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

Intel 9th-Gen Core processors feature ‘world’s best gaming processor’

Headlined by the Core i9-9900K

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Intel’s latest lineup of desktop processors, dubbed the 9th generation, were unveiled earlier today in an event in New York. They’re headlined by the Core i9-9900K, which Intel calls the “world’s best gaming processor.”

It’s definitely a powerful chip, owning eight cores and 16 threads with a single-core turbo frequency of 5GHz and base speed of 3.6GHz. It offers all sorts of speed boosts compared to the previous generation, but you’ll need a Z390-based motherboard to reach its full potential.

Included in the lineup are the Core i7-9700K and i5-9600K, which are equipped with eight and six cores, respectively — no extra threads here. All three chips, unfortunately, are still based on the 14nm process introduced years ago, with Intel releasing an updated 10nm process only in 2019.

Pricing is as follows: US$ 488 for the Core i9-9900K, US$ 374 for the Core i7-9700K, and US$ 262 for the Core i5-9600K. Pre-orders begin today with a rollout happening later in October.

In addition, Intel announced seven new Intel Core X-series processors, which include the Core i9-9980XE (US$ 1,979), i9-9960X (US$ 1,684), i9-9940X (US$ 1,387), i9-9920X (US$ 1,189), i9-9900X (US$ 989), i9-9820X (US$ 898), and i7-9800X (US$ 589). All will become available by November.

Built on Intel’s Mesh Architecture, the top-of-the-line model holds 18 cores with 36 threads to handle the most demanding tasks needed by professionals. Even wilder is the upcoming Intel Xeon W-3175X and its 28 core and 56 thread count, but it has no price yet —  only a release date of December 2018.

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Computers

NAIA caught using a pirated copy of Windows

No Windows seats available

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As the famous idiom goes, death and taxes are the only constants in our lives. Given the abject nature of death, you’d think that taxes would, at least, work for everyone’s benefit. However, as every taxpayer knows, taxes don’t always end up for the common good.

Ever since taxes were invented, we wondered if our hard-earned money ended up contributing to government projects. At the very least, we hoped that it improved our government’s facilities.

Unfortunately, here’s one thing that our taxes are definitely not funding: government computers. As spotted on Reddit, NAIA’s computer screens are running illegitimate copies of Windows 7.

Around the Philippine airport, massive monitors update travelers on current flight times and statuses. Pictured by the eagle-eyed u/LyraStark, one monitor snuck out of full-screen mode and erroneously unveiled the taskbar. More than blocking out the flights, the taskbar also revealed the oddity with NAIA’s computers.

As most are probably familiar with, Windows notifies users when the system detects anomalies with the installation. If Windows figures out that your copy is pirated, you’ll get more than your fair share of reprimands. As you might expect, Microsoft isn’t keen on piracy.

Strangely, neither is the Philippine government. Despite having one of the world’s largest markets for it, the government has notoriously frowned upon pirated media and software. As such, NAIA’s blunder comes as an ironic shock.

Through comments, users have started wondering whether the illegitimate install took a slot in the airport’s budget. Some speculate that most government institutions run pirated software as well. Meanwhile, a few people think that genuine copies can mistakenly show the same notification.

Regardless, at the very least, the issue is something we can laugh about. Like the everyday user, the government doesn’t see the point in paying huge fees for Windows products.

SEE ALSO: Microsoft recalls Windows October update due to deleting issues

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Computers

Microsoft recalls Windows October update due to deleting issues

Don’t update your PC yet!

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For most Windows users, installing the latest update represents a paramount concern for different reasons. To some, new updates add much-needed security patches to their beloved operating system. To the rest, Windows’ incessant reminders are just a chore.

Regardless of where their users place, Windows updates are an important part of Microsoft’s ecosystem. As such, a single hitch can collapse an unprecedented chunk of Microsoft’s users.

Now, that eventuality is upon us. This October, the latest Windows update is reportedly deleting a user’s files out of the blue. According to Windows support forums, some users’ Documents folders have completely vanished, replaced by a fresh one.

In response, Microsoft has pulled the update from its downloads section. Unfortunately, the update promised its fair share of new features. This included a new dark mode, optimized screen functionality, and better mobile-to-PC connectivity. With the recall, these new features will have to wait.

According to Microsoft, the company will investigate these “isolated reports” before launching a new update rollout.

Strangely, this issue has popped up even before the rollout. Some user reports date as early as three months ago. This time frame corresponds to users who signed up for the early-access Windows Insider Program. At the time, only a few users reported the issue. On launch, the few ballooned into a concerning number. Essentially, Microsoft failed to fix the issue before it cascaded into a bigger problem.

At the very least, the company has acknowledged the issue’s gravity. Instead of carrying on business as usual, Microsoft is undergoing steps to fix a crucial mistake. Hopefully, this results to a cleaner update launches in the future.

SEE ALSO: Microsoft refreshes product lineup with Surface Pro 6, Surface Laptop 2, Surface Studio 2

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