We review the ROG GX800!
Insanely-specc’d notebooks with even crazier prices is fast becoming the norm nowadays. When ASUS released their twin-GPU packing, liquid-cooled ROG GX700 last year, we honestly thought it would be a one-off product, released to show off the company’s technical prowess to the public and their competitors.
But here we are in 2017 with its follow-up, the ROG GX800. It was only natural for ASUS to release a refreshed model this year, as their domestic rival in Taiwan has released an equally insane notebook of their own. But unlike Acer, ASUS’ offering is only a refresh of last year as the company seems to have found the winning formula for providing the craziest gaming notebook ever without going off the deep end.
ASUS ROG GX800 Specs
- Intel Core i7 7820HK processor
- Dual NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080, 16GB of VRAM
- 64GB of RAM
- 18.4-inch UHD LED display with G-Sync Technology, 3840 x 2160 resolution
- 3 x 512GB m.2 SSD drives
- 802.11 AC, Bluetooth, Gigabit Ethernet
- Water cooling dock for easy overclocking
- Mechanical keyboard
Same design as last year
ASUS tends to stick with a design for their ROG line of notebooks, and very rarely strays from the established design language of previous models. That holds true with the GX800 – put the GX700 and the GX800 side-by-side, you’d be hard pressed to see the difference in their design. The only thing that’ll clue you in is the slightly bigger size of the GX800 because of its larger 4K display.
Not that the design of the GX800 needed to be updated – it has the same, aggressive lines and vent holes that are both aesthetic and functional. With the amount of heat that’s generated by the top-tier hardware inside the notebook, it’s not surprising that the GX800 needs rather large exhaust vents around its body to keep the notebook cool when not plugged into the water-cooling dock.
The notebook is huge, and because of its size you probably don’t want to be lugging this around in your backpack unless you’re trying to build muscle mass. At 5.7 kilos, it’s not something you want to be carrying around with you. It’s probably not going to fit in most gaming backpacks because of its size either. Just think of it as a slightly more portable desktop.
The screen has been bumped up to 18.4-inches, with a screen resolution of 3840 x 2160. NVIDIA’s G-Sync tech is also present in the display.
Just like the GX700 before it, the GX800 comes with its own water-cooling dock that you plug it into. For all intents and purposes it’s virtually the same with the previous generation, give or take a fitting or two.
The procedure to dock the notebook is the same – line up the pegs on the bottom of the notebook with the dock, then press down on the lever. When plugged in, both the dock and the notebook light up via the LED lights in their bodies. Pretty slick.
With so much available space in the chassis of the GX800, there’s enough space to put in a rather comfortable full QWERTY mechanical keyboard complete with a number pad, several customizable macro keys and a large, generous trackpad.
ASUS’ color lighting software, Aura, is naturally powering the back light on the keyboard which can be customized to fit your color palette.
Of course you’ll be playing with a mouse for serious PC gaming work, so ASUS included a ROG Gladius mouse with the package.
There’s plenty of connectors scattered in the notebook’s body, which includes a gaggle of traditional USB 3.0 (3) and USB Type-C ports (2). There’s also an HDMI port, mini DisplayPort, SD card reader, RJ45 ethernet and the usual microphone and headphone jacks. ASUS also includes an external WiFi antenna, just in case the WiFi at your crib doesn’t quite reach where the GX800 is.
Power that’s hard to beat
Reading the spec sheet of the ROG GX800 is like reading a wishlist of a die-hard PC gamer. The notebook comes packing Intel’s Core i7 7820HK, along with not one, but two NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 GPUs SLI’d together for a combined total of 16GB of VRAM. Speaking of RAM, the ROG GX800 as was sent to us had 64GB of DDR4 2800MHz RAM and a 1.5TB PCIE Gen3X4 SSD in RAID0 configuration.
Those specs are beefy enough on their own, but what’s nice about the ROG GX800 is the fact that it was made with the hardcore gamer in mind since you quickly overclock the system via the ROG Gaming Center software. If you’re the sort of guy that wants to take things to the extreme, you’d want to plug in the two 330W power bricks to both the dock and the notebook, which will allow you to take the processor up to 4.2GHz and the GPU to 1228MHz. Those clock speeds can be pushed further via manual overclocking though there are limits to the capabilities of the liquid cooling dock, and we suggest that you stick with the presets if you’re just starting out.
Interestingly, the notebook takes just a 70% performance hit without the water cooling dock attached, which is plenty powerful already. For our benchmarks below though, the games were all benchmarked with the cooling dock attached at the extreme preset, in 4K resolution.
As you can see in our benchmarks, the ROG GX800 is fully capable of running our benchmark games above 60 FPS even in 4K resolution. The notebook also scores higher in 3DMark’s synthetic benchmarks than the more expensive Acer Predator 21 X notebook by virtue of having a higher temperature ceiling thanks to the watercooling solution. Since the ROG GX800 can handle higher temperatures thanks to its water cooling solution, overclockers can push the limits of both the CPU and GPU farther without having to worry about thermal throttling.
Battery life? What battery life?
While the ROG GX800 is still technically a notebook that can run without being plugged into the wall, the battery inside of it is merely for show, like the occasional senate hearings we see on TV. The notebook defaults to optimized mode when not plugged in, and the battery lasts less than hour when you’re gaming. It’s really recommended that you keep this notebook plugged in to enjoy the most out of it, since lugging it around with you is absolutely out of the question unless your trainer recommended it as part of your fitness routine.
Verdict: it’s a more practical monster notebook, but it’s still crazy expensive
After spending three weeks with ASUS’ latest monster, we can safely say that the ROG GX800 is better and faster than the previous generation. While externally there hasn’t been a lot of change, the insides of the notebook have been thoroughly revamped to give gamers with deep pockets the best performance possible. Sure, its Php 369,995 price tag is pretty ridiculous for a notebook, but the ROG GX800 is crazy enough that it actually deserves that price tag.