Computers

ASUS ROG Huracan (G21) makes other gaming desktops look bad

Flippin’ good gaming

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While building your own desktop PC is both easy and cost-saving, going for a pre-built machine can provide you with some premium additions.

That’s the case with the ROG Huracan (G21), which is a standard gaming rig on the inside, but with one of the most unique and functional enclosures we’ve seen in a while.

I’m already familiar with ASUS’ slim gaming desktops — having played around with the ROG GR8 in the past — but this one takes the form factor to another level.

It may look like an unassuming gaming PC at first…

… but raise the flap on the side…

… and it activates Turbo Gear!

Yes, that means better cooling and faster performance

If that’s not enough, you may easily swap components for better ones

Add more RAM

Replace the HDD

Boost the SSD storage

Install a newer graphics card

Update to a more modern CPU and cooler if you’re brave enough

Its port selection is complete, too

USB-C, USB-A, and audio ports in front

Ethernet, S/PDIF, and loads more USB-A ports at the back

DVI, DisplayPort, and HDMI through the GTX 1080 graphics card

And even an optical disk drive!

But is it all just for show?

It’s easy to dismiss the ROG Huracan as an overpriced, extravagant piece of gaming machinery, but there are some legit components inside that justify the high price tag.

For one, it has Intel’s eighth-generation Core i7-8700 processor which provides six cores with a total of 12 threads; that’s more than enough to handle the latest AAA games, plus it’s one of the best mainstream chips you can get for video editing and other heavy tasks.

Coming along for the ride are 16GB of memory, a 1TB HDD, and 512GB SSD, all of which can easily be replaced or expanded as mentioned earlier. Even the graphics card it comes with — a more than capable NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 — may be swapped for one of those yummy RTX cards launched recently.

It’s also important to mention that the ROG Huracan is equipped with 802.11ac 2×2 Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0, so bringing this machine from one spot to another won’t mean dealing with cumbersome cables during each setup.

In addition, you can add a 2.5-inch SATA SSD from the top (without the need to open up the entire side panel) if the built-in storage isn’t enough for you. Considering how resource-hungry the newest games have been getting, this is certainly a welcome sight.

Do the numbers speak for themselves?

This wouldn’t be a proper review without benchmark scores to show off. Since Turbo Gear is a thing on the ROG Huracan, it’s vital to include numbers with and without the flap on.

In ASUS’ own words, opening the magnetic side cover improves airflow and, in effect, enables a boost in both CPU and GPU performance. The whole process is pretty much a fancy way to overclock the gaming rig, and it shows whenever the RGB lighting begins dancing once the flap is raised.

While that seems like a straightforward way to kick things into overdrive, the output was quite mixed depending on where it’s applied. See the data for yourself:


Unigine Superposition

Turbo Gear on, 1080p Extreme, DirectX: 4002, 29.93fps

Turbo Gear off, 1080p Extreme, DirectX: 3961, 29.63fps

Cinebench R15

Turbo Gear on: 1391 (CPU), 128.33fps (OpenGL)

Turbo Gear off: 1374 (CPU), 131.76fps (OpenGL)

Final Fantasy XV benchmark

Turbo Gear on, High Quality, 1080p: 8011

Turbo Gear off, High Quality, 1080p: 7628

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided benchmark

Turbo Gear on, Ultra settings, 1080p: 66.4fps

Turbo Gear off, Ultra settings, 1080p: 66fps

GPU temperature under full load

Turbo Gear on: 73 degrees Celsius

Turbo Gear off: 83 degrees Celsius


For pure benchmarking apps, the difference in scores are either so minuscule or backwards that we can’t give a proper analysis. The boost in actual gaming performance is equally minor, though more significant in comparison.

Where the Huracan’s Turbo Gear feature does excel at is in keeping the system cool. By allowing more air to enter the side, you get a dip in temperature by as much as 10 degrees Celsius for the GPU. That’s seriously good for something that feels like a gimmick at first.

In short, it’s safe to say that leaving the side flap open at all times would theoretically lengthen the PC’s lifespan, at the expense of letting lots more dust come in. The performance boost isn’t anything to write home about, so it’s up to you if you prefer a cool system or a clean one.

Any drawbacks?

Of course, grand performance comes at a grand cost. Not only do you have to spend a pretty penny to own one, but you also have to plug in two power adapters — one 180W and one 230W — to give this beast its juice. That means your electric bill will experience its own shock every month.

On top of that, taking the slim rig around isn’t as seamless as it may seem at first. Carrying the 8.3kg system is already a challenge; bringing two heavy power bricks along only adds to the overall weight. I haven’t even mentioned the monitor, keyboard, and mouse, which aren’t integrated like what a gaming laptop offers.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

For the price, it’s tempting to simply go for a high-powered gaming notebook that can do as much with less effort to carry around. ASUS has a fine line of Zephyrus laptops that can match the performance of the ROG Huracan — pricier, yes, but then you wouldn’t have to spend for a monitor anymore.

The value of the ROG Huracan depends solely on how long its novelty would last. How badly do you want to go into overdrive with the flip of a magnetic flap and lots of RGB lighting? Truth be told, any other gaming PC can do the same, if not better, with a few clicks of the mouse through software.

Don’t get me wrong; it’s certainly a cool-looking desktop and is built to be future-proof. This is the gaming rig you want if design, upgradeability, and raw starting power matter to you. Yes, building a custom PC would be far cheaper, but it likely wouldn’t look as sharp as this.

The ROG Huracan retails for at least US$ 2,000, depending on which configuration you choose. For the same price, you could afford a high-end gaming laptop like the aforementioned Zephyrus line. Which style you prefer ultimately hinges on how mobile you are as a hardcore gamer — and how deep your pockets go for added accessories.

Computers

Lenovo Legion 5, Legion Tower 5i coming to Philippines

IdeaPad Gaming 5i is coming too

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Last April, Lenovo revealed its latest additions to the Legion lineup. The Legion 5 is a gaming laptop featuring the latest Intel and AMD processor. Meanwhile, the Legion 5i is a desktop that aims to provide the best performance for gamers. All these are coming to the Philippines, along with the budget contender IdeaPad Gaming 5i.

To celebrate the arrival of new Legion computers, Lenovo is offering a promo this July. Customers pre-order any of the three new PCs from June 26 to July 11 will receive Legion accessories worth up to PhP 10,000. These new PCs are also entitled to an extended three-year warranty and support from Lenovo.

Legion 5

Legion 5 is Lenovo’s latest Legion line-up for the budget-conscious gamers. Despite its budget proposition, it didn’t skip on features. The base model has an AMD Ryzen 4800H processor coupled with 8GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD storage. It packs some serious graphics capabilities with its NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060. The 15.6 FHD display features a 120Hz refresh rate and 1ms response times for buttery-smooth gameplay.

Every pre-orders for the PC comes with a free Recon gaming backpack (worth PhP 2,995), M300 gaming mouse (worth PhP 1,495), K300 gaming keyboard (worth PHP 2,495), and H300 gaming headset (worth PHP 2,995). Legion 5i starts at PhP 52,995.

Legion Tower 5i

Gamers looking for their first gaming rig should look no further than Legion Tower 5i. This gaming desktop is built to satisfy the needs and demands of the most demanding gamers. Lenovo packed the latest 10th-gen Intel Core processors on this rig and configured it for up to 64Gb of memory and 2TB of SSD storage. Powering this PC is an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER graphics card built to handle the most graphically intensive games and apps.

It also features a sleek and minimalist chassis with a Legion LED logo on the front. Gamers don’t have to complain about ports since it has USB-C, USB-A, audio combo jack, and even an Ethernet port.

Lenovo is bundling the K500 gaming keyboard (worth PhP 3,995) and the M500 gaming mouse (worth PhP 2,995) on every pre-orders. The Legion Tower 5i exclusively available on Legion concept store at SM North EDSA and all VillMan and Complink stores nationwide. The baseline model will retail for PhP 72,995.

IdeaPad Gaming 5i

Meanwhile, those looking to dabble into PC gaming can get their hands-on on the IdeaPad Gaming 5i. Every pre-orders of the PC comes with an IdeaPad gaming backpack (worth PhP 1,995), IdeaPad Gaming M100 mouse (worth PhP 1,295), and K300 gaming keyboard (worth PhP 2,495). The best part about the PC is its low price: it starts at PhP 46,995.

What do you get for the price? Lenovo packed competitive specs for the IdeaPad Gaming 5i.  There’s an Intel Core i7-10750H processor inside, along with 8GB of memory and 1TB HDD or 512GB SSD. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 or 1650Ti provides decent graphical performance for the PC. Dolby Audio and 120Hz refresh rate deliver enjoyable gameplay on the 15.6 FHD laptop.

You can now pre-order these PCs and learn more about the bundled Legion accessories at this website. You can also follow Lenovo Legion on their Facebook account and website.

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Computers

Acer announces new & improved Predator desktops and displays

Expanding the entire portfolio by adding a complete setup to build around

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Apart from the improved gaming laptops, Acer also unveiled exciting Predator desktops and peripherals. These desktops and peripherals are both a mix of new and improved models dedicated to bringing the best gaming experience. They’ve even dedicated this lineup to any and all types of gamers and content creators alike.

The powerful desktop builds

One of the new builds Acer introduced is the Acer Nitro 50, which combines practicality and performance. It comes with up to the latest Intel Core i7 processor and NVIDIA RTX 2060 SUPER GPU, providing much needed gaming power.

It also comes with up to 64GB of DDR4 RAM for more optimal performance across the board. It even comes with a whopping 7TB of storage, split across a 1TB SSD and two 3TB HDDs. All that storage fit for all kinds of games!

From L to R: Acer Predator Orion 9000, Acer Predator Orion 3000

Along with the new Nitro 50, Acer released refreshed versions of their Acer Predator Orion 9000 and Acer Predator Orion 3000.

In the Predator Orion 9000’s case, it now comes with the latest Intel Core i9 Extreme Edition and dual NVIDIA RTX 2080 Ti SLI GPUs inside. This alone already promises stellar gaming performance across the board. Meanwhile, the Predator Orion 3000 comes with up to the latest Intel Core i7 processors and an NVIDIA RTX 2070 SUPER inside.

Sleek and fast gaming monitors

No desktop is complete without the proper display for the best gaming experience. Acer unveils two new monitors that will surely provide the details you need to remain in the game. There’s the Acer Predator X25, a 24.5-inch FHD display with a whopping 360Hz refresh rate.

This display supports NVIDIA’s G-Sync technology, allowing you to play seamlessly without any experience of image tearing. It also comes with technologies that will adjust the brightness and color temperature depending on your environment.

From L to R: Acer Predator X25, Acer Predator XB3

Your other option is the Acer Predator XB3, which actually comes in four different sizes. Even in different sizes, the Acer Predator XB3 monitors all come with a 240Hz refresh rate and a resolution up to 4K UHD.

These displays also come with a wide 178-degree viewing angles, while maintaining crisp and bright images during gameplay. It also includes light sensors with various technologies that adjust to the gamer’s needs and wants in terms of design.

Most of these will come out during Q3 2020 to early Q4 2020. As of writing, pricing and availability for the Acer Predator X25 have yet to be announced. For the rest, pricing is as follows:

  • Acer Predator XB3 Series:  starts at US$ 429.99
  • The Acer Predator Orion 3000: starts at US$ 999.99
  • The Acer Predator Orion 9000: starts at roughly US$ 3,154.53 (EUR 2,799)
  • Acer Nitro 50 Desktop: starts at US$ 799.99

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Apps

WWDC 2020 Highlights

iPhone widgets, macOS Big Sur redesign, Apple Silicon, and more

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A lot of things happened during Apple’s WWDC 2020. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Apple made this an online-only event.

There are a lot of announcements including the new iOS and iPadOS home screen widgets, macOS redesign, new watchOS features, and more. If you missed the chance to watch the whole 3-hour keynote, we made it shorter for you.

Watch our highlights video here.

 

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