Asus mATX ROG Rampage II Gene X58 Motherboard

Conclusion

Conclusion

'Size doesn't matter' so they say and if motherboards are anything to go by and on the back of this review I would be inclined to agree. The Rampage II Gene's diminutive size is misleading as it is a very capable performer. While we did not have any other mATX boards to compare the performance of the Gene to, I am confident that the Asus motherboard would be hard to beat.

The motherboard packaging is excellent with the balance of protection and aesthetics nigh on perfect. The motherboard layout is very well designed with no major issues encountered, this is reinforced by the fact that this is an mATX motherboard and to cram so many features into such a small space is nothing short of amazing. I could say the colour scheme is getting a little tired but it is certainly not offencive. The DDR3 slots positioning may be an issue for some but the only way around this would be to lose IDE, something which Asus decided would be a bad move and for the moment at least I am inclined to agree.

The motherboard cooling could be better, especially when you consider that this boards home is most likely to be in a small case with relatively poor airflow. In an open test bed the NB hit temps in excess of 70c so this would most likely increase further in a closed case environment. While we had no issues with stability at this temperature, 70c on the Northbridge is quite disturbing and one can only hope this was a sensor calibration issue which will be rectified by future BIOS releases. The modular Northbridge is another ingenious idea that will appeal to a lot of folk, especially those who intend to watercool as this eradicates the need to strip the whole of the heatsink and find suitable replacement waterblocks.

I would like to aim some sort of criticism at the Rampage II Gene to even out the review and I thought the price of the motherboard would put most people off as its £300+ bigger brother seems to have done. However, priced at a reasonable (for X58 motherboards) £223 at the time of writing  is not something I can level any criticism at. Sure for £220 you can get a full size motherboard but with more features? With better overclocking? On board XFI? mATX? I think you would struggle. I could level criticism to the fact that its expansion card possibilities are severely limited but this is a design of the motherboard and there is simply no way of getting around this.

In short, this motherboard is simply amazing. Asus have done the impossible by including most of the features of it's bigger brother, increased overclocking potential, lowered the price, all bundled up in a small package ideal for LAN gamers and overclockers alike.


The Good
- Best overclocking performance bar none
- Great layout
- Onboard X-FI
- Onboard switches
- SLI/Crossfire Capable
- Fantastic BIOS

The Mediocre
- Only 2 Sata cables included (non latch type)
- No USB expansion plate
- Cooling could be an issue under certain circumstances.

The Bad
- It will certainly create a lot of envy!



Thanks to Asus for providing the Rampage II Gene for todays review. Discuss in our forums

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Most Recent Comments

06-03-2009, 11:24:46

w3bbo
"Often with a shrink is size comes a shrink in features. Asus aim to change that viewpoint with the ROG Rampage II Gene X58." - W3bbo

http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/artic...200506787s.jpg

Read the full in-depth review HERE

06-03-2009, 11:46:48

cl0ck_ed
Very, nice review. Wanted to see a higher base clock though, 220 would have been nice. Any body know how this compares to the DFI x58 jr board in terms of bclk overclocking?

Ed

06-03-2009, 11:57:12

zak4994
I like it.

06-03-2009, 15:06:59

Rastalovich
Great review.

1 thing I really like about the layout of the mobo is the consideration given to the cooling of the cpu - area. Really looks like they give u a nice amount of scope.

Amazes me how now memory areas seem more important than pci(e)(x) slots. U choose with ur preference here tho.

Still look at all the results for all the X58s and there aren't any across the board leaders. They all peak somewhere and drop elsewhere.

Be interesting to adopt a price per performance on the 3dmark Vantage stat - seeing as it's the lesser of the evils when thinking of artificial gaming/cost stats.

For the cash, the package seems poor to me. Many other manufacturers will atleast give u a full bank of sata cables - with locks, for example.

Meh, I'd stick with a Gigabyte to this point.

Awaiting the next ASUS mobo to come out in a month or so I guess.

10-03-2009, 06:58:57

niky_d
Hi!

Amazing review mate, as always.

I think I'm in love , to put so many features into that limited space is pretty awesome. The downer is the package. I've used to something else with ASUS Rampage mobo's, as I'm more than satisfied with my Rampage formula.

Maybe if I decide to build me a i7 platform PC this MB would without a doubt be my fist choice to buy.

Let's see what time brings, but for now this is the master MB for me .

Niky

10-03-2009, 07:25:25

Sleekit
I wish i could buy one! Having a compact gaming rig *dreams*

10-03-2009, 07:31:13

Toxcity
Ewww, mATX?

Well, I am impressed to see such performance in such a small space. BUT the cases this board is design for tend to not be big enough for any high-end GPUs.

So what's the point?

11-03-2009, 06:54:28

Jaster
I dont understand why you would limit yourself to a mATX board with limited PCI-E slots. Don't get me wrong the board is outstanding, but I'd like to see ASUS offer a full ATX board with this kind of performance especially at this kind of price.

11-03-2009, 12:09:06

zak4994
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Jaster'
I dont understand why you would limit yourself to a mATX board with limited PCI-E slots. Don't get me wrong the board is outstanding, but I'd like to see ASUS offer a full ATX board with this kind of performance especially at this kind of price.
Well not everyone wants to buy a new case that can fit an ATX.

This was made exactly for the opposite reasons of what you are saying.

Sheesh if you want an ATX then there are plenty...

11-03-2009, 12:59:19

Jaster
so if you have a mATX case and have 230 to spend on a mobo (let alone the other components) your gonna be so tight you won't shell out for a new case???

11-03-2009, 12:59:52

monkey7
Some people want performance small PC's, this would be ace for it.

And simply because you can

11-03-2009, 13:03:52

Jaster
you'd struggle with all the other components...nice idea...but from an enthusiast point of you I think its a redundant idea....sorry its mho...if you could get high performance low profile cards and other suitable components I would say "great"...but with what your gonna want to strap to this bad boy I think we have a way to go before its viable to purchase a mATX board of this calibre....

11-03-2009, 13:06:45

zak4994
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Jaster'
so if you have a mATX case and have 230 to spend on a mobo (let alone the other components) your gonna be so tight you won't shell out for a new case???
Not everyone actually will want to shell out for a new case.

Not everyone is rich like you.

11-03-2009, 13:27:00

Jaster
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='zak4994'
Not everyone actually will want to shell out for a new case.

Not everyone is rich like you.
yeah because I7 is the budget range....

11-03-2009, 13:28:36

zak4994
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Jaster'
yeah because I7 is the budget range....
But in the end, buying another case just seams well a bit stupid if you have one already.

I mean with the credit crunch and all.

11-03-2009, 14:05:15

monkey7
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='zak4994'
But in the end, buying another case just seams well a bit stupid if you have one already.

I mean with the credit crunch and all.
Then you wouldn't be going for an i7. Period.

No seriously, this might be interesting for small modded cases and high performance. Imo full ATX is better in all other cases though.

12-03-2009, 05:31:31

youpla
Well I love my mATX case and will not change it for a bigger ATX case to go i7... So this Gene mobo will without a doubt be a perfect choice for upgrading my PC.

Any online shop with stock already?

12-03-2009, 17:20:33

Rastalovich
Similarly the mATX mobos are coming out in X58 form and not G53 or summit.

X58 seems it's gonna be the only chipset.

13-03-2009, 04:31:27

w3bbo
P55? P53? I would expect to see some of these soon enough along with 'G' variants.

13-03-2009, 04:37:37

JN
IMO it's the perfect board for a LAN gaming rig. Tiny little square box, handle on top, some heavy overclocking and a couple of GPU's in SLI / Crossfire.

No disrespect to Asus but some of their motherboard releases do seem a bit unenthusiastic with only a few minor component changes, so it's good to see something that's radically different for once.

28-04-2009, 18:48:26

Mullet
Nice review Webbo...

Liking that mobo ALOT. Interesting reading peoples' comments on the whole SFF power PC. It's all down to personal preference at the end of the day... I downsized from a fully w/c Lian Li g70 Sli rig to what I deem to be a decent mATX system. Housed inside a case with very good airflow (mini p180) this new offering from Asus has got my debit card twitching and is making me think it's time to move to i7!!

10-06-2009, 15:51:44

Mullet
Webbo - do you still have BIOS details which got you to the 4.2Ghz OC? Looks like this board will be coming my way this weekend

10-06-2009, 15:59:09

w3bbo
Base clock to 200,

Vcore to 1.4,

Mem divider set to 1600

8-8-8-24

1.65vDimm

QPI to 4800GT/s

VTT 1.3

Turbo enabled.

Thats about all I can remember off hand as I have reviewed a few mobo's since then.

10-06-2009, 16:01:19

Mullet
Thanks Webbo, I'm a newcomer to i7 so if you remember any further settings which I need to concern myself with when I go for a decent OC it would be very helpful if you could post em here.

Oh - would it be worth whacking some better board cooling on? I have a brand new HR05sli which could be pressed into service on the SB, what would you recommend for NB of Mofs?

Cheers

10-06-2009, 17:48:13

w3bbo
Stock cooling is more than adequate for 4ghz. I wouldn't consider adding aftermarket aircooling as I doubt very much it it would help any further overclocks, especially by cooling the SB and mosfets when if anywhere it's the NB that would help most.

11-06-2009, 17:27:56

mrapoc
Man I want a performance matx build

imagine

the power of a full sized rig

in a beasty little case

*drools*

12-06-2009, 15:44:21

rhomp2002
I don't know about anyone else but I live in a studio (1-room) apt and have a very limited amount of space. The m-ATX is a great size for me because it just fits on a small part of my table and occupies very little space. My case has a 500 watt PSU and 3 fans, a DVD/RW, 2 hard drives, a CPU fan, an ASUS EN9600TOP GPU, 4GB ram and a XEON E3110 (C2D E8400) CPU. The temp gets all the way up to 39 degrees Centigrade. Seems to me that I would be a fool to throw out this case with all it offers when I can get a Mobo like this one with the associated equipment and probably still keep it efficient, cool and able to perform well. I did some figuring last night using Newegg (I am in the US) and I could get the RAM, CPU and Mobo for around $500 if I want to keep my current PSU or about $650 if I want to replace my 500 watt PSU with an 850 watt PSU and I would end up with a system that fits my life style and space with no problems. Why would I do otherwise?

12-06-2009, 15:50:50

w3bbo
Why indeed

27-06-2009, 21:01:15

Mullet
Will Corsair Dominator/Patriot Viper DDR3 fit on this board with a TRUE120 fited?

28-06-2009, 06:13:08

w3bbo
Depends on the orientation m8. It should fit ok, even with both fans but I cannot 100% guarentee it as I didn't have a TRUE during testing. Hopefully Thermalright will send us one as it seems to be the case that if a TRUE fits then so will most coolers.

02-11-2009, 04:55:54

nickasama
can u plzz give the best set of hardware for this motherboard Asus mATX ROG Rampage II Gene X58 Motherboard

16-01-2010, 20:04:53

Hosso
@nickasama

Here is what i'm getting.

Gene II

Dominator 3x2GB 1866MHz + Fan

P180 Mini

Here is what I have (had)

i7 920 C0

TRUE 120

RaptorX 150GB 10k RPM

GTX 295

1000HX 1000W

Liteon DVDRW

For me this is the best setup, except GFX. I, maybe will buy new Fermis, but it depends, just waiting benchs.

Anyways, this is good setup, I worked hard for this.

If you can buy, you can change GFX to 5870 and HDD to SSD (some Vertex would be nice). For me it's enough

18-01-2010, 10:05:32

feferefe
Hi everyone:

I'm new to the Overclock world. I recently update my Gateway 6800-01e PC with this Mobo and a XFX 9800 GTX+. Yesterday I try to start messing around in the BIOS trying to change my Base clock to 180 at least, but it's still locked. I read somewhere that to achieve it, the AI has to be placed to manual. If someone have a guide to manually overclock this mobo, please let me know.

Thanks,

Feferefe

12-02-2010, 04:03:07

netgrazer
Can anyone tell me what type of PSU I would need for this baby? Last time I built a PC, things were still simple... Which of these types would work:

* ATX

* ATX12V

* ATX12V 2.0

* ATX12V 2.01

* ATX12V 2.03

* ATX12V 2.2

* ATX12V 2.3

* ATX12V 2.31

* BTX

* EPS12V

* EPS12V 2.8

* EPS12V 2.9

* EPS12V 2.91

* EPS12V 2.92

* flexATX

* mATX

* SFX

* SFX12V 3.01

* SSI

I'm so confused!

TIA

13-02-2010, 04:33:21

tinytomlogan
Whats your budget dude, if you are buying a new psu and buy a decent brand you will be fine. Recomendations would be a 'Be-Quiet' of a Corsair PSU.
Reply
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