Introduction, Design Features
In a day and age where simple computing can be had for underneath $100, we do a double-take when we see a mechanism that clocks in during fifty times that price.
But that’s a going rate for Asus’ latest Republic of Gamers (RoG) desktop, dubbed a GT51CA. The $4,999 pattern we’re reviewing is a savage in any dimension, station over dual feet high and weighing north of 50 pounds. Inside a design-forward box is usually about a fastest prebuilt gaming desktop you’ll find in late 2016.
The processor is Intel’s unbarred Core i7-6700KNvidia GeForce GTX 1080 graphics cards, interconnected together in SLI. This isn’t a initial time we’ve reviewed a desktop with dual of these flagship cards, and somehow we’re always blissful to oblige. It’s a 4K-crushing combo for gaming on a vast screen. The GT51CA barreled by a gaming benchmarks yet trouble.
Our examination unit’s 64GB of dual-channel RAM, and 1TB of RAID 0 SSD storage are rather important on a spec sheet, too.
But notwithstanding a crazy specs, a cost of this savage still has us in a amiable state of (sticker) shock. One thing is certain: we’ll be awaiting soundness during this price. As we’ll exhibit shortly though, a GT51CA’s shortcomings didn’t shun a scrutiny, and we were legitimately astounded in that areas it came adult short.
So with that tiny teaser, let’s see how a abounding and famous gamers live.
The box a GT51CA arrived in was massive, and Asus couldn’t have finished it any smaller. This desktop is definitely enormous, during 27x15x28 inches. Sitting on tip of a desk, it towers over monitors (shameless joke intended), and usually about all that’s approaching to be sitting subsequent to it.
The GT51CA would definitely stir during a LAN party, yet you’ll need a barrow to circle it there. Its 50.7-pound weight is adequate that you’ll wish to consider delicately before lifting it. Most normally-sized gaming desktops we examination land somewhere between 30 and 40 pounds.
The pattern of a GT51CA is unequivocally a stand-out factor, though. It’s like zero we’ve seen before, not even from boutique brands. The sculpted extraneous panels and pointed sides are tough to miss.
The Iron Man-evoking tie on a front is indeed an atmosphere intake, obliged for promulgation cold atmosphere to a twin graphics cards. It doesn’t indeed spin or differently move, approaching due to reserve concerns. Like a rest of a case, it’s fancier than it needs to be. But during this cost point, that’s a idea.
The GT51CA’s lighting is detached into 4 zones. The turbine-like atmosphere intake on a front and a inside of a box are a dual zones with RGB lighting. They can be set to cycle between 8 million colors. The other dual zones—the Asus RoG trademark on a front of a box and a a dual stripes using down possibly side—light adult in red only.
The lighting is configurable in a pre-installed Aegis II software, shown above. We found a program interface to be a tiny severe around a edges. It primarily wasn’t utterly transparent to us how to change a patterns, yet we figured it out after a integrate of mins of fiddling around. A special lighting thesis is preconfigured for a GT51CA’s overclocking mode.
The symbol on a left side of a front panel, conflicting a energy button, activates a Aegis II software’s “Turbo 2” overclocking mode, pulling a Core i7-6700K processor to 4.6GHz. (Look for a overclocked benchmarks in a Performance section.)
Under a energy symbol is a GT51CA’s slim tray-load visual drive. It was usually a DVD expostulate in a examination unit; a Blu-ray expostulate would have been good given a system’s high price.
The GT51CA’s outdoor box component is plastic, nonetheless it’s plain and creak-free. The inner box structure is steel. The steel doesn’t have a finish applied, yet we couldn’t tell from looking by a tiny side row window. Even after opening a side panel, teh interior looked fine. The interior box lighting is singular as it is, so carrying a blacked-out box interior competence have finished it too tough to see anything by a box window.
The GT51CA has plain connectivity. The tip corner of a front row crowds in dual USB Type-A 3.0 ports, a USB Type-A 3.1 port, and a USB Type-C 3.1 port. The latter reserve energy even when a desktop is off.
To a right of a USB ports are a detached headphone and microphone jacks. The headphone jack is advertised as “Hi-Fi,” yet we were unhappy a one in a examination section constructed static, that was forward adequate that we could hear it over in-game sounds, and finished adult switching to a USB headset. Hopefully that’s a problem with a examination unit, and not a widespread issue. But yet several GT51CA systems on palm to test, it’s tough to say.
On a desktop’s behind row resides a remaining connectivity. Two USB Type-A 2.0 ports and a bequest PS/2 pier live during a top. Below them sits a bank of 6 USB Type-A 3.0 ports, an Ethernet jack, and 7.1 approximate sound jacks, as good as SPDIF. We like that instead of usually restraint off motherboard video ports, as is mostly a box with gaming building where you’re meant to bond to a dedicated graphics card(s), Asus used a motherboard here that has no on-board video ports. This eliminates problem and usually creates for a nicer-looking complement backside.
You definitely won’t be wanting for guard connections, as a dual GTX 1080 Founder’s Edition graphics cards any have 3 full-size DisplayPorts, one HDMI, and one DVI-D port.
One of a GT51CA’s some-more singular and singular facilities is a enclosed near-field communication (NFC) wristband. Hover this usually above a bright RoG trademark on a front of a desktop, and you’ll activate a dark storage volume. “Shadow Drive,” as Asus calls it, appears as an 847GB volume in Windows Explorer after a wristband is detected. It worked seamlessly in a testing, yet we substantially won’t be angry about a deficiency of this underline on a subsequent desktop we review.
Three Phillips-head screws contingency initial be private from a behind of a row to cocktail off a left side and reveal a GT51CA’s innards. With a screws removed, a left side slides to a rear, yet this compulsory an aberrant volume of bid on a examination section to better a initial attrition prove and cocktail it loose.
The darkened interior has a neat look. There’s a graphic miss of manifest cables, and a ones that are manifest are orderly routed. The bottom-mounted energy supply means a energy block won’t be swinging from a tip of a desktop.
The energy supply is a 700-watt section with an 80 PLUS Silver certification. It isn’t modular, yet as we noted, a cabling is good managed.
The vast ATX motherboard sits above a energy supply compartment. It’s a disdainful indication for a GT51CA, not a customary Asus board, with 4 DIMM slots for DDR4 memory, 3 PCI-Express x16 slots, and 3 PCI-Express x1 slots.
The round CPU waterblock has a red bright Asus RoG trademark on it. The closed-loop glass cooling complement has a radiator mounted on a behind of a tower, with a 120mm fan trustworthy to empty a gentle air. There are no top-mounted fans, yet there are perforations for movement adult there.
Two matching M.2 Type-2280 (80mm) SSDs make adult a foot expostulate in a GT51CA configuration. One lives underneath a greatest GTX 1080 in a motherboard’s M.2 Type-2280 (80mm) slot. The graphics label contingency come out for it to be accessible. The other SSD is adapter-mounted in a PCI-Express x4 container underneath a reduce of a dual graphics cards.
One of a GT51CA’s 5 3.5-inch bays is populated by a 1TB Toshiba tough expostulate in a examination unit. The bays all have tool-less slide-out trays; simply splash a ends together to remove, and we can cocktail in another expostulate and slip it into a chassis. The complement is upgrade-friendly in this regard, yet removing energy and SATA cables to any drives we competence supplement after on presents a teenager challenge. Extra energy cables are stored behind a black cosmetic hide underneath a 3.5-inch cage, yet if there is an apparent approach to get a hide off, we couldn’t find it. Furthermore, a motherboard’s 6 SATA 6Gbps ports are underneath a tip GTX 1080, so you’ll approaching need to mislay a label to entrance them.
The GT51CA includes a keyboard and rodent of above-average quality.
The automatic keyboard appears to be disdainful to a GT51CA; we were incompetent to find it listed on Asus’s RoG site as a keyboard advertised for sale on a own.
Starting on a certain note, a keyboard has a glorious appreciative feel. Its keys make a appreciative clicks and clacks that automatic keyboards are famous for. The WASD cluster has vacant orange keycaps, yet a customary keys are enclosed in a box, should we confirm to barter them out.
The keyboard has a comparatively stout cosmetic frame, and a soft-touch palm rest is included, that snaps on with some difficulty. The keyboard’s blueprint is as customary as they come. When pulpy in conjunction, a Fn pivotal on a right side of a space bar activates a delegate media control functions printed on a F1 by F6 keys.
The keyboard’s underline set ends there. It has no built-in ports or dedicated macro keys. There are what seem to be holes for USB Type-A and headphone/microphone jacks behind a NumLock indicator light, yet they’re filled in.
The oddest partial about this keyboard is that it uses a PS/2 connector. A USB adapter was trustworthy to it, yet that’s a bit weird in this day and age. No consternation it doesn’t doesn’t have backlighting, gaming macro keys, or pass by ports. Functionality like that isn’t accessible over PS/2, a connector that finished a entrance in 1987.
Although it provides a smashing typing experience, a GT51CA’s enclosed keyboard leaves us wanting more. We routinely wouldn’t be so critical, yet a GT51CA’s cost prove implies we should be removing a best.
The rodent enclosed with a GT51CA is accessible for sale on a own. The Asus GX950 laser rodent is a dedicated gaming indication with a laser sensor. It retails for $79.99, yet Asus had it listed in their online store for $49.99 as we wrote this, yet it was offered for around $70 during many other online outlets.
The rodent is designed for medium-to-large right hands. (Sorry, lefties, it’s not ambidextrous.) The arch figure curves some-more towards a rear, with prolonged left and right-click buttons. The grooved cutout on a left puts your ride within easy strech of a dual side buttons directly above. The slight opening between a dual side buttons creates it probable to tell them detached by feel. The right side of a rodent has a mouth for your pinky to rest on, that is appreciated.
The mouse’s tip surfaces are coated in a grippy soft-touch material, and a rodent feels vast in a palm during first. But we can balance a weight to your fondness interjection to a built-in weight composition system: Turn a round square on a mouse’s underside to a left to clear a weight tray. Five 4.5-gram weighs are included.
The GX950’s braided wire feels durable enough. What’s truly singular about it, though, is a five-way tractable wire management. The wire can be routed to a left, right, true out a front, or kinked off to a left or right around dedicated channels on a underside of a mouse. Just press a cord into whichever channel we wish to use.
The red switch behind a corkscrew circle changes a DPI. The GX950’s laser sensor supports adult to an implausible 8200 DPI, yet it’s tough to suppose wanting that many sensitivity. The DPI turn is indicated by a four-LED light cluster, smartly positioned behind a left-click button, so it won’t be dark by your hand.
The bright symbol usually behind from a DPI switch toggles between a mouse’s 3 onboard profiles. Its tone changes to green, red, or yellow to prove a comparison profile.
Profiles and other settings are configurable in a rather direct Asus Gaming Mouse software, that was preinstalled on a GT51CA.
We were gratified to see a rodent support detached X and Y pivot DPI adjustments. Only dual DPI settings can be stored per profile, though.
All of a buttons can be reconfigured, including a DPI switch if desired. To entrance a macro editor (which is sadly flattering basic), change one of a buttons to a Script option.
The program binds and manages usually 3 profiles, yet we can import and trade profiles if needed. We’d have elite total form storage, and a ability to barter them in and out of a mouse’s 3 onboard profiles at-will, as against to carrying to understanding with importing and exporting.
The GX950 was gentle to use while gaming, nonetheless a behind arched figure took some removing used-to, forcing a palm to lay a bit serve behind than usual. Minus any genuine customizable lighting, a GX950 is a excellent instance of a gaming mouse.
The GT51CA is listed on Asus’ Web site as being accessible with opposite specifications, yet a usually one we could find for sale in a United States as we wrote this was a GT51CA-XB71K pattern we’re deliberating here. You know, a one that’s listed during $4,999.
For that volume of dosh, you’re removing a high finish of a high end. Its Core i7-6700K is a fastest processor we can buy for Intel’s mainstream LGA 1151 socket. It comes overclocked to 4.3GHz in a GT51CA, adult from 4.0GHz yet overclocking. And afterwards a push-button overclock boosts a processor even serve to 4.6GHz. It’s singular we see even a boutique code pull a processor this far. Asus says it puts a processors used in a GT51CA by a special preference process.
To exam a processor overclocking, we used Futuremark’s FireStrike Extreme benchmark. The altogether measure during a bottom overclock was 14,644. When overclocked, it showed roughly no change to 14,681. This was unchanging opposite mixed runs.
The production sub-score of a benchmark, however, went from 13,184 to 13,712, or an alleviation of 4 percent. That’s indeed flattering tighten to what we’d pattern a disproportion to be from overclocking to this degree, as going from 4.3GHz to 4.6GHz is usually a 7 percent increase. It’s magnitude noticeable, even in benchmarks. But during slightest you’ll have bragging rights.
A singular Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 is challenging enough. The GT51CA-XB71K has two of them, connected together around a high-bandwidth SLI bridge. This setup is usually in a component when gaming during a 4K resolution. Our benchmarks to follow will uncover it has copiousness of headroom even during that resolution.
The 64GB of RAM in a examination section is overkill. We feel 16GB is a honeyed mark for cost to performance, as so distant we haven’t seen justification of a diversion that definitely responds to more. Then again, given a GT51CA’s price, we’ll take all a RAM we can get. And lots of RAM is useful for other tasks, like calm origination with vast files. 64GB is a limit a GT51CA’s motherboard supports, and it’s organised in a four-16GB DIMM configuration. The RAM runs during DDR4-2400 out of a box, yet supports XMP profiles for DDR4-2800 in an overclocked state. This is finished by a motherboard’s BIOS. We didn’t examination with this feature, yet we are softly extraordinary as to since a GT51CA isn’t using that approach out of a box.
The Windows 10 Home handling complement of a examination section was commissioned on a C: drive, that is a 1TB RAID 0 array stoical of dual 512GB Samsung SSDs. These are PCI-Express drives ancillary a NVMe protocol, and some of a fastest available. Our spontaneous CrystalDiskMark benchmarking showed usually over a 3,000MB per second sequential review and write speeds. The 1TB delegate tough expostulate in a GT51CA was usually during 200MB per second for reads, or about 1/15th as fast. That’s usually consecutive performance, though. In day-to-day usage, we can’t contend we beheld a disproportion between a GT51CA’s RAID 0 blazing array and a singular mainstream SSD.
The 1TB 3.5-inch delegate tough expostulate in a GT51CA feels a bit miserly during this cost point. Considering 8TB drives are straightforwardly accessible during around $200, and 1TB drives start during about $50, there’s unequivocally no reason to hang to such tiny storage ability when you’re spending this much.
And while we’re on a theme of surprises, something a GT51CA has that we won’t find on many high-end gaming desktops is pre-installed bloatware—in a form of a whinging McAfee hearing and Wild Tangent games. We’d pattern this kind of thing on a $300 detachable, yet still wouldn’t be happy about it. To contend it was a warn to see some on a product this costly is an understatement. As complement cruft goes, what’s here is distant from a misfortune we’ve seen, and shouldn’t take some-more than a few mins to remove. But on a complement labelled around $5,000, it’s an intensely out-of-place annoyance.
We put together a ridicule DIY build with a same size of components as a GT51CA-XB71K, and came out to usually bashful of $3,500. We also built an Alienware Aurora R5 with roughly matching specs, and it came to $3,895 in early Dec 2016, while an AVADirect Avant came to $3,765. We didn’t embody a keyboard or rodent in a builds, yet ones on standard with a GT51CA’s bundled peripherals would usually supplement around $100. In short, there appears to be utterly a reward for a GT51CA’s design, purify build, NFC wrist band, and other features. Typically, complement builders tend to assign around a 20 percent reward over a cost of tools for things like public and warranty. But with a Asus GT51CA-XB71K, that series is a tiny over 30 percent.
The fans in this savage desktop include of a front-mounted intake, a 120mm empty fan in a energy supply, and a 120mm empty trustworthy to a processor’s glass cooling radiator. There is also, of course, a cooling fan inside any GTX 1080 graphics card.
The atmosphere from a front intake creates a approach opposite a graphics cards. The judgment here is that a atmosphere will arise to a top, where it can exit out a behind 120mm radiator-mounted fan. The desktop’s other primary atmosphere intake is a endless puncture in a tip panel.
We enabled a limit 4.6GHz overclock on a Core i7-6700K, and afterwards did a 30 notation army in Rise of a Tomb Raider. The processor finished adult attack 89 degrees C, a extremely aloft heat than we expected. It’s next a chip’s maximum, yet not by a vast margin. The 4.5GHz overclocked Core i7-6700K in a AVADirect Avant, interconnected with a incomparable Corsair-brand glass cooler, usually strike 66 degrees C in a testing. Even a 34-inch all-in-one Digital Storm Aura usually strike a upper-70-degree C range.
The Nvidia GTX 1080 graphics cards surfaced out during 85 degrees C. That’s a normal for a Founder’s Edition card. The bottom label ran about 10 degrees cooler than a tip card, substantially since it was a initial to breathe a uninformed atmosphere entrance from a front intake. Our GPU-Z logging indicated a cards progressing their core and memory clocks during all times while gaming.
In terms of noise, a GT51CA in ubiquitous creates a low magnitude pale humming when incited on. Most of this comes from a 120mm radiator fan. The box pattern generally lacks vast openings, that helps keep a sounds contained within.
CPU activity causes a behind 120mm radiator fan to speed up, and a volume of sound entrance from a GT51CA increases to a conspicuous degree. Although it lacks distinct engine whine, a tangible volume of sound is poignant and can’t be discharged as credentials noise. Under load, a sound turn simply drowns out many ambient sound in a vicinity.
That aside, a GT51CA is quieter than a AVADirect Avant we tested, that had an alfresco box pattern and some-more 120mm fans. The Alienware Aurora R5, on a other hand, was noticeably quieter than a GT51CA’s volume level. That system, though, had usually one graphics GTX 1080 card.