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Product Listing

ASUS ROG Strix Scar II GL504GS review: A laptop for shooters?

By Koh Wanzi - 27 Jul 2018
Launch SRP: S$3398

Performance benchmarks

Test setup and performance

Here’s a full list of the notebooks we’re looking at:

  • ASUS ROG Strix Scar II GL504GS
  • Razer Blade (2018)
  • Gigabyte Aero 15X v8
  • Aftershock APEX-15

I’ve chosen to compare the Scar II against Max-Q notebooks like the Razer Blade and Gigabyte Aero 15 v8 to illustrate the advantages of a full-speed GeForce GTX 1070. In addition, the Aftershock APEX-15 was included to provide a better idea of the other available options.

Test notebooks compared
  ASUS ROG Strix Scar II GL504GS Razer Blade (2018) Gigabyte Aero 15X (2018) Aftershock APEX-15
  ASUS ROG Strix Scar II GL504GS Razer Blade (2018) Gigabyte Aero 15X (2018) Aftershock APEX-15
Launch SRP
  • From S$3398
  • From S$3899
  • From S$3799
  • From S$2576
Processor and Chipset
  • Intel Core i7-8750H (2.2GHz, 9MB L3 cache)
  • Intel Core i7-8750H (2.2GHz, 9MB L3 cache)
  • Intel Core i7-8750H (2.2GHz, 9MB L3 cache)
  • Intel Core i7-8750H (2.2GHz, 9MB L3 cache)
Operating System
  • Windows 10 Home
  • Windows 10
  • Windows 10 Home
  • Windows 10 Home
System Memory
  • 16GB DDR4-2666 single-channel RAM
  • 16GB DDR4-2667 dual-channel RAM
  • 16GB DDR4-2666 single-channel RAM
  • 16GB DDR4-2666 single-channel RAM
Video & Display
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070
  • 15.6-inch 1,920 x 1,080-pixel 144Hz IPS-type display
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
  • 15.6-inch 1,920 x 1,080-pixel 144Hz IPS display
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
  • 15.6-inch 1,920 x 1,080-pixel 144Hz IPS display
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB
  • 15.6-inch 1,920 x 1,080-pixel 144Hz AHVA display
Storage
  • Toshiba XG3 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
  • Samsung PM981 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
  • Toshiba XG3 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
  • Samsung PM981 256GB M.2 PCIe SSD
Optical Drive
  • None
  • None
  • None
  • None
Connectivity
  • Intel Wireless-AC 9560
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Intel Wireless-AC 9260
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Intel Wireless-AC 8265
  • Bluetooth 4.2
  • Intel Wireless-AC 9560
  • Bluetooth 5.0
Audio
  • 2x 3.5W speakers with Smart AMP technology
  • Built-in stereo speakers
  • Built-in stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos
  • Sound Blaster X-Fi MB5
I/O Ports
  • 1x USB 3.1 (Gen 2) Type-C
  • 2x USB 3.1 (Gen 1) Type-A
  • 1x USB 3.1 (Gen 2) Type-A
  • 1x HDMI 2.0
  • 1x Mini DisplayPort 1.2
  • 1x audio combo jack
  • 1x SD card reader
  • 1x RJ-45
  • 1x microphone-in, headphone-out jack
  • 1x Thunderbolt 3
  • 3x USB 3.1 (Gen 1) Type-A
  • 1x HDMI 2.0b
  • 1x Mini DisplayPort 1.4
  • 2x USB 3.1 (Gen 1) Type-A
  • 1x USB 3.1 (Gen 2) Type-A
  • 1x HDMI 2.0
  • 1x Mini DisplayPort 1.4
  • 1x Thunderbolt 3
  • 1x audio combo jack
  • 1x SD card reader
  • 1x RJ-45
  • 2x USB 3.1 (Gen 1) Type-A
  • 1x USB 3.1 (Gen 2) Type-C
  • 1x USB 2.0
  • 1x HDMI 2.0
  • 2x Mini DisplayPort 1.2
  • 1x audio combo jack
  • 1x SD card reader
  • 1x RJ-45
Battery Type
  • 66Wh Li-ion
  • 80Wh Li-ion polymer
  • 94.24Wh Li-ion polymer
  • 46.74Wh Li-ion polymer
Dimensions
  • 361 x 262 x 26.1mm
  • 355 x 235 x 17.3mm
  • 356.4 x 250 x 18.9mm
  • 359 x 240 x 19.9mm
Weight
  • 2.4kg
  • 2.1 kg
  • 2.1kg
  • 1.95kg
Miscellaneous
  • Per-key RGB illumination
  • Per-key RGB illumination

We ran the notebooks through the following benchmarks:

  • PCMark 10
  • 3DMark
  • VRMark
  • Ashes of the Singularity
  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
  • Tom Clancy’s The Division

 

PCMark 10 Extended

PCMark 10 Extended assesses the performance of systems in a variety of workloads, including basic computing tasks, productivity applications, digital content creation, and gaming. Compared to PCMark 8, it also adds in new test metrics, such as app startup times, which quantifies how long it takes to launch a variety of real-world apps, and a rendering and visualization workload to simulate professional graphics and engineering applications. In addition, existing workloads have been updated to reflect modern usage.

The ASUS ROG Strix Scar II was overall around 13 per cent faster than the Razer Blade. It’s unhampered by concerns about power efficiency, and it outperformed the GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q in the Razer Blade across all workloads, particularly in digital content creation and gaming.

 

3DMark

3DMark is a more relevant assessment of gaming performance, and it puts the system through a range of graphics and computational performance tests at different resolutions, starting at 1080p and going all the way up to 4K.

In 3DMark Fire Strike, the Scar II was 13 per cent quicker than the Razer Blade. That’s largely thanks to the GeForce GTX 1070 that’s clocked higher at 1,443MHz, compared to the 1,215MHz on its Max-Q counterpart.

 

VRMark

Futuremark’s VRMark benchmark is designed to assess a PC’s ability to handle high-performance headsets like the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. If a PC passes the Orange Room test, it is ready for the latter two systems. The benchmark also has a target frame rate of 109FPS, and I've included the average FPS each notebook managed to provide a clearer measure of their respective performance.

The Scar II passed the Orange Room test with ease, beating out the Razer Blade by around 6 per cent.

 

Ashes of the Singularity

Ashes of the Singularity is a demanding real-time strategy game that puts thousands of units on screen, and it’s capable of pushing even the most powerful GPUs.

Oddly enough, the Scar II didn’t do too well in the DirectX 11 benchmark, the same as the Gigabyte Aero 15X. That said, it surged ahead in the DirectX 12 benchmark, coming level with the Razer Blade. That could be due to issues at the firmware level, and Ashes could just be a fluke that doesn’t really properly illustrate the performance advantages of the Scar II.

 

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Mankind Divided is one of the most demanding titles to run today, but the Scar II is more than capable of delivering a playable experience.

However, it wasn’t that much faster than the Razer Blade, inching ahead by a just a few frames at both High and Ultra settings. It’s possible that the game is already pushing the limits of the CPU, so switching over to a slightly more powerful GPU didn’t do much to improve performance.

 

Tom Clancy’s The Division

The Division isn’t as demanding to run as Ashes of the Singularity or Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, but its Snowdrop engine can still stress cards with the use of dynamic lighting and the like.

The Scar II did slightly better in The Division, and it was around 6 per cent quicker than the Razer Blade at High settings. At Ultra settings, it was roughly 9 per cent faster. As a result, while I’d estimate the performance advantage of the GeForce GTX 1070 as being approximately 10 per cent ahead of the Max-Q version on average, it’s clear that this can vary a lot on a game-by-game basis.

8.0
  • Design 7.5
  • Features 8.5
  • Performance 8.5
  • Value 8
  • Mobility 6
The Good
Solid build quality
Great keyboard and touchpad
Speakers are loud and clear
Runs fast and cool
The Bad
Poor battery life
No per-key RGB lighting controls