Asus are planning to expand their Republic of Gamers line-up with two new high-end Nvidia cards - The Poseidon GTX 780 and the GTX 780 Ti DirectCU II. The Poseidon will add a hybrid cooling solution to the GK 110 GPU at the core of the standard GTX 780.
Faster than Titan. That’s Asus’ claim for their latest bespoke graphics card, and by pairing up a couple of GK 104 GPUs, much like the GTX 690 before it, those claims have a certain validity.
The Asus Republic of Gamers Mars 760 graphics card is another dual-GPU monster, sticking a pair of the GTX 760’s own graphics processors onto a single slice of printed circuit board. That means it’s rocking 1,152 CUDA cores in each of its chips, for a total of 2,304 across the pair. That’s the same amount of cores as the vanilla GTX 780 and only a shade behind the GTX Titan.
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Asus seem to be losing ground to their motherboard rivals, Intel at the moment, but they've sniped back at Intel's imposed restrictions on CPU overclocking. If you have any Asus 8-series mobo for the Haswell/4th Gen Core you can now upgrade the BIOS to allow full access to the overclocking features of Intel’s K-series processors.
These features were previously only accessible via the top-end Z87 chipset, but this was more of a marketing differentiation than a physical restriction. The unlocked CPU multipliers of the K-series Haswell CPUs - the i7-4770K and i5-4670K - can now be tweaked with abandon on all Asus’ H87 and B85-based boards as well as the Z87 mobos.
With Asus announcing pre-orders for their PQ321Q 4K PC monitor - at a wallet-sweating $3,500 - just how prepared are our rigs for 4K gaming? The answer, coming out of a quick benchmark test over at AnandTech, seems to be ‘not very.’
Well, unless you’re already rocking an ultra-enthusiast graphics card...or three.
Got three and a half thousand bucks weighing down your coin purse? There are lots of ways to lose it. Charitable contribution, perhaps, treating loved ones, paying off debts OR, if you want a sharp wall-sized flatpanel that will set your GPU on fire, you could put in a pre-order one of Asus' ginormous PQ3210 monitors.
As will probably be the way with 4K monitors for the foreseeable, the Asus PQ321Q is a pro-level 10-bit screen. That professional positioning will likely keep prices higher for 4K monitors than you’ll see in larger 4K TVs. You can already pick up - admittedly probably pretty weak - 4K TVs for around $1,200, for example.
The new 4th Gen Core processors from Intel are set to touch down around Computex time next month and in preparation Asus have announced their full line-up of Z87 motherboards. Along with a new range of gold-colouring on their standard Z87 boards, the real interesting stories are coming from the TUF (The Ultimate Force...sigh) and RoG (Republic of Gamers) ranges.
For the first time we’re going to see the RoG range dipping its techie toes into the more mainstream-priced area of the market with the slightly cut-down RoG Maximus VI Hero.
Whether you’re eager to dig around the insides of your PC or whether the mere sight of a screwdriver fills you with unearthly terror, Asus has got some seriously high-end soundcards for you. They’ve just announced the Xonar U7 and the Republic of Gamers Xonar Phoebus Solo to further strengthen their already impressive audio lineup. The Xonar U7 is a USB-powered external soundcard with a built-in headphone amp and the Xonar Phoebus Solo is an aggressive-looking PCIe internal soundcard. Both are high-end products with the updated Xonar Phoebus Solo just about edging it in terms of raw specifications.
I really, really want to love this diminutive new card from Asus. It’s fantastically well engineered and at once quicker, quieter and cooler than the reference design card from Nvidia itself. It also fits in with the recent trend of squeezing top-end gaming performance down into mini-ITX form factors.
A total graphics win, you’d have to say. Right?
Asus have unveiled their latest effort to squeeze performance components into a miniscule form factor. The diminutive GTX 670 DirectCU Mini has just landed on my desk and what they say is true; size doesn’t matter.
This card is a fully-fledged GTX 670 card measuring just 170mm tip to tail compared with just under 250mm for the reference version. But there’s no hint of compromise in order to squeeze this sort of performance into a pint-sized card, in fact Asus have managed to overclock the DirectCU Mini too.
Asus have dropped a few teaser images of their upcoming Gryphon and Z87-Deluxe motherboards on the Republic of Gamers minisite. The Z87 motherboards will house Intel’s 4th Generation Haswell Core processor architecture with the new LGA 1150 socket design. It's a few pins short of the LGA 1155, so we'll definitely need new motherboards if we want to take advantage of Intel's Haswell tech.
Has anyone in the history of computing ever wanted an 18.4-inch Android tablet? How about an 18.4-inch Android tablet that transforms into a dumb 18.4-inch display the moment you dock it into its Intel Ivy Bridge-powered stand?
Let's imagine for a moment that this was a pressing consumer demand. Well, good news, imaginary consumers! The Asus Transformer AiO (All-in-One) is the very thing you have hypothetically coveted.
The tablet portion is powered by an Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core CPU, running Android 4.1 with an as yet unnamed Ivy Bridge CPU and Nvidia GT 730M GPU sat in the PC Station stand.
This is the new Asus GTX 650-E, a low-power graphics card that takes all the juice it needs from your motherboard, without the need for a secondary power connector from the PSU itself. That means even if you don’t have a PSU capable of juicing up a standard GTX 650 you ought to be able to get Asus’ wee GPU running in your rig. Looking at Asus’ new GTX 650-E though you have to wonder why exactly Nvidia demanded a PCIe power connector as standard for the GTX 650 reference design in the first place.
Taiwanese manufacturing mogul, Asus, are aiming their Republic of Gamers alter ego squarely at the performance SSD arena by announcing its very own PCI-Express solid state drive. The top SSDs are already bumping up against the limits of the SATA 6Gbps interface, so if you want to push past that these PCIe drives are the way forward. Well, until the hybrid SATA Express interface sees the light of day anyways.
AMD has shown reluctance to release their own-brand HD 7000 range dual-GPU card, leaving affiliate manufacturers like Asus, Club3D and HIS to cobble together their own polygon-crunching beasts. As a result, we’ve seen a fair number of super-powered graphics cards over the last few months, including the freakishly potent Club3D Radeon HD 7990s - but with the unveiling of the Asus ARES II, things may just be getting a little silly.
The PC Gaming Alliance, a non-profit group composed of influential hardware and software developers such as Intel and Epic, revealed today its Game United Contest and asked for entrants to record a video or write a wiki entry on the value and future of PC gaming for an Intel Ultrabook grand prize.
Over at Computex in Taiwan, ASUS has has been showing off the world's first laptop equipped with 802.11ac wireless networking, the next iteration in the WiFi standard that theoretically promises up to 6.93Gbps speeds over the air.
The laptop in question is the latest version of ASUS' 17inch G-series gaming notebooks, dubbed the G75VW. It comes with an Ivy Bridge CPU and Nvidia's GeForce GTX 670M graphics and is slightly lighter than last year's G74SX, although in much the same way as a nine bricks are lighter than 10 – you wouldn't want to have to carry either around with you all day.
Just 15 months after the technology first appeared in a commercial form, ASUS and MSI have finally announced the first PC motherboards that will ship with built in Thunderbolt ports.
Thunderbolt, if you're aware of it all, may sound like a tedious hard drive technology, but it's got an enormous amount of potential for PC gaming. With these two boards, we may finally be in the era of the modular PC – which doesn't have to be opened up for upgrades.
It means, potentially, external hard drives that are as quick as internal SSDs and plug in graphics cards that really work. Much as I like to tinker inside my PC's case, this is big.
Market research companies IDC and Gartner have released their quarterly report on PC sales. Amusingly, on the day that we're supposed to be entering the post-PC era with the launch of Apple's iOS 5, they show interesting – if uneven – growth in shipments across the world.
How powerful does a laptop need to be? It’s a pertinent question. Last week Razer unveiled a laptop it proclaimed the “saviour of PC gaming”. But the big laptop news is that we’re about to be deluged by ‘ultrabooks’ - thin and light MacBook Air clones which weigh just over a kilo, but pack powerful Core i5/i7 processors.