Computing

Review ASUS ROG GR8 II: A challenging game console

Written by Tyler Rondman

Review ASUS ROG GR8 II: A challenging game console

Gaming PCs do not have to be in the form of huge, heavy blocks. The developers of video cards are increasing the capacity and reducing the size. Now, you can get the GTX 1080 successfully installed even on thin gaming laptops. This is the experience we had with ASUS ROG Zephyrus. The gaming PCs may be compact in size, but remains a modern gaming console. Not only is it stylish it looks cool.

These days’ manufacturers are producing compact and powerful computers out-and-out for gaming. One of the interesting models of this class is the ASUS ROG GR8 II, which we will be discussing today. This is a second-generation model. The first one released was in 2015.

What is it?

The ASUS ROG GR8 II is a compact gaming computer with a bright design, RGB-backlighting, a powerful Intel 7th generation processor, 16 GB of RAM, a fast SSD drive, a 1 TB hard drive and a distinct NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card.

Why is it interesting?

The computer is very compact and has a volume of 4 liters, for comparison, the PlayStation 4 is 4.5 liters, and the Xbox One S is 3.4 liters. At the same time, it includes a quad-core Intel Core i7-7700 processor, 16 GB of DDR4-2400 RAM, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 3 GB video card, a 256 GB solid state drive of M2 format, plus a 1 TB hard disk with a spindle speed of 7200 RPM.

There is the possibility of upgrading the drives. Of course, there is also an all-modern wired and wireless interface. Everything packed into a compact case with a style of the Republic of Gamers line with RGB-backlit and quiet (according to the manufacturer) cooling system.

This gaming computer looks great standing next to the TV in the living room.

What’s in the box?

Despite the compactness of the ASUS ROG GR8 II, the packaging box is big in size. It is made of cardboard and displays beautiful images and a handle for transportation. It seems that the size is due to the abundance of polystyrene to protect it against shocks. In addition to the computer itself, the box has an impressive external power supply of 230 watts, a removable power cable and a set of instructions and a guarantee.

The design and how well is it assembled?

The first impression we had when looking at the ASUS ROG GR8 II is the cool and futuristic design. It has a small size compared to the older Sony PlayStation 3 Slim. The design comprises different geometric shapes. The exterior is an gray plastic with orange inserts.

You can only install the ASUS ROG GR8 II vertically. You can lay it on its side, but the legs are from the bottom. The entire front panel has an LED strip with a complex shape. Divided into 5 zones, for each of which you can select the color of the backlight.

With the help of the AURA software, you can adjust it with different effects. On the front orange insert are two full-size USB 3.0 ports and two separate 3.5-mm headphone and microphone jacks. Above left is a power button.

All the other connectors are located on the rear panel: there are two more USB 3.0, one USB 3.1 Type-A, USB 3.1 Type-C, RJ-45, 3.5-mm acoustics connector, S/PDIF, and a Kensington lock slot. Above is a LED indicator of the drive and below you have 2 x HDMI and 1 x DisplayPort.

The manufacturer claims, such a number of video outputs are useful in order not to disconnect the screen when playing with the VR-helmet. Next, to the connectors, there is abundant of perforation for the cooling system.

Even the bottom has loads of holes for the intake of cold air, four rubber feet and one of the screws to be unscrewed to get to the inside. The computer looks cool and in size is close to modern consoles, the quality of materials and assembly has no negatives.

What is on the inside of the ASUS ROG GR8 II and what is replaceable?

To access the inside, you need to unscrew it from below, remove the panel from above, and unscrew another 3 screws. You need to remove the panel carefully as it looks as if can break easily.

The lid moves sideways, giving you access to the inside. As you can see in the photo, the layout is unusual, similar to the laptop, which is due to the compactness of the computer.

The case inside is divided into two compartments. In the upper section, there is a motherboard of a non-standard form factor on an H110 chipset, a processor, and storage devices

You can only replace the above-mentioned components and of course, once opened the warranties voided. We do not think you can replace the motherboard and video card.

What about the performance, stability, cooling system and proprietary software

The ASUS ROG GR8 II has a powerful Intel Kaby Lake Generation 14-nm 4-core Intel Core i7-7700 processor with a clock speed of 3.6 GHz and dynamic 4.2 GHz acceleration. It supports Hyper-Threading 8 streams, 8 MB cache, and the TDP is 65 watts.

The built-in graphics accelerator operates at a frequency of 350-1100 MHz and comprises 24 execution units. The amount of RAM is 16 GB DDR4-2400, it works in a two-channel mode. If desired, you can replace one bar and increase the total volume.

The video accelerator available is the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 with 3 GB. They used the Pascal GP106 16 NM FinFET, has 1152 CUDA cores, 72 textures, and 48 raster blocks. The base frequency of the GPU is 1506 MHz, and the maximum frequency is 1709 MHz.

The video memory is a GDDR5 manufactured by Samsung with a volume of 3 GB. The version of the 6 GB video cards differs in memory size and is the older 1280 CUDA core with 80 texture units. The number of raster blocks (ROP) is similar 48.

The hardware is quite enough for all modern games on high and maximum graphics settings at FullHD resolution. There are wireless modules present the Wi-Fi 802.11ac 2×2 and Bluetooth 4.2, plus a Gigabit Ethernet.

In the tested model, you have the SSD format M.2 256 GB Intel SSDSCKGW256H6 installed for the system and the most necessary programs or games. For everything else, there is a 2.5-inch HGST HTS721010A9E630 hard drive with SATA 6 GB/s interface, 7200 RPM spindle speed, 32 MB buffer and 1 TB capacity.

The SSD demonstrates a good speed the recording speed is far from the best, but still slightly more than twice as high as that of the HDD.

The cooling system consists of two parts: for the video card, the airs took from below and blown out of the back of the case, the cooling system itself resembles the Founders Edition. For all other hardware, the air intake is from behind and blowing out – from the top of the case.

In fact, the JV copes well with its tasks and its noise is noticeable, but lower than the top gaming laptops. In the AIDA64 stress test, the processor warmed up to 93 °, overheating non-existent. The video card in the Furmark test at the peak warmed up to 74 °, quite normal.

All modern games played on the ASUS ROG GR8 II at high or maximum settings at a resolution of 1920 x 1080 mainly the frame rate does not fall below 55-60 frames per second. Exception – Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands: in difficult moments, the frame rate dropped to 40 fps.

The proprietary software is utility ASUS Command, this helps to quickly and conveniently update the driver and adjust the level of performance

Our thoughts about the ASUS

The ASUS is a powerful gaming PC in a compact and beautiful package. The ROG GR8 II is an interesting option for fans who want to enjoy a comfortable gaming experience.

The power is enough to play in the resolution of FullHD on high or maximum graphics settings with VR-helmets. In addition, for intensive work tasks such as video editing, “the hardware” is enough.

At the same time, it pleases us that this unit equipped with all the necessary wireless and wire communication facilities. The only unpleasant thing is the small reserve of GTX 1060 3 GB power and the likelihood that you cannot replace it with something more powerful.

Taking the unique cooling system, layout, and housing into consideration the UAH 38,500 price tag does not look overpriced. In addition, there is a more powerful GTX 1060 at 6 GB available at a more expensive price.

Four Reasons to Buy ASUS ROG GR8 II:

  • Modern design
  • Compact size
  • Powerful hardware
  • The presence of important wired and wireless interfaces

The one reason not to buy ASUS ROG GR8 II:

  • The limited capacity of the GeForce GTX 1060 is 3 GB
Technical specifications of ASUS ROG GR8 II  
Dimensions 299 x 281.3 x 88 mm
The weight 4 kg
operating system 64-bit Microsoft Windows 10
CPU Intel Core i7-7700, 4 cores, 2.8-3.8 GHz (Kaby Lake, 14 nm)
RAM 16 GB DDR4 2400 MHz
Graphic arts Nvidia GeForce GTX1060, 3 GB GDDR5, Intel HD Graphics 630
Storage device SSD M.2, 256 GB, HDD 1 TB
Communications Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, 2.4 and 5 GHz, Bluetooth 4.2
Connectors 2xUSB 3.0, 1xUSB 3.1 Type A, 1xUSB 3.1 Type C, 2xHDMI, 1xDisplayPort, RJ45 LAN, Kensington Lock, Optical S/PDIF, 2×3.5 mm headphone and microphone connectors

About the author

Tyler Rondman

When he isn't enjoying the beautiful Northwest outdoors, you can find Tyler on business and tech sites, writing about the latest news, analyzing trends, and generally making the Internet a more interesting place.