Hardware upgrades raise the G20's game

Gaming performance benefits most with the latest hardware on Asus' ROG G20.
Gaming performance benefits most with the latest hardware on Asus' ROG G20.PHOTO: ASUS

Asus has refreshed its ROG G20 desktop gaming PC with the latest hardware.

Gaming performance gets the biggest boost, with the ROG G20 now equipped with Nvidia's powerful GTX 1080 graphics card.

This new graphics card is a huge upgrade from the Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 in last year's model.

  • TECH SPECS

    PRICE: $3,198

    PROCESSOR: Intel Core i7-6700 (3.4GHz)

    GRAPHICS: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 8GB GDDR5

    RAM: 32GB

    STORAGE: 256GB SSD + 2TB 7,200rpm HDD

    CONNECTIVITY: 2 x USB 3.1, 4 x USB 3.0, 2 x USB 2.0, 3 x DisplayPort, 2 x HDMI, DVI output, Ethernet port, audio jacks

  • RATING

    FEATURES: 4/5

    DESIGN: 4/5

    PERFORMANCE: 5/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 3/5

    OVERALL: 4/5

In Crysis 3, the new G20 achieved around 120 frames per second (fps) at Very High setting and at a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels. The 2015 edition managed 44 fps.

In fact, you can play Crysis 3 at ultra-high resolutions at a smooth clip even at the highest settings. At 3,440 x 1,440 pixels, the new G20 scored around 60fps, which is sufficient to provide a smooth, lag-free gaming experience.

The second-biggest upgrade is the addition of a 256GB solid-state drive (SSD) as the primary storage drive. There is also a 2TB hard drive for your data.

Last year's model only had a hard drive, which is much slower than a SSD when booting up the PC or launching apps.

The processor has been bumped up from a fourth-generation Intel Core i7 chip to the latest sixth-generation model.

System memory, too, has been doubled from 16GB to 32GB, which makes the G20 a very capable system for non-gaming tasks such as video and photo editing.

A minor change: There are now two USB 3.1 ports with faster transfer speeds than the older 3.0 format.

Asus has retained the console-like chassis of the previous model. It has an angular design with customisable lighting effects (up to eight million colours to choose from) and Mayan-inspired markings.

The entire desktop is about 6kg, which makes it more portable than a mid-sized desktop PC. More importantly, the G20 is fairly quiet, even when running a video game.

It comes conveniently with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, but there is no SD card reader. It has a Blu-ray drive, like the latest consoles.

I had criticised the previous version for having an external power brick that appears to be made from two laptop power adapters, along with two power plugs, hastily slapped together.

Unfortunately, Asus has retained this strange design, which requires you to have two free power sockets instead of the usual one.

At $3,198, the G20 costs around the same as a similar system from Aftershock PC. It is not cheap, though almost a third of the price is because of the GTX 1080 graphics card. However, the performance boost is worth paying for.

Vincent Chang

• Verdict: A top gaming desktop PC that is big on performance despite its compact size.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 03, 2016, with the headline 'Hardware upgrades raise the G20's game'. Print Edition | Subscribe