This year marks the third anniversary since the launch of the ROG Strix SCAR gaming laptop and this series has been one of the most popular choices among gamers in the market due to its powerful components, gaming-focused features and price positioning.

After three generations of design and component refreshes, ROG has dropped the generation number in favour of the screen size for the naming postfix. Since the review sample we got here has a 15.6-inch display, the full name of this model is ROG Strix SCAR 15. Pretty sure this is the typical Asian management’s decision to avoid the number 4 in the product name, however, I see it as a missed opportunity to give it the tagline – SCAR 4 Life.

Video Review

SCAR 3 Chassis

Despite the new name, the chassis still remained the same from its previous generation. You still get this under-glow RGB illumination and the hinge still opens at about 120-degree angle. The lid is aluminium and the ROG logo lights up, unlike the Zephyrus series which has a blacked-out design. The overall body construction is still made up of plastic but it is reasonably solid.

ROG Strix SCAR 15 4

The ROG Keystone feature is still here on the SCAR 15 and somehow got an upgrade for its features. Last time, it can only be used to enable different laptop performance profiles as well as accessing the Shadow Drive. The new Keystone 2 now also supports quick launch function when you dock the Keystone as well as locking the Windows when you remove it. Personally, I still think the features are not that enticing.

ROG Strix SCAR 15 1

Now, the keyboard. Some users actually complained about the missing numpad since the ROG Strix SCAR 3. Love it or hate it, I think this numpad-less layout is better in terms of ergonomics. Besides, you still got this virtual numpad on the touchpad which should be good enough unless you really need to input a lot of numbers for your work.

ROG Strix SCAR 15 8

There are 2 display options available for the ROG Strix SCAR 15 – 300Hz and 240Hz. The 300Hz display is only available if you choose the highest configuration which has an RTX 2070 Super. Our mid-level configuration sports a 240Hz 15.6-inch IPS panel with 1080p Full HD resolution. The display is excellent for gaming purposes and the 99% sRGB colour gamut coverage should be good enough for your basic colour work in you need to. Just keep in mind that, you will need to colour calibrate the screen to make full use of its capabilities.

Performance – ROG Strix SCAR 15

G532L-WSHF083T G532L-WAZ085T G532L-VAZ069T
CPU Intel Core i7-10875H
GPU NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060
RAM 2x 8GB DDR4-3200
Storage 2x 512GB NVMe SSD RAID0 1TB NVMe SSD
Display 15.6-inch, FHD 1080p
IPS, 300Hz 3ms, 100% sRGB
15.6-inch, FHD 1080p
IPS, 240Hz 3ms, 100% sRGB
Price RM9,499
Early of Sept.
RM7,999
Available Now
RM7,499
Available Now

There are three different configurations for the Strix SCAR 15 and our review sample is the mid-tier option that comes with 240Hz display and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 graphics.

Synthetic

In terms of raw performance, we can rest assured that you will at least be getting a powerful system that could handle games as well as some degree of productivity applications. The Intel Core i7-10875H might be overshadowed by the Ryzen 7 4800H, nonetheless, it is still a very good CPU for gaming.

Gaming

That said, the gaming experience is smooth and we can easily achieve more than 60fps on average even on the triple-A title such as Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. Mind you that we tested all the games with the highest graphical settings.

Thermals

As for the thermal performance, I am very disappointed especially when ASUS promised great cooling capabilities with their decision to use Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut liquid metal thermal compound. Sure, the maximum CPU temperature never went past 98c while gaming, unlike the Dell Gaming G5, but on average we’re still talking about 90c plus on the CPU. I strongly believe that the root cause is the bottom chassis design that inhibits the cool air intake.

Just take a look at the comparison between the SCAR 15 and Zephyrus S15, the Zephy is almost 10c cooler than the SCAR 15. Just because the Zephyrus has an opening to allow more cool air intake, unlike this design. Can you even breathe? Yes, yes, I know the Zephyrus is way more expensive than the SCAR 15, but my point is, if you choke the fan, no matter how awesome the thermal compound or how good the heatsink and fan is, ultimately you sacrifice the cooling performance and noise.

Upgradability

ROG Strix SCAR 15 10

Upgrading the ROG Strix SCAR 15 is quite easy. Removing the bottom chassis requires some attention as the bottom LED strip is connected by 2 ribbon cables, so make sure you don’t yank it out the moment you unscrew.

ROG Strix SCAR 15 11

There are two RAM slots and three M.2 slots for users to upgrade. Remember we mentioned this is basically a SCAR III chassis? Previously the SCAR 3 supports a single M.2 drive and one 2.5-inch drive. Now, they replace the 2.5-inch drive support in favour of two extra m.2 slots without redesigning the chassis. That explains the wasted space at the corner. You can also upgrade the WiFi card if you want but since the SCAR 15 is shipped with WiFi 6 by default, I don’t think you’ll need to do anything with it.

Battery Life

A single full charge of the 66Wh internal battery is able to provide us with about 5 hours of real-world usage. Our testing was conducted with Balanced battery profile while using the Intel iGPU. Basically, for web browsing and light usage, that is decent battery life for a gaming system.

Final Words

So, ROG Strix SCAR 15. I have rather mixed feelings when it comes to this particular laptop. I appreciate them updating the configuration of the laptop such as offering 300Hz option for the highest tier model and retiring the 2.5-inch drive support in favour of M.2 drives. However, there are limitations to the old chassis design hence the wasted space. I’m not saying the build quality is bad otherwise they wouldn’t be reusing the same chassis. My point is, despite the use of the liquid metal thermal compound, it hardly solves the thermal issues simply because the bottom chassis is choking the fans. The components are great and we had a smooth gaming experience on this machine. I certainly hope ASUS will look into the design and focus on giving extra breathing room for the fans. For now, if you don’t mind, you can choose to use Performance profile in the ROG Armoury Crate and that should alleviate some of the heat problems.

ROG Strix SCAR 15 Acer Predator Triton 500
CPU Intel Core i7-10875H
GPU NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
RAM 2x 8GB DDR4-3200 1x 8GB DDR4-2933
Storage 1TB NVMe SSD RAID0 512GB NVMe SSD
Display 15.6-inch, FHD 1080p
IPS, 240Hz 3ms, 100% sRGB
15.6-inch, FHD 1080p
IPS, 144Hz 3ms, 100% sRGB
Price RM7,999 RM7,999

All in all, at the official price of RM7,999 for this configuration, the closest competition should be the Acer Predator Triton 500. The SCAR 15 wins hands down with its specifications. So, if you’re in the market looking for the best bang for the buck gaming laptop at RM8,000 budget range, the ROG Strix SCAR 15 should be at the top of your watchlist.

Pros:

  • Good build quality
  • ROG Keystone 2 Shadow Drive
  • Triple M.2 slots
  • Excellent performance
  • Competitive pricing

Cons:

  • Chassis needs to be updated for new generation components
  • Incorporate Keystone with Windows Hello
  • Cooling could’ve been better with more airflow

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