Back in June 2018, we were at the Asus media event in Taipei, Taiwan, where they showcased their new gaming laptop line-up, the ROG Strix Scar II Edition and the Hero II Edition. Thanks to Asus, we were able to give the ROG Strix Scar II Edition for a run in our office and we were excited to experience it with all the competitive FPS games that we could think off.
As you might already know, the ROG Strix Scar II is a gaming laptop that is aimed for top First Person Shooter games performances. It brings out the capability of the machine that provides the best gaming and precision experience for FPS gamers.
*Photos taken with Sony Alpha 510
When we look at the design of the laptop, it has a nearly bezel-less display with a 2.3 slimmer bezel than the original Scar. The keyboard which comes with the transparent “WASD” highlighted keys gives players easy identification of their most-used and important keys. With customizable RGB lightings on the keyboard, the deck has a camouflage pattern that is coherent to FPS players.
A thin light panel is also seen at the bottom, facing the front, which follows the RGB lights set based on your ROG Aura Core preferred settings. The ROG logo on the front panel can also be set there as well which looks pretty cool on the brushed metal finish of the front panel.
When we take a look at the bottom, we noticed that there’s a small slid of space that apparently helps with the cooling mechanism. With two speakers on both sides and the bass at the center of the deck, there’s still space to on the deck which gives the laptop a clean look for a gaming laptop. There are a total 3 vents, 2 at the back and 1 on the right side where your mouse would be. Overall, a very nice build for a gaming laptop that only weighs 2.4 kg.
The Specs and Performance
The Scar II is of course better than the original Scar which is seen with upgrades of the latest 8th Gen Intel processors and Nvidia GTX 1070 GPU. However, the major boost of the gaming laptop is its display, where it has a screen refresh rate of up to 144Hz!
Below are the specifications for ROG Strix SCAR II Edition:
|Size||15”(8th Gen Coffeelake CPUs)|
|Category||esports Gaming – FPS|
|GL504GS (SCAR II)
Windows 10 Home Windows 10 Pro (recommended)
|Intel® Core™ i7-8750H
NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1070
Up to 8GB GDDR5 VRAM
|Memory||DDR4 2666MHz SDRAM (dual-channel)Up to 32GB|
|M.2 NVMe PCIE 256GB
2.5″ 7200 rpm 1TB HDD
|Display||15.6” IPS-level Full HD (1920 x 1080) panel144Hz, 3ms, 100% sRGB|
|Windows Mixed Reality||Basic (min. 8GB RAM)|
|Keyboard||Backlit chiclet keyboardRGB 4 zones
Marked WASD keys
Hot keys: Volume up / Volume down / Mute / ROG Gaming Center
Travel distance: 1.8mm
Keycap curve: 0.25mm
|Audio||2 x 3.5W speaker with Smart AMP technologyArray microphones|
|Software||ROG Gaming Center 2.5GameFirst V
Sonic Studio & Sonic Radar III
Aura Core 2.5
|I/O ports||1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 (Type-C)1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2
2 X USB 3.1 Gen 1
1 x mDP 1.2
1 x HDMI 2.0
1 x RJ-45 jack
1 x 2 in-1 card reader
1 x 3.5mm headphone and microphone combo jack
1 x Kensington lock
|Power||180W power adaptor230W power adaptor|
|Wi-Fi / Bluetooth
|802.11ac 2×2 Wave 2 WLANBluetooth 5.0 (may vary with system configuration)
36.1 x 26.2 x 2.61cm (W x D x H)
|Peripheral Recommended||ROG Gladius II gaming mouse is designed for FPS gameplay|
While ASUS boasts its new twin-cooling fans, it really does help to handle the new processors and the GTX 1070 to further enhance their performances. Apparently, Asus had increased the number of blades on their fans which provides greater airflow for your processors and GPU to breath. However, remember where the vents were situated? There were 2 vents at the back and 1 at the right side, where your mouse would be. I would say that it is a bad spot to have a vent as you’ll definitely need to use a mouse for your FPS games, but with the vent positioned there, it will heat your hand up during gaming.
Though if you plan to plug in a separate keyboard and leaving your gaming laptop on a cooling pad, then the heat shouldn’t bother you at all. With the 15 inch display, it’s still comfortable looking at it from a distance – or you could just plug in a bigger monitor. But do you really want to lose that sweet 144Hz display that’s built in on the Scar II though?
One of the great thing which comes with the Scar II is also the Asus’ ROG Gaming Center software which enables us to fine-tune various settings to optimize your favorite games. There’s also a setting which lets you choose between three fan modes and monitor the system’s temperature, which we advise to just let the system decide unless you know what you’re doing.
Watch the unboxing by Ying Tze and some of our gaming sessions in the video below:
As seen in the video above, the laptop is able to handle at a constant 60fps and above – some reaching up to 120-130fps! These are good numbers to be playing in an FPS game. With the 144Hz display, details and movements of the enemies were clear as day light which allows for more precision – but of course it needs to pair with your skill of play. I may not be able to bring out the full potential with the 144Hz and 130fps display, but it sure does look and feel comfortable as a gamer of sorts.
With the Scar II’s built in ROG Gaming Center, I took the liberty to tweak and try out some of the features. One of it was the ROG Sonic Radar, which is a feature that provides players an overlay of the game they play and provides a distinction of the enemies based on the in-game sound. So let’s say, there’s an enemy that’s coming on the right, the radar would show that there’s an enemy potentially on the right side. However, it wasn’t working on PUBG and it was supposed to work for CS: GO but I didn’t understand how it works and it didn’t seemed to matter to me.
For one, I do believe that such a thing is not allowed in competitive matches. Secondly, I do find the overlay to be a distraction as it is hovering on the side of the screen. Granted that the size and position can be adjusted from the Sonic Radar application, that was the smallest size I could adjust and it’s still distracting me. Or maybe I’m too fussy or didn’t spend enough time to get used to it. But nonetheless, in my opinion, this is unnecessary for me and if it is for you as well, you can always turn it off by un-checking the game you don’t want the overlay to appear in.
Check out the benchmark scores we had:
One thing’s for sure, the ROG Strix Scar II does play FPS games very well. Based on the benchmark scores, the Scar II scored very well for the price of RM 8,499. I had no issues running the popular FPS competitive games on it and the RGB keyboard is making it look good.
Should there be an issue I must address, it would be the placement of the vents. The two vents at the back of the Scar II are fine. However, the one on the right side where your mouse would be can pose as an issue for all gamers. Because the heat from the right vent can be really hot and it will be pose a problem on your right hand where you hold your mouse. The only way to solve that would be to play away from your laptop or adjusting the position where your mouse would be. Anywhere near the right vent, you will feel the heat.
Otherwise, the Scar II is great for FPS games and it makes a great companion to bring it around when it only weighs 2.4kg with a cool sleek design.