Asus showed off its first Kaby Lake gaming desktops a couple months ago. The ultra-slim, VR-focused variant called the GR8 II is now available for purchase, so it's time to take a look inside and see what Asus is offering up.
The GR8 II is being touted as the PC gamer's answer to a living room console, and as a way to get your Oculus Rift or HTC Vive running without being stuck to your desk. In terms of sheer dimensions, Asus nailed it. The system rings in at 11.8" deep, 11" tall, and 3.5" wide, for a total volume of around 4L. Compared to systems like the PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One, it should fit right in. With the LED lights on the front off, the GR8 II won't look that different from any other gaming system in the living room.
Inside, Asus is offering several different CPU choices. If you want the top-of-the-line model, the Core i7-7700 has you covered. Down from there, you can go for the Core i7-6700, Core i5-7400, and finally the Core i5-6400. The memory and storage configuration can be tweaked, too. Anywhere from 8GB to 32GB of DDR4 can be added to the system. There's room for a 2.5" drive in 500GB or 1TB variants, and for an M.2 SSD of up to 512GB. Despite its small size, the system packs a discrete graphics card in the form of the GeForce GTX 1060 3GB.
The ROG GR8 II offers plenty in the way of external connectivity. The front of the system keeps it simple with two USB 3.0 ports and audio jacks. On the back, though, you'll find two HDMI ports and a DisplayPort, along with three USB 3.0 ports, and a USB 3.1 Type-C connector. Optical audio and an Intel Gigabit Ethernet port round out the back of the system. For wireless networking, there's an 802.11ac Wi-Fi adapter with MIMO support.
All of this poises the system to be a solid system for living-room gaming, especially if you already have a VR headset. The ROG GR8 II is already available over at Newegg starting at $899.
|Gigabyte SA-SBCAP3350 puts formidable power on a single board||5|
|Alphacool Eisblock HDX-2 and HDX-3 help M.2 SSDs beat the heat||2|
|Corsair Lighting Pro Expansion Kit lets builders turn up the lights||5|
|Adata D16750 power bank is tougher than the average juice pack||8|
|Deals of the week: fast memory, an AM4 motherboard, and more||12|
|Corsair RMx White Series PSUs take a walk on the snowy side||21|
|Intel crams 100 GFLOPS of neural-net inferencing onto a USB stick||38|
|Toshiba's XG5 1TB NVMe SSD reviewed||9|
|Microsoft and Johnson Controls put Cortana in a thermostat||23|