ASUS has produced capable desktop and laptop PCs for gamers for years and today we’re looking at the latest gaming notebook from the company. The ASUS ROG Strix Scar 17 SE has a big battery, a big screen, and big performance. It’s also incredibly expensive so we’re going to take a look to see if this laptop is worth buying for a portable gaming station.
ASUS ROG Strix Scar 17 SE: Price, availability, specs
ASUS supplied Windows Central with a review sample of the ASUS ROG Strix Scar 17 SE. This unit has the Intel Core i9-12950HX processor with eight performance and efficiency cores and a total of 16 threads. For notebooks, this is about as good as you can get without going too overboard. This is the flagship CPU for this laptop with the lesser capable Core i9-12900H also available.
For graphics, we’re looking at either an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti, RTX 3080, or RTX 3080 Ti. In our review sample, the laptop had the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti. Finally, RAM comes in either 16GB or 32GB of DDR5. We had 32GB, allowing us to push the ASUS ROG Strix Scar 17 SE to its limit and see how powerful this laptop is.
This notebook is expensive, even if you configure it with the baseline specifications. Starting at $2,399, it’s simply out of reach for many gamers. The model we tested is available for $3,599, but this laptop has considerably more performance than many gaming desktop PCs out there.
Here’s a look at the specs contained inside our review unit.
|ASUS ROG Strix Scar 17 SE (2022)
|Windows 11 Pro
|Intel Core i9-12950HX
|8 P-cores, 8 E-cores, 16 threads
|NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti
|2TB M.2 NVMe SSD
|17-inches, IPS, 16:9
|WQHD (2560 x 1440), 240Hz, 100% DCI-P3, 3ms,
|One HDMI 2.1, two USB-A 3.2 Gen 1, one USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 (DP, G-Sync), one RJ45 LAN, one Thunderbolt 4, 3.5mm Combo Audio Jack
|Quad speaker array, Smart Amp Technology, Dolby Atmos
|Wi-Fi 6E(802.11ax) (Triple band) 2*2, Bluetooth 5.2
|90WHrs, 4S1P, 4-cell Li-ion
|395 x 282 x 23.4 ~ 28.3 mm
|(15.55 x 11.10 x 0.92 ~ 1.11 inches)
|3.00 Kg (6.61 lbs)
ASUS ROG Strix Scar 17 SE: Design & features
As soon as you’ve unboxed the ASUS ROG Strix Scar 17 SE, you can immediately tell you’re in for quite the ride. This looks and feels like a powerful gaming laptop. I’m not the biggest fan of the usual ASUS design language for its laptops, but the Scar 17 SE is stunning. There are countless small details, such as the hidden graphics on the lid that are revealed with the included UV light.
The ROG logo on the same lid lights up, as expected. RGB lighting can be easily made obnoxious, but thankfully ASUS used it sparingly. The keyboard also has per-key lighting, and there’s a small LED strip that wraps around the base of the notebook. When turned on, it looks the part when placed in a gamer setup. Interestingly, ASUS made part of the keyboard translucent, revealing some of the insides.
While the keyboard is a joy to type on, and there’s a full Numpad layout for those who enjoy playing EVE Online, it’s not using mechanical switches. The touchpad is massive and has more than enough real estate for general use. It’s highly likely that a mouse will be connected to one of the available USB ports for serious gaming, anyway.
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Moving up the laptop and we have the glorious 17-inch QHD display with a resolution of 2560×1440. Our unit has a refresh rate of 240Hz though a Full HD version of the panel is available with a 360Hz refresh rate if you prefer smoother gameplay over visuals. Either way, this is a winner. It’s gorgeous.
What isn’t going to bring home awards is the webcam … or lack thereof. If you enjoy making calls with friends and family or fancy some streaming on the side, you’re going to require an external webcam. It’s just strange to see a laptop released in 2022 without a webcam.
Next up is the I/O and there’s plenty to go around. We’ve got a single HDMI 2.1 port on the rear joined by the DC input, RJ45 LAN, one USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 (DP, G-Sync), and one Thunderbolt 4. The left side has two USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports and a 3.5mm Combo Audio Jack. The right side has the ROG Keystone port for profiles and other security features.
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Speakers are never going to be exceptional on a gaming laptop, but ASUS managed to pull off some great-sounding audio. It’s not going to blow you away, especially with heavy bass tracks or explosions in-game, but it’s decent enough if you don’t own a pair of cans. The laptop itself is relatively thin but on the heavy side thanks to all the internal components.
It measures in at 3.00kg (6.61 lbs) and the dimensions are 395 x 282 x 23.4 ~ 28.3 mm. It’s not huge but will require some desk space for the 17-inch panel (and this allows ASUS to pack some serious cooling for the CPU and GPU).
ASUS ROG Strix Scar 17 SE: Display
The screen is incredibly important on gaming or creator laptops. Thankfully, the panel used by ASUS for the ROG Strix Scar 17 SE is a beauty. We tested the QHD 240Hz screen with a response time of just 3ms. It’s not particularly great at color accuracy, scoring just shy of 80% for Adobe RGB, but you won’t notice when playing your favorite titles.
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Brightness isn’t spectacular, maxing out at around 300 nits. Minimum brightness was recorded at 15 nits. All ASUS displays for this laptop have a matte finish, which avoids bright lights from affecting your gameplay. They’re also non-touch, not that this is a primary factor for most people choosing a gaming laptop.
ASUS ROG Strix Scar 17 SE: Gaming
Where do we begin? One should have high expectations of the ASUS ROG Strix Scar 17 SE thanks to what’s contained within the compact chassis. The Intel Core i9-12950HX and RTX 3080 Ti are no joke and ASUS didn’t pull any punches with the included 32GB of DDR5 RAM. Simply put: this laptop is an absolute beast running PC games.
Like other gaming laptops, ASUS includes its own command suite that lets you quickly manage settings, including the current power profile. This also affects display brightness, cooling, and other parts of the system. We performed all tests with performance modes enabled (not turbo) and everything else on default to emulate what you can expect out of the box.
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The laptop performed well in synthetic benchmarks, again thanks to the impressive CPU and GPU combo. ASUS has to take some credit too as the laptop runs incredibly cool all things considered. There’s a fair amount of power draining the battery (or power grid) and the cooling solution handles the heat output well.
There are a total of four exhaust vents and ASUS is using two of the latest Arc Flow Fans with 84 curved blades. The noise output is recorded and monitored by the software suite and you can expect to see anything between 20-40dB depending on profile and workload.
We recorded temperatures as high as 87C and 83C in games for the CPU and GPU, respectively. How ASUS designed the cooling system prevents the keyboard and palm rests from feeling too warm to the touch. To put it into perspective, the CPU and GPU are capable of drawing up to 230W.
- Far Cry 5: 121 FPS
- Red Dead Redemption: 79 FPS / 92 FPS (DLSS)
- Shadow of the Tomb Raider: 158 FPS / 184 FPS (DLSS)
And when you do eventually fire up some games, you’ll have nothing but smiles to go around. The numbers paint a positive story, but you have to sit in front of this beautiful 17-inch IPS display to truly appreciate what’s on offer.
ASUS ROG Strix Scar 17 SE: Performance & battery
Overall system performance is excellent. The Intel Core i9-12950HX is exceptionally good at running Windows software and playing the latest games. Whether you need to game or work (or both!) on the same machine, the ASUS ROG Strix Scar 17 SE will be able to handle most workloads.
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As is with many laptops out there, gaming on battery reduces how much you can expect to enjoy from the CPU and GPU. Results will still be astounding for such a slim machine, but you will notice a downgrade in overall system performance compared to when tethered to an outlet.
The battery may be a massive 90WHr unit but the ASUS ROG Strix Scar 17 SE can zap through it in just over an hour in a demanding PC game. For general use, however, including media consumption, you can expect to see upwards of five hours depending on power settings.
ASUS ROG Strix Scar 17 SE: Competition
We’re obviously going to consider the mighty Razer Blade 17 as a competitor to the ASUS ROG Strix Scar 17 SE. It’s one of the best gaming laptops even if ASUS manages to undercut it, thanks to the 1440p display (compared to the UHD-touting Razer Blades). The performance will be about the same, though ASUS makes use of some seriously good cooling here.
The Lenovo Legion 7i (6th Gen) (and the newer Legion 71 (7th Gen)) is also a solid option for those seeking ultimate power. ASUS has the upper hand with better in-game results, but it’s also considerably more expensive than the Lenovo review unit we tested. It all comes down to looks, price, and cooling as components usually perform similarly. ASUS manages to find a good balance between the three.
ASUS ROG Strix Scar 17 SE: Should you buy?
Who it’s for …
- Those who want the performance of a gaming desktop but in a laptop form factor.
- Those who don’t mind splashing out upwards of $4,000 on a new laptop.
- Those who don’t find themselves playing much away from an available outlet.
- Those who want to play the latest games at 1440p and decent settings.
Who it isn’t for …
- Those who do not have more than $2,000 to spare for a portable gaming PC.
- Those who already have a decent enough desktop gaming PC.
- Those who don’t play the most demanding PC games and can get away with something less powerful.
The sheer raw power included with this laptop is incredible. Having an Intel Core i9 and RTX 3080 Ti combo in a laptop bag is something that would continue to put a smile on one’s face, especially when setting up shop with friends at LAN events. There’s ample connectivity (including RJ45) which makes this quite the compelling purchase for anyone looking for a new gaming PC.
For gaming on the go, it’s let down by just how capable the internals are. The GPU and CPU will happily drain the 90WHr battery in an hour or so when gaming. It’s a slightly better story with about five hours of general use between charging. Still, this should be considered if you actually plan on using the notebook for work or long periods of time away from home and/or the office.
When this machine truly comes to life is when it’s hooked up to an outlet with performance modes enabled. You’ll be able to crank up visual settings in most games and enjoy a stable frame rate on the glorious 1440p IPS panel. Sure, it’s expensive and the money could be better spent on more sensible purchases, but this is about as good as you’ll get for a gaming laptop in 2022.
ASUS ROG Strix Scar 17 SE
The ASUS ROG Strix Scar 17 SE has everything you need to play your favorite PC games on the road. It has the looks, the performance, and the connectivity, making this one of the best gaming laptops to buy in 2022.