Whenever I look at a high-end notebook, I imagine the throwaway responses to the price. “How can it cost xxx?” Someone will ask. Another will comment on never buying something that costs that much, from a phone that costs almost as much. This is one of those notebooks.
The Asus ROG Strix Scar Edition uses an i7-7700HQ and a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 with 8GB of GDDR5 to power a 15.6″ 1080p IPS G-Sync monitor and it looks absolutely great while doing so. This notebook has enough playful lines and colour to show that it is about gaming, without screaming it so loudly that everyone in the room knows that the notebook is made for gaming. Maybe I am getting old but I don’t need that type of statement, I just want the thing to work well.
The Asus 1070 gets pretty loud during benchmarks, but it isn’t an obnoxious whine like some brands develop and best of all, the heat doesn’t transfer into the keyboard. If you have ever worked on a machine that skimped on thermal shielding, you will know that it isn’t great when your notebook’s keyboard suddenly has 55-degree hotspots on some keys, cooking your fingertips as you try to type.
In Firestrike the Nvidia GTX 1070 8GB and i7-7700HQ go to work, delivering a score of just over 13,000. For interest’s sake you can compare it to the GTX 1060 6GB in this notebook, that is quite the fair jump in synthetic benchmarks.
In the gaming benchmark realm, the gains are still impressive to see. The average frames per second in Civilization VI is 71, with a minimum frame rate of 52 frames per second. When compared to the same notebook as the Firestrike tests, that notebook had an average frame per second of 65, with a minimum frame rate of 49. If that doesn’t sound like the biggest gain, the next test shows the difference. Taking a turn in Civilization VI in the medium to late game can take a fair amount of time as you wait for the AI to do tasks and your PC to show you all that information. The average turn time on this notebook is 13.74 seconds per turn. Our comparison machine had an average turn time of 20.88. That seven seconds will add up over the course of a 500 turn game and you will be grateful for the shorter waits between plotting demise and city improvements. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but that will save you close to an hour if every turn is 7 seconds shorter over 500 turns.
If you need a notebook with enough power to play games, like having a G-Sync monitor and are going to spend most of your time near a wall socket, this is a machine worth paying attention to. If high refresh rate screens aren’t the be all and end all to you, then get something without G-Sync draining your battery.