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Asus Makes Good On ROG Gaming Promises With Liquid-Cooled GX700, G752 Laptop, And 'Oculus-Ready' PC

Back at Gamescom, Asus showed off a couple of concept gaming desktops with the Asus G11 and ROG G20, and we recently saw what the company can do with a gaming laptop it teased, too. At its "ROG Unleashed" event today in San Francisco, the company made good on those prototypes and promises.

The "Oculus-Ready" ROG G20CB

As many consumers are getting ready for the impending release of the Oculus Rift VR headset, so too are OEMs prepping systems bearing the "Oculus-Ready" moniker. Simply put, these systems are being built by companies in cooperation with Oculus to ensure that the market has a number of prebuilt machines ready, at a relatively affordable price, for those who want to be sure they have a system that can run the Oculus Rift.

The systems are supposed to cost less than $1,000, and although at least one of Asus' G20 versions starts at just $699, it's not one of the new "G20CB" models. These will be Intel (Skylake) based systems and will be coming out later this year. (It can't be too much later; we're running out of days in 2015 already.)

Asus did not provide minimum specs for the G20 system for other components -- just maximum, "up to" information, which you can see below:

ROG G20CB
Processor6th generation Intel Core i5/i7 Processor
ChipsetIntel H170
GraphicsNVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan X 12GB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX980 4GB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX970 4GB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX960 2GB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX950 2GB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX745 4GB
NVIDIA GeForce GT740 4GB
AMD Radeon R9 380 2GB
MemoryUp to 32GB DDR4 at 2133MHz
StorageUp to 512GB PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 SSD (G11CB*)
Up to 256GB SATA SSD
Up to 3TB SATA HDD
Wireless802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi
Front I/O Ports1 x Headphone
1 x Microphone
2 x USB 3.0
Back I/O Ports2 x USB 3.1
2 x USB 3.0
2 x USB 2.0
1 x HDMI-Out
1 x RJ45 LAN
1 x 7.1 Channel Audio
1 x Kensington Lock
2 x DC-in
Power Supply230 W Power Adapter
180 W Power Adapter
180 W + 230 W Power Adapter
Dimensions104 x 340 x 358 mm (WxDxH)
190 x 400 x 592 ~ mm (WxDxH) with Carton
AccessoriesKeyboard+Mouse
AC Adapter
Power Cord
Warranty Card
Quick Manual
SoftwareAnti-Virus Trial
Aegis II
ASUS WebStorage
ASUS Command
Ai Charger ll
*Specifications may vary, subject to change

Although they aren't listed, we presume that you'll have plenty of CPU options to choose from. And as you can see above, there are numerous graphics cards for you to pick from (although just one is from AMD).

Note that memory configurations will run up to 32 GB of DDR4-2133 MHz, and storage options run up to, apparently, a combination of 3 TB HDD and 512 GB SSD. There are plenty of I/O ports (although no USB Type-C), and it's a little underwhelming that there's just one video out -- an HDMI port. (We hope that's just a typo in the spec sheet.)

The system does come with a keyboard and mouse, though, which is a nice touch. Also note that this machine does not have an internal power supply; instead, it uses a power cord and power adapters, up to 230 W.

Luxurious Liquid-Cooled Laptop

Asus teased both of its new laptops at IFA, but now  they're real. The more intriguing of the two is a liquid-cooling beast of a thing, the EOG GX700.

If you're wondering whether the GPU itself is inside the laptop, or in that external unit you're seeing, let us surprise you by saying that it's inside the laptop. The external unit is only a cooling module, to enhance the laptop's cooling power. The notebook has a heatsink inside with two heatpipes, which transfers the heat to two drum fans as you'd typically see in laptops, but it also has a cooling loop built into it, much like we see on Asus hybrid graphics cards.

In this case, the cooling loop works with quick-disconnect fittings, allowing you to plug the laptop into the external unit, and unplug it drip-free, whenever you'd like. What this means is that you'll have a powerful laptop on-the-go, but an even more powerful laptop when it's plugged into the cooling dock, as the cooling dock alleviates the thermal limitations of the laptop's own cooling system. 

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If that bursts your bubble somewhat, don't let it. This is a wise strategy by Asus (and one it cribbed from MSI and Alienware), because what you get is a solid gaming laptop that isn't too difficult to schlep around, and when you're home, you can dock the sucker into that badonkadonk (sic?) GPU module, which delivers liquid-cooled GPU horsepower.

The GX700, even without the external GPU support, has burly specs, with an Intel Core i7-6820HK (the new unlocked Intel Skylake SKU) and "desktop-class" Nvidia GTX 980. (This one.)  

GX700 Series
CPUIntel Core i7 6820HK
GPUGeForce GTX 980
8GB GDDR5
Display17.3-inch IPS FHD (1920x1080) G-SYNC / Optional 4K/UHD G-SYNC
RAMUp to 64GB DDR4
StorageUp to 1TB PCIe x4 SSD (2 x 512GB)
OpticalBlu-ray 6x RW
Card readerSDXC
Networking-Gigabit Ethernet-802.11ac-Bluetooth 4.0
Keyboard-Anti-ghosting keyboard with 30-key rollover-2.5mm travel-Illuminated
Ports3 x USB 3.0
1 x USB Type-C / Thunderbolt 31 x USB Type-C / USB 3.11 x mini-DisplayPort1 x HDMI

The base model has a 17.3-inch 1080p HD panel, but you can upgrade to a 4K (UHD) IPS G-Sync panel. The GX700 also offers up to an absurd 64 GB of DDR4 RAM, as well as up to two 512 GB PCIe (x4) SSDs.

I/O is commensurately robust, featuring a Blu-ray RW drive, SDXC card reader, two video ports (mini DisplayPort and HDMI), several USB 3.0 ports, and two (two!) USB Type-C ports. Of those two, one supports USB 3.1 (what speed, we don't know), and one offers Thunderbolt 3 over Type-C.

The Other Laptop

Did you ever have one of those siblings who overshadowed you no matter how great you did at something? That's the case with the GX700 and the impressive, but-not-quite-as-impressive, G752 laptops.

There are three SKUs in total, and one even offers that unlocked Skylake CPU. However, they don't have the external graphics dock, you can't upgrade to the 4K G-Sync panel, and instead of the pair of 512 GB SSDs, you'll roll with a 512 GB PCIe x 4 SSD and a 1 TB 7200 rpm HDD for storage, on the highest-end model.

The G752 models have one fewer USB Type-C port than GX700, but the one they kept is the one that supports Thunderbolt 3.

G752VY Series
G752VY-DH78KG752VY-DH72G752VY-RH71
CPUIntel Core i7 6820HKIntel Core i7 6700HQIntel Core i7 6700HQ
GPUGeForce GTX 980M
8GB GDDR54GB GDDR5
Display17.3-inch IPS FHD (1920x1080) G-SYNC
RAM64GB DDR432GB DDR416GB DDR4
Storage1TB 7200RPM HDD
512GB SSD (PCIe x4)128GB SSD (PCIe x4)128GB SSD (PCIe x4)
Optical6x Blu-ray RWDL DVD±RW/CD-RW
Card readerSDXC
NetworkingGigabit Ethernet
802.11ac
Bluetooth 4.0
KeyboardAnti-ghosting keyboard with 30-key rollover
2.5mm travel
Illuminated
Ports4 x USB 3.0
1 x USB Type-C / Thunderbolt 3
1 x mini-DisplayPort
1 x HDMI

You can configure a G752 model with some lesser specs to save money, but none of the configs (see the spec table) are anything to be disappointed about. Even the lowest-end model will be able to handle just about any kind of gaming task you can throw at it.

This trio of laptops may not offer liquid cooling, but they are equipped with the "ASUS Mobile 3D Vapor Chamber cooling system." The company said that it "incorporates heat-pipes and dual fans to independently cool the CPU and GPU for maximum cooling efficiency." Although obviously we haven't tested the cooling at this point, kudos to Asus for trying out vapor chamber cooling in a laptop.

The G752 series starts at $1,499, and you can preorder a system now; the new G20CB models are coming soon. Although Asus did not specify what they might cost, we can deduce a bit: Current G20 models cost as low as $699, and part of the "Oculus-Ready" deal is that systems should be under $1,000.

Seth Colaner is the News Director at Tom's Hardware. Follow him on Twitter @SethColaner. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

  • jimmysmitty
    Going to have to see that liquid cooled laptop in action to believe it. Hard to see how they got it to undock without any leakage but then again this is Asus, they have done some pretty crazy designs before, anyone else remember the RoG Tytan?
    Reply
  • littleleo
    I know it doesn't have a removable screen, but DAMN!
    Reply
  • hst101rox
    The G20CB, only up to 3TB hard drive? Why not 6TB?

    With the liquid and air cooled GX700, I hope the liquid cooling loop cools the CPU as well, not just the GPU for more overclocking!. The water pump is in the external unit I'm sure. AC adapter wattage is 330 watts I assume, because 240w won't be enough in all situations.

    The G752VY Series can only get up to a 1TB mechanical drive? Like I think MSI, they don't like the Samsung M9T 2TB drive?
    Hopefully a matte screen as an option so it can be used outside. Rainbow backlit keyboard?

    Looks like the G752 may be thinner & lighter than the G751, awesome.

    On all the laptops in this article, nothing in the charts about headphones/microphone jacks.
    Reply
  • dudmont
    Jimmysmitty, in my dayjob I get to drive a big ol' Bobcat, it has hydraulic quickconnects for front attachments. I've used the quickconnects for a hydraulic brush/sweeper. It is indeed essentially drip proof. Assuming you don't have any large amount of dirt lodged into your quickconnects. I don't for a second think Asus had any trouble coming up with a design for a much lower pressure drip-free setup. I think the only drips involved will be some of the users, not implying you there.
    Reply
  • hst101rox
    There is a model of the G752 with just a 965m GPU in it. From the spec page, "G752VL-DH71" 180w AC adapter; they better use a 240w for the 980m version, otherwise throttling like what MSI and Alienware tried to get away with.

    Only a 1.2MP camera!? My Circa 2008 Asus G50VT laptop has 1.3MP.
    Only a 66 watt hour battery for a 2015 laptop.. 8.8 pounds.

    Matte screen option hopefully so reflections aren't an issue?
    Reply
  • Blueberries
    Am I the only one that thinks the water-cooled laptop is ridiculous, stupid, and defeats the purpose of a laptop? Also, if you're going to have an external radiator why not an external desktop GPU?
    Reply
  • hst101rox
    16758902 said:
    Am I the only one that thinks the water-cooled laptop is ridiculous, stupid, and defeats the purpose of a laptop? Also, if you're going to have an external radiator why not an external desktop GPU?

    The difference in performance of the mobile 980m and the full 980 is about 25% more performance for the desktop chipset, so it's fine. It would be nice to have an external graphics dock for future GPUs that far outpace the internal one. I assume with the water cooled laptop, that the GPU is not on an MXM slot and so not upgradable.
    It is a niche laptop but it'll overclock more than any other laptop (hopefully).

    The water cooling dock is likely significantly less expensive than a external GPU dock + a GPU.
    And if it cools the CPU too, very nice overclocks on it as well to bring new life to the laptop.
    It'll perform great on the go, and be a total beast when docked (IF the AC adapter and safety guards don't bottleneck it). If the GPU is upgradable, I think it's fantastic but probably not upgradable.

    Would be killer to have a dock for the dock to chill the water with a compressor or peltier.
    Reply
  • cub_fanatic
    I don't even know why they bothered to put a battery in the one with the desktop 980 in it. It probably can't even keep the laptop on while gaming longer than a cheap UPS can a typical desktop and monitor during a power outage. Hell, that is probably the only use for that laptop's battery.
    Reply
  • hst101rox
    16761806 said:
    I don't even know why they bothered to put a battery in the one with the desktop 980 in it. It probably can't even keep the laptop on while gaming longer than a cheap UPS can a typical desktop and monitor during a power outage. Hell, that is probably the only use for that laptop's battery.

    It'll last many hours with the GPU shut off if you don't need it. I sure hope it'll have Nvidia Optimus!
    Otherwise with the Nvidia GPu still on but idling, maybe 2 hours not sure. The idle power consumption would still be a lot better than older GPUs.
    Reply
  • cobra5000
    It seems both cool and stupid to water-cool a laptop. Heck, why not? Not everything needs to be the same or practical for every purpose. Definitely a niche market.
    Reply