ASUS has been on a roll lately by launching some very capable laptops using 12th Gen Alder Lake Intel processors and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30-series graphics processing chips. Next up is the ROG Strix Scar 15 G533 (2022) with an Intel Core i9-12900H processor and up to an NVIDIA RTX 3080 Ti GPU. It has enough firepower for even the most demanding PC games.
There's a 17-inch version of the ASUS ROG Strix Scar, designed solely for gamers who want the very best portable gaming experience. But if you also value portability and don't want to game all the time, the smaller ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15, which retains the same internal components and lowers the price, might be what you're looking for.
Rocking the best hardware available, could the ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 be one of the best gaming laptops around?
Bottom line: The ASUS ROG Strix Scar G533 is a very powerful gaming laptop, rocking a capable Intel Core i9-12900H processor and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30-series GPU.
- Powerful internals
- Striking gaming design
- 240Hz display
- MUX switch
- Lighting effects
- No webcam
- Short battery life
ASUS ROG Strix Scar G533: Price and availability
The ASUS ROG Strix Scar G533 starts at $1,800. Upgrading the GPU to an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti bumps the price to $2,050. It's not a terribly expensive price to pay for such a potent gaming machine. This configuration also comes with a 300Hz 1080p display, which will easily handle all your favorite PC games with decent frame rates.
The sample we received for review today included an RTX 3070 Ti GPU and the upgraded 240Hz 1440p display. See the table below for the full list of specifications.
|OS||Windows 11 Home|
|Processor||12th Gen Intel|
14 cores up to 5.0GHz
|Graphics||NVIDIA RTX 3070 Ti Laptop|
8GB GDDR6 VRAM
|Storage||2TB M.2 PCIe 4.0 SSD|
Two M.2 slots
16:9 aspect ratio
240Hz refresh rate
|Ports||1x 3.5mm Combo Audio Jack|
1x HDMI 2.1
1x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 (display, power delivery)
2x USB-A 3.2 Gen 2
1x Thunderbolt 4 (DisplayPort)
1x 2.5G LAN port
Smart Amplifier Technology
|Connectivity||MediaTek MT7922 Wi-Fi 6E(802.11ax)|
Bluetooth 5.2 (Dual band) 2 2
|Keyboard||Backlit Chiclet Keyboard Per-Key RGB|
|Dimensions||354 x 259 x 226 ~ 27.2 mm|
ASUS ROG Strix Scar G533: What's good
The ASUS ROG Strix Scar G533 is instantly recognizable thanks to the RGB lighting strip along the bottom of the laptop. The company also tried to do something a little different with the main chassis by making part of it translucent, allowing you to see a little of what happens beneath the keyboard. The design is pleasing to gaze at, even if you're not into the whole "gamer" aesthetic.
User-replaceable Armor Caps are located up in the back left corner. ASUS supplies two replacements with the ROG Strix Scar G533, but you can 3D print your own to give the laptop a personal touch. The rest of the gaming laptop is your standard affair with black plastics, RGB backlit chicklet keyboard, and enough vents to suck in (and exhaust) air to help cool the internal components.
In order to connect all your favorite peripherals, ASUS included two USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports and a 3.5mm combo jack on the left. Then there are two USB-C ports (one with Display Port and Power Delivery charging, the other with Thunderbolt 4 support), 2.5G LAN, and an HDMI 2.1 port on the rear below the display. The right side of the ASUS ROG Strix Scar G533 is bare aside from the Keystone 2 key port.
The Keystone 2 is an ASUS NFC key that's included with the Strix Scar G533 that can be used to unlock access to an encrypted partition inside the laptop where more sensitive data can be stored, as well as switch to personalized settings. Using the ASUS Armoury Crate app, you can customize various settings around the NFC key, resulting in the addition of neat physical functionality.
It's not all about looks, however. ASUS also packed the ROG Strix Scar 15 with the latest tech from Intel and NVIDIA. Powering everything is the 14-core Intel Core i9 12900H, the very best mobile processor Intel has produced to date. Then, there's the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti and 2TB PCIe 4.0 SSD in our review sample. As you can expect, the combo is incredibly powerful.
This hybrid core design sees the CPU contain six high-performance and eight efficient cores. The processor is capable of running at a sustained 110W through throttling with the correct profile selected. The RTX 3070 Ti is capable of hitting 150W with Dynamic Boost.
The display options include 300Hz 1080p and 240Hz 1440p panels, but both will make the latest PC games look stunning. It's not the brightest screen on the market, but you won't have any issue playing games and doing a little work on the side.
To handle all wireless communications, the MediaTek MT7922 Wi-Fi 6E card supports Bluetooth 5.2 and allows for high-speed data transfer to and from your router, as well as delivering audio to your favorite set of cans. That 2.5Gb LAN port is excellent for LAN parties and scenarios where a wired connection is possible.
If you'd like to upgrade the storage or memory inside the Strix Scar 15, that's an easy enough process that involves removing the bottom panel and carefully detaching ribbon cables. There's a spare M.2 slot for installing a second NVMe SSD and storing yet more games. The preinstalled Samsung SSD is a rapid drive with more than 4,000MB/s for reading data.
The laptop is fairly quiet so long as the CPU and GPU don't get too warm. Once you start running synthetic benchmarks and playing more intensive games, the cooling solution does ramp up. ASUS offers the ability to switch between different profiles, but Turbo unlocks the true potential of the processor, overclocking it in the process.
Temperatures are going to be high, especially if you're running in Turbo mode. You'll often see low to mid-90s read by sensors inside the laptop. Changing the profile to Performance will reduce the CPU power consumption and therefore have an impact on the amount of heat dissipated. The fans are able to slow slightly, but temperatures remain fairly high.
Silent mode is pretty decent if the game or app you're using doesn't require high clock speeds. I found no issue running the latest games with this mode selected, allowing the internal components to run cooler and the fans to sound less like a jet engine.
- Fire Strike — 24,139
- Port Royale — 6,971
- Time Spy — 12,801
- PCMark 10 — 7,915
- Geekbench 5 — 1,898 / 14,202
- Cinebench R23 — 1,905 / 18,839
ASUS ROG Strix Scar G533: What's not good
Interestingly, there's no webcam on the ASUS ROG Strix Scar G533. This isn't a deal-breaker for many gamers since not everybody uses on, but it's just something to keep in mind when shopping around. The battery life is also a little on the short side, thanks to the power-hungry internals. Even with the 90WHr pack, it won't last longer than 6-8 hours of use.
Not everyone will enjoy the translucent design found on the main body of the laptop. This is also where the status LEDs are located and because the plastic has a frosted effect, the lights appear smudged. This will come down to personal preference and I didn't find it to be obnoxious.
ASUS ROG Strix Scar G533: Competition
While the ASUS ROG Strix Scar G533 is a very good gaming laptop, it has some competition in the 15-inch market, including the exceptionally good Razer Blade 15. 15-inch displays are often considered to be the sweet spot for gaming notebooks, but it largely comes down to price and GPU performance.
Dell's Alienware m15 R6 is another fine option if you want something a little more out there for design. It too can be kitted out with powerful graphics processors and killer panels. If you want something with a slightly larger display, there are other 16-inch gaming laptops that are also worth considering like the HP Omen 16.
Regardless of which gaming laptop you pick, so long as you're choosing one with a good processor and GPU, you're going to have a great time. Most gaming notebooks from top brands perform roughly the same with identical components, thanks to advancements made to component cooling and overall system design.
ASUS ROG Strix Scar G533: Should you buy it?
You should buy this if ...
- You want one of the best performing laptops
- You want a gaming laptop with a unique design
- You want advanced features like ASUS Keystone 2
You shouldn't buy this if ...
- You don't want to spend almost $2,000 on a laptop
- You don't like too much RGB lighting
- You're not a fan of aggressive gamer design
ASUS went and made a fantastic 15-inch gaming laptop with the ROG Strix Scar G533. It has a very capable Intel Core i9-12900H processor with its hybrid core design. Then there's the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti that can easily handle even the more demanding PC games. Finally, super-fast RAM and SSD storage make for one killer gaming machine. The ASUS ROG Strix Scar G533 also has some gamer design touches, including a semi-translucent section of the body. This won't be to everyone's tastes, just like the wrap-around RGB lighting.
This all comes at a cost — quite literally. When switching out the GPU and display, you can inflate the cost considerably.
If you can overlook the lighting and other design elements, you'll be able to enjoy one of the more powerful laptops on the market. Even with just an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti, it's still possible to smash through games at higher settings, and the 300Hz 1080p or 240Hz 1440p displays will provide enough room for high framerate gameplay.
Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.