58 fps (42 fps – 1% low)
Metro Exodus
(DX 12, Ultra Preset, RTX OFF)
117 fps (68 fps – 1% low) 134 fps (76 fps – 1% low)
Red Dead Redemption 2
(DX 12, Ultra Optimized, TAA)
136 fps (88 fps – 1% low) 130 fps (84 fps – 1% low) 150 fps (97 fps – 1% low) 104 fps (67 fps – 1% low)
Shadow of Tomb Raider
(DX 12, Highest Preset, TAA)
162 fps (101 fps – 1% low) 151 fps (91 fps – 1% low) 166 fps (102 fps – 1% low) 124 fps (88 fps – 1% low)
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (v4.01)
(DX 12, Ultra Preset, TAAU)
118 fps (66 fps – 1% low) 113 fps (47 fps – 1% low) 119 fps (68 fps – 1% low) 68 fps (46 fps – 1% low)
  • Battlefield V, Cyberpunk, Doom, Witcher 3 – recorded with Fraps/in-game FPS counter in campaign mode;
  • Far Cry 5, 6, Metro, Red Dead Redemption 2, Tomb Raider – recorded with the included Benchmark utilities;
  • Red Dead Redemption 2 Optimized profile based on these settings.

Those above are rasterization tests, and here are some results for RTX – Ray Tracing performance, with and without DLSS.

Ryzen 9 7945HX + RTX 4090 Laptop 150-175W QHD Turbo, dGPU, on desk FHD Turbo, dGPU, on desk
Cyberpunk 2077
(DX 12, Ultra Preset + RTX, DLSS Off)
49 fps (37 fps – 1% low) 76 fps (57 fps – 1% low)
Cyberpunk 2077
(DX 12, Ultra Preset + RTX, DLSS Balanced)
139 fps (113 fps – 1% low) 188 fps (142 fps – 1% low)
Doom Eternal
(DX 12, Ultra Preset, RTX On, DLSS Off)
268 fps (50 fps – 1% low) 355 fps (51 fps – 1% low)
Doom Eternal
(DX 12, Ultra Preset, RTX On, DLSS Quality)
314 fps (50 fps – 1% low) 393 fps (48 fps – 1% low)
Far Cry 6
(DX 12, Ultra Preset + DXR reflections / shadows)
92 fps (68 fps – 1% low) 94 fps (69 fps – 1% low)
Shadow of Tomb Raider
(DX 12, Highest Preset, TAA, RTX Ultra, DLSS Off)
114 fps (70 fps – 1% low) 131 fps (82 fps – 1% low)
Shadow of Tomb Raider
(DX 12, Highest Preset, TAA, RTX Ultra, DLSS On)
124 fps (72 fps – 1% low) 133 fps (84 fps – 1% low)
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (v4.02 update)
(DX 12, Ultra Preset, TAAU, RT Ultra, DLSS Off)
69 fps (32 fps – 1% low) 74 fps (33 fps – 1% low)
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (v4.02 update)
(DX 12, Ultra Preset, TAAU, RT Ultra, DLSS On)
84 fps (35 fps – 1% low) 118 fps (34 fps – 1% low)

This configuration can easily handle all modern games at QHD resolution and Ultra settings. Furthermore, the performance of this AMD + RTX 4090 implementation is similar to the Intel + RTX 4090 models that we’ve tested in the past.

Even QHD RT Ultra settings are doable on this configuration, but enabling DLSS will help increase the framerates, especially in the titles that support DLSS3.

With that out of the way, let’s go over some performance and temperature logs.

The Turbo mode ramps up the fans to levels of ~48 dB, which is audible, but not a bad as the high-tier profile on most other laptops in this class.

With the laptop on the desk, though, the CPU runs at 45-55W of power and temperatures between 88 to 93 degrees Celsius in the tested titles, while GPU runs at 78-80 degrees Celsius in the titles that push it to 175W. The CPU temperatures are rather high, but the GPU temperatures and performance are pretty much flawless here. I was expecting some higher GPU temperatures based on

On the same Turbo mode, but with the back raised up from the desk in order to improve the airflow of fresh air into the fans, the CPU drops to around 85 degrees Celsius, and the GPU drops to around 75 degrees as well.

You could also opt for the Manual profile which allows customizing the power setting and fan profiles. For testing, I’ve pushed all the fans to 100% rpms and kept the power settings as they come by default, but that didn’t have any impact on this laptop. Other sorts of tweaks might be worth pursuing, though, but I’ll let you play around with the settings.

Instead, if you’re willing to sacrifice the framerates to some extent and get a quieter gaming experience, the Performance and Silent profiles are worth pursuing.

On our unit, the Performance profile drops the fans’ noise to ~40 dBA at head level, and marginally limits the CPU and GPU power. This translates into a 2-5% reduction in framerates, which is basically a rounding error.

However, temperatures go up on this mode, with the laptop on the desk, with the CPU running at 95+ C and the GPU at around 85 C. I’m still not seeing any clear thermal throttling, but these temperatures are very high!

Thus, you should definitely bump up the back of the laptop while using it in this Performance mode, or even better, place it on a cooler stand. With the back lifted up, the CPU runs at around 90 C and the GPU drops to 75-80 C, which are still high temperatures, but acceptable for the framerates and the low noise-levels offered by this Performance profile.

The Silent profile caps the GPU aggressively, at around 55W of power, but also pushes the fan noise to sub 35 dBA. This mode isn’t ideal for high framerates, but makes perfect sense for casual gaming at FHD resolution and high settings. The CPU still runs at 90+ Celsius with the laptop on the desk in this mode, the but GPU runs cooly in the mid 60s C. Perhaps Asus could further tweak this mode and reduce the CPU sustained power to around 25-30C, which would help lower those CPU internal temperatures as well.

Finally, I’ll mention the gaming performance on battery power, on the Performance profile.

This sample limits the GPU to around 55W of power on this profile, which translated into similar performance as on Silent mode – plugged in. But don’t expect more than one hour of gaming on battery power, at least with the current software.

Noise, Heat, Connectivity, speakers, and others

Asus implements a dual-fan quad-radiator thermal module on this laptop, with a massive vapor chamber over the CPU/GPU, two extra additional heatpipes going into the side vents, and Conductonaut Extreme liquid metal compound on both the CPU and GPU.

cooling

This is the same cooling design previously offered in the 2023 ROG Scar 17 Special Edition, a more standard implementation than the one on the 2023 ROG Scar models. It’s mostly well suited for this hardware configuration, even if it could be a little more capable on the CPU side, where the sustained power is slightly thermally throttled in our stress tests, and the gaming temperatures are quite high, especially with the laptop placed flat on a desk.

Bump this on a raiser stand or an active cooling pad, and internal CPU temperatures are no longer a concern on any of the available profiles.

With that out of the way, here’s a quick recap on the fan noise on the available power profiles: 48 dBA on Turbo, ~40 dBA of Performance, and sub-35 dBA on the Silent profile.

As far as the outer case temperatures go, the armrest and the areas around the WASD keys and arrows barely go just over 30 degrees Celsius, so this laptop never feels hot to the touch. However, there are hotspots above the keyboard and on the back of the chassis, which go over 50 degrees C; but you’re not going to come in contact with those with everyday use. Keep in mind that I’ve recorded these FLIR images with the laptop sitting on the desk, and they’ll drop by a few degrees if you place the laptop on a raiser stand, as a result of the better airflow and of the internals running cooler.

temps rog scar17 gaming silenttemps rog scar17 gaming perf temps rog scar17 gaming turbo

*Gaming – Silent – playing Cyberpunk for 30 minutes, Silent profile, fans at ~35 dB
*Gaming – Performance – playing Cyberpunk for 30 minutes, fans at ~40 dB
*Gaming – Turbo, on desk – playing Cyberpunk 2077 for 30 minutes, fans at ~48 dB

Gaming aside, this laptop runs quietly with light multitasking, browsing, or video streaming, but only idles with the lightest of loads.

The 0dB Technology allows the fans to completely switch off with light use on the Silent profile, as long as the hardware stays under 60 C, but with daily multitasking, the AMD CPU spikes above that limit, and thus both fans become active. They spin quietly, though, at sub 25 dBA.

I’ll also noticed some electronic noises on this sample, but only when launching a demanding app, in the few seconds that the fans need to catch up with the activity. I haven’t, however, noticed any recurring whining to creaking.

temps rog scar17 daily

*Daily Use – streaming Netflix in EDGE for 30 minutes, Silent profile,  fans at 0-30 dB

For connectivity, there’s Wireless 6E and Bluetooth 5 on this unit, with a triple-band implementation, as well as 2.5G wired Internet. This sample performed well on Wi-Fi with my setup.

The audio quality here is pretty good for laptop speakers, although there are only two main speakers on this model, firing through the grills on the bottom of the laptop, without the two extra tweeters firing through the small grills under the display that were implemented on the 2022 Scar models. The sound is still fairly rich and with fair bass, as well as loud at 80+ dB at head level. I also haven’t noticed any distortions at high levels, but the armrest vibrates a bit at volumes over 70%.

Finally, a camera is placed at the top of the screen and flanked by microphones. It’s HD resolution, so not much in terms of quality (especially in bad lighting), and doesn’t include IR for Windows Hello.

Battery life

There’s a 90Wh battery inside all the 2023 ROG models, including this Strix Scar 17.

The system is also set to automatically switch the screen’s refresh to 60 Hz when using the laptop on battery power, so if you’ll notice a quick screen flicker when you disconnect the laptop from the wall, that’s a side-effect of this tweak.

Here’s what we got on our review unit in terms of battery life, with the laptop on the Standard GPU mode and the screen brightness at around 120 nits (~50% brightness).

  • 23 W (~4 h of use) – idle, Silent  Mode, screen at 50%, WiFi ON;
  • 26 W (~3-4 h of use) – text editing in Google Drive, Silent  Mode, screen at 50%, WiFi ON;
  • 26 W (~3-4 h of use) – 4K fullscreen video on Youtube in Edge, Silent Mode, screen at 50%, WiFi ON;
  • 27 W (~3-4 h of use) – Netflix 4K HDR fullscreen in Edge, Silent Mode, screen at 50%, WiFi ON;
  • 28 W (~3 h of use) – browsing in Edge, Silent Mode, screen at 50%, WiFi ON;
  • 95 W (<1 h of use) – Gaming – Witcher 3, Performance Mode, screen at 50%, WiFi ON, no fps limit.

That’s not great at all, and looks like the AMD platform barely scales down in power and energy requirements with lighter loads, as the energy consumption is pretty much constant between the various daily activities. At first, I was thinking there was something wrong with this sample, but then I got similar results on the Strix G17 as well.

For comparison, here’s what we got on the Intel-based ROG Scar 18.

  • 14 W (~5-6 h of use) – text editing in Google Drive, Silent  Mode, screen at 60%, WiFi ON;
  • 15 W (~5-6 h of use) – 1080p fullscreen video on Youtube in Edge, Silent Mode, screen at 60%, WiFi ON;
  • 15 W (~5-6 h of use) – Netflix 4K HDR fullscreen in Edge, Silent Mode, screen at 60%, WiFi ON;
  • 22 W (~4-5 h of use) – browsing in Edge, Silent Mode, screen at 60%, WiFi ON;
  • 75 W (~1+ h of use) – Gaming – Witcher 3, Performance Mode, screen at 60%, WiFi ON, no fps limit.

The Scar 18 lasts a fair bit longer with every sort of loads.

I’ll also add that the 2023 ROG Strix Scar 17 comes with a 330W power brick on all models, slightly larger and heavier than the 280W variant on the 2022 Scars. The battery fully charges from 10% in about 2 hours, with fast charging for the first half an hour, and USB-C charging is supported, up to 100W.

You won’t be able to use the laptop on Turbo/Manual while hooked over USB-C, but that’s enough for everyday multitasking and occasional heavy workloads on Performance, in case you don’t want to bring along the heavier main brick when on the go. Over here an USB-C charger is not included in the box with this model, but it might be in other regions.

charger

Price and availability- 2023 Asus ROG Strix Scar 17

The 2023 Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 is listed in some markets at the time of this article.

The top Scar 17 G733PY model reviewed here includes the AMD Ryzen 9 7945HX CPU and Nvidia RTX 4090 Laptop dGPU, as well as 32 GB of RAM and 1 TB of SSD storage, for an MSRP price of $3499 in the US and 3999 EUR in Europe.

The RTX 4080 configuration with otherwise the same specs, the Scar 17 G733PZ, is also available for $2899 in the US, 3399 EUR in Germany, and 3099 GBP in the UK.

Overall, this Scar 17 is more affordable by a few hundred USD/EUR than the Scar 16/Scar 18 models with similar-tier GPUs. That shouldn’t be a surprise, though, since this is a regular 16:9 panel format and a chassis recycled from the 2022 era. We’ll talk about how the Scar 17 fares against the Scar 16/18 down below in the conclusions section.

We’ll update this section in the future. In the meantime, follow this link for updated configurations and prices in your region at the time you’re reading this article.

Final thoughts- 2023 Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 review

Having spent the last week with this laptop, I can conclude that it is one of the most competitive high-performance RTX 4090 models available out there.

That, on one side, is because it’s among the more affordable 4090 notebooks at 3499 USD/3999 EUR (not as affordable as the 4090 Alienware m16, though). But also because it’s a powerful implementation with solid performance and mostly solid thermals, even if the intakes are a little choked out with the laptop sitting on the desk and you’ll want to place this on a raiser stand or cooling pad with longer demanding loads or gaming sessions. If you do that, internals and external temperatures are no concern in this design.

Now, whether your best bet is with this Ryzen 9 7945HX platform or any of the competing Intel core i9-13980HX devices is debatable, and entirely based on your needs. For general use and gaming, etc, these platforms are similar in performance. However, the Intel platform runs cooler with light use, which means the fans keep idle more often on the Intel ROG Scar models than on this AMD model. Plus, the Intel HX platforms have an advantage in efficiency on battery power, and thus they last for a few hours longer with light use unplugged from the wall.

And then, there’s the performance in sustained loads. Yes, the 16C/32T Ryzen 9 7945HX is the fastest mobile platform in synthetic tests, outmatching Intel i9-13980HX models by 7-15% in multi-threaded loads, but these differences dwindle when it comes to most real-life activities, where many apps favor the higher single-core performance of the Intel architecture or just aren’t that well optimized for the 16C/32T AMD hardware. Of course, some, such as Blender for instance, scale well on the AMD platform, but those are rather the exception, not the rule. You’ll find more details on these aspects in the performance and gaming section.

Speaking off, the gaming experience is excellent on this Scar 17 model, on par with the Intel + RTX 4090 models we’ve tested. Plus, since this is a 16:9 display with fewer pixels than the QHD+ 16:10 panels on the Scar 2023 Intel-based ROG options, you’re actually getting a few percent higher framerates in games on this implementation. So if gaming is where you’re at and want a top-tier configuration, this Scar 17 in the RTX 4090 variant is surely a recommended option in its class.

But when you add all things up, there are reasons some of you might want to pay a few hundred extra for the 2023 ROG Scar 16/Scar 18 models. Some of the ergonomics, the quieter daily-use experience, the longer battery life, and the superior displays with 2023-generation panels (especially the mini LED on the Scar 16) are the main reasons the Scar 17 might just not do it for you. And while the 4090 model has the price advantage on its side that might compensate for some of these aspects, the 4080 configurations lose that advantage, where the Scar 16 is a mere $100 more expensive than the Scar 17 at the time of this review.

So there you have it, these are my thoughts on the 2023 Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 series. Let me know what you think about it down below in the comments section, and get in touch if you have any questions that I can help answer for you.

asus rog scar17 fin

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Andrei Girbea, author at Ultrabookreview.com

Review by: Andrei Girbea

Andrei Girbea, Editor-in-Chief. I’ve a Bachelor’s in Computer Engineering and I’ve been covering mobile technology since the 2000s. You’ll mostly find reviews and thorough guides written by me here on the site, as well as some occasional first-impression articles.



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