ASUS this month finally began to sell its high-end ROG GT51 desktop in the U.S. The system comes equipped with a factory-overclocked Intel Core i7 processor, two GeForce GTX graphics cards in SLI mode as well as two NVMe PCIe SSDs in RAID 0 to maximize performance. The fully configured ROG GT51 system costs $4999 and marks ASUS’ entry on the market of high-performance desktop PCs.

ASUSTeK Computer was established in 1989 with the purpose to develop and build computer motherboards. The company quickly became famous for its mainboards and by the early 2000s it was the world’s No. 1 producer of mainboards and a leading maker of PC components in general. Starting from 2002~2003, ASUS began to diversify its business and started to make products like notebooks and various peripherals, and in 2006 the company established its Republic of Gamers (ROG) sub-brand for computer components designed specifically for gamers. Eventually, ASUS came up with high-end ROG laptops as well as gaming displays and even became the largest supplier of the aforementioned product categories (at least, according to its own statements). However, despite the fact that ROG-branded motherboards have been used by performance enthusiasts and a variety of boutique PC makers for their builds for a while, ASUS itself did not actively engage into desktop PC market until circa 2014, when it introduced its ROG G20 SFF PC and ROG GR8 console based on custom form factor designs. Over the last couple of years, ASUS has showcased various region specific builds, but the GT51 is the company’s first gaming desktop build to challenge high-end machines from well-known brands. It took the company quite a while to finalize the design and it is finally available for purchase.

The ASUS ROG GT51CA is based on Intel’s Core i7-6700K CPU that can be overclocked in one click to 4.60 GHz as well as a proprietary Intel Z170-based motherboard. The processor is cooled using an ROG-branded closed-loop liquid-cooling system, which fan also acts like an exhaust fan for the whole PC. The system comes equipped with two ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 graphics cards running in SLI mode, 64 GB of DDR4-2800 memory (4×16 GB), two Samsung SM951 512 GB M.2 SSDs operating in RAID 0 mode and with a 1 TB HDD (which has 7200 RPM spindle speed). Since we are talking about a serious gaming PC that has to compete against products from companies like Alienware and Origin PC, the ROG GT51CA can be further customized by their owners, but not built-to-order by retailers. For example, the end users may install faster memory, up to five 3.5”/2.5” HDDs or SSDs, different M.2 drives and so on.

Specifications of ASUS ROG GT51
  ASUS ROG GT51CA
CPU Intel Core i7-6700K at 4.6 GHz
PCH Intel Z170
Motherboard ASUS SKU-Specific Custom
Graphics Up to two NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080
Cooling ASUS closed-loop liquid cooling with 120 mm radiator
Memory Four DIMM slots, 64 GB of DDR4-2800
M.2 Two Samsung SM951 512 GB in RAID 0
Two M.2 (PCIe 3.0 x4) slots for up to two M.2 2280 SSDs
HDD 1 TB HDD with 7200 RPM spindle speed
SATA connectors 6
Storage bays 5×3.5"/2.5"
1×5.25"
Wireless 2×2 802.11ac + BT 4.0
Optional NFC
Ethernet Gigabit Ethernet (Intel I219-V ?)
Display Outputs HDMI/DP/DVI - according to GPU specs
Audio Five 7.1-channel audio connectors
(Realtek ALC1150?)
a mini-jack for headphones
a mini-jack for microphone
Optical S/PDIF
USB 8 × USB 3.0 Type-A (5 Gbps)
1 × USB 3.1 Type-A (10 Gbps)
1 × USB 3.1 Type-C (10 Gbps)
2 × USB 2.0
Dimensions 23" (H) x 10.3" (W) x 23" (D)
58.7 cm (H) x 58.4 cm (W) x 26.2 cm (D)
PSU 700 W PSU by ASUS
Visual Aesthetics Custom lighting:
- Four lighting zones
- Eight color modes
- Motherboard lighting
Price $4999
NB! Exact specifications may vary as ASUS
and partners may offer different configurations.

As for connectivity, the ASUS ROG GT51CA has gigabit ethernet, 802.11ac 8x2 Wi-Fi, multiple USB 3.0 Type-A ports (including two on the front), one USB 3.1 Type-A (10 Gbps) and one USB 3.1 Type-C (10 Gbps) port (both on the front). The audio of the PC clearly deserves a mention because ASUS has installed an audiophile-grade ESS Sabre headphone DAC and amplifier to improve audio quality to the front audio outputs. Meanwhile, for some reason the company decided not to equip its top-of-the-range system with one of its Xonar discrete audio cards and the ROG GT51CA still relies on a 7.1-channel integrated audio solution (which is typically an improved ALC1150 audio solution from ASUS).

Yet another exclusive capability of the ROG GT51CA is the ROG Band, which can be used to access a hidden hard drive space as well as the overclocking mode.

Like systems from boutique PC makers, the ASUS ROG GT51CA has custom dynamic LED lighting effects (eight million colors, four zones) and comes with a mechanical keyboard and a gaming grade mouse with matching design. Unfortunately, at this time ASUS does not offer aerography for its machine.

The ASUS ROG GT51CA premium desktop is available from Amazon, B&H Photo and some other retailers.

Related Reading:

Source: ASUS

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  • vred - Friday, November 11, 2016 - link

    That case. Looks like run-of-the-mill $50 case with Transformer-esque plastic shroud. Reply
  • Eidigean - Friday, November 11, 2016 - link

    The picture is a fake. The specular highlights on the GPUs are identical, and the specular highlights on the HDDs are identical. It's photoshopped together, perhaps as a proof of concept to gauge consumer interest. Reply
  • abrowne1993 - Friday, November 11, 2016 - link

    Most promotional images are faked in one way or another. Reply
  • close - Friday, November 11, 2016 - link

    These days most marketing images are renders. Case in point: http://www.anandtech.com/show/10811/zotac-zbox-mag... Reply
  • Hurn - Friday, November 11, 2016 - link

    Looking at the photo of the rear - where'd the 2nd video card go? There appears to only be one. Reply
  • TemjinGold - Friday, November 11, 2016 - link

    DDR4-2800 for a $5k rig? Really? Reply
  • just4U - Friday, November 11, 2016 - link

    Here is the problem Asus..

    It's gaudy, Bulky, expensive.. and there's nothing of major interest that you could get built anywhere else using many of your own parts for a boatload less.

    My ideal machine would use a smaller aluminum casing.. with a removable MB tray, not so flashy lighting.. (logo's are fine) but a more muted approach that screams quality not bling..
    Reply
  • OooShiny - Friday, November 11, 2016 - link

    Is it just me (and it probably is), but does it seem these Transformers-type tower cases, designed to instill FEAR! in its enemies and POWAH! in the warrior who wields it, is just so farking overdone to death that truly it's same-old same-old each and every year with ZERO thinking outside the clunky, cumbersome and definitely NOT sleek or aerodynamic box of beauty that we SHOULD be beholding.

    Whilst doing tech support pre- and post-Y2K, I thought if I have to see one more #$%@% beige case, keyboard or monitor, my head is literally, LITERALLY, going pop off my shoulders like a rage rocket, then roll out of the office to find a taxi to Bill Gates' house and BEG him in the name of all that's right and holy and overclocked to give these case designers permission to use color.

    It's like manufacturers were actually *afraid* of color. For fark's sake, it's like each and every man in the Windows milieu was convinced that nothing but beige would sell, that the product wouldn't be taken seriously unless it was HIDEOUS BEYOND WORDS. But look at iMacs. They went with the purest, most ethereal, most glass-like white and I swear I saw Tech Jesus nodding his head in approval.

    Do YOU guys like the aesthetics of the towers shown in this article? If that's the style that pleases extreme users, then ya gotta give 'em what they want. Or DO you? What if manufacturers gave extreme users *better* than what want? Perhaps even mind-blowing better than anything previously imagined?

    I'd bet my last sip of water in a desert that no one, not one person, was genuinely sincerely blown away by the "creativity" of this design announcement, and if anyone managed to sit through that entire exquisitely dull presentation without praying for death just to make it the pain stop, I'd give THAT smart person my last sip of water in the desert.
    Reply
  • cbm80 - Friday, November 11, 2016 - link

    We went from everything-is-beige to everything-is-black. In the all-black era, color is even eliminated where it serves a purpose (color coded wiring). Reply
  • OooShiny - Saturday, November 12, 2016 - link

    Black is beautiful and there are a thousand shades of black to choose from. It was a huge welcome relief from the desert sands of beige. In fact, the color black is SO important that when color scientists developed the darkest blackest black in history, called Vantablack, an artist bought exclusive rights to the color. This black is so black is absorbs 99.965% of radiation. A whole lotta uses for that and not just artistic.

    Photo of the blackest black material ever invented:
    http://hyperallergic.com/279243/anish-kapoor-gets-...

    For crying out loud, Windows hardware makers couldn't even go with white. White is clean, clear and fresh. What's so wrong about that?

    The public still hadn't yet begun to agree with Gates that there will be a PC in every house, so apparently beige, then black, were the only acceptable colors in a very very serious business where we take our very serious business very seriously, otherwise people might think we're a buncha girly-men.

    First time I saw a shiny sparkly new chrome-bedecked laptop for sale, I nearly wept with joy. They practically had to carry me out of the store....after getting my Visa number, expiration date and 3-digit security code, of course.

    Naturally that first chrome (not Chrome) laptop had shiat for cooling so it overheated and died in less than six months, approximately 2 nanoseconds after the warranty expired. Had I known it was gonna get hotter than the surface of a thousand burning suns, I'd have baked some cookies on it before throwing that cheap crap on top of the ever-growing tower of the other cheap crap I'd succumbed to.

    And that's how I learned my new #1 priority when buying laptops which remains to this day: COOLING. That thing better be a farking igloo with the cooling or I'm not buying. Where are the fans?? That's IT?? Two tiny fans on the bottom with teensy air spaces the width of a paper cut?

    After wasting money on who knows how many skinny "home" laptops, I said grrrrr and started buying the Alienware 18". I was no longer traveling as much for work, but I still didn't want a desktop tower, so it made sense to buy a 9,000 pound BEAST with a giant screen and enough fan power to elevate my house off the ground.

    I'm on my third Alienware 18" (silver, then red, then silver) and sadly it's a rather dull affair now, slowly but surely falling to pieces. A new ASUS ROG 17" is waiting in my garage for its unveiling and am very excited about that. My first ROG. Wheeee!

    If the allegedly "refreshed" Alienware 17s are as exciting as promised, which I doubt, I shall take a serious look. But it has seemed for quite some time, years even, that Dell as a whole has no more f*cks to give regarding cutting-edge hardware. We should hold a funeral for them, for in their heyday, Dell ROCKED.
    Reply

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