We’ve talked about over-the-top gaming laptops before. There was the Aftershock W-15, which came with a desktop-class Intel Core i7-4790K processor (4.0GHz, 8MB L3 cache) and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M graphics card. That was certainly impressive, even if gaming performance would get a greater boost from a more powerful graphics configuration.
Then there was the MSI GT80 2QE SLI, which featured a full-fledged mechanical keyboard, dual NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980Ms in SLI, and a whopping four 128GB SSDs in RAID 0. Crazy, right? It was difficult to see how any other laptop could top the sheer extravagance of that machine. Or so we thought then.
Enter the ASUS ROG GX700, a veritable beast of a laptop with the first ever overclockable mobile processor – an Intel Core i7-6820HK (2.7GHz, 8MB L3 cache) – a desktop-class NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980, two M.2 512GB SSDs in RAID 0, and a whopping 64GB of DDR4 RAM. These specifications sound like a dream, but we haven’t even gotten to the best part yet. The ROG GX700 is the world’s first liquid-cooled notebook, which means chilly temperatures, more overclocking headroom for both CPU and GPU, and even more performance.
Thanks to a hefty liquid-cooling dock, you’ll be able to enjoy the best of both worlds. This means the relative mobility of the undocked notebook, and when you’re ready to get settled for some mad fragging, the extra performance that liquid-cooling will unlock.
But those of you who aren’t already throwing money at your screens probably have some good questions in mind. For instance, how much performance does the liquid-cooling dock enable? Does it really run a lot cooler? Furthermore, the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 may be a desktop card, but it has still been shrunk down to fit in a notebook, even if NVIDIA has not compromised on the specifications (number of CUDA cores, clock speeds etc.) in any way. Does it really offer desktop-equivalent performance? We’ll be looking to answer those questions and more in this review.
Here's a teaser though. The dock actually automatically overclocks the CPU quite aggressively, boosting the CPU multiplier to 40 for a maximum Turbo speed of 4.0GHz – a huge boost over the default 2.7GHz base frequency.
Oh, and did we mention that it comes in its own luggage? If you thought the GX700 was over-the-top, the packaging it comes in only confirms that fact. The GX700 and the dock are nestled in some thick, dense foam, and it looks like ASUS thinks that you might possibly want to bring the notebook and its dock somewhere. Way to look like you're headed on a vacation when you're really going to a LAN party.
In addition, we’ve also benchmarked another of ASUS’ new gaming notebooks, the ROG G752, to use as a reference in our comparisons. That notebook is no slouch either, equipped as it is with the latest sixth-generation Intel Core i7-6700HQ processor (2.6GHz, 6MB L3 cache) and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M card. However, it comes equipped with a 1TB 7,200rpm mechanical HDD and a more modest – although by no means paltry – 16GB of DDR4 RAM.
Water-cooling dock aside, these are two very powerful and high-end notebooks. But as it turns out, even the premium gaming segment can be split into merely high-end notebooks, and those that border on sheer luxury. The ROG GX700 clearly falls into the latter category on paper, but we'll be taking a look at how much of an edge it really has over the "average" high-performance gaming notebook.
We’ve already covered further details like design, build, usability and features on both notebooks in two separate hands-on articles which you can access in the links below:
With that out of the way, we’ll be diving straight into the benchmarks results in the next section.