When I was asked to review this product, I agreed with trepidation as other products have promised so much but more often than not failed to deliver and end up being more of a gimmick than anything useful. However, on this occasion I am happy to report that the OC Station ROG controller is a very useful device, especially for those who want a quick and dirty overclock without knowing all the ins and outs of BIOS setting adjustments.
I think it's fair to point out though that the OC station will not gain you overclocks, not by any significant amount any way. The device will obviously be limited by the motherboards capabilities but that said, more often than not FSB can be increased to suicide levels in windows as the PC is under much less stress than when originally booting up so what settings might fail to initially can be set to extract the absolute maximum from your PC in the operating system environment. However, there is a downfall to this.
Memory overclocking is none existent with the OC station unless you count the FSB being linked to the DRAM frequency and overclock it this way. Sadly, this severely restricts what is possible with the OC station unless you enter the BIOS and set the memory multiplier and timings manually which negates the whole point of the OC station. I appreciate that overclocking memory and adjusting timings can be very precarious in a Windows environment as anyone who has used MemSet will testify. Corrupting your windows install is no fun but it's one of those risks that go with overclocking. I do hope Asus rectify this and include an option to adjust the memory both by frequency and latency in future firmware updates as this would make the product much more appealing to overclockers of all levels and experience.
That problem aside, the OC Station is a very usefull device that will appeal to anyone who has a compatible ROG motherboard. I do wonder at the economical sense of limiting the OC Station to ROG motherboards. I can understand that Asus want to give something back to the users of these high end boards but the OC station would certainly appeal to a wider market should Asus allow it. Even cross compatibility with other Asus motherboards not in the ROG range would be a start. At present though this is not an option.
One level of criticism I can justify is the price. At around the £105 mark, buyers must be desperate for the latest gizmo or truly be afraid of BIOS overclocking. Couple this with the inflated prices of ROG motherboards and you will be looking at the thick end of £300 should you wish to take advantage of this device with an Intel Chipset. While I am truly impressed by the OC station, I feel at this price Asus are asking a little too much and are hoping to cream yet more money from ROG sympathisers.
If however, you can afford such a luxury then I would say go for it as it will certainly be the show piece in any PC, it's very useful and should Asus sort the memory overclocking issues, it would be a complete overclocking device that will save the end users a lot of time and effort.
- Overclocking is instantaneous
- Easy to use
- Well structured menus
- Updates available via firmware
- Braided data cable
- Tilt screen
- Limited by no memory overclocking
- No interchangeable faceplate
- Only available to select ROG users
- The price will be too much for some