The Asus ROG Matrix RTX 4090 GPU looks like a piece of art
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The Asus ROG Matrix RTX 4090 GPU looks like a piece of art

Jun 03, 2023

At Computex 2023, Asus ROG showed off its brand-new liquid metal-cooled Matrix RTX 4090 GPU, and it looks fantastic.

Asus had one of the biggest presences of any company at Computex, with dedicated booths for both its ROG division and its more home and business oriented products. Both of them were huge, too, and I've already gone over my thoughts on the ROG Ally, which is just one of the many things I got to check out at the ROG booth. But there's a lot more, and I wanted to talk about some of my favorite things here.

Outside of the ROG Ally, one of the coolest things at the Asus ROG booth this year was definitely the brand-new Asus ROG Matrix GeForce RTX 4090 GPU. Built around Nvidia's GeForce RTX 4090 (naturally), this is one of the slickest and potentially most powerful GPUs you'll be able to buy. Before we get to the inner workings of it, though, I just have to say this thing looks absolutely stylish. It comes in an enclosure made of aluminum with a transparent front panel, and the inside is also extremely sleek looking. Even the metal connectors for the liquid cooling loop look shiny, and it makes for a GPU that just oozes premium. It's truly stunning.

Of course, looks aren't (usually) what matters most to gamers, and the ROG Matrix brings the goods when it comes to performance, too. The big news, of course, is the use of a liquid metal thermal compound for the GPU, which promises significantly better thermal conductivity than typical thermal paste. There's also a larger copper heat plate that extends beyond the GPU die and to the memory chips and other heat-generating components on the PCB. Asus tells me you may see temperatures up to ten degrees lower with this GPU, though of course, that would be a best-case scenario. Still, super impressive numbers.

Even the liquid cooling solution is interesting here, too. Of course, the GPU is connected to a 360mm radiator which is cooled by three 120mm fans. What's cool about it is that the three fans are daisy-chained and magnetic, plus there are no cables connecting them (aside from the first fan in the array, which needs a cable to connect to power). Instead, each fan has a small set of pins on the side, and they all connect seamlessly through these pins, making for an even cleaner build.

There's so much that makes this such a cool GPU, but it's definitely one for a very small subset of the market. The Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 already has a $1,500 price tag normally, and this super premium design is bound to cost significantly more. Asus wasn't ready to share pricing yet, but the ROG Matrix RTX 4090 should be available later this year. Pricing aside, I imagine this will be something many will want to keep an eye on.

While Asus didn't announce any new laptops for Computex, I did have the chance to check out some of the 2023 launches from the company, and there's a lot of cool stuff.

If you want the most gaming power, the ROG Strix Scar 16 and 18 are probably your go-to. They come with up to an Intel Core i9-13900HX and Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 Laptop GPU, so you'll have plenty of power to work with. Plus, they use liquid metal cooling for the CPU in the top-tier models. They also have a lot of RGB lighting, including a nice RGB light bar at the front and the back. The ROG logo on the lid also lights up around the edges, so this is a really good way to show off.

There's also the ROG Strix G16 and G18, which are a small step down in terms of performance and flashiness. They max out with a GeForce RTX 4080, and instead of a light bar in the back, they actually have these green accents and a sort of paint splash effect that I think looks really cool. There's also a plain black version, but this looks a lot cooler to me.

Moving over to the ROG Zephyrus line, the highlight would probably be the ROG Zephyrus Duo 16. Asus has been going all-in on this dual-screen design for a few years now, and I honestly find it impressive that it's still going. Basically, the bottom half of the laptop has a large screen that's about as wide as the main one, but a little less than half the height. This gives you the ability to multitask in a new way.

The example Asus gave me was having a video playing on the bottom screen while playing a game on the big screen, but there's a lot more you can do with it using the Asus Xcreen Xpert software. You can use it as a handwriting panel or a second screen to display anything else. Asus didn't do a great job of demoing these features, but I'd say a pretty cool use case would be having Discord on the bottom screen while playing a game, for example.

Of course, having such a large screen take up a big portion of the base means there's limited space for a touchpad, so Asus made a vertical touchpad that does on the side of the keyboard. It's pretty odd, but for a gaming laptop, you're probably using a real mouse anyway. It can double as a number pad, which is also pretty cool.

Otherwise, the laptop is available with up to an RTX 4090 GPU, and it also uses the Grizzly Bear Conductonaut liquid metal cooling solution that's in the ROG Strix line. Performance shouldn't be something you'll miss here. The secondary display is even designed to lift from the base when you open the lid, which increases airflow to keep the laptop running as cool as possible.

The rest of the Zephyrus line is less focused on top-tier performance, with the ROG Zephyrus M and G series. The M series is more focused on power, with up to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 Laptop GPU with 145W of power, while the G series is more about being relatively thin and light. It goes up to 125W of power, but the Zephyrus G14 only weighs up to 3.7 pounds, which is pretty portable for this kind of machine. The G16 is a bit heavier, but still lighter than the M16.

What both of these series have in common is the AniMe Matrix display on the lid. This is a series of white LEDs that adorns about half of the lid, and it's honestly very cool. You can use it to display images and animations, and seeing it in person for the first time, what impressed me the most is how legible and smooth these animations can still be within the limitations of the hardware. I imagine there's a community of people doing some pretty cool stuff with this, and it definitely makes for a unique laptop. Asus is all about these weird ideas, and I love it.

With all of that being said, what I really wanted to look at was the Asus ROG Flow series, which consists of convertible and hybrid designs. I personally own and love the ROG Flow X13 from 2021, with Ryzen 5000 processors and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti, but I've kept up with the latest models, and I was super interested in seeing it in person. The latest ROG Flow X13 comes with Ryzen 7040HS series processors and up to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070, which is a major step up in performance. Asus still advertises the same weight, though, and indeed, it's still very light to hold. I really love this hardware.

Asus has refined it, too. The build quality definitely feels a bit more premium than the model I have, and things like the ridges on the lid are a little bit more subdued, which I like. And in a world where light laptops tend to sacrifice ports, I was surprised to find out that the latest models actually added a microSD card reader my version doesn't have.

The display has also improved dramatically. Asus is now using an ROG Nebula panel in the higher-end models, promising 100% coverage of DCI-P3 and a nice 500 nits of brightness, and indeed, the visual experience was pretty great in my quick hands-on. It also has a smoother 165Hz refresh rate, and Quad HD+ resolution, so it's an upgrade in every way from the version I have. Needless to say, I'm pretty jealous if you have one of these newer models.

There's also the ROG Flow X16, which is a more recent addition with more powerful specs. It also comes with Ryzen 7040HS series processors and up to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070, that GPU now uses up to 120W of power, rather than 60W like in the X13. Being a much larger and more powerful laptop, though, it does go up to 4.85 pounds of weight (the base model is lighter, at 4.41 pounds), and while that's relatively light for the size, it does make it harder to carry. Having traveled a long way to get to Taipei, trying to pick up the ROG Flow X16 just immediately told me it was something I couldn't have brought with me to work if I wanted to, which was a bit deflating. I still prefer the Flow X13 for that, it's legitimately light.

There are other benefits to this bigger size, though. It comes with up to an ROG Nebula HDR display, which is an even better version of Asus' high-end displays. This one actually uses a mini-LED panel and promises up to 1,100 nits of peak brightness, so it can deliver awesome HDR experiences. This specific panel also goes up to a 240Hz refresh rate, so that's also nice to see.

Asus actually had a section just to display the ROG Nebula HDR technology, and indeed, these screens look great. They feel pretty close to OLED, and that's always a good thing.

Finally, there's the ROG Flow X13, which is more of a tablet with a detachable keyboard, rather than a typical convertible like the ones above. It's the only device in the lineup powered by Intel processors, and it goes up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 graphics at 65W. Otherwise, it's pretty similar to the Flow X13 in regards to the display.

It has a pretty sturdy-feeling design and kickstand, and most importantly, the detachable keyboard also feels solid. My biggest fear was that it would feel flimsy under pressure and offer a terrible typing experience, but to my surprise, Asus actually delivered a pretty good experience. By that, I don't mean to say that I had low standards for Asus, but this is the kind of thing that's very easy to get wrong, and it's great to see that Asus didn't.

The last thing I wanted to mention is the Asus ROG Rapture GT-BE98 router. I didn't actually learn that much about the specs of it at the show, but I had to talk about how absolutely humongous this thing is for a router. I'm pretty sure you could build a fairly powerful desktop PC inside this case, and there are so many antennae (and huge ones at that) that it's almost comical.

As you'd expect from the looks of it, this thing is a beast. It's one of the first Wi-Fi 7 routers on the market, supporting up to 320MHz of bandwidth as well as multi-band connections, meaning you can connect to a device using 2.4GHz, 5GHz, and 6GHz bands at the same time for higher throughput and better stability. Asus promises speeds up to a massive 25,000Mbps. For wired connections, the router also comes with two 10Gbps ports and four 2.5Gbps ports.

Pricing and availability for this router are still unknown, but if you want to be on the bleeding edge, and you have the money for it (I assume it will be pretty expensive), this is probably for you.

I've been covering the tech world since 2018, and I love computers, phones, and - above all that - Nintendo videogames, which I'm always happy to talk about.