CES 2017 was full of announcements of new gaming systems, leveraging Intel’s seventh-generation Core processors and Nvidia’s Pascal graphics architecture. Every major company introduced new systems, making the event an exciting one for gamers of all stripes.
The GR8 II is, precisely as its name implies, the successor to the GR8, a system that aimed at packing as much computing power as possible into a case that occupies the least amount of space. According to Asus, the GR8 II mostly succeeds, with a significant increase in power accompanied by only a small increase in size. The company touts the four-liter GR8 II as “the smallest VR-ready system money can buy,” and it’s highly portable at only four kilograms.
In terms of aesthetics, the GR8 II incorporates Asus’s Aura Sync technology for customized lighting across both the system itself and attached ROG peripherals. The small, uniquely designed case is kept cool via a complex of heat pipes and fans aimed at enabling maximum performance through maximum efficiency. In addition, the system is designed to be extra quiet, running only 23dB at idle.
The GR8 II offers solidly midrange components, including seventh-generation Core i7 or i5 CPUs, up to 32GB of DDR4 RAM, and the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU. That combination of components comfortably meets or exceeds today’s VR requirements, and Asus fully tested the GR8 II to ensure that it performs well with the Oculus Rift VR system. Dual HDMI ports and a DisplayPort means that even without VR, a surround gaming experience can be achieved with up to three displays.
Storage options include a slot for up to an M.2 PCIe solid-state disk (SSD), with another 2.5-inch bay to add additional drives. Audio quality is enhanced with SupremeFX running in conjunction with Sonic Studio III software that can route audio for streaming. A full complement of networking options is provided, from a Gigabit ethernet port to 802.11ac Wi-Fi with MU-MIMO support. Two USB 3.1 ports, Type-C and Type-A, and four USB 3.0 ports are available for plugging in a variety of peripherals.
Asus hasn’t yet provided pricing or availability for the ROG GR8 II. However, once it arrives, you will have yet another VR-ready gaming option to choose from in addition to the scores of new machines announced at CES 2017.