Asus mATX ROG Rampage II Gene X58 Motherboard

BIOS Features

BIOS Features

After detecting the GPU BIOS, the board boots into a flash sequence ending with the ROG (Republic of Gamers) emblem. This can be changed with the BIOS option to display the POST details if you so wish.

ROG


The first section in the BIOS is the Extreme tweaker area and as this is Overclock3D it is the one section that interests us most. While from the outset the BIOS looks substantial and intimidating it is riddled with auto overclocking features. Extreme OC setting allows the full fat features for the overclocking enthusiast whereas the gaming setting allows the basic settings to be available and the board does the rest for you. We will be exploring all of the features so have set this to Extreme OC.

ET extreme OC
 
If you are looking for a quick and dirty overclock then the CPU level up feature is for you. This allowed out i7 920 test CPU to be automatically 'levelled up' to the range topping i7 965 extreme edition CPU. Sadly it didn't suddenly unlock the CPU multipliers but it did give us a clockspeed of 3.2GHz. This is ideal for those looking for a boost in performance but not wanting to dabble in the dark arts of overclocking. The memory up feature has the same effect but this time, on the memory. Sadly we did not have the same success here with 2000MHz unattainable by our DDR3 kit.

level up mem level up
 
The CPU features are all there with the usual restrictions on CPU overclocking all enabled so if you are looking for the best possible performance I advise you to disable the majority of these. The Unclock frequency is adjusted by means of a menu scrolling up and down with the arrow keys or the +/- keys.

CPU Features Uclk
 
The QPI Link data rate is a small menu dictated by the Base clock setting again set by the use of arrow or plus/minus keys. Next we come to the EPU Phase setting. This is a power saving feature of Asus boards that alter the power modulation in effect lowering power consumption of your setup when in an idle state. This however can sometimes affect and overclock so Asus have thoughtfully allowed the setting to be turned off by tuning the setting to 'Full Phase' (16).
 
QPI EPU II
 
CPU Differential Amplitude can be fine tuned in 100Mv jumps to enhance stability under extreme overclocked conditions. Below right we see the beginning of the numerous voltage options. I have set all the voltages to there maximum level but rest assured I would not dare use these on a day to day basis as, for example, 2.5v on the CPU or memory would turn our test rig into a squealing puff of smoke in no time at all, such are the extreme voltages available here.

diff amp voltages
 
Data and control reference voltages can be tweaked on each channel (A, B and C) by the means of a sub menu, further enhancing the possibilities of high overclocks with the Rampage II Gene. A nice feature of the BIOS are the coloured reminders of what level of safety your are setting the voltages at. Blue = standard, yellow = steady now, red = she's gonna blow! At least thats my interpretation of the colours!

 ref voltage Tweakit
 
CPU clock Skew can have a dramatic effect on what Base Clock the motherboard and therefore you CPU can reach. The Gene gives you the opportunity to fine tune this setting as well ranging in 100ps delay multiples. After you have made all your significant overclock changes to the BIOS you can the save them to one of 8 profiles which is a great time saving feature and one that I make use of every time I set an overclock, especially when I know I am on the boundaries of stability as if the board fails to boot resulting in a CLR CMOS situation you can easily dial in your previous bootable options without wasting 10 minutes searching for that scrap of paper you (hopefully) wrote them all down on.

Clock skew OC Profile
 
The TweakIt Batch file features allows you to save the individual setting for future reference and load those values at a later date. Think of this as a memoriser for your individual settings rather than the whole settings and you won't go far wrong. Entering the PC Health Status area we see that there are numerous options available depending on what you want to view. Voltage, Temperatures, Fan speed (Control and Monitor).

tweakit voltage monitor

readings temps

fan speed Qfan
 
This is perhaps one of the most complete, yet user friendly BIOS' I have come across in a long time. There are plenty of options for both enthusiast and novice alike and the features available are nothing short than phenomenal. I would have liked a better description in the motherboard manual as to what the more complex features did as in it's current state it appears that the writer had use of limited vocabulary and/or understanding of what the features were themselves. The annotations in the BIOS do help explain a little but are very basic and when you are playing around with what is very expensive hardware you need some reassurance and education of what you are about to do is safe and will actually have a benefit.

Nonetheless, the options are there to be experimented with if you are feeling brave and thus the BIOS section of our review is complete. Let's move on to our test setup...
«Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Next»

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
x

Register for the OC3D Newsletter

Subscribing to the OC3D newsletter will keep you up-to-date on the latest technology reviews, competitions and goings-on at Overclock3D. We won't share your email address with ANYONE, and we will only email you with updates on site news, reviews, and competitions and you can unsubscribe easily at any time.

Simply enter your name and email address into the box below and be sure to click on the links in the confirmation emails that will arrive in your e-mail shortly after to complete the registration.

If you run into any problems, just drop us a message on the forums.