Asus ROG G20CB Desktop PC Review

Asus has been releasing desktop towers for quite some time, an option for consumers to get the best performance gaming rig without the hassle of assembling their own gaming machine. Getting a pre-built gaming rig has its pros and cons as there are cases that you can’t upgrade most of its components and they can be more expensive than building your own. Let’s see how the ROG G20CB fares well as Asus’ compact gaming desktop PC powerhouse.

Let’s take a look at the specs of the ROG G20CB:

  • Operating System: Windows 10 Home – ASUS recommends Windows 10 Pro.
  • Processor: The 6th generation Intel® Core™ i7 Processor
  • Chipset: Intel® H170
  • Graphic: NVIDIA® GeForce GTX1070
  • Memory: 8 GB Dual Channel, DDR4 at 2133MHz
  • Expansion Slots: 1 x PCI-e x 16
  • Storage
    • 3.5″ 1TB SATA III Hard Drive (Toshiba)
    • 2.5″ 128GB SATA III SSD (SanDisk)
  • Wireless Data Network 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
  • Front I/O Ports
    • 1 x Headphone
    • 1 x Microphone
    • 2 x USB 3.0
  • Back I/O Ports
    • 2 x USB 3.1
    • 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1
    • 2 x USB 2.0
    • 1 x HDMI-Out
    • 1 x RJ45 LAN
    • 1 x 7.1 Channel Audio
    • 1 x Kensington Lock
    • 2 x DC-in
  • Power Supply: 180 W + 230 W Power adapter
  • Dimensions
    • 4.09 x 13.38 x 14.09 inch (WxDxH)
  • Weight 6.38 kg (14.06 lb)
  • Accessories:
    • Keyboard and Mouse
    • AC Adaptor
    • Power Cord
    • Warranty Card
    • Quick Manual
  • Software
    • Anti-Virus Trial
    • Aegis II
    • ASUS WebStorage
    • ASUS Command
    • Ai Charger ll

The design of the ROG G20CB feels like a futuristic alien tower thanks to its angular looks along with the Mayan etching on the front side that glows thanks to the RGB lighting effect. Standing at around 14 inches, which is 2 inches taller than the PlayStation 4 console when standing vertically and much smaller than your conventional ATX PC towers. The sides are all matte finished to make it look neat and without much visible scratch marks. Thanks to its design, the G20 looks neat when placed on your desktop beside your monitor and it wouldn’t eat much space as to a conventional mid-tower PC.

The RGB lighting effect has its share of gimmicks, you can customize the color in any way you want, even syncing it with your music as the light bounces up and down through the beat of your songs. Both the upper and side RGB lights are fully customizable that you can experiment with the included app.

On the back side, all of the necessary ports can be found there, ranging from six USB ports (2 each for 2.0s, 3.0s and 3.1s) six audio ports for 7.1 surround sound, one RJ45 LAN port, HDMI port directly from the mainboard and two power ports. The video card (installed on the review unit was the GTX 1070) features two HDMI, two Display ports and a DVI port that have enough ports to have a multi display setup or for virtual reality setup as the latest model of the G20 is capable of playing VR games.

You may notice that the G20 has two power ports (180 W and 230 W), that is because it runs on two power supplies with one for the motherboard and the other for the graphics card, and yes both require two power cords so you may have to have an extra outlet ready. Good thing both power adapters are stacked to each other to lessen the hassle of placing two different adapters near the power outlet.

The unit comes with a keyboard and mouse bundle and both are optimized for gaming as well. The keyboard has a simple design that looks similar from standard office keyboards but sports a glossy gun metal gray finish with two blue LED on the sides when the PC is turned on. Unfortunately the keyboard uses membrane keys instead of the popular mechanical keys. It lacks any additional features with the exception of a volume knob on the upper right corner for easy access. (The mouse was not available for the review).

There are different variants for the G20, but the unit we tested features an Intel Skylake (6th Generation) i7 processor that ensures it can perform really well, the 8 GB DDR4 RAM may felt a bit underpowered when running a lot of applications on your PC and may have some rough times with newer games, good thing the RAM is upgradable up to 32 GB. The unit also comes with an SSD and HDD where you can use the SanDisk SD8SBAT SSD for faster loading times and the TOSHIBA DT01ACA100 HDD for additional storage. The Nvidia Geforce GTX 1070 features an 8 GB video RAM that allows you to have good 1440p resolution performance for your gaming and powerful enough to play some of the latest VR games in the market.

As for performance, we tested the G20 on different benchmarking tools to check how it can perform well on certain situations. When tested on PCMark, so far the results gave an impressive score, we also tested the memory performance as it showed some good scores but feels underwhelmed when compared with other units in the charts. As for storage speed, so far the scores are good on the CrystalMark software especially with the SSD showing great scores in terms of reading speed. With regards to graphics, after testing it with Unigine Heaven, the included GTX 1070 card managed to show really impressive scores for 1080p resolution and good scores for 4K resolution. When tested on games, it can run perfectly well on 1080p and 1440p resolutions even on the highest settings. But when playing on 4K resolution, you may have to tweak some of the settings to be able to run at a steady 60 FPS framerate, Games like Project CARS managed to stay at 60 FPS with mininal tweaks but for modern first person shooters like Shadow Warrior 2, you may have to lower down the settings from Ultra to High and tweak some adjustments for a stable 60 FPS.

For the included software, there are the ASUS-exclusive Aegis II, AI Charger II, ASUS Command and WebStorage. Aegis II provides an overlay on your desktop screen that provides info on your G20’s status; from CPU temperature to Storage/RAM usage and toggling to Game mode to optimize the unit’s performance. This also allows you to customize the RGB effects on the G20 and choose from a select light effects to the side and lower portion of the unit. AI Charger II allows you to charge your portable devices via USB 3.0 ports at a faster rate and even when the G20 is turned off. ASUS Command is a compilation of ASUS applications installed on the unit for easy access and can set a shortcut key to launch certain apps. WebStorage provides a cloud storage for the G20 that lets you share and sync files from different devices. Though it may feel like the added apps are just bloatware, but their features allow the G20 to show its full potential especially when it provides convenience in boosting its performance and customization for its lighting gimmick.

Overall the Asus ROG G20 provides a powerhouse on a small size, its design makes it appealing to display on your desktop to showcase its game-centric look and along with a customizable RGB lighting, it makes it neat to show off its gimmick with the lights turned off in the room. The 8GB RAM may feel underpowered despite having high-end CPU, GPU and storage so upgrading at least to 16GB may be necessary or get the 16GB G20 variant. The biggest gripe is the dual power adapter which is cumbersome to use as it requires two power outlets, combining the adapters into one would have been better regardless if it adds up more to its initial size. As for value on money, at around PhP 100,000, some may feel a large hole on their wallets when considering for the G20, but if you factor out the small size and specs of the unit, and not to mention some of the cosmetic gimmicks included, it looks like a fair deal.

 

The Good

  • VR-ready machine
  • Customizable RGB lighting
  • Console-sized design

The Bad

  • Dual power adapters
  • 8GB RAM may not be enough

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