January 7, 2019 | 14:00
Asus has used the Consumer Electronics Show 2019 (CES 2019) to show off a wide range of new and upcoming hardware across a variety of categories including a new closed-loop graphics card with an internal radiator, new X299 and X399 motherboards, new gaming keyboards, and new gaming monitors.
Starting with the graphics card, the ROG Matrix GeForce RTX 2080 Ti is cooled by a closed-loop water-cooling system whereby the necessary pump, tubes, radiator, and fans are incorporated into the design. Such a concept is nothing new, of course, but where this card is unique is in its incorporation of both the pump and the radiator underneath the triple-slot/triple-fan cooling shroud, thus avoiding the need for any external tubes and radiators that typically accompany such offerings but which are usually seen as an aesthetic blight and an additional installation nuisance.
The resulting cooler is called the Infinity Loop and is said to outperform competing designs that use 120mm radiators and go head-to-head with those that use 240mm ones. To boost the appeal further, Asus says each individual card is aggressively binned to reach a GPU boost clock of 1,815MHz in OC Mode and a GDDR6 effective data rate of 14.8Gbps – overclocks that, Asus says, only the top five percent of cards can achieve. The card has a 300W power rating and uses two eight-pin PCIe power plugs while incorporating two HDMI 2.0b outputs, two DisplayPort 1.4 outputs, and a USB Type-C header. The card is expected to launch this month; pricing has not been confirmed.
Moving to motherboards, Asus has also launched the ROG Zenith Extreme Alpha for the AMD X399 chipset and the ROG Rampage VI Extreme Omega for the Intel X299 chipset – described as ‘two sides of the same coin’. The former features four PCIe 3.0 x16 slots and support for up to 128GB of DDR4 running at up to 3,600MHz, while the latter drops to three PCIe 3.0 x16 slots but supports faster DDR4 (4,266MHz+). Both motherboards, meanwhile, are E-ATX in size and include a DIMM.2 module with dual PCIe x4 M.2 slots that supports RAID configurations in conjunction with the onboard PCIe 3.0 x4 slot, 10 gigabit Ethernet, and 2x2 802.11ac MU-MIMO Wi-Fi. You also get 16 power stages spread over eight phases, and the boards are said to be primed for extreme overclocking (i.e. at sub-zero temperatures achieve with LN2). The boards are expected to launch this month; pricing has not been confirmed.
On the keyboard front, Asus is launching the ROG Strix CTRL, where the Ctrl key has been enlarged to be as big as the left shift key on a US layout keyboard. It has made room for this by removing the right Windows key and making the left one smaller. It also features Cherry MX switches, per-key RGB lighting, and full key programmability. Next up is the Asus TUF Gaming K7, which uses TUF Optical-Mech Switches that comes in two variants: linear and tactile. These switches are like standard mechanical switches in terms of moving parts but use optical technology to actuate and feature an IP56 ingress rating. Both keyboards will launch this month for an undisclosed price.
Lastly, Asus has revealed a triple selection of gaming monitors. The ROG Strix XG438Q is said to be the world’s biggest and fastest 4K FreeSync 2 HDR gaming monitor at 43” and features a 120Hz refresh rate, 90 percent DCI-P3 coverage, and VESA DisplayHDR 600 compliance; the ROG Strix XG49VQ is a 49” super ultra-wide monitor with 3,840 x 1,080 resolution, a 144Hz refresh rate, 90 percent DCI-P3 coverage, and VESA DisplayHDR 400 compliance; and the ROG Strix XG32VQR is a 32” 2,560 x 1,440 monitor with a 1800R curvature, 144Hz refresh rate, 94 percent DCI-P3 coverage, and VESA DisplayHDR 400 compliance. All three feature FreeSync 2 HDR. The former isn’t expected until spring 2019, but the latter two are expected at the end of January, though pricing hasn’t been disclosed for any.
March 12 2019 | 19:11