Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 X3D Review: AMD Ryzen 9 for the Kill

I’ll start by saying that this is the most insane gaming laptop I’ve ever reviewed. While I’ve used several gaming laptops, including the Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 (Review), this is on a different level. The ROG Strix Scar 17 X3D is a top-of-the-line gaming laptop with an AMD Ryzen 9 7945HX3D 16-core processor. It features AMD’s exclusive 3D V-cache technology that boosts performance by at least 15 percent compared to the standard 7945HX chip. Apart from the new processor and additional Ryzen AI features, there’s nothing new with the ROG Strix Scar 17 X3D compared to the non-X3D variant.

Since the AMD processor is the main hero here, I will focus mainly on the performance, gaming, and AI features this laptop supports. After using the laptop for about a week, here’s what I think of it.

Before I begin, I’d like to point out that the ROG Strix Scar 17 X3D isn’t available for purchase in India and AMD sent us this unit to try out the processor and the Ryzen AI features. Our review unit (G733PYV-LL053X) came with the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 GPU with 16GB VRAM, a max 175W TGP, 32GB DDR5 RAM, and 1TB of storage.

Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 X3D Review: Design and display

The Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 X3D looks exactly like the standard version. It has a stealthy look with a matte finish, ROG logo, and a strip on the lid. The laptop uses a mix of aluminium and plastic to provide a rigid chassis. It is thick at around 1 inch and weighs in at 3 kg. Yes, this is a big and heavy laptop, as are most gaming laptops with big displays. There’s some flex on the lid, but nothing concerning.

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The ROG Strix Scar 17 X3D looks exactly the same as the standard variant

 

On the front, you get the RGB Aura Sync bar, and when you open the lid, you’re greeted with a large 17-inch display with slim bezels and anti-glare coating. There’s a web camera on the top, and the display is connected to the bottom with two heavy-duty hinges. You’ll find that the rear protrudes a little and has the ROG Armour cap, which is non-swappable this time.

Moving down, you get a full-sized keyboard with per-key RGB customisation and a 2mm travel. Below the keyboard lies an excellent sized trackpad. The underside of the laptop features ROG-styled cutouts and large rubber feet, along with the cutouts for the cooling system.

The laptop offers plenty of connectivity options. You get dual USB Type-A ports and a headphone jack on the left side, whereas the rear houses two USB Type-C ports, an HDMI 2.1 slot, and a 2.5G LAN port along with the AC input.

Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 X3D Review: Specifications

Once again, most of the ROG Strix Scar 17 X3D specifications are similar to the non-X3D variant, except for the newer chipset. This variant comes with the AMD Ryzen 9 7945HX3D processor that gets 16 cores/32 threads, 144 MB total cache, 55W+ TDP, and up to 5.4 GHz max boost speed. It is based on the Zen 4 architecture. The chipset uses AMD’s exclusive 3D V-cache technology, which delivers almost twice the L3 cache (128 MB) compared to the standard Ryzen 9 7945HX CPU. AMD even claims that the updated chipset is up to 15 percent faster than the standard model.

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This is the only laptop to currently house the AMD Ryzen 9 7945HX3D processor

 

The CPU is paired with the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 mobile GPU with 16GB VRAM and up to 175 W TDP with Dynamic boost. You also get up to 32GB DDR5 RAM with support for up to 64GB. It also comes with up to 2TB storage. For connectivity, the laptop features Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3. Asus has packed a 90 Whrs battery in the laptop and packs a 330W AC adapter in the box.

You also get a beautiful 17.3-inch IPS anti-glare display that offers WQHD (2560 x 1440) resolution and up to 240Hz refresh rate. The panel also supports Dolby Vision HDR and covers 100 percent of the DCI-P3 colour gamut. There’s also a dual speaker setup with Dolby Atmos support and Hi-res certification for headphones.

Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 X3D Review: Performance and Software

To make the best of the AMD Ryzen 9 7945HX3D chipset and the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 GPU, Asus has included its Armoury Crate software. You can use this tool to select between the different modes available or even manually play around with the clock speeds (within permissible limits).

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You get several modes, including a manual mode to adjust CPU and GPU performance

 

I ran a couple of synthetic benchmarks on the laptop to get an idea of its performance, and the numbers confirmed that this is one of the best gaming laptops out there. The benchmarks were run in the Turbo mode with the GPU set to Ultimate. On Geekbench 6.3, the laptop managed a single-core CPU score of 2,770 and a multi-core score of 16,471. The GPU tests on the benchmarking tool delivered a score of 2,00,864 points.

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Geekbench 6.3 scores for AMD Ryzen 9 7945HX3D

 

Next up, I ran Cinebench R23 to test CPU performance. The laptop scored 28,599 points in the multi-core tests, which is pretty impressive for a mobile CPU. In comparison, the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX, a desktop-class processor with a TDP of 250W, scored 30,054 points. With the single-core test, the laptop delivered 1919 points. That’s another impressive score and right up there at the top.

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Cinebench R23 scores are impressive

 

In conclusion, and with numbers from other benchmarks (PCMark 10 – 8,228) that I ran, the AMD Ryzen 9 7945HX3D is the best laptop processor at the moment, at least when it comes to multi-core performance.

This kind of stellar CPU + GPU performance also enables the ROG Strix Scar 17 X3D to perform all kinds of AI related tasks. You get access to Microsoft Studio Effects, over 50 Adobe tools, 25+ Topaz Labs video and photo editing techniques, and 20+ video and audio editing features on Davinci. That’s not all, as there are over 50+ features offered by tools such as AVID, Zoom, Boris FX, Audacity, Bytedance, CyberLink, Luminar, Blender, and Arkruner.

Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 X3D: Gaming

Gaming on the ROG Strix Scar 17 X3D is insane. AAA titles run buttery smooth even when using the laptop in battery mode. You can game on WQHD+ resolution and still get excellent frame rates. I ran Hogwarts Legacy at full resolution with Ultra graphics settings, and the average FPS was above 100. The game looked great and had no lag whatsoever. You can run almost any AAA title at full blast and still get impressive frame rates from this laptop.

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Hogwarts Legacy ran without any hiccups at Ultra graphics settings in WQHD resolution

 

What’s also impressive is the cooling setup on the laptop. During long gaming sessions, the keyboard never got warm enough to stop me from playing. The cooling is excellent on the machine.

Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 X3D: Battery life, Keyboard, Web camera, speakers

This is a high-end gaming laptop, so I did not expect it to offer great battery life. These laptops aren’t designed for that. With regular usage that included using Chrome with multiple tabs and watching a couple of videos on YouTube, the ROG Strix Scar 17 X3D lasted for about 2 hours in Silent mode. This number falls to about 45 minutes to an hour when using the laptop for gaming in Performance mode.

You get a full-size chiclet keyboard on the laptop that offers 2 mm of travel and per key RGB customisation. It’s an excellent keyboard, and I was very pleased with how comfortable it was for typing and gaming.

The web camera is not great, and once again, this is expected from a gaming laptop. It’s a 720p sensor that works okay in good lighting conditions and bad in low light. However, I don’t believe anyone uses a webcam on a gaming laptop, so this isn’t a negative.

The built-in speakers also have nothing to brag about. The dual speakers aren’t loud, but you get some bass and good separation.

Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 X3D Review: Verdict

The AMD Ryzen 9 7945HX3D is the best mobile gaming processor available on the planet right now, and that’s not me being biased. And the Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 X3D is the only laptop currently equipped with the chipset, which makes it that much more special. Be it gaming or creative work, this laptop can handle it all without breaking a sweat. Therefore, the verdict is easy. If you have the money and it’s available in your region, you should buy it. There’s nothing like it!

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