ASUS Tytan – Tytanfall (Part 1)

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We dives into the guts of the ASUS ROG Tytan CG8890

Price: $5,699

Distributor Asus

A case such as that present on the CG8890 is either going to be loved or hated. Without being sexist or prejudiced, we[d assume most of the people after the “looks awesome” tick box would be young males between the age of 12 to 22; a perfect target audience ASUS would assume when going after hardcore PC gamers.

ASUS ROG Tytan CG8890

ASUS ROG Tytan CG8890

The guts

Underneath this monstrous case, however, is where we’d like to focus most of our attention, as this PC really does have a lot on show, and even more to offer in terms of raw CPU and GPU performance. Underneath the hood, we’ll find a Sandy Bridge E i7 3960X CPU, which as many of you will already know is a 6-core 12-threaded Intel CPU aimed at the professional desktop sector along with over clockers, not usually gaming PCs.

The choice of the 3960X over the 3930K is a very odd one, as the main difference between the two CPUs is cache capacity and (arguably) a higher binning process in order to earn itself the “extreme” badge. We’re not talking about price yet, but this choice in extreme processor over the regular “K” chip has already blown out the price by $600.

It seems ROG has opted for the superior performance though, as this monstrous case includes an astronomical 10 case fans, making the statement written just above of “softer acoustic” completely untrue in the case of the CG8890 Tytan

It seems ROG has opted for the superior performance though, as this monstrous case includes an astronomical 10 case fans, making the statement written just above of “softer acoustic” completely untrue in the case of the CG8890 Tytan

Supporting the monstrous Intel CPU is 16GB of 2133MHz DDR3 RAM, a stonking four Kepler GPUs in the form of GTX 690 SLI and a lighting quick storage solution, embodying two 128GB SSDs in RAID 0. This ensures that all bases are covered, from rendering work, file transfer and extraction, number crunching and, of course, gaming. Even multi-tasking all of the above should prove seamless on such a high end system.

Of course, many of you will be asking the question, why socket 2011, why GTX 690s and why only 128GB SSDs? The answer to those questions is rather simple, and that is the system isn’t all that new; in fact, the CG8890 was first spotted at last year’s Computex around 15 months ago. Given that knowledge, this system is surprisingly still very current. Only very recently has the GTX 780 launched, and Intel still has not launched a true socket 2011 replacement with 6-core CPUs. All it really needs is some larger SSDs and it’s still about as good as it gets for a professional gaming/CAD machine with a limitless budget.

The glory

With this system priced higher than most people spend on their first car, it’s understandable to do some quick math, tally up all of the included hardware as say “wait a second, they’re ripping us off!” Well, you be both right and wrong with that statement. Sure, the $5,699 could be spent far wiser, netting yourself a PC with nearly the same grunt in all areas of concern for almost half of the price – leaving you with enough cash left over to pick up a nice 27” IPS monitor and an arse-ton of games to actually play on the thing.

“First spotted at last year’s Computex around 15 months ago, this system is surprisingly still very current”

That isn’t the point of this PC though. It’s not meant to be a moderately priced computer put together for the budget-concerned; it’s a “custom built” ROG case packed to the rafters with overly exotic hardware all wrapped up and ready to go in one convenient transaction. You don’t need to muck about with screwdrivers, cable ties and Windows installations. You also get a more than reasonable 3 year warranty and it looks pretty epic to boot.

Another couple of features add to the value (if only a little); one of which is the “speed” button found on the top left of the case. This button takes the i7 3960X from its stock 3.9GHz clock to 4GHz and 4.2GHz respectively with each button press. The neat thing about this, though, is that it is wired in directly to the ASUS ROG Rampage IV Formula. This means overclocking is instantaneously applied via the CPU multiplier, and there is no need for a system restart.

While this feature at first seems useful, you quickly realize that going from 3.9GHz to 4.2GHz does sweet fluff all for gaming performance, and even Cinebench e-peen measuring contests. If the “speed” switch was programmable, we’d be all over this. The ability to set the clock below stock for web browsing, stock levels for gaming, and overclocked for benching would be amazing, all without a reboot. However, the button is not programmable and you cannot do this – oh well.

The next super awesome feature which completely justifies this price tag is the inclusion of water cooling (CPU only). Water is an expensive commodity right now, and if the Oscar-winning film Tank Girl is anything to go by, this PC could be worth more in the year 2022 than it is now. The inclusion of water cooling is welcomed, as it will hopefully prove to other PC manufacturers that there is superior cooling performance to be found, along with softer case acoustics.

CG8890 Tytan still looks cool!

CG8890 Tytan still looks cool!

It seems ROG has opted for the superior performance though, as this monstrous case includes an astronomical 10 case fans, making the statement written just above of “softer acoustic” completely untrue in the case of the CG8890 Tytan. Oh well, it still looks cool!

Unfortunately there is one last little niggle we’ve got. While the system is sporting a nice Rampage IV Formula motherboard, ROG didn’t see it appropriate to also include ROG video cards. Where are the MARS 3 cards? Or at the very least we were expecting a red paint job on the NVIDIA OEM cards included. Because they’d go faster.

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