ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 Review – 300Hz Powerhouse

Laptop manufacturers are currently at an arms race to produce a laptop with a high refresh rate panel. With current graphics cards being already 2  years old, gaming laptops have to find another way to up the ante. In this regard, ASUS is hard at work by introducing very capable panels into their laptops. One such is the ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15, an Intel i9-powered device that boasts a 300Hz 3ms 1080p panel. ASUS sent us a device to review and test if it is something people should consider when purchasing a gaming laptop.

The Scar 15 has a larger brother, the Scar 17. All in all, the ROG Strix Scar has 7 variants available in the Philippines. What differentiates each of them is the hardware and the panel that they carry. For this Scar 15 review, we have the i9-10980HK, 300Hz panel powered with an Nvidia RTX 2070 Super.

ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 G532L Specs

CPU Intel® Core™ i9-10980HK
GPU NVIDIA® GeForce® RTX 2070 SUPER™with 8GB GDDR6 VRAM
OS Windows 10 Home
RAM 16GB DDR4 3200MHz SDRAM (Up to 32GB)
Display 15.6-inch Full HD (1920×1080) IPS-level panel, 300Hz, 3ms, 100% sRGB
Storage Dual: M.2 NVMe 2TB PCIe SSD (RAID 0)
I/O Ports
1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C support DisplayPort™
1 x HDMI 2.0b
3 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A
1 x RJ45 LAN Jack
1 x 3.5mm Audio Jack / 1 x Audio Jack Mic-in (Combo Jack)
Connection Intel® 802.11ax (2×2) Wi-Fi 6 (Gig+) support Rangeboost technology
Bluetooth 5.0
Weight 2.57kg
Dimensions 360(W) x 275(D) x 210~249(H) mm
Power 230W/280W (i9 only) Power Adaptor
Audio
2 x 4.2W speakers with Smart AMP technology
Array Microphone
Others Armoury Crate
GameFirst VI
GameVisual
Sonic Studio III
Aura Creator
Keystone II

ASUS ROG Scar 15 – 7 SKUs Available

As per ASUS Philippines, the laptops that are currently available here in the Philippines are as follows:

  • G732LXS-HG086TS – uses an Intel i9-10980HK and a 17″ 300 Hz panel. Powered by an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super
  • G732LWS-HG032TS – uses an Intel i7-10875H and a 17″ 300Hz panel. Powered by an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super
  • G732LW-HG065TS – uses an Intel i7-10875H and a 17″ 300 Hz panel. Powered by an Nvidia RTX GeForce 2070
  • G732LV-EV042TS – uses an Intel i7-10875H and a 17″ 144Hz panel. Powered by an Nvidia RTX GeForce 2060
  • G532LWS-HF109TS – uses an Intel i9-10980HK and a 15″ 144Hz panel. Powered by an Nvidia RTX GeForce 2070 Super. The model in this review.
  • G532LW-AZ071TS – uses an Intel i7-10875H and a 15″ 240 Hz panel. Powered by an Nvidia RTX GeForce 2070
  • G532LV-AZ059TS – uses an Intel i7-10875H and a 15″ 240 Hz panel. Powered by an Nvidia RTX GeForce 2060

Prices differ between each SKU depending on the graphics card, processor, and the refresh rate of the panel. You can check the other variant’s prices here.

ROG Strix Scar 15 Up Close

Looks & Design

Front, Rear, & Sides

Front
Front
Rear

Located at the rear are ports for the LAN Cable, HDMI, USB-C, and the power adapter.

Left Side
Left Side

The left side is home to 3 USB ports and the 3.5mm Audio Jack

Right Side
Right Side

The right hand side is home to the Keystone slot. Also note that the laptop exhaust port is located here. If you’re a right-handed mouse user, best add a good distance as you may get singed by the hot air.

Keyboard & Touchpad

Each key on the keyboard can be configured to have its own color.

The Scar 15 uses a TKL chiclet keyboard with the numpad being accessible via the touchpad. Placing a finger on the upper left corner of the touchpad transforms the touchpad into a numpad. This can get pretty annoying if you constantly use the touchpad, so best use this device with the included gaming mouse.

ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 Performance & Benchmarks

Gaming Performance

Resolution 1080p Frame Rates
Games Preset Average 1% 0.1%
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey Very High 59 43 38
Apex Legends High 139 88 78
Rainbow Six Siege Ultra 228 155 129
Ghost Recon: Breakpoint Very High 86 60 43
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare / Warzone Very High 115 79 65
Overwatch Ultra 174 134 113
Dota 2 Best Looking 110 70 41
Far Cry: New Dawn Ultra 93 63 55
Valorant High 190 132 81
PUBG Ultra 132 89 53
Shadow of the Tomb Raider Ultra 100 69 31
Borderlands 3 Ultra 72 47 19

For the gaming benchmarks, we went all out with the RTX 2070 Super. As most of the games can run past 60 FPS, the tests above were done to show the limits of the Scar 17’s power.

Go Low Or Med For Competitive Play

Same with the other laptop reviews, we do recommend that users take advantage of the 300Hz panel by setting games to either the “Medium” or “Low” preset. This is especially useful if you need the extra edge when playing competitive titles such as Valorant and Call of Duty: MW / Warzone.

Synthetic Benchmarks

These benchmarks are meant to measure the device’s performance relative to other people’s machine. We plugged in a mix of CPU & GPU-intensive tests and other ones that measure the performance of both at the same time.

The numbers below will be quantified into an easy to read chart once we have compiled results from previous reviews. Please do check them out after some time.

3DMark Firestrike Extreme

ROG Strix Scar 15 Fire Strike Extreme

3DMark Fire Strike Extreme is designed for multi-GPU systems and future hardware generations. In addition to raising the rendering resolution, additional visual quality improvements increase the rendering load to ensure accurate performance measurements for truly extreme hardware setups.

3DMark Time SpyROG Strix Scar 15 Timespy Benchmark

3DMark Time Spy is a DirectX 12 benchmark test for Windows 10 gaming PCs. Time Spy is one of the first DirectX 12 apps to be built the right way from the ground up to fully realize the performance gains that the new API offers.

Cinebench (Release 20)

Strix Scar 15 Cinebench 20 Benchmark

Benchmark Score: 4137

Cinebench leverages the same powerful 3D engine found in the award-winning animation software Cinema 4D Release 20 to accurately evaluate CPU rendering performance capabilities across various systems and platforms.

Novabench

Strix Scar 15 Novabench

Novabench is a free benchmark tool that allows you to see your computer’s overall performance. Its tests CPU, GPU, RAM, and Storage speeds, and gives you an aggregate score that you can use for comparison with other similar setups.

PassMark

ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 Passmark Benchmark

PassMark measures CPU, 2D & 3D GPU, Memory, and Disk speeds. Similar to Novabench, it gives you an aggregate score, giving you an idea on how your PC performs and how it ranks when compared to other computers around the world.

Unigine Superposition

ROG Strix Scar 15 Unigine Superposition Benchmark

Extreme performance and stability test for PC hardware: video card, power supply, cooling system.

Other Features

ROG Armoury Crate – All In One Program

Like modern ASUS laptops, the ROG Strix Scar 15 comes with the Armoury Crate. This program manages the device’s hardware and ASUS gimmicks. You can use this program to check the status of the computer, set its performance settings, and configure attached devices.

The Armoury Crate is also home to the Aura Sync, ASUS’ RGB lighting solution. With this, you can synchronize all LED lights including connected devices.

Keystone II – Boot Up Settings & Shadow Drive

The Scar 15 comes with a triangular key called Keystone II. This feature allows you to immediately load personal settings by simpling slotting in the key into its slot at the right-hand side of the laptop. You can also program the key to open certain applications, change the color of the LEDs, or even launch a hidden drive to store your files in called Shadow Drive.

Inserting the key reveals a hidden virtual drive that you can use to store private files. The possibilities are endless!

The Shadow Drive can be configured to only open once the Keystone is set. Note that in order to use this feature, you need to have an ASUS account ready.

ROG Strix Scar 15 Review – Verdict & Final Thoughts

The Good – 300Hz On The Go

The ROG Strix Scar 15 is great all-around laptop that constantly reminds you that it is built for speed. It has the hardware to run incredibly demanding programs and tasks, and is also well-designed. The powerful combo of the Intel i9 and the Nvidia Geforce RTX 2070 Super make sure that you can run the latest games and produce video content. It also helps that you have a hefty 2TB SSDs in RAID 0, making accessing files snappier and near instantaneous.

In terms of user experience, we did find that the Scar 15 is a bit on the friendlier side in terms of bloatware. Gone are those ASUS notifications that constantly bombard you to subscribe to their Cloud, and those annoying anti-virus ads. It is actually a bit cleaner as you have the Armoury Crate to handle everything from the LED colors to the performance settings of the laptop itself. The Keystone II, while not essential, does add a bit of personal flair when using the device. Just don’t lose the key itself.

In terms of mobility, the Scar 15 may be a bit bulky and thick but it can snugly fit inside bags that can handle 15″ laptops. It’s also not that heavy even if you add in its large 1kg adapter.

The Bad – Exhaust & Mic Problems

Or you can take advantage of the exhaust port by heating up cold bread or soup.

Although overall well-designed, the Scar 15 has a bit of a problem in terms of its exhaust. While it does expel heat well and keeps it off the work surface, it has an exhaust directly located at the right side of the device. This doesn’t sound like a problem, but if you’re a right-handed user using a mouse, prepare to get scorched. This predicament can easily be remedied by placing your hand a bit further away from the exhaust port, which may be a bit uncomfortable to some.

The Scar 15’s mic is also something that should be improved. On Discord, a couple of friends asked if we were playing underwater due to the quality of the sound. Playing with a headset is recommended for this one.

Do You Need 300Hz?

Now with all things said, do you actually need the 300Hz panel? That’s a question for you to answer. Note that there have been some experiments about the validity and the effects of high refresh rates, and it may be a good idea to consult them first. In our opinion, above 144Hz has no noticeable difference.

Good thing is that unlike the laptops that we have previously reviewed, this Scar 15 actually has a very capable graphics card in the RTX 2070 Super that can take advantage of its 300Hz panel. So if you’re looking to get a Scar 15 / 17, choose a model that has an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 or above graphics card.

Also note that some games have locked frame rates that you need to manually edit to make it past certain limits.

ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 Review – Final Verdict

The ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 is a gaming laptop that we can highly recommend. It’s a bit pricey, sure, but you do get the whole gaming setup with this one. The mobile Intel i9, coupled with a powerful RTX 2070 Super and a 300Hz panel, just gives you a very capable gaming PC that you can take anywhere.

ROG Scar 15/17 Models & Pricing In The Philippines

In the Philippines, all of the variants of the ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 / 17 come with an ROG Impact II Gaming Mouse (check out our Impact II review here), an ROG Eye USB camera, and an ROG Laptop Bag. All of the Scar 15/17’s different versions are officially available for purchase in the Philippines.

For the prices of the other models:

  • G732LXS-HG086TS – uses an Intel i9-10980HK and a 17″ 300 Hz panel. Powered by an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super (PhP 219, 995)
  • G732LWS-HG032TS – uses an Intel i7-10875H and a 17″ 300Hz panel. Powered by an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super (PhP 159,995)
  • G732LW-HG065TS – uses an Intel i7-10875H and a 17″ 300 Hz panel. Powered by an Nvidia RTX GeForce 2070 (PhP 144,995)
  • G732LV-EV042TS – uses an Intel i7-10875H and a 17″ 144Hz panel. Powered by an Nvidia RTX GeForce 2060 (PhP 124,995)
  • G532LWS-HF109TS – uses an Intel i9-10980HK and a 15″ 144Hz panel. Powered by an Nvidia RTX GeForce 2070 Super. The model in this review. (PhP 169,995)
  • G532LW-AZ071TS – uses an Intel i7-10875H and a 15″ 240 Hz panel. Powered by an Nvidia RTX GeForce 2070 (PhP 139,995)
  • G532LV-AZ059TS – uses an Intel i7-10875H and a 15″ 240 Hz panel. Powered by an Nvidia RTX GeForce 2060 (PhP 124,995)

If you’re looking for an AMD Ryzen gaming laptop, do check out our review of the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 here.