Ask any gamer about their dream gaming machine and you are sure to light a gleam in their eyes. Whatever varied preferences in screen size, keyboard layout, sound system and peripherals connectivity they might quote, one thing is certain—every gaming nerd’s deepest desire is a lean, mean performance monster that can slay any processing and graphics demands without breaking a metaphoric sweat.
However, being lean and staying cool—literally, in this case—are mutually exclusive in the demanding world of gaming. Which is what made ASUS add an external liquid cooling cock to its gaming beast, the Republic of Gamers GX800, allowing coolant to circulate and keep the machine’s insides from overheating. Of course, this means that calling this 18-inch brute a “laptop” is a teeny bit of a misnomer.
ASUS first launched its liquid-cooled gaming laptop at Taipei’s Computex in 2016, the GX700, but upgraded the system in 2017 to the GX800. The design, with a bulky hydro-cooling dock attached to the back of the computer, has been called “insane”, but one doubts that is an insult. Its almost-$10,000 price tag also makes it a machine that one is unlikely to be able to afford after emptying out the piggy bank.
Even without the fancy cooling tech, this is a brutal machine. It is powered by an Intel Kaby Lake processor, complemented by 64 GB of DDR4 2 RAM, and a
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 SLI GPU with 16 GB VRAM. An 18.4-inch screen UHD takes care of all visual glory. Audio needs are served by two full-range speakers in the chassis and two tweeters at the base of the display. In addition, the machine features a MechTag mechanical keyboard, with tactile switches and anti-ghosting technology that allows up to 30 keys to be pressed at the same time. If that doesn’t make the keyboard cool enough (and wish one had more fingers), consider that lighting effects for each key can be customised.
Three 512 GB SSDs add up to 1.5 TB storage, plus there is an HD web cam, multi-card reader, as well as USB, HDMI and mini-display ports.
Built to be pushed to extreme limits, the GX800 Hydro Overclocking System—which is the fancy name for its liquid-cooling dock—allows one to overclock the CPU, GPU, VRAM and DRAM to squeeze out every last drop of performance and provide real 4K UHD gameplay. The machine is also VR ready.
And in case you’re wondering whether this is going to blow out your electrical mains, there are two 330 W power supplies to take care of all your overclocking demands. The cooling dock is detachable, of course, so you can heave your 18-inch monster around if you so wish, but at almost 6 kg, you might want to think twice.
The GX800 is a beauty to look at, with a titanium-coloured chassis accented with copper details, and a “volcano-inspired” red-and-copper lighting effect. It comes with a backpack as well as foam-lined Command Case for protection when on the move.