In the past few years, we’ve seen gaming laptops shed their bulky and heavy shells for lighter and more mobile designs. The likes of the ASUS Zephyrus G14 are easy on the back while capable enough to play modern titles. But what if we dial back a bit and make the heavy ones from before? Ones that have all juice and weight? In this review, we take a look at the new ROG Strix SCAR 18, a monster in terms of hardware and features. Is it good? Will it break your wallet like an unscheduled date downtown? Let’s find out!
ROG Strix SCAR 18 Review – Specifications
|Model Name||ROG Strix SCAR 18 (2023) G834
|Operating System||Windows 11 Pro|
13th Gen Intel® Core™ i9-13980HX Processor 2.2 GHz (36M Cache, up to 5.6 GHz, 24 cores: 8 P-cores and 16 E-cores)
NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 4090 Laptop GPU
ROG Boost: 2090MHz* at 175W (2040MHz Boost Clock+50MHz OC, 150W+25W Dynamic Boost)
ROG Nebula Display, 18-inch, QHD+ 16:10 (2560 x 1600, WQXGA)
IPS-level, Anti-glare display, DCI-P3: 100.00%, Refresh Rate: 240Hz
Response Time: 3ms, G-Sync, Pantone Validated, MUX Switch + NVIDIA® Advanced Optimus, Support Dolby Vision HDR : Yes
64GB DDR5-4800 SO-DIMM x 2
2TB PCIe® 4.0 NVMe™ M.2 Performance SSD
1x Power (DC) input port, 1x 2.5G LAN RJ-45 jack, 1x Type-C with Thunderbolt™4(dGPU DP1.4, external G-sync), 1x Type-C support USB3.2 Gen2 (dGPU DP1.4, external G-sync, PD(Input: 20V/5A, Output: 5V/3A), 1x HDMI (2.1 support), HDCP SPEC support 2.2, 1x Audio combo jack: Mic-in and Head phone
2x Type-A support USB3.2 Gen2
|Keyboard and Touchpad||
Backlit Chiclet Keyboard Per-Key RGB,Touchpad
720P HD camera
Smart Amp Technology
AI noise-canceling technology
Built-in array microphone
4-speaker system with Smart Amplifier Technology
|Network and Communication||
Wifi6E 802.11AX (2×2) +BT
ø6.0, 330W AC Adapter, Output: 20V DC, 16.5A, 330W, Input: 100~240C AC 50/60Hz universal
TYPE-C, 100W AC Adapter, Output: 20V DC, 5A, 100W, Input: 100~240V AC 50/60Hz universal
|Dimensions (W x D x H)||
399.9 x 294.35 x 23.1~30.8 (mm)
BIOS Administrator Password and User Password Protection
Trusted Platform Module (Firmware TPM)
|Included in the Box||
ROG Gladius III Mouse P514
Marketing Giveaway (1 Customizable Armor Cap)
ROG Strix SCAR 18 Review – At A Glance
Take A Look At This Box
I rarely take a good look at boxes that these things come with but the ROG Strix SCAR 18’s box has a couple of good points to look at. It’s different from the black boxes that the usual ROG gaming laptops come with and there’s a bit of art on it. Also, unlike the usual boxes that open like the laptops themselves, you have to take this one out like a hand from a glove to get to the laptop itself. Pretty cool and extra.
The ROG Strix SCAR 18 for this review came with a larger box that includes an ROG backpack.
The left side of the laptop appears to be the busier side given that it is home to the power port, RJ45 wired LAN port, an HDMI 2.1, two USB Type-C ports with one being Thunderbolt compatible and the other capable of outputting display, and an audio combo jack.
The right side of the ROG Strix SCAR 18 is home to only two USB 3.2 Type-A ports.
Customize With Armor Caps
Similar to the ROG Strix SCAR 17, you can also customize the armor caps on this one by simply removing it and replacing it with a lone extra that comes with the package. The “armor” is magnetized and requires a bit of force to remove but slotting it in is seamless as the magnets do most of the work.
Where’s My RGB?
As usual, RGB is what makes things faster in the ROG Strix SCAR 18. Lights can be found on the keyboard itself, the front’s underside, the back exhaust, and the ROG logo on the cover itself. You can modify and program the colors and the behaviors of these RGB lights via the ASUS Armoury Crate app.
ROG Strix SCAR 18 Review – Benchmarks
The ROG Strix SCAR 18 is an impressive gaming machine. It makes good use of its Intel i9-13980HX processor, its hefty 64GB of RAM, and its mobile version of the NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 4090. The hardware itself, while not comparable to a desktop with the same named chips, produces numbers that are way better than a gaming desktop from yesteryear (Intel i5-12600KF and Nvidia RTX 3070Ti). For the benchmarks, numbers on both 1920×1440 and 2560×1600 resolutions were taken and with the same settings. For more detailed results on each resolution, check out the graphs and tables below.
|Games||Preset||Average||1%||0.1%||Notes (Score, etc.)|
|Assassin’s Creed Valhalla||Ultra High||140||91||59||
100% Render Scaling
|Dota 2||Best Looking||210||123||96||–|
|Metro Exodus: Enhanced Edition||Extreme||99||57||39||
|Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker||Maximum||231||125||106||–|
|Rainbow Six: Siege||Ultra||490||302||168||
100% Render Scaling
|Shadow of the Tomb Raider||Highest||189||124||68||DLSS OFF|
|Watch Dogs Legion||Ultra||115||81||55||
DX12, DLSS OFF
|Total War: Warhammer 3||Ultra||128||91||73||–|
|Modern Warfare 2||Extreme||192||134||117||–|
|Games||Preset||Average||1%||0.1%||Notes (Score, etc.)|
|Assassin’s Creed Valhalla||Ultra High||118||78||50||100% Render Scaling|
|Dota 2||Best Looking||184||104||77||–|
|Metro Exodus: Enhanced Edition||Extreme||96||55||38||DLSS Performance|
|Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker||Maximum||194||89||66||–|
|Rainbow Six: Siege||Ultra||410||240||104||100% Render Scaling|
|Shadow of the Tomb Raider||Highest||159||112||50||DLSS OFF|
|Watch Dogs Legion||Ultra||99||73||35||DX12, DLSS OFF|
|Total War: Warhammer 3||Ultra||95||70||57||–|
|Modern Warfare 2||Extreme||160||103||92||–|
These benchmarks are meant to measure the device’s performance relative to other people’s machine. We plugged in a mix of CPU & GPU-intensive tests and other ones that measure the performance of both at the same time.
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme is designed for multi-GPU systems and future hardware generations. In addition to raising the rendering resolution, additional visual quality improvements increase the rendering load to ensure accurate performance measurements for truly extreme hardware setups.
3DMark Fire Strike Ultra
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme but more demanding. Incredibly taxing to the system as the benchmark tests how your PC can render in 4K (3840 x 2160).
3DMark Time Spy
3DMark Time Spy is a DirectX 12 benchmark test for Windows 10 gaming PCs. Time Spy is one of the first DirectX 12 apps to be built the right way from the ground up to fully realize the performance gains that the new API offers.
3DMark Port Royal
3DMark Port Royal is the world’s first real-time ray tracing benchmark for gamers. It shows you how well your PC handles ray tracing effects in real-time.
Cinebench (Release 23)
- CPU (Multi Core): 27,564
- CPU (Single Core): 2,129
Cinebench leverages the same powerful 3D engine found in the award-winning animation software Cinema 4D Release 20 to accurately evaluate CPU rendering performance capabilities across various systems and platforms.
Extreme performance and stability test for PC hardware: video card, power supply, cooling system.
PassMark measures CPU, 2D & 3D GPU, Memory, and Disk speeds. Similar to Novabench, it gives you an aggregate score, giving you an idea on how your PC performs and how it ranks when compared to other computers around the world.
- CPU Score: 425.45
- GPU Score: 8,176.10
The Blender benchmark Score refers to the hardware’s ability to process samples during Cycles rendering. In particular it’s the amount of samples per minute that a CPU or GPU can compute. The higher this number, the better.
- CPU Single Thread: 885.9
- CPU Multi Thread: 14,378.2
- 32M – 4.104 sec
- 1024M – 191.97 sec
wPrime is a leading multi-threaded benchmark for x86 processors that tests your processor performance by calculating square roots with a recursive call of Newton’s method for estimating functions. It then uses an iterative calling of the estimation method a set amount of times to increase the accuracy of the results.
ROG Strix SCAR 18 Review – Verdict & Conclusion
Unmatched Power & Frames
When it comes to delivering frames and blistering speed, the ROG Strix SCAR 18 delivers. Given that it packs the best money could buy (currently), the performance is a given. Not only that but you also get a full keyboard and a decently-sized screen with it. Suffice to say, this is one hell of a mobile gaming unit.
Carries The ROG Nebula Display
A major complaint that I have with the local version of the ROG Strix Scar 17 2022 is that despite the hardware, it does not carry the impressive ROG Nebula Display. The ROG Strix SCAR 18 remedies the lack by having the ROG Nebula Display with a larger 18-inch screen. A fast mobile gaming platform with a Pantone-validated, large QHD+ screen that has a refresh rate of 240Hz? Sign me up!
Ow, My Back!
Probably the heaviest laptop that I’ve reviewed in recent memory, the ROG Strix Scar 18 weighs a ridiculous 3.10kg (6.83lbs). It’s way heavier than the previous champion, the ROG Strix Scar 17 2022. The computing power does come with a proportionate amount of weight. Lugging this around, together with your daily keyboard and mouse, is not recommended and if you fancy a lighter and more workable laptop, best keep this ROG Strix Scar 18 at the bottom part of the list.
Best When Money Is Not A Concern
There’s no mystery surrounding the ROG Strix Scar 18’s impressive power. It has the hardware to backup and produce outstanding frames, be it for gaming or for productivity. An improvement from its other ROG Strix Scar brothers is that it is home to a sleeker design that’s heavily accented with RGB lighting. This just proves that ASUS ROG has finally cracked what makes their systems unique without having to go overboard with gaming gimmicks and other nonsensical stuff.
On the other hand, the ROG Strix Scar 18 has two downsides that you should consider before getting it. First is that it is heavy and going around it and carrying other stuff like books or other gadgets may not be a great experience. Second is its price. You’ll need to shell out A LOT to get this thing on your desk. Again, this is obvious given that it has the current top-of-the-line hardware on it and in mobile form.
Overall, the ROG Strix Scar 18 is the laptop that you should get if you are looking to get fastest and strongest laptop this 2023 (as of the writing of this article). While there are some similar choices from other brands, the tried and tested ASUS ROG has you covered with its features and streamlined design. However, the device has a steep cost and if typical ROG laptops are too high of a wall to scale for a lot of gamers, this one may be out of reach for a lot more.
ROG Strix SCAR 18 Review – Price & Availability
The ROG Strix SCAR 18 is set to arrive here in the Philippines. It has an SRP of PhP 294,995. Quite expensive but you do get the most powerful mobile chips that money can buy as of Q1 2023.
Aside from the laptop and the essentials, buying an ROG Strix SCAR 18 here in the Philippines also nets you with an ROG Backpack and a ROG Gladius III mouse.
Other Laptop Reviews
For other gaming laptops, check out our recent review of the following:
- ROG Strix Scar 17 2022
- MSI Pulse GL66 2022
- ASUS TUF Gaming A15 2022
- ROG Flow X16 2022
- Lenovo Legion Slim 7i (2022)
- ROG Strix G15 2022
- ROG Zephyrus G15 2022
- HP Victus 16 (2022)
You can check out the product page of the ROG Strix Scar 18 here.