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Review of the Asus ROG Strix Scar 17: With such strong performance, a better display is in order


The Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 is astounding in its capabilities, delivering gaming performance that can easily annihilate the most demanding titles. But this price point calls for a sturdy deck and a bright, vivid display to back up its immense power, which Asus failed to deliver.

Pros

  • +

    Breathtaking gaming performance

  • +

    Incredible productivity scores

  • +

    Satisfying keyboard

  • +

    Aluminum lid

Cons

  • -

    Subpar brightness and color

  • -

    Underpowered speakers

  • -

    Middling battery life

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    SSD could be faster

  • -

    Plastic base

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Asus ROG Strix Scar 17

Price: $3,599
CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 7945HX
GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090
RAM:
32GB
Storage: 1TB SSD
Display: 17.3-inch, 2560 x 1440 IPS 240Hz
Battery: 4:21
Size: 15.6 x 11.1 x 0.9
Weight: 6.6 pounds

The Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 is a monstrous RTX 4090 gaming laptop coming out of the woodworks to tempt us with its mind blowing hardware, and oh boy did this beast surprise me. It offers gaming and productivity performance that will make anything you throw at it look like it was designed for systems a decade older. But that wasn’t the shocker.

What’s surprising about the Strix Scar 17 is how a laptop that asks for nearly four grand could boast an easily bendable plastic deck, a display boasting subpar color depth and brightness, alongside underwhelming SSD speeds. It’s clear that Asus sacrificed many aspects of this laptop’s quality for the sake of its phenomenal performance.

If you can look past these issues, you’re looking at a laptop so powerful that you will have secured your gaming future for at least the next five years. Even then, the Strix Scar 17 likely isn’t making it in our list of best gaming laptops.

Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 price and configuration 

Our review model of the Strix Scar 17 costs $3,599 and comes with an AMD Ryzen 9 7945HX processor, Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 graphics card with 16GB of VRAM, 32GB of RAM, a 1TB PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSD and a 17.3-inch, 2560 x 1440 IPS display with a 240Hz refresh rate.

The base model of the Strix Scar 17 costs $2,899 with a change to a Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 graphics card and 16GB of RAM, while everything else remains the same. Other models can have a maximum of 64GB of RAM and 2TB of SSD space. Its cost makes it less expensive than the MSI Titan GT77 HX ($5,299) and Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 ($3,699), but more expensive than the Alienware m17 R5 AMD Advantage ($2,799)

Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 design  

The Strix Scar 17’s black aluminum lid features a LED ROG logo with an off-center diagonal row of tiny ROG logos embedded with two parallel lines. The top vents jut out when the laptop is closed, with a series of slanted rectangular openings on the sides and circular holes at the top. Lifting the lid reveals a minimalistic black deck with the same diagonal parallel lines harboring tons of little ROG logos cutting through the middle of the keyboard, which doesn’t look all that appealing.

Asus ROG Strix Scar 17

(Image credit: Future)

I wish there was additional support behind the frame, as although the hinges are sturdy and self-supporting, they're designed in a way where I can put the lid at around a 30 to 40 degree angle and the weight of the display will cause it to fall downwards and shut itself. But the most offensive aspect of its design is the plastic base, which I can feel bending inwards when putting the slightest bit of pressure on the deck. Even when just carrying the laptop around, it lacks sturdiness.

Finger smudges appear all over the deck when I press my finger against it for a moment. It quickly turned an already unappealing minimalist aesthetic into something that looked well-worn within a day of usage. While it is cool that the laptop strobes while it’s shut and the lights emitting from the bottom are striking, I wish the Strix Scar 17 had more personality like the Asus ROG Zephyrus M16, which features a dot matrix on the lid with over 8,000 perforations.

The Strix Scar 17 comes in at 6.6 pounds and measures 15.6 x 11.1 x 0.9 inches, making it somewhat of a middleweight amongst its cohorts. Its competitors are the Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 (5 pounds, 13.9 x 9.7 x 0.9 inches), MSI Titan GT77 HX (7.3 pounds, 15.6 x 12.9 x 0.9 inches) and Alienware m17 R5 (AMD Advantage) (5.6 pounds, 14.1 x 10.2 x 1.1 inches). 

Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 ports 

On the left side of the Strix Scar 17, there are two USB 3.2 Type-A ports and an audio jack port.

Asus ROG Strix Scar 17

(Image credit: Future)

On the back there is a HDMI 2.1 port, a 2.5G LAN port, two USB 3.2 Type-C’s with DisplayPort, one with Power Delivery and another without. 

Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 display

The Strix Scar 17’s 2560x1440-resolution IPS matte display with a 240Hz refresh rate is by no means abysmal. The average consumer will be satisfied with the moderate luster of its color depth, but its brightness levels should be way higher than they are. Regardless, it’s bizarre that this premium Asus laptop’s display landed below our averages in both categories, even though it costs around $1,500 more than other gaming laptops we’ve reviewed in the last year. For example, the MSI Crosshair 15 is currently available for $1,500 on Newegg with a DCI-P3 score of 116.6%.

Asus ROG Strix Scar 17

(Image credit: Future)

I watched the Barbie trailer and enjoyed the vibrancy of its bold hued and overexposed world. The Strix Scar 17 does a decent job at making the pink sand beaches and pastel blues littered throughout the deckchairs and accents of the ice cream shop come together in a satisfying way.  While the overwhelming neon hues that are comparable to a fever dream might be a headache to some, it’s not like this laptop is bright enough to sell that effect.

Asus ROG Strix Scar 17

(Image credit: Future)

I launched Elden Ring and was disappointed by how the light in my dimly lit room proved to be a bit too much for the screen as there was a visible glare. The color depth did a good job at making the deep greens of the foliage and faded castle bricks pop out, but it wasn’t quite as alluring as other screens I’ve tested.

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DCI-P3 color gamut
Row 0 - Cell 0 DCI-P3 color gamut percentage
Asus ROG Strix Scar 1781.6%
Alienware m17 R5 (AMD Advantage)76.2%
MSI Titan GT77 HX114.5%
Asus ROG Strix Scar 1877.5%

The Strix Scar 17 did subpar on our color tests, reproducing 81.6% of the DCI-P3 color gamut. This isn’t necessarily bad, but it’s a notch below our gaming laptop average (87.7%) and can’t get anywhere near the Titan GT77 HX (114.5%). However, it was just barely better than the Strix Scar 18 (77.5%) and Alienware m17 R5 (76.2%).

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Display brightness
Row 0 - Cell 0 Brightness
Asus ROG Strix Scar 17302 nits
Alienware m17 R5 (AMD Advantage)436 nits
MSI Titan GT77 HX511 nits
Asus ROG Strix Scar 18402 nits

The Strix Scar 17 did as poorly on brightness tests, managing an average of 302 nits. This is significantly worse than the category average (380 nits), Strix Scar 18 (402 nits), Alienware m17 R5 (436 nits) and Titan GT77 HX (511 nits). 

Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 audio 

The Strix Scar 17’s dual bottom-firing speakers are simply bad for gaming, but they’re fine for casual use. You’ll want to visit our best gaming headset or best computer speakers pages for optimal audio performance. If there’s one thing I can complement the laptop on, it’s that the sound is clear without any crackling or distortion, but that’s probably just because it can’t get very loud.

Asus ROG Strix Scar 17

(Image credit: Future)

I started by listening to “Donkey Show” by Model/Actriz and was unimpressed by how low the atmospheric hum was at the song’s opening. Even as the crashes and hi-hats appeared, it felt as if the laptop was only at half-volume. The percussion in the background got lost within the cacophony of noise, and the vocals themselves felt muffled in contrast to the instruments themselves.

I moved onto “The Last Lost Continent” by La Dispute and cringed with disgust. I was shocked that the featured vocals were lost in the swell of the accompanying guitar during the opening two minute sprawl. When the song hit its most prominent drop, which features heavy guitar slams, drum hits, and desperate screeching, it all felt like an underwhelming muffled mess and did no justice to the original track.

I launched Elden Ring and was curious if the Strix Scar 17 would fare better while gaming, and the answer is a resounding “not really.” The atmospheric gusts of wind, stomping of chainmail boots and slashing of swords were all a bit faint alongside the relaxing violin. Everything sounded a little low even while at maximum volume, and the epic orchestra that plays in the middle of a boss lacked intensity.

Asus Rog Strix Scar 17 keyboard and trackpad 

The Strix Scar 17 boasts a sizable per-key RGB keyboard through Aura Sync with a full number pad and additional keys at the top row to execute quick actions. While this size is usually unwieldy for my fingers as I’d often undershoot the location of a key, I was actually pretty comfortable tapping away.

Asus ROG Strix Scar 17

(Image credit: Future)

I took the 10fastfingers typing test and achieved a score of 121 words per minute with 98% accuracy. This is pretty close to my 97% accuracy at 125 words per minute on the mechanical keyboard I typically use. I felt great jumping between each key on the Strix Scar 17, as the solid material of the base was comfortable and the keys boast enough travel to make jumping from keystroke to keystroke fast and easy.

Beyond obvious things like volume and brightness keys, the Strix Scar 17 has function keys that mute the microphone, switch performance modes, swap Aura settings, open Armoury Crate, take a screenshot, change backlight brightness, project the screen, turn off the trackpad, put the laptop to sleep, and go into airplane mode. But the M5 key is elevated awkwardly and offers no click when pressed on, as if the key isn’t fully in place.

Asus ROG Strix Scar 17

(Image credit: Future)

The 5.1 x 3-inch trackpad felt smooth as I zoomed around the screen to open documents and browse the web, although it has the issue where the further you click up on it, the more pressure it requires to fully go down. This may not seem like a huge problem, but it could get on someone’s nerves after several hours of use. We highly recommend getting an external mouse or gamepad if you plan on gaming, as no one is going to pop headshots in Valorant with a trackpad. 

Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 gaming and graphics 

The Strix Scar 17 is $3,600 for a reason, as the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 GPU with 16GB of VRAM packed within this beast will turn anyone’s brain into gamer goop. We saw incredible performance scores all around, which is unsurprising considering how powerful the hardware is.

Asus ROG Strix Scar 17

(Image credit: Future)

I rode around the forests of Limgrave in Elden Ring with maximum ray tracing and graphic settings at 2K resolution, and the laptop jumped from anywhere between 50 and 60 frames per second. While this may seem low, it’s significantly better than the 40 frames per second I experienced on my desktop-level RTX 3080 and certainly superior to the 33 fps on a laptop-level RTX 4070. 

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Assassin's Creed Valhalla (1920 x 1080)
Row 0 - Cell 0 1920 x 1080
Asus ROG Strix Scar 17159 fps
Alienware m17 R5 (AMD Advantage)112 fps
MSI Titan GT77 HX124
Asus ROG Strix Scar 18154

The Strix Scar 17’s performance in our Assassin’s Creed Valhalla tests were above and beyond, hitting an average of 159 frames per second. Not only is this higher than the category average (100 fps), but the Alienware m17 R5 (AMD Radeon RX 6850 XT, 112 fps), Strix Scar 18 (RTX 4090, 154 fps) and Titan GT77 HX (RTX 4090, 124 fps) were all outmatched.

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Grand Theft Auto V (1920 x 1080)
Row 0 - Cell 0 1920 x 1080
Asus ROG Strix Scar 17163 fps
Alienware m17 R5 (AMD Advantage)104 fps
MSI Titan GT77 HX176 fps
Asus ROG Strix Scar 18152 fps

This superiority wasn’t as evident in Grand Theft Auto V, as the Strix Scar 17 had 163 fps. While this is undeniably excellent and surpasses the average (121 fps), Alienware m17 R5 (104 fps) and Strix Scar 18 (152 fps), the Titan GT77 HX (176 fps) took it down a notch.

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Shadow of the Tomb Raider (1920 x 1080)
Row 0 - Cell 0 1920 x 1080
Asus ROG Strix Scar 17176 fps
Asus ROG Strix Scar 18181 fps

On the Shadow of the Tomb Raider benchmark, the Strix Scar 17 averaged 176 fps at 1080p, which is significantly greater than the category average (116 fps), but the Strix Scar 18 (181 fps) just barely pulled ahead.

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Borderlands 3 (1920 x 1080)
Row 0 - Cell 0 1920 x 1080
Asus ROG Strix Scar 17164 fps
Alienware m17 R5 (AMD Advantage)112 fps
Asus ROG Strix Scar 18165 fps

Our Borderlands 3 tests yielded 164 fps for the Strix Scar 17, which absolutely tears the average (106 fps) and Alienware m17 R5 (112 fps) to shreds. The Strix Scar 18 (165 fps) is just the smallest step ahead of it, however.

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Red Dead Redemption 2 (1920 x 1080)
Row 0 - Cell 0 1920 x 1080
Asus ROG Strix Scar 17127 fps
Alienware m17 R5 (AMD Advantage)76 fps
Asus ROG Strix Scar 18123 fps

The Strix Scar 17 returned to demolishing its competition in the Red Dead Redemption 2 benchmark, hitting 127 fps. The category average (79 fps), Alienware m17 R5 (76 fps) and Strix Scar 18 (123 fps) were all behind it.

Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 performance 

Goodness gracious, the Strix Scar 17’s performance scores are mind boggling. Boasting a AMD Ryzen 9 7945HX processor, 32GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD, it handled everything I threw at it without blinking. While this isn’t surprising considering its asking price, it doesn’t change how impressive it is to behold. I opened 48 YouTube tabs at once with videos playing simultaneously and didn’t even notice the fans kick in.

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Geekbench 5.5 results
Row 0 - Cell 0 Mutli-core score
Asus ROG Strix Scar 1719,405
Alienware m17 R5 (AMD Advantage)9,851
MSI Titan GT77 HX20,617
Asus ROG Strix Scar 1819,233

On the Geekbench 5.5 overall performance test, the Strix Scar 17’s multi-core score of 19,405 is almost double the category average of 9,841. This is also superior to the Strix Scar 18 (Intel Core i9-13900HX, 19,233) and Alienware m17 R5 (AMD Ryzen 9 6900HX, 9,851), but the Titan GT77 HX (Intel Core i9-13980HX, 20,617) took no prisoners.

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Handbrake (Video transcoding)
Row 0 - Cell 0 Time (min:sec)
Asus ROG Strix Scar 172:47
Alienware m17 R5 (AMD Advantage)5:30
MSI Titan GT77 HX3:24
Asus ROG Strix Scar 182:49

The Strix Scar 17 converted a 4K video to 1080p resolution using the Handbrake app in 2 minutes and 47 seconds. This is faster than the category average (4:47), Alienware m17 R5 (5:30), Titan GT77 HX (3:24) and Strix Scar 18 (2:49).

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SSD speed test (in MBps)
Row 0 - Cell 0 Score
Asus ROG Strix Scar 171,186
Alienware m17 R5 (AMD Advantage)1,767
MSI Titan GT77 HX2,299
Asus ROG Strix Scar 181,886

Unfortunately, the Strix Scar 17’s SSD couldn’t match up to its biggest competition in our file transfer test, duplicating 25GB of multimedia files in 23 seconds for a 1,186 megabytes-per-second transfer rate. This couldn’t even compete with the category average (1,490MBps), let alone the Strix Scar 18 (1TB SSD, 1,886MBps), Titan GT77 HX (2TB SSD, 2,299MBps), and Alienware m17 R5 (1TB SSD, 1,766.7MBps).

Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 battery life 

With this degree of power underneath the hood of the Strix Scar 17, it’s no surprise that its battery life is subpar. On the Laptop Mag battery test, which involves continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi at 150 nits, the Strix Scar 17 lasted 4 hours and 21 minutes. This is shorter than the category average (5:42), but it’s certainly not shocking.

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Battery life results
Row 0 - Cell 0 Time (hours:mins)
Asus ROG Strix Scar 174:21
Alienware m17 R5 (AMD Advantage)6:07
MSI Titan GT77 HX3:48
Asus ROG Strix Scar 184:26

Competitors were in a similar boat, with the Strix Scar 18 (4:26) and Titan GT77 HX (3:48) coming out with comparable results. The Alienware m17 R5 (6:07) unsurprisingly reigned as champion due to its less power hungry hardware.

Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 heat 

Akin to any gaming laptop with hardware of this caliber, the Strix Scar 17 should be nowhere near your lap. Even in our non-gaming tests which involve playing a 1080p video for 15 minutes, the hottest point at the underside reached 108 degrees Fahrenheit, which is significantly beyond our 95-degree comfort threshold. The G/H key stayed relatively cool at 89 degrees, while the trackpad was a perfect 76 degrees.

Asus ROG Strix Scar 17

(Image credit: Future)

Things heat up even more during our gaming tests while playing Metro Exodus: Enhanced Edition, with the hottest point at the underside reaching 126 degrees. The G/H keys get quite close to our comfort threshold with 93 degrees, while the touchpad remains cool at 78 degrees.

Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 webcam 

Although the Strix Scar 17’s 720p webcam is a bit grainy, I was surprised by how well it represented the various pastel colors of my office. The white of my ceiling wasn’t blinding, the orange glow of my lamp wasn’t overexposed and the pink of my wall was decently accurate.

It’s still pretty blurry though, so if that’s something you predict will bother you, we highly recommend checking out our best webcams page.   

Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 software and warranty 

The Strix Scar 17 comes with Windows 11 alongside the expected Microsoft software, with a slew of great apps from Asus. This includes MyAsus, which gives access to quick support for troubleshooting and system information.

Asus ROG Strix Scar 17

(Image credit: Future)

Armoury Crate is the one-stop application for everything gaming, featuring a breakdown of performance stats, options for Aura Sync to control the various RGB options in the keyboard and strobing lights at the bottom, swapping macros, GameVisual modes, profile customization, customized hotkeys, lighting, audio, resource monitors, power saving, and memory options.

The Strix Scar 17 has a 1-year limited warranty. See how Asus fared during our Tech Support Showdown

Bottom line 

The Strix Scar 17 offers astounding gaming and productivity performance, but its $3,600 price tag will make some shake their head with vigor. If you have the funds and want to guarantee you’re playing at the highest frame rates on max settings, you’ll quickly find that no game is safe from the incredible power packed within. 

It is the definition of “future proof,” but not all is well underneath the hood of the Strix Scar 17. With subpar brightness and color depth, underwhelming SSD speeds, middling battery life, and a surprisingly cheap base, Asus has made sacrifices to bolster its performance. 

The disappointing display is particularly offensive, as hardware this good should be coupled with an equally superb screen to enhance the experience. And if anyone is spending nearly $4,000, they deserve a sturdy base to make the whole package feel good. If you’re looking for a superior alternative, the MSI Titan GT77 HX is certainly more expensive, but the phenomenal display makes up for where the Strix Scar 17 slipped up. 

Momo Tabari

Self-described art critic and unabashedly pretentious, Momo finds joy in impassioned ramblings about her closeness to video games. She has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism & Media Studies from Brooklyn College and five years of experience in entertainment journalism. Momo is a stalwart defender of the importance found in subjectivity and spends most days overwhelmed with excitement for the past, present and future of gaming. When she isn't writing or playing Dark Souls, she can be found eating chicken fettuccine alfredo and watching anime.

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