ASUS has marked its position as one of the top technology brands this year with the launch of its newest gaming laptop lineup under the ROG branding. One of those devices is the ROG Strix Scar II GL704GV that comes with NVIDIA’s newest graphics card, the RTX 2060.
Previously, I’ve given my initial thoughts on this gaming beast and it turned out that it packs a great punch especially in terms of running graphics-intensive games. Ever since then, I put it into rigorous tests and played A LOT to check if it’s worthy of your attention and money. Today is the day that I’ll share to you how it went down. Check out my full review below.
Before reading further, you can check out my unboxing and hands-on here.
Table of Contents
Design and Construction
As mentioned in my hands-on article, the ROG Scar II comes with a brushed aluminum design that is solid and premium. On top of that, you’ll also get that big and cool ROG logo, that can light up in an RGB fashion, on the right side of the device.
You’ll know that a laptop has a sturdy and well-built hinge when you can lift the lid with only one hand. That’s the case with the ROG Scar II which is great but I suggest that you still support the body using your other hand for safety reasons.
Moving to the display, the ROG Scar II comes with a 17-inch screen with slim top and side bezels. On the right, you’ll see the webcam which we’d like to call a chin cam since the first thing that you’ll see when you turn on your camera is practically the chin area of your face. It’s a bit weird placement though but who uses it when you just want to play games, right?
You can see the Kensington lock, exhaust vent, USB Type-A 3.1 Gen 2 port, USB Type-C 3.1 Gen 2 port, SD card reader, and another loudspeaker. Since this is a gaming laptop, I like that there is an additional exhaust vent here instead of at most two that the other models from different brands have.
Moving to the left side of the laptop, we see the charging port, RJ-45 slot, Mini-Display 1.2 port, HDMI port, three USB Type-A 3.1 Gen 1 ports, 3.5mm audio port, and a loudspeaker.
Moving on to the trackpad and chiclet keyboard, ASUS did a pretty good job in this section. Aside from the RGB lighting powered by ASUS Aura Sync, the keys are clicky and tactile which is what I like since I’m into typing.
Overall, keyboard flex is not apparent as there is little movement when I pressed my fingers down against it. The trackpad feels smooth and not grippy, which indicates good construction.
Aside from the usual keys in a 17-inch laptop, this gaming device has separate buttons for the volume rocker, microphone, and Armoury Crate, ASUS’ new control center for various options, more on this later.
The ROG Scar II is quite heavy so I suggest that you carry it with two hands especially with its large size. Overall, it has a sturdy and solid built which should be expected given that it’s a gaming laptop.
Display and Multimedia
What makes this gaming laptop great is that it has a large 17-inch IPS-level display, still TN by the way, with a 144Hz refresh rate and 3ms response time. It not only greatly affects your gaming experience, but it also improves your video streaming and watching experience. The colors are nice, accurate, and vibrant which is advantageous given that you’re running games that use dark backgrounds. Given that this is a TN panel, expect that some colors will be a bit dull but you will only notice it when you look closely. Viewing angles are good since there are slim top and side bezels which help improve the viewing experience. Although viewing angles still aren’t as great as in IPS panels.
Moving to audio, we get two 3.5W speakers with Smart Amp technology that outputs nice sound. The highs and mids are definitely there while the lows can be heard clearly. The sound is loud and clear, you can also use Sonic Studio or the Dolby Access feature to amplify your listening experience more.
OS, Apps, and Storage
The ROG Scar II uses Windows 10 Home as its main operating system, which is the standard nowadays. Apart from that, we have some of the common ASUS pre-installed apps like the ROG Armoury Crate which lets you monitor the laptop’s memory, CPU, and GPU level while creating your own profile to create variations of personalizations to your liking.
Other apps include GameFirst V, Game Visual, Sonic Studio which works similarly as the Dolby Access app, Aura Core which lets you customize the Aura Sync functions, XSplit Gamecaster that provides in-game recording and streaming privileges, and the Android/iOS app.
The unit that we got has a 256GB of SSD (Solid State Drive) and another 1TB of SSHD (Solid State Hybrid Drive). This means that it will run the OS and all other software faster than normal HDD (Hard Disk Drive) ones. Booting time only takes 5-10 seconds including the signature ROG intro before the login screen.
Performance and Benchmarks
Let’s move on to the juiciest part which is most likely the one that you want to check in this entire review, the performance. The ROG Scar II comes with an Intel Core i7-8750H processor, NVIDIA’s RTX 2060 graphics with 6GB GDDR6 VRAM, and 16GB of DDR4 2666MHz RAM. Given that it’s equipped with the latest RTX series, it comes with Ray-Tracing and DLSS technology. That feature NVIDIA boasts which improves your gaming experience further. I’ve tested it with various benchmarking apps and games, here are the results.
To give you a comparison, we previously reviewed the ASUS ROG Zephyrus S (Intel I7-8750H, NVIDIA GTX 1060, 16GB RAM) and here are the 3D Mark results:
- Fire Strike: 7712
- Time Spy: 3022
Given these numbers, I can safely say that the RTX 2060 is superior over the GTX 1060 in terms of pure performance.
The Unigine benchmark app stress tests the laptop’s CPU, GPU, stability, power supply, and cooling system under resource stressful environments. The numbers above show that the ROG Scar II can handle almost all of the graphics-intensive processes at above 30 fps which is really great.
Since the graphics card has DLSS capability, it is imperative that I test it out on a benchmarking app that utilizes that technology. According to the rating of the Final Fantasy XV benchmarking app, the 4K resolution test gets a “Slightly Low” mark which is understandable given that the ROG Scar II was built for 1080p operations. You can also play the game at 1440p resolution since it received a “Standard” evaluation while you can get the best experience by just putting the game at 1080p which got a “Fairly High” rating.
Of course, the benchmarks wouldn’t be complete without me playing A LOT of games especially first-person shooters (FPS). Overall, the least fps (frames per second) that I got at the highest setting possible is at 53fps (Crysis 3) while the highest clicked at 112fps (CS: GO). Since I am used to only 60hz refresh rate, playing games especially FPS ones really hit me hard. If I’m already a good player at a lower refresh rate (no flexing here, just stating facts hehe), then experiencing gaming higher rates really improves everything.
Thermals and Acoustics
Given that the ROG Scar II is a gaming laptop, one of the major concerns of users will be its temperature when playing games. The device comes with three exhaust vents along with an air-intake, which gives plenty of space to dissipate heat and regulate temps. Based on the FurMark benchmark app which tests the GPU temperature, it only reached a maximum of 76°C which is actually great and low. For the Prime95 app that tests the CPU, it reached 90°C which is high and relatively hot already.
When the ROG Scar II is not plugged into the power socket and you’re traveling, that’s when you want to know how long can it last. Well, during our video loop test (1080p movie, 50% brightness, 50% sound, airplane mode, w/ headphones), the laptop lasted for 5 hours and 47 minutes which is relatively normal given that it is a gaming laptop.
The ASUS ROG Strix Scar II is a great gaming laptop which delivers fast and powerful performance. Aside from its solid and premium build, it is also very stylish and beautiful thanks to its RGB lighting on the logo, keyboard, and the LED strip down at the bottom part of the chassis. Gamers, especially people who are into first-person shooter games, will definitely love this gaming laptop since it has a 144hz refresh rate display with 3ms response time.
For PHP 124,995, it’s definitely pricey and you’ll definitely have to save up money to get this. However, if you want to know if it’s worth the price then I can tell you now that it’s a yes for me. As someone who loves to play games, the Scar II satisfies my overall gaming cravings and I would definitely recommend this to anyone who is passionate about gaming, as long as your wallet can carry the burden.
ASUS ROG Strix SCAR II (GL704GV)
- 17.3-inch Non-glare Full HD (1920×1080) IPS-level panel, 144Hz, 3ms, 100% sRGB
- Intel Core i7-8750H
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060
- 6GB GDDR6 VRAM
- 2666MHz SDRAM (Dual-channel)
- Up to 32GB
- M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0 256GB/512GB/1TB SSD
- 2.5? 5400rpm 1TB SSHD
- Windows 10 Home
- Intel 802.11ac (2×2) Gigabit Wi-Fi
- Bluetooth 5.0
- 2 x 3.5W speaker with Smart AMP technology
- 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 (Type-C)
- 3 x USB3.1 Gen1 , 1 x USB3.1 Gen2
- 1x mDP 1.2
- 1 x HDMI 2.0b
- 1x RJ-45 Jack
- 1x SD card reader
- 230W Power Adaptor
- 39.98 (W) x 27.35 (D) x 2.49~2.64 (H) cm
- 2.9kg (17.3-inch variant)