Notebookcheck

Asus ROG GX800 Notebook Preview

Florian Glaser (translated by Andreas Osthoff), 07/15/2016

Prestige object. We are one of the first editorial offices with the chance to have a close look at the upcoming GX800. Compared to the predecessor, Asus not only increases the performance and the dimensions but also equips the device with a 4K display and G-Sync support. Can the cooling system handle the components? Our preview answers initial questions.

For the original German review, see here.

Asus GX700 meets MSI GT80: This would be a good summary for the brand-new GX800 in one sentence. While the external water cooling (Hydro Overclocking System) did not change, the chassis grew from 17 to 18 inches to make room for a dual-GPU solution. To make sure not to fall behind MSI and justify the extreme price, Asus includes the most powerful Notebook GPUs on the market. Nvidia's Pascal generation still needs some time, so our review unit has to get along with two Maxwell chips, more precisely the GTX 980 SLI (buyers of the final product will get the top next-gen GPUs). This means the benchmark results and emissions as well as energy measurements are not representative for the final product.

Link: Notebookcheck Review of the Asus ROG GX800VH with Nvidia Geforce GTX 1080 SLI 

Another difference is the display. Contrary to the prototype, the final product is not supposed to be equipped with a Full HD, but a UHD panel with G-Sync support (supposedly the first 18-inch model in the world). Because of the very early product stage we are not going to evaluate some sections. Asus is still tweaking the following aspects until the launch:

  • Input devices (keyboard & touchpad)
  • Case (build quality etc.)
  • Software (tools, driver, etc.)
  • Communication (Wi-Fi)
  • System stability
  • Battery runtime
  • Cooling system
  • Sound
Asus GX800 Prototype (GX800 Series)
Processor
Intel Core i7-6820HK 2.7 GHz @ 4.4 GHz (Intel Core i7)
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop) - 16384 MB, Core: 1328 MHz, Memory: 3700 MHz, GDDR5, ForceWare 362.34 (368.39 for Games)
Memory
65536 MB 
, 4x 16 GB DDR4-2400, 4/4 slots occupied, dual-channel, up to 64 GB
Display
18.4 inch 16:9, 1920x1080 pixel 120 PPI, Samsung 184HL (SDC4C48) , Super PLS, Full HD, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel CM236 (Skylake PCH-H)
Storage
3x Samsung SM951 512 GB NVMe M.2 (RAID 0), 1536 GB 
Soundcard
Realtek ALC286 @ Intel Sunrise Point PCH - High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
3 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 2 USB 3.1 Gen2, 1 Thunderbolt, 1 HDMI, 2 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: Headphones, Microphone, Card Reader: SD,SDHC,SDXC, WiFi antenna
Networking
Realtek PCIe GBE Family Controller (10/100/1000MBit), Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260 (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.1
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 45 x 458 x 338 ( = 1.77 x 18.03 x 13.31 in)
Battery
76 Wh Lithium-Ion, 8 cells
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: HD (720p @ 30 fps)
Additional features
Speakers: 4.0, Keyboard: mechanical, Keyboard Light: yes, Power adapter: 2x 330 Watts, water cooling: Hydro Overclocking System, McAfee Security Paket, MS Office 365 Trial, several manufacturer tools, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
5.69 kg ( = 200.71 oz / 12.54 pounds), Power Supply: 2x 1280 g ( = 0.07 oz / 0 pounds)

 

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Case

The design is very similar to the 17-inch sibling GX700. Asus once again uses a combination of metal (lid) and plastic (some rubberized), which can live up to the quality of the main rival from MSI, the GT80S. Because of the bigger screen and twice the GPU performance, however, the chassis is bulkier and heavier compared to the GX700.

The GX800 tips the scale at 5.69 kilograms – almost 50% more compared to the 3.9 kg of the GX700. This means the whole system with the water cooling (4.7 kg) weighs more than 10 kg. Adding both power adapters (1280 grams each), the total weight will be 13 kilograms. The MSI GT80S with identical components, but without water cooling and just one power adapter, "only" weighs 6.3 kilograms including the PSU.

But it does not really matter if you have the GX800 or GT80S: Neither device is really suited for frequent transportation. Both notebooks are primarily designed for users that want a stationary system, but not a big desktop PC. Otherwise, the chassis leaves a very good impression. Besides the design, we also liked the sturdiness. More information about the water cooling is available in the review of the GX700. The latter still has the same strengths (cooling performance) and weaknesses (space requirements), even though there are multiple optimizations according to Asus. Besides the GPU, the CPU is now cooled as well, for instance.

Size Comparison

Connectivity

Ports

The port variety of the test model is just as comprehensive as the GX700. Among others, Asus deserves respect for the video ports. Thanks to HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.4 and Thunderbolt 3.0, you can attach all kinds of monitors and drive them at 3840x2160 pixels at 60 Hz. Three USB 3.0 ports and two USB 3.1 ports (Type-C) are also very generous. The back is reserved for the water cooling, so Asus was forced to distribute the ports across the sides. The majority of ports are now at least on the left instead of the right side, which is better for the majority of users (keyword external mouse).

Left side: Kensington lock, power, RJ45-LAN, HDMI 2.0, Mini-DisplayPort 1.4, Thunderbolt 3.0, USB 3.1 Type-C, USB 3.0, microphone, headphones
Left side: Kensington lock, power, RJ45-LAN, HDMI 2.0, Mini-DisplayPort 1.4, Thunderbolt 3.0, USB 3.1 Type-C, USB 3.0, microphone, headphones
Back: connections for the water cooling
Back: connections for the water cooling
Right side: card reader, 2x USB 3.0, Wi-Fi antenna
Right side: card reader, 2x USB 3.0, Wi-Fi antenna

Card Reader

The card reader is a very fast model. Almost 228 MB/s sequential read and 159 MB/s when we transfer 250 jpg pictures are above average and comparable to the Schenker XMG U726.

SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Asus GX700
Asus GX700 (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
170 MB/s ∼100% +7%
Schenker XMG U726
Schenker XMG U726 (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
161.1 MB/s ∼95% +1%
Asus GX800 Prototype
Asus GX800 Prototype (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
159 MB/s ∼94%
MSI GT80S 6QF
MSI GT80S 6QF (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
145 MB/s ∼85% -9%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Asus GX700
Asus GX700 (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
236 MB/s ∼100% +4%
Asus GX800 Prototype
Asus GX800 Prototype (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
228 MB/s ∼97%
Schenker XMG U726
Schenker XMG U726 (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
203.4 MB/s ∼86% -11%
MSI GT80S 6QF
MSI GT80S 6QF (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
179 MB/s ∼76% -21%

Communication

Communications are handled by a Gigabit-Ethernet controller as well as a modern wireless module. Asus promises WLAN 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2x2 antennas) and Bluetooth 4.1. Our test model was equipped with Intel's Wireless-AC 8260. There is even a Wi-Fi antenna port at the chassis.

Software

The software has a lot of potential. Not only can you adjust several system settings and monitor the components via Gaming Center, but you can also overclock the processor, graphics card and memory. While the Core i7-6820HK usually manages up to 3.6 GHz, the Turbo Gear setting "Extreme" (activated by default when you boot Windows) will increase the clock up to 4.4 GHz, which is 22% faster than default.

The GPU overclocking is not bad, either. In the case of the GTX 980, the Extreme mode will result in 1328 instead of 1190 MHz for the core (+12%) and 3700 instead of 3500 MHz for the VRAM (+6%). MSI only overclocks the CPU in the GT80S, so the GX800 can – depending on the title or benchmark, respectively – manage a significant lead. Finally, you can also overclock the DDR4-RAM (2800 instead of 2400 MHz).

The Gaming Center is rounded off by a manual fan control for the water cooling and the notebook. Our tests were performed with the setting "Auto". Turbo Gear was set to "Standard" while idling and "Extreme" for 3D loads. Similar to the GX700, the video memory will only reach the clocks of a GTX 980M (2500 MHz) without the water cooling.

Gaming Center I
Gaming Center I
Gaming Center II
Gaming Center II
Gaming Center III
Gaming Center III
Gaming Profile
Gaming Profile
MacroKey
MacroKey
Turbo Gear Standard
Turbo Gear Standard
Turbo Gear Extreme
Turbo Gear Extreme
 

Maintenance

The maintenance is unfortunately still complicated (see GX700 review). The manufacturer once again waives a maintenance hatch, so you have to remove the whole bottom panel to access the battery, the cooling system, the storage devices and the memory slots.

Discussion

Accessories

Similar to the GX700, the GX800 is supposed to be shipped with a suitcase.

Input Devices

Despite our prototype status, the input devices already leave a promising impression. Asus uses the GT80S as a role model and implements a mechanical keyboard. The keys, however, are much flatter, so the keyboard can be placed further at the top (better ergonomics) and there is room for a conventional touchpad. Other highlights are the separated directional keys, the dedicated macro area, and the stylish illumination. Inputs feel firmer and more precise (at the cost of typing noise) compared to a standard keyboard. The touchpad convinces with the smooth finish and the size.

Keyboard
Keyboard
Touchpad
Touchpad

Display

We already mentioned that the final GX800 will be equipped with a UHD-IPS panel, and Nvidia's G-Sync technology will be available as well. The latter prevents line shifts and ensures a smooth presentation. Our prototype only had an FHD display without G-Sync, so we did not perform any measurements.

Performance

The Asus GX800 is currently the fastest desktop replacement, even without the next-gen GPUs for the final product. Almost all gaming notebooks are equipped with a high-end quad-core processor, but none of the rivals can compete with the graphics performance. The memory equipment is excellent as well: 64 GB DDR4-RAM should be easily sufficient over the next couple of years. The icing on the cake is the three NVMe-SSDs in a RAID-0 configuration.

Processor

Asus uses the Core i7-6820HK from Intel's Skylake generation. This quad-core chip has a TDP of 45 Watts and is manufactured in a 14 nm process. The L3 cache is 8 MB and therefore slightly bigger compared to the popular Core i7-6700HQ (6 MB).

Single-core rendering (Turbo Gear Extreme)
Single-core rendering (Turbo Gear Extreme)
Multi-core rendering (Turbo Gear Extreme)
Multi-core rendering (Turbo Gear Extreme)
CPU & GPU load (Turbo Gear Extreme)
CPU & GPU load (Turbo Gear Extreme)
Single-core rendering (Turbo Gear Standard)
Single-core rendering (Turbo Gear Standard)
Multi-core rendering (Turbo Gear Standard)
Multi-core rendering (Turbo Gear Standard)
CPU & GPU load (Turbo Gear Standard)
CPU & GPU load (Turbo Gear Standard)

We already mentioned that the clocks depend on the Turbo Gear setting. The maximum will be 3.6 GHz without overclocking, while the chip can reach more than 4 GHz in the Extreme setting. We do not evaluate the clocks via Cinebench yet, because the water block or its contact with the CPU, respectively, is not yet finalized. The same applies for the temperatures later in this article.

Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
2.08 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
85.93 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
185 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
133.78 fps
Help
Cinebench R15 - CPU Single 64Bit
Asus GX800 Prototype
Intel Core i7-6820HK
185 Points ∼97%
MSI GT80S 6QF
Intel Core i7-6820HK
174 Points ∼92% -6%
Asus GX700
Intel Core i7-6820HK
173 Points ∼91% -6%
Schenker XMG U726
Intel Core i7-6700
171 Points ∼90% -8%
Cinebench R11.5 - CPU Single 64Bit
Asus GX800 Prototype
Intel Core i7-6820HK
2.08 Points ∼26%
MSI GT80S 6QF
Intel Core i7-6820HK
1.98 Points ∼24% -5%
Asus GX700
Intel Core i7-6820HK
1.95 Points ∼24% -6%
Schenker XMG U726
Intel Core i7-6700
1.91 Points ∼23% -8%

System Performance

There is nothing to improve in respect to the system performance. 8047 points in PCMark 7 is the highest score we ever measured (including desktop PCs). The main reason for the great result is the RAID configuration consisting of multiple M.2-SSDs.

PCMark 7 Score
8047 points
Help
PCMark 7 - Score
Asus GX800 Prototype
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK, 3x Samsung SM951 512 GB NVMe M.2 (RAID 0)
8047 Points ∼100%
Asus GX700
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL (RAID 0)
7933 Points ∼99% -1%
MSI GT80S 6QF
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL (RAID 0)
7386 Points ∼92% -8%
Schenker XMG U726
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700, Samsung SM951 MZHPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
7093 Points ∼88% -12%

Storage Devices

This brings us to the next section: the storage devices. Asus does not make any compromises in this regard and uses three NVMe-SSDs from Samsung (SM951) with a capacity of 512 GB each. Both AS SSD and CrystalDiskMark often see the GX800 at the top of the charts. Almost 3000 MB/s sequential read and 2400-2600 MB/s sequential write are outstanding results. Small files are quickly handled by the Solid State Drive as well, so Windows is really responsive (boot, loading times, etc.).

3x Samsung SM951 512 GB NVMe M.2 (RAID 0)
Sequential Read: 3041 MB/s
Sequential Write: 2646 MB/s
512K Read: 1803 MB/s
512K Write: 2438 MB/s
4K Read: 50.81 MB/s
4K Write: 142.2 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 878.7 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 760.5 MB/s
Asus GX800 Prototype
3x Samsung SM951 512 GB NVMe M.2 (RAID 0)
MSI GT80S 6QF
2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL (RAID 0)
Asus GX700
2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL (RAID 0)
Schenker XMG U726
Samsung SM951 MZHPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
AS SSD
-9%
-4%
-32%
Score Total
4312
3336
-23%
3655
-15%
1930
-55%
4K Write
127.14
109.9
-14%
119.63
-6%
103.57
-19%
4K Read
47.23
44.96
-5%
46.43
-2%
40.45
-14%
Seq Write
2370.8
2408.14
2%
2524.75
6%
1500.24
-37%
Seq Read
2996.71
2891.62
-4%
2963.6
-1%
1943.45
-35%

GPU Performance

Even though it does not really make a lot of sense to test the graphics cards, which will not be available in the final product, we ran many benchmarks with the GTX 980 SLI. One reason was to add missing titles to our gaming list. The second reason is to have more results for comparisons of the efficiency and performance after the launch of the Pascal architecture.

But back to our prototype: The GeForce GTX 980 is – SLI or not – the most powerful notebook GPU at the time of writing. The top model from Nvidia is based on the already slightly aged Maxwell architecture, which is still manufactured in a 28 instead of 16 nm process. It has 2048 CUDA cores and therefore much more than the less expensive siblings GTX 980M (1536) and GTX 970M (1280), which has a big effect on the performance. There is also no criticism for the video memory (8 GB GDDR5) or memory interface (256-bit).

3DMark 11 Performance
22627 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
197819 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
35100 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
19513 points
Help

Great: The GTX 980 can utilize its full potential in the Extreme mode. Our benchmarks show that the 18-inch device heavily benefits from overclocking. 3DMark 13 and 3DMark 11 determine scores for the GX800 that are between 10 and 20% faster than the MSI GT80S. If Asus keeps the Turbo Gear system, the difference should also apply for the Pascal versions of the two laptops (except MSI also decides to overclock the graphics card of the GT80 successor).

A couple more words about SLI: Dual-GPU notebooks offer more performance than single-chip solutions, but there are some drawbacks. This starts with the power consumption and continues with the cooling requirements all the way up to the driver dependency. To make sure you are not slowed down by modern games, you should update the driver regularly (we replaced the preloaded ForceWare 362.34 with the brand-new version 368.39 for our gaming tests). Micro-stutters are usually no problem for the desktop replacement, because the frame rate – even at maximum details in 4K – rarely drops below 50 fps.

3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Asus GX800 Prototype
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop)
27555 Points ∼70%
MSI GT80S 6QF
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop)
23351 Points ∼60% -15%
Asus GX700
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop)
13382 Points ∼34% -51%
Schenker XMG U726
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop)
13047 Points ∼33% -53%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Score
Asus GX800 Prototype
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop)
19513 Points ∼83%
MSI GT80S 6QF
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop)
17165 Points ∼73% -12%
Asus GX700
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop)
11440 Points ∼49% -41%
Schenker XMG U726
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop)
11096 Points ∼47% -43%
3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance GPU
Asus GX800 Prototype
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop)
36293 Points ∼71%
MSI GT80S 6QF
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop)
30045 Points ∼59% -17%
Asus GX700
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop)
17864 Points ∼35% -51%
Schenker XMG U726
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop)
17474 Points ∼34% -52%
1280x720 Performance
Asus GX800 Prototype
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop)
22627 Points ∼89%
MSI GT80S 6QF
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop)
20055 Points ∼79% -11%
Asus GX700
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop)
15462 Points ∼61% -32%
Schenker XMG U726
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop)
14925 Points ∼59% -34%
Unigine Heaven 4.0 - Extreme Preset DX11
Asus GX800 Prototype
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop)
149.5 fps ∼83%
MSI GT80S 6QF
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop)
129.5 fps ∼72% -13%
Schenker XMG U726
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop)
78.7 fps ∼44% -47%
Asus GX700
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop)
78.3 fps ∼43% -48%

Gaming Performance

Except for the weaker settings, where the GX800 is sometimes limited by the CPU, the SLI system results in significant performance gains. If you take all the results from the FHD and 4K benchmarks (graphics settings Ultra or High, respectively), the dual-GPU system is 60% faster than a single GTX 980, and even Nvidia's high-end desktop chip GTX 1080 is beaten by 10%. It will be interesting to see how the final product with Pascal will perform. The 18-inch device is at least one of the few devices we would call "4K-ready". Except for XCOM 2, all titles ran smoothly with 3840x2160 pixels and high details.

Mirror's Edge Catalyst
3840x2160 High Preset AF:16x
Asus GX800 Prototype
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
48.3 fps ∼100%
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition
GeForce GTX 1080 (Desktop), 4790K
47 (min: 44) fps ∼97% -3%
Asus GX800 Prototype
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK
31 fps ∼64% -36%
1920x1080 Ultra Preset AF:16x
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition
GeForce GTX 1080 (Desktop), 4790K
121 (min: 108) fps ∼100% +1%
Asus GX800 Prototype
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
119.3 fps ∼99%
Asus GX800 Prototype
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK
81.9 fps ∼68% -31%
Overwatch
3840x2160 High (Render Scale 100 %) AA:SM AF:4x
Asus GX800 Prototype
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
143 fps ∼100%
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition
GeForce GTX 1080 (Desktop), 4790K
104 (min: 88) fps ∼73% -27%
Asus GX800 Prototype
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK
69.4 fps ∼49% -51%
1920x1080 Epic (Render Scale 100 %) AA:SM AF:16x
Asus GX800 Prototype
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
297.4 fps ∼100%
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition
GeForce GTX 1080 (Desktop), 4790K
196 (min: 164) fps ∼66% -34%
Asus GX800 Prototype
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK
125.9 fps ∼42% -58%
Doom
3840x2160 High Preset AA:FX
Asus GX800 Prototype
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
70.3 fps ∼100%
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition
GeForce GTX 1080 (Desktop), 4790K (72)
56.5 fps ∼80% -20%
Asus GX800 Prototype
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK
41.4 fps ∼59% -41%
1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:SM
Asus GX800 Prototype
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
160.3 fps ∼100%
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition
GeForce GTX 1080 (Desktop), 4790K
137 (min: 112) fps ∼85% -15%
Asus GX800 Prototype
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK
116 fps ∼72% -28%
Need for Speed 2016
3840x2160 High / On AA:FX
Asus GX800 Prototype
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
75.1 fps ∼100%
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition
GeForce GTX 1080 (Desktop), 4790K
61 (min: 47) fps ∼81% -19%
Asus GX800 Prototype
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK
40.5 fps ∼54% -46%
1920x1080 Ultra / On AA:T
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition
GeForce GTX 1080 (Desktop), 4790K
104 (min: 64) fps ∼100% +12%
Asus GX800 Prototype
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
93.1 fps ∼90%
Asus GX800 Prototype
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK
77.3 fps ∼74% -17%
Hitman 2016
3840x2160 High / On AA:FX AF:8x
Asus GX800 Prototype
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
54.6 fps ∼100%
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition
GeForce GTX 1080 (Desktop), 4790K (DX11)
42 (min: 34) fps ∼77% -23%
Asus GX800 Prototype
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK
28.8 fps ∼53% -47%
1920x1080 Ultra / On AA:SM AF:16x
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition
GeForce GTX 1080 (Desktop), 4790K
78 (min: 61) fps ∼100% +10%
Asus GX800 Prototype
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
70.6 fps ∼91%
Asus GX800 Prototype
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK
61.3 fps ∼79% -13%
The Division
3840x2160 High Preset AF:8x
Asus GX800 Prototype
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
55.1 fps ∼100%
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition
GeForce GTX 1080 (Desktop), 4790K
48.5 (min: 19) fps ∼88% -12%
Asus GX800 Prototype
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK
33.3 fps ∼60% -40%
1920x1080 Ultra Preset AF:16x
Asus GX800 Prototype
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
100.6 fps ∼100%
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition
GeForce GTX 1080 (Desktop), 4790K
95 (min: 55) fps ∼94% -6%
Asus GX800 Prototype
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK
64.6 fps ∼64% -36%
Far Cry Primal
3840x2160 High Preset AA:SM
Asus GX800 Prototype
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
56 fps ∼100%
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition
GeForce GTX 1080 (Desktop), 4790K
49 (min: 46) fps ∼88% -12%
Asus GX800 Prototype
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK
32 fps ∼57% -43%
1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:SM
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition
GeForce GTX 1080 (Desktop), 4790K
106 (min: 80) fps ∼100% +25%
Asus GX800 Prototype
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
85 fps ∼80%
Asus GX800 Prototype
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK
68 fps ∼64% -20%
XCOM 2
3840x2160 High Preset AA:FX AF:8x
Asus GX800 Prototype
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
39 fps ∼100%
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition
GeForce GTX 1080 (Desktop), 4790K
30.4 (min: 27) fps ∼78% -22%
Asus GX800 Prototype
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK
20.1 fps ∼52% -48%
1920x1080 Maximum Preset (8xMSAA instead of FXAA) AA:8xMS AF:16x
Asus GX800 Prototype
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
59.9 fps ∼100%
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition
GeForce GTX 1080 (Desktop), 4790K
48 (min: 43) fps ∼80% -20%
Asus GX800 Prototype
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK
33.4 fps ∼56% -44%
Rise of the Tomb Raider
3840x2160 High Preset AA:FX AF:4x
Asus GX800 Prototype
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
60.9 fps ∼100%
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition
GeForce GTX 1080 (Desktop), 4790K (DX11)
50 fps ∼82% -18%
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition
GeForce GTX 1080 (Desktop), 4790K (DX12)
47.8 (min: 43) fps ∼78% -22%
Asus GX800 Prototype
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK
33.7 fps ∼55% -45%
1920x1080 Very High Preset AA:FX AF:16x
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition
GeForce GTX 1080 (Desktop), 4790K (DX12)
112 (min: 105) fps ∼100% +19%
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition
GeForce GTX 1080 (Desktop), 4790K (DX11)
112 (min: 105) fps ∼100% +19%
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition
GeForce GTX 1080 (Desktop), 4790K (DX11)
112 fps ∼100% +19%
Asus GX800 Prototype
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
94.4 fps ∼84%
Asus GX800 Prototype
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK
77.1 fps ∼69% -18%
low med. high ultra4K
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 107.39594.794.460.9fps
XCOM 2 (2016) 129.6109.510859.939fps
Far Cry Primal (2016) 9897868556fps
The Division (2016) 226189.9126.5100.655.1fps
Hitman 2016 (2016) 84.879.77270.654.6fps
Need for Speed 2016 (2016) 133.4122.4121.493.175.1fps
Doom (2016) 192.7189.8168.7160.370.3fps
Overwatch (2016) 299.9299.8299.8297.4143fps
Mirror's Edge Catalyst (2016) 197.4145.4124.4119.348.3fps

Emissions

System Noise

It does not make much sense to check the noise development of the GX800 due to the unfinished fan control. Subjectively, the 18-inch notebook is as loud as the MSI GT80S. The final product is – depending on the load – supposed to be much quieter than the prototype.

Temperature

Asus asked that we did not have a detailed look at the temperature development, since both the keyboard and the palm rest will be equipped with a special mat that shields the heat from the inside. The results of the test model remind us of the GX700.

Speakers

We do not evaluate the sound quality, either. Asus wants to equip the GX800 with two 34 mm speakers rated at 2 Watts and two 28 mm speakers rated at 3 Watts.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

Asus ships the GX800 with two 330-Watt power adaptors (1x for the notebook and 1x for the water cooling) to cover the enormous power consumption. That 660 Watts are not overkill is confirmed by our measurements. Up to 590 Watts under maximum load and almost 200 Watts in the first scene of 3DMark06 remind us of a desktop PC.

Another comparison with the GT80S, where the GPUs are not overclocked: The rival from MSI is much more frugal with 411 and 163 Watts, respectively. The GX800 pulls between 58 and 74 Watts from the socket while idling – again more than the GT80S (44-62 Watts). Our table shows how notebooks with a single-GPU perform.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 2.8 / 5.2 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 58 / 68 / 74 Watt
Load midlight 200 / 590 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Asus GX800 Prototype
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
MSI GT80S 6QF
GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop), 6820HK
Asus GX700
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK
Schenker XMG U726
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
Power Consumption
22%
34%
36%
Idle Minimum *
58
44
24%
40
31%
36
38%
Idle Average *
68
53
22%
45
34%
45
34%
Idle Maximum *
74
62
16%
51
31%
53
28%
Load Average *
200
163
18%
149
25%
139
30%
Load Maximum *
590
411
30%
313
47%
306
48%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Runtime

We wait for the final product for our runtime tests. The 8-cell battery is supposed to have a capacity of 76 Wh (93 Wh @GX700).

Pro

+ mechanical keyboard with comprehensive illumination
+ additional overclocking of processor and graphics card
+ final product with 4K display and G-Sync
+ many ports (like Thunderbolt)
+ 3 NVMe-SSDs in RAID 0
+ excellent performance
+ comfortable touchpad
+ 64 GB DDR4-RAM
+ bold concept
+ nice design
+ powerful tools

Cons

- typical dual-GPU problems (driver dependency, micro stutters, ...)
- two PSUs required for operation with water cooling
- high power consumption
- awkward maintenance
- heavy chassis
- limited mobility

Verdict

Asus GX800. Prototype courtesy of Asus Taiwan.
Asus GX800. Prototype courtesy of Asus Taiwan.

Thanks to the external water cooling, the notebook from Asus is probably one of the most interesting concepts from the last couple of years. The GX700 was already a unique product, which gets a worthy successor with the GX800.

The main focus is the performance and the features. Not only the number or capacity of Solid State Drives was increased but also the number of GPUs. Following the concept "two are better than one", the notebook is now equipped with two high-end GPUs from Nvidia. Thanks to overclocking, they manage frame rates that were not possible so far and make the user ready for 4K.

The SLI system does, however, affect the weight and the power consumption, which are pretty high. The UHD panel with G-Sync support and the generous port variety (USB 3.1 Type-C, Thunderbolt 3, HDMI 2.0, etc.) are another big advantage.

The GX800 is neck and neck with the dual-GPU rival MSI GT80S (or more precisely its successor), which has its own set of advantages and drawbacks but uses a classic concept without water cooling.

There will obviously be a "real" review as soon as we get our hands on the final product.

Link: Notebookcheck Review of the Asus ROG GX800VH with Nvidia Geforce GTX 1080 SLI 

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Asus ROG GX800 Notebook Preview
Florian Glaser, 2016-07-15 (Update: 2016-08-22)