Editor choice ASUS ROG STRIX SCAR G733QSA Review

ASUS ROG STRIX SCAR G733QSA Review

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Set Alert for Product: ASUS ROG Strix Scar 17 (2021) Gaming Laptop, 17.3” 360Hz IPS FHD, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080, AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX, 32GB DDR4, 2TB SSD RAID0, Opti-Mechanical Per-Key RGB Keyboard, Windows 10, G733QSA-XS99 - $3,529.99
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ASUS ROG STRIX SCAR G733QSA Review
ASUS ROG STRIX SCAR G733QSA Review

$3,529.99

Description

Asus’ ROG Strix Scar G733QSA isn’t shy about showing off. This machine has RGB  LEDs everywhere, from the band of lighting on the base to the strip of lights beneath the display. Meanwhile, the lid has a dotted pattern that spells ‘ROG’, the body has translucent plastic that allows a view of the components and there are removable plastic panels for customising the hinge. Read our ASUS ROG STRIX SCAR G733QSA Review.

 

ASUS ROG STRIX SCAR G733QSA Review
spec
CPU
3.3GHz AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX
Memory
32GB 3200MHz DDR4
Graphics
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Laptop 16GB
Screen
17.3in 1,920 x 1,080 IPS 360Hz
Storage
2 x 1TB Samsung PM981 M.2 SSD
Networking
Dual-band 802.11ax Wi-Fi, Gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth 5
Weight
2.7kg
Ports
3 x USB 3.2 Gen 1,1 x USB-C/DisplayPort, 1 x audio, 1 x HDMI
Dimensions (mm)
395 x 282 x 28 (W x D x H)
Operating system
Windows 10 Home 64-bit
Warranty
One year parts and labour return to base

It’s all contained in a chassis that weighs a hefty 2.7kg and has a thickness of 28mm, and the Scar serves up good build quality, with only minimal flex in the panels. This swaggering machine lines up against the likes of the Alienware m17 R4. Both systems look eye-catching, and the Alienware has marginally better build quality alongside a slimmer, narrower chassis, but it’s heavier than the Asus too.

This year’s Scar model now has a new opto-mechanical keyboard. It has a decent 1.9mm of travel and the buttons are superb – the action is very fast, with a crisp, bouncy and sturdy feel. It’s one of the best keyboards you’ll find on any gaming laptop, and easily the equal of the Alienware’s CherryMX unit. The layout is good too, with extra buttons and a numberpad. As usual, the trackpad is fine, but a gaming mouse will be miles better.

The Scar serves up three USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports, a USB Type-C port with 100W of power delivery and DisplayPort. There’s an HDMI 2b output as well, and the Asus Keystone II slot. This notch holds small RFID devices that can activate personalised settings, launch customised groups of applications or trigger encrypted storage, but it’s gimmicky and not really useful for most people.

Some features are missing too. Unlike the Alienware, the G733QSA has no webcam, card reader or HDMI 2.1 port, and the Asus could also do with faster USB ports. On the inside, the Asus serves up an RTX 3080 Laptop GPU with 16GB of memory and 48 RT cores – it runs at TDPs between 115W and 130W with a maximum boost speed of 1645MHz. That’s lower than the Alienware, which peaks at 165W. The GPU sits alongside an AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX CPU, which has eight SMT-enabled cores, the brilliant Zen 3 architecture, and turbo speeds of up to 4.6GHz.

Not surprisingly, the rest of the hardware is beefy. There’s 32GB of 3200MHz memory and two 1TB Samsung PM981 SSDs in RAID 0 configuration. That array delivers 1.84TB of formatted space, and brilliant read and write speeds of 6,964MB/sec and 5,650MB/sec, but RAID 0 means no data protection if one drive goes down. You also get dual-band Wi-Fi 6 and Gigabit Ethernet, which is good enough, but the Alienware has the benefit of 2.5Gbps Ethernet.

Performance

ASUS ROG STRIX SCAR G733QSA Review

The RTX 3080’s reduced TDP means it can’t quite compete with the Alienware. Its 99th percentile minimum of 50fps in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is solid, but its Cyberpunk 2077 99th percentile result of 52fps is 11fps behind the Alienware. Meanwhile, Doom Eternal scales really well with extra GPU power, pushing the G733QSA’s 99th percentile result of 110fps a long way behind the Alienware.

The Asus can’t keep up with the Alienware, but it will still play any current game at 1080p, complete with ray tracing, and there’s enough GPU power to run esports title titles at the frame rates required by the 360Hz display. It’s also worth playing with Asus’ Silent Mode, which is a clever and well- balanced option – it drops the GPU clock to 1100MHz, which is enough to run mainstream games at decent frame rates while producing hardly any noise.

The processor is great as well. Its single-threaded image editing score of 69,313 is miles ahead of the Alienware’s Intel Core i9-10980HK, and the AMD chip has a comfortable lead over the Intel CPU in our heavily multi-threaded Handbrake test. Some minor throttling in tricky tests means the AMD CPU never quite achieves its theoretical 4.6GHz turbo speed, but it’s far faster than the competition.

The Asus is an admirable thermal performer too. The CPU and GPU’s peak delta T figures of 72″C and 62″C are fine, and the exterior remained cooler than most gaming laptops. Fan noise was present during games, but it was never irritating or invasive, and it was a tad quieter when tackling tricky work software. The noise only became uncomfortable with the machine’s Turbo Mode deployed, and that option only gave us a tiny performance boost, so it’s not worth it. Alienware’s machine is worse here, with hot air ejected from its sides and panels that become too hot.

The screen is also fantastic. This 17.3in IPS panel has a 360Hz refresh rate with adaptive sync alongside a 3ms response time, so you get smooth performance in the fastest games. It performed brilliantly in benchmarks too. The brightness level of 319cd/m2 means it can handle indoor and outdoor scenarios, the contrast level of 1,329:1 is punchy and vibrant, and the delta E of 1.25 is accurate. Likewise, the colour temperature of 6,476K is near perfect, and the panel rendered 97.6 per cent of the sRGB gamut.

There’s not much to dislike – you’ll only want to look elsewhere if you need a 4K display or a screen that can handle the Adobe RGB or DCI-P3 gamuts. The speakers are excellent too, with bold bass, plenty of mid-range clarity and a crisp high end. They’re easily good enough for games, and miles better than the Alienware’s speaker.

Finally, the battery lasted for 90 minutes while gaming, three hours when tackling tough work tasks and seven

hours when running everyday applications with moderate screen brightness. That’s decent for a gaming laptop, and again better than the Alienware.

Conclusion

The Asus ROG Strix Scar G733 may not have the gaming pace of its rival, but there’s still enough power here to handle games at the screen’s native resolution. This machine fights back with more CPU ability, better thermal operation, superior battery life, a top-notch keyboard and great speakers. The bold looks won’t suit everyone, and the Asus is undeniably expensive too. However, if you’re looking to buy a high-end laptop, this machine combines eye-catching design with well-balanced performance.

MIKE JENNINGS

VERDICT

8.5 Total Score
ASUS ROG STRIX SCAR G733QSA Review

Superb speed, quality and design, albeit for a high price and with some missing features.

PROS
  • Plenty of gaming speed
  • Brilliant AMD CPU
  • High-quality display
  • Excellent opto­mechanical keyboard
CONS
  • Other laptops are faster in games
  • Some missing features
  • Thicker than rivals
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ASUS ROG Strix Scar 17 (2021) Gaming Laptop, 17.3” 360Hz...

 

8.5Expert Score
ASUS ROG STRIX SCAR G733QSA Review
ASUS ROG STRIX SCAR G733QSA Review
Superb speed, quality and design, albeit for a high price and with some missing features.
PROS
  • Plenty of gaming speed
  • Brilliant AMD CPU
  • High-quality display
  • Excellent opto­mechanical keyboard
CONS
  • Other laptops are faster in games
  • Some missing features
  • Thicker than rivals

Additional information

Specification: ASUS ROG STRIX SCAR G733QSA Review

Connections
HDMI

Yes

Headphone Jack

Yes

Microphone Jack

Yes

USB-A

3

USB-C

1

Ethernet

Yes

Display
Screen Resolution

1920×1080

Screen size

17,3

Wireless
Bluetooth

Yes

Laptops
Graphics Card

Nvidia geforce series

Operating System

Windows

Processor

AMD Ryzen 9

RAM

32GB

SSD Size

2TB

Product properties
Available colour

Price History

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