Our test lab last year got acquainted with the compact desktop ROG G20CB which earned the “For Innovation and Design” award. ASUS expands the range of small gaming PCs, and today in our laboratory ROG GR8 II is the brother of the successful G20. The novelty is noticeably more compact: in volume – only four liters – the desktop competes with PlayStation 4 (4.5 l) and Xbox One S (3.4 l). However, ASUS engineers managed to fit into this volume a productive processor and graphics card, which is quite enough for games at maximum settings in Full HD resolution.
As it often happens, the configuration (and, accordingly, the cost) of the ROG GR8 II can be different. We came to the version with a Core i7-7700 processor, but there is also a modification with Core i5-7400. The amount of RAM can be 8, 16 or 32 GB at once. The capacity of drives also varies depending on the version of ROG GR8 II: 500 GB or 1 TB of HDD; 128, 256 or 512 GB of SSD. But the graphics adapter is unchanged for all versions of this compact desktop – GeForce GTX 1060 3 GB.
|The ASUS ASUS ROG GR8 II|
|The central processor||Intel Core i7-7700, 4/8 cores / threads, 3.6 (4.2) GHz, 8 MB L3, LGA1151|
|Operative memory||DDR4-2400 (17-17-17-39), 2 × 8 GB|
|The motherboard||H110 Express|
|Video display boards||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 3 GB|
|Accumulators||2.5 “HDD (SATA 3.0, 7200 rpm), 1 TB|
|1 × M.2 SSD, 256 GB|
|Network||Ethernet, 10/100/1000 Mbps;
|The power supply unit||External, 19.5 V, 11.8 A|
|Interfaces on the front panel||1 × 3.5 mm mini-jack (microphone);
1 × 3.5 mm mini-jack (headphones);
2 × USB 3.0 Type-A
|Interfaces on the rear panel||2 × USB 3.0;
1 × USB 3.1 Type-A;
1 × USB 3.1 Type-A;
1 × RJ-45;
1 × 3.5 mm mini-jack;
1 × S / P-DIF;
2 × HDMI;
1 × DisplayPort
|The sizes, mm||88 × 299 × 281|
|Operating system software||Windows 10 Home x64|
|Warranty period||1 year|
|The price, rubles||100 000|
The configuration that we visited on testing costs an average of 100,000 rubles in Moscow retail. The initial version, with Core i5-7400, 8 GB DDR4-2400, a hard drive of 500 GB and a 128 GB SSD, will cost the potential buyer 80,000 rubles.
As I said, ASUS managed to create a really compact gaming system unit. Including because it has an external power supply – ASUS ROG GR8 II lacks a plastic “brick” for 230 watts. Weighs ROG GR8 II only four kilograms (excluding BP), so you can take it with you – take it to the cottage or to work.
In the case of the ROG GR8 II, it is very difficult to figure out how much the same configuration would cost when assembling in-house. Personally, I did not see the sale of 4-liter corps, which would fit a full-fledged discrete graphics card. There are projects Dr Zaber Sentry PC and DAN A4-SFX, but they can not be found in the open sale. In any case, these bodies are larger – 6.9 and 7.2 liters, respectively. Plus, the ROG GR8 II uses a motherboard, graphics card and solid state drive that you can not buy in a regular computer store. Therefore, we can only estimate how much the system unit will cost with the same level of performance. Let it be assembled on the basis of the 10-liter case Fractal Design Node 202 .
|The central processor||Intel Core i7-7700, 4/8 cores / threads, 3.6 (4.2) GHz, 8 MB L3, LGA1151||Intel Core i7-7700, 4/8 cores / threads, 3.6 (4.2) GHz, 8 MB L3, LGA1151||20,000 rubles.|
|The cooling of the central processor||Own development||CRYORIG C7||2 400 rub.|
|Operative memory||DDR4-2400 (17-17-17-37), 2 × 8 GB||Patriot Memory PSD416G2400KH, DDR4-2400 (16-16-16-36), 2 × 8 GB||7 500 rubles.|
|The motherboard||H110 Express||ASUS B150I PRO GAMING / WIFI / AURA||7 500 rubles.|
|Video display boards||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 3 GB||ASUS DUAL-GTX1060-3G GDDR5 3 GB||14,000 rubles.|
|Accumulators||HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630, 1 TB||HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630, 1 TB||4,000 rubles.|
|Intel SSDSCKGW256H6, 256 GB||Intel SSDSCKJW240H601, 240 GB||6 400 rubles.|
|Optical drive||No||No||0 rubles|
|The power supply unit||230 W, external||450 W, complete with housing||0 rubles|
|The case||ASUS ROG GR8 II||Fractal Design Node 202||9 000 rubles.|
|Operating system software||Windows 10 Home x64||Windows 10 Home x64||6,000 rubles.|
|The price of the||100,000 rubles.||76,800 rubles.|
It turns out that overpayment is about 23 000 rubles – not so much, in my opinion. First, in the case of the ROG GR8 II, all components are already assembled in a unique case with backlighting, tested for successful collaboration and a warranty applies to the whole device. Secondly, we emphasize once again – there are no 4-liter corps for gaming systems on the market.
Externally, ROG GR8 II is very similar to the ROG GT51CA, which I recently tested : the same design techniques are used here.
The exterior “skin” of the body is entirely made of matte plastic. Quality material, fingerprints and dust does not attract. But small scratches attract attention. The only glossy part on the case is a decorative triangle, located on the right side.
The front panel is highlighted, the intricate pattern is divided into five zones, the color (up to 8 million colors) and the type of glow which are set in the AURA application. From the front interfaces there are two USB 3.0 A-type ports and 3.5-mm mini jacks for headphones and a microphone.
On the back, on the I / O panel, are two connectors for USB 3.1 A and C-types, another pair of USB 3.0 and one RJ-45, S / P-DIF and 3.5-mm for acoustics . From the video card there are two HDMI 2.0b and one DisplayPort 1.4. The manufacturer positions the ROG GR8 II as a miniature station for VR entertainment – that’s why it has an HDMI pair. The Kensington lock slot and the solid-state drive activity indicator are still at the rear.
The video card sucks cool air through the bottom panel of the case. In the design of the graphics adapter, a supercharger of a tangential type is used, as with other reference boards (they are also the Founders Edition) of NVIDIA. The processor cooler picks up the air from behind – perforating the perimeter of the input / output panel. The already heated airflow leaves the body through the grate from above. In total, ROG GR8 II provides two active cooling elements: for the processor and video card, there are no other fans.
Analysis of ROG GR8 II is not a trivial task. The first thing to do is to dismantle the plastic panel located on top (do it carefully, because the plastic latches are rather fragile). Under it are hidden three screws – unscrew them, and another screw unscrew on the bottom. Now the side cover quietly shifts to the side – and to our gaze the following picture opens.
Constructively ROG GR8 II is quite difficult. Many elements are connected to the motherboard using flat cables – this assembly is typical for laptops.
The external power supply is connected to the converter, which distributes the load to the motherboard, processor and video card. Without further disassembly of the device, the user can only get to the drives and one RAM bar. And to remove the 3D accelerator, you will need to remove, including the motherboard.
The HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630 1TB hard drive, Intel SSDSCKGW256H6 solid-state drive, SK Hynix HMA81GS6AFR8N-UH RAM and Intel 8260NGW wireless module were installed in our ROG GR8 II. The HDD is connected to the motherboard via a flat cable. RAM operates at an effective frequency of 2,400 MHz with high by today’s benchmarks timings 17-17-17-39. The SSD is connected to the M.2 port via the SATA 3.0 interface. The Intel 8260NGW wireless adapter with MIMO 2 × 2 antennas provides 802.11a / b / g / n / ac communication with a maximum bandwidth of up to 867 Mbps. There is Bluetooth 4.2.
As you can see, with the ROG GR8 II upgrade it’s not so simple. Even if you decide to get to the iron, then, as a matter of fact, you can replace only drives and one lath of RAM by yourself. The second RAM module is installed in the slot SO-DIMM, which is decoupled on the other side of the motherboard.
A small cooler is responsible for cooling the CPU, two copper heat pipes are connected to the radiator. The video card is a simplified version of the GeForce GTX 1060 with the corresponding SB. A similar model ASUS, sold in retail, I did not find.
In a simple ROG GR8 II works almost noiselessly, although the CPU temperature even without load is kept at 47-50 degrees Celsius.
Let me remind you that with proper cooling, the frequency of the Core i7-7700 under load on all four cores is kept at 4 GHz. However, in the cramped case it was not possible to realize serious cooling: the system does not allow the central processor to warm up to 100 degrees Celsius (although 99 degrees is still available on the hottest core), but under the load the frequency in LinX 0.7.0 is constant decreases to 3200 MHz, and still there is noticeable throttling. In this mode of operation, the desktop is noticeably noisy: at a distance of 30 centimeters from the ROG GR8 II, the measuring device recorded an acoustic pressure of 45.5 dB. However, representatives of the company assured us that on tests we had a pre-production model and in retail devices the cooling system works more efficiently.
In the games and benchmarks, the CPU feels slightly better – it heats up to 92 degrees Celsius on the most hot core. There is no throttling, but basically the Core i7-7700 runs at a frequency of 3800 MHz.
The video card heats up to 74 degrees Celsius. To keep this temperature, the cooling fan rotates to ~ 3400 rpm (66% of the maximum possible frequency). The cooler of the video card is very loud – the sound level meter registered 49 dB from the same distance. Alas, small dimensions leave an imprint on the temperature-frequency behavior of the components in the ROG GR8 II.
The Core i7-7700 is not overclocked – it’s a version without the K index. Therefore, the system unit did not get either autorun functions or overclocking components of the system in the BIOS and software. But, frankly, it would still be superfluous – with overclocking the cooling system would certainly not have been able to cope with it.
The firmware of the GR8 II motherboard offers a minimum of settings, but in most cases the user does not have to go into the BIOS menu of the computer.
Traditionally, the software suite of ASUS computers includes the applications GameFirst and Sonic Studio 3. With the help of the first gamer can control traffic, giving preference to games. The second application configures the audio subsystem ROG SupremeFX Audio (based on the Realtek ALC1150 chip). The backlight is adjustable in the AURA utility. Update drivers, BIOS and system recovery using the ASUS Command software package.
|The nominal value of ]||1506 (1708) / 2000 MHz||1835-1898 / 2000 MHz|
|Dispersal||1756 (1959) / 2274 MHz||2088-2126 / 2274 MHz|
GeForce GTX 1060 version 3 GB, used in ROG GR8 II, works on reference frequencies. In games, the real speed of the GPU varies in the range from 1835 to 1898 MHz. With MSI Aferburner I managed to overclock the graphics card to 1756 MHz on the chip and 2274 (9,096) MHz from memory – this required an increase in the power limit by 16%. In the 3DMark Time Spy, overclocking resulted in an improvement of 10%.
I think that overclocking the graphics adapter is not rational in the case of ROG GR8 II. The computer and so noticeably heated under the load and very noisy. In nominal value in Crysis 3, the desktop consumed up to 165 W of electricity. As you can see, the external power supply has a stock, which allows installing the GeForce GTX 1070. But in the overclocking, the energy consumption level of the 4-liter “baby” increased to 200 W. In this mode of operation, the power of the external PSU is sufficient, as they say, back-to-back.
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