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Asus Republic of Gamers G11CD – PC Review

Asus Republic of Gamers G11CD – PC Review

Asus ROG G11CDThe Asus ROG G11CD is proof that you don’t have to spend more than £1,000 to get a solid gaming system.

This machine includes an Nvidia Pascal graphics card and an Intel Kaby Lake processor – and RGB LEDs in the case. To get your hands on it, you’ll have to pay £800 in the UK and $949 in the US.

Asus ROG G11CD PC Review – Components

The affordable Asus ROG G11CD is powered by the GeForce GTX 1050. It’s one of the lower-end parts from Nvidia’s latest range of chips.

On the plus side, it has the Pascal architecture, which means massively improved performance and efficiency. This modest card still has a solid speed of 1,354MHz, and it packs in 640 stream processors.

Negatively, though, this card only has 2GB of GDDR5 memory. That’s the bare minimum for gaming these days, and we always prefer at least 4GB – and even the GTX 1050 Ti, which only costs about £30 more, includes that much RAM.

This affordable graphics card will balk at the toughest quality levels, but there’s not much it won’t play at the moment, even if you have to dial back the graphics settings. It’s also got ample power for popular esports games.

Asus ROG G11CDThe graphics card sits alongside a Core i5-7400 processor. It’s a quad-core chip with a 3GHz base clock and a 3.5GHz Turbo peak, and it uses the Kaby Lake architecture. Technically that means it’s out of date now that Coffee Lake has arrived, but it’s still got plenty of power for gaming and for general-purpose computing.

It’s a solid chip, but it also has undoubted deficiencies. Core i5 chips don’t have Hyper-Threading, so this processor can only address four threads rather than eight. It’s not unlocked for overclocking, either. If you’re interested in that sort of tweaking, then a machine with an AMD Ryzen processor would be better – all of those parts are overclocked. A Core i5 chip with a K-series suffix would also be a more versatile option for tweaking.

The processor is accompanied by 8GB of DDR4 memory and a 2TB hard disk. The former is only in single-channel mode, so performance will suffer, and there’s no SSD, so loading times are noticeably slower.

The Asus ROG G11CD’s components attach to a bespoke motherboard that only offers the bare minimum of features. It’s only got a single spare memory slot, one free PCI-Express x1 connector and a sole free SATA connector. There aren’t any extra heatsinks or lights, either. That’s to be expected, because this affordable system is not designed for upgrades. It’s got a decent port selection, at least: the front has a card reader and four USB sockets, while the rear has six USB ports and six audio jacks.

The Asus machine has a reasonable low-end gaming specification, but it faces loads of competition.

In the US, this version of the G11CD costs $949. For fourteen dollars less, CyberPower will sell you one of its Battlebox systems with the same Core i5 processor, a GTX 1060 6GB and a 120GB SSD. Spend $999 and you can buy machines from Maingear and iBuyerPower with GTX 1060 3GB graphics cards and either Coffee Lake or Kaby Lake processors.

Asus ROG G11CDIn the UK, the G11CD costs £800. A Chillblast machine that costs £50 more has a GTX 1060 3GB graphics card and a 250GB SSD, and PC Specialist sells a machine without the SSD but with the GTX 1060 3GB for £800.

Those machines might not come from companies as large as Asus, but they all have advantages aside from those main component improvements. They’ll all have better motherboards than the G11CD, and most will have warranties that last for longer than the Asus’ one-year deal.

The Asus ROG G11CD doesn’t just face competition from rival pre-built machines. It’s never been easier to build your own PC, and it’s a good route to saving money.

A build with the same core CPU, GPU and storage configuration in the US can be assembled for less than $700, and that’s included a copy of Windows 10. In the UK, the same build comes out at a little under £650.

Either way, that’s a sizeable saving on the Asus’ retail price, and that means there’s plenty of room in the budget for a better graphics card, an SSD, or improvements in other departments. As long as you’re confident enough to put together the system, you can save loads of cash this way.

Asus ROG G11CD PC Review – Full Specification

CPU: 3GHz Intel Core i5-7400
Memory: 8GB 2,400MHz DDR4
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 2GB
Motherboard: Asus G11CD-K
Sound: On-board
Hard disk: 2TB Seagate Barracuda HDD
Ports: Front: 2 x USB 3, 2 x USB 2, 2 x audio; rear: 4 x USB 3, 2 x USB 2, 1 x Gigabit Ethernet, 6 x audio
Case: Asus G11CD bespoke
Dimensions: (W x D x H): 180 x 440 x 430mm
Warranty: 1yr RTB

Asus ROG G11CD PC Review – Design

Asus ROG G11CDThe Asus ROG G11CD might be at the affordable end of the spectrum, but it still has some design elements that we usually see on pricier products.

The front panel and the small peripheral recess at the top of the tower are decorated with the Maya-inspired pattern that’s found across the whole Republic of Gamers range, while the optical drive and port panel are decorated with a glossy black finish.

This machine has RGB LEDs, too. They’re installed in a slanted, slatted section at the front of the machine and in a couple of other small areas of transparent plastic, and they can be adjusted in Windows using the Asus Aura lighting app. Machines at this affordable price don’t often have any lighting at all, so RGB LEDs are a welcome inclusion.

Build quality is fine, too. The Asus’ front panels are made of plastic and the sides are hewn from metal, and all of it is reasonably strong – certainly sturdy enough to withstand daily life in the home. It’s a small and light machine, which is handy for transporting room to room. It’s also worth bearing in mind that most of the rival machines we mentioned above will be larger and heavier.

The interior is underwhelming, which is what we expected – this isn’t a machine that Asus expects its owners to ever open. The metal inside isn’t painted, and the cables aren’t particularly well-organised or tidied very neatly. The processor is chilled by a modest stock cooler, and the only extra fan is a small exhaust spinner.

That’s no good if you’re interested in having a system that looks stylish or will be shown off through a side panel window, but that’s not who the Asus is aimed at. The messy interior also won’t impact on the machine’s noise or heat levels.

Asus ROG G11CD PC Review – Performance

Asus ROG G11CDThe modest GTX 1050 graphics core is adept when it comes to 1080p gaming, but it won’t handle anything more demanding.

Its best 1080p average came in Battlefield 1, where it hit 56fps when running the game’s Ultra graphics settings. In every other game it averaged 30fps or better.

The Asus’ 1080p minimums were more varied, though, with a range that begun with just 20fps and peaked at 51fps. Those lower scores indicate that the GTX 1050 will struggle with the most demanding games and graphics settings – and we’re certain that the meagre 2GB memory allocation has proved part of the problem.

The Asus ROG G11CD will play any current game at 1080p, and it will handle many of them at high levels of quality. If a game is struggling, it won’t take much graphical tweaking to hit smooth playback. It’ll play every big esports title without breaking a sweat, at least.

That’s good for now, and solid for this price, but it doesn’t give much room to manoeuvre in the future. In a year or two the biggest PC releases will push the card harder, and it certainly won’t handle VR headsets, widescreen panels or multi-monitor rigs.

Asus ROG G11CDThe processor has enough power to handle daily computing and 1080p gaming, but it still only provided mixed results in benchmarks. Its single-threaded speed is a little better than equivalent AMD Ryzen chips and is able to handle any general task or current game, but the Asus’ Geekbench multi-tasking score of 10,916 is the poorest we’ve seen for some time – only low-power mobile chips have proved slower.

We’re placing the blame at the lack of Hyper-Threading from the four cores. The memory doesn’t help, either; its multi-threaded bandwidth figure of 12.48GB/s is barely any different from the single-threaded bandwidth result, and it’s about half as quick as desktops with the same amount of memory in a dual-channel arrangement.

The storage is underwhelming, too: in the era of affordable SSDs, a hard disk with sequential reads and writes of 172MB/s and 167MB/s just doesn’t cut it. The lack of solid-stage storage is obvious in use, with sluggish boot times and awful game loading times frequent issues.

The Asus maintained a steady noise level – but, unfortunately, it was always pretty loud. It’s certainly noisier than many of the more affordable gaming machines we’ve seen recently, and you’ll need solid speakers or a headset to drown out the fan rumble.

It was never hot, at least, with peak CPU and GPU temperatures of just 61°C and 50°C.

Asus ROG G11CD PC Review – Conclusion

Asus ROG G11CDThe Asus ROG G11CD is a competent system for 1080p gaming, especially on less demanding titles – like those designed for esports. The Core i5 processor is a solid bit of kit, too, and the machine looks the part thanks to its Mayan patterns and RGB LEDs.

It’s easy to use, has a reputable brand name and also comes with a keyboard and mouse, but it’s not without issues. It’s a little too loud, there’s no SSD, and the single-channel memory will slow things down. The graphics card won’t handle many top-end games in a couple of years, either.

The competition is strong. Spending similar levels of cash from a smaller firm will buy a system with more graphical power and versatility, and building a machine yourself is even better value – if you have the knowledge to plug all of those parts together.

The G11CD is a reasonable effort from Asus, and it’s a perfectly fine affordable gaming tower – but better systems are available elsewhere if you know where to look.

The Asus ROG G11CD is available for $949 in the US and for £800 in the UK. Do you fancy a big-brand gaming build, or would you rather build your own? Let us know over on our Facebook or Twitter pages.

And, finally, do you fancy winning a Ryzen 5 processor? Then you should enter our Halloween competition – click here!

Review Date
Reviewed Item
Asus ROG G11CD

About Author

Mike Jennings

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