ASUS ROG Strix Scar III GL531GW review: A gaming notebook with a touch of BMW Designworks
Battery life & temperatures
How good is the battery life?
I tested the battery life using PCMark 10's new Modern Office and Gaming battery life benchmarks. All the notebooks were set to 100 percent display brightness and had Wi-Fi enabled. The keyboard backlight was disabled however.
Power consumption numbers were more or less on par with the other similarly configured notebooks, but its smaller 66Wh battery means that it cannot really keep up in terms of overall battery life. As expected, the gaming numbers were particularly bad, and the notebook lasted for barely over an hour.
The Scar III also lacks any Max-Q optimizations for battery, power efficiency, or even design. It's rather chunky and heavy, measuring 24.9mm thick and weighing a good 2.57kg. That drags it down in our portability index, which takes into account things like the battery life, weight, and the notebook's dimensions as well.
Is the cooling performance good?
I ran 40 loops of 3DMark's Fire Strike Extreme stress test and measured the sustained peak readings during the run.
The Scar III is cooled by five thick heat pipes and dual 12V fans. It also features three separate heatsinks with ultra-thin fins to increase the surface area available for heat dissipation and to reduce air resistance. One interesting feature is the so-called self-cleaning thermal module, which can supposedly keep the fans and heatsinks clean by catching particles in the built-in anti-dust tunnels and blowing them back out. Dust is the biggest enemy of system performance in the long run, so this might help.
In addition, vents above the keyboard help keep it cool so you don't get uncomfortable during long gaming sessions. Cool air is pulled in through the latter vents and the bottom of the notebook, and hot air is in turn dumped out the back and the right side.
That said, the Scar III still ran hotter than the slimmer Predator Triton 500, registering higher peak CPU and GPU temperatures. Fortunately, both palm rests still remained relatively cool throughout.