Introducing the Asus ROG Strix Scar 17, a gaming powerhouse that we’ve had the opportunity to review previously. However, there’s a crucial update under the hood that demands attention. This time around, Asus has equipped the Scar 17 with the AMD Ryzen 9 7900HX 3D processor, marking a significant departure as it is the first instance of this processor being integrated into a mobile platform.
In this detailed examination, we’ll delve into the intricacies of the AMD Ryzen 9 7900HX 3D, its impact on performance, and how it complements the gaming experience on the Scar 17.
AMD introduces a noteworthy revision in the X3D processor, characterized by a doubling of the level 3 cache size and a more direct copper-to-copper connection. This enhancement aims to accelerate various applications and games, particularly those that heavily rely on the level 3 cache. AMD claims an approximate 15% improvement in CPU performance on average, contingent upon the specific application or game being utilized.
For gamers, where the GPU often takes precedence over the CPU, especially at higher resolutions, the significance of this improvement becomes more apparent. At 1080p, where the CPU plays a pivotal role, users can potentially witness the most substantial enhancement, making it a valuable addition for gaming enthusiasts.
The Scar 17 boasts a QHD resolution, translating to a commendable 2K display. This resolution strikes a balance, allowing users to benefit from the potential processor improvements in CPU-bound scenarios. However, as resolutions increase, the demand for the GPU intensifies, especially at 4K.
Consequently, the impact of CPU upgrades becomes less pronounced at higher resolutions, with the GPU taking center stage. With this in mind, the Scar 17, with its QHD resolution, aligns well with the performance improvements offered by the AMD Ryzen 9 7900HX 3D.
A notable observation in the Scar 17’s design choices raises questions about how Asus perceives AMD in its lineup. While the Scar 17 adheres to a more traditional 16:9 aspect ratio, its sibling, the Scar 18, features a 16:10 aspect ratio display. Furthermore, the chassis, featuring a metal lid, is complemented by plastic in most other areas. This design, while not as flagship-laden as one might expect, contributes to maintaining a more reasonable price point.
The predecessor, reviewed earlier in the year, was priced at around $3,500, and the Scar 17, with its groundbreaking processor and a 4090 RTX Pro GPU with 175 Watts, offers a competitive price point. Additional features include 32 gigs of DDR5 4800 megahertz RAM, a fast one-terabyte SSD, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3, and a per-key RGB keyboard. Though non-mechanical, the keyboard delivers a tactile experience akin to a low-travel mechanical keyboard, earning it a spot as one of the reviewer’s favorites.
In contemplating the potential pricing for this upgraded model, it’s expected to be marginally higher than its predecessor, possibly a hundred or two hundred dollars more for the premium features it now offers. Considering the current landscape of soaring laptop prices, the Scar 17, equipped with cutting-edge components and robust specifications, remains an attractive option for gamers who seek a powerful yet relatively affordable gaming laptop.
Exploring the Asus ROG Strix Scar 17, the latest iteration, we find a notable upgrade in the form of the AMD Ryzen 9 7900HX 3D processor. While we won’t delve into an exhaustive review of the entire laptop, as we’ve covered the previous model in detail, the focus here is on the impact of the new CPU. Interestingly, the display remains consistent with the previous model, albeit with slight sampling differences, resulting in a marginally brighter screen.
The Scar 17 maintains a substantial 90-watt-hour battery, offering an extended gaming experience. Despite being categorized as a gaming laptop with a substantial chassis, it weighs in at a manageable three kilograms or 6.61 pounds, a noteworthy feat when considering the historical context of gaming laptops from four to five years ago. Its dimensions and weight place it in a competitive position, particularly when juxtaposed with heavier counterparts like the MSI Titan series gaming laptop.
This achievement is even more remarkable as the Scar 17 delivers comparable performance to the MSI Titan but with a significantly lighter and more compact build. The efficiency of the AMD Ryzen processor plays a pivotal role in achieving this balance, utilizing fewer watts than Intel processors and generating less heat and noise.
One of the standout features of the Scar 17 is its subdued noise levels during operation. In contrast to the clamorous nature of many gaming laptops, the Scar 17, even when compared to the MSI Titan, stands out for its relatively quiet performance. The efficiency of the Ryzen processor contributes to this, delivering optimal performance without the excessive noise commonly associated with high-end gaming laptops.
The AMD Ryzen 9 7900HX 3D processor introduces improvements such as a doubled level 3 cache size and enhanced direct copper-to-copper connections. AMD claims an approximate 15% improvement in CPU performance on average, although the actual impact may vary based on the specific application or game being utilized. The Ryzen processor’s efficiency is evident in its ability to maintain optimal operating temperatures, with the CPU consistently in the 80s Celsius during gaming sessions, without any throttling.
In terms of gaming and benchmark performance, the Scar 17 equipped with the AMD Ryzen 9 7900HX 3D doesn’t exhibit a substantial difference from its non-X3D predecessor. While the improvements are not groundbreaking, they contribute to providing users with the most value for their investment. The processor features 16 cores, 32 threads, and a maximum turbo speed of 5.4 gigahertz, maintaining a clock speed that doesn’t drop down during operation. The processor operates at 55 watts, showcasing efficiency, especially in gaming scenarios where high frame rates are achievable without drawing the maximum power.
The Scar 17’s display, with a 240 hertz, three-millisecond IPS panel, boasts a QHD resolution. While it doesn’t feature advanced technologies like mini LED, the display proves competent for gaming purposes. The laptop’s speakers, similar to the previous model, offer an above-average audio experience for gaming laptops, delivering clear sound with good separation and bass.
Competing with the likes of the Alienware 18-inch and the MSI Titan, the Scar 17 distinguishes itself with a balance of performance, portability, and affordability. Its pricing, though not officially confirmed, is expected to be marginally higher than its predecessor, making it an attractive option for gamers seeking optimal performance without the exorbitant cost and excessive weight commonly associated with high-end gaming laptops.
ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 X3D (2023) – Pros and Cons
- Cutting-Edge Processor: The ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 X3D stands out with its integration of the AMD Ryzen 9 7900HX 3D processor, marking a significant upgrade. The inclusion of the X3D processor brings improvements like a doubled level 3 cache size, enhancing performance in various applications and games.
- Balanced Gaming Performance: The laptop strikes a commendable balance between powerful gaming performance and portability. With the AMD Ryzen processor’s efficiency, the device manages to deliver impressive gaming experiences without the excessive heat and noise often associated with high-end gaming laptops.
- Optimal Display: Sporting a QHD resolution on a 240Hz, three-millisecond IPS panel, the laptop provides a visually satisfying display for gaming. While lacking in advanced features like mini LED, the display is competent for gaming purposes, offering smooth visuals and responsiveness.
- Efficient Cooling System: The laptop’s cooling system is designed to maintain optimal operating temperatures, preventing throttling during intensive gaming sessions. The efficiency of the AMD Ryzen processor contributes to a cooling solution that effectively manages heat without compromising performance.
- Extended Battery Life: Despite its gaming-focused design, the ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 X3D incorporates a substantial 90-watt-hour battery. This enables users to enjoy an extended gaming experience without being tethered to a power source, enhancing the laptop’s overall versatility.
- Portable Design: Weighing in at three kilograms or 6.61 pounds, the laptop achieves a commendable balance between performance and portability. Compared to bulkier gaming laptops of the past, the ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 X3D offers a more manageable weight and size, making it suitable for on-the-go gaming.
- Superior Audio Quality: The laptop’s speakers provide an above-average audio experience for a gaming laptop. Users can enjoy clear sound, notable separation, and a satisfactory level of bass, enhancing the overall gaming immersion.
- Versatile Connectivity: Equipped with Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3, the laptop ensures robust wireless connectivity. Additionally, the inclusion of a per-key RGB keyboard adds a customizable and visually appealing aspect to the device.
- Value for Money: Considering its performance capabilities, the ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 X3D offers competitive pricing, providing gamers with a high-performance option without an exorbitant price tag.
- Design Aesthetics: The laptop’s design may not appeal to users seeking a more premium or innovative aesthetic. The combination of a metal lid and plastic casing might be perceived as less sophisticated compared to flagship models from other manufacturers.
- Limited Display Advancements: While the display is competent for gaming, it lacks advanced features such as mini LED technology. Users who prioritize cutting-edge display technologies may find the ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 X3D’s display offerings relatively standard.
- Non-Mechanical Keyboard: Despite the keyboard’s tactile feel and responsiveness, some users might miss the mechanical key switches commonly found in premium gaming laptops. However, the per-key RGB illumination adds a visual flair to the typing experience.
- Proprietary Features: Certain features, such as the health monitor and camera remote functionality, are proprietary to Samsung phones. Users with non-Samsung Android devices might miss out on these specific functionalities.
- Noisy GPU Acoustics: While the laptop excels in keeping the CPU noise levels in check, the GPU acoustics might still be relatively noisy during intensive gaming. Users sensitive to fan noise might find this aspect less appealing.
- Non-Upgradeable RAM: The soldered-on RAM might be a limitation for users who prefer the flexibility of upgrading their laptop’s memory. It’s essential to choose the desired RAM capacity at the time of purchase, limiting future upgrade options.
- Availability of Advanced Features: Certain advanced features, such as mini LED or cutting-edge display technologies, are not incorporated into the ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 X3D. Users who prioritize these features might explore other high-end laptop models with more innovative displays.
- Limited Impact of Processor Upgrade: The performance difference brought by the AMD Ryzen 9 7900HX 3D processor might not be groundbreaking for all users. While it provides improvements, the actual impact depends on the specific applications and games being used, and users of the previous Scar 17 might not find it compelling enough for an immediate upgrade.
In conclusion, the ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 X3D (2023) offers a compelling blend of gaming performance, portability, and affordability, making it an attractive choice for gamers. However, users should consider their preferences and priorities, especially regarding design aesthetics and the necessity for cutting-edge display technologies, before making a purchase decision.
ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 X3D (2023)