App & Software Gaming Review

Asus ROG Strix Scar X3D review: AMD’s new chip is a game-changer

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AMD, only a few weeks in the past, introduced the brand new Ryzen 9 7945HX3D, a chip with 16 cores, 32 threads, enhance clock as much as 5.4GHz, 55W-plus TDP, and a whopping 144MB of complete cache. The corporate claimed it might be the “world’s quickest cell gaming processor.” This processor, AMD insisted, would ship an unparalleled gaming expertise.

Properly, I’ve now bought the processor in hand. It’s situated in Asus’ ROG Strix Scar X3D, a huge 17-inch laptop computer bedecked with RGB. And folk, I’m seeing some completely ridiculous numbers from this factor. This Scar is consuming Intel for lunch. It’s so far out of the league of another gaming laptop computer I’ve ever reviewed.

Now, this system (which additionally contains 32GB of RAM, 1TB of storage, an Nvidia RTX 4090 GPU, and a 240Hz QHD display) is $3,699.99. Like lots of the world’s high gaming laptops, it’s a luxurious buy. For fairly just a few consumers, this shall be a type of merchandise that’s extra of an announcement than a viable purchase. And the assertion, on this case, is one all of us form of assumed was true the second that AMD introduced this chip: Intel is in peril.

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The numbers

That is, unquestionably, the most effective gaming efficiency you will get in as we speak’s laptop computer market. These numbers are a superb deal larger than I’ve ever seen. The X3D is thrashing MSI’s Titan GT77 HX, a dearer RTX 4090 machine with Intel’s flagship Core i9-13980HX, by as a lot as 20 p.c on the titles examined right here. That’s a stage of efficiency distinction that you simply would possibly anticipate to see from a GPU improve, not from merely the CPU alone.

For sure, that is the laptop computer you wish to be on in the event you’re focused on gaming at QHD decision. When you’re capable of pay for it, you’re mainly paying to by no means have to fret about settings, resolutions, or body charges on most trendy video games.

That Counter-Strike: World Offensive quantity, by the way in which, is just not a typo. It’s not one thing that can matter on this 240Hz show, however it’s such a hilariously larger body fee than I’ve seen any gaming laptop computer put up on any sport ever that I simply needed to embrace it right here.

Acknowledge that Asus font?

One of many major causes these numbers are so big is AMD’s 3D V-Cache. The X3D chip is the primary cell processor to characteristic this expertise, and it truly has extra cache than AMD’s desktop X3D lineup at present does.

Cache, for the uninitiated, is high-speed reminiscence that lives on the CPU. It may be accessed in a short time. I like to consider it because the CPU’s pocket; if one thing the chip wants is saved in its cache, it doesn’t must go digging round for it over within the system’s RAM. However cache can also be like a pocket in that it could possibly’t maintain very a lot. It’s measured in megabytes in these types of gadgets, the place reminiscence is measured in gigabytes.

3D V-Cache permits AMD to stack extra cache onto the CPU. This will make an enormous distinction for gaming laptops as a result of video games, particularly, require CPUs to course of knowledge in a short time. Cache doesn’t make as huge of a distinction in workplace work and different kinds of productiveness duties, which matches to emphasise that the X3D is just not one thing try to be shopping for to make use of in an workplace. Like the remainder of the Strix line, it’s as “gaming laptop computer” as gaming laptops get. It’s for video games and solely video games. (It’s over six kilos, in any case, and virtually a full inch thick. I carried it to and from the workplace in a backpack, and my again didn’t thank me for it.)

The Strix Scar makes use of Asus’ ROG Clever Cooling system, which is a motley crew of Conductonaut Excessive thermal paste, a vapor chamber that covers 43.3 p.c of the motherboard, 84-blade followers, 4 heatsinks, 0.1mm fins, and anti-dust tunnels. Everybody did an outstanding job (and the large chassis definitely helps). All through my gaming, the CPU stayed very comfortably within the mid-80s (Celsius) with solely very occasional spikes upward. I by no means felt any form of warmth within the keyboard. After all, that is in an oversize laptop computer with a lot of room for all of this cooling equipment — we’ll should see how simple it’s to chill the brand new X3D chip in smaller 15-inch gaming laptops, every time these arrive.

It is possible for you to to listen to the followers at work in the event you use the Turbo cooling profile (which, after all, I did — come on now). Contemplating that they’re cooling among the beefiest laptop computer elements available on the market proper now, I might say that’s not surprising. Thankfully, the Silent profile is there for you in the event you’d want a extra serene gaming expertise.

Just a few ports, and a variety of vents.

Different issues I like

This large display. I hate having to hold 17-inch laptops round, however boy do I really like a 17-inch display. It does have 2560 x 1440 decision, which is — sure — the dreaded 16:9 facet ratio, however that doesn’t tremendous matter on a display this large.

The panel covers one hundred pc of the sRGB gamut, 87 p.c of Adobe RGB, and 99 p.c of P3. It’s brighter than common for a gaming laptop computer, maxing out at 368 nits in testing.

Finally, the video games look good — and there’s a dizzying array of colour profiles so that you can select from in Asus’ Armoury Crate software program.

All of the ports you want. Large laptops have a lot of room for ports. You get two USB-A on the left. The again crams in two USB-C, an HDMI, an ethernet, and an influence port. I form of hate having to achieve round and plug issues into the rear, however I begrudgingly settle for that it’s a versatile place for them to be. The X3D additionally helps 2.5G LAN and Wi-Fi 6E. The 2 USB-C each assist G-Sync, and one helps 100W energy supply.

I do suppose it’d be good to have some ports on the fitting facet. I think about some folks would possibly wish to stick a mouse in there or have a monitor that’s arduous to maneuver or one thing.

I might kind on this keyboard all day. I do know I say this on a regular basis about ROG gaming rigs, however that is significantly top-of-the-line keyboards I’ve examined this yr. The keys have a snug texture, and their form appears to suit my fingers completely. They’ve an extremely satisfying bounce. They’re very quiet. There’s a numpad on the fitting facet, and I’ve been going out of my method to discover events to make use of it as a result of the keys are so easy and cozy to press.

After all, no Strix can be full with out per-key RGB lighting. The X3D’s is elegant and pretty even. Together with a not-at-all-subtle gentle strip that runs alongside the underside, the keyboard ensures a colourful setting — if that’s what you’re into.

As typical, the fashionable ROG brand is all over the place.

Issues I don’t like fairly as a lot

The webcam is unhealthy. It’s a grainy 720p affair. I imply, the final Strix I reviewed didn’t have a webcam in any respect, so I’m glad to see that we’re making progress. However nonetheless — $3699.99, 720p, in 2023.

There’s all of the connectivity you could possibly need

Battery life… properly. That is no Zephyrus. I bought three and a half hours of normal (non-gaming) workplace use from this system earlier than it died. (This was accomplished on Silent mode, medium brightness, Battery Saver on.) That is the place MSI’s Titan GT77 has a slight benefit, as that laptop computer has an even bigger battery than the X3D does; I noticed about an hour and a half extra utilization day trip of the MSI. That mentioned, in the event you’re shopping for one in every of these huge six-pound computer systems and are basing your resolution on battery life, I feel that you must, like, go for a swim or one thing to clear your head.

The excellent news is that the X3D did ship a stable 54 minutes of battery gaming (Crimson Useless Redemption 2). The sport was so playable, with nary a stutter for the entire length, that I used to be truly startled when it abruptly went black. The included 330W charger additionally juiced the X3D pretty shortly, reaching 60 p.c in simply 37 minutes.

This factor is de facto huge and heavy, in case that wasn’t clear from every little thing about it.

AMD did it. It introduced 3D V-Cache to the cell area, and it made the Strix Scar X3D a blisteringly highly effective laptop computer that blows the competitors out of the water.

For individuals who have $3,700 available, the calculus ought to be fairly easy: purchase the X3D if body charges are your sole precedence and also you need the most effective of the most effective. The minute you begin to care about different stuff (particularly, battery life, portability, or any semblance of webcam high quality), you’ll most likely wish to look elsewhere.

Personally, I’m extra focused on what the X3D represents to the gaming laptop computer area. When testing this, I used to be reminded of the time once I was testing the ROG Zephyrus G14 again in 2020. I keep in mind checking these numbers repeatedly. AMD had shattered our understanding of what a gaming laptop computer may do. And I feel it might have simply accomplished that once more.

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