We’ve seen plenty of enthusiast-class motherboards and graphics cards from Asus’ Republic of Gamers (ROG) brand. What we are reviewing today is neither of the two, but a mean-looking gaming PC called Tytan CG8565. It certainly looks powerful, but let us see what it packs under the hood.
Doesn't it look mean?
The first thing anyone would like to know about a gaming PC is its configuration. The Tytan CG8565 is powered by the former Sandy Bdirge top-end CPU, the Intel Core i7-2600k. Considering Ivy Bridge has already been released, this is slightly disappointing. We would have liked to see a Core i7-3770k, but the Core i7-2600k is almost as powerful. Asus has used its own motherboard based on the Intel Z68 chipset, a P8Z68-V Pro. Again, a decent choice, but it could have chosen the P8Z77-V Pro instead. The P8Z68-V Pro offers an impressive feature set. You get four SATA 6Gb/s ports, four USB 3.0 ports, four SATA 6Gb/s ports, and support for both SLI and CrossFire. The rear panel has a Bluetooth adapter and three video outputs (D-sub, DVI and HDMI). Even though the motherboard has a 7.1-channel audio chip, Asus has thrown in its Xonar DX soundcard for better audio quality. This is fitted in the topmost PCIe x1 slot. The other PCIe x1 card below the graphics card is a Wi-Fi adapter.
A liquid cooler keeps the CPU cool under heavy load
Our expectations weren’t too high for a gaming PC of this calibre, but we were quite disappointed to find the GTX 560 Ti DirectCu II, a mid-range graphics card. We believe it should have carried at least the GTX 670. Maybe Asus couldn’t afford to fit in a more powerful card, but any hardcore gamer would expect a high-end card. This graphics card isn’t factory overclocked, but it sports a custom cooler that’s much superior than the one featured on Nvidia’s reference design. The graphics card has two DVI outputs and a mini HDMI port.
SATA 3Gb/s SSD and 1 TB hard disk
Wouldn’t you expect a SATA 6Gb/s SSD and high-end memory in an ROG PC? The SSD fitted here is a 64GB SATA 3Gb/s, just for the operating system, applications and a few games. Your movie library, music, photos and other stuff go onto the 1TB Seagate Barracuda hard drive that uses SATA 6Gb/s interface. Asus has opted for a pair of 4GB DDR3-1600 modules by ASint. The plain green sticks don’t look high-end at all. Although they should suffice, you’ll need high-end modules if you wish to heavily overclock this PC. You won’t have to worry about the CPU getting overheated thanks to a closed-circuit liquid cooler by Asetek. A radiator with a 120mm fan mounted on it is fitted onto the rear of the cabinet.
Card reader, Blu-ray Combo and hot-swap bay on the front bezel
Other features include a BD-ROM/DVD-writer combo drive, a hot-swap bay for 3.5-inch hard drives, and a card reader that can read Memory Stick, SD and CompactFlash (CF) memory cards.
What we liked most about this PC are the cabinet and input devices. As we have mentioned earlier, the cabinet looks awesome. It would have looked better had it had a transparent side panel, LED fans and some lighting within, but that would be asking for too much. The top panel of the front bezel slides down exposing the 5.25-inch bays behind it. The geared mechanism prevents it from coming down crashing. The ROG logo lights up in blue, so does the lower part of the bezel. The colour changes to red on pressing the Speed button on the top left corner, and the processor is overclocked on-the-fly. The stock speed of Core i7-2600k is 3.4GHz, and it’s configured to run at a default speed of 4.2GHz on this PC. The Speed button further boosts the speed to 4.4GHz and to 4.6GHz with the second press.
Mechanical mouse and 5-button laser mouse with weights
The bundled keyboard is a mechanical one with Cherry MX-Black switches. So the keys are linear and don’t make clicking sounds when pressed. The layout is standard, and the keyboard comes with a detachable palm rest. The mouse bundled is an Asus GX900. It sports a right-handed design and uses laser-tracking. The keyboard and the mouse have a matte rubberised finish.
The overall performance of Tytan is excellent thanks to Intel Core i7-2600k. It scored 5367 points and 4776 points in PCMark 7 and 3DMark 11 benchmarking tests respectively. It breezed through the real-world tests taking only 18 second to transcode a 1 minute MPEG video to H.264 format, and taking 24 seconds to compress 100MB of data to 7.zip format using Ultra preset. Note that these numbers are very low; a standard desktop PC would take more than twice as long.
The read and write speeds were good, but not very impressive because of the SATA 3Gb/s SSD. It logged sequential read and write speeds of 201MB/s and 60.79MB/s respectively in CrystalDiskMark and SiSoft Sandra 2012. SATA 6Gb/s drives are more than twice as fast. The Seagate Barracuda hard drive managed to log 153MB/s and 151MB/s in sequential read and write tests respectively. The read speed was marginally lower than that of the SSD, but the writes speed was significantly higher. Here, higher read speed is important for better operating system response and quicker application loading.
The gaming performance was also good, but it would have been much better had Asus used a high-end graphics card. Here is what this PC scored in the real-world gaming benchmarks ran at a resolution of 1920x1080. The games ran very smoothly, but they won’t be as smooth on larger screens with higher resolutions.
Ultra preset - Hi-res textures - No AA: 37.4 fps
Ultra preset - Hi-res textures - 4xAA: 35.7 fps
Ultra preset - No AA: 67.69 fps
Ultra preset – 8x MSAA: 57.5 fps
Ultra preset - No AA: 62.4 fps
Ultra preset – 4x MSAA: 41 fps
Batman Arkham City
Extreme preset - No AA: 75 fps
Extreme preset – 8x MSAA: 43 fps
Verdict and Price in India
The Asus ROG Tytan CG8565 comes at a hefty price of Rs. 1,15,000. It is one of the most powerful configurations available in the branded gaming PC category. We liked the inclusion of a high-quality mechanical keyboard and a gaming mouse. However, at this price, you can easily build a more powerful gaming PC with Intel Core i7-3770k, Asus P8Z77-V Pro, 8GB of high-end RAM, GTX 660 Ti and a large SATA 6GB/s SSD — all of which this PC lacks.
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