In India, we presently have a wide selection of gaming laptops with Nvidia’s newest GeForce RTX GPUs. We only recently examined our first laptop computer with a GeForce RTX 2060 — the Dell G7 15 7590 — and it’s now time to try one other one from Asus, referred to as the ROG Strix Scar II (GL504GV).
In comparison with the Dell G7 15, Asus has taken the flashy route for the GL504GV, dressing it up with loads of RGB LEDs. What actually makes this laptop computer fascinating is that has just about the very same core specs as Dell’s providing, however at a barely larger worth.
It’s time to see whether or not you’re paying this premium for simply the sunshine present, or whether or not Asus has carried out extra with a purpose to justify the upper worth.
Asus ROG Strix Scar II (GL504GV) design
One take a look at this laptop computer and it’s very apparent what its meant objective is. Asus hasn’t held again in letting everybody know that this can be a gaming laptop computer. The lid has a really good dual-tone brushed aluminium end with an enormous backlit ROG emblem and the ‘Republic of Players’ moniker on the backside. The lid additionally has a cutout on the backside, which helps you to see the standing LEDs when it’s closed.
There are LEDs for energy, battery standing, exhausting disk exercise, and airplane mode. The lid is sturdy, there’s barely any flex, and it gives good safety for the show. We didn’t discover any pixel warping even when making use of strain on it. The sides are chamfered however they do really feel just a little sharp to the contact.
The laptop computer is pretty heavy at 2.4kg however its dimensions are fairly compact because of the slender bezels across the show. It’s comparatively thick at 26.1mm, however regardless of this, we have been capable of comfortably carry it round in a messenger bag.
You get an honest choice of ports unfold throughout each side of the laptop computer. There are a complete of three USB Sort-A ports (two USB three.1 Gen. 1, one USB three.1 Gen. 2), a USB Sort-C port (USB three.1 Gen. 2), a Mini-DisplayPort 1.2 connector, full-sized HDMI 2.0b, Gigabit LAN, a multi-format card slot, and a three.5mm headphone and microphone combo socket.
The ports are properly spaced and straightforward to get to. There are a number of vents throughout the laptop computer as nicely. There’s one on the proper aspect, one above the keyboard space, a pair on the again, and some extra on the underside.
The keyboard space has a carbon fibre sample in addition to a camouflage sample overlapping the highest proper half of the laptop computer. It’s not probably the most tasteful design in our books, however some may prefer it. In our opinion, the carbon fibre sample alone ought to have been sufficient.
You get a full-sized chiclet keyboard with a quantity pad. The keys are mildly sculpted and the 1.8mm of journey is snug for typing. The keys don’t require a lot effort to press and aren’t noisy. The WASD keys are clear, in order that they shine brighter when gaming in the dead of night.
Aside from the usual set of keys, you additionally get a number of shortcut keys for quantity management and muting the microphone, and a ROG button for launching the Asus Armoury Crate software. The facility button is remoted within the prime proper nook, whereas the course keys are correctly sized. We additionally like the additional lip given to the spacebar, which makes it simpler to hit together with your thumb when gaming.
When it comes to lighting, the keyboard helps Four-zone RGB backlighting and there’s even a RGB strip on the entrance of the laptop computer which may be customised.
The trackpad is decently sized and also you get particular person trackpad buttons, which is what each critical gaming laptop computer should have.
Lastly, we come to the show, which is a 15.6-inch, full-HD IPS panel with a 3ms response time and a 144Hz refresh fee. Identical to the Dell G7 15 we examined, the Asus ROG Strix Scar II additionally has very slim bezels on three of its 4 sides. Nevertheless, Asus has positioned the webcam in a really awkward place, off-centre to the proper of the border under the display.
Now, we poked some enjoyable at Dell when it did this with the XPS 13 a few years in the past, however that is much more ridiculous. You possibly can modify the lid to repair the ‘nose-cam’ perspective to some extent, however there’s no strategy to keep away from the side-angle view that you simply get. Asus ought to have no less than positioned it within the centre, on the backside, instead of its emblem, which might have been considerably extra acceptable.
General, this laptop computer is constructed properly and feels extraordinarily sturdy. It’s barely on the thicker aspect however that doesn’t hamper portability an excessive amount of. There aren’t any quick-access hatches on the underside to get to the RAM or storage.
Within the field, the ROG Strix Scar II ships with a 230W energy adapter and a few guarantee info.
Asus ROG Strix Scar II (GL504GV) specs and options
The ROG Strix Scar II is out there with both an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 or an RTX 2070, and the GL504GV variant that we’ve got for evaluation comes with the previous. The remainder of the elements are widespread throughout each fashions, apart from the boot SSD, which is a PCIe NVME 256GB unit on this variant and 512GB on the RTX 2070 one.
The CPU is an Intel Core i7-8750H hexa-core chip with multi-threading, and also you get 16GB of DDR4 RAM (2666MHz) operating in dual-channel mode, with the SSD as talked about in addition to a 1TB FireCuda SSHD. There’s additionally Wi-Fi 802.11ac with 2×2 MIMO antennas and Bluetooth 5.
There are some things value noting about Asus’s selection of elements and configuration. There are two 8GB sticks as an alternative of a single 16GB stick. Operating RAM in dual-channel mode successfully doubles theoretical bandwidth, which is noticeable in artificial benchmarks though its impact in actual world efficiency might range.
Subsequent, is the SSD, which makes use of the quicker PCIe interface and never SATA, which ought to make a distinction in app responsiveness and skim/ write speeds. Lastly, Asus has gone with a Seagate FireCuda hybrid mechanical onerous drive as an alternative of a daily one. One of these exhausting drive incorporates a small quantity of flash reminiscence which acts as a cache to hurry up learn/write operations.
Home windows 10 comes preinstalled, together with the standard apps from the Home windows Retailer and trial variations of McAfee LiveSafe and Workplace 365. The primary Asus software known as Armoury Crate, and is the central dashboard for monitoring the CPU and GPU, adjusting the RGB lighting, and accessing further Asus apps. The interface is designed nicely and it’s straightforward to navigate by way of. The house display exhibits you the laptop computer’s present energy state (by default, it’s on ‘Turbo’ when plugged in and ‘Silent’ when on battery energy), the CPU and GPU load, and fan velocity.
The System sub-menu enables you to force-close operating apps if you begin a recreation, select from a bunch of lighting presets, and replace the firmware. Subsequent up is the Aura sub-menu, which helps you to sync lighting results throughout all of the zones on laptop computer and in addition with any suitable equipment akin to a gaming mouse or headset, which help the corporate’s Aura Sync function.
The subsequent tab permits you to set up further Asus apps if you would like, corresponding to GPU Tweak II for overclocking, Recreation Visible for altering the show color profile, Sonic Studio for tweaking the speaker sound, and Sonic Radar which provides you a visible cue of which path in-game sound is coming from, reminiscent of gunfire. Different apps embrace system utilities and a few for reside streaming your gaming periods.
We discovered a couple of bugs with the Armoury Crate software program on our assessment unit. For example, we weren’t capable of customise keyboard lighting. Each time we tried to do it, the app would merely crash. We tried restarting the laptop computer and updating this system, however to no avail. We additionally didn’t like the location of the toggle switches to show off lighting for the ROG emblem on the lid and the LED strip within the entrance. They’re buried inside the app and are usually not straightforward to seek out.
Asus additionally has an Android and iOS app which may hook up with the laptop computer via Bluetooth and allow you to entry some options of Armoury Crate corresponding to monitoring system assets.
Asus ROG Strix Scar II (GL504GV) efficiency and battery life
Expectedly, the Asus ROG Strix Scar II had no hassle dealing with odd Home windows 10 duties. Booting is fast, apps additionally begin up shortly, and multitasking is dealt with very nicely. On battery energy, the laptop computer routinely forces the refresh price of the show to 60Hz with a view to save energy.
You possibly can manually toggle between Asus’ ‘Silent’ and ‘Balanced’ energy profiles by hitting the Fn+F5 key mixture however we observed that in ‘Balanced’ mode, the chosen Home windows energy profile continues to be ‘Excessive Efficiency’ and never ‘Balanced.’
The laptop computer runs cool and quiet if you’re not gaming or doing something CPU-intensive. When plugged in and with the ‘Turbo’ energy profile, the followers are audible however they aren’t excessively loud. When gaming, we observed a couple of occasions that the followers acquired slightly noisy for temporary intervals however there wasn’t a continuing drone. Asus says that the cooling system options anti-dust tunnels, which mechanically removes accrued mud contained in the laptop computer.
The show provides good sharpness and color copy. Brightness is excellent and the matte end of the panel helps decreasing glare and reflections. Excessive-resolution movies look good and the stereo audio system supply good accompaniment in video games and films. The audio system get loud and have respectable bass, and vocals are crisp with none noticeable distortion even at full quantity.
Efficiency is fairly strong too. We put the GL504GV by way of our collection of normal exams and have been fairly proud of the way it carried out. In PCMark 10, we received a rating of 5,219 factors, whereas in 3DMark Hearth Strike, we acquired 14,668 factors. Actual-world exams fared properly too. Compressing a three.2GB folder of various information took about 2 minutes and 37 seconds, whereas Blender took 7 minutes 10 seconds to complete rendering the BMW benchmark 3D mannequin.
The SSD’s efficiency can also be excellent, and we acquired sequential learn and write bandwidth of 1.5GB/s and 446MB/s respectively in SiSoft Sandra 2018’s file system benchmark, and random learn and write bandwidth of 1.5GB/s and 433MB/s respectively.
The ROG Strix Scar II does an excellent job in video games, and one of many causes for this, apart from having a quick SSD, is the overclocked RTX 2060. The bottom clock is about at 1,110MHz versus the default 960Mhz, and the increase clock can also be elevated to 1,335Mhz from the default 1,200Mhz. The reminiscence clock velocity is left unchanged at 1,750Mhz. These elements clarify why a lot of the benchmarks and body charges in video games have been usually larger than what we obtained on the Dell G7 15 laptop computer.
In Deus Ex: Mankind Divided’s built-in benchmark, we averaged 45.6fps utilizing the Extremely preset, with DX12 enabled and 2x MSAA. In FarCry 5, we averaged a powerful 81fps on the Extremely graphics preset. Even Murderer’s Creed: Origins averaged a great 65fps with the attention sweet maxed out.
Switching to a few of the newer titles that help options resembling ray tracing and DLSS, the laptop computer was capable of maintain its personal in most of them. We’ve talked about what these options add to the next titles, which you’ll be able to examine in our Dell G7 15 assessment. You may as well take a look at our deep dive into Nvidia’s Turing structure and the way ray tracing and DLSS truly work.
Within the Metro: Exodus benchmark, we averaged 34.8fps with the Excessive preset, however all of the RTX options disabled. After setting ray tracing to ‘Excessive’ and with DLSS turned on, the body fee obtained a lift to 46.4fps. In Shadow of The Tomb Raider, we managed to hit a mean of 71fps on the ‘Highest’ high quality setting with the RTX options turned off. With ray traced shadows set to the ‘Extremely’ high quality preset, the body price tanked fairly a bit to 32fps.
Nevertheless, enabling DLSS helped barely as we noticed it get well to round 36fps. Lastly, in Battlefield V, we averaged a playable 40-50fps with ray tracing on and DLSS off. With the latter enabled, textures did seem a bit of mushy however the increase in body fee made up for it. In the identical battle scene, we managed to get upwards of 60fps.
Battery life is one space by which this laptop computer falls flat. In our Battery Eater Professional benchmark, the laptop computer ran for simply 58 minutes, which could be very poor. With precise utilization, even within the ‘Energy Saver’ mode, the most effective we might obtain was just a little over two hours. We’re guessing that switching all of the LEDs off would give customers a bit extra mileage, however we doubt that may change a lot.
On the floor, the Asus ROG Strix Scar II (GL504GV) is similar to the Dell G7 15 7590, which we lately examined. Asus’s new laptop computer shares so much when it comes to specs, however provides RGB lighting and has a better price ticket. For that additional bit of cash, you do get a quicker SSD, a greater mechanical drive, and an overclocked GPU. The laptop computer additionally usually runs lots cooler and quieter, which is one thing we actually favored. The RGB lighting is cool however should you’re not a fan, you’ll be able to flip it off.
On the draw back, the webcam placement is horrible, which makes it virtually unusable. Battery life can also be very poor.
In case you’re planning on utilizing a gaming laptop computer for work too, then the Dell G7 15 7590 is a greater choice. Nevertheless, if you would like an all-out gaming machine and would not often apply it to the go, then spending a bit extra for the Asus ROG Strix Scar II will get you higher gaming efficiency and a extra attention-grabbing design.