Home Laptop Asus ROG Strix Scar II Gaming Laptop Review
Laptop - March 7, 2019

Asus ROG Strix Scar II Gaming Laptop Review

Today we’re looking at the Asus ROG Strix Scar II GL504GV, a gaming computer with an extended product call however a number of the today’s hardware inner, consisting of GeForce RTX 2060 photographs. Having already reviewed the RTX 2060 in the element, today we that specialize in what the general computer package deal provides.

Like many different refreshed RTX laptops, there hasn’t been an enormous change to the layout on the Asus ROG Strix or most of the inner hardware. Previously I reviewed the 15-inch Scar II which came with either a GTX 1060 or GTX 1070, at the same time as now you can get an RTX 2060 or RTX 2070, albeit at special rate factors. Our evaluating unit is the GL504GV that packs the RTX 2060 priced at $1,seven-hundred.

Other hardware is largely unchanged from the preceding technology. The identical Intel hexa-center Core i7-8750H is used, 16GB of DDR4 reminiscence and a 15.6-inch 1080p 144Hz IPS show. The number one storage alternatives have been bumped up a tier across the board, so wherein the base model got a 128GB SSD, that’s now as much as 256GB, and so forth. Our overview unit and the principle choice available on Newegg and Amazon comes with a 512GB PCIe SSD.

In terms of design, other than the brushed aluminum lid, most of the pc uses plastic, with a tender touch coating applied across the keyboard. This soft touch vicinity has a carbon fiber design with half of it getting a camo print. We’d likely choose if the camo wasn’t there but Asus likes to try this sort of aspect.

Yes, there’s RGB, too. You get a strip alongside the front fringe of the computer, plus the off-center Asus ROG logo at the lid, each controllable through Asus’ Aura software. The front RGB strip is without delay related to the four-zone RGB keyboard backlighting, you don’t get in step with key RGB right here however the fundamental four sector effect is first-class sufficient. The keyboard has a piece of a spongy tactile response, it is no longer as clicky as I’d opt for, but tour distance is respectable, plus you get a numpad and none of the keys are truncated to fit that in. The trackpad is awesome and we like the inclusion of separate click buttons.

Like loads of gaming laptops in recent times, a narrow bezel across the 15-inch display keeps the computer’s footprint pretty compact, although there’s still a big bezel beneath the screen. Unfortunately, Asus has gone within all likelihood the worst webcam placement viable, offset and occasional under the show, if the webcam is in any respect a concern for you, of direction.

The chassis is your regular mid-tier choice: it’s no longer a slim and mild device just like the Asus Zephyrus, but it’s no longer a corpulent beast like the huge boy Asus fashions. It clocks in at 26mm thick and five.3 lbs, so it’s portable without entering into the skinny category that comes at a better price. The major problem for portability might be the smaller 62 Wh battery, as opposed to close to 100 Wh you get with structures just like the Gigabyte Aero 15.

I/O may be very stable. Three USB three.1 kind-A ports, gen 1 and one gen 2, plus a USB 3.2 gen 2 type-C port (there’s no Thunderbolt). You also get HDMI 2.0b, mini DisplayPort 1.2, Ethernet, an SD card slot and a three.5mm audio jack. Internal connectivity comes inside the form of an Intel 802.11ac 2×2 Wi-Fi plus Bluetooth five. Zero combination solution.

Before speakme about performance, there are some notes to be made. The first is relating to Asus’ software suite, the Armoury Crate. There’s quite a few trendy stuff in there, however, the critical component is the fan profiles: Windows, Silent, Balanced and Turbo, plus a manual mode. For sports testing, we used the balanced mode because we couldn’t spot any difference in overall performance between that and Turbo. For productiveness apps we used the Turbo mode, it’s louder but it does grow the power restriction at the CPU which for long workloads like video encoding caused a small performance boom.

And while the Turbo mode is nice, what’s not high-quality is getting a single 16GB DIMM of DDR4-2666 memory. This manner the computer runs a preferred 16GB configuration in unmarried-channel best, which ends up in decrease memory bandwidth than twin-channel laptops, and consequently decrease performance. It does leave a DIMM slot free in case you need to upgrade to 32GB down the road, however, that’s come at the cost of out of the box overall performance.

We might not cross into excessive element approximately the Core i7-8750H due to the fact we’ve protected it lots of times in different evaluations. It’s a famous six-core CPU utilized in most gaming laptops, and it’s the option we’d pick out for productiveness and gaming workloads without stepping into loopy shape factors.

Asus-ROG-Strix-Scar-2-RGB-1024x683.jpg (1024×683)

Performance

The Asus ROG GL504GV performs the kind of on par with a regular Core i7-8750H computer, however, that’s down to 3 notable variations that both prefer and disadvantage the system. Due to the Turbo fan mode, longer workloads have a tendency to throttle less than widespread 8750H overall performance, so we’re seeing up to a 10 percent advantage for longer multi-threaded workloads like Handbrake. This laptop can sustain higher clocks for longer. On the turn side, because of having unmarried-channel memory, this pc receives decrease marks in our memory heavy benchmarks. That consists of 7-Zip compression, MATLAB, and Adobe Photoshop Iris Blur.

As typical, right here’s our contrast among the Core i7-8750H and the final-gen quad-middle Core i7-7700HQ. Due to higher clock speeds and extra cores, we’re searching at over a 50% gain in a few multi-threaded workloads, in addition to higher single-thread performance. You won’t see this sort of improvement in every workload, however, if you’re coming from an older quad-center machine, the 8750H can be a notable upgrade.

This is the chart for those thinking whether they should buy a larger 15-inch gaming machine or a transportable thirteen-inch ultrabook for his or her productivity duties. Generally, the 8750H certainly smokes a 15W CPU like the Core i7-8565U, handing over greater than double the performance in some cases. Throw in right GPU acceleration and for something like Premiere encodes, a gaming computer is an order of magnitude faster.

When it involves gaming, we’ve examined over a dozen video games breaking down how the RTX 2060 performs on this specific gadget. Check that out in our RTX 2060 (pc) GPU evaluation. Do word that for that evaluation we loaded up the GL504GV with dual-channel memory, so it will be a tad faster due to that.

On average, the single-channel configuration of this GPU is 13 percent slower than the twin-channel config. That’s a good sized difference certainly from not having that 2d stick of memory in there. Some video games are slightly impacted, along with Dirt 4, Watch Dogs 2 and Wolfenstein II. Others like Prey, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and Resident Evil 2 see a 25% performance reduce or more as the constrained reminiscence bandwidth chokes these video games. There is not any doubt that twin-channel memory is significantly higher for gaming at 1080p.

In terms of an actual FPS effect, in recreation like Hitman 2, we’re speakme approximately going from a 70 FPS common, all the way down to 50 FPS with unmarried-channel reminiscence (!!!). In Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, a 60 FPS experience is reduce right down to just 45 FPS. It’s now not a great performance loss.

This additionally affects the margins among this RTX 2060 computer and other GPUs. Comparing dual-channel to dual-channel, the RTX 2060 is ready 28% faster on common than a GTX 1060 6GB. But this unmarried-channel RTX 2060 laptop, as compared to a twin-channel GTX 1060 6GB device is best 12% quicker and is definitely slower in some games. Then as compared to something with a GTX 1070 interior with twin-channel RAM, it loses by way of greater than 20%.

Leaving that vacant DIMM slot is a luxurious exchange-off to make it clean for owners to improve their RAM in destiny. We must wonder how many human beings honestly open up their gadget and chuck in that extra stick. Surely the variety isn’t excessive enough to justify cutting overall performance for most others.

Ideally, this device should come ready with two 8GB sticks by way of default, leading to a whole lot higher overall performance from the RTX 2060.

If you are contemplating buying the GL504GV and want to clear up this hassle, you’re searching at spending $a hundred for a 2d 16GB DDR4-2666 SO-DIMM stick. Not big, but something you would possibly want to factor in.

Looking on the cooling answer used in the ROG Strix Scar II, the usage of the balanced fan mode for gaming which brought the performance you’ve seen to date, the cooler is quite loud beneath the load, pushing up close to 48 dBA in our trying out. It also tends to ramp up and down a truthful bit while you’re gaming, so sometimes the cooler is quieter than this parent, however, to be sincere the frequent modifications are just as demanding as walking at forty-eight dBA all the time.

However, temperatures are superb, which shows the balanced mode is possibly ramping the fan up too high. We recorded an insignificant 73 stages at the GPU and 83 degrees at the CPU in an prolonged Watch Dogs 2 consultation, which is well below other laptops with comparable noise outputs. We reckon a few guide fan tuning could cross an extended way to balancing out temperatures and noise.

At the identical time, even when the usage of the Turbofan profile, the device become a lot quieter below pure CPU workloads like Handbrake. Clocking in under 40 dBA is a good result. You have to nonetheless use the Turbo mode though to increase the power restrict, although it doesn’t ramp up fan speeds to ridiculous stages in CPU responsibilities. While gaming the enthusiasts absolutely crank up, so I don’t advocate it.

For the garage, we acquired a 512GB Kingston M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD. This is a mid-tier performer, no longer as fast as a number of the Samsung or Intel SSDs we’ve visible in other gaming laptops, however nevertheless rapid enough to supply an overall performance benefit over primary SATA SSDs. Internally there’s also a free 2.5-inch force bay for extra storage.

The laptop’s show is good. A first-rate 15.6-inch 1080p IPS with a hundred and forty-four Hz refresh charge, top brightness is up around 300 nits, perfect for a gaming pc, and it has an assessment ratio of round a thousand:1. In terms of coloration performance, that is an sRGB show, so no fancy huge gamut, however not which you need that for gaming.

Our foremost situation was with the incorrect white factor. Asus is using about 7500K instead of the best 6500K, which offers the display a less warm, bluer tone. This leads to common deltaEs among 3.0 and 4.0 which isn’t correct but isn’t highly erroneous both.

Putting It All Together

The Asus ROG Strix Scar II GL504GV is a high-quality pc with a terrific design, an excellent trackpad and keyboard, and beneficiant I/O. It’s now not overly portable, it’s no longer overly chunky. It’s got a quite appropriate show, upgradeability options, and the internal hardware and performance are accurate, too.

Our best most important difficulty has to do with the unmarried-channel reminiscence out of the box. It doesn’t impact productivity workloads heavily, however it does shave ~10% off the gaming overall performance. It is fixable – a $a hundred stick of memory brought into the second slot immediately offers you that overall performance lower back – however, we’d as an alternative get that blanketed by default.

In terms of price, the Asus ROG Strix Scar II is fairly tough to suggest to shop for proper now while you study the gaming performance you have become. But this isn’t precise to this pc, however all RTX laptops presently in the marketplace. At $1,700, the Scar II is appreciably more pricey than GTX 1060 laptops with a similar CPU, display, garage, and different components, which retail for around $1,100 in recent times. In plain figures, for 63% greater cash, you’re getting a device that’s most effective 12% quicker… Or 28% quicker in case you upload inside the 2nd stick of RAM.

It’s also no longer competitive with outgoing GTX 1070 laptops. The predecessor to this machine, the GL504GS, is the simplest $1,500 in positive stores, consisting of Newegg. That receives you a completely comparable computer this is faster for much less money. Even if for a limited time while components final, RTX laptops at release do not offer extremely good value.

Laptop charges will unavoidably trade over the coming months, so the ones watching this evaluate in the destiny may be faced with a very special situation. For now, we without a doubt dislike the idea of a brand new product not beating ultimate generations on uncooked performance nor value. We’re really no longer certain who is liable for putting those expenses. Perhaps it’s surely Nvidia charging extra for the RTX GPU for the reason that every different RTX 2060 system is around the same price as the Scar II.

Value dialogue apart, Asus has designed the Strix Scar II to be on hand and deliver a decent 1080p gaming revel in. You may not find lots to set it other than different normally exact gaming laptops at this rating factor, but it is a very good all-around bundle though.

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