The Asus G20CB-DH73-GTX1080 Gaming Desktop stems from the Asus’ new shelf line of ROG-G20CB gaming desktop towers. The ROG RG20 line brags of being a one-stop gaming hub for small form factor gaming desktops. Generally, the design is small but it packs the power of a fully fledged gaming rig, and does that with pride.
For us are here at MOGZTech, the compact PCs have always had a special place in our hearts as they are among the most impressively engineered systems we test. From the likes of Alienware Alpha to the humble Dell Inspiron Micro, we’ve often been impressed with just how much power can be packed into these compact machines. So, looking at the Asus ROG G20CB, we of course had our expectations high.
Asus G20CB Review
- Stunning compact and slate gamer centric design
- Boots super fast thanks to SSD
- Simple and appealing lighting option
- VR-ready desktop performance
- Not particularly upgradeable system
- Some annoying software
- Lacks Blu-ray drive
- For gaming desktops and laptop designers, the pressure to create an artistic build for their machines is almost unparalleled. And so when I first lay my eyes on the Asus G20CB-DH73-GTX1080 Gaming Desktop See at Amazon, I thought it was nothing short of a science fiction story. So, for design, I applaud Asus for their hands down gamer centric product. While attractive to look at, it comes with high specked components that sadly struggle to out-do its rivals in industry. Performance is great but doesn’t compare well with its competition which brings to the table almost similar specs, higher performance but at a more reasonable price.
DESIGN AND FEATURES
The Asus G20CB-DH73-GTX1080 enjoys a slate gamer centric design, with matte black chassis with backlit labyrinth touches. The edges are superbly finished and the centre of the machine has a notable red core that runs from the top to bottom. While being attractive to the eye, it is also a stumbling block to the pre-installed Asus Aegis software which customizes the backlit glow to whatever colors you desire.
This is the first caveat I must mention since a single color (red) gets obvious and boring pretty easily, and when the insatiable desire to have a different color kicks in, this might be reason or constant cause for disappointment for many. Even so, it’s no deal breaker as of yet, if you can preset colors to match the red core. Fortunately, the Aegis app allows you to assign from the 8 million colors to the lights; set them pulsating or steadily glowing (we’ll talk about Aegis shortly).
We also fell in love with the compact design. With a horizontal footprint of 358 x 340 mm, the Asus G20CB-DH73-GTX1080 fits anywhere perfectly. Whether you have a tight desk with lots of folders going on, or a second or third set of monitor stacked on your table, G20CB is bound to fit somewhere in there.
You can cram it anywhere, even under your TV or monitors and it would still work – very practical if your main goal is to save some space. Ideally, it’s built into a 14 x 13.4 x 4-inch chassis that’s only slightly larger than the Alienware X51 (13.5 x 12.5 x 3.74 inches) and the Origin Chronos (13.75 x 11.75 x 4 inches).
Moving on to the fans, the G20CB enjoys a mystified cooling system that doesn’t ruin its looks and functions at its peak to keep the machine cool. There are no sides facing vents, but a clever way of letting heat dissipate naturally through vents located at the top and bottom channels of the machine. What’s good about it is that it’s not at all noticeable to the naked eye. Perhaps only after a careful look are you able to locate the vents.
The port selection for this desktop is something to look out for. On the front of the chassis there’s the red-accented USB 3.0 ports and two (2) 3.5mm audio jacks. The front also features a DVD drive that you can pop out every time you need to watch a movie or insert a game. It’s a simple DVD Write but for the price, it would have been great if Asus spent the time to fit a Blue-ray drive for Full HD playback just as other premium desktops have. Optical drives are losing their usefulness fast as many people yearn to play high definition movies on their PCs.
The back side enjoys six USB ports which include 2 USB 3.1 ports Type C for data speeds of up to 10Gbits (ultimately faster than USB 3.0). Among the remaining 4 ports are 2 USB 3.0 ports and 2 USB 2.0s; all of which are highlighted by separate light colors. Light blue denotes the first USB 3.1 ports, dark blue denotes the second set and black for the final set (USB 2.0s).
If you can’t really make out the colors, or the difference in ports check out the labels so you can know where to fix your VR. The labels are the Oculus logo, Rift logo but don’t start worrying just yet! Yes, you can also plug in HTC Vive if you own one (the system supports that too).
There is no optical S/PDIF but we noted that the graphics card has 3 Display Port connectors, HDMI port for external monitors and audio output, and lastly a DVI port.
Other connectivity includes; Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11ac wireless and Bluetooth.
We tested a couple of budget desktops along the way and some of them don’t come with keyboards or mouse as a package deal. Fortunately, the Asus G20CB-DH73-GTX1080 isn’t among that list. However, for me, the keyboard was a little less impressive than what I expected. Let’s just say the keyboard and mouse combo was nothing close to the standard the desktop had set. Asus definitely dropped the ball here, serving a great five course meal and finishing up with some cheap motel wine.
The keyboard is frustrating to type on and the mouse lacks the dexterity of a gaming mouse. If you’re serious on getting this desktop, it would be wise to spend something extra for a gaming mouse of your choice.
In performance realms, the G20CB series starts with a base model of Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 graphics card with 4GB of VRAM. That model is powerful and supports triple AAA games at higher settings. The machine we reviewed however is a 4.0 GHz Intel Core i7-6700 processor that’s top of the line (second after the Core i7-77000) in performance and multi-tasking. This is mostly good news for video editors and avid gamers.
Asus G20CB GTX 1080 graphics Card
Moving on, the Asus G20CB-DH73-GTX1080 features an 8 GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 that’s obviously better than the base model. Thanks to this Nvidia’s outstanding innovation, it makes this desktop by far the among most powerful consumer level graphics card we’ve tested for VR and 4K gaming. Since the GPU works under the new banner of Pascal architecture, the performance was great and had little effect on power consumption unlike the Maxwell architecture from past graphic cards.
The RAM is sturdy and ample at 512 GB SSD, 1TB HDD, so boot time is lightning fast and there’s enough space to store data files, video, images and downloads.
The crosses paths with the CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Supreme Liquid Cool SLC8420A Desktop Check at Amazon which costs the same but features high-end specifications (an Intel i7-7700K 4.2GHz processor, NVIDIA GTX 1070 8GB, 16GB DDR4 RAM, 2TB 7200RPM HDD and 120GB SSD).
The G20 comes with a couple of software preinstalled. For instance, the Aegis II software which houses other functions besides color scheming. There’s the app’s GameAlive tool which lets you make screen shots and game videos, but isn’t as reliable as I expected. I couldn’t bare it hanging every now and then and at times completely crashing. Secondly, the app also has a Boost Launcher that programs other apps to close whenever you start your favorite games so as to free up used memory.
Asus G20CB Specs
|Processor||4.0 GHz Intel Core i7-6700|
|RAM||16 GB DDR4|
|Internal Storage||512 GB SSD, 1TB HDD|
|Graphics||8 GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080|
|Connectivity||802.11 b/g/n | Bluetooth 4.0|
|Speakers||No speakers | Realtek HD Audio|
|Operating System||Windows 10|
|Dimensions||14.1 x 4.1 x 13.4 Inches|
If you’re looking for the best combination of design, features and performance the Asus G20CB-DH73-GTX1080 is a contender here. It runs almost all games on highest settings with smooth fps; it’s VR ready, keeps your PC cool, is super silent, boots up super fast, syncs easily with your music and game audio via flashing and pulsating lights, and best of all, has an attractive alien design. For most people with pocket constraints, the Alienware X51 Desktop might prove decent. But if that is least of your concern, then the ROG G20CB is a mighty companion for your gaming needs.
The those willing to spend some extra bucks for a double the features on our reviewed unit, the CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Panzer PVP3020LQ Desktop Gaming PC Check at Amazon is a fine choice with great performance promise.
- Buy the Asus G20CB-DH73-GTX1080 from Amazon.