Yesterday, Asus’ Republic of Gamers (ROG) gaming sub-brand announced its new Strix Scar 17 SE and Flow X16 gaming rigs. We had the chance to play with the previous model of the Strix Scar 17. We liked that one because it offered top-class performance at a relatively decent price point. That affordability has taken a backseat this time in favour of… more power.
This might be in the running for the most powerful gaming machine your (bags of) money can buy. ROG has taken almost every aspect of the Strix Scar from last year and made it faster.
‘Gotta go fast.’ – ROG engineers, probably
The Strix Scar 17 SE can be specced out with up to an RTX 3080 Ti laptop GPU and Intel’s 12th-gen Core-i9 12950HX. ROG has added some secret sauce to push the power draw of both chips up to 175W. Not at the same time though, that would melt everything.
Those power-hungry chips are complemented by up to 64GB of DDR5 RAM and up to 4TB of PCIe 4.0 SSD storage in RAID 0. That’s got nothing to do with the insect spray, it means the machine uses two separate drives as one. This nets you double the bandwidth but could mean you lose all your data if one of them fails.
When you’re dealing with that much power, high temperatures tend to follow. We’re sure that’s a big part of the reason why the top-specced Strix Scar 17 SE is shipping with a new cooling system. This one covers almost half of the bits inside, uses Thermal Grizzly’s liquid metal compound and uses three internal fans to push the air around inside. That’s 33.3% more fan than most laptops include.
You get the usual choice of display — a really fast 240Hz QHD option or a really, really fast 360Hz FHD option. Both are IPS panels and both offer adaptive sync. We maintain that the high refresh-rate QHD choice is the one to go for but we’ll have to see how it performs when the review model lands in our laps.
All this power will cost you. The Strix Scar 17 SE starts at R76,000 and will be available from July 2022.
What about the bendy one?
ROG knows not everyone is looking for a 3-kilogram, 17in gaming beast. Sometimes you need a bit of flexibility. Literally. That’s where the ROG Flow X16 comes in. The highlight of this one is the mini-LED Nebula HDR display and the fact that it also doubles as a tablet.
Mini-LEDs are, obviously, smaller than regular LEDs. That means you can fit more of them in the same space, allowing for more local dimming zones. This in turn means deeper blacks, richer colours and an overall brighter display. 1100 nits peak brightness, in this case, making a VESA DisplayHDR 1000 certification possible.
In the Flow X16, performance takes a bit of a knock in favour of flexibility. Not just with the actual machine but how you might use it. This one is powered by AMD’s Ryzen 9 6900HS and either an RTX 3050 Ti or RTX 3070 Ti. You also get 64GB of DDR5 RAM and 2TB of storage this time around. There is a second storage port if you want to expand but no RAID config here. If you find that isn’t quite enough for you, the Flow X16 also supports Asus’ XG Mobile family of external GPUs.
The Flow X16 RTX 3050 Ti option starts at R40,000 with the 3070 Ti variant going for R52,000. This one will also be available in South Africa from July 2022.