ASUS ROG Strix Scar 18 Review

ASUS ROG Strix Scar 18 Review – The World’s Most Powerful Gaming Notebook (Again)

The ASUS Strix Scar 18 is likely the most powerful gaming notebook you can get your hands on. But with that being said, it is also the most expensive gaming notebook you can get your hands on too. The RTX 4080 model will cost you R79,999 and the RTX 4090 model costs an eye-watering R87,999.

Watch the ASUS ROG Strix Scar 18 review below

In all honesty, I have no clue who ASUS is targeting with these notebooks. For almost R90k, you can build yourself a fantastic RTX 4090 desktop, throw in a 4K monitor and even some real fancy accessories. I get it, technology is expensive and cramming in an Intel Core-i9, 32GB of RAM and an RTX 4090 into a notebook doesn’t come cheap but the argument of “oh you can build a PC with that price” is back on the table with this range. Because you can.

But the ridiculous pricing aside, the ASUS Strix Scar 18 is a dream machine. It includes everything but the kitchen sink in it. ASUS hasn’t skimped out on one feature. It has all the RGB you could ever want, a premium design and build, a great keyboard and trackpad, and the display is magnificent. If you own this, you’ll never be in the need for anything else. It just checks all those boxes.

ASUS ROG Strix Scar 18 Review

Of course, gaming on this is a whole other story on its own. The 18-inch display shines across every title and DLSS 3 pulls off performance unseen in a notebook before. So is giving up a small car to buy a notebook worth it? Let us dive in.

ASUS Strix Scar 18 Design

Similar to the ASUS Strix Scar 17 model from last year, the 18 model doesn’t really look drastically different. While ASUS claims the product has a new design, I can’t say it has been overhauled by any means. Sure, there are some tweaks here and there. The display lip has been dropped to accommodate the new 18-inch 19:10 panel and there’s now RGB lighting at the back which is pretty cool if you ask me.

ASUS has also dropped its Keystone port on this model. Clearly, the technology, which let you copy your Armoury Crate profiles across from one ASUS device to the other just wasn’t as successful as they thought it would be. It is gone here.

ASUS ROG Strix Scar 18 Review

The notebook also comes with the ASUS Armor Caps which are plastic detachable thingamabobs that slide on and off the face. You can buy more of them and even 3D print your own. I have a feeling that when I review the 2024 model, ASUS will likely scrap this feature too. I just personally don’t get the point of these caps at all.

The overall shell of the ASUS Strix Scar 18 is quite stylish even if it isn’t drastically different from last year’s model. It is entirely plastic. No metal to be seen here at all. The keyboard face slowly goes from black to translucent and even underneath the clear plastic parts, there is just a metal plate. It would have been cool to see some heat pipes or something here instead. Underneath, you’ll find some hefty fins and thermal holes used suck air and keep the notebook cool. There’s also a really nice ROG logo made of rubber which doubles up as feet and grip.

ASUS ROG Strix Scar 18 Review

The ASUS Strix Scar 18 packs a full-sized keyboard. But it also includes five macro keys which can be tweaked in Armoury Crate. The arrow keys are also off-centre which threw me off at first. The number pad keys are also much thinner than most keyboards and will take some getting used to. I kept pressing two keys at once due to my large fingers. I did enjoy the trackpad a lot. The larger size made it easier to get around and clicking felt tactile and precise.

Of course, a big feature of this notebook is the 18-inch display. Keep in mind that just because this Strix Scar has an 18-inch panel in comparison to the 17-inch panel on last year’s model, doesn’t mean the notebook is any bigger. The extra 1-inch has been added to the bottom of the display instead.

ASUS ROG Strix Scar 18 Review

ASUS is pulling an Apple and has a special name for its displays now called Nebula. There isn’t anything magically different in these panels compared to other 18-inch 240Hz displays but ASUS has calibrated them perfectly. This model came with a 240Hz 2560 x 1600 display with a peak brightness of 500 nits. I was impressed by how anti-reflective the panel was and the 240Hz refresh rate made everything look and feel amazing.

The 18-inch panel also means more screen space and games that supported the aspect ratio took full advantage of it too. I am just saying that there’s a lot of screen space on this notebook. It also packs Dolby Vision support, is Pantone Colour Validated, has 100% DCI-P3 colour coverage and G-sync support.

ASUS ROG Strix Scar 18 Review

As for the ports and IO, the ASUS Strix Scar 18 includes everything you need. On the left, you’ll find the power port, a 2.5G LAN port, 1 USB Type-C port with Thunderbolt, another USB Type C with external G-Sync, 5v charging and DisplayPort 1.4 support. There’s also an HDMI 2.1 port on the left and an audio jack combo. On the right, you’ll only find two USB Type-A 3.2 ports. The ASUS Strix Scar 18 also comes with a 720p webcam at the top of the display, Wi-Fi 6E support and a 90W battery.

ASUS Strix Scar 18 Performance

ASUS has packed the Strix Scar 18 with the best possible hardware. It includes an Intel Core-i9 13980HX and NVIDIA RTX 4090. It also comes equipped with 32GB of DDR5 RAM upgradable to 64GB. You can kit the notebook out with 4TBs of SSD storage too.

ASUS ROG Strix Scar 18 Review

The overall system power can hit 240W on this notebook. 65W goes to the CPU and the remainder 175W goes to the GPU. Keep in mind that by default, the CPU caps at 55W but can be given another 10W by manually configuring it. Dynamic Boost also allows the GPU to go from 150W to 175W.

With this in mind, I could not wait to put this notebook to the test. I made sure to test some newer titles including Returnal as well as test out DLSS 3 tech across A Plague Tale and Cyberpunk 2077.

ASUS ROG Strix Scar 18 Review

ASUS offers a range of different modes to put the notebook into when playing games. When I wasn’t playing, I kept it on silent which was rather impressive when it came to the fan noise. Of course, anything over the Silent mode kicked these fans into gear and they started blowing wind. The different modes also use different power settings so Silent would be the one to use when you’re just going about daily stuff on the notebook.

Here are some tests I ran across games using the different power modes. I also ran a DLSS 3 test and a Cinebench test to show off the Core i9’s power in this unit.

CineBench R20

Tests were run on Turbo mode

  • Single Core – 826
  • Multi-Core – 12710

Manual Mode *240W TDP / 2560 x 1600 

3DMark Tests


  • Quality
    • DLSS Off – 55.09fps
    • DLSS On – 129.56fps
  • Performance
    • DLSS Off – 56.78fps
    • DLSS On – 181ffps

3DMark Time Spy Extreme

  • Overall – 9094
  • Graphics Score – 9282
  • CPU Score – 8161

Port Royale Ray Tracing 

  • Overall – 11 923
  • Graphics Score – 11923

Gaming Tests

*Tests were run at 1440p with MUX switch enabled

Cyberpunk 2077 (RT on Max settings)

  • DLSS 3 Auto
    • Average – 109fps
    • Min – 26fps
  • DLSS 3 Performance
    • Average – 119fps
    • Min – 27fps
  • DLSS 3 Quality
    • Average – 97fps
    • Min – 26fps

A Plague Tale Requiem 

  • DLSS 3 Ultra Performance
    • Average – 127fps
    • 1% Low – 45ps
  • DLSS 3 Quality
    • Average – 103fps
    • 1% Low – 32fps

Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales

  • DLSS 3 Ultra Performance
    • Average – 215fps
    • 1% Low – 57fps
  • DLSS 3 Quality
    • Average – 171fps
    • 1% Low – 53fps


  • DLSS 3 Ultra Performance
    • Average – 127fps
    • Max – 192fps
  • DLSS 3 Quality
    • Average – 118fps
    • Max – 189fps
  • Default
    • Average – 116fps
    • Max – 200fps
    • Min – 50fps

Warhammer 40,000 Darktide 

  • DLSS 3 Quality
    • Average – 101fps
    • 1% Low – 59fps
  • DLSS 3 Ultra Performance
    • Average – 139fps
    • 1% Low – 67fps

ASUS ROG Strix Scar 18 Review

When testing out the notebook, I measured temperatures in the mid-90 degrees Celsius. During heavy tests, this was at max 95C. I measured this after running Returnal benchmarks for 60 minutes straight. This game mostly maxed out the GPU and performed the results have shown. I didn’t notice any performance difference between the GPU running at say, 65C and 90C. The notebook still delivered the same performance.

As for the fans, during these heavy tests, I was actually surprised at how they performed. While the 90C is quite high for testing, the fan noise wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Of course, you can definitely hear the fans, but I have reviewed a lot worse in the past. Notebooks that got much louder than this ASUS one and didn’t pack the same internals too. In Turbo Mode, the fan sound exceeded 55dbA which isn’t bad at all.

ASUS ROG Strix Scar 18 Review

I was even more impressed to discover that the Silent Mode is really silent. The fans turn off completely when the workload remains under 60C across the CPU and GPU. Once it goes higher, they turn on to cool things down and then turn off again. This is achieved by lowering the frame rate on the unit to 60FPS in Silent Mode. This helps reduce the strain on the internals. I just thought it was pretty cool to finally have a silent notebook – Terms and Conditions apply.

As for the battery, it is okay. Unfortunately, while this unit does have a 90Wh battery, there is a lot going on in this notebook that draws power. From the giant screen to the sensors that detect heat to the RGB and more. This means the battery life doesn’t go far. You could get over 10 hours out of this notebook if you disable every light, turn the display down to like 10% brightness and nudge the volume down too. You’ll need some heavy sacrifice to get there. However, general use like web browsing and other daily tasks will net you around 6-7 hours of power consumption brightness you could actually live with.

ASUS ROG Strix Scar 18 Review

The notebook also comes with a humungous power brick. This ?330W adapter is heavy and chunky. Thankfully, you can also charge it with the ThunderBolt Port if you get a compatible USB C adapter. Sold separately and not included in the R87k purchase (cough). That way, you don’t have to lug the huge one around.

After spending a few weeks with the ASUS Strix Scar 18 I did enjoy it. But even with its power and awesome display, I still don’t know who this notebook has been made for. Don’t get me wrong, I am sure there are gamers out there rolling in money who will jump at the opportunity to buy a portable RTX 4090 notebook. But for this price, you can really build a dream desktop and slap in a fully-fledged RTX 4090 that isn’t constrained by mobile performance. And that is saying a lot given how incredibly expensive the 4090 is on its own.

ASUS ROG Strix Scar 18 Review

Damn, with R87k, you can even build an entire ASUS desktop and really splurge on the most expensive PC brand on the market at the same time. Get what I am saying here? This price is a horror story come to life and I am someone who enjoys the finer, more expensive things in life. It goes without saying that if you’re looking for a beast notebook, look no further. Just be ready to pay a lot of money to experience it.

ASUS ROG Strix Scar 18
  • Design - 7.5/10
  • Performance - 8/10
  • Value - 7/10


The ASUS ROG Strix Scar 18 is a hard sell considering its steep price tag and RTX 4090 mobile GPU which performs worse than a desktop RTX 4070 Ti. If you want the best notebook, this is it but expect to pay a lot for it.



Fantastic display

Decent performance

Great cooling


RTX 4090 is underpowered

Very very expensive

Familiar design

Marco is the owner and founder of GLITCHED. South Africa’s largest gaming and pop culture website. GLITCHED quickly established itself with tech and gaming enthusiasts with on-point opinions, quick coverage of breaking events and unbiased reviews across its website, social platforms, and YouTube channel.

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