I'm not buying an RTX 40 series laptop — why you shouldn't either

Thumbs down on RTX 40 series laptops
(Image credit: Nvidia/Future)

You see, it comes down to two words: price gouging. Some problems seem to persist in the supply chain that is leading to some shocking cost increases — up to $500 has been added to the price of RTX 4080 laptops.

Let’s take a look at what is happening, and try to figure out why.

The RTX 4080 laptop conspiracy 

So let me break down what happened. I posted my review of the Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 (spoiler alert: I really like it) at a time when the price was stated across numerous retailers was $2,899. This cost formed the crux of what I was talking about — expensive, but still better value for money in terms of price-to-performance.

Smash cut to a few days later, and that very same laptop jumped to $3,399, which threw my entire ratio into disarray. What the hell happened between then and now?! Now I’ve got to recalculate the ratio. Let’s bring up the numbers again.

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3DMark Benchmark comparison
3DMark BenchmarkAsus ROG Strix Scar 16Asus ROG Strix Scar 18
Fire Strike3176133138
Time Spy1697618327
Fire Strike Ultra1114212655
Time Spy Extreme88429513
Port Royal (Ray Tracing)1135912345

Beforehand, when we took the Fire Strike results, the Strix Scar 16 stood at 9 cents per performance point. Now, that has gone up to 11 cents per point — the exact same as the RTX 4090-armed Asus ROG Strix Scar 18.

But of course, this is just one side of the story. Let’s look beyond these and get into some actual games.

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Gaming benchmarks
Gaming benchmarkResolutionAsus ROG Strix Scar 16Asus ROG Strix Scar 18
Grand Theft Auto V1080p147.3 FPS152.4 FPS
Row 1 - Cell 0 QHD+112.5 FPS132.1 FPS
DiRT 51080p111.4 FPS179 FPS
Row 3 - Cell 0 QHD+86 FPS146.7 FPS
Shadow of the Tomb Raider1080p181 FPS180.7 FPS
Row 5 - Cell 0 QHD+143 FPS124 FPS

Beforehand, taking GTA V, the Scar 16 gives you $25.76 per frame per second. Now with an increased price, you’re looking at $30.21 per frame — more than the Strix Scar 18’s 4090 ($28).

We’ve reached out to Asus for comment, but it’s clearly not just Asus. Other RTX 4080 laptops have suffered the same fate too. For example, the Razer Blade 16 is set at $3,599 on the company’s website, but move over to Amazon and the price goes up to $3,799.

Asus ROG Strix Scar 16

(Image credit: Future)

Here’s our theory… 

While we wait for Asus to respond (an update will be made to this piece when the company does), I put this conundrum to the rest of my team. The general consensus is clear: supply chain issues continue to persist.

Of course, we are living in a post-pandemic world (though you should continue to take appropriate action to protect yourself), but the stories of stocking problems are still present across the whole industry.

The exact same happened to RTX 30 Series laptops and desktop GPUs — once companies realized they couldn’t keep up with demand, and that consumers were desperate to get their hands on them, the cost of them started to skyrocket. And we’re seeing a lot of the same telltale signs here.

Asus ROG Strix Scar 18

(Image credit: Future)


With all of this in mind, one thing is clear. Now is not the time to buy an RTX 40 Series gaming laptop. Whether it’s the likely supply chain issues or something different, price gouging is still as present as it was at the beginning of the RTX 30 Series era. 

You will be better off waiting a while for stock to normalize and prices to come back down, because at the moment, you’re not getting value for money. In the meantime, we’re keeping our finger on the pulse with our best gaming laptop deals list, so keep an eye on that for savings worthy of your investment. 

Jason England
Content Editor

Jason brought a decade of tech and gaming journalism experience to his role as a writer at Laptop Mag, and he is now the Managing Editor of Computing at Tom's Guide. He takes a particular interest in writing articles and creating videos about laptops, headphones and games. He has previously written for Kotaku, Stuff and BBC Science Focus. In his spare time, you'll find Jason looking for good dogs to pet or thinking about eating pizza if he isn't already.