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Asus Republic of Gamers GT51CA


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.

Asus Republic of Gamers GT51CA (Side Window Angle)

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.



Design

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.

Asus ROG GT51CA (Front and Right)

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.

Asus ROG GT51CA (Air Intake)

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.

Asus ROG GT51CA (Aegis II Lighting)

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.

Asus ROG GT51CA (Front)

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.



Features

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. 

Asus ROG GT51CA (Top Ports)

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.

Asus ROG GT51CA (Rear Panel)

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.

Asus ROG GT51CA (GTX 1080 Ports)

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.

Asus ROG GT51CA (Shadow Drive)

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.

Asus ROG GT51CA (Left Open)

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.

Asus ROG GT51CA (Power Supply)

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.

Asus ROG GT51CA (Drive Bays)

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.



Included Peripherals

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.

Asus ROG GT51CA (Peripherals)

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.

Asus ROG GT51CA (Asus Gaming Mouse Profiles)

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.

Asus ROG GT51CA (Asus Gaming Mouse Macros)

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.



Components Software

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.

Asus Republic of Gamers GT51CA (Side Window)

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.



Thermals

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.

Asus ROG GT51CA (Cooling System)

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.

Asus ROG GT51CA (Back)

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.

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