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The Asus ROG GT51 is a hulking gaming desktop that will keep your secrets

The included NFC wristband unlocks a secret hard-drive partition and triggers overclocking.

Dan Ackerman Editorial Director / Computers and Gaming
Dan Ackerman leads CNET's coverage of computers and gaming hardware. A New York native and former radio DJ, he's also a regular TV talking head and the author of "The Tetris Effect" (Hachette/PublicAffairs), a non-fiction gaming and business history book that has earned rave reviews from the New York Times, Fortune, LA Review of Books, and many other publications. "Upends the standard Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs/Mark Zuckerberg technology-creation myth... the story shines." -- The New York Times
Expertise I've been testing and reviewing computer and gaming hardware for over 20 years, covering every console launch since the Dreamcast and every MacBook...ever. Credentials
  • Author of the award-winning, NY Times-reviewed nonfiction book The Tetris Effect; Longtime consumer technology expert for CBS Mornings
Dan Ackerman
2 min read

At CES 2016, we've seen compact gaming desktops, such as the Origin PC Chronos, and updated gaming laptops, like the Lenovo Y900, but the new Asus ROG GT51 is the biggest, most audacious desktop to come along at the show (so far).

This massive desktop seems to rear back like a wild animal about to strike. Asus' press release calls it "aggressively designed," and names the gray-and-copper color scheme "armor titanium and plasma copper."

The built-in light show, including lights visible inside the case's side panel and vertical lights moving up and down the front panel, is actually less in-your-face than some other gaming desktops (such as the Ideacentre Y900 RE from Lenovo and Razer), but the bottom half of the machine's front is dominated by a circular intake that looks like something out of a sci-fi movie.


That circular vent is part of the cooling system, bringing air in through the front panel, and expelling it through vents on the top and rear, all of which is combined with liquid cooling to keep the GT51 from overheating.

Inside is room for current-gen Intel Core i7 k-series CPUs and two graphics cards (such as a pair of Nvidia Titan X cards, if you're feeling fancy), although several stock and customizable configurations will be available at a wide range of prices.


The ROG wrist band.

The coolest feature of the GT51 has nothing to do with the room-filling design. It's an included NFC-enabled rubber wrist band that acts as a personal security key (as seen in the video above). The system supports what Asus calls a "shadow partition," which is essentially a hidden hard-drive partition. It can be set to unlock only when the wristband is held to the NFC contact point on the front panel of the system. The wristband can also trigger some of the system's built-in overclocking, so you can wave your arm in front of the chassis to trigger the overclocking, rather than having to launch a software tool.


The colorful Claymore keyboard.


Complementing the desktop are a couple of new gaming accessories from Asus, including the ROG Claymore keyboard, with customizable RGB lighting and a number pad that can attach to either the left or right sides; and the ROG Spatha mouse, which has 12 buttons, can be operated as a wired or wireless mouse, and includes a magnetic charging dock.

There's no set price or release date yet for the GT51 or its accessories.

See our complete CES 2016 coverage here.