ASUS Updates ROG Gaming Laptops With 9th Gen CPUs & New Designs

Subject: Mobile | April 23, 2019 - 09:00 AM |
Tagged: gaming laptop, ASUS ROG, asus, 9th generation core

ASUS today is unveiling the latest range of the company's Republic of Gamers (ROG) laptop line. Powered by the just-announced 9th Generation Intel Core Mobile Processors, the new ASUS laptops include new designs and features at a wide range of price and performance levels.

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First teased to the press at an event last week in Manhattan, ASUS said that it is positioning this new line of ROG laptops at both gamers and creators. Gaming, especially competitive multiplayer, continues to gain popularity due to the accessibility of free-to-play titles, but ASUS is seeing a similar increase in interest for creative workloads.

In some cases, these creative workloads are tied directly to gaming itself, such as gamers recording, editing, and streaming their gameplay videos. In other cases, professionals primarily interested in 3D modeling, photo and video production, or graphic design choose gaming laptops like those in the ROG series for their higher-end performance capabilities. And, of course, ASUS also sees the trend of professionals who want both: working through the week and playing through the weekend.

In terms of the Zephyrus line, ASUS is continuing to use letters to differentiate the performance and price tiers, but has introduced a lower-end tier this year. To recap and summarize, models in the new Zephyrus "G" class are entry-level and "focus on fundamentals to enable exhilarating experiences." The "M" models -- mid-tier -- "enhance form and function to improve your everyday gaming experience." Finally, the flagship "S" models represent "the ultimate expression of ROG."

Beyond Zephyrus, ASUS is also introducing new or updated models in its Strix and TUF series, as well as updating its semi-portable ROG Mothership to the latest 9th Gen Intel CPUs.

Click here to see the full details.

Source: ASUS

Float like a Zephyr, sting like an ROG! ASUS' new gaming laptop

Subject: Mobile | April 15, 2019 - 05:55 PM |
Tagged: GX531-GX, asus, Zephyrus S, gaming laptop

In this corner, standing 15.6" diagonal and weighing in at 2.1kg, we have the new Asus ROG Zephyrus S!  With an i7-8750H processor, an RTX 2080 Max-Q and up to 24GB of DDR4-2666 this featherweight contender packs a lot of punch.  The screen is an IPS panel with a top refresh rate of 144Hz, though it only offers 1080p resolution which may upset some viewers.  This is definitely a right hander, you can tell by the placement of the touchpad and buttons, an interesting choice but one which allows the keyboard to extend right to the bottom of the shell.

With such a light and compact build, can it stand up to the competition?  Check out the rumble over at eTeknix to see if it is a knockout or if we are looking at a split decision.

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"When it comes to performance laptops, there are very few brands that demand more attention than the ASUS ROG Zephyrus range. In terms of gaming laptops, the Zephyrus design really does look to tick all of the right boxes with high-performance components with an ultra-slim and light weight design."

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Source: eTeknix

The Scope of CTRL, the new ASUS ROG Strix gaming keyboard with a boss button

Subject: General Tech | April 15, 2019 - 03:05 PM |
Tagged: asus, rog strix scope, gaming keyboard, mechanical keyboard, RGB, input, aura sync

The ROG Strix Scope keyboard, originally announced as the CTRL at CES, has arrived and is ready to be picked up for those who have been waiting.  Enthusiasts can choose between Cherry MX Red, Brown, Blue, Black, Speed Silver or Silent Red switches, all of which are fully RGB'd with 10 Aura Sync patterns already programmed in.

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The CTRL key is double wide for easy access and the WASD keycaps have a striking silver colour, which compliments the aluminium body as well as making them easy to spot. The board does come with a keycap puller if you have a burning desire to upgrade or swap them.   It is the Stealth function bound to the F12 key that is far more important for some however, as it functions as a boss button.  With one click it will hide all your running apps and mute all audio, so it looks like you were about to be productive and most definitely not playing a game.  Check out the full PR below.

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Fremont, California (April 15, 2019) — ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) today announced ROG Strix Scope, the mechanical gaming keyboard with Xccurate Design – an extra-wide Ctrl key for enhanced precision on FPS battlefields.

The Control (Ctrl) key is crucial to success in modern first-person-shooter games. With this in mind the ROG R&D team carefully examined the play style of FPS gamers, applying their findings to create a Ctrl key that’s more than 2X wider than traditional Ctrl keys and a shortened left Windows key that’s designed to be less of a target.

For gamers wanting to switch things up a bit, the all-black look of Strix Scope can be punctuated by four silver-colored caps for the vital WASD key group. Included with Strix Scope, these alternative caps create a striking contrast to the rest of the keys – a standout look that benefits both form and function. A special keycap-puller tool is also bundled for easy removal and customization of the most-used keys.

Strix Scope’s F12 key has its own unique secondary function, doubling as Stealth. This is a one-touch shortcut that hides all running apps and mutes all audio for instant privacy or peace.

All keycaps are designed to take full advantage of the ASUS Aura RGB backlighting that’s built in to Strix Scope, with secondary legends that are carefully placed to also be easily visible. The F5-F12 keys even have front-side illumination, so both media controls and F-key legends are clearly lit. The Quick Toggle Switch allows gamers to flip quickly between these two control modes.

An aluminum faceplate lends Strix Scope everyday resilience and is finished with a striking slash aesthetic for a little touch of style. The keyboard also includes Armoury II, enhanced driver-based software that offers more extensive controls while using less system resources. An intuitive UI makes it easy for gamers to tune Strix Scope to suit the game or gameplay style – enabling them to create profiles, customize colors and lighting effects, map keys, record macros and more. It’s even possible to track hardware stats during gameplay for data analysis. The outstanding design and innovation that went into the creation of Strix Scope has already been recognized and awarded, with the product winning the prestigious 2019 iF Product Design Award in the Computer Accessory category. The iF Product Design Awards spans multiple disciplines and attracts many thousands of entries from dozens of nations every year – so Strix Scope fought off strong international competition to secure its victory.

Cherry MX RGB switches for gamer-delighting feel and response
Strix Scope is constructed with Cherry MX RGB switches to deliver the precise mechanical feel preferred by gamers and enthusiasts alike. These premium-quality switches are manufactured in Germany and are renowned for delivering optimal actuation and responsiveness with every keystroke. The keyboard is fully compatible with Cherry MX Red, Brown, Blue, Black, Silent Red and Speed Silver switches¹, offering gamers the freedom to configure Strix Scope to play exactly the way they like – from smooth, quiet, linear actuation to tactile clicks.

“Gamers have come to love the feel, optimal actuation and responsiveness of mechanical keystrokes”, said Michael Schmid, Head of MX Technology Marketing at Cherry GmbH. “Cherry MX switches are the obvious trusted choice to use in the new high-end ROG Strix Scope keyboard, with a choice of six different switch types. ROG has always gamers in mind and develops products accordingly. For Strix Scope, innovative features like the enlarged Xccurate Design Ctrl key were made with FPS players in mind. This is the kind of attention to detail that Cherry loves – and why we’re excited to celebrate the arrival of Strix Scope."

Aura RGB illumination on every key for infinite lighting possibilities No modern gaming keyboard is complete without eye-catching lighting, so Strix Scope features per-key ASUS Aura RGB LEDs, plus an illuminated ROG logo. Compatibility with the Aura Sync ecosystem makes it easy for gamers to harmonize Strix Scope’s light shows with other Aura Sync-enabled components, both from ASUS and partner manufacturers.

The keyboard also has a built-in memory to store up to six custom illumination profiles, which can be configured to correspond to different applications – providing custom layouts and lighting effects that are tailored for a particular game or activity.

The evolution of ROG Strix Scope
Avid ROG followers may have noted that Strix Scope was previously revealed as Strix CTRL during CES 2019. This product-development codename was subsequently changed and finalized as Strix Scope to clearly express a key battlefield benefit of the extended Xccurate Design Ctrl key.

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Source: ASUS

ASUS Republic of Gamers Launches the ROG Strix Helios Enclosure

Subject: Cases and Cooling | April 13, 2019 - 10:45 AM |
Tagged: ROG Strix, RGB, mid-tower, Helios, gaming, enclosure, chassis, case, ASUS ROG, asus, aluminum

The Republic of Gamers division of ASUS has launched the ROG Strix Helios, a deluxe EATX enclosure which is the "first ROG mid-tower gaming chassis made for showcase builds with tempered-glass panels, aluminum frame, Aura Sync lighting and an array of cooling options", according to ASUS. This is certainly a striking design, with a sharply angular look from an exterior that combines aluminum and tinted glass.

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"Strix Helios is designed for those who want to create a gaming rig that will stand out in any crowd. It boasts three 4mm-thick, smoked, tempered-glass panels fitted in a refined brushed-aluminum frame, plus a stunning display of Aura RGB lighting integrated into the front panel. The LEDs are individually addressable, and can be customized with a palette of millions of colors and a range of preset effects – all easily synced with the vast Aura Sync hardware ecosystem to augment the build."

Key points include (via ASUS):

  • Three 4mm, smoked tempered-glass panels, refined brushed-aluminum frame and integrated front panel Aura Sync RGB lighting
  • Innovative multifunction cover with integrated GPU braces, two-piece PSU shroud and translucent rear cover offer effortless cable management
  • Supports up to EATX motherboards, with ample space for 420mm front / 360mm top radiators and water-cooling pump and reservoir

While we have seen an ASUS ROG case in the past - with custom enclosures part of the ROG Strix GL12 and ROG Huracan G21 systems - this is a standalone product targeting the high-end enthusiast segment.

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"Strix Helios has been thoughtfully designed with flexible covers and a comprehensive cable-management system to keep the interior tidy, clean and sharp. An adjustable multifunction cover with GPU braces cleverly hides cabling, provides sturdy support to graphics cards and allows for an SSD or ROG Aura Terminal to be mounted for display. There’s also a two-piece PSU shroud with a front cut-out to enable compatibility with ROG Thor or other OLED-integrated power supplies. In the back, a translucent cable cover conceals unsightly wiring while allowing illuminations from RGB devices to shine through."

ASUS ROG also emphasizes the convenience features of the new enclosure, which offers unique tool-free side panels that have a hinge on the bottom, and a full compliment of dust filters.

"Building with and maintaining a Strix Helios is also made simple. Release buttons at the rear of the chassis allows builders to swing down the side panels for instant, tool-less access to the interior. The panels are bottom-hinged, and will remain supported at an angle until they’re ready to be completely detached. The case also comes with fan and radiator mounts, and removable filters on the top, front and underside for all-round dust protection."

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So how much will the new ASUS ROG Strix Helios enclosure set you back? It has an MSRP of $279.99 and is available now at Newegg, "and soon available at other leading retailers" according to ASUS.

Source: ASUS ROG

ASUS ROG Zenith Extreme Alpha X399 includes everything, even the kitchen sink

Subject: Motherboards | April 10, 2019 - 03:00 PM |
Tagged: X399, Threadripper, ROG Zenith Extreme Alpha, asus, amd

If you push your Threadripper to the limit of its capabilities you are going to need a serious X399 motherboard.  MSI's MEG Creation has been the go to board for quite a while now, but ASUS is looking to change that with the ROG Zenith Extreme Alpha, which offers you a lot of features if you slap down $620.  As you can see below, everything has a heatsink and there is also integrated watercooling, which is great news for Bjorn3D who had a bit of trouble when they paired a 2990WX with a Gigabyte Gaming 7 board. 

It makes the most sense to pair this with that top end ThreadRipper as other models won't require such extreme measures, if you can afford the bill you will end up with one of the best X399 boards on the market today.

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"Well long story, kinda short, the VRM when under render loads would escalate to over 110C in a matter of a minute or less and was simply not feasible for running this new chip. Enter ASUS as I reached out to them to see if they had a solution. Enter the Zenith Extreme [Alpha]."

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Source: Bjorn3D

The Ultimate Force in audio ... perhaps

Subject: General Tech | April 3, 2019 - 05:52 PM |
Tagged: virtual 7.1, TUF Gaming H5, gaming headset, audio, asus

ASUS introduce the TUF series of components to compliment their ROG series, offering more affordable products while still maintaining quality.  The ASUS H5 TUF wired gaming headset keeps some of the aesthetics and from the description at Kitguru, also kept the 'military grade' design.  Joking aside, the H5 uses a pair of 50mm neodymium magnets and is capable of virtual 7.1 audio, has both a boom mic as well as an inline one and a decent response range of 20-20000Hz.

At $80 they are not a huge investment but there are some caveats covered in the video you might want to check out before chequing out. 

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"The TUF name originally appeared on a range of motherboards, and now with the start of the TUF Gaming Alliance there has been a shift to create an entire range of more affordable TUF components."

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Source: Kitguru

Full sized mobile gaming from ASUS ROG, the SCAR II

Subject: Mobile | April 1, 2019 - 03:17 PM |
Tagged: asus, rog scar II, gaming laptop, i7-8750h, RTX 2070, GL704G

ASUS's new ROG Strix SCAR II gaming laptop has a lot on offer, more than just the basic specs imply.  The model that eTeknix reviewed was the GL704G, with an i7-8750H, RTX 2070, an unspecified amount of DDR4-2666, and an NVMe PCI SSD paired with a 1TB SSHD all hidden under 17.3″ 144Hz IPS display.  That larger form factor allows better cooling to be included as well as giving enough real estate for some serious choice in peripherals.  On the side you will find a pair of USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports, on a Type-C as well as two more Gen 1 ports, miniDP 1.4, HDMI 2.0b and an SD card reader in addition to audio and wired ethernet. 

If you can handle the almost 3kg of weight, check out the full review before shopping around as it will likely run you $1700 or more.

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"With this in mind, we look at the ASUS ROG Strix SCAR II. Yes, admittedly a name that is a bit of a mouthful, but with an 8th-generation Intel Processor and Nvidia 2070 graphics card, it’s pretty clear that we can expect some performance from this."

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Source: eTeknix

ASUS WS C246M Pro Motherboard Reviewed at Serve the Home

Subject: Motherboards | March 29, 2019 - 02:15 PM |
Tagged: Xeon E-Series, WS C246M Pro, workstation, STH, server, motherboard, micro-atx, asus

The ASUS WS C246M Pro is a micro-ATX option in the company's server/workstation lineup which supports 8th-gen LGA1151 Intel Core and Intel Xeon E-Series CPUs, as well as offering simultaneous triple display output (with DisplayPort, HDMI, and VGA outputs onboard), dual Intel Gigabit NICs, and support for ECC memory and Intel Optane.

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"At the time of writing the ASUS WS C246M Pro motherboard is going for around $210 which is an affordable price point for small workstations. At the same time, it is significantly more costly than mITX consumer motherboards. One may argue that getting a consumer motherboard at a lower cost is worthwhile, but at the same time, we think that there is a segment of the market who may want the front to rear airflow design and ECC memory support. For VARs, the ability to support the Xeon E-2100 series helps to clearly segment their offerings and position them against corporate offerings from Dell, HP, and others."

You can read the full review from Serve the Home (STH) here.

Source: STH

PC Perspective Podcast #538 - Gaming Headsets, Ryzen Price Drops, and More!

Subject: General Tech | March 29, 2019 - 06:55 AM |
Tagged: ryzen, podcast, Optane, microphone, hyperx, graphics drivers, corsair, Cinebench, asus, anthem

PC Perspective Podcast #538 - 3/27/2019

Join us this week as we review a new quiet case from Corsair, a high-end gaming headset from ASUS, the first standalone microphone from HyperX, and more!

Subscribe to the PC Perspective Podcast

Check out previous podcast episodes: http://pcper.com/podcast

Show Topics
00:05 - Intro
02:04 - Review: Corsair Carbide 678C Case
08:43 - Review: ASUS ROG Delta Gaming Headset
16:25 - Review: HyperX QuadCast USB Microphone
22:51 - News: AMD Ryzen 2000 Price Drops
27:43 - News: Cinebench R20 Standalone Release
30:41 - News: Anthem DLSS & GeForce Highlights Update
33:58 - News: GeForce Game Ready Drivers 419.67
38:01 - News: Intel vs. Micron
43:10 - Picks of the Week
53:04 - Outro

Picks of the Week
Jim: SeaQuest DSV
Jeremy: Intel NUC 8 VR
Josh: AMD Ryzen 7 2700X
Sebastian: At Last the 1948 Show

Today's Podcast Hosts
Sebastian Peak
Josh Walrath
Jeremy Hellstrom
Jim Tanous

Who is the super mega ultrabook winner?

Subject: Mobile | March 26, 2019 - 02:24 PM |
Tagged: ultrabook, acer, asus, dell, hp, Lenovo, microsoft

Over at Ars Technica is a close comparison of a half dozen ultrabook models from a variety of manufacturers, with the purpose of determining which stand above the others.  As there are as many ways of using an ultraportable as there are people who carry them around, they've split their findings into a number of categories.  Take a look to see which models are tops for business use, best overall, best convertible or best detachable, just to name a few. 

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"Ultrabooks have become the standard design for most premium Windows laptops, and they represent the best of what companies like Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and Microsoft have to offer in terms of design, power, and innovation."

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Source: Ars Technica