Posts Tagged ‘Asus’

Asus ROG Crosshair VII Hero (Wi-Fi) review: The coolest motherboard around for Ryzen+ (literally)

Asus ROG Crosshair VII Hero

The Asus ROG Crosshair VII Hero (Wi-Fi) – try saying that three times fast – is quite possibly the ultimate ATX motherboard for cooling and USB junkies – if you’re batting for team Ryzen+, that is. If you thought having eight USB ports on the Asus ROG Strix X470F-Gaming and MSI X470 Gaming M7 AC was generous, the Crosshair VII Hero adds four more to the pile, coming in for a positively monstrous total of 12. If all that wasn’t enough, you also get a whopping nine fan headers for the coolest of cooled systems.

Nine fan headers I can just about get behind, but I can’t even begin to imagine the kind of situation where you’d need to have 12 USB ports. Still, while you can’t accuse Asus of being stingy when it comes to peripheral support, it does mean you’re giving up space for multiple display outputs (unless you count the single USB Type-C port), making it ill-suited to AMD’s other two new Ryzen chips, the Ryzen 3 2200G and Ryzen 5 2400G with integrated Vega graphics. As a companion for AMD’s Ryzen 7 2700 / 2700X or Ryzen 5 2600 / 2600X CPUs, on the other hand, the Crosshair makes a mighty fine match. Let’s see if it’s worth buying over the MSI X470 Gaming M7 AC.

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Arez in or Arez out? Asus clarify AMD graphics card brand mix-up

Asus AREZ AMD graphics cards

Last month, Asus unveiled a brand-new range of AMD Radeon RX graphics cards under the name of ‘Arez‘ – you know, like the god of war Ares, but cooler and with a ‘z’. Fast forward to last night, and you may have seen some wild rumours flying about saying that Asus have actually canned their new Arez brand in favour of their classic ROG moniker after a suggestive tweet from a vaguely official-sounding Asus Arez Twitter account. Thankfully, Asus have stepped in to clear up the confusion.

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Nvidia’s G-Sync HDR monitors are the real deal and will be here in just four weeks time

The Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ is one of Nvidia's upcoming G-Sync HDR incredi-monitors

HDR, or high dynamic range, has been around for a while, and you’ve probably heard countless barks from your console box friends about how amazing that new Dad of War looks on their giant OLED telly, or how they can never go back to a ‘normal’ screen after experiencing the wondrous glory of Final Fantasy Toast (even we’re a bit guilty of that last one, Alec and I, so please accept our belated apologies for all our Ignis-related food ramblings). PC monitors, on the other hand, have been much slower on the uptake.

Now, however, Nvidia have finally got their butts in gear and are about to release two of their long-awaited G-Sync HDR monitors: the Acer Predator X27 and the Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ. I went to see them earlier this week and I’m happy to report that they’re both bloody amazing. HDR on PC is finally here. Read the rest of this entry »

Asus ROG Strix Flare review: A tasteful take on RGB

Asus ROG Strix Flare

Compared to Asus’ usual crop of PC peripherals, the ROG Strix Flare is a refreshing sight. Unlike the ROG Claymore, the ROG Strix X470F-Gaming motherboard or indeed anything else bearing the ROG moniker, the Flare doesn’t have a single bit of sci-fi / Aztec / cyber text pattern anywhere on its grey plastic chassis – and looks all the better for it. There is, admittedly, a tiny RGB ROG logo peeking out of a small, triangular cut-out in the top right corner (which can either be removed or swapped for your very own 3D printed something-or-other, according to Asus), but otherwise this is a decidedly plain – and dare I say even vaguely stylish? – mechanical keyboard.

Okay, so you’ve still got RGB LEDs up the wazoo, whether it’s the Cherry MX switches themselves, that aforementioned ROG logo, or – wait for it – its pair of underfloor RGB strips (yep, you heard me). Not everyone will be on board with all of that. But as mechanical keyboards go, the Flare does a pretty good job of making it all appear quite tasteful – and more importantly, doesn’t charge you extra for a number pad like its Claymore cousin.

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Asus ROG Strix X470F-Gaming review: A good foundation for Ryzen+

Asus ROG Strix X470F-Gaming

If you’re considering buying one of AMD’s new Ryzen+ CPUs like the Ryzen 5 2600 or Ryzen 7 2700X, then you may also want to think about getting a new X470-based AM4 motherboard to go with it. It’s not strictly necessary – all of AMD’s 2nd gen Ryzen processors will work with existing AM4 motherboards, whether you’ve got one with a high-end X370 chipset or the more entry-level A320 or B350 chipsets – but upgrading to X470 brings with it a number of advantages, such as Ryzen+ support straight out of the box as well as AMD’s shiny super-fast StoreMI acceleration tech as standard.

To kick things off in the X470 department, I’ve got the Asus ROG Strix X470-F Gaming motherboard on test today, with more boards following shortly. Let’s see whether this one from Asus is any good.
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Asus unveil new series of Arez AMD RX graphics cards

Asus AREX AMD graphics cards

Brands. I love brands. Especially new ones, because they make things so much easier to understand among all the other brands. I am therefore incredibly excited about Asus’ new AREZ brand for their AMD Radeon RX graphics cards, because ROG, STRIX, TUF, Turbo, Dual, Expedition, Phoenix and Mining just weren’t brandy enough.

This one, you see, is named after the Greek god of war Ares (no, not that God of War), and features new and improved ‘superior cooling technology and a robust software ecosystem’. Because that’s what Greek gods of war are all about now, apparently. Read the rest of this entry »

Asus ROG Strix GL702ZC review: An AMD-powered 1080p machine

Asus ROG Strix GL702ZC

Most gaming laptops are Intel this and Nvidia that these days, making the fully AMD-powered Asus ROG Strix GL702ZC something of a rarity. Indeed, while AMD’s Ryzen CPUs may be a familiar sight on desktop PCs, this is the first time their top-end Ryzen 7 1700 chip has been taken out for a spin in laptop form, making it an admirable adversary for its Intel Core i7-7700HQ-equipped competition.

Backed up with one of AMD’s 4GB Radeon RX 580 graphics chips and a massive 17.3in 1920×1080 IPS display, the Asus ROG GL702ZC could be just the ticket for those after smooth 1080p gaming you can (sort of) take on the go. Let’s see whether it’s any good. Read the rest of this entry »

Asus unveil new H370 and B360 motherboards for Intel’s Coffee Lake CPUs

Asus motherboards

Asus have announced a string of new motherboards for the launch of Intel’s latest 8th Gen Coffee Lake CPU chipsets. Arriving in ROG Strix, Prime and Tuf Gaming brand flavours, these new H370 and B360 boards aim to bring more connectivity at a price that should (hopefully) keep those tears of despair at bay if you decide to use as the foundation for your next PC – which is a lot more than can be said for current graphics card prices right now. Read the rest of this entry »

Asus ROG Strix Fusion 500 review: A great, bassy headset undermined by fussy touch controls

Asus ROG Strix Fusion 500

The Asus ROG Strix Fusion 500 is probably the first headset I’ve used in quite some time where I haven’t had to automatically put the headband on the tightest possible setting. This surprised me, considering the enormous size of its ear cups, but the tight, rigid design of its headband meant there was no way I was getting this thing over my head without loosening it first. Finally, a USB headset for people with smaller noggins than I.

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Asus ROG Pugio review: Lefties rejoice

Asus ROG Pugio

Finally, a proper ambidextrous gaming mouse (of the mice I’ve looked at, anyway). After the sort-of-but-not-really symmetrical designs of the Steelseries Rival 110 and the HyperX Pulsefire FPS, the Asus ROG Pugio is the real deal, offering right and left-handed comfort in equal measure.

It’s quite expensive as gaming mice go, coming in at £62 in the UK and $90 in the US, but much like the Asus ROG Gladius II, the Pugio comes with a number of handy extras to help make up for it. There’s no second USB cable, sadly, but you do get two spare Omron switches and a pair of side button covers. If you’re left-handed and in need of a new mouse, read on.

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Asus ROG Gladius II review: An expensive gaming mouse you probably won’t mind shelling out for

Asus ROG Gladius II

I’d normally balk at the idea of spending over £30 on a mouse. I’ve never been one for owning flashy gizmos or the latest and greatest, so the thought of forking over more than double that for something like the Asus ROG Gladius II (which currently costs just over £70 in the UK and $95 in the US) would, ordinarily, be positively horrifying.

Thankfully, the ROG Gladius II has more than earned its keep over the last couple of weeks, as it’s not only one of the most comfortable mice I’ve ever used, but it also comes with a load of handy extras to help justify its price, such as a pair of spare Omron switches and two detachable USB cables, one braided and one regular rubber.

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AMD Radeon Vega RX 64 review: Finally some competition for the GTX 1080

Asus Vega RX 64

Just as the Radeon Vega RX 56 targets the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070, the Vega RX 64 is AMD’s precision strike on the mighty Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080. About damn time, too – by focusing solely on the mid-range and entry-level RX 400 and RX 500 series (which you can read more about in our AMD Radeon RX 580 review), AMD has given Nvidia free reign of the premium market for about two years. Time for some competition in the best graphics card 2018 tourney, methinks.

The model I’m testing is Asus’ ROG Strix version, or to use its full title for the only time in this review, the Asus ROG Strix RX Vega 64 OC Edition. The poetically-named ARSRV64OCE builds on AMD’s tech – which includes 8GB of High Bandwidth Memory 2 (HBM2), which stacks its memory modules units on top of each other, supposedly speeding up how long it takes to talk to your CPU – with a nifty three-fan air cooler and, as the name suggests, overclocked cores. It’s only a little bump, mind, upping the base clock from 1247MHz to 1298MHz and the boost clock from 1549MHz to 1590MHz. As to whether all that makes the RX 64 as capable as the GTX 1080 at 1440p and, perhaps most importantly, 4K, the answer is: yes! Pretty much!

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Best of CES 2018: The top PC gizmos you’ll want to own this year

CES 2018

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is over for another year. It was a slightly weird show this year, marred by an embarrassing power outage, one too many pointless robots (Cloi, I’m looking at you) and the creeping feeling that the world’s biggest tech show might just be becoming a bit irrelevant.

Fortunately, PC gamers still have plenty to look forward to in 2018, from giganto gaming screens and teeny tiny powerhouse NUCs to mouse mats that can charge your phone, metal-clad motherboards, and probably yet another hike in GPU prices when EVGA unleashes its crypto mining dream machine power supply that can run something silly like 14 Nvidia GTX 1070s all at the same time (thanks, guys). But all that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Read on for what I’m officially deeming the best of CES 2018, all without a single stroppy robot in sight.

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Asus ROG Swift PG258Q review: 240Hz gaming gone mad

Asus PG258Q

There’s something faintly ridiculous about the Asus ROG Swift PG258Q. Maybe it’s the fact it has a glowing red Asus ROG light coming out of its elevated, three-pronged stand. Maybe it’s the colossal 240Hz refresh rate. Or maybe it’s the price, which most retailers currently have pegged somewhere around the £500 mark (or $513 if you’re in the US). That’s a fair bit of cash for a 25in 1920×1080 screen, especially when the Acer XF270HUA gives you a 27in, 144Hz 2560×1440 display for the same money. Nah, on second thought, it’s definitely the light.

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Asus ROG Swift PG248Q review: A 180Hz miracle monitor?

Asus PG248Q

Buying a monitor used to be a fairly simple affair. You’d pick one black rectangle from the dozens of other black rectangles, and if you really pushed the boat out you might get one with an adjustable stand, or, heaven forbid, a rotating screen.

These days, there’s a lot more going on. You can still opt for the faithful black rectangle, but if you’re the type of person who likes rainbow-coloured keyboards, mice and motherboards, you can now get a monitor to match. Take Asus’ ROG Swift PG248Q. This 24in display has a glowing red ring round the base of the stand, as if the resulting monitor has arrived from another dimension inside its slate-like base. Thankfully, it can be turned off via the surprisingly easy-to-use menu buttons on the rear of the screen, but at least the option’s there if you happen to like that sort of thing. Read the rest of this entry »

Asus ROG Claymore review: A mechanical keyboard conversion

Asus ROG Claymore

Time to own up. Before now, I’ve never actually used a mechanical keyboard. For a time I used one of Roccat’s giant, spongy Isku gaming keyboards, mostly because that happened to be the one sitting on my desk when I started my first job, but in that same job, I soon began a long-lasting, if slightly unhealthy, relationship with one of Microsoft’s basic wireless keyboard sets. I know, I should probably hand in my RPS badge right now.

I had good reason, though. I promise. It was quiet, the keys weren’t too squishy, and it was pretty comfortable for the amount of time I spent typing everyday. Yes, it had a bit of trouble playing games – nervous, first person platforming manoeuvres definitely weren’t its forte – but when it’s your only option in the office, you make do. I’ve moved on since then, both in terms of job and keyboard, but if using the world’s worst bit of typing plastic has taught me anything, it’s that you learn to adjust to what’s in front of you. And right now, that’s the rainbow-coloured Asus ROG Claymore.

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Asus PG348Q: Second Coming Of The Monitor Messiah?

OK, this is a little embarrassing. Last July I hailed, albeit with the usual journalistic qualifications, the Asus MG279Q as the Messiah of Monitors. Now I’m doing it again. And it’s another ruddy Asus monitor. But there’s nothing to be done. I cannot unsee what has been seen. And what I’ve seen is the new Asus RoG Swift PG348Q in all its 34-inch, curved-screen, IPS-panel, G-Synced and 100Hz glory. Nurse!

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Week in Tech: New Intel Chips, More Mega-Monitors

There but for the grace of US immigrations officials...

It’s January and that can only mean one thing. Well, apart from New Year’s resolutions serially and unceremoniously defenestrated by the second week and a general sense of futility. No, I speak of the festival of capitalism gone completely mad that is CES in Las Vegas. Which actually happened last week. CES isn’t exactly the epicentre of all things PC. But it’s so bleedin’ huge, even a tiny fraction of it dedicated to the PC adds up to a lot of interesting things. This year is no exception, what with bonkers-fast SSDs, screens that push all my IPS, 120Hz-plus and frame-syncing buttons, integrated graphics from Intel that might be (oh OK, won’t be) good for playing games and a cheap PC case from Corsair that looks tolerable. I know, I’m really selling this stuff.
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Week in Tech: CES Show Special


Pull up a chair, pop the kettle on, stoke the fire, strangle a cat – whatever it is that loosens you up for some serious hardware hotness (Legal disclaimer: Do not strangle a cat) – and brace yourself for my CES round-up. We’ve already covered a few of the major announcements and developments, including Steam machines, high-res Oculus Rift and Razer’s Project Christine easy-upgrade shizzle. So, here’s my guide to the other PC gaming-relevant wonders from the festival of rampant, nihilistic consumerism that is the CES show in Las Vegas. There’s plenty to talk about including the messiah of monitors (Asus’s G-Sync-enabled, 1,440p effort), AMD’s G-Sync-bashing FreeSync and next-gen APUs, high-DPI PCs gone mad, an RGB-backlit keyboard and slick new cases from Corsair and, well, just stuff, stuff, stuff. Read the rest of this entry »