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
Its port selection is complete, too
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:
Turbo Gear on, 1080p Extreme, DirectX: 4002, 29.93fps
Turbo Gear off, 1080p Extreme, DirectX: 3961, 29.63fps
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.
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.
Qualcomm is working on a 12-core ARM PC chip
Coming in 2024
Though the company still stands at the forefront of smartphone processors, Qualcomm has some ways to go before making a significant impact on desktop processors. Of course, the company has already started making PC chips for a while now. However, other giants, like Intel and AMD, continue to dominate. According to a new report, Qualcomm is taking another crack at the market with an upcoming 12-core chipset.
Codenamed Hamoa, the upcoming chipset will reportedly feature eight performance cores and four efficiency cores. Additionally, it will support discrete GPUs.
In other news: Qualcomm's working on a 2024 desktop chip codename "Hamoa" with up to 12 (8P+4E) in-house cores (based on the Nuvia Phoenix design), similar mem/cache config as M1, explicit support for dGPUs and performance that is "extremely promising", according to my sources.
— Kuba Wojciechowski⚡ (@Za_Raczke) November 6, 2022
In terms of architecture, the Hamoa will have a similar memory and cache configuration as Apple’s M1 chipset. That’s no coincidence, though. According to the report from developer Kuba Wojciechowski, the chip will be based on Nuvia’s Phoenix design. Nuvia is made up of Apple’s former engineers who worked on the existing lineup of ARM-based chips.
With a big name behind it, the Hamoa has the potential to make a big splash on the scene once it launches. While the PC market has its fair share of big names, Apple has similarly wowed users with the M1 and the M2 chipsets. Naturally, it’s a point of jealousy since Apple chipsets only work with Apple. With the Hamoa chip, Qualcomm could infuse the market with a similar chipset.
Wojciechowski expects the processor to launch in 2024.
macOS Ventura now available
More efficiency, security
The latest software update for Macs — macOS Ventura — is now available for free, bringing groundbreaking new capabilities to Apple’s computers.
The Continuity Camera will give users an entirely new webcam experience. When an iPhone is nearby, Mac can automatically recognize and use the camera on the iPhone. This gives users the option to work wirelessly easily.
Desk View, meanwhile, taps into the Ultra-Wide camera on iPhone to show the user’s face and a good view of what’s happening around, which will come in handy for presentations, instructional videos, and more.
Handoff also comes to FaceTime, which will enable users to transfer a call from one Apple device to another nearby seamlessly.
Also available in the latest iPadOS update, the Stage Manager is more than just a tool for easy switching in between tasks or apps.
It actually automatically organizes apps and windows together. So, users can focus on what they need to, while still seeing everything in one glance.
Enabling Stage manager from Control Center also leads to the current window being displayed in the center with others appearing on the left.
Safari: Passkeys, collab features
When it comes to Safari, safe browsing is taken to a whole new level with the introduction of passkeys.
This sign-in method is easy to use, and generally more secure, replacing passwords. A unique digital key is created when a user creates a passkey, and it stays on the device.
Users may be able to sign using Touch ID or Face ID for verification. Passkeys are also synced with end-to-end encryption using iCloud Keychain to be available across other Apple devices.
Meanwhile, Shared Tab Groups allow friends, family, and colleagues to collaborate and share websites with others live.
Speaking of viewing things in real-time, the iCloud Shared Photo Library lets up to six individuals collaborate on a photo library where they can add, delete, edit, or favorite shared photos.
More efficiency for Mail, Messages
Similar to the iPadOS update, users will now be able to schedule messages. It can also cancel the delivery of a message before it reaches the inbox, and add links for better content previews.
Mail can also detect if items are missing so users can be reminded – especially when attaching files.
As for Messages, users will be able to edit or undo a recently sent message, recover accidentally deleted messages, or even mark a message as unread.
Gaming on Mac
Thanks to Apple silicon, every new Mac is also capable of running AAA games with ease. The new macOS Ventura brings technologies like Metal 3 that take full advantage of the incredible hardware in Mac. This results in more responsive gameplay, high frame rates, and beautiful visuals.
New AAA game titles are coming to Mac later this year, including Capcom’s Resident Evil Village, which will launch on the Mac App Store on October 28, and will take full advantage of the power and performance of Apple silicon.
Razer Basilisk v3 Pro review: HyperSpeed, hyper responsive
Another great piece of colorful hardware
When it comes to high quality gaming peripherals, Razer is surely one of the brands a lot of people have on their minds — and rightfully so. Specifically, the black and green brand’s lineup of gaming mice continuously brings that same level of quality and responsiveness across their newer iterations.
One such newer iteration is the Razer Basilisk v3 Pro, the wireless version of their latest Basilisk line of gaming mice. It’s part of their midweight gaming mice lineup. The Basilisk v3 Pro comes with the level of ergonomic comfort and customization suited for any gamer’s preference. All while this mouse provides the highest quality in performance and experience, ideally.
The question is: does the Razer Basilisk v3 Pro stand out as a gaming mouse for every type of gamer?
A bit on the hefty side yet easy to handle
The Razer Basilisk v3 Pro clocks in at around 112g, which feels a bit heavy initially. It’s something you will notice if you’ve been using lighter mice on your day-to-day gaming/work grind. Also, visually, it looks just a bit wider and longer than most of Razer’s gaming mice out there.
Even with some heft, this mouse still feels quite fluid to move on most surfaces. From most table tops to smooth mouse pads, the Basilisk v3 Pro’s surface tracking is pretty great. Although, there were times that the mouse was a bit too slippery on some surfaces, or the cursor wouldn’t move even while swinging the mouse.
Quite responsive, and makes your cursor go zoom
While on the topic of responsiveness, on all other aspects, the Basilisk v3 Pro is quite responsive. First up are the Razer Optical Mouse Switches attached to the left and right-click modules. Overall, the mouse picked up on almost all the clicks. And the Optical Mouse Switches feel sturdy to handle a ton of them.
Also, this mouse comes with a polling rate of up to 8,000Hz, set to 1,000Hz as the default upon set-up. Higher polling rates allow the mouse to be as responsive as possible, which is quite crucial when playing competitive titles. To match the polling rate, you can also scale this mouse to up to 30,000 DPI — which is complete overkill to your system if you set it that high.
Finally, there’s the Razer HyperScroll Tilt Wheel which you can configure to be in Tactical or Free Spin mode. Depending on your usage for it, this is pretty standard across all their gaming mice, with just a slight adjustment to how fast you can scroll. When in Free Spin Mode, it literally feels like you’re zooming past walls of texts or rows of tweets with one motion. Do note that for all of these features, it’s better to download Razer Synapse to properly set up the Basilisk v3 Pro for optimal use.
Setting it up took some time
Speaking of setting things up, the set-up process for the Razer Basilisk v3 Pro took a while for a couple of reasons. See, the Basilisk v3 Pro comes with a HyperSpeed USB Dongle. It typically works the moment it’s plugged into any PC. However, we did experience slight hiccups trying to get this to work at the start.
Normally, when plugging the dongle in, the mouse would start working. It is recommended to download Razer Synapse after plugging it in. No matter what we did, after installing Razer Synapse, the PC didn’t pick up the mouse. We even tried connecting it via Bluetooth, which got the mouse working but it wasn’t picked up by Synapse.
The only other way we had was just to do a wired connection with the USB-C to USB-A braided cord that came with the mouse. Normally, you would use this when you need to charge the mouse back to full capacity. Of course, the other added benefit to this was that it allows you to access the 8,000Hz polling rate, but you will be dealing with a pesky wire during gameplay.
Best paired with something wireless
Although, there was another piece of hardware Razer has that also solves this little set-up hiccup: the Razer Mouse Dock Pro. In essence, the Mouse Dock Pro is an additional accessory that wirelessly connects to compatible Razer mice. Like the Basilisk v3 Pro, this is also compatible with Razer Synapse for optimal performance.
The Razer Mouse Dock Pro also comes with a Wireless Charging Puck, which magnetically connects compatible mice to the dock with ease. Not only that, as the name suggests, you can wirelessly charge your mice with this installed. If you’re not a total fan of wired charging, this is a must-have.
Also, both the Basilisk v3 Pro and Mouse Dock Pro come with Razer Chroma support. So, you can easily sync the lighting effects. Some of the lighting effects even give you an indication of the battery percentage of your mice while charging. It even comes in a form factor with an anti-slip base, so it doesn’t easily get knocked over when you decide to rage at it.
Is this your GadgetMatch?
At PhP 8,995, the Razer Basilisk v3 Pro is a solid gaming mouse fit for the competitive and casual gamer alike. It’s responsive and customizable enough to bring you the best experience possible when playing some of your favorite titles. Plus, it comes with all sets of hardware that make productive work feel like a breeze, literally.
Even with the initial set-up hiccups, this mouse still delivers as advertised. It is a bit on the heavy side of things. But you might not even feel it when you’re too engrossed in the game. Of course, for PhP 3,995, you can also get the Razer Mouse Dock Pro and truly have a full wireless experience with it.
Overall, the Razer Basilisk v3 Pro is one wireless mouse that meets the standard of intuitive and responsive gaming. Whether it’s for working hard or playing harder, it’s a great option to consider. That rings true if you’re looking for an upgrade or just a new gaming mouse to use.
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