We go hands-on with the beastly ROG GX700VO
Liquid cooling a system is a rite of passage for many hardcore PC gamers. There’s a lot of reasons why you’d want a liquid-cooled system – better thermal performance is the chief reason, which allows enthusiasts to overclock their system further than normal air-cooled rigs. Another reason is bragging rights – setting up a liquid cooled rig isn’t the easiest thing to do and comes with its own risks (liquids and electronics seldom mix) but once you do it, your rig becomes the envy of everybody at r/pcgaming.
ASUS has taken the liquid-cooled concept and taken it further with their ROG GX700VO notebook. It’s the first ever liquid-cooled gaming notebook in the world, and comes bearing specs that’ll blow even the most hardcore rig away. Today we have an opportunity to play with ASUS’ liquid-cooled monster, and we’re sharing what we thought during our time with it with you. But first, the specs:
ASUS ROG GX700VO specs
- Intel quad-core Core 2.7GHz i7-6820HK
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX980 GPU, 8GB of GDDR5 VRAM
- 64GB of RAM
- 17.3-inch full HD IPS display, 1920 x 1200 resolution
- 1TB of storage
- HD web camera
- 802.11 ac, 3 USB 3.0, 1 USB Type-C, 1 mini Display Port, 1 HDMI port, 1 Thunderbolt port
- 3.6 kilos without the dock
First Impressions: A killer looking notebook that will shame your gaming rig
ASUS’ new crop of ROG notebooks have been stylish beasts, and have shied away from the tacky, LED-lighting driven design of their competitors. The GX700VO continues that trend, sporting aggressive, futuristic lines that’s not too over the top.
ASUS used a heck of a lot of metal in the design of the GX700, from the lid to the chassis of the device and the notebook feels better for it. The notebook is around an inch thick, but considering what’s inside (more on this later) that’s not really too bad.
Being a full-sized notebook, the GX700VO has a comfortable full-sized keyboard with a number pad that’s backlit red, the traditional color of the ROG brand.
There’s a number of additional keys on top of the keyboard near the hinge that we assume are for macros, as well as a quick shortcut button to the Xplit Gamecaster so you can stream your games to a number of streaming services. You can also use it to record gameplay if you wish.
Because of the sheer size and complexity of the GX700VO and its accompanying dock, ASUS is throwing in a carrying case to carry around everything. Unfortunately we can’t show you the design of the case since it’s not finished yet, but it’ll be laid out much like the photo that you see, which includes the actual liquid cooling dock, gaming mouse, power cables and other accessories.
Like we mentioned earlier, the biggest, stand-out feature of the GX700VO is liquid cooling. That’s taken care of by the liquid cooling dock that has all the coolant inside, and is circulated when the notebook is connected to it. The dock is pretty massive by itself and takes up a considerable amount of desk space.
Mounting the notebook to the dock is easy enough. There’s guide pegs on the bottom of the dock that line up with corresponding holes in the notebook. The chevron on the top of the notebook near the hinge also help to lineup with the device.
Once you have everything lined up, you just push on the lever on the dock and everything locks up positively. Obviously you can’t always take the dock with you when you travel – aside from its ginormous size, it’s also pretty heavy, coming in at 4.8 kilos.
The notebook itself is around 3.6 kilos, which makes it one of the heaviest around. Part of the reason is that the coolant doesn’t drain from the notebook when you detach it from the cooling system, so you’re walking around with a much heavier notebook because of the coolant that’s still present inside.
Is the liquid cooling dock necessary? Not really – you can run the GX700VO by itself without the cooling dock if you wish, though the performance of the desktop-grade NVIDIA GTX980 goes down to laptop-grade GTX 980M when you do that. If you must take this baby on the road without the dock, ASUS throws in two power bricks for that purpose (one for the entire system with the dock, one without) but most potential owners of the GX700VO would want to overclock this monster, a task made quick and easy with the included software.
It’s not hard to see why – it comes packing a desktop class NVIDIA GeForce GTX980 GPU with 8GB of RAM, Intel Core i7-6820HK processor, 64GB of RAM (not a typo) and 1TB of storage. That’s a hardware combination that would make 90% of desktop rigs weep in envy, our own included. It’s safe to say that this notebook can run ANY modern game in max settings – it probably won’t have any issues with upcoming games this year (or probably the year after).
Most of you are probably dreading the last part – the price. ASUS hasn’t really given us the answer to that question, but you can expect this piece of tech will be quite pricey. To be completely honest, it’ll be out of reach price-wise for many of us, but that really won’t be a problem for true gamers and fans of the ROG brand.
You can believe we’ll be loading this thing with ALL OF THE GAMES, so watch out for our full review till then.