With 16 cores and 32 threads, the new X3D-powered ROG Strix Scar is poised to take on Intel.
AMD and Asus have announced the ROG Strix Scar 17 X3D, a beefy 17-inch gaming laptop with an RGB lightstrip on the bottom. Which, sure, whatever. The exciting news is what’s inside this device. This Strix is powered by AMD’s 7945HX3D mobile laptop, which could, if the stars align, provide gaming performance that we haven’t seen in AMD’s current laptop landscape and fulfill last year’s “extreme gaming laptop” promise.
The chip has 16 cores and 32 threads with boost clock up to 5.4GHz, with “55W+” TDP — those things alone put it at the top of AMD’s laptop processor stack. But it’s also the first mobile processor to feature AMD’s 3D V-Cache (144MB of it, to be specific), which allows AMD to place additional layers of cache directly onto the CPU.
This technology first appeared on AMD’s Ryzen 7 5800X3D desktop chip, which outclassed Intel’s 12th Gen Core i9-12900K for PC gaming — but this laptop chip actually has more cache than any of AMD’s desktop X3D chips yet.
AMD claims that the 7945HX3D will be the “world’s fastest mobile gaming processor”, and will be more than 15 percent faster than the average-Joe 7945HX. More specifically, the company states that the 3D V-Cache will increase Shadow of the Tomb Raider performance by 11 percent at 70W TDP and 23 percent at 40W TDP.
But all of those gaming tests were performed at 1080p resolution, where CPU gains are more pronounced — don’t expect the same advantage on a 1440p or 4K panel.
Asus’s new laptop does look like it will come in a 1080p version, though, as AMD’s presentation footnotes say its benchmarks were performed on an Asus Strix Scar 17 at “1080p native” alongside Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 graphics, with 32GB of DDR5 RAM and a 1TB SSD. They were also run at turbo mode, not that you expected long battery life from such a machine.
X3D chips form the basis of AMD’s current domination in the desktop gaming scene. They’ve closed the major gap that we saw between AMD’s and Intel’s top CPUs last year, providing massive gaming performance boosts at lower wattages.
The big question is whether the mobile iteration of this chip will have the same impact on the gaming laptop space. Intel is currently losing (hard) to AMD in the battery life competition, but it’s also much more heavily represented among high-end gaming laptops.
If AMD has a chip here that can outcompete Intel on both raw performance and efficiency, that could be a big benefit to AMD (and, hopefully, gamers) in the premium laptop space. “In an era where chip makers don’t always focus on efficiency, AMD’s 7950X3D shines through as an exception to the rule,” Verge editor Tom Warren wrote in his review of the recent 7950X3D desktop chip, and that’s even more important in the laptop space than it is for desktop parts.
The Strix Scar 17 X3D will be available on August 22nd. We’ll bring you more details on the laptop as we get them.