We review the G20!
There’s an oft held belief in the PC gaming world that the more beastly your machine is, the bigger it should be. That’s generally not true of course – anybody can make a small, powerful PC, but it won’t be pretty or silent. ASUS’ G20 desktop manages to be small, compact and powerful, as well as have a design that makes it an instant winner in the eyes of gamers. Before we start, let’s take a look at the specs of the G20 as it came configured to us:
ASUS G20 specs:
- Intel Core i7-4790 processor
- NVIDIA GTX 745 GPU, 4GB RAM
- 12GB of RAM
- WiFi, Bluetooth, 4 x USB 3.0, 4 X USB 2.0
- 6 Audio ports
One badass looking PC
To call the design of the G20 unique would be a big understatement – the G20 looks extremely badass, and the overall design is based off of Mayan architecture. The design isn’t just for looks as well – ASUS designed the G20 this way for better airflow and thermal management, even under full load. And while at first glance the G20 looks big, trust us when we say it’s a fraction of the size of most top of the line gaming-rigs, and a whole lot quieter.
The front of the G20 holds the Bluray drive near the top, as well as the two USB 2.0 ports and two audio jacks (one for actual audio and one for your mic). The power button in located on the front, near the Bluray drive. When the G20 is on, colored LED lights on both sides of the front of the G20 and the bottom of the chassis turn on. All the lights are completely customizable via ASUS Command, and can be changed to whatever color that you want.
Moving to the back you’ll see the multitude of ports, including the four USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 slots, Ethernet port, 6 audio ports as well as the connectors for the power and the GPU. The G20 uses a very big power brick to supply all the power to it, which deletes the necessity of a power supply that most gaming rigs have.
Hardcore gamers who may be interested in the G20 can theoretically upgrade the innards, though because of the design of the thing, you’re limited to what you can change, at least in the version that was lent to us. Not that you’d want to anyway – opening the shell of the G20 instantly voids your warranty. But that usually doesn’t stop most tinkerers, so if you’re hell bent in changing the innards, you can, but again, you’re limited to what you can change: you can stuff up to a GTX 750 in there, or really any video card that’s the same size as long as it doesn’t require a separate power supply. People who want the G20 but want a beefier GPU can get video cards up to the GTX 980, though you will have contend with a separate power adapter for the GPU along with the power supply for the G20. ASUS also told us that the RAM is not user replaceable unfortunately and while you can stuff more storage in the G20, you’re relegated to 2.5-inch drives as opposed to regular 3.5-inchers. We’re also a little baffled why the G20 doesn’t come with SSD storage as standard – considering the amount of money you’re paying for it, you’d think they’d throw that in as a freebie.
Performance that’s enough for most games in the market
While the G20 doesn’t sport top-of-the-line GPU, the hardware configuration that it has is more than enough to run most modern PC games on high. We used it with a few games – Devil May Cry, Project CARS, ARMA 3 and Red Orchestra 2 on full HD resolution with the graphics turned to high. For Project CARS, the game ran at an acceptable 30 FPS, with a dip or two in the high 20’s. In Devil May Cry, the G20 managed to achieve 40 to 50 frames, though recording with FRAPS usually dropped that to just 30. With ARMA 3, we managed to get the game running on 30 FPS though running it on high was a bit too much even for the G20 (ARMA 3 is one of the most resource-heavy games you can find because of the wide terrain). In Red Orchestra 2, we managed to get the G20 running on 60 FPS, but dropped down to 40 when running fraps and recording.
The best thing about the G20 is that it’s dead quiet. Even running on full load, we really didn’t hear the fans of the G20 working. We were actually stumped the first few seconds when we initially setup the G20 because we couldn’t hear the fans working – only when our monitor showed the ASUS logo did we breath a sigh of relief that we did things right.
Just like other pre-built PCs, the G20 has a myriad of additional software built-in for a better gaming experience. Game First III allows you to prioritize gaming traffic to help prevent lag spikes while you’re playing. AEGIS gives you an overview of what’s happening with your PC in a very cool way.
ASUS Command gives gamers a way to personalize and change the settings of the G20 depending on their tastes.
Verdict: A compact gaming powerhouse that even hardcore gamers will enjoy
At the end of the day the ASUS G20 isn’t the fastest or the best gaming rig out there. And before anybody says it yes, you can probably build a gaming rig that has better specs than the G20. But then again, that’s not the reason why you’ll buy it anyway. In terms of gaming cred, the G20 is legit, and can play most, if not all, games out in the market without any major issues. It’s probably one of the coolest desktop rigs we’ve seen, and quite possibly the quietest one we’ve tested so far.
While its Php 63,995 sticker price is not for the faint-hearted, gamers who pony up the dough for ASUS’ gaming rig will be more than happy about the money that they’ve spent. As an added bonus, ASUS is also throwing in a limited edition ROG jacket as well as a Logitech G502 gaming mouse with every purchase.