ASUS ROG G20CB-WS71 Review (Oculus Ready PC)

It’s finally here: the ASUS ROG G20CB-WS71 review. It’s taken a couple of really, really long days getting this all put together, but I think you’ll find it very helpful if you’re considering buying this computer. If you want a more entertaining version of this review, consider watching the video below:

But if you want all of the juicy details or have a moving-picture phobia, then continue reading the full text review below.

The ASUS ROG G20CB-WS71 At-a-Glance

Long story short: this thing is beautiful and it packs one hell of a punch for its small form factor and price.

If I were to buy all of the components to build this computer, I would only save $200-$300 (unless I was finding extraordinary discounts or buying used). That would be for a significantly louder, larger, and less attractive gaming rig that would be just as powerful, sure, but not satisfy the requirements I had for size and noise. The beautiful aesthetics are just a bonus.

If I had to pick an Oculus Ready PC all over again, I’d confidently make the same purchase. It’s not as powerful as computers come, but for the price I paid and the virtual reality needs I have (I want something above-average that performs better than minimum recommended specs), I couldn’t be happier. If you have similar needs, I think you’ll be very happy with the purchase too.

The In-Depth ASUS ROG G20CB-WS71 Review

In this review, I’m going to cover all of the following:

  • ASUS ROG G20CB-WS71 Specs
  • Aesthetics
  • Form Factor
  • Noise Level
  • Value
  • PCMark 8 Benchmark Results (overall benchmark)
  • SteamVR Compatibility Test Results
  • Oculus Compatibility Test Results
  • Unigine Heaven 4.0 Benchmark Results (GPU benchmark)

And then wrap up with some final thoughts. Feel free to skim as you see fit:

ASUS ROG G20CB-WS71 Specs

The ASUS ROG G20CB-WS71 Back Panel

The G20CB-WS71 boasts all of the following specs:

  • Intel i7 3.4GHz quad-core processor with hyper threading and boost up to 4.0GHz
  • Nvidia GTX 980 GPU with 4GB of RAM
  • 16GB of RAM
  • 1TB HDD coupled with a 256GB SSD
  • 1 x microphone jack (front)
  • 1 x headphone jack (front)
  • 1 x slim DVD burner (front)
  • 4 x USB 3.0 ports (2 front, 2 rear)
  • 2 x USB 3.1 ports (rear)
  • 2 x USB 2.0 ports (rear)
  • 1 x RJ45 LAN input (rear)
  • 7.1 audio output (rear)
  • 1 x HDMI output (rear)
  • 1 x DVI output (rear)

What do all of these specs add up to practically? We’ll talk about that more when we get into the benchmark results.

Aesthetics: 9/10

ASUS ROG G20CB-WS71 with LED lights glowing

I don’t think there’s any arguing how beautiful this computer is. With the customizable LED lights across the entire front of the computer, as well as on the bottom towards the rear-half (casting subtle colored light below the computer), it’s just gorgeous.

It really makes an impact. I’m not one for fanboying over the aesthetics of a gaming rig, but it would be difficult to replicate anything this attractive if I had built my own PC.

Form Factor: 10/10

Showing the small form factor of the ASUS ROG G20CB-WS71

It’s amazing that they packed so much power into such a small PC. It’s approximately 13″ x 14″ x 4″, which to me is just insane. When looking at it, it’s hard to believe they packed so much power into such a small console. But once you pick it up and feel its weight, it’s clear there’s a lot more going on inside than what meets the eye.

Also notice that there aren’t any fans on either side of the computer. Again, this is a look that would have been virtually impossible to replicate had I opted to build my own rig.

One small note: Because of the computer’s small form factor, part of the power supply has been externalized. It’s a brick that measures about 3″ x 6″ x 4″, and is about as aesthetically pleasing as you could hope an external PSU would be.

Noise Level: 9/10

The ROG G20CB-WS71 noise level

This sucker is quiet. At idle, it whispers at 22dB. Even when it’s on full-blast due to rendering some tough graphics or exporting video, it’s even quieter than my last generation MacBook Pro. That’s saying something, because as anyone that owns an Apple computer knows, they work very hard to make sure they only turn on the fans when they need to, and keep them as quiet as possible.

Value: 9/10

As I said earlier in this review, if I were to buy all of the components listed under the “specs” section, I’d have only saved about $200-$300. The gaming rig I put together for that price would be running in a low-level case that’s significantly less attractive, sounds like a helicopter landing when strained, and looks like a behemoth next to what ASUS delivered in the ROG G20CB-WS71.

And, as it compares to all of the other “Oculus Ready” computers in the lineup, it’s by far the best value.

The only way you beat this value is some of the insane specials that HP runs on their “Envy” line. But again, those computers are literally twice as large in every dimensions, much louder, and much less attractive than the G20CB-WS71.

Value-wise, it’s pretty hard to beat.

PCMark 8 Benchmark

I got the premium version of PCMark 8 just so I could really put this baby through the ringer.

ROG G20CB-WS71 PCMark 8 Benchmark Results Summary

The hottest the system got at any point in time during this benchmark was 69°C, which is just over 156°F.

ASUS G20CB-WS71 PCMark 8 Benchmark Results In-Depth

The main point I want to focus on from the PCMark 8 test is the “Mainstream Gaming” section – there were two parts.

The first part isn’t quite as intensive, and the G20CB-WS71 absolutely barreled through that portion of the test, averaging about 113 FPS.

During the second, more intensive part of the mainstream gaming test, it unfortunately delivered an average of just over 52 FPS. That’s still pretty decent for standard gaming on a computer monitor, but is it something to worry about regarding you Rift and Vive experience?

No, and I’ll explain why when I talk more about the GPU-specific benchmark below (Unigine Heaven).

SteamVR Compatibility Test

G20CB-WS71 SteamVR Compatibility Test Results

The only way you could score higher on the SteamVR compatibility test would be with a GTX 980ti or greater and a hexa-core i7 processor. As you can see above, fidelity tested as “very high” and at no point did the ASUS ROG G20CB-WS71 drop below 90 FPS.

This is a much more accurate representation of what your virtual reality experience will be like than the PCMark 8’s “mainstream gaming” tests, and also more so than the Unigine Heaven benchmark I’ll go over a couple of sections from now.

Oculus Compatibility Test

ASUS ROG G20CB-WS71 Oculus Compatibility Test Results

The Oculus compatibility check is incredibly simple. As far as I can tell, it basically pings each vital component in your computer to see if it meets their minimum requirements. There isn’t really any benchmarking taking place here that I know of.

In the case of the G20CB-WS71, it passed with flying colors.

Unigine Heaven 4.0 GPU Benchmark

G20CB-WS71 Engine Heaven Benchmark Results

This is where things get interesting, and the point I’ll harp on the most regarding these benchmarks.

Although the maximum FPS achieved by the GTX 980 during this test was 196.2, with an average of 101 FPS overall, the minimum FPS hit during the test was 30.1… eek!

On paper, that looks a bit scary considering all VR games and apps need to operate at a minimum of 90 FPS. But there are a few things to keep in mind, which basically amount to not worrying about this at all.

Firstly, I didn’t run the default settings for the Unigine Heaven 4.0 benchmark. I turned quality up to “ultra” and tessellation up to “moderate” because I wanted to put a little strain on the GPU and see how it did.

Secondly (and finally; this was a short list), you have to remember that developers are required to achieve 90 FPS on a GTX 970 and an i5 processor. This guarantees that the ASUS ROG G20CB-WS71 will surpass 90 FPS on the Rift and Vive, and render a higher quality virtual reality experience than someone that sprung for the bare minimum, recommended specs.

Conclusion: The Best Value of the “Oculus Ready” Lineup

ASUS ROG G20CB-WS71 Review Thumbnail

Overall, I don’t think anybody could objectively rate this computer below an 8.5 or 9 for the price.

It’s beautiful, it’s compact, it’s quiet, it’s a great value, and it’s more than powerful enough to deliver an above-average virtual reality experience on the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive. What more could anyone want out of a virtual reality computer?

Questions? Comments? Please Leave Them Below!

If you have questions that you couldn’t find the answer to in the review above, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below! I’ll make sure to get back to you personally within the next 24 hours.

I hope you found this review helpful! If so, please share on your favorite social media account, and don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel to receive a notification whenever I post another entertaining, informative video related to virtual reality!

14 Comments

  1. Nick Sakellariou

    Thanks for sharing. Would be really interesting to see how this machine performs when it comes to 4K UHD gaming and how the 980 in this particular setup copes with that. Any chance you will be looking into that? Cheers

    • Hey Nick! I don’t think that’s a test I’ll be putting it through personally, as my only real interest is in VR gaming. I don’t see how it could run VR games smoothly and NOT produce a really great 4K UHD experience, as even high quality graphics aren’t as demanding on hardware as many of the VR games and applications being developed. 4K UHD in VR might be a push, but on a regular monitor running 60-90FPS – I can’t see it putting much of a strain on this rig.

      • Nick Sakellariou

        No worries. I know your primary interest is in VR. I stumbled onto your page when I was researching the G20 as my weapon of choice for my Rift – but an added bonus would of course be if the rig also could give a decent frame rate on 4K games. Looks like the 980 in this particular setup gives some 35-40 fps in 4K for GTAV for example, so 30 fps for most recent games looks feasible. Looking forward to read more about your experiences with VR on this rig. Cheers!

  2. Whats the max size video card that can go in there? I have this guy preordered but want to shove a 980 Ti in it … I’m assuming the Asus Strix is not going to fit, but looking at my options … also, are there 2 free ram slots? I want to bump it up to 32GB as well … I do a fair amount of video processing so that will only help as well. Any extra info you could provide would be helpful while I wait for it to arrive!

    • I honestly don’t know, man. I haven’t cracked mine open and don’t really intend to unless I’m forced to upgrade parts for a good VR experience. I will say that 32GB RAM is overkill in today’s computer market – once you go over 16GB your ROI drops off BIG TIME. I’d recommend reaching out to ASUS support pre-purchase to get accurate answers to these questions. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help!

  3. I just got mine today and the Oculus software has failed to install 3 times now.

  4. Hi. can you confirm if the power brick has a 2 or 3 pin Kettle lead? I am shipping mine from the US so need to get proper power cords to plug into the wall in my country. But not sure if I need to get 2 or 3 pin ones.

  5. Ian, I have the same computer ASUS ROG G20CB-WS71 and just started getting into the virtual reality world. I recently bought the Samsung Gear VR because it was at a good price point and I wasn’t sure if I was going to enjoy it. Needless to say I’m hooked. So I’ve Been Debating between Getting an Oculus and an HTC VIVE. I decided to go the route of the HTC I downloaded steam and ran the performance test and like yours it failed. I initially assume that meant I would be able to run the program or the performance would be low. You indicate in your article that despite it not being able to pass that it wouldn’t hinder your experience.

    I wanted to confirm that you’ve used it and are still not experiencing any problems. If the computer says that is Oculus ready would you get better performance and better visual using that instead? In addition since I’m not a gamer I’m not quite sure what these other programs that were included with Asus should do. For example Asus_II_astoasthelper or the ROG Game First. From my limited knowledge it seems like this would enable you to tweak your system for better performance. Did you need to make any additional changes or would you recommend using any of these programs to help your experience?

    • Hey Ranger, welcome to the world of VR!

      I think there’s been a slight miscommunication somewhere on my part. My ASUS never failed the Oculus or the SteamVR tests – it passed both. I didn’t need to tweak the settings at all, although yes, I believe there is software on the ASUS to do so. But my ROG G20CB-WS71 passed all tests stock; I didn’t have any failures or issues at all. And of course as a result, it’s run brilliantly (even when I was running VR and OBS simultaneously during my 32-hour live stream).

      Sorry I couldn’t be of more help! Let me know if you have any follow-up questions!

  6. Hello, which is the last model of this pc

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