We just reviewed the Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 and Asus ROG Strix Scar 18, which are the first Nvidia RTX 4090 gaming laptops.
Using Nvidia’s Ada Lovelace architecture, the company claims that its new 4000 series will deliver the “largest-ever generational leap in performance and power efficiency.”
Based on our initial results the first part of that claim is holding up, but the big daddy RTX 4090 may not be the best example of the latter claim.
|Header Cell – Column 0||1920 x 1080 (Ultra)||2560 x 1600|
|Assassin’s Creed: Vahalla||154 fps||119 fps|
|Grand Theft Auto V||181 fps||124 fps|
|Far Cry 6||107 fps||94 fps|
|Cyberpunk 2077||69 fps||60 fps|
|Forza Horizon 5||89 fps||75 fps|
|DiRT 5||111 fps||86 fps|
|Shadow of the Tomb Raider||181 fps||124 fps|
|Borderlands 3||165 fps||112 fps|
The Scar 18 has a 2.2-GHz Intel Core i9-13900HX processor backing it up, while the Zephyrus M16 has the same, minus the “X.” The CPU contributes a lot to the results we received, and since these are the best CPUs available currently, there was nothing holding back the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 chips.
Only Cyberpunk 2077 managed to slow the RTX 4090 down to a still solid 60fps in Ultra settings at 2560 x 1600. While that was the result in the benchmark test, our reviewer fired up CyberPunk 2077 and in her playthrough saw the Scar 18 average 101fps in Ultra settings, so there is simply no bringing the RTX 4090 to a crawl.
The only real disappointment we can cite with these first RTX 4090 laptops is that efficiency didn’t get the boost we were hoping for. The Scar 18 only managed 4 hours and 26 minutes in our Laptop Mag battery test which involves continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi with the display set at 150 nits. That’s over an hour and a half short of the premium gaming laptop average of 6 hours and 3 minutes. Gaming battery life was similar at just 1 hour and 23 minutes, just barely edging out last year’s Alienware X17.
We’ll be curious to see a laptop with an RTX 4070 come through our labs as Nvidia showed us a number of 4070-powered laptops at CES running games at 60fps while using roughly one-third of the power of an RTX 3070 laptop hitting 8-10fps lower. While it’s easy to be swayed by the king of the mountain in the RTX 4090, there may be a sweet spot for those that care about battery life and performance.
We’ll be reviewing plenty more RTX-40 series laptops in the coming weeks and months, so if you’re in the market for a gaming laptop in 2023 then stay glued to our reviews. If these early results tell us anything, it’s that gaming laptops are starting to catch up to desktops.