ASUS Rampage III Gene Review
The packaging follows the usual ROG style, being red and silver with a very bold logo in teh boards centre and the ROG splash on the bottom right. The rear panel has the usual Asus clear layout showing the main features and specifications.
Opening her up we have the clear top we've recently seen on the Rampage III Extreme and Maximum III Extreme. Lifting that out for a moment we find the many inclusions that you always get with a ROG motherboard.
As well as the things we're all used to seeing, (SATA cables, IO shield, ROG Connect cable etc), we also see a big ROG sticker. Should you wish to adorn the side of your case with something slightly less discrete than the standard case badge.
Getting our first look we can see that it follows the Rampage IIIs unique heatsink design for the southbridge and chipset coolers, but as we'll see below the power-phase cooling certainly doesn't.
Flipping the coolers off we reveal the chipset in all it's glory. We'll get a closer look at them later on.
Understandably with this being a compressed mATX board the CPU socket is busy to say the least. The fin style cooler is almost designed to take the skin off your knuckles when installing a large cooler and it's curious to see this fairly old-school sink used on such a modern board.
The DIMM slots have the excellent single tab design we saw previously on ROG labelled boards. The top right of the board has the vertical battery we've seen on other high-end mATXs, so careful with that axe Eugene.
Below the good-looking chipset heatsink we have the PCIe slots and various headers. Although the PCIe release lever is a vast improvement upon most solutions, it still doesn't really allow you to easily take a full-cover card out. Anyone who's tried to remove a modern reference heatsink card without removing their skin/RAM/motherboard will know what I mean.
On the bottom right we have the normal front-panel headers, SATA ports etc. We also find the "GO" button which allows you to load a specific set of BIOS settings with just the push of a button. Vital for when you are overclocking.
The I/O panel has everything you'd expect to find. The main extras are the ROG Connect, and the CMOS reset on the rear. Always a handy feature.