ASUS ROG Strix Scar II Review: Experiencing power inside a 17-inch frame.

 

8th Gen Intel Core i7, RTX 20-series GPU, honestly, what more can you ask for?

RTX is IN and it’s in the newest variant of ASUS ROG’s Scar edition notebooks, particularly with the ROG Strix Scar II. First unleashed early this year, this beast of a laptop not only comes with an 8th Generation Core i7 processor but also the newest RTX 20-series GPU, and as well as sporting a 144hz HD Display, all packed in a 17-inch frame, which, may not be the most compact, but can surely hold all that power.

Tech Specs

Note: Listed below are the actual specifications of our review device.

Model ASUS Strix Scar II GL704GV
Operating System Windows 10 Home
Processor Intel Core i7-8750H 2.2Ghz
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060  6GB GDDR6
RAM 16GB DDR4 2666Mhz
Storage
  • 256 GB NVMe SSD
  • 1 TB SSHD
Display 17.3 Inch, Full HD IPS Panel
1920 x 1080 resolution, 144hz Refresh Rate with 3ms Response Time
Ports
  • 1 x USB 3.1 (Type C)
  • 3 x USB 3.1 Gen 1
  • 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2
  • 1 x Mini Display Port
  • 1 x HDMI 2.0b port
  • 1 x RJ-45 port
  • 1 x 3.5mm Audio Jack
  • 1 x SD Card Reader
Input
  • Full-Size Chiclet-style backlit Keyboard with ASUS Aura Sync
  • Volume Up/Volume Up Hotkeys
  • Mute Hotkey
  • ASUS Armory Crate Hotkey
Audio 2 x Speakers
Dimensions
  • Width: 39.9 cm
  • Depth: 27.35 cm
  • Weight: 2.9kg

 

Build and Aesthetic

The ASUS ROG Strix Scar II looks and feels solid with its brushed-metal back panel finish and the overall built having less to no curves. At the front end, the notebook sports a combined subtle Carbon Fiber and Camo finish, which, may not appeal to many, but combined with its back-panel design and minimal ROG branding, gives the laptop a luxurious feel with a powerhouse vibe. The keyboard and trackpad placements are built with more ergonomics than gimmicks in mind as despite fitting a full-size keyboard with additional function keys, there is next to no strain when using the laptop’s built-in keyboard even during prolonged periods.

At the back, you could spot 2 vents, with a 3rd one located at the right side, a design choice that aims to maximize air-flow while additional vents can be found placed at the bottom part of the ASUS ROG Strix Scar II. In contrast maybe to a couple of laptops, the upgrading your Storage and RAM for the ROG Strix Scar II would require you to remove the whole bottom panel as it lacks dedicated or separate covers for its SSHD and RAM modules.

USB and External Storage Ports are evenly placed on the Left and Right sides the laptop, with each side having 3, albeit of different classifications, personally though I would have loved it more if the main storage ports such as the USB Type C and the SD Card port is placed on the left as to not hinder mouse movement, especially during gaming. Apart from the 3 storage ports though, there are no other ports placed on the right side as your Mini Display, HDMI, RJ-45, and Audio ports are located at the left, and as well as the power port.

Display Panel Impressions

The ASUS ROG Strix Scar II prides itself on its thin bezel IPS panel that comes equipped with a 144hz refresh rate and 3 ms response time. Built to help deliver the optimum performance when it comes to Esports, the high refresh rate is ideal when playing modern or present day FPS or Shooting Game titles such as CS:GO, PUBG and Apex Legends enabling faster human response time. As for colors, images are vibrant and sharp and are great to view even at different angles.

Before you proceed: Quick note that due to lack of our data, we may not be able to compare notebook performance, however we will still be showing benchmark scores based on our tests using available benchmarking software as to give you a proper grasp of how this laptop runs by the numbers. Also as I am not equipped with the proper amount of knowledge yet, I did not risk overclocking the device so all of the numbers shown are, for the most part, the notebook’s base performance.

Benchmark Scores – CPU, RAM and Storage performance

The Intel Core i7 -8750H may not be the beast of Intel CPUs, but it does deliver good all-around performance on the ASUS ROG Scar Strix II. Our GeekBench tests netted us a score of 4715 on Single Core  and 19260 on Multi-Core test, while Cinebench R20 nets us a score of 2833, As far render times, Blender tests results give us 6 minutes and 21 seconds render time on the BMW, while rendering its Classroom test file was complete after 21 minutes and 29 seconds.

In terms of Storage, the ASUS ROG Strix Scar II’s SSD+SSHD storage combo is a godsend, with fast boot times, and quick loading times during game transitions. On average, the boot-up sequence only lasts ~21 seconds even when after loading up the laptop with our benchmark tools and selected gaming platforms and games, some that open during boot-up.

Erratum: The graphic above is meant to have a value of “19797” for the Memory Write Speed on Aida64

 

Game Performance Benchmarks

The ASUS ROG Strix Scar II runs using the new NVIDIA RTX 2060 GPU and is able to deliver good performance on today’s AAA titles, or to be specific, AAA titles that are available on our game library. Even though we may not have reached the ideal 60 FPS gameplay that the glorious PC Master Race deserves with the average game framerate sitting somewhere around 50 FPS on Highest/Ultra setting presets, gameplay is still very smooth, and the overall Graphic quality is not compromised even with effects such as NVIDIA Hair Works, PCSS, HBAO+ and the new Ray Tracing Tech enabled on the games that support or come equipped with the feature.

Frames, frames, frames

 

Battery Life and Thermals

Although laptops are originally built to be your portable PCs, devices that you can use on the go, battery life has not been the strongest suit for modern notebooks with more and more of them being built to become desktop replacements. These factors are evident on the ASUS ROG Strix Scar II as, on average, the battery life only lasts for 2-hours, with usage that includes web browsing, multimedia streaming, document or file processing and of course gaming.

We know that it’s not advisable but we did try to run a game on the ASUS ROG Strix Scar II on the Highest Presets and by fate, framerate performance dropped down by about 78%, using GTA V in our little experiment, our frames sit at only around 15.38 FPS on average, and gameplay felt wonky as there seem to be multiple input delays. Talking about gaming, the ASUS ROG Strix Scar II’s average thermals when running AAA titles jump from around 85-90 C on the CPU while the GPU sits at an average of 75 C. What we do like most about this notebook though as even though with the stated temperature numbers, Fan noise is minimal and, to some point, nearly inaudible even on Turbo mode and is easily drowned by game or multimedia audio.

Overall Verdict.

A sleek look, together with its near dominant performance, the ASUS ROG Strix Scar II is ready to claim the Mid-Range crown and challenge any other hardware that seeks to take it for their own. It may not be at the top of its own model line but it delivers on its intended performance with less to no compromise, not just for gaming but also for heavy PC workloads. If there is one obvious gripe though it’s just that its 144Hz panel may have less applications in the present generation of games and media, and it may only appeal mostly to fans of FPS/Shooting games, however, this addition could also help future proof the ASUS ROG Strix Scar II, as the next generation of games  and multimedia are approaching faster and faster. We give this baby our shining, shimmering, Glorious Gold Award.

 

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