Asus ROG GX800VH review: A ludicrous liquid-cooled $6,000-plus laptop

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Mark Walton

The Asus ROG GX800VH, a liquid cooled monstrosity of a gaming laptop computer, is a kind of issues that, like 4K telephones or the Apple Watch, is wholly pointless but awfully fascinating. Beneath its totally mechanical, RGB-lit keyboard is Intel’s top-of-the-line cellular i7-7820HK processor, which is predicated on the identical Kaby Lake structure because the i7-7700Ok and is equally overclockable. There are two Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 graphics playing cards paired in SLI, 64GB of DDR4 reminiscence, and an 18.Four-inch 4K show with G-Sync. Buying one prices £6,600/$6,300, which is an astonishing amount of cash even contemplating the tech that is included.

Specs at a look: Asus ROG GX800VH
Screen 3840×2160 18.Four-inch IPS G-Sync show 100 % RGB
OS Windows 10 Home x64
CPU 4C/8T 2.9GHz Core i7-7820HK (OC to Four.4GHz)
RAM 64GB 2800MHz DDR4
GPU 2x Nvidia GTX 1080
HDD 2x 512GB NVMe SSD in RAID zero
Networking 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth Four.1, Gigabit Ethernet
Ports 1 x Microphone-in jack
1 x Headphone-out jack (SPDIF)
1 x Type C USB3.1 (GEN2) Thunderbolt
three x Type A USB3.zero (USB3.1 GEN1)
1 x RJ45 LAN Jack for LAN insert
1 x HDMI
1 x Docking port (HOT swap)
1 x mini Display Port
1 x SD card reader
Size Laptop:
45.eight x 33.eight x Four.54 cm (WxDxH)
Dock: (Thermal Dock)
35.9 x 41.eight x 13.three cm (WxDxH)
Other perks eight Cells 71 Whrs Battery, HD Web Camera, Mechanical Keyboard
Warranty 1 yr
Price £6,600/$6,300

The GX800VH actually is not for everybody, then, not least those who need probably the most bang-for-the-buck. But for example of what is attainable on the bleeding edge when cash is not any object, it is one of many best items of technological willy-waving that we have ever seen.

Buying a GX800VH requires a dedication from each your bank card and your ego. Not solely is the laptop computer itself bodily giant and coated in orange highlights, nevertheless it comes with each a backpack and a suitcase to hold the accompanying liquid cooling unit round—and the graphics on the suitcase are hardly what you’d name refined. Still, the suitcase—which is stuffed a pre-cut foam insert for the liquid cooling unit and additional energy provide—and bag do make carrying the entire setup round that a lot simpler, must you wish to lug it round to a buddy’s home or, when you’re critically dedicated to gaming, on vacation.

While the GX800VH makes use of a combination of plastics and brushed steel slightly than the full-metal chassis you may count on at this worth level, it nonetheless has a premium really feel, which is helped by its substantial weight of 5.7kg. (Suffice it to say, this isn’t a laptop computer you’ll want to transfer round typically, not to mention really use in your lap). Unfortunately, my explicit overview unit suffered in transit, with the bezel turning into partly separated from the show. The bezel was straightforward sufficient to pop again into place, however such harm is hardly probably the most reassuring begin to unboxing a six grand laptop computer.

As you’d count on for a laptop computer that is 45mm thick, the GX800VH packs in loads of ports. There’s a three.5mm headphone jack, a three.5mm microphone jack, one Thunderbolt three.zero/USB three.1 Type-C port, one USB three.1 Type-C port, three USB three.1 Type-A ports, gigabit Ethernet, one mini-Display Port, and an SD card reader. All that is lacking is 10Gb Ethernet, which I would count on to see at this worth level. There’s an eight-cell, 76Whr battery inside too, though with battery life that hardly scrapes previous an hour and a half, I would think about it extra of a backup in case of energy lower, slightly than a method to really use the laptop computer on the go.

Alongside the pre-overclocked 4C/8T i7-7820HK processor—the steadiness of which varies relying on whether or not you utilize the liquid cooling unit, and whether or not you might have one or each of the included 300W energy provides plugged in—you get 64GB of 2800MHz DDR4 reminiscence, two GTX 1080 graphics playing cards, and a pair of PCIe X4 NVMe SSDs in RAID zero for excessively quick storage (with a spare slot so as to add one other).

There’s little you possibly can need for within the GX800VH besides maybe for a processor with greater than 4 cores. If you took simply £three,000—lower than half the price of the GX800VH—you possibly can simply construct a monster desktop PC with a 10-core processor just like the Core i9-7900X.

Asus

But then, that will hardly be as fascinating wouldn’t it? The GX800VH’s declare to fame is its exterior liquid cooling unit, which locks into docking ports in the back of the laptop computer with a satisfying clunk. The method it really works is slightly intelligent. Inside the laptop computer is a warmth pipe cooler that covers the CPU and each GPUs. Normally, the warmth pipe is cooled through two heatsinks and blower followers that sit on the rear of the laptop computer. However, when the laptop computer is docked, liquid is pumped via the warmth pipe and out into the docking station, the place two radiators and followers are ready.

The result’s each a dramatic discount in temperatures and a rise in efficiency versus air cooling alone. Undocked, the CPU—which is overclocked to Four.4GHz by default—is well throttled in artificial exams, with temperatures peaking above 91 levels Celsius. The GPUs, whereas staying inside their very own thermal limits at 76 levels, solely hit a high clock pace of 1,721MHz.

Docked, the CPU hits a mere 50 levels below artificial load, whereas the GPU hits 60 levels and clocks at a a lot greater 1873MHz. That’s nearly as excessive as a desktop GTX 1080, providing greater than sufficient efficiency to make good use of the built-in 4K 60Hz show.

However, such efficiency calls for that you just use each the included 330W energy provides—one plugged into the dock, and the opposite into the facet of the laptop computer. It’s attainable to make use of the laptop computer with only one energy provide, however with out sufficient juice on faucet the GPUs do not clock as excessive. It’s additionally price noting that liquid cooling, not less than on this case, does not imply quiet. This is one loud laptop computer, with solely the pitch of the followers altering relying on whether or not it is docked or not. The noise is actually extra bearable when utilizing the liquid cooling system, but when noise is a priority, a desktop is the way in which to go.

Performance is, as you’d count on for a pc packing an i7 and two GTX 1080’s, spectacular. Compared to a GTX 1080 Ti paired with a mighty eight-core Intel processor, the GX800VH typically is available in quicker at its native show decision of 4K. That mentioned, SLI assist stays one thing of an oddity. In Hitman, for instance, the GX800VH got here nowhere close to the body charge of a the lone GTX 1080 Ti. That’s to not point out that, throughout the board, 99th percentile minimal body instances are poor on account of elevated body variance brought on by rendering throughout two GPUs. I did not discover all of it that noticeable throughout gameplay, however some are extra delicate to this than others.

Realistically, most individuals aren’t going to purchase the GX800VH. A gaming desktop is cheaper, quieter, and a greater performer. Even factoring in the price of a 4K monitor, mouse, and a mechanical keyboard to match the standard of these constructed into the laptop computer (the keyboard, regardless of utilizing Asus’ personal MechTAG switches, is nice to sort on), a desktop works out cheaper.

For those who desire a gaming laptop computer particularly, there are far cheaper selections on the market, a lot of which—whereas nonetheless giant—aren’t as cumbersome because the GX800VH. Those that wish to go slimmer nonetheless can have a look at Nvidia Max-Q laptops like Asus’ personal Zephyrus, which packs a GTX 1080 right into a 18mm thick chassis (simply ignore the ergonomically absurd keyboard design when you can).

But then, the GX800VH is not about practicality or worth for cash. It’s a product that exists as a result of some intelligent of us discovered a option to make the seemingly not possible—a liquid cooled laptop computer—work. Even if Asus solely ever sells 10 of them (purchase it right here!), it is heartening to see that one thing so splendidly ludicrous exists.

The good

  • Totally OP specs
  • Excellent efficiency
  • Comfortable mechanical keyboard
  • A marvel of engineering
  • Quality 4K G-Sync show
  • Loads of I/O

The dangerous

  • Noisy, even when docked
  • Needs two energy provides plugged in for full efficiency
  • SLI assist stays patchy
  • It’s freaking enormous
  • The graphics on that suitcase

The ugly

  • It prices over six grand. That cash is best spent on a desktop.

This submit originated on Ars Technica UK


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