(Update: Pricing) Asus' ROG Line Refreshed, VivoPC X Revealed

Update, 03/21/17, 3:06PM PT: Pricing for the Asus ROG GR8 II has been revealed. The GR8 II-T044Z is available for $900 and features an Intel Core i5-7400, 8GB RAM, and a 1TB 7200RPM HDD. The GR8 II-T069Z is available for $1,000 and features an additional 8GB of RAM for a total of 16GB and switches out the 1TB HDD for a 512GB M.2 SSD. Finally, the GR8 II-T043Z, which is available for $1,200, will features the best of both worlds, with 16GB RAM, a 512GB M.2 SSD, and 1TB of HDD storage, in addition to a stronger Core i7-7700 CPU.

Original article, published 01/12/2017, 12:35am PT:

With Intel’s 7th Generation Kaby Lake processors soon hitting the market, Asus refreshed its Republic of Gamers (ROG) desktop gaming systems and even introduced a new ROG mini-PC during CES.

GT51CH Gaming Desktop

Top of the list is Asus’s flagship gaming desktop, the GT51CH. The ROG GT51CH serves as a refresh of the GT51CA, which was equipped with last generation’s Intel Core i7-6700K and graphics configurations ranging from an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 all the up to two GTX 1080s running in SLI. The new GT51CH carries over the GPU options of the old GT51CA, but will feature a Core i7-7700K.

Asus’s Aegis III software will come preloaded in the GT51CH, which will allow users to easily overclock the CPU, GPU, and system memory. Asus Aura, which controls the GT51CH’s RGB lighting profiles, will also be pre-installed. Finally, the GT51CH’s audio will be handled with an ESS Sabre HiFi DAC (digital to analog converter).

ProcessorIntel Core i7-7700K
Operating SystemWindows 10
Memory8GB DDR4-2400 (Up to 64GB)
64GB DDR4-2800
Graphics-Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 8GB (2HDMI,1DVI,2DP)
-Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 8GB O.C Edition (2HDMI,1DVI,2DP)
-Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 8GB (2HDMI,1DVI,2DP) - SLI
-Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 8GB (2HDMI,1DVI,2DP) - SLI
Storage-256GB SATA3 M.2 SSD
-512GB PCIe M.2 SSD
-512GB PCIe M.2 SSD x 2 (RAID0)
-Up to 3TB SATA 6Gbps HDD (7200RPM)
Optical DriveSuperMulti DVD RW
Networking-802.11 ac Wi-Fi
-Bluetooth v4.1
AudioESS Sabre HiFi DAC
-USB 3.1 Gen 1 x 2
-USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A
-USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C with Quick Charge Support
-7.1 Channel Audio
-RJ-45 LAN
-USB 3.1 Gen 1 x 6
-USB 2.0 x 2
Dimensions10.32 x 22.99 x 23.11 inches (WxDxH)

GR8 II Gaming Desktop

If the GT51CH was too large for your taste, then the small-form-factor GR8 II might be an option to consider. The ROG GR8 II features an updated chassis that’s slightly wider than the original GR8, although Asus claimed that the added thickness allows it to squeeze an extra ounce of performance into an already small enclosure. The performance stems from your choice of either a Core i7-7700 or an i5-7400, plus a GTX 1060 custom-made for the GR8 II by Asus.

The GR8 II’s rear I/O features two HDMI 2.0 ports that can be used for a VR headset; this, coupled with the GR8 II’s small footprint, could make for an ideal living room VR solution. It also comes pre-installed with Asus Aura so that users can modify their GR8 II’s case lighting.

Processor-Intel Core i7-7700
-Intel Core i5-7400
Operating SystemWindows 10
MemoryUp to 32GB of DDR4 Memory
GraphicsAsus-customized Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060
Storage-Up to 512GB M.2 SSD
-2.5-inch SATA SSD/HDD; up to 1TB
Networking-802.11 ac Wi-Fi
-Bluetooth v4.2
-USB 3.0 x 2 (one with USB charger)
-Line out
-SPDIF optical out
-HDMI 2.0 x 2
-DisplayPort 1.4 w/ G-Sync Support
-USB 3.0 x 2
-USB 3.1 Type-C
-USB 3.1 Type-A
-RJ-45 LAN
- Kensington lock
Dimensions3.46 x 11.77 x 11.07 inches (WxDxH)

VivoPC X

If for some reason the relatively small GR8 II is too large for your needs, Asus has released an even smaller system. Keeping in line with the rest of the Vivo line, the VivoPC X is a mini-PC that is suitable for a home theater hub, but the GTX 1060 gives it enough graphical horsepower to run modern games at mid-to-maximum settings. The two HDMI ports make it possible to attach a VR HMD, and it’ll be interesting to see how the GR8 II fares during lengthy VR excursions while using only an i5-7300U.

VivoPC X
ProcessorIntel Core i5-7300U
Operating SystemWindows 10
Memory8GB DDR4-2133 Memory
GraphicsNvidia GeForce GTX 1060
Storage-512GB M.2 SSD
-Up to 2TB SATA HDD.(7200RPM)
Networking-802.11 ac Wi-Fi
-Bluetooth v4.
Interface-USB 3.1 Gen 1 x 4
-USB 2.0 x 2
-3-in-1 audio jack
-RJ-45 LAN
-HDMI x 2
Dimensions2.99 x 10.23 x 11.07 inches (WxDxH)

Updated ROG Gaming Laptops

Besides the major desktop updates, several of Asus’s ROG gaming laptops will receive 7th generation (Kaby Lake) Intel processors. In addition, Strix GL553 and GL753 gaming laptops will feature mobile versions of the GTX 1050 and GTX 1050Ti. The list of updated ROG gaming laptops includes the following:

  • GX800VH
  • G701
  • G752
  • GL502
  • GL702
  • GL553
  • GL753

Price and availability for the Asus ROG GT51CH, GR8 II, and the Vivo X will be revealed soon, so stay tuned.

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  • JakeWearingKhakis
    Not sure what good spending a lot of money for a gaming laptop would do when it only has a 1050 in it...
  • GrecoISU
    My 670M from the G75VW has served me really well for quite a few years. I'm not playing AAA titles but it does a great job. It will get less use with the 6700K 1070 I'm building at the moment though.
  • esco_sid
    Not sure why they design stuff to look so over the top looks ugly to me.