Subject: General Tech, Mobile | June 5, 2018 - 01:02 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: asus, ASUS ROG, gaming, mobile gaming, game streaming, Gigabit LTE, computex 2018, computex
In addition to the usual Republic of Gamers branded gear, ASUS unveiled the new ROG Phone at Computex which is a high-end Android device aimed at gamers that extends the ROG brand to mobile devices. The new ROG Phone packs a ton of hardware into a six-inch smartphone that can double as a portable gaming machine and is complete with the requisite aggressive ROG aesthetics especially around back where, yes, there is even configurable RGB.
ASUS’ new smartphone measures 158.8mm x 76.2mm x 8.6mm (6.25”x3”x0.34”) and weighs in at 200g (0.44 lbs). The device is black with white accents drawing aggressive angles on back along with vents for cooling and both Republic of Gamers branding and a configurable RGB ROG logo. The front of the phone looks fairly standard with a large 6” 18:9 AMOLED display taking up most of the front face and surrounded by dual front facing SmartAmp speakers that can reportedly get quite loud according to the various hands on videos online. The display has a resolution of 2160 x 1080, a refresh rate of 90 Hz, a 1ms response time, 10,000:1 contrast ratio, and is rated at 108.6% of the DCI-P3 color space. A dedicated image processing chip handles HDR support and the ability of the display to boost the local contrast of certain areas of the display.
As for cameras, there is an 8MP camera in front and dual cameras around back with a main 12MP camera and a 8MP 120-degree wide angle camera.
One interesting thing as far as I/O is that the phone has two USB-C ports with one in the usual spot on the bottom edge and one on the left edge to make using it in landscape mode easier. The included AeroActive cooler can plug into this port and blow air onto the back of the phone to help cool it and your fingertips while also breaking the USB-C port out into a USB-C and 3.5mm headphone jack. As far as audio, ASUS’ ROG Phone supports Dolby DTS Headphone 7.1 virtual surround sound and Qualcomm aptX for wired and Bluetooth headphones respectively.
Asus has also placed ultrasonic buttons around the edges with two on the left edge corners and one on the bottom right edge that can be used as triggers while in landscape mode for gaming or to do usual Android stuff like taking photos or launching an app.
As far as internal specifications, Asus managed to work out a deal with Qualcomm for binned Snapdragon 845 chips that can run all eight Kryo 385 CPU cores at 2.96 GHz (+160 MHz over stock). The Snapdragon 845 processor also contains the Adreno 630 GPU, Hexagon 685 DSP, Spectra 280 ISP, Qualcomm SPU, Aqstic audio, Snapdragon X20 LTE modem, and 802.11ad Wi-Fi. The chip also supports Qualcomm Quick Charge 4 though I’m not sure which level Asus has enabled as Asus is calling it HyperCharge (up to 20W with the charging IC in the adapter to reduce phone temps). The SD845 is paired with 8GB of LPDDR4X memory and either 128GB or 512GB of UFS 2.1 internal storage. The ROG Phone is powered by a 4,000 mAh battery that can be charged to 60% in 33 minutes or 85% in an hour with the included charger. The USB-C ports reportedly only support USB 2.0, however so no USB 3 speeds when transferring files – I suppose Asus needs to at least try to keep the pricing in check! Wireless I/O includes 802.11ad 60GHz Wi-Fi, 802.11ac 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz 2x2 MU-MIMO Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, and Gigabit LTE.
ASUS is using a copper heat spreader as well as a 3D vapor chamber to keep the phone cool while gaming and to keep the Snapdragon 845’s CPU and GPU clocked as high as possible for as long as possible. For the serious mobile gamer wanting to keep the frame rates up there is also the clip on AeroActive cooler or “enhanced cooling” in the TwinView dock.
Speaking of docks, ASUS wants gamers to be able to get serious with the ROG Phone by plugging it into docks that will be sold separately. The TwinView dock adds a second display (that is reportedly identical to the AMOLED on the phone itself), physical trigger buttons, and a 6,000 mAh battery while the Mobile Desktop Dock turns the ROG Phone into a portable computer by allowing you to hook it up to a 4K display, keyboard and mouse, Gigabit Ethernet, 5.1 channel speakers, and other USB peripherals. For those wanting to game on the big screen to share games with friends there is also a WiGig dock and compatibility with the third-party Game Vice controller that turns the ROG Phone into something resembling the Nintendo Switch with joystick and physical buttons on either side.
The ROG Phone is packed with enough hardware to make it competitive with other high-end smartphones as well as the other gaming-focused phone offerings from Razer, Xiaomi, and other entrants to this market. At launch Asus has the docks and accessories down, but pricing is going to be a major concern as the phone itself is not going to be cheap and after adding the docks it might be equivalent to a budget DIY PC build (well before the GPU and RAM price spikes I guess)! On the other hand, it would be a powerful mobile device for running emulators and Fortnite and PUBG are on mobile now (heh) so maybe there is a market serious enough about mobile gaming willing to pay a premium for the ROG Phone.
What do you think? Will you be picking up the ROG Phone?
The ROG Phone is slated for release later this summer with specific pricing not yet available.
Subject: Motherboards | May 18, 2018 - 04:39 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: asus, ASUS ROG, crosshair vii hero wifi, ryzen 2, amd, x470
Upon first meeting the Asus ROG Crosshair VII Hero Kitguru were impressed with the features and design of the board but underwhelmed by the performance. After contacting ASUS they received a new BIOS and resumed testing, publishing their results here. The board now performs admirably on the default settings, at the cost of an extra ~40W of power being consumed, while when manually clocked you can replicate the performance but without that extra power draw.
Kitguru explains how Synchronous and Asynchronous mode differ and how this relates to the extra power draw. In Synchronous mode the CPU memory and PCIe all share the same clock signal while in Asynchronous mode the CPU clock can be adjusted without any effect on the memory or PCIe clocks. Check out what they think this means for Ryzen users here.
"As we expected, the Crosshair VII Hero is a high end motherboard that is loaded with overclocking features and while it looks and feels really solid, our initial testing suggested that performance was nothing special."
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- Gigabyte X470 Aorus Ultra Gaming @ Guru of 3D
- ASUS ROG Strix X470-F Gaming @ Guru 3D
- ASRock X370 Pro4 @ Kitguru
- MSI B360 Gaming Plus Motherboard Review @ Neoseeker
Subject: Motherboards | April 12, 2018 - 01:34 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: asus, ASUS ROG, ROG Strix, AM4, mini ITX, amd, x470
Asus appears to be planning a Republic of Gamers branded updated motherboard for AMD’s Ryzen 2000 series processors. The ROG STRIX X470-I is a mini ITX form factor board that is loaded with RGB, higher end power phases and onboard sound, and built-in Wi-Fi.
Videocardz obtained several images of the new X470 chipset based Mini ITX motherboard.
Asus is using a unique design with this board where it has moved the rear IO down a bit to make room for a larger 8-pin CPU power connector to be tucked into the upper left corner. The AM4 socket is surrounded by the VRMs, two full size DDR4 DIMM slots, and a heat shield that hides the M.2 slot. For storage, there are four SATA 6 Gbps ports (two next to the M.2 slot and two along the right edge) and for graphics cards there is a single PCI-E x16 slot. The board further has a USB 3.0 header, USB 2.0 header, audio header, three fan 4-pin connectors (one AIO pump header), and two RGB headers.
Around back, ASUS has provided a single HDMI output for those wishing to use an APU, four USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports, two USB 3.1 Gen 2 (10 Gbps) ports, Gigabit Ethernet, two 802.11ac Wi-Fi antenna ports, and three LED-backlit audio jacks.
Because this motherboard is a refresh of the X370-I, I think it’s safe to say that it is very likely that Asus is using Intel for the Gigabit Ethernet and the same SupremeFX S1220A codec (with high end Japanese capacitors and dual TI op amps) on the shielded M.2 Audio combo card.
As for the RGB, the board supports Asus Aura Sync and has a 3-pin addressable LED header and a 4-pin RGB header as well as built-in RGB LEDs along the right edge and on the M.2 heatsink.
Not much else is known about this small form factor motherboard, but with the launch of Zen+ coming any week now (allegedly), we should know more soon! You can find more photos of the motherboard over at Videocardz.
With the previous generation X370-I going for $230+ online though, I would not expect the X470-I to be cheap, however. It is interesting that it will continue to carry the ROG and STRIX branding though in light of ASUS moving its Radeon graphics card offerings to a new AREZ brand to get around the whole GeForce Partner Program situation. I am glad to see the SFF boards getting updates this quickly from many manufacturers in time for the launch of the 400 series chipsets and Ryzen 2000 series processors.
In other Mini ITX X470 news:
- ASRock Shows Off Mini ITX X470 Fatal1ty Gaming ITX/ac Motherboard
- Biostar's Refreshed Mini ITX Racing X470GTN AM4 Motherboard Revealed
Subject: Motherboards | April 4, 2018 - 06:03 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: asus, mini ITX, ASUS ROG, ROG Strix, H370, Intel H370, 8th generation core
Asus has launched a new Mini ITX motherboard using Intel’s new H370 chipset and LGA 1151 socket for 8th Generation Core Coffee Lake processors. The H370-I Gaming motherboard is part of Asus’ ROG (republic of gamers) Strix lineup and supports Aura Sync addressable RGB LEDs along with other enthusiast features like SupremeFX audio and dual Gigabit Ethernet.
The ROG Strix H370-I Gaming pairs the LGA 1151 socket with two DDR4 memory slots (up to 32GB 2666 MHz before overclocking), four SATA 6 Gbps ports, a single PCI-E 3.0 x16 slot, and two M.2 PCI-E (one also supports SATA mode) 2280 slots with one under the heatsink above the PCI-E x16 slot and one on the back of the motherboard. Power delivery is handled by the Digi+ VRM and fed by an eight pin CPU power connector (I'm not sure how the power phases are split.) Asus offers overcurrent and ESD protection as well as the various Q-DIMM, Q-LED, and Q-Slot convenience features along with a front panel connector breakout cable.
The motherboard Is fairly barren of chips as it uses the Intel H370 chipset for Wi-Fi and USB. There is a Realtek RTL8111H chipset and Intel I219-V chipset for Gigabit Ethernet as well as SupremeFX S1220A audio with dual op amps. Wireless is handled by the intel 9650 and features 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity. The board features “Fan Xpert 4” technology which amounts to three 4-pin fan headers (one geared towards AIO water pumps) and multiple temperature sensors across the board.
Rear I/O on the Strix H370-I Gaming includes:
- 1 x DisplayPort
- 1 x HDMI
- 2 x Gigabit Ethernet
- 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 2
- 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 (Type-C)
- 3 x USB 3.1 Gen 1
- 1 x Optical Audio Out
- 5 x Analog Audio Out
- 2 x Wi-Fi Antenna connectors
Surprisingly, it appears the Mini ITX motherboard is already available for purchase with a going price of around $140 USD. If you are looking for a motherboard for a SFF system using Coffee Lake (and love RGB), the H370-I Gaming may be worth a look.
- GIGABYTE H370 AORUS Gaming 3 WIFI Motherboard Review
- Intel Adds New Processors and Chipsets to 8th Generation Desktop Lineup
- The Coffee Lake Story: Intel Core i7-8700K and Core i5-8400 Review
Subject: General Tech | January 8, 2018 - 09:00 AM | Jim Tanous
Tagged: RGB, CES 2018, CES, ASUS ROG, ASUS Aura, asus
ASUS today announced the ROG Aura Terminal, a controller that synchronizes your RGB lighting in real time with the content displayed on your monitor.
Similar to the many products that have long offered synchronized ambient backlighting for televisions, the ROG Aura Terminal connects to your PC's video output and then synchronizes the lighting effects of RGB strips mounted to the rear of your monitor to the colors on the screen, creating a "more immersive gaming environment." The device can also be connected to your PC's existing internal RGB lighting and ASUS's Aura Sync devices to synchronize your gaming setup's other lighting with the on-screen action.
ROG Aura Terminal is a quad-channel addressable RGB controller designed to bring gamers a more immersive gaming environment. Featuring innovative ROG Halo technology, ROG Aura Terminal enables stunning system lighting effects synchronized to in-game action. When LED strips are mounted behind a monitor, ROG Halo instantly determines the colors displayed at the edges of the screen and illuminates the LED strips with matching colors, creating a dynamic halo of lighting around the display for captivating gaming. ROG Aura Terminal can also be mounted inside the PC case and connected to Aura Sync devices to create unified system lighting effects.
The ASUS ROG Aura Terminal is scheduled to be released in the first half of the year, with pricing to be announced at launch.
Subject: General Tech | January 8, 2018 - 09:00 AM | Jim Tanous
Tagged: ROG Strix, mechanical keyboard, keyboard, gaming keyboard, Cherry MX, CES 2018, CES, ASUS ROG, asus
ASUS today announced the ROG Strix Flare, an RGB mechanical gaming keyboard.
Featuring Cherry MX switches, dedicated media keys, a USB passthrough port, and a detachable wrist rest, the ROG Strix Flare aims to combine "top-notch performance with ergonomic comfort." Oh, and those dedicated media keys? They're all located on the upper-left side of the keyboard, enabling gamers to adjust volume and control their tunes without needing to take their hands off the mouse (sorry, southpaws...).
ROG Strix Flare is an RGB mechanical gaming keyboard that combines top-notch performance with ergonomic comfort, and brings customizable style to a whole new level. Constructed with world-renowned Cherry MX RGB switches — the preferred choice of professional and amateur gamers alike — every press of the ROG Strix Flare is of optimal actuation to deliver satisfying and reliable keystrokes. Dedicated media keys, including a convenient volume wheel, are located on the upper left of the keyboard for instant access, so the gamer’s right hand can remain on the mouse at all times. A USB pass-through port lets gamers connect a mouse or other device, and a detachable wrist rest provides extra comfort during extended gaming sessions.
The ROG Strix Flare will be available in the first half of this year, with pricing information to be announced at launch.
Subject: Graphics Cards | January 4, 2018 - 10:15 AM | Jim Tanous
Tagged: external graphics, external gpu, CES 2017, CES, ASUS ROG, asus
ASUS today announced the XG Station Pro, a Thunderbolt 3-based external GPU enclosure tailored for both gamers and professionals. The XG Station Pro can accommodate full-size GPUs up to 2.5 slots wide, including large cards such as the ROG Strix 1080 Ti and Radeon RX Vega 64.
Featuring a "contemporary design with clean lines and subtle styling," the XG Station Pro has a footprint of 4.3-inches x 14.8-inches, thanks to ASUS's decision to use an external power supply. In order to provide enough juice for high-end graphics cards, ASUS is borrowing the power supply design from its GX800 gaming laptop, which puts out up to 330 watts.
The XG Station Pro's chassis, designed by case maker In Win, has a smooth dark gray finish with a black PCB and sleeved PCIe power cables. It features a soft white internal glow that can be controlled by ASUS's Aura software, including Aura Sync to synchronize lighting with your compatible ASUS and ROG graphics cards and laptops.
Inside the XG Station Pro, dual 120mm PWM fans provide exhaust out of the right side of the chassis. The fans automatically ramp down and even shut off below certain temperatures, but users can also manually control the fans with the ASUS GPU Tweak II application.
Around back, users will find an extra USB Type-C 3.1 Gen 2 port, which can supply up to 15 watts of power to compatible devices such as smartphones and external storage. Finally, ASUS notes that it includes the require Thunderbolt 3 cable in the box, something that many Thunderbolt-based devices seem to lack.
The ASUS XG Station Pro will launch later this month for $329 with support for both AMD and NVIDIA GPUs in Windows 10, and just AMD Vega-based GPUs in macOS Sierra and newer.
Subject: Graphics Cards | December 4, 2017 - 10:10 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: vega 64, vega 56, rx vega, ROG Strix, ASUS ROG, asus
ASUS is launching two new factory overclocked graphics cards with all of the RGB in the form of the ROG Strix RX Vega 64 and ROG Strix RX Vega 56. Measuring 11.73" x 2.58" x 2.07" these graphics cards are beastly 2.5 slot designs with large triple fan coolers. On the outside, the graphics cards have a black shroud with RGB LEDs around the fans, on the Strix side logo, and the ROG backplate logo. Asus is using a massive heatsink that is divided into two aluminum fin stacks that connect to a copper baseplate using five heatpipes each. The baseplate is reportedly 10% flatter for improved contact with the GPU. There are three fans to push air over the heatsinks that are of the dust resistant Wing-Blade variety.
The cards have two 8-pin PCI-E power connectors feeding ASUS' Super Alloy Power II VRMs. Other connectors include hybrid fan headers for system fans and an Aurora Sync RGB LED header. Display outputs are "VR Ready" and include two HDMI, two DisplayPort, and a single DVI output.
While ASUS has not yet revealed clockspeeds on the RX Vega 56 card, eTeknix has gotten their hands on the ROG Strix RX Vega 64 graphics card and figured out the clocks for that card. Specifically, the Vega 64 card clocks its 4096 GPU cores at 1298 MHz base and 1590 MHz boost. The site further lists the memory clockspeed at 945 MHz which doesn't appear to be overclocked as it matches the referece Vega 64 HBM2 clocks of 1890 MHz. Users can use the GPU Tweak II software to push the card further on their own though.
ASUS has not yet revealed pricing or exact availability dates but expect them to sell out fast and over MSRP when they do surface thanks to the resurgance of GPU mining! With that said it is promising that we are finally seeing factory overclocked cards being announced!
Subject: Mobile | November 20, 2017 - 02:23 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: ryzen 7 1700, asus, ASUS ROG, Strix GL702ZC, amd, gaming laptop, RX580, freesync
The ASUS ROG Strix GL702ZC is the first Ryzen powered gaming laptop we have seen, featuring the Ryzen 7 1700 desktop CPU along with a 4GB RX580 GPU. This means that the 17.3" IPS 1080p monitor is Freesync capable with a maximum 60Hz refresh rate. That resolution and refresh rate will ensure even AAA titles can play with your graphics settings cranked.
In addition to the previously mentioned components,the GL702ZC ships with 16GB DDR4-2400MHz, a 256GB SATA III SSD, a 1TB 5400rpm HDD, USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C connectivity and 802.11ac 2x2 Wi-Fi along with Bluetooth 4.1. The base model retails for a competitive $1500.
PR below the fold.
Subject: Motherboards | October 5, 2017 - 01:17 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: coffee lake, Z370, ASUS ROG, maximus x, strix z370
We don't have any Z370 reviews for you just yet but we do have announcements about the boards from the manufacturers. ASUS will be releasing two main families initially, the first comprised of the Maximus X Apex, Maximus X Hero, Maximus X Code and Maximus X Formula. The second family will feature the full sized Strix Z370-E, Z370-F Gaming and Z370-H Gaming along with the mATX Strix Z370-G Gaming and Mini-ITX Strix Z370-I Gaming.
All the boards, including the SFF models will have at least two NVMe SSD slots compatible with SSDs as well as Optane, Intel Gigabit Ethernet controllers and some will even offer MU-MIMO support. You can get a breakdown of the features specific to each motherboard over at ASUS, as well as take a peek at the PR below.
Fremont, CA (October 5, 2017) — The new Intel® 8th Generation Core™ processors are the best desktop CPUs for gaming on the market. With up to six cores and 12 threads, these Coffee Lake chips also have huge potential for enthusiasts and power users who do more with their PCs. Their exceptional performance, unmatched versatility, and considerable overclocking potential are a natural fit for Republic of Gamers (ROG), so we’ve developed a diverse collection of Z370 gaming motherboards for a range of priorities and budgets.
Our latest lineup reinforces ROG’s role as both a breeding ground for innovative features and a proving ground where we test the absolute limits of performance. It includes standouts like the Maximus X Apex, a hardcore gaming and overclocking board designed to break performance records; the Maximus X Hero, which blends leading performance with premium extras; the Maximus X Code that redefines the performance essentials for gamers and enthusiasts; and the Maximus X Formula, which is brimming with cutting-edge features fit for showcase PCs.
While the Maximus series covers the higher end of the spectrum, the Strix family opens the Republic of Gamers to a wider audience. It provides everything you need in a gaming motherboard but excludes some of our more indulgent extras to hit affordable price points. Full-sized ATX options include closely matched contenders for the sweet spot, the Strix Z370-E and Z370-F Gaming, and an unexpected retro revival, the Strix Z370-H Gaming. Smaller form factors are served by the mATX Strix Z370-G Gaming and Mini-ITX Strix Z370-I Gaming.
Defined by gamers, powered by innovation, discover the all-new ROG Z370 lineup at ASUS ROG.
Setting the Benchmark for Records
Lots of motherboard makers claim the best performance, but we’ve got the results to prove it. Much of the credit goes to the Apex, an overclocking savant purpose-built for taking new CPUs to the ragged edge at sub-zero temperatures. Apex boards were introduced earlier this year with the Maximus IX series, and they’ve already claimed multiple world records and top scores with Intel’s Z270 and X299 platforms. Now, our internal overclocking team has continued that streak with the new Maximus X Apex, setting the highest 8th Generation Core i7-8700K frequency record by reaching 7.3GHz on all 6-cores and 12-threads. In addition, the highest DDR4 memory frequency record with a top speed of 5529.2MHz. For the complete story on Z370 overclocking please visit our article at ASUS ROG.