Today, we’ll review the ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 (2023) featuring the AMD Ryzen 9 7945HX3D. It’s the first (and only) laptop to feature the 3D V-Cache CPU and does so in a heterogeneous design. Like the 7950X3D, the 7945HX3D also features two CCDs: A standard octa-core Zen 4 die and another with stacked L3. AMD made specific changes to Zen 4 3D before bringing it to mobile, mainly related to thermals and clocks.
The V-Cache CCD on the 7945HX3D has a hard 4,925MHz limit, and a max temperature of 88C was recorded. In gaming workloads, the CPU power didn’t exceed 52W, averaging just 40W. Let’s jump straight to the performance.
CPU Performance: Ryzen 9 7945HX3D vs Intel i9-13950HX
Unlike most CPUs, the Ryzen 9 7945HX3D relies on its large cache buffer to improve gaming performance, with the clocks hovering on the lower side. Consequently, the single-threaded performance of the chip should be slightly lower than the competition.
In PC Mark content creation, the Ryzen 9 7945HX3D-powered Strix SCAR 17 outpaces the competition by a fat margin. With 13,691 points, it is 29% faster than the Intel Core i9-13950HX on the Razer Blade 14. Conversely, the “Essentials” and “Productivity” performance is slightly lower than the Raptor Lake chips due to the lower clocks.
Cinebench R20 is a well-reputed creator benchmark and tends to mirror Blender and V-Ray performance. The Intel chips hold a small lead in the single-core tests. However, in the multi-core section, the Ryzen 9 7945HX3D is 14% and 26% faster than the Core i9-13950HX and 13900HX, respectively.
Cinebench R23 is a more well-rounded benchmark, granting the 7945HX3D a 7% lead over the Core i9-13950HX. Conversely, the latter is 6.7% faster in the single-core segment.
The ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 can be outfitted with the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 or RTX 4090 mobile GPUs, offering top-of-the-line gaming performance. Our sample featured the latter. We’ll go over the synthetics and then the real-world benchmarks:
It’s important to note that the GPU score deviances between the Razer Blade 14 and Strix SCAR 17 are due to different cooling solutions. We found the latter to be better at dissipating the heat generated during extended gaming sessions, and the same is replicated in these benchmarks.
Interestingly, the Core i9-13900HX on the Legion Pro 5 is faster than the 13950HX on the Blade 14, with the 7945HX3D offering similar performance.
Gaming Performance: Ryzen 9 7945HX3D vs Intel i9-13950HX
In gaming, the Ryzen 9 7945HX3D is in a class of its own. Not only is it much faster than the Intel Core i9-13950HX, it also draws less power. We compared the ROG Strix SCAR 17 and the Razer Blade 14 in the below games. Both notebooks feature the GeForce RTX 4090 mobile, the CPUs being the primary difference.
Cyberpunk 2077 is the only game where the Core i9-13950HX and the Ryzen 9 7945HX3D are comparable. At 1200p, the V-Cache chip is slightly slower than the Raptor Lake-HX flagship, but at 4K, the latter throttles its lead away.
In F1 2022, the Ryzen 9 7945HX3D is over 50% faster than the Core i9-13950HX at 1200p with a lead of 33% at 4K. Once again, the lntel chip runs into severe throttling at 4K, dropping to an average operating clock of just 2.4GHz.
Hogwarts Legacy is a closer affair, with a 24% delta between the two processors at 1200p. In this game, the 13950HX doesn’t throttle as much, succumbing to a 15% loss at 4K.
The Callisto Protocol favors the Ryzen 9 7945HX3D with a 35% lead over the Core i9-13950HX at 1200p. It also produces lows roughly 50% higher than the Intel flagship.
Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands runs smoothly on both laptops, but the 7945HX3D holds a commanding lead over the 13950HX. At 1200p, the 3D V-Cache part is 21.7% faster than its Blue rival.
Thermals and Power
The power consumption affects the thermals, and they control the operating clocks. The PC Mark CPU power numbers seem unrealistic, but I’ll keep them as they are. During the 20-minute run, the power stayed above 100W, regularly hitting 250W, even approaching the 500W mark in rendering.
The thermals are quite well-behaved, averaging between 60C and 70C, with peaks of 88C.
The power and temperature spikes appear as the frequency drops below. The Ryzen 9 7945HX3D produces an average clock of 5.2 GHz to 5.3 GHz, with relatively frequent drops to 2.5GHz and less. Not bad for a 16-core CPU packing 128MB of L3 Cache.
Conclusion: Killing Them with Cache
The ROG Strix SCAR 17 is a unique gaming laptop. It features the fastest mobile CPU, one of the few bottlenecked by the GeForce RTX 4090. With the Core i9-13950HX, we were CPU-bound 99% of the time in Cyberpunk 2077. The Ryzen 9 7945HX3D is GPU-bound over 70% of the time with the same GPU. Looking back at the other notebooks we’ve tested, the RTX 4090 is unsuitable for most mobility processors. That’s not the case here.