So do you like to play games on your computer but don’t mind if it’s a non-portable type? In that case, a gaming desktop over a laptop might be a good idea: generally, you get better price/performance ratio by choosing a desktop. In this review, we’ll concentrate on ASUS G11CD-US009T, one of the cheaper gaming computers which still promises to keep frame rates smooth and settings high…
If processor is the criteria, situation with ASUS G11CD-US009T is certainly good. Its CPU is 6th Generation Intel Core i5-6400 offering you four cores, 2.7GHz clock speed and 3.3GHz turbo boost to play with. These specifications alone give clues what to can expect, and benchmarks finally reveal the truth: the average CPU Mark for this unit is around 6500 which translates to smooth operations of programs, applications and whatever you throw at this computer. Heavy software like virtualization apps or titles from Adobe family, for example, are a piece of cake for such i5 processor.
The memory isn’t any worse, it’s 8GB and the type is DDR4. It’s not specified anywhere whether there are one 8GB or two 4GB sticks. However, the number of memory slots should be two considering the maximum RAM for this desktop is 32GB (DDR4 supports 16GB sticks).
Storage drive is a hybrid one, so in a way you’ll get something from both HDD and SSD camps. From the former, a huge storage space is offered, 1TB (7200RPM) to be precise. From the latter, you’ll get the added performance, although keep in mind the 8GB SSD part is really a cache. The whole drive will be seen as one unit in My Computer (This PC in Windows 10) so you can’t decide what files will be served from the SSD part. Anyway, there are in total four SATA 3 connectors in case you want to put in more drives.
So, how good it is for gaming?
ASUS G11CD-US009T sports a dedicated graphics card bearing the name GeForce GTX960. It is a gaming card, not the best one, but still able to keep the ideal ~60FPS on many games using high settings and 1080p resolution. GTA 5, for example, belongs to that lot, however The Witcher 3 would get less, around 35-40 frames per second.
Of course, if you’re not happy with this performance (I think most are), you can always take the card out. It’s installed on a PCI-e x16 slot so feel free to put a beefier unit in if you want. The dimensions of this desktop are 6.90 x 17.30 x 16.60 (WxDxH) inches so many kinds of cards should fit inside.
What peripherals can be plugged in?
You can connect a lot of devices to ASUS G11CD-US009T. There are, for example, 6 USB ports at your disposal in the back – USB 2.0, USB 3.0 and USB 3.1, two each. On top of that, USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 (two each again) are available in the front. Video outputs from the mainboard include HDMI and VGA ports, although the graphics card also offers you one HDMI-out, one DVI and three DisplayPorts. That’s a lot of external monitors to plug in for sure!
Connecting to Internet happens through RJ-45 port in the back panel or the integrated A/C-grade WiFi card. To my knowledge, Bluetooth is not available.
DVD burner is included (yep, no BluRay this time!). A media card reader for SD, MS and MMC formats is installed as well.
Any other things to keep in mind?
USB keyboard and mouse are shipped with ASUS G11CD-US009T. Obviously, a monitor is not.
The operating system is Windows 10 Home (64-bit).
Summing it up
ASUS G11CD-US009T does its main job, running any game on high settings and (at least) decent FPS fine, and I don’t think you’d need to reduce eye candy or resolution with any title – however, in a year or two the situation would most likely change. Connections are plenty in this desktop, you can easily plug in all the fancy gaming keyboards, mouses, headphones and whatnot to this unit. If it’s indeed a pre-built gaming desktop you want, the ASUS should be a satisfying and rather low-cost choice for you.