2021 ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 Review
PC & Hardware

2021 ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 Review

The 2021 ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 looks to be one of the most powerful, high-spec gaming laptop so far.

The new ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 comes with upgraded hardware and a brand-new eye-catching industrial design complete with Aura Sync lighting effects across the chassis.

Our test unit for the review is the G533QR variant. The all-new display is a IPS 1920×1080 300Hz (3ms) panel with a 100% SRGB color coverage and a brightness rated at 300 nits. The upgraded hardware offers excellent performance with a AMD Ryzen 7 5800H CPU, Nvidia RTX 3070 with 8GB GDDR6 VRAM, 16GB DDR4 3200MHz SDRAM and a 1TB PCIE NVMe SSD M.2

ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 G533QR Review
ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 G533QR Review

 Specifications

CPUAMD Ryzen 7 5800H
RAM16GB DDR4 3200MHz RAM
GPUNvidia RTX 3070 with 8GB GDDR6 VRAM
Storage1TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
Display15” IPS 1920×1080 300Hz (3ms), 100% SRGB, 300 nits
Ports3 x USB3.2 Gen 1 Type-A
1 X USB3.2 Gen2 Type-C (supports Display Port & 100W PD Charger)
1x LAN RJ-45
1 x HDMI 2.0b
1 x Audio combo jack
1 x Keystone
ConnectivityWi-Fi 6 802.11AX (2×2) +BT, supports Range Boost Bluetooth 5.0
WebcamN/A
AudioQuad speakers with Smart AMP technology
Battery90Wh
240W  adapter
Dimensions354.9(W) x 259.9(D) x 22.69~27.2(H) mm
Weight: 2.30 kg

Packaging

The ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 comes in a large, ASUS ROG branded black cardboard box. The packaging includes the below:

  • Asus ROG Strix Scar 15 G533QR
  • 240W power supply
  • 2x customizable Armor Caps
  • ROG Keystone Keychain
  • Quick start manuals and setup guides
ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 G533QR Review

Design & Build Quality

The design has been heavily revamped from its predecessors and comes with some flashy new features. One of them is the customizable Armour Caps to add a pop of color to the chassis, it can also be 3D printed to create original looks of your own.

ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 G533QR Review
ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 G533QR Review

The top lid has a brushed metal finish aluminum cover with a large metallic ASUS ROG logo. An asymmetrical slash across the top lid comes updated with a sleek dot matrix design created with electroplating. The dots add a touch of shimmer from any angle features fingerprint-resistant nano coating and is easier to wipe clean.

ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 G533QR Review
ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 G533QR Review

The 2021 Strix Scar 15 comes with additional Aura Sync lighting. Light shines brightly from the metallic ROG logo once turned on and can be customized with AURA Sync.

ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 G533QR Review
ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 G533QR Review

The base features a more intensive light bar has a higher LED density to evenly illuminate the front and side edges with customizable colors and effects via Aura Sync.

ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 G533QR Review
ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 G533QR Review

The rear body and features two large openings for cooling, a central area with several ports. Just like other ASUS ROG series, there is an anti-dust cooling feature on this laptop.

The bottom of the Asus ROG Strix SCAR 15 is also well designed and easy to open, with wide rubber feet and cut outs for cooling.

The display is surrounded by a thin bezel but there is no webcam on the frame. The display is a 15.6in IPS-level panel with Full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and a refresh rate of 300Hz. The hinges emerge open when the lid is lifted and they move inside the laptop when the screen is closed. This provides additional space for ventilation and cooling around the heatsinks at the back.

ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 G533QR Review
See-through plastic on the inner right-hand side reminds us of the Gameboy

The footprint is respectively 7% smaller compared to the previous generation; making the laptop more portable. The new design also offers an 85% screen-to-body ratio with slim bezels. Overall, the build quality feels high-end and sturdy.

Ports

On the left side there are 2x USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-A and a 3.5mm combo jack for audio and microphone.

ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 G533QR Review
See-through plastic on the inner right-hand side reminds us of the Gameboy

There are no ports on the right side except for the ROG Keystone II connector for security. The remaining ports are at the rear which includes:

  • RJ45 LAN connection
  • HDMI 2.0 with support for 4K resolution
  • USB 3.2 Gen2 with DisplayPort and 100W Power Delivery
  • 1x USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-A
  • Power connection
ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 G533QR Review
See-through plastic on the inner right-hand side reminds us of the Gameboy

Wireless connectivity is powered by an Intel 802.11AX module (Wi-Fi 6) and there is Bluetooth 5.0 on board. Unfortunately, there is no SD card reader or 3.2 Gen2 Type-A ports on the Strix Scar 15.

Display

The ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 has an anti-glare 15.6 in IPS-level panel with a screen-to-body ratio of 85%. The display offers full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and a refresh rate of 300Mhz and a 3ms grey-to-grey response time with 100% sRGB color coverage. There is also support for Adaptive-Sync technology for smoother gameplay.

Colours are rich, vibrant and really pack a punch with no signs of stuttering or ghosting, and the viewing angles are good. For content creation, photo or video editing, an external monitor is recommended. Sunlight visibility is mediocre at best.

The ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 also has a variant with QHD resolution (2560 x 1440p) and 165Hz refresh rate.

Keyboard & Trackpad

The ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 has an optical mechanical keyboard with per-key RGB personalization. Per-key Aura Sync illumination lets you highlight key commands for different games. The typing experience is fantastic and the keystroke travel distance of 1.9mm provides a satisfying tactile feel.

With optical mechanical switches, instead of relying on electrical contact that requires a debounce delay of 5ms or more to filter unwanted interference, they trigger precisely with a beam of light that takes the response time down to just 0.2ms. This results in rapid inputs with high accuracy. Asus says the switches are rated to a lifespan of over 100 million presses—5x more than typical laptop keyboards.

ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 G533QR Review

There are an additional five dedicated hotkeys above the function key row for quick access to the volume and mic mute controls, operating modes, and Armoury Crate.

The function keys are spaced and the arrow keys are isolated for better accuracy and the larger directional arrows are isolated for precision.

The touchpad is larger than previous generation with a glass pad surface coated in a matte finish and has separate physical left and right clickers. Cursor control is good, it’s easy to navigate, multi-touch gestures are recognized and handled properly. A minor issue here is the left and right clickers are far apart and they’re easy to miss. Instead of a physical numpad, the Strix 15 features a digital one on the touchpad available at the press of a button.

Performance & Benchmarks

The ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 is powered by the latest AMD Ryzen 7 5800H Cezanne processor with 8 cores and 16 threads, NVIDIA RTX 3070 graphics with 8GB GDDR6 VRAM and 16GB DDR4 3200MHz RAM.

For storage, there is 1TB of M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD onboard with an additional M.2 expansion slot.

CPU

With the Strix Scar 15, Asus debuts the new and powerful generation of AMD Ryzen 5000 processors with Zen 3 Cezanne architecture under a 7 nm fabrication process.

ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 G533QR Review
ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 G533QR Review

The 5800H has 8 cores and 16 threads running at a base frequency of 3.2 GHz and upto 4.4 GHz in turbo, 4Mb of L2 Cache and 12 MB of L3 cache with a TDP of just 45W. These new Ryzen CPUs natively support 3200 MHz DDR4 RAM and up to 4266 MHz LPDDR4.

GPU

Graphics is powered by a dedicated NVIDIA RTX 3070 GPU, the second fastest Ampere graphics card for laptops so far with improved raytracing and tensor cores. Built on the 8 nm process, the RTX 3070 offers 8 GB GDDR6 graphics memory with a 256 Bit memory bus and based on the GA104 core with 5120 shaders at a frequency ranging from 780 MHz to 1250 MHz.

ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 G533QR Review
ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 G533QR Review

With the new Ampere cards, there is no more Max-Q variant (the energy-efficient version specially designed for thin and portable laptops for longer battery time) but every OEM can choose to implement Max-Q technologies such as Dynamic Boost, Whisper mode etc. The same 3070 GPU can differ in performance on different laptops based on the thermal design offered and the TGP which varies from 80 to 125 Watt.

RAM

The Strix 15 is equipped with 16 GB of 3200Mhz DDR4 RAM in dual channel in the SO-DIMM slots. It can be further upgraded to 32GB.

STORAGE

Our review unit came with a 1TB M.2 NVMe SSD. However, depending on the region, there may be different SSDs. The SSD offers good performance at read speeds of up to 3,591MB per second and write of up to 2,822MB/s.

ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 G533QR Review
ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 G533QR Review

The Strix Scar 15 offers an additional M.2 expansion slot.

BENCHMARKS

The new AMD Ryzen 5000 CPUs and RTX 30 series GPUs raise the bar compared to the previous-gen. In multi-core benchmarks, there is no Intel CPU to match the performance.

In Cinebench R20 tests, the AMD Ryzen 7 5800H scored 521 in single core benchmark and 4,875 in multi-core benchmark. In PCMark 10 Benchmark, the Strix 15 scored 6,761.

BENCHMARKSCORE
Cinebench R20 single core521
Cinebench R20 multi core4,875
PCMark 10 Benchmark6,761
3DMark Time Spy10,279
3DMark Fire Strike23,171
3DMark Sky Diver42,650

GAMING BENCHMARKS

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 in combination with AMD Ryzen 7 5800H provides an excellent gaming experience with FHD resolution at maximum quality settings in most games. It can run most modern games easily above 100fps on very high to ultra-settings.

While there is zero stuttering or lagging, not all modern titles are able to take full advantage of the 300Hz screen, unless you plan on bumping the quality settings down.

BENCHMARKSCORE
Far Cry 5110fps
Metro Exodus84fps
Shadow of the Tomb Raider102fps
Red Dead Redemption 2101fps

Temperature & Noise

The ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 is cooled by six copper heat pipes along with upgraded 84-blade Arc Flow dual fans made of liquid crystal polymer, helping dissipate heat through 4 heatsinks and 4 fan outlets.

ASUS says its self-cleaning thermal module have been upgraded to leave up to 5% more space around the fan, improving airflow by up to 15% and prevents the buildup of dust on the fan blades, heatsink fins, and other cooling components.

The cooling system is complemented by a new a liquid metal compound from Thermal Grizzly, instead of the standard thermal paste. This liquid metal is able to conduct heat better so that the cooling system can work more optimally. ASUS promises lower CPU temperatures as much as 16°C while improving noise levels.

Temperatures are never too high even on load, while some spots can get as warm when gaming (never above above 80C in our case), these spots are located towards the back, away from the keyboard and palm rest.

The laptop also features a 0dB Technology. When CPU and GPU temperatures are low in the Silent operating mode, the cooling system switches off all fans and dissipates heat passively.

Fan noise is quiet on idle but audible even on slight load. During gaming, the fan noise is better than other laptops in this category. To adjust fan speed, there is a dedicated keyboard button on the top row.

Upgradeability

In terms of upgradeability, the Strix Scar 15 can be equipped with upto 2x M.2 SSDs and upto 32GB of RAM. The bottom panel can be easily removed with a simple Phillips screwdriver.

There are two SO-DIMM slots for DDR4 RAM and two M.2 slots for SSD drives – one is occupied by default, but the other is available to expand.

Battery & Audio

The ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 has a 90Wh 4-cell Li-Polymer battery. On a full charge, based on the usage and screen brightness, the laptop lasts between seven to nine hours. When browsing the internet, you can expect around six hours of battery time.

Idle (one third brightness, no WiFI)9h 04 min
Web Browsing (one third brightness)6h 14 min
Video Playback (one third brightness)8h 15 min
Gaming (50% brightness)1h 35min

The Strix Scar 15 has a quad-speaker setup comprising of two tweeters and two woofers delivers immersive surround sound optimized by Dolby Atmos technology. The sound quality is good and loud enough with hardly any distortion at high volume.

Software

The ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 comes with several software’s such as GameVisual, Aura Creator and Armory Crate, which provides information on the hardware performance, helps switching between profiles and control the RGB lighting.

You can control the fans with different performance profiles. There are also options to switch between different display modes depending on the content being played.

Conclusion

ASUS offers much more in its new-gen ROG Strix Scar 15 that will delight gamers. The combination of AMD’s top flight Ryzen 9 5800H processor, 16GB of RAM and the Nvidia RTX 3070 GPU should definitely stand the test of time.

ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 G533QR Review
ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 G533QR Review

It also has a fantastic keyboard and enough ports, and it’s all snuck into a great looking chassis with several lighting areas and fine details. If you are in the market for a desktop replacement laptop, the Asus ROG Strix Scar 15 is definitely worth checking out.

The ASUS ROG Strix Scar 17 G533QR starts at AED 8999 and is available in the UAE from Sharaf DG, Jumbo, Emax, Ecity, Computronics, Virgin Megastores, and Amazon.

9

ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 G533QR

ASUS offers much more in its new-gen ROG Strix Scar 15 that will delight gamers. The combination of AMD's top flight Ryzen 9 5800H processor, 16GB of RAM and the Nvidia RTX 3070 GPU should definitely stand the test of time.

THE GOOD
  • Powerful performance
  • 300Hz Full HD display with 100% SRGB coverage
  • Sturdy and well built; smaller and compact than previous gen
  • Great battery life
  • Good cooling system
  • Mechanical keyboard
THE BAD
  • No SD card reader, Thunderbolt, webcam or biometrics
  • Smudgy interior
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