As far as gaming desktops go, the new ASUS ROG STRIX GL10CS is an almost pure recommendation outside of one fatal flaw.
ROG may be known for going all out, but the for-gamers-by-gamers brand has never shied away from more conservative hardware. Amongst the blinding RGBs and intense gamer high-ends, the company has always known how to please a budget-friendly PC gamer. Sometimes, that’s through lower budget accessories, other times it’s through awesome mid-range builds.
The ASUS ROG STRIX GL10CS is exactly that: a polished mid-range experience that isn’t designed to rock your socks off, but it’s instead solid enough to carry you through above-console quality performance for years to come. Unsurprisingly, the ROG engineers have developed a system that manages to crank out performance well enough for such a modest machine.
While theASUS ROG STRIX GL10CS does include the company’s undeniable adoration for the wonders of RGB lighting, the rainbow strip along the system’s sleek matte-black case is more conservative than other gaming PCs. Even compared to previous ROG products, or even current mobile ones, it’s a stark contrast. Yes, everyone will know that your rig is suitably gamerfied, but they won’t think you’re trying too hard.
Outside of its slight gamer aesthetic, ROG’s subtle desktop its remarkably practical. The collection of built-in IO isn’t exactly impressive, but you’d be surprised at the number of PCs that fail to include such obvious ports. Two HDMI ports, one for GPU and another for the motherboard, attend alongside a singular display port and a DVI-D port. There’s an Ethernet port, thank God, and full audio capabilities.
This seems to be ROG’s goal with the pre-built rig: nothing here is overly stylish or balls-to-the-wall extreme, but they manage to feel comfortable. The same goes for the internals: a GTX 1660Ti powers the graphics meaning crisp high-resolution visuals that will certainly keep you in high-to-medium settings for the foreseeable future. A ninth-generation i5-9500f powers the system, an impressive low-power chip. No matter what we chucked at the system – Kingdom Come Deliverance, Gears 5, CS:GO, and more – every game performed well over 60fps. Complete with a 1TB HDD and a 128GB SSD, you’ll certainly be able to store a lot of games, too.
Unfortunately, while many of the system’s internals do perform well, that doesn’t help the ASUS ROG 2 from being a rather loud machine. Cooled through a thermal design featuring two isolated air chambers, the system does keep remarkably cool. Even during intense stress, like a Cinebench run or a CPU-Z benchmark, the ASUS ROG GL10CS only ever blew out cold air. It’s an impressive cooling solution that always makes sure your system isn’t throttling, but it sure is loud.
With all of these positive factors, one would think that ROG’s newest system is a hands-down recommendation. That’s not the case. While the impressive cooling and appropriate specifications allow for an almost magical system, ROG’s device does fail in one key area: a tiny pool of 8GB of RAM. With the next-generation coming in full swing and with current generation titles asking for more than 8GB, ASUS’ system does fall far behind. For an £850 pricetag at the time of writing, 8GB of DDR4 RAM just doesn’t cut it.
For it’s pricetag, the ASUS ROG GL10CS is a solid pick. While many of its internals do impress, a shallow RAM pool for the upcoming years of gaming does put a damper on its otherwise great gaming performance. For £850, this is a solid gaming desktop; with just a few tweaks this could be something truly great.