This year, ASUS is celebrating 10 years since the launch of its Republic of Gamers (ROG) brand. We walked into the ROG briefing room and were immediately met with an awesome custom-built Lego set to celebrate the company’s decade-long entry into the high-performance enthusiast gaming market.
ASUS ROG GX700 4K UHD notebook with detachable liquid cooling module
ASUS GX700 "Hydro Overclocking System" cooling module attachment (1.2kg / 2.65 lbs)
In the ROG briefing room we saw the ROG GX700, the world’s first liquid-cooled gaming notebook with detachable “Hydro Overclocking System” cooling module. This notebook was originally announced back in September at IFA in Berlin and features an overclockable Intel Core i7 6820HK 2.70GHz (3.60GHz Turbo) Skylake processor. Full specs include a 17.3-inch Nvidia G-SYNC ready 4K UHD 3840x2160p anti-glare display [or G-SYNC ready 1920x1200p (16:9) Full HD option], up to 64GB of DDR4 2800MHz (O.C.) RAM, a desktop-class Geforce GTX 980 8GB graphics card, up to a 1TB PCI-E 3.0 x4 M.2 SSD, one USB 3.1 (Gen II) Type-C 10Gbps port, three USB 3.0 5Gbps ports, 802.11ac wireless, RJ-45 Ethernet port, headphone jack, microphone jack, SD card reader and one Intel Thunderbolt 3.0 40Gbps port.
ASUS GX700 "Hydro Overclocking System" cooling module design
Source: ASUS - GX700 with Hydro Cooling Attachment connected
The notebook measures 429mm wide by 309mm long by ~35mm thick (16.9 x 12.2 x 1.38 inches) and weighs roughly 3.6kg (7.94 pounds). With the hydro cooling attachment, it weighs 4.8kg (10.58 pounds). Even with the hydro cooling attachment, the device still weighs less than the 5.5kg (12.1-pound) Alienware M18x and should fit very neatly into a backpack.
In the company’s internal benchmark testing, the Core i7 6820HK CPU can see up to a 48 percent improvement with a 4.0GHz base clock and the GTX 980 GPU can see roughly a 43 percent improvement as well. ASUS says this should give gamers a “true” 4K experience with most of the latest titles averaging around 40 frames per second.
ASUS ROG GT51 VR-optimized gaming desktop
Of course, at CES 2016 every system manufacturer wanted a piece of the VR market space and this year ASUS is no exception. The company unveiled its new virtual reality-optimized ROG GT51 gaming desktop with an unlocked Intel Core i7 6700K Skylake processor, two Nvidia Geforce GTX Titan X’s in SLI, 64GB of DDR4 memory (overclockable) and a USB 3.1 (Gen II) Type-C 10Gbps port on the front panel. The GT51 also features the exclusive “ROG Band” feature to let users overclock the system and to activate Shadow Drive, a hidden space on the hard drive. The system also includes ASUS ROG Turbo Gear software to unlock the GT51’s full overclocking potential with just a single click, while the “Aegis II” application can monitor system parameters.
ASUS GT51 desktop pictured with 34-inch ROG Swift PG348Q Ultra Wide (UWQHD) 3440x1440p 100Hz Nvidia G-SYNC panel
ASUS GT51 desktop gaming PC with Core i7 6700K at 4.0GHz and 64GB DDR4
ASUS claims the GT51 has an internal cooling system with dedicated air tunnel “that takes advantage of natural convection to ensure efficient heat management during marathon gaming sessions.”
New MG 4K Series 3840x2160p Adaptive-Sync gaming monitors
The company also took the wraps off two new 28-inch and 24-inch ASUS MG 4K Series gaming monitors. Both 4K UHD 3840x2160p panels feature VESA Adaptive-Sync support for seamlessly smooth gameplay with no tearing. They also feature ASUS GamePlus in-game enhancements, ASUS GameVisual technology for optimized gaming visuals, and ASUS Ultra-Low Blue Light filter for comfortable night viewing.
ASUS ROG XG2 External GPU Docking Station
The ROG XG2 is an external graphics card docking station specially designed for ASUS laptops and is compatible with Geforce and Radeon graphics cards. The device features a proprietary circuit design that allows a notebook with Intel Thunderbolt 3 40Gbps ports to plug in to the external docking station and harness the power of a full desktop GPU. This docking station can also simultaneously charge the laptop, thereby eliminating a redundant notebook power adapter for high-performance gaming. The ROG XG2 can also be unplugged without restarting the laptop.
Needless to say, we have seen external GPU setups in the past running over Thunderbolt 2 connections. That specification only allowed up to a maximum of 20Gbps bandwidth. In comparison, Thunderbolt 3 doubles this limit to 40Gbps, while a single PCI-E 3.0 x16 slot offers 128Gbps. In the future, of course, we may see ultra-wide bandwidth, low-latency interconnects up to 100GB/s and 200GB/s from AMD and Nvidia to overcome the limitations of PCI-Express. But these solutions are catered more towards high-performance supercomputing deployments for now and may take some time to trickle down into the consumer market.
ASUS G752 ROG Series Gaming Notebook
The ASUS G752VL / G752VT is also a serious ROG gaming notebook contender. This notebook was announced in October and features a 17.3-inch Nvidia G-SYNC ready 1920x1080p IPS anti-glare display, up to 64GB of DDR4 2133MHz (overclockable) memory, an Nvidia Geforce GTX 965M, 970M or 980M graphics card, up to a 512GB PCI-E 3.0 x4 M.2 SSD or 1TB HDD, one USB 3.1 (Gen II) Type-C 10Gbps port, three USB 3.0 5Gbps ports, dual-band 802.11ac wireless, RJ-45 Gigabit Ethernet port, Bluetooth 4.0+HS, headphone jack, microphone jack, SD/SDHC/SDXC card reader, Blu-ray burner on select models and one Intel Thunderbolt 3 40Gbps port.
Intel Thunderbolt 3 40Gbps port on ASUS G752 Series notebooks
The device measures 428mm wide by 333mm long by ~43mm thick (16.85 x 13.11 x 1.69 inches) and weighs in at 1.83kg (4.04 pounds) with a 6-cell, 67Wh battery. According to NotebookCheck’s review, however, battery life for the G752 is below average for a gaming notebook. The site measured the device in at just under 2 hours when sitting idly on the desktop in Power Saver mode and on minimum display brightness.
Nevertheless, the G752 has an aggressive design that shows off the new ROG Armor Titanium and Plasma Copper color scheme. It also features a backlit, anti-ghosting gaming keyboard with 30-key rollover for precise input.
If you upgrade to the G752VY series with a Geforce GTX 980M 4GB or 8GB GPU for just $400 to $1000 more, you will also receive ASUS’s exclusive “3D Vapor Chamber” cooling design. This system introduces a larger chamber that acts as a reservoir for liquid cooling in the heat pipes.
Source: PCPerspective - ASUS G752VY "3D Vapor Chamber" cooling design
“Temperature uniformity vapor chambers are commonly found alongside high-performance, high-voltage graphics cards to increase cooling efficiency. The ROG-exclusive mobile 3D Vapor Chamber, together with the copper heat pipe, create an effective and efficient cooling system that helps improve GPU performance for smooth and stable gaming. ROG G752 is the world’s first laptop to integrate a vapor chamber into its cooling system.”
ASUS ZenBook Pro with Skylake refresh
In April 2015, the company introduced its first ZenBook Pro UX501JW with a Core i7 4720HQ 2.60GHz CPU, Nvidia Geforce GTX 960M (2GB and 4GB VRAM options) discrete graphics and a 15.6-inch 4K UHD 3840x2160p IPS 10-point multitouch display (Samsung SDC434B). Other specs included a Samsung SM951 512GB PCI-E 3.0 x4 M.2 SSD (2.15GB/s reads, 1.55GB/s writes), three USB 3.0 / 3.1 (Gen I) 5Gbps ports, Intel Wireless-AC 7260 (802.11a/b/g/n/ac), RJ-45 Ethernet port, Bluetooth 4.0, HDMI port, mini-DisplayPort, SD card reader, 720p HD webcam and a 96Wh Lithium-Polymer battery. The device measured 255mm long by 385mm wide by 22mm thick (10.04 x 15.16 x 0.87 inches) and weighed in a sizable 2.29kg (5.05 pounds). NotebookCheck insisted that it was pretty light for a machine with a 15.6-inch display. However, the first generation Intel Haswell-based ZenBook Pro only achieved about 4 hours and 23 minutes of battery life in the latest revision of the site’s WiFi Surfing Test.
Fast forward to CES 2016, and the company has just taken the wraps off its second-generation ZenBook Pro. This updated MacBook Pro competitor is called the ZenBook Pro UX501VW and features a Core i7 6700HQ 2.60GHz (3.50GHz Turbo) Skylake processor, an Nvidia Geforce GTX 960M graphics card and a 15.6-inch 4K UHD 3840x2160p IPS anti-glare display. Other specs include up to 16GB of DDR4 memory, up to a 1TB PCI-E 3.0 x4 M.2 SSD, 802.11ac wireless, Bluetooth 4.0, one Intel Thunderbolt 3 40Gbps (USB Type-C) port, two USB 3.0 5Gbps ports and an 8.2-amp battery.
The ZenBook Pro UX501VW is available now with a Core i7 6700HQ, 16GB of DDR4 memory, Geforce GTX 960M GPU, and a 512GB PCI-E 3.0 x4 M.2 SSD from Amazon for $1449.