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Review: Asus ROG GR8 II

by Parm Mann on 21 February 2017, 12:30


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...the Asus ROG GR8 II is able to deliver up-to-date gaming hardware in a form factor comparable to that of a modern games console.

Smaller, more efficient gaming PCs are getting better with each new generation of processor technology. Harnessing the latest CPU and GPU architectures from Intel and Nvidia, the Asus ROG GR8 II is able to deliver up-to-date gaming hardware in a form factor comparable to that of a modern games console.

The end result is a neat-looking box packing a good dollop of performance, yet a few provisos remain. The system may be considerably smaller than a typical PC tower, yet it uses an external power supply, doesn't offer an optical drive, has limited upgrade options and a tendency to get hot and loud under load.

It's only worth considering such compromises if size truly matters, but if you are willing to accept said trade-offs in favour of a form factor that's smaller and better suited to the living room, the GR8 II is worthy of consideration. The Asus machine doesn't offer the refinement of a quieter and more affordable games console, yet as a fully fledged PC it covers a wide range of usage scenarios and can serve as a portable desktop replacement capable of handling your everyday workload as well as high-quality HD gaming.

Bottom line: the GR8 II isn't perfect but it serves as a sign of things to come. Compact systems are getting better with each new generation of hardware, and the time has come for PC gaming to move out of the bedroom and into the mainstream.

The Good
The Bad
Kaby Lake CPU and GTX 1060 GPU
Delivers high-quality full-HD games
Console-like form factor
Energy efficient hardware
Internal fans get noisy under load
UK specification doesn't include an SSD
Limited upgrade path



A variation of the Asus ROG GR8 II is available to purchase from Ebuyer.


At HEXUS, we invite the companies whose products we test to comment on our articles. If any company representatives for the products reviewed choose to respond, we'll publish their commentary here verbatim.

Bill Garner, PR Specialist at Asus UK, issued the following right2reply on Tuesday, May 5:

ASUS UK has secured an agreement to increase the warranty on all GR8 II stock sold in the UK. We strongly believe the GR8 II is of high quality and to show our confidence in the product we have increased the 1YR warranty to 3YRs. This means any potential fault, however unlikely develops will mean that it is totally covered by us under the warranty to protect your investment. We are also planning on selling an SSD model in the UK to benefit users who want a faster experience.

HEXUS Forums :: 12 Comments

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So it's a small, noisy PC that's adequate for 1080p gaming, and in the UK will cost almost £1000 despite having a weaker CPU and storage solution?

I'm … well, gob-smacked, frankly. I know you're always going to pay a bit of a premium for cramming lots of hardware into a small space, but you can get a 1080p gaming laptop with an i7 HQ, a 6GB GTX 1060 and a boot SSD + storage 1TB HDD for ~ £1200… in other words, basically the same price once you add a monitor and peripherals to the GR8 II :O_o1:

I love the idea of this, but the implementation & pricing just isn't right…


Hmm, just had a browse of ebuyer, and now thinking maybe I've been too harsh - the core elements of the base UK spec - i5 7400, 8GB DDR4-2400, GTX 1060 3GB, supporting motherboard - come to £570 on their own, sourcing cheapest manufacturer for each. Throw in a case, decent PSU, Windows license, wifi/bluetooth module … you could easily be up to £800 for an equivalent PC. The pricing is still on the high side, but not as ridiculous as it first appeared…. :O_o1:
I see they have taken their styling cues from the stealth fighter school of design, rather than the more understated look of the ps4.
scaryjim is right, implementation is way off.

People buy consoles because of the following
* physical media (a very big reason)
* ease of use
* costs under $/£ 500 (really 400 is more accurate)
* lower noise output

This machine fails in all 4 console categories.

Plus if your not wedded to Steam then Microsoft's Xbox Anywhere system offers a far superior solution allowing you to play games on Win10 PC then transfer over to the actual Xbox console, no need for a PC trying to be a console. It's a really slick system that works well and MS are pushing more publishers to make Xbox Anywhere versions.

If you are anti Microsoft Steam only person just buy a good laptop and use that plugged into TV, at least it has more use than a console PC or buy a Nintendo Switch/Playstation to scratch that console itch.
The sub title is “Can a PC replace your games console?” well the answer is YES, however it will never replace the pricepoint of a console anytime soon, so it will never be competitive against console.

but as for me… im a PC Gamer :p
Is it just me who thinks it's odd to ask if a PC can replace your games console and then not compare it with a console, yes i know using tests to compare a PC with a consoles would be difficult because of the closed nature of consoles and Windows store games but i was a little disappointed to not see a single crossplay game.