ASUS Scar III (G531GW) Gaming Laptop Review
Take a look in this detailed review and help you decide if its a laptop, you should consider buying., Starting with the specs Ive, got the G531GW model, which has an Intel i7, 9750H CPU, Nvidia, RTX, 2070, graphics and thats, the full 2070, no Max Q here and 16Gb of memory in dual channel. Theres, a 1TB NVMe M.2 SSD for storage and a 15.6 1080p 240Hz IPS Level screen. For network connectivity, its got gigabit, ethernet, 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 5.. There are a few different configurations available, though such as with GTX 1660 Ti or RTX, 2060 graphics or i5, or even 8, core i9 CPU. You can find examples and updated prices linked in the description.. The lid of the laptop is metal with a brushed finish and mirrored ROG logo towards the side.. The rest of the chassis is all plastic and there were no sharp corners or edges anywhere.. The interior has a carbon fiber texture and is all black a nice improvement over the camo pattern in the previous Scar II in my opinion., Another change from the older model is the RGB bar, which now runs along the entire left front and right sides giving it This sort of underglow effect. The weight is listed at under 2.6kg on the ASUS website, and mine was closer to 2.3kg, though I dont have a 2.5 drive installed. With the 230 watt power, brick and cables for charging the total rises to just over 3.
1kg.. The dimensions of the laptop are 36cm in width 27.5cm in depth and just under 2.5cm in height, making it a little deeper than other 15 machines and thats. Because of this area towards the back. That sticks out and acts as an air intake to improve cooling. But well see if this helps later.. The smaller width allows us to have thinner screen. Bezels, though the bottom chin is larger., Something you may have noticed is ASUS havent bothered, including a webcam at all. The Scar II at least, has a nose cam down the bottom, but theres none here., While theres no webcam. It does still have a microphone and heres how that sounds., The 15.6 1080p 240Hz IPS level screen has a matte finish and good viewing angles. No G Sync available here: though. Ive, measured the colour gamut using the Spyder 5 Pro and my results returned 97 of sRGB, 68 of NTSC and 73 of AdobeRGB. At 100 brightness in the center. I measured 298 nits with a 8501 contrast ratio, so about average brightness and decent range of colour gamut for a gaming laptop expect differences with the 144Hz panel though. Backlight bleed wasnt too bad. Just a couple of small imperfections towards the bottom, though I never noticed these. While actually viewing darker content, but results will vary between laptops and panels., There was more screen flex than I expected from the metal lid though it is on the thinner side. However, the hinges felt quite sturdy and they retract into the body when closing the lid.
. Absolutely no problems at all opening it up with one finger. It was quite well balanced and sat fine on my lap.. The chiclet keyboard has per key RGB backlighting, though the ASUS website seems confused and notes both this and 4 zone lighting. So not sure if you have the option of either., Unfortunately, it doesnt light up all parts of the keys, the F keys along the top light, the secondary functions, just not the F number part., The WASD keys were identifiable by touch as the W key has a Small extrusion allowing your fingers to feel their way back.. My only complaints are the small arrow keys, given there appears to be space, otherwise the keyboard was nice to type with heres how it sounds to give you an idea of what to expect. Above the keyboard. Weve. Also got shortcuts for volume up and down microphone, mute profile, change, button to swap between silent, balanced and turbo modes. More on that soon, and also a shortcut to open the ASUS Armory Crate software, which is basically their control panel.. I did find it a little strange that they have two buttons for swapping between profiles, theres one above the keyboard and one on the F5 key, which also needs you to hold down the function key.. There are also some extra keys on the right hand, side.. There was a little keyboard flex while pushing down hard, but it seemed pretty sturdy and was perfectly fine.
During normal use., The touchpad has precision. Drivers was smooth to the touch and worked well.. Its got physically separate, left and right click buttons and has also has numpad built in which is activated by touching the top right corner for about a second. When enabled the touchpad cant be used, and while using the touchpad, I did enable the numpad twice by accident. During the review process, as my finger must have paused over that corner., If a regular touchpad is essential, youll need to look at the larger 17 inch version, which has one. Fingerprints and dust show up on the black interior. But despite the texture, I found them easy to wipe off. On the left. Weve got three USB 3.1 Gen1 Type, A ports, 3.5mm audio combo jack and the left speaker. On the right from front to back theres, the right speaker, keystone more on that later and an air exhaust vent so no cables at all. To get in the way of your mouse hand, if youre right, handed., Those two four watt speakers on the sides sounded above average and actually alright for a laptop still clear at higher volumes with a tiny bit of bass and at max volume, while playing music, they Got fairly loud, though, the Latencymon results, didnt, look, good. Speaking of sounds by default. It plays this one on boot.. You can turn it off through the Armory Crate software or in the BIOS though.. On the back.
There are two air exhausts near the corners, then the rest of the IO. From left to right, theres, the gigabit ethernet port, and I like the way its facing. So you can pull out an ethernet cable without lifting the machine up: HDMI 2.0b output and USB 3.1 Gen, 2 Type C port with DisplayPort 1.4 support, but no Thunderbolt, followed by the power input.. The status LEDs are found towards the back above the keyboard and can be seen when the lid is closed. On the brushed silver metal, lid theres, the ASUS ROG logo towards the side, which has RGB lighting. The logo on the back light bar on the bottom and Keyboard are all set to the same effect I wasnt able to customize them individually. Im, not sure if this might change with an update. My armory crate software does note theres an update for aura sync, but no matter what I did. I couldnt get it installed.. I also wasnt able to just turn off one independently of the others, but you can turn them all of so its all lights or nothing. Below the screen theres. This sort of cut out area in other machines like the FX505. The purpose was so the bottom of the panel wouldnt block, exhausting air when open. Its still making an appearance here, so that the lid stays away from the air vents towards the back and even with the lid closed. These holes are still available.. Alright lets talk about Keystone.
. This is basically an NFC chip in a plastic key that you plug in on the right hand, side and doing so will play this noise. Its got a magnet on it, so inserting it is very easy, but it doesnt feel like it will fall out. Basically, this is a physical token that the machine will recognize and apply your settings. So if you share the laptop with others, you can connect your keystone and the lighting and game settings should change based on your preferences.. Its also got an option to unlock an encrypted drive on the laptop, so you can store Things., I think its a nice idea, but not going to be too practical unless youre sharing the machine with someone else. Underneath there are some air vents on the back half, Though not as many as Id like and the rubber feet did a good job of preventing movement, while in use. The bottom panel can be removed by taking out 11 screws with a phillips head screwdriver, though the screws vary in size, so youll need to keep track. As you remove, them. Youll also want to be careful when removing the bottom panel, as there are two ribbon cables connecting it to the motherboard for the RGB light bar. Once inside from left to right, weve got the single M.2 drive single 2.5 drive bay, the battery And two memory slots. Powering the laptop, is a 66 Watt hour. Battery. Ive tested it with the screen brightness at 50 background apps, disabled and all RGB lighting off.
, While just watching YouTube videos. It lasted for 4 hours and 54 minutes about as expected, and it was using the Intel graphics in this test with Nvidia Optimus., While playing the Witcher 3 with medium settings and Nvidias battery boost set to 30 FPS. The battery lasted for 1 hour and 11 minutes. In total, however, after the first hour and 4 minutes at 9, remaining the frame rate dropped to 8 FPS and was no longer usable in this title.. When you unplug the laptop from the power, it goes into the silent profile and the screen will go black for a few seconds.. You can manually change to balanced mode for increased performance. However, turbo mode is not available on battery power.. The 230 watt power, brick that was included, seemed to be adequate. I didnt have any battery drain during any of my testing. Lets. Move onto the thermal testing. Ive got a whole separate video covering thermals in depth. So this will be an abridged version. Underneath there dont appear to be many air vents, and there are also some intakes below the screen on this back section. Air is exhausted from the vents out the back and on the right hand, side. Inside the heatpipes are looking Pretty good – and there are two shared between CPU and GPU. Ill – also note that Ive tested with a mixture of silent, balanced and turbo profiles.. The main differences are that higher tier profiles boost fan, speed, CPU TDP limits, while turbo also overclocks the GPU core and memory.
As listed here., Thermal testing was completed in an ambient room. Temperature of 21 degrees Celsius so expect different results in different environments.. The idle results towards the bottom are on the warmer side, as the fans were completely silent. The rest of these results are from combined CPU and GPU workloads.. The gaming results towards the upper half of the graph were tested by playing Watch Dogs 2. While stress test results on the lower half are from running the Aida64 CPU stress test, with only stress, CPU, checked and the Heaven benchmark at the same time, to fully load, the system. Basically were seeing minimal changes to the CPU temperatures, regardless of undervolting or using a Cooling pad, however, we do see some improvements to the GPU shown by the green bars.. In most tests, there was intermittent thermal throttling when the CPU use would spike, and while this was not constant Id expect it to be more of an issue in a warmer environment.. These are the average clock speeds for the same tests. Just shown.. The undervolting gave the biggest improvement to CPU performance as power limit throttling was taking place under these tests.. This is why there are smaller differences with the cooling pad as thermal throttling wasnt the primary issue.. We do see some improvements by enabling turbo mode as it raises the CPU power limits.. Otherwise, the GPU saw the biggest improvements to clock, speed with turbo mode due to the overclocks that it sets.
Heres, the average CPU TDP for these same tests, basically at balanced mode, were capped to 35 watts, while under combined CPU and GPU workloads, and this rises to 45 watts, with turbo mode enabled. Here, are some Cinebench CPU benchmarks, showing single and multi core performance.. With the undervolt applied. There was a nice improvement to the score, whereas at stock the speed its closer to what Id expect from the older 8750H. In the newer Cinebench R20, there was a decent improvement with the CPU undervolt in place and, interestingly, a small boost to single core result. Though, Im not exactly sure why, as this wasnt enough to cause detectable throttling., As for the external temperatures, where youll actually be putting your hands at idle, it was mostly in the low 30s, which is about average, though the WASD area was a little warmer. While gaming, It didnt actually get that hot. The wrist rest was the same 20 degrees and the center of the keyboard was in the low 40s, but cooler towards the sides. Similar results. With the stress tests running, there was a hotter spot towards the right near the air exhaust, though, but its off the keyboard. Heres the same test, but with turbo mode and faster fans which appears to slightly lower the temperatures of the externals.. As for the fan noise produced by the laptop Ill, let you have a listen to some of these tests. At idle. It was completely silent, no fan noise at all, which is why the idle temperatures earlier, where on the warmer side.
, While gaming, with the balanced profile its about average compared to many other gaming laptops, Ive, tested and same results with the stress tests running.. Once we enable the turbo profile, though it does get a bit louder. Overall, the ASUS Scar III is running on the warmer side and we werent really able to improve this either by raising the fan speed with turbo mode undervolting, the CPU or using a cooling pad.. These changes did help lower the GPU temperature, but the CPU didnt really change as power limit throttling was the primary limitation.. With that said, there was intermittent thermal throttling in most tests when the CPU would briefly spike up and trigger it.. As I tested with a 21 degree room temperature, it would be interesting to see how a slightly warmer room goes. It may be the case that thermal throttling becomes more constant in that scenario.. In any case, thermal throttling was far less of an issue than the power limitations, which is why we were able to get improvements by combining turbo mode and undervolting.. Next lets take a look at some gaming benchmarks. Ive tested these games with the these Nvidia drivers and all available Windows updates installed with the turbo profile in use for best performance and as a reminder, this does overclock the graphics, a bit. Battlefield, 5 was tested in campaign mode and not in multiplayer mode as its Easier to consistently reproduce the test run., The purple bars show the results with ray tracing disabled.
While the green bars show RTX on., As always, seems to be the case. This game looks better, at least in my opinion, with RTX off with ultra settings, and we can see this performs better than RTX on at low settings. RTX on only really starts. Looking nice at high to me so depends if you want to play a first person. Shooter below 50 FPS. Apex Legends was tested with either all settings at maximum or all settings on the lowest possible values as it doesnt have predefined setting presets.. It still played well at ultra settings. However, we could boost average FPS by 45, with all graphical settings set to minimum. Shadow of the Tomb Raider was tested with the built in benchmark. The results from this test were looking good at higher settings, but well see how these results compare with some other laptops. Soon. Far Cry New Dawn was tested with the built in benchmark.. I wasnt seeing too much difference in this test. Over some 2060 laptops, Ive tested, for instance, the Dell G7 scored 75 FPS at ultra settings.. This is a CPU heavy game, though, and, as we saw before, CPU performance was lacking. A bit. Fortnite was tested with the replay feature and maximum settings were easily getting us above 100 FPS with closer to 200 possible at low and medium.. Overwatch is another well optimized game and was tested in the practice range.. Even at maximum. Above 170, FPS averages were possible, while even high settings allows us to make good use of the 240Hz panel.
CSGO was tested using the Ulletical FPS benchmark and, like always, high frame rates were coming out of this test. Minimum settings were almost averaging 240 FPS a nice Match up for the 240Hz screen. Rainbow Six Siege was tested with the built in benchmark and is a game Ive found to benefit from Nvidias new turing architecture.. Even with maximum ultra settings, 144 FPS averages were possible in this test, nearing closer to the 200 mark, with the low preset. PUBG was tested using the replay feature, and over 100 FPS was possible even with the settings maxed out at ultra. However, the results arent too different from other lower specced machines, Ive, tested. Assassins Creed, Odyssey, was tested with the built in benchmark and from my experience, seems to be a fairly CPU heavy game.. The results here are looking. Ok, though, I have seen better results from machines with better CPU performance. Dota 2 was tested playing in the middle lane with an average amount of action going on, and it was running very smoothly without any problems at all.. Ive found this to depend quite a bit on the CPU, so even with our 2070, the results arent much different compared to a lower specced machine. Watch. Dogs 2 is often maxing out the CPU and using all the resources it can get hold of. However, personally, I can play it just fine with 30 FPS, so even at ultra settings were seeing quite a good result for this game.
. The Witcher 3 was playing very well with ultra settings, almost averaging 100 FPS and above 60 for the 1 low.. Considering that I dont think this game needs a super high frame rate, I thought this was a good result, easily playable, while looking great., If youre after more gaming benchmarks check the card in the top right corner where Ive tested 20 games in total. Lets. Also, take a look at how this config of the ASUS Scar III compares with other gaming laptops to see how it stacks up use these results as a rough guide only as they were tested at different times with different drivers. In Battlefield, 5 Ive got the Scar Iii, highlighted in red and compared to the other machines, Ive recently tested its doing quite well., Not quite as good as the 2080 Max Q machines above it, but not too far behind and still quite a bit better than most others due to the full 2070. It was just slightly ahead of the only other 2070 machine, Ive tested so far. The Aorus 15. Here are the results from Far Cry 5 with ultra settings in the built in benchmark. This time. The Aorus 15 with same specs, is much closer to the Scar III and the Scar III is actually ahead of two of the 2080 Max Q machines.. The GX701 dominates because it was tested with G Sync, so no Optimus bottlenecks allow it to perform better.. These are the results from Shadow of the Tomb raider, with the built in benchmark at highest settings.
. The results are pretty similar to what weve seen before the Scar III is way up there thanks to the 2070, just 1 FPS behind the Aorus 15, with same specs. Otherwise, only behind the 2080 Max Q machines. Overall, the results here are looking quite good, at least at the higher setting levels, where the 2070 can stretch its legs.. Like I mentioned in my first video covering 240Hz gaming laptops, the 240Hz screen was only really beneficial in esports titles like CSGO or Overwatch. That can actually push out crazy, high frame rates.. All games that I threw at the Scar III ran without issue. At lower settings. I did notice lower performance in some cases, which seems to be a result of the lower than expected CPU performance covered earlier, which makes it harder to actually hit high FPS in esports titles to utilize the 240Hz screen when compared to other machines.. Now, for the benchmarking tools, Ive tested, Heaven Valley and Superposition from Unigine, as well as Firestrike, Timespy, Port Royal and VRMark from 3DMark just pause. The video, if you want a detailed look at these results. As we saw earlier, weve got the option of making some changes to improve performance, so lets see how these changes actually help in gaming., Far Cry 5 was tested using the built in benchmark at 1080p, and Just to be clear, the purple bars listed as stock still had the turbo profile enabled in the ASUS Armory Crate software as thats.
What I used as the default level for my game, benchmarks. Anyway, were barely seeing a difference at ultra settings, but at lower settings theres. A larger improvement to 1 low, due to the improved CPU performance from the undervolting. Ive used Crystal Disk Mark to test the storage and the 1TB NVMe M.2 SSD was scoring well enough for the reads and writes. For updated pricing check the links in the description as Prices will change over time. At the time of recording in the US. The ASUS Scar III gaming laptop with these specs is around 2300 USD, while the 2060 version is substantially less at 1800.. Meanwhile, here in Australia were looking at 3100 AUD for these same specs.. So to conclude, the new ASUS Scar III gaming laptop – has some nice changes over the older Scar II at least visually.. Personally, I prefer the all black look without the camo pattern, and initially I thought the RGB light bar was a bit silly, but in the end it grew on me.. The major issues I had with it were the thermals and lower than expected CPU performance. In games at higher settings which, to be fair, youd likely want to use to take advantage of the RTX 2070 graphics it performed well. However, at lower settings I did notice lower performance than what Id expect.. This seems to be due to the lower overall CPU performance in my machine. So, while esports titles can take advantage of the 240Hz screen, if thats urely, what youre after you might be able to find something else that works better at lower settings.
. Otherwise, I thought the keystone was a nice idea, but in the end not really useful, unless you share the laptop with other people., The keyboard and touchpad worked. Well, though, it would have been nice to have larger arrow keys and have the backlight shine through the function. Keys. There was minimal, backlight bleed under a worst case scenario. The colour gamut of the screen was decent for a gaming laptop with adequate brightness and the overall build quality of the machine was good.. Battery life seemed about on par when compared to other gaming laptops Ive. Recently tested – and I never saw any battery drain with the 230 watt power brick in use.. I liked that youve got the option of quickly and easily changing between the silent, balanced and turbo profiles with a single button on the keyboard. But if you need a webcam, youll have to use an external solution as theres, not one built in here. Overall, its a decent machine. It plays games well at higher settings, but its unfortunate that it seems to run hotter than the Scar II. Despite the appearance of a cooling redesign., Let me know what you guys thought about the new ASUS Scar III gaming laptop down in the comments and, if youre new to the channel, make sure you get subscribed for future laptop reviews like this one.