MSI Titan 18 HX vs. Asus ROG Strix Scar 18: The most powerful gaming laptops of 2024

MSI Titan 18 HX vs. Asus ROG Strix Scar 18
(Image credit: Future)

If you're aiming to score the most powerful gaming laptops, you better be prepared to sell a soul and a baby because this is one costly endeavor. You don't need an expensive gaming laptop to get the most out of gaming, as we've previously discussed in our columns about buying an RTX 4080 laptop and not spending more than $3,000 on a gaming laptop.

However, that doesn't change the fact that if you want the best, you'll have to get the best. The most powerful gaming laptops that we've reviewed in 2024 so far are the MSI Titan 18 HX and Asus ROG Strix Scar 18. These monsters are as expensive as one would imagine when talking about the most powerful.

But if you're about to take out a second mortgage to get a new gaming laptop, you better choose the right one. The MSI Titan 18 HX and Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 have broken our benchmarks and our wallets, so what does it look like if we throw them in the proverbial ring against one another?

MSI Titan 18 HX | ★★★★ Editor's Choice

<a href="https://target.georiot.com/Proxy.ashx?tsid=45727&GR_URL=https%3A%2F%2Famazon.com%2Fdp%2FB0CSSLDCXC%3Fth%3D1%26tag%3Dhawk-future-20%26ascsubtag%3Dhawk-custom-tracking-20" data-link-merchant="Amazon US"" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">MSI Titan 18 HX | ★★★★ Editor's Choice

Pros: Intense display; Mechanical Cherry keyboard; Killer performance

Cons: Over $5,000; Short battery life

See our full <a href="https://www.laptopmag.com/laptops/gaming-laptops-pcs/msi-titan-18-hx-2024" data-link-merchant="laptopmag.com"" data-link-merchant="Amazon US"">MSI Titan 18 HX review.

Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 | ★★★★

<a href="https://shop-links.co/link?skuId=6572157&publisher_slug=future&exclusive=1&u1=hawk-custom-tracking&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bestbuy.com%2Fsite%2Fasus-rog-strix-scar-18-240hz-gaming-laptop-qhd-intel-14th-gen-core-i9-with-32gb-memory-nvidia-geforce-rtx-4090-2tb-ssd-off-black%2F6572157.p%3FskuId%3D6572157&article_name=hawk-article-name&article_url=hawk-article-url" data-link-merchant="bestbuy.com"" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 | ★★★★

Pros: Bright and colorful display (but you could do better); Bouncy keyboard; Powerful performance and graphics; Average battery life

Cons: Stupid expensive; Hollow audio

See our full <a href="https://www.laptopmag.com/laptops/gaming-laptops-pcs/asus-rog-strix-scar-18-2024" data-link-merchant="laptopmag.com"" data-link-merchant="bestbuy.com"">Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 (2024) review.

MSI Titan 18 HX vs. Asus ROG Strix Scar 18: Specs compared

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MSI Titan 18 HX vs. Asus ROG Strix Scar 18
ModelMSI Titan 18 HXAsus ROG Strix Scar 18
Price$5,399$3,899
CPUIntel Core i9-14900HXIntel Core i9-14900HX
RAM128GB32GB
GraphicsNvidia GeForce RTX 4090 16GBNvidia GeForce RTX 4090 16GB
Display18-inch, 4K, 120Hz Mini LED18-inch, 2560 x 1600, 240Hz
Weight7.9 pounds6.8 pounds
Dimensions15.9 x 12.1 x 1.3 inches15.7 x 11.6 x 0.9 inches

MSI Titan 18 HX vs. Asus ROG Strix Scar 18: Price

When we're talking about 18-inch, RTX 4090 gaming laptops — there's no escaping that intense gulp and wave of financial stress. Let's run down exactly what we're working with here.

MSI Titan 18 HX vs. Asus ROG Strix Scar 18

(Image credit: Future)

For $5,399, the MSI Titan 18 HX offers an Intel Core i9-14900HX processor, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 GPU with 16GB of VRAM, 128GB of RAM, two 2TB NVMe SSDs, and an 18-inch, 4K, 120Hz Mini LED display.

For $3,899, the Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 offers an Intel Core i9-14900HX processor, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 GPU with 16GB of VRAM, 32GB of RAM, one 2TB SSD, and an 18-inch, 2560 x 1600, 240Hz display.

If we're just talking about cost, it makes sense to go with the Asus ROG Strix Scar 18. But if you consider value, for an additional $1,500 you get 4 times the amount of RAM, double the SSD space, and a bump in display resolution. Which is a considerable bonus (for a considerable amount of money).

However, if you're just trying to get to that RTX 4090-level of power, settle for the Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 and save yourself a wad of cash.

Winner: Asus ROG Strix Scar 18

MSI Titan 18 HX vs. Asus ROG Strix Scar 18: Design

I can scream and shout about black, boring gaming laptops until I die from lack of oxygen. I'm not going to waste time doing that with the MSI Titan 18 HX and Asus ROG Strix Scar 18. Let's talk about portability instead.

MSI Titan 18 HX vs. Asus ROG Strix Scar 18

(Image credit: Future)

The MSI Titan 18 HX comes in at 7.9 pounds and 15.9 x 12.1 x 1.3 inches, while the Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 weighs in at 6.8 pounds, 15.7 x 11.6 x 0.9 inches.

I won't go into ports selection, but I will warn you about port placement. The MSI Titan 18 HX features ports on its sides as well as its back, while the Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 offers its ports only on the sides.

If portability is important to you, this is a simple choice. Get the Asus ROG Strix Scar 18.

Winner: Asus ROG Strix Scar 18

MSI Titan 18 HX vs. Asus ROG Strix Scar 18: Display

In this humble journalist's opinion, the most important feature you get out of a premium gaming laptop is the display. The MSI Titan 18 HX is rocking an 18-inch, 3,840 x 2,400, 120Hz, Mini LED display, while the Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 offers an 18-inch, 2560 x 1600, 240Hz display.

MSI Titan 18 HX vs. Asus ROG Strix Scar 18

(Image credit: Future)

Let's talk specs first. What's more important to you — sharper graphics or smoother gameplay? If it's the former, you'll want to go with the Titan's 4K+ panel, but if it's the latter, you'll want the Strix's 240Hz refresh rate. However, both are sharp and smooth enough to carry you through all current AAA titles and still look great.

Now let's talk benchmarks. The MSI Titan 18 HX covered 112.4% of the DCI-P3 color gamut and averaged 559 nits of brightness. The Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 covered 84.30% of the DCI-P3 color gamut and averaged 427 nits of brightness.

Thanks to the Titan's Mini LED display, it effortlessly dominated the Strix.

Winner: MSI Titan 18 HX

MSI Titan 18 HX vs. Asus ROG Strix Scar 18: Keyboard and touchpad

We typically don't go over the keyboard and touchpad experience when facing off gaming laptops, but there are significant differences between the MSI Titan 18 HX and Asus ROG Strix Scar 18.

MSI Titan 18 HX vs. Asus ROG Strix Scar 18

(Image credit: Future)

The Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 offers your standard-fare keyboard and touchpad experience. It features a bouncy keyboard, a wide deck, and a pleasantly smooth touchpad.

The MSI Titan 18 HX, however, is anything but standard. It features a fully mechanical keyboard that is arguably one of the best keyboards I've tested on a gaming laptop. It also comes with a haptic-touchpad that is flat against the deck — I much prefer a standard touchpad in this instance, but I could get used to it with time.

Despite that, I'm pulling out a discrete gaming mouse if I'm playing, but I'd still be using the laptop's keyboard. With this logic, the choice is easy.

Winner: MSI Titan 18 HX

MSI Titan 18 HX vs. Asus ROG Strix Scar 18: Graphics

Both the MSI Titan 18 HX and Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 are packing an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 GPU with 16GB of VRAM. You'd be surprised how much regular ol' RAM impacts graphics performance. Titan is sporting 128GB, while the Strix has 32GB. Let's see how they match up.

MSI Titan 18 HX vs. Asus ROG Strix Scar 18

(Image credit: Future)

On the “Assassin’s Creed Valhalla” benchmark (Ultra, 1080p), the Titan nailed 169 frames per second, scoring 15 fps over the Strix (154 fps). The Titan got 73 fps at 2400p, while the Strix averaged 119 fps at 1600p (those are their native resolutions).

The MSI Titan 18 HX was 4 frames ahead of the Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 on the “Far Cry 6” benchmark (Ultra, 1080p). The former achieved 120 fps, while the latter settled for 116 fps. At their native resolutions, the Titan and Strix hit 71 fps and 106 fps, respectively.

In “Borderlands 3” (Badass, 1080p), the Titan came in at 181 fps, dominating the Strix (141 fps) — 40 frames is enough space to fit a playable game. At their native resolutions, the Titan and Strix scored 64 fps and 114 fps, respectively.

If we're raiding tombs, the MSI Titan 18 HX shot up to 190 fps on the “Shadow of the Tomb Raider” benchmark (Highest, 1080p), sliding past the Asus ROG Strix Scar 18's 167-fps. At their native resolutions, the Titan and Strix hit 65 fps and 118 fps, respectively.

Numbers don't lie.

Winner: MSI Titan 18 HX

MSI Titan 18 HX vs. Asus ROG Strix Scar 18: Performance

Similar to the graphics situation, both the MSI Titan 18 HX and Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 are sporting the new Intel Core i9-14900HX processor. However, the former is powering through with 128GB of RAM and two 2TB SSDs, while the latter features only 32GB of RAM and one 2TB SSD.

MSI Titan 18 HX vs. Asus ROG Strix Scar 18

(Image credit: Future)

On the Geekbench 6.1 overall performance test, the Titan scored 16,501, which is excellent. However, the Strix managed to slide on by with 17,300.

When the machines transcoded a 4K video to 1080p on our HandBrake benchmark, the Titan completed it in 2 minutes and 33 seconds while the Strix did it in 2 minutes and 48 seconds.

The MSI Titan 18 HX's two 2TB SSDs clocked in a transfer rate of 2,664 megabytes per second, while the Asus ROG Strix Scar 18's singular 2TB SSD managed 2,259 MBps.

Both gaming laptops are incredibly powerful. I'd lean toward giving this to the Titan since it bested the Strix two out of three times. The Strix did beat the Titan in overall performance, and it was a tight race on the other two. However, with more RAM, you'll naturally be able to take on more tasks.

Winner: MSI Titan 18 HX

MSI Titan 18 HX vs. Asus ROG Strix Scar 18: Battery life

Now this section is going to be pitiful. Gaming laptops can have great battery life occasionally, but not the ones flaunting an RTX 4090.

MSI Titan 18 HX vs. Asus ROG Strix Scar 18

(Image credit: Future)

The MSI Titan 18 HX lasted only 2 hours and 40 minutes on the Laptop Mag battery test, which is nearly 2 hours shorter than the Asus ROG Strix Scar 18. The Strix lasted 4 hours and 23 minutes.

When gaming, however, the Titan lasted 1:36, whereas the Strix survived 1:20. However, both are abysmal, and you should be plugged in if you want to use the GPU to its full extent.

Winner: Asus ROG Strix Scar 18

Overall winner: MSI Titan 18 HX

This was a battle of titans — and at least one literal Titan. The MSI Titan 18 HX and Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 are the most powerful gaming laptops that I've reviewed in 2024 so far. I gave both of them 4 out of 5 stars, but I did give only one of them an Editor's Choice award. It just so happens to be the victor of this very bout.

That's right — the MSI Titan 18 HX takes it away. If we're talking about power, there is no equal. It's muscles aren't the only thing it has going for it, either. The Titan wowed me with its gorgeous Mini LED display and crunchy mechanical keyboard. It's a gaming laptop at its peak.

However, the Titan's victory does not take away from the Asus ROG Strix Scar 18's successes. It's cheaper, sleeker, and lasts a hell of a lot longer unplugged (relatively). If you want amazing performance without feeling like you're hauling around a brick's worth of paperweights, the Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 is the one for you.

That doesn't change that the MSI Titan 18 HX is the victor. This is the only choice that makes sense if you're pining for absolute power. I would say you don't have to worry about buyer's remorse, but if you can afford a $5,399 gaming laptop, I don't think you have much to worry about.

Winner: MSI Titan 18 HX

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Rami Tabari
Editor

Rami Tabari is an Editor for Laptop Mag. He reviews every shape and form of a laptop as well as all sorts of cool tech. You can find him sitting at his desk surrounded by a hoarder's dream of laptops, and when he navigates his way out to civilization, you can catch him watching really bad anime or playing some kind of painfully difficult game. He’s the best at every game and he just doesn’t lose. That’s why you’ll occasionally catch his byline attached to the latest Souls-like challenge.