Built for those with money to burn.
If you need to ask how much the CG8565 costs, it’s not the prebuilt PC for you. Sold under ASUS’s popular Republic of Gamers brand, this behemoth is targeted at those with bulging bank accounts yet limited PC building knowledge. Sure, you can build a similar system for a substantially cheaper price, but it’s aimed at those who want to simply buy the box, plug it in and start fragging their enemies.
The slick angular lines of the case mimic the F-117 Stealth Fighter, lending the case a brutish, powerful look while remaining subtle. The extensive use of plastic is surprising for the price, but it doesn’t look cheap in the slightest. A sliding panel on the front swishes down to reveal the optical drive, memory card bay and a single swappable drive bay. ASUS obviously doesn’t want owners fooling around inside, as figuring out how to remove the sides requires a degree in engineering.
A quick phone call to ASUS and we’d figured out to remove the protective shell, greeted by an intelligent selection of power-oriented components. The graphics load is handled ably by Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 590 video card, which is the fastest on the planet, courtesy of its dual GPUs. Rather than go for Intel’s stupidly expensive Core i7-3960X CPU, ASUS has cleverly chosen the Intel Core i7-2600K instead, which delivers even better performance than the 3960X when overclocked and at a fraction of the price. Given that this PC is aimed at noobs, ASUS has done all the overclocking for you. Simply hit the speed button on the top of the case and the CPU cranks up to 4.6GHz, where the Asetek water cooling handles the higher heat output with ease. Throw in 16GB of DDR3-1600 memory and you have arguably the fastest prebuilt PC on the market. Even better, it remains nice and quiet during the most demanding games.
ASUS hasn’t neglected the audio experience, treating your ears to the sweet sounds of the ASUS Xonar DX sound card. It’s an optional extra, and we highly recommend selecting it. There’s plenty of mechanical storage to go around, with twin 1TB drives set up in a RAID 0 mode to deliver better performance. If there is an Achilles heel it’s the SSD storage, with a meagre 80GB drive aimed at your OS installation. This will fill up in no time once you start installing games, and for the price we’d expect at least a 240GB drive.
Unlike most off-the-shelf PCs, ASUS hasn’t stuffed the Windows 7 install with bloatware. A handful of tweaking applications are included, and novices will appreciate the ASUS update software, which automatically updates all drivers at the press of a button.
When compared to building your own PC, the CG8565 isn’t the best value PC on the market, but ASUS never intended it to be. Yet when measured against other high-end prebuilds it’s actually a very well thought out package that offers much better bang for your buck than an Alienware or other big-name brand. If you’re flush with cash and want a trouble-free, high-end PC gaming experience, this is a beautiful machine with power to burn. Available from ASUS, retailing for $5,000
.APC rating: 8/10 (Highly Recommended)