Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 (2024) Assessment: Moveable Powerhouse Gaming

rog strix scar

The Mini LED show is the first differentiator between final yr’s Strix Scar 18 mannequin. Each may be upgraded to the RTX 4090, and each include 32 GB of DDR5 RAM (although the 2024 mannequin’s is a bit quicker). The 2024 mannequin has a barely newer 14th-generation Intel Core i9-14900HX processor. Based mostly on specs alone, I is likely to be tempted to recommend searching for final yr’s mannequin on sale, however the Mini LED show with native dimming is such a terrific improve that it makes the newer machine stand out.A Powerhouse EngineIt’s onerous to discover a extra tricked-out gaming laptop, and the ROG Strix Scar 18 performs just like the beast it’s. The Intel Core i9-14900HX is likely one of the finest laptop computer processors for gaming in uncooked energy, and the Nvidia RTX 4090 laptop computer GPU is a powerhouse.In Starfield, I constantly hit 60 fps even in high-density, low-optimized areas like New Atlantis, and recurrently hovered round 80 to 90 fps in much less demanding areas. Cyberpunk 2077 hit an much more spectacular 90 fps throughout fight. Overwatch 2—a team-based on-line shooter designed to be much less graphically demanding—stayed close to 240 fps even in wild, chaotic group fights.All of that’s when the laptop computer is plugged into the charger. Uncooked energy isn’t only a metaphor; the more durable you push a GPU the extra electrical energy it takes, and it generates extra warmth. Even beginning video games like Starfield or Cyberpunk 2077 made the laptop computer’s followers audibly whirr to life. If I had the machine on my lap, it instantly felt heat—however not fairly sizzling—to the contact. I’d advise using a lap desk with a tough floor to maintain the laptop computer separate out of your legs, and to keep up airflow.When it is not related to the charger, nonetheless, efficiency (understandably) drops. Starfield and Cyberpunk acquired nearer to 60 to 90 fps, which was nonetheless greater than playable. Nonetheless, video games that demand excessive body charges for aggressive play, like Overwatch 2, have been a bit extra of a problem. I dropped the body price as little as I might handle, right down to 60 fps and at a 1,920 x 1,080 decision, which might be greater than sufficient for many different video games. Nonetheless, it was just too uneven for me to play my ordinary heroes, and I acquired by means of solely two or three video games earlier than the battery was low sufficient that I didn’t assume I might make it by means of one other match.That is typical for gaming laptops with this a lot energy. Asus cites the ROG Strix Scar 18’s battery life at round 5.6 hours for regular work, and video games use much more energy than Slack and Excel. Mixed with how highly effective the processor and GPU are, it is best to actually count on to do heavy gaming solely whereas near an outlet. If you wish to play gentle video games like Stardew Valley, this machine is overkill and you may meet these wants for a couple of thousand {dollars} much less.LED OverloadThere are a few smaller points I’d be remiss to not tackle. Asus nonetheless hasn’t shed the Edgy Gamer Aesthetic, and it reveals with the extreme quantity of RGB LEDs. There are the standard LEDs in each key on the keyboard, which is ok—plus a strip of LEDs wrapped across the entrance fringe of the laptop computer, a second strip on the rear simply behind the display hinge, and LED backlighting inside the brand on the again aspect of the display. Whereas plugged in and charging however not in use, the LEDs animate with a pink sweeping movement each few seconds. It was distracting and annoying.Microsoft has additionally made it considerably extra annoying to determine tips on how to flip off lighting results (for now). Sometimes, controlling built-in LEDs meant fidgeting with each firm’s proprietary RGB LED controller app. Microsoft lately added instruments immediately into Home windows to regulate lighting, making issues easier for shoppers and producers. As producers add extra support for the brand new instruments, the Dynamic Lighting options ought to assist make issues a bit extra coherent.Till that occurs, nonetheless, issues are a bit worse. Within the Asus Armoury Crate app, there’s a tab for Aura Sync (Asus’ proprietary lighting controller system), with a hyperlink that kicks you out to Home windows’ Settings app. However some capabilities, just like the sleep mode LEDs, are nonetheless managed by the Armoury Crate app beneath a unique part. It took some time to search out the appropriate toggles and get issues working the way in which I wished.The Asus Strix Scar 18 is an unimaginable gaming laptop computer that packs a truckload of uncooked energy with a value and ponderous body to match. If you have already got a gaming laptop computer with something higher than an RTX 2080 (or equal), you received’t have to improve to this until you’ve began enjoying way more demanding video games. Nonetheless, when you’re searching for a gaming laptop computer that can final you for a number of years with out feeling its age—with a display so vivid it rivals most TVs, plus loads of ports to hook up with exterior {hardware}—the ROG Strix Scar 18 is nicely value it.

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