Hands-on: Testing the powerful AMD Ryzen 9 7945HX3D gaming laptop processor

Image of the ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 X3D (2023).
(Image credit: Windows Central | Zachary Boddy)

Every year, the hardware packed inside our most powerful laptop and desktop PCs becomes faster, more advanced, and more compact. Once again, AMD is moving the needle by taking one of its latest innovations to the mobile scale. The AMD Ryzen 9 7945HX3D is here, and it's the most powerful laptop processor AMD has ever made — and the first time we've seen its unique 3D V-Cache technology in a laptop CPU.

I've had the ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 X3D (2023) in hand for a couple of days now, and it's the first laptop to use AMD's latest flagship chip. It's a frankly ridiculously powerful mobile PC with a mouthful of a name, and it displays the capabilities of the latest and greatest from AMD and NVIDIA beautifully. While you'll have to wait a while longer for a full review from me here at Windows Central, read on to discover my first impressions of this laptop and the AMD Ryzen 9 7945HX3D, as well as some benchmark scores compared to other laptops Windows Central has tested.

Disclaimer: This hands-on was made possible by a review unit provided by ASUS and AMD. The companies did not see the contents of the hands-on before publishing.

The AMD Ryzen 9 7945HX3D explained

It may not look like much, but this is the fastest and most advanced processor AMD has ever put into a laptop. (Image credit: AMD)

What is the AMD Ryzen 9 7945HX3D? Well, it represents the pinnacle of the AMD Ryzen 7000-series of CPUs, more specifically on the mobile side of things. It's very similar overall to the previous AMD laptop champion, the AMD Ryzen 9 7945HX, but differentiates itself by being the very first laptop CPU to employ AMD's 3D V-Cache technology. Ah, that still might not tell you much, though. Let's start from the beginning.

The Ryzen 9 7945HX3D is a high-end laptop gaming CPU with 16 cores and 32 threads; all clocked to a 2.3GHz base speed with a max boost speed of 5.4GHz. It's a 5nm CPU built on AMD's Zen 4 architecture. As standard, this CPU has a 55W base TDP, which compares to Intel's most powerful laptop processors, the Intel Core i9-13900HX series, but it can be bumped up to a 60W base TDP with the manual performance modes on the ASUS gaming laptop housing this monster of a processor.

The AMD Ryzen 9 7945HX3D differentiates itself with a huge amount of onboard CPU memory, which leads to sizeable performance and efficiency gains.

What makes the AMD Ryzen 9 7945HX3D so unique, and makes it more than 15% faster on average than the non-X3D variant of this same laptop CPU, is the inclusion of 3D V-Cache technology. I mentioned it earlier, so allow me to tell you what that means. 3D V-Cache is AMD's exclusive technology for stacking CPU memory, allowing the company to fit more of it without making the processor larger. More CPU memory, or cache, means greater performance and efficiency.

The Ryzen 9 7945HX3D features a combined 144MB of cache memory, with 128MB of that being in the L3 cache. That means the CPU has far more space to store vital instructions and files when performing complicated tasks, rather than relying on the slower and less efficient computer RAM or even main storage. The aforementioned Intel Core i9 competitor, which on paper impresses with 8 more cores and a slightly higher max clock speed, features only 36MB of L3 memory. That's a huge difference, and it's made possible because of AMD's 3D V-Cache engineering, and now it's available on a laptop.

Testing the monster ASUS ROG Strix Scar 17 X3D (2023)

A thick chassis, plenty of ventilation, and an ROG logo all hint at the powerful hardware inside this laptop. (Image credit: Windows Central | Zachary Boddy)
ASUS ROG Strix Scar 17 X3D (2023)

Price: US: TBC, UK: £3,799
 17-inch, 16:9, IPS LCD, QHD (2560x1440), 240Hz
 AMD Ryzen 9 7945HX3D
 NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090
 32GB (2x 16GB) DDR5 4,800Mhz
 1TB NVMe PCIe Gen 4x4 SSD
 90Whr, 330W charger
 395 x 282 x 234 x 23.4-28.3mm (15.6 x 11.1 x 0.9-1.1in)
3kg (6.6lbs)

AMD partnered with ASUS to design a new iteration of the company's premium, ultra-powerful ROG Strix SCAR 17. This laptop is unapologetically massive, clad in matte black plastic, and adorned with a variety of gamer-esque design choices that you'll either love or (probably) tolerate. It doesn't feel premium in the slightest, but it does feel powerful, and it at least delivers on that front. When you pay the steep price to obtain this laptop, you know exactly what you're getting.

And it's really impressive. This laptop doesn't max out the specs sheet in every conceivable metric, but it does boast the brand-new AMD Ryzen 9 7945HX3D that makes this laptop so special, paired with the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090 that's contained in all the rest of the most powerful gaming laptops, like the Razer Blade 18. Elsewhere, you're getting 32GB of DDR5 RAM, 1TB of PCIe Gen 4x4 SSD storage, and a pretty traditional 17-inch, QHD, 240Hz IPS LCD display. Everything you need to play all of the best PC games is here, and then some, with ASUS aiming to truly offer a desktop tower replacement in this laptop.

I set up my ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 X3D (2023) review unit with all my apps, programs, and settings, ensuring it was up-to-date on the latest version of Windows and with all the best drivers. For the sake of these benchmarks, I kept it in ASUS' Performance mode, at a QHD resolution and 240Hz, while plugged into the AC charger. And, as you'd expect from AMD's fastest mobile processor yet, the Ryzen 9 7945HX3D absolutely smashed every test I threw at it.

Multicore performance is definitely a highlight of this CPU, as it trounced basically every other computer Windows Central has tested in Cinebench R23 and broke the 30,000 barrier pretty comfortably. Single-core performance wasn't the highest we've seen in Cinebench, but it was still right up there with the very best. In Turbo mode, the ROG Strix SCAR 17 X3D managed to squeeze out a slightly higher 32,198 multicore score while staying as cool as a cucumber (albeit not as quiet as one).

Even when the Ryzen 9 7945HX3D didn't land at the very top of our benchmark scores, it always came close.

It's a similar story in Geekbench 6, except oddly swapped. The Ryzen 9 7945HX3D bested every other computer in single-core performance but was barely bested by the 24-core monster inside the Razer Blade 18 for multicore performance. In PCMark 10, though, there was no such competition. This laptop broke the 9,000 barrier and took the top spot out of all these devices, including full desktop towers. In Turbo mode, it was able to generate an even higher 9,391 score.

Finally, I tested the ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 X3D in 3DMark, specifically the Time Spy subtest. Here, the RTX 4090 GPU didn't perform at the same level as the identical GPU in the Razer Blade 18 (even after multiple tests and in Turbo mode), but it still blasted through the benchmark with ease and dominated most of the devices Windows Central has tested in this category. In Turbo mode, it performed even better with a score of 19,578 versus its normal score of around 18.5k. Unfortunately, I haven't had time with this device to properly put it to the test with extended gaming, but it's clearly a killer performer.

Elevating gaming laptops to new heights

An RGB light bar makes for good embellishment, but it's the AMD processor under the hood that sells this laptop. (Image credit: Windows Central | Zachary Boddy)

The ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 X3D (2023) is hardly the fanciest laptop I've reviewed. That honor goes to the gorgeous and powerful Alienware x16 R1. However, Alienware's flagship laptop never once bested the AMD-powered ASUS device, even if it did come close sometimes. That's thanks to a chunkier chassis and a fantastic thermal management system that kept ASUS' gaming laptop cool the entire time I benchmarked it, and the fans never became too obnoxiously loud (even in Turbo mode).

It's also thanks to the AMD Ryzen 9 7945HX3D, a clearly incredible CPU that is going toe-to-toe with Intel's most powerful CPUs and often coming out on top. It's a very strong performer that never seemed to slow down or heat up in my testing. I can't speak on efficiency yet, but I don't expect it to be vastly superior to Intel's Core i9 offerings. Still, I'm really excited to dive more into this ultra-powerful gaming laptop from ASUS, which showcases the latest and greatest from AMD. The Ryzen 9 7945HX3D is clearly impressive, but you'll have to wait a little while longer for my full thoughts.

I'll have a complete review here on Windows Central in the near future with an in-depth analysis of both the ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 X3D (2023) and the AMD Ryzen 9 7945HX3D that powers it, including how it handles long gaming sessions at the highest settings I can find. For now, however, you'll have to be content with my initial impressions.

This laptop isn't a looker, and it isn't trying to be — it's pure power, combining the best from AMD and NVIDIA into a massive beast of a gaming laptop. If it offers a complete, polished experience and the Ryzen 9 7945HX3D is able to keep up in the long haul... The ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 X3D (2023) could be one of the best gaming laptops of the year.

If you can't wait for the full Windows Central review, I understand (but you better come back to read it anyway.) This ASUS behemoth is now available, giving you a chance to test the Ryzen 9 7945HX3D for yourself.

ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 X3D (2023) | See at ASUS

ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 X3D (2023) | See at ASUS

This laptop is big, beefy, and prioritizes performance above all else. It does so with the AMD Ryzen 9 7945HX3D, AMD's most powerful gaming laptop processor ever (and it shows). If this is what you've been waiting for, it's available now.

Zachary Boddy
Staff Writer

Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer for Windows Central, primarily focused on covering the latest news in tech and gaming, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting Windows and Xbox hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life starting with the original Xbox, and started out as a freelancer for Windows Central and its sister sites in 2019. Now a full-fledged Staff Writer, Zachary has expanded from only writing about all things Minecraft to covering practically everything on which Windows Central is an expert, especially when it comes to Microsoft. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.