The demands on a gaming laptop are always high. A potential buyer wants to get not only a productive configuration, but also a high-quality screen, nice design and high practicality. The new ASUS ROG Strix SCAR III series combines all of this to bring you new gaming experiences with great graphics on a fast, high refresh rate screen. And all this in a stylish case with backlight and other attributes of a modern gaming laptop.
ASUS ROG Strix SCAR III G531GW
This is a laptop with a 15.6-inch display on a high-quality IPS-matrix with a refresh rate of 144 Hz. In the configuration, the emphasis is on the graphics subsystem. This is a combination of an Intel Core i7-9750H processor and a GeForce RTX 2070 graphics card, which allows you to activate effects based on ray tracing and has sufficient performance for this. There are also simpler modifications of the G531G series with GeForce RTX 2060, GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, and even GeForce GTX 1650 Ti (in the most budget version). Our model has 16GB of RAM and a 512GB NVMe M.2 drive. All this is packed in a case with dimensions of 360x275x25 mm and a weight of 2.4 kg.
Full specifications in the table.
|Model||ASUS ROG Strix SCAR III G531GW-ES198T|
|Processor||Intel Core i7-9750H 2.6 GHz (up to 4500 MHz with Turbo Boost)|
|RAM||16 GB, DDR4-2666|
|Display||15,6″, 1920×1080, 144 Гц, IPS (AU Optronics B156HAN08.2)|
|Video card||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 8ГБ|
|Disk subsystem||SSD NVMe M.2 512 ГБ Intel SSDPEKNW512GB|
|I/O ports||combined USB 3.2 Gen2 Type C and DisplayPort, 3x USB 3.2 Gen1, HDMI 2.0b, LAN RJ-45, audio output|
|Communications||Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth 5.0|
|Multimedia||Audio system 2.0, external camera|
|Power adapter, W||230|
|Dimensions, mm||360 x 275 x 25|
Next, let’s talk about the configuration, the exterior of the laptop and its key features.
Contents of delivery
ASUS ROG Strix SCAR III pleases already at the unpacking stage, as this laptop comes with a convenient carrying bag. This is a nice bonus, since a backpack is one of the first add-on purchases in case you carry your laptop with you.
The backpack itself is made in the corporate style of ASUS ROG and looks very nice.
The laptop is packed in a box with a bright design, which can also be attributed to the category of pleasant things. You immediately feel that this is a solid quality product.
The package includes an external camera with a cable and stand, a ROG Keystone security key, a cable for connecting an additional hard drive, a power supply with a cable, and instructions.
When connected to the mains, the laptop is powered by a 230W ADP-230GB B unit.
ASUS has found an elegant solution to keep the screen bezels narrow by moving the camera to a separate device.
The laptop has a unique security feature with a special key to access encrypted data. It looks like a regular keychain that is always with you and can always be used for its intended purpose.
The laptop is made in a black plastic case with a metal screen cover.
The lid has a texture imitating polishing and is visually divided into two parts. It looks stylish and original. A large illuminated ROG logo completes the experience.
The laptop does not belong to the category of ultra-thin devices, but it does not seem bulky either. The thin screen with narrow bezels gives the impression of a relatively compact laptop. The screen itself is connected to the body with long arc loops, in the lower part it has an asymmetric cutout.
The design of the device was developed in collaboration with BMW Designworks Group. The small thickness and dimensions of the screen allow you to save space for the main body in order to more efficiently use the available volume for cooling.
The area behind the screen is stylized as a radiator grill, but only some of the slots are real. Also in the rear, the windows of the radiators of the cooling system are clearly visible.
The bottom of laptops usually has boring simple execution. But the ASUS ROG Strix SCAR III stands out here as well. There is a stylization for a radiator grille and slots in different areas (through which you can see the heat pipes). Also on the surface is the inscription ROG Republic of Gamers.
At the bottom there are five rubber feet that provide excellent fixation on the surface.
General view when open:
The main ports are placed on the left side. These are three USB 3.2 and a 3.5 mm combo audio jack for headphones or a headset. This placement is convenient for the peripherals, which will be on the left of the laptop, and your hand with the mouse on the right. But not very convenient if you are using a wired gaming mouse.
In the back, between the radiators, there are LAN, HDMI, USB 3.2 Type C (DisplayPort) connectors and an external power connector.
On the right side we see another compartment with windows for the radiator. There is also a slot for a red security key.
This is a ROG Keystone NFC dongle that allows you to activate custom settings when connected. In the Armory Crate utility, a profile is created with the necessary performance parameters, backlighting, etc., you can also select a hidden partition on the SSD for yourself. And at the moment of need, you simply insert the key to connect the profile. A useful feature if the laptop has several users.
The working surface is smooth and not easily soiled. Visually, it is stylized as carbon fiber. Island-style keyboard without numeric keypad. Pressing is soft and easy due to the small travel of the keys. A large gap is convenient for games. All buttons are backlit.
Above the top row of function keys are additional function buttons for volume control and activation of ASUS ROG performance profiles.
There is a backlit keyboard. By default, the multicolor mode works with smooth transitions from one shade to another, which better highlights different groups of keys.
ASUS ROG Strix SCAR III has additional lighting around the perimeter of the case, which looks beautiful and pleasant.
You can use the arrow keys to quickly switch lighting modes and change the brightness of the backlight.
Full backlight control is also available in program mode. ASUS Aura lighting synchronization technology is also supported, and you can set all ASUS components, including the mouse and headset, to the same lighting mode.
Our variant is equipped with a standard touchpad with a touchpad and two buttons. There are laptops of the G531G line with a digital block on the touch panel.
The camera mentioned above can be mounted on top of the screen frame.
It’s time to talk about the screen. It has a matte finish with an anti-reflective coating.
ASUS ROG Strix SCAR III G531GW uses AU Optronics B156HAN08.2 IPS panel. Diagonal 15.6 inches, resolution 1920×1080, frequency 144 Hz.
This matrix is often used in other ASUS gaming laptops, for example, in the ROG Zephyrus M GU502. Therefore, the performance of the screen does not differ much from other ASUS models of the same level. According to the measurements, the coverage of the sRGB space in our copy is 87%. The color temperature is about 8000 K, so the overall gamut is shifted towards cold colors.
Brightness is adjustable from 18 cd/m² to 336 cd/m². The contrast ratio is stable at around 1100:1.
Color deviation DeltaE at an acceptable level, the average deviation is below 3 units.
A high-quality matrix provides wide viewing angles and complete comfort in work when the head is tilted. There is no flicker. General impressions are positive. The screen provides a bright juicy picture, the color reproduction is good, but slightly shifted to the cold spectrum. For lovers of fast games, an important factor is the support for 144 Hz mode with a claimed response time of 3 ms, which provides high-definition images in dynamics without blurry contours.
Access to the «insides» opens after dismantling the lower part of the case. Inside there is an empty compartment for a 2.5-inch drive, a battery, a board with components and two «turbines» with a lot of copper tubes.
Cooling looks very decent. The processor and graphics chip are covered with copper plates, on which heat pipes are soldered. There is an additional heatsink with a tube for video card memory chips and power components. Both cooling systems are partially connected by single heat pipes. The CPU cooler has one heatpipe heatsink with a blower fan. The graphics card has more tubes and two heatsinks around the turbine. A similar cooling design is implemented in ASUS ROG Zephyrus laptops.
Two sticks of DDR4 RAM from Samsung are installed, which are covered with a protective gasket.
The SSD NVMe M.2 drive from Intel is installed, which is covered with a metallized gasket.
The wireless adapter is Intel 9560NGW.
A 66 Wh battery is installed.
Stereo speakers are installed at the corners of the case.
The full specifications of the laptop are presented in the screenshot of the HWiNFO utility.
The ASUS G531GW-ES198T system is based on the Intel Core i7-9750H mobile processor. It has six cores that process 12 threads. Base frequency 2.6 GHz with Turbo Boost up to 4.5 GHz. Such speed characteristics are combined with a low TDP of 45 watts. The 16 GB DDR4 memory runs in dual-channel mode at an effective frequency of 2666 MHz with latencies of 19-19-19-43-2T.
High gaming performance is provided by the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 video card. This is an analogue of the desktop version on the TU106 GPU with 2304 stream processors, a 256-bit bus and 8 GB of video memory. The difference between the mobile version in lower frequencies is the base core value of 1215 MHz with an average Boost Clock of 1440 MHz. This allows you to meet the TDP of 115 W instead of 175 W for the desktop version. The Core i7-9750H processor has an integrated Intel UHD Graphics 630 graphics core, which is used in 2D and under low load.
The storage system is represented by one 512 GB NVMe Intel SSDPEKNW512GB drive. You can install an optional 2.5″ drive.
Networking features come standard with Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, and Bluetooth 5.0 based on the Intel Wireless-AC 9560 adapter. A pair of dual antennas is used, which together with special ROG RangeBoost technology improves the stability and quality of the wireless connection.
ASUS ROG Strix SCAR III laptops come with a number of useful utilities that provide the user with a wide range of options for controlling operating parameters.
The most important application is the Armory Crate. This is a software center that allows you to select performance modes, adjust the backlight and make other settings. The first tab of the Armory Crate contains performance settings. ASUS ROG laptops use their power profiles with optimal performance settings instead of the default Windows profiles. When powered from the mains, the Performance mode is automatically turned on, when powered from the battery, the energy-saving Save mode is turned on. They have different priority between frequencies, fan speed and energy saving. In Performance, the frequencies and fan speeds are higher, in Save, the laptop switches to a slower mode, which is sufficient for ordinary tasks and allows you to work longer offline. There is also a Turbo mode and the possibility of manual settings.
The difference between the operating modes is clearly illustrated in the main menu diagram. You can also monitor temperatures, memory usage, and fan speeds in this tab. To quickly launch Armory Crate, use the button with the ASUS ROG logo (the top row of additional function keys). To quickly switch between performance profiles, use the adjacent button with the fan logo.
In a separate section of Armory Crate is the backlight setting. There are ready-made glow profiles — fixed color, smooth color change, flicker, etc. Manual settings and the ability to synchronize with other ASUS components are provided.
Armory Crate allows you to create profiles with settings for specific scenarios and applications. You can link your settings profile to the ROG Keystone NFC keychain.
The user also receives a set of additional free utilities, the list of which is given in a separate section of the program.
If you are a fan of changing screen settings for different tasks, the ROG GameVisual utility will come in handy. It has several profiles with different colors, which allows you to choose the best mode for yourself in games, movies and other tasks.
The ASUS ROG MacroKey app allows you to create different key scripts and save them in separate profiles. Everything is like in the top gaming keyboards.
The software suite includes the MyASUS app. This is an information center for diagnostics and communication with the support service, plus some additional settings (selection of charging mode) and a built-in software store.
Cooling System Efficiency and Noise Level
Now let’s talk about the temperature regime. The laptop was tested in a room with a temperature of about 23-24 ° C. During the tests, the temperature of the internal components was monitored and the temperature of the outer case was measured.
To create the maximum load, the AIDA64 stress test was used.
Shortly after the start of the stress test, the processor reaches the maximum temperatures and starts to reset the frequencies, dropping even below the bar of 2 GHz, maintaining the temperature on the cores within 80-85 ° C. We see this scenario in almost every powerful Intel Core laptop under extreme load. And we are talking about extreme load and simultaneous stress test of all components.
Now let’s look at the performance under typical gaming load. To do this, we will use the Final Fantasy XV: Windows Edition looped benchmark, which was run in Full HD resolution and additionally in 4K (in the screenshot).
In the most severe graphics mode, the temperature of the GPU of the GeForce RTX 2070 video card was kept within 79 ° C. Although after a long load, we observed peak values of 80 ° C. The core frequencies were kept in the range of 1250-1400 MHz. The processor still reaches extreme temperatures and resets the Boost frequencies, but they rarely fall below 3 GHz on loaded cores, reaching 4 GHz at some points. According to HWiNFO statistics, the average multiplier for x39 cores (3900 MHz). That is, in games, the laptop easily supports high processor frequencies. The average temperature of the CPU cores in the load is approaching the level of 80 ° C
These temperatures are standard for gaming laptops. Some models heat up to a similar level even with a more modest configuration with processors and a lower rank video card. And operating conditions always have a certain influence. In the summer heat, the heating will increase and the mids will drop slightly. If you are using cooling pads, then this can stabilize the frequencies at a higher level.
Noise at maximum load is high, according to monitoring, the peak speed of the fans can reach 5500-5700 rpm. But since now everyone is playing with headphones, there will be no discomfort. And when compared to other gaming laptops, they are on the same level in terms of noise. When working in office applications or when surfing the web, the noise will be much less.
Let’s see what the temperatures of the outer case are at high load. Below is the maximum temperature of different points according to the results of the AIDA64 stress test and Final Fantasy XV: Windows Edition.
The outer case heats up the most in the upper part, but it is felt weakly tactile.
Turbo mode and overclocking
Let’s talk in more detail about the Turbo mode, which can be enabled through Armory Crate. It increases the speed of the fans, improving cooling and allowing you to run at higher frequencies for longer. Along the way, a full-fledged overclocking of the video card is activated with a slight increase in the frequencies of the core and memory.
This can be called the standard overclocking mode, which is provided by the manufacturer of this device. The very fact of better cooling should already increase the average Boost of the GPU. And then there’s the base frequency of the GeForce RTX 2070 is increased by 60 MHz and the memory frequency by 300 MHz. Fan speed can reach 6700 rpm.
The final frequencies of the video card in Turbo mode rise to about 1350-1450 MHz when the temperature drops by a couple of degrees. The operating parameters of the processor remain at the same level as in Performance mode.
What kind of acceleration in games will provide such overclocking, we will find out according to the results of testing.
Fans of getting the most out of each piece of hardware have the opportunity for additional overclocking of the GeForce RTX 2070. But if the Turbo mode is de facto provided by the manufacturer, then all overclocking of all norms is carried out at personal peril and risk. This further increases heat and drives the device beyond its intended power limits, which reduces stability and increases the likelihood of crashes. Previously, we experimented with overclocking the GeForce RTX 2060 in the ROG Zephyrus M GU502 laptop, where we got a meager gain compared to the Turbo mode. Here the situation is about the same. Therefore, we’ll just show a 3DMark Time Spy screenshot with the best result when the core is overclocked to 110 MHz and the memory frequency is 14600 MHz. And in testing, we will limit ourselves to the results of a laptop in standard modes