Intel Core i9 10980XE and ASUS ROG Rampage VI Extreme Encore Review
Published: 25th November 2019 | Source: ASUS | Price: |
Up Close - Overview
The black with red accents packaging that now is the default option on Republic of Gamers products always looks the part and, if anything, has become almost as familiar as the red original. It certainly lets the model name stand out more, and is a closer match to the monochrome aesthetic that has taken over the market in these RGB heavy days.
We would dare anyone in a blind test to spot the difference between the aesthetics of the Rampage VI Extreme Encore and the Zenith II Extreme. We're not entirely sure how we feel about this. We like the fact that AMD motherboards are no longer the less attractive option, and yet we're slightly disappointed ASUS have gone with a standard design on the Rampage. That name alone has major cachet and perhaps deserves a bit more than "that other motherboard we designed, but with a different chipset". Still, if it isn't broken there is no need to fix it and the Rampage VI Extreme Encore certainly is bristling with ASUS latest technologies, including a full colour OLED display.
Around the back we have the all-important backplate which helps to spread the thermal loading evenly across the PCB whilst also increasing the surface area and thus lowering average temperatures. There is a massive cut-out so that even the most extreme cooling options should be able to fit without modifications.
At the top end we find the IO section/heatsink combination which also has the large, full colour OLED LiveDash. We'll look at each part in more detail as we go along, but the designers have done a good job in fitting eight DIMM slots, the ASUS-specific DIMM.2 slot as well as all the power components necessary to keep the Intel CPU fed with all the amps it could ever request.
The lower side is one of the few places where the Extreme Encore noticably differs from the Zenith II. Instead of four PCI Express 4.0 slots we find 3 x16 ones alongside a short one for those of you who have capture cards or dedicated sound cards. The slots are, of course, braced as you would expect from a ROG product, and with the Thermal Armor there is also a clean look to the areas that won't be covered by your graphics card.
Around the back we find the full range of high-bandwidth connectivity options befitting of a motherboard with the famous Rampage name. Eight USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports, 2 Gen2 in both Type-A and Type-C flavours, as well as the USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 port that has a monstrous 20 Gb/s bandwidth. If you've got the home networking setup that supports it you'll appreciate the 10G LAN connection, whilst the Intel I219-V is there for those of us with more normal network requirements. Lastly the ASUS SupremeFX, based around the S1220 and Sabre 9018 DAC, supplies all your audio needs.