Many things have changed in the years I’ve been alive, but I’ve always been a gamer at heart, so it’s always very exciting to get my mitts on a gaming rig for review. Just before the break, Asus was kind enough to send over their G11 gaming desktop for us to experience. If you’re looking for a gaming desktop, sit back, and read on. Here’s what we think of it.
In a world where many gaming desktops look like stealth fighters or sports cars, the G11 is a quiet, understated rig. If not for the red accents here and there, you might actually mistake it for a regular old office PC. Personally, this approach suits me, though those gamers who consider themselves “hardcore” might beg to differ. Apart from the quiet red case elements AND customizable lighting (!), Asus also spiced things up a bit with what looks like fracture lines on the front of the case, to further separate it from a boring business machine. Overall, the look works, and while it does sometimes look like a work PC, it’s a very well-disguised work PC. Not for everyone, sure, but it works for me.
If there was any doubt as to the real purpose of the G11, a quick look at the spec sheet will sort things out easy. With Nvidia GeForce 1070 discrete graphics and all of 8 GB of VRAM, the Intel Core i7 6700 at 3.4 GHz, and a whopping 16 GB of RAM, this is made for way more than spreadsheets and documents. A 128 GB SSD for speed, and 1 TB of HDD storage rounds the package out nicely.
For gamers with a lot of peripherals, there are four USB ports accessible from the front, and an additional six in the back, on top of all the usual HDMI, LAN, and audio connectors that come standard on current-generation desktops. Audio ports are also accessible from the front, should the need arise. Front-accessible ports are a big deal if you don’t have a lot of room for your PC, so that’s an extra point for the G11.
To keep all that hardware cool, Asus designed eight vents to pull cool air in from the front, and expel it out the sides, where it can do the best job keeping CPU and GPU temperatures down. If this is the kind of office PC you need for your line of work, please let me know if there are any job openings.
User Experience: 4.5/5
While it’s not the smallest form-factor available in the gaming PC market, the footprint of the G11 is reasonable. Should you have limited space and want to place it on the floor, the front-accessible ports will keep the experience from being a pain. Sharing files via USB is so much less painful when you can actually reach the ports without calling on your yoga training. This bears repeating, and is probably something you didn’t know should be important to you.
As for gaming performance, while this isn’t an ROG-branded piece of gear, it might as well be. There’s some serious hardware inside that case, and it shows. Overwatch, the current FPS darling of the gaming world, can be pushed to 200 percent render, with everything maxed out, while keeping smooth, stutter-free framerates. Even much more demanding games, such as the latest installment of the Wolfenstein franchise are no match for the 1070, and so much VRAM and system memory, despite pushing all settings all the way to maximum. Escape From Tarkov, a title that pushes the limits of the Unity engine, and is a known RAM hog works great as well, with the framerate sticking around 60 FPS more or less constantly. Streamers will also find that there’s more than enough hardware to push a stream while playing a game on high settings.
Performance is as can be expected from the beefy 1070. There’s a lot of power left over even when playing current-generation titles at maximum settings, which, apart from being a lot of fun, means you’ll get a few years of life out of the system before you have to start thinking about upgrades. While we’re on the topic of upgrades, you also get plenty of room inside the case to swap out and add components as the years wear on, so you can save a decent buck, and keep your setup at the same time.
Asus has been so kind as to include additional software for granular control over such system functions as managing system memory, and fan speed. The bundled Aegis III system monitoring and control software makes everything easy. Whether it’s checking system load, recording gameplay, or changing fan speed, you can do it all from the convenience of the Aegis UI. I have to admit, it struck me as bloatware, but when I actually got around to using it, I was pleasantly surprised. Newer gamers, or those who don’t want to go about it via some long, circuitous route for changing those values, should appreciate the function a lot thanks to its ease of use. You also get to pick the color of the LED lighting on the panels of the CPU, which is a great feature if you have other hardware that has lighting on-board.
On an absolute scale, the G11 is slightly on the pricier side of the spectrum, coming in at
PHP 85,995, but taking everything into consideration, including the brand, and of course, the quality we’ve come to expect from it, it actually comes out reasonable. Bear in mind that this does have some pretty intense hardware under the hood, and the others in the line that carry about the same specs are part of the ROG line, which comes with a premium on its own, so overall, this is quite a good deal, and one I wouldn’t hesitate to put on my desk.
If you want a low-key gaming desktop with loads of power, meet your new best friend.
Also published in GADGETS MAGAZINE February 2018 Issue.
Reviewed by Ren Alcantara