Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
Prebuilt systems are a very popular way for users to get into PC gaming without going through what can be a hassle: building your own PC. These systems often tend to be a gateway drug as well, as they introduce many to the upgrade bug, which is something we all catch in our lifetime. The ROG Strix G16CH is one of ASUS's latest offerings, with several prebuilt SKUs. Our system in-house for review is not the highest-tiered model, living just below.
Hardware for this build includes an Intel Core i7-13700KF, giving us eight performance cores alongside eight efficient cores. ASUS pairs this CPU with 32GB of DDR4 3200MHz memory across four slots. The board used in the build is a custom B760 chipset offering. Graphics in this machine are supplied by the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080.
Expansion for this system includes four PCIe x16 slots, three pulling from the chipset and one from the CPU. We also have two NVMe storage slots and one m.2 Wi-Fi slot. SATA connectivity is available as well.
Connectivity includes Gigabit ethernet, dual HDMI, and a single DisplayPort. We also noted four USB 2.0 and two USB 3.2 Gen 2 on the rear I/O and a PS/2 port if anyone is still using legacy keyboards.
As for pricing, the ROG Strix G16CH comes in at $2799, as configured above. At the time of writing, it was on sale for $2599.99.
Packaging, Accessories, and Overview
Packaging and Accessories
Opening up our sample, we were greeted with a box of accessories.
The G16 includes the power cord, Wi-Fi antenna, mouse, and HDMI cable.
Unboxing the system, we get our first look at the G16. This is a narrow mid-tower chassis, custom to the G16 series, the top offering ROG branding with air intake below.
The chassis front panel includes connections for two USB-C and two USB-A. We also have mic and headphone inputs.
The chassis's backside has a sticker with build information on it.
The rear I/O includes dual HDMI and DP for displays, dual USB 2.0 and PS/2 for keyboard/mouse, and two more USB 3.2 Gen 2 using Type-A connections, color in teal. Below, we have gigabit ethernet and WiFI antenna connections followed by audio.
Flipping the chassis around, we have a windowed side panel with ROG branding. The chassis has a headphone stand just in front of the window.
Digging in, the G16CH is packed very tight, with the chassis being so narrow. You will note in the image above the RTX 4080 barely fits with adapters being used to power it. Above, we have 92mm air cooling and all four memory slots populated to the right.
Continuing, we have another look at the GPU fitment with not much left to see under it.
Removing the RTX 4080, we can now see the board's layout a bit easier. Note this chassis does support vertical GPUs, but that will block anything else being used in the PCIe slots. NVMe storage sits above the top PCIe slot, with the second slot at the bottom of the board. SATA connections are just above.
To wrap up the chassis, we opened the back panel. ASUS did a decent job here keeping the wires tied up.
Flipping off the room lightning, we get a good look at the chassis RGB when the machine is powered up.
UEFI and System Software
This BIOS will be familiar to any previous ASUS BIOS - the G16CH does have the ROG aesthetic. The main menu offers hardware information, including the installed CPU and memory capacity. Ai Tweaker is where users can tune the machine, including CPU and memory; this board supports all the basic overclocking features, including XMP.
The advanced menu gives users control over the board's connectivity, including storage and USB. You will also get a few higher-level CPU options in this menu, such as the ability to enable/disable cores, Speed step, or EIST. Further, this menu will allow you to secure erase any drives, while the monitoring menu allows users to tune fans and monitor the system's voltages.
The G16CH has two pieces of software. The first is MyAsus. This is a basic set of software with many links to other programs, as seen above.
Customization includes internet bandwidth control with several presets along the right side.
The customer support portal allows you to see CPU and memory load and available disk space, while below is a set of troubleshooting tools.
Armoury Crate is the more gaming-focused piece of software for the G16CH. This gives us CPU, memory, and GPU stats along the right side, with a dashboard to the left.
Cinebench R23, CrossMark and AIDA64
Cinebench is a long-standing render benchmark that has been heavily relied upon by both Intel and AMD to highlight their newest platforms during unveils. The benchmark has two tests: a single-core workload utilizing one thread or 1T. There is also a multi-threaded test that uses all threads or nT of a tested CPU.
R23 landed the G16CH towards the middle bottom of our charts, 7th from the top. Scores were 2057 for single thread and 27583 for multi-thread.
Crossmark has the G16CH third from the bottom, just above the Aurora R16 at 2111 overall.
AIDA was recently updated to version 6.6, which improved performance in both AES and SHA3 workloads for Alder Lake CPUs. You will notice this performance jump in the charts below compared to earlier Intel Z690 reviews.
PCMark and 3DMark
The G16CH, as configured, scored 12947 in PCMark Extended, which put it a touch above the R16 in our chart.
CPU Profile for one and two threads lands the G16 in the middle of our charts, 5th overall with 1144 single thread and 2285 for two threads.
Looking at four, eight, and sixteen threads, the G16 peaks at 10471.
Time Spy was up next for the G16. With the RTX 4080, the system scored 25244 overall, 27K for the GPU, and 16K for the CPU.
Speed Way scored 7210 for the G16CH.
3DMark Storage turned up quite good for the G16. The overall score was 3185, with bandwidth at 542 MB/s.
Gaming, Value, and Final Thoughts
Our gaming workload continues to be Cyberpunk 2077. The G16CH picked up some rather good numbers in this workload. 1080p High we saw 227 FPS while 1440p picked up 171 FPS. At 4K, we saw decent numbers as well at 96 FPS.
Value combines CrossMark and 3DMark Time Spy scores to give an overall idea of the system's performance. This is put next to the systems price to firm the percentage in the chart above. The G16CH comes away from this review with a 97.3%.
The ROG Strix G16CH is a rather interesting offering from ASUS. On the outside, we love the chassis. The unique design stresses the ROG lifestyle with its sharp, edgy design and ROG-themed side panel, while the front panel I/O is quite good.
Internally, the chassis leaves us wanting more, mostly due to its thin profile. This chassis can't really accommodate any fan over 92mm, leaving users with few options if they ever wanted to upgrade. Further, this narrow chassis design makes removing the GPU a legit job that includes removing the front panel and GPU support bracket, which then gives you just enough room to finesse the GPU out, assuming you have the RTX 4080 that we had.
Performance was quite good for the build, consistently outperforming the Dell XPS and Aurora R16 we recently reviewed. That said, some of the best workloads for the G16 were in the PCMark and 3DMark applications, with the G16 picking up a solid 13K in the extended workload and CPU Profile where it was competing with systems like the Aurora R15 that had a 13900KF. Storage was quite good with the G16CH, scoring 3185 in the 3DMark Storage Benchmark, the third highest to date in our testing.
Pricing on the G16CH comes in at $2799 - hit and miss for me. On the one side, this is a solid value for anyone getting into the industry, not wanting to build their own machine. On the flip side, this machine has several caveats, including using a B760 motherboard limited by DDR4 memory and a lackluster rear I/O. ASUS could easily change this as a vendor without changing the machine's overall cost by switching the motherboard to a DDR5 variant. They could slap in the B760-A Gaming Wi-Fi, and this machine would easily be 100% recommended.
As it sits, we can't recommend a product that traps you into old technology.