Computex 2014: The ASUS Booth Tourby Ian Cutress on June 11, 2014 11:45 AM EST
Two of the biggest announcements from ASUS at Computex were the launches of its two new gaming desktop systems.
The GR8 (greeeeat) is a 1.5 liter book-sized HTPC designed to be on the shelf and provide an access point to the home television for gaming, watching content or streaming via Miracast. ASUS had the GR8 in the middle of a bookshelf to exhibit how the GR8 might adapt to the home environment.
In terms of height and weight, it easily matches a good hardback book. Next to a monitor, it fits easily enough on the desk as well.
We were unable to have a look at the internals, however there are large custom elements to this design so I would not doubt that we are more likely to see a laptop type arrangement inside regarding DRAM, storage and cooling. The GR8 will ship with i7 CPUs (presumably low power, unsure if full desktop parts or mobile parts, 45W max?) and a GTX 750 Ti for display duties. There is a single SATA drive that comes with the device, and I am under the impression that ASUS will offer both SSD and HDD variants. Users can also add another 2.5” SATA drive. I believe the chipset is one of the H85/H87 variants, perhaps even a H97 variant, although if a mobile CPU is used it might be a HM87.
The GR8 is designed to work with SteamOS and the Steam Controller, with ASUS planning to launch a Steam version when the SteamOS schedule is more clear and the controller is finalized. The system also includes gigabit Ethernet, 2T2R 802.1ac dual-band WiFi and SupremeFX audio. The initial versions will come pre-installed with Windows 8.1.
The ROG G20
The G20 punches up the volume from 1.5 liters to 12.5 liters but in return delivers a system with a full-fat i7 and a GTX 780 integrated into a whisper quiet (25 dB idle) design.
The model on display was equipped with an i7-4790 Haswell Refresh CPU, which clocks in at 84W. The GPU draws a lot of power as well, and given the press release working that states ‘takes advantage of natural convection’, I would assume that the cooling for both the CPU and GPU is the case itself. The device is not fanless – I would assume a low noise directional fan being in the case somewhere, taking advantage of the ‘hidden airflow tunnel’ that draws air in the front and out the rear. It was not clear to see if this system uses an integrated power supply or a power brick, however given the 180W+ power draw I would assume it is an internal power supply.
Like the GR8, I believe the final touches are being placed on the design. I would assume that the samples on display were PVT units, suggesting that an initial batch should occur by the end of the year.