Like many manufacturers, Asus is doing its best to impress at IFA, and from what we've seen at the press conference, well, we are. Among other announcements, the most notable new products that Asus showcased were a new ROG Maximus motherboard, a GTX 980 Ti graphics card, an ROG Swift monitor, and two gaming laptops -- one of which is even liquid cooled (yes, you read that right).
Full details of all the products aren't yet available. We reached out to Asus to request more, but presently most of these products are still in the "first look" stage of their reveal. Therefore, many specifications that you'll want to see aren't available just yet.
ROG Maximus VIII Extreme/Assembly
First in the lot is the new Republic of Gamers Maximus VIII Extreme/Assembly motherboard, which is a board that takes the cake for what looks on paper like the highest-end board that will pack the Z170 chipset. It centers on an LGA1151 socket with support for Intel Skylake processors, and it has four DDR4 memory slots. From a quick peek around the board, we can also tell that it will have a plethora of connectivity options, but that's not even what's interesting, yet.
Included with the board will be an ROG 10 Gb/s Ethernet adapter, which is reverse compatible with 5 Gb/s, 2.5 Gb/s, 1 Gb/s, 100 Mb/s, and 10 Mb/s Ethernet. The card slots into a standard PCI-Express 2.0 x4 slot.
Additionally, Asus will ship the board with an external ROG SupremeFX Hi-Fi headphone amplifier, which Asus informed us features an ESS ES9018K2M DAC, and TI LM4562 Op-Amps with a TPA6120A2 headphone amplifier to top it off.
ROG Matrix GTX 980Ti Platinum
The ROG Matrix GTX 980 Ti Platinum is a new graphics card that features the DirectCU II cooler design with 10 mm heatpipes. Of course, the idea isn’t that you keep using that cooler, because Asus designed the board in such a way that it is perfect for sub-zero overclocking with liquid nitrogen – it has a memory defroster feature, which is essentially heat trace paths in the PCB layout that warm up areas of the board that shouldn’t get cold to protect against the condensation of water when overclocking under LN2.
So far, we have no details on the number of VRM phases, memory speeds, or clock speeds, but one compelling reason to look at the ROG Matrix GTX 980 Ti Platinum is the new Plasma Copper ROG color scheme. This theme has made its way to both this graphics card and the Maximus VIII Extreme/Assembly motherboard, and we’ve got to say, a gun-metal black design accented with copper does look quite striking. We can see this color scheme gaining traction in the modding community, as it lends itself nicely for making rustic-looking systems. Who’s up for building a system with copper plumbing pipes?
ROG Swift PG348Q
We’ve seen curved monitors from a handful of vendors so far, but Asus has been lagging behind a little bit on that front. That has all changed now, as Asus unveiled its ROG Swift PG348Q during the press conference. This monitor follows what appears to be the typical recipe for a 34-inch curved monitor: a 21:9 IPS panel with a slight curve, and a 3440 x 1440 pixel resolution.
As part of the ROG lineup, the monitor would also be incomplete without some kind of adaptive-sync technology, so Asus built in Nvidia G-Sync support, and with that, the display is capable of refreshing at up to 100 Hz.
The frame of the monitor is very thin, with just a thicker bar at the bottom of the display, and its stand is quite flexible too, supporting tilt, swivel and height adjustments.
ROG G752 Series
The ROG G752 Series brings new high-end gaming laptops to Asus’ offerings, naturally packing the new Intel Skylake processors. It features the large clamshell design with a chunky radiator in the back for extra cooling, and it will also have a dust-releasing feature.(If that looks and sounds familiar, it's because Acer built virtually the same thing onto its new Predator 15 and 17 gaming notebooks.)
|Asus G752VL||Asus G752VT||Asus G752VY|
|Display||- 17.3-inch AG FHD IPS LED Backlit (1920x1080) with G-Sync||- 17.3-inch AG FHD IPS LED Backlit (1920x1080) with G-Sync||- 17.3-inch AG FHD IPS LED Backlit (1920x1080) with G-Sync- 17.3-inch AG UHD IPS LED backlit (3480x2160) with G-Sync|
|CPU||- Intel Core i7-6700HQ||- Intel Core i7-6700HQ||- Intel Core i7-6700HQ- Intel Core i7-6820HK|
|Chipset||Mobile Intel CM236||Mobile Intel CM236||Mobile Intel CM236|
|GPU||Nvidia GeForce GTX 965M (2 GB GDDR5)||Nvidia GeForce GTX 970M (3 or 6 GB GDDR5)||Nvidia GeForce GTX 980M (4 or 8 GB GDDR5)|
|RAM||up to 64 GB DDR4-2133 MHz||up to 64 GB DDR4-2133 MHz||up to 64 GB DDR4-2133 MHz|
|Storage||- 2.5-inch SATA 2 TB (5400 RPM)- 2.5-inch SATA 1 TB (7200 RPM)- 2.5-inch SATA 1 TB (5400 RPM w/ 8 GB SSD, SSH)- M.2 PCIe x4 NVMe 256 GB / 128 GB SSD||- 2.5-inch SATA 2 TB (5400 RPM)- 2.5-inch SATA 1 TB (7200 RPM)- 2.5-inch SATA 1 TB (5400 RPM w/ 8 GB SSD, SSH)- M.2 PCIe x4 NVMe 512 GB / 256 GB / 128 GB SSD||- 2.5-inch SATA 2 TB (5400 RPM)- 2.5-inch SATA 1 TB (7200 RPM)- 2.5-inch SATA 1 TB (5400 RPM w/ 8 GB SSD, SSH)- M.2 PCIe x4 NVMe 512 GB / 256 GB / 128 GB SSD|
|Optical Drive||DVD Super-Multi / Blu-ray combo / Blu-ray writer||DVD Super-Multi / Blu-ray combo / Blu-ray writer||DVD Super-Multi / Blu-ray combo / Blu-ray writer|
|I/O (Presumptive)||- 4 x USB- Card slot- Mini DisplayPort- HDMI- USB Type-C w/ Thunderbolt 3- Headphone/mic- LAN||- 4 x USB- Card slot- Mini DisplayPort- HDMI- USB Type-C w/ Thunderbolt 3- Headphone/mic- LAN||- 4 x USB- Card slot- Mini DisplayPort- HDMI- USB Type-C w/ Thunderbolt 3- Headphone/mic- LAN|
|Camera||HD webcam and array mic||HD webcam and array mic||HD webcam and array mic|
|Misc.||Gaming keyboard with anti-ghosting 30-key rollover and 2.5 mm long-travel keys||Gaming keyboard with anti-ghosting 30-key rollover and 2.5 mm long-travel keys||Gaming keyboard with anti-ghosting 30-key rollover and 2.5 mm long-travel keys|
|Dimensions||- 428 x 334 x 23-43 mm (WxDxH)- 4.06 kg (with 6-cell battery)||- 428 x 334 x 23-43 mm (WxDxH)- 4.06 kg (with 6-cell battery)||- 428 x 334 x 23-53 mm (WxDxH)- 4.36 kg (with 6-cell battery)|
|OS||- Windows 10- Windows 10 Pro||- Windows 10- Windows 10 Pro||- Windows 10- Windows 10 Pro|
Asus was somewhat light on details, actually, and did not specify what I/O ports these machines have. We listed them in the specs chart with a bit of an asterisk, because we're basing that information off of the images we have available. So, take that all with a grain of salt. For example, Asus said that these gaming laptops will have Thunderbolt 3, so we're assuming that one of those ports is a USB Type-C port with a Thunderbolt 3 Alt Mode.
Note well that all of these displays offer Nvidia's G-Sync technology, and that one of the display options (on only the G752VY) is UHD 4K. Further, one of the two CPU options for the G752VY is Intel's unlocked Skylake mobile chip, which should tantalize enthusiasts.
What's interesting, too, is that these laptops also follow the new Plasma Copper accent design. Asus gets a little fist bump for giving the market a gaming notebook in something other than red and black.
ROG GX700 - Liquid Cooled Laptop
Asus had a final tasty surprise at IFA: a liquid-cooled laptop.
At IDF, when we learned about the unlocked mobile Intel Skylake chip (Intel Core i7-6820HK), our first thought was, "Oh man, someone needs to make a liquid cooled laptop. Can someone please make a liquid cooled laptop?" It would seem that Asus was way ahead of us, as it was already developing the ROG GX700.
This is very much a teaser; Asus isn't sharing many other details at present.
We don't know which graphics card Asus will put inside it -- provided materials simply say, "NVidia GeForce GTX graphics (TBD)." Chances are, though, that it will be quite a powerful graphics card, because it will take quite something to drive the 17-inch IPS 4K panel in the notebook (probably the same panel offered on the G752VY, mentioned above).
Of course, all that isn't what makes this laptop interesting, yet. The feature that wins is that this laptop is water-cooled. It will come with an external radiator, which appears to plug into the laptop with quick-release fittings.
We won't have long to wait for this bounty, though; Asus listed the ROG GX700's availability as Q4 2015. (Better start saving your holiday money now. This thing is going to cost a pretty penny.)