There we go, guys. We have our hands on the first laptop (for us) with an RTX graphics card. This 17-inch fella’ is equipped with the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070. ASUS was fast to react and implemented the new GPUs from NVIDIA into their ROG GL704G. The notebook itself is not your ordinary large and bulky monster. It follows closely the trends from last year and incorporates 26 mm design with a weigh just under 3 kg.
As you are soon about to see, the RTX version of the laptop is just a refresh, as it keeps the same design as the older GTX devices. It still comes in two options – SCAR and Hero, with the first aimed at FPS gaming (transparent WASD keys) while the latter one is aimed at MOBAs (transparent QWER keys).
You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/asus-rog-strix-gl704/
ASUS ROG Strix GL704GW technical specifications table
What’s in the box?
Opening the box presents us with an ASUS ROG GL704G (what a surprise) on top of everything. When we remove the laptop from the box, we see a puzzle! There are a couple of boxes inside that represent a… rectangle. Now you have to choose carefully because some of the boxes are empty. Let us give you a hint – the branded box which contains all of the papers inside and the power brick is on the left *wink*.
Design and construction
As you already know, this device is sold in two design makes – SCAR II and Hero II, and the way to tell one from the other (except the prints) is by looking at the keys. ROG GL704G lives to its name of a gaming laptop with the help of RGB lights placed all around it. ASUS has implemented a glowing ROG logo on top of the aluminum lid plus an RGB stripe one the user-facing side of the base. Apart from being essentially a bigger ROG GL504, this laptop is very reminiscent of the cheaper ASUS TUF FX705. We just hope it doesn’t feature the same overheating issues.
Next, we have the same impractical webcam location. While it was inevitable, because you know… they managed to put super thin bezels on it. No matter the excuse, it is stupid to place it there. The other person in a web call is literally going to see just your right shoulder. We have to say, though, that the 144Hz screen looks gorgeous in this frame.
Here you can see the SCAR version of the ROG GL704G, which features transparent WASD keys, representing an FPS identity. The keyboard itself feels good and has decent feedback. ASUS state that their “N-key rollover” technology enables you to press several keys at the same time. Conveniently, there are also dedicated keys for volume up/down, mute and the ROG Armoury Crate. In addition to that, there is the mandatory AURA RGB, which controls all of the lights on the laptop.
Further below is the touchpad, which is equipped with its own buttons. However, it is probably going to be the most neglected feature of this laptop, as a mouse would be the preferred option by hardcore gamers.
As you can see on the image below, the bottom plate is not as perforated as the one of MSI GE73VR 7RF for instance. This, of course, doesn’t mean the fans don’t have enough torque as we are sure ASUS did a lot of calculations when designing this laptop.
|ASUS ROG GL704G||399 mm (15.75″)||274 mm (10.98″)||26.4 mm (1.05″)||2.90 kg (6.4 lbs)|
|ASUS TUF FX705||400 mm (15.75″)||279 mm (10.98″)||26.6 mm (1.05″)||2.60 kg (5.7 lbs)|
|MSI GE73VR 7RF||419 mm (16.50″)||285 mm (11.22″)||29 mm (1.14″)||2.80 kg (6.2 lbs)|
|Acer Predator Helios 500||428 mm (16.85″)||300 mm (11.81″)||38.7 mm (1.52″)||4.00 kg (8.8 lbs)|
ASUS have loaded their ROG GL704G with I/O options. The left side seems overcrowded as it is the home of the power plug, RJ-45 connector, mini DisplayPort, HDMI 2.0, three USB Type-A 3.1 (Gen. 1) and an audio jack. On the other side of the laptop, there is a large grill for hot air exhaust, one more USB Type-A 3.1 this time of gen. 2 plus a USB Type-C 3.1 (Gen. 2). Gladly for photographers and content creators, there is an SD card reader onboard.
Disassembly, upgrade options and maintenance
In order to open the back panel, you need to unscrew 11 Phillips head screws. Nothing complicated. However, this is still a laptop, which would benefit from a service lid.
There are two fans loaded with the heavy task of cooling the Core i7-8750H and NVIDIA’s new RTX 2070. In order to be as efficient as they can, ASUS implemented a design with five heatpipes – two shared between the CPU and GPU, one more for each of them, plus one dedicated to the VRMs and the video RAM.
Upgradability on this laptop is good. You have two RAM DIMMs, supporting up to 32GB of DDR4 memory. In addition to that, there is an M.2 slot supporting NVMe SSDs and a SATA connector. The latter is connected to the motherboard via an extension cable.
Finally, there is the small-looking battery pack. It is common to see tiny batteries in gaming laptops since the priorities in using the free space are completely different than in ultrabooks. However, the pack found in ASUS ROG GL704M has a 66Wh capacity. A reasonably large battery.
ASUS ROG GL704 (SCAR II / HERO II) in the configuration we have is equipped with a 144 Hz Full HD IPS screen, model number AUO B173HAN04.0. Its diagonal is 17.3″ (43.94 cm), and the resolution – 1920 х 1080. Additionally, the screen ratio is 16:9, the pixel density – 127 ppi, their pitch – 0.1995 x 0.1995 mm. The screen can be considered Retina when viewed from at least 69 cm (from this distance, the average human eye can’t see the individual pixels).
The viewing angles are excellent. We have provided images at 45 degrees to evaluate quality.
The maximum measured brightness is relatively high – 302 nits (cd/m2) in the middle of the screen and remains at the same 302 nits (cd/m2) average across the surface with a maximum deviation of just 4%. The Correlated Color Temperature on a white screen and at maximum brightness is 7460K (average) – colder than the 6500K optimum for sRGB. The average color temperature through the grey scale before profiling is 8100K.
In the illustration below you can see how the display performs from uniformity perspective. The illustration below shows how matters are for operational brightness levels (approximately 140 nits) – in this particular case at 65% Brightness (White level = 141 cd/m2, Black level = 0.14 cd/m2).
Values of dE2000 over 4.0 should not occur, and this parameter is one of the first you should check if you intend to use the laptop for color sensitive work (a maximum tolerance of 2.0 ). The contrast ratio is very good – 1000:1 (800:1 after profiling).
To make sure we are on the same page, we would like to give you a little introduction to the sRGB color gamut and the Adobe RGB. To start, there’s the CIE 1976 Uniform Chromaticity Diagram that represents the visible specter of colors by the human eye, giving you a better perception of the color gamut coverage and the color accuracy.
Inside the black triangle, you will see the standard color gamut (sRGB) that is being used by millions of people in HDTV and on the web. As for the Adobe RGB, this is used in professional cameras, monitors etc for printing. Basically, colors inside the black triangle are used by everyone and this is the essential part of the color quality and color accuracy of a mainstream notebook.
Still, we’ve included other color spaces like the famous DCI-P3 standard used by movie studios, as well as the digital UHD Rec.2020 standard. Rec.2020, however, is still a thing of the future and it’s difficult for today’s displays to cover that well. We’ve also included the so-called Michael Pointer gamut, or Pointer’s gamut, which represents the colors that naturally occur around us every day.
The yellow dotted line shows ASUS ROG GL704 (SCAR II / HERO II)’s color gamut coverage.
Its display covers 92% of the sRGB/ITU-R BT.709 (web/HDTV standard) in CIE1976.
Our “Design and Gaming” profile delivers optimal color temperature (6500K) at 140 cd/m2 luminance and sRGB gamma mode.
We tested the accuracy of the display with 24 commonly used colors like light and dark human skin, blue sky, green grass, orange etc. You can check out the results at factory condition and also, with the “Design and Gaming” profile.
Below you can compare the scores of ASUS ROG GL704 (SCAR II / HERO II) with the default settings (left), and with the “Gaming and Web design” profile (right).
The next figure shows how well the display is able to reproduce really dark parts of an image, which is essential when watching movies or playing games in low ambient light.
The left side of the image represents the display with stock settings, while the right one is with the “Gaming and Web Design” profile activated. On the horizontal axis, you will find the grayscale and on the vertical axis – the luminance of the display. On the two graphs below you can easily check for yourself how your display handles the darkest nuances but keep in mind that this also depends on the settings of your current display, the calibration, the viewing angle, and the surrounding light conditions.
Response time (Gaming capabilities)
We test the reaction time of the pixels with the usual “black-to-white” and “white-to-black” method from 10% to 90% and vice versa.
We recorded Fall Time + Rise Time = 11 ms – incredibly fast response, typical for a 144 Hz.
Health impact – PWM / Blue Light
PWM (Screen flickering)
Pulse-width modulation (PWM) is an easy way to control monitor brightness. When you lower the brightness, the light intensity of the backlight is not lowered, but instead turned off and on by the electronics with a frequency indistinguishable to the human eye. In these light impulses, the light/no-light time ratio varies, while brightness remains unchanged, which is harmful to your eyes. You can read more about that in our dedicated article on PWM.
This panel doesn’t use PWM to adjust its brightness levels. This renders it safe for use in prolonged gaming sessions, without risk of further negatively affecting your health.
Blue light emissions
Installing our Health-Guard profile not only eliminates PWM but also reduces the harmful Blue Light emissions while keeping the colors of the screen perceptually accurate. If you’re not familiar with the Blue light, the TL;DR version is – emissions that negatively affect your eyes, skin and your whole body. You can find more information about that in our dedicated article on Blue Light.
ASUS ROG GL704 (SCAR II / HERO II)’s 144 Hz Full HD panel has comfortable viewing angles, covers 92% of the sRGB color gamut and doesn’t use PWM for brightness adjustment. This, combined with the high contrast ratio, and the evenly distributed light across the screen makes it a very good gaming display.
Buy our profiles
Since our profiles are tailored for each individual display model, this article and its respective profile package are meant for ASUS ROG GL704 (SCAR II / HERO II) configurations with 17.3″ AUO B173HAN04.0 (FHD, 1920 × 1080) IPS.
*Should you have problems with downloading the purchased file, try using a different browser to open the link you’ll receive via e-mail. If the download target is a .php file instead of an archive, change the file extension to .zip or contact us at [email protected]
Read more about the profiles HERE.
In addition to receiving efficient and health-friendly profiles, by buying LaptopMedia's products you also support the development of our labs, where we test devices in order to produce the most objective reviews possible.
Office Work should be used mostly by users who spend most of the time looking at pieces of text, tables or just surfing. This profile aims to deliver better distinctness and clarity by keeping a flat gamma curve (2.20), native color temperature and perceptually accurate colors.
Design and Gaming
This profile is aimed at designers who work with colors professionally, and for games and movies as well. Design and Gaming takes display panels to their limits, making them as accurate as possible in the sRGB IEC61966-2-1 standard for Web and HDTV, at white point D65.
Health-Guard eliminates the harmful Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) and reduces the negative Blue Light which affects our eyes and body. Since it’s custom tailored for every panel, it manages to keep the colors perceptually accurate. Health-Guard simulates paper so the pressure on the eyes is greatly reduced.
ASUS ROG GL704 (SCAR II / HERO II) produces loud and crisp sound. Its low tones have some deviations, while the mid and high frequencies are clear.
Thankfully, this ROG notebook came with a preinstalled Windows 10, unlike its TUF sibling, so it is way easier to operate with the drivers. However, if you still need the latest versions of the drivers and utilities for the ROG GL704, you can get it here: https://www.asus.com/me-en/Laptops/ROG-Strix-SCAR-II/HelpDesk_Download/
In the region we are located, we received the ROG GL704 equipped with an NVMe drive from Western Digital with a model number PC SN520. With sequential Read speeds reaching up to 1.75 GB/s it is far from the fastest 256GB SSD. However, its Write speeds are more on point – 1.30 GHz.
|SSD model (240-256GB variants)||Max.Seq.Read (GB/s)||Max.Seq.Write (GB/s)||IOPS 4K Read||IOPS 4K Write||Latency Read (ms)||Latency Write (ms)|
|Western Digital PC SN520 NVMe||1.75||1.30||11116||33886||0.136||0.028|
|Intel Pro 6000p Series||1.83||0.59||7792||28266||0.075||0.033|
Now, we conduct the battery tests with Windows Better performance setting turned on, screen brightness adjusted to 120 nits and all other programs turned off except for the one we are testing the notebook with. This unit is equipped with a 66Wh battery pack.
This was enough for 5 hours and 45 minutes of web browsing – not bad, given it has to push a 17-inch screen with a refresh rate of 144 Hz.
In order to simulate real-life conditions, we used our own script for automatic web browsing through over 70 websites.
For every test like this, we use the same video in HD.
This model is currently only offered with Intel Core i7-8750H, which is a direct successor to the Core i7-7700HQ. The new Coffee Lake processors feature six physical cores instead of the just four found on the Kaby Lake CPUs. Moreover, the blue company was able to fit the extra two cores on the same 14nm architecture while maintaining a TDP of 45W. In terms of clock speeds, we have a slight drop in the base frequency from 2.8 GHz to 2.2 GHz but the Turbo one is 4.1 GHz (up from 3.8 GHz). This means around 50% better performance in theory and 9 MB of cache (vs 6 MB on Core i7-7700HQ). However, the new Core i7-8750H will be more cooling-dependent, due to the higher clock count and the wide range of Turbo speeds.
On the iGPU end, there are no particular changes as the Core i7-8750H retains the HD Graphics 630 cores with 350 MHz Base frequency and 1100 MHz maximum Dynamic frequency. The only difference is the support of OpenGL 4.5.
Results are from the Cinebench 20 CPU test (the higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Fritz chess benchmark (the higher the score, the better)
Results are from our Photoshop benchmark test (the lower the score, the better)
ASUS ROG GL704 (SCAR II / HERO II)’s refresh can be bought with two of the new NVIDIA RTX GPUs. More precisely – the RTX 2060 or the RTX 2070. The unit we received has the GeForce RTX 2070 on board. It has 2304 CUDA cores and the clock speeds vary depending on the power provided – 885-1215 MHz Base clock, 1185-1440 MHz Boost clock. It consumes somewhere between 80 and 115 W. If you opt for the RTX 2060, on the other side, you’ll get a lower amount of CUDA cores – 1920. However, it consumes less energy – up to 90W and clock speeds go from 960 MHz (Base) to 1200 MHz (Boost).
Results are from the 3DMark: Fire Strike (Graphics) benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Heaven 3.0 benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Heaven 4.0 benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Superposition benchmark (higher the score, the better)
First, we have to note that this is the first laptop RTX 2070 we are testing and the results were achieved with the latest (by the time of writing the review) driver that ran stable on this configuration – WHQL 417.22. Despite the strong results in the benchmarks, where it neared the scores of the GTX 1080, RTX 2070 performed worse than its predecessor – the GTX 1070. We are going to keep you updated on how the performance changes with newer drivers.
|Grand Theft Auto V (GTA 5)||Full HD, High (Check settings)||Full HD, Very High (Check settings)||Full HD, MAX (Check settings)|
|Average FPS||101 fps||66 fps||54 fps|
|Far Cry 5||Full HD, Normal (Check settings)||Full HD, High (Check settings)||Full HD, Ultra (Check settings)|
|Average FPS||84 fps||81 fps||80 fps|
|Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016)||Full HD, Medium (Check settings)||Full HD, Very High (Check settings)||Full HD, MAX (Check settings)|
|Average FPS||99 fps||77 fps||54 fps|
|Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands||Full HD, High (Check settings)||Full HD, Very High (Check settings)||Full HD, Ultra (Check settings)|
|Average FPS||68 fps||63 fps||49 fps|
Temperatures and comfort
Max CPU load
In this test we use 100% on the CPU cores, monitoring their frequencies and chip temperature. The first column shows a computer’s reaction to a short load (2-10 seconds), the second column simulates a serious task (between 15 and 30 seconds), and the third column is a good indicator of how good the laptop is for long loads such as video rendering.
Average core temperature (base frequency + X); CPU temp.
|Intel Core i7-8750H (45W TDP)||0:02 – 0:10 sec||0:15 – 0:30 sec||10:00 – 15:00 min|
|ASUS ROG GL704G||3.49 GHz (B+59%) @ 92°C||3.41 GHz (B+55%) @ 95°C||3.20 GHz (B+45%) @ 87°C|
|ASUS TUF FX705||3.57 GHz (B+62%) @ 88°C||2.98 GHz (B+35%) @ 87°C||2.75 GHz (B+25%) @ 80°C|
|ASUS ROG GL504||3.29 GHz (B+50%) @ 95°C||3.12 GHz (B+42%) @ 95°C||2.56 GHz (B+16%) @ 80°C|
|Lenovo Legion Y730||3.43 GHz (B+56%) @ 91°C||3.23 GHz (B+47%) @ 94°C||2.69 GHz (B+22%) @ 79°C|
It seems that the larger amount of heat pipes definitely does the job to increase the thermal efficiency of this system. Comparing it to the 15-inch model we see a whopping 640 MHz increase at the end of the stress test, and stable 200 MHz at the beginning. However, the temperature at the end is 7C higher with the larger notebook. Actually, we hadn’t seen that high of an average frequency with this CPU yet.
|NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070||GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 2 min)||GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 30 min)|
|ASUS ROG GL704G||1595 MHz @ 83°C||1588 MHz @ 83°C|
We currently don’t have another device to relate with, so we don’t really know if this result is good or bad. However, what we can say is that it runs quite warm – at 83C. Moreover, it runs good 150 MHz above the maximum boost frequency, so we are happy.
Despite the warm internals, ROG GL704 somehow maintained controlled sub 50C temperatures on its surface. Actually, the hottest spot was just above the “O” key at 48C, while the area around the most often used keys during gaming remained very cool.
Despite the controversial results in the gaming tests ASUS ROG GL704 (SCAR II / HERO II) is certainly an incredible device. We are happy to see how manufacturers find ways to put extremely powerful hardware in ever so smaller form factor. In the past, when one would hear about a GeForce GTX 1070 on a laptop, one would imagine Acer Predator 17, Alienware 17 or even MSI Titan. However, lately things have changed and we see more powerful Razer laptops, as well as MSI’s GS75 and ASUS’s own Zephyrus line-up. In order to compete with them, ASUS had to upgrade their ROG line-up as well. This resulted in the GL704, which is somewhere on the balance point between gaming ultrabooks and monsterbooks.
It was mandatory to see the latest and greatest from Intel on this device and it certainly didn’t disappoint – the Core i7-8750H had one of the highest frequencies at the end of our torture test. In addition to that, the core clock speeds of RTX 2070 were higher than the maximum Boost clock listed by NVIDIA. Exactly this is what leads us to think that the disappointing frame rates in real gaming were due to the lack of driver optimizations.
If you aren’t convinced about this laptop yet, take a look at the screen. Yes, it is not very suitable for designers, neither is it the most color accurate. However, it excels with the uniformity of its backlight at 302 nits average across the screen, 92% of sRGB color coverage and of course – 144 Hz refresh rate. In addition to that, it doesn’t use PWM-adjustment for its brightness. By the way, if you want to bring the color accuracy of this panel close to the 2.0 dE you can get our Gaming and Web design profile.
While the ROG GL704 (SCAR II / HERO II) is a good gaming notebook, our advice is to wait a little bit. Don’t spend a huge amount of money on laptops with the RTX GPUs yet. Soon, we expect NVIDIA to push drivers that will improve the performance, and game designers to release more and more titles that support ray tracing. Until then, a good ol’ GTX 1070 will definitely do the job for pretty much anything at Full HD and max details.
You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/asus-rog-strix-gl704/
- Adequate cooling
- Lots of upgrade options
- 92% sRGB coverage (144 Hz AUO B173HAN04.0)
- CPU maintains high frequencies even during extreme load
- Weighs less than 3 kg
- Customizable RGB lighting and two keyboard layout options
- Great input devices
- Underperforming RTX 2070 with early drivers
- Loud noise during gaming