ASUS Scar II vs Zephyrus M Gaming Laptop

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ASUS Scar II vs Zephyrus M Gaming Laptop

The Scar II and Zephyrus M are both powerful gaming laptops from ASUS, but which should you pick? They both have very similar specs, but the Scar II is a little cheaper, so let’s compare them in depth and help you find out which to buy This video has been sponsored by LastPass

ASUS Scar II vs Zephyrus M Gaming Laptop
ASUS Scar II vs Zephyrus M Gaming Laptop

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First let’s check out the differences in specs Both laptops have the same Intel i78750H 6 core CPU In both of my units I’ve got 32GB of DDR42666 memory running in dual channel, the most they both support, though most configurations will sell with 16GB As for graphics they’ve both got the same Nvidia GTX 1070, no -decoration: underline;”>MaxQ here just the full regular 1070 Both screens are 15

6” 1080p 144Hz AHVA panels with a 3ms response time, although the Zephyrus has GSync while the Scar 2 does not For storage both have a single NVMe capable M2 slot populated with a 512GB M2 NVMe SSD and a 1TB hard drive installed in the single 25” drive bay, but storage options may vary when purchasing

For network connectivity both laptops have support for 80211ac WiFi and bluetooth version 5, however only the Scar 2 has an ethernet port available, so if you want to plug in via ethernet with the Zephyrus M you’ll need a USB dongle Both laptops have a brushed metal lid, although the Scar 2 is more of a grey or silver while the -decoration: underline;”>Zephyrus is black The interior of the Zephyrus is matte black metal while the Scar 2 has this carbon fiber camo pattern As for size differences they’re the same depth, but the Scar is actually a couple of centimeters smaller in width, which is why it’s able to have thinner bezels

The Zephyrus is a fair bit thinner though, even with the lid open Opening the lid of the Zephyrus will rise the bottom up to allow air flow, making it slightly higher, and we’ll see how this helps cool the components later In terms of weight differences the Scar 2 was around 60 grams lighter, so not much of a difference, but with the 230 watt power bricks and cables for charging included the Zephyrus is now 260 grams heavier, honestly not what I expected given it’s the thinner laptop Both laptops felt well built to me, if I had to pick one though I’d say the Scar 2 felt maybe slightly more solid which may just be due to the extra thickness For the I/O on the left both have the power input, HDMI 2

ASUS Scar II vs Zephyrus M Gaming Laptop

0 output, and 35mm audio combo jack The Zephyrus has 3 USB 31 Gen2 TypeA ports, while the Scar has two USB 31 Gen1 TypeA ports

Otherwise the -decoration: underline;”>Scar also has gigabit ethernet, -decoration: underline;”>Mini DisplayPort 12 output, and a USB 31 Gen2 TypeC port, but no Thunderbolt support unfortunately On the right they’ve both got a single USB 31 Gen2 TypeA port and Kensington lock, while the Scar has an SD card slot which the Zephyrus is missing, but the Zephyrus has a USB 3

1 Gen2 TypeC port like the scar, but it supports Thunderbolt 3 unlike the -decoration: underline;”>Scar 2 On the back both have air exhaust vents towards the left and right corners, while on the front they’re just smooth, although the -decoration: underline;”>Scar has an RGB light bar, but more on that later Both laptops have their speakers up towards the front corners Both were definitely above average and had some bass present, but I think the speakers in the Scar 2 were better Speaking of sounds, both laptops play these sounds when you boot them up

Thankfully this can be disabled through the BIOS for both Up on the brushed metal lids both have the ROG logo towards the side The logo on the Zephyrus lights up red while the laptop is powered on, while the Scar’s is RGB, matching the same effect applied to the keyboard and front light bar Fingerprints are pretty obvious on the brushed finish of the lids, though not too difficult to wipe away, and not as obvious on the matte interiors The interior of the Scar is advertised as being smudge proof, and although they were still viewable they’re harder to see here on camera, so I guess it’s working alright

Underneath the rubber feet did a good job of preventing both laptops from moving around while in use There’s no air vents on the base of the Zephyrus like the Scar has, as the bottom panel opens up when you open the lid for air flow Both laptops could be opened up pretty easily using a Phillips head screwdriver The Zephyrus is a little more involved as you’ve got to first remove the bottom panel that gets pushed down when you open up the lid It gets bent from two metal feet in the corners upon opening, so it will be interesting to see how this lasts over many years and opens

After that the second panel is removed, and just like the Scar we get access to the single 25 inch drive bay, single M2 slot, two memory slots, WiFi card and battery Now onto the screens As mentioned earlier both are 15

6” 1080p 144Hz AHVA panels with 3ms response times, although the Zephyrus has GSync while the Scar 2 does not The viewing angles on both were excellent, as AHVA is essentially IPS In terms of brightness the Scar 2 was a little brighter at all brightness levels, although both had the same 870:1 contrast ratio I’ve also measured the colour gamut of both screens using the Spyder 5 Pro, and in my testing the Zephyrus was just slightly ahead, although it was extremely close, either way fairly decent for gaming laptops I think I’ve taken a long exposure photo in a dark room as a worst case backlight bleed test, and both were sort of similar

There were some minor imperfections along the bottom and from the top right corners, however I never actually noticed this with either laptop during normal use, but this will vary between individual laptops Overall they’re basically pretty much the same panel with no noticeable differences, other than you get GSync with the Zephyrus, though arguably that’s less important if you’re running high frame rates with a 144Hz panel anyway While moving the screens there was some flex, perhaps just slightly more from the Scar, though both were fairly rigid overall due to the metal exterior They’ve both also got hinges towards the far left and right corners, further aiding in stability Both laptops can also be easily opened with one finger, demonstrating a fairly even weight distribution, I had no issues using either on my lap

They both have a 720p camera, above the display in the center for the Zephyrus and down the bottom on the side for the thin bezeled Scar 2 The camera isn’t great, still quite blurry and grainy even with decent lighting The microphone sounds alright, although it does seem to pick up a bit of its own fan noise The camera doesn’t look great and the placement is pretty bad, it’s right down the bottom right corner, so even sitting in the of the laptop I have to put the screen right back and the angle still looks weird The microphone sounds alright, but as there’s basically always fan noise you’ll be able to hear some of it

Both keyboards have RGB lighting, although they’re both controlled in 4 separate zones through the ASUS Aura software, so no individual key backlighting with either This software is also used to control the effects of the lighting bar and lid logo with the -decoration: underline;”>Scar You can’t give separate lighting effects to the front bar, keyboard or lid logo, so the same effect will apply to all three, but you can set different static colours individually to the three areas Both were good to type with, but I preferred the Scar 2 personally, the keys just felt nicer to me, maybe because the Scar has 18mm of travel distance while the -decoration: underline;”>Zephyrus has 1

7mm Here’s how both sound while typing to try and give you an idea of what to expect Above the keyboards both laptops have the same keys for adjusting speaker volume up or down, microphone mute, and a button to open the ROG gaming center software, which lets you monitor the system Both power buttons are found towards the right, and they’ve got air vents up the back in the center to help cool the internals Both had a little keyboard flex while intentionally pushing down hard, but this was never an issue during normal use, and less of an issue than you’d expect with the -decoration: underline;”>Zephyrus considering it’s propped up when open

Both touchpads were smooth to the touch and use precision drivers, so they worked well The Scar 2 has physically separate left and right click buttons and also appears to be a tiny bit smaller, although I didn’t actually measure them so can’t confirm Personally I preferred using the touchpad on the Scar 2, though both were quite good The battery in the scar was a little bigger, at 66 watt hours compared to the 55 watt hour battery in the Zephyrus While using the Zephyrus with GSync enabled, the Nvidia 1070 graphics will be in use the entire time

You do get the option to disable GSync and instead use the Intel integrated graphics though, but this requires a reboot to complete, but it’s not actually improving battery life by that much anyway, just a 20 minute difference in this test Although the Scar 2 doesn’t have GSync, it uses the Nvidia 1070 graphics the entire time and is not able to swap to Intel integrated graphics, so the battery life suffers as a result By the time both laptops got to around 10% battery left, the in game frame rate dropped to around 10 FPS and it was no longer playable You’ll probably want to keep the power brick and cables close by with either laptop Thermal testing was completed with slightly different room temperatures, 18 degrees celsius for the Zephyrus and 21 degrees Celsius for the Scar, so all temperatures here are reported using DeltaT over ambient in degrees celsius

Basically this just means that the room temperature was subtracted from the measured temperature to try and normalize the results, despite both laptops having been tested in slightly different temperatures Both laptops have shared heatpipes too, so a change in one component may affect the other I also briefly need to talk about overboost mode By default, while running both laptops at stock with a combined CPU and GPU load, gaming for example, the TDP of the 8750H in the -decoration: underline;”>Zephyrus was capped at 30 watts while the Scar 2 had a slightly higher 35 watt cap With overboost mode enabled, the 8750H in both laptops gets boosted to the usual 45 watt TDP and the fans will also be maxed out to help keep things cool, this will be important later

Starting down the bottom of the graph in the light blue and green bars we can see the idle temperatures of the CPU and GPU respectively The Zephyrus M was a fair bit cooler than the Scar 2, just 21 degrees warmer than ambient While gaming, shown by the yellow and orange bars, the Zephyrus was again a little cooler than the -decoration: underline;”>Scar The red and pink bars show the same gaming tests but with both CPUs undervolted by 0090v and the fans maxed out due to overboost mode, and both laptops see a nice improvement to temperatures, though the Zephyrus is still a little cooler than the Scar

Stress testing was run with Aida64 and the Heaven benchmark running at the same time in order to try and fully utilize both the processor and graphics Continuing our way up the graph with the purple and dark blue bars we can see the temperatures of the CPU and GPUs at stock respectively There was less of a difference between the two, but the Zephyrus was still a little cooler than the Scar With the fans maxed out from overboost mode and same 0090v undervolt applied to the CPU, the Scar was finally slightly cooler than the -decoration: underline;”>Zephyrus for the first time, by just a couple of degrees in this test

Just quickly in case you wanted to see the actual data regardless of differences in room temperature here it is Something to note that in this data the Zephyrus shows as cooler in all tests, we only saw the Scar slightly better earlier in the black and white bars because it was tested in a slightly warmer environment I believe that overall the Zephyrus is able to run cooler as a result of the CPU running at a lower TDP on average when compared with the Scar 2 These are the average clock speeds for the same tests just shown In all tests the graphics in the Zephyrus were averaging higher clock speeds than the Scar, while the CPU in the Scar was averaging higher clock speeds than the Zephyrus, and we’ll see how this difference affected games soon

The Scar 2 is able to get full CPU boost performance while undervolted, both in gaming and stress test, shown by the red and black bars respectively Even without the CPU undervolt, in yellow and purple, the Scar is a fair bit ahead of the Zephyrus in average CPU speeds This graph shows the average TDP of the CPUs while running these tests While running with Overboost mode the CPU clock speeds rise as we just saw, as both have a maximum 45 watt TDP, however we can see that while under a combined CPU and GPU load, while actually playing games for example, the TDP on the Zephyrus M is actually lower, which explains why we saw lower clock speeds in the last graph, and also probably helps it run cooler compared to the Scar too Here are the average CPU clock speeds while under a CPU only load, and both laptops are very close together, with the Scar 2 just not quite able to hit the full 3

9GHz turbo boost speed at stock Despite this though, it’s worth remembering the Scar was coming out ahead under a combined CPU and GPU load while the Zephyrus wasn’t To try and demonstrate this practically, here’s how both laptops scored in Cinebench, a CPU benchmark Both laptops were running with Overboost mode enabled, so fans were maxed out and CPUs were running with 45 watt TDP, and we’re seeing very similar performance from both, even before undervolting this is excellent performance for the i78750H Here are the average GPU clock speeds while under a graphical only workload, and the Zephyrus M was coming out ahead here, with faster clock speeds at stock than the overclocked Scar 2, but we’ll see if this actually affects gaming performance later

As for the external areas where you’ll actually be touching, at idle both were in the low 30s While gaming they both get to the low 40s in the center and then around 50 right up the back, though more of the keyboard on the Scar 2 seems to remain cool, and there’s no real difference with the stress tests running With the fans maxed out the temperatures of both drop a few degrees As for the fan noise produced by the laptops, I’ll let you have a listen to some of these tests At idle both still had audible fans, but the Scar 2 was louder than the Zephyrus

While gaming the Scar 2 was still a bit louder, and there wasn’t a noticeable difference while under stress test With the fans maxed out they’re closer together, but the Scar is still a bit louder than the Zephyrus Finally let’s take a look at some gaming benchmarks, all games were run at 1080p, the native resolution of the displays All games were tested with Overboost mode enabled on both laptops for best performance Fortnite was tested using the replay feature with the same test run, though as the laptops were tested a few months apart it’s not the exact same replay, but as close as possible

At epic settings the -decoration: underline;”>Scar 2 is performing 8% better when compared with the Zephyrus M, and that difference rises rapidly at the lower setting levels The Overwatch results aren’t exactly comparable as I changed my testing methodology a few months ago from playing with the bots to using a run through the practice range In practice I’ve found very similar results to actually playing though, the practice range test is just much easier to reproduce With that in mind though, the Scar 2 is seeing 5% better average frame rates at epic settings, with a much larger 38% improvement seen to the 1% low Dota 2 was tested using an intensive replay, this does not represent real world game play, which would likely see better results

At ultra settings there was just a 4% improvement with the Scar over the Zephyrus, but this increases to a 12% improvement with all settings at minimum Assassin’s Creed Origins was tested with the built in benchmark, and is fairly heavy on the CPU In this test the Scar was scoring 30% better in average frame rates at ultra settings, and 22% better in the 1% low result, one of the largest differences between the two laptops in the games I’ve tested Far Cry 5 was also tested using the built in benchmark, and the results are a bit closer together now, with the -decoration: underline;”>Scar 2 8% better in average frame rates at ultra settings, with the Zephyrus ahead for 1% low results at all setting levels CS:GO was tested using the Ulletical benchmark, and the Scar 2 was getting average frame rates 12% higher than the Zephyrus M at max settings, with a smaller 4% improvement to the 1% low

This rises higher at the lowest settings, with the Scar 2 now averaging 25% better for average FPS Rainbow Six Siege was tested using the built in benchmark, and we’re seeing a 15% improvement to average frame rates at ultra settings in this test with the Scar, though realistically the frame rates from either laptop are still quite high Watch Dogs 2 is an intensive game, and was one of the tests that saw a small difference between the two laptops At ultra settings the Scar 2 is just under 3% ahead of the Zephyrus in terms of average frame rates, though a much larger 32% improvement to 1% low result was seen At the lower setting levels the Zephyrus actually comes ahead for 1% low and closes the gap between averages, coming out ahead at low settings

Ghost Recon is another resource intensive game, and in this one the -decoration: underline;”>Scar 2 was coming out 14% better at ultra settings in average FPS, but as we can see this rises as the setting levels drop down, increasing to 25% higher at low settings The Witcher 3 saw a similar result, with a 10% boost to average frame rates at ultra settings, though like Overwatch the 1% lows from the Zephyrus are down significantly compared to the Scar at all levels other than ultra PUBG was tested using the replay feature with the same test run, though like fortnite due to the gap of a couple of months it wasn’t the exact same replay file At ultra settings the Scar 2 was seeing a 15% improvement when compared to the Zephyrus M Battlefield 1 was tested playing the first campaign mission, and at ultra settings the -decoration: underline;”>Scar 2 was getting around 12% higher average frame rates, but honestly I couldn’t tell you the difference between them, the game was playing very well on both

Shadow of War was tested with the built in benchmark, and saw the smallest difference between the two laptops, with the -decoration: underline;”>Scar 2 just 25% ahead of the Zephyrus at ultra settings, and then also not too much of a difference at the other levels DOOM was tested using Vulkan, and the Scar 2 was scoring 11% faster average frame rates at ultra settings in this test, a 12% improvement to 1% low, and then similar results at the other setting levels As for synthetic benchmarks I’ve tested Heaven, Valley and Superposition from Unigine, as well as Firestrike, Timespy and VRMark from 3DMark There was much less of a difference between the two here, although the Scar 2 was still just outperforming the Zephyrus M

Overall the -decoration: underline;”>Scar 2 was coming out 11% better when averaging the results of all games tested at max settings, quite a big improvement This was a much larger difference than I expected considering they’ve got the same specs Going into this comparison I was expecting the Zephyrus to be slightly ahead, given it was running cooler and the clock speeds of the graphics were higher The difference in performance seems to come down to the active TDP of the CPU while gaming As mentioned earlier in the temperature testing, at stock the CPU of the -decoration: underline;”>Scar runs at 35 watts, while the Zephyrus runs at 30 watts

Despite both being able to reach a 45 watt TDP under a CPU only load, while under combined CPU and GPU load the Scar seems to be performing better If you’re playing with an external monitor with higher resolution I’d expect the gap to close, as the GPU would be relied on more than the CPU, and as I was seeing higher average clock speeds from the GTX 1070 in the Zephyrus it might actually start to help out more there This is the only reason I can think of that explains the difference in performance, as both laptops have the same 8750H CPU, GTX 1070 graphics, and even the same amount of dual channel memory running at the same speed and timings There was a little difference in Nvidia drivers as I tested them at different times, but this much change due to drivers in modern laptops is unheard of In any case though, all games tested were getting great results on either laptop, and if I was doing a blind test on either I don’t think I’d be able to spot the difference, either laptop should give you an excellent gaming experience

We’ll just quickly look at the hard drive speeds, as this may be irrelevant as both laptops are available with different drive configurations Both have a single NVMe M2 slot with 512GB drives installed, I was seeing faster writes with the Scar, but faster reads from the Zephyrus They both also had a 1TB SSHD installed in the single 25 inch drive bay, and I was seeing much better results from the Scar although I’m not sure why

According to hardware info both are reporting as being the same Seagate model, but I was consistently getting these speeds, however it seems like speeds can vary quite a bit between different drives The Scar 2 does have an SD slot on the right hand side, but I had trouble getting my cards recognized even after reinstalling the drivers from ASUS, so I wasn’t able to test the speeds Now perhaps the most important difference, the price This will change over time, so check out the links in the description for up to date pricing At the time of recording though, the Zephyrus M is around $250 USD more than the Scar -decoration: underline;”>II, so is it worth the extra money? Both have positives and negatives, so you’ll have to weigh them both up and decide what’s best for you

The Zephyrus has GSync while the Scar does not, however the Zephyrus has no Ethernet port which will mean either WiFi or dongle life The Scar 2 has an SD slot while the Zephyrus doesn’t, but the -decoration: underline;”>Zephyrus has a Thunderbolt port which the Scar is missing The Zephyrus is a little thinner, but also wider, while the Scar has an awkwardly placed bottom side camera due to its thinner bezels Perhaps most importantly from a gaming laptop, in pretty much all games tested the Scar 2 was coming out ahead of the Zephyrus -decoration: underline;”>M, which as discussed seems to be due to the difference in CPU performance Despite this though, both still offer a great gaming experience, and I don’t think the extra FPS I was getting from the Scar really gives you any noticeable overall improvement, so I wouldn’t let that alone be the deciding factor

As the CPU TDP was a bit lower on the zephyrus it was also running a little cooler and quieter as a result So which of these two laptops would you guys pick? The ASUS Zephyrus M or ASUS Scar II? Let me know what you guys thought down in the comments, and let me know what other laptops you want to see compared, as this video was made due to a high number of requests Thanks for watching, and don’t forget to subscribe for future comparisons and tech videos like this one

ASUS Scar II vs Zephyrus M Gaming Laptop