Asus ROG Strix GD30CI gaming desktop
“Asus’s Strix desktop lacks the refinement of comparable gaming PCs, but isn’t a discount.”
Purposeful storage configuration
The newly launched Asus ROG Strix GD30CI brings one thing a bit of totally different to the gaming PC scene – or at the very least it’s attempting to. With an Intel Core i7-7700, 32GB of RAM, and a reference GTX 1080, the Strix hits loads of the best notes – on paper, at the very least.
The Republic of Avid gamers line of computer systems and elements from Asus has lengthy stood on the forefront of the PC gaming market, typically numbering among the many greatest gaming PCs. The merchandise outlined the purple and black gamer aesthetic that’s turn into ubiquitous, though lately ROG has tried to stray from that cliche. The Strix line embodies that change, with GPU shrouds and motherboards which can be darkish, matte grey, a toned-down look from the bombastic early days of the ROG model.
However producing stable inner elements doesn’t all the time translate into constructing programs. The Strix GL553VD laptop computer suffered from warmth points, and whereas its design was actually engaging, its sturdiness didn’t maintain as much as scrutiny. We’ve now had an opportunity to spend time with a Strix desktop, the GD30CI, and it’s a lot the identical story.
Who constructed this factor?
Lots of the GD30CI looks like Asus discovering methods to verify off bins on the gaming-desktop characteristic record. Everybody needs RGB LEDs, proper? Slap 5 tiny lights close to the inventory CPU cooler and name it executed. Superior cooling? A single 120mm fan with a vivid purple LED will do. Folks like case home windows? Thrown in a little bit of clear plastic after which, for a bonus, add some steel that claims to guard from electromagnetic interference. Job executed.
Below the jaunty white plastic coverings, that are simple sufficient to pry off that Asus advertises eradicating them as a “customization choice,” lies the one fascinating piece of the GD30CI. A number of crossing black straps of plastic meant to appear like a futuristic cloth weave diagonally throughout the chassis. It’s a singular, unique look, however not with out its issues. The entrance façade have to be eliminated to see this, and holes it clips into mar the entrance of the case when the façade is eliminated.
There’s no accounting for style, however the GD30CI’s design doesn’t scream premium or modern, and people are key phrases within the PC constructing group these days. Tempered glass and RGB followers with a number of zones are in, even at worth factors effectively underneath $2,000. The Strix desktop simply looks like leftovers from the ROG chopping ground.
Regardless of the customized motherboard, there’s a median number of connection choices for a gaming desktop.
Not like customized constructed programs, the place selection of motherboard and GPU will decide connectivity, the Asus has one set of connections no matter configuration. It sports activities two USB 2.zero, 4 USB three.1 Kind-A, a three.1 Kind-C port, Ethernet, and 6-port audio. Regardless of the customized motherboard, that’s a median number of connection choices for a gaming desktop.
Video connections will differ based mostly on graphics card, however most choices are going to incorporate three DisplayPort, one HDMI, and a DVI-D. That was the case with our evaluate unit, which contained a GTX 1080. There are GTX 1050 and 1060 choices as effectively, and people might have much less ports than the high-end choice.
No efficiency surprises
As with all gaming desktop, efficiency varies drastically relying on configuration. Our Asus ROG Strix GD30CI evaluate unit was outfitted with an Intel Core i7-7700, a quad-core chip with Hyper-Threading, a three.6GHz base clock, and a four.2GHz enhance block, paired up with 32GB of RAM. We’re extra used to seeing the Core i7-7700Ok in gaming rigs. Not solely is it sooner, at four.2GHz base and four.5GHz enhance, however it additionally permits the person to overclock the chip, pushing its clock speeds increased, usually with the assistance of a third-party CPU cooler.
The additional RAM is a pleasant contact, and its three,000MHz clock pace is increased than most, however 32GB is greater than our benchmarks can simply reap the benefits of in a significant means.
The largest pains for the Asus got here from the actual fact the Intel Core i7-7700Ok has turn into the usual amongst different system builders, and the overclocking course of is effectively refined, as seen by the monstrous 5.1GHz overclock on the Origin Neuron. With out the unlocked chip, the Asus fell behind in uncooked CPU exams.
Its inventory cooler didn’t do it any favors, because it hit the thermal threshold set by Asus out of the field – 77 Celsius — shortly into our Handbrake 4K conversion. With third-party coolers and closed-loop liquid choices so frequent, the Asus’ already paltry thermal options had precise efficiency penalties.
It’s a tough drive
No less than Asus had the nice sense to incorporate respectable storage choices. Our evaluate unit was outfitted with a 256GB SATA SSD. That’s an more and more frequent setup, even on the worth level, though sometimes PCIe drives present up within the highest-end programs.
The SSD is a fantastic choice for many customers, that also falls in need of the high-end PCIe choices sneaking into its neighbors. Our evaluate unit additionally consists of an unbranded 1TB knowledge drive, which ought to give customers some room to develop, whereas nonetheless maintaining an working system and sport drive able to roll.
There are a selection of GPU choices, beginning on the GTX 1060, however our evaluate unit was packing an Asus reference mannequin GTX 1080 with a single blower fan. It’s not precisely an opulent card, and it isn’t overclocked so far as we will inform, however at the very least it gained’t be blowing loads of scorching air into the case.
Whereas these outcomes might look horrible for the Strix, the system Asus despatched us is much less highly effective, and cheaper, than a lot of the others we’ve lately examined. That must be stored in thoughts when contemplating the efficiency outcomes.
The Strix produces playable body charges in all our titles at 1440p, and solely Deus Ex: Mankind Divided drops the common beneath 60 FPS. Efficiency will differ drastically relying on configuration, and above $1,500 or so, customers have their decide of high-end playing cards.
The GTX 1080 is a pleasant compromise, with stable efficiency that doesn’t break the financial institution. It additionally exhibits that we’re already effectively over the purpose the place most customers have to spend for optimum efficiency. The GTX 1080 can energy clean 1440p, or additional clean 1080p gaming. That mentioned, efficiency isn’t every part, significantly when anybody can use the identical components.
Asus presents a wide range of warranties on its gaming desktops; our evaluate unit had solely the one-year choice. That’s restricted for the class and the value level, and falls so much nearer to common, (and cheaper) shopper desktops. It additionally gained’t cowl the components when you break them throughout upkeep or cleansing, and Asus encourages you to not even open the case by placing a sticker throughout the again of it. That alone is a large limitation — and sadly much like ones we’ve seen from Acer and different system builders.
At our Asus ROG Strix GD30CI evaluate unit’s $1,900 worth level, we count on a pleasant rig. As a substitute, it looks like Asus has made the identical errors first-time dwelling system builders make. There isn’t sufficient cooling, even for the locked-down Core i7-7700, the case is gaudy, and there’s extra RAM than most customers will want whereas skimping elsewhere. The GTX 1080 in our evaluate unit was a redeeming high quality, however wasn’t overclocked, and got here out slower than different programs with the identical GPU.
Is there a greater different?
There are lots of. Efficiency goes to rely totally on the CPU and GPU the person chooses, however these selections are restricted within the Strix. The area is stuffed with choices from each firm from the Alienware Aurora to the Acer Predator G6. The Asus is affordable priced, however not inexpensive sufficient for a system you may’t open with out voiding the guarantee, which solely has one fan.
In the meantime, the iBuyPower Chimera is offered at publish in a name-brand case with a full tempered glass aspect panel, liquid-cooled Intel Core i7-7700Ok, a 2TB knowledge drive, a GTX 1080, and a 144Hz curved 1080p panel, for nearly precisely the identical worth. It’s value spending extra on a nicer system, or spending much less and getting deal.
How lengthy will it final?
Like most mid-to-high finish gaming PCs, the Strix ought to final a number of years with out want for upgrades. That mentioned, it’s essential to open and clear programs, and the Strix’s limiting guarantee discourages that. With only one exhaust fan, and no mud filters, it’s probably the system will develop soiled ahead of later.
Must you purchase it?
No. Efficiency isn’t every part, significantly in relation to gaming computer systems, which all function on a principally stage enjoying subject for CPU and GPU. The pre-built Asus Strix GD30CI has too little cooling and no overclocking. That induced the system to fall behind others with the identical elements.
Gaming desktops are a dime a dozen, and any variety of them are a more sensible choice than the GD30CI. Cheaper programs supply aggressive pricing with extra engaging off-the-shelf enclosures. Barely costlier programs embrace premium options, and encourage overclocking and common upkeep. The Asus falls someplace in between, and falls by the cracks.