Progress without excess: review of the ROG Strix SCAR 17 (2023) gaming laptop from ASUS
Manufacturers of gaming laptops are in no hurry to abandon the classic versions of the “desktop substitute” sizes, so there are currently many diagonals in the portfolio of top brands. For example, 18-inch options have not completely replaced the usual seven-inch format, so choosing such a laptop can provide a potential buyer with an interesting variety of options that did not exist recently. We will find out which of these formats will remain later, when manufacturers collect enough statistics and determine the winner. In the meantime, we’ll take a look at the capabilities of this year’s ROG Strix SCAR 17 model with top chips from AMD and NVIDIA.
Specifications of ROG Strix SCAR 17 (2023)
|ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 (2023)
|IPS, 17,3”, resolution 2560×1440, 16:9 aspect ratio, 240 Hz frequency
|AMD Ryzen 9 7945HX
|32 GB DDR5-4800
|NVIDIA GeForce RTX4090 (16 GB)
|HDMI 2.1, 2×USB-A 3.2 Gen 1, 2×USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 with DisplayPort and Power Delivery, RJ-45 (2.5G), 3.5 mm combo jack
|Wi-Fi 6E + Bluetooth 5.3
|Speaker system with 2 speakers and microphone
|Island-type keys with RGB backlighting
|Battery and charging
|90 W-h, main power supply 330 W, additional power supply 100 W
Scope of delivery
The ROG department continues to delight customers with extended bundles, which, of course, is really nice at this price point. Depending on the specific model of this particular line, the big box may additionally contain a ROG Gladius III mouse or a ROG Fusion II 300 headset. However, in all cases, there is an additional compact power supply and a backpack.
We got our hands on the ROG Strix SCAR 17 (G733PY-LL020X), which comes with the following: a laptop; two power supplies of different sizes and, accordingly, power; a ROG Gladius III mouse; and a backpack. Those who want to supplement their workplace with branded accessories can find everything they need with Aura Sync backlighting in the manufacturer’s assortment (which in the case of some ROG models makes additional sense, because, for example, the test laptop has a lot of backlighting).
Design and usability
This year’s ROG Strix SCAR 17 maintains the corporate style of ROG laptops, but it still leaves out some of the “maximum configurations”. However, the appearance remains recognizable and fully corresponds to the character of gaming models. That’s why several backlight zones and familiar finishing elements remain in place.
Among the things we saw on other ROG samples a year ago, there are no interchangeable panels in the corner of the topcase, no translucent parts of the topcase, no hidden UV patterns on the display cover, which is no longer illuminated from below, and no KeyStone (an NFC tag that gives you quick access to a hidden drive partition, saves certain settings, etc.) However, this did not affect the overall impression: the laptop still looks good, is pleasant to use, and has the same materials as before (mostly matte plastic and a metal outer cover). Moreover, the activity indicators on the topcase have decreased and practically do not interfere with your work.
Along with the keyboard backlight, the ROG Strix SCAR 17 has an additional large diode area on the bottom of the topcase in front of the user. For those who like to play with minimal lighting in the room, this will add a certain mood. Even just working with this ambient light effect is more pleasant for me personally. Of course, the moment is subjective, but I’m not tired of the backlight, and this is not the first such model that came to me for review. There is also a logo backlight on the screen unit, which has a static light and is not synchronized with other areas.
The lower part of the topcase of this model has a slightly simpler finish than before, but it’s still far from conservative business lines. A considerable part of it has perforations for cooling, as well as seven rubber support points.
ROG Strix SCAR 17 is also a large laptop that was definitely not intended to be the most portable of all available ROGs (there are Zephyrus models for that). Thus, the dimensions of the case of our model are 395×282×23.4-28.3 mm – the same as last year. Other configurations do not change the case. The weight of the whole structure is 3 kg. Thus, it is very good that the manufacturer provides the buyer with a backpack of the appropriate size, because such a respectable case will not fit into any ordinary backpack.
Apart from the fact that it’s obviously not the best laptop for traveling, the only thing to complain about is the surface, which easily accumulates handprints. Yes, it’s not hard to wipe the laptop, but you’ll have to do it after every session of work or play, or, of course, ignore the untidy look of your work machine. Otherwise, this year’s ROG Strix SCAR 17 remains a good substitute for desktops with the proper build quality and comfort level.
ROG Strix SCAR 17 connectors
It’s not very typical for large topcases, but SCAR 17 has ports on only two sides – the left and the back. So, on the side there is a combined port for a headset and two USB-A 3.2 Gen 1. On the back are a power port, RJ45 (2.5G), HDMI 2.1, and two USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 with DisplayPort and G-Sync support, and one of them also has Power Delivery 3.0.
In general, there could be more ports (for example, another USB-A, a memory card slot, etc.), but the manufacturer left the right side of the topcase free of any wires or gadgets, so nothing will interfere with the user during games. And it’s definitely much better than having two USB-As under your right hand, as is sometimes the case with gaming models.
Regardless of the configuration of the ROG Strix SCAR 17, this particular model line offers only one display option. This is a 17.3-inch matrix with a resolution of 2560×1440 pixels and a classic 16:9 aspect ratio. Against the background of the overall size of the display, its bezels look small, and the screen itself is huge. Those users who have previously had smaller laptops will definitely feel the difference.
The speed of the matrix did not disappoint either. According to the latest trends, the display has a response time of 3 ms and a refresh rate of 240 Hz. This may not surprise those users who frequently update their laptops/computers. However, these are exactly the options that make it difficult to work on smaller screens. Moreover, when the laptop goes into power saving mode and switches the image to 60 Hz, it becomes literally uncomfortable (which can be easily corrected in the settings).
The IPS matrix also has an excellent image, but there is a small nuance. As with most gaming models from the manufacturer, the ARMOURY CRATE utility will offer several options for image profiles for different occasions (different genres of games, movies, saturated colors, etc.), but mostly they all have a serious impact on gamma performance, which is also clearly visible when choosing profiles. Given the measurements of our colorimeter and my own observations, it is best to leave the Default option and not return to these settings in the future, because this profile will provide excellent coverage and almost reference gamma, image temperature (which can be further adjusted), and more.
Default profile measurements:
The backlighting didn’t set any records, but there are no problems either – the screen is capable of providing brightness from 19 to 360 cd/m². Unfortunately, this model did not receive the Mini LED backlight options, which are much brighter and more interesting in some ways. However, we can’t say that the standard display is disappointing. Under normal conditions, the brightness level will be sufficient, and the backlighting will be further aided by the matte finish of the matrix, which is standard for such laptops.
Manipulators and multimedia
The keyboard hasn’t changed much since last year. A 2-mm profile, pleasant keystroke and sound, additional keys with macros, RGB backlighting, etc… All of this remains in this year’s model. The main thing is that there are no problems with blind typing. Working or playing, users are unlikely to have any inconvenience with the keyboard, and you will only have to get used to the narrowed NUM pad (which happens in almost all laptops, even large ones). So the keyboard is still very pleasing. What it lacks is a fingerprint scanner, which could be found in an expensive gaming model.
The size and location of the trackpad have not been changed either. The user is left with a 130×78 mm touch surface, which perfectly replaces the mouse for ordinary tasks: no complaints about gestures and overall accuracy. Personally, I also didn’t have to turn it off while playing games, but the manufacturer has provided a quick Fn+F10 combination for this case.
The only slight difference from last year’s model is the number of speakers. This time there are only two speakers in the lineup, without additional tweeters along with the hinge. Yes, there is a little less sound, but without a critical shortage. The manufacturer also equipped them with support for Smart Amplifier and Dolby Atmos technologies. In general, the sound is quite enough, and it is really good. Although it will still be more convenient to play with headphones, because no one has yet been able to make the cooling system very quiet.
On the other hand, this year’s model received a webcam, which was not present last time. However, it is a camera exclusively for communication, as its resolution is only HD, and its capabilities in artificial light remain mediocre. However, when it is needed, the user will now have it.
Microphones (with the help of AI) can really prevent unnecessary sounds from entering the conversation. It’s probably not the best option for gaming chats, but for regular communication with friends and colleagues, it’s one of the best built-in solutions.
Performance and software
This time we are reviewing the ROG Strix SCAR 17 line based on AMD processors, not Intel. All configurations have Ryzen 9, but configurations can vary (12 or 16 cores). Additionally, the discrete video options also change, with NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 and 4090 offered. And even in the minimum configurations, the user will receive 32 GB of RAM (the possible maximum is 64 GB) and a terabyte drive (to which the user can add another one, there are two slots in the case).
Regardless of the configuration, the user will also have support for tri-band Wi-Fi 6E, a 2.5-gigabit LAN port, and Bluetooth 5.3 for wireless accessories.
The test setup of the ROG Strix SCAR 17 (G733PY-LL020X) has: AMD Ryzen 9 7945HX (16 cores, 32 threads, 64 MB cache, 2.5-5.4 GHz, 55 W, integrated AMD Radeon 610M video), NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090 (2090 MHz, 16 GB GDDR6, 175 W), 32 GB DDR5-4800 (two 16-bit slots), and a PCIe 4.0 NVMe drive with two terabytes. This is one of the most powerful configurations in the line.
In ARMOURY CRATE, you can traditionally choose among several system modes (from Silent to Turbo) and select the behavior of the video card (Ultimate will allow you to constantly work through a discrete chip, bypassing the integrated one, and other options will serve to reduce power consumption during normal operation). The manual mode is also available for those who want to set the desired parameters on their own and will allow for more flexible resource management, but I doubt that many users will use it.
With the most powerful preset, the processor managed to slightly outperform the competitive Intel Core i9-13980HX. Processes that work with all available cores will be able to run faster on such a “machine”. However, I personally do not think that this will be important for most buyers, and in this case, they will simply be able to choose the chip manufacturer they are most favorable to.
However, when switching to maximum power saving, Intel showed a little more agility. However, it is worth noting that in both cases, battery performance was sufficient for basic tasks, media viewing, and office work. Again, it would be surprising if the flagship processors failed in such usage scenarios, especially since such laptops are still better suited to work alongside a power source.
|3DMark (CPU Profile, max threads)
|CineBench R24 (CPU single/multi core)
You won’t have any problems with games at all. With this configuration, you can safely afford the highest graphics settings with the native display resolution, and in principle, do not monitor the FPS. The tested games were run at the highest resolution and high settings presets. The average FPS did not disappoint in any way.
Unfortunately, the stability test did not show a trotting graph (sometimes this happens with some configurations). Based on my own experience, in games, the user will not feel any slowdowns even during long sessions. So there is hardly any reason to worry here either.
However, the test did not hide the temperature reading, which in this case was 95°C, which is quite a lot. At the same time, the hot air from all sides of the topcase is also well felt. Nevertheless, this practically does not affect the working surface, and no significant heating was noticed under the hands. The temperature will also be quite high during normal operation, when the readings of the corresponding sensors can exceed 60°C. Although the cooling system in this case is not very annoying with noise. In general, it consists of two coolers, a large evaporation chamber, and Thermal Grizzly thermal interfaces on the graphics chip and Conductonaut Extreme on the CPU (just like last time).
The proprietary software also lasts quite a long time without major updates. ROG Strix SCAR 17 comes with MyASUS and the aforementioned ARMORY CRATE utilities. The former has a useful feature that allows you to customize battery modes, to save battery life you can enable the option to charge only up to 80%. The latter has more settings for performance modes, backlighting, image profiles, several smaller settings, etc., and also has system monitoring. Experienced ROG users are unlikely to see much new here, but for everyone else, the interface will be quite clear and convenient.
ROG Strix SCAR 17 battery life
The current ROG Strix SCAR 17 model inherits the battery from its predecessor, so its capacity is 90 Wh. Like last time, it lasted for an hour in the gaming endurance test. But in the “office” test, the laptop lost more than an hour of work (the final result was 5 hours and 34 minutes). Two hours of watching a movie will take more than 40% of the charge. And yes, there are indeed laptops that can work much longer, but for a gaming model, even with a large screen, this should be enough.
And it’s good that the manufacturer provides the buyer with power supply options. For normal work, there is a 100-watt and relatively compact version that weighs 400 grams. It’s much easier to get to the office with it, but it takes 2 hours and 40 minutes to fully charge the battery. However, Turbo mode is not activated with this PSU, so you still need a second one for maximum performance. Its power is 330 W and it weighs 1.13 kg. And with it, of course, filling a “full tank” will be almost an hour faster.