Affordable gaming notebooks have recently become a thing. In fact, we've previously taken a look at what they can offer to gamers on a budget. Choice is a beautiful thing but what if we actually want a high-end gaming notebook? Just how much do they improve performance and the player’s experience? Does it enable users to indulge in a new class of games without needing to carry a brick around?
Before we jump right into it, we should remind ourselves that what we are looking for is a capable portable gaming notebook, not a desktop replacement. We want a notebook that is not backbreaking and cumbersome, but it also must be powerful enough to play most games. It also should have a battery life that lasts longer than a potato.
Let's start by outlining what a high-end portable laptop should have. We’re looking at the minimum of an Intel Core i7 processor and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 graphics chip. It also should preferably weigh less than 2.5kg.
Falling nicely into this category is the new ASUS ROG Strix SCAR II, a beast of a gaming notebook (you can check our review here) that retails at $2,898 and $3,398 respectively for two different configurations. For this test, we chose the latter variant, packing a hexa-core Intel Core i7-8750H processor, 16GB of DDR4-2666 RAM and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070. The SCAR II also comes with a 15.6-inch 1,920 x 1,080-pixel resolution screen with an IPS-type 144Hz display as well. What's more, the SCAR II weighs just under our requirement at impressive 2.4kg.
The SCAR II may not come with the latest GTX 1080 GPU inside, but it is no slouch when it comes to performance. Here, we hope to share our experience in optimizing and squeezing every juice out of portable high-performance gaming notebooks like this ROG laptop.
As with the ASUS FX504, we’re putting the SCAR II through its paces and, this time, the kiddy gloves are coming off. In the test queue are a mix of visually demanding games as well as some of the more popular online titles, to see how the SCAR II fares and what it brings as a high-end model over its more affordable peer. The games we chose for this gauntlet are:-
We will look at our experience with each game on the SCAR II, how far we can push it, and what are our recommended settings for the best trade-off between in-game quality and performance.