Asus wants to make it easier for newbies to build their battle-hardened gaming rigs. The company adding several products to its TUF series of durable, affordable gaming gear, including a robust steel chassis, a splash-proof keyboard, a mouse that's rated for 50-million clicks and a headset with a strong metal headband. The company is also working with a series of partners it calls the "TUF Gaming Alliance," to make sure that their components work together seamlessly and maintain a common TUF aesthetic.
Asus first started releasing durable motherboards under the TUF sub-brand in 2017 and recently added the budget-friendly TUF FX504 Gaming laptop, which starts at $699 and features up to a Core i7-8750H CPU and GTX 1060 graphics. It is also coming out with a pre-built TUF desktop, the TUF Gaming FX10CP, which will have up to a Core i7-8700 processor and GTX 1050 graphics.
TUF Gaming GT501 Case Will LAN Party With You
The all-black TUF Gaming GT501 case is easy to use and durable enough to go with you to LAN parties. The chassis is built mostly from steel but has plastic on the front panel. There's a smoked, tempered glass window on the side for viewing your computer's guts and a woven-cotton handle to pick up and carry the computer.
The company leaves 30 millimeters of space behind the motherboard tray so you have plenty of room to thread your cables and add RGB strips. It comes with three, 140-millimeter PWM fans, but has room for six more fans (three on the top and three at the front). You can use those spaces for dual or triple-fan radiators that are up to 360 mm.
Though Asus uses thumbscrews for the window, the company is concerned that they may be too tight to remove by hand so it includes a gaming tag that also serves as a screwdriver.
TUF Gaming Alliance: Primed for Heat
Asus is working with several component vendors to make sure that their components share a common black and silver "military" aesthetic and, more importantly, that they work well together. By labeling all these products part of its TUF Gaming Alliance, the company hopes to simplify the buying process for new system builders. If you know that your RAM and PSU, for example, have been tested by Asus, you can feel more confident combining them with your TUF motherboard.
To join the Alliance, third-party components have to go through some rigorous heat and stress testing. DRAM modules must run with their speed raised and voltage lowered, running Memtest for 24 hours in a room with an ambient temperature of 122 degrees Fahrenheit (50 Celsius). Power Supplies have to run effectively in a chamber with 90-percent humidity. So if you need to use your TUF computer in a tropical environment with no A/C, the system will probably run better than you do.
Current TUF Gaming Alliance partners include Cooler Master, Corsair, Enermax, G.Skill, Geil, Team Group, XPG, Antec, Ballistix, Deepcool, Enermax, In Win and Apacer.
M5 Mouse Can Take a Click (or Two)
Clad in silver and black, the TUF Gaming M5 mouse is designed for years of heavy use. Asus says that the two primary buttons on this five-button mouse are rated for up to 50 million clicks. Using the company's Armoury II application, you can save up to three macro profiles to the mouse's internal memory so they stay with you even if you switch machines.
The Pixart PAW3327 sensor on the M5 supports resolutions that go up to 6,200 DPI, which is quite sensitive. The device also has configurable accent lighting that matches the rest of your TUF rig.
K5 Keyboard is Your Drinking Buddy
If you're worried about spilling soda or beer into your keyboard's guts, Asus wants to put your mind at ease with the TUF Gaming K5, which can handle up to 60 milliliters of liquid poured down its gullet. The key caps have three layers of paint to help them survive your hurried presses.
Unfortunately, the K5 doesn't isn't a mechanical keyboard.Instead it employs what the company calls "Mech-Brane' switches, which are membrane switches that are supposed to feel like mechanical ones.
On the bright side, the K5 has five zones of customizable RGB backlighting and the ability to synchronize the effects with the M5 mouse, using Aura Sync software. Like the mouse, the keyboard can also save macros to its onboard memory.
H5 Headset Won't Be TUF on Your Ears
Rounding out Asus's new set of TUF products, the Gaming H5 headset uses a stainless steel headband to add strength and premium aesthetics. The ear cups have 50mm Essence drivers, a removable boom mic and a USB adapter.
Asus did not announce pricing for any of its new TUF Gaming products, but did say that they will be shipping in Q3 of 2018.