One of the most shocking things on show at Computex 2011, was the a complete ASUS ROG (Republic of Gamers) desktop system. While no one in the local channel much minds if Asus produces EeePCs, tablets or regular laptops – the idea of a $12Bn giant starting to make gaming rigs is a little scary. KitGuru engages stealth mode to discover the truth.
For a number of reasons, it’s very difficult for local system builders to compete with netbook, notebook and tablet designs.
Creating the case requires a huge design effort and, if you don’t do that kind of thing a lot, it’s a costly exercise. Then, to get back the cost of the design, you need to produce a lot of systems. Those laptops are built using components which cannot easily be upgraded after the system in made – so there is tremendous time pressure on you to sell through everything.
Essentially, it can’t be done.
The desktop market, until now, has been different.
With the major players like Dell, HP and Acer all looking to be ultra-price-competitive, there is a decent space in the market for talented local companies to create interesting specifications for gaming and professional applications.
Looking at the Asus stand at Computex 2011, there was one system which made every local system builder a little nervous. It was the Republic of Gamers CG-8565, standing silently next to a hands-on demonstration area. It’s exterior has been shamelessly inspired by the Stealth fighter series and the specification is not bad either.
Initial inspection shows an overclocked Intel Core i7 2600k with an nVidia GTX590, 80GB boot drive and 16GB of memory.
However, it was at this stage that everyone relaxed.
An Asus insider revealed that the new ROG gaming rigs will only be available in selected geographies (possibly the Middle East) and they are unlikely to be sold into markets like the UK where Asus does such strong business with its components business.
Also worth noting is that it is not likely to be released until the end of 2011 – but which time the 2011 chips will have launched on X79 and the new Ivy Bridge processors will be around the corner – so UK/US enthusiasts are not likely to buy year-old, high-end CPU technology.
KitGuru says: The 80GB boot drive is a little small, choosing 1333MHz memory is a little slow and 16GB is hard to justify right now. That said, it is a well-put-together unit and the chassis looks great. So, what does KitGuru think? Asus needs to be very careful with this product range. The last thing you want to do is alienate local system builders – the people who are most likely to buy high end graphics and motherboards in bulk. Great showcase, but a little worrying for the channel. Should do well in Dubai.
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