ASUS Scar III vs ASUS Zephyrus S GX502 – Gaming Laptop Comparison
But what are the differences and which one should you get In this detailed comparison? Ill? Look at pretty much everything to help you decide which one is right for you.. First lets cover the differences in specs between the two units. Im testing with., Both are pretty similar. Theyve got the same: Intel i7, 9750H CPU, Nvidia, RTX, 2070, graphics, no Max Q here and both were tested with dual channel memory.. My Zephyrus did have more memory, but this shouldnt affect most results.. Both also have a 15.6 1080p screen. However, my Scar III was 240Hz, while my Zephyrus S was 144Hz, though both are available with either.. The Zephyrus has the advantage of G Sync, though, which the Scar III is missing. Both have 1TB of storage. However, the Zephyrus uses a RAID 0 array. Theyre, both the same in terms of network connectivity, theyve got gigabit ethernet, WiFi, 5 and Bluetooth 5.. Both laptops are available with different specs, though you can find examples and updated prices linked in the description.. Both laptops have brushed metal lids with the ASUS ROG logo towards the side.. The Scar 3 is more of a silver colour, while the Zephyrus S is black.. The interior of both was black. However, the Scar 3 has some sort of carbon fiber pattern to it. While the Zephyrus S is black, with an almost rubberised feeling, texture and subtle silver sparkle, which I couldnt really pick up on camera.. Overall, the build quality of both laptops was good.
However, the Zephyrus S felt more solid as its made out of a magnesium alloy, while the scar 3 seems to be mostly plastic.. The Scar 3 is much more flashy in the looks department as its got an RGB light bar, which runs along the entire left front and right sides giving it this sort of underglow effect.. The Zephyrus S. On the other hand, just has some subtle lighting from the rear vents. In terms of weight. My Zephyrus S was 260g lighter than the Scar III standalone., Both have a 230 watt power, brick and once thats included. The difference increases a little with the Zephyrus. Now, around 280g or 0.6 pounds less. As for size differences, the Zephyrus is smaller.. Both are the same in terms of width, but the Zephyrus is a full 2cm less in depth and is also noticeably thinner when compared to the Scar 3.. The Scar III is deeper because it has this area towards the back that sticks out to help improve cooling. The height of the Zephyrus increases when you open the lid, as this rises, the back up to improve air flow, so both have unique features to help with Cooling well, look at thermals soon. As for screen differences, both of my laptops had 15.6 1080p IPS level screens with a 3ms response. Time. My Zephyrus is 144Hz, while my Scar 3 is 240Hz, but both are available with either option. These are just the particular configurations. I was sent.
Only the Zephyrus has G Sync though, and we have the option of manually swapping between Optimus or the Nvidia GPU with a reboot, while the Scar III is stuck in Optimus. Mode. G Sync will offer smoother tear free gameplay, but it will also boost performance as it bypasses the Intel GPU.. The 240Hz panel in my Scar III was better in pretty much all regards, but realistically the differences were small and if both were 240Hz theyd, probably even have the exact same panel.. Backlight bleed was pretty similar between both laptops. It was extremely minor and not noticeably at all during normal use with either, but this will vary between laptop and panel. Screen. Flex was similar in both. However, the Zephyrus felt a little more rigid.. Both laptops could be opened up easily, with one finger demonstrating that weight is somewhat evenly distributed and not all up the back. Both felt stable sitting on my lap., Neither the Scar, 3 or Zephyrus S – have a camera built in so youll need to get an external one. If you need it, however, they both still have microphones., Although theres no camera, it does still have a microphone and heres. What that sounds like., While theres no webcam it does still have a microphone and heres how that sounds., The keyboards were fairly similar. They both have pretty much the same layout with small arrow keys and a line of buttons along the right with power button up top.
. They both have an extra row of buttons above the left, which can be used for adjusting volume, muting the microphone or opening the ASUS Armoury crate software.. The Scar III has a dedicated button for changing the performance mode and fan speed, but both laptops have this from pressing function and F5 key the one with the fan icon. Both keyboards have RGB backlighting. The Zephyrus S is controlled per key, so has lots of effects while the Scar III specs note both 4 zone RGB and per key options.. Neither keyboard fully illuminates all secondary functions. Unfortunately – and I felt the keys with the Zephyrus needed a little more force to fully press down. Heres, how typing sounds with both to give you an idea of what to expect. Both touch pads use. Precision drivers were smooth to the touch and worked well.. Personally, I preferred using the touchpad on the Zephyrus.. It just felt smoother and nicer to me.. You can hold down on the top right corner of the Scar 3s touchpad for about a second to enable numpad mode. However, you cant use it as a normal touchpad when this is enabled.. The Scar III is also available in a larger 17 inch version, though, which does have a full sized numpad. If you prefer., Keyboard flex with both was about similar when intentionally pushing down hard, both were plenty sturdy during normal every day, use though., Fingerprints and dirt showed up far more easily on the Scar III, as the Zephyrus has a soft touch, paint that helps repel fingerprints.
But both were easy enough to clean.. Io is similar just laid out differently. On the left. The Scar III just has 3 USB 3.1 Gen1 Type A ports and a 3.5mm audio combo jack.. The Zephyrus has its power input, gigabit ethernet, HDMI, 2.0b output, USB 3.2 Gen2 Type, A port and separate 3.5mm mic and headphone jacks. On the right. The Scar III just has the keystone more on that later, so no cables coming out to get in the way of your mouse handed if youre right, handed., The Zephyrus has a USB 3.2 Gen2 Type C port with DisplayPort 1.4 support. No Thunderbolt, though, and two USB 3.2 Gen1 Type, A ports with Kensington lock on the back.. The rest of the IO for the Scar III is on the back which, from left to right, includes gigabit ethernet, HDMI, 2.0b output, USB 3.1 Gen2 Type C port with DisplayPort 1.4 support. Again no Thunderbolt, then the power input.. The Zephyrus only has air exhaust vents here. Theres, nothing on the front of either not counting the lightbar on the base of the Scar III. For those not keeping track. Overall IO is very similar between the two.. The main differences are that the Zephyrus is slightly better. As one of the three USB Type, A ports are Gen2, while the Scar III uses Gen1 for all three.. The Zephyrus also has separate 3.5mm mic and headphone jacks, while the Scar 3 uses a single Audio combo jack, and the Zephyrus also has a Kensington lock, which the Scar 3 is missing.
. The Scar III does benefit by having the larger bulky IO running out. The back, though, and keeping the right side clear for a mouse is nice.. The keystone on the right of the Scar seems to be a bit of a gimmick., Its got an NFC chip in a plastic key that you can plug into the laptop.. It uses magnets so inserting it is very easy and it wont fall out., Basically its a physical token that the machine will recognize and apply your settings. So its only really going to be useful. If you share the laptop with someone else, you could have it automatically apply your performance and lighting preferences for example.. Its also got the option to unlock an encrypted drive, so you can store things.. Underneath is a little different. The Scar III has some air intake vents towards the back for the fans to pull air in while the Zephyrus is all flat.. The Zephyrus doesnt need air intake vents here, as this bottom panel rises up when the lid of the laptop opens, allowing for a gap to open up in theory providing better air flow.. The speakers on the Zephyrus are found on the front left and right corners underneath, while the Scar III has them on the left and right sides towards the front., Both were above average, but the Scar III sounded better in my personal opinion, and it also got slightly Louder at maximum volume., The latencymon results werent great with either the Scar III seemed worse in that regard.
Speaking of sounds. Both laptops play this same sound on boot.. Fortunately, you can disable this through either the Armoury crate software or the BIOS., The ROG logo. On the lid of the Zephyrus, only lights up red and I wasnt able to customize it. The ROG logo on the Scar III, on the other hand, is RGB and could only be customized to match the keyboard and light bar effect.. Both laptops have a cut out section below the screen, which is meant to help allow additional airflow in from behind.. The Scar III has air vents around this area at the back, while the Zephyrus has some small air holes above the keyboard. Getting inside both wasnt. Quite as straightforward as most other laptops. With the Scar III, you need to remove 11 Phillips head screws, then be careful as you remove the bottom panel, as there are two ribbon cables connecting it to the motherboard for the RGB light bar. The Zephyrus S starts by Removing 8 Phillips head screws from the base, then there are 4 more screws in the metal plate that gets pushed down when the lid is opened. Under. Here are the two fans that pull in air and then there are 5 more screws under the panel to take out.. The internals are quite a bit different.. The Scar III has two memory slots, while the Zephyrus has one.. The Scar III has a single M.2 slot and a larger 2.5 drive bay, while the Zephyrus has no 2.
5 drive bay, but 2 M.2 slots.. By having no 2.5 drive bay, the Zephyrus is able to fit in a larger battery.. The Zephyrus has 16gb of memory soldered to the motherboard. So with the 16gb stick, mine has installed its still running in dual channel, but this does limit upgrades a bit.. You could still go 16gb, soldered, plus a 32gb stick, but the Scar III could go. Two 32gb sticks so has a higher maximum capacity.. As mentioned, the battery in the Zephyrus is larger. Ive tested, both with the screen brightness set to 50 background apps, disabled and all RGB lighting off.. Despite the size difference with both just playing the same YouTube. Video, the Scar III lasted for half an hour longer and thats, with both in Optimus mode.. I also tested the Zephyrus with Optimus disabled and the further reduced run time by 2 hours.. The Scar also lasted a few minutes extra when playing the Witcher 3 capped at 30 FPS with battery boost.. When you remove the power cable from both laptops by default, the screen will flash black as it swaps from high refresh rate down to 60Hz to save power. So both were also tested with the same refresh rate. The Zephyrus S also has the option of charging over Type C too, while the Scar III does not.. This means you can charge the Zephyrus with a portable battery or also use a smaller lower powered power. Brick, if youre not doing resource heavy tasks.
, Now lets take a look at thermals.. Both laptops were tested in an ambient room temperature of 21 degrees Celsius, so this should be a fairly apples to apples. Comparison. Inside the heatpipe design is similar. However, the Zephyrus does appear to have more. Its worth, remembering the Zephyrus is also thinner, but has the lift up design to help thermals. Ill go through results here with the highest turbo mode enabled, if you want to see performance from different modes, you can check out The full reviews linked in the description., Basically turbo mode boosts fan, speed, raises power limits and applies GPU overclocks, as listed here., Neither laptop was undervolted out of the box. However, Ive also tested best case undervolting results with these values.. For some reason, the Zephyrus couldnt be pushed anywhere near as much as the Scar.. These are the CPU temperatures of both machines, while under combined CPU and GPU loads, well check the GPU results in the next graph. So for now just keep in mind. These are CPU. Only results, but for combined loads., The Zephyrus was a little cooler at idle, but in all other tests, when theres actually load its thermal throttling at 95 degrees Celsius. To be fair, the Scar III was thermal. Throttling too. It just seems to have a lower limit of 90 degrees Celsius. When we look at the GPU results for these same combined, CPU and GPU workloads. The Scar III is again cooler by just a couple of degrees under stress test, but 5 degrees cooler, while gaming.
The results. Arent that surprising the Zephyrus is thinner, so has less room for cooling.. These are the CPU clock speeds while running those same tests.. For the most part, the results were quite close with the Zephyrus in the lead in most cases. So, although its hotter in general, it seems to be performing better too well. Take a look at games shortly.. These are the GPU clock speeds in these same tests, and both RTX 2070s were able to run up to the full 115W limit., its a similar story with the Zephyrus ahead, in most cases, more notably during the stress tests. While the results were much closer together when playing an actual game. Heres, what were looking at in terms of Cinebench R20 scores from both machines with turbo mode enabled. At stock, with no changes the Zephyrus had a nice lead over the Scar III. However, as I was able to push the undervolt further on the Scar, the gap closed once both were undervolted., Regardless its still a win to the Zephyrus for CPU performance, which was impressive, given the thinner chassis.. As for the areas where youll actually be putting your hands at idle, the Zephyrus was a couple of degrees warmer than the Scar.. When under combined CPU and GPU stress test, the Scar was noticeably cooler.. The back of the Zephyrus was quite hot to the touch. However, it still maintains a cool WASD area, as the fans move air through the keys.
Heres. How fan noise sounded during these tests.? The Scar was completely silent at idle, which is probably why the internal idle temperatures reported earlier were a little cooler with the Zephyrus., With both under heavy load in turbo mode. The Scar was a little louder. Overall, I dont think there are too many differences in terms of thermals.. Both laptops max out at similar loudness levels and the temperatures in the Zephyrus were a little hotter, but as a result, in most cases its able to perform better.. The external temperatures on the keyboard area were the biggest difference. The Zephyrus was far hotter there, but if youre just playing a game and mostly sticking to WASD keys, it was fine. Given both of my laptops have the 115W RTX 2070 Id expect temperatures to be better with the lower powered 2060 models.. Next let's compare some games., As both laptops were tested at different times. Different Nvidia drivers were in use, however, Ive explicitly not included results in games where the Nvidia changelog has noted performance improvements.. These excluded titles include Battlefield, 5, Apex, Legends, Metro Exodus and The Division 2.. Both laptops were tested in turbo mode and the Zephyrus has Optimus disabled for optimal performance. Shadow of the Tomb Raider was tested with the games built in benchmark tool.. In this test, the Zephyrus S was 10 FPS higher than the Scar III, which equates to a 12 higher average frame. Rate. PUBG was tested using the replay feature, although different replay files were used.
I do the same test run.. There was a similar difference here with the Zephyrus S scoring 13.5 higher average FPS than the Scar III. Fortnite was also tested using the replay feature again different replay files, but I create them doing the same test pass through the game, so results should be fairly comparable.. In this game there was a much smaller 5 improvement to average FPS with the Zephyrus. Assassins. Creed Odyssey was tested with the built in benchmark at max settings and again the difference was similar with the Zephyrus S almost 13 faster. In average FPS, though there was a smaller change to 1 low. Battlefield 1 was tested in campaign mode. There was a slightly smaller 8 improvement to average FPS with the Zephyrus. Here, however, the boost to 1 low performance was a huge 43. CSGO was tested with the Ulletical FPS benchmark and, as this title is able to get high frame rates, its able to benefit more from the lack of Optimus in the Zephyrus, which is why the Zephyrus Was able to score a massive 44 higher average frame? Rate. Dota 2 was tested playing in the middle lane and it seems to be a similar story with the Zephyrus S now, with a 37 lead in terms of average FPS. In The Witcher 3. The Scar III was just slightly ahead granted. This is well within margin of error ranges, so we can pretty much say theyre performing the same in this title.
Watch. Dogs 2 also saw a very minimal difference between the two laptops, with just a small 2.5 improvement to average FPS on the Zephyrus. Rainbow Six Siege was tested with the built in benchmark and the Zephyrus was able to score a 14 higher average frame rate. Here. Overwatch was tested in the practice range which allows me to perform the exact same test pass on each machine.. In this case, there was only a small 3 boost to average FPS, with the Zephyrus. Ghost Recon Wildlands was tested with the games benchmark and was getting a 10.5 better frame rate with the Zephyrus.. Far Cry 5 was also tested with the built in benchmark and there was a 7 higher average frame rate with the Zephyrus in this test.. The newer, Far Cry New Dawn, was also tested and saw a larger 12 boost to average FPS on the Zephyrus. DOOM was tested using Vulkan and as a game that is able to spit out high frame rates. It seems to greatly benefit from the lack of Optimus on the Zephyrus hitting an average frame rate 27 higher than the Scar III.. On average. Over these 15 games tested the Zephyrus S is almost 14 faster in terms of average FPS.. It was ahead in all but one game, but even that singular loss was very close.. Games that are able to run at high frame rates perform even better when Optimus is removed from the equation, which is why titles like CSGO, Dota, 2 DOOM and Rainbow Six Siege see large gains on the Zephyrus, despite both laptops having the same CPU and GPU.
. Otherwise, as we saw earlier, although the Zephyrus was hotter, it was able to hit higher clock speeds in most cases and as we saw in Cinebench at stock, CPU power was definitely better.. The Zephyrus was tested with double the memory capacity, but this is basically required to run it in dual channel, and I doubt most of these games would be limited by the 16gb in the Scar III. Anyway. Ive also got the overall scores for the 3DMarks Fire Strike Time: Spy and Port Royal benchmarks.. Like the games, the Zephyrus S was ahead of the Scar 3 in all of these tests. Ive tested storage with Crystal disk mark.. The Zephyrus is performing better as expected, as mine uses, a RAID 0 array thats made up of two 512gb NVMe M.2 SSDs.. Despite that, though, the performance isnt as amazing as Id expect given the use of RAID 0, but keep in mind that results will vary as drive. Option may vary by region.. Now, for the final difference, the price., You can check updated prices using the links in the description. At the time of recording the ASUS Scar III. With these same specs, Ive tested with here goes for 2250 USD.. The Zephyrus S, on the other hand, seems to normally be 2400 USD. However, its currently on sale for 2200 USD so less than the Scar III. Its important to note that this Zephyrus S here is listed with 16gb of memory, which means it only has its soldered memory and the single slot is empty.
So it will run in single channel by default. To get the optimal speeds. Ive tested here with dual channel youll need to buy a memory, stick and add that in so factor that into the budget., So both laptops are priced similarly, with essentially the same key specs. Now lets summarise the good and the bad of each machine to help you decide which you should get.. The Zephyrus S has a cleaner design, in my opinion, its all matte black and made of a solid magnesium alloy, giving it an edge in build quality compared to the Scar, IIIs plastic and carbon fiber pattern.. The light show on the Scar III is much more impressive, though. So, if you care about RGB bling, then theres far more of that there., The Zephyrus S is also smaller and lighter than the Scar III, so should be more portable.. The gaming performance in the Zephyrus S was a clear step up when compared to the Scar III, despite both having the same processor and graphics., The Zephyrus definitely gets an edge by having G Sync, which the Scar III is missing. In order to use G Sync for Smoother gameplay, it requires the Intel graphics to be disabled so that the Nvidia graphics is connected directly to the display.. By cutting out the Intel GPU many games see a performance improvement on the Zephyrus. Youre, not stuck with G Sync, either as the Zephyrus lets you choose. The mode you want it just takes a reboot to swap.
. This means that you can reboot into Optimus when not gaming, to get better battery life, though, despite the Zephyrus having a larger battery, I found the Scar III to last longer in the same tests.. The Zephyrus has advantage of Type C charging, though so you could take a smaller power source when travelling and running lightweight workloads or even charge off a power bank.. Speaking of the internals, the Zephyrus has two M.2 slots, while the Scar III just has the one, but the Scar also has a 2.5 drive bay, so you could install a large, hard drive or SSD there.. The Scar has two memory slots, though, while the Zephyrus just has the one as 16gb is soldered to the board and cannot be upgraded. Realistically. I think this is fine as long as you make sure to add in a memory stick to enable dual channel. Installing a 16gb stick gives you 32gb in dual channel, which is likely enough for most people.. If you really want you could install a 32gb stick for 48gb total. However, the Scar III can go higher to 64gb at maximum.. The screens with both laptops were similar, and although my Scar III had a 240Hz panel and my Zephyrus was 144Hz, both are available with either panel and for the most part they were both pretty decent in terms of colour, gamut, brightness contrast and ghosting. ASUS havent. Given us a camera with either laptop, but we still get microphones, the one in the Scar was pretty bad.
While the Zephyrus seemed about average.. The keyboards on both laptops were similar, but I preferred the touchpad on the Zephyrus. It just felt smoother and was easier to use. However, the Scar does have physical left and right click buttons, if you prefer that.. The 15 inch Scar were looking at here also has the option of turning the touchpad into a numpad, while the 17 inch model has room for a numpad as part of the keyboard., The Zephyrus S, GX502 doesnt currently have a 17 inch counterpart, so that could be A disadvantage, if you prefer the larger screen youd, probably need to look at the GX701, which has some similarities, but is a different machine.. The speakers on both laptops were good and above average, but I thought the Scar sounded better.. The Scar has the keystone, but unless youre sharing the laptop with others who also have a keystone, I cant see it being that practical.. The IO selection on both laptops was similar with a slight edge to the Zephyrus, which had one of the three USB Type: A ports as Gen2, while the Scar uses all Gen 1.. The Zephyrus also has two 3.5mm jacks for mic and headphones. While the Scar uses a single combo jack., I did like that. The Scar has the bulky IO leading out the back and out of the way, though, with no possibility of cables, sticking out the right, where most peoples mouse hand would be. The fan.
Noise from both under worst case load was about similar, but the Scar was a little louder.. The Zephyrus did run hotter, though, which seems to mostly be a result of it being smaller and thinner. However, it did perform better in most cases too, which would result in more heat being generated.. Personally, I dont mind the extra heat as the additional performance is a fair bit better compared to the Scar, but the Scar does have lower thermal throttle limits, so it wont get as hot.. At the moment, the Zephyrus is slightly cheaper, but once you factor in the need to include a second memory, stick for dual channel, the price will be about the same.. In most of these cases, the Zephyrus is winning and is what Id personally pick between the two. However, the Scar is still a fair option if you dont need absolute best gaming performance or G Sync. In the end, both will play any modern game well without issue and handle basically anything you throw at them. So which of these two gaming laptops. Would you pick the Scar III or Zephyrus S? Let me know which youd get and why down in the comments Im really interested to see which you would prefer and if youre new to the channel consider getting subscribed for future comparisons and tech.