Building a new PC and hand-selecting all the components with which to fill it can be a daunting task. Wait, have I chosen the right CPU for me? What if that GPU over there is better than this crummy GPU I’ve gone and bought? If I make the wrong choice of hardware, will my family be kidnapped by angry mini-people inexplicably covered in cupcake frosting as punishment for my crimes?
If that sounds awfully familiar and the pressure is becoming too much to bear, perhaps a pre-built PC is exactly what you need. And if that’s the case, I’d like to direct your attention towards the ASUS G11CB for a moment.
Resting comfortably at the crossroads of convenience and performance, the G11CB boasts all the benefits that come with having someone else worry about the nitty-gritty of assembling a new gaming PC from scratch. There’s no need for concern over whether or not the components you’ve selected are compatible with one another, of if your chosen PSU can comfortably power it all, or if your cable-management skills will make a total mess of the airflow within your expensive new system. Of course, this does mean that you don’t have complete control over things – but the trade-off is you’ll get a working PC out the box, and to many people that’s more important than carefully fine-tuning their arsenal of hardware.
Removing it from its box, the G11CB is fairly modest. It looks the part of a gaming PC and it’s certainly unique, but its aesthetic may be a bit more subtle than you’re used to. The chassis is relatively minimalist, aside from strips of LED lighting and an embossed texture on the front panel. The lighting can be customised (or turned off entirely) via bundled software, offering eight million colour options and a pulse effect to toy with. There’s no window on the case, but that’s likely because the innards of the G11CB and the hardware it contains really aren’t much to marvel at.
The chassis is on the small side, so you may want to keep that in mind if you plan to jam in extra hardware, especially if “extra hardware” includes mammoth, space-consuming GPUs – which is highly unlikely, obviously, but I’m sure you get the point. Cable management is good but not great, especially when compared to the cabling wizardry of places like Evetech. It’s nowhere near messy enough to restrict airflow through the case or anything, but after seeing the cable management in other pre-built systems, it’s tough to not compare the G11CB to its competitors. Speaking of airflow, the case and the placement of its air vents is specifically designed to promote heat dissipation, so it’s unlikely you’ll ever encounter any cooling problems with this system. It’s also exceptionally quiet, even under load.
The actual performance offered by the G11CB configuration we received is as you’d expect: it’s good and it’ll keep you going for the next couple of years, but it’s nothing overtly mind-blowing. 3DMark’s trusty Fire Strike benchmark reports a score of 6,730, which is respectable and is certainly better than some gaming notebooks that cost almost twice as much. The super-fast 256GB M.2 SSD is also a massive bonus and will significantly improve your overall experience.
One of the most pleasant aspects of the system is that it comes sporting a range of nifty add-on features usually reserved for notebooks, like built-in Wi-Fi, a card reader and Bluetooth. You’ll find two USB 3.1 ports as well, along with 7.1-channel audio support. The audio solution offered by the G11CB is excellent, with the SonicMaster sound processor letting you tweak the audio output to your liking. A few useful software packages are also included, like Aegis II, which includes functionality for easily recording and uploading footage.
Overall, the G11CB is a fantastic pre-built system. If you’re shopping around for a new PC and want to keep things as convenient as possible, this should definitely be added to your list of options if it fits your budget.