ASUS has made great inroads in recent years into the laptop market, thanks to a mix of solid designs and good pricing. But apart from All-In-Ones, Australia hasn’t seen a fully-fledged desktop PC from the company before. This is changing with the introduction of the ROG TYTAN, which takes its design cues from the angular gaming laptops that bear the ROG branding. There are two models of TYTAN being launched and we have taken a look at the top-end (HE) version. This packs a Core i7-2600K with closed loop water cooler, 16GB of DDR3, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 590, Blu-ray writer, 80GB SSD and a 2TB HDD, all packed inside a big, angular case aimed to evoke the design of a Nuclear Submarine.
Although the system doesn’t ship with a monitor, it does ship with some nice additions. There is an ROG branded gaming mouse, which feels nice in the hand and comes with the usual array of DPI adjustment options and flashing lights. Alongside it is an ASUS branded mechanical keyboard, which uses Cherry MX Black switches for a very solid gaming experience.
The chassis itself is beautifully designed and constructed. Consisting of a steel frame with plastic outer shell, it is a beast of a thing. Not only does it contribute significantly to the system’s 20KG weight, but we were unable to eke even a small amount of movement out of the chassis, no matter how much we tried to bend it out of shape.
Along the top of the system sit two USB 3, two USB 2, headphone and microphone jacks. Under the sliding cover sits a memory card reader, Blu-ray writer and a hot-swappable serial ATA hard drive bay. There is also a button used to activate the factory overclock on the PC, allowing you to up the CPU speed to a maximum of 4.6GHz. As a nice little addition, this also changes the lighting on the system, which shifts to red when an overclock is enabled.
This inbuilt overclock, in combination with the selection of high-end hardware, makes for a generally excellent gaming experience. It chewed through our Crysis benchmarks, managing excellent all-round scores. Even in our Very High Detail tests it pumped out 81 frames per second. In our real world benchmarks the score was even more impressive, with an overall result of 1.15. Considering that a stock Core i7-2600K scores 1 in these benchmarks, we can pretty comfortably say that this is the fastest non- Extreme Core i7 system that we have tested so far.
That isn’t to say that the system isn’t without a few issues. We do wish that the primary SSD was a little larger than 80GB, especially considering that ASUS manages to fill up 50GB of that with its standard software install. Our test system even had the hidden recovery partition placed on the SSD, which left a total of 10GB free, however after complaining to ASUS we have been informed that the recovery partition will be moved to the HDD by the time this system hits retail. Even then, you’ll want to carefully prune some of the preinstalled software to free up space.
Perhaps our biggest issue is the price, which at $4999 will keep the high-end system out of the reach of mere mortals (especially when you factor in the need for a decent monitor as well). The other side of the equation is that this system is exclusive to Harvey Norman, which keeps the price higher than it would otherwise be.
You could always build a system for less than the TYTAN, but if you don’t want to fiddle about, and don’t mind the price, then this is an excellent gaming PC and will be for some time to come. Not only is the system performance top notch and built to last, but the little touches like mechanical keyboard and gaming mouse round the package out nicely.