In India, we at the moment 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 is now time to try one other one from Asus, known 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 is time to see whether or not you are paying this premium for simply the sunshine present, or whether or not Asus has completed extra as a way to justify the upper worth.
Asus ROG Strix Scar II (GL504GV) design
One have a look at this laptop computer and it is very apparent what its supposed goal 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 a large backlit ROG emblem and the ‘Republic of Avid gamers’ moniker on the backside. The lid additionally has a cutout on the backside, which helps you to see the standing LEDs when it is closed.
There are LEDs for energy, battery standing, laborious disk exercise, and airplane mode. The lid is sturdy, there’s barely any flex, and it provides good safety for the show. We did not discover any pixel warping even when making use of stress on it. The sides are chamfered however they do really feel somewhat 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 is comparatively thick at 26.1mm, however regardless of this, we had been capable of comfortably carry it round in a messenger bag.
You get a good collection of ports unfold throughout each side of the laptop computer. There are a complete of three USB Sort-A ports (two USB 3.1 Gen. 1, one USB 3.1 Gen. 2), a USB Sort-C port (USB 3.1 Gen. 2), a Mini-DisplayPort 1.2 connector, full-sized HDMI 2.0b, Gigabit LAN, a multi-format card slot, and a 3.5mm headphone and microphone combo socket.
The ports are nicely spaced and straightforward to get to. There are a number of vents throughout the laptop computer as nicely. There’s one on the appropriate 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 is not essentially 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 do not require a lot effort to press and are not noisy. The WASD keys are clear, so that they shine brighter when gaming at the hours of darkness.
Other than the usual set of keys, you additionally get just a few shortcut keys for quantity management and muting the microphone, and a ROG button for launching the Asus Armoury Crate utility. The ability button is remoted within the prime proper nook, whereas the path keys are correctly sized. We additionally like the additional lip given to the spacebar, which makes it simpler to hit along with your thumb when gaming.
By way of lighting, the keyboard helps 4-zone RGB backlighting and there is 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 price. Similar 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 appropriate 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 regulate the lid to repair the ‘nose-cam’ perspective to some extent, however there isn’t any method to keep away from the side-angle view that you simply get. Asus ought to have at the very least positioned it within the centre, on the backside, rather than its emblem, which might have been considerably extra acceptable.
General, this laptop computer is constructed nicely and feels extraordinarily sturdy. It is barely on the thicker aspect however that does not hamper portability an excessive amount of. There are no 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 data.
Asus ROG Strix Scar II (GL504GV) specs and options
The ROG Strix Scar II is on the market 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, aside 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) working 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. Working RAM in dual-channel mode successfully doubles theoretical bandwidth, which is noticeable in artificial benchmarks though its impact in actual world efficiency could range.
Subsequent, is the SSD, which makes use of the sooner PCIe interface and never SATA, which ought to make a distinction in app responsiveness and browse/ write speeds. Lastly, Asus has gone with a Seagate FireCuda hybrid mechanical laborious drive as an alternative of a daily one. This sort of laborious drive accommodates 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 same old apps from the Home windows Retailer and trial variations of McAfee LiveSafe and Workplace 365. The principle Asus utility is named 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 is simple to navigate by. The house display reveals you the laptop computer’s present energy state (by default, it is on ‘Turbo’ when plugged in and ‘Silent’ when on battery energy), the CPU and GPU load, and fan velocity.
The System sub-menu permits you to force-close working apps if you begin a sport, 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 likewise with any suitable equipment equivalent to a gaming mouse or headset, which assist the corporate’s Aura Sync function.
The subsequent tab permits you to set up further Asus apps if you would like, equivalent 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, equivalent to gunfire. Different apps embrace system utilities and a few for reside streaming your gaming periods.
We discovered just a few bugs with the Armoury Crate software program on our evaluation 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 did not like the position 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 throughout the app and will not be straightforward to seek out.
Asus additionally has an Android and iOS app which may hook up with the laptop computer by Bluetooth and allow you to entry some options of Armoury Crate equivalent to monitoring system assets.
Asus ROG Strix Scar II (GL504GV) efficiency and battery life
Expectedly, the Asus ROG Strix Scar II had no bother 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 mechanically forces the refresh price of the show to 60Hz as a way to save energy.
You possibly can manually toggle between Asus’ ‘Silent’ and ‘Balanced’ energy profiles by hitting the Fn+F5 key mixture however we seen that in ‘Balanced’ mode, the chosen Home windows energy profile remains 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 are not excessively loud. When gaming, we seen just a few occasions that the followers acquired somewhat noisy for transient intervals however there wasn’t a continuing drone. Asus says that the cooling system options anti-dust tunnels, which mechanically eliminates gathered mud contained in the laptop computer.
The show provides good sharpness and color copy. Brightness is superb 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 first rate bass, and vocals are crisp with none noticeable distortion even at full quantity.
Efficiency is fairly strong too. We put the GL504GV by our sequence of standard assessments and had been fairly pleased with the way it carried out. In PCMark 10, we acquired a rating of 5,219 factors, whereas in 3DMark Fireplace Strike, we acquired 14,668 factors. Actual-world assessments fared nicely too. Compressing a 3.2GB 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 be superb, 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, in addition to having a quick SSD, is the overclocked RTX 2060. The bottom clock is ready at 1,110MHz versus the default 960Mhz, and the enhance clock can be elevated to 1,335Mhz from the default 1,200Mhz. The reminiscence clock velocity is left unchanged at 1,750Mhz. These components clarify why many of the benchmarks and body charges in video games had been typically larger than what we acquired 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 very good 65fps with the attention sweet maxed out.
Switching to a number of the newer titles that assist options equivalent to ray tracing and DLSS, the laptop computer was capable of maintain its personal in most of them. We have talked about what these options add to the next titles, which you’ll examine in our Dell G7 15 evaluation. You can even try our deep dive into Nvidia’s Turing structure and the way ray tracing and DLSS really 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 price acquired 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 better 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 somewhat gentle however the enhance in body price made up for it. In the identical battle scene, we managed to get upwards of 60fps.
Battery life is one space during 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 perfect we may obtain was somewhat 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 rather a lot when it comes to specs, however provides RGB lighting and has the next price ticket. For that further bit of cash, you do get a sooner SSD, a greater mechanical drive, and an overclocked GPU. The laptop computer additionally typically runs rather a lot cooler and quieter, which is one thing we actually favored. The RGB lighting is cool however when you’re not a fan, you possibly can flip it off.
On the draw back, the webcam placement is horrible, which makes it virtually unusable. Battery life can be very poor.
In the event you’re planning on utilizing a gaming laptop computer for work too, then the Dell G7 15 7590 is a greater possibility. Nevertheless, if you would like an all-out gaming machine and would hardly ever 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.