ASUS Scar III Thermal Testing – How Hot Is It?
, The ASUS Scar III is available in different configurations. My G531GW model has the Intel i7, 9750H CPU Nvidia, RTX, 2070 graphics and thats, the full 2070, no Max Q here and 16gb of memory running in dual channel so expect different results with different specs.. You can find updated prices for different models linked in the description. On the bottom of the laptop weve got some air intake vents towards the back, and also this section below the screen. 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 clocks, as listed here. Thermal testing, was completed in an ambient room. Temperature of 21 degrees Celsius so expect different results in different environments. Ive tested idle down the bottom and it was warmer than average because the fans were completely silent.. The rest of the results are from combined CPU and GPU workloads and are meant to represent worst case scenarios.. The gaming results towards the upper half of the graph were tested by playing Watch Dogs 2, as I find it to use a good combination of processor and graphics.. The stress test results shown on the lower half of the graph are from running the Aida64 CPU stress test, with only Stress, CPU, checked and the Heaven GPU benchmark, at the same time, to fully load the system.
Lets start with the stress test. Results. There was pretty much no change to CPU temperatures here, no matter what was done, it wasnt too far away from thermal throttling and would occasionally spike up and hit the thermal throttle limit, but it wasnt most of the time for the sustained average that Im reporting Here., While the turbo profile does raise, fan speed as youll hear later, it also boosts CPU TDP, which equals more heat.. Unfortunately, my 0.13v undervolt to the CPU wasnt enough to change thermals but well see in the next graph how clock speed was affected. Even with the thermaltake massive 20 cooling pad theres. No real change to the CPU temperatures. However, the GPU temperatures in the green bar were steadily dropping down with these changes.. The gaming results followed a similar trend where the CPU temperatures didn't really change, but we did see improvements to GPU temperatures and, like all RTX laptops Hardware Info was reporting the GPU as power limit throttling the entire time.. These are the average clock speeds for the same tests. Just shown. With the balanced profile were getting the lowest clock speeds because it caps CPU TDP to 35 watts when under combined CPU and GPU workloads., Once turbo mode is enabled the CPU TDP cap rises to 45 watts. Under these workloads, however, the clock speeds only rise. 200Mhz, or so before, power limit throttling is once more the limitation.. This is why we see an almost 400MHz or so boost once applying the 0.
13v undervolt to the CPU and no major difference with the cooling pad in use a little improvement to clock speeds, as it helped reduce occasional temperature spikes that would briefly trigger thermal throttling.. I did note some strangeness in my clock. Speed results with this machine.. This screenshot from hardware info was taken towards the end of the stress test, with turbo profile enabled. In my graphs Im, taking the average of all 6 cores and showing that number. However, check out these minimum clock speeds., While the test was running, I would see all cores drop down like this occasionally and if we look at the current speeds theyre all over the place., I dont recall seeing this behaviour in the past Im thinking its related to The power limit throttling, however, we dont see the minimum CPU package power drop and match this. Heres, the average CPU TDP reported by hardware info under CPU Package Power for these same combined, CPU and GPU workloads. Basically were reaching the power limit in all cases, which is 35 watts in balanced mode, then 45 watts in turbo mode., Due to the high temperatures that were already occasionally spiking into thermal throttling territory. Raising the TDP further to boost performance would not be a solution without first addressing thermals.. These are the average CPU clock speeds, while under a CPU only workload., It was possible to improve performance a little with turbo mode. However, undervolting the CPU made a larger difference and when combining turbo mode with the undervolt were almost averaging, the full 4GHz all core turbo boost speed in this workload.
. The temperatures rise as we enable turbo mode, though only by three degrees and the undervolt didnt help with temperatures in this test.. This is why the temperatures rise, more power, equals more heat and with turbo mode and a CPU only workload PL1 would dynamically change between 51 watts and 57 watts. My graphs are showing the longer term averages. To demonstrate how this translates into performance. Ive got some Cinebench CPU benchmarks here., With the undervolt applied. There was a nice improvement to the score, whereas at stock the speed is closer to what Id expect from the 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., So how do these performance boosts actually translate into games? Ive tested with the exact same Windows, Nvidia and game updates installed, the only changes were the ones listed here, so the CPU undervolt and extra GPU memory overclock. 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.
, If youre after more gaming benchmarks from the ASUS Scar III check the card in the top right, where Ive tested 20 different games.. As for the external temperatures, where youll actually be putting your hands at idle, it was mostly in the low 30s, which is 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, so that explains the warmer idle temperatures shown earlier., 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 there.
With that said, there was intermittent thermal throttling in most tests when the CPU would briefly spike up and trigger that.. 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.. On average, it was much less of an issue than the power limitations, which is why we were able to get a decent clock speed boost by undervolting. The 230 watt power, brick. That ASUS include with the Scar III appears to be adequate for these specs. I didnt see any battery drain during any of my testing.. These differences in performance shown arent hard and fast rules. There are different factors which will vary results, primarily the temperature of the room, youre running in application of thermal paste, and even the specific hardware which comes down to the silicon lottery.. You may not be able to undervolt or overclock your hardware the same as me. It depends on the chip and its specific power requirements, so dont just blindly copy my settings and do some testing to find out where your stable point is for best results.. It may be possible to further improve temperatures by swapping the thermal paste. However, as this is a review unit that I have to send back Im not able to change the paste, otherwise, the next reviewer will unknowingly report different results. Due to what Ive, done.
Undervolting, boosting fan, speed or using a cooling pad are much easier for most people to do anyway and as weve seen, these tweaks did help improve performance of the ASUS Scar III. Gaming laptop though didnt do much in the way of helping with CPU thermals.. Let me know what sort of performance boosts youve found by undervolting your hardware and what you thought of the improvements here, and course dont forget to subscribe for the full review of the ASUS Scar III, gaming laptop as well as future thermal testing.