Asus mATX ROG Rampage II Gene X58 Motherboard
But there is hope yet.
A new band of ROG heroes has emerged to battle the forces of darkness. Though small in number they possess the full might of ROG.
They are the Elite. They are the Gene squad." - Asus 2009
Up until now, high end motherboards were the preserve of ATX / E-ATX standards but a number of manufacturers are beginning to realise that hardcore gamers don't always want huge setups, massive tower cases and hulking, overweight power supplies. Ask any gamer who has dragged their watercooled V2000 to a LAN, they will tell you the attention it gets is simply not worth the aching arms.
Micro ATX has often been scoffed at by high end enthusiasts. They have not been popular with overclockers or gamers, not sought after by anyone other than those looking for a compact PC. Certainly not in the sense the latest and greatest motherboards have been, due in part that often with a shrink is size comes a shrink in features. Asus aim to change that viewpoint with the ROG Rampage II Gene X58.
Being from the ROG (Republic of Gamers) stable, the Rampage II Gene is feature packed, bursting with the same features that made its full fat stablemate so popular among the enthusiast community. Here's what Asus had to say about their latest release:
With the Rampage II GENE, ASUS has masterfully filled the mATX gap in its lauded ROG product line. For the first time, users will be able to harness the full power of the Intel® Core™ i7 processor in a chassis the fraction of the size and weight of an ATX desktop PC. The Rampage II GENE’s awesome combination of overclock ability, tweak ability and stability enable it to easily outgun other full-sized ATX motherboards.
MemOK! Any Memory is A-Okay!
MemOK! was developed to provide users with a worry-free memory upgrade experience. In the event of a boot failure after installing new RAM, all the user has to do is press an easily accessible button on the motherboard and MemOK! will automatically load the failsafe settings needed to ensure a successful system boot. MemOK! is able to rapidly detect and resolve memory issues—even if bad or unstable memory is used!
Supreme In-game Audio with SupremeFX X-Fi
An on-board SupremeFX X-Fi solution delivers crisp audio and incredibly realistic in-game sound effects. Official EAX sound effects from EAX 1.0 to EAX HD4.0 allow gamers to enjoy total immersion in supported games. X-Fi CMSS3D’s groundbreaking positional audio gives gamers a distinct in-game advantage, while Crystalizer enhances overall audio quality dramatically. Here's a breakdown of what the ROG Rampage II Gene has to offer:
The specification below was taken directly from Asus:
CPU: LGA1366 socket for Intel® Core™ i7
Chipset: Intel® X58/ICH10R
System: Bus Up to 6.4 GT/s with QuickPath Interconnection
Memory: 6 x DIMM, Triple Channel, up to 24GB
DDR3: 2000(O.C.)/1800(O.C.)/1600(O.C)/1333/1066 MHz
Expansion slot: 2 x PCIe2.0 x16 slot, supports dual x16, 1 x PCIe2.0 x4, 1 x PCI 2.2
Multi-GPU Support: NVIDIA SLI™ / ATI CrossFireX™
Storage: 7 x SATA 3.0 Gb/s, 1 x eSATA 3.0 Gb/s, 1 x UltraDMA 133, support RAID 0, 1, 0+1, 5, and JBOD
LAN: Gigabit LAN
Audio: Onboard SupremeFX X-Fi 8-Ch. Audio with EAX4.0 support
Other I/O ports: 1*PS/2, 1*eSATA, 1*IEEE1394a, 1*Clr CMOS, 1*Optical S/PDIF, USB / IEEE1394a 12 x USB2.0 (6+6) / 2 x 1394a ports (1 at back I/O, 1 onboard)
Fan connector: 5 (1 x CPU / 2 x Chassis / 2 x Optional)
Software: (Full version) Kaspersky anti-virus, Futuremark® 3DMark™06 Advanced Edition
Features: MemOK!, CPU Level Up, Keyboard-TweakIt, Extreme Tweaker, iROG, Loadline Calibration, LCD Poster, EPU-6 Engine, Q-Fan plus, Voltiminder LED
Form Factor: micro ATX Form Factor, 9.6”x 9.6” (24.4cm x 24.4cm)
As you can see from the specification above this motherboard is a feature packed motherboard. Let's take a look at the board itself...