Release roundup: New Asus gear and an infernal case

This week on the release roundup, we have a couple of announcements from Asus, an infernal case from Lian Li, and a mouse-and-keyboard combo from Cooler Master.

  • "ASUS Announces Z97-Pro Gamer." Boards with gamer-specific branding are usually premium offerings, but Asus bills this one as a choice for the "entry-level gaming enthusiast"—and as a companion for the highly overclockable Pentium Anniversary Edition. The board borrows some features from the premium Asus ROG family, like Intel Gigabit Ethernet, M.2 and SATA Express, SupremeFX audio, and stylish heatsinks, but it's a little sparser overall. We're still waiting to hear back from Asus about pricing.

  • "ASUS Republic of Gamers Announces G20 Desktop." Asus already showed this tiny gaming desktop at Computex in June. Now, the company says the G20 is available in North America "in a variety of configurations starting at US $699." It looks like the system has gotten a downgrade, however. While the Computex announcement mentioned a GeForce GTX 780, the latest press release only talks about a GeForce GTX 760. Given this system's 12.5-liter enclosure and 22-dB idle noise rating, I'm not surprised. Heavy-duty GPUs are ill-suited to cramped cases, particularly if noise is a concern.

  • "Cooler Master Octane Mouse and Keyboard Combo - Full Spectrum Gaming." According to Cooler Master, this is an improved version of the company's $30 Devastator combo. Like the Devastator, the Octane combines a rubber-dome keyboard with a gaming mouse. This time, users can choose from among seven backlighting colors (and a few backlighting modes, like pulsating) for both peripherals. The mouse also has a higher-res 3500-DPI sensor (with multiple DPI settings), and the keyboard features 19-key rollover and an option to disable the Windows key. Asking price: $59.99.

  • "Lian Li Unleashes Hell on the PC Market with the PC-D666." I guess this counts as a Halloween-themed launch, although Lian Li is maybe being a little heavy-handed. Still, the PC-D666 is an interesting chassis. It has two compartments: one for an E-ATX "workhorse" and another for a microATX gaming rig. The workhorse side supports a 480-mm radiator, and the gaming compartment can accommodate a 360-mm radiator on top of that. There's also room for six 3.5" hard drives (in two cages), and the case features a "red and black aesthetic to match the number of the beast name." Uh-huh. Look for the PC-D666 early next month with a $599 price tag.

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