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The ASUS ROG G20 is a monster PC at half the size

Scorching PC power does come in small packages.

ASUS ROG G20

Be it top-of-the-class gaming or VR, with serious performance comes serious components. And usually a big ol' case to stuff them all into. At the very highest end, enthusiasts usually build their own rig, carefully choosing parts to fit a budget and a design that they're happy with.

Small form PCs aren't anything new, even when looking at gaming PCs. But when you shrink down the size you usually have to compromise somewhere. Less space means less room for cooling, smaller power supplies, less drive space.

But if you want a small PC and you want it to blow the doors off anything you throw at it there are options out there. The latest refresh to the G20 by ASUS' Republic of Gamers boffins is one that should definitely make the shortlist.

The G20 chassis has been available for a few years now in various levels of trim. This newest one takes the performance up to 11, as its had a full GTX 1080 graphics card squeezed inside. This thing is a monster at half the size.

It's also very much a "look at me" design, with a red and black color scheme and aggressive angles all over it. Where we might criticize a laptop designed in this fashion, it's less of a judgment on a desktop since it stays at home. If you like it, fantastic. If you don't, you don't. Personally I think it looks excellent.

You even get an optical drive slipped in, hiding in plain sight in the red stripe that runs vertically up the front. It might not be top of your shopping list on a desktop anymore, but why not have one if it'll fit, right?

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ASUS ROG G20

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ASUS ROG G20

Inside the case (which you can't open if you value the warranty) is an Intel Core i7 6700K processor, 16GB of RAM, 512GB SSD and 1TB HDD storage and that whopping GTX 1080 graphics card from NVIDIA. This is what's mostly responsible for the "Oculus Ready" sticker on the outside and contributes towards the two power supplies.

This beastly thing has two power supplies.

Yes, you heard correctly. There are two power supplies.

Part of what keeps the G20 so compact is that it uses an external power brick. Only there's so much junk in the trunk here it needs more than one brick can provide, so it has two. ASUS straps them together but you will need two power outlets to power this desktop PC. Which itself is positively bananas.

But while being mildly inconvenient in a sense of using up one more space on a power strip, having the power supply external to the case allows for much more inside without increasing the net volume. If a small form PC is what you're looking for, there's no point filling it up with power supply.

ASUS ROG G20

If you go and have a nose around the back of the G20 you'll see four more Oculus logos adorning some of the USB ports. Not being an Oculus owner, it means little to me, but it's a neat way of highlighting the high speed connections that the VR connoisseur will want to utilize. You've also got everything you'd expect to see on a high-end desktop, including a DVI, HDMI and three DisplayPort outputs. The G20 will push a lot of pixels, remember.

One thing that is a little disappointing is the choice of accessories ASUS bundles in the box. This is a high-end gaming PC so you'd expect some form of gaming mouse and keyboard thrown in? Except there isn't. The ones that do come with it are pretty bargain basement. This is either because ASUS knows gamers will use their own stuff anyway, or an oversight, but it's still disappointing to see in the box with a machine like this one.

Pre-built it may be but it's still an enthusiast grade PC

Make no mistake, though, this is a desktop for the enthusiasts. Not everyone wants to deal with building their own rigs and any issues that come from it, and this is a tremendous option for that kind of buyer. Right now it will gobble up anything you want to throw at it, and it's your first leg on the road to 4K gaming. You'll have a mind-blowing experience at 1440p, though, with the NVIDIA GTX 1080 being arguably the best consumer graphics card right now.

It doesn't completely break the bank, either. It's not cheap, with this spec coming in at just under $2,000, but the graphics card alone is worth around a third of that. It won't take up a lot of room, it'll run fairly quiet in day-to-day use unless you're hammering it with frame rate shredding games. Either way, it's something to take note of. It's a fantastic little — and beastly — machine.

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Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently you'll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming, and you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

10 Comments
  • Well, if you consider how much more to save how much space... I honestly don't find that an attractive trade off.
  • How much more what?
  • Money and inconvenience from the external PSU.
  • It probably wouldn't cost that much. The computer is actually a pretty good deal because of how expensive a 1080 is.
  • No way. I just pulled up PC Part Picker. I went and did this build in a really lazy way, ignoring combo deals or best prices or being reasonable with parts choices. Upon completion, I was at $1,957.73. That might sound like a point for you, but consider some of my choices: --$110 on a 750W PSU that is overkill, and likely a lot better than the two-piece setup ASUS went for.
    --$216 on a Samsung 850 Pro SSD, which I suspect tops the ASUS offering.
    --$154 on a Steelseries Apex M800 keyboard, MUCH better than the generic offering this PC provides.
    --$63 on a Logitech G700s mouse, much better than what you get here.
    --$130 on a Corsair case, even though that price is well above necessary (I have a case that's above what I needed for my PC, and it was under $90). If I didn't go with more than was necessary (read: I had time to build it with more thinking), I would probably be around $1,600. Going with more and keyboard similar to what you get from ASUS would probably cut $150 off my price alone. I could drop another $50+ and get a nice case with ease. If I dropped to a Kingston SSD or something, it's maybe another $30-50 off. Maybe another $25 off on a less-excessive PSU. Oh, and going to MicroCenter or Fry's means a bundle that probably cuts $40 or soo off the CPU-board costs. Almost $2,000 to get a goofy setup where I need to spend another $100-200 to get a decent mouse and keyboard of my liking isn't a good deal.
  • I guess you're right. It just seems like a much better deal than most pre-made computers from other companies.
  • How much wattage is pushed to the PC? I would rather just get my own PSU and connect it externally than have this two-outlet abomination myself. I don't get who cares about the space a tower takes up, but would be OK with two outlets and PSUs to deal with. Still waiting on the AMD Fury successor line myself.
  • So are things that we would normally upgrade on a desktop fixed or already maxed out? i.e. Can the paltry 16GB of RAM be replaced (aside from the whole voiding the warranty caveat) to faster/larger modules?
  • I'm all for these models selling reasonably well. I'm not hurting for space so it's not necessarily for me, but this is perfect for someone who knows the specs they want, but doesn't have the time or patience to try and fit them into such a small form factor. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • At half the size and double the price.