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My impression of the ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15: Ryzen 9 5900HX and RTX 3080 (2024)

My thoughts on the ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 with a Ryzen 9 5900HX and RTX 3080: build, performance, cooling, and reliability.
Sid Metcalfe

Cartesian Mathematics Foundation


January 3, 2024


I’ve spent a year with the ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 so far, a laptop that’s designed for demanding games. It combines a AMD Ryzen 5900HX CPU with a GeForce RTX 3080 GPU - amazing specs for a laptop. Below I elaborate on my day-to-day experience with it and how it holds up in intensive gaming sessions.


Property Value Property Value
Brand ASUS Model Name ROG Strix Scar 15
Screen Size 15.6 Inches Color Black
Hard Disk Size 1 TB CPU Model Ryzen 9
Ram Memory Installed Size 16 GB Operating System Windows 11 Home
Special Feature High Definition Audio, Backlit Keyboard, Anti Glare Coating Graphics Card Description RTX 3080


Click on photos to enlarge them:

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Initial Impressions and Build Quality

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Upon unboxing the ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15, the impression was distinctly mixed – there’s no denying the potential of a system that packs a punch with the AMD Ryzen 5900HX CPU and GeForce RTX 3080 GPU, yet some aspects did give me pause.

Here’s a quick rundown in classic Amazon bullet-point style:

  • Solid Build: The metallic lid with the illuminated ROG logo exudes a premium vibe, while the main chassis, although plastic, feels durable.

  • Weighty: It’s no featherweight laptop, indicating it’s built with gaming in mind rather than portability.

  • Fingerprint Magnet: The area around the keyboard attracts fingerprints, which can be a tad annoying.

  • Responsive Keyboard: The keys feel satisfying to press, which is a big win for gamers and typists alike.

  • Thermals: Out of the box, the CPU does run warmer than I’d like, teetering around 90°C during heavy use.

The laptop’s aesthetic is a gamer’s delight, with its RGB keyboard and sleek profile. However, there was something of a learning curve with the touchpad. It took some getting used to, and ultimately, I hooked up a wireless mouse for a better experience.

Now, on the constructive side, I need to mention the thermal management. I expected the laptop to run hot given its specifications, but I was not prepared for the CPU to idle as high as it does. A gaming rig generating heat is no shocker, yet it’s something to monitor if you’re pushing the machine to its limits.

Moreover, the ROG Intelligent Cooling system seems adept at managing the heat during intense gaming sessions, which is a testament to its design; albeit, it does mean dealing with a constantly engaged fan system.

I’m also divided on the included software and the requisite updates straight out of the gate. The barrage of updates needed to make everything run smoothly is understandable but adds an extra layer of initial setup that can be a bit much.

The construction of the laptop itself is impressive. The mix of metal and durable plastic lends it a heft with a premium feel, though one must be ready for the zesty whir of cooling fans as the system rolls into higher gears.

In terms of build quality and initial usability, the ROG Strix Scar 15 walks the line between powerhouse and labor of love. It’s a sturdy accomplice for any gaming odyssey, but it demands attention and care right from the start to ensure peak performance. Overall, it’s a valiant entrant into the gaming arena, where its prowess is as unmistakable as its demanding nature.

Gaming Performance and Display Capabilities

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When it comes to gaming performance and display capabilities, the ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 is a powerhouse that mostly lives up to its hype. From day one, I was eager to push its limits, and it didn’t disappoint. Here’s a quick rundown of what stood out to me:

  • Refresh Rate: The 300Hz/3ms display is a dream come true for any competitive gamer. The fluidity is noticeable, and it’s hard to go back once you’ve experienced it.

  • Graphics: The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 GPU ensures that games look stunning, with DLSS and Ray-Tracing bringing visuals to life.

  • Resolution: Although the screen supports Full HD, I was impressed that games could run at 90+ fps in 2k, assuming the game supports that resolution.

Despite these powerful features, there are a few drawbacks:

  • Screen Brightness: The default setting felt a bit dim, and I had to manually tweak display settings for optimal brightness.

  • Screen Flickering: I encountered an occasional flicker with the browser, but this was resolved after I turned off hardware acceleration—a tip worth remembering.

In more detail, the AMD Ryzen 5900HX CPU pairs beautifully with the RTX 3080, delivering consistent frame rates and handling heavy loads with aplomb. Memory-wise, the 16GB of DDR4 RAM seemed more than sufficient for multitasking, though I’ve seen fellow gamers upgrade to 32GB for even smoother performance.

Playing a variety of games, from MMOs to AAA titles, I experienced zero lag, and the color reproduction across different game environments was impressive—thanks to the 100% sRGB color space coverage of the display. Plus, the optical mechanical keyboard added a tactile satisfaction to every session, making long-hour gaming marathons comfortably immersive.

On the flip side, the laptop does get rather warm, which is somewhat expected given its high-end specifications. Its heft and build make it less of an ‘on-the-go’ device and more of a desktop replacement, which to me is a fair trade-off for the performance it delivers.

Another minor gripe is the fingerprint magnet nature of the keyboard area. Keeping a microfiber cloth handy is pretty much a necessity if you want to maintain the laptop’s aesthetic.

In essence, while the ROG Strix Scar 15 is not perfect, it delivers where it counts. The gaming performance is robust, the display is fast and vivid, albeit requiring some out-of-the-box adjustments, and the few issues I encountered were fixable with some tweaking. For those looking to invest in a solid gaming laptop with a visual punch, this beast has the fangs to back up its roar.

Thermal Management and System Stability

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In the realm of high-performance gaming laptops, managing the thermal load is critical for sustained performance. With my ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15, I’ve encountered both highs and lows when it comes to keeping the system cool and stable. Here’s an overview from my experiences:

  • CPU Temperatures: Hovering between 65C to 70C at idle and spiking up to 92-95C during intense gaming sessions might sound alarming, but it hasn’t led to any noticeable performance throttling for me.

  • Liquid Metal Compound: The inclusion of Thermal Grizzly Liquid Metal Thermal Compound is a sophisticated touch that undoubtedly helps with heat transfer, though it’s hard to quantify the precise impact.

  • Intelligent Cooling System: The system’s self-cleaning, dual-fan setup and anti-dust technology have evidently contributed to the longevity of the laptop components.

Despite these features, there are moments when the thermal management could be improved. High ambient temperatures tend to push the laptop’s cooling to its limits, resulting in warm-to-the-touch surfaces. Additionally, the warm idle temperatures suggest that there’s room for better efficiency, something that could potentially be improved with future BIOS updates.

On a positive note, the system stability has been commendable and I attribute this to diligent updates. Updating software and BIOS regularly has ironed out initial kinks, like Wi-Fi connectivity issues and screen flickering. My advice to new owners is to prioritize these updates right out of the box.

Another crucial factor to system stability has been avoiding potential software conflicts. For example, disabling hardware acceleration in my browser eradicated the persistent screen flickering and refresh issues. It’s such adjustments that have stabilized my overall experience.

However, even a robust cooling system has its limits, and I’ve noticed the AC adapter getting excessively hot under heavy loads. While this is an expected trade-off with powerful hardware, I’ve taken the precaution of ensuring good ventilation around it to avoid overheating.

The Scar 15’s RGB lighting and per-key RGB keyboard add a personalized touch without impacting system performance, melding aesthetics with efficiency neatly.

To summarize, the ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 exhibits solid thermal management and system stability, with occasional hiccups that are mostly rectifiable. It’s not perfect—no gaming laptop is—but it’s a machine that has reliably powered through countless hours of gameplay for me. For those looking for a workhorse capable of both stunning performance and respectable thermal control, the ROG Strix Scar 15 has proven to be a worthy contender.

Long-term Usage and Reliability

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After a full year of putting the ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 through its paces, I’ve gathered some noteworthy observations that are integral to anyone considering this gaming powerhouse. Here’s what stands out:

  • Durability: No flimsy parts or concerning wear and tear; the chassis has stood the test of time.

  • Performance: Remains a champ for heavy-duty gaming and multitasking.

  • Updates: Regular maintenance is a must—software, drivers, and BIOS updates are routine.

Though largely positive, these points come with their caveats. The durability is reassuring, but fingerprints on the keyboard area are like an unwanted collection of smudges—they show up stubbornly. For a machine that looks so sleek, it’s a small itch in an otherwise comforting experience.

In terms of performance, there’s no denying it’s top-notch. Nearly every game I threw at it ran as smooth as silk. But let’s not gloss over the heat; yes, the CPU runs hotter than the GPU by about 10-20°C depending on workload, which might concern some. However, I haven’t noticed any significant performance throttling, which speaks to the robust cooling implementation.

Turning to the software end, updates are a bit of a double-edged sword. They’re essential for keeping the laptop at peak performance, yet they can be a bit of a hassle. You’ll want to keep on top of these to avoid potential hiccups, a worthwhile trade-off for maintaining a system that operates like the first day it was unboxed.

Through all this, what I appreciate most is that the laptop isn’t a one-trick pony. Yes, it’s designed for gaming with its RTX 3080 and the AMD Ryzen 9 CPU, but its utility extends beyond. Work-related tasks, content creation, or even just binge-watching—this rig handles it all with aplomb.

To sum up, here’s my personal pros and cons list:


  • Sturdy build quality ensures lasting use.

  • Stellar performance for modern games and more.

  • Comprehensive connectivity options like Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1.


  • Frequent maintenance via updates is necessary.

  • Attracts fingerprints easily, a nuisance for the pristine-minded.

  • The CPU’s heat may be alarming but is well-managed.

In hindsight, had I known about these quirks, they wouldn’t have deterred my purchase. The value proposition—even considering the few downsides—is through the roof. For those in the market for a high-performing, enduring gaming laptop, the ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 has proven its worth and gets my seal of approval, minor annoyances aside. It’s a testament to ASUS’ commitment to quality and a beacon for what gaming laptops can achieve.

As for resources, staying up-to-date has been easier thanks to leveraging communities like the ASUS subforum on Reddit and dedicated hardware websites for update tips. If you’re in search of a system that’s likely to age gracefully with the right care, this might just be your match.