Oct 09, 2018 Written by: Hilko_Black

Eight CPU cores meet RTX graphics in the ROG Strix GL12CX gaming desktop

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Intel’s next generation of desktop processors debuted today at an exclusive launch event in New York, and the chips are already running inside a new version of our ROG Strix GL12 esports gaming desktop. The GL12CX uses the same compact chassis as the original GL12CM, but the internals are overhauled with up to the latest Core i9-9900K eight-core processor and NVIDIA GeForce RTX graphics. To complement the hot-swap SSD bay demanded by esports tournaments, there’s an innovative DIMM.2 module that can hold dual SSDs cooled by dedicated heatsinks.

A beast even at stock speeds, the Strix GL12CX is liquid-cooled and factory-overclocked to give you the sharpest competitive edge. The CPU is fully unlocked for further fine tuning via our Armoury Crate software, which also lets you customize the Aura Sync lighting inside and out. With cutting-edge components housed in an easily upgradeable design, the ROG Strix GL12CX offers a jaw-dropping gaming experience today with room to grow into tomorrow.

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Lock and load with the latest CPU, GPU, and liquid cooling

We built the GL12CX with the most powerful components available, starting with the best CPU for gaming: Intel’s new Core i9-9900K. With eight cores and 16 threads, this chip is capable of delivering monster gaming frame rates while simultaneously live-streaming, recording gameplay, and juggling Discord chats. We make it even faster with a factory overclock that pushes the frequency to 4.9GHz across all cores and threads. The Strix GL12CX is also available with a Core i7-9700K CPU with eight cores, eight threads, and a 5GHz factory overclock across them all.

Only the best CPUs make the grade for these machines; we subject each one to a series of stress tests to ensure it can sustain our factory overclock. A customized Cooler Master MasterLiquid Pro 120 closed-loop liquid cooler keeps CPU temperatures in check to prevent heat-induced hitches and slowdowns in performance.

The fastest CPU for gaming needs a GPU to match, so the processor can be paired with graphics based on NVIDIA’s latest and greatest Turing architecture. Otherwise known as the GeForce RTX series, Turing mixes CUDA cores for traditional rasterization with RT cores for ray-traced effects and Tensor cores that accelerate noise removal. When paired with compatible games, this combination enables faster antialiasing and higher-quality lighting, shadows, and reflections.

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To prevent dreaded sagging, the GL12CX has an internal crossbar that keeps the graphics card level and secure. This structural reinforcement also guards against damage from accidental bumps and other rough handling that can occur when your system is shipping across the world for a major tournament or just hitching a ride in the back seat on the way to a local LAN.

In the top model, the Strix GL12CX features an ASUS Turbo GeForce RTX 2080 Ti graphics card capable of not only pumping out the ultra-high-refresh rates that esports pros demand for monitors like the Full HD ROG Swift PG258Q, but also delivering smooth performance on 4K HDR monitors like the ROG Swift PG27UQ. The Turbo card has a larger 80-mm blower that spins on durable dual ball bearings. Warm air is pushed toward the rear I/O panel, where it’s exhausted from the system via additional venting that allows freer airflow.

The rest of the system cooling is just as smart. There are two internal air chambers, one for the drive bays and another for the main compartment that houses the rest of the components. Cool air comes in through the front fan, while exhaust is handled by one fan in the bottom and two attached to the radiator up top. Factory overclocked configs also feature a 90-mm fan at the back to improve airflow over the VRM feeding the CPU with power.

Deadly hardware in a compact case

High-end hardware is often housed in a larger chassis, but the Strix GL12CX is surprisingly compact. With a 27-liter volume and width of barely seven inches, it’s noticeably smaller than the average PC and easier to carry across town or tuck into a corner.

The all-black design draws inspiration from stealthy ninjas. Sharp angles on the front and top of the case evoke the gashes of a katana on armor. Some of those slashes serve as intake or exhaust vents, while light spills out of two cuts on the front like so much enemy blood.

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You can customize your own RGB configurations with Aura Sync and synchronize the system lighting with compatible peripherals like mice, keyboards, and even monitors. Get creative and express yourself, or use the lighting to react to in-game events and environments in compatible games, like the new Call of Duty: Black Ops 4.

In addition to offering lighting up front, the GL12CX has internal illumination supplied by several components. You can peer at the parts through the optional transparent side panel that ships with the case. If you want to add more interior lighting, there’s an RGB header on the motherboard for connecting LED strips.

Swap, sandwich, and upgrade your storage

The hot-swap SSD bay hiding behind the case’s magnetic front cover was developed specifically for esports competitions. Players store their profiles and games on 2.5” SSDs that they bring with them to events, and organizers need an easy way to load that data onto tournament machines. With the front-mounted hot-swap bay on the GL12CX, players and organizers can quickly remove and insert SSDs without having to reboot the systems, open the case, or use any tools. Even if you don’t compete in esports, the hot-swap bay vastly simplifies storage upgrades.

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Along with the external hot-swap bay, the GL12CX has internal mounts for one more 2.5” SSD and two 3.5” HDDs. The side panel is held in place by four thumbscrews, so it’s easy to open the system to swap parts.

Arguably the most interesting storage component is the innovative DIMM.2 module that slots into the system’s new Z390 motherboard. This vertical expansion card uses a memory-style slot to connect two M.2 SSDs to the chipset. Because heat can slow the performance of M.2 SSDs, the DIMM.2 module integrates heatsinks for each SSD. You can run dual NVMe drives, pair them in a speedy RAID configuration, or use one SSD as a system drive and one stick of Intel Optane Memory to accelerate an accompanying hard drive. This level of storage flexibility is great for gamers with gigantic Steam libraries and content creators who want a separate scratch disk.

The DIMM.2 slot sits next to two actual DDR4 slots that can be configured with up to 32GB of RAM. You can load up the Strix GL12CX with more than enough memory for hardcore gaming and serious work.

Connect all your gear

Although most of your peripherals will connect around the back, front-panel ports provide more convenient access. The GL12CX has a 3.5-mm headset jack up front that’s ideal for esports events where players need to plug in quickly. There’s also a 2-in-1 card reader for accessing your camera’s photos and video as well as two USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports and two USB 2.0 for external storage and other devices. Just for good measure, we added an optical drive for any legacy DVDs you need to access.

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Around back, you’ll find six USB ports. There are two ports each offering USB 2.0, USB 3.1 Gen 1, and USB 3.1 Gen 2 connectivity. We also include the expected selection of five audio jacks for external speaker systems, plus a digital S/PDIF for compatible receivers. Wired networking is covered by Intel Gigabit Ethernet, and systems can be configured with an optional Intel 802.11ac Wave 2 WiFi implementation capable of greater than gigabit speeds. The WiFi card also integrates Bluetooth 5 for wirelessly connecting peripherals and other devices.

The onboard audio sounds warm and crisp thanks to premium Nichicon capacitors and an ALC1150 codec with an SNR of 115dB. ROG Sonic Studio III augments the hardware with surround-sound virtualization for stereo headphones, improved noise cancellation for recording, and casting enhancements that reduce artifacts and stabilize voice volume.

Our new Armoury Crate utility offers deeper options for customization. You can create profiles that load specific settings for your favorite games, adjust system cooling and performance, and tinker with manual overclocking options. Aura Sync RGB lighting controls are also integrated, providing a one-stop shop for system tuning.

Built for esports but perfect for all gamers

Although we created the ROG Strix GL12CX with esports in mind, it’s perfect for gamers of all stripes. You can configure one with a factory-overclocked Core i9-9900K CPU and the latest GeForce RTX graphics to get bleeding-edge performance for gaming, streaming, content creation, and more. With upgrade-friendly internals and intuitive software for tuning performance and lighting, you can easily make this machine your own. Ask your local ROG representative for details about configurations, availability, and pricing in your region.

  ROG Strix GL12CX
CPU Intel Core i9-9900K
Intel Core i7-9700K
Intel Core i7-8700
Chipset Intel Z390
Operating System Windows 10 Pro
Windows 10
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti 11GB
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 8GB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 8GB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 8GB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 3GB
Main memory Up to 32GB DDR4 2666MHz
Storage 128GB / 256GB / 512GB M.2 PCIe SSD
1TB / 2TB 7200rpm HDD
Connectivity Intel Gigabit LAN
2x2 802.11ac Gigabit Wi-Fi
Bluetooth 5.0
Optical 1 x SuperMulti DVD RW optical drive
Interface Front IO
2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A
2 x USB 2.0 Type-A
1 x Microphone in / Headphone Out
1 x 2-in-1 card reader SD/MMC

Rear IO
2 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A
4 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A
2 x USB 2.0 Type-A
5 x audio jacks
1 x Optical SPDIF out
1 x RJ45
Expansion 1 x M.2 (for Wi-Fi)
1 x M.2 supporting SATA, NVMe and Intel Optane memory
1 x M.2 support NVMe and Intel Optane memory
1 x PCIe x1
5 x SATA 6Gbps
Power 500W / 700W
Dimensions 17.9 x 40 x 45.6cm
Weight 11kg
Price (GL12CX-DH781) $3,299.99 USD
Pre-order (USA) ASUS
B&H
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