It’s safe to say that the new Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 SE is one of the best. best gaming laptops you can buy right now. The Strix Scar 17 SE is a thoroughbred gaming machine whose sole purpose is to run games without compromise. Everything from the design aesthetic to the internal components is centered around that singular goal.
Retailing for over $3000/£3000, the Scar 17 SE has excellent build quality and includes the latest and fastest Intel i9-12950HX processor, an Nvidia Geforce RTX 3080 Ti, 32GB RAM DDR5 and an insanely fast FHD 360Hz 17″ monitor. A Razer Blade 17 with similar specs costs almost $500 more and falls short of the performance of the Scar 17 SE.
The Strix Scar 17 SE looks and feels like a seriously powerful gaming laptop. It’s big, bold and has an edgy design aesthetic. Lid features backlit ROG logo and hidden graphics that reveal secret codes (opens in a new tab) under UV light while half of the keyboard deck is translucent so you can see the internal components.
Review model specifications
Here are the laptop specs submitted to GamesRadar for review:
Processor: Intel Core i9-12950HX
Graphics: NVIDIA RTX 3080 Ti 16GB GDDR6
Memory: 32GB DDR5 4800Mhz
Storage: 2 x 1TB M.2 NVMe Solid State Drives
Display: 17.3″ IPS level 1080p; 360 Hz and 3 ms
Ports: 1x 3.5mm combo audio jack, 1x HDMI 2.1, 2x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C (supports DisplayPort/Power Delivery/G-Sync), 1x RJ45 LAN port, 1x Thunderbolt 4 (DisplayPort Compatible)
Dimensions (height x width x depth): 39.5 x 28.2 x 2.34cm (15.55″ x 11.10″ x 0.92″)
Weight: 6.61lbs (3kg)
There’s a vibrant and immersive Aura Sync RGB light bar that stretches across the front and sides with additional lighting on the bottom bezel of the screen. The keyboard is also fully backlit and all lighting can be customized in the Armory Crate software center.
The large keyboard includes a number pad, but it’s sadly not of the mechanical variety. However, it’s responsive and satisfying to type on thanks to slightly domed caps and a generous 2mm of travel distance. The touchpad is satisfying and large enough, though not as generous as the one on the Razer Blade 17.
The 17-inch display comes in a choice of FHD 360Hz or QHD 240Hz refresh rate and both share a 3ms response time. For most people, the QHD display is the best option, but for competitive gaming, the faster FHD is the way to go. It’s ridiculously smooth with vibrant colors and contrast, though at just 75% Adobe RGB it’s not the best for color-accurate work, and you’d need something like a competitor for the best gaming monitor to make up for that. It is worth noting that a webcam is missing which is really unacceptable in 2022.
I/O ports are plentiful, mostly on the rear of the laptop, which is great for cable management, but there are also two more accessible USB ports and a headphone jack on the left. The right one is left clean with just a special ROG Keystone port that does special things like activate custom profiles, secure the laptop, or unlock the encrypted hidden drive.
The Scar 17 SE’s speakers sound good and are quite loud with no distortion. Bass is lacking though, so audio in games doesn’t sound as punchy and directionality is iffy, but it’s still very useful when you don’t have a top gaming headset within reach. Although huge, the Strix Scar is still only 2.8cm at its thickest point. The 3.1kg weight and massive power block don’t lend themselves well to portability, but that’s not really the point of this machine.
How does the ASUS ROG Strix Scar 17 SE fare in some industry tests? We have included them below to give you an idea of how it works. All games tested at 1080p Ultra or its highest setting.
3DMark Fire Punch: 29616
3DMark Firestrike Extreme: 16093
Port Royal: 8329
Brand PC 10: 7839
Geekbench CPU: 1845 pts (single core), 15615 pts (multi-core)
Cinebench R5: 20977
Crystal Disk Mark 8: 6990MB read, 5106MB write
Shadow of the Tomb Raider: 176fps
Shadow of the Tomb Raider (RTX enabled): 140fps
Red Dead Redemption 2: 67fps
Improved Metro Exodus: 108fps
Enhanced Metro Exodus (RTX Enabled): 96fps
The Division 2: 112fps
Total War: Three Kingdoms: 106fps
The Strix Scar 17 SE packs in extreme performance thanks to the i9-12950HX 16-core processor running at 65W. Asus packs 16GB of DDR5-4800 RAM and a seriously fast 2TB NVMe M.2 SSD and lastly, the RTX 3080 Ti can hit 175W with dynamic boost, making it the fastest laptop GPU around, and our test scores prove it.
Scar scored 13,822 in 3DMark TimeSpy, 29,616 in FireStrike, and 8,329 in Port Royal ray-tracing. In Cinebench R5, i9 crushed a whopping 20,977, putting many of the best gaming PCs to shame. The SSD scored an impressive 6,990MB read speed in CrystalDiskMark. This performance carried over into gaming, where even in ray-traced titles on ultra settings like Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition and Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Strix Scar easily hit 100fps.
However, only eSport titles like Valorant or CS:GO come close to the panels’ 360hz refresh, but most other AAA games easily run at over 100fps on ultra settings. Killing demons in Doom Eternal at nearly 200fps on a laptop just puts a goofy grin on my face.
Most impressively, the Scar remains surprisingly quiet under load, much quieter than most other laptops I’ve tested. Temperatures stayed very reasonable averaging in the mid-80s during extended gaming sessions and the keyboard deck stayed perfectly cool to the touch.
As you’d expect with so much power, battery life isn’t great: around 3 hours of moderate office and web browsing. Gaming will get you down to about an hour and you certainly won’t get the best performance. This beast is designed to be connected to its power source most of the time.
In general, should I buy it?
The Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 SE is simply an amazing RTX 3080 laptop. It looks, feels and works great for what it is. Performance tops the charts for gaming and productivity tasks; more than enough to easily be the centerpiece of any desktop setup. I’d go for the 240Hz QHD display, which would be better for high-resolution gaming and creative tasks.
However, if you want something more portable, the Razer Blade 17 or Alienware X17 R2 are a better option and they also have webcams to boot. But if it’s raw performance that matters to you, there’s no better laptop than this.
How we tested the ASUS ROG Strix Scar 17 SE
I used the Scar 17 SE as my main Windows gaming and production machine for a week and another week as a gaming and media consumption device away from my main desk. I did all my writing, research, and photo editing on the laptop and took the opportunity to finally finish my game of Doom Eternal, which I followed up with a fresh start in Assassins Creed Origins on PC Game Pass.
I ran the laptop through our usual set of gaming and synthetic benchmarks and a series of stress tests to judge system stability, thermal performance, and most importantly, noise. Battery testing was done with PCMark10 battery drain tests and just using the laptop without power.
You can read more about how we test gaming laptops on GameMe+ in our full GamesRadar+ Hardware Policyas well as how we decide the verdicts on our reviews.
Complete your research on the 30 series laptops by exploring the latest and greatest deals on RTX 3070 Laptops, RTX 3060 LaptopsY RTX 3050 Laptops.