Asus mATX ROG Rampage II Gene X58 Motherboard

Test Setup, Power Consumption & Overclocking

Test Setup
 
To ensure that all reviews on Overclock3D are fair, consistent and unbiased, a standard set of hardware and software is used whenever possible during the comparative testing of two or more products. The configuration used in this review can be seen below: 
 
Processor: Intel Core i7 920 (2.66Ghz)

Motherboard: Asus mATX ROG Rampage II Gene X58

Memory: Corsair Dominator @ 8-8-8-24 1600MHz

Graphics Card: NVidia GTX280

Power Supply: Gigabyte Odin 1200W

CPU Cooling: Stock Intel Cooling

Hard Disk: Hitachi Deskstar 7K160 7200rpm 80GB

Graphics Drivers: Geforce 180.60 CUDA

Operating System: Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate x64 SP1
 
I had no major issues setting the board up as everything was in it's logical and optimal location. I did have some concerns of the memory slots positioning as this is perilously close to the CPU socket making the choice of CPU cooler very difficult. Our test heatsink, the OCZ Gladiator fitted with ease, as did its backplate but I do worry for anyone fitting anything bigger as this would most certainly clash with at least the first memory slot. It is however doubtful that a massive cooler would be fitted in a small case anyway so this may be a non-issue but it is worth pointing out to potential buyers.
 
NB ram fitting
 
During the testing of the setup above, special care was taken to ensure that the BIOS settings used matched whenever possible. A fresh install of Windows Vista was also used before the benchmarking began, with a full defrag of the hard drive once all the drivers and software were installed, preventing any possible performance issues due to leftover drivers from the previous motherboard installations. For the 3DMark and gaming tests a single card configuration was used.

To guarantee a broad range of results, the following benchmark utilities were used:

Synthetic CPU Test
• Sisoft Sandra 2009
• PassMark CPU test
• SuperPI 1m, 8m, 32m

Memory Test
• Sisoft Sandra 2009
• Everest 4.60

File Compression & Encoding
• Sisoft Sandra 2009
• 7-Zip File Compression
• River Past ViMark

Disk I/O Performance
• HDTach 3.0.4.0
• Sisoft Sandra 2009

3D / Rendering Benchmarks
• Cinebench 10
• 3DMark 05
• 3DMark 06
• 3DMark Vantage

3D Games
• Crysis
• Far Cry 2
• Call of Duty 4


Overall System Performance
• PCMark Vantage



Power Consumption

Power consumption is an aspect often forgotten when it comes to enthusiast motherboards but in todays climate, with rising utility bills special consideration needs to be taken when choosing you components as over a period of time, one components can prove to be much more expensive than another over its lifetime.

Power consumption was measured at the socket using a plug-in mains power and energy monitor. Idle readings were taken after 5 minutes in Windows. Load readings were taken during a run of 3DMark Vantage.



 
Despite it's demure size, the Rampage II Gene still sucked plenty of watts from the PSU hitting the middle ground in comparison to our other boards on test. While the power consumption would no doubt decrease at idle with the use of the EPU engine we are assuming that this feature is not used by the end user.

 
Overclocking

Using a respectable Vcore of 1.40v, loadline calibration and Turbo technology enabled, the remainder of BIOS voltage settings were left in their stock state to ensure equality throughout the testing.
 
 4.3ghz

Oh my (insert expletive here) God! 4.3 Ghz is an amazing overclock, made even better that it comes from an mATX board and this is on air cooling! Beating all other motherboards we have tested to date, this is the maximum overclock we have achieved with our test i7 920 CPU. While I would say that our test CPU is from a good batch, it is not a cherry picked item and goes to show that motherboard choice, in this case the Rampage II Gene is all important when aiming for serious overclocks. It is also the highest Base clock we have achieved on an X58 motherboard. Gone are the restrictions of the magical 200 Bclk frequency. We did try higher but 205 was the best we could achieve, with 206 resulting in a non POST state. The overclock could perhaps have been pushed even further given more time and tweaking of the massive amount of settings available in the BIOS but I am in awe of the Gene's capability with just the standard tweaks applied.

The motherboard recovered from bad overclocks with ease and not once did I have to reset the CMOS. I should also point out that Vdrop and droop was pretty much non existent thanks to Asus's loadline calibration, making the voltages stable as a rock and thereby allowing a much more pleasant overclocking experience. 

Returning the settings back to their stock state and disabling the Turbotech setting we started our suite of benchmarks. The Asus Rampage II Gene's stock speed on the CPU read 2670MHz instead of the correct value of 2666 MHz resulting in a 4MHz increase. Consideration to that fact should therefore be given to the following results and while 4MHz is not exactly a major difference it could have a very slight skew on the results...
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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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